Monday, January 28, 2013

Big things

I have been on a committee that's been planning a big work event at the National Museum of Natural History in DC for months. It seemed like the party would never happen. We had 1100 people RSVP, coordinated parking, buses, hotel, food, drink, and shuttle for all those people. 1100 opportunities for problems.

So I did what a normal person would do.

I went to the mall and saw a cool special parking area for Teslas. I want one even more now.

I bought these Jimmy Choos. My bank account wept. They're SO pretty and SO comfy and perfect and my mother is an enabler

Holy asymmetrical mouth. I got a much needed haircut (apparently I can't grow out a pixie cut to a bob without looking like a street urchin) and got my makeup done. End result: weather girl deluxe. Also, my life hasn't been the same since seeing how I look with eyebrows. I need those perfect eyebrows recreated on my face every day.

The party was fabulous. So much dancing and wine. Today is a little bit of a let-down though because all that planning is over and now no more party to look forward to. Just work. Meh.

In big news, I am going to Brussels for a work trip and Nick is coming with me. We'll spend 4.5 days (plus 2.5 days travel) in Belgium, with 2 of those days occupied by the work thing. I am so happy Nick is going with me. My one foray into international travel was not sufficient to prepare me to do it on my own. April 2013: the month I was only home 5 days. Shouldn't be stressful at all.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Running lately

My blog is supposedly about running. I should talk about that.

I ran 7 miles on Sunday. This is not a big deal for anyone else, ever, but for me, it's a big deal. Why? It was a spur of the moment decision, I didn't have fuel with me, and I didn't stress and fret and get worked up about how it's my longest run in forever. And it only took an hour. It just sort of happened.

Here's the not super interesting story of why.

My runs lately have been 1) on the treadmill, 2) less than 5ish miles and 3) less than 50 minutes. I am not training for anything in particular (although it's high time Nick and I decide on a half marathon), and the runs I've been doing lately have been my lame attempt to get myself faster. They've been building time at faster paces (starting with 30 minutes @ 6.8 mph, and adding minutes as I go, and have been... boring. I was kind of interested to see if they've done any good. So when the weather was GORGEOUS yesterday, and I had nothing really pressing to do, and I had had a big breakfast and a snack and digested and the stars aligned, I left the house. I had a vague goal of doing 30 minutes out, and 30 minutes back, but my foot felt tweaky when I started so I said, eh, maybe just 3 miles out and back. I definitely had some doubts about getting any distance in. And then... speed happened. I glanced at my watch after the first mile, and it was 8:10. And I felt fine. Good, even. My foot had warmed up. I knocked out the next 3 miles at 8:11, 8:15 and 8:28. Then I ran up a big hill, started running out of steam, and hit 8:52, 8:46 and 8:34. I was definitely tired, and definitely did some mini-fartleks to give myself a break, but my overall pace was 8:27. WHO AM I. I finished 7.1 in an hour.

Other than running, I've been all over the place. Swimming. Stationary bike or elliptical at the gym. "Weight training." I do find it pleasant that I was on the elliptical the other day, watching a burly-looking guy do lat pulldowns and he used less weight than me. I felt like I should get a special medal for that (blah blah blah everyone is at a different point in their fitness journey. Do not care. I still win). Nick is also doing weights and  plyometric workouts, including doing Tabata stuff with me. We are both enjoying the glorious soreness of weird, new muscles that strength training and plyo workouts accomplish.

The rest of my life is pretty standard stuff. Emailing women in New Zealand who I've never as much as spoken to on the phone, giving them my credit card number, and trusting them with my hair, makeup, and flowers for our wedding. Planning an epic work party for 1000 people at the National Museum of Natural History. Getting ready to work nightshift for 7 weeks. A work travel opportunity also just arose that might take me to Brussels March 30-April 5. Yikessss.. Then we leave for the wedding on April 12. Death by international travel.

I see a lot of treadmill time in my future, both for sanity and because my schedule will be ridiculous.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vegucated

My boss (who is semi-vegetarian) mentioned that he watched the documentary Vegucated recently. He said it was really eye-opening and reinforced his belief in a vegetarian diet and in not supporting companies whose practices he doesn't agree with. I was intrigued, so when it showed up on our Netflix suggestions a few days later, I suggested to Nick that we watch it.

Yikes.

I'm a vegetarian, but this movie really reinforced not eating meat and advocated for veganism instead. The movie discussed the health reasons behind being vegan but really stressed the ethical issues behind the meat industry. They showed "free range" egg-laying chickens who were still kept mainly indoors in terrible conditions. We had to skip the graphic slaughterhouse scenes entirely because I couldn't handle it. Honestly, I've never been too much of an ethical vegetarian. I chose this route for health reasons and because I am cheap. I wouldn't say this movie totally changed me, but it reminded me of what I'm supporting by eating cheese and eggs.

BUT.

I love eggs. I love cooking them and I love eating them. I love the protein content. I just hate the idea of them. Ugh. I'm at an impasse because as much as I love cheese, I feel like I should love animals more. So this morning I had Greek yogurt for breakfast and a granola bar with dairy in it and I feel guilty. It's not fun. Greek yogurt should not be making you sad at 6am. 6am should be making you sad at 6am.

One of the girls in Vegucated was distraught because she felt bad eating animal products, and some of the more experienced vegans told her any reduction in animal product consumption is progress. So. I don't eat meat. I do eat eggs and cheese and yogurt. It's not like I'm not making a difference.... I just feel like I should be making more of a difference. Cheese already wreaks havoc on my tummy, why not cut it back more/cut it out, relieve the tummy problems and save some cows from sad lives? But then I feel like I'm half-assing veganism if I'm still eating eggs. Arg!!

A favorite vegan blogger of mine, Angela at Oh She Glows, is doing a series of posts on Veganism 101, which could not have come at a better time. I was reading one of the initial posts on non-dairy milk and it was great (although I haven't had cow's milk, in its milk form, in ages). I can't wait to read more and think about what changes I can make. And where oh where I will get my protein from if I cut back on eggs? Sigh.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas, Boston, 2013

This post is late.

I am insanely lucky and insanely spoiled. So so spoiled. My wedding dress is off white, strapless, and I'm a pale girl. My parents bought me this necklace for Christmas to wear with my dress because I decided that rose gold would hopefully be awesome with the dress/skin combo. Then Nick bought me a beautiful rose gold vintage watch from the 60's that I spied online a couple months ago and have been coveting. Between these two gifts (plus some more) plus buying my wedding band, having Nick's made by these folks (SO jealous he gets one of these!) and the extravagance of our wedding as is, my mind is pretty boggled about the scale of this thing. Also, we've decided to definitely do some sort of party when we get back from New Zealand. Soooo now my spring looks like this:

January: survive it
February: Stupid crazy work hours/nightshift
March: Continue stupid crazy work hours most of the month.
April: Run a half? New Zealand! Wedding!
May: Decompress/eat only dried beans all month because we'll be so poor and tired
June: "Reception"/party/10 year high school reunion

We also went to Boston the day after Christmas. The drive up was the worst. Ever. It was rain, sleet, and snow all the way up, and the addition of travel traffic meant our 8ish hour drive took 13 hours. My legs were sad, especially since I drive a manual transmission car and all day I was easing on and off the clutch and gas. Bleh.

But then! Boston! Woo! Nick found a super nice hotel near everything for a super reasonable rate. Only tiny complaint- our room was close the elevator and we were awakened or kept up by people conversing/screaming/carousing at all hours. Plus, apparently in cities, there's traffic? I forget that we live on a tiny highway without beeping horns and emergency vehicles. Oh well, I bought earplugs and called it good. Before we left for Boston, we had figured out a few things we sort of wanted to do, like see Fenueil Market and the Science Museum, but we mostly left it open. I was a little worried that we'd get bored and end up watching TV in our hotel room. Instead, we walked. Everywhere. We went a little crazy over-buying Groupons for food deals and didn't bother mapping them out beforehand, so we had little clusters of 2 to 4 Groupons all over the city. That worked out beautifully a few times and... less beautifully other times.

My favorite unusual food experience was Veggie Galaxy. It was near MIT and we went there prior to the MIT Museum and the Museum of Science. Veggie Galaxy is all-vegetarian, all the time. They can make everything vegan as well (tofu eggs?! did not try. Want to try). I had a delicious omelette with arugula and veggie chorizo. Nick tried tempeh bacon and was underwhelmed, but I was intrigued. I have never had tempeh (unadventurous vegetarian) and the texture was delicious. Also, the waitstaff and cooks at the restaurant were all super-hip and my head to toe J. Crew felt conspicuous and weird.

Our hotel gym was enormous and there were TVs! On everything! Glorious.


We toured Fenway at night while it was snowing heavily. It was beautiful. We also went to Boston Beer Works which is next door and I would have loved to have had more time to spend there. Yummy beer, cute atmosphere.

I get to marry this guy :) He will not be wearing that hat though. Ever again. 

New Year's was spent drinking delicious, deadly sangria and enjoying the hospitality of Nick's sister's boyfriend. He had a really neat dance floor set up in his living room! It was quite the party.

And now... 2013. Yeah. How about some goals? Last year I did mini-goals and...yikes. I don't want to look back at those just yet. Spoiler alert: I didn't keep them all.

So, big goals?
-Get married. This is pretty much happening unless we fall into the lake in New Zealand or one of us gets dysentery on the layover in Dubai.
-(see April, above) Run a half? I wanted to do a spring marathon when I was in the midst of a major post-marathon high in November. I found a bunch of marathons that all sounded fun, and then the logistics of training heavily during crazy work hour time or having to worry about long runs on my honeymoon actually sank in. Instead, we're gonna aim for a half some point either in April or May. Last year we squeaked in under 2 hours and I think with some focused training (last year's longest run was 8 miles!) and the fact that I'm just generally better feeling this year, maybe a new PR could happen.
-Track my mileage. Last year I wanted to run 1000 miles. This year, I'd like to just keep track of things. See: my brand new "2013 workouts" page. Yippee! As of Day 6, I'm succeeding.
-Stay happy with running. The marathon this year was so. much. fun. Training with Nick made it way less hateful to me, and run the race was... not always super fun, but in the end, it was the best thing we've ever done together. 
-Stay happy with food and my self-image. I'm struggling a bit. I subsisted on air in late November and it made me a grouch. I rebelled against the air diet and ate everything. That got me quickly back to a level of fluffiness I'm not happy about and one that my wedding dress won't be happy about either. I also want to get my upper body a little more defined before the wedding. Don't have an action plan for that (99 days till the wedding!) yet. 
-Marathon #3. Since I couldn't check the "run the same race every year" box for the Marine Corps in 2012, maybe create a new "run a different marathon every year" box instead. Philly (November 18)? Savannah? Harrisburg? OBX?

About running lately- my left foot has been hurting on the outside left side, and it's been hurting bad. Walking a lot in Boston aggravated it, so I've backed off on mileage and focused on cross training. I'm going to continue to baby it and hopefully it doesn't turn into a thing (famous last words).