Thursday, December 30, 2010

Three Things Thursday (or Strawberry Beer is A Great Dessert)

Sometimes it's hard to post without repeating my DW Haute Runner... we do pretty much everything together!


1. Wednesday Hills - The weather outside was frightful, the fire was so delightful (sorry Keith, like I told you this morning, I'm not Christmas-ed out yet)... but we still went running. Hills, no less. The plan called for 7 repeats, family requested our presence for pizza and beer, and since pizza and beer only help you run faster as a post-run reward, we ran early. As much as I thought postrun pizza and beer would motivate me, the cold my poor layering choices and the lack of competition running buddies made it a tough slog.

2. SWAM again today!!! Since getting rear-ended at the beginning of November, I've been in a whiplash-induced swimbattical. I haven't been too happy about that. But I asked Dr. Dan last week, and he said go for it, so I WENT TO THE POOL THIS MORNING! Nothing crazy, just decided to do a bit of a pyramid to build up some mileage: 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, cooldown, all nice and easy, about a minute rest in between. The f200m set, or maybe the 300m was actually the most difficult! After that, I worked out enough of yesterday's snow shoveling to get back into my rhythm. And, I got to chat with Keith.

Not us, but we were there!
3. FANTASTIC dinner tonight. In my books, the perfect meal involves great friends, great wine, and great food, bonus if the food is local/ organic/ or both, but fresh and skillfully prepared is a must. Good service (attentive, but not overbearing) is also a bonus. We have some great friends in town from San Francisco, and we went to Farm with them and a mutual friend from here in Calgary. Amazing charcuterie, great cheeses (the owner also owns Calgary's premier fine cheese store) and the menu is an haute-cuisine take on rustic home cooking. Fine ingredients and refined touches to simple, right-sized dishes, everything obviously made in-house, from scratch. After the shared charcuterie selection, I had what could be described as a perfectly-dressed house salad with canola seeds on it (very nice touch), and a braised wild boar shoulder with carmelized cabbage that was perfectly seasoned and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The berry crumble and a taste of strawberry beer finished me off though! Highly recommended for any foodie-- bit on the pricey side, but worth it.

PS In case you were wondering, pizza and beer hard apple cider is not good postrun food. But we had to let our friends properly thank us for the move.

PPS "Pizza and beer" - the phrase always reminds me of Econ 101... for some reason, every supply-and-demand example was pizza and beer. Which was always confusing to me, because there's rarely just one slice of 'za, and beer comes in sixpacks. Whatever.

PPPS I thought I'd posted about the rear-ender, but I guess I didn't. We got hit at a red light coming home from running, and have been in chiro/ massage/ physio for the past two months. And I was told NOT to swim. :(

PPPPS I realize that the past few posts make me sound like a hedonist/ alcoholic/ foodie, but I swear I usually eat pretty well, and I don't actually drink that often... I'm usually pretty good.... besides, it's the holiday season. (enough justification for you?)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Annoyed At My Spin Trainer

So annoyed, I won't repeat what I said to it yesterday morning. So annoyed, it's going back to where I bought it.

I hopped on the bike, intending to ride for at least half an hour to 45 min. At ten minutes, the flywheel started to stiffen up, slowing me down, then it would ease up, and I'd be almost freewheeling... it did this a dozen times before grinding to a complete lockup. I had to get off the bike, wiggle the flywheel back and forth before it let go.

So mad!! Just bought it last year, I would expect it to last longer than this! We'll see if the shop can do anything...

The good news is, I got to try out my Real Rides Grand Canyon (even though I wasn't able to finish it)... and I did do some yoga instead, which I needed.

Still busy with the holidays! Helped some family friends move all day yesterday, had other friends over for dinner, working a few hours today, back to helping move, then having my cousin and her family for dinner! Crazy, but I'd rather be busy than not!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

16km and A Bottle of Scotch

Today, we skipped the boxing day shopping and ran 16km in beautiful weather (ranged from -5C to 5C). Our run club group was the only one to have people show up, even though we met at 10am instead of the usual 8:30am, and our instructor told me that I was the only reason she showed up, because I insisted that I would be there when I talked to her on wednesday!

There were certain parties who, at about midnight last night, thought I might not make it out in the morning...

When I was in my teens, my grandpa got a 25 year old bottle of scotch for his birthday. It was standing on the bar, next to a box lined with crush velvet and gold leaf...
"What's the big deal? I mean, I understand that it's old, but so what? What difference does it make?"
To answer my question, my grandpa pulls out two glasses, pours a little splash of the good stuff into one and asks me to taste it. I still remember the burn! Then, he reaches under the bar and pulls out some J&B scotch whiskey, and poured another splash into the second glass. I immediately asked to taste the good stuff again!

Every year at Christmas, my dad usually buys a decent bottle of scotch-- we enjoy a few glasses, and the bottle lasts for most of the year (if not longer). Last year, I decided to continue the tradition at our house. There's still some scotch left in the bottle of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban I bought last Christmas-- I've thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so, that I thought this year I'd buy the same brand, but for a few dollars more I sprung for a slightly better rated version, the Nectar d'Or.

Me, dad, and brother enjoying a glass of fine scotch
The three of us finished the bottle. Yep, it was that good.

Considering how much I drank, I was shocked at how good I felt on the run! I managed a 5:55 min/km pace, finishing in 1:35... my calves are a little sore, but otherwise feeling exceptionally not hungover!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve update

Yet again, I've fallen behind on my blogging. I seem to either have too much to write, or perhaps too little... and sometimes I just feel self-conscious about putting it all out here.

It's the morning of Christmas Eve. All week, I haven't been able to get up as early as planned, but today, I woke up wondering about friends I've made over the years and lost touch with. (Facebook just doesn't count). We had dinner last night with my best friend from high school--the one person from that time in my life I've kept in touch with--and I dreamed that I ran into a whole party of my old high school friends. It may have had something to do with seeing people's photos on facebook, and actually seeing and talking to another friend last weekend, too.The past few months have also seen me reflecting a lot on the past few years-- but perhaps I'll leave that for another post, maybe a "farewell 2010" post next week.

I'm not sure why I lose touch with people so easily. Does everyone experience this? My lovely wife seems much more able to maintain relationships-- or at least try to--partly because she spends so much time on FB, but shhh, don't tell her I said so. To me, I find myself constantly meeting new people, and I give myself the excuse that it's better to have a few friends that have shared interests and are "in the same place in life". I'm not so sure about that anymore. Am I lamenting a lack of friends, or feeling sorry for myself? Certainly not... especially since I'm sure at least a few of my friends are reading this... :)

I've been working on a post about how much I love my run club (I will post this before the new year!), and a big reason is it's such a great way to get to know people who ultimately have a pretty major common interest- running. In some ways, blogging is a great way to meet new people, on a strangely intimate, yet sometimes very surreal way. New jobs, new neighborhood, all bring new people to meet, and each time, with each encounter, you have to choose how much of yourself to give, how much you want to connect.

But I do really wonder about some people with whom I've lost touch. People I went to school with since childhood. People I once worked with. People I partied with. Sure, some of them are "on Facebook"... but really, I don't think that counts. At least not for me-- I don't check status updates regularly, and not everyone is inclined to post about themselves, and if they do, it varies from the mundane to the ridiculous, to the political, to the odd funny clip. Is it the same as sitting down and having coffee or a beer with someone and catching up on a few years of missed time? I think not.

So in case you haven't noticed, I'm feeling a little nostalgic. If any of my old (or new!) friends is reading this and wants to (re) connect, I'm always free for a coffee or a beer (but not at the same time). I'll buy. jarrett dot nixon at gmail dot com

... And in other news, the post-accident whiplash treatments are working, and next week I'm back in the pool. I can't believe how much I've missed swimming!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

10k PR

.... But it wasn't mine. I'm pretty happy with how (consistently) fast I've been running lately. That and the fact I was a little hungover :P was incentive to help someone else push themselves a little today. One of the ladies in the group has been pretty much on our heels for the past few weeks- and we've been bugging her to run with us. Today, she did, and even thought we were doing 10-and-1's, she kept up, and clocked her first sub-hour 10k! We'll find out Tuesday how sore she is...

Speaking of sore- this week has been pretty light on training, but heavy on the whiplash treatments. Monday and Wednesday were Chiro, Tuesday massage, and Thursday was physio, featuring about 6 needles for muscle release. It was great, I feel awesome now, but if I go back for another treatment, it will be late afternoon instead of mid-day. Even though he taped my back, it sucked to work another 7 hours after! Have you ever tried needling or acupuncture? what did you think? What's the best/worst treatment you've ever done?

Hopefully I won't be working as many long hours this week... We got most of the month-end agility sorted out now, so this week will be catching up on everything else- especially workouts!

PS I Think most of you read her blog anyway, but check out wifey's blog for a more detailed update!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone (Or at least I thought I did... until I checked it and it didn't actually post!!!! boooo....)