my life is super boring, and other random thoughts

1.  I wish I had more fun things to post about, but sadly, my life has not been super exciting lately.  I work, I complain about work, I run my frustrations into the pavement, I eat too much pizza, I drink too much beer, I sleep.

2.  Today I finished all of the logistics for Ragnar Florida Keys, so that’s a big load off my chest.  Now all I have to do is find people who want to run with me!

(If you think you are one of those people, shoot me an email to iheartpikermis@gmail.com).

3.  Thursday is the bacon race in Wisconsin!  I’m ready for a bacon aid station like you wouldn’t believe.

4.  I’m really addicted to the Chopped Teen Tournament.

5.  And the Vampire Academy books.

6.  I’ve been wearing an orange and white bracelet on my left wrist since Ragnar Wasatch Back (one of my teammates gave it to me), and it broke today.  It can’t be repaired.  I’m sad.

7.  I only ran 1 mile today, and then I went to Chipotle.  Sometimes you need to treat yo’self.

8.  I failed on my goal to finish writing the novel I started in April.  I blame my vacation and lack of desire to do anything once I came home from said vacation.

9.  No, Jakre and I have not yet set a date.  We can’t agree on anything.  Grr.

10.  I drank the last Spotted Cow.  Now I HAVE to go to Wisconsin on Thursday.

11.  Renee is coming to visit this weekend!  Yay!  Lucky her, I am dragging her to my aunt’s 70th birthday party, hah.

12.  Little bro is coming home from Georgia tomorrow (don’t ask), and he has already texted me saying that he bought me 12 bottles of Yuengling.  I think I’ll keep him.

13.  I’m reading The Book Thief now, and I can’t decide if I like it or hate it.  I keep reading, so, maybe I don’t hate it?

14.  I had to go into the office today for a meeting, and it’s tripping me up.  I keep thinking today is Wednesday, and I work at home tomorrow, but nope.  One more day up north.  Poop.

15.  Leftover bacon risotto shall be my lunch tomorrow, I declare it so.

16.  @OrtonPants was supposed to post today, but he’s still sleeping.

 

That’s all I got.  Time to find out who gets CHOPPED!

training jul 21-27 [2]

Training Stuff:

Monday:  1.10 miles (10 min, avg pace 9:05)

Tuesday:   5 miles (46:14 min, avg pace 9:15) + 1.16 miles walking (18:15 min, avg pace 15:44) = 6.16 miles

25 min s/t (legs/arms/shoulders/core)

Wednesday:  1.28 miles (10 min, avg pace 7:49) + 0.30 miles walking (4:44 min, avg pace 15:48) = 1.58 miles

Thursday:   3 miles (33:59 min, avg pace 11:20) + 0.32 miles walking (6:06 min, avg pace 19:08) = 3.32 miles

Friday:  3 miles (28:36 min, avg pace 9:32) + 0.53 miles walking (8:50 min, avg pace 16:40) = 3.53 miles

Saturday: 3 miles (28:35 min, avg pace 9:32) + 1.49 miles walking (25:43 min, avg pace 16:43) = 4.49 miles

Sunday:  1.25 miles (10 min, avg pace 8:00) + 0.15 miles walking (2:19 min, avg pace 15:26) = 1.40 miles

 

Total Mileage:  21.58

Total Mileage (Month):  96.4

Total Mileage (Year):  940.1

 

Total Time:  4:18:21

Total Time (Month):  18:28:16

Total Time (Year):  160:11:42

 

Fun Stuff:

Something Interesting:

Unfortunately, I had to skip my long run on Sunday.  I was all set for it, too – I was hydrated, laid out my clothes and stuff the night before, went to bed early, EVERYTHING.  Then I kept waking up all night long with stomach trouble that just wouldn’t quit.  It seems to have righted itself now, but I didn’t feel better until about 2:30 this afternoon.  Since I have to be in the office tomorrow, I’ll be in a good position to hit Half Day and get those 9 miles in, because I feel bad about missing it.

 

Book(s) I Read:

The Interestings (Meg Wolitzer)

Shadow Kiss (Richelle Mead)

The Time of My Life (Cecilia Ahern)

 

New Beers I Tried:

Hallertau Mittelfrueh IPA (Sam Adams)

Foray (Deschutes)

Hoptweet (Emmett’s)

Fathom (Ballast Point)

Punk Rock for Rich Kids (Solemn Oath)

Snaggletooth Bandana (Solemn Oath)

Mr Inappropriate (Solemn Oath)

Pyrros (Solemn Oath)

Whisper Kisses (Solemn Oath)

None More Black (Solemn Oath)

Eigengrau (Solemn Oath)

Ethos IPA (Tallgrass)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

breathless punta cana review

I’ve never written a hotel review before, but I’m going to try something new!

*Disclaimer: I went on vacation.  Nobody paid me to write this.  These are my thoughts.

As you know, I spent a week in the Dominican Republic at Breathless Punta Cana.  This was our 4th visit to an all-inclusive, and the 3rd time we’ve gone to one of the AM Resorts properties.  Overall, we had a great time, but as this is still a very new resort, there is also room for improvement.

LOCATION – About 35-40 minutes from the airport, the resort is not exactly in Punta Cana, but right outside it.  I liked how isolated it was – the closest resort was a Dreams, about a half mile walk down the beach from us.  However, our room (with an ocean/mountain view) also had a view of a vacant lot next door, which more closely resembled a garbage dump every single day we were there.  It was weird.  There were also military men with guns roaming it at one point as well, for reasons unknown.  We did have fun trying to solve the mystery, though.

View of the mystery lot, in the pouring rain.

View of the mystery lot, in the pouring rain.

STAFF – I couldn’t say enough nice things about the staff.  They were nice, accommodating, and extremely helpful.  We particularly enjoyed Stephany at check-in, Luis at the Wink bar, and Randy at the buffet.

GROUNDS – So beautiful.  So, so beautiful.  Well-maintained, and we did see a lot of people out there cutting the lawn and pruning the flowers and such.  It was such a nice place.

ROOMS – Our room, while spacious enough for our needs (plus that ocean/mountain view!) was not the best room we’ve ever had.  We were missing a shower head, and our room never really got super cold.  To the point where we would walk down the hallway and feel other peoples’ A/C and be soooooooo jealous.  We’re both very sweaty people, and would have appreciated cooler temps.  I would have also liked more outlets in the room.

Looks like our room.  Photo from the Breathless website.

Looks like our room. Photo from the Breathless website.

DINING – The food was delicious!  The only bad meal we had was at the Strip Grill, which is supposed to be a more American-type place.  Not awesome food, and we both had stomach problems.

As for the other dining options (names from website, opinions all my own):

Kibbeh (Lebanese) – I don’t know if the food was actually traditional Lebanese, but the beef filet was delicious.  I also enjoyed the apple pie for dessert (See what I mean about non-traditional Lebanese?).

Spumante (Italian) – Probably our favorite.  We ate there twice.  The mushroom risotto was ridiculously good.

So was the tiramisu.

So was the tiramisu.

Coco Cafe (Coffee/pastries) – Coffee was good, pastries just so-so.  But the space is so cool – looks just like a Starbucks in the USA.

Culinaria (International Specialties) – Food was delicious, and they had a dessert cart.  That’s right – dessert. cart.

Bites (Tapas & Small Plates) – We were so excited for the tapas, but when they say tapas, they mean… buffet.  WOMP WOMP.

Coquette (French) – Did not try.  Looked at the menu and were not impressed.

Spoon (International Buffet) – Ate here every day for lunch and once for breakfast.  Food was varied and really good.  We loved everything, especially the bread.

The Strip (Gourmet Grilled Specialties) – Not impressed.

Silk City (Pan-Asian) – Did not try.  Jakre does not eat Asian food.

Sofrito (Latin Criollo Cuisine) – Did not try.  Looked at the menu and were not impressed.

Barefoot Grill (Beachside Grill) – Open only for lunch.  The pizza was good, but everything else looked unappetizing.

ALCOHOL – Drink service was very inconsistent.  This definitely needs improvement.  Sometimes what you got wasn’t necessarily what you ordered – it seemed to depend on who was making it.  The same drink came in a different glass, nearly every time.  Ordering drinks on the beach or at the pool was an adventure – sometimes they wouldn’t come back, or if they did, they brought you something random.  If they even came at all.  We found that the best drinks AND the best service were at the Wink lobby bar, where people seemed to know what they were doing.

Solution to bad drink service?  Order from all of the waiters so that you have backup.

Solution to bad drink service? Order from all of the waiters so that you have backup.

APP – The resort has an app, which proved to be tremendously helpful.  You can order room service and submit a maintenance request (you know, if you’re missing a shower head or something).  There is also awesome wifi throughout – I was able to tweet from the beach and stream Netflix in my room.

POOL –  There were actually 2 pools, and both had swim-up bars.  One pool had a constant DJ and loud music, and the other one was a bit quieter.  Because we are secretly geriatrics, we obviously spent all of our time at the quieter pool.  Just walking near the other one made the teeth rattle inside my head.  As long as there’s booze and a place to sit, it doesn’t matter which pool it is!

Jakre photobombed my pool pic.

Jakre photobombed my pool pic.

OCEAN –  The beach was BY FAR my most favorite place at the whole entire resort.  Not only did I get engaged there (that didn’t happen until the last day, so my review is unbiased, obviously), but it had plenty of palapas to sit under, and the most amazing breeze.  The breeze kept me from getting too hot.  There was never not a breeze, which was the best part.  I could have sat on that beach forever and for always.

Palapa.

Palapa.

Beach.  Picture from the Breathless website.

Beach. Picture from the Breathless website.

GYM –  The gym was really, really nice.  Plenty of treadmills, other cardio equipment, and free weights.  Never too crowded.  TVs always tuned to ESPN.

My one gripe, and this is my gripe about the resort as a whole – bottles of water were not offered.  Only cups from a water cooler.  At every other resort we have ever been to, if you asked for water, you got a bottle.  Here?  You got a cup.  And if your service was particularly bad, sometimes your tiny cup of water was warm.  To turn this place around, offer bottles of water!  It’s so simple, you guys.

ENTERTAINMENT –  Easily one of the best parts of the whole experience.  In addition to the nightly shows at 9:30pm, they also had games and activities that you could do throughout the day.  We aren’t really joiners, so we didn’t participate in any of the contests, but the cocktail class and the horseshoe game DID look like fun.  As for the shows, we went to a circus show and a karaoke show, and both were so much fun.  We laughed a lot.

The resort also had a (very small) casino, with my favorite slot machine in the whole entire world.  There was a sports bar as well, but it turned into a dance club at night.  We went there to watch the Tigers game on Sunday night, but left in the 5th inning when the boom boom music became too much to handle.

BOTTOM LINE – While we did have a lot of fun and enjoy this resort, it still needs a little work.  We’ve been spoiled by this one, which is the only one we have ever been to that we would actually return to in the future.

 

 

5 friday favorites [7]

See what amused me on the internet this week!

 

1.  Breaking up with your friends on social media – I’m actually in the process of doing this with a longtime friend.  I guess I can’t get over the fact that this person I’ve known for 11 years couldn’t come to my mom’s wake because she wanted to watch the Blackhawks game.

2.  Lies that Friends told me – Adulthood is not like Friends.  And the world is not like The Jetsons.  I find all of this unfair.

3.  Best Illinois bars outside of Chicago – My favorite watering hole (Durty Nellie’s) made the list.  As did the place where Jakre was born.

4.  You’re So Vain – Sorry Kelly Clarkson, but this is the best fuck you song ever written.  I’m quite jealous that Taylor Swift knows who this song is about and I do not.

5.  Coke is a jerk - My name is not on a Coke bottle in the USA, but it IS on one in the UK.  If any of my UK readers (do I have those?  I hope so.) find my name, share a Coke with me!  (Preferably Diet, kthanksbye.)

3 things thursday [86]

1.  Big thanks to Lauren!  I won the giveaway on her blog, and now I get to run the ZOOMA Chicago half… FOR FREE!  I’m so unbelievably excited, and I’m pretending not to know how much of a nightmare the transportation situation will be for me.  (I will be relying on the Dad Taxi services.)  I’m also excited to save money, but since I promptly spent it on Lululemon shorts, that’s a moot point.  WOMP WOMP.

 

2.  Speaking of races, I signed up for 3 5Ks today – the Homestretch for Heroes at Arlington Park (pretty much a neighborhood do for me), Urban Hoedown 5K (who doesn’t love country music), and Rock the Night 5K (in it for the swag, and swag alone).  My August is going to be much busier, but everything lines up really well with my training program, so why the hell not, right?

 

3.  I’ve had a terrible week at work so far, and I hate my job.  The end.

rock n roll chicago half marathon RR

Note:  Garmin was being a jerk, so I do not have mile splits for this race.

The Short Version:  #doubletrouble conquers Chicago once again, finishing this streaker’s 6th RnR half in 2:58:41.

Pre-race:  Another early morning.  We met my cousin at the blue line and headed downtown.  We ended up running into our Half Fanatic friend Carol on the train, so it was nice to see her and chat with her for a little while.  We got to the race site with plenty of time to use the bathroom and check our bags.  We got into our start corral (18, wayyyy back there) and waited for the horde in front of us to move forward.  Kelsey looked down at her shoes and… her shoe tag wasn’t there.  She didn’t put on her timing chip!  So Jill and I stood off to the side, and Kelsey ran back to gear check.  It didn’t take her long at all to get situated, and only one corral passed us by.

Less than 30 minutes after Shalane took off, we did too!

Mile 1:  Jill, who is battling PF (actually, a doctor friend told her it’s probably a stress fracture), decided to do the smart thing and drop down to the 5K.  While we would miss her on our adventure, I think it was the best decision she made.  Sadly, this was the only mile she got to run with us.  We also ran into Maggie and Mr Maggie, and it was nice to see them both!

Mile 2:  Kelsey needed a bathroom, so we got off to the side.  As I looked up, I realized that the building right there was where the bf (I feel weird calling him my fiance, sorry) was staying overnight with his friend.  Not gonna lie, I’m slightly bummed that he didn’t come outside to say hi to us!

(Funny story – his friend was like, why are there all of these port-o-potties on the road?  Jakre told him that I preferred to poop there, haha.)

Mile 3:  Since there are only circus freaks to entertain us thus far (what is up with that?  You can read everyone else’s blog, because everyone noticed that there were hardly any bands.  You can’t fool Chicago, RnR.), I tried to give Kelsey a short tour of the city.  As in, I pointed out stuff and told stories if I had them.  I have a lot of stories.  I hope she wasn’t annoyed with me!

Us at the Thompson Center, where my dad used to work.  True story.  One of many.

Us at the Thompson Center, where my dad used to work. True story. One of many.

Mile 4:  Funny story – so we wake up this morning, and Kelsey puts on a tank top.  Then she decides it’s a bad idea, so takes it off.  But she forgot a short-sleeved shirt, so she is wearing mine.  Ironically, it is the one I wore when we raced together in Nashville.

Mile 5:  All of these loops that we keep doing in the Loop are ridiculous.  I don’t know what’s happening with this course, but I don’t like it.  And I don’t have to.  #6yearvet

No doubt talking about our shared crush on John Travolta.  #whalesvagina

No doubt talking about our shared crush on John Travolta. #whalesvagina

Mile 6:  OH HEY THERE IS A BAND!

Confession – I did not notice the absence of bands until Kelsey pointed it out now.  True story.  That shows you just how little I pay attention to that kind of shit.

BUT – at least this band was pretty good.  Usually they suck.

Mile 7:  Blackhawks cheering section, complete with Chelsea Dagger, so I picked up the pace a little bit.  Then I exhausted Kelsey.  Oops.

Mile 8:  We called this our garbage mile, meaning that we walked pretty much all of it.  As we were walking along, we see two guys with a little boombox playing adult contemporary hits.  They are wearing 5K medals and two bibs.  THEY DID THE 5K BEFORE THE HALF.  I hate that I did not think of this first.  Seriously.  It makes me so mad.  I wanted to be this kind of pioneer.

Speaker guy and his two bibs are right behind me.

Speaker guy and his two bibs are right behind me.

Mile 9:  Another garbage mile, because the stupid sun came out and tried to melt us.  What a jerk.  On the plus side, I got to have a salted watermelon Gu, and suddenly everything is right with the world.  (I don’t normally like Gu, but I bought a case of this stuff because it’s addictive.)

Waving to our legions of fans, obviously.

Waving to our legions of fans, obviously.

Mile 10:  The person who decided that running this part of the race on the lakefront trail should be fired.  Seriously.  It’s way too crowded for this shit.  I am so beyond grateful that I wasn’t up in corral 4 like I was supposed to be, because people would have tried to run me over, or I would have taken an elbow to the gut.  Annoying.

On the plus side, the LFT does provide pretty photo ops.

On the plus side, the LFT does provide pretty photo ops.

Mile 11:  These last two miles were easily my favorites of the whole entire race.  Humana provided a DJ and a lot of speakers, so you could hear the music for two miles.  It was upbeat dance music, and I loved it.  Plus the volunteers were amazing.  Oh, and there were sponges, which I promptly stuck in my bra (my boob sweat started at mile 1, so yeah, it was nasty by now).

Mile 12:  The smelly McCormick Place tunnel wasn’t too bad this year.  It was well-lit, not as stinky, and the potholes had been filled in, so I didn’t break myself.  At least RnR did this part right…

Right before the mile marker, there was a poor woman lying in the middle of the course.  She was clearly suffering from some sort of heat-related distress, and we could hear the paramedics reminding her that she was lying on the ground.  So sad!  I hope she ended up being okay!

Also right before the mile marker, I made a new best friend – the volunteer with the big bag of ice.  I took a giant chunk and stuffed my bra.  It immediately cooled me off, AND made me look like I have boobs.  BONUS!

Mile 13:  We met up with several Half Fanatics that we had been leapfrogging/chasing for the majority of the race.  Since we had decided to run the rest of it, we made a Fanatic chain.  But it didn’t last.  We were too fast for them, haha.

Pretty city.

Pretty city.

Mile 13.1:  We sped to the finish, and made our sub-3:00 goal!  Yay!  (I was happy to be done at this point, haha.)  Super fun morning running with my favorite #doubletrouble friend.

Serious runner face.

Serious runner face.

Finishers who care about when the watch stops.

Finishers who care about when the watch stops.

FINAL TIME:  2:58:41

AVERAGE PACE:  13:38

2014 RACE/2014 DISTANCE/OVERALL DISTANCE:  20/6/90

MEDALS/FINISHER AWARDS:  Medals (and a bonus medal for doing this race too)

RACE SHIRT COLOR:  Blue

NEXT RACE:  Race for the Bacon, 7.31.2014

 

Post-race:  We got our snacks and headed to gear check.  My cousin, proving her awesomeness, was sitting right by gear check with a blanket.  So we didn’t have to walk far, we didn’t have to search for her, and we had a place to sit.  Jakre ended up leaving his friend’s house and meeting us there, so we were all in one place.  We sat for a little bit, and then went to get our extra medals.  Then we headed back to the train, and another #doubletrouble weekend was in the books!  Thanks for the glorious weather, Mother Nature!

Obligatory medal selfie.

Obligatory medal selfie.