Saturday, January 21, 2012

Off to the Zoo

Yesterday, the Lehigh Valley Zoo had Penguin appreciation day, so we decided to take a trip there. This was also Makayla's first time at the zoo. Anyway, when we go there, the up and center display was the Penguin display, but there were no penguins to be seen. I asked one of the people who worked there and was told that it was too cold for the Penguins. Apparently they are African Penguins and don't like the cold weather. If this is the case, why did they have Penguin Appreciation Day in the winter. Anyway, we had the whole zoo to ourselves with the occasional other group of people there. Here are some of the pictures.

While I was unable to get a lot of pictures, the batteries on the camera died, I did learn that Makayla loved the zoo. Our next trip will be to Adventure Aquarium.
Today, as I write this, is nap time. It is a little later than usual because as you know it is snowing. Makayla went out for the first time ever in the snow.

I am so happy that she loved the snow! It makes my heart go pitter patter. When she got tired, we came inside, and she was the easiest to put to bed yet. I hope you all are having a happy Sat.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today, is a special day. Today, is my mom's birthday. She is greatest woman I know, and I hope one day to be just like her. She is the glue that holds our family together. We have an awesome relationship, and I am so grateful that I can have her as a friend as much as I can a mother.

Everything I am and everything I hope to be, I owe to you. I look up to now like I have since I was little. I can only hope Makayla and I have a relationship that is 1/10th as awesome and the relationship I share with you. I love you mom, to the moon and back!
Here, some Beatles to wish you a Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Breakfast in photos

Since, my mom (Hi Mom!) has been asking for pictures of Makayla, here are pictures from breakfast this morning. I love how happy she is in these pictures, but really, she is happy all of the time. She makes me feel so special.
This one is my favorite...she grabbed my face :)
Yes, I am wearing a tanktop..I always wear one under my shirts...just hadn't gotten that far yet.
She thought it was funny I wanted to take pictures while she was eating
Bananas and French toast...
Face is stuffed...

Looking at the dogs...making sure they won't eat her food.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Nap time

My daughter gets fussy without her naps. One could dare say that she is a brat when she is tired, but really, it isn't her fault. She gets tired, we all get tired, and then it is the battle of the wits. Today, however, nap time was a productive time for this mama. While my house remains a mess, and yes, it kills me that it is a mess, I took the time to rearrange the entire living room. See, our current apartment is kind of a money pit. The windows in the apartment leak, so I feel like we are throwing our money out of them. My husband had the living room arranged so that our sofa was in front of the heater, hence blocking the heat from coming out into the living room. Have no fear, I moved all of it today, BY MYSELF. It does feel a little backwards, but at the same time, it feels like the stuff is actually in a place where it belongs. I even vacuumed the entire living room, something that I am sure has not happened in A.LONG.LONG time. Anyway, it already feels warmer in here (no, I did not touch the thermostat) and now, just some things need to go to storage and I think it will look like a home again. Guess I am not as sore today as I was last Sunday, using the rolling pin really helped! Now, to pack my bag and head to the gym. I hope you all have a great Monday!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Halfway Point

Can you believe Jan is halfway over already?!? This year is flying by way too fast. Today, after running 5.75 miles through Jacobsburg with a bunch of the coolest crazy people that I think I can call friends, I looked at my account to see my mileage so far. I don't know why it mattered to me, I guess really I was just curious. So, when I checked, I saw that I have already clocked 47 miles in for this year! 47 miles in 2 weeks! I cannot believe it! That means I can do 94 miles by the end of the month! That means in just 3 months I will have met my total mileage for 2010. In.just.three.months. I am sure it might take less considering my long runs will be getting longer. I just can't believe how far I have come since Sept. In Sept I wasn't even able to run for 30 minutes and now I can run for an hour + at a time! I am so excited to see the changes that my body continues to undergo this year. I am ready for this journey and will continue to
share it with you if you are willing to listen. Oh, and on a side note, I found another use for a rolling pin, and it is not cooking or baking related ;)
Happy Sunday! What did you do today?

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's what's for dinner

Today at work we are having a potluck dinner. For no other reason than just because. Everyone is bringing something, and I opted to bring the salad. I never thought bringing a salad would cost me $25, but I have to say, it looks good.
Beets in a separate container, because I am not sure if everyone likes beets in their salad!
Chia seeds will be put in my salad, so they are separate as well. Good source of Omega 3 and Fiber.
So, this is what I put in my salad...
1/2 head of lettuce
6 oz of fresh spinach coarsely chopped
2 small cucumbers
2 hand fulls of small cherry tomatoes
1/2 small can of black olives
1/2 jar of mild banana peppers
1/2 container of mushroom slices
1/2 each of orange, yellow and red peppers
1/2 package of craisins
tossed the above ingredients then added shredded cheddar cheese. salad was again tossed to infuse all flavors together.
With the rest of the ingredients I made a salad for home this way I always have a salad handy.
Hope you enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A work in progress

I have read a lot of blogs and running books that recommend you have a spot in your home for your inspiration wall. That idea sounded great, and since I live in an apartment and space is limited, I thought I would put my inspiration wall on a move able surface (so that it can come with me when we move) above my desk so that I can see it everyday. Here is the wall directly in front of my desk...
See how boring...
I went to Wegman's to get Kale for Kale chips(a blog for another day, and I saw that this was only 12 cents! So, I bought it!
Finally, I got all of my old magazines out...
And began to go through them and cut out things that inspire me...
And then started gluing the cutouts to the poster board. Yes, I know I have lots of blank space, but my goal is to have this filled up by my half marathon in April, so I have a lot of room to add lots of inspiration to it.
So far, the quote "I used to run with DOUBT" is my favorite. I can't wait to see how this piece of work turns out. One of the people that I used to work with emailed me and told me about how I inspire her and how she would love to run with me sometime. I never thought that I would inspire anyone, this was just a journey that I was doing for make be a healthier person, and here I am inspiring others. Anyway, that run is slated for Thursday, I will let you know how that goes.
because I know you come here to see pics of my daughter...please don't let me keep you from seeing her...
I told her we needed to clean up, she grabbed her hat, had me put it on then went to the front door. I guess she knows that when we clean up we end up leaving the house!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Over the river and through the woods...

So, I made myself continue trudging along. Note to leaders of groups, when the tail end of the group finally catch up, it is OK to take a breather. It is hard to keep running when you guys had a break. Well, unless you are me and felt bad that they were waiting for you and you just said let's git-er-done! During this run I made a comment of knowing how a mule feels going through the Grand Canyon. Yes, I made that, and no I wasn't kidding. I think the one path that they had me running on in the summer is a stream. The run was beautiful and I can only imagine what it is like in the fall and spring. Anyway, when all was said and done, I ran 8.07 miles. Which is now my longest run. I was proud of myself, but I also wish I didn't complain as much as I did...although at the time, it didn't feel like I was complaining, just trying not to die. I also managed to burn 1400 calories because while it was 8 miles it was definitely cross country running with uphills and down hills and bridges and other such obstacles that nature throws at you.
Now I know I can do 8 miles. And since the weekends are my long runs, now I know to push myself to do the 8 miles. Well at least one day of the weekend. I guess I need to make sure that if I keep running on Sundays that I see how far they are running so I don't do 8 miles back to back, or should I and just make sure to rest. Hmm...decisions.
Thanks to my Breakfast Club Runners, I am being pushed in ways I didn't know I could be. I am going outside of myself and pushing my own limits and living to tell about it.
Here's to Today, and being able to go run!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Race Recap and other stuff...

This is a long overdue race recap, but with my laptop being on the fritz, I try to write when I can. So, on to the recap.
New Year's Eve, I ran the Peeps Fest 5K. Yes, those yellow marshmellow chicks you get at Easter are made in the town where I live, and yes, they have a mascot and a volkswagen beetle with a big chick on top. Yes, the beetle is yellow. Anyway, onto the race. We couldn't have asked for better weather, and lately is has been more like spring around here than winter. The race started at where the Old Bethlehem Steel was located and the venue was awesome. There was stuff to do for the entire family, there was even a mascot race, where the Peep, along with mascots from the local universities and colleges ran. Then there was the kids race, all which led up to the 5K. There were a lot of people there, and we were all crammed onto an artery that used to be one of the main roads in an out of the Steel. My first complaint is that walkers managed to weasle themselves in front of the runners, which was the first obstacle from the beginning we had to navigate around. Next, random (although I am not so sure how random they really were) steel artifacts were to be navigated. Throw them in with 500+ runners and what a maze it was. The staff at the race did a great job making sure we knew the path, but they did an even better job blocking off the roads for us. We went across 2 bridges for this race both of which had beautiful scenary. After the second bridge, we started our return trip to the finish. We ran past the local casino, and I have to give the cops a great deal of respect because the people leaving the casino were NOT happy with the fact that they couldn't leave the casino because of the race. Finally at the last corner to the finish, you could see all the spectators. They even had a local high school cross country team at the corner cheering you on. Then came my bad dash to the finish, which I found out later all the fans were cheering me on because of how fast I was going. (My cousin who is an avid runner and one of the people who got me running always tells me to make sure not to get passed that last, I finish hard to make sure that I don't). Anyway, finally as you cross the finish line you are "herded" into a cattle shoot, supposedly in the correct order. This race did not have chip timing, although if it remains as big in the future as it was this time, I cannot see how they won't make it chip timing.
Now, onto the cons...
Did I mention about the steel structures we had to navigate. They were along the side of the road at the beginning, but soon became part of the race path so you had to dodge them.
Next, the walkers. I am glad to see that many people walk the 5K, but maybe the walkers could have started after the runners. It is not safe, and takes some of the fun out (in my opinion) to have to dodge walkers just because they think they won't get passed if they are in front of you.
The distance. A 5K is supposed to be 3.1 miles...this race was not. It was 3.29 which in the 5K world is too long!
Not having chip timing. Now, I am not race expert, but, I can tell you the difference chip timing makes. The time that I had when I crossed the finish line and the time that they "figured out" were not close. Now, when I ran my first race, the time I had and the time they had were off by like 5 seconds. What a difference that makes.
Anyway, the fact that it was my second race of 2011, and well the 2nd race of my career will not deter me from running the race again next year. Maybe next year they will get chip timing and provide tech t-shirts, maybe we will continue to get long sleeve shirts and no chip timing. Either way, it was a great trip through Bethlehem.
Now, on to the other stuff...
Yesterday I met up with my running club for what I thought was going to be a scenic run of like 6 miles. 6 miles is the longest I have run at this point so I knew I could handle it. I am not the fastest runner in the group, ok, I am always bringing up the rear, so when I saw that this run was going through the woods, let me just say I was SCARED. Not of going through the woods, but of getting lost being the caboose of the group. Well, let me just say that this day, one of the faster runs ran at my pace because he is recovering from an injury. At least I had someone with me in case we got lost. Next, 2 of the other fast runners always waited for us to catch up in case we lost our way. (they kept telling me they appreciated the wait because it gave them time to recover). Let me just tell you that this run was NO JOKE. The first mile went directly up hill and even involved some steps! Every time we got to a point they would tell me only "one more hill" I heard that like 12 times. It really didn't feel like we were gone for almost 2 hours, but when we hit the 5.76 mile mark, I hit a wall. But how the heck do you stop in the middle of no-where?....
(For the sake of me having another post this week, I will stop there...stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of this story)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What other's think...

One of the people I run with on Saturdays' wrote this about me on facebook. I didn't understand the picture at first, then he explained it to me. Now, I keep this close and whenever I doubt myself as a runner, I will turn to this and reflect on what other's think of me.

Runners are like that Picture.
You and I are like that picture.
People see us one way, but we see ourselves much larger, more powerful and faster!
That's why i tagged you in that picture.
I saw that when you finished our 5k!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year! New You!

As you know, I have been busting my tail with both diet and exercise aspects in my life. With the new year here, I am hoping going to continue what I was doing last year and continue it not just this year, but for as long as my body allows me. In 2010, I ran my first and second 5Ks. In 2011, I plan on running more 5ks, but I am also planning on throwing some 10ks and brace yourself, a half marathon into the mix. Well, I am not worried about the 5Ks (I feel like an old hat), the 10K yeah that worries me, my first one is in February so I will let you know how that goes. Anyway, back to the half marathon. I downloaded Hal Higdon's half marathon training program, if you are interested, you can find it here. So, I have the training plan ready, and now I can't back down. Well, besides the fact that I feel like I will let myself down, I also know that I will let my family down. What you don't know, is that I entered a contest offered by Sarah Stanley. Sarah is "Professional Endurance Athlete & Ultra marathon runner, entrepreneur, health/fitness advocate and speaker." Sarah offered this contest called the 12x12 project, where she will run 12 races with 12 different people. I was chosen to be one of the first 5 people that she will run with. The best part about this is that she will run the race withme at mypace. Click here for more information about the 12x12 project and Sarah Stanley.
Along the journey from now until April, I am hoping to keep you informed of the trip. Will definitely need to look for longer places to run, but am hopefully going to embrace this journey one step, one day at a time.
On a better note, I went to TJ Maxx today and for the first time in 8 years, I can honestly say I enjoyed clothes shopping. I wasn't even planning on going there, but I saw the store and just stopped in. I am enjoying the journey to fitness so far, and today's experience relit the fire. I didn't make it to the gym today, and I cut myself some slack, I needed this shopping trip for me, and I would call today a success.
Back to the grindstone tomorrow, for both the gym and classes.
Hope you all had a great hump day! Many more adventures in the works...please stay tuned.