Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Those Race Nightmares

Tuesdays on the Run with April, Patty, and Erika.

Today's theme is "dream race."  Are we talking bucket list?  Not me today.  Let's talk about those nightmares.  I'm sure we've all had them.  Training is going well, the race is coming up, and all of a sudden you have a nightmare about race day.  You forget your breakfast, you sleep through your alarm, you're late to the start...

My nightmare was about my first half, the Princess half, but none of the above.  It happened during the race itself, and I have no idea where my subconscious came up with this theme park.  It had the front of the Magic Kingdom, which is not included on the race course, and rides that aren't in WDW, let alone Disneyland.  What had I been eating the night before?

I didn't wake up in a sweat, but I certainly questioned my sanity for a split second.  I've been to other theme parks and not one of them looked like the one in my dream.  Zeesh!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Musings 3/30

Weekend update with Tara at Running N Reading.

I mixed up some things this weekend so I could still workout but have lazy days.  I needed to run errands in out of the way places Saturday morning so I opted to run Friday at the gym after work.  Tuesday I had a scare and felt a dull ache on the outside of my left knee.  It wasn't twinging at all, but I went into panic mode because there's no way I want ITBS on that side.  My left side has been the good side throughout this whole ordeal and I need it to keep being the good side.  I think part of it was the 4/1 ratio I was using so now I think 3/1 is my optimal choice.  I chose 3/1 on Friday and didn't have any aching.

I have made an appointment with my chiropractor, and I made it before I ran on Friday.  Either way I need to get in and see him because I haven't been in since November.  I'm upping my mileage and I need to make sure everything is in alignment.  If he can hit my left knee with ART, bonus.  Well, both legs with ART actually.

Friday I also mailed out my $2 to the IRS.  Yes, that's right, $2.  I sent a check since I was sure the IRS wouldn't see the humor in receiving two $1-bills.  It's like the year I owed Massachusetts $5 and figured a $5-bill instead of a check wouldn't be funny to them.  Now I should be good for another year.  Oy tax season!

Finally I want the life of my cat.  Seriously, she found the sun beam and was quite comfy.


Sunday: upper body and core

Monday: yoga

Tuesday: 2.25 miles

Wednesday: lower body

Thursday: rest

Friday: 2.25 miles

Saturday: rest

Friday, March 27, 2015

My Favorite Shows

Today's Friday Five is spring food, but I don't really have favorite spring food.  I know my summer foods, but spring it tougher.  Instead, since I'm plowing through Mork and Mindy, here are the 5 shows I can watch non-stop, all the time:

1) Scrubs - I lost track of it in college, but I caught up with Netflix.  I haven't watched the last season since the one before that was so well wrapped up

2) the Big Bang Theory - I have all seasons on DVD and watch them all the time

3) NCIS - the mothership.  I feel I have to qualify that since there are 2 spin-offs, one I don't watch any more

4) Outlander - brand new, but I can't tell you how many times I've watched the episodes on DVD already

5) the Muppet Show - Jim Henson.  Enough said.

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thinking Out Loud #2

I've had some random thoughts so far this week, so another Thinking Out Loud seemed to be in order.

* I'm considering signing up for Stitch Fix but wanted some reviews if any of y'all have done, or are doing, Stitch Fix.  I could easily wear workout clothes the entire time and just go from PJs to workout clothes, back to PJs.  The only problem with that is I work at an office, and have done so since I graduated from college.  I'm incredibly picky about my clothes too, so combine my lack of enthusiasm for shopping for work clothes and being incredibly picky, my work wardrobe always needs attention.

* Speaking of workout clothes, I had to start a wishlist of sorts.  This normally becomes my Christmas list, but it's only March.  We just hit spring, yet I've found tops, Sweaty Bands and Running Skirts I want, and Running Skirts is having a warehouse sale Friday.  Does that mean they're prepping for summer designs?  If so, that only means more designs to catch my attention.

* My motivation is currently lacking.  The weather is turning to spring, my mom visits next week and I'm going to Napa this year, for the first time ever!  Saying my attention isn't on work is an understatement.

* Speaking of Napa, I think I have my list vineyards to visit.  It's been a good diversion but it's time to finalize it.  I have booked a tour at Schramsberg - that was highly recommended.  Hello sparkling wine!

* Also speaking of Napa, I ordered my first piece of clothing for the trip!  I bought a really cute looking dress, online only, so I have to get it to try it on.  If it's a winner, it can double as a dress for work (see point #1).

* I discovered my new favorite (reality) TV show, Who Do You Think You Are?.  I find genealogy fascinating.  I have heritage from 9 countries, Native Americans, vikings, Quakers, Amish, immigrants and Sooners.  Who knows what else.  Sometimes I feel like a mutt and yes, my nose gets cold quite easily.

Any random thoughts for y'all this week?

Thinking out Loud with Amanda at Running with Spoons

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Bookworm: the Virgin Queen's Daughter

This book is the reason why I love historical fiction.  I've read many novels about the Tudor dynasty and this one is by far my favorite.  Why?  It's a great what-if book.  History is full of facts, but there are many pockets of time that there is very little information about.  Fiction can fill in those gaps, and there's a question surrounding Elizabeth I this author takes one step further.  There's absolutely no evidence of the theory presented in the book, but I love this kind of spin on history.

the Virgin Queen's Daughter by Ella March Chase

Tucked away in the country estate of her beloved father, Lord Calverley, young Nell de Lacey feeds her hungry mind with philosophy, language, and studies of science. Her mother, once a devoted lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII’s last wife, Katherine Parr, would rather her daughter stop dabbling in the grand affairs of men and instead prepare for her eventual duties as a wife. She knows all too well what menace lurks in royal courts.

But Nell’s heart yearns for something more, and a chance meeting with Princess Elizabeth, then a prisoner of the Tower of London, pushes her closer toward finding it. Now, years later, Nell’s chance arrives when she is summoned to serve as a lady-in-waiting to the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth. Nell is entranced by the splendor and pageantry of royal life, unaware of the danger and deception that swirls around the monarch and her courtiers.

But a lingering rumor about nine unaccounted for months in the Virgin Queen’s past reignites when the flame-haired Nell—a mirror image of Her Majesty both physically and intellectually—arrives at court. Quickly she catches the eye not only of the cunning Elizabeth, but of those who would see the queen fail. With strong evidence to connect Elizabeth to her newest maid of honor and the politics of England in turmoil, the truth could send Nell and those she loves to the Tower to join in the wretched fates of those who’ve gone before her.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Little Window Shopping

Last week I posted about my plans to consistently hit mileage, but that doesn't mean I'm patient about it.  Right now I'm fatigued enough after a good run that my hands shake, but it's not bad.  It feels like I do when I've had a super challenging upper body workout.  Anyone else have this happen?  They're fine after rest, but that's just a challenge I'm willing to meet.  Get in shape so I'm not that fatigued.

I'm occupying my time by window shopping online for running gear.  I can't help it.  It's fun to look at new shirts, skirts, Sweaty Bands, even think about Nuun flavors.  I'm in the mood for spring, so I'm looking for happy colors.  I found a Saucony shirt I want, but my LRS didn't have it.  The website says it's a relaxed fit, so I can guess what size to order.  Anybody wear Saucony a lot who can help me out?  It's the PE Tank.  I also found a Star Wars running tank top... well, a couple actually :-)  It does not help that a friend shared a link to many workout tops.  Not fair!

Lastly, I don't know if it's due to the increase in workouts, but the past couple days I've been eating all the things.  I'm trying to be healthy, but I'm eating when I'm hungry and that doesn't necessarily happen when I'm within reach of healthy snacks.  I have a serious case of the munchies and it's come from out of nowhere.  There are only so many choices I can get from the vending machines.

Tuesdays on the Run with April, Patty, and Erika.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Musings 3/23

Weekend update with Tara at Running N Reading.

The weekend was thankfully quiet but I still did stuff with friends.  Friday night we were supposed to watch FC Dallas play Philly, but they postponed the game because it snowed.  Say what?  Philly postponed a game due to snow?  Sorry, not buying it.  They wouldn't postpone Eagles games so what was really going on?  At least the game was played Saturday and we were able to watch the game and eat some chili.  I also found my heaven, and it's called Total Wine and More.  Since I'm going to Napa in May, I'm researching vineyards and their wines :-)

I'm also starting to watch Mork and Mindy.  The episodes are funny but honestly, I can't watch more than 2 at a time.  Mork is just soooo hyper.  I know some of that was cocaine-fulled, but most of it was just natural energy.  There are some shows like Scrubs and the Big Bang Theory that I can plow through all episodes on one disc and not even think about it.  I am making my way through the episodes, but not as quickly as I normally do with a show.  They are funny, but I just need a break after watching a couple.


Sunday: upper body and core

Monday: PT

Tuesday: 2 miles

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: bike 5 miles

Friday: yoga

Saturday: 2.25 miles

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five Signs of Spring

Spring has started, and there are always ways for people to tell.

1) Spring races - might sound strange, since it's not weather, but the LA marathon feels like it's the kick off to spring.  It's the weekend where many races are held and it just seems like it's the start of the spring racing season.  I know next year that marathon will be in February since it's the Olympic marathon qualifier but this particular weekend in March signals spring is coming.

2) Blue bonnets - The state flower of Texas, and a very spring symbol.  I'm sure DC-ites feel that way about the Cherry blossoms.  Blue bonnets are in bloom for about a month, and every family has the obligatory picture of their kids in a field of blue bonnets (my parents do!).  If not kids, then dogs.

3) Fire ant killer - fire ants are a major pain in Texas, and when I hear radio ads for fire ant killer, I know it's spring.  These usually start in April as prep for summer.

4) Easter - my family is far from religious, and I've always thought of spring when Easter rolls around.  OK, if Easter's early then it doesn't feel like spring, but when it's in April, the weather usually cooperates.

5) Tornadoes - certainly not a fun one, but spring thunder storms can bring tornadoes.  It's warm enough in the afternoons when a cold front comes through, the storms can be whoppers.  If it doesn't bring a tornado, then hail.  At least the parking garage at work is done so my car is covered.

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

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sequels Fail

Last week Disney announced they are making a Frozen sequel.  Why oh why?  To me, sequels never live up to the hype and tend to be churned out.  Sure, animating it will slow down production, but studios get wrapped up in the hype and sequels are normally anywhere from just OK to awful.  Think the Pirates franchise.  The first movie has a spark the others don't.  Pixar did it right with Toy Story, but that's the exception.  I'd hate to see the second Frozen lack all the spark of the first movie.

The question is do I trust Disney to do this right?  Even with the right people in place, it could still end up bad.  I feel protective of Frozen since I love it so much and I see a lot of myself in Anna.  Is it my favorite Disney movie?  No, that's still with Beauty and the Beast.  I was tempted to see the Frozen short and skip out on Cinderella last weekend, but I've decided against that.  Once Cinderella hits Netflix, I'll get it to watch the short and skip the movie.

Anybody else skeptical of Frozen 2, or love movies with awful sequels?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

6 Years

Today marks 6 years since I moved to Dallas.  Who'da thunk it?  6 years ago I took a huge risk and moved my entire life to a state I hadn't lived in for 20 years, no job and no house.  I lived in my grandmother's condo for free since she wasn't using it, and I set out to find that job that would let me stay.  Looking back on that, I can't believe I did that.  I tend to be conservative and over think things, but that decision felt 100% right.  I was miserable in Boston and needed to get out.

During these 6 years I found a love for running, found out I can in fact cook (yay!), found a job I'm still loving (though it does provide its fair share of drama), got Allie, and I turned 30 here.  Not bad if you ask me.  I have a great group of friends, love going to soccer and hockey games, battled through an injury, and finding the joy of running again.  6 years is also half the time I lived in Boston.  Can I do another 6 years in Dallas?  Who knows.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Building that Base

Tuesdays on the Run with April, Patty, and Erika.

It's time for me to up my game.  I realized during my last 2.5 mile run my base sucks.  There's no other word for it.  When I make progress, I back down the next week, but it's time I started pushing myself.  If I want to have a strong 5k, I need to consistently hit 2 miles in my workouts now.  Anything beyond 2 miles and I start losing my form and the remaining distance ain't pretty.  I've decided to take the leap and not do runs under 2 miles so I can continue to build.  After 2 miles, I only have 1.1 to go.

As a side note to running, y'all know how much I love Sweaty Bands, but recently I'd been working out without them.  Yeah, not gonna happen again.  A couple hair wisps landed in my eye on Saturday and it hurt like crazy.   I need to wear one of however many Sweaty Bands I have during every workout.  My wisps are getting longer and need to be kept in check.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Musings 3/16

Happy Monday.  This won't be quite a write up on the weekend, but I am linking of with Running N Reading.

Thursday was a whopper of a day at work, and it brought to mind this picture that I saw on Women's Running Magazine FB page just the day before:

I almost changed my plans and decided to run, but I stuck with biking.  I had a good 2.5-mile workout on Tuesday and still needed to recover smartly.  It wasn't all day Thursday, but the morning was just... I deal with a lot of administrative assistants at my work, and if I'm not the best person to answer their question, I send them to the best person.  But they want me to cater to them and babysit them, so they get passive-aggressive snarky through emails.  It turns me into Chicha.

Seriously, if they think I'm not helping, they ain't seen nothin' yet!  If they don't want the best answers from the best people, I can send them guesses from now on.

It didn't help that we sprung forward an hour, even with the longer evenings, which I love.  Why do we still do DST, springing forward and falling back?  It was invented by the Germans in WWI to save on fuel.  Well, we're 100 years removed and certainly don't rely on fire and candles anymore.  I turn into a bear during the winter because the evenings are so long when the sun sets early, and my internal clock is telling me I'm ready to go to bed at 9pm.  Really?  It's like I'm hibernating.  And then the spring forward messes with my sleep schedule.  I might move back to Arizona to get away from it.  Let's spring forward and stay there.

Sunday: rest

Monday: Pilates

Tuesday: 2.5 miles

Wednesday: recovery

Thursday: bike

Friday: rest

Saturday: 2 miles

Friday, March 13, 2015

LA for the Marathon

It's time for Friday Five with Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run and You Signed Up For What?!, and I'm re-posting the post I did for LA last year, in honor of the marathon on Sunday.  Anyone running it?  If so, good luck!  Here are 5 pictures from LA.

Where in the World, Los Angeles:

My dad and I went to LA in 2003 for a couple days before meeting up with my mom in San Francisco.  Like Hawaii, when you're on Boston time, you're up early, even before McDonald's opens.  Say what you want, they have a good breakfast spread.  6am in LA also means weird human beings visit the McDonald's.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review: the Dolphin

By now, y'all know I was at Disney last week for a conference.  I did not know the Swan and Dolphin has a convention center on the Dolphin side, and that's where my room was.  I didn't know that in advance, so I had the cab driver drop me off at the Swan, and I walked across to the Dolphin after I learned where my room was.  All of that was at 8:30pm because my flight was delayed an hour and forty minutes out of Dallas.  Blah!  Word of warning, the Magical Express does not go to the Swan or Dolphin.  Park transportation buses and boats do, but ME does not.

Luckily, I woke up to this view the next morning.  Not bad for a working conference, huh?  My room was quiet, and the bed was huge, but the rest of the room was kind of small.  The vanity area had one sink and not much vanity space.  Hey, a woman has to spread things out, you know.  And the actual bathroom was tiny.  I felt the door was going to hit the tub, but it did swing fully open.  I'd say the bed was a king, which made it great to spread out and get comfy.  It was pretty easy for me to fall asleep each night.

The location can't be beat since it's right with the Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Club.  I walked over to the Boardwalk Bakery a few times for breakfast, which felt great.  I could get outside and stretch my legs before I had to sit inside all day.  Then we could get outside and walk around the lagoon after the sessions.  The first evening was gorgeous.  There was a breeze that kept things cool, and the humidity from the morning was gone.

The one complaint I have is the Friday of my conference, a cheer convention invaded.  To put it mildly, cheer was never my thing.  I don't have anything against cheer, but when so many girls are swarming over the lobby, it's very off putting.  I never had an issue, but one person I met at the conference did have to call security at 11:30 Friday night because the hotel put cheerers in the room next to hers, and they wouldn't shut up.  Umm, Dolphin, whatever happened to blocking off rooms?  If you have a working conference, put those people as far away from the others.  The organization could've been a lot better, especially when my conference's committee plans these things years in advance.

For families, I might suggest booking a different hotel than the Dolphin.  I don't know about the Swan, but the Dolphin either has rooms with a king bed or double beds.  My room did have a foldout couch, but I honestly don't think there was enough room for it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bookworm Wednesday: Sarah Woolson Mysteries

I love it when I find a good historical mystery series that's centered in the US.  Most of the mysteries I read take place in England, but when I stumbled on the Sarah Woolson mysteries, I was intrigued, to say the least.  The mysteries take place during "Victorian" San Francisco.  I love San Francisco, but I will admit I do have difficulty picturing what SF looked like in those days.  I've never really seen pictures of it, and the 1906 earthquake must've changed things up quite a bit.

The main character, Sarah Woolson, comes from a prominent political family in San Francisco, and even in the US, she is expected to marry well and not think about having a career.  Sarah, however, is a certified lawyer, and is determined to practice.  Her practice and curiosity provide the cases for each mystery in the series, and the books take the reader all over San Francisco, from the posh homes to the slums.  In a way, the book presents the same kind of trouble independent women faced in England, but I get a history lesson at the same time about one of my favorite cities.

The year is 1880, the place San Francisco. Intelligent, outspoken Sarah Woolson is a young woman with a goal and the fortitude to achieve it. She has always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. The trouble is, everyone believes women belong in the home---that it is not only unnatural, but against God's will for them to seek a career.

When Sarah finagles an interview with one of the city's most prestigious law firms, no one thinks she has a prayer of being hired. Except Sarah. Using her brains and a little subterfuge, she not only manages to become the firm's newest (and only female) associate attorney, she also acquires her first client---a lovely young society matron suspected of brutally stabbing to death her wealthy but abusive husband. Sarah is sure of her client's innocence, but the revelation of the woman's secret lover may make that innocence impossible to prove. 

When four more victims fall prey to the killer's knife, Sarah fears she has bitten off more than she can chew. Bucking her boorish employer and the judicial system, Sarah finds herself embroiled in shady legal maneuvers, a daring Chinatown raid, and a secret and very scandalous sex club in this irresistible blend of history, romance, and murder.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Like A Woman Playlist

Another workout playlist, but this one is fun.  Sunday was International Women's Day, so I wanted to share this playlist.  I've had it for a couple years, but I recently renamed it Like a Woman to go with my Like a Woman post.  As always, I'm looking to keep adding to it so if y'all have suggestions, please leave them in the comments :-)

I Love Rock'N Roll - Joan Jett
Flat on the Floor - Carrie Underwood
Touch the Sky - Julie Fowlis
Man!  I Feel Like a Woman - Shania Twain
Wild One - Faith Hill
Bye Bye - Jo Dee Messina
Undo It - Carrie Underwood
My Baby Loves Me - Martina McBride
Does Your Mother Know - Christine Baranski
The Way You Love Me - Faith Hill
Better Dig Two - the Band Perry
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Kelly Clarkson
Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood
Out Tonight - from RENT
Barracuda - Fergie
Mississippi Girl - Faith Hill
Edge of Seventeen - Stevie Nicks
Done - the Band Perry
Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Fighter - Christina Aguilera
Whenever, Wherever - Shakira

Tuesdays on the Run with April, Patty, and Erika.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Musings 3/9

Weekend update with Running N Reading.

Did y'all remember to spring your clocks forward?  I'm always caught off guard with how early DST comes in the spring now.  On the other hand, I felt very much awake at 7:30 yesterday morning, even though it was 6:30 to me.  I traveled back home on Saturday after my conference, and I'm hoping I can get back on my normal workout schedule.  I wanted to run outside in Florida but the humidity was rough.  We don't have that humidity yet in Dallas, but it'll be here in a few months.

Before heading to the conference, I stopped at Target to buy Outlander.  Any other fans here?  I figured since I had to bring my work laptop, I could pass the time in the airport, plane, and evenings in the hotel but watching the episodes.  I don't have Starz so I'd only seen the first episode when Starz had a free preview.  If I don't opt to get Starz this spring, I'll have to pass the time with reading more of the books.


Sunday: strength training

Monday: yoga

Tuesday: travel

Wednesday: 1.75 miles

Thursday: EPCOT (don't know how many miles I walked)

Friday: conference

Saturday: conference and travel

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Flower and Garden Festival

As stated on Wednesday's post, I'm at Disney for a conference, and today was a free day.  Today was all the extra workshops you pay additional fees for, and my work was closed due to snow, so I went into EPCOT.  I planned on that anyway since the conference goes through Saturday, so this is a comp day, of sorts.

Ever since being at Disney for Princess 2012, I wanted to check out the Flower and Garden Festival.  By the Princess half marathon weekend, many topiaries are already on display, and that got my attention 3 years ago.  I had so much fun today!  I took a ton of pictures so this'll be picture heavy.  I did see the French film and O Canada, but no rides.  RIP Maelstrom :(





Between main fountain and Figment

Between main fountain and Figment

Entrance of World Showcase




View of Canada from Japan

Grand marnier slushie in France

Pineapple booth, soft serve no rum

Paul McKenna Band, UK

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My View

I won't be blogging my usual schedule because I'm at a conference.  This was my view when I woke up this morning :-D

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Post-race Treats

Tuesdays on the Run with April, Patty, and Erika.

Treating myself after races is part of the fun.  I've treated my feet and gotten pedicures,

I've indulged in ice cream,

and I've had my favorite adult beverages at Disney 

and elsewhere.

Margaritaville is a great off-property place to go ater a race.  It's at Universal Studios, with great food and great drinks.  I've indulged in many a Disney treat, but if y'all are looking to get off property, I'd recommend Jimmy's place.  Between the fish tacos, the Cheeseburger in Paradise, margaritas and boat drinks, and key lime pie, what's not to like?