Monday, June 30, 2008

I've Turned the Corner... No Really

So for the past three weeks or so I have been getting up every morning and tried to "Run" around my block. Now you may be asking why I have placed the word "Run" in quotes. There is a simple reason for this. It has been many many years since I have actually "Run". I would call what I am doing currently as accelerated walking... sort of.

Let me start by explaining my block. I live in a development that is built on a hill. A very large hill. Here is the best way I can show you. Take a look at this map this is my house.

I live at the the little "A" marker. My block is about a mile and a half around if you take a left out of the house, go up Oakmoor (uphill), left at Selford (downhill), left onto Francis (steep uphill halfway up then a long downhill), left onto Ingate ( with a little uphill and downhill) and then back onto Kelfield (which is a gradual uphill). It is not a bad little track, though there are some obstacles like poor sidewalks and some low hanging trees. It is difficult with the changing elevations and the steepness of the uphills. My goal is to be able to run the whole thing by the end of the summer. The following picture is a close approximation to what I could do when I started my little running program about three weeks ago. I am running the sections in Blue and walking the sections in Red. Basically I have been running the downhills and walking the uphills.

I start at the "A" and walk uphill to Selford. I look at this as my warm up. It gets ths juices flowing. When I would get to the corner I would begin my trot. From the corner of Oakmoor and Selford to Francis and Selford is pretty much a straight downhill shot. it starts to go up just before the corner and once you are there it is like hitting a wall uphill. I was walking this until I got just passed friendship drive. From there it was another downhill until the corner of Ingate. From there it was a walk home. It was challenging for a couple weeks, but I have begun to build up some strength and have tried to stretch out the distances I am running. Here is a map of what have been able to do for the past couple of days.

As you can see there has been some improvements, the biggest of which has been turning the corner at Ingate and going up and down until I get to Kelfield. I have also started to run a little bit sooner and try to stay running as I turn up the wall on Francis. I hope that I will be able to make it running back to the house over the next couple of weeks. I am making improvements, which is all I can ask. I also have to admit that running has really helped me sleep at night, which I have had quite a bit of issues with over the past couple of months.

If you have any tips on how to increase my stamina while running, or things that will help me run the uphills let me know. I am hoping this leads to a more svelte Brick. Here's to hoping!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What a Wonderful Ryanluck

So a couple weeks ago my team at work decided that it would be an awesome idea to hold a little potluck to celebrate the fact that the remaining individuals were... well... remaining. Being the foodie I am I got all sorts of excited. Due to the varying food preferences within my group it was decided that Herbivore vs. Omnivore would be a great theme for the potluck. Being the diplomatic person I am, I decided to make a dish that fell into both categories. Being the "cookist" I am, I decided that both had to be delicious.

I went to Wegmans this past weekend to get ingredients for dinner that day (Asian Braised Short Ribs) and for the potluck. I knew I would need to break out the cooking on Tuesday night since I was working at the big fruit Wednesday night. So I slaved away at the hot stove for a couple hours and packed up the yummy yummy to be unveiled on Thursday for all to enjoy. Then it happened.

On Wednesday afternoon a mail was sent to the group saying that the potluck had been postponed. to many people were in a demo or out of the office. I was a little crushed. There was no way I was making everything again. I had spent to much time and money on this shindig and people were going to eat it. I had made my mind up.

Today was the Ryanluck, where Ryan produced all the food and others came to enjoy. On the menu was Lemon Braised Artichokes and Spinach Fettuccine and the best Chinese Five Spice Wings with Cilantro Dipping Sauce. The food was excellent and I must admit that my co-workers enjoyed quite a bit. Now here is the best part:

I don't have to make anything for the rescheduled potluck.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

It Has Been A While, Hasn't It?


Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I have had good reason. My life once again has taken a turn for the busy. I, for the first time, feel like I was close to burnout last week. It has been an interesting point in my life (more on that in a later post) where everything looks like the status quo, but really there are lots of things that are different. I am stressed and the time I have seems to be spent on doing something that is either really not fulfilling or just unproductive. I like my me time, when I can do things that I like with it. Luckily I have gotten the chance to do some fun stuff and am definitely feeling batter about things now than I had in the past couple of weeks.

I recently had the chance visit Matt and Alyssa in New York. I had not had a chance to see them since their wedding in November 2006. It struck me as interesting that no matter how much time passes between times that we see each other Matt and I just pick up where ever we left off. The door opens and the banter begins. It was a really great trip.

On Saturday we went into the city and headed to the 14th St Apple store. Since beginning to work for them I like going into other store to see how we measure up. 14th was great, very large and a pretty cool place. I am a little jealous. It would be nice to able to hold some of the events that the NYC stores do, be we all do what we can I guess.

From there it was off to Chelsea Market. Being the foodie I am this was very exciting. the place is pretty posh, but there are some markets with ingredients that I have only seen on TV. There were all kinds of great produce, fish and imported products. About the only thing that surprised me was the lack of a butcher shop (though I hear it had recently closed). Also cool is that the market has offices for the Food Network (look at us being all suave), MLB and EMI. They also had a restaurant supply store that I am pretty sure I could get lost in for hours on end. IF I were to ever move to NYC I am sure that I would want to near Chelsea. Saturday wrapped up with some more walking and a really good burger.

Sunday was all about one thing...Baseball. Matt, Alyssa and I took the D train to the Brox and Yankee Stadium. There is something very special about this place. I mean, it is Yankee Stadium. There are some cool thing that are traditions at the stadium. Some of my favorites are the Field Crew doing the YMCA which raking the field and the Roll Call from the bleachers. The stadium overall is kinda a dump, but what can you expect from a place that is almost one hundred years old. Also I got to see Joba Chamberlain pitch, which was pretty cool. Of Course this was all happening in 100 degree heat, which is a little to hot to do anything.

Since my visit Matt and Alyssa have moved to the A-T-L. They are really excited about the move and I am really happy for them. I will need to plan a visit, hopefully sooner than 2010.

Ocean City
Over labor day weekend Dom, Elan Jordan, Brian, Country and I went to Dom's Place in Ocean City. This has become a semi annual trip. It is quite relaxing and just nice over all. This trip, of course had it's moments. Some of the highlights was the ridiculous night of Drunken Monopoly. Let me say this, it is never smart to play Drunken Monopoly with a real estate agent, a couple politicians and a "Communications Expert". I feel like this is a game that we will never forget... and hopefully never repeat.

There was also the moment of the trip. I am going to do my best to describe the scenario. Dom's place is on the bay, which affords those in residence the opportunity to enjoy the water. One of the many ways that people like to take in this relaxing experience is with a kayak trip on the water. It just so happens that Dom has a couple of these vessels in his garage, so throughout the weekend each one of us took turns heading out on the water. Below is the evidence of my personal outing on the water.


Yes, that is right, I F*ing fell in the water.... I couldn't believe it. I would like to thank Brian for "helping" by taking the photo above. I have promised myself that the next time I go down to Dom's that I am going to conquer the kayak.

Of course we went out for Putt Putt, which is always great and meet up with Brooks for a night a Phillips Buffet. It is an Ocean City Tradition. Take a look at this Motley Crew.

Overall we had an absolute blast. I really enjoy these trips and I cannot wait for the next one.

So that is a small recap about what has been going on with me. I am going to try to write a little bit more in the near future. Time will tell if I am able to do that. Until next time.