the adventures of a girl, her dog, and two cats.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

winter is coming

Yes, I'm missing Game of Thrones. When I grow up I want to be Khalesi. Fierce, fearless, and all about freedom. But even if you're not a Game of Thrones fan and the reference is meaningless to you, winter really is coming here in Annapolis.

This will be my third winter aboard, so I've figured out tricks for getting through it and know to brace myself for low tides and slippery docks. One of the suckiest things is the water from the tap being so cold your fingers hurt to the bone when doing dishes. This winter I may try putting dirty dishes in a bucket and taking them daily to the bathhouse to wash with the piping hot water there, like several other folks in the marina do. The past couple of days have been lovely and kissing the 70s again, but a couple of nights before required sleeping in flannel pajamas. I officially declared it "winter aboard" when it was only 55 degrees inside when I got up and cold enough out that I walked the dog wearing my flannels. The other sure sign it's winter aboard: the cats are all about snuggling up with me on the bed. Yep, they think of me as their space heater just like I joke that they are mine. 

All of a sudden I'm having to think about when dock water will be turned off. I'll need to link hoses to reach the winter water line that is sunk in the mud so it doesn't freeze. The day before yesterday I had a massive laundry day, and when I was making the bed I realized it was probably time to put the heated mattress pad back on the v-berth mattress. Yesterday I went to my storage unit and got my oil-filled radiator just to be ready, as well as a down puffer coat. I can't find my three pairs of winter boots, so that has me a little freaked out. I'll end up finding them shoved far behind and under something and coated in mold, no doubt.

The other thing I haven't been able to find since my return from New Zealand: my fav purple Prada sunglasses I wore throughout the trip. I didn't have room for them in my carry-on so I popped them in the middle of my checked bag. Someone seems to have stolen them from the duffel somewhere between Auckland International and Baltimore-Washington International. Rats. I keep hoping to find them among the craziness aboard, but I think they really were swiped. [Update: I was putting away my favorite lavender Keens and there was something stuck in one. Huh? Oh, joy! Oh, lucky day! Yes, I stuffed my beautiful sunglasses inside one of the Keens for protection! No thieves, after all. Faith in humanity not as diminished as had been thought. Yay!]

Boat show starts tomorrow (OK, today now that it's past midnight) but I'm too broke to go. Just the admission cost would be half the cash I have left and I won't be able to even buy a sail tie at the show (I only bought some sail ties at the show last year and at the Spring show I didn't buy a thing). I couldn't care less about looking at boats there, honestly, it makes no sense to me other than to make fun of how ridiculous and un-boatlike the interiors usually are. I only go to the show to walk the tents and see all the gadgets, ask vendors questions. But the reality is the "boat show deals" are rarely much of a deal and for most gear you are better off just buying from Defender. I guess the boat show made sense before the Internet, but now, it's really just spending $20 to walk around and buy $12 Painkillers. I have orange juice, cream of coconut, and rum aboard, so perhaps I'll just make my own painkillers and watch the show from the cockpit...I'm right across the creek from the insanity of it all. (A really strong Painkiller #4 is 4 oz rum, 4 oz pineapple juice, 1 oz OJ, and 1 oz cream of coconut. Oh, and a whopping 487 calories, which won't hurt quite as bad as the hangover all that sweet stuff will give you.)

I'm really stressing about having fallen behind on my running. I had kept it up very well until my last hectic week in New Zealand and since I got back it has been hard getting back in the groove, especially the two weeks that I schlepped into DC. Now I'm under the gun to get my mileage up in time for the 50K in December. Gratefully, I had an awesome base before I left on my trip, but I didn't want to have to claw my way back to it or be trying to lose weight while actually training for the race, but I need to get down at least 10 pounds to really run it well. So, we'll see. I just have to get back to my mental state where I knew down to my core that getting in my run was the single most important thing I do any day and it can't be set aside. That can be hard, even for someone like me who can really put her head down and tough it out. Sometimes, lately too often, I give in to the temptation to sleep in, have an extra beer or glass of wine, and let myself eat too much junk. So I have to buckle down and get back in my groove before I lose any more ground. I knocked out 5 miles today, but I wish I'd have gotten up at dawn and run 10. But the 5 matters, and I do feel better having gone out for a good run.

I'm often thinking I'm going very slow, worried about the pace, but look at my watch and see I'm running a minute per mile faster than I thought. So my body has adjusted to a quicker pace. (Still not fast for most runners, but I'm usually running about a 10:15 average, i.e., 10 minutes and 15 seconds per mile. But in New Zealand I was running around a 9:30 consistently, so something about the air or whatever there really gave me an amazing boost.) Most of my runs in the past few months are somewhere between a 9:45 and 10:30 average per mile, (usually closer to 10:00), which is just fine for me. My personal record for a marathon is an average pace of 10:17 per mile. I'd love to run one at a 10 minute mile, but we'll see. Right now I'm focused on my 50K, which at just five more miles is a different animal. It's always good at any race to have three finish times to target: something you can live with, something you will be happy with, and the out-of-the-ballpark time. I definitely want to beat my last time of 6:40 (6 hours and 40 minutes) overall, so I can live with anything at or under that time. I'd be really happy with anything between 6 and 6.5 hours. And the out-of-the-ballpark would be a 5:30 finish, but I think that's a stretch. But stretching, pushing your limits, that's what it's all about, right? Always looking for that place, that line in the sand, "oh, this is my limit." But if you're one to just "embrace the suck" and find the adventure in every challenge, it's hard to find that thing that breaks you, that line you can't make it across. I guess that's why I keep looking for it, and I only hope I never, ever find it.

Just keep running (sailing) (cruising) (living) (smiling) (singing) (laughing) (living). and leave the naysayers in your dust (wake).


  1. How's the training coming along? I saw a few funny shirts lately..."This seems like a lot of work for a free banana"...and "If you see me collapse, pause my garmin"...and "Pass with care...I'm a spitter". :)

    Also, I found another good blog about a guy who refitted a Westsail 32 and is cruising now. I like that he has many pictures and often posts pictures of his dinner.

  2. Cool! Pix of good eats are always a nice surprise. Ironically enough, I had dinner with the captain of Onapua the night before he shoved off from Annapolis. I think he'll have a helluva journey onward to New Zealand, very cool!


Thanks for reading! Have you had a similar experience you'd like to share? Have a link to an interesting blog fellow readers and I might enjoy? Just want to say hello? Post your comments below. I'm a smart, resourceful girl doing things her own way, so I just ask that folks keep the unsolicited advice to themselves.