Tuesday, June 19, 2012

weddings and lazy days

Two weeks until the big move.
My head is spinning to say the least. I'm staying busy working, practicing yoga, and running. I also watched two movies today (lazy yes, but I needed it.) One was One Day with Anne Hathaway, it was actually really good.

This past weekend my brother got married. It was hands down the best wedding ever. Best food, band, dance party, everything. Oh yes and Paleo? not so much this weekend, or even since then. I've been trying but it's so hard. I need my whole grains and chocolate. I almost took a picture of the food at the wedding, but I didn't.

Here we are at the pool before we got ready for the big night!

The groom's on the right. Is he excited or what? :-)
Love my brothers.

Dad and I post-ceremony pre-reception.

The north Georgia mountains were a phenomenal back drop, and perfect weather.

I was very choked up pretty much the entire ceremony, not to mention in my toast the night before. It was an amazing weekend, and my brother married an incredible woman. So glad she's now my sister!

With the wedding over the reality of my move is setting in and freaking me out a little bit. I am SO excited and SO certain it's what I need to be doing. I can be a little nervous though right?
Instead of packing tonight/today I've watched the Braves/Yankees game (will ALWAYS be go Bravos), sex and the city, and now I'm watching the OKC/Heat game. I really don't like the NBA but I figured why not. I also changed my twitter username and have begun putting together my new blog. Stay tuned for that!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

11th day of paleo

As usual, it's been way too long. blogspot even changed what my blog looks like. So much catching up to do. In 26 days I'll step out of a cab, suitcases in hand, and walk up 12 flights of steps to my new home in New York City. Woah. So much more to say on that, but that will come later. (I'm also, as of June 13th no longer a teacher, so I may have to think this whole "teachers who run" thing.)

A couple of girls at work (part-time job that's now full-time job) have taken part in the 28-day paleo challenge. Paleo is also know as "caveman diet"- fruit, veggies, meat, nuts (nut butter importantly, almond not peanut, a peanut is a legume). What I can't eat- dairy, legumes, soy, grain, alcohol. It's suppose to make you more lean and really clean out your system of all the bad stuff we eat daily. Want more info? check it out here.

This makes trips to the grocery store very interesting. You certainly stay around the perimeter of the store. That's the best way to go you know? All the junk food is in the middle. So, here is my journey in pictures. I've found some great recipes, so I'll add those websites too.

This was my first paleo meal at a restaurant. It was delicious! This is the lunasagna from Luna's Kitchen in Southend. (That's homemade kombucha too, mmm.)

Example of what I haven't been eating. Friday was the last day of school. We ordered pizza for the kids and had all these desserts for them: oreos, candy (reese's my FAVE), and chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and Doritos. This was hard to be around and say no.

This is one of the first big meals I made. I made way too much of it. It was really good though. Basically ground beef and tons of veggies. I ate it plain and one time stuffed a large red bell pepper in it. That was good. This was the first time I'd eaten red meat in a while. I couldn't eat tons of it.

Today is day 11 of 28. Last night I "broke" paleo by having a "yay the school year is FINALLY done" beer. Was it worth it? While it was hot outside and a beer sounded fantastic, it made me feel awful. Pretty instantly bloated and headache. I think this was from the grain/gluten more than the alcohol. This is absolutely the longest I've ever been, ever, not eating grain and sugar. So I headed to the farmer's market and trader joes this morning and loaded up on paleo friendly food. 

What's the one thing I miss the most? Pizza! I just love it. Thankfully I found this recipe online. It was actually pretty simple. I used almond meal/flour to make the dough.

After cooking the dough for a little I loaded it with veggies, tomatoes, and chicken (instead of ground beef like recipe suggests).

Here's the finished product. Yes, I immediately ate a piece and it was actually really good! It is missing the cheese, but it still satisfied the craving for now. And a little bit of the crust stuck to the pan. But it's really nice to have a meal that somewhat represents bread. I can't wait to have more for lunch tomorrow!

So, I'm almost half way there. It's challenging in a fun way for me to do the 28-day cleanse. I'll post more on it and on my whereabouts and soon-to-be like in the City. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring Break: Like a Fine Wine It Only Gets Better with Age

One of my friends threw that title at me a couple weeks ago. I love it.
What a great week it has been. So sad it's come to an end, but only a couple more months of school! Of course, I am excited to see the kids. I can't wait to hear about their break and tell them about my trip.

After SoulCycle Thursday I decided to head over to Brooklyn. I'm contemplating living in the area and had never been so figured I'd give it a look. I really had no idea where I was going, but I hear people live in Williamsburg, so I just took the metro to Williamsburg. I ended up not really seeing much there, because I had no idea where to go, so I walked along the water all the way to downtown Brooklyn. Yes, this is far, but there were no cabs inside and it was nice out, so it wasn't a bad walk. By point of reference in Brooklyn was Grimaldi's Pizzeria. I've heard about it from a lot of people so figured I would grab a slice for lunch. I had no idea I'd have to buy a whole pie, nor did I realize how ridiculously long the line would be, so I decided against waiting for the pizza.

I did get some photos of Manhattan and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. It is a beautiful view of the city.

I headed back to Manhattan, of course stopped for lunch at City Bakery, and then wandered around the city a bit. Again, this is just my favorite thing to do. I wish I could do it as a profession. Professional Walker in Manhattan.

Empire State Building. I went to the top a few years ago, but enjoyed avoiding touristy areas this trip.

This is Washington Square. Such a cool are near NYU between Union Square/ Flat Iron district and SoHo. It was slammed on Thursday afternoon and this guy was doing a juggling and acrobatic act. He lined up these four people and flipped over them. The squares remind me of Europe, and I love that.

I really didn't want Thursday to end. It meant I had less than a day left on my trip.  Even though we had done SoulCycle that morning, Alli and I decided to hit up a yoga class Thursday night. Note to self: I really will have to work on my time management when I move. As of now I'm about 6 minutes late everywhere I go. In New York that would be at least twenty minutes. I learned this when trying to get a cab at 6PM to get to a 6:30PM yoga class. This was not easy. I had to walk/run towards the right part of town and keep an eye out for a cab. I somehow made it to Laughing Lotus and I am so happy I did. It was an incredible class.

This is the studio where we practiced. Yes it is a screen shot from my phone, from their website. I didn't have my phone when I was there to take a photo. It was an hour and a half Level 2/3 class. I have never actually taken a harder level class. It was very doable but very challenging. My favorite part was when we were in Warrior III and I was able to gaze out the window down to 6th Avenue. Amazing!
After class we enjoyed my final dinner of pizza and beer. It was all just delicious. I still didn't want to go to bed when we got home, but I was exhausted and I crashed.

I woke up Friday morning so sad to leave! I was out of the house by 9:30 with about 6 hours to enjoy before my flight. I decided to walk down to Ground Zero and check out the new buildings and museum there. I was recommended to go by Kaffe 1668 for a cup of coffee, some of the best in town. It was a quaint but busy cafe and yes the coffee was absolutely delicious. No milk or sugar or anything needed. 

Check it out if you can, or at least look at the website. It has some pretty funny little photos and sayings.

I'm not sure why this didn't occur to me, but unfortunately, without a ticket, I couldn't see much around Ground Zero. It was interesting to go back though as I hadn't been since 2002. A lot had changed. The number of people around was insane. It made me sad that all these people came because of this tragic event, but I guess that's the same with most memorials.

One World Trade Center. 1,776 feet when it is completed. I think the goal there is 2013. I do hope to be able to tour it, the museum, and memorials at some point.

To avoid the crowds I headed down to Battery Park, though there were just as many people down there. It was gorgeous though.  A great bike and running path all along the Hudson. The wind made it very chilly, but I enjoyed it and even jogged a little.

SO many people in line to go to the Statue of Liberty. I don't know if I'll ever get closer than this, and I'm ok with that. It's got to be a cold boat ride.

I took one more trip by the bakery for my last shot of hot chocolate, mmm so good, then jumped in a cab for a long ride to the airport. So sad to leave but so stinking excited for my return!!!

I can't wait to use this again soon!

And then it was Easter. It's been a fantastic last day of Spring Break, but I still can't believe it's over. Church this morning was followed by yoga and brunch.

Mmm. No I didn't cook this.

It was gorgeous outside so a few of us hiked up Crowders Mountain. If you live in Charlotte and have never down this, you need to! If you look really hard to the right of the tree you can see the Charlotte skyline. It's no New York, it sure is little, but it's there!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sweating in New York

I love this city more and more each hour. Seriously. Everything I do, everywhere I go, everything I see- it is remarkable.

I'm over halfway through the trip and get a little downtime now as I'm not working at the store anymore this week. Working there for three days was incredible. I literally had to pinch myself a couple times as I kept catching a glimpse of the streets outside and all of the people and remembering I wasn't in Charlotte, but in New York City.  I even changed the mannequins in the window yesterday, which was super cool. So many people will see those windows! I was talking with some of the girls about places to do yoga here, and they were telling me about an instructor who is Lady Gaga's personal yoga teacher. Amazing too!

Tuesday I started my morning with a walk along the High Line to City Bakery.  I tried to find the High Line one of the last times I was here, looked for hours, but never found it. (I was too close to the river.) So glad I found it this time. It was a gorgeous day too.  I took tons of pictures, but these are my favorite.

This is in lower west side walking to High Line.

It crosses the street. Pretty cool you can sit and watch the traffic below.

One of my favorite shots. It would be great to run up here but it's pretty crowded. I can only imagine what it's like in the summer months. Can't wait to see!

So the High Line in where old freight trains ran to avoid the street level. APparently no trains have been on it since 1980. The neighborhood came together to create the park. Pretty incredible, check it out. http://www.thehighline.org/

I made it to City Bakery for breakfast. A bacon maple scone with hot chocolate and a homemade marshmellow. So delectable! It's Spring Break and I'm in New York City so I'm enjoying eating lots of rich yummy food.

 I only drank about half of the hot chocolate before I was stuffed!

After work Tuesday I headed back to the bakery to meet Allison and head up to Central Park for a run through the park. This was absolutely breathtaking. We ran 4 miles with a group, and ended up doing it very quickly. I was totally distracted by everything around me. I've been through the park but never like this. And there were SO MANY people. It was insane and I loved everything about it. It also made me really excited for doing training runs here for Marine Corps and eventually the New York Marathon.

I took this while I was running.

Gorgeous. The sun starting to set.

Post run. We both felt so great!

I don't have a picture but post-run dinner was at Shake Shack where we had hamburgers, fries, and this scrumptious peanut butter ice cream concoction. I definitely recommend it. 

Wednesday was my final day of working here. After work I met Alli and her mom at a restaurant at the High Line for drinks and apps before meeting two of my friends for dinner. It makes me so happy when I realize all of the friends I already have here! 

This morning we were determined to make it to early morning class at SoulCycle. I've heard so much about it in and outside of New York. Even with a late night last night I made it this morning. It was a blast and the perfect way to start the day. 

Intense spin class with great music and upper body workout.

I will absolutely be attending SoulCycle when I move here. I sweat like crazy and I know my legs and arms will be sore. The class has a great energy about it and the instructor was wild. I loved it.

I snapped this shot on the way home this morning. The sky has been crystal clear blue since I got here, thought it was rather chilly this morning. I could just walk around here forever. More to come...

more delicious f

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New York City

"The Uni-verse gave you your dreams and planted them in your heart. Any story or belief that you hold about why you can't have it is a lie. The Uni-verse has your back. The Uni-verse wants you to be happy. The Uni-verse made you to fulfill your purpose of living your dreams, giving your gifts and helping out and inspiring other people. Tell stories that back up your dreams - that enforce your gifts - that help you to thrive. THOSE stories are the stories that are TRUE and in alignment with your true nature."
from: Mastin Kipp at http://thedailylove.com/

A friend of mine shared that blog with me a couple months ago and I read it every morning. It is always very inspiring. Today, it is especially. I wasn't really sure what to title this blog. So I went simply with "New York City." After this school year is over, I will be moving from Charlotte. My current response is, "to NYC or DC," but what I really mean is to NYC. The past year or so this has really grown to be a dream of mine, which I will elaborate more on later. 

Yesterday I found myself working at a shop on Broadway in SoHo. This was unbelievable. Even six months ago I would have called you crazy if you said I would be doing that. 

I'm here visiting friends and working because it is our Spring Break (I love Spring Break!) 
I left Charlotte early yesterday morning.

US Airways actually saved me for once.

I finally started reading Hunger Games on the flight.

When I got into Manhattan I went and met my friend at the City Bakery. I had a delicious, delicious muffin and coffee for breakfast. (I had probably four cups of coffee yesterday which is very unusual for me. But I woke up at 3:30 AM so...) 

From there I walked to my home for the week. I could walk all over New York all day long. One of the things I am most excited about when I live here is not having a car. I could walk forever. Though these feelings may change in freezing and snowy weather, but I'll deal with that later. 

While I'm here I am hopefully going to look at a few apartments to live in and check out some potential jobs.  I am so excited to begin a life here!

Last night we joined one of our other friends for a Mexican dinner at La Palapa. We had mushroom and shrimp quesadillas, guacamole, and some sangria. We then went and saw my friend's new place and it is AMAZING. Check out his back deck.

That's only a corner of the deck. And yes this place is right in the heart of Manhattan. It is a steal, for sure. I was reminded to not get my hopes up about where I live. Yes, I will be fine living in an itsy bitsy room. I actually look forward to it.

I plan on doing a lot of sweating here this week. In addition to walking around the City I'm going to do some yoga, running, and of course check out SoulCycle. Any other suggestions? Could you ever live in NYC? If you live here, what is your favorite part?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Georgia Half Marathon Recap

I know you may have seen my facebook or twitter update already, but I was and still am really excited about this race! However, I wasn't excited about it until about half way through.

Saturday was St. Patrick's Day.  I've lived in Charlotte for five years. Three St. Patty's days I've spent here in Charlotte and they are probably 3 of my top 5 favorite celebrations here. The two I spent away were spent in Atlanta, running. Last year was my full marathon, this year the half.  I really miss the all day celebration. I decided I needed to get out and have a little fun so I headed to Piedmont Park with my brother and his fiance to meet my BFF Lauren. There were people everywhere. I really wanted to be a part of it: drink all day and night long, but after a few beers I decided to call it a day. I contemplated missing the race, but I had all these people who knew I was doing it! What would I tell them? I don't want to look like a quitter. Then I realized I shouldn't really care about what others think, but what I think, and I think I've never skipped a race before, and I'm not about to start. So, I went home, had a good dinner, and got some sleep.
I made sure to set out my clothes the night before. I forgot a lot, but remembered just enough.

Why I chose to wear cropped tights I'll never know. This race was HOT. Probably the hottest half I've ever run, next to Nashville in 2008. Even before the sun was up, it was hot. I thought, "I may just have to run in my sports bra," which I have literally never done. Fortunately, the trees and shade through the Atlanta neighborhood brought about a decent amount of shade. I ran with my iPod, which I haven't done in forever. Sometimes I would pause it to listen to the sounds of the race, but it was nice to have. I forgot my Garmin watch and my Honey Stingers! I was really not prepared. I knew it would be hot, and probably slow since I've only been running twice a week, so I wasn't out to set any records. My first mile was really slow. I never start out slow, but the first couple miles of the race were pretty packed in with people, and this made it hotter. So I just decided to not push through the crowds this time. 

I saw my dad at mile 2 (he is the BEST for taking me to the race bright and early and cheering me on the whole way!) and really only saw a couple other people I know. One of these was my high school cross country coach. I don't think he recognized me, and he'd never believe I was running my 9th half marathon. I ran CC in 9th grade and absolutely hated it. The races were something like 2 miles, and I dreaded every step. Needless to say, Coach Roberts was not very fond of me.

So as the runners started to spread I set into my groove. I enjoyed running through Little Five Points, Grant Park, Fourth Ward, and all of the other neighborhoods thinking about who had the best cheering section. Just before Virginia Highlands the half and full marathoners split. Oh my goodness. I could not have been happier that I got to stay left. As I cheered and said good luck to the marathoners, I thought, "HOW In the world did I do this last year? 26.2 miles, really?!" (Though I can't wait to do it again in DC in October!) I'm just glad we lucked out with great weather last year. Sunday's weather was way too warm for 26 miles. It was here I spotted the lululemon cheer station, which of course got me all pumped up. As I waved they jumped up and down and screamed for me. I cruised for a few more miles and arrive at mile 10 with 1:34:00 on the clock. Ugh, I thought. I ran ten miles 1:31 a few weeks ago, oh well. THEN I realized when I started the race the clock read 4:20. I hadn't thought of this the whole time! It's really unusual for me to not me crunching numbers in my head, but for some reason Sunday I wasn't doing it. So I was under one and half hours at ten miles, and holy moly could perhaps finish in under 2 hours for the first time ever! Well then, I started pushing it. Like running through and around people, and pushing myself harder. The last two miles went through the GA Tech campus (There was some GA Tech nerd running with a Pi t-shirt on. Yes I know I love Pi day, but of COURSE he was from Ga Tech...) and downtown Atlanta. So much for the shady neighborhoods. Again, it got HOT. I was running and sweating and pushing up hills. Mile 12 I had less than 11 minutes to get to break two hours. Which I know is a while, but there's always that dreaded 0.1 of a mile. So I pushed it and pushed it and when I saw the finish clock I ran so hard I was sure I was going to throw up. (You can tell in my finisher pictures I'm not concerned about a photo. I am running hard. I look dreadful.) I crossed the finish at 2:03:32. Wow. I did it. I was too tired to use my math skills to do exact subtraction but that HAD to be a Sub-2. 

I was thankfully greeted with lots of water and a Publix towel that had been soaking in a cold water bin (felt so wonderful) but once I grabbed those I sped of to the results table. Then I got it: 1:59:13. I ran and found my dad and he gave me a big hug as I told him about my PR!
Dad snapped this photo with his phone.

I couldn't believe that on a day when I wasn't trying, in fact didn't really want to be there, I had actually set a PR. I used to run 5 or so days a week and this didn't happen. I actually owe this to yoga, Fight Gone Mad, and Hilliard Studio Method for helping me grow my muscles :-) I think those abs and ham strings are what got me up all the hills!!!

After the race Sunday we celebrated my brother's birthday. It was nice to be around all of the family. My  brother and his fiance adopted a German Sheperd puppy this week, and I could not wait to meet her! My parents have a black lab, and it was fun to watch them interact. The lab is older and not quite as playful, but still loved having another dog around.
Yes she's a puppy. Big but 4 months old!

My niece loves her. She wants a puppy so badly!

My brother cooked ribs, which we enjoyed with sweet potatoes and salad. It was a deliciously filling post-race meal. Then we had, at the birthday boy's request, my mom's homemade pound cake for dessert. I was beginning to feel tired from the race, and full from the meal, but had to hit the road back to Charlotte. 3 1/2 hours in the car left me pretty stiff Sunday night, but I'm feeling much better today. My next half is just a month away, Racefest here in Charlotte, so we'll see how I can do!

Totally off subject, but I was just given this book.
It is about dating from a young guys point of view, and the author lives here in Charlotte. I started it today and will finish it tonight. It is hysterical and brutally honest. Check it out: We're Just Not There Yet there's a blog too. (there is a content warning: they like to curse.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


One of my favorite things about being an educator at lululemon is the opportunity to constantly reflect on my goals. The first time I wrote them was in November. It's hard to believe that was four months ago. While four months isn't a crazy long time, a lot has happened since then. So I'm re-writing them tonight, and it is so exciting and liberating! It's wild to reflect on all the different directions I've been pulled, and the decisions I'm making now. When the New Year began, I knew 2012 was going to be a big year. And it is.

One of my first goals, and one I'm most excited about, is running my next marathon. My first came at an odd time of the year. Usually marathons are in the fall, but I ran my first marathon last March in Atlanta. So I wasn't ready seven months later to do another one. I watched the NYC and Chicago Marathon online, and it made me itch so badly for another race! The ideas of Chicago and Vancouver (Seawheeze) popped in my head, but aren't right for me now, mainly from a financial standpoint. I'm also in the lottery for ING NYC, but chances are I won't get lucky this year. (Fortunately I will be lucky enough next year. 4th time's a charm!!!) So I decided on the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC! One of my best friends ran it as her first marathon a couple years ago, and I know it's recommended as a great race. I knew registration was today, but I had no idea how quickly it would sell out. Thankfully I was encouraged by a friend to sign up right at 3PM (and thankfully that's during my planning period so no kiddies asking questions). The website was overloaded and I wasn't able to register until about 3:15PM. It turns out the race sold out in 2 hours and 41 minutes. That's unbelievable to me! The fastest marathon sell-out in the USA. I am so happy and so lucky to be a part of this! Now, if only I can get off the (yoga) mat and onto the road :-)

      Image care of: http://www.lululemon.com/community/blog/welcome-to-goal-week/