Things I love

1. Tea. I only drink water because I do not like soda and find most fruit juices to be too sweet. Herbal tea is a treat I have when craving something sweet but not looking for the extra calories.

2. Bananas. I eat two everyday (ask the women who sit near my cube at work). They are the perfect on-the-go snack and they fill me up.

3. Sirius Radio. My commute is 36 miles each way, so I spend a lot of time in my car. Getting to listen to talk radio, I’m a news junkie, or Howard Stern, makes this commute more manageable.

I am off to do my long run (six miles) and the to see Water for Elephants with a friend from work. I am not entirely sure that Robert Pattinson can act but it should be fun to find out.

Early anniversary and The Derby

J decided on Saturday, after my 5K, that he wanted to go to Disney for a last hurrah before finals. The next three weeks are going to be brutal and we won’t see much of each other. Spending the day at Epcot and looking at the flowers, was just perfect. After a nap and some foam rolling, I washed off my many layers of sun block and grime from the race and put on all new layers of sun block.

We went on my favorite ride, The land. J let me pick out a new perfume in Paris as an early anniversary gift.
He also bought me my favorite candy bar of all time in England.

crunchie  

After a few hours of waking around, our stomachs were growling. Of course Easter week-end at Epcot means that you cannot get a seat at any of the sit-down restaurants. We decided to call The Brown Derby, where we had eaten once before, in Hollywood Studios to see if they had any openings. We were in luck
.

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J had a Shirley Temple.

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Cheers!
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J had a filet.

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I had fish.
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The best part of the meal was the salads. J had the Cobb salad, which was invented at the Brown Derby.

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I had a spinach salad and berry salad.
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J took home a piece of cake for dessert. I don’t think we will get entrees here again. For the price, the food is rather bland and they have not changed the menu in years.

I did catch Tail sleeping in the strangest/cutest way before we left for Disney. He likes to sleep on that part of the couch so he can always have eyes on our other cat. Hence the twisted sleeping position. Still cute even if it makes him a stalker. 

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Run for the Trees 5K Race Report

This may be the most beautiful 5K course I have ever seen. It started near Sholwalter Field in Winter Park and went through a neighborhood full of huge and very nice houses. The last leg goes through a private nature preserve with amazing trees and plants of all kind. It was on a dirt path under a canopy of very old trees. There were a few houses in this preserve and they may be the largest homes I have ever seen up close.

The neighborhood seemed to love having the runners coming through. There was a house passing out mimosas, plates of cookies, many people cheering, and a few funny, inspirational signs. Having that kind of community involvement really makes me feel all warm and fuzzy plus it makes me feel like a real athlete to hear cheering.

Everyone was able to take home a little tree which was great. The age group winners won much larger trees. All in all this is my favorite race so far and I will definitely participate again next year.

I finished the race in 37:54 which is a pace of 12:11. It is slower than my last race but I felt great during this race and avoided having any cramps.

Race day playlist:
Playlist

 

Pizza, Pizza

I love pizza. Deep dish, thin crust, Greek pizza, wood-fired, and coal-fired. I also love to bake, especially bread, and find working with dough to be very therapeutic. Making pizza dough costs pennies, uses ingredients you probably already have, and takes about ten minutes to make four servings. I always like to have some pizza dough in my freezer. The recipe I use is adapted from Fresh Loaf which is a definitive bread baking site that is a must read.  
I adapted the recipe by using a 50/50 mix of unbleached white bread and whole-wheat flour.
First mix.                                                                           
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Dough that is ready to be bagged.
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Sauce for J.                                          

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Pesto made with basil, garlic, and Greek yogurt for me.           
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Ready for the pizza stone that was heated at 500 for two plus hours. Parchment paper is a must even if you have a pizza peel. It makes everything much less messy.
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Dinner time,
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Sadly, I was starving and starting eating right as it cooled. No pictures of that finished product.
I am running a 5k on Saturday. It is the Run for the Trees Jeanette Genius McKean Memorial 5K. The prizes, not that I have any hope to win one, are actually trees  I love that and think it will be the perfect way to spend the day after Earth Day.  

Do you have a favorite go to meal that is quick and you enjoy making?

Weekend

This weekend has been very productive. I started Saturday by waking up early and getting out of the house to Lake Eva Park to do my long run (just over five miles). I have adjusted my schedule to a long run every other week, with each one one mile longer than the previous until I hit ten miles. This is the advice that Jeff Galloway gives in his book Book on Running. I am still in the base part of the training pyramid he describes. He also advices not taking on speed training until you have met the following qualifications:

  • One year of running
  • At least two months of aerobic running
  • 4-6 weeks of hill training 

Using this criteria, I will start incorporating hill training into my weekly runs on June 12 and start training for a half-marathon on July 31 which is after I will have met all of the above.
The half I want to run is the Women’s Half Marathon in St. Pete which takes place on November 20th. I really like the idea of my first half being all women and the November date gives me plenty of time to prepare. 

I (mostly) finished organizing my office. There are still books scattered throughout the house but I am slowly going through them and finding new places for them. It feels so nice to have space to move around in this room especially since I often exercise in here. Now I can do this without worrying about kicking furniture. 

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I’m off to finish this productive streak by making pizza dough for pesto pizza for one of the weeknight dinners and to finish washing the greens I harvested from my garden. Then it will be more laundry and hopefully some kind of strength training workout. 

Food you can’t live without

I noticed tonight as I made my weekly salad, that I go through two to three pints of grape tomatoes a week. Every week. The reason is laziness. I do not want to eat a salad without tomatoes but the idea of chopping larger tomatoes, seems to be a great a task. 

Strawberry Kefir. I eat it every morning in my cereal mixture. It is sweet, creamy, and aids in digestion. A few weeks ago, I ran out. On my weekly grocery trip, Publix was out of the strawberry flavored Kefir. The horror of using MILK in my cereal was unreal. As if waking up in the morning and going to work is not bad enough, now I was without my strawberry, pro biotic deliciousness.

I (J) did finish putting together the entertainment unit for my office. One small problem, I need to move my computer desk to the opposite wall but do not have an Ethernet cable long enough to reach. I can order on but until it gets here my office has very little room to maneuver in it. At least with the assistance (he did all of it) I am not still working on deciphering the pictogram’s that IKEA calls instructions. 
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What foods are your must haves?

Back in the saddle

Today was I was able to crawl out of the funk known as the six day head cold and actually run. It felt really good. Just to be on the safe side, since I still feel a twinge of cold, I ran very slowly (11:30 per mile) through my neighborhood for 30 minutes. This way if I still felt off, I could turn around and be home. 

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After the run I made a smoothie.
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Some sprouted toast with almond butter.
04 10 11_0203Now I get to put together an entertainment center for my office. I would like to turn this:
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and this:
04 10 11_0205 Into this:
Expedit

Hopefully my furniture assembling skills have improved since the hose caddy that still mocks me from the back patio.

The land of the living

I have been slowly climbing back into the land of the living. I’ve had a head cold since Sunday that caused me to miss one day of work and a weeks worth of workouts. My nose is raw from the constant blowing and my sinuses ache. Of course the past few days have had gorgeous weather.

On a more pleasant note, last week I went to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. J and I have season passes, so we go every year but are still blown away by the beauty and creativity those who put this festival together.

They had woodland creature topiary. 

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Beautiful vegetables. 

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Tea garden.


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Beauty and the  


beauty and the beast top. 
butterfly.
 Butterfly 
Innovative advertising for an upcoming DisneyNature movie.  


Sandcarving Cats 3 
Sandcarving Cats 2

We finished the day at Downtown Disney. We ate dinner at Raglan Road which may have the best fish and chips this side of the Atlantic. They also have an Irish dancer who dances on a stage in the center of the restaurant and an Irish band. Overall, it was a wonderful Saturday. I was also able to knock out just over five miles in the morning.

March and Goals

I have been sick with a head cold for the past few days. Being home sick from work makes me think about my goals. Right now, my job is a dead-end. I do not particularly enjoy it, I am not well-paid, but with my husband in law school full-time and the terrible state of the economy (especially in Florida), I am obliged to keep it. 2011 is the year I turn 30 which seems somewhat monumental. It is also a year that I would like to start righting myself, pushing myself in the right direction. That way when J is done with law school, he is at the end of his first year, I will be ready to make big changes in my life.

One place where I am achieving is in my running. I am still on the slow side but am slowly picking up the mileage. Each month since I started tracking has increased (minus the short month of February). 

Dailymile March 11

This month I ran a PR (35.24) 5K in the Shamrock Walk and Run 5k. This was my first local 5k and the first where there was a run with your dog component.

March featured my first giveaway. Silk Giveaway which was fun and I hope to be able to do more of.

My longest run so far has been a 6.51 long run from March 19th. I have really started to incorporate slower long runs and am really enjoying running slow.

Are you working on any current goals, running or otherwise? What are you doing to obtain them?

J’s Birthday

We met my Mother, Brother, and Tom (my Mom’s boyfriend) at the lounge. They were watching the basketball game (Go UCONN) when we got there and we joined them for a free drink. 
Dinner was at Council Oak which we had eaten at once before. J is a huge fan of steak and always wants one on his birthday.
They have display cases of the different cuts of meat in the front of the restaurant. Lots of red meat to someone like me who never eats steak and maybe eats meat, of any kind, once a month.
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We started with a rather large seafood platter. It was very delicious.
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We may have drunk too much wine.
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The first two tries at taking that picture the flash did not go off in the very dark restaurant which I did not notice until my brother pointed out. This one had tons of flash, making J look like Casper.
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Happy 32 J! Hope you enjoyed your steak and super extra nasty dirty martini.

I have five and half miles on deck for tomorrow. My goal is to get up early enough to run before it’s 80 degrees. I will need much willpower to get my butt out of the house that early on a Saturday but I will try.