Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pure Barre Platform Review

I decided to write a review on Pure Barre platform in case anyone out there attends Pure Barre, and is wondering what this insane looking workout is all about.  I'll admit, I had no intention of signing up for a platform class since I enjoy the regular classes so much, but that little voice in my head convinced me to try it at least once.  Oof.

Platform is more cardio than a regular class, all done with this little platform/stool that's used for basically every exercise.  The warm-up, class exercises, and wrap-up are all done using the platform.  I'd recommend a towel, not just if you're a sweaty person, but there are ridges on the platform.  My hands felt irritated because of the ridges, and we did a number of exercises on the ground, with our hands on the top of the platform.

Each exercise starts at normal speed, then pulses, then double-time.  It's the double-time that gets your heart rate up, and creates the cardio.  The issue, for me, was some of those exercises were tough enough at normal speed, let alone pulses.  I was trying to figure out how in the world I was going to double-time it, and the exercise was almost over by the time my brain wrapped around what I needed to do.  I felt like I lost a good chunk of time I could've used for strength training.

I honestly don't know if I'd do another platform class.  I go to Pure Barre for the strength training aspect, and I like the exercises in a regular class because I can focus on form and the proper way to strength train, and not be rushed.  When I'm not rushed, I can engage the muscle that I'm supposed to strength train.  I feel like that's the number one reason I've gotten the results I have from Pure Barre.  There's always some part of me that's sore the next day, and yoga feels so good.  I wasn't sore, not one bit, after platform.  Was I doing it right?  I know I can sign up for another platform class if I want to, but I know that'll be very much in the future.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

TOTR: Oldies but Goodies

Today's theme is running gear I'd buy again.  I haven't really ever had a bad experience with something, so most of what I own would be repeat buys.

First, 100 days till Disneyland!  I wondered how long I had and tracked it out on Sunday.

OK, back to the topic.  I still own my Under Armour gear that I bought my first year in college, in 2003!  They're the very same ones I bought that year and they're still going strong.  Since I played a spring sport, and college spring sports start in winter, I needed high quality winter gear that would keep me warm outside.  I didn't need all of that in high school since pre-season would start in mid-March, and even then we'd be inside if administrators deemed it too cold.  Not so in college.  My coach went to Middlebury, so we knew we couldn't complain.

Shoes are always a must, and so is going to get fitted.  I wore whatever I wanted to wear before I started this whole running thing, and I'm sure my feet are happy I'm now wearing what I should've been wearing.  No wonder I had so many mechanical issues in high school, like tendinitis in my ankles to my knees.  The trick with shoes is when companies decide to change things up on people instead of sticking to what is actually working (see ASICS GT-2000 #1). 

On a side note, to flip things around, I'm not sure I would get Yurbuds again.  They've been fine, until the ear pieces started getting loose.  Readers might remember I lost an ear piece, probably in the portapotty, before my 5k last October.  When I went to get a replacement pair, the website was out.  I know my next headphones will be something different.

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

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Musings 1/25

Training officially started this weekend.  I'm loosely following Jeff Galloway's 10k training program for my long runs, but keeping my week workouts the same as my past schedule.  I know I need to strength train 2 days during the week instead of 1, so I'm using the long run numbers as my guide.  2 miles done, both for the training and because my scar tissue is annoying.  Since my chiro and I are messing with it (and from what he tells me, making progress), it is rearing up.  But I've decided to try to push through smartly since it's not my IT band.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I celebrated early at work when my coworkers got a Nothing Bundt Cake, and I bought kolaches Friday morning.  That bakery is one of the best!  I can smell the kolaches and cinnamon rolls in the parking lot - I don't even have to open the door in order to smell what they're baking.  Hmmmm :-)  Saturday I treated my feet to a much needed pedicure, yup, right when training started.  But my feet really needed the attention, so I did lose my calluses, but they'll build up again.

Sunday was my first class of Pure Barre platform.  I don't know why.  I saw the previews, I saw how sweaty people were, coming out of the workout room while I was waiting for regular PB.  But I decided to go ahead and try it.  On my birthday.  It turned out to be not that bad, but I don't know if/when I'll sign up for another class.  I enjoy the regular classes more, but platform would be a good change whenever I wanted something different.

The one downside to this weekend is I'm coming down with a cold.  I got a tickle in my throat that turned into a cough, so I'm on cough drops and cough medicine to try to deal with it.  I'm not one to sit and let a cold dictate what I do, but sometimes I have to cry uncle.  Let's see what happens and if I can keep going.  My colds are always head colds, so thankfully I don't really deal with chest congestion, but I do have that out of breath feeling that comes with my colds :-/

Weekly Wrap-up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin.


Monday: yoga

Tuesday: strength training

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: strength training

Friday: rest

Saturday: 2 miles <--- officially in training!

Sunday: Pure Barre platform 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas

As the first winter storm heads towards the eastern seaboard, my thoughts are with everyone who is getting slammed with it.  Stay safe and warm, and hopefully the infrastructure doesn't blow and y'all can keep your heat up.  I thought I'd write a fun post about what it was like living in Boston during nor-easters, for 12 years.  I have to say I don't miss it.

1) People panic.  I know people are beyond panicking with this storm because reports have already come out about the grocery stores.  A friend in DC said there was a line to get IN to Trader Joe's Wednesday afternoon, not just to pay for the groceries.

2) I never understood the bread, milk, and toilet paper.  I'd be heading for the alcohol section of the store.  If I'm not going anywhere, I'd stock up on wine.  If the power goes out, the wine will keep me warm.

3) If the power does go out, put the wine bottles outside to chill.  The snow, or just plain cold, does a good job, and you don't have to worry about opening the fridge door.  Even when there was no storm, my parents would put the wine outside to chill quickly before dinner, whether it was in the garage or on the back patio.

4) Movies!  DVDs, Netflix, streaming, whatever.  If you have to hunker down for a while, movies and TV shows can be a great thing, just spread it out.  The last time I went on a TV show binge, I got a raging headache.  sometimes I'll even pop in a workout DVD to help with cabin fever.

5) Tropical music.  I've done this one living in Dallas.  When we hosted the Super Bowl in 2011, we got an ice storm that Monday night and the rest of the week was pure ice.  There was no melting, no progress whatsoever, and my work was closed.  I couldn't go anywhere for 4 days, and when I got the alert that I was in for a third day (on the second afternoon), I popped in a Jimmy Buffett DVD so I could hear, and see, the tropics.

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

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Obscure Disney History

Over the long weekend, I started and finished a mystery in the Maggie Hope series.  While the author is now adding a lot of storylines that have nothing to do with the actual mystery, making it frustrating to read, this book contained one storyline that I found fascinating.  A little bit of obscure Disney history.  One of the characters is based on Roald Dahl, the children's author, and him starting to work with the Disney company to produce wartime propaganda.  From the author's note, Dahl wrote his first children's story for Disney, and it was serialized in Cosmopolitan (I'm assuming back when it wasn't what is it today).  The story was about Gremlins, and how they can wreak havoc on RAF pilots.

Quick break back to Christmas, when my mom got a jacket at Disneyland with a Disney gremlin on one of the patches.  Fifinella.  She became the mascot of the WASPs when they asked Disney for permission to use her image officially and he granted them the rights to her.  Fifinella was the group of female gremlins created by Dahl and drawn by Disney, but the female character was given the name Fifinella, for Fif.

Which got me thinking about a potential running costume for Tink, but I don't think I could manage it.  The wings make the gremlin, but how am I going to get wings like that?  It's already difficult enough to get a red running top without any writing on it.  I could do red top, red skirt, yellow compression sleeves, and somehow get flying goggles, but the wings would be very difficult, and I have zero creative ability.

And did anyone see rD released pictures of the Tink weekend medals.  The 10k medal is the same, but now I know what I'm going after :-)

Thinking Out Loud with Amanda.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Running in the Cold

I got new running capris late last week!  They're the ones I bought with a UA gift card from my cousin, which covered most of it since the capris were on sale.  Under Armour has a slightly new design for the line, so the old line is discounted.  Bonus!  But I couldn't use them this weekend on my run :-(  A front came through Friday night, but when I woke up Saturday morning, I couldn't bring myself to use the treadmill.  It was gray, it was windy, but it wasn't as cold as I thought it was going to be.  43, felt like 37.  I know it was crazy of me, and completely out of character, but even thinking about the treadmill made me dread it.  Sometimes I have to get outside, and I hadn't run outside since before Christmas.

I had 4 layers on the top, and my heavy winter running tights, with compression calf sleeves on the bottom.  My running tights aren't compression, so my calf sleeves fit, underneath which is important right now.  I'm trying to loosen up my muscles with pre-run yoga and work on relaxing while running, but my calves still get tight.  Gotta do what I gotta do.  My layers up top was a base layer winter long sleeve shirt, my WDW half marathon long sleeve shirt, a running vest, and a windbreaker.  Since I was on the track, I knew I could take off layers if I needed to, but I ended up not needing to.  The wind was rather strong, and I did find out I need a better winter hat, which I think I've found.  Oiselle has a winter beanie with a ponytail hole in the back.  Simple yet so brilliant!  Right now I use a winter headband for my ears, but it is a little loose, which makes for really cold ears.

In other running news, I saw a trailer for a movie I need to go see.  It's called Race, and it's about Jesse Owens and what he did at the Berlin Olympics.  I finally have a movie to see this year.  I don't want to see any of the Oscar nominees, and I thought it'd a while before I wanted to see a movie in the theater.

Tuesdays on the Run with Patty, Erika, and Marcia


 Monday: rest

Tuesday: strength training

Wednesday: 2.4 miles

Thursday: strength training

Friday: rest

Saturday: 2.25 miles

Sunday: Pure Barre

Friday, January 15, 2016

Favorite Alan Rickman Movies

This week has sucked when it comes to celebrity deaths.  They come in 3's, and I don't want to think about any potential third death.  David Bowie and Alan Rickman within 3 days of each other hurts like hell.

Today is the third Friday of the month, so I'm posting my favorite Alan Rickman movies.  He could be a star, he could be a supporting character.

1) Harry Potter.  I'll group all 8 here.  His work as Prof. Snape, especially that last scene, was phenomenal.  The first time I saw the Sorcerer's Stone, his portrayal of Snape was exactly how I pictured it in the book.  The attitude, the voice, the robes.  Everything.

2) Love Actually.  We never find out how his character and Emma Thompson's figure out how to move on from where they are.

3) Bottle Shock.  He plays Steven Spurrier to devised the blind tasting in Paris, and goes to Napa to get California wines to use in the contest.  He's a wine snob, and comes off as such.

4) Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  I think he stole every scene he was in.  "Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas."

5) Sense and Sensibility.  We know him as a villain, but he could play other types of characters.  I almost didn't recognize him because Colonel Brandon is more quiet character to the villains he played.

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

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thinking Out Loud 1/14

Another Thursday and we are closer to the 3-day weekend, yay!  Today's a link-up is with Running With Spoons.

1) Over the weekend, I knew I wasn't going to watch the game on Monday, and was trying to decide what movie to watch instead.  Then the news Monday morning about David Bowie made up my mind.  I decided on Labyrinth.

2) I had my second acoustic wave therapy on my knee Monday afternoon.  Two weeks ago, my chiro used half the power, then Monday he used full power.

I felt more tenderness in that spot after I got home, but he worked it pretty good.  It's in a complex spot, between my knee cap and a bony knob, so it's difficult to target the scar tissue outside of this wave therapy.  He said my IT band is still feeling good, so my hard work in that area is definitely working.

3) Last week was rough on my TV shows.  CBS announced Michael Weatherly is leaving NCIS at the end of this season, and Rizzoli and Isles announced it's ending its run after next season.  Nooo!  I really don't know what I'm going to do without my shows.  I feel like Michael Weatherly's leaving is another sign NCIS might be wrapping up.  He's part of the original cast, and I still feel the void since Ziva left.  I don't know if I will continue watching after this season.

4) Since I got a wine fridge for Christmas, I'm starting to collect bottles to store in the fridge.  It was pretty empty through the Christmas period, and now's the time to start getting some bottles.  I'm getting ones I can drink now, then I'm splurging on others to save for something special.  I don't know what, but I finally have a place I can store bottles.

5) Another goal I've come up with is to do some pre-run yoga when I run in the mornings.  When I run after work, I've been sitting, standing, and walking all day, so my muscles are loose.  I don't think they're loose in the mornings, so I need a warm up before I start running.  I want to see if yoga will help and I can look on the internet for that too, just like post-run yoga.  Nothing big, but enough of a routine that I can loosen up.  Since so many races are early morning, I need to be ready at the start line, and hopefully that means it won't take me so long to find a rhythm.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Race Dreams

Today's Tuesday on the Run is about race dreams.  I think most runners I know have had them.  They're not nice, that's for sure.  Normally they'll consist of a change in course, getting lost, forgetting something, not getting to the start line, not finishing, etc.  Our minds not only like to give us phantom pains leading up to a race, but these dreams also seep in.  How nice, right?

I had one of those dreams before the Princess half marathon.  I didn't dream about sleeping through my alarm or missing the starting line.  I dreamt the course was sooooo different, and that I got lost in the Magic Kingdom and couldn't get out.  The Magic Kingdom didn't look like the Magic Kingdom, but somehow I knew it was.  It was bizarre, and most of the time I want to dream as long as possible.  Not that time.  I was quite happy when I woke up.

Luckily I haven't had one in a while, and I think my mind did that because it was my first ever half marathon.  I can't remember exactly when in training I had this dream, but I know it was building up to my final long runs.  I don't think it was during the taper, which taper itself can bring on all sorts of anxiety.  I thought all this was supposed to be for fun :-P

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

Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Musings 1/11

Good new week y'all!  Today I have my second acoustic wave therapy session, and to make sure my body's in alignment.  I picture I'm in this holding pattern until training starts, which won't be until February.  The beginner version of the 10k plan I have has 1.5 miles this weekend.  I'm already at 2+ so I have some more time to visit my chiro and get this scar tissue taken care of.

This weekend was a good mix of relaxing and doing stuff.  Anybody else feel last week dragged on?  Some days went by quickly, but others crawled at a snail's pace.  It's tough getting back into the groove that is work, so I was very thankful to reach the weekend.  And this coming weekend is a 3-day weekend!  I did get back into my workout schedule, but that's much easier than getting used to work again after almost two weeks.  My new workout DVD came and I watched it Friday night to know what I'm getting into.  Since I do Pure Barre 3 weeks straight, then take a break, I'll use this DVD on those "rest" days.  It's almost an hour so a perfect way to mix things up.

I so wanted to hit the track this weekend, but we had a front come in Friday night and Saturday was just yuck.  Gray, cold, biting wind.  So after my run on the treadmill, and my errands were done, I parked myself in my apartment and snuggled with Allie.  When the weather's like it was on Saturday, she wants snuggles, and since she's basically a feline heat machine, I don't mind.  It's only when she moves that I feel the cold left where she was.

I tried watching the Golden Globes last night, but I haven't seen 99% of the nominees.  I've seen Inside Out and I have Outlander.  That's it.  I haven't seen anything else, and I don't think I want to.  It's tough to get into award shows when I don't really care.  The banter was tough to watch too, and I was switching back and forth between channels until finally deciding to switch permanently.  I didn't even know the Globes were last night until I saw tweets about it yesterday afternoon.  At a hockey game.  I didn't see any of the red carpet but I can catch up with pictures this morning.

I want to give a big shout out to everyone participated in races this weekend.  I knew a lot of people running Disney races, and it was so much fun seeing their pictures.  I'm revved up for Tink.

Weekly Wrap-up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin.


Monday: yoga

Tuesday: strength training

Wednesday: 2.6 miles with post-run yoga

Thursday: strength training

Friday: rest

Saturday: 25 minutes with post-run yoga

Sunday: Pure Barre

Friday, January 8, 2016

Talk about Citrus

Today's Friday Five theme is food, which is good timing because I read an article (but didn't save the link), about how citrus can help deal with seasonal depression.  I don't have seasonal depression, but I do have seasonal something.  It's difficult to stay up when it's been dark for so long and my body's clock is telling me it's time to start winding down for bed.  It could be 8 and I still get that signal.  Nope.

Even though it's winter, there's still plenty of choices for citrus at the grocery store, and two of my favorites are the clementines.  They're easy to peel and eat, so I love when I start seeing the halos in the grocery stores.

I label some recipes as summer recipes, but there are some good light dishes that could still be served in the winter to change things up from the heavy dishes.  I find shrimp and pasta dishes are good to serve with citrus as well.  I'll also make fish tacos for an easy mid-week recipe since the recipe calls for limes.
Salads are also a good way to mix things up, between grapefruit, blood oranges, and lemons.  I don't eat lemons, but I use them in viniagrettes, and their zest adds a good refreshing pop.  And thankfully, I can find lots of citrus year round if I do need help with my SAD.

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

Thursday, January 7, 2016

3 Things Thursday

We're getting through the first week back nicely.  Anyone have plans yet for the weekend?

1) I didn't know it could be so difficult to redeem gift certificates.  Not the redeeming process, but choosing what I want.  Seriously, I thought choosing an item or two on Amazon would be easy, but I ended up overthinking what I wanted and took days.  I'm not usually like that, but I've got a good wishlist for books and DVDs, and FINALLY went with a Pilates DVD.  It was a little more pricey than other workout DVDs, but that is what a gift card is for.  I decided to spring for this based off Running Out of Wine's review.

2) Then, on the flip side, I knew exactly what I wanted with my Under Armour gift card.  I wanted another pair of capris, so I got a slate gray/icy blue combo which I'm excited to get.  See a pattern with my choices?  You know you're a runner when...

3) Anybody else having big weather swings?  It's starting to warm up a little here, with rain last night and fog this morning, but then we're getting a front Saturday, with the slight chance of mix precip early Monday.  I hope it bypasses us because my next acoustic therapy session is Monday afternoon.  I don't want to miss it.  The cold temps are making it difficult to get on the track on the weekend.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015 Books

Since I was keeping track, kind of for fun, here are the new-to-me books I read last year:

1)      The Bride, Julie Garwood
2)      The Mayfair Affair, Tracy Grant
3)      Voyager, Diana Gabaldon
4)      The Bordeaux Betrayal, Ellen Crosby
5)      Point of Honor, Madeleine E Robins
6)      An Impartial Witness, Charles Todd
7)      A Grave Matter, Anna Lee Huber
8)      Mortal Arts, Anna Lee Huber
9)      Dreaming Spies, Laurie R King
10)   A Study in Death, Anna Lee Huber
11)   The Turncoat, Donna Thorland
12)   Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee
13)   Mademoiselle Chanel, CW Gortner
14)   Malice at the Palace, Rhys Bowen
15)   The Rebel Pirate, Donna Thorland
16)   Drums of Autumn, Diana Gabaldon
17)   Silent in the Grave, Deanna Raybourn
18)   Silent in the Sanctuary, Deanna Raybourn
19)   Silent on the Moor, Deanna Raybourn
20)   The Dark Road to Darjeeling, Deanna Raybourn

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 Goals

First Tuesdays on the Run post for 2016.  It feels good to get back into the swing of things.  I don't do resolutions with each new year, but I do set a goal or two to go after throughout the year.  Nothing with numbers or stats, vague goals that are specific enough that I can pursue them.  Last year's goal was to continue to make progress with my injury and running, and I think I did a good job at that.  It was slow, but I went slow to prevent set backs.

This year my one goal (so far) is to complete the Tink 10k pain free.  Last week, I started acoustic wave therapy with my chiro, and I'm continuing to use the lacrosse ball on the tender spots.  My next session is the 11th.  The spots are sore, and I felt them on my run Saturday.  I'm hoping they're better on Wednesday since I'm back in my routine of foam rolling, lacrosse ball rolling, stretching, and icing.  Since my chiro realigned my hips, I hope that helps too.

I do want to keep reading this year, but there is no set number of books.  I read 20 new books, and read some repeats, last year, and hope to continue that.  I love my Kindle :)  I'm already adding new books to my wishlist, and really need to get cracking since I still have books on there that I pinned last year.

Speaking of running... I have a small balance left on an iTunes gift card I got and am looking for new song suggestions :)

Tuesdays on the Run with Patty, Erika, and Marcia

Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday Musings 1/4

I'm back, not only from my break, but I'm back at work (boo!).  Let's see how today goes, shall we?

I went up to Colorado for Christmas, and even though my parents said the temps in Boulder were in the 30s, which isn't bad, I think I made the temps drop.  Once I got there (after a bumpy flight, oof), the temps fell into the 20s, and it was windy when we were on Pearl Street Christmas Eve morning.  This Texan certainly didn't enjoy that.  I was bundled up and was still cold when the wind came whipping down the street.  I may have uttered a choice word when that happened.  I can handle cold, but I've adjusted to Texas summers so my tolerance for more bitter cold temps isn't what it was.

Christmas was SO much better than last year.  Readers will remember everyone in my immediate family got the ultra-flu bug and it was awful.  It took me more than a week to fully recover.  I'm happy to report no one got sick this year :)  I got some great gifts this year, but the biggest surprise was my parents gave me my Disneyland pass for Tink!  I had been planning on buying it in March, but they were at Disneyland earlier in December and got me a 3-day pass.  OMG!  I got choked up a little bit.

After Christmas day, we headed up to the mountains, where it was even colder.  We did some snow shoeing since I don't ski or snow board, and I was fine with the cardio and movement since that allowed me to warm up a little bit.  My last day, the temp was 14!  Yeah, that's really cold for me.  I was happy to get back to Texas.  I picked Allie up from the vet, and once I got her home, she scolded me to the point where her mew sounded hoarse.  Ha!  It was kind of cute, and she kept fussing at me.

New Year's Eve was interesting.  My car wouldn't start, so friends came and got me for the house party we were going to.  We the Stars game on, then we played different card games.  Those of us who aren't fans of Cards Against Humanity played Exploding Kittens.  It was my first time playing EK and I won twice!  All of us saw midnight, shockingly.  I really do have the sleep schedule of an old lady.  I fell asleep after 2 and was awake at 7:30.  That's OK, since I got Triple A in, who started my car and made me feel foolish, then I drove it to Firestone, where they checked the system, which looked fine, and tested the battery, which tested low.  I got that replaced, so I'll see how that goes.  That particular battery had been weird since I got it last January so hopefully this new one will give me peace of mind.

Since I missed some of the Rose Parade waiting on Firestone, I recorded the entire parade on HGTV since it doesn't have commercials.  Anybody else include the Rose Parade as part of their New Year's Day tradition?  There are so many great floats, but my favorite was a fire-breathing dragon.  My mom and I like dragons and they had this one with pyrotechnics so it could breath fire.  Cool!  There were so many great floats, and Allen HS represented Texas for high school bands.

And did I do any workouts?  Well, once in Boulder, but not in Grand Lake.  I feel in shape in Boulder, so I did 30 minutes on the treadmill.  I feel more out of breathe in Grand Lake, so I only did the snow shoeing.  My first run after I got back is always less than desired, but I go that out of the way and did some strength training New Year's Eve day.  New Year's Day had me sore, but it's always the good kind of sore.  Then Pure Barre on Sunday, so I'm back on schedule.  I had my first acoustic wave therapy session, which was quick and rather painless.  When it got to the scar tissue, it felt quite tender as the waves started breaking up the tissue.  My hip was out of alignment, so my chiro corrected that.  I think that was due to being tense while traveling because I'm not a good flyer.

Weekly Wrap-up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin.