Thursday, July 29, 2010

Running bits of Wisdom

I recently subscribed to Runner's World quote of the day email service so I could have a daily kick in the butt to get my feet pounding the pavement. While I haven't been running as much I should be, some real gems have shown up in my email. Thought I would share today's quote with you:

It's not like somebody else can run a marathon for you. It's all you out there. Finishing means you can say, "There's not a lot I can't do." 

It really captured why I set out for a Marathon. When I volunteered to work the Boston Marathon, I did it for the sweet free jacket and to experience a slice of local culture. I walked away knowing I would some day run a marathon. I never knew it would be so soon! I chose to run after this goal because I wanted to have an accomplishment that was personal, that was all me. I wanted to prove to myself how capable I am. I have been letting myself down in training, but it isn't too late to step back up to the plate and give it my best so I can claim 26.2 in October. For those of you who struggle to understand why people run such great lengths, this quote captures it all.

Another blogger left me a message saying, "I think runners tend to be over-achievers in general. " She is SO RIGHT!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sangria and Cupcakes :)

Tonight I made the farewell feast: Seared Ahi, seaweed salad, squid salad, edamame, crab rangoon, Miso soup, and Lemon sorbet. This is the last night I am able to cook before the the great transition. Eating out from here on out (hello unnecessary weight gain!). I had to finish the sangria as well, or it would go down the drain. Who knew sangria paired so well with Ahi? Score!

Two thoughts for today. Had a great run this morning. Took random country roads and stumbled across some ridiculously huge houses. It is so refreshing to mix up the running routes, as well as imagine myself living in these unnecessarily large wine country chateaus. The standards for future relationships might be based on the square footage of the homes I ran by today, just saying. But honestly, the hills, the adventure of not knowing where I was going, the cool overcast morning, it all just came together. I really hope I can keep this up throughout the week so I can back on my training schedule. I was little worried about having enough gusto for the run, since I hadn't had breakfast, so I ate a chocolate cupcake before my run. I don't know if that is good practice, but it sure made for a heck of a run. I freakin' love chocolate cupcakes! They taste so much better than gels, and frosting really helps you go the extra mile!

Second thought: I didn't watch the Bachelorette Guys Tell All episode. Yes, I am totally addicted to the Bachelorette. I completed an application to be on the next bachelor, but never could bring myself to hit the submit button (not sure if I could hoe myself out quite like Ali did). But I didn't want to hear the guys talk trash on each other. Sadly, I watch the show because I have recently become obsessed with this idea of true love and marriage. But I would never last more than an episode on those crazy reality dating shows. Cameras have never been part of my vision on finding love, nor has been getting fresh so mom and grandma can watch on prime time. GROSS!!!!!! Anyways, I doubt I even know what love really is. Even if it slapped me in the face, I probably wouldn't know what hit me.

It all feed into something bigger. Watched Valentines Day the other night and didn't care for it. Even my stepdad (the Marine) said it was alright, but me, I would have rather drank a bottle gin myself and passed out (metaphorically, or course?). Even How I Met Your Mother is getting on my nerves. After the season finally on the Bachelorette (read: obsessive addiction, thanks Melissa), I think I might give up on all things related to love for a while. I just can't take it, it makes me irritable. And ask anyone who knows me, irritable is NOT GOOD. So, next Monday, after I move into my new apartment and don't have cable yet, I'll have to go to the gym for two hours to run on the treadmill so I can watch the Bachelorette season finale. Oh, the lengths I will go for the Bachelorette. It will be my final indulgence in love, but I won't feel guilty because I am going to burn about 1200 calories. Booyah!

Here is a final thought to leave you with. Going to dinner with a boyfriend from the past tomorrow. He picked the place, and it is spot on. Is this a good idea or bad? Hmmm.....

(wonder if he reads this, lol)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hot Bliggity Blog!

So, time to refresh the blog with a new background. Whaddya think? I am looking for something that is fresh but not too feminine, clean looking so people won't know how amateur I am, and free. I am kinda feeling the new look but wanna know how everyone else feels about it as well. Yes, I value your opinion. Isn't that touching? :)

I have been really chewing over this idea of "blasting" my blog on Facebook to let people know I have a blog. Actually, I have been thinking more about why the thought of having friends/family/frienemies reading my blog regularly seriously freaks me out and how that might change how I write and what I write. There is a lot of safety in anonymity. Am I just over thinking this? Is it bad that I don't want my mom to know I have a blog? (I am pretty sure she would freak out).

As I try to shape my blog and decide what personality I want it to take, I really have to evaluate why I started it, as well as what I want it to be become. Is this my personal training log for marathoning, where people can cheer me on and keep me accountable? Is this a place for random thoughts/ramblings and celebrating the good things in life? Can it be both? I follow some pretty funny blogs, and I love what they offer readers and their writers. Could I ever be one of those?

I need to kick my butt into gear and get back into training mode. No one wants to read a running blog written by someone who doesn't run. I especially don't want to write a blog where I am constantly making excuses about what I am NOT doing. But I feel even a stronger need to create a vision for my blogging. A big drive to blog was to become a better writer. I feel that creating some structure might help.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good Things are coming this way!

Did I mention that life is overflowing with good things? Is it becoming annoying that I brag about them nearly every week? No? GOOD :)

So, kinda a big thing, and I am pretty sure it is a good thing. 2 people, complete strangers, stumbled upon my blog and were compelled enough to leave a comment, one even bold enough to FOLLOW me. Must be a runner, only a runner could appreciate most of my boring posts about how far I ran, what nasty gels I slurped down, and how my knee still hurts. Most people would just say, "Thats what you get for running XX miles. Stop racing around like a crazy person and your knee will be just fine." I'm sure that's what the bestie thinks every time she reads a marathon training update, lol. How loyal she is. Now I can stop following my own blog because I have more than one person following it. YAY! Some people, I won't name names (Matt) think I should give the blog a good ol' Facebook blast. SCARY!!!!!!! Strangers are cool, but people I know talking about how my blog tries to be witty but falls desperately short? TERRIFYING!!!!! More on this in a later post...

Back to things that are good. Luau this weekend!!!!!! I am painting giant cardboard tiki statues, butchering everything about the Hawaiian culture in order to have a fun and festive three way birthday party (sorry Bestie!). Not bad for a mainlander, and if they turn out respectable (in my eyes), I might post brag pictures. They stand 3 feet tall. We bought all sorts of kitschy deco to create ambiance. It is going to be fantastic. I am VERY excited!

Last good thing to point out? I got to spend quality time with my nephew. Little dude loves to swim, and loves teething on the side of the spa even more (it's flagstone, btw). I'm sure I gave him back to his mom with chipped teeth, but they are only baby teeth, and he barely has two, so I am sure they will grow back. I still can't get over the goofy smile that comes across his face after he breaks wind. Just like his daddy. Equally as smelly and gross. How does such a small creature make so toxic a scent? Dogs do it just as bad. What the heck?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Here are some highlights from the winery, for your amusement. More running updates later this week as I get back on the bandwagon :) 

Older lady comes in to buy a glass of wine on live music night. Asks for the cheapest glass, I list the bottom 3. She goes for the pinot. Keep in mind she has a wine list with tasting notes in front of her. I pour the glass of Pinot Grigio (the only pinot we serve), slide it across the bar. She slides it back, and with 100% attitude, says "Sweetheart. Pinot is a red wine". She also thought the music was too loud.

Guys at bar: Come to Vegas with us. We'll comp everything: room, drinks, shows.
Me: Vegas huh? I've always wanted to go. My bestie goes all the time.
Guys at bar: Then come. We are going to invite 10 of our guy friends. It is going to be great.
Me: Am I going to have a sign a video release for this? I'm not sure I am that kinda girl.

Old man at table: Your shirt is sparkly. Reminds me of a go go dancer I picked up off the side of the road in the 60's. I think you are doing a little better than she was. You are working inside, after all.
Me: (Laughing nervously) Oh, I had a feeling you were going to say something like that.
Old Man: I'm 74. Stop bending over, my wife is here and I can't handle the excitement. 

This will be my last week behind the bar before I pack up and move out. Hopefully my students will give me clever but less sexual things to post in my blog. I am sure this week there will be more love from the patrons to share here.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Drunk Dials?

Is it luck or misfortune that after an all night barrel tasting (AKA like 7 glasses of wine and a case of wine I can't afford later) that no one is answering my calls? I guess we will have to let fate decide. BOO.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tending the Bar

This summer I am pouring in the tasting room of a Temecula winery. I make wage plus tips and commission. The money is FREAKING AMAZING. I only work 3 days a week. Which leads me to wonder if I am really the right line of work. I mean, wine makes the world a better place, am I right? Especially with how education is being funded in California.....

I can see why people get into this industry and stay. The people are fun, the money is good, etc. You can make the starting salary of a teacher in some districts just working behind the bar. You make way more than subbing. How are people supposed to be motivated to pursue an education (or work in education) when it is so tempting to just stay put?

Good thing I love teaching. The work is rewarding and I know I am helping to make a positive impact on my community. But, I would also love to pour wine as a summer job anywhere they will take me. I love meeting new people, talking about wine, and being able to just be a fun twenty something. And the extra spending money is nice to.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Love, Love, Love

As I made the epic drive from Northern California to Southern California yet again, I couldn't help but think about how lucky I am. Lucky to have friends that I love so much, I feel like they are family. That alone makes life rich.

Even if I die a single cat lady (which I WONT), I will have had a great life because of the wonderful people I consider my family.

Love Love Love :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 14 Training update

first of all, 14 weeks! This might be the longest amount of time I have ever stuck with an activity outside of schooling (polishes gold star). The new training schedule has not lost it's promise, although I am mighty sore from my 9 mile long run. I hope my hip/knee is only normal sore and not problematic sore. The hills out here are amazing for training. I hope Napa has great hills as well so I am prepare for San Francisco. My short runs are getting faster, and my long runs are maintaing, which is great considering the inclines I have been tackling.

New totals: 222 total training miles, with 18 miles added this week. I am not a huge fan of speed training on the track, but I am a fan of consistent 9 minute miles on flats. This next week will be the last week on the 2 bottle hydration belt; hotter mornings and increased mileage means the ultra geeky big bertha hydration station is now in charge.

Lessons learned this week: sunburns make running miserable. Especially when you have a hydration belt bouncing all over your red hot mess of a back. Big hills don't get smaller, but your ability to tackle them does get bigger over time. But it still sucks those last 100 feet of incline before you reach the top.

I might miss my short run this week, but I should be right on track for a tempo run at a quicker speed and adding a mile to the long run (double digits!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

So Many Good Things

Oh, July, you have been so good to me. Teaching jobs, fun part time summer jobs, tons of time to cook. There is so much to be thankful this week:

Pouring wine on weekends is going to be a blast. I am very excited to get out of the house, get to know more about the wine industry ( hopefully I can remember everything I learned at Chico 5 years ago) and meet lots of fun, slightly intoxicated people. Who knows? Maybe this experience will pave the path to a part time pouring gig at a winery in Napa, where I will be swept away by the handsome, charming, successful man of my dreams :)

My recent culinary quests have been fantastic! Double chocolate ice cream and lemon sorbet have been my favorite endeavors with my brand new ice cream maker. I have refined my bruschetta recipe, adding roasted red peppers and a balsamic drizzle to make each tasty bite to die for. The salmon burgers were pretty tasty too! Mom and I had a dinner party with fresh flowers on the patio. It was a perfect night!

I also have a great lead on a Napa condo. Great price, good location, with all the upgrades. Let's hope it is big enough for all my stuff and not too good to be true! Making the trek north Monday and Tuesday, hoping that I will come back with a signed lease and the perfect place to live.

Here's looking forward to another amazing week full of lots of wonderful things. I never want this good luck spree to end!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hill Training Commences!

As I am running along, I can see the crest of the hill, and I get excited. Over that crest is the half way point of the run, the four mile turn around where I usually tell myself 
"just stick with it, it's all down hill from here". As I summit this hill, which had a long, gradual incline, I really, REALLY, start to hate marathon training. This is not a hill, but a mountainous peak, and before me a very steep long road enfolds down into a valley where my half way stop sign lies. The run so far, not so bad, the run down, not bad either. But running back up this beast of an incline on my way back? PURE HELL.

Hill training is intense, but rewarding. Come marathon day, I am going to be glad I didn't settle for a hilly route and instead choose the road of extreme vertical inclines. It is good I run with an ipod, as it blocks the hateful dialog going through my mind when the hill is so steep you practically need a ladder or rope to scale it. My long run time was on target for training, but slower than last week: 1:37:00 for 8 miles, averaging 12:07/mi. 37 seconds slower per mile, but 1000% more hills. I think that is a good start. 

So this is what week 13 of training brings. Only 2 days of running due to moving and interviewing, but I only missed one cross training and one day of tempo training. My total mileage is 204 miles (11 miles added this week), reaching another important milestone in training! Thats the distance from Richmond to Reno. And, still no knee pain! Wowza! I am looking forward to starting speedwork this Thursday. I wonder if I will have a new personal best for the mile :) Mileage increases, and so do the hills. Yikes!

Training is about to get intense, but I am so ready for this! This week's mantra: just one step at a time. No more of this "it's all down hill from here" crap. Out here, there is always another hill.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Good Things? No, GREAT THINGS!!!!

Out of chaos comes the best week ever. 2 job offers from two amazing schools. Good move out from the apartment. And coming home to see my nephew, who has the best laugh and smile I have ever seen. I can't imagine how life gets better than this!

I am very excited to be the newest Math teacher at Vintage High School in Napa, CA. The people working in Napa Valley Unified School District are great and I am very excited to move to Napa and become part of the community. I feel like so many things have come together to get me here. Hard work really does pay off. I AM SO FREAKIN HAPPY!!!!!!!

So, I will celebrate tonight by going to the wineries for music, picnic, and lots of the good red stuff. I think this is going to be the best summer ever!