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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm In!! (Yay?)

Today was the New York City Marathon Lottery.  So, I logged in at 12:00pm during my lunch break at work to watch the coverage on the NYCRR site.  The coverage was pretty bad, but at least I got to see Meb and Al Roker.  They were calling people out of the crowd there to win prizes, and it was kind of silly.  Then, they blew a big horn (after a plug for UPS) and names started scrolling across the screen in New York, and on the screen where the video was playing.

Immediately, checking the Facebook site for the Marathon, people started complaining.  I mean, are we supposed to sit through 30,000 names scrolling down the screen?  I used my web programmer savvy to view the page source and find the URL for the feed that was feeding the scrolling names (don't worry if you don't know what that means), but they were putting the feed out there in chunks.  Soon, it was 1:00pm and I still didn't know if I'd gotten in.

I left my desk and went to help a new employee, and when I returned, the scrolling list had magically converted to a search box.  And...  My name came up.  I managed to get in through the 10% chance of getting in, and I did so on my FIRST TRY.  YIKES. I proceeded to search FIVE times, and then I searched for every other person I could think of who entered the lottery.  NONE of their names appeared.  Just mine.

This morning, I'd been drafting a blog post in my head about Columbus and Wineglass, and my decisions on which one I'd pick after I'd found out my results for the lottery... I guess that post is of no use now.

If you remember, I had started to become less than excited about this race.  I'm sure I will get more excited.  I'm kind of shell shocked on the subject, because I really, truly did not expect to get in.  Meanwhile, my brain for the last few hours has been like this:

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG....


So...  YAY!  I am excited.  I am excited.  It will be fine.  I'm just stressing over losing my non-committal bliss.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Indonesia Part Eight: Getting to Know Bali

In Part Seven, we arrived in Ubud, saw a traditional Balinese Kecak Dance, and I came down with food poisoning.  We also saw some monkeys in the Sacred Monkey Forest.

The entrance to our hotel room

We were on a early to bed (9:30 or 10:00pm) and early to rise (5:30 or 6:00am) schedule in Indonesia, so we were in bed at 11:30pm when the earthquake hit.  We were both asleep.  I opened my eyes, not quite sure what exactly woke me up, and noticed the room was shaking.  I gradually started figuring out what was going on.  Todd asked if I was awake and then said, "Are we having an earthquake?"  I thought we were...  And then, it stopped.  We made a note in our heads of the time -- and went back to sleep.  We didn't lift our heads off of our pillows.

We checked the USGS website in the morning and confirmed that it was a 5.3 magnitude quake centered 200km south of us (124 miles).  Probably not a big deal to those who are used to earthquakes, but that was our first!

The hotel delivered Balinese breakfast to our room each morning, so we ate and then spent the morning at the pool, reading, swimming, and lounging.  I was eating better, but still feeling less than great.  I was really enjoying the Indonesian hot tea, though.

Shower near the pool
When our breakfast is delivered, two of the hotel staff delivered it.  One brought pancakes and toast, and the other brought fruit, fruit juice and tea.  On that morning, the first guy came in and Todd gave him an 8000 rupiah tip (about $1 US).  When the delivery man left, I warned Todd that the hotel book had said not to tip. Then, in came the second guy.  Well, Todd hadn't realized that there would be two (he'd forgotten after the hectic morning the day before).  So, he didn't have any more small bills (8000 is a small bill, the others were more like 250,000).  So, Todd didn't have a tip to give him.  The poor delivery guy stood and talked to us almost the whole time we were eating breakfast.  He was clearly stalling, but Todd didn't really catch on to why he was hanging around.  Finally, he left, and that's when Todd realized he was waiting for a tip -- the first guy must have tipped him off.  We vowed to make it up to him before leaving Bali, and we did - we gave him a nice tip later.

With both of our sad, upset stomachs, we decided to seek out comfort food.  We headed back through the monkey forest into Ubud and began walking around trying to find the restaurant selling pizza that Todd had seen from the car on the way to the restaurant the night before.  We started up Monkey Forest Road looking for it, then went the wrong way.  Then, we didn't want to back track all the way, so we took a road that seemed like a short cut according to the map.  But, the map wasn't drawn to scale, so we ended up completely circling the whole town.  Then, we felt as if we'd missed another road, and started to turn back.  We asked directions, only to find that when you ask a person directions in Bali, they expect you to buy something from them or pay them to drive you there.  And, they give you the longest directions possible.

Lotus flower
In all, we walked for something like an hour and a half to two hours, about 6 miles, and then when we finally found the pizza place, we decided we didn't want to eat there and went to a different restaurant up the road.  These are Kim & Todd adventures.  We did get pizza, and we stopped to eat just in time, because a big rainstorm passed while we were eating.

We also found a geocache!  It was located in a school for disabled children in Ubud.  I left a Geocoin there.  I want to do a little summary of Geocaching in a later post, so I won't go into detail.

We headed back to the hotel, and this time decided to pay the money to go through the Monkey Forest rather than walking around it.  It was getting dark and cloudy because of the rainstorm (and it was getting late), and so we only stayed for a little while.  Todd got some more photos, and I took some more video:

Kim and Todd in the Monkey Forest

While in the Monkey Forest, a Balinese man approached us and started telling us about the Monkey Forest.  We were near the cemetery, so he was telling us about that and then said he would show us the temple, so we followed him to it.  It wasn't open to go inside, but he stood and talked about it.  Then, he got out some paintings (small, about 4x6) and said he'd painted them and would we buy one?  We did buy one, but there was a clear pattern going on in Bali that if someone was being friendly and helping you, it meant that they wanted to sell you something.

Monkey
I do love the Balinese people.  They have an incredibly unique and amazing culture.  Everything was so much different than being at home, and in general the people were friendly and fantastic.  I felt safe everywhere I went, and I never once felt unwelcome.  When we were talking to the man in the monkey forest, he let us know that there would be a Balinese funeral the next day at the Ubud Palace.  He was the first to invite us to the funeral, and we would be invited again and again by a total of about 6 to 8 different people.  It really felt like they were asking us to come see their culture, that we should go because we would get to experience Balinese culture up close and first hand, and that it was not to be missed.  It made us feel included and wanted.

All of that being said, though, the constant pressure to buy things, whether souvenirs or a massage or a taxi ride was just exhausting.  Whenever we talked to a local and didn't intend on purchasing anything, it would stress me out.  And, it was impossible to just be left alone while out on the street.  Todd even tried pretending that he only spoke German, but the Balinese person that he tried that on spoke German.  I don't think he was fooled either, because Todd was wearing a Margaritaville Key West T-Shirt.

Enjoying a rice paddy hike on our last day in Ubud
That evening, we chose to try a restaurant on Monkey Forest Road called Cinta Grill.  Their specialty is Mojitos, so I got one to try.  It was delicious, but my stomach wasn't quite ready for something like that.  I also got a fish special that was a little spicy and garlicky.  Delicious food, and I would have loved it under normal circumstances, but I couldn't quite finish it.  Todd got their ribs and they were very, very good.
Ducks (there's actually a whole family there) in the rice paddies

Rice Paddies and scarecrows
The next morning, we started out our last day in Bali earlier than the others.  We had breakfast at 7am, and then took the hotel's free shuttle to the head of a rice paddy trail.  It was on the map that we had from the hotel, and was also featured in our Bali travel guide.  However, after the shuttle dropped us off, we couldn't figure out where the trail head was.  We tried to follow the map and walked down the road a little bit.  It was a steep downhill that went under a river (the river went over a bridge rather than the road going over the river).  There was a ton of water coming down the hill and into the road, along with a bunch of algae and slime.  My first thing to do that day turned out to be to slip and fall in the algae, so that I landed on my side.  I totally covered my right side with slimy algae and mud, and I bruised my side.  Typical.

I cleaned off and we ended up discovering that the trail head was back the way we came.  A nice tour guide showed us where we needed to go, and tried to sell us a full day tour for the next day.  We went up the hill, finally seeing that the sign for the rice paddy walk was at the top of the hill.  We followed the path for a while.  We were searching for another Geocache, but didn't find it.  We did get to learn a lot about rice farming in Indonesia.  So much is done by hand and it is SO HOT in the rice paddies!  We met up with some other Americans (first we'd seen since Sorong) who were also walking and taking photos along the trail.  Todd got some excellent photos, and we got some exercise.  We walked about another 4 or 5 miles through the rice paddies, and we remembered to bring enough water along!!
Rice paddies in Ubud

We didn't do the full circle because we wanted to make it back into town to see the funeral/cremation that was going on at the palace that day.  So, we headed back down the hill and gave up on the Geocache.

Stay tuned for part nine where Todd and I attend an incredible Balinese Funeral, go to a lovely Valentines Day Dinner, and the bite heard around the world...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quick Friday Update

  • I have Part Eight of my Indonesia trip report almost written, I just need to finish it up and add the photos.  I started it over a week ago, but I've been so crazy busy that I haven't had time to finish it.
  • Work has been my biggest busy thing.  Basically, I am a software developer and we work in 3 week cycles.  So, Day 1 of week 1, we decide as a group what we're going to work on for this cycle.  Day 2, I get assigned some tasks for that cycle.  Then, there's two weeks of development time on those tasks, and 3 days of testing and bug fixes before the release on the last day of the cycle (which always falls on a Wednesday).  This week was the end of one cycle and the start of another, so Monday through Wednesday I was fixing bugs, and then our release was Wednesday night from 9pm to 3am, and then yesterday I spent the day with my team planning the next cycle.  Whew, it was exhausting.  So, now you have a window into why it seems like I am periodically busy.
  • When I'm not at work and it happens to be sunny, I've also been out in the yard working on that.  I posted some Gardening Photos last week, and the last photo showed the new flower bed.  Well, I decided it wasn't wide enough, so Todd and I (and I give Todd the credit, most of the heavy labor was done by him) pulled the grass out in front of the bed, and filled it back in with dirt.  The plants arrived in the mail last Saturday, so they're waiting patiently for the bed to be ready for them.  It's been raining so much and I've been working so much that it's been hard to find the time, but we're on a time crunch now that we have the plants, so we're working on it.  Of course, there's also been a million and one other things to do, too, in the yard, so we've been working like crazy on it!
  • This weekend is Easter!  It's the first time that my family has not been in Florida for Easter since maybe 2001 or 2002.  The price of gas and other financial things have made it impossible for my whole family to get down there this year, so I'm hosting Easter dinner.  I will report back on how things go. I'm baking a ham for the first time ever!  We don't have our dining room furniture yet, but I am happy to report that we're having some custom furniture built by the folks at Stowebound Custom Furniture.  I can't wait for that!
  • This weekend is my longest run before the half marathon in Indianapolis.  I'm going to do 14 miles on Sunday because my family's Easter dinner is Saturday.  Unfortunately, since it's a holiday, no one from my running group can make it then so it sounds like I'm doing 14 on my own :(  It's been a while since I've done such a long run on my own, but it should be fine.
Stay tuned,  hopefully I'll have my Indonesia post finished up to post on Monday!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Linky-Loos

I'm trying to figure out a way to automate this.  If anyone has ideas, let me know.

Geeky Things

Running Things
Other Things
  • How to Survive Meeting the Ex:  Hasn't been a problem for me thus far, but you never know.  My ex-hubby is currently unattached and I find it hard to believe I'd ever meet Todd's ex on purpose.
  • Was Coupon Fraud Shown on TLC's Extreme Couponing:  Ok, this show is nuts and totally makes me just twitch uncontrollably.  I've been working on a project in our house to get rid of our clutter and stuff, and I can't imagine bringing that much junk into my house all at once.  
  • Realistic Couponing:  If you are interested in couponing, this article could help you be less crazy than the ladies on Extreme Couponing.  I tried it once, but it was too time consuming for me - I'm lucky to get to the grocery store at all.  Plus, we don't have any big chain grocery stores near my house, so I'd have to do the coupon matching myself.
  • Spice Fade, and the Insanity of Throwing Spices Out After Six Months: If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I keep spices for way longer than 6 months...  Unless you really use them fast, 6 months is NOT THAT LONG.  I know some of my spices were already in my house before I moved in, for example, and we have duplicates - stuff that I brought from my apartment that Todd already had.  We're slowly going through them, but I do think they're absolutely fine.  I did discover that a 6 year old can of condensed milk that was probably purchased by Todd's ex-girlfriend was kind of disgusting.  (well, color-wise.  Taste-wise, it was fine).
One more thing:  Happy, happy, happy 16th birthday to my niece, Dylan!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flowers 2011: April

I try to do gardening in the yard, and I've had miserable failures and pretty good successes.  Let's see what happens this year!


I grew strawberries in this container last year I'm super-excited to see they're returning!

Tulips are coming up here.  I"m hoping they'll be blooming for Easter.

The cherry trees are pretty!  There's actually a third pine tree hiding behind the two here.
I struggle with this flowerbed every year, because the soil is so poor.


I want to add more Hyacinths here in the fall.

I'm going to put in a whole bunch of new plants over here later this year!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Update

Things have gone very well with my leg.  I have been following all of my doctor's instructions, including the "Walk as much as possible" suggestion.  So, I walked 12 miles on the treadmill on Sunday.  That's right, I said 12 miles.  Walking.  On a treadmill.  To be honest, it wasn't bad at all.  I can hook my laptop up to our television in our workout room, so I streamed Spirit of the Marathon, which I'd already seen, but it had been a few years.  Then, I watched Love and Other Drugs (quite enjoyed it).  Total time to do the walk was about 3 1/2 hours.  Yowza!

My sutures were really bothering me, and Sunday one totally disappeared.  Where did it go?  Who knows.  The only real discomfort I was feeling was itchiness, and annoyance when the sutures would get stuck in the inseam of my pants.

So, today, I had my final follow up with my doctor and I'm delighted to announce that I'm back at 100%.  My sutures were removed, and I'm cleared to run, swim, scuba dive and do whatever I want to.  Hooray!!  To  be honest, I don't even really feel like I've fallen that far behind in my training.  I mean, I walked quite a bit, and even though that's not running, you'd think that I haven't lost any stamina.  Still, I won't go too far this weekend on my run.  I have one more long run before the race in Indianapolis.

Todd has been in Florida since Thursday, and I miss him terribly.  He arrived home today, so I'm excited to spend time with him tonight.  He was helping his parents out around their house and just going for a general little visit.  We spent almost an hour on Skype last night.  Anyway, as a result I'm not going to try out running tonight so that I can devote all of my time tonight to him.

I've got some photos of my leg, but I'll have to post them later because I don't have them right now.  Stay tuned.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Indonesia Part Seven: Dancing, Illness and Monkeys in Ubud

In Part Six, Todd and I had a wonderful time diving in Tulamben, on the northeast coast of Bali.  After four nights, we moved on to the artist town of Ubud, in central Bali.


The table on our balcony at Alam Shanti.
The closer we got to Ubud, the less it rained, and while we were there, the sun was out pretty much the whole time.  It did rain some, but we're in the tropics, so that is to be expected.  In Tulamben, the rain was usually coming from the ocean, and it would apparently stop when it hit up against the volcanoes.  There it would sit, dumping water on us for hours on end.  Since the rain was never getting past the volcanoes, when we went south to the other side, it suddenly cleared up.  This was excellent news!

We arrived at our hotel, Alam Shanti, in the early evening.  We felt a little nervous and out of sorts when we got there.  Previously, we'd been under the protective wings of Matt and Ellen in Jakarta, Weka in Sorong, and Christiane in Tulamben, but now we were very much on our own.  The hotel was very Balinese, and it was quite beautiful.  I had reserved the nicest room in the hotel, which was called the "Gangga" room and included a rice field view, a HUGE balcony and a beautiful outdoor courtyard and bathroom.  We shared our building with the room below us, and our building was surrounded by a courtyard.  Both the Gangga room and the lower room (Yamuna) shared a private pool.  It was absolutely stunning.  The room seemed gigantic!
I'm reading up on Ubud on our balcony in our
hotel room at Alam Shanti (yes, that's our balcony!)

I loved this hotel.  We overlooked the rice paddies while we ate breakfast and showered, and birds were all around all time (although there were also bats at night).  There were geckos in the room, including one (we think) that would randomly make a creaking noise but never showed itself.  Mostly, the geckos stayed in the bathroom, where they'd eat mosquitoes and ants.  The bathroom was covered in ants, in fact.  We really couldn't leave any food anywhere, because ants would attack it with amazing vigor.  This happens to be the same in most tropical places that we visit, so no big deal.  I put my Jolly Ranchers that I'd brought from home (and had been lugging with me from place to place, having eaten a total of ONE in Tulamben) in the mini fridge, and promptly forgot about them until we were on the plane heading home several days later.

Since the sun was setting around the time that we were arriving, we decided to try and be simple for dinner.  I had so been looking forward to Ubud the entire trip because the food there was supposed to be out of this world good.  I was ready for great food!!!  We walked up the road a bit to a restaurant called Laka Leke.  It was owned by the same people who owned our hotel, and since it was Monday, it was featuring a traditional Balinese dance show during dinner.
Sinta and the White Monkey (other
monkeys below)

We were seated around the side of the area where the show would take place, and were directed to a buffet dinner.  We had the option of ordering from the menu, but I felt intimidated choosing and decided to just go for the buffet.  They had all of the traditional Indonesian food we'd come to expect, rice, noodles, etc.  I also had some salad, mayonnaisey potato salad, and some fruit.  They brought us welcome drinks, and I drank both mine and Todd's.  I was so thirsty!  The food was just ok, but I ate a bunch.  Then, it was time for the show.

The Kecak dance originated in Bali in the 1930s.  Most Balinese dances are accompanied by Gamelan music, but with Kecak, the music is created by the players in the dance.  There were around 150 men in the chorus, chanting the music and dancing during the show.  It's also called the Monkey Dance or Fire Dance, and during the performance a large bonfire was built in the middle of the stage.  I can only describe the music as chanting.  Todd took some videos during the performance.  They're very dark, but they're also the only way I can explain the dance and what it sounds and looks like:



There was a story to the dance, and it was a good thing that before the show we were given the story.  I totally would not have understood what was going on if I hadn't read it first.  Honestly, even though I knew the story, I was confused.
Todd and me with some of the dancers

The dance is the Indian story Ramayana.  Rama is married to his beautiful wife, Sita.  She is kidnapped by King Rahwana and taken away.  Rama sends the White Monkey, his best warrior to fight Rahwana and get Sita back.  Sita at first does not believe that the White Monkey is real, and thinks it is a trick from Rahwana.  The monkey shows her a piece of jewelry of Rama's so that she will believe him, and she does.  The White Monkey then fights Rahwana and defeats him, and Sita is returned to Rama.

I had many questions about this story, and none of them were really answered by the dance, but that's fine.  In the next video, you can see the White Monkey and Sita.



After the show, we walked back to the hotel.  During the walk, my stomach started to hurt.  As the night went on, it hurt more and more.  By the very early morning, I was in total agony and spent WAY more time than necessary in the bathroom.  And, that's when I realized - I had broken nearly every rule of travel eating at dinner.  I had gotten so used to being coddled by the boat and then the resorts, that I had totally forgotten the lessons that I was following so diligently in Jakarta.  Let's see - I drank an unknown beverage containing ice (two of them, in fact).  I ate raw vegetables, some with skins, including lettuce greens.  I ate a mayonnaise salad that had been sitting out in the Balinese heat.  I did everything wrong.
The King

The morning was awful.  I just remained miserable in bed.  Todd had been having some gastrointestinal issues himself (although his was more acid reflux-related), so he wasn't doing that great himself.  Then, at 8am, breakfast was delivered to our room (the hotel delivered breakfast to us each morning).  I couldn't eat.  And, I always can eat.  I broke down and just sat and cried.  At that moment, I did not want to be in a foreign country.  I returned to bed.  Our bed in Alam Shanti was a four poster bed with a canopy, and the canopy had Balinese paintings on the underside, so when we were in bed, we were staring at what was basically some kind of horrific war scene.  It was very surreal, and during my time that morning, I stared at it and tried to figure out what in the world was going on in the pictures.  I never really figured it out, although I strongly feel that someone was getting attacked by an army of halved strawberries, and I am annoyed that I never took a photo of it.

Finally, around 10am, we decided to leave the room.  I had taken some medicine and I was drinking some stuff that Passport Health had sold us for the trip that was like Pedialyte (and that I had thought was a waste of money at the time).  I laid down in the little covered gazebo that was next to the pool.  I slept some, drank my Pedialyte, read my book, and to be honest, it wasn't a bad place to be sick.
Todd on the balcony

At about 12:30, Todd was getting hungry and I was feeling... stable, so we thought we'd head into town.  The hotel was actually outside of Ubud on Monkey Forest Road, and we had to walk through the Sacred Monkey Forest to get into town.  Yes, I said the Sacred Monkey Forest.  The Sacred Monkey Forest of Ubud is what it sounds - a forest with temples, a cemetery, and 350 or so long-tailed macacque monkeys.  Monkeys are revered in Balinese culture, and they are thought to keep evil spirits away from temples and sacred areas.  We were not visiting the monkey forest that day, but were heading on a path that goes around the monkey forest (so that we didn't have to pay the monkey forest's entrance fee).  I was hoping to spot a monkey from the motorbike road around the forest.

Before we even got to the monkey forest entrance, monkeys were wandering along the fence next to the road.  At the entrance, there were about 15 monkeys milling about, looking for food.  There are Balinese women selling bananas ("banana for monkey?") at the entrance, and the monkeys want them.  Bad.  I took a little video of the monkeys, so you can see exactly how many there were and how they were just there.  They were just hanging out, living their lives with us passing through.  Here is the video.  We watched the monkeys along the path, and we were careful to stay away from them because we'd been told that they bite, and that they would steal things from us.  After a short walk, we were in town.
A monkey eating a potato

Ubud is a bustling little town.  Motorbikes. Motorbikes everywhere.  There were tons of shops and cafes along Monkey Forest Road, and tons of people walking around.  Outside of the shops, there were almost always people outside trying to give us a ride.  They'd say "Taxi?  Do you need a taxi?" as we walked past, or ask us where we were going.  In fact, "Where are you going?" is the single biggest question that we were asked while in Ubud.  This is followed by "Where are you from?" The questions almost bordered on too personal at times, but we got used to it.  More questions would come later, "How long are you in Bali?"  "When did you come to Bali?"  and more and more.

Ubud also smells like rice.  The air was just sweet with the scent of rice, all the time.  Granted, I think I was super-sensitive to smells because I was sick, but since then if I am making rice and I smell it, I smell Bali.  The Balinese leave little religious offerings around everywhere.  Every house, shop and anything important had a little shrine and/or an offering in front of it.  These offerings all contain rice, so there is constantly rice all around.  We even had a little shrine at our pool, and each day offerings were left at the shrine.

Our private pool
We walked up Monkey Forest Road, me doing the best I could given how sick I felt.  I really wanted one thing - Saltines.  There are no Saltines in Indonesia, to my knowledge.  Shrimp crackers?  Yes.  So, we found a little vegetarian cafe, and I had a bowl of minestrone soup, the most calm non-Indonesian thing I could find. As much as I liked and wanted to experiment with Indonesian food, just the thought of Nasi Goreng made me feel nauseous.  Todd had also tired of Indonesian food and sought out a grilled cheese, which he said was just ok.  It was not ideal, and I felt pretty terrible.

Now, let's revisit the Indonesian bathrooms.  In Part Two, I mentioned my general confusion over the squatty toilets in public restrooms.  Well, while I was in this vegetarian restaurant, I had to use the bathroom.  There was a sign on the toilet instructing people not to stand on the toilet seat in order to squat.  Like, on the left was a drawing of a toilet with a person standing on the seat, squatting there -- with a big red X through it. On the right, the same drawing of a toilet with a person sitting on the seat (no X).  Really??  Fascinating, just fascinating, the restrooms in Indonesia.
Monkey

We headed back to the room (yes, on the path around the monkey forest), and Todd convinced me to put on a bathing suit and head down to the pool.  So, I grabbed my Pedialyte and headed down.  With further convincing, I got into the pool and it actually felt really refreshing - it was pretty hot and humid, and we'd been out walking.  We read our books, dosed, and swam off and on for the rest of the afternoon.

That evening, we decided to try one of the restaurants in town, so we utilized the free shuttle that the hotel provided and headed to Terazzo.  I could tell that we would love it the second I walked in.  This was a top-notch restaurant, with modern decor, a wine list, and delicious western food.  I ordered mushroom pasta (pappardelle), and Todd had a filet.  It was so good, although I could  not enjoy it like I wanted to because I was still feeling pretty rotten.  We even had chocolate lava cake for dessert.  I had a few bites of everything, and managed to eat about half of my entree.  Then, the waitress called the hotel for us and had them send the shuttle back to pick us up.

We went back to the room and relaxed for the evening.  We'd been going to bed early and waking up early the entire trip, so our sleep schedule was to be in bed by 10:00pm.  For those of you more adventurous than us, though, there is plenty of night life in Ubud.
The shrine next to the room below us



 A view of the rice paddies from our room
Stay tuned for Part Eight... OMG, part EIGHT?  I am really long winded on this trip, so I hope it's entertaining.  Anyway, stay tuned for a better day in Ubud, where we get to see the town, go on a beautiful hike through rice paddies, and attend a Balinese funeral.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stats as of 31 March 2011 and Surgery Update

March 2010
61.2 miles
12 hours, 51 minutes
Avg Pace: 12:36/mile
Shamrock 5K 2010: 32:12 (10:23 min/mile)

March 2011
57.7 miles -- 3.5 miles less than in 2010
11 hours, 57 minutes -- 54 minutes shorter than in 2010
Avg Pace: 12:26/mile -- 10 seconds faster than in 2010
Shamrock 5K 2011: 33:21 (10:45 min/mile)

I missed some runs this month because of my cold and surgery, but still awfully respectable!  My pace is still better than last year, despite the fact that I took 3 weeks off in January to go to Indonesia.  Now, because of my leg surgery, I am not allowed to run for 2 weeks.  I definitely don't feel like my training has been as solid as it has been the last 3 years.  Still, I'm doing pretty well.  I don't want to focus too much on any PRs with the exception of my marathon in the fall, but I still can't help but think about it some.

My leg is doing very well.  Friday, I went back to the hospital and had my bandage removed.  As it turns out, I did not have the full closure surgery, and all of my varicose veins were actually branches of the larger vein.  The branches aren't large enough for closure, so they were simply removed.  For some reason, this has really freaked me out, even though I knew that the branches would be removed before I had the surgery.  I still have my larger saphenous vein.  Even though it seems counter intuitive, this actually causes more pain because the saphenous vein is still there to put pressure on the places where the branches were removed.  I haven't been in too much pain though, things have been ok.

Friday morning, I woke up with some real pain going on in my calf on that leg.  It was so painful, and I was concerned that might have a clot.  However, it turned out that my calf muscle was just really sore and aching from having the tight bandage and walking weird.  Since Friday, the pain has slowly gone down and today I even walked 6 miles on the treadmill with almost no discomfort.

My biggest problem is the sutures in my leg (5 total), that keep getting caught in my pants.  I was told to try not to cover them, since they'll heal easier if they're not under a bandage.  So, they do get caught.  Yikes!  My leg looks like it's been beat up, it's purple in places, red in others, and yellow/green in others.  It doesn't hurt too bad.

So, things are going very well.  I'm cleared to ride a bike this week, and tomorrow I'm starting upper body weight training again.  I've been told not to walk or cycle on any inclines or hills at all, so I'll stay inside on the treadmill.  My neighborhood is really hilly.
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