Yoga and Ramblings

Remember how I mentioned we have no Thanksgiving plans? Well, now I’m cooking dinner for 12. Next year I’m keeping my mouth shut. Should be good times, though. I just hope we have enough wine.

I went with a friend to my first legit hot yoga class in maybe over a year. If the class had a title, it probably would have been “Life Lessons and Lunges.” In between excruciating variations of warrior poses the instructor would punctuate his cues with inspirational phrases like “you are right where you need to be” and “discomfort is a blessing; it makes you stronger and more alive”. It hasn’t been long enough yet but I can tell my hips and shoulders are going to hate me tomorrow. Mental note: do yoga more often.

That’s all I’ve got. Here’s a link I found on Pinterest. It’s funny because it’s so awkwardly random. Go fangirls.

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Minnesota Rambles

Oh my goodness, I’m not even sure where to start, it’s been so long.

First of all, thank you all so much for your warm comments and thoughts for Duke. To sound all corny but true, there’s a small dog-sized hole in my heart that will not go away for a while I’m sure, and I appreciate the love. While putting together my Duke collage, I found his posting from the shelter where we adopted him. Since he was a stray, they named him “Kimi” when he was there. I think we did him a huge favor with his rechristening.

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It didn’t really hit me until I came home from my business trip and was rounding the corner of the street where I always walked Duke every morning, and remembered I will never walk him again. He would never get another treat from the concierge desk, and I would never unhook his leash in front of the elevator and let him sprint down the hall to the apartment door because he likes to run. There was an empty spot on the bedroom floor where his doggy bed rested next to my side of the bed, and there was uneaten food in his dish. I bawled like a baby on and off all weekend every time I saw or thought of another thing that reminded me of Duke. Movies on the couch, unlatched doors being nosed open with a wagging tail, the fact that I now have to clean up the food that spills on the floor (okay, most of those tears were from my laziness), all made me sad that I wasn’t prepared to say goodbye. Good thing all dogs go to heaven, and that he will always live on in our memories, or I would be much sadder.

Okay, that’s been said now. On to happy(er) things.

We moved Squish to a toddler bed over the weekend. He’s been resisting bedtime/naptime more and more lately, but he loves being in our bed. So we thought he was ready to upgrade to a big boy bed. We have one of those convertible cribs where the front rail swaps for the toddler bed rail so it took all of 15 minutes to get it changed over. Now we need to teach him that just because he’s awake doesn’t mean it’s time to run all over the place. 5:30 is too early to wake up, kid. Okay, I know I wake up at 5:30, but that’s for my me-time. Squish’s time starts no earlier than 7. I doubt I can convince him of that, though.

We were in Minnesota last weekend visiting my grandparents. While there I went for a beautiful 5 mile run through the country roads around the lake.

 

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Maria Chapel

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The beach at sunset

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Of course the next day when I did my 12-mile run it was cloudy, windy, raining, and miserable. Meh, good prep for race day.

Squish visited my aunt and uncle’s dog, a 2-year old Samoyed. The picture doesn’t do the size disparty justice; that dog is huge.

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Then I traveled for work. Again.

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Have you ever been in the crazy light psychedelic tunnel at Chicago O’Hare International?  It sort of freaks me out every time. I think it’s the creepy music box-meets-circus music they blast through there that gets me.

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We have no plans for Turkey Day. None. There were some ideas thrown out, but they all sort of fizzled or fell through and neither Hulk nor I have made a solid effort to regroup. I might just cook some nice steaks instead of a turkey. At least I know we’ll have wine. That’s a given.

 

 

 

 

Ode to Duke

I have some sad news to report.

Monday night, after I had checked into my hotel and gone to bed, Hulk called to inform me that our dear little doggie Duke had passed away. He had suddenly taken ill over the weekend while we were away and it was rather unexpected. I knew Duke was getting up there in the years, but I thought we would at least have another few years with him. Since it all happened while I was away I never really got to say goodbye. So here’s a tribute to the best misshapen cookie dog a girl could ever have.

Taken shortly after we adopted Duke in 2009 (yes, my hair was brown back then):

Tapping into his wild dog instincts:

Always good for a cuddle:

 

And a great fur-brother:

He also put up with a lot:

He is and always will be my fur baby. Enjoy the Big Dog Park in the Sky, Dukester. I hear the trees there are made of bacon.

The Big Run

Yesterday, I had the most satisfactory realization that I will never, never again in my life have to run further than what I ran that day. Unless I’m running from zombies, of course.

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Actually, it was more like 15.3 miles because I was turned around in the Presidio and ended up almost to Pacific Heights.

I started out down to AT&T Park, thinking if I headed South a bit it would be easier to cover my training plan’s requested 14 miles. Since I covered 13 miles a couple weeks ago doing an out-and-back to the Golden Gate Bridge, I didn’t think I would have to go much farther to make a 14 mile course.

The day couldn’t be any better.

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I also ran into another race in Chrissy Field. It was the Mermaid run, or something? I ran against the race, which was probably a little rude. But whatever.

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I sort of missed the turn to go up to the bridge, so I took the trail over the batteries towards Baker Beach.

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Didn’t suck at all.

At some point, I thought I forgot my sunglasses. This was when I remembered where they were.

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I showed that to Hulk, to which he responded, “Hey, those are MY sunglasses.” Well, Dear, now you know what to get me for Christmas.

Since I overshot the miles coming back, I started walking once I hit 14. I probably could have ran the rest of the way home since I was feeling fabulous (who would have though bringing food and water would help performance?) but decided not to chance injury.

I did a lot of things different on this run than I normally do. These are all pretty no-brainers, but for whatever reason I thought for the longest time I could do without. I sort of can, but I suffer on my longer runs which is never fun. Here’s what I tried this time:

  1. Music. I’ve been running without music, but definitely find that it’s hard to push through sometimes without a motivating distraction. So I would like to thank my sponsor for making this run possible, the Pitbull Pandora station.
  2. Hydration. I don’t always bring water with me because there are a few drinking fountains on my route but they’re at awkward locations. This time I bit the (looking like a geek) bullet and wore my Camelbak, throwing a could Nuun tabs in for extra kick. It was so nice to drink a few sips of fruit punch Nuun whenever I wanted, and I only had to refill once and never felt deprived.
  3. Food. I usually bring a Powerbar with me, but it’s not my favorite fuel source and I find myself putting off eating it because I don’t want to. The Powerbars we have are ancient, left over from Hulk’s professional sponsorship days, so they’re pretty stale and hard to chew. I splurged a bit at Whole Foods and bought some delicious Honey Stinger energy chews which are basically eating candy while running. I had to pace myself because I wanted to eat all the bags right away.

I had energy through the whole run and even sprinted in the last mile. My legs hurt, but I still felt like I wanted to just go. So I think I found my sweet spot of how much I need for what type of run. Someday I might have it all dialed in and have less decisions to make while preparing for a run.

After my run, I adhered to the couch and basically pretended to be a puddle all day. Puddle on the couch, puddle in bed, puddle on the floor while Squish insisted I should play trains with him. Then Hulk had the brilliant idea to have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen with some friends. Pizza post-run = winning.

I gave Squish my phone to distract him while we waited for our food, and he took about a million selfies.

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My iCloud is out of storage and my phone hasn’t backed up in two weeks, so I might need to start curbing this behavior. Or delete some darn photos. Most of them are pictures of eggs, anyway.

Okay, so I’m done now. Did you do anything fun or epic this weekend? How do you fuel for long runs, have you figured out what works for you yet?

Weekly Recap of the Week

I’m ba-ack! I’ve been in Pittsburgh all week, and for whatever reason I just decided to take a break from blogging. It wasn’t planned or anything; I just stopped taking pictures and I slept in every morning. Well, I was on East Coast time so I was sleeping in until around 4:00 a.m. PST so I guess that was called for. But now I have a week’s worth of stuff to update y’all on, so this will be one of those random “15 Things” posts. Well, it will probably be more like “X Things” because I don’t know how much I’m going to talk about yet. (If you haven’t figured out from my choppy, disconnected writing style, I’m a bit of a stream-of-consciousness writer with little desire to proofread.) Okay, so …

1. My birthday was last week! We had cake at work, but no one knew it was my birthday. We had cake because we were celebrating another coworker’s upcoming wedding, and my birthday was coincidence. So I got cake for my birthday. Woot! Then Hulk took me to a sushi place near Union Square and he got drunk off of sake bombs. I’m not a fan so I stuck with my pinot grigio. Then we went back to our place and some friends came over and we chilled out. It was the perfect, low-key kind of birthday.

2. Saturday my beautiful besties took me out for lunch and ice cream down in Mission. We went to Tacolicious, which I used to visit their location in the Marina, and found the Mission restaurant to be wanting in nothing. It was a delight drinking margaritas, eating way too many tortilla chips, and sharing spectacular dishes with my besties making me feel like a princess 🙂 We went to Bi-Rite Creamery for ice cream, and I dove into the banana split. It’s my birthday, right?

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OMG, they caramelize the banana with something that gives it that sugar-crunch creme brulee coating. I could just eat the bananas. We enjoyed our ice cream in Dolores Park where only in SF is it 65 and sunny in November. We Skyped with our other bestie that was out of town, and life is good.

3. So, I’ve been in Pittsburgh all week for work stuff. It was a bit more work-y than last trip so I really didn’t get out and meander like I did last time. Plus, with daylight savings it was always dark by the time we got out of the office, and I get creeped out being alone in the dark in a strange city. Heck, I don’t even like being in SF in the dark alone. I did venture to a nearby restaurant for dinner my last night there that was an Irish pub. I love Irish pubs. What I didn’t know, it was sort of the Irish equivalent of Hooter’s. All the waitresses were in this sexy scottish garb of a kilt mini-skirt and ample boobage. I was the only woman patron there, but that didn’t stop me from getting my Guinness on.

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I mean, an Irish pub’s an Irish pub. I had the shepheard’s pie which hit the spot with my Guinness while I watched the Penguins game. When in Rome, right? It was a great place, but I probably won’t go back as long as I’m turning in an expense report. Gotta keep up appearances, at least.

4. My system’s all wonked out after a weekend of indulgences and travel. So Tuesday morning I decided to be responsible and take a multi-vitamin to balance things out. I took it with my morning coffee, finished getting ready, then headed to the hotel buffet breakfast where I had this little mexican-style egg on english muffin with avocado, cheese, and roasted red pepper and a pile of fruit. With more coffee, of course.

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I guess I ate breakfast a little too late after taking my multi-v because as soon as the last bite went down it alllll came back up. Like, immediately. I burst out of the dining room to the hotel lobby bathroom and barely made it in time. It was so embarrassing; at least I was eating alone and not with my coworkers. When I was done and felt better, I realized I would be hungry pretty quick if I didn’t eat breakfast so … I ate again. It stayed down this time.

5. I need to start running consistently again. I maybe make it out 2, 3 times a week on a good week. And my legs feel like crap. I really think I need another massage before race day. The good news is the massage place I went to last time gave me a 15% off coupon for my birthday, so I might put that to use soon. And put up with all of Hulk’s protests about how I could save $70 and just let him do it. Yeah, because that always happens when I ask 🙂

Okay, I’m all out of stories. Hope I didn’t bore/disgust you too much. Have a happy weekend!

Question: does anyone else puke when they take pills/vitamins on an empty stomach?

 

 

 

 

All the Candy

It’s my birthday! Yay! To celebrate, I’m wearing jeans and Uggs to work.

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Favorite. I don’t care how 2004 Uggs are. They are un-freakin-believably comfortable.

I have a feeling y’all are curious how Squish’s Halloween turned out.

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ALL THE CANDY!!

My little monster figured out pretty quickly that it was candy people were dropping in his bucket. Once that revelation dawned on him, it was game over. As soon as a piece would plop in his bucket, he immediately wanted to eat it. Wrapper and all. He actually took a bite out of a KitKat bar the way a shark would take a bit out of a surfboard.

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Needless to say, his costume now needs some spot-cleaning to remove the chocolate stains. But he was with good company. There were many other small creatures at the mall.

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And Auntie ‘Manda stopped by too.

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He was disturbed that we made him pose for the camera. There were more interesting things to destroy do at the time.

After Squish ran amok burning off the sugar and went to bed (yeah, THAT didn’t take long at all), we all hung out with some friends drinking wine for a while. And maybe ate all of the Halloween candy. Then all the kids went out to see what the bar scene was like while this momma went to bed. Party animal.

Hope you all had a happy and festive Halloween, and if you don’t celebrate Halloween I hope you had a happy and festive Thursday evening! Have a great weekend!