15 Things on the 15th . . . 15 Facts about Me

Ok, once this entry is posted it will be the 16th; but technically, I wrote the post on the 15th. I got this idea from Tractorsandglam’s blog. 

Here goes. 

  1. Legally, I do not have a middle name. In Ghana, many folks combine their middle names with their last names. When my father immigrated to the States in the early 70s, he did the same. Speaking of half-assed paperwork. On my birth certificate for the place of origin of my father, it has Africa. Really, Virginia?!!! I’m sure that on June 25th, 1980, it was well known that Africa is a continent – NOT a country
  2. My favorite alcoholic beverage is gin. Most of y’all probably already knew that. 
  3. I almost drowned in Ecuador’s portion of the Amazon Basin. It was scary, and I lost a really nice watch. 
  4. I break out in hives whenever I see people with various types of skin disorders. Thankfully, it does not happen that much nowadays. 
  5. I love all of the Friday movies. I can probably recite most of the scripts for Friday and Friday after Next. “ Yes, you did. Cause my sister-in-law’s baby cousin, Tracy. told me that she saw you at the show all hugged up with some tramp. Now, tell me who she was.”
  6. Thanksgiving is my favorite family-based holiday. 
  7. Although I have a Ph.D. in Molecular Oncology and Immunology, I no longer do scientific work. However, I do miss conducting biomedical research from time to time. This reminds me, I have to respond to the reviewers’ comments for my manuscript. Ugh, I’ll do it tomorrow. 
  8. I really wish that I would follow more events in the news. 
  9. I’m an extroverted introvert. Although I can be really social, I kind of hate meeting new people. 
  10. Sometimes, I really hate being the only person of color in groups. 
  11. I think that I sing (and dance) much better than I do. 
  12. I wish that I was about 6 inches taller. 
  13. I really loved Christina Aguilera’s Spanish language album, Mi Reflejo. I think it was released back in 2001. 
  14. I have never seen a single Star Wars or Indiana Jones movie in its entirety. Oh Well. 
  15. I have been in only two fist fights as an adult. Which is surprising, because I do talk quite a bit of shit. FYI: I won one and “tied” for the other one
  16. (Ok a bonus fact). Sia’s “Breathe Me” makes me a little misty-eyed. I think it’s because the song was featured as the last scene during the last episode of “6 Feet Under”, one of my favorite shows of all time. 

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Food Pic of the Week

I’m still trying to get back into the groove of getting back to my blog updates. 

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Since I’m trying to drop a few pounds, I decided to break my intermittent fasting periods with two scoops of protein powder and then have a nice balanced dinner. Yes, I know this is not technically food, but I needed a moment to bitch about something. This GNC Performance Pro brand tastes like crap. Actually, it tastes like crap mixed with dirt, anger, and evil. Normally, I tend to purchase protein power that Muscle Milk makes, but I was conned by GNC 2 for 1 deal for Performance Pro. Now, I have to struggle through two containers of this crap . . . maybe I will learn to like the taste. Even if this was 2 for 1, I wonder if I can exchange the unopened container for something less nasty like urine, spoiled milk, or raw sheep’s liver?

Random Thursdays

Just a couple of randomness for this windy day in January.

  • It is tough getting back into your professional and fitness groove after two weeks off.
  • I’m really getting into my half marathon training plan (after weeks off). I hope I can keep this up.
  • I really want a pair of these state flag tights. Too bad the ones for my states, Virginia and New York, have not been made. 😦 I think there are only Maryland, Texas, and California.

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  • Speaking of buying tights, I need to buy more underwear.
  • After writing this post, I think that I’m going to register for a few races. I might as well start knocking off races for the 9+1 NYC Marathon entry for 2020.
  • After seeing YouTube posts about Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly”, all I have to ask is WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!!!
  • I’m really starving . . . damn Intermitting fasting. When is my fasting period over?!

I’m back . . . kind of sorta.

Not only did I take two weeks to “celebrate” the birth of my Lord, but it also seems that I took two weeks away from my half-marathon training plan. Very bad, KOS. Very bad, KOS. Now, I’m getting back to my routine . . . I hope.

Lol, I actually forgot the floor where my office is located. 

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Word on the street is that we have 69 days left until the United NYC Half Marathon. I didIMG_4876 complete a very struggling 3M run this morning. Man, it was cold AF this morning (24F). Although this entry is not going to be my usual weekly training recaps, because I have not done shit since the 20th. No wait, I lie. I did attend ONE Zumba class during my break. Well, I did watch over 18 seasons of The Amazing Race. So, I did “run” 18 “races”.

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Here are a few things that I think that I need to do to get back on track.

Lose some damn weight. OMG. How in the hell did I gain 18 pounds from June to last week?

Weight Loss Struggle

There were some good lows and bad highs regarding my weight in 2018.

This graph confirms one thing – Intermittent Fasting (IF) works for me, and I will start IF’ing tomorrow. During 2018, I IF’ed from February (the start of Lent) until June (my all-inclusive aka drink like a fish vacation in Cancun). It’s kind of strange that I gained weight while training for the NYC marathon. Actually, it’s not that strange (for me) because I tend to overeat while training. Just because I run 15 miles does not mean that I should eat a million tacos and wash them down with a million margaritas. Ok, I guess that I may have partied a little too much during December and January with all of the holiday parties and birthdays. I know too many people born in Dec. and Jan. Come to think of it, I have another bday party this weekend. Oh and my delicious eggnog martinis, eggnog smoothies, screwmosas, and any & all things whiskey- or gin-based did not help.

During today’s run, I noticed that the middle part of my back was super sore. I think my back muscles may have atrophied during my staycation because of my extreme couch surfing. Hang ten. I hope this is just an issue of getting back into the groove. For January 2017 and 2018, I have been cursed with flare-ups of my herniated disc in my lower back. Actually, Facebook reminded me that two years to this date, I was in the ER for FOURTEEN hours because of my back.

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To get more integrated into some running communities, I have renewed my lapsed membership for the New York FrontRunners and joined Harlem Runs. The latter starts its runs a block away from the apartment so no excuses.

I hope everyone is having a great time meeting their new year’s resolutions. Or rather new year’s intentions. Recently, I learned that you are supposed to make intentions instead of resolutions. Ummm, aren’t they both the same thing? Something you start on Jan. 1st but fall off around Superbowl Sunday. Ok, let me stop hating.

Let me see what y’all have been up to over the past couple of weeks.

Catch you in the streets.

A Nonrunning post – The Amazing Race

I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday (or a relaxing last week of December and first week of January). I pretty much did not do anything that I had planned to during my self-imposed staycation, besides watch old episodes of The Amazing Race. I think it is fitting that The Amazing Race should be the subject of this post. Again, I know that I’m about 17 years late talking about this show. But hey, during this staycation, I pretty much watched seasons 2 – 17. Well . . . I skipped the family edition season. 

Just as an aside: Come to think of it, this has been the first time for as long as I can remember that I was not expected to do anything over Christmas break. Yes, I know that this is a 1st world problem. Just looking back on my facebook memories, I realized that I have worked every Dec. 31st since 2003. So yes, I took a little time for myself although I’m a little disappointed that I have gained about 5-7 pounds during this “break” (far too many eggnog martinis, gin and gingers, and champagne-based beverages).

Most of these views may have already been shared by the millions of people who regularly watch The Amazing Race, but I’m going to list some things that I love/hate about this show

Hate: The general ignorance/borderline racism of many of the contestants. 

  • Don’t these folks understand that the entire world does not speak or does not have to speak English? The way how some of these contestants speak to many of the host countries’ inhabitants is downright disgusting. 
  • In one episode the following statements were made. “He [refering to Joan of Arc] was the one that put the animals on the ark?”; “How do they make champagne? Do they mix wine with club soda?” “Man, I did you know that there is a town called Champagne in France?” Where in the hell are these people found? More importantly, where did they attend high school or college?  
  • One of my favorite contestant/taxi dispatcher (Oakland, CA) exchange so far. 
    • [Contestant] Hurry up! We need a taxi, NOW. This is for a million dollars. 
    • [Dispatcher] I don’t care! I ain’t getting any of it. 

Love: The desire to acquire even more stamps on my passport. 

  • I’m looking at you, Seychelles. That place is BEAUTIFUL.seychelles_beach_bridge

Hate: The couples that go on this show to make or break their relationship. 

  • If you cannot stand your partner in everyday, normal life, then you probably will not like the motherfucker after being with him/her 24/7 for ~30 days. One exception: if the couple is kicked off early in the competition because they will not have as much time to get on each other’s nerves. 

Hate: Dumb folks who haven’t watch previous seasons. This sentiment is more for the later seasons. 

  • From seasons 1 – 5, you have seen people drive cars with manual transmissions, bungee jump, climb crazy heights, swim, use road maps, and travel to various African, Latin American and Asian countries. Wouldn’t one learn how to drive stick and how to swim, get over certain fears, and memorize common phrases in other languages (especially Spanish, French, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Hindi, Bengali, and/or Punjabi) BEFORE applying to the damn show?

Annoyance: Especially in later seasons, the show seemed to be more Asian-centric. I swear there was one season that had five episodes in Asia (that could have been due to editing). For a few seasons, the show did not even visit the continent of Africa. Perhaps, it is tough to produce an American show in many African nations. 

Hate: Some of the contestants with disabilities. Hear me out. 

  • Many of the disabled contestants go on and on about showing the world that people with disabilities can do everything that someone without any disabilities can do. However, many use their disability to get every possible advantage. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t, but just call a spade a spade and keep it moving. I understand that production may tell these contestants to talk about their disability throughout the season so the fault may not fall entirely on the contestants. From the grapevine, I have learned that many of these types of shows give you a label and want you to keep it throughout the entire season (e.g. token gay couple, bitchy pretty blondes, dumb jocks, old couple, country bumpkins, etc.).

Love: Watching the whinny contestants bitch, moan, and have potential meltdowns. 

  • Did they think that they were going on a glamorous vacation? 

Love: Phil’s low-key shade with the contestants. ar17-051

Love: TV foreshadowing magic (damn, this could have been a post all on to itself).  

  • Teams that say they have a foolproof plan of getting into the top three, only to be eliminated one or two episodes later. 
  • Teams saying that they are super organized and meticulous, only to lose their passports and all of their money or not read a clue in its entirety. 
  • When you can tell that the episode will have a non-elimination leg. 
  • The team with all of this travel experience will book a connecting flight with a 15-min layover and miss the flight. Since the show pretty much makes sure everyone is on the same flights in later seasons, this really is not an issue any more 😦

One of my friends floated the idea of auditioning for this show back in 2011. It probably would have been a hot ass mess if we were contestants. I can see it now.

Me to my friend: This is some bullshit, and I’m not doing it. It’s too DAMN HOT OUT HERE.

My friend to me: Yeah, this blows. Let’s use the rest of the money to find a bar because I want a martini. 

Me: Word! I hope this city has Tanqueray. 

Phil:  KOS and A, you are the only team in the entire history of The Amazing Race that actively chose to use your money to bar hop and not do any of the challenges on this leg.

Ok, on to Season 18: Unfinished Business. 

I hope your holiday season was a “productive” as mine. 😉

United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 2

Planned mileage: 16 miles

Completed mileage: 0

Lesson(s) learned from this week:

Rest, not hot toddies and manhattans, is best for a flu

I did absolutely nothing for this training week because I was sick pretty much all damn week, which really sucks. I was pretty much a hot mess until Sunday . . . Eh, sh*t happens. But Sunday night, I went to the gym and did the stationary bike for about an hour. For the most part my snot is no longer green. Something is better than nothing. Now that I’m feeling better; hopefully all of this week’s festivities will not deter me from my training plan. 

Goal for the week:

This is a simple one . . . RUN. 

United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 1

LET’S DO THIS!!!

Planned mileage: 12 miles

Completed mileage: 8

Lesson(s) learned from this week:

My hip abductors are really weak/underdeveloped so this is something that I will have to work on in the upcoming months.

Being sick kind of sucks. Also, hot toddies and manhattans are not so great for a cold. I thought whiskey cured everything. Maybe, that remedy works in your 20s and early 30s.

Monday:

Planned: X-train

Completed: 30 min. cardio class

The BF and I attended BLT (Butt, Legs, Thighs), a low-intensity class at my gym. Man, that class really kicked our butts . . . no pun. I thought the class was going to be super easy, but I clearly was in the wrong. Let me step back. The class was not super hard, but I really have neglected those types of lower body exercises for quite some time. I definitely plan to do more of these types of exercises during the week.

Tuesday:

Planned: 3 mi

Completed: 0 mi

Since the BF, his friend, and I went to our favorite seafood restaurant ( *** ) in Astoria, Queens, I was far too hungover to even think about running. Oh, after dinner, the three of us went to my beer club’s meetup at The Freckled Moose, which was a couple blocks away. Basically, on Monday night, I shared a bottle of champagne and wine, then I had a couple of bourbon neats, a few beers, and a couple gin and sodas.

Wednesday:

Planned: 5 X 400 meters at 5K pace

Completed: 3 mi and 5 X 400 meters at 5K pace

Because the distance for this speed workout was pretty short, I decided to add Tuesday’s run to this one. Actually, it was quite refreshing to do some speed work. For the most part, most of my 400 splits were in the 7’48’’ – 8’04’’, which is faster than my normal 5K pace.

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Thursday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: 3 miles and weight lifting

Unfortunately, I had to do this run on a treadmill. BOOO, but I was lucky enough to find a treadmill that was under a fan. For some reason, Crunch Fitness seems to have two temperature settings – HOT and HOT AS HELL.

My weightlifting activities primarily focused on the lower body. My exercises included: deadlifts, sumo squats, calf raises, barbell squats, dumbbell side bends, concentration dumbbell curls, dumbbell pullovers. It felt nice having time to combine running and weightlifting. Because of the short distances of the training runs for a half-marathon, compared to those of the full marathon, I like having enough time to combine two or more workouts while training for a half.

Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: X-Train,

I tried out a newish class called BOING. Actually, I have attended this type of cardio class in the past. Basically, you wear these mini trampoline boots and bounce around to different music. This class further confirmed my need to work on my hip abductors. Although you are bouncing around, a lot of the moves incorporate front, rear, and side leg lifts. Also, the boots are a few pounds heavier than your normal shoe. The class was really fun, but I was disappointed in myself because I could not lift my leg too high and my hips were pretty sore. Even by Sunday, my hips were still sore. 😦

Saturday:

Planned: 5 mi

Completed: (Unintended) Rest

Since my hips and my right foot both were really killing me, so I figured that it probably would have been best to chill and let my hips and feet rest. Also, I woke up with a bit of a sore throat. Man, I cannot seem to win for this week. Saturday, I pretty much chilled at home to recuperate a bit.

OH, BTW. Where the hell have I been for the last 17 years?!!!! One of my guilty pleasures is Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, and I watch it on Hulu. After the newest episode finishes, Hulu will randomly select other similar type show. Hulu decided that I wanted to watch “The Amazing Race: Season 1”, and I was not too mad at Hulu for this suggestion.

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OMG, I am hooked. I pretty much watched the entire season in one sitting. Well . . . I did not see the final episodes, because I knew which team won. Basically, I did not like any of the final three teams, but of those three teams, I’m glad the two lawyers won.

One thing that kind of annoys me about this more (well some of the contestants on the show) is that it plays up to the mean, nasty American tourist stereotype. I was really disgusted when one team was saying the native people (I believe they were somewhere in India) were dumb and stupid. EVERYONE IN THE WORLD DOES NOT HAVE TO SPEAK ENGLISH. You are a guest in their country, stop being a-holes. I get that the show is a big race, but it is not their fault that you screwed up the challenge. Also, I really do not like how many of the contestants’ bark commands or requests to the host country’s citizens. Maybe . . . I do not like the show that much 😉

Goal for the week:

Try to do some type of foam rolling and/or stretching every night before bed.