(almost) barefoot running

So I did a session on the treadmill with my freaky fuschia Five Fingers!

I normally don't do cardio on Fridays, but we had a rather taxing Krav Maga training last night. Among other things, we did lots of groundwork, followed by 20 minutes of doing as many rounds of 7 squats + 7 sit-ups + 7 push-ups as possible, followed by 200 squats. I just couldn't handle doing strength training today...

Anyway, here's how I set up my treadmill session today:

2 1/2 minutes walking at 6.5 km/h, 2 1/2 minutes jogging at 9 km/h for 30 minutes, and then 2 minutes walking and 3 minutes jogging (same speed) for another 15 minutes

I didn't want to start too rough, but I didn't want to have a too easy workout either. I'm not sure how my body, especially my calves, will react to this. I think it will be OK, but you never know...


my name is feitpingvin, and...

...I'm an exercise addict.

Today is my day off. People struggle to go to the gym; I struggled to not go to the gym today. I'm still obsessing about what I wanted to do...

It's Time Magazine's fault for this article about barefoot running. It made me want to test out my Vibram Five Fingers on the treadmill. I didn't get to play with them much last summer, due to an injury. And injuries happen when you don't take breaks like you're supposed to...

Oh, and quite often after Krav Maga training, typically high intensity training for 90 minutes, I get the urge to train some more. Hmm...

I think this is the first time I've been pissy about a scheduled day off though. At least the first time I've been this aware of it...


Chest out, stomach in!

Argh, am I the only one who gets really bothered by people who slouch? What ever happened to good posture? You know, the whole chest out stomach in thing, keep your back straight, blah blah... now all you see are people slumped here and there, curved spine, hunched up shoulders, looking down... what gives?

Ladies, slouching makes you look fat and dumpy. All the fancy clothes and shoes and whatnot in the world won't make you look attractive if you don't have the posture to pull it off. Gentlemen, slouching makes you look like a knuckle-dragging doofus. Especially if you're tall. (What is it with tall guys and extremely poor posture anyway?)

Get your act together already, people! Sheeeesh!


birthday RoF stuffing - Statholdergaarden!

As tradition dictates (gourmet RoF-stuffing rather than gifts), husband of feitpingvin took me to Statholdergaarden for my birthday dinner. Statholdergaarden has one star in the Michelin Guide; they are located in the city center, in a building originally built for the Master of the Mint in 1640...

We had quite an excellent evening; both we and our RoFs were very satisfied. Dinner included the following:

Aperitif (house specialty) – Tia Maria and bourbon topped with Cava

Amuse bouche #1: Salmon tartar with dill cream.

Gone in one bite ;-)

Amuse bouche #2: If I remember correctly: a mussel and a tiny salad in the spoon; creamy seafood soup; veal croquette.

We ate them in the “wrong” order – just as well to eat the hot food first – and started with the croquette. Yummy. The soup was like drinking a tasty bowl of seafoody cream :-D

First course: Grilled scallop served with artichokes, cauliflower, and marinated snow peas. Pomegranate vinegar and saffron foam.

Wine: Weingut Knipser Riesling Kabinet trocken 2008

The scallop was perfectly prepared. It was seared just so on the edges, but raw inside, although warm. The wine was very citrusy and refreshing, and went nicely with the scallop...

Second course: Foamy shellfish soup served with halibut, fennel and feve. (husband of feitpingvin had king crab instead of halibut because the fish was encrusted with nuts)...

Wine: Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2009

More creamy seafoody goodness, this time with tasty bits of perfectly cooked fish. The (NZ) Sauv Blanc was absolutely lovely. We really should do a wine safari in New Zealand...

Third course: Fried cod served with Welsh shallot cream and a spinach and leek- tomato samosa. Garlic sauce.

Wine: Meursault Domaine Michelot 2006

We also got a glass of Terras Gauda Albarinio Rias Balixas 2008 since we told them we aren't overly crazy about Chardonnay. We thought this was a better match...

This was in the running for favorite dish of the evening. The cod was very fresh and perfectly cooked; the skin was nice and crispy too. The shallot cream was flavorful and caramelly savory-sweet. The samosa was crispy on the outside, flavorful on the inside... wonderful! I could have easily gobbled down several more servings!

~ Peach ice and blackberry sorbet ~

The sorbet was especially lovely... mmmmm....

Fourth (main) course: Honey and lime-glazed breast of duck served with glazed quince, pickled oyster mushrooms, walnut purée (husband of feitpingvin got a similar purée, but without the walnuts), and bok choi. Cranberry sauce.

Wine: Barbera d'Alba Carlo Giacosa Lina 2007

This was probably my favorite dish; it helps that duck is one of my absolute favorite meats! The walnut purée was especially amazing with the tasty, tender, perfectly prepared duck meat...

Om nom nom nom!

Fifth course: Well-ripened cheeses garnished with banana bread and fruit compote. (We each got different cheeses due to allergy issues.)

Wines: Markus Molitor Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese 1994 and Pineau des Charentes Lheraud

My cheeses were very delicious, and husband of feitpingvin was also very happy with what he received. Also, I really liked getting two different wines for this, one to go with the first two, the other to go with the other two. The Pineau des Charentes Lheraud was especially interesting. It is made from the same grapes used to make Cognac. It smelled like Cognac and tasted like Cognac, minus the high amount of alcohol. I really enjoyed this one. But the Riesling was also quite excellent...

Sixth course: Cherry mousse on mazarin and blood orange, crispy almond pastry, and yoghurt sherbet.

Wine: Tokaji Aszú Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2005

I got my dessert with 'Gratulerer!' written in chocolate. For my birthday and all :-) My favorite part of the dessert was the pieces of blood orange. I could have dropped the rest of the dessert stuff and just eaten a big bowl of the blood oranges... yum! The wine was also quite nice, very cloudberry-caramelly... :-)

Coffee, amaretto for me, whisky for husband of feitpingvin, petits fours

Aside from the meal, the service was amazing. Our main waitress was actually an apprentice (she wore a badge that indicated this), but if she were not wearing the badge I would have never guessed.

Oh, and here's a crap photo of yours floozie. Bad angle, hair from hell (hat hair + winter static electricity), but otherwise not bad for 39, right? ;-P


As 39 approaches...

Yeah yeah. So I'm turning 39 very soon. Which means 40 is just around the corner. Which means the usual “40 things to do before 40” crap (in the same style as those “30 before 30” and “50 before 50” lists). I found this 100-item list on some random website. It seems to be slightly US-centric, which is OK since I grew up in the US, and there are enough “worldwide” elements on the list. It would be easy enough to replace some of the US-centric stuff with local equivalents too, but I don't think I'll bother. This particular list is a lot better than some of the other lists I saw while searching for lists in general. Some of the items on some of the other lists included having an affair (that is, cheating on your spouse), losing a loved one (what an awful thing to even think that someone should die so that you can tick something off on a list), speeding in traffic (encouraging illegal activities hmm?), getting blind drunk in strange places (uh?), and having children (breeding should be something out of free choice, not out of forced obligation, and it's also a wrong thing to do just to be able to tick something off on a list).

However, some of the things on this list are, well, a bit peculiar. Join a prayer group WTF? There are also a few things that are missing. Like eating dinner at a restaurant that has at least two Michelin stars. Or trying “unusual” foods in general... oh wait, there's a tripe question. Hmm. Forty means... having visited (at least) four continents, right? Or having studied and/or worked in a foreign country, right, with the new globalized economy and all? (Yeah, BTDT all around.) Oh wait... Here's a doozie for ya: how about getting over issues such as body image by the time you're 40? Conquering your fears? Hmm...

Anyway, the list. I've bolded what I've done, and commented some of the list items, whether or not I've done them...

1. Started your own blog – if you're reading this, then...

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band – I've played in an orchestra. Several actually. Does that count?

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower – more than once

6. Bathed in a river – this can tie in with the skinny dipping question...

7. Been to the Taj Mahal

8. Walked on a glacier in Alaska

9. Caught and held a snake

10. Spoke in front of a big crowd

11. Bungee jumped – not allowed :-(

12. Had a whirlwind love affair that broke your heart – oh yeah, that...

13. Found an arrowhead or fossil

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Rescued an animal

16. Ate sweet breads, glands or tripe – mmm, sweatbreads...

17. Seen Mount Rushmore in person

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France – overrated

20. Slept on an overnight train – many times

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hiked to base camp on Mt. Everest – perhaps some day, but not before I'm 40 I'm afraid...

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort – of course!

25. Watched an animal being born – eeewwwww

26. Gone skinny dipping – many times

27. Learned a foreign language – more than one

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse – more than once

30. Stayed up for more than 24 hours – more than I care to have done such a thing

31. Trained a dog to do cool tricks

32. Been on a cruise – does 'danskebåten' count? (hahaha)

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Can drive a stick shift car

37. Won over $1000 in a raffle or lottery

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Been serenaded

44. Visited AfricaAfrica sweet Africa... *swoon*

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Broke a bone – I must have. I've seen a photo of myself at age 2, with a cast on. So...

47. Started your own business 

48. Quit a job because you were totally unhappy

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the Eiffel Tower

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling – PADI Rescue Diver. But I haven't dived in ages :-(

52. Kissed in the rain passionately

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in – oh man, it's been ages. Do they still exist?

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Joined a prayer group – now why would I want to do such a thing?

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching whales!

63. Received flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job – is 'laid off' the same as 'fired'?

76. Seen the changing of the guards in London – don't remember if I did or not. I've seen it in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Moscow...

77. Broken something extremely expensive

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle – no, but I have been on a speeding ostrich. Why isn't ostrich riding on the list?

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican – nope, and no desire to either...

82. Got a tattoo

83. Been to a coffee shop in Amsterdam – also overrated

84. Seen the aurora borealis in person

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating – fish are animals...

88. Had chicken pox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury – have never been asked

91. Met someone famous – I've met lots of famous people but... I CUDDLED WITH A REAL LIVE PENGUIN! So who cares about the famous people? :-P

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one – boo!

94. Toured the UN – both in New York and in Geneva

95. Hiked to Machu Picchu – probably won't make it there before I turn 40 :-/

96. Swam in the Indian Ocean – I put my feet in the Indian Ocean. Does that count?

97. Conversed with someone when neither of you spoke each others language – waving your hands around like a bunch of chimps works perfectly fine ;-)

98. Dirty danced

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Acted in a play


10 for 2010

I don't do resolutions for the new year. I find them rather asinine. The typical example of new year's resolution asininity (is there such a word) is the gang of wannabes who join the gym, hog all the equipment and otherwise pretend they know anything about training (every year, at least someone tells me that lifting heavy weights will make me look like a male bodybuilder), and then disappear in February...

Still, it's nice to have life goals. I had been thinking of some things already, independent of the change from 2009 to 2010. Here are some of my goals for the near future...

1. Learn to use my camera properly, with all the manual settings and stuff. I guess the user manual and husband of feitpingvin's photography books, plus the nature photography book I got for Yule, would be a good start for all of this...

2. Visit at least two new countries. I've already ensured one new country, since my Yule gift to husband of feitpingvin is a long weekend in Dublin. Yes, I'm sneaky...

3. Stop setting fitness goals. The typical “I'm going to bench press 80 kg by the end of summer” kind of goals I usually set for myself. Every time I do that, I either get injured or in the case of this past December, I get sick. The sickness thing doesn't come too often. I'm just really fed up with the injuries...

4. Start writing in my blog(s) more often. I've been neglecting them due to “personal problems” or whatever my lame-ass excuse is, and I should cut out the excuses, because they're just lame-ass...

5. Learn a new, preferably marketable skill. Just because.

6. Learn more about wine. I'd like to take the knowledge I do have to a whole new level. This may involve going on more wine safaris. Oh the pain ;-P

7. Not get hung up regarding Krav Maga grading. When I started training, I said I wouldn't get hung up over grading, but I ended up doing so. If I grade this year, I grade. If not, I'm still the highest graded girl in my club. Unless someone who is G1 or higher shows up at our club. That would be nice though...

8. Try to keep my crap in order. Everything is a mess. It doesn't and shouldn't have to be...

9. Do more volunteer work, or at least try to. Hopefully with wildlife (bird rehab?) but maybe with people too...

10. Spend more time outdoors, for example by going hiking more often. Or cycling (which means I have to find a clever way to get out of downtown Oslo without getting killed, before getting onto the nicer cycling trails).