Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

I was so glad we had a three-day weekend.  I'll take an extra day off anytime :)  My weekend was busy as usual.  Friday night Greg and I went to Brad and Kelly's for dinner.  It has been SO LONG since the four of us have gotten together, mostly because of Greg's schedule.  It was so nice of them to have us over and we enjoyed a yummy shrimp stir-fry and salad dinner courtesy of chef Kelly.  We also brought Clyde so he could see his buddy Rascal.  We had a lovely time.
Saturday morning I was up early to meet Gibson for my last long run before the half marathon- eek!  I can't believe it's less than a week away now- kinda freaks me out!  We met at the same trail where I met Michelle last weekend.  I did a repeat of last week's oatmeal with peanut butter and banana as pre- long run fuel.  For my mid-run fuel I had some Jelly Belly Sports Beans that Kelly had given me the night before and again carried a small Gatorade.  The run was ok.  My run with Michelle last Saturday was better.  This one kind of had it's good and bad moments.  I started out pretty good, felt really good around mile 5-6, and then the last four miles or so kinda sucked.  Gibson and I were all gossiped out and just trudging along and the humidity had gotten to us, so we just silently put one foot in front of the other other.  It was funny though, because he was trying his best to keep my motivated by saying things like, "Hey, only 3 miles to go!  That's like being at Central Ave. on the Common Market run (our running group's Thursday loop)."  He thought that would help me, but I was like "dude, that's like the beginning of the run, that means almost the WHOLE thing is still in front of us!"  Basically it made me feel like I had sooooo much left instead of the opposite effect.  Anyway, I finished 10 miles plus about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile in addition when I walked to eat some sports beans and drink some Gatorade.  I'm hoping race day goes better.  Lately it goes back and forth about every other run on feeling good/bad. 
Greg and I spent most of the rest of Saturday cleaning the house and we ran a couple errands, well, after I did my usual post long run lazy thing for an hour or two.  I've decided that's mandatory after long runs. 
My parents were coming Sunday, so we really tried to get the place in order.  We also stayed in Saturday night and kept it low-key. 
Sunday morning we were up doing a little more cleaning and Greg loaded up his car.  He's done with training and this week he's flying from his base so he's taking our third car there to have when he's there so he has one in each city. 
My parents got to the house right before noon and I made us all grilled panini sandwiches.  I used french bread, havarti cheese, tomato, and dill- yum!  Then my parents and I went to play GOLF.  This was my first time out this year.  I have a set of my mom's old clubs and even own golf shoes (they are white and silver saddle shoes..hehe!).  A while back I did take golf lessons one summer.  I have a decent drive and my game isn't too bad, but my short game kinda sucks- probably because I had the least lessons on that.  It's something I think I'd be good at if I had time, money, and lessons, but probably won't really put much into it until later in life.  Anyway, we played 18 holes and I had fun hanging out with my parents for the afternoon.  I didn't bother to keep score of myself, cuz that would just be depressing.  It was more about spending time with them and having fun.  My parents are both good golfers, which is to be expected since they live in a golf community in Hilton Head!  Biggest drawback of the day was that my stupid golf shoes gave me a blister on the back of my left heel.  It's concerning me a little for my running, but hopefully it'll feel better in a day or two and I'll be ok for the race.
After golf we headed back to the house to get ready for dinner.  Greg and I had some PF Changs gift cards to use so we treated them to dinner.  I LOVE the Ginger Chicken with Broccoli at PFC, but last night I got the Coconut Curry Vegetables because I wanted to try something new.  Plus, my mom got the Ginger Chicken, so we thought we'd share.  I also tried Greg's Buddha Feast (another vegetarian dish), and my Dad's Lo Mein.  Everything was great.  I was stuffed! 
Greg left early this morning to drive to base.  The company scheduled him for reserve today, so he left around 6am to get to base by 11am.  The rest of us got up later.  I made my mom a Green Monsta- and she loved it and wrote down the recipe for later use :)  My mom was dying to go to DSW, so we planned an excursion over there.  I got the cutest sandals! 

I love love love them.  And they're comfortable :)
My parents took off for home after we got back from DSW.  They were actually passing through Charlotte on the way back from a trip to Pinehurst, so it was a relatively short, but fun visit. 
And then it was just Clyde and I for the rest of the day.  It's been very rainy here, but I didn't mind at all.  I have been loving just relaxing on the couch with my boy.  I watched my Netflix movie, Taken, which has been sitting on my TV stand for weeks, watched the latest Flash Forward, had some coffee, talked to Jen, Gibson, Greg...  I also did some stuff for Kelly's shower.  It's been a nice day in actually.  I could use like 4 more of these...  Ahhhh :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tennis kinda bites

So, I lost my tennis match Wednesday night :(  The score was 3-9.  I didn't really like the guy I was playing with.  He was really bossy, telling me what to do the whole time, and it made me really uncomfortable.  I had some decent shots and my serve is improving, but I also had some bonehead shots and missed a bunch of shots.  I have to say, I'm not sure I'm feeling tennis on the competitive level.  I'm not sure I like doubles either.  Given the choice between tennis and running, I know I'd pick running hands down.  The problem with tennis is that you need other people to practice with, it's expensive (if you want to play certain places, take lessons, etc...), it takes a lot of practice to get good, and I find myself REALLY nervous during matches.  Like shaky nervous.  I will definitely finish out the season with my team, but I don't know if I see myself going further with tennis right now.  :( 
When I got home from tennis, I decided I wanted to try and make a black bean burger with leftover black beans I had in the fridge.  I put black beans, spinach, garlic, onion, carrot, salsa, cumin, paprika, and bread crumbs into the mini food processor and then formed a patty.  I think I over-pureed the mix a little because it was so soft that I needed a bunch of bread crumb to get it to where it wasn't totally sticky and soft and to help me form it into a patty.  I threw that on the grill with some asparagus.

Finished product, with cheese, salsa, and a little non-fat plain yogurt on a couple leaves of lettuce.  It was good, but I think like I said, I'd puree it less and maybe reserve some whole black beans to mix in so it wasn't completely soft and had more texture. 

Thursday night I did my 5 mile run with Michelle.  This run oddly started out good (usually it's the opposite with me and starts rough but gets better) but kind of got worse about halfway.  I think it was was the heat, it was pretty brutal out there last night.  I was drenched after the run.  I'm praying that the morning of the half is cool out and good weather.
When I got home I did a little carb loading since I plan on doing another long run Saturday morning.  My last long run before the half- yikes!  I made a Boca Bruchetta patty with some tomato basil sauce and italian cheese and some whole grain penne, with brussel sprouts.  
Devoured it while blogging, playing fetch with Clyde, and watching Oprah on Tivo.  I'm such the multi-tasker!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Q&A on running

Rachel asked: I'm interested in how you started your running. Have you always been a runner or did you just pick it up? I would love to do a half some day.

Hi Rachel!  Thanks for reading :)  Ok, get ready for the longest answer EVER...haha!  To answer your question, yeah, I guess I've always been kind of a runner.  A little history on me.  I grew up in a very active family.  My dad was a high school baseball coach and my mom was always doing aerobics classes and that sort of thing.  Early on as a kid I was exposed to lots of sports.  I grew up in rural New Hampshire and I was always on my bike, running around my huge yard, playing catch, playing soccer, jumping rope, etc...  As soon as I was old enough I was involved in Pee Wee Baseball, and other organized sports and that pretty much continued through high school.  I went to private school and we had to participate in a sport every term, either team or "rec" sport.  I played Field Hockey for all four years of high school (junior high too), did downhill skiing, tennis, weight training, and running.  I never ran cross country or did track, but I've always had running in the background of my sports.  When I went to college I didn't play any team sports, but running was frequently my physical activity of choice for getting in shape.  Same with after college.  It's always been something I knew gave me a total body workout and was easy to do no matter what else I had going on.  I never really focused on distance or how long I was running though, as long as I went out and did a little bit of running (probably about 2 miles was my avg run).  Before Greg got furloughed I was a member of the YMCA in my city.  I LOVED the classes at the Y.  I used to go to pilates, power yoga, and custom cuts classes.  I was especially into the yoga.  When Greg got furloughed we were pretty freaked out and decided to cut costs how ever we could.  Gym membership was one thing that went on the chopping block, much to my dismay.  It was kind of by accident that I got so into running as my primary physical activity and at the level I'm into it now.  After quitting the gym, I was talking with my friend Gibson about running and we started running together after work once in a while.  Then he told me he was in a running group and that I should come.  I joined the running group (which by the way is on about a year ago and did the Thursday night 4 mile runs.  At first I REALLY struggled with 4 miles.  I had to run a couple times a week to make sure I was prepared to do that run and that was my LONG run each week.  But after a couple months it got pretty easy and I could do it no problem.  I took kind of a winter hiatus from running this year as it was dark and cold and I mostly wanted to 
It was really Jen that got me running the way I am now.  She joined my running group online and searched through the profiles and found that we lived in the same area and contacted me about running in our area.  It was perfect timing.  When we got Clyde I really struggled with leaving him to go running far from the house (which my running group runs are).  Running with Jen worked out great because I could run close to home and not have to leave the puppy for long.  She is a phenomenal runner and started telling me about all the half marathons and full marathons she's done.  I got inspired and said I kind of wanted to try and do a half.  Next thing I know she's finding a half marathon for us and sending me my training plan from! 

Some other advice:

If you want to get into running and/or train for a half marathon is try to find some people to run with ( is in almost every city, you probably have running groups near you).  Like I was mentioning about classes at the Y, I am a person that needs to be around other people to be pushed in working out.  When I run (or workout) by myself I usually don't push myself as hard or as long.  I'm also inspired by other people when I see them pushing themselves.  I think it really helps.  Even if it's just that you run with other people once or twice a week and run by yourself sometimes it still helps.

Gradually build distance.  If you keep increasing the distance you are running, before long if won't feel like it's that hard to run distances you previously thought were too far to run.

If you want to do a longer race, I think mapping a training plan on really helped me.  You don't have to follow it exactly, but it gives you a good idea of what you need to do each week in order to build the mileage.  I stuck to one shortish run (2-4 miles), one 5 mile run, and then did one long run every weekend and that's where I increased my mileage, just by a mile or two a week.  I really didn't change my mileage on the other two runs much throughout my training.

Get some running stuff.  It gets you into it to have some gear :)  If you are going to do longer distances go to a real running store and get fitted for good running sneakers.  They've made a big difference for me.  I also like the running, non-cotton socks.  I had some blister issues, and they seemed to help with that (also sports tape).  I also asked for and got more running clothes for my birthday.  Jen also gave me a little starter kit with all the different runner's fuels- Shot Blocks, Sharkies, Gu, etc...  She also taught me about Body Glide, which is this anti-chafe stuff that you put on to help with chafing.  I love all the gear/food/etc...  It's fun.  I want a Garmin Forerunner now too!

Do some races!  Start small with a 5K and see how you like it.  You can start with smaller distances and build.  I've done a couple races now and it is kind of addicting.  You also push yourself when you're in the competitive atmosphere.

Those are my tips to starting running.  Good luck!

Blog Update

To address my previous post about what my blog is about, I have an update on what I've decided to do about the blog.  First, thanks to those who gave me feedback, I appreciate it.  To address Joanna's suggestion (in the comments section), I have considered multiple blogs of various focuses, but I'm so busy, I kind of only have time for one "dump" of information a day (if that even!), so I don't know that I could keep up with updating multiple blogs, at least not effectively.  I really just wondered if people wanted more of one type of topic from me (more on what I eat, more on aviation, more on my fitness activities, more about my social life, etc...) or if they liked the variety of what I write about and wanted me to just keep doing what I am doing. 
In writing that post I think I kind of sorted out my issues and have come to realize I'm still on track, in a way, writing about what my life is like as a pilot's wife.  The key is, this is what MY life is like as a pilot's wife.  This blog is about what I'm doing with my time and how I am choosing to live my life while we are still waiting for the timing to be right for us to start a family and for Greg's career to be in a better place again.  There are times when we are constantly talking about and analyzing Greg's career and what's going on with the airline industry as seen earlier on in my posts, but now is not really one of those times so the focus has been more about what else I have going on in my life.  Greg's just happy to have a job as a pilot again (well, when he's not complaining about it!) and just getting through training.  There's kind of not a lot to report, we just keep chugging along.  I don't know that I could fill an entire blog with news and opinions solely on aviation topics these days, and I'm kind of glad to be in a place where I'm not as obsessed with trying to figure out the industry and the future of his career.  I've found a lot of other things to fill that "empty space" in my life that I felt when Greg's career dropped out from under us.  I fill it with all the things I write about in this blog: trying to live a healthy life-style, training for my half marathon, tennis, food, spending time with my friends, Clyde, and enjoying my time with Greg when he's home.  That's my life right now.  I think I'm going to just keep doing what I'm doing.  By all means let me know if there's something you want to hear more about though and I'll do my best to write more about it.  I like feedback :)  Thanks all!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What am I doing??

So I've been thinking for a while that my blog is officially all over the place in terms of content.  I just kind of wanted to address that, even though my readers may be few (thank you to those of you who read!).  As said on my bio, I started this blog as a place to express what life is like with a furloughed pilot.  It was one of the hardest things I've gone through in my life and I was shocked at the lack of information, resources, or even just stories of families who have dealt with it when I looked around.  I like to write and felt like I had something to say about the ordeal.  I follow the aviation industry closely and have always talked to my husband a lot about his career and what was happening with it.  I started the blog in the hopes that I could show what furlough is like to those who wonder.  I know on many of the pilot's wives forums I frequent, many pilot's wives have not dealt with it and/or are new to the industry so I thought I could help them understand what they might some day have to go through.  The blog became a real outlet for me.  I used to journal when I was younger and basically this became journaling for me again.  Then I stumbled upon healthy living blogs and got very hooked on reading them, since I have an interest in health, fitness, and cooking.  No doubt they have influenced my content, although I don't see myself becoming a food blogger exclusively.
Greg is back flying now, even though he's technically still furloughed from his original airline.  I still feel like we're in a "holding pattern" though because we still haven't gotten where we ultimately want to go.  We are waiting for Greg to be on something better than first year airline pay, waiting to feel like we have some stability with his career (if that's even possible), and we're not sure how long that will be.  I still really want to have kids, and we have long felt we can't do that until he's at a certain place with his career.  I know there's never a right time, but now that I've seen how bad things can be I certainly think there's a better time than when your are furloughed or a first year First Officer.  So, we're still in a "holding pattern".  Blogging, exercising, and healthy living, and my social life have become my coping mechanisms.  When the furlough first happened I spent a lot of time with and without Greg feeling depressed and alone and not all that motivated to do much.  I wasn't in good shape mentally or physically.  Blogging and my friends kind of saved me.  I've channelled all of my negativity, frustration, and worry into healthier things like eating healthier, running, tennis, biking, etc...  I FEEL better, mentally and physically.  I still consider this my story of a pilot's wife that is dealing with a life put somewhat on hold, but I also feel like it's a success story because I have done a lot of great things while I'm waiting.  I figured out that if I can't accomplish all of the things I want in life, I can accomplish some other things while I'm waiting.  So that's what I'm doing.  I don't know if I should change my blog's title or theme.  I'm open to hearing what anyone thinks.  I just know I enjoy writing/sharing my life, even if it's a little unfocused.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Bomb

I woke up with a serious craving this morning for a smoothie. But not just the regular ol' Green Monster, this time I was craving a CHOCOLATE smoothie! I've been reading about Chocolate Cherry Bomb smoothies on multiple blogs for a while and figured it was about time I try this other monster of a smoothie. I've actually been plotting its execution for a couple days now. While out the other day, I picked up some chocolate protein powder. I perused the frozen food isle for some frozen cherries and was unable to find them! But all was not lost, I found something else that I liked the idea of even better- RASPBERRIES! It's well known among my closest friends and family that I'm a huge fan of raspberry and chocolate together. Heck, my wedding cake was chocolate/almond/raspberry flavored (AND WAS FABULOUS!)! So I immediately changed course and decided I was doing the Chocolate Raspberry Bomb instead of the Cherry. In my mix was:
1/2 cup of ice
1/2 cup of raspberries
1/2 a banana
handful of spinach
scoop of chocolate protein powder
somewhere between 1/2 to a full cup of almond milk

Blended away and came up with this:

(Actually that was what was left in the blender after I filled my Giant UNH insulated mug). Anyway, it was delish! I still wanna try the cherry bomb eventually, but the raspberries were awesome and I highly recommend trying it that way!

I met Sarah for lunch today and we decided to try Blynk Organic as seen on Emily's blog (she works there).  It was good.  I had a half of the A.T.M  (not automated teller sandwich, which was avocado, tomato, mozarella, and pesto on multigrain and half a salad which they build with whatever you want in it.  I opted for greens, spinach, tomato, feta, and roasted red peppers. I think they ended up charging me for a full salad and the portion of each wasn't overly huge.  It was good, but kind of expensive.  I'd go there again once in a while to change it up.  Probably 90% of the time Sarah and I meet for lunch we go to Jason's Deli, so it's good to branch out.
I got home and walked Clyde.  Then I logged into ITunes for the first time in a while to update my running playlist.  There are a bunch of existing songs in my library that I keep forgetting to put on the running playlist, like "Forever" - Chris Brown and "1901" - Phoenix.  I downloaded some Lady Gaga, old school "Eye of the Tiger" from the Rocky IV soundtrack and "Raspberry Beret" by Prince.  Also "Don't Stop Believing" by the Glee cast (love that show!)  After messing around with my list for awhile I was satisfied and headed out the door to give it a try.  I plan to run my half marathon with music and most of my training has been with friends without music, so it was nice to do a run by myself and try out the music.  I knew tonight's run would be shortish.  I really wanted to see how my knee would do and just get in like 2-3 miles or so.  I did some loops around my neighborhood, which is also a little hilly so it factored in some terrain.  The run was great.  My knee was fine, the music was fun, and I found myself basically doing kind of a speed workout, which works out good since I was doing a shorter distance tonight.  I ran for a little over half an hour.

A Case of the Mondays

Yesterday was one of those crappy days.  The weather was blah, work kinda sucked, and I twisted my knee getting out of the car in the morning, which had me worried about running. I was debating doing a run last night or one tonight and figured I'd see how I felt when I got home. I took Clyde for a long walk as a "test" and could feel the left knee bugging me a little so I decided I wouldn't do the run and risk further aggravating it. After my walk I threw together a quick dinner. Last night's artichoke and roasted red pepper pizza from Brixx. Oh and a tip on reheating pizza. Toaster oven with parchment paper at about 375ish for about 5 minutes. Works great! I also made a simple salad with lettuce, spinach, tomato, feta, and balsamic/EVOO/lemon juice/salt/pepper. That's kind of my go to homemade dressing.

After dinner I worked on some of Kelly's bridal shower stuff and briefly talked to Greg. He's in his final week of what they call IOE (sometime I need to remember to ask what the heck that acronym stands for!). It's going well. He doesn't really like the plane he's flying. It's hard to go from a jet with most things automated to flying manual again, but he thinks it's good training and will keep him sharp in the long run. Everytime he starts to whine about it I remind him he could be driving a semi truck or working at a hotel again and it pretty much shuts him up :) He finishes IOE on Thursday.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday started off with a breakfast consisting of Green Monsters (which I've gotten Greg into).  I did the standard mix of ice, banana, spinach, vanilla whey protein, and almond milk.  MMMMMMM.  With the Green Monsters we each had a ramekin of huge fresh blueberries and a croissant with melted Nutella at Greg's insistence (twist my arm).  And some coffee.
We had a fairly lazy Sunday morning of watching some SNL on Tivo and checking up on the latest happenings on our respective laptops while throwing various objects for the puppy to fetch.  Pretty standard stuff at our house.  Greg got ready for his next trip and around noonish I took him to the airport.  From there I went on to do some errands.  Some of them for Kelly's upcoming bridal shower, which is in two weeks.  I'm co-hosting with her maid of honor and needed to work on some of my tasks and shop for a gift.
While out I received a call from my friend Kerrie asking if I'd like to meet her to play tennis.  I jumped at the chance since I rarely have an opportunity to practice and obviously need to!  I also figured it was the perfect workout for the day after my long run.  I met her at her place and we headed to the Beatty Park courts.  Kerrie is pretty good!  She gave me a definite run for my money.  We played some actual games and were pretty much tied the whole time.  She could totally hack it in my league!  I was glad I played with her because I got a lot of good practice in with her being about my speed.  We played about an hour before giving up our court for some people waiting.
We decided to go get some post-tennis dinner at Brixx Pizza at Blakeney. I got a salad with goat cheese and balsamic and a thin crust pizza with artichoke and roasted red pepper, but only ate half the pizza.  Both hit the spot!  I rushed home to watch the Lost series finale.  I even stayed up til 11:30pm to see the WHOLE THING.  I have to say.  I was disappointed.  Anyone watch it?  Thoughts??
It's been a busy weekend as usual.  Greg and I didn't do the greatest job of celebrating our anniversary despite him actually being home for it this year.  I had a late meeting Thursday and didn't finish til about 7pm and then had to pick him up at the airport.  We knew that night that dinner out wasn't going to happen.
Friday I had more work stuff to attend to and by the time I got home I was kind of exhausted.  It started raining (further inducing my coma), and again we decided to stay in.  For once, Greg was actually the one who kind of wanted to go out, but I just wanted to lay on the couch and lounge.  I did make us a pretty good dinner though.  We had stir-fried tempeh, shredded carrot, onion, and bok choy with H.T. Traders (Harris Teeter brand) Thai Peanut Noodles topped with a little cilantro.  So good :)  We'll do our "anniversary dinner out" some other time.
After dinner Jen called and the subject of ice cream came up.  We decided to meet at Brusters.  Jeff's mom was visiting and also came, and we brought Clyde to meet her, since she is a major lover of Dachshunds.  I had my usual- the peanut butter cup sundae with Reeses pieces instead of peanut butter cups.  It has hot fudge and peanut butter sauce on it and is much the same as the Reeses pieces sundae at Friendly's that I grew up enjoying. 
Saturday I got up early for my 10 mile long run.  Jen has gone to NJ for the next week, so it's up to me to train without her, boo!  My friend Michelle met me at the McMullen Greenway for a run though, so that was wonderful.  I pre-run fueled with oatmeal with almond butter, cottage cheese, banana, walnuts, a little sprinkle of vanilla whey protein powder, and almond milk. 

The run was GREAT!  Unlike Wednesday, I felt pretty good and it was humid, but not that hot.  I brought Luna Moons

as my mid-run fuel, and carried a small red Gatorade to replenish my water and salt along the way.  We did 10.8 miles of full on running and walked in the last bit for 11 miles total (my legs were kind of jello by then).  I was happy with that!  I think it took us around 2 hours.
I got home from the run and was craving a replay of the omelet dinner I had earlier in the week.  I whipped another one of those spinach, tomato, pepper, onion and cheddar omelets for brunch, and one for Greg minus the spinach.  Then I allowed myself to be lazy and doze off for a bit while I recovered from the long run.  Later in the afternoon we did a Costco trip.  Did some damage too.  We got a bunch of snack stuff for Greg now that he's back flying and needs stashes of food for when he doesn't have much time to eat.  I got a cute Adidas running outfit and some baby clothes for my friend Jen who had her second child yesterday.  It was quite the bounty of items.
We got home and got ready to meet friends for dinner at The Liberty again.  Sarah, Tim, Josie, Chloe, and Greg and I were there. 

Mainly we were there to celebrate Josie's divorce becoming final on Friday.  I love that place, the food is great.  Greg and I split the soft pretzels with cheese and horseradish dips as an app and then I had really good fish tacos for my entree.  I also had a summer beer flight sampler with four different kinds.  SO GOOD :)  We called it a night early while most of the rest of our crew went on to other venues and parties to continue.  Greg and I are old fogies now.  Dinner out is enough for us.  We're not really into the late night scene anymore.  Plus, Greg is flying out today so he wanted to get home and finish packing and organizing for the trip.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's my Fourth Wedding Anniversary!

Today marks my fourth wedding anniversary!  It's actually flown by- I can't believe it's been that long since that day!  Our wedding was held in the plantation where my parents live in Hilton Head, SC.  When we got married we were still living in Virginia, but had already begun the process of moving to Charlotte.  Greg is originally from IL (Chicago), and I'm originally from NH, and since we've both lived all over and have family and friends all over the country we knew wherever we decided to have the wedding people would have to travel.  We opted for HHI because it's beautiful, we both love it there, of course my parents live there, and we figured people might not mind traveling there to a destination wedding of sorts.  We had a fairly small wedding- 54 people.  I thought that amount was perfect, not too large, but enough people to create a party at the reception, which we did :)  It seriously was the best day of my life.  I would marry Greg again if I had to do it over.  I love him so much!  Anyway, here is some of our wedding day in photos:

PS- I'll add more later, I ran out of time and had to get to work!

When running sucks

Last night was my weekly 5 miler with Jen which we decided to do on Wednesday rather than our usual Thursday.  Michelle and Kelly wanted to join us and we decided to change up the location this time.  We met in the South Park area of Charlotte for a 5 mile loop Michelle had planned.  Yesterday morning I had noticed some soreness in my legs and butt.  I realized that of all the activities I've done in the past week, tennis of all things had given my lower body quite a workout!  Who knew!  I guess the action of bent knees and kind of jumping around on the court maybe?  Anyhoo, I made my way over to meet the girls.  I was in a fairly good mood and the weather was pretty decent- hovering around 80ish, sunny, and slightly breezy.  I've run in worse for sure.  We started the run and I could tell it was going to be a rough one, but I hoped like other runs that started badly, I would reach a more comfortable, euphoric place at some point, and it would all be fine.  That never really happened last night.  The whole 5 miles just kind of...well sucked.  I am not sure if it was my legs being sore from tennis, that small piece of birthday cake I had at the office, a lack of water, or what.  I just wasn't feeling it and the whole run was rather labored.  :(  The good news is that my running buddies kept me going and I finished all 5 miles.  I was happy I had completed it.  Our group went to Earth Fare for some dinner at Kelly's suggestion.  We all opted for the salad bar and I got a little over zealous filling my bowl with all sorts of veggies and various salads.  My salad was weighed and amounted to about $12- yikes!  haha!  I also tried my first Kombucha Synergy, raspberry rush flavor.

Pretty good stuff! We ate outside and chatted. 
The evening had to be cut short by Jen and I though, because we had to high tail it home to get on the computer at 9pm and get tickets to the Healthy Living Summit.  We decided after months of talking about our favorites Healthy Living blogs that we had to go to this event and meet the girls.  It's being held in Chicago, and I'm so excited to go and also take a little trip with Jen.  We were nervous about getting tickets after numerous bloggers mentioned that it sold out in 20 minutes last year, but both of us successfully purchased a ticket, which was confirmed by a phone call from Jen right when I was finalizing my purchase.  Yay!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My first tennis matches and late dinner

Last night I had my first tennis team matches (ever!). Jen was nice enough to go over to my house at lunchtime and visit Clyde and take him out for a walk for me, since I had an early match at 5:30pm and wouldn't be able to make it to tennis on time if I had to go home to let him out first.  I got this picture from her around 1pm, saying all was well with my baby :)

Don't you just want to snuggle him???  Thanks Jen!! 
I have no pictures of my matches.  Guess I need to get some "fans" to come watch me or something so that I can give you guys some action!  Anyway, my first match was women's doubles.  I was pretty nervous and pretty much bombed my first round of serving, but started to get more comfortable after a little while.  We lost :(  Can't remember the final score, maybe like 9 to 2??  It was pretty bad.  There was a shortage of female availability last night, so I was also scheduled for the mixed doubles match (a man and a women team on each side for you non-tennis speak people).  I was paired with my mentor/recruiter Bobby, which I was happy about because he's the guy I know best out of everyone on our team and I knew he'd be helpful and kind of coach-like, which is what I need right now.  It started out kind of rough.  The guy on the other team had this insanely fast serve, and I was pretty much a deer in headlights every time the ball came my way!  The thing about his serve was that it was really inconsistent, so I could tell after a while that he knew this and eventually started softening up the serve in the interest of getting it over the net.  My serve is probably my weakest point of the game.  That and not knowing when I should hit the ball and when I should let my partner hit it when it falls in between us.  I'm not used to doubles tennis at all.  It's going to take some getting used to knowing how to figure out when I should hit it and when I should leave it alone.  Bobby and I caught up and our sets were tied towards the end (6-6), but they ended up winning the match 9 to 6.  I was much happier with that round than the women's doubles round though.  I had a couple good shots here and there and I think I can build from that.  Bobby thought I did well said he thinks by the end of the season I will be very good.  Let's hope so! 
Once I got home from tennis I was pretty famished.  I have a lot of fresh produce in the fridge (yay!) and I was REALLY craving some grilled veggies, namely zucchini and asparagus.  I drizzled the cut up zucchini and the asparagus in a mixture of grape seed and olive oil and heated up my grill pan.  I seasoned them with a squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper.  MMMMMM.  So yummy.  Pretty much my favorite summer food.  I would have made some rice to go with it, but was STARVING and didn't have time to wait on rice (I'm out of the Uncle Ben's Ready Rice), so I actually made an old college favorite as my starch- chicken flavored Ramen.  Don't judge!  I crave it every once in a while, and swear it works almost as good as actual chicken soup when I'm sick!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Monday night shopping and omelet

Last night I was supposed to have a tennis practice but it got cancelled because of rain.  I then thought I might do a short run, but didn't feel like it.  I figured I could take a night off after running 9 miles Saturday and biking 15 yesterday.  I did take Clyde on a walk though.  My first tennis match is tonight, and when I assessed my gear I decided at the very least I was in need of a tennis skirt.  My brother got me a gift card to Dicks Sporting Goods for my birthday, so I decided if I wasn't going to work out that I should go over and cash in on the card and get some tennis clothes.  Dicks doesn't have the greatest selection.  When I first got there I found a cute Puma white tennis skirt for only like $22 on the clearance rack, but when I tried it on it didn't look good.  It was white spandex, I guess that should have been my first clue it might not work out!  I finally settled on a Reebok black skirt and ended up getting an Under Armor top that I can wear for tennis, running, or whatever.  It's kind of orangish, and my tennis team is called Orange Crush, so I figured that would work with our theme.  Here's my outfit (oh and Clyde wanted to say hi!):

When I got home I wasn't all that motivated to cook so I decided to whip up a quick omelet.  I LOVE onion and peppers in my omelets.

I sauteed them in a little Smart Balance til soft, then added some tomato and spinach and cooked those for a minute or two. 

Then I just added two eggs.  Usually I beat them in a bowl, but I was too lazy last night so I just broke them up with the spatula and mixed everything together.  I then let the eggs set and added a little cheddar (cuz it makes everything betta) and folded it in half French style.

Good dinner :)

Monday, May 17, 2010


Since ALL I have going on is a tennis league and training for the half marathon, I figured I might as well add some biking to the!  No big deal.  Jen and Jeff invited me to come with them on a little road bike trip yesterday and I happily jumped at the chance.
I think I may have alluded to Greg's lack of romance somewhere in this blog before, but Valentine's Day is a holiday where he usually goes all out (usually flowers, candy, Bath and Body Works stuff, etc...)  Our first Valentine's Day together, back in 2001 was one where he set the bar particularly high- he bought be a new road bike!  Mind you, this was after only two months of dating, so you know he must have thought I was a keeper if he was willing to shell out all that cash just so we could bike together :) Awww...
Like tennis, biking was an activity I did a lot as a kid.  My parents were into having us do all these activities as a family.  We went through the tennis phase, the biking phase, the sailing phase, etc...  When we biked we all had the gear- helmets, spare tires, bike shorts, padded gloves, etc...  We easily did 25 mile rides on any given bike day, often planning around places to stop for lunch and/or ice cream (that's my kind of ride!).  New England has some really great places to ride with paved trails and wide road shoulders (not like Charlotte- boo!).  It's beautiful and scenic and I used to love riding up there.
When Greg got me my bike, back when we lived in Northern Virginia, we would occasionally go on the W&OD Trail (Washington and Old Dominion Trail), which is a great paved trail that stretches from where we lived in Loudoun County, all the way to Alexandria, VA.  It's 45 miles long.  Eventually we also got mountain bikes, and found ourselves using those more and the road bikes have kinda been gathering dust for a while.
Enter Jen's husband Jeff- a seriously avid biker and triathlete.  Jeff got both Jen and I out there on the bike yesterday and it felt REALLY GREAT :)  We did about 15 miles around our area.  It was so fun.  It made me wonder why I ever stopped road biking.  Jeff's been trying to get Jen to do some triathlons like he does and she's decided to do one sometime soon.  Now I think I might be bitten by the bug too after getting back on the bike yesterday.  I figured if I'm doing solid running, and add some solid biking, all I really will need to work on is swimming.  I've always been a decent swimmer.  My biggest fear is running into a buoy (I know someone that happened to!) or another swimmer.  I'm not sure about my ability to swim in a straight line.  That's yet to be tested.  But I'm willing to try it!  I'm going to get through my half marathon first, but I think I've set my sights on my next goal :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

10K recap

Very early Saturday morning I got up for the Run! Ballantyne 10K.  I didn't sleep well AT ALL the night before.  Clyde was wicked hyper and Greg was tossing and turning.  Plus, the temperature was uncomfortable and I just didn't sleep right.  It frustrated me big time because I'm a really GOOD sleeper like 95% of the time.  Greg actually gets jealous of the fact that I can get in bed and once I decide I'm ready to go to sleep I'm out in like 2 minutes.  He's more of an insomniac.  So anyway, I woke up kind of ticked off that I hadn't slept well before a race.  I gobbled down a bowl of oatmeal, banana, and peanut butter, and a sipped on some coffee.  I got dressed in a new pair of shorts my brother sent me for my birthday, a gray tank, and my running socks and Nikes (well and underwear and sports bra of course).  Jen arrived at my house to pick me up pretty much on time and we were off. 

We met up with Gibson over in Ballantyne and then attached our race numbers, peed, got our chips and attached them and waited to start.

I put myself in the 10 minute mile + group, while they headed for the faster groups.  The race went pretty well.  The course was a little hilly, but not too terrible.  It was pretty hot out there too.
(I know what you're thinking- wow, she looks so photogenic while
I got water at all the stations but one.  It was hard to drink while moving so I kinda walked through the water stations while drinking.  I passed quite a few people, some people that I was even behind for quite a while.  In the fourth or fifth mile I actually felt pretty energized and imagine my times for that stretch were probably faster than the beginning miles.  My time was 58:38 and I came in 153rd.
(Doing the "disappearing finger" magic trick, while crossing the finish line!)
That means my avg minutes per mile was 9:37.  I was happy with that!

(Yikes, I am sweaty!)

Jen actually got 2nd place for her gender/age with a time of 46:19!  She's amazing!

After cooling down, stretching, having water, banana, Sharkies, etc... We actually got motivated and went and did another 2.6 miles to bring our day's total to 9 miles!  I felt great!  I got home and registered for the half marathon, which is in 3 weeks.  I'm pretty excited!!

Friday night festivities

Friday night Greg was actually STILL home.  Jen and I decided it made sense to pick up our race packets for the Run! Ballantyne 10K the night before so we could find out where we were going and wouldn't have to deal with registering the morning of.  We made plans to bring our husbands, get our packets, have dinner, and then get FROZEN YOGURT.  Jen was particularly excited about the yogurt part, hence the caps ;)
We went to the Ballantyne YMCA for our packets and got a little bit of swag- some snickers marathon bars, granola, a t-shirt, and a couple coupons. 
After dinner we went to Trio for dinner.  We were kinda carb-loading, so I went ahead and had wood smoked chicken penne pasta with mushrooms and garlic cream sauce.  I asked if I could have them add spinach, and they did :)  I also had a side salad with a pear apple vinagrette.  Hubby had a portobello mushroom burger and fries.  Great dinner! 
We proceeded to Yoforia after dinner.

  It's another frozen yogurt place where you pay by weight and they  have the yogurt lined up on the wall and you can choose whatever flavors you want and then add toppings.  Greg and I shared, and sampled a few before deciding on a combo of Ferrero Rocher, dark chocolate, cookies and cream, and cheese cake topped with oreo and peanut butter cups.  We called it a night around 9ish because of our early race.  Good times though.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Greg, Clyde, and I headed over to the tennis courts as planned Wednesday to meet my teammates, support them, and assess what I've gotten myself into.  On the way to the courts we stopped at a nearby Chipotle
  to grab a quick dinner.  We split a veggie burrito with black beans, onions and peppers, rice, medium salsa, corn, guacamole, lettuce and a little cheese and sour cream.  SOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOD!  I love Chipotle.  It's by far my favorite of the burrito chains.  I know it's bad to get both the tortilla and the rice, but the tortilla is so chewy and good and the cilantro lime rice is just SO TASTY.  I can't help it....  I figure at least I split the burrito and didn't eat the entire thing myself, right?  I digress.
Back to tennis.  My teammates were very nice.  One girl on the team is actually from New Hampshire (different area) and went to college in Ohio (different school), like me- so random!  My assessment was that I should be fine to play in this league.  There's a pretty wide range of skill levels and I would guess I'm kind of in the middle.  My biggest fears are the etiquette and doubles rules.  And of course hitting my teammate in the head with the ball!  Other than that I think I can hack it.  My team unfortunately lost our matches this week, but it was a valiant effort.  
Clyde pranced around checking everyone at the courts out and rolling around in the grass.  He melted a few more hearts :)  My boy always does!
After tennis we were already in the heart of Dilworth and we decided to take the monkey (one of Clyde's many nicknames) for a walk around the neighborhood.  Dilworth has a lot of craftsman style older homes, with beautiful gardens, and tree lined streets.  It's a very nice area of Charlotte.  It's close to the city but very residential.  And expensive.  We took Clyde on about a half hour walk around before heading back to the car and going home.
Yesterday I had one of those days where I felt like a zombie half the day and barely remembered the drive home.  It may have been the humidity/heat that set back in.  Anyway, I was worried I'd have trouble mustering the energy to run 5 miles so as soon as I got home I had a drink with a little protein powder mixed in and ate an apple with almond butter, hoping it would wake me up and fuel me for the run.  Upon meeting Jen, she shared that she was also pretty drained and also worried she might be getting sick (scratchy throat, etc).  We set out for our run hoping the energy would kick in for us.  The run was kind of grueling, but it helped SO MUCH to have her there to chat with, and later when we checked the Garmin, she said our pace was actually faster than last week's run, despite it feeling so yucky!  We completed the 5 miles and I was glad we did it.
For dinner last night I made these Boca Bruschetta Burgers for dinner.
Greg and I love veggie burgers and are working our way through trying all different flavors of them. These ones were yummy. I grilled them on the grill pan along with a couple red peppers to use as toppers. I also topped each patty with some tomato sauce and a slice of provolone and served them on Trader Joes Whole grain rolls with homemade sweet potato fries on the side. Good stuff!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My running is going well so far.  I haven't felt any soreness or anything, even after my long 8 mile run Saturday.  I think running about every other day or so has helped to give me good recoup time.  I ran about 5 miles (no Garmin so not sure on the exact distance) on Monday night after work by myself since Jen had dinner plans that night.  This was one of those runs that felt pretty forced for the first mile or two until I reached a comfortable place somewhere in the 2-3 mile range.  Sometimes I get out there and feel great from the minute my feet hit the pavement and sometimes it's a real concerted effort to get there.  This was one of those nights.  Anyway, I was happy that I pushed through and got it done.
I also want to mention something I've noticed.  Running socks actually make a big difference.  At least for me.  At the advice of the guy at Charlotte Running Company  when I got my new sneakers, I got two different pairs of running socks (Nike and some other kind).  The guy told me that cotton socks are not ideal to run in, especially if you have issues with blisters, which I did after the trail run in my old Adidas sneaks.  He talked me into trying some running socks, and I'm glad he did, because I really feel like they help.  The two times I've worn them running have been way more comfortable than my regular socks.  I think I'm going to get a bunch more pairs and will definitely wear them on my long runs.
Tennis is kind of on hold this week.  After my two lessons and practices I was feeling semi-prepared for my first team match tonight, but my team leader isn't having me play after all.  I think it's because a) he hasn't met me or seen me play yet and probably wants to assess that before putting me in and b) we're playing one of the toughest teams in the league tonight so again- makes sense to go with people you've seen play and know are good.  My plan is to go watch and meet my teammates tonight though.
I got quite a surprise yesterday afternoon when Greg called and said he was on his way home and would be getting into CLT around 5:30!  Turns out the airline is still finishing up his background check and he can't fly or observe in the cockpit til he's clear.  He knew his might take longer than most with all his different companies, some now defunct but didn't know it would buy him more time at home.  Hey, I'll take it!  He still gets paid the minimum time anyway, so that's good!  Clyde came with me to get Greg at the airport and proceeded to shower him with kisses from the minute Greg got in the car!  We went to Petsmart for some dog food and bunny litter on the way home and Clyde got spoiled with some new tennis balls, a platypus toy, new treats, and....wait for it...a doggie SNUGGIE!  LOL!

At home I whipped up another round of Bok Choy ginger stir-fry (as seen here) for us for dinner.  This time I added a zucchini and some mushrooms in to the mix and we had it over Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (brown rice).  I loooooove brown rice, but making it can be a pain in the butt if you don't plan ahead since it takes so long to cook.  The Ready Rice cooks in the microwave in 90 seconds.  Handy when you are crunched for time!

We played with the puppy and watched LOST.  Um, how crazy was last night's episode???  Do you guys watch it?  I can't believe it's almost over and we're going to find out what's really going on soon!  Can't wait!

Monday, May 10, 2010


I won a blog contest!  I was on April Ziegler and entered to win some doggie clothes from Beantown Handmade for Clyde and won!  Very cool!!!  I found the website/contest on Leslie's blog recently because April is her wedding photographer and did her engagement picture shoot.  I guess being a blog stalker pays off :)  Clyde has won this hat, which will be custom made for him:
Now I just need to pick out colors for the hat...  Any suggestions???
 I have to pick a base color and a trim color.  Help!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day montage

Here's some pictures of my mom and I in honor of Mother's Day :)

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