My workouts suffered during the second half of this week. It was the last week of fiscal year end and I was bone tired when I got to Thursday. Thursday is normally a strength training day at home (I gotta get heavier weights) but this Thursday my body just said no. And I listened. I bought pizza for dinner so I didn't cook and I sat on the couch that afternoon. I did do my PT exercises but that was it. To make things worse, I ended up with a splitting headache and went to bed early. Sometimes you gotta listen to your body. My form did suffer on Wednesday which is why I "only" did 25 minutes and I opted not to push myself. I felt my form suffering and there was nothing I could do to fix it.
This weekend's Disney mascot for the 5k and 10k is Stitch, and rD certainly knows how to make me jealous. I love Stitch and the shirt designs for the races are great. I really feel like Lilo & Stitch is an under appreciated Disney movie. It doesn't rank up there with Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King, and it was released at the tail end of the success that built up in the 90s. I mean, I'll even admit I didn't see the movie when it was released into theaters, but that's where the DVD comes in. Stitch was released between Atlantis and Home on the Range, and those I refuse to watch, but the Emperor's New Groove and Lilo & Stitch are worth watching.
My parents and I quote the movie all the time and if I need a pick me up, I put in this movie. Sure, there are sad moments, but it wouldn't be Disney if it didn't do that. It's not Up sad but there is struggle. But the movie is light enough to have fun every minute it's on. The music is certainly different from traditional Disney movies, but it's very much Hawaiian. The film makers even asked the Kamehameha Schools Children's Chorus to record a couple songs which just makes it Hawaiian.
Sure, my knee's still giving me discomfort, but I'd love to do the 5k at least. But I'd have to be in Anaheim to do that and I plan to be very lazy this weekend. All work and no vacation this summer has made me cranky.
I've covered most of the cities I have pictures for, but now I think a new series that would be fun is to talk about "attractions" in those cities.
Peterhof is just outside St. Petersburg and my mom signed us up for a tour during our cruise in 2005. We took a bus from the docks directly to the palace, then a catamaran from the port at Peterhof back to St. Petersburg.
A little history: Peterhof was commissioned by Peter the Great and he used it as his summer palace and Catherine the Great also used it. The precious possessions were dismantled by the servants and moved to safety when the Russians retreated in the wake of Napoleon's army. After Napoleon was defeated, the treasures were returned. The palace was also occupied by the Nazis, who destroyed much of the palace, necessitating restoration efforts that continue today. Just like Versailles, if it looks like gold, it is gold.
Yes, I'm ready for fall. I know I know, North Texas had a mild summer compared to past years but August made up for all of that - we went from mid-80s to 100s. I see signs everywhere that Fall is supposed to be coming.
Sign number 1: Starbucks has their Pumpkin Spice Lattes early for those with the secret code. I don't drink coffee so I've never had this, and I certainly don't need the sugar, but that is (now) the first sign each year.
My window at work
Sign number 2: Yesterday was the first day of school for public schools and most universities. That's right, my work place is now crawling with students again. Some take summer classes but it's usually quiet in the summer. One look at the parking lots will tell you most students are at home. Orientation was last week and everything kicked off for the school year yesterday.
Sign number 3: the Disney Store released their Sketchbook ornament designs. You can check them out here. No Frozen designs yet :-( I have to admit, there isn't one that I absolutely have to have to year. I ordered two last year, Merida and Mrs. Jumbo w/ Dumbo, but I was hoping for a Frozen one (me and millions of others, right?). I do think the Lady and the Tramp design is cute so that's a maybe. This year will be interesting since I have no idea how Allie will react with the Christmas tree. I will put that up first before the lights and ornaments to see what happens.
Sign number 4: the sun is rising later and is setting sooner. It is rather difficult for me to drag myself out of bed in the mornings. Of course, Allie helps since she's up to her tricks to get me to feed her, but I put her food down and go back to bed.
Any other signs for y'all? This time of the year is always tough since I was programed for so long to associate Labor Day with fall. In Dallas it's more Columbus Day brings fall.
Saturday was a 1930s afternoon and evening. I finished reading Royal Spyness and I got Gosford Park from Netflix. I love Gosford Park and can't stand Downton Abbey. There, I said it. Both have Maggie Smith and she's great in both, but that's the only positive thing I can say about Downton. On the other side, I love everything about Gosford Park. Gosford Park's cast is basically a who's who of British cinema, and the script, cinematography and music are all great. Yup, I'm completely biased.
I managed to do 2.25 miles yesterday (yay!) and was a sweaty, hot mess afterwards. Officially the high yesterday was 96, but that's lying. My car gauge said 102 when I was driving home. 102, and I was at a gym whose treadmills don't have the built-in fans. Not that those would've helped much. I would gladly have done the ice bucket challenge without being challenged.
Needless to say I was blasting the AC all the way home. I don't believe the Weather Channel for one minute. My knee is sore today but my PT said I have to build endurance, so I've found my difference between pain and discomfort and cranked out 2 1/4 miles. I had to do 1/1 intervals but I did it.
Speaking of the ice bucket challenge, has anyone seen Kermit's?
And for all those non-runners doing this, I dare you to stay in the water for an ice bath. I double dare you!
This past Sunday was the perfect day to just veg. I woke up to a very gray day with lightning strikes and thunder. I fed the cat and settled back onto the bed, and just stayed there for a little while. Allie came and snuggled with me too. I finally got up when the thunder started getting louder and made waffles. I really started wondering if we were going to get any rain with the thunder, and eventually the skies opened up. Don't get me wrong, I love rain and we needed it, but I just got my car washed the previous day. You're welcome Dallas!
I just didn't want to do anything. The EPL season started this weekend and Sunday Liverpool beat Southampton for a good first day. I watched that while listening to the rain and thunder while Allie zoomed around the apartment. She's not bothered by thunderstorms one bit. I finally realized I needed to get to the store because I wanted to make banana bread before heading over to friends' and watch Penny Dreadful. We plowed through 5 episodes to finish out the season. Season 2 starts next year some time. Anyone watch that show?
In all, it was a good lazy day. I did 10 minutes of Pilates and that was it.
I'll confess I'm still frustrated with the progress of me knee, but my PTs aren't. They told me it's a matter of building endurance in my knee and I have to keep at it. Thankfully there are people around me who are a lot more calm than I am. It's makes perfect sense too - I haven't had success at running since the Eugene half marathon April 2013. It's one of the reasons I've started doing spin again. I have fun at spin, and I can do a full 45 minutes. I figure that's one way to start building endurance.
Speaking of spin, I almost cracked up during one of the songs on Saturday. It's the song Carol Burnett sings at the end of her appearance on the Muppet Show, "I was made for dancing." All I think of was her singing the song and Animal dancing.
I used to go to spin class. Not regularly, but frequently enough. I really liked it too, it definitely added something different into my workout routine, but I dropped it when I started long distance training. I didn't have time between running, regular biking, weight lifting and trying to stick with yoga. Plus I'm at the gym during the week before spin classes start. Evening spin and yoga classes just aren't happening.
Saturday I decided to get back to spin while I seem to be stuck around 2 miles with my knee. Last week was a little chaotic and I didn't end up running until Thursday, and I felt discomfort leading up to 1.25 miles. I left it at that, even though I was frustrated. I had one day of rest before I tested my knee for 45 minutes. The difference with the bike is I can keep my knee slightly bent, therefore keeping my IT band from irritation.
I like 45 minutes of spin. Sometimes I feel an hour is too long, but 45 minutes felt good. My knee didn't bother me, during or after when I ran errands. So it passed that test. I'll continue to get to spin since the early class wasn't full this past Saturday. I know the second class is more popular, but that one's an hour long. Plus the instructor worked us since we were at "the shorter class."
After that, I went home, and stayed home. It was one of those days that was so awful, heat wise, at 10am. I decided I didn't need anything else that day and I stayed inside with the AC.
Wow, is all I can say. I was so busy at work yesterday, then PT, home to quickly get ready for a going away party that I didn't see the news until after dinner. I couldn't believe it and it was so difficult to process. I think watching his movies is in order this weekend, I've got the Birdcage.
He became a Disney Legend in 2009, video above. Rest in peace, Robin Williams.
How early is too early to start Christmas shopping? OK I haven't started the shopping exactly, but I'm brainstorming ideas. I'm one of those shoppers that plan way in advance and then I can pick up gifts along the way, from August to December. I also have birthdays to consider during those months so this strategy is very helpful. Especially for getting ideas for people who have no clue what they want.
On the flip side, I also start making my Christmas list way in advance too. It helps that I can't buy everything I want, so I start making the list when I've got a few things on a wish list. This year that started in May, but it does have similar items from the past couple years. You know, running stuff and gift cards.
Wednesday: corework - 10 exercises, 2 sets each
Thursday: 1.25 miles --> little frustrated but I did do 3/2 run/walk intervals
I don't post much about what I read, but I love reading. I have limited space for books in my apartment so I have a Kindle for most books, but there are some series I want the physical books. One of those is the Royal Spyness series, by Rhys Bowen. The 8th book was released on Tuesday, and I absolutely love this series. Whenever I see the release date for the next book, I circle that date on my calendar and count down the days.
The premise is our heroine, Georgiana, is 34th in line for the British throne, but her family's broke. She gets pulled into investigating murder in the first book since her family name is in danger. If you're a fan of the Jeeves and Wooster books, the 1930s, the British aristocracy, or all 3, I recommend this series. I discovered the books 5 years ago when I unemployed, and what I didn't know is my mom also reads this series. They're light mysteries with a lot of humor and they are also easy reads, but they are well written.
Between the characters and the settings, these are just so fun to read. Every time I buy the next release, I have to work really hard to not read the book all in one sitting.
The books in order are:
A Royal Pain
Naughty in Nice
The Twelve Clues of Christmas
Heirs and Graces
Queen of Hearts
I don't want to say I've plateaued at the moment at 2 miles, but at least I can do 2 miles consistently. The hardest part about this is PT wants me doing proper running form. My natural gait is so not "proper" form and it's difficult for me to zone out running and keep in proper form. I switch back to my natural gait, so now I'm playing around and trying to find something that works.
Proper form is leaning forward to promote mid-foot strikes on the ground, almost an exaggerated back kick (think kicking your butt) and a fast cadence. I've pulled up youtube videos of Kenyans winning marathons to try to see what they do. A mid-foot strike while leaning forward should keep the knee bent slightly so the leg isn't stretching to its full length, thus not stretching the IT band fully and irritating it. Get all that? I'm supposed to think about all that while running?
I saw my LRS has proper running form classes, and I'm seriously thinking of signing up. I have to get to where I'm naturally comfortable and don't have to think. I really really want to get to 3 miles before the year is up so I can feel comfortable signing up for a 5k. That's my goal this year. Build up endurance and master the proper form so I can do a 5k. Maybe around Thanksgiving or sometime in December. It may not be in the cards, but I want to try.
I know I've said it before, but seriously y'all, this summer has sped by. It's already August? I don't know what it is about this summer, maybe lack of 100+ degrees? So far we've only had a handful of days that hot, but we are now in August so I expect that to change. Maybe? It's been a weird summer and I was expecting the worst after this winter.
If you leave your foam roller on the floor, it could become a toy