Oh Hello 2012!

We’re in the final few hours of 2011. (“Few” is being used loosely, since there are about 6.5 hours left of the year in California). I really can’t believe how fast 2011 flew by. I was reading People Magazine’s “The Best of 2011” while on the stationary bike at my parents on Christmas and they said the royal wedding was in April. I could have sworn it was two months ago. (Seriously, we’ve been obsessed with all things Middleton for like 8 months now?) This year has honestly been one of the best yet (I swear they just keep getting better and better) and I cannot WAIT for what 2012 has in store!

A lot happened this year: I ran my first full marathon in 3:57:03, traveled to Boston, New York, LA, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Big Sur, Maui and the Big Island, went to countless wine festivals, attended the weddings of several good friends, celebrated the engagements of several more, spent a lot of time with our families, had great times with friends, went to countless Giants games, ran 2-half marathons and PR-ed each time, got a lot more adventurous in the kitchen… oh and started this little blog. 🙂

In honor of the New Year, boyfriend and I always make a monthly resolution. Something attainable, and something we want to improve on. It can be as simple as “Don’t leave things until the last minute” (a specialty of mine I’m trying to get better at) or “One Mental Health Day a Month” (where we both take the day off and take a drive up the coast, go for a bike ride, a hike, or just relax and recharge at the park or beach). While that tradition is continuing on, I also wanted to make a list of my 2012 “goals” (the word resolution bothers me), so rather this is a list of what I hope to accomplish in 2012.

So here goes!

  • Run a race every calendar month of 2012 – could be a 5K, 10K, 12K, or Half-Marathon… I’m not picky. Whatever it is, I want 12 race bibs by this time next year.
  • Run a sub 1:50 Half Marathon. My current PR is 1:55, and I know that 5 minutes is a lot to shave off, but I’m confident that if I put in the time and speedwork I can get there. It’ll probably just take a few attempts.
  • Cheer on friends at their races. I’ve never actually gone to a race just to cheer, but now that several friends are getting into half-marathons and triathlons, I want to cheer them on. I was overwhelmed with all of the cheering and course support from my family and friends when I was running the marathon and I want to return the favor.

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  • Explore a new (or several new) place(s) with boyfriend. We love to travel and explore and I would love to add some new destinations (domestic and international!) to our list. (ie: a hut on the beach in Bora Bora with a glass bottom floor. 😉 ) Just saying.

  • Try out at least 1 new recipe a week in the kitchen
  • Try out at least 1 new SF restaurant a month. There are always so many new restaurants popping up all the time, with so many great reviews that it’s time to get started in trying as many as we can.
  • Volunteer at the SPCA 1x/week – If we can’t have a dog just yet, then I’m getting my dog fix once a week somehow.
  • Weekend. Trips. – Camping, roadtrips, wine tasting, you name it. I want to do more of it. We did a great job of this in 2011, and it’s so nice to get out of the city and explore every now and again.

  • Rescue a dog. Or more specifically, a labrador. This one is a long shot (a lot of factors have to happen to make this a reality), but why not make it a goal? 2012 is a looong year. If it happens in 365 days from now, so be it :


Time to get New Years Eve started! We’re cooking a big delicious dinner at home, opening a bottle(s) of wine, and then meeting friends for drinks to ring in the new year. I couldn’t be happier!

Hope you have a very, very happy (and safe!) New Years! 🙂 Catch ya in 2012.

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Final Friday of The Year

Happy LAST Friday of 2011!

For the 95% of you that aren’t working today as evidenced by the Financial District (and more importantly the all-telling Starbucks being a ghost-town), I’m jealous. To the 5% of you that are working but are leaving in ~15 minutes (2pm thank you boss!), we’re almost there!

I work in sales, so working on the last day of the month is pretty much a necessity. You never know the last minute deals that come in that need closing! (And with the after Christmas sales happening everywhere, I’ll take every extra dollar I can get.)

In just a few minutes, it’s time to hit the gym for some cardio, then meet boyfriend for some wine and appetizers and last-minute holiday festivities downtown… and then another holiday weekend is upon us! We’re in the process of finalizing New Years Eve plans, but as long as there is plenty of champagne in my future I will be quite the happy camper.

We have a big weekend of relaxing, wine, relaxing, food, relaxing, movies and more relaxing ahead of us and I can’t wait.

So this morning, as I sat at my desk no where near the beach, my friend Lauren sent me a text message containing this fine photograph of her current whereabouts.


To which I replied back with that I’m currently dealing with.


One of these things is not like the other.

If you live here (or anywhere currently experiencing this “winter weather” that I am not familiar with) and are vacationing somewhere warm, stay there as long as possible. It’s so foggy out today I can’t even see the water.That is ~50 yards from my office.

On my trek to find a food establishment that was actually open today in the Financial District (seriously Focaccia?) I stumbled upon one of the last remaining buildings with Christmas decorations still standing.

At least someone else thinks the holidays aren’t over until January 1 as well. (I’m going to ignore the fact the same building was in the process of CHOPPING DOWN their other Christmas trees. Have you no shame? It’s not even New Years!)

Speaking of the holidays (because this is one of my last chances to), when I was doing my Christmas shopping, I came across an ornament I thought looked exactly like my friend Ali’s dog Puddles. The cutest dog on the planet.Naturally I had to get it for her. (Ali, not Puddles.)

Turns out, I wasn’t too far off. Is that not the cutest dog ever?

Hope your holiday weekend is off to a great start!

Big New Years Eve bash or  house party with friends? (Wine/champagne/beers included in all of the above)

Sweating Out The Holidays

Oh hello there.

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, but with the holidays, and relaxing, and (sigh) heading back to work for a couple of days the blog has taken a little winter break from (almost) daily posts. Never fear, normal posting will resume come January 1.

The winter weather has almost certainly rolled in as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed the long Christmas weekend (whyy does it always go by so darn fast?), and I’m definitely looking forward to a long New Years Weekend that starts in just over 24 hours… and then to Martin Luther King Weekend in January. Obviously. I have priorities.

Workout wise, it’s pretty much been business as usual… minus about 18 miles a week. 😉 I’m still thrilled and overjoyed to not have to wake up on weekends and run for 3 hours (I’m pretty sure that overjoyed feeling will never, ever go away) but I’ve been working on speed and getting in some faster, shorter runs, spending ~1 hour tops working out. The things I’m able to get done with the other 2 hours is astounding – cooking, cleaning, reading, relaxing, movies, sleeping! Suffice to say the full marathon was fun while it lasted, but we’re taking at least a year-long break.

As far as fitness goes, the holiday weekend looked something like this:

Thursday (12/22) Pilates Reformer class (am), 5.5 mile treadmill run (pm) at a pace of 8:20. The. Entire. Time. Faster half-marathon here I come! Everything about the run was perfect – I had a great playlist, my legs felt light, and fresh, and I flew. A run that feels like this every now and again is a perfect reminder why I put myself through the crappy ones.

Friday (12/23) Rest. Boyfriend and I did some last minute Christmas shopping then worked out our appetites at Wayfare Tavern. It’s Tyler Florence’s San Francisco restaurant, and we finally tried it – and LOVED it. The Steak Tartare and popovers are unreal. Highly recommended!

Saturday (12/24) – Back in the burbs for Christmas. 4 mile treadmill run (2 miles at 8:20, 1 mile at 8:00, 1 mile at 8:40). All under 9 minute miles? I’ll take it! With all the holiday craziness, wrapping, food prep, and last minute errands I took ~35 minutes to myself to run (well, drive) to the gym and bust out a run that left me feeling mentally relaxed, and physically ready to dive into the Christmas Eve feast!

Sunday (12/25) – We opened presents, ate a delicious brunch of eggs, bacon, toast, coffee cake and fresh orange juice, and I found myself with a People magazine and about an hour of spare time before my mom wanted to go for a Christmas Day walk. I hopped on my parent’s stationary bike and busted out 55 minutes of Hill – Level 10 riding (about 18 miles) before strolling with my mom for about an hour.

When we got home my mom and I started prepping the homemade Pork Wellington’s (tedious, but SO worth it) and mashed sweet potatoes, while boyfriend, my dad and brother watched the endless NBA games (seriously poor showing Warriors).

Monday – After sleeping in, laundry and a late brunch, Boyfriend and I headed back to the city in the afternoon and went to the gym for a quick workout. I did 5 miles on the treadmill while reading Us Weekly, at around a 9:15 pace. After the wine and dessert fest I had all weekend, I was more than happy to be able to hold a pace of anything more than a slow crawl.

Overall I spent 35-55 minutes (almost) each day exercising – it wasn’t a lot, and it certainly didn’t take away from the time I spent with my family and friends or make me feel rushed at all (Christmas Day in our house is a very casual affair). It was exactly what I needed to be able to tackle the endless food and drinks of the weekend, and enjoy everything the holiday weekend had to offer – to the fullest. It cleared my mind, and quite honestly, it felt really good to sweat!

I’m one of those people that really likes to workout and loves to sweat, and if I have an hour to spare, I would prefer to spend it running or biking or walking or pilate-ing. It doesn’t need to be fast, and sometimes, it doesn’t even need to be challenging, I just like to move. Especially if I can read the latest Celebrity gossip. (Duchess Kate can’t wear pajamas on Christmas morning, there’s a strict dress code – downside #1 of being royal).

With that, it’s time to get back to work! Hope you’re having a great week!

Do you work out over the holidays? Whether it’s a stroll with family, a walk with the dog, or a snowball fight – it counts!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Mine was full of family, friends, food, drinks, gifts, music, cooking, baking, traditions, movies, and sleeping in. My office was closed Friday and Monday and I decided to take it a step further and take Thursday and today off as well to fully relax before finishing off the year and ringing in 2012.

It was a wonderful Christmas starting off with my family at a family friend’s on Christmas Eve, spending time with boyfriend and family on Christmas day and night, and relaxing all day yesterday with a surprise visit from boyfriend’s mom. All of my loved ones in one weekend – can’t ask for anything more than that. (Except maybe a puppy, but there’s always next year!)

Rather than recap all of Christmas, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Wrapping Gifts

I’d like a pony for Christmas

Candied Apple the size of my head

Bruce!

Stockings were hung by the chimney with care (or on the floor because they’re too full)

Blazing fire

Christmas morning

Mom’s famous sourcream coffee cake

Decorated mantel

The aftermath

Christmas Night

Dinner and Vino time (I’m only drinking 2001 vintages from here on out)

Hope your holiday was just as merry!

Merry Christmas To All…

Hope your long holiday weekend is off to a wonderful start! Mine started a bit early thanks to taking the day off yesterday – I cooked, baked, cleaned, wrapped, pilates-d and ran (5.5 miles in 46 minutes!). Probably the most productive day of 2011.

Regular blogging will return on Monday, but in the meantime, I wish you all the happiest of hoildays, and a very, very Merry Christmas. I hope your weekend is full of friends, family, loved ones, food, drinks, sleep, relaxation, music, and tradition.

 

“It came without ribbons. It came without tags.

It came without packages, boxes or bags.

And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?

What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”

-How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Post Marathon Training?

So remember that Post-Marathon Training Plan I mentioned I would try to follow?

About that…

To recap last week’s training (or Week 1 of post-marathon training):

Monday – Pilates Reformer Class + 3 Mile Run – I had just planned on a 3-mile run (I worked out with a friend at a seriously swanky SF gym… and now want to join) but since I had time to kill before meeting her downtown, I fit in a reformer class. If you haven’t tried one for whatever reason, I can’t recommend them enough. I have (tiny) muscles in places I didn’t even know muscles lived.

Tuesday – Pilates Reformer Class. I wanted to work out, and I wanted to lie down. Pilates felt like a happy medium.

Wednesday – 3 Mile Run (probably the hardest run I’ve had in the past ~5 months and I have no idea why.) But I was sweating bullets and on the verge of passing out when I was done.

Thursday – Pilates Reformer Class

Friday – 4 Mile Run – we had my company Christmas party that night and I knew I would be imbibing in both beverages and delicious finger food so I wanted to get a solid run in. 9:10/mile pace. Read Us Weekly… Christmas at the Palace just sounds stressful.

Then we did this. Because what’s a party if a woman in head to toe spandex hanging from the ceiling isn’t pouring your champagne?

Saturday – 5 Mile Run (at a <9 minute mile pace! I’m BACK!) I was feeling a little tired after a late night on Friday and knew a late night Saturday was in my future so I threw on my running shorts (SHORTS! In December!) and took off for a speedy 5 miles… and felt amazing.

So long story short… I did none of Hal’s recommended workouts on the recommended days. My bad. I also have zero desire to run more than 5-6 miles at a time right now.

Luckily it’s half-marathons from here on out in 2012, so the long runs can wait until January.

So my day off tomorrow will be filled with Pilates, maybe a 3-4 mile jog, lunch with my mom and brother, wrapping presents, and BAKING! Also cleaning… and while I find that enjoyable (I know) I realize no one else does, so I’ll refrain from gushing about my love of cleaning.

On the baking agenda? Something to do with cocoa roasted almonds… and another something to do with the greatest holiday treat that exists (in my very humble opinion.)

Muddy Buddies! (Recipes will follow).

My mouth is watering just thinking about this.

And with that – it’s time to prepare dinner and enjoy a relaxing night with boyfriend… have a great night!

Tuesday Thoughts

So we’re officially 5 days away from Christmas. And thankfully, a very long holiday weekend! I can’t wait to eat, drink and be merry with those I love most! And watch Home Alone, go ice-skating, make Christmas cookies, and blast Christmas music all weekend.

This post has no real rhyme or reason, but rather some tangents:

  • My protein smoothie this morning was green. Actually green. After ~6 months of coming up with a brown sludge, I finally got a green color to come out front and center. It even tasted healthier. And all it took was boyfriend grabbing a bag of mixed frozen fruit different from what we usually get. (Peaches, honeydew, pineapple, strawberries, grapes).
  • Last night, after a particularly long day, I ran 5 miles. With no Garmin or anything crazy like that, so I have no idea how fast I went, but it felt fast. When Rihanna is singing “Shut Up and Drive” in your ear, you run even faster. I had the great idea to sign up for a TRX/Barre Combo class last night as well, and thinking it would be a “Bar Method” type class where I always felt the need to run after, I figured I was fine. Wrong. It was a bootcamp class from hell and I’m not kidding when I say that 55       minutes was harder than all 3:57:03 of the marathon. I have never in my life been so jealous of the girls in the Pilates class.

  • Chipotle now has brown rice. Which made yesterday’s carnitas burrito bowl even more delicious. And here I thought that wasn’t possible.
  • I’m really, really, really excited for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to come out tomorrow. Not as excited as I will be for The Hunger Games to come out in March, but about 90% as excited. I’m also still a little disturbed about Rooney Mara’s makeover. I didn’t imagine Lisbeth as looking scary, I thought she was supposed to look like a little girl? (Waif like?)

Even the Swedish Lisbeth was more badass than scary.

  • It’s freezing in SF (40’s, which is <10 degrees from actual freezing temperatures, which is far too close for comfort in my opinion) and all I can think about is wanting to go on a beach vacation. Or to Europe.

  • I keep on thinking that I don’t have enough presents for people for Christmas so then I buy more. And more. Until each person has enough presents to merit having their own tree to fit them all.
  • I went to spin at lunch today – and that too was harder than running a marathon. Maybe I should just stick to running and pilates as it seems to work out better for me than when I get crazy and try new athletic endeavors. Post-spin is the only time I take an absolutely freezing shower to cool down after. Co-workers, you’re welcome. I spotted not 1, but 2 people change back into work clothes after the sweatiest class I’ve ever taken, and head back to their desk jobs. Not even a spritz of body splash.

Have a great day! 🙂