Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Monday, April 30, 2012

When Pigs Fly....

Some very strange things happened to me this weekend.

1. I was craving kale. Now I like vegetables, but never before have I craved them when driving down the highway. I even got out my phone to see if there was a Whole Foods near where I was. There was not :(

2. I stopped eating my fro-yo before it was gone because I realized it was making me feel not great. Never ever have I stopped eating a dish of ice cream before it was gone. And usually if I feel sick when eating ice cream it's because I've eaten a whole pint.

3. I said to myself, "well actually Southern California isn't so bad. I can see myself living here."

I had a great weekend here. Saturday I went to a kick-ass step class then to meet a friend in Studio City. We went for a hike in the canyons (we walked past the houses of  Alex Trebec and George Clooney!!), grabbed a quick lunch at the mall (where the food court had so many awesome healthy options), went to see How to Think Like a Man, and then got our nails done. Sunday I cranked out an early morning interval run and then headed to Beverly Hills to meet my cousins for brunch. We went to the ever delicious Le Pain Quotidien where I had an egg white omelet with mushrooms, goat cheese, and pesto. Then about half the bread basket slathered with their own hazelnut spread. 

So much bread. Carbaphobes beware.

 After a leisurely stroll down Rodeo drive, I headed back down south to meet a co-worker in Newport Beach where we went for a walk around Balboa Island. For dinner I got my long awaited kale salad.

There really is something in the air here (besides smog that is). It is so much easier to lead a healthy lifestyle because the environment supports it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Laguna Beach

After a week in the windowless hospital basement, I was desperate for some sunshine. I am in California after all. So this afternoon I headed to Laguna Beach. I was tempted to go Seal Beach, just to get the wild mushroom grits at Beachwood BBQ, but I wanted to take the chance to check out some place new.

Laguna Beach totally surprised me, it was great! I started with a walk along the cliff walk. There were all kinds of cool plants and things to look at along the path.

I liked this cool old gnarly tree. I event sat on it for a few minutes to take a phone call. 

Laguna Beach is famous for art festivals so there were also neat sculptures and art galleries everywhere. As I was standing by this whale sculpture I was looking at the ocean and saw a dolphin.

As nice as the cliff walk was, I was dying to get my feet in the sand. So I climbed back down to the shore and walked barefoot on the beach for a few miles. The water wasn't as cold as I was expecting. I loved watching the surfers and the paddleboarders.
 After an intense gym session this morning, and then all the walking in Laguna Beach, I was super ready for lunch. I walked up and down the cute main street for a bit scoping out the options. It was a hard choice because there were so many good looking options. I ended up at Active Culture because it had a big crowd out front and it looked like a healthy option.

 Good choice. I got the veggie bowl with brown rice, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, avocado, and their signature dressing. Holy yum. I don't always love rice, but this rice was awesome. Al dente, a little sweet, and a little sticky like sushi rice. The dressing was tangy

 After lunch I meandered through the downtown, which had a lot of cute little funky shops. And of course because I'm me, I also got a fro-yo to eat on the beach. I can't even resist ice cream!

I also bought a pair of shorts. I have this problem of buying pants and shorts way too big because I don't like them to be tight. But then they look awful and I get annoyed that they are falling down. So I let the saleswoman talk me into these teeny jean shorts. I wore them around all afternoon and pulled them down even 5 steps. I'm feeling like they're a little too short and do nothing flattering for my power thighs.  What do you think??

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thankful Things Thursdays: SoCal Travel Edition

Since yesterday I was a complainer, today I am going to try to be thankful. And since yesterday I stole my title from Kim, today I'll steal my title from Ali. Thanks for the inspiration ladies!

 Thankful Things Thursdays: SoCal Travel Edition

oh truffle pasta, I want you
1.  On this trip I'm accumulating a whole lot of frequent flier miles, and hotel and rental car points. I can use these later to go on vacation to some place super cool. I got my cousin and myself to Rome and our hotel for the whole trip all with points, so all my money was free to go towards pasta and gelato.

2. The hospital cafeteria has really good coffee, and with my employee discount it is only 72 cents. And people here wonder why I always have so much energy?

3. There are some very cool flowers that I get to walk by multiple times a day as I walk between my office and the hospital.

This one reminds me of a cool tropical bird.

4. Even though it's small and not fantastically equipped, there is hardly ever anyone in the hotel gym. So I can watch ABC Family and do funny exercises without embarrassment.

5. There is a plethora of self serve fro-yo places around. As with cereal I like to mix a little bit of everything into my ice cream. 7 flavors and 10 toppings? Yes please!

I ate kale salad for lunch. And now I am starving. I want this NOW.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

First World Problems: Travel Edition

I am totally not feeling the travel this week. I'm back in So Cal for the first time in a few months. A part of me knows I'm being silly, but I can't quite shake it. They are what my new blogger pal Kim over at ilaxStudio First World Problems. I think they're pretty funny where she does them, so here is my first travel edition of First World Problems.

Not impressed with you at all.
1. I paid 7.99 for inflight entertainment on my flight because there was a new episode of one of my favorite shows (I am not saying what show because it's horribly embarrassing). But the satellite connection was weak so the show kept cutting out. And they made an overhead announcement every 5 minutes, covering up the TV audio. I just wanted to be home on my couch watching my own TV.

Oh shiny, functional spin bike how I miss you.

2.   The gym right next my hotel is now closed. So I have to drive 15 minutes (WHY ARE THERE SO MANY STOPLIGHTS IN CALIFORNIA??) to get to a gym now. Also, I think their spin bikes are the first spin bikes ever made. My foot straps kept coming off, my bike had a squeak, and it was tippy.

3. Running outside sucks here. It is concrete and trafficky and sketchy. I just want to be on my greenbelt running by the ocean.


4. They changed the continental breakfast system at my hotel. You now have to fill out a little order sheet the night before. So I have to remember to do this and bring it down to the front desk every night. So now I can't mix all 5 types of cereal together in the perfect proportions, I have to choose one. I also can't pick the best fruit. Yesterday my banana was miniscule and over ripe. Today I got a mushy, lumpy orange.

What is annoying you this week?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Food Centric

I noticed last week that although my Mom and  I are very similar we approach food very differently.  I plan what and when I am going to eat way in advance and need to eat every 4 hours or so. I plan meals into my day like meeting. My Mom likes food, but her day doesn’t revolve around it. She eats when she can, but she can go most of the day without eating. I tried her approach, but it just didn’t work for me. Wednesday met to get our hair done at 11, so I hadn’t eaten lunch, and then we ended up being there until 4. At 3 I was about to pass out, and ended up with a soggy, tasteless wrap from the beauty school cafeteria.  Thursday we had delicious baked goods (half a bagel and half an almond horn) from Scratch, and then went shopping. By the time we bought my grill at 2:30 I was, again, starving and grumpy. My Mom wanted to go get a gas tank and test out the grill. I just wanted to eat something, anything, immediately. We ended up grilling, and at that point, I was so hungry that I felt like I’d never get full. So I ate, and ate, and ate.
I know I am probably a little obsessive and that this all goes back to my eating disorder days. On the other hand, planning and eating regular meals helps me to eat better because I am not overly hungry and have healthy options. I definitely live a food centric life. I live to eat instead of eating to live. I run to eat. I bike to eat. I feel a little sorry for people who don’t enjoy eating, because food is one of life’s great pleasures. On the other hand, I’m also pretty jealous of them because sometimes I feel like food controls me.

Is your life food centric? Or is eating something you do because you have to?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Prana and Pinot

My favorite yoga studio had a super fun event last night called Prana and Pinot. Yoga and wine are some of my favorite things, how could they not be good together.

We started off with 90 minutes of yoga. The first hour was a pretty vigorous flow. I'd spent the afternoon sitting at my table working on the plans for the renovations for my Mom's kitchen and eating delicious treats from Scratch (I have gotten my Mom addicted and now she wants to go whenever she visits!), so it felt good to move. I was right by the open window and the fresh air and sunlight kept me feeling cool and invigorated even as my legs trembled from holding warrior two for what seemed like hours. We finished with half an hour of restorative yoga, perfect for helping me with my intention for the class- reconnecting my mind with my body.

It was also perfect for preparing me for the wine tasting. We were tasting wines from Cellardoor, a Maine Winery. Since the cold Northern climate isn't ideal for grape growing (and I've been totally spoiled by wine tasting in California and Italy in the past few months), I was really interested to see how they would taste.

We started with a red, the Monti al Mare
a blend of Sangiovese and Old Vine Zinfandel. It was described as being full of ripe, concentrated flavors of cherry, raspberry, and Amaretto, ending with a warm, spicy finish. Usually I read these descriptions, but have trouble picking out individual flavors. But last night, I totally could! I think the yoga really helped to sharpen my mindfulness.

One of the most unique wines was the Sweetheart. The ideal pairing? Peanut Butter and Jelly! It was sweet, tasting mostly like grape juice. But I love a wine company that isn't afraid to have fun. Sometimes at the end of a long week, I really need a glass of wine, and I don't have anything in the house except peanut butter and jelly. Love it!

The last wine we tasted was a sweet dessert wine, Serendipity. It is a Riesling infused with Maine maple syrup. I'm not usually a big dessert wine person, but this was really good. It wasn't too sweet and went great with chocolate. Plus by this point, I probably would have liked anything. They were very generous with the tasting pours!

The wine, cheese, and chocolate were great, but the best part was getting to talk to the other people at the event. Usually at yoga we do our thing and then head out right away, so we never get to chat. I spent a long time talking to a woman who is the teacher training program this spring. She loves it. I mentioned that I've been eying the fall class, but I don't know if I can make the commitment with my travel schedule. At this point, the studio owner jumped into the conversation. She told me she noticed how strong my practice was during class, and that she'd be willing to work with me. Could I really become a yoga teacher? After a lot of wine last night it seemed possible, today I'm not so sure.

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's what you make it

We had a sub instead of our usual step instructor this morning and I was a total grouch for the first half of class. We started late, the class was boring, and I wasn't getting a good workout. Stupid lady. Then, halfway through the class something clicked. I was mad at myself for eating too much crap last night and felt like I needed to get my butt kicked. But the person ultimately responsible for kicking my butt was me, not the teacher. I wasn't getting a good workout because I wasn't trying. In the second half I totally kicked it up. I added jumps and impact and got my arms moving. I was sweaty and gasping in minutes. It is a good lesson for me to remember, because a lot of times on the road I end up in a class that is less than optimal.

I can always work harder and if I don't get a good workout in the end it is always my fault.