Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Faves

I need some sleep.

I'm in the middle of another round of insomnia, made worse by Eliza.  She's had nightmares almost every night this week, usually around three a.m. One night Mike asked me what that noise was, and I said it was just my nightly wake-up call.

Once I'm up it's hard for me to drop back off, because my mind starts spinning and I think about everything that I should just think about during daylight hours.  Last night I thought of things.  Things that bug me, things I like, things that I find necessary.

Then I thought, that would be a fun blog post.

So here it is.

Today I'll kick off Friday Faves, things that make me happy!

Let's start with my hair.  My stylist always straightens my hair after she cuts and colors it, but I prefer to let it air dry and be wavy.  I'm particularly happy with my new highlights:

One of the first things I do when I get up and walk into the bathroom, is take this eye de-puffer, and swipe away the bags under my eyes.  It really does work:

Know what this is? Organic lip balm! It's from EOS and I keep it within arms reach at all times, it lasts forever, and I love the sweet mint flavor.

I'm not a manicure person, the polish seems to chip the second I walk out of the nail shop, so I stick to pedicures.  I like my nails to look neat though, and this is the perfect shade, you can't tell if it chips.

My hip has been a bit sore since the More/Fitness Half, so I've been using this massager to work out the kinks.  The kids gave it to me for my birthday, they know their Mommy well.

So those are my faves for this Friday, tell me what you're loving today!

Happy Weekend!

*Note: I bought all these products. I'm just talking about them 'cause I like them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Open Calendar

It's very weird to me that I don't have any significant races on my schedule for 2012.

The past two years I've run marathons, races of smaller distances, and a triathlon.  Aside from my half marathon last week, I have a 5k coming up in June, and the Boilermaker 15k in July.

And that's it.

It's sort of freeing not to be held to a training schedule, and any race anxiety I might have had is non-existent.  But at the same time, I'm starting to feel lame.  I need to find something to train for, but I think I need a break from doing a full marathon this year, which means the half distance.  Which could be:

Wineglass Half Marathon : this marathon/half takes place in Corning, NY in September. It's a flat course and you get a wine glass. Wine. Yum.

Empire State Half Marathon: this was a new race last year here in Syracuse, I know several people who ran it, and I'm familiar with the course, which is good because there would be no surprises, but it could get boring. It takes place in October.

The Diva's Half Marathon: this takes place on Long Island in October, I could stay with my brother or friends for this one, and it looks like a lot of fun!

The Leaf Peeper Half: this takes place in Cortland, where I went to college, and I could find plenty of places to celebrate post race. Once again, it's in October.

Not sure about any tri's this year, IronGirl takes place on Mike's 40th birthday so I didn't register for it, I figured the day should be about him.  Our pool opens around Memorial Day, and I am REALLY looking forward to getting back in the water.

It's nice to have options.  

I'm crossing my fingers for everyone who entered the NYC Lottery!  Good Luck!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Clean Floor, Clean Body

I was a bit distracted last night, for no particular reason.

No matter how hard I try, I always burn grilled cheese, but last night I burned not one, but two of them.

Now we're out of cheese.

Then I knocked over my full glass of wine, and it shattered everywhere. 

Then I was about to put pasta into boiling water, and as I opened the box, it shot out the other end, onto the floor.

At least the floor got clean.

Today I'm starting a clean eating challenge.  I do these every couple of months, where I really cram in the fruits and veggies, make sure I get my dose of Amazing Grass, and avoid sugar and other junk.

I love this time of year, when all the springtime produce is colorful and green.  I had this salad twice this week, with roasted veggies and greens.

I had some leftover asparagus and turkey, so I mixed them into scrambled eggs for a protein packed lunch.

I'm already off to a good start!

Has anyone ever used Tonalin CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) supplements?   They gave us two bottles of it at the Expo, it's supposed to help reduce body fat when you combine it with diet and exercise. I'm not a weight loss supplement person, but I'm curious as to whether it works.

 Anyone have any feedback on this one?

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More/Fitness Half Marathon Race Recap


Friends + Food + Warm Weather + Running + Wine = Perfect Weekend!

I need another cup of coffee.

For this race weekend, I stayed with my BFF's Jennifer and Nicole. Their apartment was my home base  NYC Marathon weekend, it's a perfect location in Hell's Kitchen, only six blocks from Central Park. Jeannine, Norine and our other friend Patty stayed at a nearby hotel.  As usual, it was great to be back in my old stomping grounds, and I was a happy girl.

We headed to the Race Expo Saturday afternoon, which was probably the best Expo I've been to.  They were throwing the freebies at us.

I'm a bit superstitious, if I can, I like to have penne a la vodka for my pre-race meal, along with bread and salad.  Luckily my friend Jenni was also running with us (it was her first half!), and she brought her famous Vodka sauce.  YUM.

We were ready for bed by 10:45, Jenni and I shared a room, we were both pretty tired, and she was chatting away about a Chicken Nugget Truck that comes to her nephew's elementary school, when she fell asleep, and I stared at the ceiling for about an hour before I finally dropped off.

Race morning came quickly.

Jennifer was raring to go at 6:15, so we did all our pre-race rituals and hit the street.  We met up with the rest of the girls, and just as we entered the park, I realized I forgot G-Unit! I had put it on the kitchen windowsill to find a satellite, and COMPLETELY forgot it.  I ran the six blocks back to the apartment, the doorman wasn't on duty, so I was on the phone with Nicole, she was rushing around checking every windowsill until she found it. I strapped G-Unit on, and raced back to the start, where I high-fived Jennifer and Jenni, checked my bag, then met up with Jeannine, Norine and Patty at the porta-potties.

It was overcast and cool, so I didn't wear my sunglasses, and then it started drizzling for a few minutes. We got to our corral, and very quickly, we were off!

My plan was to finish between 2:05 - 2:10, but after looking at the course map and listening to Jennifer's thoughts on the hills, I gave myself some leeway, and aimed for a 2:10 - 2:15.  The course is two HILLY loops of Central Park, the two hardest ones are Cat Hill, and Harlem Hill.

Jeannine and I ran together, my running skirt kept falling down and I had to hold it up for about a half mile until I started to sweat and it stuck in place. That was right when the clouds cleared and the sun came out, and it got HOT.  We both felt good, the hills didn't seem too bad (we're used to the hilly course we run in downtown Syracuse), Harlem Hill didn't even faze us.  We saw Nicole on the side cheering us on, so I gave her a high five.  We watched Alemtsehay Misganaw pass us by, she went on to win with a time of 1:13:25!!!

But then we had to do a second lap.

And yeah, Harlem Hill was a bitch the second time around.

I switched on my ipod at Mile 9, it was pretty quiet along the course, but there were a lot of people out walking their dogs, and we shared the road with bikers and other runners.  It really was a beautiful spring morning,  My cold is lingering, and with all the blooming trees and pollen in the air, I was blowing my nose and coughing up all sorts of good stuff.  I had a pile of tissues that I turned into nothing, but hey, blowing my nose on my shirt sleeves doesn't bother me one bit.

By mile 11 the hills were getting to me, and the sun was hot overhead, but I knew we were almost done, so I hung on.  The last mile was the worst, I honestly couldn't believe the hills weren't ending.  I was very happy to see that finish line.  My time was 2:12:55.

I'll take it.

We headed back for showers and food, three of my other friends, Adele, Corrie and Gonca joined us.  We call ourselves the Fab Six, we've been friends for over 26 years, and it was the first time in a long time that the six of us were all together.

We then headed out for post-race beverages. Nicole had indulged her inner child with a Katniss doll, she kind of became our mascot for the weekend.

It made her thirsty.

My sister Ali joined us, and we headed to Eataly for dinner, which was pizza, and tagliatelle with a short rib ragu.  Yeah, no photos of that since I scarfed it down, but here are the cookies I bought for Mike.

I couldn't choose just one.

All in all it was a fabulous weekend, and of course I cried like a baby when we said goodbye.  As soon as I got home it was business as usual, I took Eliza to dance, got started on the laundry, and now my Tuesday morning is my Monday morning.

But the week is off to a great start.

Friday, April 13, 2012

As good as I can pack.

Did you ever see the movie As Good As It Gets with Jack Nicholson?  He plays an OCD neat freak, and there is a scene where he is packing for a weekend getaway. Everything is laid out on his bed in orderly piles, including his toiletries, and as he puts things in the suitcase, he checks them off a list

That's totally me.  Whenever I go away, I have a list of what I need, and I take over the guest room with my piles of necessities.  Right now I'm packing for my trip to NYC, for the More/Fitness Half Marathon, and the bed looks just like Jack's. I thought about taking a picture, but I'll spare you the details.

I'm really excited to get out of town, Jeannine, Norine and I are driving down, and meeting up with my good friends, Jennifer and Jennifer, this will be their first half marathon!  I'll see some of my other friends, and my sister Ali as well.  I'm ready to run, an all women race will be different, although two laps of Central Park might get a bit tiresome, but we'll see.

It will be a great way to end Spring Break, although the kids and I had a lot of fun this week.

We even got to pet an elephant:

Luke said it felt like a squishy rock. 

Happy Weekend, Happy Training, and GOOD LUCK to everyone running BOSTON!!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dear 16 Year Old Me

I had signed up for the WEGO Health Activist Writer's Challenge for the month of April, each day they choose a topic to blog about, then you link up with others who are passionate about healthy living.  I dropped the ball on the challenge last week, but I figured it's not too late to start!

Day 10's topic is "Dear 16 Year Old Me"

I was about as typical of a 16 year old as you could get. I had a close circle of friends, rode my bike, played tennis and field hockey, went to the movies and the beach, and babysat as often as I could.  I was happy, and had my whole life planned out.

Twenty four years later, I'm happy with my life and the paths I chose, sure I made mistakes along the way, and I have a few regrets.   But if I had to tell my 16 year old self five things, this is what they would be:

1.  Since I recently went shopping for a new bathing suit, I would say "Enjoy that two piece!  You have nothing to hide, you look fantastic, wear it with pride."

2.  There are going to be low points in your life. Be strong, and try to stay on a healthy path during those times. Ice cream or wine help for an hour or two, but if you keep it up, you're going to have to buy a pair of fat pants.

3. Don't be afraid to stray from your carefully laid plans.  Embrace adventure, and think outside of the box in all areas of your life.

4. Keep using the sunscreen, but with all the time you'll spend outside, start using a good eye cream. Every. Single. Day.

5. Yes, you can trust in your close friendships.  You will indeed have them for life.

So what would you tell your 16 year old self??? 

If you want to join in the blogging fun, check out the WEGO Health Blog here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Is there something in the kitchen??

Holy cow, I've been sick. 

I can't remember the last time I had a cold or stomach bug, but I managed to get both in the space of a week. 

Eliza managed to get sick on St. Patrick's Day.

Luke managed to get sick the night before Easter.

Which goes to show, if it's a Holiday, then someone in my house will be sick.

I was sick two weekends ago, I had stomach issues for 3 days, no one else had it, so I'm wondering if it was something I ate.  Then I was better, but on Thursday I felt a cold coming on. I ran 8 miles on Friday morning, after that my nose pretty much closed up.  My mom is wondering if there is something toxic lingering in our kitchen, that only comes out during the Holidays. 

Easter Sunday was mellow to say the least, we decided to quarantine ourselves.  Mike went to the store and found a teeny-tiny ham, Eliza put on her Easter dress, but Luke kept it mellow in his pajamas:

We also dyed eggs, and held the annual Ugly Easter Egg Contest.  Mike didn't cook the eggs all the way, so they were a bit deviled eggs this year! (I don't eat them anyway).  Mike isn't on twitter, but he wrote #Jesus on his egg.  And Luke made bunny ears on his blue egg, by holding the egg in the dye with his fingers.

Martha Stewart we're not.

The good thing is that I got the sickness out of the way, now I can enjoy my taper week properly! I'm going to run today, to get more miles for Team Davis, this is the last week for Rev3's Race Across America!

They are raising funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund, which provides services and support to young adults with cancer.  There is still time to donate to a very worthy cause, you can check it out here!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Time to Microwave the Peeps!

Holy cow, I can't believe I haven't posted in a week!

Starting tomorrow, the kids are off from school for the next TEN days. I've been trying to work as many hours as I can this week, so that I'm ahead of the game for next week.  We also switched Internet/phone/cable providers, and it was such a hassle, I honestly lost 12 hours of my life dealing with all the problems that ensued.  No Google Chrome = No Blogging.  But last night I found Mork and Mindy on the Hub Channel, and all was well.

On the bright side, I ran my last long run before my half, I felt fantastic for the entire 12 miles.

The More/Fitness Half Marathon is next weekend, the course is two hilly laps of Central Park.  We nailed some hills at the beginning and end of this training run, I now feel both mentally and physically ready for the race, and can't wait to spend the weekend with my BFF's!!

Anyone else doing this race??

We took the kids to see Mike's Dad last weekend, it was the first time they have seen him since his stroke, over four months ago.  They were both nervous and hesitant, and my father in law was very emotional.  He cries often, due to the injury within his brain, as he gets better it will re-wire itself to give him control of his emotions again.  But it's hard to see.  The kids were okay after a while, and when we left, Eliza said she tried to smile as much as she could for Grandpa, but her cheeks got a little bit tired.  We're taking them to see him again on Easter, and I'm hoping it will get easier.

Wow again, I can't believe Easter is this Sunday.  Time for my Peep Party Trick: pop one in the microwave, and watch how big it gets!

Happy Easter and Happy Passover!!