Bremen Half Marathon | Week 7

Bremen Half Marathon: Week 7 | No Apathy Allowed
Via Daily Mile

This past week was the last hopefully for a while that I had to combine a full-time job with big freelance projects and intensive training.  I definitely need a bit of a breather!  With too much stress and not enough time, I’ve fallen into a terrible cycle of too much coffee, sugar, and processed foods.  So I’ve been reading It All Starts with Food and thinking about Whole30.  I’m not interested in losing weight at all, but I am looking for the reset button on my nutritional habits (after the half marathon).  I’m just starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together and connect my nutrition to some issues related to my immune system.  Anyway, has anyone had any personal experiences with Whole30?  Is it all just a fad or can it actually serve to reset your health and nutrition?  I’d love to hear!

  • Monday: Rest is good.
  • Tuesday, yoga: Was suffering from a seriously stiff neck and some neck pain, so I traded my speed training for yoga focused on the neck and shoulder.  Wise decision.
  • Wednesday, speed training: 10-minute warm-up, 2 x 1200m @ 6:40, 6:42, 4 x 800m @ 4:17, 4:19, 4:20, 4:27 (2:00 RI), 10-minute cool down.  I was so exhausted afterwards that I collapsed into bed at 9pm.
  • Thursday: Rest.
  • Friday, strength training: Again, the Seawheeze strength training workout.
  • Saturday, run: Just a standard 5-mile run, plus some strength training with the Nike Training Club app.
  • Sunday, long run: With 8 miles on deck, today was supposed to be an “easy” long run day, but it felt so much harder and it was so much slower than last week’s 10-miler.  Part of it definitely has to do with the 100% humidity since I ran directly after a thunderstorm, and part of it probably has to do with Saturday’s run.  But still.

That’s it from me!  How was your week?  Any thoughts on Whole30?

Bremen Half Marathon | Week 6

Bremen Half Marathon: Week 6 | No Apathy Allowed
Via Daily Mile

Ok, so I spaced on posting about Week 5, but let’s just jump on ahead and talk about Week 6, shall we?  I was super pleased with my running this week, although I think my cross-training left something to be desired.  The pool near work reopens in September and I’m going to have to integrate weekly swims back into my schedule.

  • Monday: Love me some rest.
  • Tuesday, strength training: Used my NTC app again to do a 25-minute workout.
  • Wednesday, speed training: 10-minute warm-up, 3 x 1600 (1:00 RI) @ 8:50, 9:07, 8:47, 11-minute cool down.  Clearly was a little tired in the middle there, but otherwise felt strong.
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday, tempo run: Or rather, this should have been a tempo run, but ended up being just a casual 5-mile run.
  • Saturday, yoga: I tried out the Seawheeze yoga video from last year and didn’t love it as much as this year’s video.
  • Sunday, long run: A strong 10-mile run, 1:44:21.  Although I’ve been participating in the Bremen Half Marathon or 10K for a few years now, today was the first day I participated in one of their informal preparation runs.  One of the local running stores organizes three runs leading up to the race — with a marked 5K course that you can run around as many times as you like according to your training plan, plus food and drinks, for free!  It was a great way to discover a new course in the same park that I run in every week.  Plus there’s just something awesome about being around other runners training for the same event as you — it was definitely the motivation I needed to have a strong run!

Ok, that’s it for this week — I’m totally exhausted! What are you up to these days?

Bremen Half Marathon | Week 4

Bremen Half Marathon: Week 4 | No Apathy Allowed
Via Daily Mile

I made a concerted effort this week to up my training game, and I think it paid off!  Plus, I bought the newest model of my running shoes and a couple of new running shirts, all of which have motivated me that much more  to get out the door.…

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday, tempo run: It was raining, but warm, which somehow made for an awesome 5-mile tempo run.  My pace was all over the place — it should have been 5 miles at 9:10/mile, but instead it was 10:20, 9:28, 9:18, 9:29, 9:39.  Even so, I think it’s generally moving in the right direction and I hope I have enough time to still get those paces down.  Afterwards, I did a 15-minute ab workout using my Nike Training Club app.
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday, strength training: Again, it was the Seawheeze strength training plan for the win!
  • Friday, speed training: This run was originally planned for Thursday evening, but the temps were too high so I got up extra early on Friday morning instead.  Although, I’m not sure that helped my pace at all.  I felt totally empty in terms of energy and still pretty sore from the strength training, but so it goes: a 10-minute warm up, 1200m, 1000m, 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m, and an 8-minute cool down.
  • Saturday, yoga: My muscles were still SO stiff from the previous workout, and the 45-minute Seawheeze yoga video did just the trick.  Spending an extra 10 minutes with my foam roller also didn’t hurt (well, actually it did hurt a lot!).
  • Sunday, long run: A strong 9-mile run.  My Garmin watch was empty so I can’t say anything about pace, but my energy levels were high throughout the run and I felt really good.  It’s nice to have a run like that once in awhile to keep your training motivation up!

Ok, that’s it for this week’s Bremen Half Marathon training (a bit behind schedule).  What are you up to these days?

InstaSunday | August Break no. 1

Thanks to Susannah Conway’s annual August Break, I’ve gotten back into the habit lately of Instagramming.  So just like I’ve done in previous years (2013 and 2014), I’ll be checking in here regularly with some of my photos. I don’t follow the prompts every day, but they do serve as a relaxed sort of inspiration.  Which is exactly the sort of inspiration I need — there’s too much stress in normal life to be stressed out about social media too.  Plus it kind of fits to the pace of August, don’t you think?

InstaSunday| August Break no. 1 | No Apathy Allowed
Day One: Breakfast
InstaSunday | August Break no. 1 | No Apathy Allowed
Finally, summer!
InstaSunday: August Break no. 1 | No Apathy Allowed
Day Two: Air
InstaSunday: August Break no. 1 | No Apathy Allowed
Day Four: Numbers
InstaSunday: August Break no. 1 | No Apathy Allowed
Reflections of a cathedral
InstaSunday: August Break no. 1 | No Apathy Allowed
Day Nine: Earth

That’s it for now.  How as your August been shaping up so far?  Are you on vacation like (seemingly) the rest of the world, or holding down the fort at work and/or home?

Bremen Half Marathon | Week 3

Bremen Marathon Week Three | No Apathy Allowed
Via Daily Mile

I have to admit, I’ve had less than a stellar week of training. I let the terrible weather and mein innerer Schweinehund get the best of me. But once the sun was shining again, I was ready to run! Obviously it’s problematic in Bremen to depend on the sunshine as a motivation for running, but I’ll take what I can get. I’m committed to being more committed next week, but first here’s a look at the past week…

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday, yoga: Should have gone running, but I was. so. exhausted. Instead I did a much need hip opening yoga sequence. Yikes, are my legs tight these days.
  • Wednesday, strength training: To mix things up, I used the strength training workout from Jillian Michael’s Seven-Day Shred.
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday, speed training: For once, the sun was shining and I was looking forward to my run after work. It was a 10-minute warm up, plus 6 x 800m @ 4:17, 4:22, 4:32, 4:15, 4:20, 4:24, plus a cool down. My splits are nowhere near where they are supposed to be, but hopefully there’s still some time for improvement.
  • Saturday: Rest. Technically it was a rest day, but not so technically I got a major upper body workout assembling a cupboard for my bathroom. Seriously, it took me ages longer than I thought it should have and left me with sore arms and shoulders.
  • Sunday, long run: Woke up extra early (for me on a Sunday) to get in an 8-mile run before a friend’s birthday picnic. It was absolutely lovely to be out running while it was still relatively cool and I enjoyed every bit of it, even it was slower than I would have liked.

So that’s it, friends. Today I will be hunting down some new running shoes and clothes, which are well deserved and will carry me through the rest of my training. Maybe new duds will make me go a bit faster, you think?

10 Years of No Apathy Allowed

Andes Mountains, Peru | No Apathy Allowed
A photo from one of my first travel posts during a trip to Peru in 2005

About this time 10 years ago, I started a blog.  In those days, hardly anyone blogged under their real name. Hardly anyone posted photos of themselves. Hardly anyone made blogging their career.  Ten years ago, blogging felt like a small community rather than a mega-blogosphere.

Back then, I blogged about life in New York. Sometimes sharing short ideas or thoughts that today are more likely to make their way into a tweet than into a blog post.  I was living with a roommate in Park Slope, paying our rent in cash to our landlords Vinnie and Mario, and running loops of Prospect Park with friends.  I had just earned a fancy master’s degree and was making way too little money trying to save the world.

Ten years ago, No Apathy Allowed got its first start on Friendster (anyone still remember Friendster?), before landing on WordPress with its very own domain name.  Blogging was more of a way to communicate with my friends and family in Seattle than with the world.

That was nearly 900 posts and almost 2000 comments ago.  I don’t know if I could have possibly imagined that I would still be blogging 10 years later from my apartment in the north of Germany, with a landlord named Volker, a doctor title in front of name, and still trying to save the world.

Amazingly, there are still a few blogs in existence that have inspired me since nearly day one, like the talented Hula Seventy, who also just recently celebrated 10 years, and Marianne Elliott from what was then Frida’s Notebook.  These days I couldn’t even begin to recount all of the blogs that inspire me to keep writing, keep sharing, and keep reading.

So let me raise a glass to blogging, especially to everyone who’s read along all these years, and to many more years of No Apathy Allowed!

How long have you been blogging?  Or reading blogs?  How have things changed for you over the past 10 years?

Wine Tasting in Bremen

Wine tasting in Bremen | No Apathy Allowed
Nordblogger meets Ludwig von Kapff

Last week I — along with the other Nordbloggers — had the pleasure of being invited to a wine tasting hosted by Ludwig von Kapff in Bremen’s Überseestadt.  I happen to love that part of town, full of old renovated warehouses and chic restaurants with views of the harbor.  I also happen to love wine and have been dying to do another wine tasting here in Germany,  so it was a win-win kind of evening!

Upon our arrival we were greeted by a long table full of beautifully arranged wine glasses, hand painted place cards, and a very fitting maritime theme.  We began with a toast and a glass of rosé Prosecco, followed by a delicious round of appetizers.  Our first official glass of wine ended up being my favorite of the evening: a Sauvignon Blanc from Domaine Horgelus.  It was light and refreshing and exactly the kind of wine you’d want to drink on a summer day.  (I was very excited to be sent home with a bottle of it at the end of the evening, and of course I’m sipping on it while I write this post!)

That was followed by three more white wines, which were totally fine, but not really my favorites: the Blanc de Noir, a Grüner Veltliner called “3 Haberer” from Austria, and a Chardonnay from Metzger called “Prachtstück“.  To round out the evening, I tasted my first real rosé — a Pinotage rosé from Delheim in South Africa — and the Réserve du Cochonnet, a deep, full red wine from the south of France.  I’m not sure I’ve totally bought into the rosé trend, but I will definitely pick up a bottle or two of that red before my next dinner party.

While we sipped each of the wines, Lars — Ludwig von Kapff’s director of online marketing — told us a bit about each of the wines.  With each glass, the time spent enjoying the wine increased and the time spent explaining gradually decreased, as it should be!  Thanks to a sweet booklet of illustrations of each of the wines (by Diana), it was easy to follow along with the tastings — otherwise I most certainly would not have remembered the names to any of them!

Wine tasting in Bremen | No Apathy Allowed
Photo courtesy of Ludwig von Kapff.
Wine tasting in Bremen | No Apathy Allowed
Appetizers to get us started.
Wine tasting in Bremen | No Apathy Allowed
Waiting on our first wine
Wine tasting in Bremen | No Apathy Allowed
Just getting warmed up!
Wine tasting in Bremen | No Apathy Allowed
The token red wine. Photo courtesy of Ludwig von Kapff.
Wine tasting in Bremen | No Apathy Allowed
Nordblogger meets Ludwig von Kapff.  Photo courtesy of Ludwig von Kapff.

The event lasted late into the evening, well past my bedtime for a Tuesday evening, but also well worth it.  Thanks to Ludwig von Kapff for organizing a fun evening and bringing the wine-loving Nordbloggers together outside of our monthly Stammtisch events!

* While Ludwig von Kapff sponsored this event, the opinions expressed here are solely my own. *

Are you a fan of wine?  Have you gotten behind the rosé  trend?  Or would you rather have a beer?