Thursday, July 29, 2010

Running Stats

I haven't run a mile in exactly a week. This morning I hauled my butt to the Henry Sibley track and nearly died. I've decided not only to track my time, but also my max HR, average HR, calories burned, and total time (mile + walking 1 lap).

And I reached a new record today, with cramps, on the first day of Sally, and in capris for the first time!! Here's the stats:

Time - 12:03 (so close to getting below 12 min!)
Max HR - 199 (that's 105% folks)
Ave HR - 180
Cals - 207
Time - 16:46

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

West Side Wednesday

On Wednesdays I've decided to talk a little about my neighborhood, the West Side of St. Paul. Interestingly enough, the West Side is actually south of downtown St. Paul. The Mississippi River flows between downtown/Lowertown and the West Side. Original settlers knew that the Mississippi ran north-south and figured that the other side of the river was the west side. The river actually twists here and flows east-west. South St. Paul is also on this side of the river, but more to the east.

I will attempt to post a video. This video was taken two years ago when I moved in. I'm standing on the West Side bluffs looking at downtown St. Paul. The video starts at downtown. Then it shows the capitol building, St. Paul Cathedral, and ends with the High Bridge/Smith Ave. Bridge. It's the most beautiful view in the city!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Yoga Instructor: Find a mantra, a person, something, that will be your focus for today.

Me (Thinking): I will not fall over. Or fart.

Yoga Instructor: This should be outside of your body.

Me (Thinking): Dammit.

This is pretty much how my yoga session started off tonight. Oh, and my heart rate monitor was constantly beeping at me because my HR wasn't high enough. Thankfully, my HR increased after what seemed like an eternity in extended child's pose. Then the fun began...

The first time I tried out yoga I was with my friend Jen. It was all I could do not to look at her and burst out in a fit of giggles. The instructor kept using the word "journey," which we found hilarious. This time around there were a lot less people in the room and the AC wasn't quite up as far as I would have liked it to be. This instructor wanted us to focus on our breathing and ourselves, as if no one else were in the room. She wanted us to de-stress and forget the world's pressures and judgments. We were beautiful/handsome. I still think that's all a bunch of hooey, but my end feeling about yoga was about the same.

I hate the beginning when I don't know what the poses are called and I have to keep looking up or around me to see what everyone else is doing. Tonight I was sweating buckets (literally, there was a small pond on my mat) and my glasses refused to stay on my nose. When they were on my nose they decided to fog up. The toughest pose (I don't know what it was called) was when we were supposed to "jump" from plank into balancing with our knees on the back of our arms/triceps. Uh huh. Suuuure. I'll just do that and then drop my head and go straight up with my toes pointing towards the ceiling. Three people in the class (2 girls and 1 guy) were able to balance on their heads, hands on the floor, toes pointed to the ceiling. Show offs. Hmm...but a little piece of me liked the challenge. I was able to balance with my head on the floor and my knees on the backs of my arms quite well. Next step: legs and toes up. Remember, all of this is pretty hard to do when you're covered in sweat.

I always like the end of a yoga session. For the last 4-5 minutes you get to lay there while the instructor plays beach sounds or some other calming music. You're supposed to clear your mind, but I always find myself composing blog entries or making a mental to do list. I feel like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love. I have this same problem when I'm getting a massage. My mind is telling itself to relax and clear, but my body stays tense. At the end I'm always glad that I went and persevered.

If I can move after tonight, I might even go back.

Movie Monday, 1 Day Late

I was all set up to watch the original Reefer Madness, but it kept skipping. Netflix sent me one the next day - talk about speedy! But I did watch two movies last week.

The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood
I decided to watch this movie on Thursday because it would have been my 5th wedding anniversary. Ya Ya is one of the movies that I got that Matt liked. He got a lot of the movies I liked, such as The Big Lebowski and From Hell.

If you haven't seen it, The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood is a silly little movie with Sandra Bullock. It's the story of her childhood and her mother's alcohol abuse and subsequent breakdown during that time. I absolutely love the music in the movie - takes me back to Louisiana in the heat of the summer. The second thing I love about this movie is the bloody Marys. Holy Hannah they make me want a great bloody! (By the way, best bloodies in the cities that I've found are at Skinner's in St. Paul and Bunker's in Minneapolis. Skinner's is larger and probably less expensive.)


Rudi and I absolutely love this movie. You probably haven't heard of it because it's a movie about teenagers dancing and it came out around the same time as Dirty Dancing. Four girlfriends from South Carolina tell their parents they're going to Fort Sumter for the weekend when they're really going to Myrtle Beach. Once they get to the beach they see there's a shag dance contest judged by heartthrob Jimmy Valentine. The girls meet up with some boys, throw a party, and enter the contest. Of the four girls, Pudge is my favorite. If you're in need of a good summer flick, check it out!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fun Facts Friday

1. I love post offices and mail. Last summer I used to walk to the downtown St. Paul post office a few times a week. This week I visited the Mendota Heights, MN post office on Hwy 13. I'd never been there before bc it's such a small little outpost. I looked up the hours and it's actually closed from 1-2:30 so the one person who's working there can take a lunch! It's all very cute.

2. My favorite president is Ulysses S. Grant and I have a small figurine of him.

3. I find the Civil War fascinating and like to read books about it or that are set during that time.

4. I correct people's grammar and word usage. They usually hate me for this.

5. I have never really known my neighbors. When I was moving into my current house my neighbors were in the side yard and invited me over for a beer. I knew I was home.

6. I read The Great Gatsby every year and love F. Scott Fitzgerald. I hauled his complete short stories book, in hardcover, all around Australia.

7. I like most foods plain - plain cheesesteak, plain hot dog, plain soft pretzel.

8. When I was working in Osseo I tried the tomato soup in the cafeteria. I am now in love with tomato soup and constantly search for the best one. I'm in love with Panera's, but it seems like they don't carry it in the summer. Bruegger's also has a zippy fire roasted tomato, but some stores water it down.

9. I am fiercely loyal to my friends and would do anything for them.

10. I love carbs and fats and believe that you can eat anything you moderation. I got down to 118 when I was 18 and I still had pizza. I just had 1 slice instead of 3.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dropping Time

It rained overnight and was spritzing this morning, but I drove to coach tennis in Richfield bc I hadn't gotten a call or text saying that practice was canceled. When I got there the courts were soaked and none of the girls were in the gyms. I was a little peeved so I headed back to Henry Sibley High School for my run. I kicked butt on the first lap, knocking off 20 seconds. I was amazed that I practically had a stride instead of a trot! It was still misting and my glasses started to fog up on lap 3. It was about 70 degrees and there was a wind. I wonder if the weather conditions helped my time, but I dropped over one minute! 3 miles done and I'm down to 12:09.

My hips are achy even after my rest day yesterday. What I wouldn't do for a massage! But I hopped back in the car, wiped off my glasses, and drove to Lifetime. Rode the bike for 30 min while sweating profusely and reading Chelsea Handler. I finished up by dipping my tootsies in the pool.

When I got home and read my email I saw that my tennis match for tonight has been canceled. I was bummed, but now have the rest of the day ahead of me to catch up on TiVo, read, and watch movies!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mile #2

Today was full of activity and the neighborhood happy hour in my side yard will be well-deserved!

First, I went to Richfield High School to help coach the tennis team. Our first hour consisted of raising my heart rate to ridiculous levels through dynamic stretching and bleachers. The second hour was a little easier as I coached, fed balls, and drank water.

I was going to run my mile on the Richfield track, but they were redoing it due to some recent vandalism. I figured I'd stop by Henry Sibley on the way home. No such luck. There was a team of high school boys standing right on my starting spot. No one needs to see me "running," least of all a gaggle of high school boys. My next idea was to head over to Humboldt High School, which is in between my house and downtown St. Paul. I wasn't quite sure where it was and abandoned my search, as I was increasingly hungry and crabby.

So I came home for a delicious lunch of Greek yogurt, Laughing Cow and crackers, 1/2 a cheese sandwich and milk.

Then I headed out for a re-match with Amy. Hmm...suddenly it had gotten hot and I had become severely out of shape. I won the first set 6-3, but lost the second 1-6 and both Amy and I decided to call it a day. We were pooped! I don't think I'm going to get out of my second set meltdown until I get in better shape.

But I still had to get my day's goal accomplished: mile #2. I took my sweaty socks and drove to Humboldt. Ha ha - no track! Back to Henry Sibley and a clear track. Not a person in sight and a light breeze blowing. I put on my wet socks and shoes, heaved a large sigh, and off I went. I knew I had to stay on pace for the first and second laps, which I did. I felt like I was running in place, but I plodded along. I had decided to run the opposite way on the track due to an aching left butt cheek. I figured it was from running counterclockwise on Sunday. I picked up my pace, panting heavily, on the last lap and came in at 13:12!! I will take it!

To recover I walked a lap and then headed over to the St. Paul Lifetime Fitness where, much to Rudi and Katie's chagrin I'm sure, I dipped my aching tootsies in the lap pool. There was only one other woman in there and she probably wasn't thrilled at the stinky person on the far side of the pool, but it felt faaaaaantastic. I stayed for about 20 minutes, drank water, and read Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.

So I'm home, I've eaten, and now I need to shower. The gals in the 'hood are having a get together and I've got 1600 cals to blow on Mich Golden Lite!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Movie Monday

I thought I'd start a new blog theme - Movie Monday. I'll review any movies I've seen in the past week.

(By the way, mile #2 will be on 7/20. I was advised against running multiple days in a row. Missy and I may run about 2 miles around Highland Park on Wed. We'll see if I survive...)

Good Morning, Vietnam
Ru set up her very own Netflix account in our sketchy hotel room in Carlsbad. The first movie we watched was Good Morning, Vietnam. I had never seen the entire movie, but I really liked it! Robin Williams truly excels at ad libbing, as seen in the extras reel. It actually made me tired to see him keep going and going and going.

I know that the military doesn't tell us everything, but I thought the way they censored all of the news that Williams' character could read was amazing. The best part of the entire movie was when Williams is stuck in a traffic jam while reconsidering going back on his show. The other traffic consisted of men packed into trucks about to head out to war. He sees how much what he does affects the boys. It's very poignant.

The Corpse Bride

I wasn't completely thrilled with this movie, but it could be because I was exhausted and was watching it at 11 pm last night. I will say that it reminded me of Beetlejuice, which was my favorite Tim Burton movie. Rudi said she liked how Burton commented on how British high society was boring and bland and the real party was down below. That made me like it a little more. Although, if that was the whole meaning behind the movie, why did the ending occur like it did? Perhaps something to look forward to? My favorite scene in the movie was when all of the dead people came up to the living realm and got to dance and pal around with their families. I liked the old lady who was hitting the skeleton with her purse until she realized it was her husband :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ya gotta start somewhere.

Today I decided that it would be a good idea to run a mile. I haven't run a mile (and I use the term "run" loosely) in over 12 years. In high school we were required to run the mile and a half. As a current PE teacher, the only reasoning I can see behind running the 1.5 instead of running the mile is to waste more PE time. The best time I ever got in the 1.5 was around 15 minutes and that was in 1997. My goal for today was 1 mile in under 15 minutes without walking. Totally doable.

So I hauled my butt out of bed around 11:30 am and drove to the Henry Sibley High School track. I realized once I got there that I had forgotten water but decided to start anyway. Okay. I can do this.

I took off at what I thought was a good pace and finished my first lap in 2:48. Hmmm. So I optimistically thought I could do a mile in 12 min. The second and third laps mainly consisted of me repeating, I can do this I can do this I can do this. I quickly realized that I would probably run my first mile between 12 and 15 minutes.

As I glanced down at my heart rate monitor I saw that I was consistently in the 180s during my run. To the casual observer it looked like I was out for a gentle jog around the track, but my heart was at its max. I trotted around the track four times and ended up with a time of 13:24. Actually, it could have been a few seconds under that, but my HRM decided to take that exact moment to inform me that it was now 1:04 pm. Thanks a lot, HRM.

I think this is a great place to start. I figure that my best mile time was 10 min in the spring of my junior year in high school. I played varsity tennis, JV basketball, and ran varsity track that year. I was in the best shape of my life! I was also 120 lbs.

So my goal is to run 1 mile each day this week. I say this now, as nothing on me hurts. We'll see what tomorrow morning brings... After the "run" I grabbed Subway (Ru's favorite!) and then did 30 min on the recumbent bike at the gym. I'm nowhere near Katie's level of training, but ya gotta start somewhere.