Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Five: Halloween Edition

Friday Five with Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?!

Anything Halloween?  Here are my top 5 Halloween movies, in no particular order :-)

1) Nightmare Before Christmas - the very first Tim Burton film I saw.  This stop-motion picture is about Jack, the Pumpkin King, taking over Christmas because he is bored with his Halloween existence.  Cast includes Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, Danny Elfman and Ken Page
2) Hocus Pocus - the cult classic starring Bette Midler.  3 sister witches come back to life in modern times (OK, 1993 modern times) and must suck the life out of Salem's children before turning to dust.  I know there are others in the cast but the Divine Miss M steals every scene she's in.

3) Sleepy Hollow - my favorite Tim Burton live-action film.  It's such a great twist on the original story with a great cast.  Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Michael Gambon, Richard Griffiths and Miranda Richardson.

4) It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown - a classic.  That is all.  Who can resist Snoopy in his WWI Flying Ace costume.

5) Young Frankenstein - Mel Brooks' spoof of the classic monster movies.  Dr. Frederick Frankenstein fights against everything his grandfather did, but there's "no escaping destiny".  Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn and Cloris Leachman.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Haunted Mansion

It's almost Halloween, so let's talk about one of my favorite attractions, the Haunted Mansion.  If y'all missed my post on the NBC overlay on the Disneyland Haunted Mansion, check it out here.  Disneyland's Haunted Mansion (and the original) resides in New Orleans Square while MK's is in Liberty Square.  It was one of the first rides to be designed by the Imagineers, but the Disneyland ride did not open until after Walt's death, opening in 1969.

It's always so much fun to walk in the line, waiting for the doors to open to the Stretching Room.  Some of the tombstones are fun to read, but there's also a tribute to Marc Davis, one of Walt's original 9 Old Men and a driving force on the Haunted Mansion.  He was also behind attractions like the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean and the EnchantedTiki Room.

 As guests step into the Stretching Room, they are greeted by the Ghost Host, voiced of Paul Frees. 

Is this haunted room actually stretching? Or is it your imagination, hmm?

In Disneyland, that stretching takes guests underground, but in the Magic Kingdom, guests remain on the same level.  There's a lot more land in Florida.  From there, guests board a Doombuggie and proceed through the ride, visiting haunted hallways with door knockers clacking on their own, staircases that lead nowhere, Madam Leota's fortune telling, a good old fashioned ghost celebration in the banquet hall (look for the hidden Mickey), a bridal chamber where the same bride keeps "losing" her husbands, and into a graveyard, where there's more celebration.  This is where the Grim Grinning Ghosts is sung by Thurl Ravenscroft.  Before the Doombuggie brings guests to the end, beware of hitchhiking ghosts.

Sometimes, there can even be a Ghost outside, telling how she came to be at the Haunted Mansion.

And don't worry.  If the attraction proves to be too scary to young ones, there is a way out.  A Castmember will take you through a door labeled "Full of fear?  Exit here."  A little secret I learned on the Keys to the Kingdom tour.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Where in the World: Montmartre

Montmartre is a part of north Paris, in the 18th arrondissement, on the Right Bank.  It was a popular village for artists such as Renoir, Dali, Monet, Picasso and van Gogh.  It's also known for night life and the Moulin Rouge.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How to Watch a Marathon

Tuesdays on the Run, linking up with April, Patty, and Erika..  The topic today is new running products, but I haven't bought any in a while, except my new foam roller.  It's working pretty good so far.

I'm not running NYC but I have a few blogger buddies running and a few family friends.  I'd watch the marathon anyway without them running, but the best way to watch (if you're not in NYC) is to prop your feet up on the sofa and turn on the TV, 8am Central time.

Maybe Allie will join me.  She great at snuggling, especially when I'm ready to move.  That's when she's ready to cuddle.

It'll be too early for popcorn, but maybe brunch?  I bought a good loaf of sourdough bread Sunday so I'm thinking French Toast.  They'll be running and I'll be stuffing my face.  Sounds like a good plan.

Sunday is also when my cousin and her husband will be running a half in San Francisco.  It's on Pacific time, so I'll be up in plenty of time to track them.  I'd much prefer to put my feet up than tackle those hills.  I've walked those hills before, and they'll be running up (and down) those things. I do believe those hills include this bridge:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Musings 10/27

I discovered shoes are important.  I'm not talking about running shoes, I'm talking about regular shoes.  I wore a pair of flip flops to spectate a soccer game on Saturday, and I woke up with some shin splints Sunday morning.  Ouch.  I had planned to run but instead I biked to get cardio in without making my legs suffer.  Ice and Advil.  My legs were feeling better in the afternoon, so I could've run, but I didn't know.  I won't be wearing those flip flops for a while.  They obviously don't have that amount of padding I thought they did :-/

And this weekend I came across a Muppet movie I didn't like.  Has anyone seen Muppets Most Wanted?  I got it from Netflix and ended up turning it off midway through the movie.  I didn't like the plot and got bored pretty easily.  Nothing against the cast, but if the story and script need work, it's hard to make it good.


Sunday: 1.5 miles, 2/1 intervals

Monday: Pilates

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: PT

Thursday: 1.25 miles, 3/1 intervals

Friday: rest

Saturday: strength training

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Five: Five Reasons to Run

Friday Five with Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?!

Today's theme is 5 reasons to race, but I'll stick with 5 reasons to run.  I use races as a way to keep me motivated, but running is the key for me.

1) It's healthy.  Even short distances are good to boost cardiovascular health.
2) It's a good stress release.  During my first job out of college, I fell out of running, and I didn't have my normal way of getting rid of stress.  My parents can tell you how miserable I was.
3) Anyone can run.  You don't have to be a certain age to run, or run certain times.  It's an activity the whole family can enjoy, which can encourage healthy living from the beginning.
4) It's a great community.  It's always great to see runners supporting other runners.  We get it.  We know all the hard work each person puts into running


5) It's a reason to buy running gear.  Seriously, I think my running clothes are cuter and better made than most of my regular clothes.  I have to tell myself to quit buying running gear when I'm shopping for work clothes.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Foam Roller

Ahh, foam roller, how do I love thee.  OK, I don't think LOVE is the correct term, but it's a vital tool for long distance running.  I really needed a new one since my old one was rather concave in the middle.  You could tell how long I had it and how much I used it.  With all the kinks I've needed to work out, I was in the market for a new one.  Since 3 aren't enough.

Or rather 4, since I have one at work too.  Which might also need replacing.

I'd been delaying replacing my main foam roller but I felt a small twinge in my knee on Tuesday.  I did 1.5 miles just fine on Sunday and nothing felt tired or sore on Monday, so the twinge startled me.  I was walking down a flight of stairs I use at work every day, and the twinge came when I hit the bottom step.  It wasn't bad, but it was enough that I felt it.  I knew I needed to stop by my LRS that day to get a new foam roller.  I'd been putting that off for whatever reason, but now I knew I couldn't delay anymore. 

I got the same style Airrosti had me using, and it's pretty sturdy and gives me the resistance I need.  I've been working through some sore spots below my knee, almost on my upper calf, so it's below where my troubles have been.  That's OK though, sometimes Airrosti would work that spot so I'm just trying to keep up with things.  Airrosti's been great, but I only want to go back as a maintenance check up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Where in the World: St. Mark's

St. Mark's in Venice.  We were there in 2007, when tourists could still feed the pigeons.  Thankfully pigeon food is no longer sold.  I think I mentioned in my past Italy posts, but they are super strict about dress codes for Italian churches.  Shoulders have to be covered and so do legs down over the knees.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesdays on the Run: Tapering

Tapering.  If non-runners are smart, they'll make a beeline in the opposite direction if a runner tells them they're tapering.  For whatever reason, runners get cranky when it's time to taper.  For me, it marks the end of mileage building for a race, time to wind down and prep for the race (wisely!), but most of the time, we just get cranky.

I always think of tapering as reading days leading up to final exams.  I've done the work, now's not the time to cram in anything extra that'll snap my focus (or my sanity) and make me lose it.  No one wants to see me spazz out.  It's not pretty.  Tapering is the time to now pull back and take it easy before a race.  Don't try anything new during this period, and whatever you do, listen to your body. 

This is the time to take it easy after all those longs runs.  If you've missed a long run during training, please please please don't make it up during the taper period.  This is not the time to get hurt, which can happen.  Instead, decrease the mileage with each successive long run, until you hit your range of easy miles, and light cross training before the race.  My own taper schedule usually starts 3 weeks before the race.  With my half marathons, I've done the 10-mile run, then down to about a 10k in the next run, then 3 miles in the , then that third week is usually race morning.

Also with tapering, now's the time I tend to increase my carb intake.  I'm not inhaling carbs mind you, it's not an all-you-can-eat buffet, but I slowly add a few more carbs with lunch and dinner to help my muscles build up the glycogen stores.  Eating a huge amount of pasta the night before the race really isn't going to boost those stores because there's just not enough time. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Musings 10/20

I'm shifting this post a full day so I can relax on the weekends.  It'll be the same format, random musings, but it'll be Monday Musings instead of Sunday.

After my run went well on Thursday, I got discharged from Airrosti after my appointment on Friday.  It's up to me now to be good and continue foam rolling, using my lacrosse ball, stretching, and icing.  They'll call in a couple weeks to see how I'm doing, and I can make appointments if I feel some tightness isn't going away, if I notice new tightness, or if I feel I just need to go in for some maintenance.  I also need to be smart about building mileage, so a 5k in December may be a little too soon.  I definitely won't rush things and I won't schedule any races until I feel I'm safe.


Sunday: weight lifting

Monday: Airrosti

Tuesday: 30 minutes bike

Wednesday: PT

Thursday: 1.5 miles; 2/1 for half, 3/1 for half

Friday: Airrosti

Saturday: rest

Sunday: 1.5 miles, 2/1 intervals

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Five: 5 Favorite Fitness Tunes

I'm jumping into Friday Five with Eat Pray Run DC, Mar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?! as another way to come up with some fun posts.

For anything music related, I'm warning y'all now, my music isn't very current, and some songs can be completely random.  I'm always looking for new to me songs, but a lot of what I work out to was made pre-2010s :)

1) Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road
2) Santana - Smooth
3) Meat Loaf - Bat out of Hell
4) Fergie - Barracuda (Shrek 3 soundtrack)
5) Stevie Nicks - Edge of Seventeen

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Airrosti Update

Well, after 5 Airrosti appointments, I can say I do feel a difference in that leg.  I did 1.25 miles on Saturday before my hamstring went all tight on me, but the discomfort I felt was probably a 3 on the scale.  The week before, the discomfort was a 7, and I slogged through that to 2.25 miles, then had a quick, sharp burst of pain in my knee.  I really do think it's helping.  I'm hoping to run after work today and test things out some more.  PT has upped the ante too with weight work so I really think I'm making progress.  There's only one way to tell.

Did y'all know, if you have a cat and get foam rollers out, she will help?

My trigger point is small enough she can easily push it around on the floor.  When I'm using it, she'll want attention right then, so I have to take a break from foam rolling and pet her.  She's quite persistent.  Then she's so tired, she does this after I finish foam rolling:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Where in the World: the Church on Spilled Blood

The Church on Spilled Blood definitely stood out in St. Petersburg.  You really can't miss it.  It was built in tribute to Alexander II, built on the very spot he was assassinated.  He was a much more liberal tsar than most, but there were still political groups that wanted to make a statement.  Even though he was carried away to die, the church is built on the spot where he fell.

Mom and me

The spot

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Etiquette is Necessary

Tuesdays on the run, linking up with April, Patty, and Erika.

Today's topic is running etiquette and pet peeves.  It's always important to be aware of your surroundings as a runner, and to let other runners know where you are.  A lot of us wear headphones while we're running.  It helps pass the time and I know it helps me get into a rhythm, but at the same time, I do zone out.  Simple etiquette cues like "on your left/right" to let someone know you're passing, and if you're the runner out in front and coming up on a walking interval, look around before you stop running.  I've had to turn into a cartoon character a couple times and go WAY up on my tippy toes to avoid crashing into someone who just stopped running.

Mostly, I've got pet peeves, and they happen at the gym, a lot.  I try to keep my volume at a reasonable level to keep good habits both in the gym and outside the gym.  If I'm upstairs on the treadmill and I can hear a person lifting weights while sounding like a dying moose, cut the grunting.  I'm upstairs, on the treadmill, with headphones on and I can still hear that grunting.  It's not necessary and it won't let that person lift the too-heavy-weights they're using.  Another huge pet peeve of mine is when they throw down the weights, like a punctuation mark.  I go to LA Fitness locations in DFW, and all of the ones I've been to have signs saying don't throw down the weights.  People still do.  I don't live in California so I don't have to experience earthquakes, but I'm pretty sure these weights getting thrown down would register on the Richter scale.  I lived through an earthquake while on vacation in Cali and it scared the crap out of me.  So please, weight lifters, don't take turns at being the San Andreas fault.

What other etiquette tips/pet peeves do y'all have?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Random Sunday Musings 10/12

Saturday's run was shorter than last week's but I didn't have discomfort until after .75 miles, which is a step in the right direction, and I'd say the discomfort was a 3.  Last week's was 7 but I still slogged through.  I stopped at 1.25 because my hamstring felt tight and I didn't want that to put pain in my knee.  PT's added some hamstring workouts and it just felt tired.


And announcing, I've added another page to the blog.  I read a lot and I thought it would be good to list out the authors and books I read.  It's another addition to my Corner, along with recipes I make and places I've traveled :)


Sunday: weight lifting

Monday: Airrosti

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: PT

Thursday: Airrosti

Friday: rest

Saturday: 1.25 miles, leg Pilates

Thursday, October 9, 2014

GPS Watches

Most of my free time at work this week has been spent researching GPS watches.  For the past couple years, I've been using Runkeeper whenever I've run outside, and there are times I want to chuck it.  Runkeeper talks too much.  If I was in the groove with a particular song, sure enough, that's when she'd talk and talk and talk.  I don't care about my average pace or time, I just want to know my miles and when my intervals start and stop.  I can't hear my miles without hearing all the other stuff she wants to tell me, so I turned that cue off.  After that, I've needed to twist my arm band around and play with my phone to see my miles.  Not really runner friendly.

It made sense at the beginning to download the Runkeeper app because I use my phone as my iPod.  That way I wouldn't have to double up on phone and iPod during an outdoor run.  I've done that before and without pockets, I felt like a pack mule.

Now I'm in the market for a GPS watch.  I don't need anything fancy because I just need to see my miles.  I'll still use my phone for my intervals because I hear those with my headphones.  I don't know how loud the beep on the watch would be for interval times.  I don't want a HRM either.  Just a watch.  I've narrowed it down to two, a Garmin and a TomTom.  I've found reviews for the Forerunner 15 and it seems the only thing they knock on the Garmin is no Bluetooth... not an issue for me because running is my time.  I don't even have a Bluetooth.

Any of y'all have experience with the Forerunner 15 or a TomTom Runner?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Where in the World: Versailles

When my cousin and I were in Paris in 2008, we took a train out to Versailles for one of the days.  It was gray the entire time, so the fountains weren't on in the gardens, but it's still a magnificent palace.  Too bad is bankrupted France when it was built :-p

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Halloween Running Playlist

Tuesdays on the run, linking up with April, Patty, and Erika.

I have looked and looked (and looked!) but I don't think I've ever post my Halloween playlist.  I love Halloween and sometimes will listen to this list for something fun when I'm working out.  And of course, there are some Disney songs :)  Gotta have some fun when you have to bang out a long run, right?  34 songs, duration 2 hours.

Prologue (Little Shop of Horrors) - Howard Ashman
Feed Me (Git It) - Howard Ashman
Phantom of the Opera - 25th anniversary CD
Men in Black - Will Smith
Young Frankenstein theme
Friends on the Other Side - the Princess and the Frog
With Doctor - Sha Na Na
Desperation Samba (Halloween in Tijuana) - Jimmy Buffett
Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Bands
Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Phantom of the Opera Overture - Andrew Lloyd Weber
Witchy Woman - the Eagles
Double Trouble - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
the Headless Horseman - Thurl Ravenscroft
Grim Grinning Ghosts - the Haunted Mansion
Sweet Transvestite - Rocky Horror Picture Show
Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show
Be Prepared - the Lion King
Zombie Jamboree - Rockapella

Zombie Zoo - Tom Petty
Vampires, Mummies and the Holy Ghost - Jimmy Buffett
Hall of the Mountain King - Mannheim Steamroller
Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.
Remains of the Day - Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
Poor Unfortunate Souls - the Little Mermaid
The Purple People Eater - Sheb Wooley
Trust in Me - the Jungle Book
Monster Mash - Boris Pickett
The World's Great Criminal Mind - the Great Mouse Detective

This is Halloween - Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas
Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Star Wars Imperial March
Superstition - Stevie Wonder