Saturday, August 23, 2014

Workouts (and life) August 11-17, and why I haven't been blogging as much

Because I have so much to talk about, I will be adding some life recaps in with this week's workouts!

Monday, August 11 - AM Gfit

Tuesday, August 12 - PM 3 mile run
UGH.  Double UGH.  You'll see a trend over this week and next week's recap that I've been slacking on the morning this was one of those days.  I then ran at 5:30 pm and it POURED on me.  I was supposed to run 4.5 and I stopped at 3 and had my mom pick me up.  Yeah....

Oh and my hair did not have a good time getting rained on either...

Wednesday, August 13 - AM 4 mile run
Today's run was better...the day before when my mom picked me up, I was waiting at the gym at my old high school.  I hadn't been there in FOREVER and noticed they got new treadmills (the old ones were so ancient it wasn't even worth it to use them).  So on Wednesday morning when it was still pouring I went up to the gym to run.  It's nice to work out there sometimes because it's so close.  All in all though, I hate the high school gym.  The run was fine though.  I was again supposed to go 4.5, but I ran out of time...

Thursday, August 14 - REST
Things got a little switched around last week because I took my long run on Friday.  OH YEAH - I should probably mention that I skipped the Bryn Mawr Midsummer Night 5k that night...

Here's why: My mom was leaving for England again, and I wanted to drive her to the airport (it was at the exact time I was supposed to be running).  Also, I was super sore last week - I really need to look into why my right leg has been to bothersome.  Although I was feeling better by Thursday, I didn't think that racing hard would be conducive.  Lastly, I knew I wanted to run my long run on Friday morning.  I wanted to be well rested.  So, I skipped it.  I didn't look back, and turns out it POUREDDDDD at the time of the race.  I was driving my mom to the airport at that time and got some cool pictures of the rain near Philly (I was in the passenger seat).

Friday, August 17 - AM 9 mile run
This run was fantastic!!!  I took the day off work that last vacation day of the summer...womp.  It turned out to be the PERFECT day off though, starting with a great run.  I decided to run around my town rather than driving somewhere, which I usually don't do for longer runs.  It was okay though, and I'm actually going to do the same route for this weekend's run.  There were tons of hills and I ran up all of them - WIN.  My leg/glute did hurt like crazy by the end though...

I tried out a new camelback my dad gave me, and I felt like such a goober running around town with such intense gear, ha.  It came in really handy though.  I hate being thirsty on long runs, and the handheld water bottle wasn't my favorite.  This also has a pocket for my iPod so I didn't have to use the armband!

I spent the rest of the day getting my hair done by my good friend Marguerite, getting a mani/pedi with Sierra, and going to dinner with Sierra and her dad.  It was literally a perfect day :)

Fresh blonde hairs FTW

Saturday, August 16 - AM Gfit
I don't remember the Gfit workout and I forget a was a good one I'm sure.  


My friend, Kylie, got MARRIED!!!!!  Kylie has been a friend of mine since pre-school.  I have only had a few close friends get married so far, so it's very exciting!!  She and her husband have the most amazing love story - long story short, they met in Australia when Kylie was abroad, and Jamie was working there (he's from England).  They were together only a few DAYS and fell so madly in love they kept a long, LONG, distance relationship for over 2.5 years.  He's been living here for a few months, and now they are MARRIED!  No more long distance love...I'm so happy for them.

Here are a few pictures from the reception:

It was a happy night for all!

Sunday, August 17 - REST
Nothing more to say about that...ha.

And on to why it's been taking me forever to get these posts up...turns out my evenings have been taken up by something else: STUDYING.

Yes, I have decided to take the GRE in a month.  Now before you jump to conclusions, I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with it.  I know I want to go to grad school (obviously) but I don't know when it will happen.  GRE scores are good for 5 years, and I've been putting it off long enough.  So on September 20 I will be checking that off my Grown Up List!  The blogging may be sparse until after that's complete...sorry!

1. When was the last time you cut a run short?

2. Have you taken the GRE?  Was it scary?!?!?

3. Best workout this week?

4. Last wedding you went to?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Workouts August 4-10

Hi all, here are the workouts I did last week.  I'll try to write some more posts in between again...but there's a lot going on (details later!)

Monday, August 4 - AM GFit
I always forget to take screen shots of the workout!! Ugh.  From my memory it was...

30 minute partner workout:
Exercises split evenly, run together
50 situps
Run 500 meters
40 box jumps
Run 400 meters
30 thrusters
90 jumprope
20 reverse ballslam
Run 200 meters
10 burpees
Run 100 meters
repeat for 30 minutes

My partner and I (also named Anna) made it through 3.5 rounds I think.  It was a fun one!  We split up the exercises by 5 so we weren't waiting around too long for the other person to finish.  Fun fact about my partner.  She was my "mentor" for my senior project in high school that had to do with running! (See About Me).  So cool to be working out with her 6 years later!

Tuesday, August 5 - AM 4 mile run
I didn't have work on Tuesday, randomly, so I decided to go to the treadmill to run again.  I had done my 7 miles on it the weekend before and had a great time!  I did my 4 miles, added some hills and speed in there, and not much else to say about that run.  I spent the rest of the day chillaxin: lunching (with beer), some shopping, movie-watching, lacrosse-spectating...lovely day off!

UPDATE: to the story I mentioned last week about the violent act in the park where I run sometimes.  Although still quite terrifying, the woman's murder in the park was not random.  So, that makes me feel about 1% better about running in there now, but still, I will be avoiding it for some time.

Wednesday,  August 6 - AM 4 mile doggy run
This was a great run!  I don't always feel like running with Bishop, but each time I take him we seem to have a great time.  I think we were both feeling good that day.  Negative splits!

Bishop, your eyes look pretty creepy right now... Winston's world...

Thursday, August 7 - AM GFit

Whoa baby, this one hurt.  10 minutes of wall-ball, no thank you.  And believe me, the starjumps were no break!!!  Holy quads.

Friday, August 8 - REST

Saturday, August 9 - AM 8 mile run
Went to my Old Faithful Schuylkill River route.  It was so so, about an 8:50 pace.  Not bad for my longest run since Broad Street!

Here's the thing about this route: maybe it has something to do with the way it's curved, and that's a counter-clockwise route, but it made my right leg (glute and quad) SO SORE again!  It was the same feeling I get when I run on the track (same direction).  I was wickedly sore until yesterday.  Hmmm....when I run it next time I'm going to go the opposite way.  However, this loop is part of the half marathon, and another race I'm running in September.  We'll see...

Sunday, August 10 - REST
On Sunday my dad went back to England :(  I spent the day with him.  My mom is sticking around for a while.  It's been like a vacation having them home!!  I'm going to cry when my mommy leave me again!!

View driving my dad to the airport on Sunday night:

1. Last flight you went on??

2. Any exercises that make your sore every time??

Friday, August 8, 2014

LONDON Part 2: Feels like home

I'm back with Part 3 of 3 on the Eurotrip.  See London Part 1 and Paris here and here.  

I'm not going to give the play by play in this post.  Let's just say the last few days in London after returning from Paris were relaxing and wonderful.  It's no secret that I'm a homebody.  After 2 nights in Paris I was homesick for my parents' house in London.  I wanted to be back there, curled up on the couch, with a home-cooked meal, wine, and my parents.  That's just what I consider a "vacation."  I don't like the hustle and bustle of navigating a new place trying to find my way and do things "you have to do to make it a good experience." I guess "don't like" is the wrong phrase, but I'm at my most content when I am in what feels like home - someone's house (a lake house, a mountain house, a beach house, etc., etc.).  The rest of Wednesday after returning from Paris my mom and I wandered a museum, then went grocery shopping, cooked a healthy dinner, and relaxed.  It was probably my favorite day there.  I never, ever wanted to leave.

My parents' house is perfect.  It is open, clean, and spacious.  The bed in "my room" has crisp white sheets on a bed that is nicer than a hotel.  There are exposed brick walls, built-in shelves, and bare wood beams.  It also came with a view.

There are no bugs in England, and doesn't get hot enough for air conditioning, so each night we opened the windows as wide as they could go, with no screens.  On Friday morning I was woken up at 5 am by pouring rain and thunderstorms.  Have you ever woken up to the sound of rain knowing that you can stay in bed as long as you like?  That may be one of the best feelings ever.

To keep my promise of not giving the play by play, here the highlights from the remainder of the trip:

My first experience with authentic Indian food.  Delicious - I had high hopes and they were met.  On the walk home from dinner we took some family selfies. :)

One of the things on my England bucket list was visiting a real life castle.  We chose the perfect one - Rochester Castle.  Although it dates back to the 12th century, the castle is so maintained that we could actually walk up and around inside of it, rather than just standing in the shell.  It was epic - another high expectation that was exceeded.

Honestly how adorable is England?  Ugh.  Why don't I live there?  Now I'm just getting bitter.

My mommy and me.

I have nothing but good things to say about this trip.  It's almost (allllmoooosttt) embarrassing how much I like spending time with my parents.  Right now they're in town, which means my brothers and nephew have been coming around a lot, and I am right "at home."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Workouts July 28-August 3, and a serious part.

Happy Thursday, all.  Here's the weekly recap of workouts.  I know, I know I still have one more Europe post to put up.  It's a comin'.

Monday, July 28 - GFit
Strength: 3x8 deadlift superset with 30 second sprints
Conditioning: 23 minutes
20 second plant
10 wallball
5 toes-to-bar
100m run

This was an evening workout because I got 5 hours of sleep the night before - fail.  I loved this workout though!  I switched to air squats near the end because endless wallballs (weighted squat with a medicine ball, then throwing the ball up against the wall) make my quad hurt after a while.  Turns out I have a terrible squat!  Who knew?!  The trainer told me to just focus on my squat rather than the whole wall ball.  I got demoted...oh well.  Form is important.

Random: after this workout my brother made black bean burgers with yogurt sauce for my mom and me.  THEY WERE AMAZING.  Everything from scratch, besides the pita :)  Have I mentioned my brother is a fantastic cook?

Tuesday, July 29 - AM 4 mile run
My morning runs are slowly but surely getting longer!  I noted that they only go up to 5 (5.5 maybe) during the week, which will be nice because soon I'll have to run at 5am again rather than 6am!  Oy vey.

As you can see by the handy-dandy icons, I felt okay on this run.  It's rather hilly, and I ran up all of them without decreasing effort.  It felt good.

Wednesday, July 30 - AM 4 mile run
I did the exact same route as the day before - it's fun to do that to be able to easily compare the two.  Well, clearly today wasn't as good.  I guess it was only a 20 second difference, but it felt so much worse.  My legs were so tired from the two previous days.  Oh well, done and done, and learning to run on tired legs!

Thursday, July 31 - AM GFit

This one was okay.  I LOVED the mile relay at the end.  Remember by mile I mean "mile."  It felt so good to sprint after the 25 minutes of conditioning.  I don't know why I just love the feeling of hammering out those tired quads (for short periods of time...).  DUs, by the way, are "Double Unders" meaning the jumprope goes underneath twice per jump.

Friday, August 1 - REST
Thai food and margaritas.  I love Fridays!

Saturday, August 2 - AM GFit
This is called the Deck of Cards workout.  Perhaps you've heard of it.  I actually used to do these by myself before I joined GFit.  Take a deck of cards, and assign an exercise to each suit.  Then go through the entire deck, doing the number of exercises that are on the card.  So, when the trainer pulled the 8 of clubs, we did 8 push presses, etc. 

Turns out it was kind of a bust.  Saturday mornings are suuuuper crowded, so there were literally too many people there.  There wasn't enough equipment or wall space, so the trainers, bless them, had to rearrange some things, we got started late, the workout wasn't even that hard in the end.  It lasted about 20 minutes.  Usually we do burpees as one exercise, which take about three times as long as some of the above exercises.  So I felt kind of blah at the end.  Eh.

Sunday, August 3 - 7 mile treadmill run + 4 mile walk
So I didn't do my long run on Saturday because the forecast was calling for tropical downpours.  Turns out the rain passed by 7 am, so it wouldn't have affected my run anyway, but by that time I was already committeed to GFit, and hadn't prepared for a run the night before (up late, ate a lot, drank a little, etc.).  So I stuck with Sunday.  I woke up later than I wanted, and it was already hot and sunny out, so I decided on the treadmill.  I was feelin' it!

A blurry picture I took for Drew to show him I was still into it after 4 miles!  Anyway, the run was good.  Sometimes I'm just really in the mood for the treadmill.  I played around with speed and hills, and overall had a good time.  Later in the day my dad and I took the doggies for a 4 mile walk.  I covered 11 miles that day!  I felt good.

Did I tell you my parents are home by the way?!?!  It's been awesome.  I miss them already and they're still here.  Have you ever had that feeling?

So now for a scary and sad story.  Remember the park near my house that I run in sometimes on the weekends?  The one that is sort of secluded?  Well this week on Tuesday I had the day off work and was going for a morning run (it will be in next week's recap).  The night before I asked my dad, "Dad, do you think Pennypack Park will be unsafe on a Tuesday morning?"  He said that it probably would be fine, but he just rather I didn't go there on a weekday if I could avoid it.  So I didn't go there.  Later in the day my dad told me that a female jogger had been found dead in the park.  She apparently had been strangled.  She was found on Tuesday morning (late Monday night).  

Story here

I cried when he told me.  I was so scared, I had goosebumps.  We were talking about it the night before - the night that happened.  Granted, the crime occurred when this woman was running at night, in a part of the park that is not on my route, but really that doesn't matter.  What matters is that it happened, and it could have happened to someone else, at a different time of day.  Every once in a while I get nervous on runs, whether I'm in a remote area, or it's dark out, etc.  I think it's a healthy fear.  A while back, in the dead of winter, I wrote a post about running safety, which was inspired by the very park this woman was murdered in.  There are too many stories about acts of violence on runners.  I think I will be avoiding that park for a while, especially when the weather turns colder and it's less populated.  

I don't have much more to say about this, but please be safe when running.  It's good to be on your guard.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Workouts July 21-27

Hi there!  Better late than never with the weekly workout recaps.

Surprise about last week: I RE-JOINED G FIT! :) After all my debating, after all my "cons" about it, I can't stay away.  I just love that it forces me to do HIIT and strength training, because if it were up to me, I would just run and spin at all times.  Secondly, it is something that I can do with a GROUP.  A group of lovely women at that.  During the week I spend I spend a lot of time by myself outside of work.  I feel like I really need that social time.  So we're back on the G FIT train officially!

Last week I didn't run until the end of the week.  As I mentioned last week, my legs were hurting from my Eurotrip, and I hadn't done any cross training or strength that entire time.  So I took last week to do some other things and let my legs recover.

Monday, July 21 - REST
I walked the dogs in the morning but took another day off after getting home from Europe.  I spent the evening getting my life together.

Tuesday, July 22 - evening g fit
First day back!  This workout was awesome.  I hadn't done pull-ups since October.  I was happy to see I could still use a small-ish band.  Man was I sore.

Wednesday, July 23 - AM spin class
This wasn't as good as the first class I went to by the same instructor, but it did the job!

Thursday, July 24 - AM g fit
I have a phobia of going to the 6 am class because the workout is rarely posted beforehand.  I like to know what I'm in for!  Luckily this was posted at 5:50 am.  I must say it's hard to do a partner workout at the crack of dawn - not in the mood to socialize! Ha.  It was fun though, my partner was counting down to her wedding that's THIS FRIDAY!  Congratulations to her.

PP = push press; vups = like a crunch, with your legs in the air too
Friday, July 25 - AM g fit
On Friday morning I was debating between a run and g fit.  I decided that because a) I told myself I'd cross train this week and b) I was craving g fit, to go with the latter option.  But they didn't post the workout first, eek!  Turns out it was PERFECT.  I loved that it was just cardio, but more intense than my slow 3 mile run would have been:  I started with sit-ups and squats (50-50-50-50) because I am SO SLOW at sit-ups.  Then I did the entire row, then ran 2400 meters, then 250 jump rope, then 800 m, then 250 jump rope.  Yeah, it was random.  (Have I mentioned that the meter count is very inaccurate at gfit?  I don't mean this as a criticism, but it's important to note.  I didn't run 2 miles in reality.  At gfit there is a "400 meter" loop that can be easily sectioned into 200m and 100m.  I suppose it's easy to identify by them by meters, but there's just no way they're accurate.)  ANYWAY, who cares.  It's still tiring as heck.

Saturday - 6 mile run around town
This run was GREAT.  I hadn't run in over a week, so my legs were nice and fresh (even with all the gfitting).  It also started to pour down rain while I was running.  It was hilarious - my shorts literally had a puddle in them by the end.  Also, Drew was here for the weekend, so he was waiting for me when I got home - it was a nice reward.  I feel like every run I post I say, "It wasn't my fastest run but..." but I'm not going to say that this time.  Perhaps around a 9 min/mile is just where I am right now.  And that's okay.

Sunday - REST

1. Best workout this week?

2. Do you like running in the rain?

3. Do you do HIIT workouts?  What's your favorite?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PARIS! And Champagne (the region and the drink).

Hello friends, I'm finally back with Part 2 of 3 of Europe.  I hope you're ready for an extreme photo dump!!  On Sunday afternoon, after my race, we got on a train to Paris.  I had never been to Paris before, and although I've never been dying to go for some reason, I thought I'd be missing out if I didn't.  Well, in my extremely informed and well-traveled opinion, Paris wasn't as magical as I'd heard, but it was still fun to see everything that I'd been hearing about my whole life!

On Monday we walked around all day, seeing the sights.  Turns out it was BASTILLE DAY!  It was pretty amazing to say I was in Paris on Bastille Day, but it was a lot different than say, DC on July 4th.  Yes the city was extremely crowded, and the Eiffel Tower was closed for fireworks, but all in all there wasn't much patriotism to be seen.  I feel like most of the people I saw were tourists, with very little evidence of French pride.  Basically, if I didn't know it was Bastille Day, I would never have noticed anything out of the ordinary.  Just a lot of people.

Moving on, here are a fraction the photos I took!

View from our hotel.  It rained the night we got there but was beautiful for the rest of the time.

After the rain cleared up we went for a walk in the nearby Luxembourg Gardens.  The night cleared up nicely!

My first meal in Paris.  Clearly we started every meal with a ginormous cheese and baguette plate.  I am normally one to avoid white bread, but not this trip.  No sir.  Bring on the BAGUETTE!

I had no idea that almost all of Paris is this lovely beige architecture.  I thought of it was just "quintessential Paris," sort of like brownstones in NYC.  But no, the entire city looks like this!  It's pretty amazing.

We started the next morning with a walk down to Notre Dame.

Apparently, the cathedral in my home town can fit INSIDE the nave of Notre Dame.  Holy moly.

Next we stumbled upon a bridge with love locks!

Clearly I had to be a sap:

Okay, Emily and Ryan, way to make us all look bad.
 We couldn't get very close to the Eiffel Tower so I was forced to pose awkwardly on a bridge:

And take selfies.  It's a rough life:

Next we walked to L'Arc De Triomphe.  This was one of my favorite sights.  It's just amazing!  I actually had no idea it was a WWI memorial and site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Bastille Day evidence

After strolling down Le Champs Elysees and buying 8lbs of chocolate, we took the metro over to the Sacre Coeur.  Holy beautiful!!  This may have been my favorite sight in Paris.  However, at this point it was late in the day and I was very hot and tired.  That's just part of traveling though...and this view was worth it.

Both of my parents ended up in the panorama.  Can you find them??

All in all it was a great, tiring, satisfying, day of sight-seeing.

The next morning my dad and I went for a run in the Luxembourg Gardens, then we headed to Epernay for the day.  Epernay is a region of Champagne, and wow is it gorgeous!  I loved getting out to the country for the day.

I didn't get great pictures of the landscape, but here's an example:

Turns out most champagne houses are closed from 12-2ish each day for lunch.  We got there at noon, womp.  We stopped into Georges Cartier and made a reservation for a tour later in the afternoon then decided to just stroll around the Avenue de Champagne.   We were lucky enough to find a champagne house that was open, so we had a mini tasting right off the bat.  SCORE.  Drinking perfect champagne, IN Champagne, at noon, with my parents - this is my life :)  We had a blast.

I really like these two:

After lunch (bread and cheese mostly), we headed back to Georges Cartier for our official Champagne Tour.   We went down into the caves and learned all about the process of making champagne.  It was fascinating, but I won't try to regurgitate it here.  Our tour guide really made the experience well worth-it.  She was a super cute French girl a little older than me, and was so funny about her "poor" English skills.  They were fine, by the way.

Dad rubbing the belly of this lucky Champagne god thingy.

These Champagne houses really know how to sell product.  Get your guests nice and buzzed in a room surrounded by fine champagne.  We left with two bottles.

I loved our day in Epernay!  

Last thought about Paris/France:  I had a great time recalling my French 1-level skills in multiple situations.  It was slightly hilarious.  On the other hand, I was very happy to be back in an English-speaking country.  Native Engish speakers out there:  do you ever feel "bad" when you're traveling and can't speak the language?  I find it odd that English speakers are able to navigate the world with the majority of people they meet being able to speak English, regardless of where in the world they are.  It gives a definite sense of privilege.  You feel me?

Ever been to Paris?  What'd you think of it?