Jersey Shore Bachelorette Party

23 07 2012

My oh my, what a weekend! Look who I was hanging out with!

Yes friends, I got to see Chloe for her bachelorette party this weekend! Chloe and nine of her friends converged on Avalon, NJ for a weekend of sun, fun, and all things bachelorette! Unfortunately, the sun decided to hide behind some clouds for most of the weekend, but we still managed to have a total blast.

On Friday night, we kept it low key and hung out at the condo. The group was a mixture of Chloe’s childhood friends, college friends, and DC friends, so many of us had never met. It didn’t take much time for us to all feel like old friends 🙂

Chloe’s friend Livey is a bartender, and she mixed us some creative and delicious concoctions:

Spiked blackberry lemonade

And some drink I’m going to call Berry Basil Gold. I don’t know exactly what she put in it, but it reminded me of a sangria. The basil added such a great freshness to it!

Many laughs and stories later, we hit the sack. A few girls had long runs planned (yay triathlete/runner friends!) for Saturday morning, so we didn’t make it too late of a night.

Another reason I think we all bonded so well this weekend: we all love good food! A few of the girls who arrived early made some stops at various farmer’s markets to stock up on fresh veggies. YES PLEASE! Farmer’s market veggies > supermarket veggies!

Saturday’s lunch spread was pretty impressive:

My favorite was definitely the tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad. The basil was purple, which I thought was really cool. And I’m biased, but I don’t think anything beats Jersey tomatoes! The girls mixed it up a little with some avocado slices, and it was to die for! I could have probably eaten the whole plate (I didn’t).

We spent a lazy afternoon by the pool reading trashy magazines (why not?) before heading out to get our nails done.

So happy that neons are coming back in style 🙂

And no hang out with Chloe would be complete without Fro-Yo!

We stopped at a cute self-serve fro-yo place called Toppings.

I got cookies and cream, cake batter, and tart yogurt, topped with strawberries, mini caramel cups and wet nuts. I got a little too much, and didn’t end up finishing it because I knew we had a yummy dinner planned for later in the evening!

We went back to the room and got all gussied up for our big night out.

Chloe and her sister Jocelyn 🙂

(Side note: Yes, that is a boot on Chloe’s leg. She has a torn plantar fascia, and will be in the boot for a few months 😦 )

The decorations were set:

Let the party begin!

There were games.

And lots of smiles.

A little before 8, we walked over to the Windrift for dinner.

The Windrift was a little bit of a conundrum to me. Based on the website and the prices on the menu (entrees $30-40), I was expecting a classy seafood restaurant. We walked in through the bar, where there was a man playing typical sing along bar songs (think Piano man) on a keyboard/piano, basically ON the bar.  There was definitely a uh, different generation hanging out in the bar, singing along and dancing. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to sing along too, just not what I was expecting.

At the other end of the bar, there was the sushi bar. I guess there is seafood in sushi, but again, I guess it just caught me off guard.

Anyhow, we were seated in the back of the dining room that was attached to the bar, and we promptly perused the menu.

We ordered a few appetizers: the Windrift bang bang (tempura shrimp), a Rainbow roll (sushi), baked brie, and Parmesan crusted dayboat scallops with lobster rissotto. The lighting was not so great so I didn’t get any pictures, but the scallops were OUTSTNADING.  The risotto was rich and creamy, with a perfect amount of lobster. The scallops were perfectly cooked, and melted in your mouth. Mmmm.

At least three of the girls ordered the entree size of the scallops, so I snagged a picture of it. Man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

When I learned we were ordering the scallops as an appetizer, I opted for the crab encrusted halibut for my entree. It was delicious, but I definitely thought the scallops were just incredible and the real winner in my book.

Dinner wrapped up and we headed to The Princeton to get our groove on.

Glow bracelets? Check.

Bachelorette paraphernalia? Check.

Bar with a band of cute boys playing pop hits? Check.

The band was Total Whiteout, and they played everything from “Call Me Maybe” to “Baby Got Back” and everything in between. Basically, it was perfect music to dance your face off to!

And lots of dancing we did! We danced for hours straight, and finally called it a night after the band’s last set.

The whole weekend was an absolute blast. It was SO GREAT to see Chloe and my other DC friends again, as well as to make a few new friends! I want to do it all again next weekend!

Happy Bachelorette Chloe! Less than 2 months to go!

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Sesamoiditis

20 07 2012

At the beginning of May, a few days after my marathon, I noticed a pain in the ball of my right foot when I walked. I stopped nearly all my running, but kept swimming and biking in hopes that eliminating high-impact exercises would fix it. The pain receded, so at the end of May, I did a sprint triathlon. Unfortunately, I wasn’t completely healed, and there was still pain in my foot after racing. So, I headed to a podiatrist.

The doc took an X-Ray of my foot and gave me a little lesson on foot anatomy. He pointed out my sesamoids, explaining to me that they were like the hinge of my foot.

 

(source)

He said that the tendons surrounding my sesamoids were probably inflamed, so I should ice and take ibuprofen. He also suggested custom orthodics and gave me a dancer’s pad to help relieve some of the pressure. The dancer’s pad is just a piece of foam with a piece cut out for the ball of my foot. The cushioning hits the ground first, instead of the ball of my foot.

I wore the pad every day and did minimal running. I iced occasionally before bed, but didn’t think the pain was significant enough to take an ibuprofen. Again, it started to feel a little better, but the pain, though lessened, still persisted.

Maybe my running shoes contributed to the pain? So I bought new running shoes.

Maybe I need more support in the shoes? So I bought a pair of (non-doctor prescribed) orthodics.

Despite making these changes, I could still feel pain. It wasn’t unbearable pain, but it’s the pain that’s there just enough so that you know something is wrong. I scoured the internet for what might be wrong and how to fix it. Everything I read said it was sesamoiditis and the only way to get better was to rest. UGH. I have races I am signed up for! Resting is not an option!

So, I decided to get a second opinion and go to an orthopedic doctor that my friend Jess suggested.

After some he checked out my foot and the X-Rays, he confirmed sesamoiditis.

According to Foot.com, sesamoiditis is a common ailment that affects the forefoot, typically in young people who engage in physical activity like running or dancing. Its most common symptom is pain in the ball-of-the-foot, especially on the medial or inner side. The term is a general description for any irritation of the sesamoid bones, which are tiny bones within the tendons that run to the big toe. Like the kneecap, the sesamoids function as a pulley, increasing the leverage of the tendons controlling the toe. Every time you push off against the toe the sesamoids are involved, and eventually they can become irritated, even fractured. Because the bones are actually within the tendons, sesamoiditis is really a kind of tendinitis – the tendons around the bones become inflamed as well. 

My orthopedist gave me more specific instructions about icing and ibuprofen. He told me 3 ibuprofen, 3 times a day for 10 days. I need to ice at least 3 times a day, for 20 minutes. He gave me I purchased some shoe inserts while there, and made an appointment with the physical therapist. I guess I just needed a more explicit treatment plan than just “ice and take ibuprofen,” because I’ve been following doctor’s orders so far!

On Wednesday, I went to my first PT appointment where I learned some exercises I can do that will help strengthen my foot and ankle.

I also experienced iontophoresis:

According to Wikipedia: Iontophoresis (a.k.a. Electromotive Drug Administration (EMDA)) is a technique using a small electric charge to deliver a medicine or other chemical through the skin. It is basically an injection without the needle. The technical description of this process is a non-invasive method of propelling high concentrations of a charged substance, normally a medication or bioactive agent, transdermally by repulsive electromotive force using a small electrical charge applied to an iontophoretic chamber containing a similarly charged active agent and its vehicle. One or two chambers are filled with a solution containing an active ingredient and its solvent, also called the vehicle. The positively charged chamber, called the anode, will repel a positively charged chemical, whereas the negatively charged chamber, called the cathode, will repel a negatively charged chemical into the skin.

I didn’t really feel anything during the treatment; I just kind of sat there while it did its thing. I have a few more treatments left, so we’ll see how they go.

I’m glad I have a more specific treatment plan from my orthopedic doctor. I just hope it works! I kinda wish I had gone to him when I first started experiencing pain; but I can’t go back and change things now. I just need to follow his guidance and hope for the best. My fingers and toes are crossed!





Snowball

17 07 2012

Hey friends! Long time no see! These long work days sure do make it hard to blog during the week!

Some of you may have seen my tweets last week about the newest addition to my family. No, I’m not talking about another one of these:

(but gosh darn it, aren’t they cute? 😉 )

No my friends, I bought a new bike!

Meet my new 2012 Specialized Shiv tri bike, Snowball (the name isn’t set yet, but I do love the irony!) 😉 Ain’t she sexy?

Five years into the sport, I decided that it was about time to invest in a good tri bike. I’ve been searching for some time now, but I knew I needed to buy soon if I wanted to have a better bike before Age Group Nationals.

So, on Friday, Bill and I decided to check out the Tampa bike shops together in search of “the one”. I had already done some looking around at the Trek store, Cycle Sport Concepts, and on Craigslist, but I was hoping that maybe we’d find something new today.

We fueled up at our favorite little breakfast place, Daily Eats and then headed to the Trek store.

The Raymond: egg whites, sauteed spinach, sliced tomatoes, American cheese, served on multigrain bread.

The Trek store had a few tri bikes, and I rode two different ones. I actually couldn’t tell you which model they were though…Both bikes rode really well, and convinced me that I really wanted an all carbon frame. They just ride SO MUCH NICER than a bike with a carbon fork and aluminum frame.

Not completely sold on either of the bikes, we went up the street to Cycle Sport Concepts. We were greeted by Rob, who’d helped me out on a few other occasions when I’d been in the shop. He showed us the three tri bikes they had out on display: one was a little less bike than I wanted (carbon fork only) and the other two were WAY more bike than I wanted. We explained what I was looking for, and Rob politely asked us to wait a few minutes while he checked something out. Five minutes or so later he came out and told us that he had a 2012, men’s small, all carbon bike. YES, please!

So he rolled it out, sized me up, and around in the parking lot I rode!

LOVED IT!!!!!

I can’t even tell you how much better this bike is than my old Novara. The ride was SO SMOOTH. Bill asked how I felt and I think my response was, “When is our next race?!” I wanted this bike.

A little while later, and with a much smaller balance in my bank account, I walked out of the store with the same bike that Craig Alexander rode to win the 2012 Ironman World Championships (except mine doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that his does).

Worth it? Heck yes!

Wanna see one of the coolest things about the bike?

There’s a hydration bladder (like a CamelBak) that goes INSIDE the bike! Talk about innovative, right?

I’ve had a chance to go out for two rides on Snowball, but unfortunately both were cut short due to rain/thunderstorms. However, the short time that I spent in the saddle was awesome (well, besides the fact that bike seats are generally uncomfortable); I felt fast! I’m really looking forward to the Top Gun Triathlon at the end of this month!

Even though I’ve only had the bike a few days, I have learned a few of the drawbacks of this particular model.

First, there’s not really a place for nutrition. Because of the location of the hydration bladder, I can’t really put my bento box there. For my ride on Saturday, I put mine on the top tube, below my seat. Unfortunately, my legs consistently rubbed it. I did some research online, and some of the other bike owners had similar problems. I think the company has a few prototypes they are working on, which will hopefully be out soon.

Second, there’s not really a place to keep my tools/flat kit. My bag strap doesn’t fit around the seat stem. Suggestions?

However, I think these are issues that have a solution, or will have a solution soon, since the bike model is so new.

Despite these two small concerns, I can’t say enough times: “I love this bike!” Bring on the remainder of the tri season!