Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two Runners Are Better Than One

Kelly came over tonight to run with me and have dinner.  Kelly loves to entertain, and has probably had me over no less than ten times since last time she came to my house for a meal, so it was definitely my turn to host.  It's funny, because I don't entertain that often and sometimes get a little stressed out about the idea of it.  Really, there's no reason to though, because I'm fairly confident in my ability to cook good food.  Kelly is especially easy to cook for because we like a lot of the same kinds of food.

Anyway, before dinner, we had a run on the agenda.  It was a rainy day here in Charlotte, and I knew our run would be a wet one.  Like good marathon soldiers, we suited up anyway and set out to get in 5 miles.  The weather was odd tonight.  Initially it felt like it would be cold and rainy, so I wore running tights, a long sleeved tech shirt, and even planned on a wind breaker.  Upon stepping outside to check out the temperature, I realized I would not want my jacket though.  At points during the run, I felt over dressed, and other times the wind whipped at us and I felt a bit cold.  It was sort of hard to get comfortable.

In addition, I just didn't feel that great on this run.  It felt really labored and difficult and I could tell my pace was slow (sorry Kel!).  I actually think if Kelly hadn't been with me, I would have called it a night at 4 miles.  It was almost like my body was saying, "Hey, didn't you just run seventeen miles the other day?  Wanna give me a break??"  I trudged on and we got it done.  5 miles in 51:56.

Back at the house, Greg was supervising this chaos:

Actually, it looked more like this...  They were pretty much a blur of fur as they chased each other around.

Poor Rascal tolerates Clyde's puppy energy like a champ.

Before Kelly's arrival, I had prepped most of the dinner food so it would be ready to go after the run. 
I made a stir fry with:

red pepper
yellow pepper
bok choy
sesame oil
hoisen sauce
sesame seeds

Food blogger in action...

We gobbled down the stir fry along with water and Kelly and I split a Magic Hat Winter Seasonal.

After dinner, Kelly demonstrated Rascal's latest trick:  The "balance the cracker on the nose til I say you can have it" trick.

I didn't get a picture, but it's impressive.  Clyde was like, "Hey buddy, can you show me how to do that??"

The evening was cut a little short because I had to take Greg to the airport, but I think we all had a good time.  Dogs included :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Greg's Thanksgiving And What I Bought On Cyber Monday

Greg missed Thanksgiving with the fam this year because he had to work.  Think of him next time you're flying on a holiday ;)  This is actually quite normal for us since he's been dealing with a pilot schedule since we met.  I actually had the same sort of problem when we first met since I was a police officer and worked nights/weekends/holidays.  Greg kind of lucked out in that he ended up with someone who "got" that.

Our strategy has always been to celebrate whenever we could.  This year, Greg actually attended a Thanksgiving dinner with his Captain in Charleston, so he wasn't completely devoid of the experience on the actual day.  I also brought home leftover Thanksgiving food from Hilton Head for him.

Greg could take or leave the actual turkey on Thanksgiving.  I know full well what part of a Thanksgiving meal Greg likes.  His favs are green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and candied sweet potatoes.  So since he missed Thanksgiving, I made him a belated meal with his favorites.

I added the last of the leftover turkey and some stuffing.

Greg was pretty psyched about this and went back for seconds on all three of his favorite sides.  I'm glad I could bring his favorite part of Thanksgiving to him.  It made me happy to see him happy about his Thanksgiving favorites :)

In other news, my cyber Friday involved exercising my credit card a little bit.  Here's what I bought:

Yeah, I kind of signed up for another half marathon.  It's in less than 2 weeks.  I'm pretty excited to do this one though, because it's a big race and it's in my home city.  Jen and I had been going back for weeks saying to each other that we'd do it if the other one signed up.  Finally this morning we both bit the bullet and signed up!  A lot of people say this is a rough half marathon, so I'm hoping it goes alright.  I don't know that I'll break any of my time records, but I think it'll still be fun.

Did you purchase anything on Cyber Monday?

Christmas Prep

I'm glad I opted to head home from Hilton Head Saturday night and wake up with Greg and Clyde Sunday morning.  The boys were happy to be reunited as evidenced here...

I made waffles for us for our Sunday breakfast.  Well, apple waffles.

2 cups sifted flour
3 TB sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 separated eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 apple
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Peel and chop apple in to small pieces and place pieces in a microwaveable bowl with cinnamon and microwave for about 4 minutes, until soft.

Mix dry ingredients.
Separate eggs and beat egg whites til stiff and fluffy.
Beat egg yolks and combine with milk.
Combine wet and dry ingredients until just mixed (don't overmix).  Fold in egg whites.
Add about half the apple pieces into the batter.

Cook on hot greased waffle iron.  Top with the rest of the apple and maple syrup (the good stuff!).

After breakfast we moved on to Christmas prep, starting with the tree!
Yes, we have a fake a tree...

It is totally necessary to watch Christmas vacation while decorating.

We got the entire tree set up and started checking the lights and had a strand that wasn't working.  Is it just me or does that happen EVERY SINGLE YEAR??  So our plan to finish decorating the tree got derailed til we could take a trip to Walmart for more.  

But first, we took Clyde for a nice walk around the hood.

Actually, Clyde is peeing here (sorry for the graphic shot).  I think it's hilarious that he curls his tail up like that when he pees.  :)

Even though it's like 3 days after Thanksgiving, I actually felt like we were behind most of the neighborhood in decorating.  As you can see here, my neighbors are into this whole Christmas spirit thing...

They seriously have every cartoon character ever created lit up on their front lawn...

We returned home and decided to do some outside decorating, assuming our outdoor lights would cooperate.  Clyde took interest.

The Christmas light hanging jacket (also known as the apple orchard jacket), makes another appearance!

I held the ladder, when I wasn't taking pictures...

Clyde's friend Cinnamon came out on the porch to play.  They actually get along pretty well!  I guess she's not that intimidated by him since she's bigger than him!

After successfully hanging our icicle lights, we took a trip to Walmart and got more lights for the tree.

We had pasta, stuffed mushrooms, and garlic bread for dinner.  My mom sent me home with the sauce, pasta, and the mushrooms, so all I had to do was assemble and bake the garlic bread.  Thanks Mom!

After dinner we finished the tree :)

Gorgeous, right?  My collection of ornaments is totally out of control.  I even have the whole back of the tree covered.  I LOVE ornaments!

Have you decorated for Christmas yet??

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Successful Seventeen!

Saturday morning I did my long run in Hilton Head.
I set out to get in 17 miles, which would be a new personal distance record for me (my previous was last weekend's 15 miles).

Though Thursday and Friday were warm, Saturday morning was cold in in the 40s.  I suited up in my Lululemon crop pants, a long sleeve tech shirt, and fleece vest.

I set up water, Gatorade, and some Shot Blocks at my parents house so I could loop back and fuel every 5-7 miles, to help break up the run.

For the first loop I got in 7 miles before heading back to fuel.  I figured that would help to know I only had 10 miles left.  I popped a couple Shot Blocks, had some gulps of Gatorade and water, then headed out for the next 5 mile loop.

Though the scenery was gorgeous as usual, this was the worst of the three "laps".  I was feeling lower back pressure again (I always seem to get it on my long runs now), and these 5 miles felt really labored and tough.  I was far enough into the run that it was taking its toll, but still had a lot more to go.  I think part of the struggle was mental.

I found my mom taking a walk in the last mile, and opted to walk that mile with her back to the house.
Before setting out on my last loop, I actually stretched a bunch and then took in more fuel.

The last 5 miles weren't actually too bad.  I think the stretching helped, and I also had renewed enthusiasm knowing I would be hitting a personal distance record and was almost done.


The breakdown:

Mile 1: 9:45
Mile 2: 9:58
Mile 3: 10:15
Mile 4: 10:20
Mile 5: 10:21
Mile 6: 10:08
Mile 7: 10:09
Took first fuel break.
Mile 8: 10:40
Mile 9: 10:15
Mile 10: 10:21
Mile 11: 10:09
Mile 12: 12:36 (walked with my mom)
Took second fuel break.
Mile 13: 11:21
Mile 14: 9:56
Mile 15: 10:15
Mile 16: 10:02
Mile 17: 10:27

Under 3 hours, including the walk in mile 12!  I was definitely tired, but not too terrible.  I showered, had lunch, and then my mom and I did the perfect post long run activity.  Went to a movie, so I could sit and relax!  We saw Morning Glory, and it was really cute :) 

I was also able to easily polish off half a large popcorn by myself without much remorse, as I had just RUN 17 MILES!  :)  The benefits of marathon training. 


Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving in Hilton Head

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

I arrived in Hilton Head Wednesday night in time for dinner with my parents, which went unphotographed.  We had pasta and salad, and may have tapped into my cheesecake a day early....   Hey, there's just the three of us (Greg is working), so might was well!

O.M.G.  This was SO GOOD!  The Pecan Sandies crust was a good call, and Paula's filling was orgasmic :)

Thursday morning we were all up bright and early so I could run the 10K Turkey Trot in Hilton Head.  It was actually a pretty big race.  They capped registration at 1,500 people and it sold out!  I was surprised and happy that I pre-registered :)

I had the typical pre-run breakfast with crunchy PB for a change:

My Mom, Dad, and I headed over to the race.

My spectators were armed with coffee and ready to cheer!

Gobble Gobble!

Pretty soon it was time to start.  There were no corrals, so it was just a big free for all and took a minute for the crowd to thin out, but eventually I got some space and got a rhythm going.

I found myself running at my race pace, in the low nines mostly.  I definitely pushed myself knowing this race was on the shorter side.

Here was the breakdown:

Mile 1: 8:59
Mile 2: 8:59
Mile 3: 9:00
Mile 4: 8:49
Mile 5: 8:48
Mile 6: 8:40

Not sure about the last bit since I forgot to turn of the Garmin at the finish, but my chip time was 55:29, so I had another personal record, breaking my 10K time by about 3 minutes.  :)  So I had an 8:57 pace, was 9th (out of 21) in my age/gender group.

Pay no attention to the fact that I look like a bobble head...
They actually had medals for all the finishers, which is pretty cool for a 10K!

We hung around the finish area for a bit and I drank water and had some tortilla chips and a banana.

Back at the house, we actually just kind of relaxed for a while.
We had some leftover pizza and salad for lunch.

In the afternoon, Mom, Clyde, and I went for a walk on the beach.
(My Dad stayed home to watch the Patriots)

Check out how warm it was!

The beach was surprisingly busy, we actually had to drive to a different beach parking area than the one we usually go to because the first was completely full!

This was Clyde's third day at the beach, and I think he's enjoying it more every time!

Clyde investigated this log after seeing a big dog pulling it from the water.
It was really gorgeous out and unbelievably warm!

Once back at the house we got started on THE BIG DINNER!

I got my apron and my game face on.

Mom got the turkey going.

We prepped all the food for a while, then actually went up to the (heated) pool for a pre-dinner float, with margaritas in water bottles of course!

Then it was time for dinner!

Guess who was VERY interested in the turkey...

He was actually really interested in the cheese for the mac and cheese too...

He got several samples...

We sat down to dinner.

I had some of everything.  There was mashed potato, sweet potato, green beans, stuffing, turkey, and mac and cheese, (also, unpictured cranberry sauce shaped like a can).

Soooooooooooooo delicious!!

Later we ended the day with some of my mom's apple tart.

It was a fantastic Thanksgiving!  I miss my hubby, but we're going to have our own little meal on Sunday when we're both home, and he was able to attend Thanksgiving with the guy he is flying with this month, so at least he wasn't alone.

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