Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ironman Wisconsin: Week 5

And here I am starting week 6 of training.. Whoa. The trip to Europe derailed my training for weeks 3-4 but, it was also a much needed break after the marathon. One of my biggest fears for this training cycle (asides from injury) is to be overtrained.


Monday: 30:00 cycle, 20:00 run

Tuesday: rest!

Wednesday: 45:00 run

Thursday: rest!! Felt sick.

Friday: double day- am: 15:00 run, 35:00 cycle. Pm: 35:00 cycle, 30:00 run

Saturday: 30:00 cycle (higher rpm), 1:30 run

Sunday: bike the drive! 4:29 cycle.

Total: 10:05:10 for 129 miles

Running: 3:20 for 24.43 miles
Cycling: 6:45 for 102.2 miles

Overall I was happy with how this week's workouts went- even though I didn't make it to the pool. My biggest concern currently is where to do my long rides. I cannot ride the lakefront on the weekends because it is a shitshow. Between the cyclists and runners/pedestrians who are completely oblivious to their surroundings, it's very dangerous. I don't have a car, so logistics for getting out of the city is a challenge.


Wednesday, I went to a charity dinner because my company bought a table at it to support the organization. I will be attending more events in the future since I just accepted a new position within my company- no more accounting! Yay! After the dinner I met L and some friends at Villains to celebrate their one year anniversary.

On Friday, my plants arrived. CB helped me plant them on Saturday. Ive got 3 hot pepper plants, 3 gold tomato plants, 3 pineapple mint plants, and then started seeds for peas, radishes, cucumbers, basil and marigolds. I hope these guys survive living high up above Chicago! 3 days after planting the seeds, some of the cucumbers or radishes have already sprouted!

Sunday was Bike the Drive. I was apprehensive about this event because with 20,000 participants, I Thought it would be insanely crowded. Luckily I was able to cruise up and down lakeshore drive 2.5x without incident. I was concerned about kids darting out in front of riders, plus clueless folks on their phones- but didn't see much of that thankfully.

Mortadella and I rode 72.7 miles in 4:29! Our longest ride ever, eclipsing last week's 1:30 ride by a landslide. I'm now much more confident about this whole ironman thing. I could have kept going if time allowed which was a nice feeling to have. I just didn't take in enough liquids- and felt a bit crappy later on in the day. Lesson learned.

CB was happy this weekend. He loves being outside on the balcony soaking up the heat from the sun. Unfortunately, he goes after my plants so he cannot be left unsupervised anymore.

Sunday I met Vicky for lunch and then we walked over to the Baderbrau block party/grand opening. It was a nice way to end the weekend. I'm excited to try more of their beers- the veloci-radler was really good.

My challenge for this week is to find a suitable spot for a longish ride. If logistics work out, I'd like to do the Udder Century- 70 mile option.

I also need to get my eating back under control and start doing more core/strength work.

Oh, and go swim at least once because that's important.

47 days until IM Racine 70.3

103 days until IM Wisconsin 140.6

Friday, May 27, 2016

Copenhagen 2016: part 1 of...

After spending a few days in Berlin, we flew to Copenhagen. Immediately upon checking into the hotel, we headed to the train station so we could visit Malmö, Sweden. The train ride is super short- but because of the migration crisis, we had to switch trains and show our passports. Even with this delay, it only took around 45 minutes total to get across the Baltic Sea to Sweden. We walked 2 miles from the train station to the center of town and couldn't stop commenting on how clean everything was.

We had lunch at Smak- I had found it online prior to our trip and was excited to eat there. When we arrived, we asked if they spoke English- and we got an "of course" with a smile in return. I had a cod fillet in a cream sauce with roasted carrots. It was so amazingly delicious and fresh. I'm still thinking about that meal. We walked around for a while and saw the Turning Torso building before getting an Uber back to the train station. The return trip to Copenhagen took about 25 minutes since we didn't need to switch trains upon entering Denmark.

We walked around Copenhagen and went to Warpigs before having dinner at the newest Ramen to Biru by Mikkeller. Amazing ramen in Copenhagen!

Another day we started walking around and went to one of my favorite spots, Nyhavn.

After working up an appetite walking all over Copenhagen, we had a huge plate of Shawarma for lunch- never mind that we had the Mikkeller Beer run 5k a few hours later.

With bellies full of shawarma, we went over to Warpigs for the Mikkeller Beer Run 5k. We had a blast running through the streets of Copenhagen and enjoyed beer with friends afterwards.

We started another day in Copenhagen with a Dark Lord Variant tap takeover at the Mikkeller bar. It's so funny that we have to travel halfway around the world to get beer that is practically in our back yard! (Yet impossible to get)

Post Dark Lord beer, we walked over to Banskia Bar for the Omnipollo tap takeover. We went to Copenhagen for the Copenhagen Beer Celebration which was on Friday and Saturday- but during the week there were tons of events which we went to.

Later on we went to another cool bar- Fermentoren for more beer.

And then walked back to Banskia at night for one last Omnipollo beer, a blueberry cheesecake stout which was as delicious as it sounds.

We went to the Hill Farmstead tap takeover at Warpigs. We got there early and split 3 beers between us thinking the line would die down, unfortunately it never did, so we went to get lunch.

We had lunch at Hija de Sanchez- some amazingly delicious authentic tacos in Copenhagen. I heard the owner is from Chicago- but we didn't get to meet her.

And then we went back to Fermentoren for another tap takeover. It's a great bar with a Wonderful outdoor space.

We walked over to Mikropolis and enjoyed cocktails with our friends.

And then went to the original Ramen to Biru to get ramen. They have a beer vending machine stocked with some fantastic craft beer!

I had yuzu ramen this time and it was so good.

Post ramen, we took a walk and saw Hans Christian Andersen's grave.

And took a nice photo on a tree lined sidewalk in a park.

And then we finished the night at Koelschip- Mikkel's new lambic and sour themed bar. It is in this bar that we made friends with some cool guys from Norway whom we debated politics and the absurdity of Trump with in the most polite way and then proceeded to run into them multiple times during the remainder of the trip. Best. Bar. Ever.

And now this has gotten too long... Looks like there's a need for a part dos.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Berlin- where the vacation began and ended

On a Friday afternoon we took Air Berlin to.... Berlin. It was a nice experience and had no complaints about the flight/food whatever. I even slept for a few hours which was amazing.

Upon landing in Berlin, we headed to the hotel and then met up with the Berlin Chapter of the Mikkeller Running Club. Post about that experience {Here}

We passed by Kaiser Wilhelm Church multiple times- it was damaged by a bombing raid in 1943. It was definitely a bit jarring to see the effects of war.

We walked around a lot and took tons of photos- and also got one with one of many of the "Berlin Buddy Bears." They are painted in different themes to promote events under the theme of peace and understanding.

We also saw the Brandenburg Gate at dusk. It was beautiful.

For dinner, we ate a Doner Kebap plate. It was so amazingly delicious- I've had similar plates in the USA, but they don't hold a candle to any of the ones I had in Berlin.

I really liked this sign- a bear (symbol of Berlin) breaking off the famous TV tower.

For breakfast the next morning we went to Curry 36 and got a curry wurst and fries.

I was shocked to see that dogs were allowed on the subway cars. The ones we saw riding, were so well behaved. CB would have freaked the eff out.

We went to the Berlin Wall memorial. I cannot wrap my mind around how Germany was split until almost 30 years ago. Families were separated and unable to visit each other- and the division of east vs west side is still so prominent in the architecture.

To see these historic monuments in person was overwhelming.

I cannot imagine what life would have been life before the wall came down in 1989.

We walked a lot and eventually made our way to Stone Brewery.

Stone is a 15 min walk from the end of one of the subway lines- it's an absolutely gorgeous space. When we visited, only the library bar was open. By fall, the main hall and outdoor space will likely be open and able to accommodate 1000+ people.

Stone has its work cut out for them since craft beer is a relatively new thing in Germany, plus the German Purity Law for beer is ingrained in most people's thoughts concerning beer. Most people love their go to Berliner Weiss, pilsners, but I'm sure with some craft beer education/acceptance, and time spent out on this amazing beer garden, it will be a popular place.

We flew to Copenhagen on Monday morning- and then back to Berlin the following Monday. We stayed in a different hotel for our 2nd set of nights. Clearly this hotel was built in the East Germany side- with a very communist aesthetic.

We went to the Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe.

We ate more Curry wurst.

And saw more buddy bears.

We walked by Checkpoint Charlie.

And had an amazing simple breakfast before walking around Kreuzberg.

We waited in line for 40 minutes to get arguably the best Kebap in Berlin at Mustafa's. It was pretty damn good so I'd say it was totally worth the wait.

We met some of our Brasilian friends who now live in Germany for dinner one night- homemade pizza- which prompted me to get a personal pizza maker upon my return because it was so good.

Our last evening in Berlin, we went to Monterey Bar and had some fantastic beer and had some great conversation with the bartenders.

For dinner on our last night, we had more Kebap, because it is delicious and because I haven't found a suitable equivalent in Chicago.

The 9 hour plane ride was long- but worth it for all of the amazing memories which I glossed over here. Berlin was really great. It was definitely not the picture of a traditional German city I had in my head- it was way more culturally diverse and metropolitan than I had thought. The food and people we encountered were all amazing, and I wouldn't hesitate to go back here- but I'd want to brush up on some more German words first since depending on where you go, many folks don't speak English. Duolingo came to the rescue when I needed to buy a bottle of water and the cashier didn't speak English. I'll always remember "wasser."

I stocked up on 3kg (6.61lbs) of the freshest gummies, but also wish I had bought some of the other Haribo varieties before we left since the airport had a crap selection. But I also didn't want to carry a ton of gummy bears around with us while walking all over Berlin.

During the return flight, I drew a photo of CB on the plane because I was sick of watching old TV shows and movies.

A few hours after we landed, we got CB from boarding. He was super happy to see us. We also missed him a ton. It was nice to be back.