Two Weeks In Review

I’ve been remiss about updating my blog. Not because nothing has happened and not really because I’ve been lazy (although that is a part of it), but mostly because it’s just been crazy busy at Camp Tran lately. Work has been especially busy, which prevents me from using slow, down-time to update the blog. I’ll try to keep this brief, but quite a bit has happened in two weeks. I also have a lot of pictures, which I’ve posted in separate (linked) posts, just to keep this one a bit shorter.

Monday, January 18 – Unlike all you lucky federal workers, teachers, etc etc.. Minh and I actually had to work on MLK day. Minh says it’s because his Board of Directors is a bunch of racists.. which I don’t fully believe, but it’s plausible. For me.. we work most of these federal holidays so that we can close up shop and take off the days between Christmas and New Years. I’d rather have a full week off than some sporadic days throughout the year. Anyway, the Monday Funday crew (all of whom work in the educational system) had MLK day off. As a result, Monday Funday also took MLK day off. I ended up cooking Shepherd’s Pie for mi familia at home. Turned out pretty good, if I may say so myself. For pictures and recipe, click here: Shepherd’s Pie.

Unfortunately, Monday night was not a funday for me, as I stayed up all night, unable to sleep, lying awake due to my fear that I’ll fail at my first big “A” race in two months (Ironman 70.3 California on March 27). I’m extremely unprepared for what the day will bring, since I’m lazy, generally unmotivated, and always finding excuses on why there’s never enough time to train. I stayed up trying to put together an elaborate training plan for the rest of the year. The few hours that I did end up sleeping were not enough for me to be able to function at work the next day, so I took the day off.

Tuesday, January 19 – Slept in a little bit after getting the normal wake-up call from Minh. Slept in only a couple hours and just couldn’t sleep anymore. Got up and finished the training plan that I had started the night before. I’m rather proud of what I’ve put together, although I’m not so proud that I haven’t been following it at all. Went to yoga class at Huntington Beach Hot Yoga. That was amazing and felt great. I haven’t been in forever, it was good to go back. I need to add that back into my training schedule. I was driving Anni’s car around that day, since Minh went to work with the truck, and it was raining cats and dogs and tornadoes that day. I had to go change her windshield wipers because they were doing more harm than good. Also went to get my trimmed. Went home and rested and cleaned my room until Minh got home from work.

That evening, I was going to put a good hour of spinning in on the new trainer.. but that failed miserable since the trainer was BROKEN!! One of the extension legs wasn’t working. My mind is blanking on what Minh and I did instead. All I can recall is that I ended up in a bad mood, we went somewhere, and then later we were watching AMERICAN IDOL!!! YAY!!

Wednesday, January 20 – The day was relatively slow. Minh and I ran some errands after work then I went home. The plan was to run on the treadmill and then cook dinner. That didn’t work out so well since we didn’t get home until 7pm, and my mom was livid that Anni was home all day and didn’t cook dinner for the family. I opted out of running to get dinner made as soon as possible. Pasta carbonara. Turned out pretty good. Next time I’ll skip the chicken.

The Weekend, January 21 – 25 – Minh and I took an extended weekend, flying out on Thursday night to Salt Lake City for the Sundance Film Festival and visiting my uncle. We had gotten the plane tickets a while back when JetBlue was having one of there ridiculously cheap fare sales. At the time, the choices were Portland or Salt Lake City. We opted for Salt Lake City because we would have one less expense (spare room at my uncle’s house). The trip was a good break from work and training (as if I really need a break from “training”). We watched a bunch of shorts and two feature length films (Restrepo – documentary about a particular outpost in Afghanistan – and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil – HILARIOUS!!!). We went outlet shopping (scored some nice stuff for pretty cheap) and drove around in the snow. More details and pictures from our trip here: SLC is the place to be!

Monday, January 25 – After Anni picked Minh and I up from the airport, we had to head back out to Jenson to return the trainer we had gotten the past weekend. Luckily, I had called them before we went on vacation to make sure that they hold one for me. We were able to get one that didn’t have any defects (at least not that we have noticed yet, but I have yet to actually put some time on it). I’ll probably try to get on that this week.

Monday night dinner was back on. Since we skipped the week before, it was my time to cook. I had originally intended to make breakfast, but opted for pizza instead (it’s easier). I made spinach, mushroom, and sausage pizza. Also added goat cheese on half of it, for something different. We had some of the ingredients left over, so Michele and I put together spinach salads for the next day. That was good to have since we totally killed that pizza (no leftovers for Minh the next day). Pictures here: Monday Funday: Pizza! (no recipe, because pizza is easy peezy).

Tuesday, January 26 Р Nothing special. Ran on the treadmill. AMERICAN IDOL on TV.

Wednesday, January 27 – Went back to Final Fit to get the handle bars on the tri bike fitted. I had originally gone to get fitted for my tri bike about a week or so ago (See It Fits), but left with the fit unfinished because I had essentially “maxed out” my bike… as in, we couldn’t get into my “perfect” tri position with the frame and stem that I had. Minh ordered a 35 degree stem for me, which came in the mail just before we left for Salt Lake City, so we couldn’t come in to finish the fit until we got back. The bike now looks totally SICK.. and I look like a pro on it. Just need to ride it around to get the fit just right. Pictures here: It Fits, Part 2

Thursday, January 28 – MOM’s 50th BIRTHDAY!!! We went to Black Angus for her birthday. In my family, you can’t really go wrong with steak for dinner on any occasion. We are straight up meat and potatoes people (actually.. not really.. more like meat and corn people.. and rice, but not with the steak). Dinner was not as great as we had experienced in the past, but it wasn’t bad.

Friday, January 29 – After work, Minh and I went to go check out a car. First, a little background. Minh drives a modified Toyota Tacoma. Modified enough to not look like a Toyota Tacoma anymore, but like a dirt-eating, off-roading monster of black truckness. I “drive” a 1970 VW squareback. I say “drive” because it mostly sits on Minh’s driveway, and he’s the only one that drives it, and only when he needs to go somewhere and I have the truck. Both of these cars aren’t exactly what I would call reliable or green or gas-efficient. The truck seems to be on it’s last legs (at least it sounds that way). And the squareback.. well.. it runs about the same as when I bought it.. which is more a reflection on the fact that we haven’t had time to make the necessary adjustments than a comment on how it runs (for this car, it runs really well.. but could run better with some love and attention). Anyway.. Minh’s parents offered to buy us a “new” car if we found something that we liked. We opted for a Honda CR-V, and have been looking around for a few weeks for a good deal. Minh found a listing on Craig’s List for an ’01 CR-V (white) at a dealership, so we went to go check it out and give it a test drive.

It ran really well, but had some dings in it that we didn’t really like. The dealer wanted more than he had listed it for, and Minh would only buy it for less than was listed. So we walked away on Friday with no car. But the more we thought about it, the more it appeared to be a really good deal that we didn’t think we’d get again. Also, the dealer called us with a “compromise” price after we had left. So on the drive home from the dealership, we decided that we would get it. Now, we just had to tell his parents, and they would go pick it up for us.. which leads me to…

Saturday, January 30 – MINH’s 26th BIRTHDAY!!! Minh and his dad went to go pick up the car. His dad was able to “haggle” the price down to $5700 (before tax and processing fees and whatever else they had to pay for). So.. now we have a “new” Honday CR-V – a very reliable car that Minh can fix (he’s rebuilt the same exact engine before), which gets good gas mileage and has lots of room in the inside. It was very exciting. While Minh was off cutting deals, I got about 16 miles on the tri bike (noticed that the new fit was great except for a slight annoying pain in my left shoulder and sliding around on the aerobars/pads a bit… also.. still looking for that perfect seat) and 5.5 mile run/jog.

The rest of the day was spent running errands… then dinner. I took Minh to the Melting Pot in Irvine. Neither of us had been in a while, and we’d never gone together, so I thought it’d be a nice dinner. And it was.. although I did not completely like his choice to get the Bourguignonne (which is traditional, but you’re basically breading and frying your entire meal). And now I’m home… trying to finish this blog and get pictures posted. Pictures from dinner here: FUN-du!

It’s been a long two weeks, but I’ll try better to keep the blog updated. I’ll just add that to the list of things I need to be better at: updating the blog, keeping on track with training, not yelling at Minh, paying off debt, etc. etc. etc.

Keep on smiling…

Love, Tran

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