My Workouts Since Aug 29

There have only been 3, I hit a slump and didn’t work out from the 30th until yesterday, but now I’m back on it!

Aug 29- This one was bright and early at 8am in Maine. It was even a bit chilly which was a definite change and kind of made my lungs burn. I mean, more than being a smoker accounts for. This one was short but I ran/jogged the whole time:

1.46 miles in 14:27, ave pace 9:53/mi, splits- mile one pace 9:49, mi 2 pace 10:02

Sept 11- Midday heat. Temp 86 degrees and a nice hot sun beating down on the paved boardwalk along Fort Monroe. Again, the goal was to jog the whole time, no walking. I messed up the pace a bit by not stopping runkeeper during the .03 I walked at the end, but it’s pretty negligible. Then I did a .75 mi cooldown and beach walk which felt so good though the sun was still SO hot. Racerback tan now intensified, I should consider sun screen.

1.73 miles in 19:02. Ave pace 10:59/mi, splits- mile one pace 10:32, mile two pace 11:34

And today, Sept 12- midday but it’s overcast and low 70’s. I just ran a couple times around the complex and the surrounding roads. Again, there was no walking, as is my goal now.

1.72 miles in 18:51. Ave pace 10:56/mi, splits- mile one pace 10:45, mile two pace 11:10.

Basically, I’ve been working on not interspersing walking into my training and trying to “run” the whole time. I’ve finally figured out how to pace myself so that I can run more than just one mile at a time (and then want to collapse). Unfortunately my pace makes me a jogger, not a runner, but I realized that I wasn’t able to increase my distance at the pace I was running, so for now I’m working towards jogging farther and longer without needing to walk and once I get to 3 or 3.2 miles, then I can work on picking up the pace. I’d rather run/jog a 5k without walking at a slow pace than do it a little faster in fits and bursts with walking breaks. I have never ever walked during any part of a race and there were hills (and I mean HILLS/small mountains- I’m talking about you Mt. Blue, Cony, Leavitt?) so that’s my main priority, even over speed. It’s a pride thing, for me, the spirit is to run it all even if that jog gets to be as slow as walking would be. It’s just a thing.

Anyway, I plan to get back into a more regular routine again, but I was glad that my almost two weeks off didn’t leave me completely out of shape as I feared and that I was still able to jog for 19 minutes straight! Woohoo!

Blue Apron with a Dummy (I’m obviously not being paid for this)

So I signed up for Blue Apron, the pescatarian version. They delivered the first $60 box full of all the fresh ingredients necessary for 2 vegetarian and one pescatarian meal(s) today, so if course I had to dive in and try it. I started with an easier one- cavetelli pasta with golden tomatoes and basil seed ricotta or something.

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The pretty little recipe card thinks I’m much more adept in the kitchen than I am, so when it asked me to multitask, or assumed I cut tomatoes and garlic in the time it takes water to boil and oil to warm up, I knew myself better and did one thing at a time. Once I was done my slow prep work I fired up the burners beneath the pot and pan and then I proudly (ok I was a mess) did two things at once, using wine for comfort and music to time those quick intervals where something needs 1-3 minutes.
Besides adding too much water to my garlic, tomato, pasta pan after the pasta was al dente and then having to probably cook it all into a mush to reduce the sauce, it was pretty smooth sailing. Definitely an easy starter recipe.

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Now, I don’t have a picture of it plated all pretty like a blogger is supposed to because I left it on the stove (off the heat) because cooking is so stressful to me that I just don’t even want to deal with the food anymore once it’s done. I will plate it and eat it, but we need some time apart first.
But this is exactly why I got Blue Apron, I have the hardest time coming up with any non-casserole or wildly unhealthy things to cook and eat. Also ingredients usually go to waste because I use them for one meal and have no idea what else to do with them, so this thing where they send only what you need is great. Also it’s the freshest stuff and it costs less than I would ever spend trying to buy all these ingredients and I’m not wasting and most of all, I will be learning so many new techniques (and basics!). Y’all I had to watch a YouTube video about how to turn romaine lettuce into a salad the other day, so I NEED this. I also need the Pinot Grigio that I didn’t have time to sip while cooking. So, doing that.

My Trip to Maine, in iPhone(4) Photos

Since I’m getting an upgrade when the new iPhone comes out, I had to specify how old my current phone is so I can later ooh and ahh over how great my new phone’s camera is. Because I don’t care about having the newest of basically anything, I’m waiting only because I’m hoping the iPhone 5s will go down to $99 w contract not this crazy $199 price. If it doesn’t, friends, I will likely be the proud owner of the 5c while everyone is on a waiting list for the 6. And I won’t care. Speaking of phones, you’d think I wouldn’t ramble so much when updating from my phone, but my fat thumbs have mastered this keyboard! Ok, no, they haven’t. Autocorrect is basically writing this post.
Uh so pictures.

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The bridge from NH into Maine, and the eastern peninsula of VA as seen from the amazingly long Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.

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My in-law’s amazing backyard. It’s even better in person because I didn’t quite capture how hilly it is. It seems like it should be Ireland or something.

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I texted this picture of my dad scrubbing my car for me to C and said “this is why I’m a princess”. He was like “O lord” because he knows it’s true. My dad used to always change my oil for me too and he offered but I wouldn’t let him, I was there for his birthday, not scheduled maintenance! The truck belongs to John, the awesome neighbor across the street but he said I missed the best part- the ghost flames (painted on only visible in certain light or something).

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The one with the nice weather was in Delaware, the traffic going north from the beaches looked rough but my way was clear! The other two are at the lookout before you go south over the Chesapeake bridge.
Okay, so there you have the relatively few pictures of my trip and the relatively high amount of anecdotes and rambling. Have a good weekend!

I’m a Little Sensitive About Animals

I spent the last 3 days in Maine celebrating my father’s birthday a few days early and paying quick visits to family. On the trip there, I stopped for the night in North Haven, CT after driving for 8-9 hours and the second day was only 4-5 hours. I’ll definitely  be posting about my visit in Maine a little and the trip up, but this is a story about the trip home. I decided to do it all in one day if Labor Day traffic wasn’t too bad, so that I could have a full day with C before he leaves fr Nebraska on Wednesday. I managed to make the trip in 13 hours (driving from 6am- 7pm) and never hit any bad traffic.

So, anyway, hour 11 I hit the eastern peninsula of Virginia, on 13 South and all of a sudden I’m behind this tractor trailer-sized truck just stacked with chickens. They were crammed in so closely that until I was quite close behind it and made out a little birdie’s moving head I didn’t know if they were alive or not. So, there I was behind this truck, bemoaning the poor conditions the chickens were subjected to, already 100% glad I went back to being pescatarian and the truck turns right. The truck turns right into Tyson. If you don’t know that Tyson is known for chicken products, well, they are quite a big purveyor of chicken. I couldn’t help it I started crying, not eyes-welled up, but full-on crying. I felt so horrible for those poor chickens, who already had seen no joy in their lives, kept in their cramped cages, but now were being delivered for salughter. Oh my God, I could hardly contain myself.

I called C. once I had composed myself a bit more to tell him about the horror I’d just witnessed. I started out by telling him that I was fine and nothing had happened to me or the car since I was still audibly upset, and then I told him. He thought it was THE funniest thing ever and I was like, “it’s not funny, they didn’t even have a good day first!” and that made him laugh harder, though he was kind of trying not to find it too uproariously funny. He just laughed the whole time and the more I tried to tell him about why it was so sad and not funny, the more he laughed, in the way you laugh at someone that is somehow tinged with regret about laughing and somehow sounds like they feel bad about it while laughing. He’s a huge animal lover, but also quite the carnivore and was raised in a farming and hunting family, so he tends ot think of these things differently. I let him go because I was probably going to start getting mad about his inability to feel for the chickens/stop laughing etc, but I spent the rest of the trip home trying not to think about the chickens and failing. There are literally tear-drop stains on my GPS which I hold in my lap. So, yeah, I guess I’m a little sensitive about things related to animal cruelty and it’s either quite ironic that I was the one right behind the truck or it was definitely meant to be a great reinforcement for me to continue with my not eating meat or poultry. I also now kind of hate route 13 through VA because I drove past a Purdue plant only half an hour or so later. I won’t turn this into some kind of PSA because it either acts as that or is funny, depending on your views, but yeah, that happened.

My Husband, the Gypsy

While I am the one with the cliche-ed “gypsy soul”, it is my husband who is ever in motion, mapping routes and setting up in a new spot. He was only here for three short days after we moved before heading off to NJ, then NY, for work. Those three days were spent unloading the moving van and then (on his part) never leaving the apartment in the hopes of feeling a little relaxed before jetting off to work again.

This past winter and spring, work wasn’t very busy for him and he was around almost always, but now it appears his job has turned him back into a traveller and he’s not been home much at all. I’ve been looking forward to his coming back to Virginia ever since he left. I’ve discovered so many cool things that I want to explore with him, and we’re quite behind on our “Shameless” dvd watching, which is best done with take-out. Anyway, I’m going to Maine this weekend to celebrate my father’s birthday and (quickly) visit family, and C is now coming home right in the middle of the time I’ll be gone. That would be fine if he were staying for a week, but apparently even staying a few days to watch the cats took some arranging on his part, and so, it seems, our visit will be very very brief. I was going to start driving monday and be home tuesday, but he’s going to somewhere as yet unknown to work on a wind project either tuesday or wednesday, so I’m going to try to cram that 15 hour drive into just one day so that maybe we get half a day together before he leaves again. Guys, this is not what I was expecting and I’m pretty bummed out about it at the moment, especially since he’s going to an island off Africa right after this next project. But… but maybe he’ll be able to get a cat-friendly hotel so I can drive out with the cats and visit (again, hugely depending on where he will be) or I’ll find a cat-sitter and fly out to see him for a weekend. We will make it work, as we always do, but I’m hoping this version of “making it work” means we actually see each other because sometimes we don’t for 3 months and that always sucks.

So, let’s hope he’s nearby-ish or I can find someone to look after the cats because this half-day visit is definitely not going to be enough time with him before he heads off to Africa. Life is pretty unpredictable with his job which is exactly why I’ avoiding getting a full-time gig of my own. Working weekends or as a sub definitely allows me more flexibility when it comes time to either fly off and see my husband or else not see him at all. 

I Used to Look Cheap, but Now I am Expensive.

My transformation, at least hair-wise, into a classy lady of Hampton Roads is complete. I guess it’s about time I stop trying to look like a my little pony who lost it’s plastic hairbrush because damn, guys, I’m gonna be 29 in October. Which also means that having my hair professionally died has the added bonus of covering grays. Because I have had those since I was 19, but they have multiplied tenfold since then. I tried at-home dyes and they wouldn’t quite take so now I have an excuse to get pampered every 6-8 weeks and try cool things like ombre balayage. I’m kind of lucky really, because while I may be too old for DIY rainbow hair (especially witht hose gray hairs popping out), I am not too old to experiment with some of those subtler , yet still fun, techniques. 

So anyway, since I already showed you the before/after from the cut, now here’s the before/after color. You know, it’s definitely true that looks that are considered “classy” are pretty much reserved for those with some cold hard cash to throw at their appearance because there is NO WAY I could ever achieve this look at home, it took 3 hours and way more mixtures than you’d expect. Meanwhile, I definitely achieved my randomly bleached rainbow hair all by myself and it cost like $20, but literally 0 people ever called that look “classy”.

after cut and color

after cut and color

in different lighting; its more of a natural blend of tones than a traditional highlight

in different lighting; its more of a natural blend of tones than a traditional highlight

after cut, before color

after cut, before color

My Awkward Saturday Night

I’m pretty new to this town or city or whatever you want to call it, but I thought this Saturday evening I would go out, order a beer and an appetizer and chat up some strangers. There’s this place, Park Lane Tavern, around here that has a nice outdoor section and a huge indoor bar, so I went there to work a little friendship magic. It worked a couple of weeks ago, I chatted with a biker for like 4 hours and it was pretty fun and he didn’t care that I was happily married, he was also just trying to hang out with people.

So. I go again. I decide to wear some nice dress shorts and a chunky heel and leave my yoga pants at home where they belong. I make a big mistake, I ask for a table outside. Guys, don’t do this unless you bring a book. I end up getting sat at a high top with chairs composed of metal in a huge grid of open spaces. Basically, as soon as I sat down my bare thighs were waffled into the nooks of this stupid chair, my cellulite at every one else’s damn eye-level. Great. I decide I can overcome. I  order a beer and a bavarian pretzel appetizer and look mostly out at the sky and sometimes at my phone, pretending that there’s something new on fb when there isn’t. If I ate or drank faster, it would have been fine, but it turned out to be about 40 minutes of this and I looked like a lonely weirdo. So, it was awkward enough having broadcast my cellulite and lack of friends for all to see, but then I go to pay my bill. It takes forever, I’m sitting there staring out at the horizon like it’s a cirque du soleil show until finally the waitress comes back and tells me my card was declined. And she ran it twice. Okay. I am now the most pathetic patron in this stupid restaurant/bar hybrid full of couples and groups of friends. The waitress looks at me when she says this like she’s afraid it’s the only card I have, but thank freaking god, I am in fact married and not the loneliest person on the planet and I do have my husband’s card which only gets turned off when I forget to tell them I’m travelling.

I decided to call it quits with the faux-socializing at that point, forgoing my plan to have another drink at the bar area. There are only so many pity glances I can take in one night, so I go home and call my credit card company. Apparently, despite my having already given them my updated address, they mailed something to my old address and it got returned. So they immediately put a hold on my account. Great, thanks credit card company, that’s never embarassing. Anyway, while I was on the phone with them I made sure to update them about my upcoming travel plans so that this won’t happen next week. The nice lady told me that it definitely would be fine unless I shopped at places that I don’t usually shop at online or a bunch of other scenarios. So, cool, this will be a repeating phenomenon. I told her,” I know this isn’t your thing, but if you have any sort of suggestion box, could you put a little feedback in for me?” and she said sure, so I then asked her if maybe they could consider doing that thing where they call you to confirm purchases before just shutting of your goddamn card. This has happened to me 4 or 5 times this year, starting when I did my christmas shopping online, I’m wondering when they will figure out that I just enjoy online shopping and variety in my life. Probably never.

A Real Haircut

I just went to Animare salon (its an Aveda salon) to get my first professional haircut in a decade. I can’t explain why it’s been that long aside from the fact that I kept trying to get layered cuts in my teens and kept getting those weird mullety cuts. You know, where the shortest layer is the thickest, so you have gross long tendrils. Who wants that? Why was this such a recurring thing? I was just done putting my trust in hair stylists only to end up with another sad mullet, so I’ve been cutting my own hair since. Usually it’s just a blunt shoulder cut, but occasionally I do a trim or try my hand at layers. But I’m almost 29, it was time to get my butt back into a salon. So, here are the before and afters (before is from last week because I never wear my hair down).

ew, scraggly.

ew, scraggly.

It reminds me of "the rachel"  and I love it.

It reminds me of “the rachel” and I love it.

I made an appointment for monday to have ombre balayage done, which is a subtle sun-kissed looking highlighting technique, as seen on Lauren Conrad and Jessica Biel.  I enjoyed my weird bleaching and colors when I had them, but now it’s time to make it less DIY and more adult. It’s pretty revolutionary to me to be trying for an actual hairstyle and color technique, I feel so fancy. I could hear the color drain out of C.’s face over the phone when I told him how much the coloring costs, but I informed him that we were obviously rich since he was supposed to come home today but is staying on in NY to work for at least another week. He said that I have a twisted view of how things work, which I took as approval since none of the words in that sentence were “no”. Fair enough, right? But listen, I’ve never had a cut or color in the 4+ years we’ve been together, so he can’t complain too much.

I applied to a company that subcontracts substitute teachers for Hampton schools and have an interview in a few weeks, so hopefully this will mean gainful employment. I expected to want a month to soak up life in this new city, but it took less than a week before I was dying for a part time job. I just really want to work 2 or 3 days a week. It’s hard (in a first world problem way) to be so aimless and unproductive, I need a little structure and hard work mixed in with my free time or it’s hard to appreciate the free time. Since my dream job is teaching at a college level I think substituting is the perfect fit for me right now; I get the experience of teaching, something besides retail to put on my resume and it’s something I am currently qualified for and will enjoy. I’m really hoping that I get this gig, but I will definitely look into temp agencies and weekend work if not.

Lindsay’s Visit Day 4 (the last day)

Day 4 was a Saturday and Lindsay was planning to leave in the early evening, so we decided to make it a nice relaxing beach day before her 8 hour trip home. We decided that it might be less crowded at the private beach, which had the added advantage of a restaurant. Paradise beach club is like a resort right here in town. There were a ton of people partying at the bar, live music, games on the sand and a dozen or more nice boats in the water that teenagers were taking turns jumping off of and swimming. These teenagers had the kind if life lindsay and I thought was made up for tv, but is apparently real. Who gets to spend summers partying at a beach club with their own boat?! Not us.

We sunned with our SPF 40 on, read magazines and then decided to go for a swim. Lindsay got sting by a jellyfish within minutes even though there were a bunch of people in the water who weren’t stalked by jellyfish. We promptly got back on land and decided it was lunch time. We quizzed the poor waitress about jellyfish stings and though they’re not dangerous, it looked like a cluster of burns, so we went to the lifeguard after lunch and she had vinegar on hand which she poured on Lindsay’s leg and I rubbed sand on it to remove the stingers. Apparently this really relieved the pain, so it’s probably best to do this right away if you are stung instead of trying to tough it out.

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We only stated for a couple of hours because the sting kind of took the relaxation out of the beach. Our next goal was to find a local coffee shop and we ended up finding one near my apartment. It was a cupcake shop with a full espresso bar and my Iced latte tasted 10x better than the ones I’d been buying at Starbucks. You could really tell the espresso shots were quality, timed just right, weren’t left to sit and die (they get bitter) and so it tasted all rich and dreamy like only the best local espresso drinks can.

We decided to share one of their gourmet cupcakes which came in its own little pink box (it was recyclable). It was a coconut custard concoction with a light whipped cream-like frosting. I took a picture but it’s on the iPad and I’m on my phone so I guess I won’t make you hungry with a photo.

Fort Monroe

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Today’s attempt at running took place at Fort Monroe, which L and I accidentally discovered on our way to Paradise Beach Club (that was day 4,which I haven’t covered yet). It’s no longer an active army base, but is now a historic site. All along the roads there are these really old forts which were constructed starting in 1609. Other than the old fortifications, it kind of looks like an abandoned college campus that butts right up against a great boardwalk along the Chesapeake.

It was slightly creepy because the parking lot I chose was almost entirely out of view of the road because it was behind a big fort. I parked towards the side that was in view of what appeared to be an active police station because it just seemed like the smart thing to do. Anyway, there were a lot of little tiny beaches along the way, and at one end there was a bigger beach with a lifeguard.

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I’m definitely looking forward to taking C there when he gets back from NY so we can take a nice walk and check out the old fortifications. It would also be a nice spot for a picnic or to sit and have coffee in the morning, but today my goal was to workout, and of course it was 1 pm and 84 degrees and super humid. I don’t learn, I just don’t.

I only got in 1.62 miles before I needed a water and rest break. I did it in 17 minutes, which was 4 minutes faster than my really slow workout of the same distance on Sunday. Not running for 4 days caught up to me quickly. I drove the 20 minutes home and then made myself do workout part 2 and jogged/walked another 1.03 miles in 11 minutes. It was broken up and not great, but I’m hoping to do better tomorrow. At least it was better than Sunday’s flop.