Thursday Things

Oh man, you guys. It’s almost the weekend. And almost April, can you believe it?


I had a minor freak-out yesterday when I realized the year is 1/4 over and I hadn’t really set or tracked any progress on my goals at all. 2014 is slipping away like grains of sand through my fingers! –> bonus points if you can guess what pop culture reference I paraphrased that from.

Anyway, I don’t feel like doing normal stuff, so here’s a random post. Random stuff. About me. Because it’s all about me.

  • I’ve lived in six states: Minnesota, Texas, California, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Missouri.
  • Growing up, my parents owned a karate and dance school. Karate and dance were not taught in the same class, that would just be too much awesome to handle. But my first job was assistant teaching classes with my folks.
  • I have wide feet. Like, really wide feet. I can’t wear heels or cute, strappy shoes. Well, I probably could, but it quickly turns into extreme pain. I like pain less than I like fashion, so, there you go.
  • When I was a kid we had a cat named Dusty. He weighed 23 pounds. Once a woman asked if she was pregnant. My sister answered, “He’s a boy cat.”
  •  In 2011 Hulk and I went to London for a babymoon. Best. Trip. Ever.


  •  If I could have any food in the world, it would have to be a perfectly seared ribeye steak, medium rare.
  • Hulk and I both did competitive cycling in college. I was the 2006 Nebraska Women’s Category 4 State Champion. Because I was the only women’s cat. 4 racer to show up that day (<< Hulk keeps reminding me to leave that part out).
  • Speaking of athletic accomplishments, to date I have completed five half marathons, two full, one half iron man, and about a couple dozen bike races. I think I still owe a race report on the North Face Half Marathon back in December. Don’t hold your breath on that one.
It sucked something fierce!
It sucked something fierce!
  • I am a complete and total introvert. I am uncomfortable meeting new people, I prefer small, intimate gatherings to huge parties, and the perfect day ends with me alone in bed with a cup of tea and a book. Which is what I’m about to go do right now!
  • Once I did a coworker a favor. When asked what he could do for me in return, I responded, “I want a pony. Dapple grey. I’ll name her Clip Clop.” He came back the next day with a BLACK pony. Didn’t listen to me at all. But Clip Clop still won my heart.pony

Okay, I think I’ve allowed you to procrastinate doing something actually important long enough. As always, thanks for reading my nonsense for this long.

Any random thoughts for this Thursday?


Santa Cruz Adventures, Volume 2

Good morning, blog world!

I am hear to weave the captivating tale of our second day in Santa Cruz. In case you didn’t get enough beautiful beach shots last time.

The first rule of bringing a baby or toddler to a hotel with you is you can pretty much guarantee that no one will sleep. Squish was up at 3 am, 4 am, 5:30 am, and finally up and ready to go all bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:30 am. Hulk and I were not.  Since I had to run anyway, I thought I’d give Hulk an extra hour of toddler-free sleep and take Squish to find coffee.

I was glad I did. The sun was just rising and it was a gorgeous morning on the beach. I found a coffee shop close by and had completely forgotten that I came here for coffee a million years ago when Hulk was in a bike race nearby. Firefly Coffee House is a cute little coffee bar with homemade bagels and pastries. It’s one of those coffee shops with old, lounge-y chairs and shelves full of books to borrow and old games like chess or Scrabble to play while you kick back with friends (or let your toddler play with while you slam a bagel and coffee). We got there just as the first batch of bagels was coming out of the oven.


I got Squish a banana bread to hold him over for the bagel. Since they were so fresh-out-the-oven, they were too hot to cut into and we had to wait a few.


Darn, I hate waiting because my bagel is TOO fresh. I chose an herb-topped bagel with plain cream cheese. Which I enjoyed bites in between trying to keep Squish from throwing Scrabble tiles around.


Then we walked to the beach as the sun peaked out through the fog.


And played on the strange seating structures.


Then I dropped Squish with Hulk for some manly man time while I headed out for my 8-miler. It was terrible.


I hate running along the coast.


Seriously, who would like this?


Okay, actually, it hurt a lot; but the views and weather were so gorgeous I can’t complain. I was pushing it close to check-out time when I got back, so I took a quick dunk in the ocean to ease my throbbing legs (the Smirnoff’s might not have been a good idea, in hindsight) and got cleaned up and packed as I slammed an pictured apple and the last of the deli chicken. Then we toodled around the boardwalk some more until we said adieu to Santa Cruz and started making our way North along the PCH. Somewhere we stopped and I grabbed some fruity electrolyte “health” water thingy.

In Half Moon Bay, we decided to drop in at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel there.


No big deal, just spent our afternoon at the Ritz.

The property is on a golf course overlooking the ocean with public access and lots of overlooks and picnic areas. Squish and I terrorized the gardens while Hulk chilled out in the sunshine.


Slightly pink-cheeked, we all headed back to SF. Hulk whipped us up a quick and easy pasta with chicken.


I barely thought to snap the picture before I devoured it. I was so. hungry.

It will be interesting to see how my legs hold up this week. After a crappy night of sleep, lots of sun, a little alcohol, and not nearly enough recovery food after my long run yesterday, I may not have a stellar training week. I plan on taking it easy today and see how my run goes tomorrow. Whatever happens, I’m down with. You have to take time to live a little, too.

How do you like to recover after long/hard workouts? Or long/hard non-workouts if you don’t really work out? Sometimes I need to recover from my long nap with another nap.

In Other News:

Check out this post from Run, Eat, Repeat. I liked it, nay, loved it.


Santa Cruz Adventures, Volume 1

Hello, lovely peeps!

I didn’t want to wait to start posting about how the weekend went. It was such a blast! Since Hulk was gone on the East Coast all week for a work thing, I booked us a night in Santa Cruz so we could take a little mini-vaycay after his absence. A little surf and sand was just the right thing.

But first I have to get caught up from the week. Friday’s lunch was a quick toss-together of chicken and herbs, sliced heirloom tomato, and broccoli. Woo-hoo.


It was a really pretty day in SF.


Of course I needed an afternoon pick-me-up.


I tried something new for Friday’s dinner – homemade mac-and-cheese, with chicken, peas, and swiss chard. It was Squishy-approved.


Saturday morning, I ran an easy 4 miles up to Pier 39 and back before we left for Santa Cruz. I didn’t want any pesky running training to get in the way of my beach time. Pre-game:


One under-ripe nectarine (ugh) under a sea of Greek yogurt and cinnamon. After my run, Hulk made some brekkie so I could clean up and get packed. His man-breakfast:


Bacon ‘n’ eggs (I added the sliced tomato for a little plant-eating), coffee. We ran out of milk so I had it black. Sad panda.

However, I needn’t be sad for long …


Woot! Our hotel was in a great location across from the beach off of the Santa Curz Wharf. We stayed at the Beach Street Inn and Suites, and I would recommend it. It was a little on the pricey side, but not as bad as some of the other hotels in the area with the same superb location. The staff were very friendly, it was clean and comfortable, and the decor was an adorable cozy cottage-chic.

You can see it around Hulk trying to wrangle the Squish out of his jacket:


Plus it was pretty quiet. There were several other family and groups staying around us, and we really didn’t hear anyone else unless they were right outside our door. And check out this shower! All 3 of us would fit in it.


Anyway, enough of that. We got down to business.


Squish broke into the snacks.


We basically grazed on snacks for lunch. I brought with us (let’s see if I can remember it all):

  • crackers
  • hummus
  • carrot sticks
  • strawberries
  • deli chicken
  • olives
  • chips & salsa
  • Squishy-approved graham crackers
  • trail mix
  • diet soda & beer


“Maa! I’m still hungry!”

After we beached it up (and I took a super cold dunk in the water … I wanted the crunchy surfer hair look) we headed back to the room for a quick nap.


“I would prefer this fascinating documentary on how the world will end over a nap. Because they’re pretty much the same thing.”

After we refreshed and recovered from the beach scene we took a stroll down the Wharf, where the barking of the sea lions serenaded us. There were so many sitting in the – what do you call them, rafters? – below the pier. There was a staircase to a dock below that was fenced off so you could go down and see them up close. If I wanted to lose a hand, I could have pet them they were so close.


For as big as they are, it was crazy to see them leap out of the water and land on the rafters. And by land I mean maybe make it up there, but more often than not fail and fail hard. It reminded me of when my extremely obese pet cat I had growing up would jump up on the bed. Sometimes he’d make it, and sometimes there would be a thundering crash and in the wake of the chaos a very indignant cat would strut away as if saying, “I meant to do that.”

Anyway, then I needed beer.


I had to give Amanda a poke for this. We went to the Seabright Brewery, one of our favorite stops in Santa Cruz, and I tried their Benderbrau, a German-style beer based on Bender from Futurama. It was mighty tasty.


I convinced Hulk to order the Brie and Roasted Garlic. We normally don’t do appetizers, but I didn’t have to twist his arm too much for a plate of melted cheese.


To accompany my brie-bomb, I ordered a small Caesar salad with blackened salmon that made my heart sing. So freakin’ good.


Then we walked home along the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Squish gave up on the stroller long before we got to the restaurant, so he rode home on Dad’s shoulders.


And we stopped at some of the local todder attractions. Apparently the covered patio tables are all the rage in kiddie rides these days.


And then I pre-gamed and put out my stuff for my 8-miler the next morning. Cheers!


I don’t think I’ve had a malt beverage since college. Hulk picked them up since I failed to bring more beers than needed for one afternoon on the beach. They didn’t have quite the punch to them as I remembered.

So much stuff to recap! I need to take a break from my break. See you next time with Part Deux.

Where’s your favorite weekend getaway spot?

Catch-up and a Baking Fail

I’ve been blogging a day behind, and my OCD is starting to get on my nerves about this. Let’s see if I can catch it up.

Thursday morning started off with a 5 mi. interval run.

Pre-game: one egg.


By the way, I can’t believe I never thought of microwaving eggs sooner. We’ve lived without a microwave for two years before moving here, and I completely forgot it’s an option. Now I’m nuking everything out of novelty and sheer convenience. Plus, they come out of the bowl in a convenient round shape, perfect for fitting on the plate.

Anyway, my intervals were:

  • 1 mile slow (pace ~ 12:00/mi)
  • [1 mile fast, 2 min slow] x 3 (pace ~ 10:30/mi)
  • 1 mile slow (pace ~ 12:00/mi)




Duke was happy I was back. “IT’S WALK TIME!!”



He never sits correctly.

I had a lot of fun with the WIAW post, so I tracked most of my eats again. Breakfast was bacon ‘n ‘eggs with some leftover sweet tater fries from Wednesday night.



After doing the work thing all morning I came home and threw together a quickie lunch for the Squish and me: sausage and an heirloom tomato caprese salad, minus the basil. I don’t have any fresh basil (sad panda).



I might stop eating sausage just because there’s no way to make it look good in a photo.

The afternoon I was yawning in my meetings, and decided to use my Starbucks treat reward on a pumpkin spice latte.


Fall is here, y’all! Sorry about the dirty street, I was going for “gritty urban” but didn’t look closely enough and instead I ended up with “who puked here?”

The PSL didn’t do enough, so I had a couple of these too.


And a few unpictured squares of dark chocolate. My biggest takeaway from my London 2011 trip was ALWAYS have afternoon tea. 🙂

After all my post-lunch snacking, I really wasn’t feeling hungry for dinner. So Squish and I ran a few errands, and I decided to whip up a treat for when Hulk gets home today. I was feeling bread-snacky, so I tried out Carrots ‘n’ Cake’s Chocolate Pumpkin Bread (maybe with a glass or two of unpictured wine). At first it came out heavenly,



So I gave myself a sample slice for breakfast this morning with my eggs, sliced heirloom tomato, and olives.



See? Working on the “pretty” factor.

And coffee.



But on further inspection of the pumpkin bread, I found it was wayyy undercooked. Baking #fail.



Oh well, it’s like chocolate pumpkin lava  cake bread. Still delicious.

Duke was disappointed there was no bacon.



“Seriously, why do I even get out of bed? You’re a terrible human.”

Had an awesome arms/core session in the gym this morning. Due to my back injury and Hulk’s suggestion, I’m holding off on leg/lower body training while I’m running. That’s right, I listened to Hulk. I’ll wait here while you let that sink in. Done? Cool. So, I am doing light stuff with my legs but I’m not trying to push the weights like I was before. However it was my first time in the gym this week, so I felt like touching on a bit of everything:

  • Light warm-up: joint mobility, arm circles, etc.
  • 3 rounds of 10 reps:
    • Shoulder press, 20 lbs
    • Squats, 45 lbs
    • Deadlift, 45 lbs
  • “Regular” sets of 3×10:
    • Bench press, 30 lbs
    • Rows, 30 lbs
    • Lat pulls, 30 lbs
    • Dips, bodyweight
  • Another 3 rounds of 10 reps each:
    • Chest flys, 12.5 lbs
    • Shoulder flys, 12.5 lbs
    • Tricep kickbacks, 12.5 lbs
  • Everybody’s favorite, 1 min plank hold

Time to shower my stinky self, get the Squish going for the day, and go earn my bacon. I’m so, so happy it’s Friday! We have a super-fun weekend planned, I’m so excited! Squeeeee!



I Ran Too Much, But That’s Okay

Monday afternoon, I was suddenly hit by a bus, metaphorically.


I was perfectly fine, then the outsides of my neck and throat started to feel swolen, and my body was achy. Feverish-achy without the fever. Rather than go home and work out like I had planned, I decided to go home and lay low. When I woke up Tuesday morning, I was less achy but my throat and neck still hurt. So I skipped my run and went back to bed. I was a little preoccupied with the worry that I missed my first planned training run, but tried to shrug it off, because I probably needed the rest more than the running. Instead,  I took a bubble bath with the latest issue of “Runners Magazine”. That would surely take my mind off of things.

Yesterday morning, my throat was almost better and to reading “Runner’s Magazine” the previous night, my legs were itching for their stride drill. So I took to the road.

Normally, I have a well-measured out-and-back along the Embarcadero that is just over 4 miles long. But my workout has me do 4 miles then 4 20-second strides with 2 minutes recovery in between. Which means I need just under 5 miles distance to complete the run. I thought that if I ran up to Pier 39 then down to AT&T park and up 3rd street that the route would be just over 5 miles. Well, it ended up almost 6 mi. That’s okay, I didn’t need to get to work on time, did I?


Whatever. It was a great run.


Oh, I didn’t realize until over a mile in that my GPS was turned off. I am very detail-oriented.

In a completely random and unrelated note, there was a bunch of commotion outside the office yesterday afternoon. I looked outside to see the office across the street was doing a team-building group activity that involved a rock-paper-scissors tournament. You can’t make this stuff up.


Sorry for the horrible picture. They don’t clean our windows. Seriously, it’s like a historic building or something and they don’t have a way to mount the scaffolding for the window washers.

Did you ever run a lot farther than you should have? I am normally an expert at running my miles and not a step further.

How would you fare in a rock-paper-scissors tournament?

The One Where I Start Training, For Real This Time

So, a couple of things.

1. I take my PMP test in, like, two hours. Beyond. Freaking. Out.

2. I started for-real training for the North Face Endurance Challenge Series race today.

It’s real, yo. I got myself a training plan and everything. I hope to dedicate more time to my next half marathon than I did for my professional credential certification test. At least we shall see where my true priorities lie – professional project management or running like a maniac in the woods for hours.

Last night I wanted to blast home and get my learn on in the few wee study hours left, so I was a bad mom and wife. I picked up some Jumbo Jacks for dinner. Yes, I let myself and my family eat fast food, the devin incarnite himself. Forshame. Bad healthy living blogger! Bad!

All right, I’m over it.

I ran this morning. Around 3-ish miles in the pre-dawn darkness.


I’m glad I ran, but the run sucked something pretty awful. I was so sluggish and slow. It was running through molasses for 30 solid minutes and never got that “all right, we’re opened up now. Let’s enjoy this” feeling. Nope, it was just slug, slug, slug all up and down the Embarcadero. I did a good stretch ‘n’ roll in the gym right afterword thinking that I just needed a good leg flush. I did trash my leggies pretty good last week, so they might have needed a cleanin’ anyway.

Also, I like my training plan. I’m using the Runkeeper app and doing the sub-2:30 half training plan. I’m already digging the schedule, it’s so simple. If the day starts with an S or a T, I run! Hard for even me to screw up.

I had another eggy puff and peach “pie” for breakfast.


I put salsa on my eggy puff, but it was the “hot” version. Way too spicey for my Western-European mutt tastes! I choked it down.

The peach and yogurt saved it. Holy wow, that peach alone is just pure dessert. Farmers’ Market #winning.

Lunch was an act of desperation. We don’t really have any food that’s not spoiled, but I don’t want to go shopping since Hulk left for Omaha today and Squish and I are heading to my folks’ house for the weekend on Friday. So I’m challenging myself to eat what’s still edible. Hence, we have frozen veggies, and a hot dog on one of those mini-bun thingys.

20130827-151147.jpg (Why did that come out sideways?)

And a very figgy fig.


Autocorrect wants me to write “foggy fog”. Screw you, autocorrect. No one likes you, anyway.

I also ate a lot more frozen veggies than that, though. This pic was mid-nosh. Then I ate the rest of the bowl that Squish didn’t polish off.

Time to drink some coffee and cram some more for my test. I’ll feel much better when this is over and not hanging over my head anymore. Whatever happens, happens at this point.

Boo, grown-up stuff.