Monthly Archives: March 2012

Pinteresting

Happy Thursday! This could potentially be my last blog post since when I win the Mega Millions jackpot tomorrow I’ll most likely be hopping a plane to spend the rest of my life traveling tropical islands and sipping Mai-tais til the sun goes down.

In honor of it almost being the weekend and because I have been taking it easy this week with lots of stretching, foam rolling and hydrating, I thought I’d bring you a little humor courtesy of my latest favorite Pinterest finds:

2 of my favorite things together at last. RG + HG = unending happiness

I can’t guarantee I wouldn’t do this either…

The next trend in distance running:

If it takes you more than 3 minutes to understand why this is funny, we have a problem:

All sources/links to these pictures can be found here.

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PRO Compression Review

The awesome people at PRO Compression hooked up Team So Much Cooler Online with their marathon compression socks for the upcoming Ragnar Relay. I had a perfect opportunity to test these babies out after Saturday’s half and I’m excited to say that I think I’m hooked.

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You can read all the scientific benefits of the PRO Compression Socks here, but I’m going to give you my personal opinion for your viewing (reading?) pleasure.

After my first 5k ever back in 2009, I couldn’t flex my calves for a week. I also wore crappy shoes and all cotton – loser. I knew after Saturday’s hilly half I was going to need to  go into serious recovery mode if I didn’t want to run Sunday’s upcoming half looking like this:

When I got home the first thing I did was throw on my PRO Compression socks and start icing my knees and calves. I wore them all day on Sunday too while walking around the mall with my sister and when I woke up this morning, by hamstrings were still tight from the hills and my back was sore from trying to move a 574lb piece of furniture, but my calves felt good as new.

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Stretching my quads while wearing my little sausage casings from Heaven.

These socks are truly going to be amazing during the Ragnar Race when I’ll be covering over 15 miles over 3 different legs. I also plan to race in them on Sunday so I’ll be sure to post a review as to how they hold up while running, but so far I give them a 9/10. The only thing I would change is they are super long. Like, I can pull them over my knees and at 5’6” I’ve got a few inches on some of my teammates so I feel like they must be wearing them as thigh-highs.

Overall, I would say if you are looking for some great, comfortable compression socks that work (and come in fun colors) make sure to check out PRO Compression. They have a wide range of different socks and both pairs I’ve tried have been beyond comfortable and reasonably priced  compared to other brands I’ve seen.

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Creamy Gnocchi with Kale (And How I “Cook”)

I like to think of myself as Jason’s muse in the kitchen. I take inventory of the fridge then come up with tasty (hopefully) (in my mind they sound tasty) ideas for different dinners. Then I have him execute the actual “cooking” part of my ideas. Tonight was no different.

J had bought a couple packages of gnocchi at Trader Joes a while back and on a whim we had picked up some kale at the produce market last week. The kale was actually totally inspired by my friend Jocelyn who has an entire Pinboard devoted to her love of kale. It’s pretty awesome. I hadn’t gotten around to using it yet so I figured it might go well in some sort of pasta dish. And oh boy did it go well.

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And now… drumroll please… I present my very first recipe*.

Creamy Gnocchi with Kale

1 package of gnocchi pasta

2 heaping handfuls of kale – cooked and drained

1 onion – chopped

1 yellow pepper – chopped

2-3 tablespoons garlic

3/4 cup of ricotta cheese

1/4 cup low-fat milk

salt to taste

crushed red pepper

Sauté peppers, onions and garlic in a little olive oil until onions are soft. Add kale, a couple tablespoons of water to steam, and salt. Cook until kale gets super green and onions and peppers smell delicious. Add ricotta cheese and milk and stir until it’s all melted. Toss in cooked gnocchi and red pepper if you like a little kick. Cook until cream sauce coats gnocchi. Serve alongside a big glass of good wine and enjoy.

*I use the term recipe loosely as no actual measuring took place while J whipped this up so all measurements are total guess-timations. You may need to adjust based on your preferences.

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It was SO good. So so good.

Now Jason is currently flipping between The Voice and the Kings game while I do what I do best – drink wine and blog/browse pinterest.

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And snuggle with my new favorite pillow from World Market that Jason doesn’t think matches the couch. The couch is brown. The buttons are brown. It matches. I made sure to cut the tags off right away so I could keep it.

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Great Race of Agoura Pacific Half Marathon

Alternate Title: I’m Moving to Kansas so I can Live Where It’s Flat and Never Run Hills Again

I definitely seem to have a knack for picking hilly races. The Thousand Oaks Turkey Day Dash – hilly, the 4th of July 5k in Newbury Park – hilly, my first half marathon in Pomona – hilly. But yesterday’s half takes the cake. I don’t know why I didn’t think anything of it when I saw this:

But then again, being still “new” to the world of elevation charts, I didn’t realize how brutal that should have looked.

So the morning started early. Like, 5 AM early. After the Holiday Half I realized that my brain did not enjoy functioning without coffee and I think I had a migraine for 3 days following. So yesterday morning I got up and had a couple cups of coffee and an english muffin with peanut butter before heading out to Agoura Hills. Jason was kind enough to wake up before the sun to tag along as my valet/stuff holder/photographer/cheerleader.

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The start line was super easy to get to and it began at Paramount Ranch, where they used to film a ton of old Western movies and shows like Dr. Quinn Medicine Women. It was so neat to see all those old buildings and they still use it as a movie set today!

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Tired eyes. I also rocked my Black Sparkle Bic Band and loved it. It didn’t budge once.

The race wound through the roads of Malibu and Agoura Hills. We ran along Kanan Rd., which was awesome because I’ve spent years taking that road to the beach and seen many runners and cyclists and always thought “What crazy person would run/bike this!?”, but now I can annoy all my friends on our beach drives by telling them my race story every time.

We also ran along Mulholland, past some gorgeous houses, wineries, and Malibou Lake, which was gorgeous.

At about 2.86 miles we hit the beast-hill where I spent the entire .8 mile hill climb cursing the hill, cursing the person that set the course, cursing Malibu for having hill, cursing my legs for hating hills, etc. Luckily, that hill eventually ended and I flew back down with a 9-minute mile. I wish I had been able to keep a steady pace through the whole race but with that massive hill at the beginning and the many smaller ones that followed my splits were all over the place.

I saw J right at the end of the race toward the finish line and I kicked it as hard as I could to pass 5 women I’d been running alongside for most of the course.

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I ended up finishing in 2:19:38 but according to my Garmin the course was 13.2 miles. I didn’t beat my first time of 2:18:00, but I am pretty happy considering that this course was much tougher than the Pomona course and I ran this one alone so I didn’t have my Dad to pace me.

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Done with #2!

Next week’s half is in Ventura with an elevation change of 72 feet so I think that will be a better PR opportunity than the 1,221 ft. elevation gain of the Pacific Half Smile

The Great Race of Agoura has an awesome after party was well. I saw tons of vendors with food like pancakes and granola bars and fruit. J and I grabbed some drinks from the FRS Energy Drink booth because I was craving something tart (their Cherry Limeade is delicious) and then took off because he had to park my car a million miles away and *gasp* I didn’t feel like pancakes or any of the other sweet items available.

We swung by Trader Joes to get some ingredients for Eggs Benedict (and we also ran into the pet adoption next door where I fell in love with every puppy). When we got home, Mr. Gourmet Chef Extraordinaire whipped up this:

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While I iced and refueled:

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Overall, it was a fun race with a beautiful and scenic course and beyond perfect weather. I’m not going to lie though, I’m looking forward to kicking some half marathon butt on a flat course next weekend and I might start sticking to some flatter races going forward. My booty is SORE this morning!

Great Race of Agoura – Pacific Half Marathon: 2:19:38, 29th/55 age group

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St. Pat’s Day, Race Swag and the Most Random Meal

Last weekend it rained. And I ran.

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And my ponytail legitimately multiplied. I wish my hair had that much volume on a normal day… but without the frizz, sweat and flyaways.

I had to get in my last good run before this Saturday’s half marathon because I when I opened the fridge I realized that no running would be happening on St. Patrick’s Day.

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I drank one of those Harps but it was kind of nasty. I also had two green Bud Lights at a local sports bar. One was free. I was with this guy so I don’t even know how that happened:

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He had a little more beer than I did Winking smile

He also cooked a jammin’ corned beef while Jennifer and I whipped up the mashed potatoes and cabbage. It’s all about teamwork.

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Jennifer and her husband Mat

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Tiffany and Aaron – Tiff walked out of the sports bar with beads. I don’t how that happened either (FYI it’s a family style sports bar and children were there so I am totally kidding).

This week has been crazy busy. We went to see NEEDTOBREATHE at Club Nokia on Tuesday (amazeballs of course), Wednesday I got my hair trimmed, and today I went to the Great Race of Agoura expo to pick up my race packet for Saturday’s Pacific Half Marathon. The expo was surprisingly packed considering I went on my lunch hour. It also looked like a Real Housewives of Calabasas convention.

I know Taylor, I make me laugh too.

So I picked up my swag and checked out a couple of the booths, snagged some free bottle of FRS energy drinks and had to jet back to work pretty fast. Check out my loot:

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The technical shirts are really cute and I LOVE the bag everything came in. I have one of those drawstring bags I got for free in college that I carry my gym clothes in and it’s definitely seen better days. This one is much bigger, thicker fabric and has the Great Race of Agoura logo embroidered on it. Welcome to your new home gym clothes.

And now, without further ado, I present to you the most random (yet totally delicious) meal of the week:

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Clockwise from the top, we have homemade pizza with pepperoni and ricotta cheese, leftover mashed potatoes and corned beef and cabbage, and the best brussels sprouts (and my first successful cooking attempt) ever. All topped off with a delicious glass of pulpy orange juice. But really, it hit the spot. I think J and I are going to start these traditional “clear the fridge” nights because when you’re paying for all your own food it makes it hard to throw out anything. (Don’t tell but I think J was using the milk like 4 days past expiration).

So Saturday is Half Mary #2 and next Sunday is #3. Hopefully it all pans out well, but one thing I can guarantee is that I’ll have a great chance to review my new Pro Compression socks on Saturday afternoon!

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Anyone running any races this weekend? Which ones?

What’s the most random meal you’ve eaten recently?

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Time Change Woes

No joke guys, I was struggling  today. I even went to sleep at my normal 10:00 time (really 9:00?) and woke up at 6 but holy smokes I was lagging all day.

Funny Workplace Ecard: I hope daylight savings hasn't thrown off your schedule of doing nothing.

Apparently I wasn’t the only person struggling with the time change today though. I decided to mix it up a bit and purchase a deal for 10 classes at a gym near my office. The mix of classes looked a lot different from the usual offering at 24 Hour Fitness. Unfortunately, the instructor pulled off my BIGGEST pet peeve and started the class late – meaning the class ended late. Did she not get my memo that if I don’t eat by 7:30 I become the meanest, grouchiest person ever and basically snap at anyone that crosses my path? Rude.

I tried out this class:

RIP-Power Dumbbell workout burns more calories and helps speed up the metabolism.

It ended up being a lot like Body Pump, but the instructor wasn’t peppy enough to motivate me and the music was pretty meh. Body Pump – 1, RIP – 0.

I am definitely going to be sore, but I feel like 90% of the motivation of going to a gym class vs. working out alone comes from the class being fun. RIP just made me feeling like this:

I still have 9 classes left on my certificate so I guess I need to stick it out but I think I’m going to skip RIP and try out Thursday night’s step class. Maybe I’ll be slightly more coordinated than I am in Zumba.

What’s your favorite gym class? I used to love taking the mat Pilates classes but none of the times are convenient. I think Body Pump is my favorite now.

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Negative Splits Baby

I have never been what I would call a “smart” runner. A lot of the time my strategy just revolves around trying not to trip or hyperventilate too much while running a pace that isn’t completely embarrassing. Well tonight, this happened and I have no idea how:

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Um, what? I don’t know if it was the cool weather, the time change that allows me to run at 5:30PM instead of 5:30AM, or maybe the 7 clementines I’ve eaten today but I was felling GOOD.

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Don’t you love the close-up arm shot? I moonlight as a professional photographer. After I got back from my run I made Jason unglue himself from the hockey game for a minute to get some photographic proof that I actually remembered to refuel and stretch this time.

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Can I just add that I can’t believe it’s taken me almost a year of having this blog to finally use Windows Live Writer! It’s a lifesaver. You can finally expect more frequent posts now that I don’t have to deal with WordPress’s janky photo-upload process.

Time to go… dinner’s on the stove and I need to eat and shower before the best part of the week:

It’s Walking Dead night!! I hope everyone had a great weekend and I hope you don’t have too much trouble waking up tomorrow morning thanks to 6AM feeling like 5.

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