Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ah...a Long Run

I haven't written a running related post in a while so here goes. I ran 18 today at an overall pace of 9:15 which I'm quite happy with, especially given the circumstances. The wind was INTENSE. And since I was on the lakefront I fought it the entire way home without any breaks. Yes, I had the wind at my back on the way South but I think fighting 25 mph wind for 8.5 miles straight more than overtook any benefit I may have had from the wind helping me up front. I generally don't mind "the elements". Wind, rain, snow, cold, hills (not really an element)- they all serve to add variety to a run, which is good. (Heat and humidity, however, add nothing but pain and suffering.) My marathon PR was on a windy, windy day. But the course meandered back and forth into and out of the wind so it was tolerable. This straight into the wind non-stop situation was brutal. I imagine that's how the marathon in Antarctica is. That will be a tough one, but it will happen one day, I have no doubt.

So not surprisingly there were no negative splits today. The first 10 miles I did in sub-9 minute miles, but they way back I fought to keep each mile under 10 minutes and I succeeded in all but 1 mile.

In general though, I felt strong and any time there was even a 2 second break in the wind I felt myself surging ahead. If this was a calm day I could have keep all sub-9 splits easy.

I hope/think a sub-4:00 marathon is not too far away!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Very Tardy Puerto Vallarta Restaurants Post

Our view of the kitchen from our table.
Sara did some great research into which restaurants in Peurto Vallarta were fabulous and worth our time, money, and tastebuds. Both of her picks were wonderful. The first was Teatro Limon, an open kitchen restaurant run by an American ex-pat named Bruce and his wonderful British ex-pat wife, Julia. Bruce is one of those guys who is wildly inappropriate, completely ADD, but so well intentioned and goofy that he wins you over despite the riduculous things he does and says. The restaurant concept is essentially "open-kitchen, open-menu". There is no set menu, rather Bruce and his gang find the freshest ingredients they can and make whatever the heck Bruce feels like making. He simply asked if we had food allergies then let the food flow. (Without me telling him my love for bison, that's what he choose for my main course!)

Us w/ Bruce. We had no idea he had his shirt open. Hilarious!
It's been over a month since this tasty dinner so I don't remember all the details of our meal, but it was all very good. The mojito we had to start with was out-of-this-world. Bruce and his wife essentially worked the room (all 6 tables) and we got to learn a bit of their history. They both ended up in Mexico for different reasons. Bruce was actually working for Paul Newman in Canada and came to PV on vacation and never left. They ended up together when Julia had a fall, breaking a bone, and required some help. She didn't know many people in PV at that time and Bruce ended up taking care of her despite not knowing her very well. Let's just say they know each other well now!

While we were eating our dinner, a group of 3 ladies walked in and by the way they were joking w/ Bruce, we could tell they knew each other. She we ended up chatting w/ them a bit and eventually Bruce invitied us over to their table and we ended up sharing (complimentary) cognac and hearing how this eccletic group of Americans ended up in PV (two of the ladies were in their 60s, very happily married and the 3rd was a young lady Air Force vet they met through a theatre group called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas). A wierd and wonderous group, they were.

When they found out we are physicians, out came the BP cuff! When people hear I'm a doc it's pretty common for them to start assailing me with the health issues of themselves and their loved ones, but I've never seen anyone whip out a BP cuff! That was a new one. Apparently Bruce's BP is high and he's been taking his pressures regularly. Of course, we then all had to take our pressures. Yes, this is what you do at a high end restaurant in PV Mexico in the middle of the night!

Between the restaurant, Bruce, his wife and their goofy friends, the night ended up being quite an adventure!

Our table was the one in the middle-left.
The second restaurant we tried was called Vista Grill. The main draw of this place was the view. Absolutely beautiful. Hence the name. The food was very good as well. We both had pistachio encrusted Chilean Sea Bass and it was so wonderful. Since Sara is a wonderful friend and is willing to humor me with my 'early bird special' eating habits, we were some of the first customers there. But I like to think that's not the only reason the young male servers were flocking around our table. We were right on the edge of the balcony and it was a windy night, but they insisted on repeat attempts at lighting our table candles. First one guy came over and lit them repeatedly, immediately to see them blow out. A second guy came over and did the same. We tried to explain that a) someone already tried to light them, b) the wind was the problem and c) we were fine without romantic lighting. Knowing Spanish might have helped in that conversation, I suppose.

Yummy dessert.
Then a third young man came over with a votive and tried to light the candle then place the votive around it. That worked for a few minutes. The whole thing was quite humorous. Even more humorous was a ridiculous comedy of errors that resulted in one of our water glasses flying over the balcony. Sara moved her chair closer to the table and bumped it. One of the glasses started to tip and in my attempt to save the wine (priorities, right?) I further pushed the glass in jeopardy and it landed on the table, broke, then bounced over the balcony.

We immediately froze and listened waiting for someone on the lower balcony to scream or curse or something. When nothing happened, I peered over the balcony and saw the broken class on the awning below. Phew.

You can't take us anywhere.

All in all, two wonderful nights and I'm so grateful for Sara for taking the time to find these great spots!
Sara and I. Happy campers.