Thursday, June 24, 2010

I love hot yoga!

Yesterday morning Caitlin and I had planned to run four miles, but we cut it down to two miles (in 22:29), because the arch/ball of my left foot was still hurting.  It hurt the day before during our six mile run, and then it felt better until I started running yesterday morning.  I have been wearing different shoes to work that have a very slight heel to them, so I'm testing out today wearing flatter shoes.

Yesterday I read about Ashley's 30 days of yoga challenge, and I decided to try it.  I am going to try to do at least 10 minutes of yoga each day.  I did not do too well on my last ab and strength work-out challenge, but I am hoping to stick with the yoga.  Ashley then invited me to a hot yoga class that she was attending last night, and I was actually able to attend it this time!  (If you recall, a month or so ago I had plans to go to hot yoga but my plans kept falling through mostly due to work.)  I LOVE HOT YOGA!  The class was scheduled for 1.5 hours (of course I thought it was 1 so that was a surprise), but I think it went over a little bit which was fine with me.  When I entered the room, there were space heaters all around the room.  I got a spot in the back which was right near a heater that was set on 96 degrees Fahrenheit!  Needless to say I started sweating pretty quick.  The instructor of the class decided to focus on hips and hamstrings, and for me the class was intense.  I was not able to do every pose, but I did try.  There were only a few times where I had to take a break for 30 seconds and sip some water.  I have never in my life sweat as much as I did last night.  I was completely and totally SOAKED with sweat.  My mat, the floor around my mat, my towel, my clothes, my hair... all dripping with sweat.  We did a pose (forgive me for not knowing the name) where you are laying on your back and your legs are over your head, and sweat was dripping off my legs onto my face like it was raining.  It was really gross, but it felt so good to just clean out my body by sweating.  When I left the class my hair was dripping wet. 

I loved that there were other students (?) who were there to walk around and help correct your poses.  They were very helpful!  One of my favorite poses that we did was where you are essentially standing and folded in half to touch your toes.  Then you put your hands completely under your feet (I did not know I could do that!) and your feet massage the palms of your hands.  What I really loved about this pose was that it really stretched my upper back which felt AMAZING!  That is where I tend to hold all of my stress, and it felt great to feel it stretch.

At the end of the class you are laying down and relaxing while cooling off.  The instructor had us imagine our facade, that front that we put up for the world to see.  She said to picture it just falling away and revealing our true self.  Usually I would have thought of my true self as my more vulnerable self, but I was actually quite surprised when what I imagined was the part of me that feels less confident (in terms of being able to accomplish my goals at school, including my candidacy) was my facade and it was falling away to reveal what I felt was my true positive self that could do anything.  It sounds really silly when I type it out, but it actually brought a smile to my face in class.  When we were leaving, Ashley even commented that I looked refreshed, and she was completely correct.  I have not felt so calm and refreshed in a long time!  I definitely want to go back to that class.  While I personally cannot afford to go on a very regular basis (I am a graduate student after all), I plan on making time to go at least every other week.

I am feeling a bit sore today, but it is the good kind of sore.  I am looking forward to my at least 10 minutes of yoga tonight!  I hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Moments and people that make you appreciate life

Friday night Chris and I drove to south Florida to visit my uncle and aunt.  We did not get there until late, which meant we only got a few hours of sleep before waking up at 5 a.m. to go bait fishing.  My uncle had a charter fishing trip later in the morning, so we went out early with him to help him catch bait fish.  Although we were tired, we had a wonderful time!
Gorgeous view!
Sleepy but happy!
My uncle prepping the the fishing rods
Some of the fish we helped catch.

Me (looking very tired) and my uncle with his silly hat to protect him from the sun.
(My hat helped keep my hair from blowing all over the place.)
On Saturday afternoon, we went to my Aunt Nora's mom's birthday party.  Her mom, Dolores is such a wonderful and sweet woman.  I was very excited to celebrate her birthday with her!  We had a party at her home and hung out and relaxed all afternoon.  Her huge yellow lab, Elvis, even enjoyed a swim with the kids.  I had the pleasure of meeting Dolores's neighbor, Rose.  Rose cracked me up!  She is Russian and had the most adorable accent!  She even told us that the best way to clean a floor is with vodka!  Rose and I talked for a long time, and she really gave me a whole new perspective on life.  I found out that Rose was in a concentration camp when she was only 10 years old, which is where she lost her parents.  Her life story was so heart-wrenching, and it really got to me.  Rose shared with me relationship advice and so many stories.  She even adopted me as her grand-daughter, and she is now my grandma Rose.  I love it!
Delicious sweet blueberry wine.
from Keel and Curley in Plant City, FL.
Elvis keeping cool in the heat
One of the appetizers Chris and I helped prepare.
Mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes.

The birthday girl and her wonderful cake prepared by the beautiful girl carrying the cake.
The birthday girl blew out all of the candles!
Aunt Nora, her mom (the birthday girl), and her brother.
Rose and myself
(The humidity and my hair were not getting along.)
Dolores also had the most beautiful orchids and a few other types of flowers that I could not help but take pictures of them.  I also learned that my cute baby pineapple is what my uncle refers to as a "fake pineapple".  That cute little guy is as big as he is going to get.  My other pineapple plant that I have had for about 3.5 years now will hopefully give me a full-size edible pineapple... one day.  I have a picture of a pineapple from my uncle and aunt's back yard, to show you all what a full size pineapple plant looks like.  I also took pictures of different varieties of palm trees, just so I could point out my absolute favorite... the foxtail palm.  It is adorable, and I want to have one in my yard one day.  I also took pictures of two trees in Rose's yard, an avocado and mango tree.
Roses the birthday girl received, which I loved!
Little pineapple
Big pineapple
My favorite is on the left.
My favorite type of palm tree!
Avocado Tree
Avocado tree
Mango tree
Mango tree
Sunday was Father's day, which is never an easy day for me.  This was my 5th Father's Day without my dad, but as always he was with me in my heart and memories.  My dad was one of the few people who just really "got me".  He understood the way I think and was one of the few people I could talk to about anything.  He was the first person I went to for advice. 

I have always been fortunate in that I have had other family and friends who I have been close to who have also really understood me.  Two of those people are my Uncle Bill (aka UB, my dad's little brother) and his wife, my Aunt Nora.  I love them both so much.I have always been able to talk to them about anything and ask them for advice.  When I lost my dad, they continued to be there for me, and there is no way I could ever express how much they mean to me.  While no one will ever take the place of my dad, my Uncle Bill feels like the next best thing.  I even plan to have him walk me down the aisle one day.  So while Father's Day was difficult, I was happy to spend it with my amazing family.  Before Chris and I headed home, we all watched the movie Invictus, which I loved.  I recommend it!
Me and my daddy
My tongue is sticking out
My favorite picture of my dad.  He just looks so happy.
Bob and Flash are the two pups.
It's dark, but this is a picture of my dad and UB, taken Thanksgiving 2004.
On a lighter note, yesterday Chris's sister, Jessica, came over to return our key (she took care of the kitties while we were gone).  We made a delicious Jessica Pizza!  It was a white pizza with tons of garlic, some hot red pepper, ricotta, mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh basil, and an Italian cheese blend.  And while we are on the topic of good food, I made a delicious dinner for myself tonight.  I grilled portabello mushrooms (one for dinner and one for lunch tomorrow) and filled it with sauted onions, again lots of garlic, zucchini, a little bit of black olive, and spinach.  Then I topped it with a little left-over italian cheese blend.  So delicious!  I cannot wait for lunch tomorrow!

Finally, I did not run this weekend, but I did go for a very early 6 mile run with Caitlin.  The first three miles I was tired and did not feel awake yet, but the last three felt really good.  The entire run time was 1:08:42 for an average of 11:27.  It was very, very humid, and we were both soaked by the end of the run.  It felt good to take an ice cold shower when we finished.  We have a 4 mile run planned for the morning.

I hope that you all had as wonderful of a weekend as I did.  And Happy Late Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pop, Six, Squish, Uh uh, Cicero, Lipschitz!

Tuesday morning Caitlin and I ran 5 miles in 59:53, then we ran another 3 miles on Wednesday in 34:22, and finally 3 miles last night in 31 minutes.  I have discovered that I have more energy and it is not as hot at night.  After our run, Zack decided he wanted to rub his face all over Caitlin's Vibrams.  What a strange cat.

Wednesday night Chris and I saw the play Chicago with some friends.  I loved it! 

I apologize for the lack of posting.  I have been working like crazy on my candidacy.  I keep coming up with new ideas only to have them not work.  I even had one really brilliant idea that turned out to not be my brilliant idea but really me just remembering someone else's work that I read. Oops!  Luckily I quickly figured that out!  While I have been a bit stressed over coming up with an idea, I have managed to stay mostly calm.  I have been doing pretty good (I have my days) at staying relaxed.  I have also been remembering to take my vitamins every day.

I am going to try and keep up with my blogging this next week, and I am happy that I have at least kept up with running.  I hope that you all are doing wonderful!  I am going to visit family for the weekend, and I cannot wait! Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Heat index of 100, Yuck!

The past few Mondays I have been running with the Run With It running club, but sadly today I found out that it has been canceled until further notice. )o:  When I found out that it was canceled, I made plans to run with Caitlin this evening.  We planned to meet up at 7, but at 6:30 I was watching the news which told me the temperature outside was 95 F but that it felt like 100 F outside!  As much as I wanted to run, I knew it would not be smart.  I was super hot after my run yesterday and did not want to repeat that.  In the future we will have to run really early or maybe even later in the evening.  Caitlin and I rescheduled our run for really early in the morning. 

How do you deal with the heat?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Grapefruit spoons, Girl's night, family, World Cup and good food!

For starters, the reason I have not been blogging is that I have been working very hard on my candidacy.  What is that?  Well I have to come up with an original research proposal that is different from any research I am currently doing or have previously done.  I have to present my idea to my committee, and if they approve, then I am officially a doctoral candidate.  I have spent the past few weeks working very hard on an idea that I came up with only to figure out on Thursday that the idea will not work.  I had planned to spend the entire weekend finishing up my rough draft, so instead I worked on coming up with a new idea and taking some time to relax.  I feel much more relaxed, and on a good note I have a new idea.  I don't know all of the details yet, but keep your fingers crossed.

On the 9th, it had been exactly 2 years since I found little Zack on the sidewalk while running.  He used to be as big as a dollar, and how he's a big kitty.  On the 9th Caitlin and I ran the same path where I found Zack.  We did 4 miles in 47:49.  Check out my little Zacky:
June 9 2008 and June 9 2010

Do you enjoy grapefruit?  Here in Florida we have delicious grapefruit!  I have grown up eating it, and for as long as I can remember we had grapefruit spoons.  I recently got a set of grapefruit spoons for myself and found out that some people at work had never heard of them.  I thought I'd share some pictures for those who have never heard of them.
They are also great for eating kiwi
As I mentioned, Thursday was the day I realized my candidacy idea was not going to work.  I was pretty bummed that night.  On Friday, Caitlin and I ran 3 miles in 34:17.  It was really humid Friday morning.  Friday evening I had a girls night out with Caitlin which I desperately needed.  We went to see the movie Letters to Juliet, which I LOVED!  I am still on Cloud 9 after that movie.  Very romantic and cheesy, and I just loved it.  After the movie we went to the coolest little restaurant/bar that I read about from a fellow Orlando blogger, MegNerdRuns.  As soon as I read her blog earlier in the week, I knew I wanted to try The Social Chameleon!  Caitlin and I started by sharing some Nan bread with garlic (delicious!).  Then she ordered the Florentine pizza (Organic spinach, herbs, ricotta cheese, roma tomatoes & fresh mozzarella cheese), and I ordered the Athenian pizza (Roasted chicken, organic spinach, feta, roma tomatoes, artichoke hearts, house made pizza sauce & our 5 cheese blend).  We each ate a slice of our own and one of each others (yay for left overs!) while we shared a glass of amazing passion fruit sangria (YUM!... and yes, we shared because I'm a light-weight when it comes to alcohol).  To finish off a wonderful evening, I wanted to order dessert, so we split a fruit tart.  It was fabulous!  The restaurant also has over 70 beers, which I am sure Chris will enjoy.  I cannot wait to take him there.  The wall that we sat next to had cool pictures and quotes, which I took a few photos of.  There is also a kitty that was just hanging out!  I will definitely be going back!

Chameleon painting on our table
Caitlin's pizza
My pizza

Delicious dessert!

It is a poor picture, but that is the kitty under a nearby table
 On Saturday, while Chris was at a nine ball pool tournament, I watched the World Cup US vs England game!  I'm sure I do not need to tell you about how the US managed to score... but at least the game ended in a tie.  (And that buzzing was seriously driving me nuts... and it still is with every game I watch!)  I also had a chance to meet up with one of my aunts and her family.  I have not seen them in 8 years, and my cousins have all grown up so much!  I had a wonderful time hanging out with them all afternoon and evening, and was happy when Chris was able to join us for dinner and got to meet them all.

With my "little" cousins
Today has been a wonderful day as well.  Today is my little sister's 18th birthday!  This also marks exactly 3 years since Chris and I met (although we did not start dating until September).  Chris and I went out for brunch before he had to head out of town.  We went to one of my favorite places, 903 Mills Market.  I had a side salad and the 903 wrap (minus blue cheese). I love this place because the atmosphere is so pleasant.  I love any place where I can sit outside and enjoy good food and beverages.

Chris left after we ate, and I did some shopping and research for my new candidacy idea.  Then I went for a 4 mile run which turned out to be more of a run/walk since I was hot and tired.  I think it had been too long since I had eaten.

Mile 1:  10:39
Mile 2:  10:32
Mile 3:  11:26 (there was a lot of walking in this mile... I was hot and tired.)
Mile 4:  11:01

I was soooooo hot by the end of that run!  I ended right where I had to wait to cross a busy street.  Luckily there were sprinklers, and I stood in the middle of them!  It felt AMAZING!    I had a nice mile cool down walk before going home.  Since Chris does not love fish, I decided I'd cook salmon for myself while he is away.  I used his dad's recipe, which I love!  I baked the salmon with lemon juice, a little salt and pepper, and Parmesan on top of the salmon.  For the last 5 minutes of cooking, I broiled it so that a crunch parmesan crust was formed.  YUM!  I paired that with some sweet potato fries (Chris also does not enjoy sweet potatoes.) and a glass of wine.  Delicious!  Now I am watching the movie Dear John (it has the same actress as Letters to Juliet, but so far I do not love it nearly as much), blogging, and chilling with the kitties.
My salmon
I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend!  I will leave you with some pictures that made me smile this weekend:
Kirby somehow ended up in the laundry basket (remember, he is my handicapped kitty)
My pineapple plant is growing its very first pineapple!  I'm so excited!