Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Weekly Reads: Eat Dirt

I listened to Eat Dirt on audiobook several months back and am still recommending it to people left and right. It was so good and informational, that I purchased a copy of it to reference to help fix my digestion.

My rating: 5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

Doctor of Natural Medicine and wellness authority Dr. Josh Axe delivers a groundbreaking, indispensable guide for understanding, diagnosing, and treating one of the most discussed yet little-understood health conditions: leaky gut syndrome.

Do you have a leaky gut? For 80% of the population the answer is “yes”—and most people don’t even realize it. Leaky gut syndrome is the root cause of a litany of ailments, including: chronic inflammation, allergies, autoimmune diseases, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, diabetes, and even arthritis.

To keep us in good health, our gut relies on maintaining a symbiotic relationship with trillions of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. When our digestive system is out of whack, serious health problems can manifest and our intestinal walls can develop microscopic holes, allowing undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins to seep into the bloodstream. This condition is known as leaky gut syndrome.

In Eat Dirt, Dr. Josh Axe explains that what we regard as modern “improvements” to our food supply—including refrigeration, sanitation, and modified grains—have damaged our intestinal health. In fact, the same organisms in soil that allow plants and animals to flourish are the ones we need for gut health. In Eat Dirt, Dr. Axe explains that it’s essential to get a little “dirty” in our daily lives in order to support our gut bacteria and prevent leaky gut syndrome. Dr. Axe offers simple ways to get these needed microbes, from incorporating local honey and bee pollen into your diet to forgoing hand sanitizers and even ingesting a little probiotic-rich soil.

Because leaky gut manifests differently in every individual, Dr. Axe also identifies the five main “gut types” and offers customizable plans—including diet, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations—to dramatically improve gut health in just thirty days. With a simple diet plan, recipes, and practical advice, Eat Dirt will help readers restore gut health and eliminate leaky gut for good.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Academy Award for Best Picture

For the past three years, some of my co-workers and I have bought an Oscar pass at our local theater to go to all of the Best Picture nominees. It's both the highlight of my movie watching year, and the lowlight for my back and butt from all of the hours of sitting in the theater.

Here are my thoughts about this year's nominees:

Hidden Figures was a delight. I loved every minute of it and it flew by. I knew nothing about the story and was infatuated with it every step of the way

La La Land was the movie I was most excited about it. I almost went and saw it before Oscar week knowing I'd love it so much that I'd be thrilled to see it again. Except I didn't love it. Ugh. It was good but it wasn't as outstanding as I was hoping and expecting based on all of the hype. It just fell a little flat.

 Fences was tough. It was raw and intense, and hard to watch. There were some great moments of dialogue delivered, but I just felt sick to my stomach the whole time. Bleh.

Hell Or High Water was a movie I was not excited to see. It just didn't seem like it would be my kind of movie. And then, I loved it. And not just because Chris Pine is easy on the eyes. It was one of the movies we saw at 10pm, but I was still into it every moment of the way.

Lion was amazing/outstanding/awesome. I enjoyed it so much. All the feels happy/sad/anxious/etc. I really liked Lion a lot.

Moonlight was good but not quite great. It definitely had moments of sheer greatness, but again it left me wanting a little bit more from the story.

Before Oscar week, I thought that Arrival was about space travel. Um... no. Oops. I absolutely loved this movie. I loved how the story all came together. 

Manchester By The Sea was intense. Uff da. It was so good, and utterly heartbreaking and Michelle and Casey blew me away with their performances.

I skipped Hacksaw Ridge because I was hosting an Oscars party and knew that a 10pm showing of a 2.5 hour movie the night before while sick would kill me further.

My top 3:
Hidden Figures

I think La La Land will probably win best picture, but this year was my favorite year so far to see all of these amazing movies in the theater!

We'll see how I stack up against my friends on our ballots! I may edit this post to add that important info (post scheduled prior to the show). :)

ETA: I won! With 19/24 correct, then 18/24 correct. My acceptance speech:

Third year of Oscars competition and my first win. I'd like to thank the academy for not distributing the incorrect envelope announcing my win, the three glasses of champagne enjoyed throughout the show, the rosacea flair up that followed, the sweatpants I wore for the celebration, and my pug's triple chins that make mine look singular by comparison. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Current Obsessions: Part IV

It's no secret that I have an obsessive personality. When I'm into something I'm into it 110%. That's usually a great thing! But I suppose sometimes it's not. Here are some things I'm currently obsessed with:
  • Westworld
    • I have been counting down months to the next HBO free weekend through my cable provider. I had been hearing so much about Westworld that I couldn't wait to watch. I had purposely avoided much about the plot so I was super confused when I started it, but that confusion quickly moved to intrigue.
  •  The Oscars
    • For the past three years, myself and two girlfriends have purchased an Oscar movie pass from our theater. This pass allows us to attend all of the Oscar movies and the shorts leading up to the Oscars. The first year, the movies were showed over the course of ten days. So easy to get through the 8-10 movies! Last year (and this year) they are one week prior. Which leads to many evenings of double features, leaving the theater well after midnight, and multiple movie showings on Saturday and Sunday. And then MORE sitting during the actual Oscars. I can't see any other movies throughout the year because my back and butt still have PTSD from all of the sitting.
  • Running with friends
    • I've never been big into running with friends. When I've been in good enough shape to run and talk at the same thing (seriously, this is a thing!) I usually had pretty strict training plans I was following and felt like it was life or death that I hit X:XX pace for a run. Not really condusive for having someone join you on said run. But lately. Lately! You'll be hard-pressed to find me running solo, ever! It's so much fun to run with friends, and in making plans to run with people I'm less likely to bail on my runs which is even better. Accountability? Yes please!
  • Building my base mileage
    •  I have been having a lot of fun building up my weekly mileage, keeping my pace nice and slow and steady, and still seeing my "easy" paces drop over the course of the last two months. It's given me just enough inspiration to keep on it, knowing that once I start adding in speedwork I really have a chance to work my way back to paces I used to run regularly.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

DFW Trip Day 3

Monday morning was my last full day in Fort Worth. How did this happen already? I feel like I just got here! I slept in a little bit and Dom got her kiddos off to school, and then we had a coffee date at a super cute cafe.

And we wondered around doing some shopping, more window shopping than anything, and I snapped a ton of pictures of interior ideas for our house. I could've dropped some serious $$$$ on fun stuff, including a gorgeous green velvet couch. I mean.... that needs to belong in my living room, right?!?

After striking out at half a dozen lunch spots (turns out every place is closed on Mondays! good to know!) we finally found a great spot. But they served delicious pizzas. And as good as they looked, I had to pass (shocker) and get a beet salad and butternut squash ravioli. Oh mah gawd. So good. Hands down the best meal of the trip! 

Sometimes you have to pull over and take a apple watch self-timed photo in front of some sweet artwork. 

I got to go pick up the kids from school with Dom, and their excited faces to see us was almost enough to convince me that maybe I want a kid too. Maybe. Dominique coordinated a sitter for the night, so we went out for some happy hour drinks. And I was the last person on the planet to try a moscow mule. Yum. After I had yet another Texas beer.

I could've sat and stared at this light thing all night long. Oh did I mention that we sat outside for happy hour? Because it was that gorgeous out? Yeah it was.

After dinner we made our way down to the Stockyards to take some quick photos.

Tuesday morning we were finally able to go to the restaurant we had tried, and failed to go to two previous times on the trip. It was so very worth the wait I can't even tell you.

My coffee date is cuter than your coffee date.

This breakfast, right?!?
And just like that I was heading back home. :(


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Base Building Week 8

Week of February 13-19

Monday Planned: General Aerobic 7 miles
Monday Actual: Still sick. Blech. Of course it was gorgeous out. I did get some foam rolling and sticking in during the evening when I was finally out of bed.

Tuesday Planned: Sanford Power
Tuesday Actual: Sanford Power. I had a really rough time at POWER and probably should've taken the day off. I could barely lift and definitely couldn't go up in weights at all. I was pouring sweat and felt like I was going to die. Oops.

Wednesday Planned: General Aerobic + Speed 8 Miles 8x100 m strides 
Wednesday Actual: It was the most beautiful day on the planet. My big plan was to run 5 miles before group run and the last 3 with them, but my gallbladder attack left me with major back pain. I taught a vinyasa class at the running store.

Thursday Planned: General Aerobic 6 Miles
Thursday Actual: Still no run. I did do core work thinking that might help with my back pain. :( Kyle and I had our Valentine's Day date that we had to postpone from me being sick.

Friday Planned: Rest/Cycling
Friday Actual: More rest, including a 3.5 hour nap during the middle of the day. Good gracious.

Saturday Planned: Endurance 9 Miles
Saturday Actual: I had plans with a running friend to knock this run out and my stomach was too angry to even try.

Sunday Planned: Rest
Sunday Actual: This week was a wash. Hey, I should be nice and fresh for week one of half training next week!

Total Mileage Planned: 31 miles

Total Mileage Actual:  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Weekly Reads: Talking as Fast as I Can

I could not wait to get my hands on Talking as Fast as I Can. As a huge Gilmore Girls fan and a total Lauren Graham fangirl, I needed it asap. I read this entire book in one sitting, and I wanted to immediately sit down and re-read it. It's a must read for fans of any of her shows or any aspiring actresses.

My rating: 5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:

In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Being Sick

I usually have a pretty good idea of what to do with my training when I get sick. Working at a public library, I come down with little "crap" all of the time. Not fun. I usually give myself a day off after I'm feeling better just to make sure that my already compromised immune system doesn't knock me back on my butt for heading out for a run.

This last week was torture! It was the never-ending illness. I had 48 hours of terrible terrible, I think I'm dying sickness. Followed by exhaustion and extremely upset stomachness (although nothing like the first 48 hours). I went to work since I was able to and I knew that my gallbladder wasn't contagious, but I was freaking exhausted from it. And my low back was killing me (the leftover pain from my gallbladder attack).

Saturday was the first day that my back didn't hurt, and I really wanted to go out for a long run, until my stomach started bothering me yet again. Sunday I had thought about an easy 3 just to make sure my body still knew how to run, but ended up scrapping that too. Uff da.

It's been a really long time since I've been *this* sick and I don't know if I handled it well or not. It's hard to see a 0 mile week heading in to the hardest half marathon training cycle of my life... probably. Uff. At least my body should be nice and fresh for some miles, because my brain is certainly fret with doubt.

On a similar note: who's had their gallbladder out and how was the recovery on it? I've been putting it off for years, but I refuse to ever be as sick as I was during this last attack. It was bad. I now understand why most people go to the ER during their attacks. Uff. I may try to stretch it out to go on a Friday of a cutback week... :|

Friday, February 17, 2017

Training Book Review: Faster Road Racing

This fall I was debating my upcoming running plans and knew I needed a challenge. Typically a challenge translates to marathon training for me, but when I stumbled on Faster Road Racing: 5K to Half Marathon I thought maybe I had found my challenge. I added it to my Christmas list from my in-laws, and on Christmas day I received the book, registration fee to my spring goal half, a new pair of running shoes, and resistance bands. IT'S A VERY MERRY RUNNER CHRISTMAS OVER HERE!! Thanks lovely inlaws.

I was excited to dive in. I had done variations of the Pfitz full training plan in the past (Danielle gifted it to me when we were working hard at our marathons, thanks Danielle <3). I ran my half marathon PR (still to this day) in the midst of full marathon training, and I also got injured doing this plan while training for the Bemidji Marathon.

There are some repetitive sections from this book to Advanced Marathoning, but it is such an essential book to have for road racers! I took my time reading through it while working through the eight week base building program. Many of my injuries in the past have come from adding speedwork when I don't have a strong enough base, or while I'm still adding mileage. I think I've now learned that's a recipe for disaster. I somehow got through the 8 weeks without thinking about having another 12 weeks on tap for my actual training which now makes it seem like I'm training for FIVE MONTHS for 13.1 miles, but whatever. If I can train for, and run the race healthy, it'll be worth it!

The book goes into detail about elements of training, recovery, strength training/plyos/yoga!, diet, masters runner info (which I earmarked for 7 years from now), and tapering.

The training section of the book has a breakdown of the schedules, several base building plans, training programs for 5k, 8k/10k, 15k/10 mile, half, and multiple race distances. These training programs start around 30 miles per week and some peak at 90-100 miles per week. Woof. Pfitz's training cycles are unique because he breaks down his training into mini cycles that have different focuses to improve your fitness. I like this because it keeps things fresh from week to week.

All of the training go off of heart rate training, which might not be for everybody but it should! I firmly believe in heart rate training.

I'm excited to see what I can do this spring with some lots of Pfitz miles under my belt!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

DFW Trip Day 2

After we left the race I hobbled into Starbucks for a delicious latte treat. I saw hobbled because I had terrible chafing on my legs because I sweated off any body glide I had.

My brother had to come to Fort Worth for a brief work thing, so he brought the kiddos along and we met up for some drinks and family time. Here are my lovely nieces and me. I failed to get a single picture of me and my nephew or me and my brother. Oops.

Lolo was obsessed with my race medal, and tried to take it with her. No way kid. Haha.

Me and Dom's post race beers.

We got back from our afternoon of delicious food (seriously one of the most amazing burgers I've ever had) and I somehow forgot about dinner. Weird. We had a super early night because early wake up + race in the sun + beer = sleep. Plus the girls had school the next day!