Friday, November 16, 2012

Rebecca's First 5k

Many of our friends have been running 5k's for years.  Three years ago they all decided to train to run the BAA 5k, a plan which I stubbornly refused to participate in.  Well, watching Alan and Caroline run the Boston Marathon this April finally inspired me.  I wanted to run a 5k.

Keith and I found the Monster Dash, a fun costume oriented 5k.  I thought this would be a good first race because it was raising money for a good cause (Team Ortho) and it would also be a race that many would not take seriously.  I knew that if I was doing a "fun run" then I would feel a lot less pressure.  I didn't want to dress in costume (it was my first race, after all), but Keith and I put temporary Halloween themed tattoos on our face and hands.

Keith and I ran together a few times in preparation for the 5k, but mostly I ran with Indy.  (If you ever ask him "do you want to go for a run?" he will start squeeling and jumping around, pretty cute.)  Even Keith isn't as fast as Indy, but Indy and I found a good pace together.  Rather than running large loops, we run from home to an empty field that is ~0.5 miles around and do laps.  This gives me the opportunity to push myself further if I feel up to it, knowing that I can still manage to get home if I start to become too tired.  

Running was not an easy thing to add to my daily routine.  My CFS treatment plan is to provide balance and to not overexert myself.  By pushing myself harder with running, I was tipping the balance to doing a little too much each day.  I needed to compensate by doing less of my other activities (knitting, blogging on ChemKnits) and taking more naps.  Ultimately, it is worth it to keep my heart healthy.  

Nevertheless, I am proud to say that I finished the 5k, AND felt that I could have run a bit further!  (Keith's Garmin watch thought we had run less than the course, so the finish line snuck up on us sooner than we expected.)   We finished with a time of 33:50!   And the fatigue?  I did well until we got to the car where I started to crash during the ride home.  The nap that afternoon was a good one because it was filled with victory.


The race was the week before Halloween... and I haven't run since.   I DO plan to run more in the future, but the cold weather has gotten a little in the way.   I cannot wait for the 2013 race season to begin, I plan on signing up for more 5k's.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Flat Jackson

So I've been really bad about posting.... but here are the adventures from our Honeymoon (Dec 2011) as told by our little stowaway, Flat Jackson.

Hello! My name is Flat Jackson and I went to Illinois to spend some time with my family, the newlyweds Rebecca (my cousin) and Keith (my buddy.) Flat me wasn't able to go to the wedding (I had not yet been laminated), but the 3D version had a lot of fund dancing at their wedding at the New England Aquarium in Boston.

Evanston, IL is a quiet college town just North of Chicago. I thought that I was in for a quiet relaxing vacation... but then there was a wild beast! (Just kidding, the American Eskimo Puppy never tried to eat Flat Jackson.)

Shortly after arriving in Evanston, Rebecca and Keith were going to leave for their Caribbean honeymoon. Guess what? They invited me to join them! I spent the trip traveling in the outside pocket of their suitcase, sleeping inside a Kindle Case so I could stay nice and flat.

We started our adventures on the Island of Saint Maarten, an island that is half owned by the French and Dutch (this is the World's smallest island owned by two sovereign nations!) Many different nations have sovereignty in the Caribbean, which leads to multiple different currencies being used, including US dollar, Easter Caribbean Dollar, European Euro, British Sterling and more. (Thankfully, most places were happy to take US dollars at a great exchange rate, 1 USD = 1 Euro!)

St. Maarten was only the first stop on our Caribbean adventure. We went on the Windstar cruise ship the WindSurf. This one of the largest sailing vessels on the ocean, and we spent a lot of time traveling under sail power. From St. Maarten, we traveled to 5 other islands: Martinique, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and St. Bartelemy.

The layout of the boat looks confusing, but thankfully Rebecca and Keith were on this ship before for Mediterranean cruise so they were able to easily show me around.

Breakfast and lunch are almost always eaten outside on the deck. The ship was only about half full (~200 passengers) so there was never any trouble finding a place to sit.

Our room (called a "State Room") has two little porthole windows so we can see the waves.

The boat is small for a crusie ship, but it is still very big compared to many other boats. We weren't able to dock on many of the islands, instead we were anchor in the harbor and then take a tender (a small boat) to shore.

Every island was filled with breathtaking views....

It was also really relaxing to be on the boat.

Unfortunately, since I am not yet 18 years old, I was not able to go Snorkeling with Rebecca and Keith. But they did bring me along so I could watch!


On Antigua, we had a lazy beach day.

Technically I was not a guest on the ship, I was more of a stow-away. This is why I didn't get listed on the honeymoon certificate!

I was sad to see our trip end... funny to see palm trees decorated for Christmas.

I thought my adventures would be over when we returned to Chicago... but in fact they were just beginning.

Rebecca told me that she is happy we had these cyber adventures. Now as they mail me back to Massachusetts, I haven't really left them at all!