It’s a resort town that’s known as the Adventure Capital of the World, and “every night is Friday night” at the crazy bars. It’s absolutely gorgeous when it’s sunny… but it ain’t half bad for a rainy morning run along Lake Wakatipu, either.
Apparently fancy people like Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise own homes in Queenstown. Maybe they’re amongst these mega-mansions?
The water looks so clear and clean! Too bad it’s super cold.
I’ve been running so infrequently that I can no longer knock off four miles like it ain’t no thang. I definitely had to push myself during this run!
Aaaand I either need to start running more or eating much healthier, since I’ve noticed my cheeks growing rounder. It’s so easy to grab an ice cream here, fish ‘n chips there and, oh, how about another package of dark chocolate Tim Tams? Must get some vegetables into my life ASAP.
ANYWAY, I’m in the home stretch of my time in New Zealand. On March 5, I fly to Sydney!
I’ve crashed for two nights at a friend’s* place in New Zealand’s capitol and, my God, did I need the break from constant bus travel, adrenaline-pumping activities and hostels swarming with twenty-somethings. I’ve been traveling now for exactly two weeks.
Wellington has helped me slow down and recharge. Its stunning waterfront also lured me out in the late afternoon for my first run in 12 days.
I wasn’t sure how far or fast I’d be able to run, but Wellington worked its magic and, together, we pulled out a good one.
It didn’t hurt that this was one of the most gorgeous runs I’ve ever done — right up there with a beachfront jog on Oahu and a jaunt along the seawall in Vancouver, B.C.
Very red face = good run.
I’m up bright and early tomorrow to catch a ferry to the South Island, where things like glacier hiking in Franz Josef and bungee jumping in Queenstown await.
My oh my.
*My friend is Nick White, an incredible runner who kicked the shit out of head & neck cancer. He ran a 21K trail race up a friggin’ mountain about six months after major surgery… while still wearing a stomach tube. He trained for it while undergoing chemo and radiation. He’s also just about the kindest, most generous guy you’ll ever meet, and I’m ridiculously proud to call him my friend.
I have a bigger question than how you could afford it, is....how are you going to afford life when you get back? Thats the part that would scare me most. I have no debt, and the money to travel the word for a year, but...when I got back, and had no job, no place to live, no way to cover living expenses, food, etc, then what? That would scare the crap outta me!
I have literally no idea. Leap of faith!
OK, that’s not entirely true. My family would never let me go homeless, and I have multiple places I could stay while I get back on my feet.
Job-wise, I’m not sure exactly what I’d like to do. If all else fails, I can work retail, be a barista or take care of kids — there is no shortage of families who need nannies with good references, I’ve found!
You’ll never have all the answers before you do something big like this. Sure, it can be scary, but I’d much rather take a chance on doing something awesome than do nothing and always wonder, “What if…?”
Leap, and the net will appear.
Edited to add: Two years ago, I had no money and nearly $9,000 in debt, and I got out of that just fine. At the very worst, I’ll have no money and be back where I started, but I’ll have so much more knowledge and will have enjoyed an epic adventure. : )
Lots of trip preparation. No exercise. That about sums up my week!
I spent two hours yesterday trying on shorts and tank tops since it’s summer in the South Pacific and, boy, I do not recommend doing this in the dead of winter when you’re ghostly pale. Not that I recommend tanning, either, but my pasty legs look really awkward in shorts. Or maybe it was the lighting in the fitting room?
Anyway, traveling with only a backpack is pretty much my dream come true solely for the fact that I’ll be limited to a handful of clothing items, and it’s actually acceptable to wear the same plain t-shirts and tank tops over and over again like I do anyway.
Cheap tees and messy hair = not normal for a nice office environment (see memory lane below). But I was born to travel, baby.
My hair will be that long again… someday.
This week on Answering Oliver, I wrote about my new round-the-world backpack and a bunch of travel-planning tasks I’ve recently completed:
NINE DAYS, people. I hope to squeeze some running in between giving 99.8% of my stuff away, moving out of my townhouse, selling my car, saying goodbye to all my friends and getting ready to leave for good. I’ll at least have to hit my favorite waterfront trail one more time before I leave Seattle.
Wow, that just made me sad. Time to end this post. Happy Friday!
I spent the weekend at my mom’s house eating cheese and lemon meringue pie. Yummm.
I’ve missed a bunch of runs, and I don’t really care. With the snow last week and the rain now, it’s not worth it to me to possibly get sick before my trip. And I’m just lazy. And my jeans actually fit again! It seems like that was more of an eating/moderation issue.
I did a 3-mile run (29:29) yesterday on my mom’s treadmill and Level 1 of the 30-Day Shred today. Right as I finished, I checked my doorstep and found THIS!
Kindle Keyboard 3G! The 3G works globally, which will come in handy, and it’ll keep me entertained on long flights, bus rides, etc.
I already downloaded a book for free (21-day checkout) from the Seattle Public Library. Love, love, love technology!
Now I need book suggestions! I’ve already read the Hunger Games books and plan to start on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo soon.
Also: Today I’ll get the last of my travel shots. I wrote on Answering Oliver about the total cost of my vaccinations:
Yesterday I trudged through the snow to the grocery store (0.5 mile away) because I was out of necessities: apples, bananas, peanut butter, veggies for roasting, Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked fro-yo and Cadbury Creme eggs.
I know it’s January, but who knows if I’ll have access to Cadbury eggs when Easter actually rolls around? WHO KNOWS???
I might have eaten one during the walk back home.
Being patriotic does not exempt your car from getting stuck, abandoned and covered with ice, apparently.
Today it’s raining, and all the pristine, beautiful snow is turning into slush. It was nice while it lasted, snow.
New post on Answering Oliver about the heart stuff that went on this week:
They’re comfortably loose with room to eat (and trust me, I’ll need the room), but still fitted enough so that I won’t look like a complete slob. They’re stretchy and the perfect length. They make me look a bit stumpy when they’re rolled up, but you just can’t have everything.
They are the travel pants of my dreams.
Do you see the snow out there on my balcony? It looks nice and innocent, but not 30 seconds into a journey to the local Redbox with my roommates, I slipped and fell right on my butt. While still in the driveway. That takes talent.
Needless to say, I didn’t run today (skipped 5 miles). I did walk about a 1.5 mile round-trip in the snow to acquire The Ides of March and Crazy, Stupid, Love for a Ryan Gosling marathon this evening, which I will go ahead and say was the GREATEST IDEA EVER.
If you’re training for a legitimate running marathon, I highly suggest that you take a break for a Gosling marathon. Pure delight.
Last but not least, I posted more details about my New Zealand travel plans on Answering Oliver today:
1. Normal left ventricular systolic function. 2. Normal left ventricular ejection fraction. 3. The left ventricular cavity size is normal. 4. Trace tricuspid regurgitation. 5. Mild pulmonary regurgitation. 6. Normal pulmonary artery systolic pressure estimated at 23.0 mmHg. 7. Trace mitral valve regurgitation.
Hi Devon, Your echo was normal. Maggie Emanuel, MD
Today I woke up to intermittent periods of snow (sometimes huge flakes, other times little baby flakes) and sleet. I had zero desire to run.
Then the sun came out! By Seattle standards, that means you could sort of see the sun through the clouds.
Since we’re supposed to get a big snowstorm tonight, I figured I’d take advantage of the temporary clearing and get my run on.
It was a good one!
I finally took a picture of this mural I love on the Burke-Gilman trail. It was painted by a fifth-grade class and shows all kinds of animals cycling around Seattle. Very cute and quirky.
I was also blessed with some elbow-pit sweat for my efforts. That’s new to me.
I was supposed to do this run on Monday, but I had my cardiac ultrasound yesterday morning and it freaked me out wayyyyy more than I expected. I thought it would be cool to see my heart on the screen, but I couldn’t stop thinking, “What if there’s something really wrong with my heart? What if it can’t be fixed? What if they find something else, like a mass or something??”
The ultrasound technician said she wasn’t really allowed to tell me anything since a cardiologist is the one who officially reviews the pictures of my heart, but she did say I shouldn’t worry too much. Well, ok. I just couldn’t bring myself to run after that, though.
Especially since what they’re checking for is an inherited condition that is “a major cause of death in young athletes who seem completely healthy but die during heavy exercise.”
So, that’s nice.
I hope I’ll find out the results this week. Until then, I guess I’ll just… keep running.
I pushed this weekend’s 7-miler to today because yesterday it was windy and sleeting. When that finally cleared up, I had lost my motivation to run and was deep into booking New Zealand hostels and shiz.
Today’s run started out slow because the trail was quite slushy. I shuffle-jogged my way through for the first few miles until I hit Westlake, where the sidewalks had been salted and were just a little wet. Hallelujah!
The rest of the run was slush- and slip-free. I did have several snowflakes go up my nose, but I survived.
I’m very happy with my farthest run since the marathon and am glad I got in done despite the snow!
I feel hardcore-ish. And prepared to spend the rest of the day in my cozy house. : )
Today, I just did Level 2 after MANY months of not using that DVD, and WTF! It was tough!
Who’s idea was this?
The funny thing is that the 3 lb. weights I’ve always used now feel like a complete joke, since I grew accustomed to lifting 12.5 lb. to 25 lb. weights at the gym. It’s all the jumping and lunging that wore me out today. There’s a lot of it!
Then I went for a run. It was on the speedy side for me, since I was already warmed up.
It was SUNNY! I squinted throughout the whole run. As a Seattlite, I’m not used to the appearance of that strange bright orb in the middle of winter.
Then I went to the dentist. Oooh, exciting day! Have you ever seen such a nice view from a dentist’s chair??
Hello, I would like to move in here.
And finally, as I was uploading endless photos of shiz I’m selling on Craigslist in preparation for the big trip, I caught this sunset off the balcony of my bedroom.
Seven miles to run in the morning. It’ll be the farthest I’ve run since the marathon!
The lululemon fairy delivered this to my front door today!! I’m already obsessed. Thumbholes never get old for me.
I needed a lightweight, non-cotton, long-sleeved shirt for layering as I travel, and I’ve wanted this running top for a while now, so it was the perfect excuse to buy it. It’s SO comfortable, moisture-wicking and cute to boot. I be travelin’ in style!
Today was the last day of my gym membership, and I made the most of it by hitting the free weights one last time. I was so sad to say goodbye!
I highly recommend Ballard Health Club to anyone who lives or works in North Seattle. It’s a non-intimidating “regular people” gym that has great equipment, complimentary classes and personal training, and it never gets too crowded. I would definitely renew my yearlong membership if I weren’t leaving.
I also went to the doc today for my annual checkup. I got my official height (5’6”) and weight (142.7 lbs. w/clothes on, including a sweatshirt… no fair). I ran my marathon at 138 lbs. Whenever I weigh less than that, I think I look kind of gangly and sick in photos, so I think it’s a good number to aim for as I get back into healthy eating and regular workouts.
Side note: I’ve weighed under 135 in the past but wore bigger jeans… because I didn’t have any muscle. I’ll take a higher weight and smaller jeans with a side of muscle, thanks!
And fun fact: I need to schedule an echocardiogram to check out my heart. I have a family history of a heart condition, and when I mentioned it, my doctor was like (exact words): “Yeah, that’s one of those things people can drop dead from. Let’s get you an echo.” Wheeeeeee!
On many runs, there comes a moment when the trail falls quiet, and only the sounds of my stride echo on the pavement. I’m alone, and it’s the perfect time to meditate, to reflect on life and perhaps to retrieve a wayward bit of spandex from where it has unfortunately crept.
No runner, male or female, is immune to this wedgtastic phenomenon. The trick lies in waiting for the perfect semi-private-while-completely-in-public moment to, eh-hem, rectify the situation.
At mile 2.5, I was blessed with an empty trail and all the freedom in the world to right this wrong. But just as soon as I’d done it, in the blink of an eye, the telltale whirring of a cyclist’s wheels rushed up behind me.
Otherwise, it was a good run!
I can sit outside in a tank top for a few precious minutes post-run and pretend like it’s warm outside. It’s not even close. Thank God I’m fleeing to the land of summer soon.
And every run should be followed by a delicious smoothie. Mango, pineapple, coconut milk, chia seeds and ground flaxseed. Beer not included.
There’s nothing worse than being sick when you really want to run, especially if you put on four pounds over the holidays (eh-HEM) and your jeans are super-tight. Not that I know anyone that that happened to…………….
I honestly felt way better after my 3-mile run on Friday, and I ran another 3 miles yesterday on the treadmill (28:12 — 9:24 pace) and lifted weights.
I felt even BETTER this morning — 99% recovered, I’d say — and busted out the 6 miles I had scheduled for this weekend.
Negative splits, baby.
Yachts at the Westlake Marina. Choose your fave! You can also see Gasworks Park between the two piles of money boats.
View of the Aurora Bridge and the Burke-Gilman Trail from the Fremont Bridge. I’ll miss this trail.
Post-run, just chilling on the ground with a potted plant. Typical.
I hit all my runs for this week, even though I had to switch the days due to being sick!
It feels great to be back to running. Now, if I can just get my jeans to fit again…
It does some really scary stuff — even diet soda, which is probably worse because it tricks you into thinking it’s healthy-ish.
I realize it’s a full-on addiction for many people, so good luck with your efforts to quit! I promise that plain water is delicious (at least in the Pacific Northwest; California, your water SUCKS) and an addiction in its own right.