Monday, March 31, 2014

My mom solves all my problems

It's been way too long (Christmas) since I've seen my family. The adults can handle it, we text and talk and communicate over social media. I get extremely concerned about my nephew forgetting who I am, though he does regularly gain access to my sister's phone and text me. Still, it's not enough, and I don't trust FaceTime, because who knows if he understands that I'm an actual person?

Plus, the majority of our FT takes place in the bath, where he is understandably distracted.
Additionally, cooking and caring for myself gets old, and it's well worth a 400 mile trip to let my mom take over those duties.

Finally, there's a big wedding coming up (my sister's) and it's time to shop for some jewelry and dresses for the events (shower, bachelorette, rehearsal). You know how shopping can really grate on your self esteem when things don't look like what you imagine they will look like on you? So annoying. Luckily I'm just helping shop for my sister, not me, so that's actually really fun, because everything looks great on her.

I was really concerned about doing the 7 hour drive each way solo. Eric didn't want to shop for all that stuff with us and go to yoga... weird, right? Flights are suddenly crazy expensive I get really tired driving and usually rely on mainlining caffeine the entire time. In the interest of not falling asleep at the wheel, I cut out all caffeine last Tuesday so that I'd have a cushion in case I needed a little extra this weekend.

Because I'm already sick of the mommy police, who are out in full force, let's break this down mathematically and hope no one annoys me. Since coffee and I severed our relationship on February 1st (yes, I clearly remember the date, it was a significant breakup in my life), here's what's been going on.

Daily pregnancy recommendation: 200mg
My usual daily intake: one chai tea OR one soda if I need it, between 50-100mg maximum, some days nothing

Since my consumption was so drastically reduced (pre-pregnancy it was more like 800 mg or more.... yeah), I figured it wouldn't be a big deal to cut it out, but I suffered greatly. All in the name of staying awake on the road and seeing Harrison. But I was still nervous.

As usual, my mom fixed the whole issue with a genius idea. Did you know trains go to Rochester, NY? That's probably meaningless unless you have been there, and then you get it. Well, they do, and taking one doesn't cost much more than the gas. Granted, it takes nearly 11 hours instead of 7, but I'll gladly sit and relax on a train for four more hours than stress over driving. Even better, trains have WiFi, so instead of scrambling this week to do all my grad work and report cards before I leave, I'm sitting here watching Modern Family reruns and writing this blog post.

The advantages don't stop there. I have a two hour layover in NYC, so, NYC bagel, here I come (hopefully).

I booked my ticket. Then hid my phone from myself so I could work on my grad project, because I am horrible at motivation and self discipline. When I check it again, I had an email from Amtrak that my trip was canceled and my money refunded, with no explanation.

Then my mom called and explained she'd canceled my reservation in order to upgrade me to business class!

My first response was "you mean anyone can just cancel another person's train reservation at any time?". Yup. So if you need revenge on someone who is an avid Amtrak rider, there you go.

That quickly transitioned to extreme excitement and gratitude. When I went into teaching, I accepted I would never experience business class on anything, and when I married another teacher, that was the final nail in the coffin. So this will be a new and wonderful experience.

I got some excellent comments yesterday in my #motherrunner post. I also got some advice not to gain 60 pounds. Seems solid. I'm definitely all over that.

Let's just say, the bag did not give me six servings as it claimed.
What's your favorite type of caffeine?

Have you taken a train? Thoughts?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

#motherrunner Q&A

While I was at the baby shower this weekend, I had an interesting conversation. If you're a blogger/blog reader, you probably know about the #motherrunner/#fitpregnancy concept. It's basically when pregnant bloggers try to show off how fit they are and be as badass as possible. Running marathons with a huge belly, lifting crazy heavy stuff at crossfit, that kind of thing. I thought that phenomenon was limited to blogging, but then my real life friend, Amelia, asked me about it. So I thought I would share my thoughts.

Q: Are you going to be racing?
A: I'm not planning on doing any new races while pregnant. So far, I've done 3 - the Shamrock 5k, The Frozen Heart trail race (10 miles for me), and the PHUNT 50k (DNF at 24 miles). All of those I had signed up for before getting pregnant, and in the case of PHUNT, did without knowing I was pregnant. Yeah, hear that trail dawgs/snide medic? Do you feel bad now, finding out you denied a ride and were mean to a pregnant lady? Probably not.

I also paid a combined total of $20 for all 3 of those races. I have one more race that I had already signed up for, a 10k, which I'll also do. Within reason, I want to do the races I had already entered (aka not the 100 miler next month). After that, I'm most likely done.

Why? I don't see the point. The ONLY reason I'm exercising right now is to stay healthy and keep the baby healthy, but it's majorly scaled back. 30 minutes a day seems sufficient to me, it's better than nothing and doesn't result in me falling asleep at work. Maybe I'm just a wimp, but my 5 mile outdoor run on Friday completely exhausted me. I'm concerned about making it through the 10k, so why would I pay and seek out more opportunities for exhaustion and possible failure? I really don't see the point of getting up early on the weekends in the last few months before I subject myself to a lifetime of that, when I could just as easily do an afternoon workout on my own. Without a parking hassle and a bunch of people in my way.

In short, I generally pay for a race for the purpose of pushing myself to a PR, or as a training opportunity for another race where I will hopefully push myself to a PR. Not to run/walk and eventually waddle to a slow finish so I can impress strangers at the race and then blog belly finish line shots to impress people on the internet. No thanks.

Q: Are you going to get those shirts? Sweating for two or you just got passed by a pregnant woman?
A: Not a chance in hell.

Let's take these one by one. "Sweating for two" = I'm not fat! REALLY! I'm pregnant! I can't have ANYONE thinking I'm a fatty!

 I'm definitely at the stage where I look fat, not pregnant. But guess what? People who actually know me know that I'm pregnant, so it's not a concern. I'm not interested in this shirt for the same reason I wear shorts all summer despite the fact that my legs remain pasty white year round. I DON'T CARE if strangers don't like it. Go ahead and think I'm a fatty, person I'll see for two seconds and then probably never again. Also, I don't have a gym membership and weather sucks, so 99% of my workouts take place in my own home anyway. But I'm guessing if I were someone who needed that shirt, the 1% would matter.

"You just got passed by a pregnant woman" - look, I love feeling superior to others just as much as anyone else. Really. But at the paces I'm going, I'm not exactly going to be passing any elites. The only person I have even a slight possibility of passing  is a brand new runner. So how much of an asshole would I have to be to wear a shirt just to make them feel inferior? Also, this shirt is for someone who wants to do a lot of pregnant races, which is not me (see above).

The last consideration is that all these things (races, special shirts) cost money, and I've heard that babies can get expensive. That's not to say that the two of us haven't spent a dime on ourselves since we saw the second line. That would go against the advice from every parent ever to make sure we are going out to dinner! Seeing movies! (actually those are free for us) spending time with each other! And I certainly don't intend to ignore that advice. But, I also don't intend to throw away diaper money on stupid crap that has no point.

Q: Are you planning what races to do after the baby is born?
A: I haven't given even a single thought to races post-baby. What happens after September 23 (just pretend he or she will arrive on the due date, the waiting is hard enough) has occupied a ton of my thoughts, kept me up at night, and is currently making time go unbelievably slow. Like all parents-to-be, I'm sure, we are obsessively looking forward to holding our baby.

My concerns for that time are centered around things like: finding a daycare that doesn't employ psychos, figuring out the best work schedule to maximize time with our baby, budgeting to try to see how much time I can take off for maternity leave.... things like that. That's not to say I'll never race again - I certainly hope that's not the case. But I really have no idea what's in store in terms of life with a newborn, so I'd like to meet my baby and figure it all out. Races aren't going anywhere. I'm sure there will come a time when I return to But right now I have a lot to be excited (and a little terrified) about that's not running related.

Q: Are you going to keep running?
A: Much like racing, I don't know, and don't care. I like running, I like watching shows on the treadmill while I do it, right now it feels relatively good, and my doctor OK'd it.  So it's a solid form of exercise, but I've also been trying to mix it up and include other stuff like my bootcamps, DVDs, and the bike trainer. I'm a fickle friend and if running stops feeling good, it's out. I have plenty of other options to stay active. As stated below, pregnancy is not a promise and there are unfortunately tons of things to worry about during those 9 months. I'm not known for my ability to avoid needless worry, but I can assure you I'm not wasting anxiety on my fitness level or getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight asap (that number isn't anything impressive anyway, trust me).

Although everyone knows that in the blog world doing anything just once makes you an expert, I wasn't sure if 14 weeks of pregnancy was enough to truly make me the be all and end all of #motherrunning. So I called in the big guns - my good friend Kara, who has done lots of running and popped out two adorable kids. She even has a double stroller. Here's her opinion on the subject. (I included a few of my own thoughts in red.)

Aren't you worried about getting all fat and gross and out of shape? How will you possibly return to your former running glory if you don't force yourself to run through pregnancy?

Growing another human is no excuse for being a total fatty and doing things like eating full fat dairy and having seconds at dinner (crap I was already doing this), and you need to keep running the whole time or you will LOSE RUNNING FOREVER AND NEVER GET IT BACK.

Oh, I'm sorry, that's just the message you'll get from a lot of the blogging world. 

As someone who has "been there and done that" twice, I have a secret for everyone: it doesn't f(the rest of this word has been edited because it's my blog and I teach elementary school)ing matter if you run during your pregnancy. Do you know who cares?

It won't help you not become a gross fatty and it won't help you get back into running post-pregnancy faster than someone who just did moderate low impact exercise. You will gain weight and you may not even be "all belly" (THE HORROR) and it doesn't matter. All that matters is having a healthy baby. 

I ran with one pregnancy and didn't run with the other. My recovery and return to running was exactly the same both times. 

When I see pictures or read stories about people running marathons at 9 months of pregnancy or doing box jumps at Crossfit, I'm not impressed. I'm disgusted. Pregnancy isn't a promise and you should treat it like a precious thing. Don't spout of s&%$ like "Pregnancy isn't a medical condition" or "I know what I'm doing" or even better "My doctor said I could do this." You don't know what you are doing (even the Duggar lady admits that each pregnancy is different and that bitch should know) and pregnancy IS a medical condition. 

Pregnancy isn't about you, it's about the baby and I personally think Alyssa has an amazing attitude about the whole thing and she should be lauded for being a #BAMF #motherrunner because she's doing things in moderation with her baby as her first priority. That should be the ideal, not the ridiculous s&%$ we see in the media and the blog world.


Thoughts on the whole #motherrunner thing? You don't even have to have the slightest interest in having children to weigh in.

I am easily stressed

This week I got to spend my Friday night in my favorite way. Eating, and watching a funny movie while laying on the couch. I made chili lime chicken burgers (from Trader Joes, really good) and Easter candy (Cadbury cream egg and white chocolate Reese's egg for me, 6 pack of Reese's eggs for Eric) and we watched Anchor Man 2. I don't think it was nearly as good as the original, but I can't say for sure because I am literally incapable of staying awake past 8pm now. I watched most of the movie in that combination of dozing/waking up watching a little/dozing again.

I also can't hold a thought for over a second, so by the time I woke up in the morning I forgot to ask Eric what he thought. So there's your movie review. Stay classy, San Diego.

Saturday, I helped put on a baby shower for one of my best friends in the whole world, Carolyn. I almost typed bridal shower because I wish I were 25 again, but those days are gone.

The shower had a jungle theme (to match their nursery) and her mother/mother in law did an amazing job. They actually did all the hard/expensive stuff, and my other BFF Casi and I helped in the fun (putting on games, gift duty), not having to buy a ton of stuff way. Perfection.

Amazing cake

First diaper cake I've seen in real life

Chocolate lion covered pretzel favor that I was eating in my pjs after the shower even though
I ate 1.5 desserts at the shower.
Carolyn opening the best gift (mine)
How cute is she with her baby bump? Side note - if you want to borrow a maternity dress, is it best to do it before the baby arrives? Asking for a friend.
Showers can be a little stressful for me, in the same way that going on Pinterest or walking down the hallway at school and peeking in everyone's classrooms in August can be stressful - it makes me feel inferior. Not normally, but I have maid of honor duties and I'm working on a shower of my own coming up. For someone not creative or crafty in the slightest, it's annoying to see how great things look when someone crafty/creative does take the wheel. Luckily, I have some help by people way better at this stuff than me.

It's also a little stressful in another way. Have you ever gone to a shower and fleetingly thought, "huh, wow, babies need a lot of crap". I have, and now suddenly it's not a fleeting thought anymore. I need to get all that crap. And fit it in our two bedroom apartment.

Before the shower I did Jillian Michael's Boost Your Metabolism. I did it last Saturday, and it made my calves so sore it was like Tuesday before I could walk without limping. Based on my movement so far today (mainly walking to the bathroom), it seems I'm in for more of the same.

Help me out - share some easy crafty ideas that someone who sucks at crafting can do for a shower. Or - favorite shower game! We played one where everyone had a popsicle stick with a mustache on one side and red lipstick on the other, and they had to guess whether facts read aloud were about the mom or dad.



Thursday, March 27, 2014

A typical day at the office

Just another day at the office. Watching a helicopter land and take off outside my window.

Some sort of program for pre-K that we enjoyed as well.

Definitely the high point of the week.

So this is my first week of the second trimester. All the books/websites/other women in my life say it's the honeymoon period where everything is roses. But I've heard that the babies don't read the books, and apparently my lemon sized fetus is no exception. It didn't get the message that the first tri was supposed to suck (which I am eternally grateful for), but it also doesn't know the second tri is supposed to be full of energy.

So this week has been more of the "sleeping 11 hours and then still barely staying awake at work" type. But, I can't complain, because I have things like the helicopter to keep me alert.

As for workouts, the motto this week is "just do anything and it's better than sitting on the couch". Last week, I worked out every day: ran 13 miles, a prenatal workout (Summer Sanders, former Olympian - it's hard I swear! Not like "be one with your baby" breathing crap), a Jillian Michaels workout, a boot camp, and yoga. This week, I've managed about 30 minutes a day of either running or biking indoors. I have big plans to run the length of an entire Game of Thrones episode tomorrow. We'll see.

Barely working out and insomnia mean I'm getting a lot of time to read! I'm currently working my way through The Uglies series (it's in the Hunger Games/Divergent genre). After that, I'll move back to another adult book. I'm trying to alternate my young adult/adult books so I don't feel too stupid (although this series has 4 books, so I'll be in young adult for a bit).

This weekend I'm going to my BFF Carolyn's baby shower! I was having major anxiety over the thought of looking at baby supplies, but I feel much calmer now, and ready to focus on measuring her bump with toilet paper and eating cake. As it should be.

Do you feel guilty if you read young adult books? I embrace life's guilty pleasures, personally.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Parrots at brunch

Two items were knocked off my countdown list this weekend.

1. Seeing Divergent

So first of all.... there were a lot of pre-teens there. Like....a LOT. I've been to all the Hunger Games and Twilight movies on opening night so this wasn't my first time at the rodeo, but it seemed worse than ever. The screaming, clapping, hysteria.... it was hard to handle. I'm willing to be that when you get home from work you don't want to do whatever it is you do at work anymore (I've always wondered how chefs deal with this), so I wasn't sure why I was willingly subjecting myself to MORE children screaming on my own time.

We knew going in that this would most likely be our last movie based on young adult novel opening night experience, and going out we were no longer sad about that.

The movie was good, but I didn't love it.  I don't know if J. Law just set the bar too high, or they changed too much from the book, or what, but I wasn't wowed. I enjoyed it and all, but not as much as I had expected to.

2. Girl's beach weekend

This, on the other hand, lived up to expectations.  We drove up to Rehoboth beach Saturday morning. The weather took a brief hiatus from the never ending winter we are in to pretend it was spring for a hot second. I even did this.

That sand was cold as hell, and I was wearing yoga pants and a hoodie.
Our agenda was a bit of a departure from the usual plan of hit the bars and make new friends. We checked into a nice little motel right near the water.

View from the rooftop sundeck
Then hit the beach. It required a bit more clothing than the usual bikini and cover up.

After a few hours of reading and dozing, it got too cold to stay any longer. We continued to pretend it was really summer and actually put on bathing suits and swam in the hotel pool.

There were a lot of perks to a beach vacation in March. Mainly, very few other people to deal with. Not a single annoying kid at the hotel pool.

We thought this would come out cooler than it did.

Also, no waits at any restaurant. We went out to dinner and then out for ice cream. I don't care if it was 40 degrees out and windy at that point - look at these flavors.

I was smitten.
Casi and I tried a sample of the bacon ice cream. Not shockingly, it was disgusting. Since it was so cold, we opted to just walk back to the hotel and enjoy our ice cream in nice warm beds, with some episodes of Full House.

This pic is staged, but it captures the night pretty well.
With my new nightly schedule of getting up to pee a minimum of 5 times, I was a fairly concerned about sharing a bed with someone who wasn't partially responsible for the wakeups. But I tried to be as quiet and graceful as I could, and I didn't get any complaints.

In the morning, we slept in and went to brunch. The food was good, but the most notable part was the aviary attached that you had to walk through to get to the bathroom.

A parrot with my eggs, NBD.
And now I'm home, and exhausted like we went on a white water rafting expedition or something.

What's your ideal girls weekend (or guys weekend? if I have any male readers?)?


Thursday, March 20, 2014

My favorite tweet ever

Here's some things making my week awesome.

1. I love the Today show. I always watch as much as I can while getting ready for work (and in the shower, I listen to the Kane show on I heart radio, for those who want to know my whole routine). I was super excited about Savannah's big news (she got married this weekend and announced her pregnancy Monday). I've followed her on twitter for awhile, and she's hilarious. This is all a build up so you understand how much this made my life.

2. Buzzfeed recipes. Chicken pot pie pizza. Click the link. Make it. Thank me. Tell your spouse to thank me. I also made the Harissa lentils in the article for lunch, also a winner.

3. I'm pretty sure the last time this happened, we were out of town attending our nephew's first birthday party. This year, it's coming back to Baltimore, and I fully intend to stalk the crap out of it. If you are unfamiliar with the term "brony", please, click the link, and be prepared to laugh and laugh. I am prepared to weather another large scale attack in my comment section if any bronies are reading.


4. This should probably be higher up, but I'm too lazy to renumber. LESS THAN 24 HOURS UNTIL DIVERGENT. We're going to the 7:20 show tomorrow.

5. In other movies based on books with Shailene Woodley, I watched The Fault in Our Stars preview and literally sobbed. Not like teared up, like Eric asked me what I was watching and I couldn't speak to reply. I still want to see it. Who wants to bring their own tissue box and come with me?

Actually I have a lot more thoughts on books turned movies that I'm dying to see (the only type of movie I ever want to see), but let's move on.

6. This weekend is my long awaited girls BFF beach trip! The three of us have been partners in crime since we lived together from 2006-2008, but it started long before then. I've been close with each of them for over a decade. Wow, that made me sound old.

2013 - the year of the 30th birthdays

Carolyn (far left) is due with the first baby of the group in May! We've gone on a lot of road trips over the years, and we're sneaking in one last one before things completely change. The high is 66 for Saturday - not exactly bathing suit weather, but definitely a nice spring beach day.

What's the next movie you are dying to see (and I'm serious about my invitation to the Fault in Our Stars)?

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Q & A with myself

I'd like to take this opportunity to have a little Q&A with myself. It might sound a little narcissistic, but this is a blog, so narcissism is a pre-requisite.

I'll stick to questions I've commonly gotten since telling people I'm pregnant.

Q: Some variation of "was it planned" or "were you trying"?
A: This one surprised me, not because I was offended (although so far it's only come from people I'm fairly close to), but because we're both in our 30s and have been married for over 5 years. I just attribute it to my youthful glow, people can't possibly think a young spring chicken like myself purposely got pregnant.

I thought posting a wedding picture would make me feel a little less fat right now, and it did!

Q: Are you still doing the 100 miler? Seriously, every family member and most friends went to this right away.
Reflecting on my surprise at the previous question, maybe that whole "signing up for a 100 miler" thing threw people off. It does seem like an odd juxtaposition - train for a race so long it takes two days while working on getting knocked up. Well, I've come to find out that this whole thing isn't as easy as high school health class/MTV reality shows suggest. In fact, the reason my training for the Stone Mill 50 miler  back in November was lackluster was because I was sure I'd get pregnant and DNS. That clearly wasn't the case, so I decided I wasn't putting off any future plans just because MAYBE I'd be in the family way. I figured if I had to drop out of the race and concoct some story for the blog, well, that would be a "problem" I'd be thrilled to have, and I was right. Side note - if you have tons of time to spare and recheck my "foot injury" post, I worded everything very carefully and never actually lied!

That was long. The rest of the answers will be shorter. Probably.

Q: When are you due?
A: September 23!

Q: How far along are you?
A: 13 weeks - aka day 1 of the second trimester - a day I've looked forward to a ridiculous amount.

Q: Are you finding out the sex?
A: Um, yes. I'm pretty impatient. Waiting nearly 9 weeks to announce this on my blog nearly destroyed me. Eric is probably the most patient person on earth but he's dying to know too. My doctor said we could probably find out at 19 weeks, so not too far away!

Q: Is everything healthy?
A: So far - yes! Knock on wood! We saw the heartbeat at 8 weeks and heard it at 10 weeks - I've never had a clue it was possible to look forward to doctor's appointments.

Q: Have you been sick/had weird cravings/etc?
A: I really hate admitting this, although I love living it. Nope, no sickness. I've been eating completely normally, although I'm probably growing a 15 pound baby because I'm constantly starving. I've felt pretty much normal - I've heard a lot about this first trimester exhaustion, but I don't know, I've yet to meet any teacher who isn't exhausted. Any adult at all, really. (I pre-wrote this post on Saturday and then couldn't stay awake past 5pm Sunday, so clearly I jinxed myself.) Basically so far I hit the jackpot, and I'd really love it to continue for the next 20+ years with this kid.

The one strange thing is that after spending literally half my life devoted to coffee (ages 15-30, drink it by the gallon every morning, 6 years as a Starbucks barista, look forward to it before I go to bed, you get the picture), I thought it would be so hard to reduce. Well, now I hate coffee. When Eric makes it I barricade myself in another room and spray air freshener everywhere. So I did spend two weeks with headaches/fatigue, but I am attributing it to severe caffeine withdrawal. Now I have chai tea in the mornings. It's really not the same.

First stop after the Shamrock Marathon in 2011

Q: Is Eric excited?
A: I never really know how to answer this, so I might start saying something like "well, he's pissed that I tricked him, but he knows I could prove paternity, so he's basically backed into a corner".

Q: Are you still running?
So far, yes! I've been running, very slowly, usually with walk breaks about 4 times a week, and doing our after work boot camp twice a week. Don't expect any "OMG compliment me I'm such a badass" pregnant marathons, or even any double digit runs. I might rejoin Daily Mile now, and you can look forward to treadmill runs that are the length of whatever show I'm watching that day, at an undisclosed pace, for as long as I can keep it up. My doctor said to keep my heart rate under 150BPM. I've read that's outdated, but I trust my doctor, and I like having a nice, objective number to make sure I'm in the clear. Plus, I'm not sure what I would accomplish by letting it get a little higher - finishing my runs 1.5 minutes faster? Great.

A question I frequently ask myself is "am I showing yet?". It seems that when you start this whole process out without a flat stomach, a little food baby bump, if you will, it's hard to tell. That's not a plea for compliments, by the way, because lets be serious, I've sucked in my stomach on every picture I've posted on here, so they would be meaningless anyway. Just stating a fact - when you don't have washboard abs, it's harder to know when your natural bump is actually a baby bump. Some days my pants button fine and other days it's a stretch, so it seems to me that's probably more fat and less baby. So hopefully soon I'll be past that awkward "p or f" stage.

A wild St. Patty's Day weekend

Thanks so much for all the sweet comments on my last post! Obviously, it's a pretty intimidating life change, so it is a huge relief that strangers on the internet think we will be good parents. It also feels great to finally have everything out in the open and not feel like a dirty liar anymore.

We are our millionth snow day today, which is lucky because I need a day to recover from my jam packed weekend.

Friday night, we had friends over for a Catching Fire viewing party. When your mom manages a movie theater, you get access to prime party d├ęcor.

One more for good measure.
What goes perfectly with the Hunger Games? Tons of food. Lasagna with homemade sauce, bread, and salad, so we could feel healthy.

I took a close up of the lasagna but it had so much cheese on top that it just looked weird. I really like cheese.

I stuck with the theme and made chocolate lasagna for dessert.

The ending of Catching Fire is such a tease, and we still have a good 9 months until the first Mockingjay movie is out. At least we had the gigantic posters to console us.

Team Gale

I don't know.
On Saturday I drove down to Virginia to see, Katylin, my friend from way back in the day (7th grade, when her grandfather backed into my mom's minivan dropping us off at a party). We went out to lunch and did some shopping, then hung out at her house playing with her gorgeous 18 month old daughter. Despite the cuteness, somehow all I took a picture of is my new $11 teapot from Burlington Coat Factory. I don't know if that's a good price, and I certainly didn't know Burlington sold things other than coats, but I'm happy with it. I'm currently off coffee, so it was sorely needed.

Sunday I did the Shamrock 5k. It doesn't start until 1:15pm, which is genius, because it combines my love of running and love of sleeping.

We left our posters up all weekend. Totally so I could pose with Peeta and Katniss, not because we're lazy.

You can't tell, but I'm wearing Shamrock earrings.
My friend Alex is injured, which is unfortunate, but it meant he had to run at my slow pace so I had a race buddy.

Check out those shorts
It turns out that when you aren't killing yourself for a PR, 3.1 miles goes by extremely quickly, especially when you have someone to chat with. It was pretty much a perfect race - you start on a downhill, which is really cool because there's 5000 people, so you just look down on a giant sea of green. After the downhill, it's completely flat. It was around 40 degrees, perfect running weather.

I didn't even run a personal worst (that was a hilly turkey trot in pouring rain). My official time was 32:00. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I gracefully completely wiped out. I am praying there's a picture. My knee took the brunt of it.

It looks more impressive today.
After the race, there's a huge after party with unlimited bananas, pretzels, and beer. It's at Power Plant, a cluster of bars where you go when you want a wild night you probably won't remember. It's where I first met Eric.

40 degrees is the perfect running weather, but not the perfect outdoor party weather, so after grabbing some chips and green beads, I speed walked the mile and a half back to my car. I caught a little of the parade on the way.

How did you celebrate St.Patrick's Day?

PS - I just have to mention that there are FOUR days until Divergent comes out!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

7 things Thursday

1. Apparently I'm pretty predictable in my book choices. Last night I had a conversation with Eric that went like this.

A (me) - Did I tell you about the book I'm reading now?
E - Is it about murder, torture, and rape?
A - Yeah! So I told you?
E - No. Just going off all your book choices.

It's really weird because I refuse to watch movies with a plot deeper than Legally Blonde 99% percent of the time. And I consider Hunger Games to be part of the other 1%, so do what you will with that.

For those who share my tastes, the book is called Escape from Camp 14, and it's the true story of a man who escaped from a North Korean prison camp. While it has made me insanely appreciative of my own life, due to the gruesome torture scenes I don't recommend it unless you are willing to give up several nights of sleep (might be worth it though, it's that good).

2. I'm running a race this weekend. The Shamrock 5k. 5ks are much more my speed now, and this one has a party at the end.

3. I'm discovering insomnia has some perks. The main one I've noticed is that it makes it really easy to get up to run in the morning, because when the alarm goes off, I'm already awake. It's called optimism. Sometimes I dabble in it, although I'm still much more comfortable with sarcasm and cynicism.

4. I continued not to let insomnia win, and started my day off with this (on the treadmill).

Here's a youtube link, so you can watch it and your day can be as wonderful as mine. I only wish I could somehow watch that in the last .2 of every marathon, it really gets me going.

5. Sometimes I get really homesick and miss the place where I grew up (Rochester, NY, about 400 miles north of my current home in Baltimore). Other times, not. Yesterday was the latter. They got a ridiculous blizzard with something like 2 feet of snow. Here, it was 65 and mild. Facebook statuses continued to confirm I made the right choice.

6. This exists. Go buy them before I beat you to it and eat them all.

7. We did our after work teacher bootcamp today. A lot of resistance band exercises were involved, and other things I never do like plank and lunges. I have a feeling I'm in for a world of hurt tomorrow.

What's your favorite movie and/or book genre?


Monday, March 10, 2014

Being lazy is not bittersweet

A few notable things happened this weekend.

First of all, an after work errand of the utmost importance.

My excitement level is exactly the appropriate level for a 30 year old.
Then I did all my grocery shopping, since the theater is in the same plaza as the nearest Wegmans. Also, I heard cool people do their grocery shopping Friday night. Or at least people who don't want to have an aneurism trying to fight past an army of shopping carts Sunday afternoon.

As soon as I got home, I had to start baking. You'll see why.

Can you tell what's in these cookies?

 It's hard to tell because I was trying to be all artistic and get a close up in the above picture, but there, the plate is fairly full. I had two for dessert. When I woke up in the morning, the plate was slightly more sparse.
But I can't really blame anyone, because we all know Cadbury mini eggs are like little colorful drops from heaven, and the dough recipe for these cookies is unreal. I highly recommend making it.
Saturday morning, I went on a 7 mile run downtown with Lily. I spent the rest of the day doing productive-ish activities before driving down to Kara's house. I've professed my love of sleep many times, so it should come as no surprise that the spring ahead portion of daylight savings time isn't my favorite holiday. I thought we'd head to bed early, but between toddler performances of Frozen, chatting, Chinese food mishaps, and naughty pillow fights, we didn't go to bed until 10:30. We had a 5:30 but feels like 4:30 wakeup call to fulfill our role as race volunteers.
The guest accommodations were extremely comfortable, but I couldn't sleep all night. I had some sort of city mouse visiting country mouse syndrome going on. Since moving to Baltimore in 2005, I've had a bedroom window facing a busy street, and I'm rocked to sleep each night with the comforting sounds of traffic, ambulance sirens, crazy people screaming, and the never ending glow of bright, fluorescent lights of local businesses. I've gotten pretty used to this over the past 9 years, so I find it very disarming when I turn out the lights and have to use my phone as a flashlight to find the bed. Also, all I could hear was silence. It's a lot like that first scene in Scream with the popcorn popping and no one around to save you from the killer.
Anyway, after only a handful of hours of disjointed sleep, I felt pretty ill equipped to run packet pickup on race morning. Kara insisted she was completely drugged and unable to function, but to me it seemed like I was the weak link. Also, the race director's truck fell into a ditch while she was putting out mile markers and she was MIA, so it was pretty much us running the show. Somehow, all the bibs and t-shirts got handed out and the race began on time.

If you wear headphones, a child will be sent after  you on a scooter to disqualify you. Truth.
The Lower Potomac River Marathon is one of my favorite races, I've run it the past 2 years, and would definitely do it again, but training for and running a marathon is contrary to my mission statement in fat lazy 2014. Still, I thought it would be bitter sweet to be there but not running, but I can't say I was jealous of the marathoners. Waking up and sitting at a table seemed exhausting enough. I certainly didn't miss having to perform the perfectly timed routine of coffee/body glide/compression shorts/breakfast/bathroom, or the stress of taking off on a 26.2 mile journey.
I did get assigned a pretty stressful task. The time machine. Great Scott!

I was placed in charge of recording everyone's finishing times. I instagrammed it and everything. Luckily, I think word got out that I was barely awake and tend to get really awkward and uncomfortable and annoying under pressure even in the best of times. I was reassigned to a job better suited for my mental abilities.

Holding the finish line banner up for the winner to bust through.

Obviously, in any marathon I'm running I'm never going to see the elites finish, so it was very exciting to be at the forefront here. The course also passes by the School of Seamanship (ha!), aka the start/finish where we were, so we got to cheer on the runners for awhile at mile 8.8.
I was highly concerned about my drive home, but caffeine came through for me like it always does, and I'm pleased to report that I'm now more than halfway done with Fire Study. When I got home, I took a nap while Eric cleaned the house, and life was good.

How much sleep does it take for you to function? 6 hours is generally my minimum. In my early 20s, I would close down the bars at 2am and then be at Starbucks at 5am to open the store, so I think it's safe to say that things are different in my early 30s.