Monday, March 29, 2010

A March Weekend

More Falls

The picture above is Sturtevant Falls, the destination of this weekend's GLU hike. It was a great hike, scenic and shady, which was nice since it was a little warm this weekend. It also provided enough challenge--stream crossings--to make it adventurous. All together, we hiked 6.5 miles above Sierra Madre. Afterwards, we had a satisfying Mediterranean lunch at the Patio in Arcadia. I had the lamb chops, which were OK, but I really liked the halloum that I ordered as an appetizer. I probably should have just had that and some other appetizer.

By the time I got home I only had about an hour to rest before I had to head out to Long Beach. Preeti had invited me to check out the Earth Hour festivities she was putting together on the Queen Mary. She promised drinks and appetizers, so I couldn't turn that down. The trip to Long Beach, though, took too long. The Blue Line is only running every thirty minutes. I waited about fifteen minutes in a crowded, smelly car (thanks to a homeless guy) before it departed, but at least I had a seat. I worried that when I got to the Transit Mall I'd have to wait a while for a Passport shuttle, but one arrived just as I got there. Still, it was a two hour door-to-door trip.

The Earth Hour event was small but cool. The Queen Mary turned off all unnecessary lights for an hour and invited community groups to provide information about conservation. A local cycling group was there to demonstrate the amount of energy required to power one incandescent light bulb versus five fluorescent bulbs. The cyclists took turns riding stationary bikes that provided energy to light the bulbs. I was hoping to hang out with Preeti throughout the night, but since she was working, she was running around a lot. I explored the ship while I was there.

I left the Queen Mary at 10pm, and I was tired. I wasn't going to make it to Akbar for Alexander's celebration. I would not have made it to Akbar until after midnight, and since I was very tired I doubt I could stay very long even if I did go. So I went directly home instead and got a good night's sleep. I slept in until about 10 am on Sunday.

Sunday was relatively quiet. The goal was to clean my apartment, and I partially succeeded. I finally unpacked my suitcase, discarded junk mail and old magazines, swept the floor, and cleaned the bathroom. I was hoping I could tackle the kitchen too. Instead I opted for making dinner, which I'm glad I did. I love risotto, and a brief discussion of risotto during the hike made me crave it. I decided to make a beet risotto, and it turned out great.

Beet Risotto

I also went for my first run since last week's marathon, a six-miler. For the last week I've been allowing myself to be lazy--I just ran a marathon--but the afterglow of that feat is now diminishing and it's time for me to get back in the habit. And it wasn't a moment too soon. This run was a struggle. My leg muscles were very tight, especially my calves. I thought it would go away eventually, but the tightness stayed the entire six miles. One week of no running and I'm already out of shape!

Also, to wrap up the Los Angeles Marathon, I noticed a great feature on the race's website that breaks down statistics of the runner's run. It tells you your pace along various points and compares you to other runners. My favorite statistic is the note about the last 4.5 miles of the run. It says I passed 587 runners in the last 4.5 miles and only got passed by 30. I love that! 587 runners! Even though I had slowed down some at that point, I was still faster than 587 runners who were initially ahead of me. Not to brag, but that fact makes me feel happy.

I was also able to capture some pictures from the marathon of me running. I look good!

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