Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More of the Same Please

My one resolution for 2009 was to see at least one live music performance per month. After all, inhabiting the self proclaimed 'Live Music Capital of the World' requires one to show some support of some kind at least once a month. Last week's performance by the The Eggmen at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar completed the year's resolution. Ditto for 2010.

Fitness still plays into the resolution matrix somehow. Each year it's becoming more like brushing my teeth and washing the car than a mid-life crisis response. The whole racing and training aspect is overly hyped and as I'm not competitive in this area of my nature, I'd rather just let it go. That's not to say I won't enjoy running down the street with 15,000 people at the Austin Marathon and 13-miler. Having a race on the calendar creates just enough motivation to get out of bed each day and go for a run and do a couple extra pushups. All training schedules will be purged from the harddrives, with the printed ones meeting their maker in the shredder.

My bro does want to do a half-iron with me in October so that'll take some motivation. More than I have now. I have just enough to get through a morning strength workout of 30 minutes and some sort of run in the afternoon. Sometimes one and not the other. Half-iron means two or three times per day every day or almost every day with the nutrition factor thrown in. Less beer, less sweets, less food overall. Of course I could indulge and just suffer for six or seven hours in the heat come October. Ugh....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ice Skating Outdoors is Much Better

The outdoor Wollman Ice-skating Rink in Central Park did not disappoint. Perfect mild-for-NYC winter temperatures with Christmas carols playing out of the speakers hidden among the rocks and trees made for a great experience. Even though the ice was rough and the rink crowded Kayla dazzled the kids with effortless turns and spins. She slowed down enough to skate backwards, holding my hands and pulling me along.

Afterwards it was time to find a hot dog cart. The dog wasn't as good as I remember but it tasted just good enough. After skating and walking what seemed like ten miles, I would have eaten cardboard with a dab of mustard.

With ten seconds to spare before the curtain was opened to start the show, we sat down for the best 90 minutes of entertainment I've had in a long, long time. It was well worth the price. The Rockettes are amazing. The singing waitstaff at Ellen's Stardust Diner where we ate prior to the show were equally amazing. Broadway wannabes who are just a few months short of making it big sang on the tabletops and as they walked through the restaurant.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New York, New York Christmas 2009

New York was one of the last places I thought I would miss. The last time I was here in 1997 I was sick and had a so-so time. The guy playing non-stop drums in Times Square, just below our hotel room may have had something to do with it. Fast forward to 2009 and 20 blocks north, next to Central Park and needless to say the drummer is gone, even though we're next to Lincoln Center with the Philharmonic and The Julliard School. They have really good drummers. So if I lack sleep this trip, at least the percussion will be in tune.

Not having a fever or a pounding headache has seemed to make a difference. The cab ride from the airport was scary and could have given 90% of people a migraine. Are they never scary? The cabby did cut in front of all kind of cars, pedestrians and cyclists to get us to the hotel fast. Key work on fast. I did notice the one person he stopped for was a NYPD officer in a neon-yellow jacket. Smart move.

The first order of business, outside of dropping off the luggage, was a slice of sicilian pizza. In the rain without an umbrella we found Francesco Pizzeria on the NYC Upper Westside. Sicilian pizza, calzone and about 100 other dishes I wanted to consume on the spot. No lie, the best pizzeria I found in the rain.

After filling my gut with pizza I found the Apple store on my way back to the hotel. I had Facebooked 24 hours ago that I would soon be listening to a jazz band next to Central Park with a glass of wine. The comment came to life sort of. The jazz band turned out to be a jazz ensemble from The Julliard School and I had already consumed the wine at the pizzeria. By the way the Apple store NYC is split over two levels. Otherwise, it's about the same as the Austin store, except it doesn't have a jazz ensemble playing from The Julliard School. Yeah.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Running Again

I think the vacation from running is over. I felt like running today and packed a bag of stuff for a run later this afternoon. This time around I let my urge to run again tell me when it was time to start back up. By the time the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll half was over, I was sick of running. I think my feet were too. The blisters have healed up. The plantar fasciitis is all but a memory and the knees are good.

I'm also wanting to get back in the pool. Runner's World Magazine had a feature called Wet Equity in the January 2010 issue available now that really gets into detail about pool running. I felt so weird running in the pool last summer with swimming a couple laps freestyle and then run a couple of laps but wouldn't you know it, the article advises doing that very thing.

Here's more on greenhouse gases and the trouble they cause. Luckily in the winter the air is tolerable during the noon hour or afternoon if there's an updraft to carry the pollutants away. That way I don't have to wake up before the sunrise to get my run in.

A side note. Three of the last four cars I rode in didn't have the air conditioner setting to recirculate the inside air. I didn't make it a point to check when I first got in the car. It was only when I smelled something bad like exhaust that I would then look for the inside air button.