Monthly Archives: August 2011

Hillz

Yesterday I mentioned the hilly I run Bri and I took in PA over the weekend. I don’t do hills. And I don’t really have a choice since Richmond is so darn flat.

 

First, a typical Richmond-area 3 Miler in my neighborhood (elevation profile).

Total gain…11 ft.  I typically do these at about a 9 minute mile.

And now the hilly 5 miler in PA.

Yikes and OUCH. This is probably NOTHING for a lot of people, but as you can see from my typical 3 miler, I’m not used to much incline. A steady rise over 3 miles is super challenging for me. Oh and a hurricane was coming so the air was completely saturated with humidity. Yeah, it sucked, but I’m darn proud of myself for kicking it’s butt. And I totally love the ridiculous downhill between 3 and 4. Talk about rewards.

Total elevation gain…267ft.

Time to start seeking out some hills in this town.

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That August Whirwind

I’ve been booked solid for the entire month of August. Thankfully most of the things I had on my agenda were for play, not work. September will be another story…

 

Last weekend Bri and I headed down to Myrtle Beach to enjoy a long weekend with some of his work friends. It was relaxing, full of wine, and generally a great time. Ironically we didn’t even set foot on the beach since the condo complex we stayed in had a massive awesome pool. And by awesome I mean they let you drink IN the pool. We also managed to enjoy two wine tastings.

MmMmmmm Blackberry Merlot.

I ate ridiculous amounts of food over the weekend which probably won’t bode so well for my upcoming dress fittings. Boo. But at least it was super tasty.

Flash forward to the past weekend…Brian’s 26th birthday was on Friday and we celebrated by taking a trip up to Philly for a Phillies game and a beerfest. Last year I surprised Brian with a trip to the beerfest – I schemed with him family to surprise him at the hotel. We had such a great time that we had to do it again this year.

We both took Friday off and stupidly didn’t hit the road until about 9:30am that morning. We usually leave late Thursday night when we drive up, but Bri got an iPad for his b-day and we decided to spend the night playing with it. It basically took us 6 hours to get up there since everyone was fleeing from Hurricane Irene.

When we arrived we grabbed some food, showered, and left for the ballpark 2 hours early. Brian was convinced there would be tons of traffic but we actually made it to the stadium in record time. We spent the next two hours tailgating by ourselves with a 6 pack of beer.

We're the coolest.

Eventually we made our way over to the stadium and proceeded to eat more food and drink more beer (well, Brian drank more beer, I was DDing for the birthday boy).

Fake cheese is acceptable at baseball games.

Sadly the Phillies lost, but it was a great game nonetheless.

The next morning we woke up at the early hour of 9am (ha) and squeezed in a 5 miler at the local park. And that run kicked my bootay. Richmond is ridiculously FLAT compared to the rolling hills of PA. I seriously thought my legs were going to fall off during the first 3 miles. It was brutal. However, what goes up, must come down, and we were rewarded with a solid quarter mile decline around mile 4. Um, hello 7 minute pace?! We finished up in about 48 minutes with a solid 9:30-something pace.

From there we cleaned up, played with the iPad a bit more, and whipped out our rain gear as Irene made her way into PA. The beerfest was about an hour away near Lancaster, PA and we arrived in time to eat some grub at a local diner, snooze for a bit, and whip out the Pinot.

The fest did not disappoint. It’s held at Stoudt’s Brewery and it is truly one of the best beerfests I’ve attended. It’s completely indoors, so the fact that a hurricane was whipping around outside didn’t really affect us. $35 gets you a tasting glass, a buffet dinner, and a really fantastic band. Oh and I fell in love with Watermelon Beer. Serious love.

Watermelon beer is my second love after this dude.

By the time we caught the shuttle back to the hotel, Irene was really starting to blow in. The rain was pouring sideways and there were branches whipping around everywhere. Thankfully we didn’t experience any sort of damage, although our hotel room started to smell like hermit crabs (I kid you not)…

Now it’s back to reality and the fact that September is equally as busy! But it’s my birthday month, so BRING IT on.

Happiness in a Photo

Fresh flowers ($3.99 at Trader Joes…hell yes).

Wine.

Watermelon.

Happy Hump Day to me.

Make it Work

Anyone else a huge fan of Tim Gunn? I kind of want to kidnap him and keep him as my own fabulous grandfather (not that I think he’s super old, but you know what I mean). That’s not creepy…

Today I had to make my workouts work.

On Mondays, normally I like to go to Spin at 5:30 and BodyPump at 6:30. It’s a great combination of cardio and weights. However, I had a work event scheduled for 5:30 today and I knew there was no way I’d be done in time for either.

Mondays provide the most flexibility for me since I work from home these days. It really is the best thing EVER. It’s quiet, I can make smoothies at will, brew coffee just the way I like it, work with a cat on my lap, and, most importantly, use my lunch break for a work out. Today I decided to work out longer than usual since I’d be extending my work day until about 7pm.

I hit up the 12:10 BodyPump XP class at the gym and then came home and did a quick 3 miler. I was hesitant to run in the middle of the day, but thankfully a quick rain shower washed much of the heat away. It was still about 88 when I hit the road, which is a FAR CRY from 97 and humid. Why can’t my runs be this good in the early morning?!

When all was said and done I whipped up a delicious smoothy and went back to work. Another perk of working from home…no need to shower immediately after working out.

Then I took this really cool photo of me and my twin. Bahaha.

Yo.

And now. Time to veg out.

HMT Week 1 Adjustments

I had big plans for my first week of Half Marathon Training.

Here’s what I aimed to do:

I ended up completely skipping all workouts on Monday. I totally forgot that Brian’s cousin was coming in to town for work, and we planned to have dinner with her. I usually add this kind of thing to my calendar, but it literally slipped my mind. By the time I remembered she was coming it was too late to squeeze in a workout. That put me at -1 Spin and -1 Bodypump for the week. Not such a good start.

I managed to make it to Wine and Dash on Tuesday (just barely!) but bailed on my Wednesday run. I spent the ENTIRE day driving around Richmond delivering cupcake invites for a work event and I was completely exhausted by the time I got home. And we had our final priest meeting at 6:30 so it was dark by the time I got home. I felt tired from the day’s work, so I didn’t mind taking a rest day.

Thursday I managed to squeeze in 3 miles after volleyball, so I caught up a bit. I also scratched working out on Friday. I did my Saturday AM run and plan to go to BodyPump today. So my ACTUAL workouts look like this:

Honestly, not too happy with this, but I did have to make some adjustments due to unforeseen circumstances. I plan to work really hard in week 2, and FORCE MYSELF to do some freaking strength training. I have several Groupons/Living Social deals to fitness-related places, so I am going to see what strength classes work with my schedule.

In other news, pics from the training team are up! I love that the team comes with a photographer…it’s fun to look at the photos week by week. Here are the two he managed to snap of me.

I heart purple. And running with friends!

Feeling like all sorts of crap.

My plan for this week is to run in the early AM on Thursday. Time to start that transition into a morning runner. Major UGG. But hopefully it will make the Saturday long runs a lot more tolerable.

Time to feed my belly and prep for PUMP!

Morning Runs are the Pits

No really, I suck at running in the morning.

I don’t know what it is, but it needs to change. Pretty much ALL races are in the morning.

Lately I’ve been doing all of my runs in the evening…even hitting the pavement in 95 degree 6:30pm weather. But now that half marathon training has started up again, I’m going to be doing my long runs at 7:15am on Saturdays.

This morning’s long run was only 3 miles, but I felt so crappy that I had to walk just after mile 1. I didn’t start out too fast or anything…I just felt like crud. My ribs started to feel super tight and I was having a hard time breathing. WHAT GIVES?!

My stats:

Still a respectable pace, but I really had to work for it. And it doesn’t even make sense since I was about to maintain an 8:40 pace for 3 miles on Thursday evening AFTER playing 2 hours of volleyball.

I really don’t know what else could have caused my misery other than the fact that I’m simply not used to rolling out of bed and running. The 5k I ran 2 weeks ago was similarly miserable and it had a 7:30am start. Maybe my body needs to eat and process 2 meals before it can comfortably run?!?

Whatever it is, I’m going to have to start getting used to these morning runs or I can kiss a new PR goodbye!

 

Birchbox Update

After receiving my very first Birchbox on Monday, I’ve since had the opportunity to try out some of the goods. You can click on the picture of the item for more info at Birchbox. Let’s dive in.

First up, the Shaveworks Cool Fix razor burn gel.

I rarely need to use a product like this, but I just so happened to have a bit of razor burn this week. I encountered an impromptu opportunity to take a dip in a hotel pool last weekend (possibly after a beer festival…ahem) so I haphazardly tackled my bikini line (possibly after an undisclosed number of beer samples…ahem). Needless to say I ended up with some razor burn. I’ve been applying the gel to the area every morning after I shower (so for 4 days now) and I’m pretty surprised that most of the redness and bumps have gone away. It didn’t happen instantly, but the gel did help soothe the area. I also noticed that I don’t have many (maybe 1?!) ingrown hairs, which is definitely a first for me! I didn’t need to use much product, so I’m thinking this gel will last a long time and I will definitely use it again.

Next up, Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel.

Honestly, not really a fan. I’ve been using this since Tuesday and I’ve noticed my hair feels a little crunchy. Maybe I’m not using it correctly, but it seems to blob in some places and not really adhere in others. I don’t know. I’ve been applying it like a regular hair gel, and the directions say to comb it through tw0-inch sections and then shake your head to reset the curl. That is WAY to complicated for me. Maybe it’d be a miracle product if I used it correctly, but it’s just too much effort. I prefer to shower, throw in a little product, maybe scrunch a few times and then hit the road. Finally, and probably most importantly my hair seems to have the same amount of frizz as it  always does. When the sample is done I won’t be purchasing more…the battle to tame frizz continues.

And my final review…Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.

Love it. It’s got a really unique feel to it – not quite a lotion, not quite a gel, kinda puffy like a cloud. It didn’t make my face shiny or clog my pores. It also seemed to keep my make-up stuck on pretty well, so I consider that a win. I’m not much of a make-up expert but I think this product does what it says it’ll do. Although $36 is a bit more than I’d like to spend on a primer, I may consider taking the plunge when I run out of the product I’m currently using.

Overall I’m quite happy with this month’s haul.  And I’ve still got the facial cream and the hair tie to take for a spin!

Goat Cheese for Breakfast

I stumbled upon this delicious little treat in the giant artisan cheese section of the new Kroger in town.

It’s spreadable goat cheese by Belle Chevre and it’s yum yum good. I am a goat cheese fan, but usually enjoy it in salads or on pizzas. I’ve never actually spread it on bread or crackers, let alone eaten it for breakfast. They have several other flavors as well, like fig, cinnamon and coffee (?!). The spread is slightly sweet, definitely thinner than cream cheese, and has a distinct goat cheese flavor. I spread mine on cinnamon raisin bread and it was the perfect addition.

It’s got more oompf than butter but less cream than cream cheese. And the nutrition facts and ingredients aren’t so bad either…

1 oz has 100 calories, 8g of fat, less than 1 gram of sugar and 6g of protein (and a few other things like 20mg of cholesterol and 140mg of sodium). The ingredients include pasteurized goat milk, culture, enzymes, salt, and honey. Pretty simple, I love it!

Compare this to your run of the mill Philadelphia Cream Cheese…

1 oz has 100 calories, 9g of fat, 105 mg of sodium, 1g of sugar, and 2g of protein. It’s made of milk, milk fat, cheese culture, salt and stabilizers Xanthan and/or Carob Bean and/or Guar Gums (no idea what any of that means).

So generally the goat cheese has more protein and less sugar and fat (barely) than cream cheese and the ingredients are all recognizable. I’ll take more protein anyway I can!

When I finish this batch I plan to pick up the cinnamon and coffee. Could be interesting!

Smoothalicious

It’s no secret that a lot of people in the blog world, especially the “healthy living” blog world, like to eat smoothies. I don’t really consider myself a “healthy living” blogger, but I do consider myself a smoothie fan. Lately I’ve been loving a particular combination…

MMmmmMMMmmMM

  •  A few giant spoonfuls of Greek yogurt
  • A large handful of fresh spinach
  • A handful of frozen pineapple (Trader Joe’s!)
  • Half a frozen peach
  • A hefty scoop of frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons of flax seed
  • And enough chocolate milk to get it all wet

I’m not really a measurer (probably why I suck at cooking), so this method works well for me. I do measure the flax though, since I don’t want it to be overly flax-y. The end result is a delicious, creamy concoction that really hits the spot after a long day.

Oh and the chocolate milk is KEY.

Did That Just Happen?

I walked in my door last night at 9pm. Where the heck did my day go??

Sadly I didn't spend my day schmoozing with wooden forest gnomes. Obviously I wish I did.

I worked my regular 9-5 then had a 5:30 work-related meeting. Then I whizzed over to WINE AND DASH and still ended up being late. I had to run in the restaurant and change clothes and the whole team waited for me. So nice of them!! I felt bad but they were all very nice about it. Runners are just good people.

I suffered through 3 surreal miles. It was so bizarre. They literally passed by without much thought on my part. I was physically feeling the burn (and the 93 degree heat) but mentally I was just kinda checked out. Definitely nothing like Sunday’s I-feel-like-sunshine-and-rainbows run. Maybe it was the fact that I was running on grass half the time?

Geez I was all over the place.

I didn’t stick around for wine this time and instead headed to Kroger to pick up our weekly haul. I managed to spend $130…I guess that’s what happens when you decide to shop only in the organic section. Boo! Eating healthy shouldn’t be so darn expensive. I took my sweet time bagging my own groceries (fun!) which probably kept me in the store an extra 15 minutes. Then I got home, unpacked, ate some cereal and called it a night.

Today’s a whirlwind…I’m heading in to the office at 7, driving around allllll day hand delivering some SWEET cupcake invites for a work event, meeting with the priest (oh yea that whole wedding thing is coming up…eeek!), and knocking out 3 more miles.

Cheers to that!!