Monday, February 25, 2013

Fleeing NYC for the weekend

This weekend I had a trip to CT planned! It was my brother's SURPRISE 40th birthday party. Unfortunately, Mr. Miller couldn't make it, and he agreed to care for Lambeau Puppy. So, off I went straight after work Friday to Connecticut! I made it in 2 hours 10 minutes, a world record for Friday afternoon driving. Here are some highlights of my weekend via photos:

 He said, "I'll only wear it for you!" That's my big brother!!!
 Siblings unite!!! (In order left to right, number 3, number 5, number 2 and number 1)

Saturday I had no big plans. I was tired from driving, reveling, and basically from the whole week, so Saturday I decided to take it easy and spend time with the people I love. I cheered for a race with Mrs. Clark, visited each of my siblings houses, got to see my fabulous nieces and nephews and my Grammy!
 Sign making is in art form.
 Cheering is a sport. I didn't shut up the whole time I was there. Had to give back after a year of being shamelessly cheered for by others while I was racing!
The half marathoner!!! Stephanie did an amazing job!!! It was a $2 half marathon in Colchester, CT, very challenging and hilly.

When I visited Grammy, she decided to show me the crotchet baby blankets she already made for my future (No, I'm not pregnant) baby. Whelp. I teared up. She's scared she won't be around to see it. I love her.
I finished the night with FaceTime chat with the Waites. E baby 1 and E baby 2 are the cutest!!!

After a day filled visiting houses, I finally got out for a long run Sunday morning. I had 9 miles on the agenda. By mile 2 I was nauseous and sweaty, little did I realize I was OVERHEATING! I was deceived! I thought it was cold out, so I wore a running jacket, long sleeve, tank, and tights...bad move for always warm me. Below was my solution:

I asked a nice looking #CTforlife neighbor 2 miles in if I could leave my coat in their driveway. He placed it on this handy dandy workbench! I picked it up on the way back and wrapped it around my waist.

 As seen on my run: A RANDOM hat on a mailbox. Message received loud and clear: POSSIBLE.
This scenery literally took my breath away. I stopped and stared for a minute.
A long sleeve tee to inspire a run where I felt TIRED!
I used Nike+! It had its positives and negatives, but I'm glad I had SOMETHING to replace my Garmin which stayed in NYC! 

I came back to NYC Sunday night, unpacked, and cleaned. I. am. TIRED! This weekend was a great time to spend with family, but has left me exhausted. Let's see how Monday night's hill work goes!!!

How about you? How was your weekend? Did you finally relax? Did you get out and run? Are you a FaceTime Aunty/Uncle? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What I do for lunch...aka a part time job!

Sometimes, there's so much going on in life, we forget to nourish our bodies appropriately. Take Lambeau Puppy for instance: He had snow blowing  all over him (Hence the weird white streaks behind Lambeau Puppy!), but he still ENJOYED the frigid beach!

Upon returning from my two extra day vacation, it was back to the grind. Bringing my fuel (I'd prefer to look at food that way...) was back to the usual. I needed breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack. Packing food is like another job!!! Wednesday's lunch was as follows:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with bananas
Mid Morning Snack: Sliced orange
Lunch: Salad with mixed greens, kidney beans, carrots, celery, one hard boiled egg and avocado
Afternoon snack: Half an avocado
Dinner: Buffalo chicken cutlet (A boneless chicken cutlet dipped in Frank's Red Hot then tossed in breadcrumbs, baked at 375 for 30 minutes) with sauteed cabbage (EVOO and garlic salt/red pepper mill)

Next was Thursday's meals: 

Breakfast: Oatmeal with mixed berries
Mid Morning Snack: A handful of grapes
Lunch: Buffalo Chicken Cutlet with sauteed cabbage and raw carrots
Afternoon Snack: Rest of grapes and the rest of the carrots
Dinner: Lemon Chicken Cutlet (Chicken cutlet dipped in egg/water wash, then in bread crumbs, baked at 375 for 30 minutes) and mushroom risotto (SMALL serving of a delectable treat) 

Each work day consists of 64 ounces of water consumed, with more water consumed before and after work.

Ugh. This is a daily process. I often get food ready the night before, which definitely helps. However, being prepared to be at work from 7:30am-4:50pm means I need to ensure that I have wholesome, healthy options all day long. If my (work) neighborhood offered healthy options, I would not feel such pressure (Although their produce stores are excellent, If I miss a snack or two, I'm okay with the fruit and vegetable choices available at a low cost produce venue. Despite this awesome option, I often lack the time to walk two blocks and purchase such items DAILY. I need to ensure that I have options, while at work, to keep me energized AND healthy. 

Do you face these challenges? Do you bring your nutrition to work? Do you have healthy options "around the office"? Are you a "packing your own lunch/snacks" obsessive like me?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter Vacation...sort of

No, this will not be your usual "Mrs. Miller has a week off and got to go on a tropical vacation!" Hence, no polka dot bikini countdown like last year. In light of NYC public schools being closed for a week due to Super Storm Sandy, we in turn lost three days from our winter usual getaway time. So, we made the best of it and found a great alternative! We headed down to Virginia Beach, my beloved summer vacation spot, to meet up with Mr .Miller's parents and sister! We had so much fun, I was so glad we got to spend time with them. Below are some highlights in photos:

Our first day Lambeau donned his beach was short lived. He's never happier than when he's on the beach with a tennis ball. Maybe I'll post a video to prove this bold statement.
 Our second day, it had snowed! Snow on the beach? WHAT?!
We had some snowy fun...since you all know I love snow!
Hmmm....this looks a bit different from August's photo op spot:

I really do miss being tan...
Lambeau and Mr. Bates (My sister-in-law's dog) ran WAY more than I did. Yes, the black pooch is named Mr. Bates. No, I don't want to talk about Downton Abbey. WHELP. 
Our departing sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Truly beautiful.

Oh wait, did you catch that comment under the Lambeau Puppy/Mr. Bates photo? NO, I'm not talking about the Downton one! I said DON'T. WANT. TO. TALK. ABOUT. IT. HeaveSobHeave. Rather, the part about not running. Why? Because my BFF this weekend, in my FAVORITE running spot, was a box of tissues. You know me, rain, sun, (preferably) cold, hot, sun or fog, I'm running. Especially on vacation. This weekend? Nope. Sneezing, blowing my nose, and maintaining a fever vs. advil cold meds battle was my workout. Thankfully there were some 1-2 mile walks on the beach mixed in, but I was a bit distraught. 

I felt like I was making really good progress with my times, and Thursday it started with a tickle. My Thursday night runmute with my speedy coworker went okay, but I was battling a bit of fatigue and some minor cold symtpoms which I atttributed to screaming my head off during Wheel of Fortune. WRONG. A few hours in traffic with only napkins as tissues (I'm a planner, after all...), I finally broke down and bought some Puffs with Lotion and called a spade a spade. I had a cold. What to do? Run? Not run?

Virginia Beach somewhat decided for me. I've run through hot, humid, nasty rainy weather, but never this. Sunday I was crazy enough to think if I woke up early enough, I'd get a run in. Since it was a cutback week, 6 miles was on the agenda, and I wouldn't care about the time...except I was in Virginia, it had snowed during the night, and the roads were ICE! You see in the summer when it rains in this beach community, there isn't great drainage for the floodwaters, so they take a day or two to disintegrate in the sun. Snow/freezing rain? IT FREEZES! So there was that. 

Then I got a fever. 

Then I gave up.

Winter vacation, you had my attention. I didn't run once. I had all my run gear, including plenty of winter gear (Used gratefully on walks!). I relaxed, didn't push it, and was thankful for understanding family members who kept things low key.

Result: I'm feeling MUCH better. Not sneezing/blowing my nose nearly as much. I was thinking (Crazy me) I could push for 6 miles today. I came home to 48 degrees and rain. (I was secretly driving fast through New Jersey in hopes of beating the impending rain clouds). I have chosen for one more rest day. I will wake early tomorrow and run 6 miles (Husband permitting....he went to work for a half day after waking at 5:30 am,  doing the majority of the driving, and now working almost a full work day, he needs every minute of sleep!). Then, it's back on the training train. 

Thoughts: I ALWAYS get sick before this half marathon. This is my fourth year (IN A ROW) running it, and I always get seriously sick a week or two before the race with a bad cold. I'm slightly glad it was during a cutback week, and during a time I could rest. I'm excited for this last month of training. I guess a countdown is in order??? 

How about you? Do you take a winter vacation? Did you have off on President's day? Have you battled colds/the flu this season? TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!

31 days until the 13.1 NYC!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

L is for the way you look at me...

O  is for the only one I see....
V is very very, Extraordinary...
E is even more than anyone that I adore...

I sang this song at my sister's wedding. Instead of clinking the glasses to get them to kiss, you had to sing a song, into a microphone, with the word love. WELL, a groomsman and I came up with this clever song, literally named "L.O.V.E" by Nat King Cole, and we were greeted with a round of applause after a mediocre stellar performance.

Well, in honor of this being V-Day, I decided to highlight some letter and love moments!!!

First and foremost: MY FRIENDS WON ON WHEEL OF FORTUNE LAST NIGHT! You may recognize Mr. & Mrs. Anders from many outings and events, including Cancun, Memorial Day and 4th of July. They are two of our closest friends, and we were SO stoked to watch their Wheel of Fortune moment with many other friends! (The contestants are currently on a previously planned vacation...seriously, we still cheered, jeered, and freaked out as they won!)

They are the snazziest looking contestants ever...and pat is leathery tan.

We all stress ate the candy Amanda sent for us to enjoy, screamed, paced, and couldn't keep our bodies still. It was the most stressful/exciting moment of our lives I'm sure.... ;-)

L Puppy was spreading the love early this morning! I dug out his hipster Valentines t-shirt. He was sleepy and messy...just my kind of snuggly pup!

Saucony posted a clever photo that I have to share:

I ran home from work with all my heart. I donned a Valentines Day inspired outfit:

This post would not be complete without an ode to my true love, B Millz, also known as Mr. Miller:

My partner in crime, love of my life, and friend forever, I love you. 

P.S. We look way better when it's summer!!! I miss being tan. XOXOXO

How about you? Are you pro or anti Valentines Day? Do you join the people who combined spend 7 million dollars on pet Valentines Day gifts? (L Pups got that shirt 3 years ago and nothing since!) Did you join your love affair, The Run, for a rendezvous today? TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Well, it was semi warm!

HELLO +40 degrees! Last night I joined my run club for their hill workout. Unfortunately, our hill repeats were still slush/ice/mostly slush laden. We opted for a route similar to our 10k route along the East River with some hills mixed in. 4-5 miles. UGH. I promised Mr. Miller I'd be home "early" from this run because it was only 5k! I cut the run short and ran 3.10 at 8:59/mile pace. AMAZING for me considering it was a night run, NOT my forte! No matter what the weather, we just need a road....right?!

What was so great about this run? THE WEATHER! It was 43 degrees and 85% humidity when I was getting ready to leave, AKA shorts and a long sleeve weather! (Weather over 40 degrees deserves shorts!) There may have been some "Are you crazy? It's drizzling!" looks; but in shorts I came, happy as a clam. As we lined up to begin we were greeted by extremely DENSE fog. The pictures (and views) were absolutely stunning: 

Triboro bridge; Manhattan is indeed in the background! The fog is hiding it! 

Hellgate Bridge in the run club's namesake. So GORGEOUS. Unfortunately, snow on the bridge was not easily pictured!

How about you?! Do you run with a run club? Do you enjoy drastic weather change? Do you have a temperature rule for apparel? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, February 11, 2013

I love snowy days and snowy runs

My favorite book to read to my students is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. I read it to my students every time a storm is impending, and they love every minute of it.

This weekend was like an eternal snowy day. I walked Lambeau puppy in the snow, went for two amazing runs (4 miles Saturday, 9 miles today) in the snow, and received repeated scenic photos from my friends and family. Here are a few of my favorites:

Sorry Seth Meyers, there is no such thing as too many snow pictures! 

 Astoria Park and East River via Slice of Life

East River path was barely plowed but passable! Via Slice of Life

Sledding in Astoria Park outside my beloved pool!  

The happiest you'll ever see me. Ran 9 miles with Stephanie. Despite some treacherous conditions, I covered 9 miles with a 10:21/mile average, Steph ran for 12! 

 My parents house! The door from their garage to their driveway. They got 27 inches of snow. Thankfully they retained their power, plowed their driveway and were SAFE!

My nephew McAuliffe#4! Snow was basically as tall as them. They got 30 inches!

Want more winter fun? Check out some great reads with pretty pictures!

Ashley's scaled a mountain! Her snow run trumps any and all snow photos!
Jen ran 9 miles one day post blizzard
Michelle's snowy Lulu Lemon Group run!
Not a snowy run, but Michelle ran 20 miles on the treadmill AND had cute snowy fun!
Last, and certainly not least, the most gorgeous snow proposal photo and story in Central Park. Tears.

Have you had any snowy fun lately? Do you want to tackle snow clothes clad children in the white fluffy stuff? Do you prefer to stay indoors? Does snow make you feel like a kid again?! Tell me about it!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snowy run: Blizzard style!

In case you live under a rock, newsflash: The northeast experienced a BLIZZARD! Dun dun dunnnnn. We all survived, and NYC fared fairly well. Who knew the 12 inches of snow would be no big deal? Not me. However, I got a little stir crazy after walking Lambeau Puppy, who dragged me through snow drifts and giddily galloped in the fluffy white stuff. I wish I could say I was totally nonchalant, but I was totally encouraging him and laughing all the way! Ha ha ha....

Mom, I believe this snow calls for a run. Or more pictures. Pick one!

SO, I got Kim to meet me and we embarked on a SNOWY run! I began the run by saying, "Be prepared, I'm going to take a million pictures." I think I limited it to four, which is pretty impressive. Little did Kim know, this is how I felt during our run: 

My mom found ZERO photos of me in the snow as a child... traumatized...

When I arrived at my local park/happy place, I was greeted by a myriad of fabulous sights. Smiling faces, little kids in snow clothes (I want to tackle them....), children sledding, dogs frolicking, it was a joy overload today!

(Top then left to right) My track became a dog park, grown adults had a snowball fight/wrestle, and the waterfront path was plowed 2 seconds before we ran on it!

As my Instagram caption said, "6 year old my just gave me a fist bump and said, "You've still got it!" 

I've always loved the snow and this storm was no exception. Mr. Miller and I made sure we had a good time while being "snowed in"; Mr. Miller shoveled, we ordered Chinese food, watched Sky Fall, walked to enjoy an AWESOME bluegrass band, and Lambeau got to pretend he was a husky. Overall a nice weekend of relaxing and enjoying life!

 Mr. Miller shoveling, all of us ladies watching him on the security cameras!

AWESOME Bluegrass band at The Queens Kickshaw!!! 

How about you? Did you weather the storm this weekend? Were you a snow bunny as a kid? Do you have a hard time imagining us East Coasters suffering under inches of white stuff? Are you a snow runner? What did YOU do this weekend? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jury Duty: an active person's nightmare!

I really had no idea how active I am on a daily basis at work. I work in four different classrooms in a rather large school, so I am often moving from place to place, different floors, and walking around my classroom. In other words, I don't sit down for long.

Enter: Jury Duty. This requires sitting. A LOT of sitting. So much in fact, when the jurors in my group had to sit outside the courtroom yesterday for two hours while lawyers battled it out with a judge, I started pacing the halls. I may have looked like a weirdo, but I had to move! I tried walking on my lunch break, but I am unfamiliar with this neighborhood and didn't feel safe traveling too far. So, here I am, a rural juror hating the constant sedentary lifestyle!

I want Jack McCoy to show up! RIP law & Order

Ever since I was a kid I was obsessed with decorative ceilings in old buildings. I blame the Bushnell in Hartford, CT!

Despite walking around the neighborhood in search of soup and salad that I was craving, Subway was the only remotely healthy option! This neighborhood presented another challenge: not eating fried food, because that's what every other place was (think Popeyes and McDonalds). I finally settle on a turkey 6" and couldn't resist the baked BBQ lays!

So, today, I packed my lunch! Treating it like any other work day, except I added and an ice pack to my bag since I'm sans refrigerator. Egg salad with ranch, avocado, cracked pepper, mixed greens and tomatoes!

There is one small silver lining in this whole situation: I have a bit of extra time to run in the morning! This morning was the BEST; light snow fall, nothing too slippery, and a park FULL of runners with big grins on their faces. Oh, and there were some yellow labs and golden retrievers playing in the snow. That made my morning!

How about you? Have you done jury duty before? Any good stories about getting out of it? Don't you wish Olivia Benson was your friend!? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Edited to add: I am free! I have "fulfilled my civic duty" by being a potential juror, sent back to the pool of jurors, and then was given my release letter at the end of the day! Two days in and I'm thankful to be done. Back to moving and shaking as a teacher! I will wear my Nike Fuel band tomorrow, because I was too embarrassed to wear it the last couple of days!!!