Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trying New Things in Training

I've been trying new things!!! Yes, it's true! I've been trying to get out of my old rut of things and branch out. After a fabulous weekend, I tried a few new things this week.

I worked out with Mr. Miller's test group Monday. I mentioned that Mr. Miller is part of a group testing out a new work out program. Well, I went and did the Insanity workout with them on Monday. Basically, I'm STILL sore. More sore than I was from my marathon. I almost threw up three times. And Tanya, from the dvd? She was in front of me; in PERSON. I tried but definitely have room for improvement. Oh, wait, a challenging workout that leaves me sore is what I need?! How CONVENIENT because... 

I won an AWESOME workout package from a GREAT blog!!! I am so excited to be the winner of this blog giveaway! Not only do I live in the same hood as this blogger, but I am going to be COMPLETELY challenged by attending these cross-fit type classes. Oh, and they're pretty expensive, so you can bet that I'm going to be putting in 100%, aka super sore! Plus I get to go to these classes with my new friend...

Insert: a fellow New Englander, lover of cooking and RUNNING neighbor! Could this be true?! Well, it is. Mrs. Epicurious and I got together Tuesday night for the hottest of hottest runs. We had a great time and I'm really excited to have someone in my hood who loves running and cooking! It was hot, slow, and the beginning of what I believe will be a beautiful friendship. Unfortunately, no amazing photographs, our sheen would have most likely botched any photo ;-)

This was my scene Tuesday night and this morning. Trees + breeze = semi relief. The park was slim pickings this morning, unlike last nights OVERLOAD crowd. Love this community.

Speaking of community: I'm meeting an out of town blogger! Yes, it's true. I'm meeting a fabulous high school teacher from Chicago who has a love affair with my beloved NYC Friday. I'm branching out people. Big events.

I've also done some consistent yoga and foam rolling because of my insanity soreness. Good things to try. Meeting new people, running with new people, trying to keep my body loose...overall a good week. Lambeau agrees these are all great changes.

What have you been dabbling in lately?! New socks? A new running route or workout routine? A new eating regimen? TELL ME ABOUT IT! 

157 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Glad Game Monday XV

I'm sure we can all be glad about one thing today: A DAY OFF FROM WORK! Well, most of us. I used to work in retail, and I always worked the morning shift on holidays. So, whether you had the day off, gorgeous weather or nothing to write home about, let's get glad with it!

I'm glad that I can remember my grandfather, a brave soldier in WWII. My grandfather rarely spoke about his time as a soldier, but when he did, it was gripping. He befriended Buster, my Grammy's brother. After Buster was killed in battle, my Grampy made sure to visit the family. Well, Bea was a cute little thing and the rest is history. The McAuliffes were married a week after Grammy finished high school and were together for over 60 years. I'm glad that he showed me the importance of sacrifice, hard work, dedication, and steadfastness. 
 I'm glad that my group of friends are AWESOME. All caps. We had a fabulous friend day bbq-ing, laughing, playing games and tossing water balloons. Yup. Throwback Sunday. The men were especially awesome.
 I'm glad that we can still have fun. Growing up doesn't mean you can't have fun. It means you get to have more fun without your parents telling you to quiet down! I love this guy.
 I'm glad we live in NYC. I've said it once, and I'll say it a million times, my love affair with this city will never end. It was "bring your wife to work out day" (not really) with Mr. Miller's test group for a new "Insanity" type video...Oh my gosh I was completely WORKED! It was so hard! I made sure to focus on my form and breathing, because seriously, homegirl was going to lose her gel and banana with those mountain climbers and burpees! 

So, what are you GLAD about? Did you get to eat strawberry shortcake this weekend? Did you see a long lost friend in your home town? Did you use your smarts and wear sunscreen?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Finally tried a running group!

Yes, it's true. I took the plunge and joined Erica Sara's fun run last night! I got into Manhattan EARLY so I ran 2.5 miles in Central Park. It was fabulous. Eerily quiet, foggy, misty and humid with a nice breeze. I'm truly being converted into a rain runner

It was finally time for me to fulfill a multi year New Years Resolution: Join a group run! I made Leticia PROMISE to go, it's always nice to know SOMEONE in a new group! Although the forecast stated a 20% chance of rain, that 20% chance ALL of the precipitation fell on Manhattan! The second we set out it was POURING! So, here we are semi dry:

We were all SPARKLY SOUL winners! They were co-hosting the event and since only the HARDCORE runners showed (I kid I kid), there were enough bands to give away! I'm so excited to be rocking my silver band today. Gold for the first marathon, silver for the second. Haven't heard of Sparkly Soul and their AMAZING headbands?! Well, the Today Show has; check out their debut on the summer must have's!

I made a new Queens friend! This is B, who is such a great runner! I'm so glad we got to hang out; she's a college professor, and yet our students act so similar! Who would've thought?!

Training update. Well, it's going. Last week I was back to my running A-game, and this week I've been feeling SUPER drained. I ran 4 rainy miles Tuesday and 4.6 rainy miles Thursday. Fail. It's the time of year at work where everything drags, everything is tiring, and everything is on a deadline. Did I mention no air conditioning?! Yea. Humidity and no air conditioning is the WORST! I pray it's fixed by Tuesday. So I'm hoping for 8 miles tomorrow morning and a nice 5 miles on Sunday. 

I'm SO excited for the long weekend!!! No Friday clubs, no Saturday School, FREE until Tuesday morning! I could get used to this! I'm excited for the little things we have planned each day. I'm especially excited for a Central Park day Sunday with our Cancun Crew. 

I am thankful for all who have served and will serve our country. This weekend reminds me so much of my Grampy, who passed last November. I always made sure to call him on Memorial Day or go visit him if I was in town. Last Memorial Day my Saturday students made him the most beautiful cards to say thank you. I'm grateful that he knew a later generation appreciated his sacrifices.

A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT AND GOOD LUCK ON YOUR FIRST MARATHON TO MEGAN! I'm so proud of this girl. She's killed it in training, taken on a whole lot of other responsibilities in between, and has killer splits. Meg, you're going to be a marathon warrior!!! This is me cheering: YOU GOT THIS GIRL!

What are your holiday weekend plans?! Long runs? BBQ's? Gardening? Dining al fresco? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Glad Game Monday XIV

Ugh. It's a rainy nasty MONDAY! Complete with humidity, a bad hair day, AND a thunderstorm that made me worry about Lambeau puppy for hours. Alas, join me in choosing to think about the good things in life and be GLAD on the day that most choose to gripe! It feels me!

I'm glad for friends and Manhattan rooftops. Yesterday was the perfect day. Church, tacos, friends, rooftops, and a proposal written in the sky. According to my Twitter insiders, #christinehall said yes. Thank goodness, we were all worried! We spent the day lounging and enjoying a quintessential day before a three day rain fest. Oh rain, trying so hard not to hate on you! 

I'm glad there are cheap stores near my school. As I walked into school with my runmute bag in tow I said, "I think I forgot my shorts!" I opened my gym bag to see that yes, in fact, I forgot my short for my runmute with my latest protege, Ms. Kiernan. Although I was wary due to the scantily clad mannequins in the window, I found some Champion shorts at the local clothing store for $3. They're also technically Green Bay colors. Score.

I'm glad Ms. Kiernan signed up for her first HALF MARATHON!!! I was so stoked about that today. However, I was NOT stoked about this wife was making me laugh..ugh. Anyway, she pulled the trigger on the Hampton's Half Marathon, and I didn't really have to do much convincing. I'll be coaching her through her training and race; this will be a training run for me for the ING NYC Marathon! YEAAA!

I'm glad I saved a puppy dog today. (My 4th in two years) As Lambeau and I were walking, a CUTE little poodle something or other came up and became L Puppy's instant friend...without a collar or a leash. Uh oh. I let the pooch warm up to me, and it was really obedient. Unfortunately, it was drizzling and no one yelled for their missing dog to come home. I asked a few passers by if they recognized the pup and no one did. I resigned to ringing door bells, when the puppy ran up the front steps of an apartment building a few doors down. Finally FINALLY on the third doorbell I got an answer. The poor 13 year old owner didn't even know her dog was roaming the streets! I was one minute away from bringing her home; she was such a sweet little puppy. I hope to see her in the neighborhood again with her owner in tow!

If you need anything else to be glad about, watch this video about an awesome church in Ventura, CA, who threw an amazing prom for the disabled kids in their community:

So. There you have it. Tons to be rainy glad about. What are you glad about? Is school almost done for you non-New York teachers?! Did Bart Yasso Tweet you back? Did the Brooklyn half rock your world? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

166 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yesterday I said...

Inspired by the Nike ad from Pinterest

So, here are a bunch of things I said on the proverbial "yesterday"...

Yesterday I said I would try to run in the rain to prepare for a disaster weather race. This Monday Tuesday, and Wednesday I did.

Yesterday I said I would wake up at 5am to get my run done early. I've done it twice in the past week. 

Yesterday I said I would run home from work at least once a week. I've done that for three weeks. 

Yesterday I said I would experiment with cooking new healthy foods. This weekend, I did.

Yesterday I said I would cook meals for coworkers. I've cooked meals two weeks in a row for families going through medical challenges. 

With the end of the school year in sight, despite being in the midst of the busiest time at work for me, I've found myself being more productive than ever. Marathon inspiration, anyone!?

What have you been doing today, that you said tomorrow to yesterday?! TELL ME ABOUT IT! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Glad Game Monday XIII

Yes! It's a rainy Monday! YIPPEE! It was also one of the CRAZIEST days at work for me; my department has a ridiculous testing schedule that is unmatched by no other (2,100 documents to handle...) by five people. Yup. MAYHEM. So, let's take some time on the not so favorite day of the week, and CHOOSE to be GLAD about great things!!!

I'm glad this weekend was BEAUTIFUL! We got to go enjoy our park on Saturday and Sunday! Lambeau Puppy was particularly happy in his shaded spot beneath our beach chairs!!! 

I'm glad for blue skies. Last week, NYC was DISMAL. Clouds, rain, cold. BLECH! As a friend said, "When did I move to Seattle?!" Sunday? Beautiful puffy clouds and SUN! Vitamin D, take advantage of me!
I'm glad the Rangers continued their playoff domination! Mr. Miller has found a new love for the Rangers, which ALMOST rivals his love for the Packers. Go #NYR! Speaking of Mr. Miller, he worked out with Shaun T. today and it was rough...can't wait to learn from his study group experiences! Is there a bring your wife to workOUT day?!
I'm glad I cooked this weekend. Since Mr. Miller is doing this workout study group, he is on a specific diet (Completely foreign to him, totally normal to me!). So, I'm cooking for ONE! This weekend entailed some amazing culinary experiments! First up: Eggplant Wheels! (I added: Fresh chopped garlic, olive oil oregano, and basil!):
I'm glad I made my favorite salad. Panera sells me favorite salad; the Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad.  it's healthy AND delicious. Here is the recipe I made:

1 Cup of shredded chicken (From a rotisserie chicken)
2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
5-6 strawberries sliced
2 tablespoons of fresh goat cheese
Poppyseed dressing or fresh balsamic dressing

Update on school countdown: ‎5 Monday 7 Tuesday 7 Wednesday 6 Thursday and 6 Friday .... 3 of these are half days... Possibly 3 pd days. YEASIES!

I'm glad I'm in the ING NYC marathon!!! I'm back to running, despite warm weather. 3 miles at 5am Friday, 4 miles Saturday AM, 5 Miles Saturday midday, and 4 miles today. Booya. 16 miles in 4 days after being a dismal runner. I'll take it. Was I slow? Oh yea. Was I happy? Oh yea. Did I envision the marathon? ABSOLUTELY!

So, there, I'm GLAD! It was a yummy, fulfilling, run-filled week!

What are YOU glad about?! Did you get your favorite cream cheese this weekend? Did you find a four leaf clover? Are you IN LOVE with that puppy in the window? (Forewarning: I'll advocate for buying ANY puppy in ANY window) If so, TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!

173 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Big Announcement

Hint 1: It has something to do with this kind of activity:

Hint 2: I will get a shiny medal on November 4, 2012:

Hint 3: I won the lottery.

No. Not Mega Millions; however, it might as well be.

I GOT AN ING NYC MARATHON LOTTERY ENTRY. The impossible has happened. Delayed announcement was due to shock that I got in, and examination if this was something I could do again. Work and life are quite busy these days. With the support of Mr. Miller, I'm 100% in. A marathon is not something to be entered into lightly, and I'm excited for this chance to run THE BEST MARATHON IN THE WORLD (in my humble opinion), in the BEST CITY OF THE WORLD (Many people's opinion). 

I can't wait for the chance to say again "I run New York."

Marathon number two. Whoa. This is just got real. Like really real.

177 days until the ING NYC Marathon!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Glad Game Monday XII

Gosh, is it Monday already?!  That's right, it's time to list some things to be glad about on the day we DRAG through! You know I love a good countdown, and today was our LAST school faculty conference of the YEAR! We have to stay late for a faculty meeting once a month, and this was IT! Now all my Mondays are free! How many Mondays?! So glad you asked! 

I'm glad that the end of the school year is in sight! A good friend counts it down every Monday, so I'm fully updated weekly. Zwill, you rock my socks off:  6 Monday 8 Tuesday 8 Wednesday 7 Thursday 7 Friday 3 are half days

I'm glad I had an AWESOME weekend! It started out with a fabulous Cuatro de Mayo work outing. (No photos, lo siento). It continued with a SUPER fabulous Cinco de Mayo almuerzo con mi amigas! (Brunch with my ladies!) 

I'm glad it was Derby weekend! Mr. Miller and I continued with Mint Julips and and Derby viewing. Unfortunately, my horse didn't win...I chose based on name. Oh Sabercat, your Laser Cat cousins couldn't help bring you a victory! However, it was a BEAUTIFUL night including a cheese and wine tasting, taco truck, and a movie.

I'm glad Mr. Miller is good at finding fun things to do. After a busy Sunday morning/early afternoon, Mr. Miller remembered a cool event going on close by. Questlove was dj'ing a set focusing on the 80's! This was a must see set. We were literally five feet from him. I even danced a bit, at 4pm on a Sunday! Hey, we've got to live a little sometimes.

I'm glad I got to see James Franco do a book discussion! Surprisingly, this was next on the agenda after Questlove! Literally in my backyard. Queens REPRESENT! I was glad to see Mr. Franco because I've long respected his academic work, as well as his acting career. (Not sure if Wikepedia is right about him skating by...) He discussed currently being a professor, and how his artist parents refused to pay for art school. Interesting. 

I'm excited that Mr. Miller has a really cool opportunity! Mr. Miller has been accepted with a group of people to be part of a new Shaun T. workout program! He's going to experience personal training (Within a small group) with the creator of Hip Hop Abs and Insanity workouts. Hello. Personal train ME. I'm excited that he has the chance to do something FOR HIM. I run. He does so occasionally. This is going to be a great chance to increase his fitness and teach ME some stuff! I'll keep you updated!

What are YOU glad about? It seems like it was a big race weekend, did you PR? DR? Get a new running outfit? Say yes to froyo? Did your NBA, MLB, or NHL team win?! Tell me about it!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Teacher Runner: How to run home from work

I am a teacher. I teach in a NYC Public Schools. I teach ESL. Holy hard. Satisfying. Difficult. Rewarding. Passion.

Sometimes, I do a run-mute. Also known as a Run Commute. I work about 4 miles away from my school, or 4.5 if I take the long way. So, about once a week, I run home. This picture is circa sometime one year ago January/February:

I have to pack everything. I bring all this stuff and do a complete outfit change. My work wife, who also lives six blocks from me, brings all my work things home. If you're running home from work and need to pack, essentials include:

-Running shoes
- SOCKS (Highly overlooked!)
- Appropriate female undergarment
- Running clothes
- Water supply
- Weather defense: Sunglasses, hat, gloves, etc

Tuesday, my run-mute was different. Normally I get out of work at 4:45. I usually start running around 5pm (Outfit change, Garmin finding satellite etc). However, Tuesday was a different story: 4:52pm I was running. I felt good, rested post allergy hiatus, and ready to run. I ran into 8 different students. Every single one, despite sunglasses, running shorts and a running tshirt (TOTAL work outfit change) recognized me. I got 8 "Hi Mrs. Miller!"'s. I responded with "Have a great day!" or "Make good choices!" or "So nice to see you!" I was happy. The students were completely excited to see me outside of school (even though some of them were in my class 10 minutes beforehand...). It was the single most satisfying run to date. This run showed 8 kids, out of the 1,800 in my school, that I care about health, that I care about running, that taking care of your body is what people do. I loved it.

I hope I had this affect: 

 I hope I created runners. I hope I created an idea in their mind that maybe, just maybe, they should try to see how far they can run. How long they can run. How fast they can run. 

Teaching has been tough. We've had state standardized tests this past month, and in my particular field, May is the most hectic month. I am so thankful to have a job. I am so thankful for my students. They inspire ME. Their comments such as, "Mrs. Miller, you're beautiful." or "Mrs. Miller, I love you and Lambeau." (yup, that's true!) make me smile and remind that I have students whose world, and world view, I am shaping.

Teaching is rewarding! Despite popular belief:

There is a LOT of work involved. More bureaucratic than what actually pertains to children learning, but there is work nonetheless. Countless hours reading, planning, creating, brainstorming, beating up oneself, stressing, and doing it all over again. 

I am a teacher runner. I teach every day. I teach after school. I teach summer school. I run for health. I run for sanity. I run for strength. I run to inspire.

What are you running for? Is it for you? Your kids? A charity? TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!