Thursday, May 31, 2012

Penguin Drive-In

Every couple of weeks Ryan and I look at each other and say, "time to turn our lives around."  Obviously we love our lives and there's nothing seriously wrong with them, but what we mean is that we've let ourselves go fitness-wise and it's time for a change. 

June 1st ... June 1st ... that would be our starting day.  Although I have been working out almost daily for the past month I have not kicked my dessert/sweets eating habit.  There in lies my problem with losing the rest of my pregnancy weight.  

Since we are now in the process of "turning our lives around" Ryan convinced me to have one last night of gluttonous eating.  He suggested burgers (shocking) and I had no problem agreeing to that.  Before we could eat, though, I had to get my run done.

I went to the YMCA to jump on a treadmill and cranked out 3.17 miles in 25 minutes.  The speed is returning to me and it feels great!  I rushed home to get showered and ready for cheeseburger night.

We headed to the Penguin Drive In ... one of my favorite places in Charlotte.  When we first visited Charlotte this was one of the first restaurants we tried.  I knew right away that this city was made for me since I am so in love with penguins!

It had been a while since we last ate at the Penguin.  In that time they changed the menu ... instead of being able to order a simple cheeseburger with the option of a side if you wanted, you had to order (what I considered to be) a complicated burger WITH a side for a much higher price point.

The menu online has not been updated yet to reflect the changes; what is now called the "king penguin" is "the penguin" here:

pimiento cheeseburger - pimiento cheese, lettuce, mayo, fried pickles

On the side I ordered the sweet potato fries.

I wish I could say that the experience last night was a great one; it wasn't.  There were only 2 servers working in the very busy restaurant, and one of them even had to jump on the line to help the cook make the food.  The food tickets had been piling up and people looked hungry and ANNOYED.  

Once we got our food I ate a very over-cooked burger with some sad looking burnt sweet potato fries.  Sigh.  I ran fast and hard for my cheeseburger and would've loved a better reward.  I should've ran for a salad at another restaurant instead.  

Mason wasn't impressed either.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Two months

Yesterday Mason turned 2 months old.  We celebrated the big day by taking him to the doctor's office and subjecting him to 2 vaccines.  The poor kid hated every minute and was quite the grouch the rest of the day.

He did look dapper though, in a plaid romper and some baby blue boat shoes.  

The doctor praised my efforts at breastfeeding and said "he should be the poster child for breastfed babies" because of how much weight he's gained.  

Stats: 13 pounds, 11 ounces - weight
23.25 inches - height

We decided to take the plunge and have been putting him to sleep in his crib.  We took a few steps back in the sleep front because of this; he was sleeping in 4 hour intervals at night pre-crib but is back to 3 to 3.5 hour intervals.  Hopefully he'll keep moving forward in the next few days and will be back to longer stretches of sleep (for both our sakes).
We started swaddling again in order to get him to sleep in his crib.  We also use a pacifier on occasion to calm his crying down, but it rarely stays in for more than 30 seconds before he spits it out.  

Other than that there is nothing new to announce.  He's been smiling and making all sorts of fun baby sounds.  He's really developing a personality and it's interesting to see how similar/different he is from Ryan and I. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

twix cheesecakes

I've come to realize that blog posts with delicious sounding titles are more likely to be read than boring ones.  So here it is ... I baked again, this time TWIX CHEESECAKES.  Oh yes, and they taste way more delicious than they sound :)

But first ... an update on my running.  I headed back to the YMCA yesterday to do another indoor run since 88 degrees does not sound like good running weather to me.  I ran my fastest time yet (well post pregnancy) and did 3.25 miles in 26 minutes.  I am really looking forward to the 5k this Saturday and hope to have a fast time then as well.

I had taken a day off from running on Saturday and bicycled at the gym for a little over 30 minutes.  I had "Fifty Shades of Grey" to keep me company and didn't even notice the time go by.  

Days 14 and 15 of my work out streak!

Back to the baking ... I found the recipe for Twix Cheesecakes on pinterest and had the chance to make them yesterday.  

please see her site for the great how-to pictures and directions

I halved the recipe since there is no reason why we should have 15 of these mini cheesecakes in our home.  The tricky part is waiting until the next day to try them since they have to chill overnight in the refrigerator.  Let's just say my breakfast this morning included one of these delicious desserts.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

maple glazed bacon muffins

I figured a title like that would draw some attention ... before I delve into my latest baking adventure I'll cover my last 2 work outs.

2 runs - 1 with a little distance, 1 with a little speed, both done on the treadmill at the YMCA
Thursday - 4.05 miles in 36:45 minutes, 9:04 pace
Friday - 3.18 miles in 26:00 minutes, 8:10 pace

Days 12 and 13 of my work out streak!

And now back to the bacon ... I found this recipe on pinterest and only made a few variations based on what I had already in my refrigerator and pantry.

    Donuts - I used a muffin pan instead
  • 2 cups all purpose flour - I used unbleached AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup white sugar- I used organic sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg - I omitted this
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt - I used vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup 3% milk - I used vanilla soy milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Maple Icing
  • 1 cup icing sugar - I used powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Special Guest
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
These were good ... but not moist enough.  I think swapping out the Greek yogurt for regular yogurt and using soy milk instead of regular milk did something to the batter.  Not going to lie though, they are still pretty delicious!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

youtube workouts

Today Mason and I missed our window of opportunity for a jog.  By the time we were ready it was too hot and I didn't want him to sit in his car seat for over 20 minutes in 85 degree weather.

So while he was napping I decided to look up some at home work outs on YouTube.

I found a 10 minute leg work out that included lunges, squats, and other fun (not) exercises. 

Then I found part of Tony Horton's p90x "Ab Ripper X" work out and did 15 reps (instead of the recommended 25) of numerous exercises.  It kind of made me miss doing p90x ... kind of.  Maybe the summer will bring a repeated effort of the 90 day work out.

I finished both in 20 minutes and can now quickly shower before Mason wakes up.  Yes I realize it is 2:45 in the afternoon but you gotta take your opportunities to shower when they appear.

Day #11 of my work out streak!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

strawberries and a summer wishlist

When I'm bored at home with Mason and know that he's due for a nice long nap, I strap him into the car seat and head to Target.  Although this is definitely a good time killer, I usually end up spending money on unnecessary things.  I did, however, get a good deal on some strawberries,  $1.79 for a pound!
After my run with Mason today (2.37 miles) I made myself a strawberry smoothie.  Into the blender went 4 strawberries, 1 cup of vanilla soy milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and about 1 tablespoon of agave nectar to sweeten things up.
Cool and delicious it was definitely what my body was craving after the run.  And don't worry, I didn't drink it (and then subsequently spill it) in our bedroom.  Next time I'll add a few more strawberries for an even more berry taste.

Yesterday we received the Crate and Barrel catalog in the mail and I already found a bunch of things I want ... although most are unattainable there are some summer entertaining items that I would like.

Set of 6 Ice Pop Molds

Corn Griller Basket
Set of 8 Corn Picks

Bodum Fyrkat Barbeque Basting Brush

Anyone want to buy me these items?  Maybe my next "I'm bored with Mason" trip will lead us to Crate & Barrel.

Day #10 of my work out streak!

Monday, May 21, 2012

return of the green monster

Today's run was done without my partner in crime (Mason).  I had a very small window this morning to complete my work out so I tried to make it as speedy as possible.

I finished 2.03 miles in 16:40 minutes.  It's by far my fastest pace since becoming pregnant many many months ago.  With less than 2 weeks to prepare for the King Tiger 5k it is imperative that I work on my speed during my next few runs.

Once I was cooled down I made myself a green monster smoothie.  I haven't had one of these in weeks and it was definitely what my body needed.
Into the blender went vanilla protein powder, vanilla soy milk, 1/2 of a frozen banana, handful of spinach, 2 spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt, 1 spoonful of peanut butter.  Unfortunately I'm the world's biggest klutz and spilled about half of my smoothie all over our bedroom carpet (sorry Ryan!).  I think I did my best to clean it up but there is a good chance there will always be remnants of the green monster soaked into the carpet.  Oops.

Day #9 of my work out streak!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

First Family Run

This morning Mason, Ryan, and I headed out to do our run together.  Ryan and I took turns pushing the BOB jogging stroller and afterwards he claimed, "It wasn't that hard."  Hurrumph.  I don't buy it; I've been pushing that thing for weeks and it is HARD.  I was glad I had someone to split the pushing with me though ... once my friend Katie is in town I'll make sure she gets some time pushing it as well :)

Anyways we covered more distance than ever with Mason, 3.23 miles, in our fastest pace yet 9:11 minute/miles.  Less than 2 weeks until our 5k!  Well that is assuming Ryan does the jogging stroller portion with Mason, if not I'm on my own for race day.

While on the run I tried out my new sports bra, the Vero C/D from Moving Comfort.
This was my first sports bra purchase that was not from Target or an on-sale Nike one.  It definitely made the run more enjoyable by having more support and coverage for the "girls."  

From the website:
Seam-free interior molded cups encapsulate for extra support and shaping
• Moderate-contour cups give shape, modesty and maximum moisture transfer with a seamless look
• Front Powermesh zone provides ventilation to keep you cool
• Convertible straps that can be worn straight or in a cross-back position
• Adjustable back closure makes it easy to get on and off 

I just noticed that they have some other models on sale on their website so maybe I'll purchase a second sports bra instead of trying to wear this one every time I run ... 

Day #8 of my work out streak!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

the early bird DOES NOT get the worm

I feel silly.  I woke up this morning (before Mason) and decided to head to the YMCA for my work out.  I got there at 7:09am eager to start my treadmill run and realized that they were closed; Saturday open is 7:30am.


Instead of driving home and not working out I decided to run around the Dilworth neighborhood where the gym is located.  A new scenery helped make the run be more enjoyable.  It was a little chilly out with a temperature of 55 degrees which made me try to be speedier than usual.  Unfortunately hills haunt me and I caught more than one hill during my short 2.6 mile run.

On the way home I decided to stop by Dunkin Donuts for a breakfast treat and was in line with the nicest man EVER.  First he complimented (well commented) on my bright shoes and socks.  Then I overheard him ordering and he was getting 1/2 dozen donuts for his neighbors!  What a swell guy.  I can't wait to live next to really generous neighbors who buy me donuts on Saturday mornings. 

It looks like I have 3 feet but I wanted to show how bright and blue my Balega (aka greatest) socks were.  I guess my feet did stand out this morning.  

Day #7 of my work out streak!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Running goal update

Last year I ran 570 miles.  Being a competitive person by nature, I wanted to see an increase in my mileage this year.  Sadly I'm not off to a good start ... I took the first quarter of the year basically off during the end of my pregnancy.

January - 28 miles
February - 23 miles
March - 5 miles (Mason was born on 3/29)
April - 15 miles (technically I wasn't supposed to start exercising until end of April)
May - 31 miles (so far)

In order to TIE the miles from 2011 I would have to run at least 2.1 miles a day for the rest of the year.  Eeeek!  Mason better be up for the challenge.  

Today we added 2.75 miles by jogging around our neighborhood while Ryan was (is?) on his conference call.  Nothing like having a screaming infant during a call while you're working from home :)  He's sleeping soundly now in his car seat so I'm scared to move him to our room so I can shower.  Instead I'll just sit here and read blogs while smelling like sweaty runner girl.  Awesome.

Here's a fun picture of him kind of smiling ... he's been having full-on grins lately but I'm always too slow to capture them.
Surf's up dude
Day #6 of my work out streak!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Seven Weeks

I love getting my weekly emails from Babycenter, alerting me of another milestone in Mason's growth.  This week provided some interesting facts on his development:

How your baby's growing:

Your baby's brain is expanding in size and complexity. It will grow about 5 centimeters during the first three months.

You may notice short periods of time when your newborn is quiet and alert. This is prime time for learning. Use these calm intervals to get better acquainted with your baby — talk to her, sing to her, describe the pictures on the walls. She may not be able to add to your conversation just yet, but she's learning nonetheless.

New textures for her hands to feel and new sights and sounds (all in moderation) are all learning opportunities. Even bath time becomes a laboratory for understanding the world around her.

I wish I could say this past week has been full of smiles and laughter (although he has started smiling at us).  Today especially has been a rough day and it's only half way over.  He's been extra fussy since early this morning; doesn't seem to know what he wants (although I shouldn't expect him to spell things out for me ... he's a BABY).

We did have one night of 4 hour sleeping stretches on Monday.  I only had to wake up once to feed him (around 1:45am) and then Ryan gave him a bottle around 6:30am while I was at a yoga class.  Since then the past couple of nights have been filled with stretches of 2-3 hours between feedings.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

I have continued to work out and have started noticing that my belly bulge is starting to go away.  I'm still not back at pre-pregnancy weight or shape, but I know I'll get there eventually.  Mason continues to enjoy going in the jogging stroller and has become a very reliable work out companion (he doesn't really have a choice in the matter).  I've also been taking one yoga class a week, as added exercise and relaxation.

We've tried to put Mason down in his crib for naps and unfortunately he still does not like it.  I'm going to try to put him in there more during the day during NON-SLEEP time so that he can begin to associate the crib with a happy place.  Who knows if that will help.  For now he'll continue to sleep in our room in his little cradle/rocking device.  

He's been growing out of a lot of clothes and has been wearing some onesies in the 3-6 months range.  I'm curious to see how much he has grown since his 4 week appointment.

And that's about it!  Each week brings so much change to our little monster that it's hard to keep track of everything.

improvement from yesterday

This morning Mason and I headed out for our jog earlier than yesterday to beat the Charlotte heat.  We started around 9:30a while it was still cool out (relatively speaking).
Mason is rockin one of his new Hurley oneises

I didn't really feel motivated to run so I figured the faster I got it over with, the better.  I alternated walking for 2 minutes with running for 10 minutes, and finished 3.16 miles in 32:30 minutes.  Technically my 2nd 5k with the jogging stroller :)  

Oh and by the way, it has not gotten any easier to push and run with this thing ... it's quite the upper body work out.  My goal of jogging 5 miles by the end of May with Mason seems to be unattainable at this point.  I'll be lucky if I can hit the 4 mile mark.  

One of the highlights of running with Mason was that he would take a super long nap while in his car seat (attached to the jogging stroller).  Immediately after I stopped running today Mason's eyes were wide open.  He was no longer interested in napping in his car seat if I wasn't going to keep on running.  Sigh.  Maybe I will increase my mileage/time only to give myself a little more quiet time from Monster Mason.

Day #5 of my work out streak!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Slowly but Surely

Today Mason and I headed out for a jog in our BOB jogging stroller around mid morning.  I started by walking for 1/4 mile then running for 1/2 mile, and continued to alternate the walking and running for 2.75 miles.  We were outside for a little over 30 minutes and found that by 11:30a it was just too hot! 

Tomorrow we'll probably start a little earlier in the morning and will try to avoid the hills we did today.  Fortunately my knees did not bother me at all!  I'll slowly try to decrease the amount of walking I've been doing during my runs, and in turn increase the total amount of running.  There's only 2.5 weeks left until the 5k and I need to get FASTER!

Day #4 of my work out streak!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To Race or Not To Race

Today was another early morning work out.  Thankfully Mason slept for 4 hour intervals last night (his longest yet) and I was well rested for 6am yoga.  

Although this is now my 3rd yoga class since having Mason, it is still a humbling experience.  I'm definitely a long ways off from where I used to be practice-wise, but feel like I'm getting stronger each time.  Since budget-wise yoga classes don't quite fit since becoming a stay at home mom, I'll be looking for the $5 classes offered at Yoga One to continue my practice.  Luckily those are offered 9 times a week so there shouldn't be a problem finding one that fits into my Mason's schedule.
In other exercise news, I was planning on signing up for a 5k on May 19th but changed my mind after having so many difficulties running lately with my sore knees.  On the horizon (after some more rest for my knees) are 2 races that I may sign up for that give me a little more training time.  One is on Memorial Day, May 28th, the Go the Extra Mile Patriot Festival 5k and the other one is on June 2nd, the King Tiger 5k

Last year around this time I was the fastest runner I had ever been.  I got my 5k PR on June 18th, 2011 at 23:05 minutes.  Obviously the competitor in me would love to beat that time but let's be realistic, I'll be lucky if I even break 25 minutes after having so much time off from training.  Oh wait and I just had a baby less than 2 months ago.  I guess I shouldn't be so hard on myself :/  

Should I sign up for a race?

Day #3 of my work out streak!