Saturday, April 2, 2016

Checking in

Long ago, in a land far far away, this blog wasn't a running blog.  Oh, it might have had running in the title and it might have mentioned that I went running in the past few days, but very little of it was about running. For one reason or another I haven't been running a ton lately.  BUT, that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy!

I took the breakup from Laura pretty hard.  And, while it has been nearly three months, I'm still employing the "keep very busy" strategy to keep my mind occupied. A man with a cold stone heart, I am not. I think staying busy has saved the internet from way too many emo posts. Think of it as a public service!  You're welcome, world.

To that end, here is a peek into what I've been up to:

The thing that I've replaced running with the most has been hiking. It is somewhat easier on my knee as long as I am taking it slow - which I rarely do, obviously. Before catching a terrible respiratory virus, I was going on a long hike about once a week and was trying to hike after work at least once as well.  I've been trying to get around the valley (the Phoenix metro area) to see what is to be seen, but I'll admit there are a few areas that I have been going back to more and more.  Camelback mountain being one of them:

Almost down from Camelback mountain looking over fancy Scottsdale

I have a few work friends who are into hiking which is really fun.  Normally, I'll go hiking on my own and listen to podcasts, but it is super fun to get together with someone and talk about anything and everything (and rarely work). PLUS, I've heard that hiking promotes a good butt.  Win/Win. Again, you're welcome world.

Looking out over the javelina jundred course (I think)

Selfie in the WINDY pass!

Burning things!!!
I've posted about this before, but as of late, my son and I have taken to having lots of bonfires.  Essentially, any weekend night that we're together we light something on fire in the driveway,  I have a beer and he eats Smores.  I've found that it is a great way to unwind after a long day and is a great way to hang out with the neighbors.  (I'm sure having 5 homebrew beers on tap in my garage doesn't hurt either.)

Coloring in front of the fire - possibly my most favorite pic in months

Unfortunately though, the bonfire days are likely coming to an end pretty soon.  The summer heat is on its way and no one wants to sit in front of a fire when it is 95 degrees at 9pm.  Of course, that likely won't stop me from trying it at least one or two times before I give in.

Fire and wine. As if I needed anything else (I don't)

Another gorgeous sunset in Arizona

Ostrich Festival
I feel like every town has their little 'quirk'.  Chandler Arizona's?  The Ostrich festival.  This is an entire weekend dedicated to massive birds with the brains the size of walnuts.  Are there ostriches in Arizona?  WHO KNOWS!  But we're for damn sure going to celebrate them. There are equal parts: carnie rides, people showing too much skin with too many tattoos, carnies showing too much skin and having too many tattoos, and fried food.  Basically people watching heaven.  I've been meaning to go for years and a few weeks ago my son and I finally got there. Believe me.  It did not disappoint.  Of course, there were rides:

Going though the obstacle course type thing

Basically terrified of the roller coaster.  
Chip off the old block...the boring fam doesn't "do" roller coasters

BUT, the main attraction were the ostrich races.  That is when 3 less than 140 pound guys (they pointed that out...strange) grab a massive bird by the neck and hold on for dear life. Believe me, it was just as entertaining as you would have expected it to be..... and my son LOVED IT.

"Oh yay, riding an ostrich seems like a GREAT idea"

"I regret everything"

"Maybe if I get up SUPER fast no one will know I fell"

LOL, but then he was about ran over...which was great

Meep meep

San Diego
Finally, San Diego.  A few weeks ago, for an entire week, I was in San Diego for work.  Only a 5.5 hour drive from my house, San Diego is probably one of my favorite places in the US.  It is beachy, but not super laid back and annoying, there are still lots of fun non-beach things to do, and it is still cheap enough to be able to have fun without feeling like I need to sell a kidney to afford it (looking at you, Hawaii...).

The training was fun, dare I say life changing, but the real fun was the weekend after.  I sipped on local coffee, had a few nice dinners, and went to more than a few breweries.

Sunset in La Jolla

While the training had a bunch of executives (which I guess I am one of now?), lest I get too full of myself....well, I'll let the picture speak for itself:

#1 gangsta.  Do people still say gangsta?

One thing that I completely forgot about was is at the beach.  If you ever need motivation to get into shape, go to the beach. Nothing like a few thousand 22 year olds to make you question that second scone at the coffee place (I had the second scone, obviously).

Since I was alone, I went off of my normal beaten path on this trip.  I hiked in Torrey Pines park, I went to neighborhoods that I had never been to, I ran along new beaches, I stumbled upon nude beaches..... Yes, you heard me right... a nude beach.

So, as it turns out, if you're hiking Torrey Pines, get down to the ocean, and start running south along the beach, you'll run into the nation's largest nude beach - Black's Beach. When I mentioned this to a runner buddy, Chris, that I met up with while there he straight faced said "oh yeah, Black Beach.  Lots of naked dudes on that one".   Indeed he was right. As I was running along, I felt less and less like I was running along the beach and more and more like I was in a men's locker room.  The kind of men's locker room where the old guys let it hang fancy free. For the record, naked women count: 1 (she was like 65 years old) naked man count: 3945848394857.




Torrey Pines hiking

Of course, those are just the highlights of the last month or so.  If you follow my daily instagram posts, you'll find that I'm up to all SORTS of boring stuff!  Hopefully my next blog post isn't a month from now. But, if it is, reset assured that I'll be keeping myself busy (mostly by burning stuff in the firepit)!


Kate Geisen said...

We've been doing more family hiking in my quest to "train for a hike into the Grand Canyon" get my unwilling-to-run-or-bike husband to do something active with me. The Grand Canyon thing is actually true, too, but the main motivation is the husband part.

Maybe California nude beaches are different, but the only semi-nude beach I was ever at was in Mexico, and it made me feel much more relaxed about my body after seeing the women there. Like, ANYONE will wear a bikini (or less). Why am I so worried about how I look?

Elaine said...

What is it with guys and fires? My hubbie built us a firepit so now ... every ... weekend ...
So glad you had fun in San Diego. And you are right about how everyone looks. Very different from when I go to the beach in Florida and everyone looks more like ... me.
Lastly, really sorry about the break-up.

Danielle said...

I'm going to be honest, I love a good emo post (obviously), but I'm glad you've found an outlet to keep you fit and sane. I am really starting to love hiking even more than running, I think because the scenery is so much better (it's not convenient for me to run on trails during the week). I'm sorry your knee is still acting up - that REALLY sucks - but you know what pain you can live with and what you can't. Your posts are always a happy surprise in my feed and I hope we hear more from you soon!!