Friday, January 28, 2011

Onward to Norway! ... Not so fast

There are few things a city dweller loves more than exploring other cities. So when Luke asked if I wanted to join him on a business trip to Oslo, I started packing my bags.

There's only one direct flight into Oslo, so Luke left on Tuesday night to arrive in time for a business meeting on Wednesday. No business for me! I planned to leave on Wednesday night for a long weekend.

The weather gods had other plans for me. New York City was blasted with yet another blizzard on the night of my departure, and it became painfully evident I was going nowhere.

Note: If you see sideways snow at an airport, hunker down. You're in for a long night.

In the end, I only made it as far as Newark Airport (which is not something a city dweller loves, for the record). After several hours of delays, the flight was canceled, and I was forced to trudge back into Manhattan. (It made no sense to go to Norway for only two full days. Hello jet lag.)

Miraculously, NJ Transit and the Airtrain were still running--at a snail's pace, but I'll take that any day when it means I don't need to sleep at Newark Airport.
Moving slowly on the Airtrain
Arrived at Penn Station, 2:30am
I trudged through 3 feet of snow, hurled my luggage over mounded snow banks, and ruined a pair of boots. After 12 hours of planes, trains and automobiles, I was back at my apartment and in bed at 3:15am.

The next morning, I documented the aftermath.  

Have I mentioned I hate winter?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hello, sun

January is here yet again! It has become somewhat of a Kempfer tradition to leave the cold, blustery winter behind for a few days of sun and warmer weather at Walt Disney World for Marathon Weekend. This year, we stayed at Disney's Polynesian Resort (my favorite!). Our room had a view of Cinderella's Castle.

The resort's beaches were just what the doctor ordered in the dead of winter. Toes in the January? Doesn't get much better than that.
(image courtesy of All Ears)
View of the resort across the Seven Seas Lagoon

I had good intentions to run the Goofy Challenge this year. "Goofy" consists of two races: the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. 39.3 miles in total. 

I really felt that this was the year for me to do it. In fact, I ran the NYC Marathon to prepare me for this race. But sometimes life has other plans for us. I've been wrestling with a foot/arch/ankle injury for the last few months. (I think it's partially due to my running the marathon with no orthotics. My arches hurt after the race so I went to the podiatrist who gave me two giant cortisone shots and had orthotics made.) 

Despite all of this preparation, my body was just not ready for both races. I struggled through the half marathon on Saturday. And I mean struggled. It was probably the most challenging race I've ever run in my life. But I finished! We all finished! My parents, Jake, Jake's girlfriend Ally, and me. Similarly to the marathon, it wasn't pretty, but we got the job done. 

It was really difficult for me to not start the marathon on Sunday. But I know that the Goofy Challenge will be waiting for me another year. 

I was so proud of my parents, who ran Goofy in fine form! They looked amazing when they finished. 

On Monday, we all had our photo taken at Epcot to celebrate! 

Yet another magical trip in the books!