Thursday, February 24, 2011

Updates and Climbing Arthur's Seat

Hi all. Sorry to have been so absent this month... A lot has happened: some untracked eating, sporadic running, some relationship-y discussions, and a few grad school responses. I've heard back from 4.5/6 schools (but really it should be more like 4.5/5). I didn't get into one of my top choices (Vanderbilt) and my other top choice said they're still debating who they're going to select for their three slots and will let me know at their "earliest convenience." I'm trying to not get too discouraged, but it's hard not to. That said, I have a few really good offers from other schools so at least I'll be somewhere next year!

Aside from that, I'm currently in ENGLAND for our Winter break from school spending time at the houses of a few of my friends I've made this year. Right now I'm up in Teeside (near Newcastle) with Helen. We've run a few times and I can now say I've run in 3 different countries (USA, France, UK). Can't wait to add to the list!

I'm feeling a lot better since our last post and hope to start back up with P90X when I get back to France in March. I stepped on the scale yesterday here and weighed in at 165 lbs (75 kilos), so despite the fact that I can see that my ab muscles have disintegrated since I quit P90X in December, I haven't gained any weight. Whew. I can tell a huge difference with my running though since I've stopped doing strength training.

So far, I'm LOVING being here in the UK. I've learned that I'm a brand of paper towels and have been relaxing a bit and drinking plenty of tea.

Tuesday, we took the train 2.5 up north to Scotland and spent the day in Edinburgh! What a cool city! A huge hunk of our day was spent climbing the Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat and then wandering back to town through Holyrood Park. In case you were wondering, Converse all-stars aren't the best choice if you're going to be climbing any pseudo mountains.

Let's just say I definitely think I deserved this classic British lunch after all our walking/climbing!

All in all, it was a lovely day. Even if we had to rush to change train stations (went to the wrong one) on the way back and I left my bag with my newly purchased Gap shirts in the cab due to panic. Ick.

On that note, today we're off to York to see some vikings and a classic English tearoom called Betty's. Yum.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Beach in February

Sorry the blog updates have been so sporadic. I am alive and kicking over here, though I feel guilty about my inability to really bring myself to dedicatedly track and keep a workout schedule. If I'm quite honest, I'm feeling incredibly apathetic right now and it's hard to bring myself to do much of anything at all, which is doubly bad considering I'm currently living in one of the prettiest regions of France (evidence to follow). I've been sick for the past two weeks with a cold that won't go away and two very big parts of my personal life are doing somersaults and acrobatics they're that high up in the air, and, as a result, I'm just feeling very... apathetic about things. I feel stuck in a corner and I can't really do anything to get out, and, as someone who's usually so proactive and always has a plan, this waiting game is really playing with me mentally.

Furthermore, the half marathon has been canned as my running buddy doesn't feel up to the distance, but, if I'm completely honest with myself and you all, I hadn't been giving my training the 100% that I should be giving it, so it's my fault as well. Still, I'm disappointed in the situation and I'm disappointed most of all with myself for my half-hearted efforts at everything right now. That said, I am going to go out for at least a three-mile run this afternoon (since it'd be criminal not to with the sun shining, no wind, and a 60º day) and at least have accomplished that much. I think we're making crêpes tonight as a rain-checked celebration of the French holiday Chandeleur that happened on Feb 5th, so it'll be a caloric wash. That said, it's essentially France's Groundhog Day and there's a saying that goes: "À la Chandeleur, l'hiver cesse ou reprend vigueur" meaning, that depending on that day's weather winter either ceases or is reinvigorated. I'm pretty optimistic since we missed the holiday because we were on the beach nearby (again, see below). Bye, bye, Winter?

Anyway, now that I've whined to you all, here are some photos to prove why I feel bad about doing so and for wanting to stay in bed all day and watch crap TV. This is what you find if you leave Avignon and take an hour train ride (25€ round trip) to the French seaside town of Cassis. We went this past Saturday to celebrate a friend's birthday.

Pear, Black Currant, and Apricot

Moules-Frites for lunch

I can't believe we're eating outside like this in FEBRUARY! This Ohioan isn't used to this!

The beach. It's like a postcard.

We hiked over to the Calanques, one of the reasons this town well-known in France

Edit: Didn't run... I am, apparently, in fact, a criminal. Instead I stayed in bed, and am now doing a load of laundry before going on a walk with Amy.