Aug 042014
 

My weekend started with this:

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Unapologetic IPA from Stone Brewery. After a swim on Friday night I met my friend Robyn at N.W.I.P.A in SE Portland. It’s a beer bar/store that carries mainly IPA’s (my favorite). It was a good beer, of course it did not compare to my beloved Boneyard…I love this beer bar but it was insanely hot and stuffy in there. They did NOT have AC. I probably sweated out the beer! I left with a large bottle of Firestone Union Jack IPA and a bottle of Burnside Brewing Sweet Heat, for later.

Then Saturday morning I woke up to have my ass kicked at the Warrior Room Boot Camp:

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I’ve been trying to hit a Boot Camp class for awhile now and one was cancelled and then I had to cancel one that I had signed up for. So I finally made it. It was an exceptionally hot morning and the sun was beating down on us the whole time. There were some guys practicing soccer on the other end of the field and there were some older people walking around the track (and watching us with horrified expressions).

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We met at the Warrior Room, got our kettle bells and a plate and then walked a few blocks to the nearby school football field and track. We did a warm-up of jumping jacks and squats and then ran once around the track.

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Time to start the workout. We did a LOT of sprinting. I’m not really a sprinter. I’m a slow runner but I recognize that sprinting is beneficial (and burns more calories). I was feeling a little rusty as we did sprints from the goal line to the 25 yard line and then back. Then we did walking lunges holding the plate (15 pounds) to the 20 yard line where we left it. This was the hard part. We did burpees with the plate weights. So you go down, do a pushup, jump up with the plate and then do it all over again. We did sets of 5 of this, then sprinted back to the goal line, then back to the 20 yard line for more burpees. Yikes. This was HARD.

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Time for some kettle bell work. We did alternating single arm swings, then squats, then kneeling presses. Then more sprinting. Then back to the kettle bells. Two kettle bell swing, the high pull and more squats. It was SO HOT out. I brought some Gatorade and a bottle of water and was taking a lot of drinking breaks. My heart rate gets pretty high when I do kettle bell work in the air conditioned gym…outside in the stifling heat? My heart rate was insanely (too) high. I had to take more breaks than normal.

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We bent over and pushed the plate weights from the 20 yard line back to the goal line (that was difficult) and then we did a sprint/pushup combo. As a group we sprinted from one end of the track to the corner, all got into plank position in a circle with our heads in the middle and did a “waterfall” push-up. Person 1 does a pushup, then the next person, and so on. We did 3 rounds of that, jumped up and sprinted to the next corner, did it again, then ran to the next corner, and so on.

We ended with some more sprints then abs. I was totally cooked by this point. I wore sunscreen and I took a lot of water breaks, but I was so hot and felt like I was just burning up. It took awhile to cool down, too. My heart rate had been way too high during the class as well.

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Nice calorie burn, though! I felt like I was going to die at the end…Would I do Boot Camp again? Maybe. If it wasn’t 80-90 degrees. I absolutely loved that it was outside in the fresh air and sunshine, I loved that it was a bunch of new stuff to shake things up. I did NOT love how high my heart rate got and how hot I felt. When I got home I took a very long cold shower.

Then it was off to Papa Haydn’s for lunch. Michael treated me to a lunch date and we sat outside on their shaded patio that thankfully had “ceiling” fans. It was nice and cool and just the right temperature. Michael ordered the fried chicken sandwich and I got a Cobb salad. I had a bite of Michael’s sandwich and it was just ok. The fries were fantastic, though.

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My salad was great! I rarely get Cobb salad and I should get it more often. This one had a really delicious, creamy garlic dressing and all the usuals: avocado, bacon, Gorgonzola cheese, tomato, a hard boiled egg and turkey. The salad was so filling! We got two slices of cake to go to test for the wedding.

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Later that evening, Michael’s mom and stepdad came over for dinner. We made prime rib and a tomato, cucumber and mozzarella salad and sat outside on the deck while we ate and drank a very wonderful bottle of Gnarly Head Pinot Noir–it was so smooth and creamy, mild in flavor and just perfect. It went well with the steaks. But before dinner, Michael’s mom had brought over a few different bottles of wine to test for the wedding. They are graciously getting the wine for the wedding and we’ve got a healthy mixture of different varieties, more red than white, but there’s some good Pinot Gris (which I like) that they got, too.

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I’m not a huge chardonnay fan but this one she got was pretty good. The other? Not so much. We all made a “no way” face when we took the first taste.

For dessert we brought out the Papa Haydn’s cake. The first one was a slice of their German Chocolate Cake. The second was their Velvet Gianduja–chocolate truffle cake with hazelnut milk chocolate mousse, almond joconde and chocolate ganache.

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So I put out the two slices on different plates. Michael and his mom started with the Velvet granache hazelnut slice and Michael’s stepdad and I shared the German chocolate and then we switched. Of course Michael preferred the velvet cake and I liked the German Chocolate. I just felt like it was more “cake” and not as much of a torte…the texture was more cheesecake-like and I thought that would be difficult for us to cut and feed each other at the wedding. While I don’t think we can go wrong with either choice, I think we’re going to keep looking…

And my weekend ended with this:

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Thorns game! It was the first one Michael and I had ever gone to and it was crazy and FUN. We met up with my cousin Anna, who has season tickets, and her friend.

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The fans are CRAZY. ;) And apparently you stand the entire game and sing and chant. They all knew the words. Crazy I tell you! There were 19,123 people packed in the stadium. If you were there or watched it on TV and saw these nutjobs holding a sign on the jumbotron? It was us. :)

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Haha! It was for a scavenger hunt one of Anna’s friends was competing it. So hopefully they won something! Anyways, it was a rockin’ weekend. :) And the Thorns won!

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Jul 282014
 

I can cross off one more goal on my Summer Bucket List! Over the weekend my cousin Anna and I did a kayaking tour with Alder Creek. It was only $39 each so that wasn’t a bad price for a three hour tour. We chose the Ross Island Tour:

“Go paddling in your backyard! You can even ride your bike to our new location to make it a no driving recreational day! We will leave from the Boat House dock along the Eastside Esplanade near SE Water and Clay and explore the backwaters of the Willamette River between Ross Island and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.

Outline:  Ross Island Tour

Journey the 3 nautical miles around Ross Island…if conditions permit

Introduction to basic equipment

Launching and landing from a dock

Maneuvering the boat

Scenic views of the city to start

Enjoy the quiet backwater wake free Holgate Channel

Enjoy a little help from the current on the way back.”

Sounded good to me! I definitely wanted a beginner tour since I’ve only done this once before. That first time was kind of impromptu and I wasn’t very prepared for it. This time I was more prepared. I remembered being uncomfortable in what I was wearing (everything got wet). So this time I wore a swimsuit underneath shorts and a wicking sports t-shirt. I brought a hat, sunscreen, chapstick with sunscreen and aqua sox. Remember those things? LOL! I didn’t know they still existed but I found some on amazon and got them for the honeymoon. I figured this was the perfect time to test them out. IMG_4370

I also brought a change of clothes and a towel for after the tour. I brought a bottle of water and some snacks (a banana and a protein bar). I also bought a waterproof iPhone case so I could take some pictures on the trip. The guide instructed us how to get into the kayak from the dock. It’s a LOT harder than you think it would be. I definitely struggled with this part.

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We all got into the kayaks and then kind of floated on the current and waves while he talked a little bit about our route. I’ve always wanted to try a sprint tri and swimming would be my strongest part of the race–but open water swimming is what has kept me from ever trying it. I know, I know, open water swimming really isn’t that scary and I used to do it as a kid all the time. When did fear start keeping us from doing stuff??? So yeah, getting in the kayak and feeling it wobble around with the waves and feel uncertain and unbalanced was a little scary.

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I did not feel confident in the kayak and the river suddenly felt very big. We were out on the water by 10:30 and there weren’t a ton of boats out there yet, just a few. But whenever they went by I felt very vulnerable because they were much bigger and caused big waves. When the waves came I just stopped paddling and let it take me wherever for a moment, then start paddling again.

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We paddled over to the submarine by OMSI and then went underneath all the bridges towards Ross Island. I’ve never been to Ross Island and was excited about seeing it. I had hoped that we would go onto the island and check it out but alas, we just paddled past it. Part of it is a bird sanctuary. We actually got to see some giant herons AND a few bald eagles! That was kind of crazy.

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This part of the trip was my favorite part. The waters were very calm, the river narrowed as it went around the island, and there weren’t as many boats. We saw a bunch of other kayakers, some dragon boat teams practicing, and also a BUNCH of SUP people! That looked like so much fun. It also looked like a lot of work and like it requires something I don’t really possess–balance.

I put on a lot of sunscreen before we got on the water and I reapplied a little bit around this time because I was starting to feel my face burning a bit. It was hard–my hands were slimy and that made the paddle harder to use (note to self: bring the spray-on sunscreen next time). Even though I put on a lot of sunscreen, I still got a little burned on my shoulders AND afterward I found a spot I missed: the top of my hands. Doh!

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We kayaked around Ross Island and turned around to head back. This part of the river had a ton of boats–mostly sailboats AND a pirate ship!! That was way cool and I wanted to get a closer look but this was as close as we got. Here is Anna paddling in front of me:
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By this time I was feel more confident in the kayak and being out on the water wasn’t making me as nervous as it did at the start. We went by the new-ish OHSU high-rises and fancy condos on the waterfront and went underneath the new pedestrian/bike bridge they are building (which looked kind of ugly at first but now it looks like it’s going to be pretty).

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At this point we’d been kayaking for about 90 minutes. I was definitely feeling fatigued around this time. Mostly in my forearms and hands (I was gripping the paddle too tightly) and also in my low back. I tried to adjust how I was sitting a few times but that made the boat very wobbly so I tried not to do that very often. This is another reason I think stopping on Ross Island would have been a good thing–getting out to stretch for a few minutes and not sit in the same position for hours.

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The sun was out, people were partying on boats, the Portland Spirit Cruise boats were going by and there were the jet-boats too. It felt like rush-hour traffic out there! The wake was huge at this point and paddling got more difficult. I was pretty happy to see the dock off in the distance! IMG_4450

As we were approaching the dock I saw the pirate ship! It had it’s sails up! It looked so cool and kind of reminded me of the boat in the Goonies. ;) We got back to the dock and everyone helped each other to get out. The trick was having people hold onto the ends of the kayak, put your hands on the deck and kind of thrust yourself out–kind of like a beached whale. It was such a strange sensation getting out of the kayak onto the dock. Anna said the same thing, both of us had jello legs. That was so weird! How about these calories:

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I ate my banana and we helped take some of the kayaks back up to the parking lot (there was another tour after us). The shaky legs finally went away (maybe 5 minutes later). Anna and I went into the bathrooms to change out of the damp clothes and then we got lunch! I was famished!

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We went over to the Green Dragon. It’s a place I’ve wanted to try for awhile and I’m glad I finally did. They had a humongous outdoor, partially covered area.  I ordered the Boneyard Diablo Roja beer and Anna got some kind of ginger beer. Anna got the mushroom burger and I ordered the pulled pork sliders.

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The food could not come fast enough!! So freakin’ starving. The sliders were fantastic. Loved the flavor of the pulled pork. I had a side salad with it instead of fries. I tried their IPA vinaigrette dressing because it sounded really fascinating but I didn’t like it. It didn’t really taste like much; so I got some Ranch dressing instead. Lunch was great and after I felt like I could totally take a nap! It was a fantastic day!!

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