weekend roundup: wining, weekend warrioring, and winding down

Can you tell I’m feeling alliterative?  This past weekend was equal parts active and lounging around, and was a nice way to settle back into a more low-key routine after being in vacation mode during my sister’s stay.  On Thursday evening, a faculty member I worked with hosted his semi-annual wine-tasting party.  He started holding these soirees at the end of each semester a few years ago, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite work-related traditions.  This time around, the tasting was themed, so everyone brought a New York wine.  My two favorites of the night were a 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Macari, a Long Island winery, and a 2009 Gamay Noir from Whitecliff Vineyards, which is located upstate in the Hudson River Valley.  I brought along a red blend from Brooklyn Oenology.  I was drawn to this winemaker partly because each of their wines features a different Brooklyn artist, which I thought was kinda cool.  I’d like to tell you that I was happy with my pick, but to be perfectly honest, this was one of the last bottles of the night, so my judgment was long gone by then.  (Wine “tasting” is a bit of a misnomer, actually, as the 8 or 9 of us probably ended up going through at least 12 bottles.)  I’ll just have to buy another bottle, or better yet, hit up their tasting room in Williamsburg sometime soon to give this wine an actual try.

Friday night was supposed to be another end of year party hosted by a different faculty member I work with, followed by a roof-top BBQ party thrown by a friend of a friend.  By Friday afternoon, I was seriously dragging and paying for my lack of discretion at Thursday’s party. Knowing I had to be up early on Saturday morning for a NYRR race, I bowed out of the second social commitment, hoping to call it an early night.  I had a great time at the first dinner party – catering from Blue Smoke and catching up with some quality people was a winning combination.  Unfortunately, I’d learned nothing from the night before, so even though I was in bed before 11pm, it was after one too many glasses of Chianti.

On Saturday morning, I dragged my overworked-liver to the Healthy Kidney 10K.  Not surprisingly, my time was less than impressive, averaging 9:14 minute miles.  In fairness, this was actually a little bit intentional, and only partially due to the good times I enjoyed on Thursday and Friday nights.  I knew I was playing two ultimate games later that day, and didn’t want to show up completely spent, so I was dialing it back a bit.  That being said, it was still a challenging race for me.  It took me a while to get up and out the door, so I didn’t make it to the race until a few minutes before the start.  Since I was going in on cold legs, I knew the first mile was going to serve as a warm up.  On top of that, it was actually the first time I’d ever run Central Park clockwise, so I found it a bit tricky to mentally anticipate the course.  I know this sounds silly – in theory, you just flip-flop everything in your head – but the more I run, the more I find that familiarity with a course makes a difference.  Most importantly, I hadn’t run since the Long Branch 1/2; considering I was feeling a bit burnt out prior to this race, I thought a two-week hiatus was much needed.

And you know what?  It totally worked.  While Saturday’s run was enjoyable (Central Park in ideal running conditions is always a good time), I know I’m faster than my last two race times show.  After taking a real vacation from running (as opposed to the 50% vacation of missing workouts on a fairly regular basis towards the end of training for Long Branch and feeling 100% guilty about it), I’m definitely looking forward to recommitting to a routine and seeing my race times improve.

While I had cold legs for the race, it turns out that a 10K is actually a great warm up for ultimate.  I felt more ready to play our two games on Saturday than I had all season.  We also had a buy in between our games, so our team had the chance to run a few drills, which I found really helpful.  We lost both games, but I was really happy with the way I played.  I scored a few goals, had at least one good D, felt great about my cuts against both the zone and man defenses, and felt more comfortable with the disc than usual.  A couple a weeks ago, I promised Tony I’d sign up for the competitive league this summer, since he’d been doing me a favor by playing down in the casual league for the past two seasons.  I’d been feeling apprehensive about this (and still do, a little bit), but after this weekend, the majority of those reservations have dissipated.

By the time I got home Saturday evening, I was beat.  Cop, however, was in need of some exercise, so we cruised around the neighborhood, I picked up some dinner, and I spent Saturday night stretching sore muscles, reading, and writing.  Sunday morning was equally lazy – I didn’t set an alarm, and got a solid 10 hours of much needed sleep.  (The fact that Cop doesn’t wake me up at the crack of dawn is one of the many reasons why he’s the best dog ever.)  I had plans to see Bridesmaids at 2pm and decided that we would head up to the theatre for our morning walk so that I could grab my ticket a couple hours ahead of time.  This was all sorts of exciting for Cop, since it meant we passed several of his favorite places on the 2-mile route: the Union Square dog run, our old apartment on the west side of the park, PetCo, and his vet’s office.  (Yep – you read that correctly.  My dog enjoys going to the vet.)  I couldn’t resist his pulling me into PetCo, where he picked out a rawhide bone.  The movie was hysterical, if not a little over the top; Joanna and I couldn’t help but roll our eyes a bit at the fact that the male romantic lead is a bit too ideal.  That aside, it’s highly enjoyable (except for the scenes where they make Jon Hamm seem unsexy – I don’t want to live in a world where that’s possible) and definitely worth seeing.

The rest of the evening has been mellow, full of more reading and writing on my end, while Cop has passed the hours by hiding, finding, and re-hiding his new bone throughout the apartment.  Try not to be jealous of our exciting Sunday nights.

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