So It Begins Again….

Happy Monday friends!

Hope you had a great weekend. Boyfriend and I headed up to Tahoe after work on Friday to celebrate the marriage of our very good friends. We relaxed, slept in, sun bathed on the beach by the lake, ate amazing food (hello pretzel bread and cheese plate!), drank refreshing drinks, danced the night away, gambled (and won!) and had a wonderful weekend with great friends. My only complaint is that it just wasn’t long enough. 🙂

Adirondack chairs on the deck, view from the room, lunch on the lake, sunbathing.

Artisan cheese plate, diver scallop salad, seared ahi salad, PRETZEL BREAD

Pre-wedding cocktails, day at the beach, boyfriend and I, shots for all

Today kicked off something that a few weeks ago I was unsure was actually going to happen – CIM training begins!

Since starting my new job a few weeks ago, I’ve been absolutely exhausted. Chalk it up to transitioning from teaching and getting plenty of rest to waking up at 6am, commuting, working a full day, trying to get a workout in, and then commuting home again. Twice last week I was too tired to eat dinner. Literally. I fell asleep on the couch without my evening meal. That never happens. One of the nights I finally had some cereal around 9pm before moving from the couch to the bed. You can just call me waste-of-space.

My runs were totally suffering too. I spent a couple of weeks seriously huffing and puffing through the easiest of runs (think 3-5 miles). I was sweating profusely. Even a 9:00/mile felt hard. I wanted to give up. I wasn’t used to runs feeling hard. I wasn’t used to not feeling rested. I was used to running fast, and having the fast paces feel comfortable.

I thought about scrapping the marathon altogether this year. I told myself over and over again that no one was forcing me to run 26.2, or train for it, and I could be happy just running for fun. I thought about sticking exclusively to half-marathons, and throwing my training plan away, and just being happy running for fun.

Then I thought about how no one likes a liar, and that’s exactly what I’d be doing.

I love having a training plan. I love pushing myself. I love having something to work towards. I freaking love the marathon and everything that comes along with it. 20 mile runs on a Saturday morning included. (Followed of course by a giant latte and brunch.)

Then last week I (finally) started to find my groove. It had been like 10 days. Don’t you love how dramatic I can be?

I kept the 5:30am wake-ups (for 6am pilates) to twice-a-week, and ran 3 times (5 miles each) for a total of 15 miles last week. My pace gradually started to get back to where it was the past few months. (Moving forward I’m going to stick to Pilates 2-3 times a week, and running 6 times a week as per my plan – the Hal Higdon Advanced 1 Marathon plan). From intermediate to advanced in just on year – I’ve always been a quick study. 😉

Boyfriend and I have been running hills and stairs on Sundays (perfect for the upcoming hill training on my plan) and combined with pilates, and getting more rest (Saturday night’s wedding festivities aside) I feel like I’ve adjusted to my new schedule.

Naturally when my Google Calendar alert popped up signaling the start of CIM Training today…. there was no holding back. My sense of competition got the best of me… as usual.

So naturally I started training off right by forgoing my planned 3-miler to run 5-miles. At an 8:17 pace and felt like I could have run for hours. As much as I’d love to qualify for Boston, it may not happen this year. I have a new job with longer hours, weekends of wedding festivities and bachelorette parties, a full and wonderful life, and now marathon training to boot. I’m sure as hell going to try, but if the cards don’t stack up this year… well there’s always another race. More than anything I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this training cycle and marathon, and give it everything I have. If a BQ happens, fantastic. If not? I can only hope I still left everything I had on the course, and crossed the finish line with a smile on my face. And a PR. By at least 7 minutes. If 3:34:99 can’t happen, then I refuse to finish with anything over a 3:50. Oh no, not competitive with myself at all.

Only I feel like I’m using that as a crutch, because I have this feeling in the back of my mind that I’m going to do it.

Weekly training updates will commence on Sunday, but until then tell me – are you training for anything? Any big goals in general coming up?

Off to relax for the rest of Monday – have a great night!

(Also it appears I was only at 99% of my picture limit, and since I didn’t bother to read the fine print, I’ve been in the dark about that for the better part of a week. Woops.)

Oh, Hi.

Long time of radio silence over here, huh?

Well I have some news my friends.

Last Monday I started a new, challenging, exciting, extremely interesting and fun position as a Sales Manager at an amazing social media marketing company in Silicon Valley.

Between waking up at 5:45am, driving to work, spending long days in training, getting home, fitting in a workout, and continuing to function as a human being… I’ve been pretty darn busy. Hence the no blogging for about… ~10 days? (Or probably more. Math has never been a strong suit.) I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get in my workouts while still having time to relax in the evenings with boyfriend, cook healthy dinners, and get the things done that need to get done. I experimented with the 6am Pilates class this morning – loved it, and how energetic I feel. That is definitely going to happen 3x/week.

All that being said – I am still teaching Pilates – I’ve just scaled back to Sunday classes. I love teaching so darn much that I couldn’t give it up. Yesterday I taught for 4 hours, but normally I just have the 11 and 12 classes. Come in for a class! 🙂

In addition to starting the new job, I headed down to Palm Springs for a bachelorette party last weekend celebrating my lovely friend Lauren, spent a relaxing Friday night at my parents house in the ‘burbs, BBQ-ed in Marin to celebrate Kendall, her siblings, and her husband’s birthday week, taught 4 Pilates classes, ran ~5 miles of the Lyon Street Stairs with boyfriend yesterday afternoon (those babies are no joke – I swear my legs are STILL shaking), and found a couple of new favorite summer libations- La Crema chardonnay and Trader Joe’s Light Lemonade/vodka/fresh mint. Yes please.

Oh also – ice cream cake. Welcome back old friend, welcome back.

There are no pictures in this post because apparently I’ve hit my limit via WordPress so I need to figure that out. Honestly who likes reading blog posts with no pictures? Not I.

Anyway – life is busy, but it’s full and wonderful and I feel very, very lucky for all of the opportunities that have come my way.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Once I figure out this picture uploading fiasco expect a post with some photographs to catch you up on what’s been happening over here!

Happy Monday 🙂

Hour by Hour

So… today. I’m owning the crap out of it. I never really know what to do with myself on Mondays. I don’t teach, so basically I feel like an utterly useless member of society.

I did a few loads of laundry, caught up with a high school friend over lunch, ran 7.5 miles with Lauren in the AM, watched more episodes of Pretty Little Liars than I care to admit on Netflix (the acting is borderline painful but the storyline is so damn addicting I can’t stop watching – seriously WHO IS A?!), had a DOH-mestic fail (Colleen I feel you) at twice-baked sweet potatoes that turned into mashed potatoes once I demolished/shredded the “shells” (not my fault they’re so “fragile”), and passed out on the couch at approximately 10:17pm last night.

Today I was determined to be more productive. (ie: Less Pretty Little Liars, more get off the couch and out from under the fluffy blanket and contribute to society.)

6am – Boyfriend has a conference call. Takes it from home. I sleep through it.

7:48am – Begrudgingly get out of bed. Prep French Press for coffee. Try out Newman’s Own Organic Almond Biscotti coffee with my morning yogurt bowl (0% Chobani – cheaper than Fage yesterday, raspberries, Cinnamon Roll Granola (replaced the oil with applesauce), 1T almond butter).

Look at all that delicious, crunchy, Peanut Buttery goodness!

(Far too hungry this morning to take a photo. Just replace the blueberries with raspberries and we’re in business.)

I’m not usually a huge fan of flavored coffees, but this one knocked it out of the park. (Although I may mix French Roast with the Almond Biscotti to get a milder flavor as an everyday thing.)

8:48am – Drop boyfriend at work. Spare him the perils and horrors of the MUNI system.

9:07am – Arrive at gym. Plan to run 7 miles. Get really, really into the latest Runner’s World and By Invitation Only. Run 10 miles. At an 8:25 average pace.

11am – Hit Safeway for baking supplies

12-2:30pm – Catch up on e-mails, make a massive green smoothie for post-run fuel (original almond milk, frozen mangos, lots of spinach, 1T chia seeds, 1T almond butter). Top with far too much Cinnamon Chex to admit on this blog (they taste eerily exactly like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and are GF!). Gag at the thought of store-bought almond butter. Not even close to the good stuff.

Bake the ish out of the afternoon. Brown Butter White Chocolate Pretzel Blondies (Cassie these were such a hit last time they were requested for this weekend’s travels!), Banana White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, (I’ve now made these somewhere around 87 times), and Toasted Cinnamon Agave Almond Butter.

Sample about 11 of each of the above. Lunch has never tasted so good. Balanced it out with a veggie burger and some leftover quinoa mixed with mushrooms, scallions and a soy sauce/olive oil/toasted sesame oil “dressing”.

Bathe. (You’re welcome.)

3:30pm – Head out to teach. 4 classes in 4 hours. Grande iced coffee becomes a necessary survival tactic.

4:15-8:15pm – Teach Pilates. Make them sweaty. Really sweaty. Sweat marks on the shirts sweaty.

8:48pm – Quick dinner of rotisserie chicken quinoa bowls (cooked it in chicken broth, added in fresh rosemary, red pepper flakes, shallot, salt/pepper, goat cheese, balsamic/olive oil). It’s occurred to me I ate too much quinoa today.

Oh. Does that sound too healthy?

Ben and Jerry’s Greek Fro Yo for dessert. Balance right?

10:39pm – Crash into bed before waking up far, far too early for teaching at 6 and 7 am tomorrow morning. (This hasn’t exactly happened yet, but being that it’s 9:44pm already, I really don’t foresee myself lasting more than another hour.)

Last great thing you baked/cooked/ate? Tell me tell me tell me. (I’m clearly still hungry.)

Hope your Tuesday went well! Enjoy your evening! 🙂

The Weekend, Briefly

And just like that, it’s Monday again.

The past couple of weeks have been crazy – between teaching, running back-and-forth between studios, traveling, running and life itself. After a blast of a weekend in Tahoe and rafting last weekend, and then an awesome 4th of July at Fort Mason Park and then at a friends restaurant for dinner/drinks/fireworks, we were absolutely wiped out come Friday evening.

Also, the weather was awesome.

The right (yesterday) and left (4th of July) photos are the difference about 96 hours makes. Happy Summer?

So it was decided this weekend would be dedicated to relaxing, sleeping, relaxing, eating, drinking wine, watching movies, and relaxing.

Mission freaking accomplished.

We watched 21 Jump Street (hysterical) and Safe House (awesome twist at the end). We tried a delicious Coppola 2009 Zinfandel (for like $7.99 at Safeway – steal!) We ate homemade, delicious meals. We relaxed the ish out of this entire weekend.

Gluten-free toast, goat cheese, smoked salmon and sunny-side-up eggs are my new favorite weekend breakfast. GF pizza would be my new favorite dinner. It’s probably a good thing I run fairly often.

In addition to stuffing my face this weekend, there was running. (There’s a big surprise.)

Monday – 11 miles treadmill

Tuesday – 7.5 miles trail

Wednesday – REST

Thursday – 8 miles treadmill

Friday – 5 miles treadmill

Saturday – 3 miles outside

Sunday – 6 miles treadmill

Grand Total For the Week: 40.5

I know I mentioned (or screamed it from the metaphorical-rooftops since we are no longer allowed onto ours) that I wanted to start increasing my base to about 50 miles a week… but it just wasn’t happening this week. Way too much happening. I’m more than OK with 40. Especially coupled with teaching 10 pilates classes a week. Last year at this time, I’m pretty sure I was probably running…. 7 mile weeks. And that would be considered a peak week for me.

Actually last year at this time my stance on running a marathon was “no effing way in hell”.

I’ve officially got 3 weeks left before CIM/PLEASEGODLETMESUB3:35 training begins.

Feeling about 10 trillion times better than I was at this point last year.

The weekend ended with a sashimi FEAST with boyfriend and his mom. I decided about 2 weeks ago that I’m in love/obsessed with sashimi. I used to be a strictly nigiri/roll kinds girl. Now I get on board with the sashimi and feel instantly more cultured/cool.

I jumped on board with the hamachi last night.

There is a FANTASTIC fish market in Japantown for all you SF-ers (I think there’s one in San Jose as well)… sashimi grade fish for about a fraction of the price you’d get it for in a restaurant. This spread I’d estimate cost about $50. A sashimi sampler at any sushi place I’ve been to yields you about 6 pieces of fish for roughly $27. So. Much. Better. At. Home.

Clearly I was still hungry for dessert so this happened.

Not sorry.

Just so good.

Off to tackle Monday! I have 7.5 miles already under my belt thanks to an early AM run date with the lovely Lauren and I’m ready to get to the to-do list!

Have a lovely day!

Best part (food or otherwise) of your weekend?

The Weekend, Briefly

Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend.

When I last left off, we were leaving for a long weekend in Tahoe. We had an absolute blast – BBQing, hiking, beaching, hanging on the pier at Chambers with great friends and good drinks, making s’mores (probably illegally) with an impromptu firepit, and last but certainly not least white water rafting!

About a year ago (seriously) 6 of us bought a Groupon for white water rafting on the American River. The catch was that it was only good for May-Sept, Sunday-Thursday (of course). It took us a solid year of planning but we were finally able to settle on a Sunday, and figured why not just make a weekend in Tahoe out of it. Done.

Some photographs…

We did the Eagle Rock hike and the Rubicon Trail (ridiculous views on each) if you’re interested. Not too challenging but definitely felt nice to get out and move, get some fresh air, and a little exercise.

We also ate. Like kings.

Grilled Salmon, oysters, sweet potatoes and asparagus are my new favorite things in life. We need a BBQ. And a patio. Or a backyard. Stat.

We rafted through Beyond Limits and did the Chili Bar (South Fork of the American River) 1/2 day trip. Our guide, Christine, was amazing, and it was the perfect ending to a fantastic weekend. Next time…. class 4 rapids!

So. Much. Fun.

Running

I capped last week off with 30 miles, and took Friday, Saturday and Sunday off of running. I won’t lie, I was itching to run… but certainly not in that altitude with air that thin. I like to enjoy my runs… not feel like I’m going to die the entire time.

Besides I had great company, a gorgeous lake, delicious food, and “hydration” to attend to. 😉

Taking 3 days off just meant my legs were ready to run this morning. Marathon training officially kicks off at the end of the month, so I decided to up my mileage to 50 miles/week in July to prepare my body for the beating it will inevitably take once training really begins.

To start, I ran 11 miles on the treadmill this morning (Us Weekly and Runner’s World were just dying to be read). At an average pace of…. wait for it… 8:02. 

Are you freaking kidding me?!

The moral of this story is REST, it does a body good. As does Apple Pie from Ikeda’s – great long-run fuel my friends.

Off to tackle today’s to-do list – I don’t teach Mondays so I like to take the day to tackle cleaning the apartment, laundry, grocery shopping, my long run, and any errands that need running… before the week really begins!

Have a great day!

Have you ever rafted? Thoughts? What’s your favorite grilling food?