February 7, 2015 § Leave a comment
Another year, another winter. Did you know that February happens every year? And though technically only 28 days, it manages to stretch the time continuum in a way that all those experiencing it in the northeast will feel as if they’re stuck in a groundhog day type struggle for the rest of infinity.
I just got a little emotional at the thought that this will happen again in 12 months. I’m getting back in my sleeping bag.
January 4, 2015 § Leave a comment
Now that my sister has gone off to Berkeley to set the curves in her math classes, my Dad has taken up outdoorsmanship full time… and IT. IS. AWESOME! Combine Asian thriftiness with the internet and a love for the outdoors and BOOM, I arrived home to find technical rain jackets, soft shells, a 15 degree rated sleeping bad and a top notch Thermarest. There’s really no better way to celebrate the holidays than some -12 degree father-daughter camping.
Right after this photo, my iPhone warned me that it was too damn hot and the phone was shutting off until it cooled down.
December 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
November 29, 2014 § 4 Comments
I’ve had these Hincapie socks for seven years and they’ve only now just torn a bit at the heel. The expensive-gear-is-worth-it-because-it-lasts-longer lesson is one that took me a long time to learn, and these socks were a big part of. Warm, quick dry, sturdy… If I had to marry a pair of socks, I’d totally pick you to marry Hincapie socks.
Essentials: Sewing kit, tea, things to sew
Lesson two to buying expensive gear is of course that if you’re kind of a space cadet and lose things like I do, you’re out a bunch of money. I’ve been scouring the internet for an affordable ski coat replacement and finally found one last week … with no thumbholes. Fortunately thumbholes are a lot like buttonholes, and there are British men on the internet that are very good at teaching one how to sew buttonholes. (But like, seriously, this guy is a sewing wizard, right?)
The stitching is kind of shitty but it’s functional.
Just need some ski goggle defogger and I’ll be fully ready for ski season … SO STOKED!
In other unrelated news, I went for a run today and had to poop almost the entire time. How do long distance runners deal with this? Do they just stop and poop? Your body is like “hey, I know it’s 32 degrees out and you just got dressed and amped to go for a run, but uhhh once you started hopping up and down..I realized I kinda need to go back and poop.” This must be what having little kids on long car rides is like.
November 16, 2014 § 2 Comments
I’ve been totally determined to figure out these “running” and “bouldering” things the last few months, and thus haven’t done a long bike ride since this summer. This week as I watched (and felt) the temperature drop precipitously I decided that it was about time to bring back the old hobby-horse.
I was also itching to put my kind-of new climbing shoes and chalk bag to use since getting them at Go Vertical for an incredible $20 used last weekend.
According to Google, Gravity Vault is only 24 miles away – 48 round trip, this seemed totally reasonable. So I stopped by my local bike shop and picked up a pair of winter cycling gloves which I’ve been neglecting to do for the last two winters, and geared up for a 35 – 44 degree ride and a few hours of rock-climbing inbetween.
A few reflections on today’s ride:
1. Pink tinted sunglasses: Third fall/winter outside of California and I still get a bit sad at how drab and dreary everything gets once the trees lose their brilliant fall hues. This ride just felt warmer and more jolly because everything was highlighted pink and red. Highly recommended.
2. There’s no winning at temperature regulation when it’s cold: No matter how well geared you are, you’ll still need to adjust between uphill, downhill, and flats. I was beginning to accept this on my ride to Boston in April, promptly forgot it about it when it was a steady really-fucking-hot degrees this summer, and fully accepted it today. Zip-unzip. Switch gloves. Bring Buff up over face, buff down, buff off… etc. It’s like eating and drinking water, just parts of a long ride.
3. Names: I really should pay attention to street and town names when I map out a route before jumping in the saddle. I forgot that inbetween me and rockclimbing was not just 24 miles, but 24 miles of towns called Berkeley Heights and Summit. Far more elevation than I anticipated (I didn’t really think about it truthfully). At least it was all downhill on the way back.
4. Podcasts: Holy shit! What was I thinking not listening to Podcasts on long bike rides! Pop in a little Radiolab or TED Radio Hour, run Google bike maps in the background. It’s quiet enough to leave the sounds of the road relatively unimpaired, and so much more mentally engaging than hours of music. I do wish there was some way to switch between Podcasts and J-beibs for a little boost during climbs, but like temperature regulation, you can’t have everything.
5. Arms do things: I didn’t realize how much you use your upper body on longer rides. I don’t usually notice it, but it’s definitely just enough fatigue to already feel worn on the third bouldering problem I attempted today. I was pleasantly surprised enough at finding that they’d changed all the problems to not mind this disadvantage at all. It’s still a small sample size, but it’s been cool comparing the 4 gyms I’ve been to in arm strength required, hold diversity, and puzzilyness. The new layout has far more interesting holds on their V1-3 problems and a few solid body-weight-shifty-leverage problems. I feel like I’ve got a solid base of arm strength now from weeks of scrambling up V0-1’s and now need to work on my finger strength so I can tackle more difficult holds.
Final damage count –
Mileage: 50 on the nose (2 more than anticipated due to annoying Rutgers football game futzing with traffic)
Elevation gain: 1339 total
Approximately 2,500 calories consumed at a roadside diner from the “mighty meat meal”
Also, I seriously considered changing my body type from “fit” to “ripped” on my OkCupid profile as motivation to get to six-pack-city
November 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
Yesterday, I ran by the polls on my run commute to work and voted in person for the second time ever (NJ has such an archaic absentee ballot requesting process) and though I was very disappointed that they had no ‘I Voted’ stickers even though it was 7AM, it was nice to combine outdoor activity with fulfilling my civic duty.
The best part of election day is of course getting drunk and yelling at the TV – I blitzed home blitzed and woke up to find that I’d done it in at 9 min/mile. Go drunk me!
I have dry ear-wax
Thought two of the day – I’ve been run commuting on and off this year and have been reminded of just how properly unsmelly I am as a human being. I haven’t really thought about it since I was 12 when I wondered ‘what is this deodorant thing?’ But co-workers and friends alike have commented on how impossible run commuting would be for them without a shower. “Run commuting on Election Day! How will you GOTV if you smell bad! WAIT you don’t smell bad at all!”
I did some Googling and apparently, a high percentage of East Asians (80-90%) have a recessive ABCC11 allele that (1) makes our earwax both dry and not smelly, and (2) makes our body odor almost non-existent. This is compared to 0-3% of other ancestral groups with this allele.
Genetics is so awesome.
Also, wet ear-wax seems totally gross.
October 30, 2014 § 3 Comments
According to Zombies, Run! and MapMyRun –
In the last two years I’ve run 108.26 miles in a total of 16 hours and 12 minutes at an average pace of 8:58 min/mile.
In the last five weeks I’ve run 39.24 of those miles in a total of 5 hours and 45 minutes at an average pace of 8:49 min/mile.
At some point, I decided that running is the easiest thing ever, and then it was. Just put one foot in front of another until something that isn’t supposed to hurt, hurts. Mindset is one hell of a thing.