March 27, 2013

Mom Surprise, Russell Crowe and 24 Courses

My sister and her husband gave me a nice surprise: a ticket to DC for a weekend escape. I took the usual Friday 3pm flight that lands just in time to take the Metro to Veritas, a wine bar in Dupont Circle where we traditionally start our DC weekend fun. As I approached the bar I could see my sister and her husband in the window, but the other half of the table was out of sight. I walked into the bar and rounded the corner and realized there was a third person with them - my mom. She had flown in from Wisconsin the night before to surprise me, and surprised I was.

And to top it off, they were giving away free Les Mis coasters, which for me meant free Russel Crowe coasters (or Russell Crowesters, if you prefer).

I enjoyed my coasters so much I tweeted about them and Russell Crowe himself retweeted me. It was certainly a social media highlight for me.

Saturday I awoke with a tiny hangover, but battled it at the Equinox in Bethesda, justifying my exhorbitant monthly membership cost. I picked up some heavy things, did a massive number of squats and lunges, and hit the salt water pool that other members of the gym seemed to know nothing about. It was empty and glorious. Then we were off for a drink with a view with a former client and now friend of mine that I keep bumping into during our travels!

But the highlight of the weekend was dinner Saturday night at Rogue 24. There were a couple options for dining, but we went for the full monty and 24 courses. It was worth the four-hour investment of time and relatively large investment of cash. I knew words would fail me in describing it, especially days later, so here is a little photo montage of our "Journey," as they call it on the menu. If you're in DC and you want an unforgettable dining experience, go to Rogue 24. You will not regret it. And better yet, invite me to go with you.

Even though I thought I could not ingest another morsel, we managed to rally on Sunday with a chilly-weather BBQ with my dear friend Keely. I haven't seen her since our incredible adventure in Egypt, and I got to meet her absolutely darling daughter.

We had a final dinner on Sunday to toast our incredible weekend and start the sad process of goodbyes. I made New York my home 15 years ago and have loved it, but not a day goes by I don't miss my family. Weekends like this are absolutely priceless.

March 18, 2013

Operation SJ, Update and Race Calendar

View our extensive kosher wine inventory.

Wow, I've been busy. It's time for an update on my Operation St. John progress, finishing another training block, and my race calendar slowly, but surely, coming together.

Operation St. John has been a success thus far. I did a full two weeks without drinking and while I missed having wine in the evenings, it really wasn't as hard as I anticipated. We even went out a few times and managed to eat oysters without a crisp white wine! I continue to clean up my eating and the result is five pounds lost in three weeks. It feels like a healthy progression and my clothes fit better, so I'm thrilled. I'm also thrilled to be able to enjoy wine again in moderation.

My training has progressed, but is about to start feeling more real. I had my most consistent block yet this past month with only a handful of missed workouts. My running is very strong and seems to get better every time. After four challenging, injury-laden years it feels good to be on the upswing. My cycling has all been indoors, focusing on hard intervals. I love it. I can definitely feel an increase in my fitness. We won't talk about my swimming.

My race calendar is coming together. I finally pulled the trigger on the Rev3 half in Quassy, which I hear is brutally hilly, which is somehow appealing to me. It's what I call Type 2 Fun - it's not fun when you're actually doing it, but it's fun when you look back on it. I know a lot of great people racing and am hoping it will give me a kick in the butt to start training more seriously. June is not that far away.

Lastly, I had a chance to meet "The Man" himself, six-time Ironman World Champion Dave Scott at the Tri-Mania NYC expo*. He was so friendly, humble and normal it's hard to believe he's such a legend. I was slightly embarrassed to talk about the sport with him as if we were peers!

*Tri-Mania NYC Summit and Expo was a client

March 2, 2013

Operation St. John - It's On

Two of my favorite people in the world got married last April on St. John and decided to spend their first anniversary there as well.

I was thoroughly touched when they invited me to join them, but also thoroughly horrified over the thought of being in a swimsuit in 7 weeks. When one does almost nothing active for 15 months AND eats and drinks like a king, it takes a toll.

Drastic measures had to be taken. Here's what I did:
  • Stopped drinking. I know, it's shocking. I had a big, fun night out in DC Saturday with many wines and that was it. Aside from one pre-planned allowance of wine Thursday I've been a teetotaler. My nightly glass(es) of wine have been replaced by seltzer or plain water.
  • Stopped skipping my workouts. Again, shocking. I even went to the pool. I had to move a few workouts due to schedule, but overall have adopted a no excuses mentality.
  • Stopped eating sugar. Aside from some dark chocolate covered almonds and a bit of a stress binge on dark chocolate chips yesterday, I've been sugar free.
  • Greatly minimized my consumption of grains. I love wheat. I know I shouldn't eat it, but I do. But this week I only had 1.5 whole wheat English muffins, some panko crumbs and a small serving of egg pasta from Piedmont. Oh, and I did have some biscuits during a business meeting, but trust me, they were worth every flaky, carby calorie.
The week isn't over, but I already look and feel better. I'm less bloated and down about 3 pounds. I really don't feel like I've given anything up and being super busy helps. The teetotaling plan was originally through March 8, but I may extend it. I have a business trip to Sonoma on the 10th so I'm sure I'll have a glass or two then, but will continue to limit overall consumption and keep following the above plan. With a little luck I'll be down 10 (or more) pounds before I visit this glorious place.


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