2:00:40

Apr. 20th, 2014 09:47 am
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Just missed getting under 2 hours by 41 seconds, but still very happy.

This was the first race that I didn't feel nervous before, had fun the whole time (favorite moment: miles 10-12 me and this other guy realized we were trying to keep the same pace, without any eye contact or speaking used each other to push that pace through those tough last few miles), and felt great afterwards (feet and calves are a little sore, but nothing a hike today can't fix!).

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RWP

Apr. 18th, 2014 05:07 pm
brdgt: (Cardio)
Reading: Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending for book club. A very approachable and interesting combination of psychology and business expertise on what really makes us happy. Some of it is very unsurprising (spend money on experiences, not things), but some of it is counterintuitive (that spending money on time-saving devices or services may not actually give you more time or happiness).



Wearing: My new favorite bright pink pants, a white button down top, white converse low tops, and my favorite pair of sunglasses - found in a restroom at the Great Dane after a frisbee game.

Picture 33

Planning: It's Nick's birthday today, although he skipped playing golf to celebrate because he hurt his ribs last night playing Ultimate. Since I have the Half Marathon tomorrow he is going out with friends and I'm calling it an early night (the race starts at 7AM). Next weekend we will celebrate with a trip to Arches and Canyonlands - first camping trip of the year!

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Scenes

Apr. 14th, 2014 05:56 pm
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Have I mentioned that our yard is lousy with trilobites?

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The hyacinths have switched over to tulips - I'm actually getting in the habit of cutting fresh flowers from our yard for inside the house - weird!

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Our next door neighbors (Oink's owners) took this great panoramic view from their roof - this is essentially my office view (actually, if you click on the image to make it bigger you can see my office window, it is the grey house on the far left - the two windows right next to each other):

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brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Yesterday we went for a hike up Grandeur Peak (8,294 ft with 2,829 ft of elevation gain in 5.82 miles and 3:43 hours). The trailhead is located very close to the city, in Millcreek Canyon and on the way up mostly offers views to the south, especially of Gobler's Knob.

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We had wanted a hike with some snow, which we got near the top.

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The view at the top was wonderful - I love the way the city goes right up to the mountain.

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You can see some rain over the Great Salt Lake, downtown, and even our neighborhood.

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Looking East at a reservoir.

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We had the peak to ourselves so we relied on the timer to take a photo :)

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Afterwards we went to the home opener of the Salt Lake City Lions (SLC's brand new Ultimate team). Of note, those were the mountains we were in as our game's backdrop.

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Modesty

Apr. 9th, 2014 09:56 am
brdgt: (Bag of Trouble by iconomicon)
Something I still find jarring about Utah, but must seem completely normal to folks here, is the modesty dress.

I'm not talking the cute stylish outfits of Mormon mommy bloggers - I'd wear those (actually, some of my style is pretty close to that...) or the FLDS prairie dress - but the women I see who take something that is immodest (a spaghetti strap tank top, a skirt above the knees) and just put something on under it (a plain white t-shirt, jeans). I just wonder - why buy that immodest thing to begin with? I was at the store you bought that top from the other day and it had some super cute cap sleeve shirts that would look better on you!

On the other hand, I suppose I feel like they do when they see someone dressing "immodestly."

In related news, I have [livejournal.com profile] loreofcure to thank for the tip on Joe Fresh jeans for a cheap option for the brightly colored jeans fad. See, this outfit is modest! And cute! And apparently I'm a size 4 :)

CAM00269
brdgt: (Anatomy by iconomicon)

One day after the magnitude 9.2 earthquake on March 27, 1964, a section of an Anchorage street was several feet higher than another section. It is still the most powerful earthquake ever in North America.


A '64 Quake Still Reverberates
By Henry Fountain, The New York Times, April 7, 2014

When a strong earthquake rocked northern Chile on April 1, scientists were quick with an explanation: It had occurred along a fault where stresses had been building as one of the earth’s crustal plates slowly dipped beneath another. A classic low-angle megathrust event, they called it.

Such an explanation may seem straightforward now, but until well into the 20th century, scientists knew relatively little about the mechanism behind these large seismic events. But that all changed when a devastating quake struck south-central Alaska on March 27, 1964, nearly 50 years to the day before the Chilean quake.

Studies of the great Alaskan quake — undertaken largely by a geologist who, when he began, knew little about seismology — revealed the mechanism by linking the observed changes in the landscape to what was then a novel theory, plate tectonics.

Read more... )



Fearing Punishment for Bad Genes
By KIRA PEIKOFF, The New York Times, APRIL 7, 2014

About 700,000 Americans have had their DNA sequenced, in full or in part, and the number is rising rapidly as costs plummet — to $1,000 or less for a full genome, down from more than $1 million less than a decade ago.

But many people are avoiding the tests because of a major omission in the 2008 federal law that bars employers and health insurers from seeking the results of genetic testing.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, known as GINA, does not apply to three types of insurance — life, disability and long-term care — that are especially important to people who may have serious inherited diseases. Sponsors of the act say that they were well aware of the omission, but that after a 14-year effort to write and pass the law, they had to settle for what they could get.

That leaves many patients who may be at risk for inherited diseases fearful that a positive result could be used against them.

Read more... )




Enceladus as viewed from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Gravity measurements taken by the craft align with the presence of a sea 20 to 25 miles below the moon’s surface, scientists say.

Under Icy Surface of a Saturn Moon Lies a Sea of Water, Scientists Say
By KENNETH CHANG, The New York Times, APRIL 3, 2014

Inside a moon of Saturn, beneath its icy veneer and above its rocky core, is a sea of water the size of Lake Superior, scientists announced on Thursday.

The findings, published in the journal Science, confirm what planetary scientists have suspected about the moon, Enceladus, ever since they were astonished in 2005 by photographs showing geysers of ice crystals shooting out of its south pole.

“What we’ve done is put forth a strong case for an ocean,” said David J. Stevenson, a professor of planetary science at the California Institute of Technology and an author of the Science paper.

For many researchers, this tiny, shiny cue ball of a moon, just over 300 miles wide, is now the most promising place to look for life elsewhere in the solar system, even more than Mars.

Read more... )
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Only one more long run before the half-marathon! Yesterday was an 11 mile run that went really well considering I skipped last week's long run, the first few miles it was raining, and the last few miles were uphill.

I have stepped up the fitness and eating habits that I learned from the last half-marathon training and definitely seen results - this is the first time in my life I have actually seen the *shape* of my body change (my legs and stomach in particular - both are more defined by muscle than anything else!).

My grocery trips are now focused around lean protein hunting - lots of salmon, quinoa, protein powder, and almond butter. I also have worked hard to eat more fruit, especially on the weekends, which has helped my post-long run recovery (I used to feel slightly disorientated and just a bit off for a few hours after a run longer than 9 miles). And don't worry my diet has always had enough carbs, veggies, and fat in it - this is about adding food, not taking things away.

I've also been experimenting with different mid-run supplements (conclusion: supplements with caffeine, like Clif Shot Bloks, are better just before a workout, while non-caffeinated gels, like Gu, are best mid-run for energy and recovery - for me, caffeine mid-workout contributes to feeling weird post-run).

Of course, the cross-training is also essential - cardio workouts for building muscles and aerobic capacity and yoga for deep stretching (I generally do not stretch at all pre or post run - studies show no real benefit and I feel no real benefit). I can't say enough about tempo runs and intervals - things I used to resist and now would never do without.

Which is all to say, this has been a hard, but rewarding process...

March 2014 workouts

(mapmyrun.com doesn't handle tempo or intervals runs well (my Wednesday runs), which why those days look so inconsistent. Spring Break effected my cross training due to available classes at the gym. That 8 mile run was supposed to be 10, but bonked and learned my lesson about mid-run supplements. Missed long run was supposed to be 11, but I was a wimp due to a snow storm and had built in enough buffer that I could still train fully and skip it.)
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Reading: Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference By Cordelia Fine (on [livejournal.com profile] notmarcie's suggestion - a nice palette cleanser after Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences



Wearing: Red MUFA shirt and comfy black pants. Most crucial element though - Badger nails - On Wisconsin!

Picture 28

Planning: Uh, there's sort of some important basketball games on this weekend! Nick gets back from his conference today and I've had a rather productive week, so I look forward to hanging out on the couch with him :)

RWP

Mar. 28th, 2014 02:09 pm
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Reading: Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences by Leondard Sax, M.D., Ph.D. for book club on Tuesday. This is going to be a doozy of a book club. Besides the fact that Sax conflates sex and gender, uses straw men arguments, has a financial stake in the project, and switches between peer reviewed studies and anecdotal data without flagging it, I can just tell this book club discussion is going to break down between parents and non-parents and us non-parents opinions won't be valid because of our dusty barren wombs.



Wearing:This is actually yesterday's outfit, but we are still celebrating Wisconsin making it to the Elite 8 last night!

Picture 24

Planning: Work, work, work. I have a deadline coming up and Nick has a conference he is preparing for and leaves on Sunday to present at. The weather has been gorgeous here, but we've been too busy to enjoy it, so hopefully when he gets back we can find some time for a hike - something with a waterfall should be nice this time of year or something in the desert that would be too hot in a few months...
brdgt: (DJ by iconomicon)
Better late than never? Finally got around to making my "Best of 2013 Mix" and I'm going to try distributing it via Dropbox this year. If you are interested you can download it here. If you don't already have a dropbox account it is free and we both get extra storage space if you sign up.

Ahead
brdgt: (Science Works by iconomicon)


When Trilobites Ruled the World
By Natalie Angier, March 3, 2014, The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Trilobites may be the archetypal fossils, symbols of an archaic world long swept beneath the ruthless road grader of time. But we should all look so jaunty after half a billion years.

At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Brian T. Huber, chairman of paleobiology, points to a flawless specimen of Walliserops, a five-inch trilobite that swam the Devonian seas around what is now Morocco some 150 million years before the first dinosaurs hatched. With its elongated, triple-tined head horn and a bristle brush of spines encircling its lower body, the trilobite could be a kitchen utensil for Salvador Dalí. Nearby is the even older Boedaspis ensifer, its festive nimbus of spiny streamers pointing every which way like the ribbons of a Chinese dancer.

In a back room of the museum, Dr. Huber opens a drawer to reveal a dark, mouse-size and meticulously armored trilobite that has yet to be identified and that strains up from its sedimentary bed as though determined to break free.

“A lot of people, when they see these fossils, don’t believe they’re real,” said Dr. Huber, who is 54, fit from years of fieldwork, and proud that the state fossil of his native Ohio is a trilobite. “They think they must be artists’ models.”

The fossils are real, and so, too, is scientists’ unshakable passion for trilobites (TRY-luh-bites), a diverse and illuminating group of marine animals, distantly related to the horseshoe crab, that once dominated their environment as much as dinosaurs and humans would later dominate theirs — and that still have a few surprises up their jointed sleeves.

Read more... )





The Mammoth Cometh
By Nathaniel Rich, February 27, 2014, The New York Times

The first time Ben Novak saw a passenger pigeon, he fell to his knees and remained in that position, speechless, for 20 minutes. He was 16. At 13, Novak vowed to devote his life to resurrecting extinct animals. At 14, he saw a photograph of a passenger pigeon in an Audubon Society book and “fell in love.” But he didn’t know that the Science Museum of Minnesota, which he was then visiting with a summer program for North Dakotan high-school students, had them in their collection, so he was shocked when he came across a cabinet containing two stuffed pigeons, a male and a female, mounted in lifelike poses. He was overcome by awe, sadness and the birds’ physical beauty: their bright auburn breasts, slate-gray backs and the dusting of iridescence around their napes that, depending on the light and angle, appeared purple, fuchsia or green. Before his chaperones dragged him out of the room, Novak snapped a photograph with his disposable camera. The flash was too strong, however, and when the film was processed several weeks later, he was haunted to discover that the photograph hadn’t developed. It was blank, just a flash of white light.

In the decade since, Novak has visited 339 passenger pigeons — at the Burke Museum in Seattle, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, the American Museum of Natural History in New York and Harvard’s Ornithology Department, which has 145 specimens, including eight pigeon corpses preserved in jars of ethanol, 31 eggs and a partly albino pigeon. There are 1,532 passenger-pigeon specimens left on Earth. On Sept. 1, 1914, Martha, the last captive passenger pigeon, died at the Cincinnati Zoo. She outlasted George, the penultimate survivor of her species and her only companion, by four years. As news spread of her species’ imminent extinction, Martha became a minor tourist attraction. In her final years, whether depressed or just old, she barely moved. Underwhelmed zoo visitors threw fistfuls of sand at her to elicit a reaction. When she finally died, her body was taken to the Cincinnati Ice Company, frozen in a 300-pound ice cube and shipped by train to the Smithsonian Institution, where she was stuffed and mounted and visited, 99 years later, by Ben Novak.

The fact that we can pinpoint the death of the last known passenger pigeon is one of many peculiarities that distinguish the species. Many thousands of species go extinct every year, but we tend to be unaware of their passing, because we’re unaware of the existence of most species.Read more... )





Out of Siberian Ice, A Virus Revived
By Carl Zimmer, March 3, 2014, The New York Times

Siberia fills the heads of scientists with dreams of resurrection. For millions of years, its tundra has gradually turned to permafrost, entombing animals and other organisms in ice. Some of their remains are exquisitely well preserved — so well, in fact, that some scientists have nibbled on the meat of woolly mammoths.

Some researchers even hope to find viable mammoth cells that they can use to clone the animals back from extinction. And in 2012, Russian scientists reported coaxing a seed buried in the permafrost for 32,000 years to sprout into a flower.

Now a team of French and Russian researchers has performed a resurrection of a more sinister nature. From Siberian permafrost more than 30,000 years old, they have revived a virus that’s new to science.

Read more... )



Is Breast-Feeding Really Better?
By Nicholas Bakalar, March 4, 2014, The New York Times

Many women who are unable to breast-feed feel guilty about it and worry they may be depriving their children of a range of benefits. Groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend six months of exclusive breast-feeding for all infants, citing studies that show breast milk is easily digestible and has nutrients that are superior to or absent from infant formulas, including immunological substances that reduce rates of infection and fatty acids important in brain development.

But now a new study suggests that many of the long-term benefits attributed to breast-feeding may be an effect not of breast-feeding or breast milk itself but of the general good health and prosperity of women who choose to breast-feed.

Read more... )

Results

Feb. 25th, 2014 04:25 pm
brdgt: (Cardio)
Week 6

I'm almost halfway through my third half marathon training and I am really happy with the results. Since this time my goal isn't just to finish, it is really interesting to see how specific kinds of training can actually produce results (for me, increasing pace).

In addition to being increasingly confident that I'll be able to do the half-marathon in under 2 hours, I have seen my body change in ways that exercise has never done before.

My body is actually stronger - stronger legs produce faster paces, better aerobic capacity helps endurance, and eating the right fuel gives you the energy you need to do the things you want to.

I haven't really lost any weight (that's not a goal), but things that used to jiggle are now firm. Jumping up and down in cardio class this week I thought as I looked in the mirror, "huh, my thighs are staying right where they were." In fact, I'm not just stronger, I have actual defined muscles.

So, thank you Hal Higdon and lean protein!
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Our Vegas trip was nice and weird.

On the one hand our friend footed the bill on almost everything, which I would feel bad about if he didn't clearly have the money and once I saw how much he *loves* Vegas and just wanted to share it with people. But on the other hand, the conspicuous consumption and unnatural extravagance is just... weird.

I had found a deal on a room at the Mirage, but our friend loves the Venetian so much that he just said he would pay the difference in price (which he must have lied about because I heard him check out - we must have only paid the difference for *one* night). The room was amazing (two queen beds, sunken living room, tv in the bathroom) but oddly impractical (probably designed for bachelor parties? no locks on any doors, separate toilet, but you had to walk through bathroom with glass shower to get to it?) and after seeing some of the other casinos, I can see why our friend prefers the Venetian.

Our friend has been to Vegas over 20 times and loves the fake nature displays in the malls that connect all of the casinos - I was far from Zion, that's for sure. The store after store of expensive handbags just got tedious and I wished I had some free time to enjoy the spa at the hotel (I did get to the fitness room one morning - which was very impressive and nicer than many gyms I've been to - but I didn't get to use the sauna or pool or steam room).

He also paid for our tickets to see the Cirque de Coleil show "O" - which is good because he bought front row seats that Nick and I would never agree to buy. I did enjoy the show more than I thought I would (the updated idea of the circus, the athleticism, and even the misdirection of the choreography).

Afterwards we walked around. More. I did enjoy the "ice bar" that we went to, but by Friday night and further from the nicer hotels, things were getting pretty gross and I was happy when we got back to the hotel room and our friend wanted to play some poker while we went to bed. There's only so many yelling drunk people, half naked women dancing on bars, and couples getting in fights that a girl can handle. Maybe I'm just getting old. Get off my lawn!
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
On our way down to Vegas we stopped at Zion. Our friend may have just started to get into hiking, but he is still used to eating every meal of the day out and having constant internet access, so he wanted to stay at a motel instead of camping. The next morning we had a healthy breakfast at a local cafe that also made us sandwiches for hiking (I had an amazing veggie/fruit/nut wrap). Due to the need to airlift out the toilets at Angel's Landing, we couldn't do that iconic hike, so we did a longer, more strenuous, higher elevation one - Observation Point. I'm glad we did, as it had more varied terrain.

The trail started with a steep ascent, but with well maintained switchbacks.

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And was directly across from Angel's Landing.

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After that ascent you enter Echo Canyon, my favorite spot on the hike.

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Then you start ascending again, with sharper and sharper switchbacks until you reach the mesa.

Zion

Lunch at the top (6508ft). Again, not very high by Utah standards, but southern Utah is a lower elevation than northern Utah, so the ascent was still over 2000 ft. gain.

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On the return the light in Echo Canyon was even nicer than on the way up.

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IMG_2354

Visitor!

Feb. 23rd, 2014 02:15 pm
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
This week Nick's college roommate Greg came to visit. He was very excited to try the hiking, so we started off with The Living Room (followed by the Natural History Museum, since they share the same parking lot), which he did well on, so the next day I took him to Frary Peak on Antelope Island (Nick had a lot of work to do before our trip to Zion and Vegas).

The Peak is the highest point on the island, which is one of the islands in the Great Salt Lake. Due to it's protected nature and remoteness, it has herds of bison, bighorn sheep, deer, pronghorn sheep, and coyotes. We saw all of those except the sheep on the trip.

You know you are getting used to Utah when your guest sees this view and says "wow!" and you say "yeah, it's alright."

Frary Peak

The peak is only 6596 ft, but the island is at a quite low elevation, so that isn't low for out there. After about three miles of ascending around foothills you reach the false summit. You then descend the right side of the peak before ascending up again. The peak is in the distance.

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Near the top the ascent is very steep.

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The views were amazing though - 360 views of the area.

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On the way back the sunset made everything look different and wonderful.

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brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
In the continued adventures in reviewing skin care products...

A few months ago I tried the Peter Thomas Roth "Age Defense" kit from Spehora:



This set contains:
- 0.28 oz Mega Rich Intensive Anti-Aging Cellular Crème - There was simply too little of this to gauge it's effectiveness.

- 0.5 oz Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion - I liked that this was a 30 spf moisturizer, but it definitely smelt like sunscreen. A little went a long way.

- 0.4 oz Retinol Fusion PM - Like the Cellular Creme, too little to gauge it's effectiveness.

- 2.0 oz Anti-Aging Buffing Beads - This lasted a long time for such a small bottle and worked well as an exfoliant.

- 2.0 oz Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel - Nothing special

Overall, while my skin did not react badly to this brand, it also didn't do anything special for it - my skin did not feel smoother or tighter, my skin tone did not change in any way, and wrinkles, pores, and age spots stayed the same.

Kitty!

Feb. 6th, 2014 10:07 am
brdgt: (Audrey Sleeping by iconomicon)
On Saturday we went down to the Humane Society to pick out a kitty!

First off, this Humane Society is the nicest I've ever seen (I've volunteered at a few). The cats are in "kitty city," a facility with three different living arrangements: large room with a central climbing structure that 5-6 cats freely roam around in (usually the 1-5 year old cats), living room style smaller rooms with open shelving for lounging and playing (where the older cats like to hang out, usually just 3 to a room - they even have tvs, which play fishtanks, birds, and other things cats like to watch!), and "townhouse" style "cages" which have cage doors, but are about 4 times the size of cages you would see in any other facility (for the kittens and cats that don't get along with other cats).





The shelter is not no-kill, but it is open admission (a lot of no-kill shelters are able to be that way because they do not accept all admissions) and even with that policy they still find homes for 98% of the animals - which if you consider 2% probably being unadoptable due to human cruelty, that is amazing!

We checked out the under 7 month old kittens (just three at the time), but were drawn to "Tia" - a 11 month old girl who was the most alert and observant cat in the room. She had been put in the townhouses because she was getting stressed being in a room with other cats and when we took her out you could tell the smell of other cats bothered her. But we really liked her sassiness - we wanted a smart, playful cat, and I was confident that the Humane Society environment just wasn't the best at showing off her potential and Nick trusted me because he liked her cleverness.

Being sassy:

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We bought her (only 25 dollars since she was over 7 months - under 7 months are 70 dollars and over 5 years are free) and picked up some supplies at the pet store and within half an hour of being in our place she was like this:

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Later that night:

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The next day:

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"Meeting" Oink...

Kitty!

We are still working on a new name - dinosaur themed. My favorite right now is "Ankylosaurus" (Kylo for short).
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
This Summer a strong wind came though a knocked this iced tea dispenser over, so I saved it to make a terrarium. I finally got around to that yesterday!

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I misjudged the size of the container and got too many plants, so I re-potted them separately. I have a black thumb, so they may come in handy as backups...

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Their new home in my office.

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I'd also been meaning to hang this green decoration and string some LED lights through it to make it a chandelier. With company coming in a few weeks I also decided to flip this shelf vertical to allow a smidge more space for our guests.

Terrrarium
brdgt: (Cardio)
Stats from MapMyRun, which I generally just use to import from my GPS, but it keeps my non-running workouts with my running ones, which is nice. Sadly, my Cardio Instructor has been sick this month so she canceled class this Wednesday and we didn't have class on MLK day.

This is following Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half Marathon Program, so - easy runs on Tuesday/Thursday, long run on Sunday, optional run on Saturday, and intervals/tempo runs on Wednesday.

January 2014 workouts
brdgt: (Smiling by ABM)
On Sunday I picked our weekly hike - Lake Blanche, an alpine lake within a glacial cirque in the shadow of Sundial Peak. The pollution has been bad, so we wanted some fresh air, but just hiking a peak for the view isn't a good option, since most views are blocked by the pollution. I heard about this hike on Fitocracy - the view is *up* to Sundial Peak and the snow pack was good enough that you didn't need snowshoes. I did pick up some YakTrak the day before and brought my hiking poles, neither of which were necessary, but definitely helped in expending less energy sliding on snow.

It was 34 degrees when we left the trail head, but with a 1,000 feet elevation gain per mile and walking straight into the sun in a cloudless sky, we were plenty warm.

Lake Blanche Trail

We went from following a canyon stream only slightly covered in ice (just muffling, but not completely hiding the sound of the water) to beautiful stands of birch trees.

Lake Blanche Trail

The trail was nicely packed, but the snow was several feet deep on either side - it was important to not step off.

Lake Blanche Trail

After the canyon and birch trees, we went through several rock slides and avalanche fields - the hike probably made easier by the snow. About 2.8 miles and 2,800 feet elevation gain we finally got to Sundial Peak.

Lake Blanche Trail


Sundial Peak

We had lunch and climbed a bit further up, so we could claim to have gone over 9,000 feet (Sundial Peak is only accessible with mountaineering gear and experience).

IMG_2200

Sundial Peak

You can see the view of Salt Lake City in the distance here - with the inversion covering the whole valley.

Inversion

On the way down we encountered quite a few backcountry skiers (why pay for lift tickets when you can climb a mountain and ski down it?) and two moose! No pictures of them, even though they were less than 30 feet away - camera was too cold, light was failing, and too many bushes.

Lake Blanche Trail

In the end, just over 6 1/2 miles, about 4 hours, 2,830 feet of elevation gain, two moose, and a great day - my first hike that was snow covered the whole time! And all just a 30 minute drive from our home :)

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