Thursday, February 28, 2013

Three Things Thursday

This is exactly how I feel today:
The longest week ever!

To help get me over this hump of feeling like this week won't end, I thought I would share three random things from my week. Fun, hunh?

Random Thing #1:
I started knitting Honey Cowl #5 and as of earlier this week, I made it through 1 skein of yarn and am currently working with number 2. I will not let these Christmas gifts get the best of me! Slogging along and hope to have it finished real soon.

Random Thing #2:
I am a big fan of wearing compression socks. My favorite ones are from Pro Compression. I wear them running and I wear them for recovery. Usually after a long run I will wear a pair for a couple of hours to assist with recovery. I forgot to put them on Sunday and by Tuesday mornings run of 5 miles, my little leggies were aching. Soooooo, I wore them to work and by 4:45 P.M. you can see they got a little tight around the upper calf area. This was when I remembered I can only wear them for a couple hours, unlike some people I know, Mr. B. Duh!

Random Thing #3:
I love it when my local Mermaid place by my office upgrades my Venti Unsweetened Green Ice Tea to a Trenta in the mornings. Makes me feel special!

That's all I got for ya this Thursday!

So tell me 1, or 3, random things about your week?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Workout Roundup (02/18/13 - 02/24/13)

It's Wednesday. 

It's raining. 

It's finally time I talk about my awesome week of working out that I had last week! I honestly don't know what has taken me so long to get this post done. Well who am I kidding, work gets crazy, life gets crazy and before you know it, you have run out of hours in a day.

So let's get down to business.  According to Daily Mile I had a Super week of training last week.
Side note: Uh, you think it's time to change out my mug shot? Me thinks I do!

Anyhoo, Daily Mile doesn't take into consideration if I do any cross training or weight work, this is all running, so I am happy with the Super for my running effort! 

I of course decided to become an over achiever this past week and decided to try and kick things up a notch. I even snapped daily pictures to document my efforts (Instagram: angelny29).

Here's the nitty gritty:

Monday, February 18, 2013 (Presiden't Day - NO WORK)
Run - Astoria Park Track - 4.02 miles (43:46)
Since I had the day off from work, and was all alone, I decided to hit up my local track around 11:30 A.M. for a little runsy that ended in 4 miles. The temps were fra-fra-freezing. We're talking a "Feel Like Temp" of 13 degrees with some major winds coming off the water. But it all worked out in the end. I wore my Pearl Izumi Wind Blocking jacket with 2 long sleeve layers underneath. All was good as if you couldn't tell in my post-run bliss picture above.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Run - Treadmill - 400s - 3.25 miles (34:01)
It was back to work and back to business. I hit up the gym during lunch and knocked out a little run which consisted of 400m intervals. I managed to complete 6-400s for a total of 3.25 miles.

After work is where I first changed my workout up a bit.

P.M. Workout - Strength Training / Abs

A couple weekends ago I asked Mr. B to take me over to my storage unit because I wanted to retrieve my set of dumb bells so I could do exactly what I did on Tuesday night. I completed a Shoulder/Bicep circuit workout and finished up with some Abs. It was nice to see that I burned an easy 150 calories in the 30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Run - Treadmill - 3.5 miles (35:56)
Pinks and I (mad lurve for my Reebok's) headed to the gym treadmill at lunch again and knocked out a speedy run. 

Today I completed my first ever 3.5 mile run during lunch! This made me extremely happy. The most I have ever completed was a 3.25 mile and that was because I was including intervals.

I completed this feat by increasing my speed by .1 after the first .25 miles and then another .1 after another .75 miles and then kept repeating this until I hit 3 miles. Then after that I increased my speed by .1 then again after .25 miles. I believe the last quarter mile I ran was at a 6.3.

P.M. Workout - Step Aerobics DVD
In addition to dusting off my free weights from storage, I also purchased an Aerobic Step. Back in the 90's I loved Step Aerobics! It's an awesome workout and can burn some awesome calories. After work I knocked out an old school step workout with my friend Gilad and blasted 469 calories. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013
Run - Treadmill - 800s - 3.5 miles (35:27)

Since my 400s workouts have been going so well over the past few weeks, I decided that I would attempt 800s during my lunch time run and knocked out another 3.5 miles. I must say that I am in love with 800s! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013
Long Run - Rockefeller State Park Preserve - 8 miles (01:40:20)
It felt super awesome to be back running on the trails. Mr. B and I haven't been for a month and a half due to sickness and nasty weather, but Sunday we were back at it. We had to modify our course a bit due to patches of ice and big sloshes of mud puddles, but it was all worth it. I was aiming for a 6 mile run and left with 8 miles under my belt and yes that is a big pile of snow behind my wrist.

In summary, this past weeks workout was amazing for me. I managed to complete 5 days of running for a total distance of 22.27 miles.

I also incorporated a bit of strength training and a cross training workout. I am planning on continuing to mix things up with some of my DVDs and will continue to strive for running at least 4 days a week. 

So tell me, do you work out with DVDs?

Back in the 90s into early 2000, I was an avid user of home workout DVD's, but they were VHS tapes then. It was an awesome way to get a workout in without the major expense of a gym membership. 

If so, what's in your home collection?

My collection includes 3-4 Jillian Michaels DVDs, 2 Gilad DVDs and a new DVD that is suppose to mimic attending a Ballet Barre class. I will share more about that after I give it a whirl.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My President's Day In Pictures

Yesterday was the first day back in the office day after a holiday three day weekend and I was left wishing that every weekend was a three day weekend! Imagine everything we could get done?!?!?

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed having that extra day off (like who doesn't, right?). My Mr. B had to work, so I spent the day completely alone and had an agenda of things I really wanted to accomplish. The real question is, did I get everything done that I wanted or did the day become a total wash because I was a lazy slug?

Well, while it would have been easy to take the day completely easy, I didn't take the lazy slug route. I was actually quite busy and decided to capture my day in pictures.

I spent an hour or so in the morning finishing up this baby...
I have officially finished Honey Cowl #4. This one is for my lovely sister, MB! If she doesn't like the color I'd be happy to hold on to it. 

Around 11:30am I ventured out to Astoria Park and completed a 4 mile run in a feel like temperature of 13 degrees. BrRrRRr, but worth it!
Do you think I was visible enough?

After a quick shower and a change, I took a stroll over to the grocery store and picked up a few items for dinner and had to get my favorite drink from this mermaid lady...
Every time I walk into my office during the winter months with one of these, it never fails someone will say, "Please tell me that is not a cold drink." Well, yes, yes it is.

When I got back from my little adventure walk, it was time for this...
Green juice. Yum!

Around 4:30pm I finally got to sit down and do a little sewing on a little quilt that I must get done very soon or else I will never forgive myself because I have taken way too long to finish.
While I didn't get to spend the whole day sewing like I wanted, I did get to spend an hour and a half with the quilt and got over a major hump with it. A couple more weekends and it will be done.

At 6:30pm it was time to make dinner for myself and Mr. B. I found this recipe (linky love to the original recipe) a couple weeks back and posted it to my Pinterest board. My friends on FB all said that it looked delicious and I was determined to make it real soon. Monday night was the night.
The Spinach Black Bean Enchiladas were delicious and I couldn't have been happier with how they turned out. Mr. B was quite appreciative to come home to Green Juice and a yummy dinner.

We closed our evening out with watching Hope Springs with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. I giggled through the whole dang thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

So tell me how did you spend your President' Day? Did you have to work or did you get to play?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Winter Wonderland Knitting Weekend

Happy Monday! What a weekend we just had up here in the Northeast! Nemo sure did leaves it's mark!

Friday we had early dismissal from work in hopes of getting everyone home before the blizzard arrived. When I stepped outside my office building at 3pm the sidewalks were already a big slushy, slippery mess. I was thankful for the extra time, and daylight, to get home that day.

When I woke up Saturday morning this is what I saw when I looked out the door...
While I wasn't thrilled to see all this snow, it sure was beautiful! I figured we have gotten off pretty easy this winter here in NYC, so I can deal with the white stuff for a few days. I am, however, ready for spring to come. I am missing running outside (even inside too) like you wouldn't believe, especially my Sunday runs up at Rockefeller State Park Preserve.

Since there was a winter wonderland going on outside this weekend, I decided it was time to work on some knitting. 

Uh, you know, those cowls I have been knitting as now belated Christmas gifts? I may have finished another one on Saturday night... 
...and may have started another one on Sunday.
I know I am really delayed in getting these done. January was a pretty rough month for me and I even just recently got over the stomach flu. Lots of fun there with that I tell ya. 

So this weekend was the first weekend in a few that I have felt good. I had the energy and mindset to tackle some knitting. I am thrilled to have finally finished Honey Cowl #3 for my niece and started #4 for my sister. 

Posting the above picture isn't really a spoiler for her since she now knows what I am knitting as gifts, and even knew the color yarn, because she helped me pick out the colors. My goal is to hopefully get it done by this weekend and get it in the mail to her so hopefully she might still be able to enjoy it this winter. 

So tell me how did you spend your weekend?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Good January Reading

Welcome February and Happy Friday! At times January sure did seem like a big blur to me. It was a month filled with some so-so exercise, some sickness, some butt freezing temperatures, some knitting, some Jury Duty and tons of reading!

Today's post is going to be all about what I read during January! I know, very exciting, but I am a woman who loves to read and look forward to sharing with you all that I read during the year. By doing so, you may even find a book or two that interests you.

First let me say, I read all varieties of genres. One day I may read a Historical Fiction novel and the next day it may be a Young Adult novel. The one genre you may not see on my lists are the Classics. I think all the reading of them I had to do in High School and College may have given me the fill of them.

One of my goals this year is to read 40 books. I think that is a pretty big goal and when I set it, I didn't know just how realistic it would be. I think that January had gotten me off to a pretty good start on that goal. I managed to read a total of 7 books and let me tell you, I enjoyed every single one of them.

So let's get started...

1.  Divergent (#1) by Veronica Roth
Finished January 6, 2013

"In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I had heard that if you enjoyed the Hunger Games series, then this was a must read. In my opinion it is absolutely true. This is the first book in the Divergent Trilogy and I have to say I enjoyed this book way more than the Hunger Games. The ending left me wanting more.

2. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Finished January 9, 2013

"Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match."

I had come across this book on a summer must read list this past summer. I wrote the name of it down and completely forgot about it until I saw that my sister had bought it. I admit I started reading it probably back in November, but only the first couple of chapters. After I finished Divergent this year, I was waiting for some books to become available through the library so I thought I would commit myself to finishing this book. I did enjoy the book and can understand why it was on a summer reading list. I could see myself lounging at the beach or at the park while being totally engrossed in it. I always know I am enjoying a book when I want to yell at the characters and I wanted to do that A LOT!

3. Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon
Finished January 13, 2013

"When Josie Jensen, an awkward 13-year-old musical prodigy crashes headlong into new-comer Samuel Yazzie, an 18-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a future and a life, leaving his young mentor behind. Many years go by and Samuel returns, finding his old friend in need of the very things she offered him years before. Their roles reversed, Samuel teaches Josie about life, love, and letting go. Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings."

When my sister finished this book she told me I had to read it! I am so glad I did. This is a beautiful story and I became emotionally involved with the characters. I DID NOT and COULD NOT put this book down!

4. Unveiled by Colleen Quinn
Finished January 19, 2013

"What happens when two people marry for money. . .and then find out neither one has any?

Katie O’Connor is desperate. When an opportunity arises to impersonate a wealthy socialite, she sees a way out of disaster. All she has to do is find a rich husband. When she meets Christopher Scott, of the well-to-do Scott family, she falls hard for him, only to discover the truth after they are wed. . .

This is another book my sister had and the cover intrigued me to see what it was all about. It is classified as Historical Romance. I was excited to pick it up every night before I went to sleep to see what would happen next with Katie. I would recommend it to anyone as a filler book to read between major books because it is such a quick delightful read.

5. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Finished January 23, 2013

"Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.
So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, , she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over..."

My sister has read this book. I know this book has been making it's rounds in the book clubs. I know it took FOREVER for my library to get me a copy of it to read. I thought this book was fun and couldn't imagine what my life would be like if I hit my head and woke up thinking I was 29 again!

6. Insurgent (#2) by Veronica Roth
Finished January 27, 2013

"One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so."

Knowing that the third book in this series wasn't due for publication until this Fall (hopefully), I tried to put off reading this book for as long as I could. When I put it on hold at the library, I thought that getting through the long list a patrons in front of me would take longer than it actually did. So of course, I couldn't resist finding out what happened with Tris Prior. When I read the last sentence of this book I immediately said to myself, "When if the next one coming out again?"

7. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Finished January 30, 2013

"A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

This is another book my sister had (yes, we read and recommend a lot of books to each other) and I had been wanting to read it for a long time. I started this book late last year and again I only read the first 3 chapters. When I finished Insurgent, I told myself I wasn't going to get any other books out of the library until I finished this one. While the peculiar pictures throughout the book kinda gave me the creeps and it took me a bit to really get into the book, I ended up knocking this book out in a few days. I was in bed one night reading and all of a sudden I hit a point in the book where I didn't want to stop reading. I was completely sucked in it. I noticed that this book is classified as #1, so I browsed the internet to see if there really was going to be a sequel. It's appears to be true. I will definitely be reading it.

Tell me, what have you been reading? I am always looking for new authors/books to read. Any recommendations?