Sunday, February 26, 2012

Run like the Wind

Or in my case, with the wind, against the wind, and pushing sideways into the wind…basically it was WINDY!

Nothing like running up a hill at the end of a run only to be pushed back by ridiculously strong gusts of wind!!  I’m talking power outages in some areas of the state type winds. 

photo (640x478)
(wind = awesome hair)

Saturday morning I ran for the first time in over 2 months!!  Well aside from the random 400m or 800m runs I sometimes had as part of a Crossfit workout.  It actually felt great to get back outside and running, I’ve missed it!

My morning began at home with this lovely breakfast


A random frozen whole grain waffle with some PB and maple syrup, and a bowl of pineapple with some plain Greek yogurt, honey, and walnuts!

IMG_3495Americano with some steamed half & half

Fed and caffeinated…time to run. 

This was our first unofficial training run for the Reach the Beach relay!  A few of us from the RTB team joined in on a Saturday morning run with TMIRCE (The Most Informal Running Club Ever).  This club meets up on Saturdays at the City Sports in Brighton, and anyone of any running ability can come and run! 



There was even water, snacks, bananas, and juice!

The sponsors of the TMIRCE run were New Balance, NGR Bar, GoMotion Gear, and Race Menu


Those GoMotion lights would be perfect for the night legs of the relay race!  Better than wearing a headlamp ;)

There was a 3.5 mile, 4 mile, and a 7 mile loop option for the runs.  My RTB teammates, Tina, Elizabeth, Patricia, and I decided to go for the 4 mile loop. 



And we were off!

5 (640x478)I’ve said it before, but I LOVE running with other people!!  I always have better runs, especially when I’m running with someone who is generally faster than me. 


I can almost guarantee if I was running alone it would have been slower and with many more walking breaks. 

The biggest obstacle of the day was the wind.   At the beginning it wasn’t bad because it was a tail wind, but as soon as we turned to go over the Mass Ave bridge it was like a wall of wind pushing at our sides.  I was laughing at how ridiculous it was at times!!

After that bridge we took a quick photo break

(Elizabeth & Tina

Then we were off again, met that hill + head wind towards the end, then finished down Comm. Ave back towards the store.  We finished our 4 miles in about 40 minutes, including breaks for photos obvi :)


After some water and a banana, we did the next logical thing…eat.


The 4 of us, along with some of Patricia’s friends headed down the street to Eastern Standard for lunch!  

I started with a cappuccino to warm up


And decided on the appetizer of Mushroom Crepes with goat cheese fondue and leeks


And a Mixed Greens salad with local apples and candied walnuts.


This was so delicious, and wasn’t too much or too heavy after a good workout! 

I had a blast running with these ladies and can’t wait for more!!

There was more fun to be had later when Brian and I finally hit up The Salty Pig for some charcuterie and beer, but we’ll save that for another day!

On to more important things…like Burpees. 

This past Wednesday marked the start of the 2012 Crossfit Games.  All I knew about the Games was what little I had seen on TV before.  I had no idea that leading up the The Games was The Open, where basically anyone in the world can register, perform the weekly Workouts, and see how he/she stacks up to the rest of the world! 


Even with this knowledge I would have never thought twice about someone like ME registering.  I mean, I just started Crossfit in the beginning of December!  I still consider myself a “newbie”.

Apparently even newbies can participate in The Open.  My coaches were encouraging us all to sign up and I figured I didn’t have anything to lose except the $20 registration fee.

The Open started on Wednesday Feb 22 at 5pm pst, and the first Workout was posted.

Workout 12.1

Complete as many reps as possible in 7 minutes of:


This workout begins from the standing position. The Athlete will move from flat on the ground to touching an object with both hands that is 6 inches above their max reach. Score is total reps completed. (source)

This video explains and demonstrates the workout.

I first tried the workout Thursday at my Crossfit box.  I got 66 in 7 minutes and it was brutal.  I definitely didn’t feel like I was giving my 100%, and they just felt a lot harder than normal…even the first ones which should be easier. 

I wasn’t too worried about it, I mean I’m basically just competing against myself. 

Then on Saturday morning I was chatting with Tina and Patricia about it since they both do Crossfit and both are entered in The Open.  They both had higher numbers and were talking about trying it one more time before you have to submit your final scores Sunday night!

Then I decided I REALLY wanted to try it again!  Just to see if I had it in me!  Problem was that my Crossfit Box isn’t open on Sundays… hmmm. 

So I asked Tina if I could come down and join her!  She checked with her coaches and I checked with mine (scores have to be validated, so I’d need Tina’s coaches to validate me).  Turned out to be a great idea!  Not only did I get to hang out with Tina and Mal for a little while, but I just felt way better and was able to beat my old score by 12 reps!!

My new score is 78 burpees in 7 minutes!!  Tina kept count for me and was my own personal cheerleader for those brutal 7 minutes!  Half-way through I was seriously thinking to myself: did I really drive 30min on a Sunday morning to do this???!!  So glad I did!! 

Um by the way Tina’s final score was 96 burpees and her husband Mal is ridiculous and completed 120!!!! 

So my current rank is 12335 out of 19187 for the women, but I’m mostly just excited I beat my own record. 

Brian and Bromley came down with me and afterwards we took Bromley to a nearby park for some outdoor off-leash time!


Leaf on the face picture


Post park time, we did some quick food shopping then headed home for the afternoon.  It was a nice little Sunday, and I’m beat!!  Hoping to get to bed soon!

Burpees:  love them, hate them, never done one??  I did them long before Crossfit, but I like the way I was taught in Crossfit better actually.  I don’t mind them, but I never want to do 7 minutes of them ever again.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter Weekend in Maine

It’s not news to tell you that I love Maine…especially Portland.  It’s one of my absolute places to go in New England. 

The bonus is that now I have a friend who lives a short 10 minute drive from the Old Port!!  One of my good friends/former co-workers moved back to her home state of Maine about a year and a half ago and I am just now getting up to visit her!! 

We had a relaxing, fun, and delicious weekend with our dogs :)


Bromley had a great time playing with Molly! 

First thing we did when I arrived was to head into downtown Portland to hit up a local winter Farmer’s Market and then walk around the Old Port. 

I picked up some local cheese to tryIMG_3432

We dove into the cheese later on

Beautiful little spice shop on Commercial Street


Finally tried a cappuccino from Bard Coffee


It was very good, but I still think that Thinking Cup wins. 

Lots of cute shops, lunch, more walking and then I decided I needed a sweet treat



I can’t believe how many places I had never visited in Portland before!!  Including Two Fat Cats!

Everything is made from scratch and it just looks that way.  The cookies aren’t perfect round circles, and the cupcakes are just frosted by hand with a knife…no fancy piping.  I LOVE that.

I couldn’t decide so I bought 2 cookies to nosh on…a little then & a little later.


I’m STILL thinking about these cookies and wish I could have one RIGHT NOW!  The one above was an Almond Shortbread….so soft, buttery, almond-ey…perfection in my opinion.


Also a pecan chocolate chip.  Again, soft, buttery…all the things I love in a chocolate chip cookie.  

As I was eating them I couldn’t stop saying how good they were…that’s when you know you found something special.

After that, we went back to her house, grabbed the dogs and headed to a local beach for an afternoon walk!





Bromley had a blast!!



He wants to live near the ocean now.

From there, we headed home and started thinking about how we wanted to tackle the evening to be sure to hit up lots of delicious spots.

But first some wine and cheese



I probably over-did it a smidge on the cheese, but it was good stuff and I was hungry.

Our first stop was my friend, Jen’s, favorite Mexican place…El Rayo!

Inexpensive, fresh, flavorful food, with a great drink list!

Since we had more food in our future, we only split 2 small tacos and 1 hibiscus margarita ;)


Next, we headed to Walters for drinks and some appetizers. 


Since my cocktail on Valentine’s Day was such a success I decided to go the “ask the bartender” route.  I ended up with one of their cocktails on the menu but minus the syrup.  This one had rum, grapefruit juice, and lime juice.   

We also ordered a Brussel Sprout Salad that was divine… shaved brussel sprouts, red onion, cob smoked bacon, marcona almonds, dried cranberries in a lemon honey mustard vinaigrette with pecorino

And also some Cracklin’ Calamari and Salt & Pepper Shrimp.  Both really good.  This was just enough food after all the cheese, wine, tacos…etc. 

We had hoped to stay for dessert but they had run out of what I really wanted so we figured we’d hit up another spot for a sweet close to the night.  Unfortunately most places were closed, or at least their kitchen’s were and we were out of luck!

In the end it was fine…we were full and I still had some of my Two Fat Cats cookies left.

Sunday morning we were both woken up around 6:30 by our lovely pups…thanks guys.

Sunday involved picking up pastries from Standard Baking…my request.


Coffee from Coffee By Design, and then heading to another state park/beach with the pups.

Flaky fresh Pan au Chocolat and an Ocean View.




A little later we said our goodbyes, and I packed myself and Bromley into the car to head home. 

I was trying to be a good wife and find Brian a bottle or two of a certain beer he really likes (its from Maine and hard to find…Lunch IPA in case anyone sees it and wants to let me know where!)

I tried 3 places with no luck so I gave up.

But then I got a FANTASTIC idea.

Lobster > Beer.  I stopped by a fish market in York on my way home and grabbed 3 lobsters.


I made Brian do the dirty work. 

I’d say it’s a fair trade ;)

Oh I had also picked up some crab cakes that were on sale at Whole Foods


Took our “Feast” to the next level.

Quick potatoes

(cooked 1large potato in the microwave, then just sliced it and browned it in the pan I cooked the crab cakes in, sprinkled with a little Old Bay)

Steamed Asparagus


Notice I just put down an old towel on the table instead of place mats…things get messy when we eat Lobster.




Apparently February is a great time for Lobster…these were some of the BEST lobsters we’ve had in recent memory!!  The meat was so flavorful!!  I wish I got 6 of them!!  We each had 1 and split the 3rd. 

Couldn’t even finish the crab cakes, but no worries those made a delicious lunch today. 

What an fabulous way to end a great weekend.  It almost ALMOST felt like summer for a minute.

Can’t wait to go back and visit Jen when it’s warmer out!  So many things to do and still SO many restaurants to try!!  I was notorious for always eating at Fore Street whenever we are in Portland, but she is breaking me out of that habit…although I do miss it.  Next time ;)

Hope you all had a great (long?) weekend!  Brian and I both worked today, so not so long here, but still nice as you can see.