Thursday, March 7, 2013

Three Things Thursday

The Good News: It's Thursday and one day closer to Friday!

The Bad News: It's snowing. Harder than it was when I left for work this morning. I am still holding out hope it won't be much of a storm. I need to run my lovely trails this weekend.

The Good News: It's time for Three Things Thursday! I am kinda liking the idea of choosing three random photos I took over the week and sharing them with ya'll. Sometimes I ask myself, "And why did you take that picture?".

Random Thing #1:
I spotted this magazine in my local drugstore the other day and had to buy it. I absolutely loved Connie Britton in "Friday Night Lights" and totally adore her in "Nashville." She is one amazing woman. I love the fact that she decided she didn't need a husband in order to raise a child and ended up adopting and is such a devoted/committed mother. She looks pretty dang amazing for 46 too!

Random Thing #2:
This Singlecut Beersmiths Taproom is tucked away in my neighborhood, I mean really tucked away. The first time I saw it, I thought it was a rather desolate location for it, but I guess the locals who hit up the grocery store across the street know all about it and share it with other beer lovin' folks.

Anyhoo, whenever I see this place I always think of my nephew who brews his own beer, and rather well I might add. Maybe one day he'll have his own place where I can pull up a barstool and everyone will know my name.

Random Thing #3:
Over this past weekend, a lovely co-worker of mine posted a picture of some yummy looking apple turnovers she had made. I jokingly asked her if she would be sharing the yumminess and the next day I received not only an apple turnover, but also a slice of homemade banana nut bread. I'm such a lucky girl!

Bonus Random Thing:
It's no secret I love to read. I am a huge Fiction reader and gobble those books up like it's homemade ice cream and there is no tomorrow. However, I do occasionally like to read other types of books. I stumbled across this book from someone I follow on Instagram. I was intrigued. I looked it up and thus purchased a copy.

Now it's your turn! Tell me some random things from your week! I'm listening.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Eleven Days and Counting

When I am getting ready for work every morning I have a ritual of sorts that I complete. While I am eating my breakfast, I always check two very important internet sites. 

First, I check the MTA site because I need to know if there are any subway delays which would alter how I spend the rest of my time before leaving for work. 

Second, I check the local weather. I start with looking at the hourly report and then finally I look at the 10 day forecast. This morning I saw this and said, "Say It Ain't So!":
This snow/rain/wind stuff didn't make me very happy. I almost put on my grouchy pants, but was good and left them in the drawer. Or at least I thought they were in the drawer because I actually think they may have been in use by Mr. B this morning.

While I don't think the snow will amount to much of anything here in Queens, and I can certainly turn my morning runs into lunch time treadmill runs, it makes me concerned about the trails up at Rockefeller State Park Preserve. The trails are 35-40 minutes north of NYC and when our snow has disappeared in the past, Mr. B and I have driven up there for our Sunday long run to find snow or ice covering the trails making a run impossible.

We have been really lucky with the past two Sunday's (last week the trails were finally clear of all ice) and I am hoping that luck will hold out for this Sunday, because I have one last long run to complete before I run this:
That's right. My first half-marathon of 2013 is in less than 11 days! I have finally gotten excited about it due to the last couple weeks of successful training. I first wasn't sure if I would be totally prepared for this race, but now I know I can handle it.

And speaking of half marathons, I actually have two more on the books. Four weeks after my St. Patty's Day race, on April 14th I will be participating in:
I registered for this race back in 2009, but did not compete. I am really looking forward to participating this year.

Then two weeks later on April 28, Mr. B and I will be heading to DC to participate in this little inaugural race:
I entered the lottery for this race back in December and formed a little team which included Mr. B and my niece. Thank heavens we were accepted because my niece would have been severely disappointed. This is her first half marathon race ever! I can't wait to share this day with my two loves!

At times I still can't believe I will be running three half marathon races over a 6 week period! I have never done that before and I am still hunting down more races for the rest of the year. I am determined to get a Sub-2 hour half marathon this year!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Workout Roundup (02/25/13 - 03/03/13)

Happy Monday! I hope we all had a fabulous weekend! I surely did, but like always it goes by way too fast.

I wanted to start the week off by giving a little roundup of my workouts last week. I promise that it will be brief. I did not have any spectacular Cross Training or Strength Training workouts last week. Nor did I have any major DVD workout sessions happening in my house. 

I just simply ran. 

Monday, February 25, 2013 
Run - Treadmill - 3.0 miles (00:32:36)
I couldn't get my behind out of bed at the crack of dawn so I hit up the gym treadmill at lunch for an easy 3 mile recovery run.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Run - Astoria Park Track - 5.07 miles (00:58:10)
As you can see in the picture, I did manage to pull my sleepy self out of bed and hit the track for a pre-work run. I originally set out to just do 3 or 4 miles and somehow pulled out a 5 miler. It's been awhile since I've done that in an early morning workout. Was quite pleased.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013
Run - Astoria Park Track - 3:01 miles (00:34:08)
After two days of being lazy, depressed or just not motivated, I joined Mr. B at the track before work and completed a 3 mile run. It wasn't a glorious run. It's kinda was painful (need new shoes). But it was 3 miles more than I completed the previous two days.

Saturday, March 2, 2013
NYC Ballet DVD - Turned on for about 2 minutes and then...
Jillian Michaels Kickboxing DVD - Completed about 7 minutes and then turned off and then...
I cleaned my house and prepared my grocery shopping/meal plan list.

I just wasn't feeling any of those workouts. The end.

Sunday, March 3, 2013
Run - Rockefeller State Park Preserve - 11.0 miles (02:16:20)
Oh how I needed this long run! My plan was for a 10 miler but pushed through to the 11. I have my first half marathon of the year in two weeks and this run gave me the confidence I needed!

In summary, I ran a total of 22.09 miles for the week and so far this year I have run 103.28 miles.

This past week was a bit of a mood bust for me and it showed in my workouts during the work week. The excitement I felt the week before was removed from my soul on Monday when I got on the scale. After all of my hard work and healthy eating I had gained 2 pounds. Not a great way to start off a week mentally and I just let it get me down. 

Sunday's run was exactly what I needed to recharge myself and get my head back in the game. Even though the trail runs are my hardest runs of the week, I get so much more out of them. I feel like I conquered something and it makes me feel wonderful. If I could trail run every day I would.

So talk to me, when you have a bad week mentally what do you do to snap out of it?

I am proud of myself for not giving up on my running last week. In the past when I have gained weight, I usually get in a complete funk and stop working out all together and become a couch potato until I can't stand my lazy self anymore and get back at it.

On a sidenote: This morning when I weighed myself, I lost 2.5 pounds. Mr. B. had to remind me this morning that the weight gain last week probably wasn't fat. It could have been water weight or even the fact that maybe I didn't go to the bathroom as much last week. I have to remind myself of these little things and stay positive. So this week, I am going to see if I can get that motivation going full throttle again.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Good February Reading

Hello Friday! It's so nice to see you this week and a new month too! 

I don't know about anyone else, but the consensus over here is that this work week has felt like it was 2 weeks long. Not sure what's up with that, but yippee it's finally almost over!

With it being March 1st and all, today will be all about recapping my February reading. I certainly didn't read as much as January, but I am still making progress towards my goal of reading 40 books by the end of this year.

So let's get started...

8. Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods #7) by Melissa de la Cruz
Finished February 7, 2013 

Amazon Description:

"Schuyler Van Alen is running out of time. The Dark Prince of Hell is storming the Gates of Paradise, intent on winning the heavenly throne for good. This time he has his greatest angels by his side, Abbadon and Azrael—Jack and Mimi Force, as they are known in the Coven.

Or so he thinks. Even as Lucifer assigns Jack and Mimi the tasks of killing their true loves, the Force twins secretly vow to defeat the Dark Prince once and for all. But how far will Mimi and Jack go to conceal their real loyalties?

Meanwhile, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn has joined forces with Lawson, the greatest wolf of the underworld, to free his people from their imprisonment in Hell. As they struggle against impossible odds, an ancient message, woven into the very fabric of time, reveals just how much depends on the success of their mission.

Lucifer seeks the key to the Gate of Promise, and when Schuyler is taken captive and delivered straight to Hell, she must make an unthinkable choice—the same one the archangel Michael was forced to make during the Crisis in Rome. Will Schuyler find the strength to do what he could not?

The epic, heartbreaking Blue Bloods series comes to a close with this final novel about staggering courage, unbearable sacrifice, and the immortality of true love."

What can I say about this book? First of all, this is the final book in the Blue Blood Series and it was long overdue in my opinion. I started reading this series back when my niece was in high school (she is now almost a college graduate) and I have faithfully looked forward to each installment of this series, including the mini novellas that came out in between each main book.

When I started reading this last book I became quickly frustrated. Why you may ask? Well, while I kind of remembered the story from the last book 16 months before, there was one character that I did not remember ending up in the state she was in for this book. I thought to myself, "What the heck? Did I miss a book or just totally forget what happened to her?". I decided that maybe reading further things would be explained, but to my frustration, the author never mentioned the back story of this character.

In between my moments of wanting to throw the book across the room and wanting to see how this saga all ended, I did a little online search and noticed the author wrote a mini 4 Part series of books that explained what happened to this character. I knew nothing about these books. From what I can tell they weren't mentioned as being part of the Blue Blood Series. In the end I did not stop and read those books, mainly because the library didn't have them and I didn't want to purchase them. Do I feel like I missed something? Yes. I really think that the author should have just taken those 4 mini books and made them into one of those in between novellas in the series.

9. The Scorch Trails (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner
Finished February 17, 2013 

Amazon Description: 

"The Scorch Trials picks up where The Maze Runner left off. The Gladers have escaped the Maze, but now they face an even more treacherous challenge on the open roads of a devastated planet. 

And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. 

Can Thomas survive in such a violent world?" 

After I finished the Maze Runner in December, I really didn't want to wait to see what happened with these group of young Gladers. Was their adventure really over? What was going to happen to them next? Was life going to become normal again?

Before I started reading this second book, I thought about maybe reading the Prequel to the series, there is even a 1.5 book out there too, however, in the end I decided to read the books the way the author originally published them. I didn't want to ruin anything that he might have intended and after finishing this second book, I am glad I did. 

This book did not disappoint. The whole time I was reading it, I kept asking what else could happen to these kids? I think if I had read the other 2 books before this one, the surprise and suspense might have been removed for me.

10. The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner
Finished February 27, 2013 

Amazon Description: 

"Thomas knows that WICKED can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. To complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what WICKED says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine."

As you can see, I did not wait a whole month to find out what happened to the Gladers. I had to know the outcome. Just like the previous two books, this one was filled with suspense. I could not have predicted any of it or even the outcome. I thoroughly enjoyed this series, maybe even more than the Hunger Games. I plan on reading the Prequel and the in between book at some point, but for now, I have a sense of satisfaction with this story and can wait.

So tell me, what are you reading right now? Got any good recommendations?
I was cruising around the internet yesterday stalking reading some of my favorite blogs and came across this recommendation/review: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. While the cover of the book leaves me with nothing to be desired about reading it (and if I saw it in the store I woudn't even pick it up), I thought the description of the story was quite interesting. Think I may be adding it to my reading list.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!