Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2 for Tuesday

The new All My Children and One Life to Live premiered yesterday on Hulu.  I am so happy these are back on the air!  I actually was not a religious watcher of the shows when they were on (I am a devoted GH watcher though), but I am still super pissed that ABC cancelled them (especially since the shows that replaced then don't/didn't do much better).  I am going to be watching them now though!
Speaking of, let's talk about Hulu Plus.  Yes, you can watch Hulu for free on your computer, but I love Hulu Plus.  The price isn't too bad (only $7.99 a month) and you can watch via streaming devices (Wii, Roku) and on your phone.  I love watching it when I am on the treadmill (especially in the winter).  It makes the time go by so much quicker!  It was also a godsend during Hurricane Sandy when I was stuck inside for a week and had watched everything on my DVR.  If you want to try it out, you can get 2 weeks free by using this link- http://hulu.com/r/jgwnSw.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

Training recap: week of 4/22

I want to write 'week of 2/22' for some reason in the title...could it be since it's still cold out?  I am trying not to complain about it because complaining won't change anything, but it is hard.  It's going to be May on Wednesday and it's still like 45 out. 

Anyway... my trip to Chicago was short but good.  It was great to see my family and I got to spend time with my cousins.  Plus the weather was so nice while I were there (more Saturday then Sunday).  Sunny and warm out!  At least I was able to escape the cold for a couple of days.  I have the Flying Pigs half next week so this was the start of a taper.

Monday: 3.01 miles easy, 10:09 pace

Tuesday: 45 minutes on the elliptical

Wednesday: 3 mile tempo run, 9:24 pace

Thursday: 2.37 miles easy, 10:06 pace

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Nothing (was going to try and run, but the 7am flight was too much)

Sunday: 3.16 miles easy, 10:11 pace

Weekly Total: 11.53 miles
April Total: 74.7 miles

This upcoming week is week 1 of Disneyland Half training.  I am going to be using the Hansons training plan.  It is an 18 week schedule, but I will have to make some modifications to it for races and other commitments (vacations, weddings, etc).  I am going to really try and follow it as closely as I can though.  I am excited to get back into training though!

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Princess events!

Oh, runDisney you've done it again!

runDisney announced a new additional to the Princess Half Marathon Weekend this morning - the Enchanted 10K and a new Glass Slipper Challenge (10K + Half Marathon).  Plus those doing Tinkerbell and Princess will get a special Coast to Coast Challenge medal (spoiler alert - it's pink!).

I most definitely will not be doing Tink this year (think only 1 trip to DL is possible a year, plus it's the weekend after Dopey... not a good idea) so no special Coast to Coast medal for me, but I do think I'll do the Glass Slipper Challenge.  My mom and I did Princess this year (she did the 5K, I did both) and we had talked about making it an annual mother-daughter trip, so I will definitely be there so why not do both?  We all know I love some good bling (and I seem to have a special love for inaugural races, not just runDisney any inaugural race).

I am going to try and get my mom to sign up for the 10K.  I know she can do it - she did the 5K this year and she did do the Disney Half back in 2010.  I like they are adding more 10Ks to the schedule for those who can't do a longer distance.  Hopefully, they don't expand overall registration too much and it doesn't get too crowded (I'd ideally like them to decrease registration like they did for WDW Marathon weekend).

If you are interested, you can find more information at runDisney.  Who else is in?

I'm off to Chicago this weekend to visit some family and attend a bridal shower for my soon-to-be cousin-in-law (that's a mouthful).  Should be a good weekend!  I'll be back on Monday with my training recap for the week.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reflections on Age 30

So I have officially been 30 for 3 months now.  In all honesty, not much has changed, but I have definitely noticed some subtle shifts in things.  I want to state prior to the below list that I am not complaining about getting older (everyone I know tells me the 30's are the best), just wanted to share what I have noticed.

1.  First off, I am tired more often then not and need a good night of sleep all the time.  I used to be able to go to bed late and get up in the morning full of energy.  Now, I need to my full 7-8 hours of sleep and sometimes it's still not enough.  Compounded with this is the fact that any sort of long run now wipes me out completely.  I used to be able to do a long run on Saturday and then be out and about all day and night.  Now after anything longer then 8 miles and I need a nap to be any sort of productive.  It's brutal.  I would like to formally apologize to my mother for back when she was training for the Disney Half.  She would always complain how exhausted she was after her long runs and I never understood.  I understand it now.  Sorry Mom!

2.  I have noticed my metabolism is just not what it used to be.  I've always been pretty conscious of what I eat (healthy with definite unhealthy splurges), but recently I've seen that while I am eating the same things, my body is reaching to them differently (i.e. it takes less unhealthy food for me to feel crappy).  I don't know how to describe it, but I can just tell I am not burning calories the way I used to.  I'm really trying to make a more conscious effort to eat healthy and lay off the junk.  Before if I wanted something unhealthy I just ate it and knew it wouldn't make a difference in the long run.  Now, I know that is not the case.  If I don't make an effort and only splurge occasionally (and actually mean occasionally) it will catch up to me.

3.  Hangovers now last at least a day.  Back in college I used to never get hungover.  I did my fair share of  partying in college, but always managed to get up and make it to class.  I would have a bagel and coffee and be fine.  I didn't really start getting hangovers until I was living and working in NYC.  But even then I could go out and still be a functioning person the next day, albeit with a headache and lack of sleep.  But now, a hangover lands me on the couch for an entire day trying to muster enough energy to get something to eat.  It is rough.  I am glad I got my partying out of the way in college when my body could handle it and not be hungover!

So, like I said, I am not complaining.  Just thought I would share what I have noticed in my new decade.  I am actually looking forward to seeing what the rest of my 30's bring!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Medal Holder

I recently got a new medal holder!  And by recently, I mean Christmas.  That was recent, right?

New Medal Holder!
We actually saw these medal holders while at the Wine and Dine Expo.  They are made by Smartly Finished.  They had a bunch of sayings, but both Pam and I loved the one that said "Got suckered into another one" which basically describes how I end up being registered for most races.  While I loved it, I had no idea how I would be able to fit it in my suitcase, so I took a card and made a plan on ordering it when I got home.

Since we all know how on top of things I am, I obviously did not order it right away.  Instead, I was actually gifted it by Pam for Christmas.  She was so nervous I was going to order one myself she told the women (they are a small company who makes them) that if someone with my name ordered one to tell me they were back ordered!  And since they are custom made, Pam even had mine made in Syracuse colors.  Awesome!

Syracuse colors!
After sitting around my living room for 4 months, I finally got around to hanging it this past weekend. I already have a medal holder in my bedroom (which is technically a tie rack I got from Bed, Bath and Beyond but it works perfectly), but since it's pretty full, I figured rather then swap them, I would just hang this one in addition and split the medals.  Easy splitting method?  One for Disney races, one for non-Disney races.  The new one is going to be for my Disney medals.

I am by no means handy - I have very few things on my wall and whenever I hang something, I am immensely proud if it doesn't fall off the wall the next day.  The hardest part of hanging this was getting the brackets on the back.  It required some tiny nails and I was having issues.  Finally got them attached though and quickly hung it on my wall!

Since measuring tapes are for other people, I eyeballed the placement on the section of wall I was hanging it.  Since I eyeballed it, it's not quite center.  Which annoys me slightly, but not enough that I want to put more holes in my wall and fix it.

Looks pretty nice and now I have a special spot for all my runDisney medals!  Can't wait to hang all my Dopey medals there in January.

Thanks for the great gift Pam!

All my Disney medals!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

2 on Tuesday

A couple of weeks ago, we got on the topic of great sports movies.  Miracle, Remember the Titans, Rookie of the Year, Rudy all got discussed.  And of course, the Mighty Ducks came up.  I loved the Mighty Ducks as a kid.  Talking about it got me all nostalgic and I ended up taking out from Netflix.  Oh my god - I forgot how cheesy it was.  I mean, I still loved it, but oh was I laughing.  Some of the plot lines were also pretty ridiculous!

I've been looking for a carry on tote.  I love Vera Bradley bag and they had a couple I debated on.  I was going to wait until the next time we went to the outlets (danger alert!) but then last week the above pattern was 50% off.  I thought it was cute and decided to just get it in case I don't make it to the outlets before I need it.  I got the Grand Traveler.  It came over the weekend and let me just say...I thought it would be smaller.  It is most definitely the size of my carry-on roller bag!  It's not quite what I wanted, but I figure it'll work perfectly for my upcoming trips (Disneyland is 6 days and next year with Dopey, it'll be 7 days).  I'll carry this one on and check my roller bag because I am sure I will have a lot of crap with me!

Monday, April 22, 2013

New Lululemon purchases

I have a love hate relationship with Lululemon.  I love their stuff, but I hate how expensive it is.  Seriously, I could go broke buying everything I want from there.  I don't usually even go in so as not to tempt me.

But I recently did score some items on sale, which I was pretty excited about.  I had seen the jacket online in the sale section, but since I didn't know how it fit and it was final sale, I didn't want to risk it not fitting.  I figured I would go to the store and try it one so I'd know.  Fortunately, the store had the jacket in stock and on sale too.  It's a nice, lightweight jacket which will be perfect for springtime runs.  I've been wearing it consistently since I got it.  Plus, it's Syracuse colors!

I also found on the sale rack a pair of studio pants and dog runner pants.  The studio pants are something I have been waiting for a while.  They are kinda like track pants, but much nicer (you can see them online here).  They'll be perfect for weekend errands and lounging around my apartment.  I got them in a nice teal color  I have a feeling they will become my go to pants for travel (they are so comfy).

The dog runner pants I had actually not seen before (although Pam told me she saw them at the outlet sale, but I do not remember seeing them).  They are tights with windbreaker type pants over them.  They will be perfect for all my long runs next winter training for Dopey.  I won't need them for a while, but they were only $39 so it was a good deal.

Forme Jacket
Dog Runner Pant (L) and Studio Pant (R)
Tight inside the Dog Runner Pant

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Training Recap: Week of 4/15

This was a really good week for me.  Not sure what was going (the nice weather or finally feeling motivated), but I got all my runs in and felt good this week on them.  I also had an incredibly productive weekend - did some cooking for the week, cleaned my apartment, did some organization, went to Target, changed my Brita filter (yes, it's its own item - can't tell you the last time I did that...oops) and hung a new medal rack (that I got for Christmas...yea, I'm a little behind).  Like I said, very productive.

Anyway, here is this weeks training recap.

Monday: 5.52 miles easy, 10:17 pace

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Speed intervals, 5.1 miles.  This was tough.  My speed is really not where it was.  But I will be doing speed workouts with my upcoming training schedule for Dumbo Double Dare (DDD) so I am not that worried about that (she says while being annoyed with her pace for the workout).

Thursday: 1.98 miles easy, 10:43 pace

Friday: Off

Saturday: 11.76 miles long run, 10:05 pace.  Felt pretty good on my long run.

Sunday: 2.5 miles easy, 10:21 pace

Total Miles: 26.87 miles
April total: 63.15 miles

Thursday, April 18, 2013


This past weekend, we celebrated my friend Ally's 30th birthday (this is the cause of the hangover that waylaid me for almost all of Sunday).  The night started with a dinner in a private room at Bottino and dancing at the Westway.  As the menu was set at the restaurant (and included beer and wine) and we were getting bottle service at the club, the night was a bit pricey, but it was totally worth the money as dinner was delicious and I had a great time celebrating with friends.

I had never been to Bottino before, but I would definitely go back.  We were seated in a private room in the back so we could be as loud as we wanted and not disturb anyone.  Each place had a menu and name card (Ally is so cute).  As I said it was a set menu with a bunch of appetizers for the table and then everyone could choose an entree.  The meal also include unlimited wine, beer and prosecco (aka the cause of my hangover).

The apps included bruschetta, caprese salad, tuna tartare, beet and feta salad, arugula salad with pears and gorgonzola and fritto misto.  I had a little bit of everything and it was all delicious.  I don't know where they got their tomatoes from but they were so fresh.  I can't wait for all tomatoes to be like that, the ones I am getting right now at the grocery store do not taste like these ones did.

For my entree I got the filet mignon with a reduction and mashed potatoes.  Other entrees included 2 fish dishes, 2 pasta dishes and a chicken dish.  The filet was cooked to a perfect medium rare and was very flavorful.  The mashed potatoes were the perfect amount of creamy goodness.  I clearly heart mashed potatoes, lol.  I didn't try any of the other entrees, but everyone at the table seemed to really enjoy them.

Dessert included some biscotti (the uneaten of which we took with us to the club - no I am not kidding), a sauteed pear in sauce (yummy!) and mini Sprinkles cupcakes.

The prosecco and wine was flowing all night (they also had Lambrusco which I had never had before and really enjoyed) so I didn't take any pictures of the food, but trust me when I say it was all delicious.

Overall, I really enjoyed Bottino and would definitely recommend it if you are looking for Italian in Chelsea.

246 10th Ave, between 24th and 25th

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hump Day

I debated about what to post yesterday.  Do I do a normal post?  And what should I post today?  After some serious debate, I decided not to post anything yesterday and to continue with a (mostly) regular post today. 

My heart aches with the city of Boston and all those affected by the tragedy, but I thought people might like a bit of normalcy in what is a crazy time.  While what happened is horrific, watching the first responders and the outpouring of support and kindness reminds me there are good people in the world.  I had many friends at the race and all were okay.  I hope all your friends and family are safe.  And there is never a better time but today to hug and kiss the ones you love.

Now onto my regularly schedule post of completely non-important items...

It's officially been a little over 1 week since registration opened for Disney Marathon weekend and already the 10K, 5K and Dopey is sold out (10K sold out in like 7 hours or something) and the remaining races are all over 50%.  I cannot believe how quickly Dopey sold out.  There are lots of crazy people apparently (myself included).  I wonder how many spots there actually are?  The rest of the (non-sold) out races seem to have slowed down on the registrations.

I am glad the marathon is the lowest number.  I am trying to convince my friend Kasey to come and do the marathon with me (it would be her first).  So I'm hoping it stays open so she can be convinced to do it (she did suggest that she was inspired to do a marathon after Monday and I am trying to convince her to do Disney).

I was supposed to do some speedwork this morning, but I completely slept through my alarm (not turned it off and went back to bed).  I have no recollection of the alarm going off and just happened to roll over 15 minutes after I need to be up to get to work on time.  Fortunately, my internal clock knew something was wrong and woke me up.  Fingers crossed I get out of work on time to get it in before it's too dark outside.

I am sure the park will be crowded, but it's a crowd I love being part of.  I will definitely sport a race shirt (blue or yellow if they are clean) for Boston tonight.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Prayers and thoughts to all those in Boston.  Horrible end to what should be a celebratory day.  Hope everyone and their loved ones are alright.

Training Epiphany

I had an training epiphany this weekend.  I've been reading the Hansons Marathon Method book and was surprised at the amount of miles and the number of running days a week the schedule entailed (starting with 4-5 days, increasing to 6 days).  I've always thought I was a less is more runner - any more then 3-4 days a week and I over due it.

But reading this book got me thinking about my past marathon training schedules and what kind of a schedule I was running back when I did Dublin (which is currently my marathon PR).  At the time I was training with a coach (mainly because in a leap before looking moment I had signed up to do a half ironman triathlon and since I had no idea how to train for one, I joined a local tri club and eventually did private coaching for the tri and then just kept going for the marathon).  Since that race was 3.5 years, I don't remember my schedule.

However, since I am a huge nerd, I knew I had saved them (yep, HUGE nerd).  I found them this weekend and looked through them.  I was shocked to realize that my schedule had me running 5-6 days a week.  WHAT?  I really don't remember it, but I do know that when training for that race I was in the best running shape of my life.  Not long after Dublin, I ran my half marathon PR so apparently running that much was good for my times.

It was a pretty big moment for me to realize that apparently when I run well, I am not a less is more runner.  The Hansons Method has a half marathon plan which I think I am going to follow for the Disneyland Half and see how it goes.  Given the number of miles involved in the Dopey challenge, I think the marathon plan could work since it does include 6 days of running which will prepare me for all the back to back running.

Going to give it ago for Disneyland Half and go from there.  We'll see!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Training Recap: Week of 4/8

How was everyone's weekend?  Mine was good, but not incredibly productive.  My friend Ally had a party last night for her 30th birthday (dinner, dancing and lots of drinks).  It was very fun, but I was hurting this morning.  I basically spent the entire day laying on my couch.  Took all of my energy to go to the grocery store (but I did it).

This week training went pretty good.  Got all of my runs in.  Did not get all of my cross training in, but at least I got my runs in.

Monday: Went for a run after work with my friend Jenny.  It was nice to have some company on the run and was absolutely gorgeous out.

4.01 miles, 40:38, 10:08 pace

Tuesday: Cross training and stretching

Wednesday:  Got up before work and got some easy miles in.  Wanted to go longer, but was rushed, so could only do 3.5 miles.  Need to be better about getting up when my alarm goes off.

3.5 miles, 38:13, 10:55 pace

Thursday: Was supposed to be cross training, but I went bowling with my team at work on Wednesday night and I was exhausted (between the run and bowling) so I took the night off and went to bed early.

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: Got a solid long run with TNT.  The pace group was great and kept me going.  Total of 11.5 miles.

11.55 miles, 1:55:53, 10:02 pace

Sunday: Way to hungover to do anything of substance today

Total miles for the week: 19.06
Total miles for April: 36.28

Friday, April 12, 2013

"In a Pinch" Pasta Sauce

You know what is the worst?  Coming home from work all ready to make dinner and realizing you are missing a key component.  It's the worst.

It happened to me tonight.  I got home from work and was planning on making pasta for dinner (you know, a little carbo loading before my long run).  But alas, no pasta sauce. 

Fortunately, I had some left over crushed tomatoes from a recipe I made this weekend (recipe called for 7.5 oz, but I could only find a 14oz jar at my grocery store) to work with.  Sauteed some onions and peppers, added the crushed tomatoes plus some spices and let it warm up.  I wasn't sure how it would come out, but it was delicious. 

I served it over some quinoa pasta (which is gluten free and my favorite kind of gluten free pasta.  For the record, I do not like rice pasta).  I think it might even become my new go to pasta sauce.  Super easy and quick to make!

"In a Pinch" Pasta Sauce

Olive Oil
Onions, chopped
Red pepper, chopped
Crushed tomatoes
Italian Seasoning

1.  Saute onions and peppers in olive oil to desired tenderness (I like my peppers to still have a little bite)
2. Add in crushed tomatoes
3. Season with italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
4. Heat until warm throughout

The amount of onion, pepper and crushed tomato will depend on serving size.  Since it was just me, I used a palmful of both onions and peppers and 3 large spoonfuls of crushed tomatoes.  Spices are to taste (I need extra salt before long runs, so I put in more salt then most people probably would).


pardon the bad photo!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I've got a secret to tell you...

...I have totally lost my mind!  In all seriousness, I keep waiting for the men in with the white jackets to knock on my door.  Pretty sure my mom has called them by now.

Why you ask?  Because I've signed up to do Dopey in January!  {Side note: For those of you who don't know, this is a 4 day event comprised of the following: 5K (Thursday), a 10K (Friday), a Half Marathon (Saturday) and a Marathon (Sunday).  It is new for 2014}   After 6 years of running the half, I'm finally taking the plunge.  Goofy has been running through my mind for a bit now, and when they announced the Dopey Challenge, I figured why not?  Ok, well...not really.  Here's a bit of how my thought process went.

Initial thought - those people are insane.  Then I thought maybe I can do the 10K and the Half (like the Dumbo Double Dare in Disneyland) so I could be perfect in the 10K.  And I have been thinking about doing Goofy in 2015 for the 10th anniversary (plus the 10K so I'd be perfect in it).  And if I was going to to do the 10K, the Half and the Marathon, I might as well do the 5K and go Dopey.  And if I was going to go Dopey, what better year to do it then in the inaugural year, right?  And that's how I can around to signing up for Dopey.

So it's done.  I'm signed up already.  Holy cow.  Can't believe I am going to do this.

photo via rundisney

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

2 for Tuesday

Spring is finally here!  Yay!  I am sure I will regret this excitement when it is 100+ degrees and I am doing long runs in the summer, but for now, I am so happy it is getting warm.

I love Trader Joe's (they have great stuff) and this is a new find that has quickly become my favorite treat.  I'm not typically a cherry person, but in this I love it.  It's a mild cherry (not too tart) and combined with the chocolate chips, it's delicious.  Plus, it's non-dairy which my stomach loves.  

I think the clerk at the library must have gotten a chuckle out of my checkouts this week.  The momofuku milk bar cookbook and the Hansons Marathon Method.  One incredibly indulgent cookbook (seriously, ever been to Milk Bar?  It's insane.) and one book about running.  I'm excited to read the Hansons book.  Hoping to get some speedwork and a rough schedule to use for Dumbo training.  I can't wait to make something from the cookbook, but I'm scared I won't be able to stop myself from eating it in one sitting!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Lululemon Warehouse Sale (a really, really late post)

So I did some shopping at Lululemon last week and I was going to do a post on my new items when I realized I had a partially written post about the Lululemon warehouse sale still in my drafts (does this happen to other people too?).  This post is beyond late, the sale was in February, so I am not going to go into too much detail but thought I would/should share what I bought at the Warehouse Sale before sharing my newest purchases.  Indulge me, will you?

The Warehouse Sale was held in the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island the first weekend in February.  We (me, my friend Pam and Abby) headed out very early - Pam picked me up around 6am.  There was a lot of talk about it online before hand and we thought we should get there early and avoid the crowds.

We didn't have to wait in line too long to get in and then the shopping started!  The prices were better then they were in store so it was tempting to purchase way more then I needed.  There were many go arounds about what to purchase, but in the end I got only things I really needed (I swear).

Here's what I got: (2) Running shorts, (1) Scoop Neck Tank, (1) Black Running tank, (1) Running Capri's, (1) Astro Pant and (2) Spandex running shorts.

It sounds like a lot, but it was all needed (ok, so the running shorts probably weren't but I really liked them).  I needed some new gym cloths (scoop neck tank), new running capris (my current ones are pretty old and stretch out) and the black tank and 2 pairs of running shorts are for my costumes for the Dumbo Double Dare (yep, going full on costume this time).

I'll share what I bought this past week in an upcoming post soon!

Running shorts (fun colors, right?)
Scoop neck top
Back of the black tank
Running Capri's
Love the ruffles on the legs!
Astro Pants
Spandex shorts (for under my sparkle skirts)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Training Recap: Week of 4/1

Hope everyone had a good weekend!  Mine was pretty busy, but in a good way.  Got lots accomplished (including my taxes... 'cuz I didn't procrastinate on that or anything)!

This week's training went much better then the week before.  Got all my runs in and some solid cross training, but I need to remember to do it more often.

Monday:  45 minutes of kickboxing

Tuesday: 4.5 mile tempo run.  Wow, this felt tough.  I wasn't pushing the pace too crazily, but I could definitely tell I needed to do more speedwork.

Wednesday:  Was supposed to be yoga, but ended up running late from work and didn't do anything.

Thursday: 3 mile easy run; Weather turned cold again, but felt good to be out there.

Friday: Rest day

Saturday:  9.65 mile long run.  I helped lead the 10:30 pace group since there were no 10:00 minute runners this weekend and they were down a pace leader.

We changed up the run this weekend and ran east out of the park to the East River and up to 102nd St and then over the pedestrian bridge to Randall's Island.  It was so nice to do a different route and change it up.  Randall's Island had a nice running path and was easy to get too.  I'll have to remember this when I am doing long runs and am sick of the park!  The first 7 miles were at about a 10:15-10:30ish pace, but the last 2.65 miles were just me and another TNTer (sorry I don't know your name!) and we pushed the pace to about 9:40.  Felt good to do it.

Sunday:  Refine Class.  Class was tough today - I was really working up a sweat during it.  But it was a good sweat and I felt awesome afterwards (minus the fact that I've been starving all day since then).

Overall, it was a good week.  Only missed 1 day and really felt great on my runs.  Glad I seem to be getting back into my runner groove!

PS - I just watched the movie UP and while I really like the movie, I always forget how sad it is.  Was just sitting here typing and tearing up a bit (ok, a lot). 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Club Friday: The Winter Palace

It's time for another book club Friday!  Back with another historical fiction book, this time a different period - imperial Russia.  I honestly don't know a lot about the time period, but I am fascinated by it.

From Goodreads:
From award-winning author Eva Stachniak comes this passionate novel that tells the epic story of Catherine the Great’s improbable rise to power—as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.

Her name is Barbara—in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen—and to wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great. Sophie’s destiny at court is to marry the Empress’s nephew, but she has loftier, more dangerous ambitions. What Sophie needs is an insider at court, a loyal pair of eyes and ears who knows the traps, the conspiracies, and the treacheries that surround her. Varvara will become Sophie’s confidante—and together the two young women will rise to the pinnacle of absolute power. 

As I said, I don't know a lot about this time period, but I did really enjoy this book.  I thought the story of how Catherine the Great came to be in Russia and how she became Empress (it is fiction so don't know how accurate it is).  The book told an interesting and entertaining story and kept me engaged.  The book ended right around the time she became Empress, but I wanted to story to go on, which to me is always a sign of a good book.  I would love to read more about the time period.

What are you reading right now?  What should I read next?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Philly Half Marathon Registration

Registration for the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend opened on Monday (April 1) and unlike Chicago and Marine Corps, Active.com did not crash!  There have been a lot of issues with race registrations lately, it's been quite insane.  I can't believe how quickly races are selling out anymore.  

Anyway, there seemed to be no problems with the Philly opening.  I managed to snag one of the discounted spots for the first 1,000 registrations and I had a $5 coupon (for completing a survey about last years race), so the race ended up being under $60!  Love a cheap race.

Looking forward to another race weekend in Philly with Kasey.  This will be year number 3 that's we done it together (Half for her all 3 and me 1 marathon and 2 half's). 

On a total different note, this weekend starts the Final Four.  Syracuse is in it for the first time since they won in 2003 - hard to believe it's been 10 years (sorry everyone for screwing up your brackets)!  I remember when they won - it was probably one of the best experiences of my college years.  Watching the game in the Dome, running down to Marshall Street, everyone celebrating and cheering and singing  'We are the Champions' all night long.  Definitely something I am glad I got to experience!  

In case you want to jump on the SU bandwagon, you can join Jimmy Fallon!  Great video - good move  Jimmy!  (On a side note, I am excited for him to take over for Jay Leno).

LET'S GO C-U-S-E!!!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wanderlust Wednesday: Prague

Been a while since I've done a Wanderlust.  With spring deciding to be difficult and stay in hibernation, I thought we should visit Prague in the spring.  

I have always wanted to go to Prague.  The architecture, the history, the beer...it ranks pretty high on the list.  A little googling tells me there is a half marathon there in the Spring (it's this weekend in case you're wondering).  Maybe I'll add it to the dream race list.

Bridges over the Vltava River in Prague (via)

Anyone ever done the Prague Half?  Who's been there?  What should I do when I go?

*Click on the links below each photo to be taken to the source of the photo*

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

2 for Tuesday

I got a Runner's World Tip a Day calendar for Christmas this year and I have enjoyed getting a little motivation each day.  This one was last Friday's and I have admit that would be one way to get me to run!

My love of kitchen supplies continues!  I didn't see this ('cuz I totally would have bought it), but my mom bought me this Easter themed Spatula for my Easter basket.  It's totally cute and will get some use in my kitchen!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Training Recap w/o 3-25

So this past week went better than the previous week.  I got more of my workouts in, but still did not make all my goal runs.  Not sure where my motivation went, but given the volume of races (and training required), I am trying not to stress when I take some time off.  It's probably important in the long run so I don't burn out, but it's hard to think that way sometimes.

Monday: Kickboxing
Tuesday: HIIT interval training (was supposed to be a 5 mile run, but didn't happen so did some interval cross training instead)
Wednesday: Refine class
Thursday: Rest day (was supposed to be a 3 miles run)
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 6 mile run
Sunday: Abs + Yoga

Skipped 2 runs and only skipped 1 workout totally, so definitely better then last week.  Hopefully I'll get back in the groove this week and get some more running in!

How did your training go last week?