Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How do you say in Portugese...

It started in 2005 with a Christmas gift I never expected. Beth got us tickets to see a 2006 World Cup game. Not just any game, but the 3rd place match. It ended up being Germany vs Portugal  with the host nation dominating the flow of the game. It was such an amazing experience that we decided we would make it our thing and attend the tournament every 4 years.

2009, I entered the FIFA lottery not exactly sure what was going to happen. Multiple rounds went by and no email or other notification of a successful bid was received. We had gotten an email saying we would be notified by such a date and as that date passed we made other plans. We booked a flight to Argentina to visit some friends who were temporarily living down there from Minneapolis. On Saturday, I received an email saying our bid was successful! We purchased tickets on Monday for South Africa. We had tickets for US vs England, Japan vs Cameroon, and US vs Algeria. With our vacation spent on Argentina, we were able to stay for 2 of the 3 games. Unfortunately, we missed the US vs Algeria game, but we able to watch it back in the States.
Just imagine getting through security wearing that!

This year is no different. We have been paying attention to the qualifiers as best we can. We have put in to the lottery. No official email has come, but after logging on to the site and getting a notification from our credit card. We have been successfully charged for our sets of tickets!  We will be seeing Uruguay vs Costa Rica, US vs Ghana, and Japan vs Greece. We have already purchased our tickets for Brazil as well. These were not cheap and our itinerary back home is surely going to be long. As I took new employment recently, my vacation situation is different than while at TCDC, so unfortunately I wont be able to make it back to the States this year. Unless I get sent there for work, which is a good possibility.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Festivals galore

Summer is winding down, but the festival season seems to be in full swing. There was the Chinese Lantern Festival the other week, which Shiv, Kathryn, and I hit up. It was from Thursday to Sunday ending with a massive firework show off the SkyTower. We definitely ate our share of good food while listening to music and watching the festivities.

This past weekend we planned on hitting up Rice and Beans on Saturday and Japan Day on Sunday. The weather didn't cooperate for an outdoor festival on Saturday, but we did spend several hours at Japan Day! We watched an Aikido and a Ninjitsu demonstration. One was good and the other was like watching Monday Night Raw.   I did spend 2 hours riding in the rain on Saturday. It wasn't that much fun.

This weekend is my race, which is going to be difficult. My coughing and congestion is finally gone! However my foot is not better even though I haven't been running for the past several weeks.  If I have to I should have ample time to walk the marathon, but I'm planning on running what I can and hitting the pain meds when it hurts too much.

The following weekend, we are doing glow worm kayaking, paintball, and Pasifika (another festival). So we are keeping busy.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Not forgotten, just busy

I have been neglecting my rants, ramblings, and peek into our life as of late.  Its already February and I have a lingering sickness.  It knocked me out over our long holiday weekend and then some.  I'm still feeling the affects a week later.

Beth and I headed to Taupo this past weekend so I could do the course.  I did more than a single lap of the bike as I missed the turn and ended up on State Highway 1 south of where I was supposed to be.  The ride has an ascent and descent right out of town, but its pretty flat to Reporoa.  I hope they get the section of gravel repaired before the race, but I don't think that is going to happen.  Then again if they do it will probably me large chip over the tar which is almost as bad.  I saw plenty of riders heading back into Taupo as I was heading out and passed only 3 people on my way to Reporoa.  On the way back there was a horrible headwind most of the way and I flatted shortly after the section of gravel.  I made a quick swap and was back on my way.  The ride took a little longer than expected with the deviations on the course and the flat, but Beth was waiting for me a the hostel where I quickly changed and we went out for a run.  I did one lap of the run course and I hurt.  My quads cramped. I got dehydrated. I dry wretched.  I finished it.  Sat in the sauna and stretched a bit before heading out for some much needed food.  I had half a chicken with veggies, naan, and a samosa. The next morning I was out of the room at 6:30 for a 10 mile run.  I did over a single lap and I felt amazing.  It just goes to show that you have to pay attention to your fluids and nutrition.  I did try some new things the day before which helped on the ride, but I had nothing on the run and it was a warm one and I went through my 24oz of water pretty fast.  I probably should have had a bottle while I was changing.  So for the nutrition I tried baby food.  I've had some problems keeping gels and bananas down in previous races so I'm trying to switch it up to find something that works.  So I had some apple yogurt smoothie and an apple blueberry porridge.  Both come in squeeze tubes and sat fairly well.  I also drank a mixture of coconut water and cranberry juice for potassium. This complimented my water.

Race is less than a month away so I've dropped my bike off at the shop for a service and I'll be starting to scale back on the training. Which has been disrupted moving to Auckland. I've had to work out of the country for a week, visitors for 2, sick for more than one. However, I've still got in some good workouts, just not the frequency I would have liked. While in Taupo I ran into some of the guys from Thames out doing the course as well.  It was a bit of a surprise to be recognized or recognize someone in a different city.  However I saw both Paulie and Gavin do the run course.

My dad is coming out again and will be on hand to watch the race. I hope we get to do some cool things while he is in town. Beth and I have been hitting up various night markets as well as the local neighborhoods. I have been finding new ways home from work and have found some interesting trails while on my bike or by foot. I'm not as good as I am at navigating the back streets like Minneapolis, but I had many years of practice. I'm sure if we make Auckland home for several years I'll become even more familiar with her hills.  There is a crazy amount of elevation change hence why Beth says she has quite biking.  I have a short windy hill to ride up each morning on my way to work.  Nothing like starting your day with your legs burning.