Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2015 Goals

I didn't really set any goals this year, other than to keep making progress and do a 5k race later this year.  I'm signed up for the race and I am making progress.  June was a very good month for me.  I don't know if it's the shoes or things are coming together, or both, but something clicked this month.  In total I ran 16.2 miles this month (including yesterday's short run) and I've continued strength training and Pure Barre.

I know all months won't be like June.  I even shifted gears last week and cut back a lot because I could feel my legs were tired.  I need to look for some low impact, upper body workouts for when that happens.  Core and upper body strength are just as important.  When the legs are shot in a race, they are what holds the body together, otherwise we would end up looking like Phoebe.

I'm not sure what I want to do in July.  All my workouts in June were just kind of "I'll do what I feel like doing" and it worked out.  Do I focus more on strength training since June was a good running month?  I'll have to think about that this coming weekend.

Tuesdays on the Run with  AprilPatty, and Erika.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Musings 6/29

To continue the Friday Five theme, because I completely forgot, I went to my first Jimmy Buffett concert 10 years ago.  He hit Mansfield MA for two days and my group went to the second day for his concert.  I'd say it created a fun habit :)

This past week was more of a rest week after a 5k last Friday and Pure Barre last Sunday.  My legs were telling me they wanted rest on Thursday, but I did Pilates because I have to strength train.  Even if I don't run, I have to strength train.  After that, they got rest on Friday and Saturday.  It wasn't that they felt heavy, but they did feel tired after my speed work on Wednesday so I opted for extra foam rolling and stretching.

This was a busy weekend for me but it was fun.  Saturday night was a birthday pub crawl for one of my friends, and I went to bed way too late.  I haven't gone to bed that late in a long time, and my internal clock had me awake at 7am.  Why???  Then I met my cousin for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory before getting back home and crashing!  I napped for 45 minutes to try to get some energy to finish the day.  After that I watched the rest of the USA Outdoor Championships while Allie demanded snuggle time for an hour.

Weekend Update with Tara.


Sunday: Pure Barre

Monday: rest

Tuesday: Dr. Whosday

Wednesday: 2 miles speed work

Thursday: Pilates - hips, buns and thighs

Friday: rest

Saturday: rest

Friday, June 26, 2015

10 Years Ago: Baltic Cruise

Happy Friday!  Today's Friday Five theme is what we were doing 10 years ago.  That made me realize the one and only cruise I did was in 2005.  Crazy to think it has been 10 years, but it has.

1) Estonia

2) St. Petersburg

3) Helsinki

4) Stockholm

5) Germany


6) Aarhus

7) Copenhagen

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

Thursday, June 25, 2015

An Ode to Allie

Sometimes I wish I could be my cat.  She finds joy in the simplest of things, and can sleep whenever she wants to.

Saturday I bought a new quilt, and it's her new favorite thing.  I've needed a new quilt for a few years and I finally found one that I liked.  Allie likes it so much more.

Then there are cardboard boxes.  I ordered an anti-glare screen for work, and let's just say the box it came in was a little over kill.  But I put it on the floor because my girl loves to explore boxes.  Not even 5 minutes went by and this happened:

Yup, that's my girl.

Thinking Out Loud with Amanda.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wine Wedesdays?

It's no secret I like wine, and ever since I got back from Napa, I've been buying a bottle for the week and I've been trying to match it to the food I'm planning on making.  Wednesdays have been a free topic for a while, so why not incorporate this around the other random topics I might post about?

The first wine was the Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc that I splurged on when I saw it at the store.  I was planning on going for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but when I saw the Duckhorn, memories of Napa came up and I couldn't walk out without it.  I mentioned in my Duckhorn writeup that the Sauvignon Blanc was very refreshing because a lot of the wines in Napa are reds.  That's just the way the climate works.

That week, with the SB, was the week I brought out my summer salads.  I had the salad three days that week with other food in between, but lighter dishes to keep with the lighter wine, like tilapia.  I find tilapia is a good fish to have on hand, throughout the year, because it's versatile and doesn't take long to cook.

Next week I've challenged myself and I've chosen a wine already, and I need to find out what pairs well with it.  This is normally backwards from how I work, but I saw a wine on Saturday that I want to try so that's next on my list.  I can have fun in the kitchen at the same time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Time to Check In

Today's on the run, and this post will be about me checking in since I haven't run a challenge race and have no tips.

It's time to check in because so far, June has been a good month *knock on wood*.  I have done a 5k on the treadmill twice, with smaller runs in between.  I don't want to plan too far ahead, so I'm taking things a week at a time.  If I do a 5k, then the next week is more a recovery week with more foam rolling, stretching and yes, rest.  I'm still trying to figure out what is a good active rest week.

I don't want to think it was a simple switch of shoes, but maybe it was.  I put my anger aside and went back to Asics after reading good reviews of the GT 2000s.  My biomechanics obviously like Asics and as long as Asics doesn't change the model (again), my body will be happy.

Is it more strength training?  Yes, I am slowly pulling away from physical therapy but I'm adding in more strength training, including Pure Barre.  When both my chiropractor and PT said Pure Barre is great, I knew I had to keep at it.  It's the only workout I've found, so far, that focuses on my weaknesses and forces me to strengthen them.  Where was PB when I was in high school?  These weaknesses go all the way back then.

All I do know is things seem to be working (again, I'm superstitious).  It feels goods, and I hope I can continue the good luck throughout the summer.

Tuesdays on the Run with  AprilPatty, and Erika.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Musings 6/22

As always, I can't believe I'm back at work.  I'm linking up with Tara and Running N Reading for the weekend recap.

I kicked off the weekend Friday afternoon with another 5k on the treadmill.  I was doing speedwork and after warming up, speed intervals, either at 1/1 or 2/1, and a cool down, I hit 5k.  I decided to workout Friday because Saturday morning was going to be filled with errands and a 10am showing of Inside Out.  Anyone else see Inside Out?  I did end up crying, damn Pixar.  They seem to really like testing my resolve.  I don't normally cry at movies but they know how to get me.

The rest of my Saturday was low key and I stayed home and made chicken salsa Verde in the crock pot. 

Sunday was a rainy day in Dallas (OK, Mother Nature, we have enough water right now!) and if I didn't have Pure Barre, I would've stayed in bed the whole morning.  I woke up early, ate breakfast, and since PB didn't start until 10:45, I went back to bed for another hour.  I could've stayed there.  If I had a TV in my room, I think I would have.  PB kicked my booty and I'm feeling that workout this morning.  I heard the instructor say she learned one of the new routines and couldn't wait to use it.  Oh joy...


Sunday: Total body strength training

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 2.5 miles

Wednesday: leg work

Thursday: rest

Friday: 5k

Saturday: rest

Friday, June 19, 2015

What Makes Me Happy

Friday Five today is "what makes me happy".  After getting all PO-d from work on Wednesday, I had to calm down before writing this post.

Thank you Pixar.  You get me
 When you're worked up, and in a bad way, happy isn't the first emotion to hit the brain.

1) New running gear.  This week I bought a new running tank top and my new sports bra arrived.

2) It's not a secret I like wine, and buying a new bottle is fun, and it's fun thinking of the dinners I'm going to pair with it.

3) Speaking of food, a new recipe also makes me happy.  When I see a recipe I can't wait to try, I can't wait.  I put the ingredients on my grocery list and will make it that weekend.

4) Family and friends.  They get me, quirks and all.  Sometimes they share in those quirks.

5) Allie.  The big aspect that makes me happy.  She gives me a big reason to get up each day (or creates reason for me to feed her early), and she adds so much life into my home.  When I have to board her before traveling, it's soooo quiet in the apartment without her.  I don't like it one bit.

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

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thinking Out Loud 6/18

Thinking Out Loud with Amanda.  I definitely had some random thoughts this week, so buckle up.  This is the way my mind normally works, but somehow I can keep it all organized

Thanks to Hip2Save, I have a definition of Hangry, and I will use it a lot.  Even though I go to the grocery store with a list, things will end up in my cart that aren't written down.  It's like when I was a kid but my mom's not there to keep it out of the cart.


I'm a history nerd and AMC debuted their 8-part series Making the Mob: New York.  The title makes me think Chicago could happen, and I think it should.  Each part is 1 hour, with commercials, and I'm already hooked.  If anyone is interested, they're showing on Mondays after a mafia movie.  Monday's was Goodfellas, but I don't think AMC is the channel to see those movies for the first time.  They're edited, and cut up with commercials.


Ever have the same color combo work clothes and gym clothes?  I pack my gym bag at night and I dress for work in the morning, and more often than I care to admit, I'm wearing the same color pants and shirts for both.  Last night I packed my black capris and my new blue Adidas top, and this morning I put on black work capris with a blue peasant blouse.


Tuesday was a Run Disney registration, and my lord those prices!  The half marathon is $200, and the 10k is $110.  I would love to do a 10k at Disneyland but either my knee has to heal faster, or I need to come up with a different 10k to go after because the way these prices are increasing, I'd go broke.  Yes, I understand it's Star Wars, but $200 for one race is beyond my maximum limit.  I love that RD got me into running, but it looks like I'll have to focus elsewhere.


Finally, another meme from Facebook that understands me.  I try to do yoga, I really do.  But this explains my relationship with it:

I definitely had one of those moments yesterday.  I was so ticked off from events at work that a workout wasn't enough to calm me down.  Hence, wine.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Operation Petticoat (1959)

Summer is the time I watch the movies I have and movies Netflix has.  I was inspired to watch Operation Petticoat in San Francisco since Pier 39 has a WWII submarine available for touring.  I got claustrophobic when I hit the diesel room so I didn't see much of the inside of the submarine.  I had to get out to fresh air as fast as I could, and that's never happened before.  If you're looking for a good written comedy, Operation Petticoat is it.  It's directed by Blake Edwards and stars Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.

From Amazon:

Cary Grant and Tony Curtis ship out for laughs and adventure in one of the most hilarious comedies to ever hit the high seas. Commander Matt Sherman (Grant) has his toughest assignment yet - to put a broken sardine can of a submarine back into action. Enter supply officer Nick Holden (Curtis), a master scavenger with the (illegal) means to get the Sea Tiger purring - or at least afloat. But after the rescue of five stranded (and beautiful) nurses, the grey, battle-scarred sub has suddenly transformed into a pink, party-ready hot tub. Now there's only one course of action Sherman and his men can take - surrender!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Running Solo

Tuesdays on the Run with  AprilPatty, and Erika.

Today's topic is running solo vs. running with a group.  I have always enjoyed running solo than with a group.  When I ran with team groups in high school and college, I always ended up at the back and struggled to keep up.  Running fast for long distances wasn't my strong suit, so now when I can decide things, I run by myself.  

I'm an afternoon runner, and I like to run after work.  I work 7-4 which gives me some calmer time at the gym before the rush hour gym-goers descend on the building.  I can put my headphones in and just zone out.  I'm not good at talking when I run, mostly because I'm processing things that happened that day, or I'm just in my own world.  Between that and the headphones, I won't hear a single question directed towards me.  I'm also not social when I run so one of my pet peeves is if someone next to me wants to talk.  I consider the headphones as the international symbol of "I don't want to talk."

I do get help foam rolling
Not to mention my injury.  If I'm good for two miles, I'm good for two miles and can step off the treadmill and go home.  I can run at the pace that works for me, using the run/walk intervals that work for me.   I don't lack for motivation though.  I love the blogging world because I see what others are up to and it keeps me going.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Musings 6/15

One thing about summer is no new shows, so I end up adding lots of movies to my Netflix queue, and one of them last week was Cool Runnings.  I hadn't seen it in YEARS and it's a classic from my childhood.  As a runner, I also needed to buy a song from its soundtrack.

Well, if you've got a problem, you've got to rise above it
When you face a challenge, you've got to rise above it
When you're back against a wall, only way to go is up
Rise above it, come on and rise above it!

Yup, that's going on a running playlist.

I felt this weekend went by slower than last week, which is fine by me.  Last weekend whizzed by and all of a sudden, I'm back at work after feeling like I just left for the weekend.  This weekend I was able to get 2 miles done at a slightly faster pace (and quite sweaty with the weather), got to the wine store, and was able to put my feet up most of Saturday.  I finished watching the NCAA championships and wished some TV channel had shown the Portland track festival.  That's where Twitter came in handy.

Sunday was calm in the morning but then our ECHL team had their game 7 of the finals.  Before that, I stopped at the Dick's in that area since I was looking for another UA workout tank, but I bought this instead:

I couldn't resist.  It's a complete impulse buy but how could I not buy it?

Then it was time for the game, and I thought it would be a close nailbiter.  Nope.  We won the game 6-1 so we are ECHL champs!  They let fans on the ice after these championship games, which is fun.  We had to sign waivers though since some moron slipped on the ice last year.  Some people just can't handle all the fun.


It was more a recovery week after hitting 3.1 miles last Tuesday, but it was also the first first of real summer.  It doesn't matter that the official first day of summer hasn't come yet, it's summer.  It takes a little bit to adjust.

Sunday: pure barre

Monday: rest

Tuesday: yoga

Wednesday: PT

Thursday: rest

Friday: rest

Saturday: 2 miles

Weekend Update with Tara.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Favorite Summer Activities

Friday 5 is top 5 summer activities.  I'd like to say I hibernate in the summer because most of the time it's just so hot to do much.  But here's what I tend to do once summer arrives:

1) I'm normally not a salad person, but when summer hits, I don't feel like cooking extensive meals.  Entree salads come out and I get creative.  Enter my first summer salad of the season: romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, chunks of green apple and red apple, strawberries, toasted pecans, dried cherries and croutons.  Before I added the croutons, I mixed up the goodies with some strawberry vinaigrette.

2) Since I'm eating lighter meals, I turn from red wine to white.  You'll notice Duckhorn from my Napa visit.  Their Sauvignon Blanc was really refreshing, and I prefer lighter whites so I go with Sauvignon Blanc a lot.  I find SB's from New Zealand are pretty good too.

3) Pixar tends to release their movies in the summer, so I make my (maybe) annual trek to the movie theater.  I know there will be kids but it's Pixar.  I can't miss their movies, and this year is Inside Out, and I already feel a connection to Riley's character.  I was 12 when my family moved to Boston, and Riley's about the same age when her family moves to San Francisco.

4) It's every 4 years, but anybody else watching the Women's World Cup?  The men's was last year and this year's is the women.  The US won their first game Monday, but I will say I wasn't too impressed.  We have to get better if we want to advance out of our group.

5) Maybe not a favorite activity, but I have to find stuff to watch on TV while my shows are on summer hiatus.  Tuesday night I watched a Disney movie and now I'm thinking I could watch one each week during the summer.  I think I have enough Disney DVDs to make it through.  I've already watched Beauty and the Beast and Mary Poppins.

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

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Disney Family Museum

Our last stop for fun in San Francisco was the Disney Family Museum.  We left Napa early Thursday afternoon after Baldacci specifically to make it in time.  The Museum is in the Presidio, which is the old military base, and it's gorgeous.  The views out to the bay are breathtaking.  I wouldn't mind working there each day.

The lobby area displays are filled with all the awards Walt earned, whether they're his Oscars or medals from countries, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom!  That is one tidbit I did not know about him.  These displays are before the actual museum exhibits and pictures can be taken, but pictures are highly discouraged once you're among the exhibits (I took a couple anyway).

It starts on the first floor, not with his birth, but info about his parents and their families, and how they met.  So it starts with pre-Walt info, including his siblings.  After the first exhibit, it's all him, from being in France during WWI with the Red Cross, to his time with Laugh-o-gram, going bankrupt, moving to California, losing Oswald, and creating Mickey.

Picture by Dad
This museum seemed to have everything!  There are so many exhibits to walk around and see.  It took us 3 hours to get through everything, and even then I know I could've read more.  If you're a Disney fan, I highly highly recommend this.  I would've loved to have had a Fitbit to know how many steps I took since I was walking around for 3 hours, and there's more than the exhibits.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Rombauer and Baldacci

The last two vineyards of the trip.  Sigh.  Thursday afternoon we headed back to San Francisco, but also made a stop at the Disney Family Museum.  That's coming up tomorrow :)

Rombauer was Thursday morning and Baldacci was early Thursday afternoon.  If the name Rombauer is familiar, Koerner Rombauer's great-aunt, Irma, wrote the Joy of Cooking.  If y'all have seen Julie&Julia, she's Mrs. Joy.  Rombauer's philosophy is the Joy of Wine, in direct connection of Joy of Cooking.  I'd say this family knows about good food and good wine.  In fact, Koerner's way of thinking is to make wine that is good to drink right off the bat, instead of having to wait years for it to age.

2013 Carneros Chardonnay
2011 Carneros Merlot
2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2011 Diamond Selection Cabernet
2013 Rombauer Zinfandel

The Chardonnay from Rombauer is their leading wine in sales, by far.  It was quite good, and I liked the Diamond Selection Cabernet as well.  I did not like the Zinfandel because it's a sweet wine, and we were told beforehand it's more jam in taste than a dry wine.

If you have a chance to walk around before or after the tasting, the grounds are gorgeous.  We met the head gardener while waiting for our tasting, and he pointed out the flower species, what he uses, what's popular.  There are picnic benches and we took advantage of a picnic lunch in the gardens, overlooking the vineyards.

That afternoon, we headed towards Baldacci, which I had scheduled as our last winery since it's south of Calistoga, and we'd be heading south back towards San Francisco.  It's a boutique winery, and I liked all the wines we tasted.  We even met Beau, who is the family's black Labrador.  His human is one of the family's sons, and Beau is his constant shadow around the vineyard.  You can even follow his exploits on Instagram.

2013 Sorelle Chardonnay
2012 Elizabeth Pinot Noir
2011 IV Sons Fraternity
2011 Black Label Cabernet

The wines were good, and my favorite was the Elizabeth Pinot Noir.  Lately I've been coming across Pinots that lack body and quite frankly are weak wines.  The Elizabeth Pinot has flavor and body to hold up to food I might be cooking.  That one's on my splurge list.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tuesdays on the Run

I'll post the write ups to our last day in Napa and then the Disney Family Museum starting tomorrow, but so much running stuff to update y'all with.

First, I bought new running shoes Memorial Day.  I've mentioned here before that I was angry at Asics for taking my tried and true 21xx series and ruining them with the first iteration of the GT 2000s.  I've worn Altras, Newtons and Brooks, and only the Brooks Adrenaline 14s felt like a good fit.  I ordered the 15s back in February to get the incredibly hot pink color, but there were small features that never felt right.  Enter me researching Asics and reading good reviews about the 3rd iteration of the GT 2000s.  I bought a pair and have retired the 15s as my every day, wet weather/muddy weather shoe.

Second, I ran 6/2, the day before national running day, without any real goal in mind.  My right leg had been tight since getting back from vacation, and I was taking it easy with the new shoes.  I did only one other run, 2 miles, but I felt so good on 6/2 that I pushed past 2 miles, all the way to 3.1.  3.1!  I hadn't done the distance since 2013, as part of my Eugene Half.  Pain free too, and I almost felt like I was in the zone.  Does it make since that I want to hug my Halloween playlist since that's what I decided to listen to?

Third, I came across Run the Edge's virtual challenges, and I want to do the one in September, if I can keep hitting 5k consistently.  I haven't decided if I want to add a medal or shirt, but the medal looks great, and the virtual run itself is only $6.  Why not?  There's also a core work challenge from their fitness coach, so not only would it be a run, I can work towards other stuff too.

Fourth, what a crazy national running day.  Did any of y'all read the ProPublica article about doping allegations against Alberto Salazar?  I hadn't heard any of the rumors swirling around, but apparently they've been swirling around for years.  The documentary Panorama put together, Catch Me If You Can, is available on their Youtube channel, and it's very interesting.  It's certainly gotten WADA's attention, from what I've read of the reaction.

I come back from vacation and look what happens!

 Tuesdays on the Run wit AprilPatty, and Erika.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Musings 6/8

I'm getting back into the usual pattern, so today's post will be my weekend update, linking up with Tara at Running N Reading.  I have two more posts left from vacation, which will be posted Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday was national donut day, but ever since I moved to Texas, I prefer kolaches.  I will occasionally eat donuts still, but kolaches are so much better.  For those who don't know, kolaches are a Czech pastry with a fraction of the sugar and fat as donuts.  It's a kind of small, sweet bread that's baked and some kind of fruit filling, chocolate, or cream cheese filling is placed in the middle.  I bought raspberry, strawberry, chocolate and sausage kolaches on Sunday and I want Heaven to smell like this bakery does.

Saturday I got an early run in before morning errands, and it wasn't as easy a run as Tuesday was, but it was HUMID.  I did 2 miles and was a sweaty mess after the run.  We've gone from monsoon season to summer in a span of a day.  I know Pure Barre asks for pants or tights that cover at least the knees and I'll find out how hot the studio will get since this is my first summer of PB.

And Sunday friends and I went to the Allen Event Center for Disney in Concert.  At first I thought it was Disney on Ice, and I'm not a fan of ice skating... unless it's hockey.  But it's Disney in Concert with vocalists, a symphony orchestra and movie clips.  OK!  They played an overture and then scores and songs from the Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, the Jungle Book, Mary Poppins, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frozen, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Lion King, and they wrapped things up with a sing-a-long to It's a Small World.


Sunday: Total body strengthening

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 3.1 miles

Wednesday: chiropractor appointment

Thursday: corework HIIT

Friday: rest

Saturday: 2 miles