Friday, March 22, 2013

First Race Report - Part 1

That's right.  I ran my first official 5K. I've done 2 other small Turkey Trot races at work that were 5ishK but those were pretty informal with a guy and a watch at the end reading off times.  When I ran my first one in 2010 I finished at just over 30 minutes which I was happy with but if I would of made sure to double knot my laces I would have finished under 30.  Lesson learned.  Last November I did the 2nd Turkey Trot and with my laces nice and secure I finished at 27:19 and I was extremely happy with that.  It was almost perfect running conditions that day at 40 and sunny.  I thought then about signing up for the Bay City St. Patrick's Day 5K, but March in Michigan?  You never know what you are going to get.  I kept an eye on the forecast all week and when I got up on Sunday and went outside with Lilly it was 25 and windy, but sunny.  I was thinking nope, but when I went inside the husband talked me into it and even better he was going to run too.  Time to quickly get ready and head downtown to register.

We got to registration after finding a really good parking spot with about 20 minutes to spare.  Signed up, got our numbers and then headed back to the car to stay warm.  The race was scheduled to start at 11:45 so we decided at 11:25 to head to the porta-potties and then go line up.  Perfect timing as they didn't even let the runners on the street until 11:30.  We started in between the 9:00 and 10:00 minute mile starts since I knew that was about where I'd finish.  It was great standing/jumping around chatting with folks.  Runners are a friendly group it seems. I didn't really feel nervous, just general excitement. I told the husband to not feel bad if he felt the need to speed up after we started.  He told me he'd stay with me to make sure he didn't tire himself out too quickly since he'd never run that far before.

Side note:  We do run on a regular basis.  He actually runs more than I do, 3-4 times a week, for 2 miles on the track on the Y.  I'm more likely to do it 1-2 times a week since I also like to mix in the elliptical.

The crowd starts to really fill in and then we saw The Batman and the crowd and other runners are loving it.  The local country radio DJ, Jim Cramer was hosting with his morning partner, he was pumping up the crowd and playing some tunes.  It was a really fun atmosphere.  He warned us the start would just be a count down with a simple Ready Set Run and he wasn't kidding, they did a 10 second countdown and we were off.  Well, for about 3 steps and then we had to walk since the crowd ahead of us had to narrow down to get through the start.  Finally we get to the arches and take off. to be continued...

I'm not sure which one I am.  But I'm in there.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Please Stand Up

Shady? Slim Shady?  

I'll stand up and I do it more often thanks to my new desk that can either be set for seated or standing.    I still don't stand as often I'd like but my goal right now is at least for an half hour to hour a day.  I don't think I'll ever stand up all the time but it's nice to have the option now.  I really like it for conference calls it definitely offers up some freedom.  Standing also help relieve any aches I may get from sitting.  From my workouts I always seem to have some form of DOMs, usually mild but sitting will makes some of those muscle just tense up so getting up to move helps works that out.  My foam roller, tennis ball or some gently yoga also help me out almost every morning before work for about 10 minutes.  Pigeon is wonderful for the desk dweller and since I've been doing it all the time, I can see a huge difference in my hip flexibility.  I'm going to start working on some other tights areas I have too.  I've always had limited mobility, throughout my hips and legs, at least for a dance.  Maybe not for most people but it's an area I still want to improve on so I'm working on it.  I've also found that just stretching isn't enough for my tightness, I need to work on actual mobility (light bulb).  This girly just may get her splits before she turns 40.   Or at least be able to keep my heels completely down at the bottom of a full squat.  I be working it.  I'll also be standing more and probably while I"m standing working on my mobility.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Oh Pandora, what will you play next?

So remember when I used to take my MP3 player and put it on random?  No... Oh.
Well how about when I used to use Windows Media player and put that on random?  No.  Well, it's OK, I've moved on anyway.  I now like so many others use my phone with apps for my music listening needs.  Mainly, I use Pandora these days.  So let's kick it old school and I'll give  you the next 10 songs that Pandora decides to grant me and unless a song truly bugs me I won't be skipping anything. 

1. Awolnation - Jump on Your Shoulders.  Man, I love this band.  I first heard them in the summer on 2011 on XM Radio.  I then decided to check them out by creating a Pandora channel for them.  This is one of my favorite channels.  I actually ended up buying their album Megalithic Symphony and the whole thing is just so, so good.  My pick for band of the year for 2011.

2. Jason Mraz - I'm Yours -Great summer song.  It's totally not summer today.  44 degrees but super windy.  Looks like we're getting a warm-up this weekend too, mid-50's  Nothing like a spring teaser in mid-January.  I know the ice fisherman are not happy.  Nor are all the kids who got sleds for Christmas. 

3. Counting Crows - Colorblind - Have I danced to this before?  If not I've always wanted to.  Though, that would be harder now as I haven't been taken lyrical classes anymore.  But I'm dong Point again and I suppose there could hope there but I'm pretty sure this is my last year dancing with the youngsters.  Next year, I think I'll join the ladies I assist on Wednesday nights.

4. The Lumineers  -Ho Hey - Until now I didn't realize that the title of this song is 'Ho Hey' and suddenly that makes the song even more enjoyable to listen to.  But this is the type of band I want to see live in a small bar with a fun crowd.  Only if the don't have the music cranked too loud.  I can't take the loudness anymore.  I just liked this song but I probably should check out more of their music to see what else I might like first. 

-boo-commercial.  I know it's cheap to buy a year membership but it cracks me up now that they actually do local commercials and they really aren't too often.

5. Awolnation - Not Your Fault - Hmmm, I wonder if I've disliked too many songs on this channel.  I mean I like that I do get frequent Awolnation songs but it might be a little too much. But boy is this song catchy.

6. Imagine Dragons - Tiptoe - Whoa, this is new to me.  Listening.... I'll give it a things up.

7. Phoenix - If I Ever Feel Better(Remix) - I already like this one previously, I understand why. Up beat, poppy. Exactly what I like to listen to.  Definitely head bopping music.

8. Mumm-Ra   She's Got You High - Great bad name and More fun music.  This day just keeps getting better.

-Another commerial - Nashville the show.  Haven't watched it.

9. Glen Hansard - Say It to me Now - Another one I'd like to dance to.  Or I'd love to see this guy live, just him and his guitar. Then dance with the husband to this song.  He is the best dance partner.

10.  Awolnation - Soul Wars - Here they are again, but I do love this song.  Cuz I'm on fire.    (Not really, it's the lyrics) 

OK, that's 10.  What have we learned?  If you haven't listened to Awolnation, do it.  There is more to them than just 'Sail'.  Also, my soul is telling me it needs to dance.  Thank goodness today is a dance day. 

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Wha'ts cooking

I'm not sure when it happened but I'm officially a meal planner.  When I make my grocery list for the main shopping trip of the week I plan out what meals we'll eat for the week.  As it is just the 2 of us I tend to cook meals with a recipe for 4 servings so we can have the same meal 2 nights in a row.

Last Sunday, I cooked 4 organic chicken breast in cream of chicken soup (also organic)with chicken stock (shoot, realized it was only the 'natural' Meijer chicken stock) in the slow cooker.  This leaves me with amazingly yummy shredded chicken to use in meals.  That meant Sunday and Monday nights were Chicken Pesto Pizza,  Tuesday/Thursday will be Chicken/Mixed Veggies/Brown Rice, Wednesday is Tuna Noodle (it's hockey night and that is the husbands pre-game meal).  On Friday we'll have fish, either Salmon or Tilapia (I buy frozen fish).  If we're not feeling like fish this week I'll make breakfast for dinner, either Baked Pancake from Peanut Butter Fingers or a wrecked omelette with eggs, western hash browns, extra onions, peppers and mushrooms and turkey sausage.  Saturday it's back to the grocery store for more shopping.

My recipe for the Chicken Pesto Pizza is pretty simple so I'll share it.

Chicken Pesto Pizza (Makes 2 Pizzas)

2 Shredded Chicken Breasts (see above for super easy method)
2 Prebaked Pizza Crusts - I use Meijer Organic
1/2 medium Onion Sliced
8-12 Sliced Fresh Mushrooms (you could use canned but I prefer fresh)
Olive Oil - I just pour a bit on the pan, maybe a 1tsp
Jar of Pesto
Mozzarella Cheese

  1. Preheat oven according to pizza crust instructions.
  2. Heat up your olive oil on medium heat.
  3. Saute onions and mushrooms until tender
  4. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of pesto and chicken to 3 and turn heat to low.
  5. Prep crusts by putting on pizza stone and covering with a thin coat of pesto
  6. Once everything in pan is heated through and smelling delicious, divide in half and spread 1/2 on each pizza crust
  7. Top with desired amount of cheese, I use a Mozzarella/Provolone/Parmesan combo. (I use about 1/3 of the bag between 2 pizzas with a handful of Parmesan on each)
  8. Bake according to pizza crust instructions.
  9. Cut, eat and enjoy.
  10. Store leftovers for another meal.
We have this with a small chopped side salad and we split a pizza though I do the cutting of the pizza so when I servethe pizza the husband definitely gets a larger portion than I do. :D

Try it, let me know what you think.

Monday, January 07, 2013

House Updates

This past weekend, the husband and I worked on a couple of house projects.  We put together some new furniture for the upstairs guest room and worked on our kitchen island.  Both of these projects have been going on for awhile and the end for the guest room is in sight. 

The upstairs guest room we really hadn't done anything to since moving into our house almost 13 years ago, other than putting in new carpet when we moved in.  The walls were a minty green color and you could tell that it had been a kids room in the past, crayon and all.  We started with painting the entire room, including the ceiling, a nice light yellow.  I had envisioned a yellow/grey/white with maybe blue accents theme for the room but when we went shopping for bedding we fell in love with a set of bedding* that was primarily white with orange poppies on it. We then found matching sheets in orange and a bed skirt in a soft green to match.  There are some small yellow flowers in the comforter to pull the yellow in.  So now the color scheme is yellow, white, orange and green and I love it.  We then found an adorable orange bolster pillow with a fox embroidered on it.  What works about this theme in the room is in the field behind our house we used to have wild poppies growing there and we have foxes who live out there.  It's nice to be able to bring some of the outside into the house.  All that is left to do is get lamp shades for the lamps that I spray painted with a hammered metal effect and to put up the 'art' on the wall.  The 'art' for now will consist of 2 groups of frames that are a variety of silver colored finishes, some match and some don't. For now I'm going to frame fabric in them that matches the color scheme. As I find deals on 8x10 prints I'll slowly collect prints from flowers we've taken in our yard to replace the fabric.  A couple of other projects will happen in the spring where I can refinish my grandparents rocking chair and cedar chest. 

The kitchen island project is really just the start to a much bigger project but we're moving slowly with our kitchen. This is part of the first phase where we are reconfiguring the current layout to see how we like what we're planning for. My counters used to have a huge peninsula with tons of counter space but it really wasn't useful space.  So we removed a section and created an island.  The initial island we created we decided was a bit too long so yesterday we swapped out one of the cabinets for a smaller version and then shortened our temporary counter top which is really just a sheet of OSB with a white melamine finish.  After cutting down the counter tops we then finished the edges with a melamine finishing tape.  It turned out pretty nice for what we are hoping is only on at most 6 month solution until we decide what we are going to do for our permanent solution.  The next step is either moving the stove to the new location for its trial period or getting the counter depth fridge in place. 

*I searched Target for the links to bedding with no luck.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Brushing Up those Writing Skills

So it turns out at the new job I do a heck of a lot more writing of documents, mass emails and communications than I ever expected I would.  The thing is I don't dislike it but my skills are not polished.  In trying to decide how I should improve my writing skills I remembered that once upon a time I had a blog. So in order to meet a professional goal I have of improving my writing skills I'm going to start using this space to practice in. 

Don't worry I won't bore you with work stuff. I can barely stand listening to myself talk about work stuff and weirdly I do get excited and even passionate about some of things I work on these days.  That still surprises me. That also means I sometimes tend to take work too seriously and take some work things personally when I really shouldn't.  What I have learned though is to put things in perspective and I do that by asking myself these questions.

1. Will this matter in a hour from now?
2. Will this matter tomorrow?
3. Will this matter next month?
4. Will this matter next year?

I usually find that the greater the length of time the less it matters to me and then I can let things go.  The good news is that applies to everything in my life. Now why in the world did it take me so long to figure that out?

Tell me, how do you put things into perspective? 

Note: Grammar police and writers, please be nice.  I'm not asking for help at this point, I'm just putting words down again to make it more natural for me.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Candy jars are everywhere

That was one of the first things I noticed at the office. It was one of the things I had forgotten about right along with the afternoon popcorn snack. For me, I find what works is that I only eat what I bring in myself and say no to mostly everything else. Once in awhile a "treat" is fine but not too often and it better be good. Moderation is key. Since I tend to have a desserty breakfast my sweet tooth starts out satisfied by 6 am. That is right. Desserty breakfast involves organic oatmeal, greek yogurt and blueberries all mixed up. So good. Then coffee with french vanilla creamer and a muffin or blondie or a cookie. Some goodness that I've baked up. So candy dishes I can pass on but of someone brings me fresh berries and yogurt, watch out.