My Summer Olympics Love Affair

Confession: I’m an Olympics nut. For 3 weeks every four years, I am glued to my television, soaking in the sports, athletes, medals and anthems.

I love the pageantry. I love the sportsmanship and the pride of the athletes in representing their countries. I love watching athletes from the previous Olympics return for repeats or redemption. I love finding new athletes to love and loathe. I love watching sports I’d never seek out at any other time, becoming obsessed with them and developing (uninformed but passionate) opinions about them. Today, I got up at 5:30a to watch the women’s gymnastics preliminaries online before watching rowing, beach volleyball, road racing and tennis on my DVR. But the best part of the Summer Games for me is how they are a touch point in my life, every four years. When the Games come around again, I think about what I was doing four years earlier, seeing how life has changed, moved forward (or not).

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Run 5K: Personal Best – Distance!

Today, I made it to the halfway mark in my Run 5K program. I have 49 days until my race. And I feel better right now than I ever have!

After getting up ridiculously early to watch the Team USA ladies gymnastics prelims (more on that in another post), I felt inspired to finish Week Four with enthusiasm. I meant to finish last week on Wednesday after successful runs on Saturday and Monday, but I got a flat tire. Thursday saw me at work until after 7 and Friday I hosted a party for the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics. It seemed like life was conspiring against me. If I didn’t have an actual race to train for, I probably would have given up.

But today I strapped on my gear and headed out to the trail, armed with a new playlist and ready to get it done. Unlike previous weeks, Week Four’s Day 3 was not identical to Days 1 & 2. The middle run section was a full minute longer than any run section I had previously had and I was nervous about my stamina to make it through without stopping.

However, I ran all three run sections without stopping. (I hadn’t worn an overshirt, so no stopping to take it off even.) It was the first time I’d run through an entire song without stopping (actually ran through two songs during the middle run section) and it was empowering instead of intimidating like I thought it might be.

On the trail I run, I head out one direction and back the same way when I get to the halfway point of the run. Since I started this program, I seem to turn around at about the same street, give or take a few feet. But as the title mentions, I ran an entire block further before turning back for home. When I passed my normal turnaround, I just started grinning. I’m sure the other people on the path thought I was crazy, but I just felt incredible. I didn’t quite make it to the “victory tree” this time, but I came closer than I thought I might given the extra distance I covered before coming back towards home.

Next week, the total time increases to 32 minutes for the first time, so I’ll have to tweak my playlist. But it was pretty perfect for all the run/walk splits today.

Independence Day – Melanie C (warm up)
Go! (Dave Aude Deep Space Mix) – Jupiter Rising
My Heart Goes Boom – French Affair
Pocket Full of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield
Let It Roll – MMO
One More – Superchick
Love You Like a Love Song – Selena Gomez and the Scene
Walk On – U2 (cool down)

UK: “Yes — happiness wouldn’t be happiness without a violin-playing goat.”

How did June go by so quickly?! It’s been a month since I got home from London and I still miss it! With the Olympic team trials going on right now, the pull to go back is stronger than it’s ever been. I’m also reading the official biography of the Queen Mother, and it’s fun to visualize the castles, landmarks and locations mentioned as I read.

Saturday, May 26, 2012
This morning, I really started to feel the wear of the breakneck pace I’d set for myself in creating this trip’s itinerary. It took me a little longer than I wanted, but Katia and I were able to make the 0830 train to Kings Cross as planned. Katia was once again going to work at the British Library while I ventured off, with plans to meet up in Notting Hill later in the afternoon. I dashed off to the Underground when the train pulled in at 0930, grabbing the Victoria line to Victoria station. I transferred to the District line, which luckily was running smoothly, despite previous troubles, to Westminster Station.

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4 Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now


1. Okay, you know how I went down the Netflix rabbit hole, Neil Jackson style? Well, now it turns out, dude can SING! And play guitar! And makes videos of himself wearing a beanie, drinking a beer and then singing while play guitar. So, it’s possible I’m a little in love with him now. Sorry Neil – it’s your own fault, really!

2. 100 days until the Olympics!
Okay, fair warning, I freakin’ LOVE the Olympics and will likely be blogging a lot more about them as we get closer. Add in my love of London in general and I’m SUPER PSYCHED that we are less than 100 days out from the Summer Games! Bring on the gymnastics, swimming, diving, and all the sports I only care about every four years!

3. Wednesday night’s Giants game
Brandon Belt sums it up quite well actually. This is the first game of the season that I watched on the edge of my seat. I was groaning, clapping and yelling at the TV all game long, but nothing felt better than jumping off my couch, screaming and clapping when Brandon crossed home plate. I was cheering like I was in the stadium, and laughing when the boys ran out of the dugout for a dog pile. Fingers crossed for that kind of awesomeness next month when I head to AT&T Park for the first time this season!

4. NY-LON
As preparation for my upcoming trip to the UK, my friend Katie recommended this short UK series about a New Yorker (Rashida Jones) and a Londoner (Stephen Moyer) trying to make a trans-Atlantic relationship work after a chance encounter at a London pub. I’m halfway through the meager seven episodes and I’m completely hooked!