Bus Rider & Vacay

Yesterday, I had to take the public bus to work.  If you follow me on Twitter (@WhineLess), you know this was my first ride on public transportation.  And I was more than a bit nervous!  I had looked at the bus company’s website to learn what I could expect, but it really didn’t answer all my questions.  From the website, I learned:

  • Bus will take cash, tokens or bus pass.  I assumed exact change was needed.But what form of cash?!  Do I need coins?  Or do I need dollar bills?  I never have cash.  I had to go to the ATM on Sunday.  I meant to break the $20 somewhere, but totally forgot to do it.  So Monday morning I was digging through my newly acquired coin collection for enough bus fare.
  • Enter the bus at the front.  Exit the rear door.  But how does the bus know when you want off?
  • Bus would be at my stop every 30 minutes on the half hour.

The stop where I was to get on is 0.2 miles from my house.  Just around a corner really.  I decided I would leave my house at 8:20 AM to catch the 8:30 AM bus.  Figured I would get there in plenty of time.  Well, halfway there I hear a bus coming but 1) assumed it was going the other direction and 2) that it was too early to be my bus.  Wrong on both counts!  The 8:30 AM bus came at 8:23 AM.  Good to know!  But I was down a side street and no way the bus driver could see.  Not that I was running in my work skirt anyway!

I proceeded on to the bus stop thinking I would be in for a 35+ minute wait for the next bus.  The quarters in my hand quickly became warm and all I could think about was all the germs on money and how my hand was now going to smell like quarters.  Ick.

While waiting, this fun guy whizzed by…

It was some sort of scooter/bike/trike thing.  Pretty cool!

Back to the bus.  I was wrong again!  The next bus came at 8:46 AM.  Not 8:30 AM, not 9:00 AM.  I realized the bus schedule is not at all accurate.  As I boarded with my hand full of hot, smelly quarters, I wasn’t sure what to do with.  So I just asked the bus driver.  Where do these go?  He pointed to a box/machine mounted next to him.  It took coins and dollars and counted them as it received them.

Then it was time to take my seat.  What if the bus was packed?  What if I didn’t have a choice who I got to sit next to.  Flash back to school years and terror struck!  Wait.  I didn’t ride the bus as a kid.  I lived close enough to walk K-8.  And then by the time high school came around, I had older friends that drove me.  Ok, present day bus.  My fears were for nothing!  There were only 3 other people on the bus.  A college student, a gal my age and an older gentleman.  Score!  I had my choice of bus seats.

My main objective once seated was to watch how people got off the bus.  I thought it would be a lot more technical than it was.  But nope, it’s a pretty simple system.  There is a cord that runs down each side of the bus.  You just pull it if you want off at the next stop and it alerts the driver a stop has been requested.  The next stop is displayed and announced at the front of the bus all along the route.

I’m not really sure why I thought it important to know how to get off because I was riding the bus to the end of it’s route.  The main bus station is 0.3 miles from my office.  Perfect location!

So my bus ride was rather pleasant.  Not very good people watching, but clean and quiet.  The ride itself took twice as long as it takes me to drive it.  But I enjoyed the experience.  I am still seriously considering selling my car entirely.  I only go over to my office in that city a couple times a week.  And while I’m there, I have my own department vehicle.  Everything else is done in my town and easily within walking distance.

But yesterday, other than taking the bus for the experience of it, I had a very good reason.  I was picking up my rental car for vacation!  I am officially on vacation for two weeks!  Today is get ready (hair & pedicure!) and pack day.  Tomorrow I head out on a road trip back home to the Midwest!  I am stopping to see a couple friends (and meet a blogger!) along the way in Utah and Colorado.  I have never even been to Colorado.  I can’t wait!

My blogging over the next few days may be pretty non-existent.  I will try to at least tweet along the way.

See you on the flip side!

What’s the longest road trip you have been on?

Do you take public transportation?

One with Nature

Friday night I needed to shake out my sore legs a bit.  A hike through my favorite park was in order!

It was amazing how much more I noticed along the trail that I usually just rush passed on my normal hikes.  Sometimes I just need to slow down and see the beauty that it all around me.

Have you ever been forced to slow down on a regular route and noticed something new?

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I’m signing up for Mommy Run Fast’s 5/10 Virtual Race!

My First CrossFit Experience

My quads are sore, as are my glutes.  Certain things/positions are not fun.  Like walking, stairs, getting in and out of cars, bending over, rolling over, sitting down, etc.  My trapeziuses are a bit sore, but not too bad.

So let’s talk about how they got this way.

(source)

Our agency invited a local CrossFit trainer/owner to give present the class.  The class was a total of 3.5 hours.  The trainer would show us a Powerpoint of three exercises and model them using himself and two of our guys, who are also CrossFit trainers.  (We have two on our staff, plus two more in training.)  Then we would go outside and practice the exercise, while the three trainers would correct our form.

We did that for three different sessions.  And then came the actual workout of the day WOD.  (I’m immature or something because every time I hear that word, it makes me giggle!)   We worked on teams of three.  We would take turns relay-style, at running out and back, wall balls and kettle balls for eight minutes.  My team didn’t win, but we didn’t come in last either.  I consider that a victory!

And the best part?  My agency will now offer a free CrossFit workout twice a week!  Unfortunately, at the times they are happening may not work out best with my schedule, but we will see.  I’d really like to make it there at least once a week.  There is a new CrossFit gym that just opened near my house, but I don’t really want to have to pay for it.  I already pay for a family membership to another gym.

(course)

As I was saying at the start of this post, yesterday I was so sore!  After work, I went for an hour hike in the park, followed by a 15 minute sauna with my legs elevated and then home for foam rolling.  Legs are still sore today, but much better than yesterday.  I had to work an outdoor event on my feet moving around for 5.5 hours today, so I think that helped, too.  I hope so because I want to run tomorrow!

What do you do for your sore muscles?

Social Dieting & Hill Songs

This post is going to be all over the place.  You have been warned.

Last week I saw a post on Run, Eat, Repeat that she had joined a competition on DietBet organized by SarahFit.  I had to find out more!  Long and short of it, bet $15, lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks, get your initial $15 back, plus split any winnings from people who didn’t make their goal.  So I signed up, along with 250+ others!  Our pot is over $4000 now!  We are only required to weigh in at the beginning and the end of the competition.  It looks like most people are weighing in weekly and/or more often.  I haven’t weighed since the first weigh in.  I think I’m going to just wait and weigh in at the end.

(source)

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Leo, my little domestic helper.

He’s helping me make the bed.  Just the kind of “help” I need!

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I recently read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.  Welcome to the Late Party!  In my defence, I have seen the movie a few times, just never read the book.  And only read it now because I was in between books and needed something to read that day.  But I loved the quotes sprinkled between the chapters!  This one was my favorite.

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Today’s breakfast went a little south of the border.

Toasted nuts & seeds bread, cream cheese, avocado, fried egg, salsa and sour cream.  How pretty is that food rainbow?!

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This is currently my favorite song for running hills.

What songs do you like for hill workouts?

Do you weigh on a regular basis?

May Be the Death of Me

So my department is offering a CrossFit-type class.  It’s three hours and will focus on form, as well as nutrition.  The class itself is only being offered six times.  Not sure what we are to do after this initial orientation class but I guess I’ll find out in the class.

Anyway, I hadn’t signed up for a session because as I may have mentioned before, I am more than a little intimated by CrossFit.  I’m uncoordinated and have zero upper body strength.  And then add to the fact I will be working out with people I know.  Yikes.  And most of them are men.  Men who are required by their job to be physically fit.  Men who will never let me live it down if when I embarrass myself.  This entire scenario has disaster written all over it.

But I am pushing all my fears aside and am going to attend the class tomorrow morning.  I need to do this.  I want to do this.  I can do this.

(source)

Not sure this shirt brings me much comfort.

Wish me luck that I don’t die doing the exercises or from embarrassment.

Have you tried CrossFit?

 

 

Fitness Breakthrough

I had a great run this morning!  I finally broke the 11 minute mile!  This is huge for me.  I have run in the 10′s before with a group, but I have never completed a run by myself in the 10′s.  Yeah me!  I can’t wait until my next run!

And now on to other randomness.

I saw this on a walk last week…

Apparently the townsfolk aren’t content just decorating the trees in their own yards.  They have moved on to decorating public street signs.

My current favorite breakfast…

Piece of nuts & seeds toast, cream cheese (or goat cheese or Laughing Cow), pepper all topped with a fried egg.  Look at that gorgeous yolk!  You can’t beat a fresh, brown egg for breakfast!

Since my girls are gone visiting family, I decided I should probably eat their cereal before it went stale.  The box felt a little light.

Okay, a lot light.  But I’m sure they didn’t put an empty box back.  Right.  Right, girls?

Nope, not empty.  They left an entire 1/8 cup of cereal in that box!  Lovely.  Hope this breakfast holds me over until lunch!  ;-)

Apparently, Leo thinks he needs to accessorize his brassieres.

He’s now trying on my shoes.  He favors pink.  I’m really surprised he didn’t go for the black heel.  But he’s probably right, the black wouldn’t pop as much as the pink against his luxurious, black locks.  Fashion master, for sure!

And last, but certainly not least, I found this little nugget to share with you.

How’s that for a slap in the face?!  You can read about it here.  What the heck, London?

Is that a common world opinion of Americans?  Or just someone trying to stir the pot and make a buck?

Do you have a family member that puts back almost empty, food containers?  Drives me nuts!

What was your last fitness breakthrough?

Back Fat Be Gone Workout

Thursday night, my small group set out on a shorter, but hilly hike to prep us another longer hike we have planned.  A couple of us used trekking poles for the first time because they are necessary for the other hike.  Actually we used ski poles because that’s what we had on hand.  It was a sort of we’re cheap thrifty “try it before you buy it” adventure.

It took me forever to figure out the movement of using the poles!  I could not walk and talk, or even think about anything else at first or I would mess up my rhythm.  I felt like a monkey with a new toy.  Finally I got the hang of it and started to enjoy them.

I must tell you, I could totally feel the movement across my back and thought of all my back fat melting away.  It was a delusion good feeling!  I told my friends that I wondered if this was a good workout for my back fat.  One gal said, yes probably.  I told her she was not my real friend.  A real friend would have said something along the lines of “Back fat?  I’ve never noticed you had back fat!”

I asked the same friend to take a picture of me along the way.  She apparently could not figure out my newfangled contraption called a cell-phone camera!  Because the photos and two videos (taken on accident!) were all like this…

I think she was sore about the back fat/friend comment.  ;-)

Most of the fun on this hike took place on the way down the hill.  Because quite frankly, climbing up it was less than fun.  It took us right at one hour to climb the two miles to the top.

You can sort of make out the town below through the middle of the tree on the left.

We had just started descending when we suddenly heard a musical band.   Now it’s not unusual to see a fellow hiker in the woods with their instrument.  But this was way more than one instrument that we were hearing.  More like a school marching/concert band in the middle of the woods!  We quickly realized it was coming from a concert in the bandshell miles below us in the park.

not my bandshell (source)

The bandshell only hosts a few concerts a year and local high school graduations.  And it just so happened to be facing the direction of the trail/hill we were on.  We were treated to a live concert all the way down. So cool!  I highly recommend you request a live band serenade you on your next hike.  Invigorating, I tell you!

And then there was this little guy…

He was very curious and followed us about 1/2 mile.  Deer here tend to be a little too unafraid of humans for their own good.

I was nervous that I would wake up Friday sore from the longer hike on Wednesday and then this hilly hike/back fat workout on Thursday, but I didn’t!  Guess my body has finally figured out to quit being a cry baby and suck it.  It’s about time!

What’s the biggest surprise you have found/heard in the woods?  And keep it PG, please.  ;-)

 

Rockin’ Summer Night

After hiking and the unintentional dip the other night, we headed back downtown in search of dinner.  Of course, a trip downtown always involves happening upon some street musicians.

And that night was no different!  This group had coordinating tropical shirts and were playing tropical music.  They had a sign indicating they were raising tuition money.  They played for a couple of hours!

My town has a lot of alleys and hidden walkways.

I don’t know why but I love them, especially since most of the tourists don’t seem to even notice them so they are less traveled.

While waiting in line at my favorite pizza joint, we realized it was almost time for the free nightly concert.  We grabbed our food to go and headed to the show!

Dinner in the grass!  This is the special at the pizza place.  Jumbo slice of thin (oh so good!) pizza, salad and drink for $6.95.  Not too shabby!  Don’t worry, I only ate about half the salad.  I had to save room for my pizza slice!  That day the veggie option was black olive, tomato, broccoli and feta cheese.  Yummy!

We had no idea who was playing at the free show, but free is free and this show did not disappoint.  It was actually my favorite show so far this summer.

And it was packed!  This group bills themselves as a “Celtic tribal celebration”.  It was three guys.  One playing percussion.  Another playing two different didgeridoo and keyboard.  And the third guy was the main singer, also playing guitar and bagpipe.  But it was rock music coming from those instruments!

Now if you had told me anything about this group before the show, I honestly would have not gone.  Usually not my thing.  But they rocked!  Seriously from the beginning to the end.

They had the crowd on their feet singing and dancing!  I think I will now need to stalk their tour dates for future shows.

Another great summer night in the books!

What was the last great music group you saw?

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Check out Ms. Fit Runner’s No Excuses DVD giveaway!

Unintentional Dip

Last night I decided to go on a hike with some friends.  We choose one of our usual trails through a popular trail system.  We ended up doing an out and back for a little over eight miles.

One of my least favorite parts.  Stairs.  Ugh.

Some parts of this trail is really winding and narrow, all while going up hill, of course.

And a lot of it is a drop off on one side, like this photo.  Do you see the white spot in the middle center?  That would be a waterfall in the creek below.  It looks like a ripple, but the fall is actually about 5-6′ tall.

It wasn’t took long before we came to a really steep part.  I ended up sliding down it on my hands and feet, like a reverse bear crawl.  Doesnt’ that sound pretty?

My hands have never looked better.

Monster water-vegetation!

No idea what is in that water, but it must be good.

Here’s a random for you.  Hiker on the other side of the creek is walking along playing a saxophone.  In the woods.  Just because.

But random musician wasn’t even my favorite part of the hike…

This area was.

Because we left the trail and started rock hopping.  So much fun!  Especially when someone falls in!  What?  Oops!

Yep, it happened.  Not to me but one of my friends was in front of me and was hugging a large rock trying to move across it vertically.  Didn’t work out so well.  Splash!

And this part was deeper than it looks.  Like shoulders deep!  After we realized no one was hurt, we all about fell in laughing!  Nothing like a dip in melted snow water.  I hear it was refreshing.

Tell me about your last hike!

 

 

Entertain Me

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  I love my town!  For a town this small size, I still can’t get over all that there is to see and do all the time.  From decorated trees to free shows to parades.

Here are a few photos from my run Saturday morning that entertained me.

Someone please define for me what makes a yard sale “extreme.”  And do you see the hours of this Extreme Yard Sale?  10-3.  It doesn’t even open until 10:00 AM!?  Everyone knows all the good crap is gone by 9:00 AM!  And all the yard sale goers will be out of quarters by then.  Amateurs.

Random rolling office chair in the park.  Okay…

And a few yards down the sidewalk…  A shopping cart.  I understand now!  I bet my yard sale money there was a race of some kind in the park last night involving these two!  Now to determine if Col. Mustard or Mrs. Peacock was the winner…

A parade?  No, not really.  But there were 20+ of these old, odd cars and motorcycles that came passing by.

This one was my favorite!  The star on the driver’s door said “Nevada Brothel Inspector.”  Tee-hee.

Okay, enough of that silliness.  It was a beautiful morning for a run.

Even if this new route was a bit more hilly than I thought it would be.

My run was followed by my new favorite breakfast sandwich!

Toasted nuts & seeds bread with a bit of mayo, goat cheese and fried egg.  So very good!

Anything fun/random happen on your run this week?

What’s your favorite breakfast lately?