Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday and I'm in love

I love the Cure song, It's Friday and I'm in Love.  I am not sure if that is even the name of the song, but that is definitely the chorus!  I love Fridays, especially when it's so beautiful out! 

I have been doing my 100 crunches and my eating has been really great.  I have kind of been avoiding the scale because I just want to focus on eating well and exercising and just weigh in to myself next week.  I think, sometimes, when I lose I give myself a free pass to eat anything I want and that should not be the case at all!

Last night was the NFL draft, we watch it together and discuss the picks.  It was really fun and this is what I look like when I watch the draft:

Jammies and Wine!  Now that is how you watch a draft!

I have a great weekend planned with plenty of outdoor activities!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Park Avenue Richard Simmons

I completed my first night of 100 crunches.  I did three sets of 30 reps and one last set of 10 leg lifts.  It wasn't really that bad and it gave me energy to play with my crazy Clyde, so we goofed around and I chased him up and down our duplex stairs.  B came home a little toasty and ready to pick a fight, so he stayed on the couch last night (7's not always roses and butterflies) and my little munchkin Clyde slept on top of his toys/bones to make sure B didn't get them, ha!  Check it out, B took this picture last night of him!

I hope he had sweet dreams of bones!

This morning I took C for a walk and at lunch I met up with my girl Christy and walked Park Avenue in NYC.  Park Avenue is a beautiful street lined with flowers and sculptures.  There is a ton of money on that street, especially in Midtown.  We walked two miles like Richard Simmons and I was armed with weights!  Um, yeah, we stuck out!  Check out my weights I keep in my desk drawer just for those occasions!

Only 3lbs, but let me tell you, I feel those 6 additional pounds around 20 blocks of walking!

Tonight, hoping to go for a quick run and do my crunches.  128 days until my wedding, 128 days to get into tip top shape!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hundred Crunch Challenge

I am starting a challenge for myself.  One hundred crunches each day.  Once a day.  I am going to give myself some slack though. 

1.  It does not have to be 100 crunches all at the same time
2.  It does not have to be 100 crunches in the same position

Just 100 crunches at anytime throughout the day everyday.  I have pretty much zero ab strength, so I am a big fan of intervals of 30 with ten leg lifts (lay on back with hands together under butt in diamond shape, then lift legs up and down).  I need to start seeing some changes to make my mind at ease.   I have a dress fitting on June 8th, my first one and I want to be close to what I will be at my wedding.  That is about a month and half so plenty of time to tone up!

Small victories get me closer to the larger goal!

My legs are feeling much better today.  I can walk down the stairs without holding onto the banister and looking like a total wierdo!  I am going to try go for a walk tonight with B and C.  Tomorrow, it's on like donkey kong!  I should be all rested up and the weather is supposed to be AMAZING, so I will be getting my exercise on!  Long walk with C in the am, walking with my beautiful preggers friend at lunch and hopefully getting a short 3 miler in after work.  That is the goal.  I'm ready to jump back in full force.  I have been tipping my toe in and have been resting my soreness when I have to, but the last couple of weeks have gotten me ready for training again.  So even though I don't "officially" start marathon training again until June/July, I will be running at least every other day to keep up my lungs and continue to build my strength.  My goal during this time frame is to get strong.  I plan on incorporating a lot more strength training activity this time around such as lunges, squats, weight lifting, hills, etc.  Sandy got canceled the NYC marathon for a reason and in my head it is so I can be better prepared! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pushing through the pain

This weekend was great!  It was so beautiful out & we can rest a little bit knowing that the two horrible terrorists are captured or dead!  God Bless America!

Friday was an early night B and I were up and out Saturday morning!  We got up at 6:30ish, took Clyde for a long walk, then headed to get my veil!  I am wearing my mothers veil she wore on her wedding day.  It is the most beautiful veil I have ever seen and there is so much delicate detail.  I just had to get it cleaned (not restored, that might have damaged it) and I wanted them to take the hat portion off.  I just wanted a comb.  It is very long and now perfect for what I'm looking for!  I would show you a picture, but I don't want B to sneak a peek!

After I dropped the precious cargo into my closet, we were off to move my bestie!  She and her husband are moving to the burbs :(  I must have made about 30 trips up and down their three story walk up!  It was brutal, although at the time I was just doing, no complaining, just go go go!  Get 'er done!  The move from the Uhaul to the house was much nicer!!!!   No stairs really and a lot more space!  We stayed around for a couple of hours and said our goodbyes.  Short and sweet, I will be seeing her soon! 

By the time we got home it was around 8pm, so I showered, chilled out for a hot minute and B and I called it a night.  Sunday was another early morning.  I woke up around 6am, took C for a quick walk and B and I headed into NYC for a quick 4 mile race.  Immediately when I got out of bed I knew I was going to be in trouble for that race.  I could barely walk down the stairs!  I probably should have stretched out my quad before the race, but I am a lazy stretcher...something I am really going to try to work on during this year training.  I finished at a 9:55 minute mile pace, but it was hard, really hard.  I did like the back bib we all got.  It showed solidarity in the running community!

My family has asked if I am going to run the marathon this year given recent events.  My answer is YES!  My heart goes out to all of the victims of terrorist groups, but I feel like if I do not run out of fear, they will win.  I will however, not send out reminders, set up breakfasts or harass my family and friends to come cheer me on like I did last year.  If they want to come, that is their choice and I completely understand any hesitation.

After my run, B and our friend Mike went to an AMAZING soul foodish type place in NYC, Jacob Pickles. Do yourself a favor and go here.  Pretty much made sure to eat double what I had burned off during the race, ugh, I will never learn!

I'm still really sore today, so when I get home my goal is to stretch it out, hardcore.  I want to get loose and able to run tomorrow!

Friday, April 19, 2013

The distraction game

Have you ever had a day that was crazy that you didn't realize what time it was and that you haven't eaten all day?  Have you ever tried to have those days on purpose?

Well, I do.  I am trying to plan my nights to literally distract me from sitting on the couch and being lazy and about five feet from the kitchen.  It is pathetic that seriously my major problem with food is boredom.  I am not a stress eater, I don't eat when I'm in a funk, I eat when there is nothing going on, or if it is out on display.  I grew up in a house where the food was amazing.  My mom was a really great cook.  I spent a lot of time in the kitchen and now as an adult I love to cook too.  Brendan and I make wonderful dinners when we have time that taste so good.  Those dinners are actually not bad to me.  Yes, my portion size is probably larger than it should be, but we buy fresh ingredients.  I always put a lot of vegetables into our dinner and I know the sodium is much lower than anything processed.  It's the days that we are low on time (often during the week) and are chilling in our apartment that get me mad.  It is like I need to have something in my hand (chips, pretzels, twizzlers, it doesn't really matter).  So I do buy healthy (pirates booty, kale chips, grapes, etc) but I mean at this point I can eat for like two hours straight.  Ug!

So tonight and now that the weather is better in general, I will be using the distraction method.  It worked well for us in the past, we eat, then take C for a long walk or do something where we physically leave the apartment.  When we come back that feeling is lost and it's almost bedtime!  It works for us.  Tonight, I'm heading to the movies!  Out of sight, out of mind!  I have my first fitting June 8th and I need to be at least 8lbs lower by then!  My goal is to be 20lbs lower by the wedding. 

On other news, one of my best friends is moving out of Hoboken this weekend.  I am not sure if I mentioned it before, but we have lived next to each other or with each other for the last 11 years.  Pretty crazy.  I'm sad, but also excited for her and her husband.  They are our "couple" friends.  We go out almost every weekend with them, go on vacation with them, they are the best and the best part is that her husband is one of my fiance's good friends too! Couldn't have worked out better!  They aren't moving far, only 20 minutes, but no longer walking distance.  I am wondering if we will go out less, which will also help the "Steph needs to lose weight" initiative! 

My weekend is busy, but in a good way.  I'll write about it on Monday and take as many pictures I can!  On a side note I hope they catch that Boston Marathon Fucker alive and really fuck him up.  Apologies for the language, but that's how I feel.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To San Francisco with love

I'm back!

My San Francisco trip was in a word, amazing!  One of my besties and I were up so early and packed so much in the short amount of time we were there and I am so thankful!

I arrived in LA on time and we headed up to San Francisco as soon as I landed.  We took the fastest route there, which is not the pretty one by the coast but gets you there in about five hours.  It was so much fun just driving up with my girl that the time flew by!  We got to her girlfriends house, which was GORGEOUS, around 5ish and chilled on her deck.  We had some white wine, her friend was the ultimate hostess!  This is the view of the deck and the type of weather we had.

We chilled out, went to dinner, chatted and got back home and in bed around 10pm, a totally reasonable hour.  The next morning we were up and moving at 6:30am.  It was a Saturday morning and the plan was to ride our bikes over the Golden Gate bridge and back.  Well, my friend and I were not aware that on Saturday mornings, early in the morning, the triathletes train.  The bike ride to the bridge was spectacular, over the bridge, not so much!  We were terrified and we probably pissed off all the bikers!  They kept whizzing by at insane speeds.  I was so focused on staying to the right so they could pass that I didn't even notice the views or anything from the bridge!  If any of you San Fran triathletes in training are reading this...I'm sorry if we f'd up your mojo!  Here are some pictures before and after we finished the bridge:

Before, beautiful!

After, thankful we are alive ha!

Once we finished the bridge, we locked the bikes up and walked to Sausalito (about 2 miles).  It was a beautiful beachy town and the walk there was peaceful.  We had breakfast at some place and although the breakfast looked so good in the picture, I didn't like the hollandaise sauce, it was way too lemony and I only ate half of the eggs, the sauce kind of grossed me out.

Looks can be deceiving!

Once we finished eating and relaxing we walked back up to the Bridge.  On the way we passed an awesome salt water taffy store.  I have never seen such a selection of taffy and I grew up down the Jersey Shore!  I got $20 worth of taffy and called it a day.  I had to capture this amazing selection in Sausalito!

Each barrel was a different flavor!

The walk back to the bridge was full of hills, but at that point we were catching on, San Francisco is full of hills!  I mean crazy amount of hills!  As we got back to the bridge we noticed that there were tourists now biking on the bridge....hmmm we probably should have looked up what times tourists go over.  At that point Kristin's friend came and picked us up at the bridge and she got the bikes on and she dropped us off at Buena Vista Park.  It was a glorious day so we laid on a sheet with some wine for an hour and people watched. 

Kristin at the park!

After an hour of rest, we walked back to Amy's house.  Kristin and I pretty much stopped talking after a couple of minutes due to the fact that we were completely exhausted, but in a great way!  I was feeling the pain in my butt, but also soaking in all of what I was seeing.  To me, the typical houses in San Francisco look like this:

So colorful and well kept!

Also, if you look closely in that picture above you can see wires, well all the buses run on wires!  It's really weird seeing it coming from NYC, but it is as if they are plugged in!  No gas!  Check it out:

Such a weird thing to see to me, but it works!

After we got back we showered and relaxed for about 30minutes and headed over to our night tour of Alcatraz.  This is where I can rally!  The history, the stories, the magnificent scene that is Alcatraz is something that I was looking forward to seeing in a really long time.  I am going to show you pictures, but if you are a history buff, they will not do it justice.  The tour was part tour guide part audio tour.  Friends, it was no crappy audio tour.  The people describing stories and the prison where old inmates and security guards.  It was such an amazing thing to experience, I would recommend it to anyone going to that area!

Me and Kristin on our way to Alcatraz (I probably should have loaded up on the sunblock!)

On the boat there

Bock of cells

Example of what a cell would look like

Me in a cell, they were so tiny!

Kristin getting locked up!

Alcatraz view from the "Rec Area"

View from the "Rec Area", I would think about escaping if I saw this everyday!

We caught the last boat back and called it a night, we packed a lot in and wanted to get up early again.  The next morning we were up and moving around 6:30 again.  We hit up Golden Gate park and went to the Japanese Tea Gardens.  You feel at peace, although when there is a kid that keeps yelling and calling "mommy" it is hard to feel at peace.  I would suggest going there early and getting your calm on.  We were there a good 30 to 40 minutes before it got crowded and the chatter took over.  I did clear my head though for that short time. It felt amazing!

Tea Garden

Tea Garden

After we left there we walked around Golden Gate Park and I took a picture of the theater there.  It was a beautiful area and what I can imagine a perfect place for concerts. 

After the Golden Gate Park, we walked back to the car and drove back to LA.  That was it, short, but perfect.  I have to say, I liked LA & San Diego, but I LOVED San Francisco.  That is a place where I can see living and raising a family (um, if I had a buttload of money).  I will go back again and I would suggest anyone to go there.  I loved everything about it, every wrong turn we took on our bikes was another beautiful secret unveiled. 

Back to the grind, but with a much peacer mind.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What is that feeling?

I ran this am and felt a soreness in my shin when I first started running and when I was finished.  I had shin splins once in my life, in high school when I finished field hockey and started winter track.  They hurt so bad.  So bad!  I think this is just the beginning of what could become much worse if I don't watch it

Let's start off with a weekend recap! 

The Mets game was so much fun, but freezing!  Citifield is like a wind tunnel and it got so cold I was looking for anything in my purse to put around my shoulders.  We had crappy seats, but the stands where pretty empty so we found some decent seats to sit in.  I got chicken fingers and fries and B got hot dogs and ate half of my fries.  Classic baseball food!  Classically fried that is :)  I didn't like the fries so much, but I loved me some chicken fingers!  Not the best pre race food, but hell it's baseball!  I did notice that they had a veggie hot dog for sale after I already ordered my fingers.  I am definitely going to try that next time.  I love veggie burgers but never heard of a veggie hot dog.  I have a feeling it can go either really well or taste like a rubber broccoli spear.  I'll let you know next time I try it.  Here is a shot of us goofing around before we left.  We didn't stay for the whole game but we had a blast while we were there, Go Mets!!!

I woke up at 6am on Saturday and I had nerves man.  My stomach was doing a lot of rumbling.  I can't believe it, I had race jitters for a 10k! A 10k is about 6.2 miles and unfortunately this loop was clockwise around Central Park.  If you have run more than one race in Central Park, you know clockwise stinks!  Long exhausting climbs up and a quick decline only to go on another long hill.  Boooooooooo!  I would much rather do the quick incline and take the long decent thank you!   Anyway, my nerves got the best of me and I had to light up the porta potty :(  Sorry runners, it was me!  I hate that!!!  Whenever I get super nervous I have to poop!  What is that????? 

The first mile sucked.  I really didn't think I was going to be able to get it done, then like most of my running excursions, I found my pace and started to get into my breathing pattern.  I cruised, like the good ole days!  I didn't run as fast as I did when I was in shape, but I was happy.  I finished a little over an hour at a 9:53 minute a mile pace.  I felt like a million bucks!  Here is me and my friend Maren before the start!

After the race, B and I napped and then celebrated our anniversary!  Seven years!  We went to an early dinner, then went to the Melting Pot for fondue desert and drinks.  It was a really magical night, one that makes you feel like it's a first date again, even though you have been together for seven years! 

I leave for San Fran on Friday and could not be more excited!  I'm going with my friend that lives in LA (took trip out there in Sept) and even though it is short I plan on doing it up!  I'm also excited to do a lot of biking! Since my shins are tender, I wasn't planning on running for a week to let them rest, but I can bike to workout and keep moving forward in getting in better shape for my training.  It is a perfect time to go out there!

Until next time my friends!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Meet the Mets

I'm going to the Mets game tonight!!!

I grew up in a family of Mets and Jets fans.  When you are a Met and Jet fan, you get used to rooting for a losing team, but when they win, it's so special!  I mean I don't remember them winning anything too big (the Mets won the World Series in '86, but I was 4), but I do remember clearly what it is like to get to an AFC championship game, to get to the playoffs.  Always an underdog and everyone loves an underdog right???  Living where we live there are a lot of Yankee/Giants fans.  They win, often!  I am sure it is fun watching your team be the team to beat each year, but I am happy our teams have to fight to win harder than the other local teams.  I worked hard for my life, yes I definitely had it easier than a lot of people out there, but we didn't have any money growing up, and believe it or not I'm thankful for that.  All of my siblings are hard workers and that gets us far, we work hard for our wins!

I'll tell you about our first Mets game.  I grew up in Toms River NJ, which is by Seaside (we are NOT Guido's).  It was actually closer for us to go to the Philly field than Shea Stadium.  So we saw our first games, routing for the Mets at the Vet Stadium.  Have you ever met Philly fans????  They are nuts!!!!  I think I was five and my sister seven.  We were so scared and as the night went on, the drunken fans didn't like us any better.  I can't remember who won the game, I am thinking Philly since we were able to leave without anyone kicking us, but I decided I didn't like going to baseball games after that.  I got older, went to Shea where people routed for the Mets and learned to love going to baseball games again!  I will say I can't stand watching them on TV.  I became much less of a fan of baseball after the strike.  I am really excited for tonight though!  We got two seats for $36!!!!  That is another perk to being a fan of a team that isn't so great :)

As far as what I'm eating, I am loving some hummus, olives and carrots!  Classic good for you snack!  Tonight, I will be grabbing a Chicago Style Dog though!!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What a grocery shop can do for you

Grocery shopping is the best way for me to stay on track with healthy eating.  I am blessed to live in an area with a multitude of food options all within a mile squared.  Hoboken, NJ is filled with restaurants, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, bars and more restaurants and bars!  I used to live on the busiest street, Washington, and when B and I lived there we pretty much never cooked.  We didn't have a dishwasher in that apartment, so my excuse was I don't feel like doing the dishes, but I knew it was just the fact that we lived in eye shot of amazing pizza, japanese, mexican, italian and american food, why not have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner?  We were still young and didn't have a great grasp on spending. 

As the years progressed our relationship blossomed, our pants size increased and our wallet diminished.  After two years of living together, we moved farther back into Hoboken into a nice duplex in a quieter part of town.  Our priorities started to shift.  We wanted a house, a family, a wedding.  These things are not free, so we took a hard look at our spending and all we saw was going out.  We didn't have a fabulous closet, or expensive furniture, if anything we were the opposite with our material things, frugal.  We did have hundreds of dollars at a clip being spent on steakhouse dinners, wine bar happy hours and other fun stuff.  We cut down a lot and it became actually nice.

We cooked dinner in at least 5 times a week, we drank wine, but half the time at home enjoying our company and Clyde.  My pants got looser, I started running again, my body felt more energized.  It is easy to veer off track when you are going out to eat every day and adding some wine to each dinner.  You become lazy, you eat more than you would if you cooked and you end up not being able to save for the things in life that you really want.  Groceries are a life saver to my diet, I don't ever like to throw food out so if I buy a grocery, I will eat it.  If the asparagus is about to go bad, I will look for a recipe to cook that includes asparagus instead of going out to eat that night.  This one decision can change your whole week, well it changes mine.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Back in the saddle

I have been running again.  Slowly.  This past weekend was the first run where I started to feel my old lungs coming back, my legs hitting stride.  It was wonderful.  I ran 3.5 miles and I was tired, but I felt great.  I felt comfortable running, not gasping for one last breathe each time.  I can work through any pain but if I can't breathe it is all over for me.  I signed up for a 10k this weekend.  It's very ambitious and I do not plan on running the full 6 miles, I probably will walk/run the last two miles, but I'm ok with that.  Baby steps.

My eating has been, eh.  Pretty bad on the weekends, but good on weekdays, so I am at a standstill weight wise.  B did finally sign up to a healthy diet at home too.  Since Easter and other birthday, shower, etc functions are mostly out of the way I'm going to take advantage of April being low key and eat as healthy as possible and push myself a little bit more each week physically.  I hope to be at a comfortable 6-8 mile range when I start fully training again this year.

My March was filled with activities, all very fun, but all exhausting, when I look at April, I am so excited for the plans.  This weekend, 10k, then making a super nice dinner for B and my SEVEN year anniversary!  Next weekend I am off to San Fran to visit my friend and that area, it's a short vacation, but I'm looking forward to it so much and I know that I will be able to sustain my healthy eating on that trip!  The weekend of the 20th I am moving my best friend to her new home, that is something that is bitter sweet since she lives right down the street from me now, but I am so excited for her and her husband, that Sunday I am running a 4 miler in NYC and going to brunch with friends (must remember healthy eating!).  The weekend of the 27th I am free!  Wahoo!  B will be in San Diego for work and I think this may be a good time to visit family or go hiking with Clyde, depending on the weather!

So there you have it! Trust me, there will be wedding planning/organizing involved in each of those weekends, but for the most part they are calm.  I have been feeling such an overwhelming amount of stress lately.  Nothing that is making me sick, but just the feeling like I always have something to do.  Seeing my down time coming up is making me feel better and calmer already!