Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Phantom of the Opera is Here!

Yesterday was an amazing day!  Chris fixed the broken dishwasher (YAY!), then we went out to lunch at that delicious little bbq place I mentioned last Sunday.  We bought coffee at Starbucks then walked around the lake until it started to rain.  When we got home, I took a mini nap, then got ready to see The Phantom of the Opera!  We went out to dinner with some friends, then went to the show.  It was amazing!  I really, really enjoyed it.  While in line for the restroom during intermission, a woman told me that Chicago will be coming in June.  Chris said we could go.  I cannot wait!

In exercise-related news, there is not much to report.  Friday I did a 10 minute buns and thighs work-out, which did a really great job, because my thighs did not appreciate me walking around in heals yesterday.  I started to do the yoga routine that I like, but I had a funny pain in my back and decided against it.  The pain is now gone, so I will probably do the yoga routine today.  I also need to use the foam roller... my thighs are killing me!  I finally got my Jeff Galloway book yesterday!  I started reading it yesterday.  I also told our friends at dinner about my marathon plans.  I'm really getting psyched for this.  I'm hoping I can look back at these posts in the future, when I'm not too excited about the long runs.  Honestly though, while reading the book, I'm looking forward to the long runs... crazy I know!  I suppose it's easy to say that while I'm not currently running them. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Feeling much better!

After a few nights of good sleep and taking it easy, I feel so much better!  I think I have finally kicked whatever bug I was fighting.  I ran with T and Caitlin today for a slow 2 miles, and it was nice.  Next week I am going to try and kick it up a notch or two.  Last night I did the 20 minute yoga video, and it was great.  I hope to do it again tonight.  I hope you all are doing great!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fighting off a bug...

I have felt "not great" the past few days.  I did a very slow two miles this morning (run two this week).  I'm taking it extra easy this week.  I can not afford to really be sick.  I hope you all are having a great week!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wonderful night, crappy run, and a kick-a$$ indoor grill!

Chris mom came into town shortly after our run yesterday.  We went out for dinner in one of my favorite parts of town.  It's one of those places where people walk everywhere with their dogs.  In fact, I think most of the restaurants will bring out bowls of water for your pet.  We went to one of my favorite bbq restaurants, then we all walked around the lake/park nearby.  It was a wonderful evening!  

Later that night I relaxed and read my "for fun book" (as opposed to reading for school.  Then I did a 30 minute yoga video and had a strange desire to take a bubble bath.  This is odd for me, because I've never really enjoyed baths.  I love the idea, but then I sit in there and think, "well okay, now I'm bored".  I lit some candles, used my new bubble bath that a friend gave me for Christmas, and set out a stack of magazines.  I did actually enjoy the bath, as I flipped through a SELF magazine.  I felt very relaxed when I got out of the bath, then I made myself some mint chamomile tea.  After reading more of my fun book (titled The Help by Kathryn Stockett), I went to bed.  I had a glorious nine hours of sleep, and felt extremely refreshed this morning.  After breakfast, I browsed the internet and read more of my book.

That was when I decided I wanted to redeem my run from yesterday.  I concluded that I wanted to run 3 miles (twice around my usual block).  I headed out and made the mistake of heading into the wind.  Not even a mile in my chest hurt, and I felt nauseous.  At a mile and a half I coughed/gagged but made it to two miles before calling it quits (just under a 10 mi/min pace).  I walked the half mile back to my place, came inside and ended up in tears.  I felt dreadful!  This was not how my run was supposed to go!  Then I remembered that in my search for a sports bra, I had grabbed an old one that I was too small back when I bought it (I forgot to return it), but somehow it didn't make it into the trash with the others.  I remembered that it was kind of snug when I put it on, but it definitely didn't feel too tight.  In hindsight, I'm wondering if it was too tight for my run or if maybe I should have just taken a day off since yesterday was so dreadful.  I don't know.  I just know that I felt like crap.  Chris gave me some water, and I just relaxed until I felt better again.  I'm definitely taking tomorrow off, and I'm going to go slow on Tuesday with the girls from school.  Maybe Tuesday evening or Wednesday I'll try for that three miles. 

A couple weekends ago, Chris and I bought an indoor grill.  Where we live, they have decided that grilling outdoors is no longer allowed (LAME).  We purchased a DeLonghi Healthy Indoor Grill and let me just say that it is AMAZING!  So far we have only cooked chicken breast on it.  Perhaps it is the combination of the grill along with this amazing dry-rub seasoning called Char Crust that his sister gave us, but the chicken is absolutely delicious and not dry at all!  We have tried the "Amazin' Cajun" (well Chris tried it), and the "Roto Roast".  We both think the Roto Roast has amazing flavor!  This week I am going to try grilling hamburgers and we may try steaks next weekend.  I cannot wait!

I plan to do a yoga video before bed tonight.  For now I'm going to read more of my fun book.  I hope you all have had a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Terrible run, but we did pick up Earl Grey

We just got back from our run, and it was pretty bad.  I never fell into a comfortable pace.  The entire time my body was saying, "Why are we doing this?", and my lungs were not happy either.  I'm going to just call this a bad running day and be done with that.

My boyfriend, Chris, drinks a lot of soda (that's right, I say "soda", not "pop") at home.  When at work, he drinks a cup of coffee then water the entire day.  In an effort to get him to drink more water when at home, I've tried introducing him to different teas.  I for one am addicted to any kind of tea that contains mint.  So far he hasn't really enjoyed any of them.  We were at the grocery store this past weekend, and I was picking up more tea.  That was when he saw Earl Grey tea, which made him think of Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek.  I have never had it either, so we bought a sampler packet of tea that had Earl Grey as well as mint green tea and some other types of tea.  It turns out he really likes the tea, and eventually finished the three tea bags that were in the sampler.  So for our run today, we ran a round-about mile to our local Publix (best grocery store EVER!) and bought a package of Earl Grey.  I had my debit card stashed in my sports bra, and I'm pretty sure we looked especially awesome standing in the line sweating and red-faced.  Then we ran back, with me carrying a package of tea.  It was an interesting run. 

Next weekend I want to go run at one of the local parks then go to the farmer's market.

Time for a shower!

Phiten necklaces...What is the science behind the product and does it work?

(Image from:

This afternoon I was flipping through a RW magazine from last May (again, I have a lot of magazines to catch up on).  Anyway, I saw that the "Olympian and track star" Kara Goucher started wearing a Phiten Titanium neclace after seeing Paula Radcliffe wearing one.  The claim reported in the RW magazine is that "[i]t supposedly helps your body recover and handle mroe work."  I was curious and looked up the website.  Is there actually any science behind this method?  I believe that the mind is a very powerful tool; therefore, placebos can be effective.  At that price, I might be willing to give the placebo-effect a try.  However, being that I am a chemist, I am very curious about how this whole idea works.  I'm about to head out for my run, so I'll have to do some more research on this later.

I'm just curious if anyone else has read about this product or even tried it. 

Friday, January 22, 2010


That 10 minute butt and thigh work-out the other day must have really been good... I am really feeling it today!

I'm so glad it's finally FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I love Exercise TV!!

No, I'm not being paid by Exercise TV, but I really do love it!  Last night I wanted to do the yoga video, but I figured I could use a bit of a warm-up first.  I just did a 10 minute butt and thigh routine, and I could feel the burn right away!  Then I did the 20 minute yoga video.  It was great!  I am looking forward to trying some of the cardio videos.

This morning T and J bailed, so Caitlin and I just ran a very easy mile and did the plank (3 x 30sec).  I have a run planned with Chris on Saturday and I may go for a light run tomorrow.

I hope you all have a great rest of the week.  Friday is one day away!  YAY!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The babies...

I had to give little Kirby a bath this evening, and he just looked so darn cute that I had to take a picture.  Then of course I had to take pictures of the other babies.  I just thought I would share.  The first two Zack (who I found on the sidewalk while running when he was only a couple days old), then Ashe (who we adopted/rescued and who wanted to sniff the camera), and finally Kirby (the adorable handicapped kitty we saved from my old apartment complex. His walking has really improved!).


I took the day off from running, and I am meeting with the girls in the morning to run at the gym.  I plan to do a yoga video tonight before bed.  I did not sleep well at all last night, and I'm hoping that yoga will help. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer

Last Friday, January 15, 2009, my mom's friend and a woman whose family I have known for at least fifteen years, passed away from breast cancer.  The last time I saw Linda was when I was visiting my mom over Thanksgiving.  Due to some recent set-backs and her weakened state, she was temporarily living with my mom.  Before Thanksgiving, it had been several years since I had actually seen her.  I will never forget the last thing she said to me... I was getting ready to leave to drive back home, and she came out to my car and gave me a great big hug.  She was crying.  She said, "Love looks good on you."  At that time, I had absolutely no idea how terrible her medical condition was.  I remember leaving and calling Chris on the phone to tell him that "He made me look good."  Then what seemed like out of the blue, her condition got much worse, and within a week of that news she passed away.  She had children, many grandchildren, and many many friends that are all grieving for her. 

Last night, I was reading a Runner's World magazine, attempting to catch up on all those magazines that went unread over the past few semesters.  I came across a story that discussed all the many reasons why people run marathons or other races, and one of those reasons is cancer.  I went online and looked up marathons that support the fight against breast cancer.  I had previously decided that I wanted to run a marathon before my 30th birthday.  I turn 29 in September of this year.  So instead of running the Palm Beach Marathon in December, like I originally thought I might do, I have decided to run the 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer on February 13, 2011 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.  (I e-mailed the contact person through the website to find out the exact date).  I even found that they have Galloway Pace Groups.

I am running this for Linda.  I am running this for my Aunt Jennifer who survived breast cancer.  I am running this for me, because it is something I can do to show my support in the fight against Breast Cancer.  I now have just over a year to properly train for the marathon.  This gives me a few more months to really build up my miles and run consistently every week before I start the marathon training.  If there is anyone else who would like to join me in my training or even at the race, please let me know.

As a side note, I met Caitlin and another friend from school for a run this morning.  Caitlin and I had convinced T and J to run with us and train for a half marathon in December.  Today we did a slow but nice two mile run.  We are planning on meeting Thursday as well. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Amazing run and "The Big Bang Theory"

Happy MLK Day to all!  Due to this wonderful holiday, Chris was off of work which meant he was actually home when I came home today.  For this reason, we decided to go for another run together.  I told him that my legs were sore from my run on Saturday and my half hour yoga video last night (which was pretty intense...  I even fell over!).  I didn't I would be able to keep up with him, so we ran down the street and back so that if we were separated we would both know where to stop.  I kept up with him going down the road for lap 1, and I am very proud of myself!

Lap 1:  1.23mi at 8:34min/mi

Then we walked for a few minutes while I attempted to catch my breath and make the incredible side stitches (yes, both sides!) go away.  Then we started for Lap 2; however, I didn't even make it for 2 minutes before I had to walk.  Then I made it another 0.87mi at a 9:06min/mi. then had to walk again (due to one of those super painful side stitches that I cannot push my way through) and wait for the street light to change.  I ended the run with a short sprint (at that point I had screwed up the laps, so I'm not sure how far or how fast the sprint was only that the "best" time was 5:43min/mi, but of course that was not for long at all.).  While the run had it's painful moments, I did feel pretty great for that first stretch!  It wasn't until the end that I really started to get short of breath. 

After we walked for a bit, stretched, then I made a delicious dinner.  Tonight I'm looking forward to flipping through one of my magazines (thanks to the past few semester I have a BOX FULL of magazines I have not read, including RW and SELF).  Later tonight there is a new episode of "The Big Bang Theory" which I find to be one of the best sitcoms ever!!!  My friend Caitlin got us addicted to the show!  We just caught up through season 2, but of course the show is in the middle of season 3.   Hopefully I can catch up soon with re-runs, but I'm not going to wait.  If you haven't seen the show, like science, love references to Star Wars, comic books, BSG, and Star Trek, and you really want a good laugh, I highly recommend it!  (Yes, I know I am a dork!)

Have a great night all!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vote for the Fantastic Asstastic Challenge!

Just a reminder to all... do not forget to vote in The Fantastic Asstastic Challenge!  I just cast my three votes!  And then I took the stairs three at a time when I went to check the mail...  Got to keep working out that butt!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Running and Yoga

Garmy died just before Caitlin and I ran on Thursday, so I'm not sure what our time was, but according to Runstoppable we ran 2 miles.  Although I stated that I was not going to put any limitations on my runs, I've been trying to go at least two miles.  We probably average 23 minutes for two miles, which is about what I've been averaging by myself. 

Today the weather is finally back in the 70s!  I asked Chris if he wanted to go for a run today, warning him that I have been very slow lately.  What is painful yet wonderful about running with him is that he really pushes me.  We did two miles, non-stop, in 18:35 minutes with an average pace of 9:15/mi and a best time of 7:26/mi, according to Garmy.  WOO-HOO!  Granted I used to be able to run under a 9 minute pace for a 10K, but I am choosing to think of it as though I am on my way back to that pace!  I am psyched!  So thank you Chris for running faster than me, and I apologize for holding you back.

I did the PM Yoga class again on Thursday, and it was wonderful.  I am already feeling more better since my muscles are more stretched.  I will probably do the class again tonight.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crazy Florida Weather

I did my first run of the week on Tuesday.  It was nice.  Caitlin and I ran together to go check out a neighborhood a few blocks from where I live.  That was two miles.  Yesterday I initially wanted to run, but my knees were sore and Caitlin said she'd be up for a run today, so I waited.  We are planning on running when she gets done teaching lab.  Since I enjoyed Pilates so much the other day, I thought I would try it again yesterday.  Again, my plans changed, so it was pretty late by the time I was actually going to start.  That is when I found the 20 minute video for PM Yoga.  I LOVED IT!  Man, my form was TERRIBLE!  I am definitely not as flexible as I used to be, but I have decided becoming more flexible to my list of resolutions for the year.  I can't believe I ever slacked off.  I guess I forgot how amazing it felt.  I plan to do the yoga video again tonight.  It was a great way to relax before bed.

The weather... yesterday, I was late to work because I had to sit in my car for TEN MINUTES while the ICE on my windshield melted.  I LIVE IN FLORIDA!!!  This morning I had the heater on my car.  This afternoon, I had the air conditioning on.  Now if I walk outside I sweat.  This is crazy!  This is all part of my love/hate relationship with Florida.  My sinuses especially hate it.

Oh well.  I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Picture from December 2009

I was just sent a picture of Chris and myself at his friend's wedding in December.  I wanted to share it.

Exercise TV and Elle Lunch Totes (You'll Want One Of These!)

A couple of days ago I discovered Exercise TV as one of the free On Demand channels through my cable provider (you can find the different work-outs and weekly schedules of what will be aired through the On Demand link).  This morning I decided to try the Pilates Power Work-out, since my muscles have been feeling very tight lately.  Oh My Goodness!!!  I clearly have not practiced Pilates in quite some time, because I was exhausted and it hurt!  I only did 20 minutes, but my goodness I felt light headed after and my abs were screaming.  Back when I first started running, I took a Pilates class at the gym every week that lasted 55 minutes.  I was dreadful at first, but after several months the teacher was pointing out my technique to others.  It was great because it really built up my strength, helped my posture, and I felt much more flexible.  I am excited to get back into it, even though I'm off to a rough start.  I'm going to try and do the 20 minute Pilates videos a few times a week.  I'm really excited about this. 

Caitlin and I have not yet figured out what our gym schedule is going to be, but the schedule for classes at the gym is finally posted.  There is a 6:30 am spin class on Thursdays that I am considering.  Since I've moved much further away from the school, it will make attending evening gym classes more difficult.  I will have to see if there are any in the morning or early evening that I want to attend.  I don't see any Pilates classes at those times, but there are some good cardio classes.  I really want to get back into my weight-lifting routine as well.  Does anyone have any thoughts on doing my leg routine once a week and whether it will hinder my running?  I'm thinking if I do the leg routine with not too heavy of weights the day before a short run I might be okay.  I'm not sure yet. 

If I do go to a few classes after work and even before, then I need to pack a good lunch (and breakfast) to take with me.  For my birthday I received the coolest lunch tote (see picture at left) from a great friend (check out her blog Pumpkin And Spice for seriously delicious recipes!).  The lunch tote designed by Elle and it really looks like a cute purse.  Better yet, it is insulated and has a water bottle holder!  This past semester when I was meeting Caitlin at 6:30 am to work on thermo, then had work and class until 9:00 pm I was having to pack breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  It all fit in my fabulous lunch bag!  I received several compliments on how cute the bag looked.  It definitely makes packing a lunch more fun! 

Does anyone have any good suggestions for packing your lunch?  I'm looking to try something different.  I'm not really sure what.  In the past I've packed instant oatmeal that I mix with canned pumpkin.  I have brought soup and salad.  Left-overs.  Veggies with fat-free dip.  Hummus and pita.  PB&J.  Right now I'm on a huge pomegranate kick as a snack.   I'm also loving Tazo Awake tea in the morning and Tazo Relax tea in the afternoon (since I'm so in love with anything mint).

Well time to read more journal articles for my research.  Maybe I'll try a yoga work-out later this evening.  I hope that you all have a wonderful Sunday and rest of the week!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Week 1... CHECK! Snow in central Florida... CHECK!

That's right!  It snowed this morning!  In central Florida!!!!  Granted I was in my nice warm bed while this happened, and the snow did not stick to the ground, but still... it snowed.  Which is why I feel it is a real accomplishment that I successfully ran three days outside this week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).  Each lasted two miles, and the runs on Wed. and Fri. did include walk breaks (Friday was especially painful, probably because it was colder).  I looked like a real idiot out there all bundled up.  I was wearing purple diamond printed tights under my grey sweat pants, a long sleeve shirt and baggy baby blue sweatshirt, a dark blue hat pulled down over my ears, and purple gloves.  It actually took Garmy out with me, and it turns out the block I've been occasionally jogging around is 1.6 miles.

I was very glad that I ran yesterday instead of today, since it snowed today.  Now I have lived in the good ole Sunshine State for my entire life.  Back in 1989 (I was eight years old) we had snow (when I lived in northern Florida).  I mean the ground was white kind of snow!  School was canceled, and we ate icicles that we pealed off of the palm tree in the front yard.  I will never forget, we went for a walk to the pond around the block from my house.  I could not understand why the pond was not frozen.  I had seen it a hundred times on the television... snow equaled ice skating.  The photo below was not taken by me (all those photos are somewhere at my mom's house), but it is a picture from Jacksonville Florida taken in 1989 as potential proof.  I found it on Wikipedia at:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jeff Galloway Marathon Training... I'm contemplating it.

Has anyone used the Jeff Galloway method for marathon training (to finish training for beginners)?  I know this sounds crazy, but I'm seriously considering a marathon this year rather than another half marathon.  I told myself I'd see how my running was going in two months (see if I had stuck to my goal) then consider the marathon idea.  The training method that I found still has me running 3 days a week, which I think it very do-able without taking time away from my research, since I could do my long runs on the weekend.  The training program lasts 7.5 months before the actual marathon.  So I figure I could just focus on running three days a week for a couple of months before starting the training.  This morning I decided that I should at least look and see if there was a marathon available in my area at the end of the year. I found The Palm Beaches Marathon in the beginning of December.  Caitlin said she'd be interested in running it with me.  The Jeff Galloway run/walk method seems a little strange to me (especially since when I first started running I was determined to do all of my runs without stopping), but the reviews are good.  People claim that they shaved time off of their previous marathon times by using this method.  I like the idea that it is designed to reduce injury.  I'm pretty excited about this idea.  What do you all think?  Does anyone want to join me?

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Fantastic, Asstastic Photo Challenge of 2010... and Research

There is no way I could pass up on the fun of The Fantastic, Asstastic Photochallenge of 2010 that Amy is conducting over at The Lawsons Did Dallas.  It is much too amusing not to be a part of it.  I recommend others should join in the fun!

 Today I came across a hilarious comic that reminded me of research and all those people who have ever asked me if my job is like "CSI".  The comic can be found at

And a great quote to sum up research:

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
- Albert Einstein
 I hope all of you had a wonderful  New Year's Eve!  Mine was quite wonderful, and 2010 is already off to a great start for me! 

P.S.  I was thinking today about my challenge... I guess technically my 52 weeks started today, on a Friday.  I am going to use the standard calendar week of Sunday through Saturday, so I will officially start this Sunday.  That will mean that my last week will just be shorter.