Friday, November 23, 2007

To and From: Saarbrucken

This past week I traveled to Saarbrucken, Germany for a work meeting. It was a quick trip that basically went something like this:

  • Tuesday afternoon, get watch battery replaced so I at least have a chance at not missing my travel connections. Whew!

  • Tuesday evening, fly to Frankfurt. Rats. Where is the shuttle to the hotel? No shuttle. Fine. Take taxi to hotel. Yay! The taxi driver speaks English.

  • Sleep.

  • Wednesday(early) morning, take hotel shuttle back to airport. Run around airport, train station(s) and Sheraton airport hotel looking for a place to buy an electrical adapter. Eventually find one. Whew! Buy train ticket to Saarbrucken, and head to platform. Rats. What happened to my ticket from Mannheim to Saarbrucken? Oh no, did I drop it?!?! Go back up escalator to start retracing my steps. Oh wait. It’s stuck to the back of my ticket to Mannheim. Whew! Back down escalator. Agh! The train is leaving! Jump on train and collapse in relief that I didn’t miss it.

  • Arrive in Saarbrucken and take taxi to meeting location. Taxi driver is a nice older woman who doesn’t speak English, but very nicely put up with me anyway. Geez, I have become an annoying American who expects everyone to speak English.

  • Meeting….meeting…..meeting.

  • Wednesday evening, dine with group at nice restaurant. Parmesan creme brulee and big leafy green salad. Yum! Go to hotel and check in.

  • Sleep.

  • Thursday morning, RUN (literally and on purpose): about 25 minutes of running and walking along the Saar River. Yay! I get a star!

  • Meeting….meeting….meeting.

  • Bus to train station and train back to Frankfurt airport. Thank you Benedikt for help with the ticket machine! Go through the usual airport stuff, and reach gate, only to discover that there is no real food in Concourse C! Aaagghhh! I wanted a real meal with green vegetables for dinner! Whine, whine. Instead, my dinner consisted of: a giant cheesy bread blob from a tiny snack bar and chips from the vending machine, plus chocolate, nuts, and raisins from my emergency travel rations. Mmmm. Nutritious.

  • Thursday evening, fly back to Edinburgh and take taxi to flat.

  • Collapse.

Given that this was a work trip, there's not much that was even moderately interesting to share. But, I did take a few pictures that may qualify. There was this nifty shoe shining machine in both of the hotels that I stayed in, which makes me think they take their shoe shining seriously in Germany.

Also, in the building where the meeting was held, they had this artwork, which was kind of interesting, if a little creepy. I realize that because it's art you're not really supposed to sit in the chairs, but if you did, look where the guy in blue's hand would be. The lady looks like she's been duck taped to the chair. Where are her arms? And the guy in the green pants is sitting on top of the elevator, so you'd be able to see his legs hanging down when you go up or down. That would freak me out every day.

And really, since I decided against turning this post into a rant about concourse C at the airport, there's not much else to share. It was a fairly uneventful trip, which although boring to write about, is always a good thing.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Weekly Running Log

This week was only a two-star week, meaning that I didn't meet my running goal of 3 runs. Bummer. I basically sabotaged myself by staying up way too late one night reading, which then threw the rest of the week off and sent me scrambling to play catch up with just about everything. It was a very good book, but I didn't need to read it all in one go. What are the odds that after 25 or so years of doing this that I will eventually break myself of this bad habit? I am a book addict in the worst way.

But I've gotten off topic. Even though I only ran twice this week, considering that it was in danger of becomming a one-run week, I'm not too unhappy with myself. Last night, I got myself home from work, threw on my running clothes and shoes, and got out there without thinking. Yay! And this next week is an Easy Recovery Week on my schedule, so maybe I'll be able to make up my lost run.

After I got back, I plotted the route I ran (not down by the canal, since it was dark) on Gmaps Pedometer, and it turns out that it was almost exactly 5 kilometers! So now, when I get to the point in a month or so where I can actually run-run (as opposed to run-walk) for a full 5 kilometers, I have a route that I can use to time myself. That's kind of fun.

Go Mary, Christina, and CMS! Go Team CB!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Scottish Moment

Yesterday at work, I was going out the door while a delivery man was coming in. He very nicely held the door for me, saying something along the lines of "There you go, lass". He called me lass. It still makes me want to giggle.

Photo from

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Slow Running

I went for a run today. A very slow run. The clouds in the sky were low and threatening, and my legs just did not want to move. And then there was the wind. Today was not terribly windy by Edinburgh standards. That means it was pretty darn windy by my standards. I've decided that running into the wind, even at the very slow pace I was capable of today, is just not fun.

I basically had to trick my legs into running. After making my weekly trip to the grocery store, I talked my legs into a bit of stretching, now that they were warmed up from the walk to the store, and since it wasn't raining yet, wouldn't it be nice to go down and to the canal and see the ducks?

The canal was very busy today. I think it's the first time I've been down there on a Saturday. I passed kids playing soccer. I'm pretty sure they were running faster than me. But then, they're littler, which means they have less wind resistance. There were rowers out on the canal; crew teams from some school or club, I think. Their coaches road bikes along the path to keep up with teams and shout advice. And of course there were the usual ducks and dogs. I really need to figure out a way to take pictures while running, because there were some really good opportunities today. Like the little kid in a Superman costume. And the duck bottoms.

Even though my run this morning definitely falls under the not fun category, I'm glad I did it. Not because afterwards I felt amazingly great, which sometimes happens, but because of the sense of accomplishment of making yourself do something that you know you should do, but that you really don't want to do. Also, today's run marked the end of two weeks of sticking to my running plan. And I have the stars to prove it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Hold onto Your Hats

The title of this post could apply to how windy the days are getting. But really, it's the fireworks you need to watch out for this time of year. Today is Guy Fawkes Day. People have been setting off fireworks (and I'm not talking piddly little firecrackers) since before Halloween last week, but there has been a definite increase in the number of explosions to be heard after dark yesterday and today. I can hear fireworks being set off in at least three places nearby, including from the roof of the school right across the street! Yes, I said the roof of the school right across the street! I really wish they would stop, in part because I'm afraid those kids will injure themselves, but mostly because it's so darn loud and disturbing. Stupid Guy Fawkes.

Addendum: And then, walking into work, I see all the firework-setter-offers just left their fireworks trash, including the occasional beer can (!!!) in heaps all over the park. Grrrrr.