Saturday, December 8, 2012

Santa Run 5K

In accordance with my goal to run a 5k race every month until my half-marathon in April it is now DECEMBER so time to get moving.

I enlisted my boyfriend to run this race with me. He'd ran part of a relay marathon years before but never ran a solo 5k race before and so we ran together the whole way.  It was really nice, not too cold, and took us on a nice scenic route of downtown.

at the finish line

Our goal was to finish and have fun.   We made it with a chip time of 31:34.  So proud :')

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Trot 5k

I've never been a runner.  I've always thought it was boring!  Also I've never really admired runners*' bodies- they just don't have as enviable physiques as yogis generally.  But I thought what the heck, it might be fun with a buddy.  And it IS! That's the secret, running and chatting with a friend.

running buddy


We started running 3-4 miles a couple of times a week in the park.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it and how it really wasn't as difficult as I was expecting- I guess hot yoga counts as a cardio workout!  Also, you can still wear lululemon.

running trail at the park


 I signed up for my first 5k since I was 16 years old.  My goal was to run the race in under 30 minutes.  My brother and his friend ran the race as well as 1100 other people.

such a merry party
 I was so nervous but I did some pigeon poses, chugged a Vega, and (ugh) even managed to choke down some really terrible tasting aspartame (ugh!) laced caffeine gum before lining up at the start line.  Also I made sure to listen to listen to this song from space jam ten times in a row to get me #stoked

DID I MEET MY GOAL AND RUN IT UNDER 30 MIN???

YES  

My chip time was 27:28!  Not too shabby, huh?  Anyways the experience was enough that I signed up for a HALF-MARATHON in April and I've resolved to run at least one race a month until then.


Add caption


Gotta outrun those zombies and tweakers if TSHTF right?



*distance runners that is, sprinters look goooooood

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

micro-credit lending

I'm trying something new.  I loaned this woman $25 so she could work towards buying a new sewing machine.



It's not charity because you're giving small loans to people who otherwise wouldn't get them.

Here is my link for Kiva.   If you sign up using the link, we both get $25 to give.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

future prepper skill goals

I finally read The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet.  I enjoyed reading it and a lot of what he says about ALL grains (not just wheat) being problematic makes a ton of sense.

Robb Wolf says with fruits such as berries they have a benefit of being eaten in that the seeds get spread around and fertilized.  Grains don't get a similar benefit from being eaten and they don't like to give something for nothing so they're going to fight back!



I noticed the last couple of times I've had rice I've felt REALLY sick for a day or two after.  So no more!

I've been thinking about some skills I want to develop this year.  These are my skill goals:

1.  Get ham radio licensed for SHTF communications.  I found a $25 course that starts Sept 18th.



2. Add a certification as a math teacher in order to increase competitiveness as a teacher job seeker in the future.  Although I enjoy my current position as an ELL English teacher I would like to increase my options of positions at as many different schools as possible in case I have to move in the next couple of years.

3.  Develop job skill for SHTF world.  I don't think I can rely on teaching alone.  I'm thinking something practical: welding, doula, locksmithing. 

What skills do you think would be valuable in a SHTF situation?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Krav Maga

It was a good day.  I came home from work and a box from full of whey protein from Mercola.com was waiting for me

whey!
 Today was the second day of school with the kids.  I have a lot of the same students as last year which is a lot lower stress- I already know the kiddos!

As he has the last couple of years, my boyfriend sent me flowers on the first day of school. 

So sweet
I went to my first Krav Maga class today.  I have been toying with the idea for a while now because I really like the idea of killing attackers with my bare hands or a pen lying around or whatever, so much less frilly than the other martial arts.  KRAV MAGA IS GRITTY/REAL





I finally got around to googling my city + krav maga and LO AND BEHOLD there were options.  My little hick Okie town is getting less little hick Okie all the time.

The bad: apparently there was a Groupon last week for the EXACT KRAV MAGA CLASS PACKAGE I PAID FULL PRICE FOR for 70% less :'( but at least there were plenty of newbies along with me.  I wore my new Under Armour shirt and my UA Armour Bra which is like $60 but I love it so worth it!

Krav Maga outfit

Krav Maga was a brutal class.  I've been to a boxing gym before a year or two ago and as a kid I did tae kwon do but Krav Maga is different!  It's very survivalist. They want to make you tough and get used to blows so basically for about half the class you are holding the bags and taking punches. Which sounds easy but IT'S NOT.  They don't pair up ladies with ladies!  I held the bag for some big men. I could feel the concussion of their blows through the bags.  It really hurt my chest lol and definitely knocked the wind out of me.  I thought I was going to puke for a lot of it and even thought about sitting out halfway through but I stuck it out and I'm glad I did. 

So after surviving the barrage of attacks it's your turn to attack.  I thought a lot about my ex-boyfriend.  It was very cathartic and exhausting.  I was sweating a lot by the end of class and my knuckles were raw but I bought some gloves so hopefully next time will be better!  I bought the ten class punch card at full non-Groupon price so you know I'll be back!



My mom got me twelve gallons of water.  She said she went to the dollar store and just asked for a box of 6 gallons.  They look like this:


The gallon jugs look like this:


The sell-by date is June 2014 but I imagine if I just run it though the Berkey they'll be fine after that. It's good to be closer to my prepping water goal!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dr. Mercola Pure Power Protein price increase

I've been in my classroom all week getting set up and Friday is the first day of school! Crazy.

This drought is terrible.  It sort of rained yesterday, but not a whole lot.  Lately I spend half an hour each evening sitting outside watching an episode of Girls on my laptop while watering the trees in my apartment complex.  Because of the water shortage rules in place you have to be physically with the hose in order to water so the maintenance guys don't have time to do it and corporate won't let them install a sprinkler system for whatever reason.



Also because of the drought and the rising corn prices, Dr. Mercola Pure Power Protein is having a price increase August 20, just fyi.  I'm stocking up.

Use this code for 10% off:  PRM071146

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dominican Republic photos part 1

Well we've been home now for a week so here's some Dominican Republic photos.  We had a great time in the 2 weeks we were there!  We did the north coast (i.e. not Punta Cana).

My boyfriend's more of the type to just want to relax at an all-inclusive on vacation while I am a former fearless backpacker turned paranoid old lady so it was an interesting mix.  I think eating street food is delicious and a must-do while he does not partake but he was a good sport about the things I wanted to do.  And he didn't have to twist my arm too hard to hang and gorge and laze at an all-inclusive ^_^

First we flew into Santiago, the 2nd largest city in the Dominican Republic:

cigar factory in Taburil

Then we took a gua-gua which is the local bus.  Basically picture your standard 15 person passenger van, but with extra people and cargo crammed inside.  The most people we saw in one gua-gua was 24 ^_^  3 dudes were literally hanging out the door

gua-gua ride
Prepper side note: can you imagine this happening in the United States? What if gas gets to $5.... $10... $15 a gallon? I think this is the future... even here :o

Then we went to Tubagua Eco-Resort and stayed in a palapa with no walls:

our palapa
View from Tubagua
There was not much to do there during the day except hike and relax.  So we went on a hike to some waterfalls:


 Hiked through cow fields


Played a lot of card games and Monopoly and watched part of Good Burger because my boyfriend had never seen it (he's never seen Citizen Kane either)


My boyfriend found a great deal on an all-inclusive resort on the beach nearby so we stayed there for a couple of days to recoup

the pool
the beach
We took a day trip to Paradise Island.  Which is this tiny little island with 6 grass huts (no bathrooms)

arriving at Paradise Island
Went snorkeling (We prefer diving but DR is not that great for either)


and enjoyed some beach time


At this point my seemingly indestructible waterproof smashproof digital camera died because the charger exploded when I had it plugged in and hit the switch in the hotel room (lol).  BUT the best part of the trip is yet to come!   (Hint)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

call me coach


School starts in less than a week! In addition to my regular teaching duties, I am the assistant tennis coach at school this year. 


I played tennis competitively in middle and part of high school but I haven't picked up a racquet in 4 years.  Yikes.

SO I thought I was start up drills again.  There are supposed to be ladies' drills on Saturday morning at the local racquet club so I got up and put on my lululemon pow pink pacesetter skirt with my pop orange cool racerback and was ready to hit the ball around!

pop orange cool racerback and pow pink pacesetter skirt

I got there half an hour early and I was turned away because the spaces for the drills were full!  It filled up an hour before the drills started and it's first-come first-served so unless I get there more than an hour early it looks like I'm out of luck!  I was irritated and hopped up on Vega so I went to the gym.  Oh well.

Not a total loss as I did get my old racquet restrung at the pro shop.  The woman working there asked me what my USTA rating was and I was like:


Please buy me this:


Friday, August 10, 2012

The New Rules of Lifting Stage 2 update

 I finished Stage 2 of The New Rules of Lifting for Women yesterday.  WOW after taking 2 weeks off I was really feeling it!  I got tired, fast, and I don't know if it was the Bulgarian split squats or the deadlifts, but today my glutes are the sorest they've ever been.   

Because I'm still acclimating to these workouts I think I'll do one workout each of A + B before moving on to stage 3.  I'll see if I can work an inch or two of my vacation off, then I'll post my measurements ;]

I went to my first Zumba class with a friend.  It was a lot of fun!  I've been wanting to take Latin dance classes forever but I don't have a partner so this is a good solo venture.  I'm going to find a place closer to home and try to go once or twice a week.  I need more cardio in my life.


Monday, August 6, 2012

back ugh

After 24 hours of traveling we are back home.  The Dominican Republic was fantastic but two weeks of eating and drinking in ~vacation mode~ i.e. eating too much sugar and gluten with zero yoga or gym time has taken its toll :s

AND I HAVE TO GO TO WORK NEXT WEEK

time to get back into the swing of things!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

August 2008 Backpacking Iraqi Kurdistan photos

Once this guy offered to fly me out to Istanbul so we could check out Kurdistan.  I was 22 so I was like cool thanks!

I didn't really know what Kurdistan was, but that was immaterial.  I'm always down for an adventure.

We went to Istanbul then flew to Kayseri to check out Cappadocia and then headed on to the southeast corner of Turkey.  We were so close the the Iraqi border we just had to check it out for a couple of days.  Before we went I researched getting into Iraq and most people said IT'S IMPOSSIBLE let me assure you it is not.



I wrote the following shortly after I returned, I have no idea how much things have changed in the last 4 years.  If you've been to Iraqi Kurdistan recently please let me know!
************************************************************************
We entered through the Habur border, it was a breeze!  From Cizre, Turkey we paid $40 for two people to be taken 1.5 hours to Iraq (just say "Iraq" or "Zakho").  Bring two copies of your passport photo + visa page.  Our taxi driver took care of everything, it was one of the easiest border crossings of my life, just be careful to not say the word "Kurdistan" on the Turkish side.  You are going to Iraq, and don't you forget it!  Smile and say "merhaba!"  You can change Turkish lira into Iraqi dinars here, the standard rate was 1 lira to 1,000 dinars.

It took us about an hour to leave Turkey.  Then you walk across to the Iraqi Kurdistan side.  It's super easy and the whole process takes about 15 minutes, you drink some free tea, talk to the friendly guy in charge who speaks excellent English (he'll ask you what paper you work for, just smile and say "we're only tourists!") and then you'll get a free visa stamp for 10 days (it can be renewed in Erbil).

I had heard that the visa was issued on a piece of paper so you could take it out of your passport and just pretend Iraq never happened, IT'S NOT TRUE.  You will have a big stamp in your passport but you'd have to look closely to see the "Iraq" written in English.

Your taxi driver will probably not take you all the way to Zakho, we took another taxi for 10,000 dinars (about $8) to Bazaz Hotel ($30 for a niceish double- the electricity is only on from 7PM to 8AM though).  Internet was painfully slow- some of the worst I'd ever encountered, but cost 1,500 dinars so eh.

Again we had really no clue what we were doing here.  Here is the route we took:

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After Zakho we went to Amedy (Amadiyah, there are lots of alternate spellings).  We'd heard it was this neat little town picturesquely situated on a plateau. 




It is pretty nice, but we get there and find out that there's no hotel or even a restaurant in Amadiyah!  We we there on a Friday so everything was closed and it was very quiet but we walked around and took pictures of the locals. 

Just down the road is this crazy tourist place where all the middle-class Arabs from Baghdad and Mosul come to unwind. 




Here's the boys only! swimming pool.  One kid, in my honor, did a "Saddam Hussein" off the edge of the pool by standing at the edge, holding his arm out, and toppling in (like the statue on TV). I thought it was kinda funny.


A lot of Iraqi Kurds love GWB.

The whole experience while not unpleasant was not quite what we were expecting so we went to Dohuk for the night.  I recommend the Hotel Bercin, it's a little bit pricey $40-50/double, but it's new, nice, and they staff was so helpful!


locals in Dohuk



kids hamming it up, we were the entertainment for the evening.


Then we went to Erbil, which is where you go to buy postcards in Iraq!



Aren't you just dying to send your friends and family postcards with GREETINGS FROM IRAQ on them



We saw a neat antique shop with a portrait of Saddam Hussein tucked away in a corner


Beautiful Erbil- we stayed in Hotel Kandil (20,000 dinar/double)



Iraqi fashion


they start them young in Iraq

We'd also read something about Rawanduz- how there were Iranian merchants and it was a neat little mountain town.  We tried to go there and of course the driver takes us here:



we're in the middle of nowhere, Iraq, and we wind up in an amusement park!  It wasn't all bad, Iraqi tourists are pretty good people-watching fodder. 



Nice scenery, too.

We were kind of frustrated at this point because after 4 hours on a bus we kind of hoped we'd get the true Iraqi Kurdistan experience, luckily we bumped into Nawser, a MA English Lit student who spoke fluent English.  He invited us to his home for dinner and to sleep on their roof in a little town called Akre



Nawser and his beautiful family

Akre was definitely the highlight of the trip, we learned a lot!



Nawser told us about how Saddam used to have prisons built in all Kurdish regions of Iraq to imprison Kurds, now they are used as free housing for poor people.