Friday, October 8, 2010

Bits and Bobs (aka This and That)

It's been awhile since I've written and although nothing big has happened, there have been a lot of little things.  Sunday is my 7 month anniversary!  It's hard to believe I've already been here that long (or not longer depending on the day).  Here's what's going on in my life right now:

I am so thankful for my phone calls back to the States and my emails and messages, but there's nothing better than a visit from a friend.  So for the last several months I have been looking forward to one of my closest friends visiting for the marathon.  Of course, as someone who is a natural runner (and a bit crazy) he'll be competing in the Chicago marathon, touring around Sydney for a week, then coming to join me as I putter through the Auckland run (he'll literally be miles ahead of me).  But the excitement of the visit has made the last month feel like it's been dragging.  I'll get to spend a week in Sydney before coming back to New Zealand where we'll do the run and then tour around for the following week.  It will be a nice long break from work and life.

But he's not the first person to visit me from the States.  Last week I was surprised as a friend from Chicago came through Auckland on his way home.  We got to spend a night hanging out in Auckland: I did my best to show off the awesome City of Sails and he entertained me with news and updates from the Windy City.  It was a good trade.

Running the Marathon (Well, half anyway)
Well, since I brought up the marathon I thought I should bring you up to speed on my own running progress.  About 2 months ago I got sick with some ridiculous cold/flu.  It put a damper on my running and training for the marathon.  And unfortunately, even after I recovered from the illness, I wasn't able to get my motivation back.  Now I find myself three weeks away from the marathon and I don't think I can even run a full 2 miles.  It's a pretty dire situation.  I've decided to set my sites on a more attainable goal (although not necessarily more realistic) and that is to run/finish the half marathon.  It won't be pretty, in fact, it's bound to be downright horrible, but I intend to run and finish the half marathon on 31 October.  I probably won't be sharing my time with anyone, but at least I'll be able to cross that one off of my to do list for New Zealand.

Weekend Trip - Raglan:
I have realized the benefits of the weekend trip.  I don't think I fully appreciated the idea when I was back in the US but I now see it as a great way to add some spice to a bit of monotony...not that I have time to get monotonous with my life here.  My latest was a trip to a surfing town south of Auckland, Raglan, while the largest storm on the earth was sitting over the Tasman sending torrential rain, incredible winds and other dicey weather towards the west coast of New Zealand - that's where I headed with three friends.

We took awhile to get to our destination as we were swerving around downed trees and I was nervous on the winding roads, but after we arrived we took advantage of the nice weather when we could.  Only planning on staying for one night we made the most of our time - walking in the small town (the main street was only two blocks long), drinking wine and playing games at the hostel (Catch Phrase is a big hit), visiting the local beaches where the surf was higher than the locals had ever seen, and hiking to a waterfall (the river was swollen with rain water and made for a spectacular site).

Attending the New Zealand Music Awards:
I've never been to the MTV Music Awards, and quite frankly, it's not on my bucket list.  So when my flatmate wanted to see the NZ Music Awards I was a little skeptical.  But tickets were only $20 so I decided to give it a shot.  Surprisingly, I had a great time! The radio stations in NZ are required to play a certain percentage of Kiwi music, but I can rarely tell when it's a local band or someone from the States.  So as I was watching the nominees and listening to the performances, I was shocked at how many of the songs I now love are actually Kiwi performers.  I'm going to miss them when I go back to the States and am subjected to the radio stations that play the same songs all day long.

To be Thankful:
As always, I love all of my awesome friends near and far.

Good luck to David Boonstra, Becky Dandy, and others who will be running in the Chicago marathon this weekend.  If I had stayed in Chicago this would have been my year to run it as well, nothing can be luckier than running a race on 10-10-10.  If you listen closely you might hear me cheering for you on the other side of the world, I'll be the one shouting your name. Have fun and be safe!

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