Monday, February 28, 2011

double the fun

Today was another one of those days when I decided to work out in the morning and evening.  I'm just that dedicated to fitness, what can I say.  Let's start with this morning's work out. 

What happens when you ask your husband to set the alarm clock?  He wakes you up 30 minutes earlier than you wanted.  While watching the Academy Awards last night (sidebar - I was a little disappointed with James Franco ... he seemed a little TOO out of it) I leaned over and asked Ryan to set his alarm clock for 6:30am since my iPhone was too far away to set my own.  He obliged and I drifted off to sleep.  This morning he woke me up and after 10 minutes of whining, I finally got out of  bed and got ready for the gym.  I grabbed my phone on the way out and noticed it said 6:12.  WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!  So I did what any other normal, sleep deprived person would do ... jump back into bed (in gym clothes) for another 15 minutes. 

Once I got to the gym it was smooth sailing.  I watched the news (no HGTV for once) and ran:
  • 3.17 miles in 28 minutes - 1 minute walking warm up, 26 minutes running, 1 minute walking cool down

Since running this morning wasn't enough to satisfy my exercise craving, I headed over to a hot yoga class at 5:30pm.  While in the 1.5 hour class, the power went out due to a terrible storm hitting Charlotte.  We finished class by candlelight since the room was pitch black.  The traffic lights were all out in the area of town by the yoga studio so kind police officers in bright yellow slickers guided traffic.  I managed to safely get home. 

**sidenote** I've ran 108 miles so far in 2011.  I'm well on my way to hitting my goal of 500 miles this year!

Don't forget to enter the $15 CSN Stores giveaway (posted earlier this morning)!

$15 CSN Giveaway

Early blogging means fun blog posts.  I'm very excited to announce my first ever giveaway!  The super rad people at CSN are going to give you, one of my readers, $15.00 to spend at one of there 200+ stores. CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from stylish handbags, a L shaped desk, or great cookware!  There are so many things you can buy there which makes it that much harder to choose just one thing. 

If I was lucky enough to win I would probably pick something cooking related for our kitchen.  The Flexicado™ Avocado Slicer - Stainless caught my eye and looks like a good tool when making guacamole (yum!). 

Chef'N 102-146-003 - Flexicado™ Avocado Slicer - Stainless
mmm avocados ...

To enter the CSN Store giveaway you must first visit the CSN Stores and tell me what you would buy with your $15.00. Make sure you leave an email address (along with the comment) so I can notify the winner.  I'll pick the winner around lunchtime on Wednesday, March 2nd, using 

Happy shopping!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

my workspace

blog central

This is my blogging area.  I like to sit in my lovely grey chair from West Elm, with the window slightly open, and play on my computer.  It's pretty therapeutic.  Sadly its the closest thing to an office that I'll have for a while. 

Yesterday I tried to do a long run as part of my half marathon training.  I set out planning on doing 6 miles; sometimes things don't work out the way you want them to.  What I ran:
  • 5.45 miles in 50 minutes - walked for 1 minute from 39:00-40:00 minutes
At first I was pretty bummed that I didn't run the full 6 miles, but then I realized that I should be happy that I ran at all.  I'm a little behind on my training for the half marathon in April, and at this point I'm not sure if I'll be ready for those 13 miles.  I guess we'll see how the next few weeks go.

Friday, February 25, 2011

week in review

I have to give bloggers credit for posting entries multiple times a day ... I can't even manage to post one a day.  Work has been a little crazier this week, and quite frankly I haven't had the desire to sit at a computer on my free time after sitting in front of one all day long.

So here I am.  Finding some time in my day to post a quick recap on this past week.

I took advantage of the continued great weather in Charlotte and ran around Uptown:
  • 3 miles in 25:45 minutes

2 a days are back!  I headed to the YMCA in the morning and warmed up on the treadmill with:
  • 10 minutes of running - 1.07 miles with 1.0 incline
I continued my leg work out with the following:
  • seated leg curl: 3 sets of 12 reps, 35 lbs.
  • seated leg extension: 3 sets of 12 reps, 35lbs.
  • seated leg press: 3 sets of 12 reps, 100 lbs.
Later in the day I headed over to Yoga One for some hot yoga.  1.5 hours later I was super sweaty but feeling really stretched out and relaxed.  I bought the new student package for $39  (unlimited classes for 30 days) so I'm looking forward to going a lot in the next couple of weeks.

much needed day off from working out

I headed to the YMCA early in the morning and knocked out a run on the treadmill:
  • 3.15 miles in 28 minutes - 1 minute walking warm up, 26 minutes running, 1 minute walking cool down

This brings us to Friday ... today.  As of now I have not worked out, and ultimately would like to do a 6 mile run tomorrow morning, so chances are that I'll skip a work out today.  On another note I've been a pescetarian for the past 4 days while Ryan has been out of town on business.  The only time I had fish was on Wednesday night when I had some sushi at Deejai Thai with Pablo and Alex.  Other than that I have stuck to a vegetarian diet, eating 3 meals a day without any meat.  Woo!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

weekend run

I took Saturday off from running because I was so incredibly sore from yoga on Friday morning.  We spent our Saturday doing a lot of day time drinking at a few of the bars on 7th Ave. (Kennedy's, the Philosopher's Stone, Jackalope Jack's).  We didn't want to waste the beautiful day and sat outside for most of the day. 

mason jar drinks at Jackalope Jack's

For dinner we tried Loco Lime for some tasty Mexican food.  A restaurant can never go wrong when serving tacos and queso with chips.  We called it an early-ish night since we had a golf game on Sunday morning. 

I started my Sunday morning with a run around uptown Charlotte.  It was gray and windy out, with a temp of around 49 degrees.
  • 3.1 miles in 25:45 minutes
After I was done showering and eating some quick breakfast it was time to head off to the golf course.  We played 18 holes of golf at Rocky River golf club.  I really don't have the patience or the skill level to play an entire game of golf; I prefer 9 hole courses.  I got bored around hole 16 and called it quits.  Ryan and I waited for Pablo and Alex in the clubhouse while they finished up.

We didn't have much time to relax at home before it was time to get ready for the Charlotte Bartender's Ball.  I had won 2 tickets for the event from a giveaway through the blog The Food Baby.  Ryan and I got dressed up in our Sunday best and headed over to the Blake Hotel for some music, food, and drinks.  We had a good time and probably drank too much.

All in all it was a great weekend spent with some good friends.  Glad I managed to get some running in between all of that fun!

Friday, February 18, 2011

one too many ashtangas

Well I did it.  I got myself motivated yesterday and ran around uptown Charlotte. 
  • 4.1 miles in 36 minutes
Three days in a row of solid running has led to some sore legs.  Instead of pushing myself too hard this morning with another run I headed to the YMCA for a yoga class.  I figured some stretching and deep breathing would help loosen those sore muscles. 

I was partially right.  The yoga instructor this morning believed in doing ashtanga vinyasa yoga.  From wikipedia, "A standard viṅyāsa consists (for example) of the flow from caturaṅga, or plank, to caturaṅga daṇḍāsana, or low plank, to ūrdhva mukha śvānāsana or upward-facing dog, to Adho Mukha Svanasana, or downward-facing dog."  So basically a lot of plank position and push-ups. 

My arms were shaking towards the end of the hour long class.  We did, however, do some excellent stretching for my hamstrings and hips.  Plus I left the class relaxed and peaceful.  I'm now sitting on my balcony enjoying some coffee while I blog.  Happy Friday my friends.  Namaste. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

what would PRE do

Yesterday's run at the YMCA was pretty ordinary.  No real frills or thrills around here.  Just watched the usual HGTV and ran a little over 3 miles:
  • 3.21 miles = 28 minutes: 1 minute walking warm up, 26 minutes running, 1 minute walking cool down
Today I'm working the later shift at work so I'm planning on running later this morning.  I'm not highly motivated today for some reason.  Probably cause I haven't been sleeping well lately.  Lots of weird dreams and waking up in the middle of the night because of them.  While chatting with Pablo through instant messenger he gave me some advice on my run this morning; what would Pre do?  We both really liked the movie on Prefontaine and mention him from time to time when the subject of running is brought up.  Well my friends, Pre would run this morning, with or without motivation.  I guess I should just do that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

another ruined sweater

I hope there are other people out there that are guilty of ruining "dry clean" only sweaters like me.  I don't mean to do it all the time; half of the time I swear it's really accidental.  Somehow a sweater always ends up in the hamper and gets tossed in with the rest of the dirty clothes.  Sigh.  I wish I would stop doing this. 
The sweater on the right is an extra small GAP sweater.  The sweater on the left is also size extra small, but from Banana Republic.  At one time both sweaters were very similar in size and style.  Now the pretty blue sweater that I only wore a couple of times should belong to an 8 year old. 

The first step in correcting this severe problem of mine would probably be for me to stop buying things that are dry clean only.  Seriously.  I am clearly not as responsible as my husband who dry cleans everything due to sheer laziness when it comes to ironing something.  That's another story ...

I got 5 on it ..

5 miles on the treadmill that is.  This morning I wasn't really feeling a long run but for once the YMCA was quasi empty so I decided to take advantage of it.  After 30 minutes the treadmill starts "cooling down" and begins to slow its speed.  I usually just stop it from slowing down completely and use those 5 minutes to continue my run.  Today after the 35 minutes was up the treadmill stopped and gave me a workout summary.  I restarted it and increased the speed to continue my run.  Total time and mileage:
  • 5.11 miles = 45 minutes: 1 minute walking warm up, 43 minutes running, 1 minute walking cool down
I am so glad I ran 5 miles today.  I hadn't run that much since living in Orlando.  The half marathon I want to sign up for is in 2 months so at this point I will have to increase my mileage on my long runs by 1 mile every week to get up to 13 miles.

trail running and twisted ankles

On sunday Ryan and I decided to enjoy the beautiful weather exploring the U.S. National Whitewater Center.  It's located about 20 minutes away from Charlotte's downtown area.  From the website:
"The U.S. National Whitewater Center is the world’s premier outdoor adventure and environmental education center. Situated on roughly 400 acres of woodlands, the USNWC fosters an environment for people to come together to play outside."

We decided to do our run for the day on one of the many trails located there.  It was my first time "trail running," and I have to admit, it was very hard.  The terrain is very uneven and you're constantly on the lookout for roots, branches, or anything else in your way.  Not to mention there were parts of the ground that were wet and muddy making it much harder to keep your balance.  We finished our first mile in 12 minutes and kept going.  Around 1.67 miles (I was keeping track of the distance) into our run Ryan rolled (twisted) his ankle.  We walked back to the front of the park and decided to call it a day. 

By the time we got home (after running a few errands) his ankle was swollen and turning different shades of the rainbow.  Gross.  Being the trooper that he is, he still got ready for dinner that night as an early Valentine's day celebration.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

sunny saturday run

Charlotte has decided to take a break from the cold winter weather and has blessed us with some 50-60 degree highs during the day.  I took this opportunity to run outside around our neighborhood while wearing (gasp) shorts.  Granted I've been wearing shorts most of the winter to run indoors at the YMCA, but have not gone running outside in shorts for a long time.  I started a little after noon and listened to the "Mumford & Sons" station on Slacker throughout the run. 
  • 3.85 miles in 35:15 minutes
One of the downfalls of running around the downtown area is all of the traffic lights.  At first I was annoyed with the constant pauses, but after mile 2 I was looking forward to these little breaks.

After showering it was time to head to the movies.  Ryan, Jeff, Sue, and I headed to the movie theater to see the romantic comedy, "No Strings Attached."
The movie was actually really funny.  There were a lot of one-liners which always get me to giggle.  It was definitely a good way to spend the afternoon. 

On our way home we stopped by Duckworth's Grill and Taphouse for an afternoon beer.  Sue and I tried some fruity strawberry tasting beer that was quite refreshing.  After dropping Jeff and Sue home, Ryan and I got into full on relax mode and didn't do anything the rest of the night except stop by Crisp for some dinner.  I made my own salad with spring mix, craisins, crumbled blue cheese, sliced apples, mandarin oranges, and walnuts, all tossed with a light lemon vinaigrette.  It was the perfect meal after a day of unhealthy eating.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

ran for a cheeseburger!

Yesterday I didn't get my run in until after work so by the time Ryan and I made it to the YMCA it was super crowded.  We had to wait for treadmills, which was kind of annoying, but at least the wait was only around 5 minutes.  I hadn't really eaten much throughout the day so I was worried I wouldn't have the energy to get a good run in, but my body had a different plan for me. 
  • 3.38 miles - 30 minutes: 1 minute walking warm up, 28 minutes running, 1 minute walking cool down
By the time we left the gym it was past 6pm and we were hungry.  Our reward for such a good work out was heading over to Big Daddy Burger Bar for some burgers.  It was my first time there and the place was packed.  We ended up sitting at the bar instead of waiting for a table since we were still in our gym clothes.

Frenchie  burger

After looking over their long lists of speciality burgers I finally decided on the Frenchie burger.  This amazing burger was a turkey patty with brie, applewood smoked bacon, apples, and garlic mayo.  As my side I enjoyed their onion straws. Their burger definitely makes my list of top 10, maybe even top 5, burgers.  The turkey patty was delicious and so flavorful.  I can't wait to go back and try some of their other burgers.  I'm glad I ran for a cheeseburger yesterday.  Totally worth it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

early start this morning

I haven't gotten out of bed before 8am in a long time.  I mean a loooooong time.  Once I got laid off from my old job I didn't really have to start my day as early as in the past.  This morning I jumped out of bed and took Honey out for her morning walk by 7:30am.  Usually I hide under the covers and Ryan takes on this responsibility morning after morning, but I think he found my new found energy refreshing. After Honey took care of her business I got ready for the gym. 

For once the YMCA was only 80% full instead of bursting at the seams like usual.  I got on a treadmill and started running while watching "Save my Bath" on HGTV.  My legs are still sore from the past week of running so I decided to take it easy and cover the entire screen with a towel so I couldn't see how fast (or slow) I was going.  I picked the Taio Cruz radio station on Pandora and increased the speed by 0.1 after every song. 
  • 3.8 miles in 35 minutes: 1 minute walking warm up, 33 minutes running, 1 minute walking cool down

After my run I felt inspired to do some lifting.  I haven't done any real weight training in months so I looked forward to easing myself back into weights slowly.  I did 3 different shoulder exercises:
  • 3 sets of 12 reps, shoulder presses with 5lb weights
  • 2 sets of 8 reps, front lateral raises with 5lb weights
  • 2 sets of 8 reps, side lateral raises with 5lb weights

Monday, February 7, 2011

upcoming possible races

I've spent a lot of time recently on two local Charlotte running websites, anxiously anticipating races for the spring.  Run For Your Life is a running store that sponsors many races throughout Charlotte all year long.  While looking through their future events I found the following runs that I wouldn't mind signing up for:
  • Alston & Bird LLP 32nd Annual Corporate Cup Half Marathon Relay - March 12: lucky for me I found the other 2 members of my relay team, Pablo and Ryan.  The 3 of us would split 13.1 miles (Ryan and I would run 5 miles each and Pablo would run 3.1 miles)

  • Shamrock 4 miler - March 19: my friend Katie is going to be in town from Florida and I thought it would be a good way to spend part of her stay.  Plus I'm a sucker for any "Shamrock" themed outing (my birthday is on St. Patrick's day :)
  • Falafel 5k - May 8: this one just sounds funny. 
The other local running store is the Charlotte Running Company.  This store also sponsors a number of runs in the area and these are the ones I'm interested in:
  • Charlotte RaceFest Half-Marathon and 10k - April 16: Ryan would run the 10k and I would do the half marathon.  This gives me roughly 2 months to add some serious mileage to my running.  The most I've ran is 4.09 miles since moving to Charlotte back in October.  
  • Run Like a Girl 8k - May 7: girls only run
I like planning ahead so hopefully I'll sign up for some (or all) of these races soon.  I also found the site for the Charlotte Running Club and am highly intrigued.  $20 a year to have other running geeks to hang out with?  While possibly eating cheeseburgers?  Count me in.

that's a whole lotta chai

This morning Pablo asked me if I needed (or I should say wanted) any caffeine as a mid morning treat.  Instantly I thought of a non fat chai latte from Starbucks.  When he returned he had in his hand a venti sized drink for me.  I'm more of a tall drink order-er since I can never imagine actually finishing more than that.  Today I proved myself wrong.  I drank the entire thing; all 20 ounces of it.  I was so over-caffeinated after drinking all of that chai that I was literally starting to sweat while at my desk.  Gross, I know.  At least I managed to get 9 grams of protein from it (per the nutrition guide on their website).

venti non-fat chai latte = crazy Jess

I skipped the gym this morning and I spent the day beating myself up over it.  My legs were just so sore and I couldn't imagine getting any real running in so I decided to just save it for tomorrow morning.  When I got home from work I mentioned going to the gym with Ryan and he convinced me that rest is probably a good thing for my legs after pushing them so much the last month.  I finally agreed and ended up giving Honey a bath.  I think she would've preferred if I would've gone to the YMCA for a run. 

Stay tuned  ... just got word that there might be a giveaway from a very cool store in the near future. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

2.1 in 32

It is cold outside; like really cold.  I keep thinking that winter is almost over but then remember it is only the first week of February and there is still plenty of winter left.

This morning Ryan and I got bundled up and headed outside for a run.  It was 32 degrees outside and we managed to run 2.1 miles in approximately 18 minutes (I looked at the clock as we were walking out and when we returned home).  I'm glad we got our exercise out of the way for the day and can now concentrate on making delicious snacks for the Superbowl later.

Yesterday's run happened on the treadmill at the YMCA.  Saturdays are always super crowded at the gym and we had to wait for open treadmills.  Once I got on I was determined to do another 4 mile run.
  • 4.09 miles in 35 minutes - 30 second walking warm up, 34 minutes running, 30 second walking cool down
  • grand total for the week was 18.52 miles

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Groundhog Day!

Hope everyone is having a good Wednesday!  For those of you who were wondering Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow so winter should be over.  Yay!

Yesterday I took the day off from running and did 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise instead (15 minutes on the elliptical and 15 minutes on the seated bicycle).  On Monday I finished off the month of January running 3.25 miles in 30 minutes at the YMCA.  The grand total of miles ran in January ended up being 47.38 miles ... not bad for having to run on treadmills most of the time.

Today I headed back to the YMCA and ran some miles while watching HGTV (shocker). 
  • 4.08 miles in 35 minutes - 1 minute walking warm up, 33 minutes running, 1 minute walking cool down