Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gratitude - 2/29

I am grateful that Brad's root canal isn't too painful.
I am grateful for huge, wet snowflakes.
I am grateful for Connie.
I am grateful for a THS basketball playoff win.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

No-TV Tuesday: Veggie Grill & Powell's

Our No-TV Tuesday was a mixed bag of good stuff.

While waiting for Brad to get home from work, I finished No. 7:
Double Take wasn't great. The mystery was good enough, but it wasn't written very well. The dialog reminded me of a bad, B-rate movie. Just kinda corny.

Then we hopped in the car and headed to dinner in Beaverton. We spotted Veggie Grill, which turned out to be a vegetarian restaurant with a good-looking menu.
Brad went with the Chipotle BBQ sandwich with the chili side and I chose the Papa's Portobello with the cabbage slaw.
Brad's had good flavor but really wasn't anything special. And I kinda thought the chili tasted like it came from a can.
My slaw just tasted like cabbage, and my sandwich was pretty blah. The mushroom was watery. I finished it but was not impressed.
We both agreed that we should stick to our beloved Native Foods Cafe.
Then onto the evening's main attraction. It was customer-appreciation night at Powell's. So armed with gift cards and a 30%-off coupon, we loaded up.
On the way out, we spotted Peachwave and had to stop.
Brad was very excited about that cupcake, pomegranate, pineapple combo!
Plus, we scored a free-preview coupon for the new 21 Jump Street. We'll have a full report on that one next week :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gratitude - 2/28

I am grateful for farm-fresh eggs.
I am grateful for chiropractic adjustments.
I am grateful for unexpected sales.
I am grateful for unexpected froyo.
I am grateful for slushy rain.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Monday, February 27, 2012

Gratitude - 2/27

I am grateful for a relaxing lunch break.
I am grateful for mint chocolate cookies.
I am grateful for Mauri.
I am grateful for Phil.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Musical weekend

Brad was at a weekend-long first-aid class at Silver Falls State Park, and I didn't have many plans, other than getting stuff done at home, going on a long run and attending a couple musical performances.

After running 9 miles in the snow, I picked up Dad and Eryn and drove to Liberty High School to see the THS Winter Drum Line compete. (Mom is the director)

Their show, Iron Chef Drum Line, was really entertaining - and very well done!
They took first place in preliminary competition and in finals competition later that night! Nice job, kids!!!!!!

Then we went out to lunch at nearby Noodles & Company with friends Lynn and Clarke. None of us had ever tried the chain, but the "mac & cheese all grown up" sounded intriguing.
The menu had lots of yummy options, and Eryn and I decided to share a small Wisconsin Mac & Cheese with a Cucumber Tomato salad and a Veggie Med Sandwich.
I really loved the sandwich, especially the "zippy Med dressing". I would definitely get that one again.

Mom had to get back to work, but Dad and Eryn came over to watch Inception on our big screen. It was their first time viewing the mind-bending flick. I think it was my third or fourth, and I still picked up on different things.

And I still believe that's the best movie ending ever.

Sunday was early service at church and then some quick errands before heading home to finish cleaning the house.

At 3 p.m., Mom's own band, Tualatin Valley Community Band, was holding a concert at Rolling Hills Community Church.
It was a very nice show, especially Russian Christmas Music. I loved Mom's timpani triplets at the end!

Brad came home just in time for dinner... ravioli and fruit salad.

It was so nice to just relax and enjoy the weekend... and listen to some great music :)



Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gratitude - 2/26

I am grateful for a clean house.
I am grateful for another snowy day.
I am grateful for veggie corn dogs.
I am grateful that it's my rest day.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gratitude - 2/25

I am grateful for my strong, snowy 9-mile run.
I am grateful for a day to get stuff done.
I am grateful for lunch with family/friends.
I am grateful for my husband getting home safe.
I am grateful for another day left of my weekend.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

9 miles of snow and rainbows

I am soaked to the bone but very happy with my run!
It was the ultimate mixed bag today on my 9 miler... sun, rain, wind and snow. And then a big rainbow appeared... excellent!

Fortunately, I have some concrete afternoon plans, so despite waking up to pouring rain outside my window and forecasters calling for snow, I knew I had to get out and pound out my long run. No procrastinating on this one.

The rain ceased and the sun peeked out around 9 a.m., so I threw on my gear and headed out before I lost my nerve.

There are two retirement/golf communities in my town. I frequently run through Summerfield but decided to give King City a try today. I'm so glad I did.

I had a great route, exploring new streets and running some gradual ups and downs. Plus, King City and Summerfield have very little traffic - it's so nice!

I ran comfortably and with a smile on my face as the weather kept changing. 9.06 miles in 1:28 - that's a 9:49-minute-mile average. I feel SO good about that!
I think I definitely could have gone a couple more miles at that pace.
I carried water and a Clif Shot that I sucked down around mile 5 as I waited to cross Highway 99. The chocolate cherry was yummy, but I still prefer my own homemade concoction.

I also wore my compression sleeves. I've used them on a couple long runs and think they really help. My legs felt great the whole time. Plus, they look super sexy!
DB, sporting his St. Patrick's Day hat and tie, smiled at me as I stretched and took post-run photos. He's such a good bear.
My hot chocolate has been consumed, my blog is updated and my knee is iced. Time to hit the shower and get on with my Saturday.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Gratitude - 2/24

I am grateful for a chilly bike ride with a gorgeous sunrise.
I am grateful to be recognized by my peers.
I am grateful for the amazing view of Mount Hood out the window in the THS library.
I am grateful for a friend so young he's never heard of a Laserdisc.
I am grateful for an overdue haircut.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

I'm not dying

I know you've all been anxiously awaiting the results of my 24-hour heart monitor.

Well, it's not that exciting. It showed "one 6-beat palpitation" during the entire time. I guess that's no biggie because the doctor wrote this on my chart:
He said to come back if they start back up.

Here's to happy, healthy hearts :)

Tempo Thursday: elliptical

A weird work day and birthday burritos with Kendra altered my after-school Tempo Thursday plans.

It was really nice to catch up with my friend, even if she wouldn't let me take her picture :)
But it was already about 4:15 p.m. by the time we left the restaurant, and I decided to swing by and see if I could get my hair cut. She was there but at dinner. Then when I got home, I'd lost all my steam.

I need to run 9 miles on Saturday, and I learned my lesson a couple weeks ago that a speed workout and a long workout, even "easy" ones, should not go back to back. So I couldn't just push it back to Friday.

But then there's that thing about racing and PRing on Sunday and then "recovering" with a couple spin workouts.

So I decided that I'd give myself a rest from running and hit the elliptical for a bit instead.
I set it on a hill program and rode for about 25 minutes, stopping briefly in the middle to smash a gigantic spider crawling on the wall in the garage. It was a two-paper towel job!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gratitude - 2/23

What are you grateful for today?

I am grateful for ducks blocking traffic.
I am grateful for pizza.
I am grateful for getting out during the day.
I am grateful for Deb.
I am grateful for birthday burritos with a good friend.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gratitude 2/22

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. While many people "give up" something for the 40 days before Easter, I decided to add something to my day.

I really enjoyed November's Thanksgiving countdown when Facebook friends posted every day something for which they were thankful. I was so happy to see the trend spread and kinda sad when it ended.

Then I recently found Run to the Finish, a blog that ends each post with a "Gratitude Journal". Super cool!

So for Lent, I'm going to post a daily gratitude journal of my own so I can really focus on the blessings in my life.

I am grateful for spin class.
I am grateful for hot chocolate.
I am grateful for Linus.
I am grateful for Danielle.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17 NIV

No-TV Fat Tuesday

Yesterday was the end of Mardi Gras, culminating with Fat Tuesday, a chance to let it all hang out one last time before Lent.
One of my (CE)2 students is from New Orleans. Lindsey's family moved to Oregon in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive hurricane to strike the U.S., hit her home town.
Lindsey and her mom, Yolanda, decided that we needed to experience some Mardi Gras festivities in (CE)2. Sounded like a great idea to us!!

Yolanda ordered a ton of decorations, beads, cups, hats, masks, bubble gum coins and other goodies to create a festival atmosphere. She even designed this sweet banner:
And then they cooked. And cooked. And cooked.

Yolanda, Lindsey and Junnie spent the holiday weekend preparing our feast.
We were treated to gumbo, red beans and rice, potato salad and baked zucchini. It was amazing!

And we ordered some king cakes from New Seasons for dessert.

It was so cool to experience something from their culture... and to eat such awesome food!
Ladies... thank you so much for sharing your tradition with us!
You can come back and cook any time you want :)

After work, I ran some errands, heated left over Mardi Gras food for dinner, built a fire, read my book and discussed running strategy and plans with my husband :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spin recovery

I'd never tried spin class before but jumped at the chance last fall when my friend and co-worker Connie offered to hold an after-school workout for staff. I was hooked and have barely missed a class in the past two years. I love it!

I've really wanted Brad to check it out, but his work schedule doesn't allow a 3 p.m. workout. Bummer.

But Connie generously offered to lead a class today on our day off for Presidents Day, and since Brad had the day off too, I made him come with me... even though he ran a killer half marathon yesterday :)He was a good sport, giving it what he could with his tired legs. He really enjoyed it and said he'd love to add it once a week to his workout schedule... if it was later in the day. His boss would probably notice if he started leaving 2 hours early every Wednesday.

Or not.

I think he should try it :)

He wanted me to get a picture of him on his spin bike, but we both forgot. He also wanted me to show you all how much he sweated:

It was really fun to share this experience with him! Maybe he can do it again sometime.

Anyone else want to try it?? Mondays and Wednesdays at 3 p.m. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Heart Breaker PR!

We did the first-annual Heart Breaker run last year and had a blast, so we knew we wanted to do it again this year for sure.
This time, Brad tackled the very hilly half-marathon, his first real half because he stayed with me during September's Disney run. And I went for the 10K with a plan to smash my old PR.
It was a chilly 40 degrees or so as Brad lined up for his 7:30 a.m. start on Salmon Street at the World Trade Center.
Must ditch the puffy jacket.
I love when he wears that yellow hat - I can spot him easily in the crowd:
And he's off!
After heading north on Naito, the half course reverses and goes south and then up Terwilliger. My race wasn't until 8:40 a.m., so I hung around to see him zoom past again:
When I finished my race, I immediately asked how he did. "I killed it. And then I mutilated its corpse" was the response.

Wow - I guess all that worrying about the huge hill was for nothing.

He finished in 1:49, a 8:18-minute-mile average. Excellent!!
Since he finished a few minutes ahead of me, he was waiting on the corner with the camera ready:
I heard him call my name as I sprinted across the finish line:
Still sucking wind as he snapped this beauty:
I wouldn't say that I mutilated my race's corpse, but I killed my PR! My previous personal record for a 10K course was a 9:39-minute-mile. I finished the Heart Breaker at a 9:15, taking more than 2 minutes off my total time.
I was very pleased with my race. I had a plan to run around a 9:30 for the first few miles and then turn it up as I was able in the last few. My goal was simply to come in below my previous record.

I held steady at a comfortable 9:25 until about Mile 4 when I turned it up a notch. Then in the last mile I kicked it into gear and started running harder. I sprinted the final yards across the finish line.

It was so affirming to know that my hard work over the past months was paying off with stronger, faster races!

One thing we loved about last year's race was the food - and this year was just as good!

Fruit, snack mix, bread, PBJ and strawberry shortcake. We missed the amazing homemade soup from last year, but they offered a hot oatmeal bar with all the fixings instead. Yum!
Happy racers :)
We headed home to shower, ice and stretch before refueling at our new favorite restaurant, Native Foods Cafe in Bridgeport Village. We each ordered the Sunday special, the vegan Chicken Run Ranch Burger. White bean soup for me and sweet potato fries for Brad:
Of course we donned our matching race shirts!! We're just cool like that.

The sandwiches were so yummy, and then we topped it off with the Reese's Peanut Butter Heart Mom gave me for Valentine's Day. I'd been saving it to eat after my race:
The Heart Breaker was excellent again, and we've already put next year's race on the calendar... join us!! :)