Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Top Thanksgiving Episodes

It's always fun to watch TV episodes centered around Thanksgiving.  I know this list only covers what I watch, and there are many others on shows I didn't watch when they were on, or don't watch current shows.  This is my version of Friday 5 since I'll take a 4-day vacation from blogging.

WKRP Cinncinati "Turkeys Away" - the radio station owner is bored and comes up with a Thanksgiving promotion.

the Bob Newhart Show "Over the River and Through the Woods" - Emily is away in Seattle and Bob spends Thanksgiving with the guys.

Everybody Loves Raymond "No Fat" - Marie's high cholesterol gives her a health scare and she decides to make a meatless Thanksgiving meal.

Frasier "A Lilith Thanksgiving" - Frasier and Lilith must interview for Frederick's private school application.  Niles is stuck cooking the turkey.

New Girl - all of them.  There are 4 Thanksgiving episodes.  1) the group discovers their neighbor has died, 2) Jess tries to get her parents back together (Rob Reiner and Jamie Lee Curtis), 3) the group goes camping and Jess ends up in the hospital, 4) everyone brings a date for another person in the group

Northern Exposure "Thanksgiving" - The Indians in Cicely celebrate by throwing tomatoes at white people, Joel learns he must serve another year on his contract, and Chris reminisces about the Thanksgivings he had while in prison.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Runner's Gift List

TOTR with April, Patty, and Erika.

This year I don't have as much running gear on my Christmas list as I have in the past.  Sure, I've got gift cards on the list, but the only specific thing I have on the list is another Running Skirt.  Since I'm slowly easing my way back into running, I don't need anything new, but that Running Skirt caught my attention months ago.  It might've been the first item on my list.

I'm trying to get more color in my wardrobe other than the obvious gray and black running bottoms.  I've already got 4 Running Skirts and I love them!

I know for my birthday, I'll ask for the Garmin I've been looking at.  I've seen good reviews about Garmin, so that's the brand I've chosen.

In the past, I've also asked for Sweaty Bands.  I've had issues in the past to find something that could corral my hair and keep it out of my face.  It wasn't until I discovered Sweaty Bands that I actually found success.  Pre-wrap always failed, and regular headbands hurt my head.  I've got a number of Sweaty Bands in my inventory, and I use them all the time.

Last year, I gave GUs as stocking stuffers.  I knew they'd be used, so why not?  GUs, chews, body glide, anything small can be perfect for stocking stuffers if you have a runner in the family :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Musings 11/24

I know Halloween races are over, but post-Halloween is normally the time I get ideas for running costumes.  Too bad I'm awful at executing ideas.  Needle and thread?  Hahahaha!  I can cook and bake but I have no skills when it comes to sewing.  If anyone wants some running costume ideas, here's my list:

Hoop Dee Doo Review.  Google the characters, you'll see some great costume inspiration.

The Sanderson Sisters.  Seriously, I can't believe I haven't seen this idea in any of the rD videos.  You'd need 3, of course, but just think of the fun.  This one hit my brain because of the talk of a sequel.  I don't know how they'd do a sequel because the ending of Hocus Pocus seems pretty final.

The Princess Bride.  Think about it, how fun would it be?  Buttercup, Westley, Humperdink, Count Rugen, Inigo, Fezzik, and even Miracle Max and Valerie.  Maybe even the Impressive Clergyman.


Sunday: bike 30 minutes

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 1.50 miles

Wednesday: PT

Thursday: yoga

Friday: rest

Saturday: 1.75 miles

Friday, November 21, 2014

Favorite Fall Foods

Fall means getting out more complex dinners that take more time to cook.  Since it's not hotter than Hades anymore, I don't mind cooking more.  Most of these are one-pot meals, which makes clean up so much easier.  In do particular order:

1) Turkey chili - this one is a new one for me this year but I loved it!

2) Tortilla soup - A must during the cold weather in fall and winter.

3) Cheddar corn chowder - with bacon, 'nuff said

4) Skillet rosemary chicken - I do not use a skillet, I use a Dutch oven to cook the chicken and then throw in the rest of the ingredients

5) Boeuf bourguignon - I cut out the bread base and do some other adjustments, but another great Dutch oven meal.

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Don't Feel Guilty

It was COLD COLD COLD last week and I broke out the Christmas music.  I figured the weather matched Christmas so why not?  I usually wait until after Thanksgiving when I'm putting up my tree, but I changed it up this year.  I'll still wait till Black Friday to put up my tree, but I've listened to my Christmas playlist already, in the car, and while working out.

Those are some good songs to workout to, but of course, I have other favorites.  I actually have 3 Christmas playlists.  One for working out, one just for the Nutcracker, and the other for all the ones I love.  Here's a slice of what's on that big list.

Muppet Christmas Carol - a must!  I saw it in theaters and watch it every year, when I'm putting up the tree, and on Christmas Eve.

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - I found the entire movie, soundtrack style, on iTunes.

Raffi's Christmas Album - this comes from my childhood, and there's only one song, Petit Papa Noel.  I don't speak French but I love his singing and the music on this song.

A Coral Reefer Christmas - one song is on my workout list but I have the whole album.

Nat King Cole - he's another singer I could listen to all day long.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Where in the World: Submarine Voyage

I'm switching things up a little bit and going with a theme park attraction.  Why?  For my family, this ride is tied to the Little Mermaid.  The Little Mermaid just turned 25 years old, and I'm feeling old.  It hit theaters Nov. 17, 1989, when I was four, and a couple months later, my parents took me to Disneyland for the first time.  What happens when Mermaid is on the brain and you take a darling 4-year-old on a Disney submarine ride?  She looks for Ariel the entire ride, and provides the submarine with an impromptu script, all by herself.

The ride itself was closed in 1998, and later refurbished with a Finding Nemo theme.

Location on map

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tough Conditions

Linking up with April, Patty, and Erika.

 TOTR this week is running in tough conditions.  I've talked about my college lacrosse days, when I had to survive cold, snow and sleet, but I was lucky.  I was the one who had to keep running, therefore, I kept warm.  But what about spectating in tough conditions?  We've most likely all be there.  Scream teaming for races, for those with kids, spectating kids' games, and outdoor sports games for pros, college, friends, etc.  That's when the cold is unbearable.  I can throw on as many layers as I can, but if I'm not moving, I get cold.

I love my UGGs, but my feet can still get cold if I'm watching a game.  The past few springs, FC Dallas has kicked off its season in March.  This past home opener, it was 39 degrees and falling at kickoff.  When the sun goes down, when it's not summer, it can get chilly.  I have so many layers on, I can barely walk.

The two bad experiences I had in high school were my freshman and sophomore years.  For the first, I was in band the first two years, and we had to be at the Thanksgiving football game if we weren't out of town.  The bad experience was freshman year.  It was cold, gray, windy, and rainy.  And we had to be there.  It was awful.  They finally let us go after the third quarter, and my parents promptly took me home, and ordered me to shower and drain the hot water tank if I wanted to.

The second experience was further north.  We liked to go to the men's soccer games for the college where my dad used to be on the faculty.  We traveled up to a college called Colby-Sawyer for the game and to quote Dr. Evil, "it was frickin' freezing!"  I didn't have UGGs at that point, so I just put a few layers of socks on, and I had my big ski parka, which still didn't give much warmth.  The field was on a hill, so the wind was really making things cold.  To top it off, the game went into OT.  I'm not joking when I saw it took me a couple days to thaw from that experience.

All that is to say, I've been lucky when it comes to races I do, and I'm a chicken when the weather turns.  Since this is TX, I made peace with the treadmill when I moved here.  The heat is killer, whether it's during the day or after the sun goes down.  Wind comes ripping down from Canada, and I'm grouchy enough to curse the weather and just not put up with it if I don't want to.  I had to in college, and now I don't :-)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Musings 11/17

I'm kind of in a venting mood with this polar vortex hitting again.  I don't care what the weatherman says, I'm calling it a polar vortex.  I know it's supposed to stay for another winter, so I might as well use the correct term now.

I grew up in cold weather.  I spent 3 years in Wisconsin and nearly 12 in Boston.  I know cold.  I know how to dress for the cold, deal with the cold, run in the cold, etc.  Texas cold sucks!  Texas, for whatever reason, has worse winters.  I can't really seem to figure out why.  Is it the wind?  Is it the moisture in the air?  I don't know.  I've walked all over Boston in February, with the wind whipping, and it still wasn't as cold as it gets in Dallas.  I thought it was just me when I first moved here, then we got the ice storm before the 2011 Super Bowl, and I was reading articles from sportswriters coming down from New York, complaining about the cold.  It wasn't me.  I felt vindicated.

I really think builders in Texas skimp on insulation.  They think this is Texas, we don't have bad winters, let's save some money and cut out some insulation.  Umm, what?  North Texas deals with the winters screaming down the Great Plains.  You know what's out in Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma to stop winter?  Nothing!!  (Oklahoma, when the wind comes sweeping down the plain).  It is flatter than flat in those states, and winter air from Canada comes right on down.  We need insulation here!  And it's not only for winter, insulation can also keep AC in the buildings during the summers.

Now I know why castles had so many tapestries.


Sunday: 20 minutes bike, strength training

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 1 mile run, 2 miles bike

Wednesday: PT

Thursday: Core work

Friday: rest

Saturday: 1.25 miles

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Running and Doping

For those who didn't see the news prior to NYC, Rita Jeptoo failed an out of competition drug test in September and has requested her B sample be tested.  The World Marathon Majors ceremony was postponed since she would have been the one receiving the $500,000 prize.  She won Boston and Chicago last year and Boston and Chicago this.  In fact, the out of competition drug test was conducted a few weeks before she ran Chicago.  The first reports would not say what drug was found, but later it was confirmed as EPO.

When I saw the reports, I couldn't help but feel extremely disappointed.  I know doping touches practically every sport out there; there's so much money wrapped up in sports nowadays, and pressure to win comes with that.  But that still didn't prep for me for the disappointed feelings I had while reading the articles about Jeptoo's drug test.  Since the B sample results have not been released, it is still a pending investigation, but if EPO was in her system, it's hard to think the B sample won't have EPO either.

Now, another article has come out with Jeptoo's estranged husband saying she's been doping since 2011.  Even though there is no evidence/ no articles saying she failed drug tests after she won her races (specifically Boston and Chicago in 2013 and 2014), that report yesterday made my blood boil.  My feelings about this are, of course, wrapped up in Boston.  Jeptoo won Boston in 2013 and 2014.  She set the course record this year, as did several of the women who ran with her.  I feel protective of that race, and not just because of 2013.  The town I grew up in is the halfway point on the course.  I know people who have run Boston, and I know the feeling of waking up on Marathon Monday, even if you're not one of the runners.

Since reading the most recent article, my knee-jerk reaction is to strip her of those post-2011 titles.  Her husband's statement certainly casts doubt on those victories and even taints her results of races she didn't win.   It all boils down to her B test results, but I can't help but doubt everything she does from here on out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Where in the World: the Royal Mews

In 2007, I stumbled upon the Royal Mews, which is on the side of Buckingham Palace.  It was closed that day, but my parents and I visited them in 2008, on a day they were open.  If you like the English royals, this is a fun little excursion.  The Royal Mews houses the royal carriages and cars, and sometimes, you might even see a horse or two.  It's well known the Queen is an avid horsewoman, but we were also told she names every horse in her stables.  The two types of horses used are Windsor Greys and Cleveland Bays.

State Coach

And just for fun, check out the youtube video of the Mews getting ready for the Royal Wedding.  A lot of preparation goes into state occasions, between restoring carriages if they need it, prepping the horses, cars, livery, etc.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

TOTR: Another Playlist

Today's actual topic for Tuesdays on the Run is race recovery, but I haven't had a race since January.  Instead, I'll post my Patriotic playlist since this is Veteran's Day, and I wore my USA Sweatyband during my run on Saturday and listened to this playlist.  I originally posted this Independence Day 2013.

American Pie - Don McLean
American Saturday Night - Brad Paisley
All-American Girl - Carrie Underwood
When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again
American Girl - Tom Petty
Only in America - Brooks & Dunn
Golden Dream - EPCOT
Yankee Doodle Boy
American Soldier - Toby Keith
City of New Orleans - Arlo Guthrie
George M Cohan Medley
America - West Side Story
God Bless the USA
Hotel California - The Eagles
Our Country - John Mellencamp
The Marines' Hymn
Opening Titles to John Adams
North East Texas Women - Jimmy Buffett
Armed Forces Medley
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
New York, New York - Frank Sinatra

Linking up with April, Patty, and Erika

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Musings 11/10

Let's talk about gym locations.  I mainly go to two different branches of the gym I go to, one near my apartment and one near my work.  The one near my apartment is amusingly near several fast food restaurants and one Starbucks.  One the same side of the road is a Pei Wei, Whataburger, and Taco Bell.  One way across the road is a Canes and on the other side of the road is a Buffalo Wild Wings.  I'm amused since the gym is supposed to get people healthy and keep them healthy, and yet there are so many no-so-healthy restaurants near it.

Saturday morning after my run, one of these places was cooking bacon.  I don't think it was the Starbucks or the Pei Wei, and I'm leaning towards blaming Whataburger.  I've never eaten at Whataburger, so I don't really know if they have bacon on the menu, but I know what I smelled.  Bacon!  Instead of trying to find said bacon, I went home to ice :-/

Luckily I got my bacon Saturday night.  Friends and I went out to dinner before the Allen Americans game and I had a grown-up grilled cheese with applewood smoked bacon!


Sunday: yoga - oof!

Monday: PT

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 1.25 miles

Thursday: yoga

Friday: rest

Saturday: 1.75 miles

Friday, November 7, 2014

Stay Healthy During the Holidays

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

How to stay healthy during the holidays is easier said than done.  I control what I buy at the grocery store, so it's not my home environment that gets me.  It's all the stuff at work.  We just made it through Halloween so all the Halloween candy is coming in.

1) At the end of Jimmy Kimmel's annual "parents ate their kids' candy" clip, he mentioned donating leftover Halloween candy to the troops.  If you want to get candy out of your house, you can send it to Operation Gratitude by November 15th.  They do ask that chocolate and non-chocolate candy are separated in different containers.  The link has all the details, including the shipping address.

2) Keep up with running.  Even if you don't have a race to train for, there are always challenges this time of year to stay active.

3) Keep things healthy at home.  Since I buy for myself, I can keep bads things out of my pantry and fridge.  I know the holiday desserts are so tempting, but if I don't buy them, I don't eat them.  Of course I'll indulge on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

4) Don't cut out all sweets.  Having zero tolerance for slip ups usually causes people to eat all the junk food.  I keep popsicles in the freezer or small chocolate squares in the fridge.  One chocolate square a night will keep me on track and give me my chocolate fix.

5) If your stress triggers you to eat junk food, try to sub it out with something different.  If you need some minutes to unwind, put on headphones and listen to some soothing music.  iTunes is filled with yoga music and nature sounds that are supposed to bring on calmness.  Or you can try my other method, listening to just the score soundtrack to Disney movies.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Establishing a Schedule

Now that I was discharged from Airrosti, and I'm getting stronger at PT, I've been trying to keep a schedule that allows me to run twice a week.  I'm still running below 2 miles at a time, but aside from some discomfort now and then, I can generally run twice a week.  My PT therapist said it might feel like the rust is coming off at times when I'm running (hence the occasional discomfort), but I need to keep up a consistent running schedule.

Right now I'm running once on the weekends and then once during the week.  Normally PT is on Wednesdays so at the moment I'm trying to have a Saturday/Tuesday schedule with PT and strength training thrown in on other days.  I might even bike once a week to have a third day of cardio.  I was told at Airrosti that building mileage would take time and I need to be smart about what I'm running.  Isn't that the truth.  I've done 1.5 miles consistently, and the day I was ready to push the distance just a little bit more, I got enough discomfort in my knee that I stopped at 1.5.  Oy! 

I will state flat out patience is not a virtue I possess.  At all.  I've always been rushing to do things (quickly!) so this slow building goes against every fiber of my being.  The only thing I can do is not schedule a race until I know I'm absolutely ready to run that distance.  That means running that distance consistently for a couple weeks before looking at the running event calendar for my town and towns near me.  That mostly likely means the Santa Claws and Paws 5k is off the table :(  But it's for the best (try telling my pride that).

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Where in the World: Roman Ruins

One of the days we were in Rome, we spent the day trekking around the ancient part of the city.  It was raining the entire day but it was still fun.  We even got to the Mouth of Truth - if you've seen Roman Holiday, you know what to do.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cold Weather Running

Tuesdays on the Run, linking up with April, Patty, and Erika, with cold weather running.  How fitting since the NYC marathon was quite chilly.  I can protect against the cold, but wind just cuts through so much.

Cold weather running was my forte.  When you play a spring sport in college in the northeast, it's technically a winter sport.  Pre-season would start the first Monday back from winter break, and believe me, we preferred to be outside.  Plus my coach played lacrosse at Middlebury.  I'd consider that the tundra compared to the Boston suburbs.  Her mantra was there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.  I'd have so many layers on I felt like the Michelin tire guy, but with those layers and running at practice, I stayed warm.

The place to start is a good base layer.  I had Under Armour during college, the heavy winter gear, and I made sure my top came with the "turtle neck."  I wouldn't wear scarves, but I needed my neck to be warm.  Heavy winter leggings too.  I know some people balk at those prices but my first season was in 2004, and I still have those UA pieces.  They're still in one piece and work wonderfully.

The next layer was sweatpants and a hoodie sweatshirt over the UA layer.  Some days I'd add a down vest over the sweatshirt since my upper body gets colder more than my legs.  The leggings and sweatpants are enough for my legs, especially when I get running.

Most importantly are gloves and a hat.  You lose so much body heat through your head, but I've always hated winter hats.  I much prefer the winter headbands that cover my ears and forehead. I felt that kept me sufficiently warm, and then since it was lacrosse, I had Brine's heavy duty gloves for the winter.  I always wore gloves to protect my hands, but the usual gloves weren't anywhere near close enough to what I needed to keep my hands warm.  Part of me thinks I have bad circulation because my fingers get cold so easily.

Most importantly, hydrate!  People tend to think since it's not hot, they don't have to hydrate as much.  Wrong!  It's just as important, if not moreso, to hydrate in the cold.  Even if you don't feel thirsty, drink water.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday Musings 11/3

Happy November!  I've been looking forward to October since the August heat hit with a vengeance, and now it's November.  It's Thanksgiving season.  I spent my first two November days between relaxing and getting things done.  I had planned on doing 1.65 miles on Saturday, but some tightness in my glute was felt in my knee so I did 1.5 before the discomfort set in.  Sunday I spent the morning watching NYC and foam rolling.  I threw in some stretching yoga that I hadn't done in quite a while.  It has some lunge exercises and boy my legs were shaking.  My left quad was palpitating afterwards.  And my calves.  I really need to stretch my calves now that I'm trying to run more.


Sunday: bike 25 minutes

Monday: 1.5 miles

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: PT

Thursday: core work

Friday: rest

Saturday: 1.5 miles