November 4, 2013

National Running Safety Month

Running safely is always important, but it’s especially important this time of year. Daylight savings was yesterday and for runners that means running before the sun comes up and after the sun goes down on most days.

Running in the dark is dangerous for many reasons. Drivers aren't looking for runners. Also, in the dark, it’s harder to see other dangers in the road such as potholes, branches, and slippery leaves. If you’re like me though, you have no choice but to run in the dark mornings/evenings. As your head out for your runs this fall, keep these tips in mind.

Run Safe in the Dark:

Be Visible
Wear bright colors and reflective gear. I have my eye on the entire Brooks Nightlife line, but for now, my Target Gear works just fine. I have 2 blinking lights that I clip to my tights for extra visibility.

Obey all traffic laws & run against traffic
We’re all guilty of assuming the car will stop as we cross an intersection as we dart across. Crosswalks, especially the ones regulated by stop signs, are very dangerous for runners. Try to make eye contact with the driver so that you know they see you before crossing

Carry Identification
When I lived close to my parents, I used to write their phone number on the back of my hand before I went on a long run by myself. I’m still trying to get into the habit of carrying my license with me when I run by myself. You could write your name and phone number on the tongue of your running show too.

Pay Attention
If you’re like me, it’s easy to zone out while running. Stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings.  Also, leave the iPod at home when running in the dark. You need to be able to hear traffic and other people who might be out on the road.

Power in Numbers
Schedule your run with a friend. Not only is it safer to run in a group, the conversation will make the run go by faster. If you don’t have a running buddy, ask a friend to bike next to you while you run. If you do have to run solo, make sure to let someone know what time and where you are running.

You can find more nighttime running tips and information about National Running Safety Month here. 

What are your tips for running in the dark?

What is your favorite reflective gear? 

November 2, 2013

Date Night Part 2: The Worst Hibachi EVER

Remember that Groupon I told you about? The Hibachi Groupon that we planned our date night around last week? We were crazy excited when we saw a $25 for $50 worth of Hibachi Groupon last week. We both love Hibachi – I’m pretty sure Justin could eat it every night for the rest of his life and not get tired of it.

A few months ago, we went to SAGA Hibachi Stakehouse and had the most amazing experience. The food, the service, everything was five-star. The Groupon was for a relatively new Hibachi place called Dragonfire Stakehouse. We had very high expectations walking into this place….

We had a 30 minute wait so we grabbed a seat at the bar. I ordered a glass of Merlot and Justin ordered a Sapporo. When our drinks arrived, my wineglass had lipstick on the rim. I pointed it out, the bartender poured me a new glass, and everything was peachy.

When we got to our table, the waiter took our drink order. The waiter told me they were out of Merlot so I asked what other red wines were available. Turns out, they were out of red wine altogether (and vodka according to our hibachi table friends). I asked for a glass of white. When it arrived, there was lipstick on the rim of the glass!! I am NOT even kidding. I sent it back and the waiter brought me a new glass….or so I thought…upon closer inspection it turns out he just tried wiping off the lipstick and was not 100% successful. So I did what any reasonable consumer would do and asked for a to-go cup. That’s right folks, I drank wine out of a Styrofoam cup at a high-end restaurant. Classy.

After looking at the menu, Justin decided on Chicken and Scallops (I stuck with chicken and steak…the usual). When he comes back to take our order, the waiter informs us that they are out of shrimp and scallops. A few of our table friends, including Justin, switched to lobster. A few minutes later, the waiter comes back and tells us, they only have two lobster tails left and we have to decide among ourselves who would get the lobster! Justin got lucky and got one of the lobster tails (a good thing because we were considering bailing at this point).

While waiting on our chef, we ordered another round of drinks. (I know what you’re thinking…THREE glasses of wine….luckily (?) we were in the restaurant for THREE hours). I kid you not…the restaurant was down to ONE option for white wine (and still completely out of red). It’s a good thing I’m not picky about what I drink out of Styrofoam cups.

Our chef was very entertaining, but our food was prepared completely backwards. I got my steak first…and the rest of the meat was served. While we hungrily scarfed that down, our vegetables were prepared. We inhaled those as our rice was prepared…or should I say tossed around on the grill and served still crunchy. Justin was a trooper (or maybe he was just starving) and ate all of his under-cooked rice and veggies. I couldn't stomach it and left all of mine on my plate. I really hope for their sake that this is not how they operate on a normal Saturday night.

The date was saved by my amazing fiancé who left the restaurant and drove directly to the nearest FroYo place. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. GO TO FROYO.

Moral of the story: If you are ever in Pittsburgh and are craving Hibachi, go to SAGA. Stay as far away from Dragonfire as you possibly can.