1. I'm recovering from Miss Caroline and Mr Fred's wedding. It was a blast! But my feet are still unhappy - a good sign. Congrats!
2. Holy storm - I hope all my friends on the east coast are staying safe. This picture looks like it's from the movie, The Day After Tomorrow. So scary!
3. On that note, people are passing photos around from the Day After Tomorrow and calling it real. Riiiggghht.
4. We had a new pup in the house this weekend as our friends welcomed their new baby boy, Owen (congrats!) Murphy and Louie were BFFs, except when Murphy tried to steal Louie's chew toys - then things got a little heated. But mostly the big dog and little dog got along really well.
Maclin: Doggie! Doggie! Play with me! (bang, bang)
6. Because it was a wedding weekend, it meant it was also a college reunion. And it was awesome. Check out all these lovely ladies - the ladies of Ocheta Beta. Sellery 8B. Our own sorority we made up when we were 18.
7. Obligatory "we are at a wedding" picture. It's not often we are in a suit and dress - lately it's running pants and shirt or sweatpants and t-shirt. We are classy.
8. Oh the Loubudge has been as silly as usual.
11. It's November this week. HUH? Where is the time going?! SLOW DOWN!
12. The positive side of it being November? It's nephew's birth month! (Unless something happens in the next two days). So excited!!
Continuing our ventures throughout Europe...
After Strasbourg, we took a train to Innsbruck, Austria for two nights. This was a place that neither of us had visited, and we were excited to take in some mountains.
Our train journey included an hour layover in the Munich train station. We stepped off the train onto the platform, and in front of us was a man in leaderhosen passed out, lying on his back with his arms wide. His friend was also passed out sitting on the bench, his heavy head rested on one of his propped up arms. We both looked at each other - my face of horror, and Tim's of giddiness. Oktoberfest was in full swing.
After a beer and brat, we were on our next train, and headed into the Alps.
We arrived late, so after checking into our hotel, we embraced the extra sleep and planned for an early morning.
We took the Nordkettenbahn cable car all the way up to the top of one of the mountains - to the 2256-meter high Hafelekar. The air was thin, and it was probably about 25 degrees. On one side, you can see all of Innsbruck below, and on the other, the wilderness of the Karwendel Alpine Park. It truly was an incredible experience.
We took the cable car down to the next station, Seegrube - a world of difference. At Hafelekar, it was a rocky, cold mass. At Seegrube, there was grass and the sun was warm. We decided to hike down - according to the sign, it would take us only two and a half hours to reach Hungerburg, the small town a third the way up the mountain just outside of Innsbruck.
On our hike down, we made some friends with some lambs.
We took some trails that I'm not sure were trails.
And took some time for some pictures.
Hiking down (don't underestimate - even though we were moving down, it was still difficult!) was such a cool experience, and happy that we took on the challenge. After reaching Hungerburg, we were starving and had lunch at a restaurant next to the station that takes us back downtown Innsbruck. We had cheese dumpling soup, wienerschnitzel and salad. It was amazing. We also had their local beer Zipfer - a delicious and light lager.
The rest of the day, we just walked around Innsbruck and enjoyed the view. The buildings are brightly painted with the Alps in the background, with the ice blue river flowing through the city. It really is beautiful.
The next morning, we headed out for a 8 mile run along the river - a 4 mile loop twice. It was the fastest 8 miles I've had in a long time because I was just enjoying the view so much.
Post on Oktoberfest to come...
1. I'm really into boxes of raisins at work in my snack drawer. It's like I'm in grade school again.
2. Anyone else have a snack drawer at work? Mine is plenty stocked all the time.
3. I spent sooo much time with babies this weekend. My little friends Maclin (8 months) and Everett (6 weeks) were so much fun!! Meeting Everett for the first time was so awesome, and seeing how much Mac has grown is so crazy! (Sorry, mum, I need several more years :)
5. This Rachel girl is genius - her slow cooker chicken tortilla soup is amazing! Try it here.
7. I RAN after the marathon! A week after to be exact. 3 miles. And it felt really awesome. I'm not totally scarred...
8. ...until I went to bootcamp tonight, and probably won't be able to walk for the next several days. Sigh.#selfinflicting.
9. Modern Family is LOL good. Literally, we were crying we were laughing so hard.
10. I don't like politics, and I don't like posting about politics. BUT, Romney's closing statement tonight was uber funny to me. He said "peace" three times and then continued to make a closing statement that I SWEAR I've heard at Miss America pagents (not that I watch them....) #savebigbird #binderofwomen #obama2012
11. YAY #hashtags. I'm overtired. G'night!
While we were traveling, I had a lot of time to read again, which was amazing. I love reading, but don't make the effort to sit down with a cozy book as often as I'd like. And when I read, I feel like I'm living and breathing the book - I'm living in the character's world, and when the book ends, I'm always sad.
I had heard of The Paris Wife by Paula McLain a while back, and added it to my to-read list on goodreads.com (great website to track and log your reading if you are like me, and can't remember what books you have read). Now that I have an iPad, buying books is TOO easy. So I quick downloaded it before leaving.
The book is set in the 20s, post World War I, and unravels the story of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson. It's a great love story, full of rash decisions and at times, a tough life with many sacrifices. They spent their early years together in Paris - hence, The Paris Wife - to help Ernest Hemingway "make-it" in the writing world.
I would go as far to say that this book was magical. I also have a soft spot for the 20s and for Paris - so put those two together and it's my dream world. The author closely follows the actual history of this couple, depicting along the way the early struggles of Hemingway and how Hadley was his champion, his best supporter and #1 fan. McLain always cleverly pulled in all other artists that Hemingway was friends with during his time in Paris including Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald and the other American expats living in Paris. It's full of insights into that time and how these artisits lived - lavish parties, Parisian cafes everynight, and month-lonth traveling across Europe.
Even though this book is fiction, you can tell that McLain did a lot of research. She kept all the facts of their life, but gave each character life and emotion. I felt like I KNEW Hemingway at the end of this book, and wanted to be friends with Hadley.
It does get a little bogged down with details towards the end, but stick with it. It's a wonderful novel full of love and ultimately betrayal - the worst kind, too.
If I could time-travel anywhere - it would be Paris in the 1920s. And McLain let me, only if just for a little while.
First, read this article from The Onion. Because it's so true and hilarious.
And now I'll tell you everything about this marathon if you are willing to listen. It's a rough one.
I was too ambitious for this race - not physically, but just from a time perspective. I have had so much going on in my life, it was too much to train for a marathon as well.
So what ended up happening was that I half-trained. I got all the long runs in on the weekend - and made it up to peak of 20 miles, but didn't really run during the week. 3 miles here, 4 miles there. But nothing like how I trained for the first marathon - which usually looked something like 4 miles on Tuesday, 8 miles on Wednesday and 5 miles on Thursday, and then the long run on the Saturday.
Not only did I have a lack of training, but also a lack of energy, having just spent the last 2 weeks drinking, eating and traveling myself through Europe. Next time I tell you I'm going to run a marathon 6 days after vacation, tell me I'm silly, and stop the conversation.
Ok, onto the actual race. I lucked out on weather again! 40 degrees, 90% chance of rain and windy. Awesome!
The Haunted Hustle started in Greenway Station, in Middleton. We arrived just before the start, since the race was just 10 minutes away and had no issues getting to the start line. It wasn't actually raining at that point, but was chilly and damp. At 7:30a, the start sounded, and we were off.
We started the race with the 4:30 pace group. Tim and I were both pretty confident that we would finish under 4:30, so it seemed a great idea...at the time. Our pace leaders were really great and made our running group a lot of fun. We also chatted with a couple that knew some friends of ours....Madison is a small town.
So I started to feel bad at mile....8. My joints and muscles felt stiff, and my legs were in PAIN. I've never had twingy pain that early on. So I was scared. Because mile 8 of 26.2 should really be just a warm up. I was also still getting over a cold and that was still lingering, so breathing was a little more difficult.
I started to fall behind the pace group around mile 10. It was kind of depressing to watch my new found group of friends slowly making their way ahead of me. And soon I was all alone. Tim looked like he was feeling good, so I was happy for him.
I hit the half way point at 2:18, so actually was pacing well, but it was more difficult than it normally was for me. And the heavens opened up, and it poured for a while. That was a low point for me. And then coming up to mile 14, I had to start walking. This is the point where I started to question if I could even finish this marathon.
And now I may sound like a crazy person, but for the next several miles, I had a conversation with myself. Why I should quit, the reasons behind it - and then just go several more miles and see how I feel. Back and forth. No way am I quitting! I can do this! Ouch, I can't go 10 more miles.
It was pretty painful. I wish I had someone to talk to at mile 16 - 10 miles more seemed so overwhelming. I may have even shed a tear of frustration. And then I dug in my heels, and told myself I was going to finish even if it meant walking more and taking longer.
Surprisingly, miles 20-26 were so much easier and involved more running and less walking. The body is a strange thing. I was mostly on auto-pilot too - I stopped thinking and just ran.
So, I did finish. My official time was 4:55 BUT - the course was almost a half mile longer than 26.2. So really, I ran it in 4:50, which is two minutes off my first marathon. I'll get to my 4:30 someday.
I'm happy I finished - but I was in a lot of pain. This marathon was SO much harder - mentally and physically - than my first marathon. I couldn't even walk to the car - Tim had to come and pick me up.
The rest of the day included PANCAKES and couching with the Louman.
Next up - a winter full of bootcamp and yoga, going light on the running. But my marathon days aren't over (hopefully). I'm hitting up Chicago next fall. Anyone want to join me?
Congrats to all the runners - I had several friends run their first half marathon, and I'm so proud of you!
Have a great week!
After three days in Paris, we headed to Gard Est and took the train to Strasbourg, a small town on the border of France and Germany. If Paris is the city of lights, Strasbourg is the town of quaint. It was actually a really nice change of landscape from the bustle and grandeur of Paris.
But, don't get me wrong - Strasbourg has some grandeur itself. The cathedral is huge and commanding - especially in such a small square. But the actual town is so small that we were able to walk everywhere - we walked from the train station to our hotel, and we didn't take a singe train, cab or tram in our short 24 hours there.
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France, bordering Germany. The cool thing about Strasbourg is the history - it still has a lot of medieval history (buildings) and was annexed by both France and Germany several times, so a blend of cultures. King Louie VIV of France annexed Strasbourg in the late 1600s, even though they declared themselves a free republic. In 1919, Woodrow Wilson named Alsace a part of France in the Treaty of Versailles, but then in World War II, Germany annexed them after invading. But today, they are officially a part of France.
Ok enough history for one blog post. Here are some things we loved about Strasbourg:
And our last morning, we had breakfast in front of the Cathedral. Directly in front. It was a pretty awesome way to start the day.
I highly recommend Strasbourg, but you really only need a day, day and a half if you want to do museums, etc. We spent about 24 hours there, and then hopped on a train, and headed to Innsbruck, Austria to explore the Alps! I was sad to leave the fresh French bread, but excited for a new adventure.
Post on Innsbruck to come!
And now I can barely keep my eyes open, so goodnight!
We had a wonderful time in Paris - some sightseeing, some wandering, biking and even got some running in.
Nutella and banana crepes are my favorite. We found a stand right off Notre Dame, made a beeline for it, and devoured the deliciousness. I'm pretty sure we had at least one crepe everyday.
One of my favorite things we did in Paris was the Fat Tire Bike Tour. We biked all over the city for 4 hours, with a lunch stop in the Jardin de Tuileries at a lovely cafe. Our guide was obviously excited by Paris history, and gave us a great insight into what it was like to live in Paris in the 1500 and 1600s. Louie XIV and Napoleon stories were flowing freely. It was a great way to see the city and a really cool experience. Highly recommend.
We also found the "roof running path" that my friend Jill told us about and hit that up for several miles. Well, only three. My face felt like it was going to explode my sinuses hurt so much. It was pretty awesome though.
We did the Louvre one afternoon which is always so mesmerizing. It's overwhelming how much history there is in one huge building. We choose certain sections and strategically attacked each one. Our bike guide told us to not be ambitious in the Louvre, otherwise the Louvre will dominate you. But we felt that we came out with a win.
The last thing we did in Paris was leave our mark on the city - legally of course. On the Ponte de Arts, there are thousands of locks on the bridge fence. Lovers add their lock to the bridge, and throw the keys into the river. Which is exactly what we did.
|Can you find our lock?|