Monday, February 27, 2012

Glad Game Monday VI

Well, it's that time at the beginning of the week again! Post weekend. Back to work. And this week: post VACATION. So, let the Glad Games begin!

I'm glad I read the Hunger Games. It was a really easy read and kept me going during (RARE) downtime. The plane ride back was so much better with it! Did you read it?

I'm glad I had the idea for the boys to take the picture:
I'm glad the girls did it too. This has to be my favorite picture of all time!
I'm glad I got to take a vacation. It's truly a blessing to have done so, and I am so glad everything worked out swimmingly. I was so tempted to be sad going to work this morning, but I remembered to be grateful for the experience instead of mourning its end. Maybe I'm still mourning a little...

I'm glad for good friends. Not only the ones who went to Cancun, who are fabulous, but the others in my life as well. They make life fantastic!!!
I'm glad for blog giveaways! I was so excited to win the Mad Hectic Oatmeal Giveaway from MegO! Little did I know I would get 10 BAGS! This company rocks! Thanks Mad Hectic! Want to try your luck at a giveaway? Check out this Chobani giveaway over at the Secret Life of Kelsey. Need some sleeve compression assistance? Then head over to Long May You Run who is giving away a sweet pair. (Although I really hope you don't win; telling you about it gets me an entry...oh the rock and hard places of life...)
I am glad to be part of Team World Vision again! I am running the 13.1 NYC in March. I'm so excited to be part of this incredible charity organization again. They are extremely effective with training tools (Plans, emails with tips etc), support (Directors call and email periodically to encourage), and after party (They know how to support AND celebrate!). Coming soon! Get ready to hear about an opportunity to change the deep well water pump at a time.

What are YOU glad about today?! Is it nail polish? Is it freedom? Is it watchamacallit candy bars?! (Yes I ate one in the airport and it was GOOD!) TELL ME ABOUT IT!

26 days until the 13.1NYC half marathon!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Aaaaand, I'm back. Yes, it's true all my adoring fans. After a long five day hiatus from blog world, twitter world, Facebook world, and Gmail world, my long awaited return has commenced. The trip was amazing. Low 80's every day, sun, wind to cool you down, infinity pools, paddle boarding, boat trips, personal servers at the pool, room service, restaurants...worth it. The first few mornings were filled with this:
The glorious sun rise was followed with a morning workout for the first two days. The gym was so nice. Did a bit of running, yoga, even some barre moves! However, the last three days I began to falter. The sun was getting to me more and more, and we were staying up later and later. Although, I DO count dancing on Friday night for over two hours as some FABULOUS cardio work!!!

We ate lots of yummy food. Did I ever think I would be sick of Mexican? No. Am I? Maybe. Give it two days. Jury is still out. Some favorite nibbles included Greek salad poolside, nutella waffles for breakfast, and vegetable risotto for dinner. Mr. Miller is so cute by the way. Love this picture.

I got to hang out with some pretty fabulous friends. We like to swing on the beach. It's fun. Especially with our friends in the background. Favorite drinks included mimosas, mai tai's, and of course, Coronas.
Polka dot bikini wasn't pictured! However, this h&m number got a lot of wear. I wore the polka dot one to an island we visited (Isla de Mujeres), but we didn't really swim...I'll see if it made it's way into some shots! And by shots I mean pictures...
One countdown complete, one countdown to be completed. It has been 5 days since the start of our vacation. WAH. I'm so thankful to have had such a nice time. I'm so thankful that Mr. Miller and I were able to have fun in the sun in the middle of winter. I'm also thankful that we got to share it with some great friends. So, bye bye Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini countdown...

Hello, 13.1NYC countdown! This lone star is going to take up the next four weeks.
There will be lots of excitingly wonderful posts on the blog this week including...
- More Cancun Photos (I know you want it)
- Glad Game Monday
- Two a day Tuesday
- EXCITING 13.1 News
- The return of morning workouts

Get your pumped up kicks ready kids.

27 days until the 13.1NYC half marathon! (Apparently my previous countdown was WAY off!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Glad Game Monday V

Note: This is probably going to be a Glad Game Monday that may be a bit obnoxious because I'M GOING TO MEXICO TOMORROW!

So, of course, I'm glad I'm going to Mexico tomorrow!

I'm glad that's we're going to Mexico with fantastically fun friends! The following pictures are from the end of the summer on a boat basin in NYC. Oddly, it looks like a scene from our vacation that has yet to commence...

The Gentlemen: Anders, Gray, Slafter, Miller
The ladies: Miller, Slafter, Gray, Anders
I'm glad that I will get to spend time in the sun with Mr. Miller! He loves the beach, snorkeling and investigating the area, so it's always fun to be on a beach vacation with him. (Photo from VA Beach 2011)
Sad note: Lambeau Puppy won't get to run the shores of Mexico. He will be on a country holiday in Connecticut with my parents.

I'm glad we will take some nice pictures. We've kind of failed at the picture taking thing when we went to the Bahamas and Puerto Rico because we were alone. It's going to be a paparazzi BONANZA Cancun style! (Photo from Rhode Island 2011)
I'm glad that my toes will be in the water and my rear in the sand! (Photo from Puerto Rico 2008)
I'm glad that I worked my hardest to stay fit in the winter hibernation months. I got a new bikini yesterday and I'm pretty thrilled with it. Thanks h&m for coming through in the clutch...and a fair priced clutch at that! (I had picked out a bathing suit in VS and it was on sale for $60...more than I wanted to spend but it was PER-FECT...and it suddenly went back to full price at $96...uh no.) (Photo from Puerto Rico 2008)
I'm glad to do something touristy! Mr. Miller has been doing all sorts of research and it looks pretty great. We'll do a few fun adventures while we're down there!
I'm glad that I'll be getting to know the gym. Since I have a half marathon coming up in, oh, 29 days, I will need to maintaining my running! I'm excited to make the most of my time there, get a morning workout in and become BFF's with the beach. Some might think this is not relaxing; on the contrary, it will help me relax even more.

Last, and certainly not least: I'm glad to relax. Things are going to get might busy after this break, so I'm excited to take in every moment possible.

What are YOU glad about today? Do you exercise on vacation? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Running and Cross training my way because it's...
1 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!!...and an h&m one!
29 Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

BREAK Country Style!

I am officially on MID-WINTER BREAK! It is SO needed. Many believe that teachers get too many breaks. Trust me, dealing with 30+ kids everyday is a difficult task; plus getting them to learn complicated things can be as challenging as finding a needle in a haystack. Literally. So, THANK YOU GOD, one week off. First stop: Connecticut. Lambeau is going country while we go Mexican!!!

I ran 8 miles after driving to CT. I wore my running clothes or the car ride in order to ensure that there would be NO DELAY to get my run on. Thankfully, it worked. I was going to do 7. Then I was feeling good so I opted for 8, because 8 miles has a nice ring to it. I love running in a country setting! I averaged 9:50/miles. This is very impressive for short legged me. I kept thinking my pace was slowing, and every time I looked I was between 9:06-10:18 (Got to love Garmin times...). This run made me smile. It made me think that a sub 5 hour marathon could happen in the future. It's also my longest run since the marathon!

A lot of people bounce back from marathons like pro's. I, on the other hand, took rest very seriously. I had, and still have, a cracking hip which I am in the process of getting looked at. I also had a southern birthday party/marathon celebration, got sick with a nasty infection plus missed my favorite race, had a death in the family, and the holidays...oh the yea, my running life came to a halt for almost a month. I am loving this feeling of consistency, building up mileage, and I can't wait to bust out double digits again; especially my favorite distance: 10 miles.

Seen while running: Horsies. Love this. So picturesque. Everything was like an Ansel Adams photo, overcast and windy. I even experienced a FREAK snow flurry blast for 60 was 45 degrees out?!?! Love this winter. I could still use a snow day after break...
I was trying to get a picture of my cool shirt, which turned into a game of "Where's Lambeau?" Can you find him?!
Annie dog wasn't so hidden. However, I got a better picture of my shirt; well, most of it. It's says "Train like a girl". I love this shirt. It fits PERFECTLY, thanks Champion/Target!
We went to my nephews basketball game. These are two of the four McAuliffe kiddos. We cheered on S. McAuliffe, but alas, they lost :-(
I love Connecticut! I love running in Connecticut, I love seeing my Connecticut family, and I love cooking in my mommy's spacious Connecticut kitchen. Granite counter tops are NOT overrated!!!

More to come from CT.

What do you train like? TELL ME ABOUT IT! Train like a finisher.

Check out my friend's Etsy site: Bouncing Blossoms is AWESOME! She's giving away an apron! Also, Bouncing Blossoms is a company that is a World Vision Child sponsor!!! Charity PLUS creativity! Bouncing Blossoms also does customs orders, it is amazing what my friend comes up with!!! CHECK IT. She's a genius.
Running and Cross training my way because it's...
3 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!!
31Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!...5 weeks!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Through rain, cold, win, and wet socks...

I will run.

This week has not been my best. Polka Dot bikini workout regimen has NOT gone as planned. After Sunday's likeitloveitgottahaveit 7 mile run, I was feeling pretty good. Then Sunday night/Monday I started to feel achy, heady, and all around exhausted yucky. This continued until I got a full 9 hours of sleep last night.

Today. Today I felt more aware, less dazed and confused, and guilty for not working out. Yup. I love to do it, so not doing it makes me sad and long for it. Also, I half attribute my sluggishness to my lack of sweating it out...but then I don't sweat it out because I'm scared of tripping/fainting etc. What a conundrum. Today was not that day. Today, I had a great day at work. A day filled with students saying,

"Mrs. Miller, thank you for helping me learn. Thank you for teaching me." Kindergarten Special Education student who rarely puts sentences together like that.

"Mrs. Miller, you're really the best teacher." 1st Grade student who lives with her grandma; her parents live in China.

So yea, I had some humbling yet inspiring moments today. I came home with a temptation to nap. I assessed myself and realized I was able bodied, not lacking too badly in the energy department, so I decided to give it a go. I ran my favorite route in the park, because all hard runs should be done on your FAVORITE route. It was like an Ansel Adams gallery:
I used to be obsessed with Ansel Adams in college. This obsession MAY or may not be making a comeback. It was the worst, dreariest day ever. Rain off and on, cold, humid, wind, ugh. To top it all off, my socks got wet. My biggest pet peeve EVER. Thank God I've only run one race in the rain, and it was a misty rain at that.

Despite it all, I ran. I ran slow. I enjoyed it. I also made sure I didn't get lazy and trip, because half way through I was TIRED. I didn't have music. I enjoyed the quiet. There were 5 people in the park. I counted. Also notable: 3 CUTE doggies. Love those creatures.

Lots of great things on the horizon. In case you didn't catch the countdown at the bottom of previous posts, SPOILER ALERT: Mr. Miller and I are going to Cancun with three other FABULOUS couples in FIVE DAYS. We're also going to Connecticut this weekend before our Mexican Fiesta to drop off Lambeau puppy for a country holiday. I can't wait to see my family; it's been a month and a month too long. I usually go about 1-2 months in between seeing them, but the comfort of home will be an invited change to what has felt like a HECTIC January-February. Tomorrow at 2:30, Mid Winter break will commence! YEA! Also, I received some good news at work. I will be working an after school program that they added to help students who are not meeting grade standards. This will mean an extra hour and a half of work Tuesday-Thursday. With teaching my Yoga Club and Saturday School, this is a lot on my plate. My time management will be seriously challenged, and hopefully enhanced! (AKA 5am mornings will be B-A-C-K!)

Check out this awesome oatmeal know I love those crazy oats!

Do you bounce back from rough weeks? Do you have any good stuff on the horizon?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!

Running and Cross training my way because it's...
5 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!!
33 Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!...5 weeks!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day from the Millers...& Glad Game Monday!

I was under the weather Monday. Like I didn't go to work. If you're a teacher, you know this is a MORTAL sin. READ: If you're sick, stay home, and get better. Ha. Better said than done. However, a NEAR future trip that I may (or may not) have been obsessing about prompted me to follow this wise words; headache, fever, and dizziness MAY mean you should stay home. So I did. Blah.

Happy Valentines Day! Now, I want to promote this cause: If you choose to celebrate it, kudos to you! If you don't, kudos to you! This is a holiday that causes a lot of controversy; let's be like all the PC holidays: celebrate however the heck you want. Sweatpants? Cool. Chocolate? Yummy. Wine? Yes please. Lingerie? No comment ;-) Nothing? Excellent.

Here are a few Miller Valentines Day highlights:

Lambeau Puppy is a little Valentine...and a hipster puppy:
I made heart shaped chocolate chip cookies for Mr. Miller...and a heart shaped pb&j which I forgot to picture. Fail. You get the "picture" though, right?! It was the effort that counted. As he did P90X I slaved over a hot stove...dizzy and all...with sit down make him his favorite cookies. It's a nice reminder to ensure that he knows I care enough to do the little things ;-)
Mr. Miller has moves. These BEAUTIFUL flowers were waiting for me at school...until 12:45pm. On Tuesdays I split my time between two buildings, and many people were impressed with his selection...because they waited in the office for HOURS. Thanks honey, you know how to make me smile, blush, and blink with an allergic reaction to flowers. (This allergic reaction is new...upon discussion tonight, he thought he shouldn't buy flowers anymore. HA. Wrong. I'll take the reaction AND the thought AND the flowers. Thanks honey.) I also got flowers (Not pictured AGAIN, darn it!) for my work wife, Ms. S. She is invaluable. If it wasn't for Mrs. Noah, who brought us together, I would've never known my work wife. She is fabulous and I love her dearly. Aw shoot. It just got real.
Yummy dinner of chicken piccata, butternut squash risotto and broccoli. Mmmmm. Add some Pinto Grigio Barefoot style and BAM, fabulous dinner.
Did you celebrate Valentines Day, do it earlier, write a card, or boycott?! My kindergarten and 1st graders LOVED their monkey Valentines...thank you Target $1 section!!! XOXO! So, what did you do? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Note: I spent 21 years without a Valentine except my daddy. I wore black every. single. Valentines. Day. 15-on. So, if you didn't celebrate, who the heck cares? I sure did, but then someone great came along. Someone great is out there. Timing is everything. It will come. Regardless of cynical analysts!

Running and Cross training my way because it's...
7 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!! week, it's almost UNBEARABLE!
35 Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!...5 weeks!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Keeping relationships running

I have many important relationships in my life. Some of these relationships are personal, some are running related, work related, or school related. It takes a lot to make these relationships work. This weekend Mr. Miller and I went on a marriage retreat this weekend with our church. We heard a couple speak about their lives as a married couple for 39 years, and ways to keep the relationship going. This is my most important relationship:Yes, we will be on a beach soon. (Circa VA Beach pre Hurricane Irene 8/2011) So, my dear bloggy friends, here are some of the things I learned. Don't be afraid to speak what your needs are; it takes courage to do it, and cowardice to "stuff it" until you blow up. Also, don't end conversations/arguments too soon. Finish it. Don't walk away. I also asked the "wife" speaker "How do I make sure I don't put running before my family?" She said to do what I already do: wake up early and get it done on my time. That's been a fear of mine with having kids. I don't want them to resent me for leaving or think I care about it more than them. This runner is a good example of the balance I hope to keep (While running WAY less miles! She's a beast!).

Similarly, you have to keep your relationship with running going strong. It takes courage to run the extra mile, get up early, be a little sore. When you "stuff it", or throw away workouts, you may end up with injury or a botched training cycle. On the other hand, don't feel guilty when life gets in the way. Remember what's important. Balance is the key. "Should" and "Shouldn't" are guilty words; I'm going to try to use them less!

Find people to run with. If you haven't already, try it. They push you. They keep you grounded in your "crazy moments". Fly solo if that's your thing, but having even one friend to talk with about running makes a world of difference.

People you run with make a regular Sunday run like a scavenger hunt...oh wait, that's just me today! A fellow Connecticut girl put out a twitter blast asking for a running I responded "Come to Queens" because no one comes to Queens, but I wanted to run with her. Wouldn't you know, she came! However, I underestimated the distance to the 59th st Bridge (Thought it was 1.25 miles from my house, it's 2.2). So, we missed each other by 5-8 minutes. Sad day.

I looked for her on the bridge:
I thought my Uconn CT "bat signal" would direct our paths to cross. Alas, not today.
It was a COLD run! I loved it. 7.1 miles because I decided 4 just wasn't enough. I had seen my friend Kristin, also running the 13.1 NYC as a first time half marathoner, on my way to the bridge. She told me she did 7 miles. That sounds like a great number! I ran the bridge into Manhattan and then came back to Queens. I had a lot of memories from the marathon on that bridge, specifically training and wishing people would "run or get out of the way" during mile 15.

Friends who run help you finish races in heels. I remembered my friend Mrs. Gray jumping into the marathon with me at 95th St. and 5th Ave. She was in heels, but she joined me for a good 1/4 mile (I am the orange shirt and black shorts on the left, she is the heeled white purse carrying BFF). I remembered how she pushed me and now I'm helping to push her. This week she had a rough training week, full of "Should's" and "Shouldn'ts". She smacked 6.1 miles out of the ballpark! I'm so proud of my little first time half marathon running friend. She's going to do so well!
Do you run with people or friends? Who do you talk to about the highs and lows of your running life? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Running and Cross training my way because it's...
9 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!!
38 Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Random 11...everybody's doing it!

So I was tagged by this gal. I remember email surveys, they were awesome. So this should be super awesome, because it's on blog. Be prepared readers, you may be tagged next! Muah ah ah ah ah.

So of course there are rules set by some random human in a dark room, so here they are:

The Rules:
  • Post these rules
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself
  • Answer the questions set for you in their post
  • Tag 11 people (can't be the person who tagged you)
  • Create 11 new questions for the people you tag
  • Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them!

11 Random Facts about me:

1. I either do one or three punctuation marks. Never two or four. Uncontrolled amounts are unacceptable.
2. I have an extremely strong subconscious; the second I get out the door I remember the one important thing I've forgotten. Often, its keys. So I triple check before I leave that I at least have those.
3. I said at age 14/15 "I want to be married at 24." I was.
4. I "ran into" president Obama in Midtown during his initial campaign; his security kind of man handled me because I wasn't paying attention while walking...good story for dinner parties.
5. I served Andy Pettitte honey mustard. His family was nice.
6. I can't sleep with socks on, and my feet have to be out of the covers at all times.
7. I could lie to my parents as a kid, but my sister Mrs. Waite ALWAYS knew when I was lying.
8. My husband went to the Super Bowl last year with three close friends. They're the only people I know that have attended was the greatest one by the way.
9. I have an obsession with snow. I grew up loving it. The more the better...even in dirty snow NYC (Note three ellipses always)
10. I used to pop open the screen on my window to look at the stars from my roof. It wasn't really dangerous, it was peaceful.
11. I love mint chocolate chip ice cream with peanut butter topping. Friendly's does is right.

And now, to answer Shea's questions!
  • Do you have any tattoos? If so, what? If not, want any? What would it be?
  • I do not. I would possibly put a 26.2 or my husband's initials somewhere unseen, but I'm scared to DEATH of needles and a PANSY with pain!!!
  • What is your favorite birthday memory?
  • This year was pretty fabulous; getting flowers at work, a walk in the park with the Mr. and the puppy, a Tiffany marathon necklace, delectable good. Also, my 16th birthday was great; I got my permit, a garnet ring with mini diamonds, and had a girls lunch with my mom. Being one of six kids means limited one on one time ever.
  • Broken any bones or gotten stitches? If so, how?
  • I've broken five bones. I broke my leg at 7 months (I jumped off my dad's arm over his shoulder!), broke it again in kindergarten by falling on ice at recess. I broke my wrist at recess during a race on the rings (I was winning, that Martha wanted me beat!!!), then I broke it again at age 8 rollerblading. I broke my toe at age 20 while at work in a retail store...a door slammed open onto it. That hurt. A lot.
  • What song would you say best describes you? Why?
  • I like the song "Firework" by Katy Perry. I just let it all out like a firework!
  • What is your go-to candy?
  • York Peppermint Patty. Enough said.
  • What's your favorite job you've ever had?
  • Being a lifeguard. 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off. During those 30 minutes off you could swim laps, read, go to the snack bar for free beverages, or fraternize with the fun country club members. It was easy, I got a tan, read a lot and stayed fit with lap swimming.
  • When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Before age 14? A writer. Age 14 and beyond? A teacher who will write books one day. Working on that.
  • What is the first thing you would save in a fire?
  • Lambeau puppy...assuming Mr. Miller can save himself. Those are the only two things that I can't replace.
  • Where is your dream vacation spot?
  • I once saw the white sand beaches of Brazil on the Travel channel. Someday. Or maybe Italy: pasta and wine. Mmmm.
  • What is your vice?
  • Aforementioned wine. Literally one of the only "unhealthy" things I like.
  • Who was your childhood celebrity "crush"?
  • JTT and Taylor Hanson. I was so sad when Taylor got married young...
Now I have to tag people, so respond if it suits your fancy!

Here are my questions for you, all sports related because I need a theme:

1. If you could play one sport that you haven't already, what would it be?
2. What has been your most difficult sports/fitness accomplishment?
3. Did you ever play a team sport?
4. Favorite football team? If you don't like football, explain. (A good generic answer is "The Green Bay Packers")
5. What is your state's team sport that you would get behind, even if you're not a professional sports enthusiast?
6. What is your favorite summer Olympic event?
7. What is your favorite winter Olympic event?
8. What is the one sports clothing item you wish you had an unlimited number of?
9. You have your own sports team. What are your team colors and why!?
10. What do you think about curling?
11. What would be the name of a shoe named after you, since you're a superstar and all.

Running and Cross training my way because it's...
11 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!!
40 Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Night Running Tips

Are you a morning, afternoon, or evening runner? I started out as an afternoon runner. After school (High school and college) I would go for a run. It was the warmest point of the day, and chances are I didn't have to work. Those were the days...

I had to transition to anytime running. Once I started my last year of college and serving tables in NYC, my schedule was so off the wall I started running whenever I could. I had to build up morning running because I would get nauseous (hypoglycemia), but I learned what to eat, how to get going. So, I conquered anytime running.

Then I reverted back to afternoon running. When I began teaching, I couldn't imagine waking up BEFORE my already early morning alarm to run. Gradually I started to realize that I would come home tired and find excuses not to go running. When I finally moved to an apartment semi close to our gym, I started morning running.

Hello, 5am. Throughout marathon training, I continued this until school started in the fall when certain runs (Er, more than 5 miles) couldn't be done in time before work. Recently, with the addition of attending fitness classes later at night, I've had a harder time waking up at 5am. So, night running has been happening more often. I never thought I'd be a night runner.

Here are some tips to get a night run in when your normal morning/afternoon run just didn't happen:

- Think fuel all day. If you have a stomach of steel, God bless you. I and many other runners are, unfortunately, not as blessed. Consider what you eat throughout the day. More coffee gives your heartburn? Skip that mid afternoon brew. Cheese and milk irritate you? Pizza is not your best choice. Pack your lunch on a P.M. run day. It gives you peace of mind and ensures that you won't have an excuse to skip it.

-Bring a phone. A main reason that I prefer not to run at night is because it's not the safest. In January alone I had three close encounters with cars that ran stop signs. Having a phone is a sure way that if something happens I am ready to call for help.

- Wear bright clothing. Obvious right? Not so much. Inevitably when I go for a night run, all I have in the clean pile is dark. My black gloves have green neon thumbs, so when approaching a cross walk I tend to throw a thumb or two up ;-) My sister, Coach Jen, owns a fabulous reflector vest. However, I'm not as cool as her....yet. Either way, cool or not, wear bold bright colors.

- Anticipate being a little tired. At the end of the day, when the sun is down, all I want to do is sit on the couch, read blogs, play fetch with Lambeau puppy (It's not a choice, he's very demanding) and talk with Mr. Miller. On a run night, I know I'm tired. I go easy for the first half and try to push it in the second half with the mindset that: I'm halfway to sitting on that couch!

- Make a quick, easy, yet satisfying dinner. When I work out at night, the temptation is to eat everything in sight when I get home. Hello. I'm. STARVING! Therefore, a salad with chicken will not be an adequate dinner. Tonight I made delicious eggs (Featured below) and they were great, easy, and healthy. Another option is preparing dinner right when I get home and running while it bakes. Either way, prepare to be hungry even with a 2-3 mile run. It's dinner time!

- Watch out for dog poop! Ha. I had a close call tonight!

- Take in the peacefulness of the dark. It's very relaxing to me. If I have music, I put it on low so I can still be aware of what's around you.

- Last, and certainly not least: Take some cool night photos!!! Tonight I finished 4 easy miles and enjoyed it immensely. The scenery was beautiful!

The track at my park is lit up like a stinking Christmas tree! Night speed work anyone?
Manhattan skyline. I called this one "Yellow Diamonds in the Light" on Instagram (Follow me at Kristinannm).
Yummy dinner!!! I added sauteed red peppers, thawed chopped broccoli, and extra sharp cheddar cheese. Mmmmm.
If you want tips to become a morning runner, this blogger wrote about her journey toward morning running.

What time of day do YOU run/exercise? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Running and Cross training my way because it's...
12 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!!
41 Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Post workout snacks

First things first: I. can't. wait. to. be. in. CANCUN! Sadly, Lambeau Puppy will not be joining us, despite his love of all things sand and ocean:Polka dot bikini sighting. These are from Virginia Beach last April. It was beautiful. Cancun will be beautiful. Did I mention that I'm excited?!
Tonight, I took a barre class and a kickboxing class. Boy are my legs tired!!! The barre class is actually called Fit Bottoms Barre, so my bottoms got WORKED tonight! Kickboxing was equally lethal, the instructor really wanted to push us hard. I kept flashing back to Tae Bo, which I refer to as "The Zumba of my Teens". So, of course, I knew the difference between a side kick and roundhouse kick. Point that toe!!!

It's hard working out at night when I get so hungry! Do you have this problem? Not only do classes get out later than my usual 5-6pm dinner time, I am STARVING afterwards! No good. Tonight I ate eggs with cheese, mixed greens, and salsa. It was satisfying but I was still hungry. This is what I opted for as a little snack/reward:
Calcium rich hot chocolate. Now, is this my best option? Nah. However, it is satisfying and filling me up a bit. Do you think you eat healthier post workout, as many studies claim? I tend to. Sometimes I fall into the "I worked out, I deserve this" trap, but that was more during marathon training. After a 10 mile midweek run with another double digit on the weekend, you can be very lenient to refuel. Gosh I miss those days. Half marathon training? I'm just trying to stay at my training weight! So, here are a few post workout foods I've been trying:

- Eggs. High in protein and studies show it keeps you filled up longer.
- Cereal. Kashi only; no milk.
- Carrots and Hummus
- A spoonful of peanut butter (Yes, this has happened in desperate hunger)
- Crackers with peanut butter and jelly
- Oatmeal
- Chips and salsa (Not the best...)
- Hot chocolate (mmmm)
- Vanilla Soy milk
- Any fruit I have

What do you eat post workout? Do you tend to justify a yummy treat? Choose a better option? More importantly: Did you ever try Tae Bo?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Running and Cross training my way because it's...
13 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!!
44 Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Two a Day Tuesday III

This was the face of me trying to smile after running close to a mile in heels: (Mr. Miller looks cute though!!!)Today was two a day Tuesday. Eek. It was rough. Yesterday I skipped a two mile run in place of a kick boxing class, zumbalates, and a mile round trip walk. Trying to cross train here people. So today, I was a bit sore. I snoozed...AGAIN. Going to these late night classes (getting home at 8 or 9) makes it DIFFICULT to wake up for a 5am workout! So, I opted for an afternoon 4 mile run...hello heartburn. That finally subsided, after a 20 minute power nap...that turned into a 30 minute lounge with the puppy and the Mr. It was nice to relax, but I didn't want to get up! I finally got my act together.

Workout #1: I ran 3.75 miles. I ran out of time before class, and I'm okay with that. It was a good run. I felt strong, and I think the pilates and yoga are helping me have way better form while running. Also, I may be imagining things, but I think I'm a bit more flexible. I want to be more flexible. I used to be able to bend over and flat hand my hands on the ground. Now? Fingertips? Not even. I have to bend the knees.

Workout #2: I did pilates. Rough stuff. There was a substitute instructor, and I figured it was going to be an easier class. NOPE. He was tough, yet super helpful with my form and pushing me to do just a little bit more. Ouch. I'm sore all over. Tomorrow: Barre Class take 2 and kick boxing take 2. We'll see how this goes. I'm pretty much doing two a days until Thursday. Trying to tone up for the big Cancun VACATION!

Taking classes can be hard for people like me. I'm strong, I can say that. I'm not a quitter, I can say that too. Taking classes exposes every weakness in you. It also makes you super self conscious when the person next to you is an expert and you're just trying to keep up. The Zumbalates instructor said something yesterday that rang true for me,

"This is a judgement free zone. Don't judge the people around you. Most importantly, don't judge the person in the mirror. You're your own worst critic. Don't put that on yourself."

I took that to heart today. Pilates is a huge challenge for me. My core, as I've said many times, is pretty weak. I'm trying to remedy that. These classes have made me fall into the "You stink" thoughts. I didn't do it today. I felt much more free to try, and when I couldn't do the "jack hammer" very well, I just tried again and moved on. Big steps ladies and gentlemen, big steps.

Cancun is so close. I have so many important things to do; go tanning, pack, get a pedicure, find my *good* sundresses, get a new bathing suit, I have to fit it all in! And I'm excited to fit it all in. This vacation is going to be ridiculously fun.

Do you get nervous in classes? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Running and Cross training my way because it's...
14 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!!...this time in 2 weeks I'll be BEACH SIDE!
45 Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Glad Game Monday IV

Yes! It's that time again!!! GLAD GAME MONDAY! I'm sure we all have TONS to be glad about on this first day of the week. This edition will be short and sweet; I'm tired, it's late, and I want to wake up for an early morning workout. I won't mention how I stayed late at work for a meeting they forgot to mention was cancelled, or how I didn't fit my run in because of laundry, or how my 5am wake up skills have deteriorated due to nice weather afternoon running. NO. It is Glad Game Monday...I WILL BE GLAD!

I am glad that two friends committed their lives to each other in a beautiful ceremony:

I am also glad that a few of the ladies and I swapped war stories of being involved in some "running in heels because we're late and lost in Central Park" arguments...makes us married folks feel better that we're not abnormal!
I am glad that the SMARTSY Mrs. Slafter opted for gloves as favors for the ladies! My hands were so cold! I had forgotten mine. It was deceivingly cold, and as time went on, our hands were going numb!!!

I am glad that Mr. Miller and I got a cute kissy photo:

I am also glad that we're going on a marriage retreat this weekend with our church. I'm looking forward to relaxing and learning how to love him more. He's so cute. Blush.

I am glad for friends. We don't have to do much at all and still have a great time. Cancun, here we come Mrs. Slafter, Mrs. Anders, Myself, and Mrs. Gray!

I'm glad for a good 10k Sunday. Although my time might be ghastly slow to some, I'm extremely proud of it. I had negative splits, and my last mile was my fastest. It was pretty cold too. I think I run 100% better in the cold. I may need to try a winter half marathon to test out this theory in the future.
Last, but not least: I'm glad I only have two more Glad Game Mondays until CANCUN!

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN! Glad it up! What are you glad about? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Running and Cross training my way because it's...
15 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!!
46 Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fit Bottoms Barre Class

Hello, 60 degree weather!!! I haven't seen you since...YESTERDAY! Two days in a row with beautifully gorgeous weather? What a nice way to end January/begin February! Lambeau puppy agrees. He was smiling ear to ear because I took him for an extra long (30 minute) walk, instead of our usual 15 to 20 minutes:Then, I told him I was going to Fit Bottoms Barre Class. Lambeau puppy took on a very regal, stoic outlook:
Yes, it's true, I tried a "barre" class. It could be called "The Bar Method", it is similar to the infomercially popular "Physique 57", and it. is. hard. Lambeau puppy was right to get all serious on me!!! The instructor, from Fit Body Pilates, encouraged me to join a couple of weeks ago and added, "It's really a challenge but you see quick results." Ugh. I'm not one to back down from a challenge like that! Since my groupon only covered Pilates classes, I didn't go. Until I received an email with a LARGELY discounted (50% off) monthly fee for an unlimited pass to every class...well, I jumped on that ship. So tonight, I tried to infamously "challenging" class.

Guess what? I was humbled. I could barely keep up 10 minutes in. I had to take breaks. Thank GOD the girl next to me was a first timer too. The instructor is GREAT. She knows I'm trying but STINK at Pilates etc, so she is super helpful. However, my hip really reacted negatively. Now, during other Pilates classes, I've noticed my hip has been sensitive (Note: Since May, I've had to crack my hip consistently. No clue why.). Today? It hurt. The said great instructor tried to help my leg extend a little higher and a little straighter, and I had to desperately beg her off because my hip HURT. Like A LOT. Walking home it was sensitive to touch. Now, my nursing friends think it's just a weak muscle in my hip, which my chiropractor said as well. Maybe I worked the right (weak) muscles? Who knows. I have a real doctor appointment next week, with a list of ailments, and I hope she has an answer for each one :-) I will be back to this class. Unlimited classes mean, as Mr. Miller said, "You better be going to every single class you can." No need to tell me twice!!! He's so practical. Little does he realize, I will go to every. single. class. I. CAN!

January Review. Nothing crazy here folks: 62 miles run. I am proud. This was an amazing increase from my dismal December showing of 15.5 miles. December was ROUGH. I was sick at the end of November, forbidden from activity by my doctor for over 2 weeks, and the death of my grandfather really messed me up. In addition to all this, I had the holiday distractions of parties, shopping, and baking! Thankfully, January went well. I ran my miles. Injury free. Just the way I like it!!! I can't wait for February when the mileage amps up just a bit. I'm also excited for my first time half marathoners! Ms. Bailey and Mrs. Gray, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!! That finish line is going to make you say, "Let's do this again!!!", I just know it.

How was your January? TELL ME ABOUT IT! We often start out strong and end, well, with a lackluster effort. Thankfully, polka dot bikini, I did not. I may have to get it out of the drawer as a reminder for February...

Coming soon: Polka dot bikini picture.

Running and Cross training my way because it's...
20 days until Cancun and Winter Polka Dot Bikini!!!
51 Days until the 13.1 NYC half marathon!!!