Monday, January 31, 2011

Today, I eat Birthday Cake.

yup, another year older.

I tend to have birthday weekends, actually I'm shocked that my day didn't fall on Superbowl Sunday like so many in the past.  Friday began with a joint party for myself, my sis in law Tina, and my sis in law Jeannine, as we all have our birthdays around the same time.
After dinner and vino, J shamed me into going for a run the next morning with Lake Effect, the group I ran with last winter and spring.  My next race is the Tipp Hill Shamrock run in March, and it's a hilly one, but four miles so the pain is over quickly, and after the race, there will be beer. I was thinking that I needed to start running the course, but I wasn't ready to tackle those hills in 26 degree weather yet, you really have to have the right mindset for it.  I woke up early Saturday morning with everyone (the kids, Mike, and his parents) which made it easier to motivate, and although it was cold, and I had a bit of wine headache, the roads were clear of snow, so I decided to do it. 

It's amazing how time flies, it was so weird to just park the car and hit the streets with everyone, like a year hadn't happened.  I was SO happy with my run, I think my hill/core work has been paying off, the big scary hill was no sweat. I have a great mindset going into the next several weeks of Saturday morning runs, if I did that first run well after an evening of eating and vino, then I'll do even better going forward.

It's nice that my Mom is in town, I haven't spent a birthday with her in years.  She's going to watch the kids this afternoon while I get a mani/pedi, and she already made us pot roast, which is childhood on a plate:

it's always paired with carrots, red cabbage, mashies (her phrase, not mine), and horseradish.  Oh yes, I ate more than one helping.

I also got an early birthday present, a hat that I won in Carly's giveaway! This is funny, she wrote a post featuring all her crotcheting skills, and I commented, saying she should do a giveawy. Which she did, I entered, and won! Thanks Carly, I love my new hat.

Dinner will be Indian take out, followed with a coconut cake.  I'm a chocolate girl, but I've had a hankering for one of those Pepperidge Farm coconut cakes you can buy for $3 at the store. BUT, Wegmans came out with an Ultimate Coconut cake, so while shopping with Mom, one of those made their way into our cart. I made sure it was a small one though.

Happy Happy. Joy Joy.

(anyone remember what line that is from?)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

look, I ran outside

My mom is visiting right now, so today I was able to go for a run outside, during daylight hours, on a weekday. Bonus!  I don't think I've run outside since New Years Day, it's still really snowy out, so I got out my Yaktrax and hit the trails in my neighborhood, which are luckily pretty clear.

I've been running a 9:30 mile pace on the treadmill, but I went slower today, probably because of the cold and snow, which at times felt like running in sand. Oooooo. It would be nice to run on sand right about now. 

It was a pretty uneventful run, until I came up behind an older gentleman, who was walking along, not realizing I was there. I slowed down because I didn't want to scare him, and said I was was on his right. No reaction. Said it again, no reaction, so I figured he was hard of hearing.  When he finally saw me, he gave me a smile and a wave, and then kept on jamming to his ipod.

Since Mom is here, I had her take a sweaty post four mile photo of me, along with Frank the Growing Dog. In three weeks he's gained 6 pounds.  He keeps falling off the end of the recliner because he's too heavy for it now. 


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

sorry, it's not pizza this time

I haven't posted many recipes lately, been too busy yapping about everything else in my life.  I feel like 2011 has gotten off to a good start, I'm still eating healthy, but have definitely cut back on all those December indulgences.  I'm not happy that Football season is coming to a close, but at the same time I am. Sunday is the new Friday for me, when I enjoy my vino, and other game day foods, so it's not really a bad thing that those days are going away.  On the flip side, I worked out 6 out of 7 days last week (really loving my kettlebells), and so far I've logged 60 running miles.  So it's all good.

I really didn't want to go grocery shopping yesterday, so I put together a dinner made with things we had in the fridge/freezer, which I love to do.  I defrosted some shrimp, made some brown rice, and a salad with mixed greens, red pepper, carrots, broccoli, red onion and feta. Just drizzled some balsamic on top.  I wanted to do something different with the shrimp, so I got out some Jade Peanut Sauce.

We found this sauce in Williams-Sonoma probably ten years ago, it's got a nice spice to it, and even though it's peanut based, it has 7 grams of fat and 120 calories for two tablespoons, and a little goes a long way.  So I sauteed the shrimp in a bit of olive oil, along with the peanut sauce. 

looks good, huh?

Thanks to everyone who entered the SALONPAS giveaway.....I used to choose the winner, and it was #14, Erika from Chasing My Monkeys One Mile at a Time!  send me an email, and I'll get you set up.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's definitely Monday

1.  when you wake up to this:

2. The JETS lost.

3. You see all those glasses on your bookshelf, and realize you're like the girl in Signs:

yup, definitely Monday.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm calling it the wedding dress diet

We've been inside much of this week. MLK Day turned into a pajama day for the kids and I, it was way too cold to venture out, other than a few short walks with the dog.  But our time indoors has been anything but dull, and I managed to do some kettlebell work, and hit the treadmill a few times.

I've written about how I grew up in a house with ghosts, and I've mentioned a couple of weird things that have happened in the house we live in now.  The other morning, Frank and I were hanging out in the living room, when we suddenly heard a squeaking noise in the kitchen. We went in, and his toy stuffed mouse was on the floor, squeaking by itself.  The two of us looked at it for a second, then it stopped.  Weird, right?

Yesterday I was trying to come up with ideas to entertain Eliza with, so we played beauty shop, with purple lip gloss and clear mascara.  She loves to dress up, and lately her favorite is a wedding dress complete with veil and bouquet.  I am very lame, my wedding dress is hanging in the closet, I never had it cleaned/preserved into a box like I should have.  So I hauled it know where this is going. E put on her dress, and ordered me to put on mine, which didn't quite zipper up all the way. We shuffled around my room playing ice skating princesses, then she ran off for a wand, so I started to make my bed. In my Wedding Dress. What's wrong with that picture?

Later on after snack, E looked at a photo I have on the mantle from our wedding. And said,"Look Mommy, that's when your dress fit you."

Thanks E.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a pain free giveaway

A few weeks back, I was sent some pain relieving patches from SALONPAS.  For those who suffer from muscle pain or arthritis, they can be used as a pill-free alternative to pain relief.

I try to avoid popping ibuprofen if I can, and I hadn't heard of these before, so I was curious.  The patches are FDA approved, and non prescription, the active ingredients are menthol, and methyl salicylate, a NSAID. 

The first time I tried them was after I did something to my hip, while I was getting Eliza out of her booster seat, after a morning of Christmas shopping.  I probably strained the muscle a bit, so I figured it was a good time to try the patches.  The patch itself was soft and a bit stretchy, and I could smell the menthol. I didn't say anything to Mike or the kids about having it on.  They're the first ones to say that they smell something, but they kept quiet, so I was in the clear.  The main benefit of the patches, is that the active ingredients go right into the site of pain, and are time released, so you can keep it on for 8 - 12 hours.  I probably had it on for seven.  The next day when I woke up, my hip felt fine, and it stayed fine which made me happy.  Because I still had shopping to do.  I can see myself using these for muscle pain when I start upping my running mileage again.

As you can see from the above photo, SALONPAS is giving away a sample package of the pain relief patches, along with a pedometer, water bottle and towel.  Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. (I hate excluding Canada, but it's an FDA thing).

To enter, please check out their website here, and tell me something you learned about the patches by leaving me a comment.  That's it : )

Giveaway ends at midnight EST on Tuesday January 25.

*Note, I was given a sample of SALONPAS for the purpose of this review. My opinions on the product are my own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

competitive much?

I've been thinking about my running.  And racing.

I was a runner before I ever "raced."

When I sign up for a race, for me it's about doing the best I can that day, after putting in the work to get there.

Last year I started getting hung up on numbers, mainly my finish time, and pace.  Which is a good thing, so I can measure my progress, but it's also a bad thing, because I take that time and compare that to the time of others.  And if my time is slower, I beat myself up over it.  Which is bonkers.

I haven't even dipped a toe in a pool yet, and I'm already trying to figure out what my finish time might be in Irongirl. I even looked up the times of a couple of friends who ran their first sprints last year, so I can get an idea of when I might finish.  One girl had a time that I decided was going to be my goal, and I want try and beat it.  Is that nuts? Or smart? Am I competing with someone I haven't seen in years, or am I competing with myself? 

I guess it's okay if it's a little bit of both.


It's something to think about while I sit here and watch the SU game.  These are my new favorite socks, which I won in a giveaway of Colleen's several weeks ago.  Aren't they cute?

I still want to insert a smiley face here, but I'm not going to do it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stylish Trainer

Well this is new, my bike in the Jeep in the middle of winter!

I officially joined my local Triathlon Club, and this morning I had a chance to go to their winter training facility to get some time in on a trainer. I've never put my bike on one before, and I felt kind of bad that it was still dirty from my last outdoor ride.  But my friend Kelly was leading the class which was nice, and after an hour I worked up a sweat.  We started off in a low gear, and went up a gear every ten minutes.  The last ten we upped the speed, and my quads were feeling it, but in a good way.  There are a few things I going to need to do to tweak my bike, but this is going to be fun. I was going to put a smiley face here, but I realize I do that all the time. It's almost to the point of overkill.  I almost just did  it again.

Thank you to Sophia, from Tales of an Ambitious Slacker who passed the Stylish Blogger award to me.....where you share 7 things about yourself.  Hmmm, more things about me.  I'm trying not to repeat myself, so here goes;

1. I can be a bit OCD about things.  I realized the other day I take my vitamins in alphabetical order.

2. I do stupid things like not putting the caps back on my contact lens case, or not putting saline in them so the lenses get all dried out overnight. Or forgetting to put the coffee pot back under the spout when making a pot.  It really makes a mess.

3. I think non stick pans are the greatest invention.

4. I get a kick out of physical comedy, and was bummed when John Candy and Chris Farley died. And John Hughes!! I love his movies, I think I still have the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack around here somewhere.

5. No matter how hard I try, I always have overdue library books.

6. I can be a bit of a Nervous Nelly if Mike is away on business. I push the couch in the family room up against the glass doors, then stick a chair under the door knob on door leading to the basement.  Then I put my cellphone, and telephone on my bedside table. But I just realized that now we have Frank, I don't have to worry anymore!

7. I was a cheerleader in high school, played field hockey and was voted Life Of the Party my senior year. I still really appreciate Football Sundays, Summer BBQ's, Major Holidays, Thursday Night Survivor/The Office/The Housewives of whatever and kicking back with my sisters/sisters in law/friends and family while sipping some vino or if I'm lucky, a margarita or dirty martini.

There you have it, more random info about me.  I'm supposed to tag ten bloggers, but I love so many that I can't choose. So if you want to do this, consider yourself tagged! : ) 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One Day, Two Virtual Races

I just realized that I ran my first two races of the year! In one day!  Well, they were virtual, but they still count. : )

It was a fun way to spend an hour of my Saturday, especially because I've been feeling lousy since Wednesday. I woke up with a nasty headache, I don't get them often, but for three days I felt like my head was filled with cotton, and a knife was stuck in my left temple.  I did everything I could think of to get rid of it, advil, coffee, a smoothie, an ice pack, I even drank some nuun.  I finally kicked it this morning, Mike let me sleep in until 10:30! I musty have really needed it, maybe it was residual holiday exhaustion.

Anyway, I had signed up for Pam from Thirty Schmirty's "It's M'Burfday" Virtual 5k.  And since it was on the same day, I figured I would do Adam from I am Boring's Freeze Your Thorns Off Virtual 5k as well.  Adam's race was fitting, since it was in the 20's today, but Mike had to go help a friend of ours move, so I had to run on the treadmill.  So I got the kids settled with Despicable Me on DVD, and got moving.

Since I read about Pam's race first, I decided to run hers first.  I ran a pretty easy pace, but kept changing up the inclines to keep it interesting while I channel surfed.  Here are the results:

 Then I cleared out the numbers, and got going on race number two.

This time around, I decided to change up my speed.  I found Places in the Heart on cable, and started watching that.  For all you LOST fans, I noticed John Locke is in this movie, he was about 26 years younger, with dark hair, and I almost didn't recognize him. 

Results for 5k number two:

I think it's interesting how I ran differently in each race, but I burned the same amount of calories.

I felt really good when I finished, and so far the headache has stayed away. 

Thanks Pam! Thanks Adam!

Friday, January 7, 2011

an addendum to the clumsy post

Falls, bumps, ouches in general happen frequently to me. If you've read this, you'll understand why.

A few days before New Years, I closed my bedroom door on my toes.  I was wearing my heavy duty slippers that I received for Christmas, to protect my feet in cases just like this one.  I was closing the door while holding a laundry basket so that Frank* wouldn't get in, and managed to catch my toe in that space between the floor and the door. Immediate blood and pain, I really thought I broke my big toe.  But the good thing is, I was able to run three days later : )

Then the other night I took Miss E to her very first Disney Princess on Ice show. I think I was more excited than she was.  Luke and Mike took off for a rare visit to the arcade, topped off with a trip to Friendly's, and Eliza and I were off on our girls night. I scored a great parking spot close to the arena, and we were right on time.  As we walked along the icy street holding hands, E looked up at me in her Hello Kitty hat and said how excited she was.  Then, we wiped out. I caught the edge of a curb covered in a muddy puddle with my boot, and went flying. I landed on my knees, rolled forward, then over onto my back (my poor white parka) and my new Christmas Coach bag skidded along the salt stained slush. Poor E also landed on her knees, and one of her boots flew off. Tears were shed and I felt like the lamest Mom in the world.

But all was well once I dumped some more cash into the Disney Machine:

E and her $12 slushy (soon to be followed by $10 cotton candy topped with a crown):

And the way she shrieked and clapped and laughed and gasped at the skaters, I think it was the best night of E's life.

* we found out that Frank is not so much of a medium sized terrier. He's more of a big black lab that is going to be at least 50 pounds.

Goofy doggie.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Now what.

My brain has been buzzing since the weekend. buzz buzz buzzzz. Going around and back again, but today I made some sense of things.

After signing up for the triathalon, I've had a couple of "WTF was I thinking" moments.  Not of regret, just how I'm going to fit it all in.  I feel like a race horse at the gate,  I'm raring to go with all my goals, but I need to calm down, and get a plan going.

So that's what I did.  I looked at a few Beginner Tri training plans, and since the race isn't until August 7, I can start really training for it just before Memorial Day weekend.  I'm good on the bike, in fact I only put it away early December, when the snow really started to fall, and once the roads are clear again (I'm hoping mid April) I can get moving on it again.  Swimming is another issue all together.  I'm not going to join a gym, but hopefully I can hit Open Swim at the high school a few times, and there is the pool in my development, so hopefully that will work.  Running.....not even worried about it. 

Now, the 1,000 miles thing. I'm already bugging out about it, and there is absolutely no reason why I should be. Five days into the new year I've run 11 miles. Which is great. But I don't want to be so focused on it already.  We got a decent amount of snow last night, and after I dropped E off at school, I took Frankie for a long walk, to wear him out in some of the snow drifts.  It was so nice out, I figured I'd go home and get my skis, and do some cross country skiing on the nearby golf course.  But I didn't.  I went home, and ran on the treadmill, because I wanted to get my running miles in.  (Well, and to also watch the new episode of Parenthood. I don't know how that show sucked me in, but it did).

So I'm changing my focus for winter.  I'm still going to strive to hit that 1,000 mile goal, but not at the expense of doing other things.  Winter is going to be about getting strong, while running, and doing whatever else I want to. Things will pick up big time in the spring, summer, and way into the fall, so I'm going to ease off on the pressure for now.

On a nutrition note, I recently read Jackie Warners This is Why You're Fat.  I actually got a lot out of it.  It covers the usual about how to be healthy, by cutting back on sugar, eating the right proteins along with fruits and veg.  But she has a very interesting point of view on the hormones in our body, and how if they get out of whack, it can contribute to weight gain.  She stressed the importance of adding detoxifying/fat burning foods like oatmeal and eggs to your diet on a daily basis.  I've started making oatmeal in the mornings, real oats on the stove, along with two eggs.  I used to eat oatmeal every morning when I was working, but got away from it after the kids were born.  Now that it's really freezing in the morning, it's been a welcome breakfast.  I got a bit off track over the holidays, and had to wear my non-skinny jeans on New Years (the skinny ones fit, but not the way I wanted them too) so we'll see if Jackie is right.

So there you have it. 

My brain feels much calmer now.

For the moment.   

Saturday, January 1, 2011

well, I didn't expect to do THAT

What a holiday season, it went by so quickly, but it was fabulous, ending on a great note.  The last thing I expected to do on the first day of this new year is to sign up for a triathlon......but I did!

Let me backtrack a bit. This last celebratory weekend of 2010 kicked off with a little holiday gathering of my book club which was fun, but while I was there Mike kept texting me asking when I was coming home. So after stuffing my face with cheesecake, I went home, opened the garage door, and saw my sister Ali's car parked there. Total surprise, she and her boyfriend made the drive up from Astoria for New Years!  We had talked about her coming up, but I thought she had to work, so it was a huge surprise to see her.

Yay us!

We continued our tradition of spending New Years at home, but this year we had a lot of family over and everyone brought something to nosh on, I can't believe I didn't take any food pictures. 

One of the first things my friend Gina said to me when she arrived was, "I'm doing Iron Girl Syracuse and you are too!"  My reaction was similar to this:

Obviously I like to run, and I enjoy riding my bike weather permitting.  I'm a recreational swimmer, not an athletic swimmer.  So a Tri hasn't been on my radar.  Iron Girl will be a first for Gina too, so it would be a really fun thing to do with her (she's my sister in law Jeannine's sister, my marathon partner, so Gina roped her into doing it too). 

So this morning after a breakfast of lentils (supposed to bring Good Luck in the New Year, my friend Jennifer is a staunch believer in this), talking about it more with Jeannine and Mike, then a 3 mile run in the rainy fog, I decided to go for it.  Doing a triathlon is a whole new ball game for me, but Iron Girl is a sprint, so I feel confident about taking it on. 

Now I need to get some gear, thankfully my birthday is in January!  And I welcome any advice from all you Triathletes out there!!!

OH! and I picked the winner of the CEP Compression shorts giveaway.  The comments about the name of my blog were funny, and a few of the guesses were correct, it's my actual name.  My maiden name is Sleeper (just think of all the nick names I got with that) and my married name is Baker.  For our first Christmas as a married couple, Mike gave me a rolling pin, since I was an official Baker.  Anyway, thanks to everyone who entered, I used to pick the winner, and it is Suzy from Running on My Time...send me an email with your info......Congrats!!