hello.

Ok, it’s been a year since I last blogged and a lot has happened. Fun stuff and difficult stuff. And all of it has lead to me to where I am today, teaching Pilates like a boss and working at lululemon like a champ. One of my goals this year is to be able to do a handstand unassisted. Here is a video of how I practice. …and of how Brian feels about my practice. Keep in mind his office is on the other side of the wall I’m using. And please don’t judge me for my butt being in the camera so much. Just enjoy the commentary. 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you’ve been told how much you are loved today, because you are. 🙂

My love brought me a lovely bunch of tulips today. Rather than taking a picture and instagramming them (which I will probably do anyway), I decided to draw!

photo-1I really am enjoying FiftyThree’s Paper app.
Rather than buying B-Money a present, I decided to make something that would speak straight to his heart, these gluten-free and dairy-free cookies from the Tasty Kitchen Blog. He’s a traditionalist at heart and always wants chocolate chip cookies, but a good chocolate peanut butter cookie has to taste yummy when you haven’t had many treats in over a week. 😉

Maybe I’ll be crazy and have dessert before dinner tonight! But I’m definitely saving room for the short ribs that have been cooking away in the crock pot…

it’s friday

(Now that song is in your head. You’re welcome.)

I kept meaning to blog this week but ran out of steam/time everyday. My apologies. We’ve had a full week. I’m going to work my way backwards, if that’s okay with you.

Today I had an awesome run.

It was a 45 mi run: 5 blue, 35 green, 5 blue; plus some extra because I decided to run a loop rather than double back. I’m so unpredictable. I don’t even know what the heck I’m going to do until I get to a corner and have to turn left or right.

But anyway, I had a great run. I feel like running in the morning has been challenging for me, feeling empty if it was a fasting run or feeling heavy/tasting breakfast if I ate something first. Today all I had were 3 Clif Bar shot bloks and a few chugs of water. I didn’t realize it until now, but they have caffeine from green tea (I probably wouldn’t have chosen to use them had I realized it… thought it was just a bunch of sugar). They tasted good and I felt great on my run, probably due in part to them.

I did the 4.8ish mile loop in just under an hour and mostly in the green zone (i.e. slower pace). I’m wondering how tomorrow’s run will compare since it will be half green, half yellow.

I also learned some new things about the miCoach app today! If you love seeing a graph and breaking down your run, I think you should definitely give this app a try. Check out the additional notes (shown for my red zone, available for the others as well):

I ran all the way back up the steep hill, trying to maintain <12:00 mile, which naturally put me in the red zone for over 5 min. But I conquered that beast and still felt good.

Compared to last Friday’s run (slightly longer loop):

I also learned that miCoach keeps track of any songs you play (through your music player, not Pandora)! Brilliant! Not brilliant: Britney Spears feat. the Ying Yang Twins somehow always cycles through. Must remove from playlist.

I also added my new shoes to my list so they’re ready for me when I decide to take them out for a spin.

See that middle box? I made that up, I haven’t run 200 miles on a pair of shoes nicknamed BOOM. Just wanted to show you what your shoe boxes look like if you choose an Adidas brand (vs New Balance and Reebok that I have). Neat.

This week’s runs were pretty good. I think I got sprinkled on by various sprinklers at least thrice. It was nice. We leave one week from today for Panama and Guatemala for 16 days and I highly doubt I’ll be able to run there. So I’m kind of bummed and don’t want to loose any stamina I’ve built up. Just crossing my fingers that our hotel in Guatemala has a decent gym with a treadmill since, being the blonde chick that I am, I will not be running on the street alone in either country.

Yesterday I met my seester at some outlets and enjoyed a hot afternoon walking around shopping.

Wednesday was the Fourth and it was fun! We hung out with some friends, had too many watermelon cookies, ate delicious pasta for dinner, and watched some fireworks in our neighborhood. It was quite good!

Nothing happened Tuesday.

But on Monday I got to meet our new nephew, Mordecai!!!

He’s just a bundle of cuteness. So sweet and content.

Uncle Bribri is a natural.

Seriously. Does it get any cuter? He didn’t cry once.

We also hung out with Mordie’s older brother Malachi.

This little punkin head snuggled up to me while we were watching some educational cartoon that I can’t remember the name of and you probably wouldn’t know. He’s a keeper. 🙂

Since we’re leaving in a week, it’s time for me to start the annual gathering of all things mini or trial-size. New to this year’s lineup (thanks to various germaphobic friends and news segments): a small bottle of mattress cleaner.

Perhaps I’ll do an entire post on how to pack for an international soccer tour for those who don’t play soccer but have to go. No one’s blogged about that before, right?

new kicks

Today’s run was a laid back 35 min: 5 blue, 25 green, 5 blue. It was the first time in a long time (maybe 2 weeks) that I felt good throughout. My legs weren’t heavy, my chest wasn’t tight, and I wasn’t fighting to breathe through the humidity.I did pretty well staying in my zones, only had to stop and walk once or twice just to keep my heart rate down as I went up hills. I probably could have gone longer, but I’ve been trying to stick to my scheduled time lengths and save up for my longer runs–tomorrow I have a 5 miler. The heart rate monitor wonked out on me at the beginning a bit (notice the big jumps in the blue) and as I was sticking my finger on my tongue and lifting my shirt to wet the receptor, a gentleman came running around the corner in time to see me remove my finger from my mouth and stick my hand up my shirt. Nice.

Now you know why I always run with sunglasses on. Eye contact would’ve only made that worse. Plus I think it makes me look pissed off so no one messes with me.

Speaking of tomorrow, it’s gonna be a doozie…

Yoinks! 80’s before 9:00 and 90’s before 11:00! I am not made for the heat, so that means I’m planning on being home from my run by 9:00 at the latest. And for those visual learners among us:

Yowzas. I will be staying indoors tomorrow staying hydrated. Speaking of which, yesterday I posted about some coconut water that I wasn’t a huge fan of. When I picked up that one to try, I also grabbed another bottle of red tea & coconut water.

This one I actually really liked! They had other colors of tea as well, but I avoid caffeine, so red tea was perfect and tasty with a blend of hibiscus and citrus flavors. I liked it so much I actually drank it pretty quickly. I’d definitely buy this again.

This evening B-money and I found ourselves at some outlet stores and I popped into Reebok. I’ve been trying to find a pair of cross trainers to wear when I’m exercising/lifting so that I’m not always having to wear my runners. I had seen some other bloggers’ reviews of Reebok’s shoes for CrossFit and thought I’d try some on.

These were the first ones I tried on and I fell in love. If only picking out my wedding dress had been this easy. They’re the Reebok Yourflex Women’s in gray/pink/orange.

Not the prettiest shot, I know, but I love them. I usually wear a size 6 in every-day shoes and a 7 in running shoes (since your feet flatten out as you follow through your stride). I wanted a pair slightly smaller than my runners so that my feet didn’t slide to the front while doing push-ups or other on-the-toes exercises.

These fit in the length and in the toe box (so my forefoot doesn’t slide side to side). They’re surprisingly light weight, breathable, have a moderate rise, and super cute colors. Plus, probably the best feature, they were less than $60.

I tried on some of the other zigs and “running” shoes, but these were the best. Love. Them.

I guess that means I need to start the next fitness program in miCoach since I finished Base Strength and Flexibility last week. And I guess I should go to bed since I have to run at the butt crack of dawn.

can it be?

Is it really Friday? The past seven days have been a blur.

Last Friday B-muscle and I got up early to go on a long run together. We did 5.26 miles in 1:02:43. It was a green zone run so it was nice and easy. When we got back, we showered up, packed up, and hit the road for Myrtle Beach. On the way down we stopped to meet our new nephew, Moredecai. 🙂

And to hang out with our other nephew, Malachi.

Once we finally got to the beach, it was nearly dark. And actually chilly.

I got up early on Saturday morning to go for a run. (What’s wrong with me?)

It was perfect weather: warm but with a cool breeze. I only saw 2 other runners out, normally around here I see at least 5-6. After lunch the young’uns hit the beach git our game on. Ladder ball is quite possibly the funnest game ever.

We were sad to leave the fam, but it was a good, quick trip.

This week was a hard one physically and emotionally. On Tuesday I had a routine colonoscopy done, which meant prepping for it all day Monday. I debated including this in my blog, but I’m not embarrassed by it and I don’t want you to be either. Don’t let a little embarrassment keep you from having better health.

On Wednesday we found out that a friend from high school had taken his life. It broke my heart. I’ve been in some pretty dark places, deep in depression. I’ve felt alone, just wanted the pain to end. But please, if you’re reading this, know that you’re not alone and there is hope. It may not feel like it, but there is hope.

Over the last year I have turned to running as a source of stress-relief and have found that being outside in the sunshine has done wonders for my spirit. I don’t usually listen to music as I’m running, but the last few days I turned on the Avett Brothers and some old school hymns, just to help in my mental processing. These lyrics were especially heart-piercing.

Make sure my sister knows I loved her
Make sure my mother knows the same
Always remember, there was nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name

From Murder In The City. ❤

meh

Today has been a blah-feeling sort of day. It took a while for me to get my butt moving and go for a run this morning. I used Lola as an excuse for a while, letting her out to play for an hour. She was being extra cute. She even tried to escape and ended up jumping into a big box and startling herself. I had a good laugh.

She often gives me this look, like she’s waiting for me to bring her a dried apricot or banana (her favorite treats) and/or bring her Bribri so she can do the love dance around his feet. I often respond by reminding her that I own her and her box that she lives in.

But she just did a lot of this after she realized she couldn’t escape the den.

And I imagine this is what she was thinking.

Anyway, I eventually got my butt in gear and went out for an easy 30 minute run: 5 min blue, 20 min green, 5 min blue. About 7 minutes into it, at the bottom of the giant hill, I was hit with a wall of mist. It kind of unnerved me at first (thank you Hunger Games), but it also felt nice (once I realized it wasn’t coming from a living being nor poisonous), like running through the mist machines at Coke World. It did that a few more times on my run, but never actually rained on me. Good thing, too, because there’s no way I could sprint back up that hill and make it to safety before my iPhone got destroyed by a downpour.

There is an intersection along the route that I ran today and I always choose a different way to go. Well, being in the funk that I was, I still hadn’t decided which way I wanted to run (it’s a giant loop, so really it doesn’t matter) when I arrived. But then I saw something run by and I had to follow to make sure I actually saw what I thought I saw.

It took me a few minutes to catch up while maintaining my green zone so I really wasn’t sure what I saw. Yup! It was a gray-haired lady running! (Yes, I’m creepy, but I had to take a quick pic for proof.) I was so impressed and inspired, it made it worth the run today!

And, as you can see, my heart rate monitor flat-lined me again! I don’t think the hr monitor reconnected after I paused the app to take the picture… I’m going to email Adidas about this. And I actually expect a prompt and helpful response. Brimuscle has had great experiences with their tech support over the past couple of years so I’m not too worried.

When I was headed home and back up the hill, this nice girl ran by me, headed up the hill too. At this point I was just jogging, not necessarily trying to get home quickly. But she was going faster and made it look easy. So I thought I’d try to keep pace with her. Oh boy. She was running a sub-9:30 min/mile UP the hill. I’m doing good when I keep it around 12:00. I made it about half way before I thought I was going to pass out. It was fun, though, being secretly competitive. And when I got to the straight-away where the road leveled out, I booked it (she was long gone at this point).

See that 6:13? That’s how fast I was running. Sub 7:00min/mile! Granted it was only for about 30 seconds. And see that 185? That was my heart rate. Pretty sure it was a few beats away from exploding. It’s surprising how I can maintain a 179-180 bpm, but jumping to 183-185 bmp is killer. (Definitely hyperbolically, probably literally.)

You know what is a self-esteem booster? When you walk in the door from running and your husband asks if it was raining. Nope.

make your own

Today was my day off from exercising and I’m kind of glad. I felt pretty crummy last night and this morning, so I don’t think I would’ve run very well today. After a nice lunch with my madre, I got lots done around here, including two different projects! I am on a roll with the projects lately.

Project 1: homemade deodorant.

I had all of the ingredients and had been meaning to make it for quite some time. Today was the day. I’ve read lots of variations of recipes and decided to go with this one at One Green Planet. It uses less corn starch and baking soda, both of which apparently have caused skin irritations for other people. I have quite sensitive skin, especially in the underarms, so this formula seemed like the best fit for me. My only variation was to add 5 drops of tea tree oil — enough for some bacteria fighting power but not enough to be overwhelming in smell.

I’ve been using coconut oil lately, anyway, as a deodorant/anti-chafing before I run, so it’s probably good that I don’t have to stick my fingers in the jar anymore.

Usually coconut oil is quit firm, but since it’s been so warm here, mine came out of the jar and mixed up quite easily, no need to melt it. It did get a little messy, but came together surprisingly quickly.

Briguy came in at this point and thought I was just doing the coconut-as-deodorant thing again. When I explained that I was actually making my own deodorant, he gave me the sideways/arched eyebrow/eye roll and called me a hippie under his breath. Check!

I thought it looked a lot like icing… but resisted the urge to lick it. I even added another small scoop of coconut oil to help it firm up.

I decided to store it in a small jar and apply it with my fingers. I’ve been using a crystal deodorant for a while now, which has worked just fine. But I can’t apply it unless I’ve just bathed because the crystal absorbs the smell from your armpits. Enter the need for another deodorant that I can apply in between showers.

I applied it as soon as I was done in the kitchen, still smells fresh! (I may or may not have made Bribri smell me…) I like the smell, but the texture was grainier than I was expecting. Just be gentle when applying it unless you want some exfoliation every time.

On to Project 2! Handmade father’s day cards:

This combined my love of taping and painting. It was really easy, but not the quickest process. I cut letters out of washi tape and applied them to some water color paper that I simply folded in half to create a card. I also applied a strip of tape just past the fold to give me a nice clean edge.

I pressed the letters down all over, making sure there were no loose edges, and painted over everything with the colors I had chosen. After the paper was dry, I peeled the letters off and voila!

My final touch was to add a wee foil heart in the corner.

They’re no Hoops & Yoyo cards, but I think they’ll do the trick. And here’s to dads who are off the grid so there’s no worry of them seeing it before Sunday! 😉

Arnold Palmer, on the rocks

Today’s run was my long one: 5 min blue, 35 min green, 5 min blue. I ended up running for just over an hour, though. I was actually looking forward to this run because I’ve found a route that I enjoy and I tend to feel better the longer I go. I was even more excited when Brimuscle said he would run with me today! We ran a slightly different loop than I normally do because I wanted to be sure I made it past the 5 mile mark without having to double up somewhere.

I discovered a few new things on the micoach website today. If you drag the blue slider left to right, it gives you the break down of all your stats for that exact second. I was watching the calories-burned numbers and noticed they ticked by much faster the higher my heart rate was. (Duh.) So, obviously, if you’re trying to burn calories, you need to work harder. I’ve been guilty of just taking it easy on the elliptical or zoning out on the dreadmill. You gotta put in the effort if you want to see change. (I’m saying this as much to myself as I am to whoever is taking the time to read this.)

I also discovered I can name my routes and save them. See the compass symbol in the top right of that window? I liked today’s route so I saved it and named it Arnold Palmer. It’s one of my favorite drinks and I heard he was a good golfer. 😉

After we got back I plopped down on the ground and stretched for a few minutes. This picture does not do the rosie-ness of my cheeks justice. Seriously, I looked like I’d used beet juice as sunscreen.

I’m thinking I need to go to the chiropractor soon. It’s been over a year since my last visit and I’m pretty sure my hips are out of place again. I lean more on my left side and my left knee has been aching. When my hips (which go out easily, apparently) are out, it also makes the muscles in my neck tense so I’m prone to headaches. Yep, I’ll be making that appointment soon.

In other news, I found a video that you have to watch. Even if you hate the song, you have to watch. 🙂 I’ve watched it at least 10 times today.

My favorite is the .25second clip of Obama with school kids saying “Hey!” 🙂

And here’s the original in cased you missed it:

happy thursday

Today was my last day with the toddler for a while. She was extra good this week… which meant we were due for some meltdowns. Including screaming her lungs out (not in a good way) while we were on the trail this morning. But at least she looked cute doing it. 😉

I would love that shirt and those shorts. I often ask her if I can borrow her clothes, she says no. Understandably.

Today’s run was an easy one: 5 min blue, 20 min green, 5 min blue.

The thick gray line is my heart rate. That deep valley in the green was when we spotted some deer on the trail and watched them for a minute. Later, when the toddler was so upset and screaming, I managed to calm her by telling her that she was scaring all the deer away. But then she got upset again when I couldn’t magically make more deer appear for her.

We enjoyed some time on the swings after the run. Aren’t her curls great? 🙂

As soon as I got home, I knocked out my strength training. These were two of my favorite moves from the sesh:

This is a good one, stretches the outer hips nicely. And yes, I was listening to My Humps by BEP.

For those lacking in physical grace and general balance, this one might be tough. I had to really take my time.

After my workout, B-lover surprised me with a date night.

Noodles & Co.! I love Izze sodas. The sparkling peach got me excited for the South Carolina peaches that I will be enjoying alllllll summer long. 🙂

What date is complete without a dessert?

Dark chocolate almond cluster for him, rocky road cluster for her. Plus four more goodies in the bag. 😉

We’ve gotten into a new show lately, The Killing. We’re nearly done with season 2 and still don’t know who killed Rosie Larsen. So we’re off to find out some more about this killing…

Belated Anniversary

Bribri and I have been married for 6 and 1/4 years. We have yet to celebrate our anniversary (January 7th) on the actual day. Every year we’ve been with our fellow AIA’ers at staff meetings. Last year we went to Seattle for a weekend later in January. This year, we did nothing. We didn’t even exchange cards. We were in Vancouver as visitors, not residents. It was an odd feeling, but that’s another story.

So I decided that we needed to get away and planned a quick trip to Asheville, NC. We stayed at a cute B&B, the Cedar Crest Inn. It was our first time staying in a B&B and it was lovely. We had our own bathroom and it got great reviews on tripadvisor.com, so we went for it.

It looked like a dollhouse my sister and I had growing up. 🙂 Such good memories.

I felt like I was walking into Downton Abbey (which I just finished watching for the 2nd time through). Or into an antique store, which we actually did shortly after arriving. But more on that another day. On our second day we went to the Biltmore Estate. If you’ve seen Richie Rich, you may recognize it. (Lots of other movies were filmed in the area, too.)

The weather was beautiful and the house was magnificent.

There were fountains…And gargoyles…And again I felt like I was walking around Downton.The garden was in full bloom. It reminded me of The Butchart Gardens in Victoria.Our breakfast at the B&B kept us so full that 2:00 rolled around and we figured we should eat something just because. Vanilla Brice got some ice cream made at the local dairy and I had the best cup of coffee that I’ve had in ages. Honestly, I couldn’t stop talking about it.

Then we wandered down the Blue Ridge Parkway.

For dinner we headed to Mellow Mushroom and I declared my love for hippies.

Although it could’ve been the Blue Moon talking.

I haven’t gotten a beer at a restaurant in a long time. But this one tasted so good, I wanted to chug it and had to pace myself since all I had in my system was the coffee from “lunch.” I think the nice big orange wedge made it extra sweet and the fact that I hadn’t eaten since breakfast (unthinkable for me) made it that much better.

The next day we went straight from Asheville to my bff’s in Spartanburg to meet her new baby Daba!

Here he is, less than a day old. 🙂 His name is really Tucker, but his big sis named him Daba (and some other names I can’t pronounce with a few numbers thrown in) a long time ago and it stuck.

Last week was busy and I felt quite frazzled at times, but it was well worth the miles. 🙂