Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Iron and Wine

I just bought my first pair of concert tickets since we've moved to Charlotte.  Ryan is the lucky guest who will be accompanying me to see ... Iron and Wine at Amos' Southend on April 26th.


I've been listening to this incredible band since college (man that makes me sound really old) and have never gotten a chance to see them live.  I'm obsessed with their song "Flightless Bird, American Bird" from one of the Twilight movies.  Since purchasing the tickets I've had the song on repeat on iTunes.  I'm pretty sure Ryan is ready to invest in some earplugs due to the monotony, and NOT cause he hates the sound.  Check it out ...

rain rain go away ... NOW

I'm so over the rain.  Someone told me that March was the rainiest month in Charlotte.  To that person I would kindly like to say, "No sh*t." 

It seems like we'll have 3 days of rainy weather, followed by one sunny day (which was yesterday), then 3 more rainy days.  It's even making Honey mopey.
look how sad I am

After running the past 2 days I'm looking forward to some hot yoga or a day off today.  I feel like I'm coming down with a cold and definitely don't want to be sick.  Trying to build up mileage leading up to the 10k on 4/16 and would like to run at least 5.5 miles on Saturday.  We'll see how the rest of the week goes. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pinky's westside grill

Yesterday was one of those days when Ryan and I needed some motivation to go running.  What motivates me the most when it comes to running?  Eating cheeseburgers.  My deal with Ryan was that we could try a new burger place IF, and only if, we ran at least 3 miles together.  It's been a nice change of pace (haha I love puns) running outside instead of at the YMCA since the weather has been so fantastic lately.  We finished our 3 mile run and showered and got ready for some dinner.

We headed straight to the Burger Company, but were disappointed to see that they were only open for lunch on Mondays and were currently closed.  So after feeling pretty dejected, we looked across the street and saw Pinky's Westside Grill.  After some minor cajoling I got Ryan to head over there.

We started off the meal with some crab hush puppies.  These were quite the hit and held us over while we waited for our burgers.  All of the hamburgers are 5 oz and feature a variety of different toppings.  I stuck with a basic burger with cheddar cheese, and added lettuce, onions, and pickles (unfortunately for me the kitchen forgot the pickles).  Although no sides came with the burgers, mine was relatively cheap at only $4.50 (originally $3.75 but $0.75 charge for cheese).  Ryan ordered the:

On the side we ordered some waffle fries.  I chose Coca Cola classic to wash down my meal while Ryan stuck with a Dr. Brown's cream soda. 

The food was good.  The service left much to be desired for.  The bill came in at $20 before tip so our impetuous meal did not break the bank.  All in all I'm glad that I ran those 3 miles for my cheeseburger.

Shamrock 4 miler

On Saturday March 19th Ryan, Katie, and I all headed out to run the Shamrock 4 miler.  Katie was in town for my birthday and I signed her up for the race weeks ago.  She's a trooper for coming to Charlotte on vacation and running a race with us.

The race was located about 20 minutes south of downtown Charlotte in an area of town called Ballantyne.  The course was through residential streets; 2 miles out and back.  Start time wasn't until 8am which allowed for some extra sleep on Saturday morning.  Temperatures were around mid to high 50's.  I hadn't used my garmin at all since we moved to Charlotte and I figured the race was a good time to give it a go.  I wish I had updated my shuffle playlist, but unfortunately I didn't really think about it until I was standing around waiting for the race to start.

I can't even describe it, but something ignited inside of me and I couldn't slow down once the race started.  At mile one I was still running alongside, and at times in front of, Ryan.  This NEVER happens.  I even told him to speed up cause he was "supposed" to be going faster than me.  I kept my pace at under 8 minute miles the entire race.  The course itself was pretty hilly and my butt was getting quite the work out.  I couldn't believe when I crossed the finish line and saw 32 minutes on the clock.  I knew my chip time would be less than that since we started so far back in the crowd.  When the official results came out I freaked out.  I couldn't believe that I had finished the 4 miler in 31:16 minutes, with an average pace of 7:49 minutes/mile.  It finally seemed that all of my training had paid off. 

will run for thai

I like to cook.  I enjoy making delicious and nutritious meals for my husband and I.  I love inviting friends over and making a big meal for them, while we gossip and drink wine.  I hate making meals for just me.  I think it's such a waste to make a mess in the kitchen, use multiple pots and pans, for little ole me.  I find that when Ryan goes out of town I end up eating cereal, frozen pizzas, or eggs and bacon (mmm bacon) as my dinner.  

With Ryan out of town tonight I decided to be a little classier and even used a $5 off coupon in the process.  I ordered some take out from one of my favorite QC restaurants, Deejai Thai.  15 minutes later (ok so closer to 25 minutes ... I got sidetracked) I was on my way to pick up my tossed salad, order of crab Rangoon, and tofu pad Thai.  Let's not get crazy; I wasn't planning on eating ALL of this tonight.  I ate about half of the food and am saving the rest for tomorrow night's dinner.  What cracks me up is that while I was inhaling my food, I mean literally just shoveling food in my mouth without leaving much time to chew, I was reading my "bon appetit" magazine that just came in the mail.  I'm so obsessed with food that I must read about food while eating food, while simultaneously day dreaming about my next meal.  I have problems.  Honey was my dinner guest for the evening and enjoyed her dog food while I had my meal.  She burps after she finishes her food.  I find that extremely humorous.

I blame my insatiable appetite to running.  I ran 3 miles yesterday and did another 3 miles today.  I've slowly been getting speedier (does that even make sense?) and look forward to leaving some fellow 29 year-olds in the dust during my next race. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

to half marathon or not to ...

I've been tossing around the idea of running a half marathon next month for a while now.  I don't think I'll be ready to run the 13.1 miles as fast as I would like to.  I told myself after running my first and only half marathon that I would shave off 7 minutes from my time and do my next half marathon in just 2 hours.  The longest run I've done in the past couple of weeks was 7.05 miles on a treadmill.  I just don't think I'll be able to train properly in the next 4 weeks leading up to the race.

On the bright side, there is a 10k the same day as the half marathon that I can run instead.  Charlotte RaceFest is on Saturday April 16th at 7:30am.  From the website:
"Entering its tenth year, the Charlotte RaceFest Half Marathon and 10K will once again take place in the wonderful SouthPark area of Charlotte, NC. Thanks to the support of our participants and sponsors, the Charlotte RaceFest at SouthPark has become a main feature of the spring running circuit in the Southeast region."
I've noticed that prices of races up in Charlotte are slightly higher than those back in Orlando.  Sigh.  It's hard to financially keep up with running as a hobby.  Between new sneakers, running accessories, races, it all keeps adding up. 

I have until March 18th to make my final decision, it's definitely leaning towards postponing the half marathon until later this year when I've trained more and am prepared for the lengthy distance. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Half Marathon Relay

On Saturday Ryan, Pablo, and I ran the Alston & Bird LLP Corporate Cup half marathon relay through Charlotte.  Pablo ran the first leg (3.1 miles) at 8am, I ran the second leg (5 miles), and Ryan finished off the relay with another 5 miles leg.  It was a cold, sunny day with temps in the upper 30's.  The colder weather usually helps me increase my pace and this race was no different.  I had the fastest 5 miler time ever and finished my leg of the race in 41:29 minutes. The course was very hilly and my legs were definitely sore after the run.  After the race Ryan and I headed home to enjoy some breakfast before our big day of daytime, pub crawl drinking.

Alston & Bird LLP Corporate Cup 2011 logo

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shutter Island

The other day I finished reading "Shutter Island" by Dennis Lehane. 
From wikipedia:
"Note the plot hangs around the factual history of 1950s psychiatry and psychosurgery in some US hospitals – notably Dr. Freeman's practice of carrying out lobotomies with a spike shaped tool through the patient's eyesocket above the eyeball.[2]

In 1954, widower U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels and his new partner Chuck Aule go to Shutter Island on a ferry boat to the home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient, Rachel Solando, who has escaped the hospital and apparently the desolate island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant supervision."

Ok so it took me a while to really get into the book.  It seemed to drag in the beginning, or maybe my patience level wasn't as high as it should've been.  As I got further into the book, though, the plot started to get really intense and drew me in.  At that point it wasn't much longer before I finished the book.  The ending totally took me by surprise and made reading the whole book worth it.  I kind of want to see the movie adaptation of Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio (came out recently), but know that it's a suspenseful thriller so who knows how well I'll deal with it.

One of my resolutions for this year was to read 6 books, so at least now I'm down to 5!

lunchtime post

Having the ability to walk home during my lunch break is one of the best parts of living and working downtown.  The walk itself is less than 10 minutes each way so it doesn't take very long to get home and back.  Plus I get to make myself a delicious and healthy meal each day, AND hang out with Honey and Ryan (when he's in town). 

For today's lunch I used some canned chicken from Trader Joe's to make chicken salad.  I mixed some chopped up green apple, some fresh dill, and a couple of spoonfuls of reduced fat mayonnaise. 
Ingredients for chix salad

The finish product was spread on a sandwich thin and served alongside some fresh strawberries and a handful of potato chips.

Finished lunch

2 work outs and 1 injury

Yesterday after work I ran off my frustrations from the day on the treadmill.
  • 3.22 miles in 27 minutes - I skipped a walking warm up and just started running.  I ran for 26 minutes then cooled down with 1 minute of walking.  The television on the treadmill was broken and I couldn't even watch any HGTV or Food Network; the horror.
I felt much better after my run and all of the annoyances of work had slipped away.  I headed to Trader Joe's for some grocery shopping then went home to begin working on a delicious Italian dinner for Ryan and I.  We snacked on fresh mozzarella and prosciutto while I prepped our meal.  I made homemade meatballs with sauce and served it over whole wheat spaghetti.  On the side I sauteed some sweet peppers and spinach.  I was going to skip the part about drinking some Chianti, but red wine is good for the heart.  So I was just trying to be healthy, right?

This morning Ryan and I woke up at 6:15am for an early morning work out.  While I was getting dressed for the gym I somehow managed to pull a muscle in my neck/upper back area.  Who gets hurt BEFORE they even get to the gym?  Although I was in a lot of pain (and still am) I headed to the gym.  I was going to try running but all of the treadmills were taken up except 1 so I graciously let Ryan take it and headed over to the seated bikes. 
  • 4 miles cycled in 19:30 minutes
I figured sitting down and biking would be the best bet for the major pain that was coursing through my body.  I'm not even being dramatic ... it really hurts :(  Anyways hopefully the pain will subside in the next couple of days before our big half marathon relay on Saturday.

Monday, March 7, 2011

first long run done

So maybe there is a chance I'll be in good enough shape for the half marathon in April.  On Saturday I finally did a "long" run while on the treadmill at the YMCA.
  • 7.05 miles in 1 hr 6 minutes - ran for 11 minutes, walked for 1 minute, ran for 11 minutes, walked for 1 minute, then ran for 11 minutes.  total time was 35 minutes.  re-started the treadmill and ran for 11 minutes, walked for 1 minute, ran for 11 minutes, walked for 1 minute, ran for 6 minutes, walked for 1 minute as cool down.  total time was 31 minutes.
I alternated running with walking to make sure I actually made the full 7 mile distance.  Hopefully my next long run (8 miles) will be outdoors. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pi = 3.14

Remember back in school when we used to learn about "Pi"?  Well this little number popped back into my life this morning while I was at the gym.  I woke up at 6:15am, walked Honey, and headed over to the YMCA by 6:30am.  I'm pretty sure I was still half asleep when I started running, but I somehow managed to have a decent work out.
  • 3.14 miles in 28 minutes - 1 minute walking warm up, 26 minutes running, 1 minute walking cool down
I kept telling myself to run at least 2 miles and suddenly 2 miles turned into 3.  I'm glad I kept pushing myself to keep going and didn't stop.

Now I'm counting down until my lunch break when I finally get to see my long lost traveling husband.  He's finally back from his work trip and I can't wait to spend some time with him.  Dean & Deluca here we come!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

mmm breakfast sandwich and WINNER!

Instead of my usual banana or yogurt for breakfast, I decided to treat myself with a breakfast sandwich.


I used one of the sandwich thins, a slice of reduced fat Havarti cheese from Trader Joe's,  a slice of Canadian bacon (also from Trader Joe's), and one large brown egg (shocker from Trader Joe's as well).
finished product

The finished product was a deliciously oozy sandwich.  Check out the matching plate to the egg yolk that dripped out. 

And now I get to announce the very first winner of a giveaway on this blog ...

Comment #7 - CarolSue  "I'd love to get the Melissa and Doug - 4854 - Dachshund Plush Stuffed Animal"

Thanks to everyone who commented.  I look forward to having many more giveaways in the near future!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

ok so I lied ...

Sue texted me this evening about hitting up the gym with her, and since I had nothing else going on (I'm pretty lame) I decided to join her.  7pm is prime time at the YMCA and after waiting a few minutes I finally got onto a treadmill.
  • 3.41 miles in 32 minutes - 1 minute walking warm up, 30 minutes running, 1 minute walking cool down
Once I was done running I finished up my work out with some bicep exercises.  I did 3 sets each of 3 different bicep moves using 5lb weights.  It felt good to do another upper body work out, especially since yoga has been making my shoulders and arms super sore lately. 

I'm still planning on doing a run tomorrow afternoon so hopefully my legs won't be too sore.  I might try alternating running for 10 minutes and walking for 1 minute to increase my mileage to 7 miles.  Or I might take it easy tomorrow and hold off on the long run for this weekend.  We shall see what Wednesday brings to the world of running for me. 

rest day

After working out twice yesterday I decided to sleep in and skip the work out this morning.  Today is my first day of working a full 8 hours since my days back at the bank.  I came into the office at 8am (Starbucks in hand) and got a lot of work done during the quiet hour before the loud office people got in.  I walked home around 11am for my break and made myself a delicious sandwich (reduced fat havarti cheese, spinach, tomatoes, onions, on a 100 calorie sandwich thin).  I even had time to walk Honey around the park before I had to head back to the office for a noon meeting with the tech guy. 

I'm looking forward to running tomorrow after having a full day of rest.  At least walking to and from work (twice in a one day) will amount to 1.65 miles of exercise today. 

**Don't forget to post a comment on the $15 CSN Stores giveaway post from yesterday (2/28)**