Vegas, Day Two!

Hello again from Vegas!  I”m blogging a bit earlier than usual so I can do some more ‘splorin’. 

Conference breffist:

0414 023The eggs and taters were pretty meh, so I left them and ate all the fruit, yogurt, and granola, as well as an unpictured small banana nut muffin. 

Went to meetings all morning, then conquered lunch!

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I seem to be doing a good job with the “fill half your plate with fruit/veggies” rule.  I had a giant salad with a balsamic dressing, plus some roasted chicken on the side.  I got some beef and cheese, too, but…it was kind of like eating lunchmeat/cheese without bread, so I left most of it.  I also had a wee bit of tomato basil soup and a PRETZEL ROLL.  (OBSESSED.)

We had an hour and a half for lunch, so I went exploring!  Mostly to the pool area of Caesar’s Palace.  Can you blame me?

There was some sort of photo shoot going on.  You can see the photographer up on the balcony.

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Basically, there was a model floating on her back, and some guy had to keep throwing those red balls at her.  Weird.

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Everything here is so massive!  I can hardly believe it.0414 0030414 004

I finally settled down in a beach chair in the shade (don’t want to get tan lines before the wedding/didn’t have sunscreen!) and relaxed and people watched for the remainder of my break.

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After the afternoon sessions were over, I ventured out onto the strip for a very special task given to me by Leah

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The Flamingo!  She’s getting married there a few weeks after our wedding. 

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I did a little more wandering on the Strip, BUT I had a lot of strange men coming up to me offering their sexual services.  Like, at least 2 or 3.  It creeped me out, so I headed back to Caesar’s.0414 0080414 009

There’s more than enough to entertain me here for a long, long time, and I am completely paranoid when traveling alone, so…yeah.  Also, with all the events I have to pop into here and there, I don’t have a whole lot of time to stray too far anyway!

The plan for tonight?  We have a dinner/reception thingy, then I plan to gamble a bit more (NOT blowing $15 in one bet this time).  I’m also debating splurging on a pair of running shorts from the Nike Store for my “souvenir”—I only have capris, and I’d love to find a pair that doesn’t chafe my thighs.  Oh, and who am I kidding, probably another television bubble-cuzzi!

Re: exercise.  I wanted to exercise here, but they charge $25 a day!  My sister has been pestering me about running with her in Napa, so we might wind up doing that.  If not, I won’t stress about it—I’ll be back at the gym next week!

Question of the day: Are the mixed nuts and chocolates next to the “Welcome” note on the minibar free or not?  They are not in the “lift the chips up for 20 seconds and get charged” weighted looking thing, and not listed on the minibar menu.  Discuss.

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Irish eyes are smiling

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I have not celebrated in any way at all today, which makes me a little sad.  I didn’t have the foresight to pack green clothing, unfortunately.  However, I am indeed Irish—75%.  (The other 25% is northern Italian.)  My mom’s maiden name begins with O’ and my paternal grandmother’s maiden name starts with Mc.   I have pale skin, freckles on my shoulders, and enjoy beer more than I should.  I think that qualifies me, no?  Growing up, we would always have corned beef, boiled potatoes and cabbage and soda bread today.  Last year I made soda bread, but this year I’ve been lame and forgotten altogether.  Fail.

Anyway.   Woke up in a hotel room.  My room service breakfast order showed up shortly thereafter.  On the menu today?  More food than I’d intended.  The card I filled out was for eggs and toast and coffee only, but much to my surprise, I got scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes, orange juice, and coffee.

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The eggs were terrible.  So was the bacon.  So, I had toast, potatoes, orange juice and coffee for breakfast.  Not the healthiest, but such is life.

I did my work thang in the morning and got on the road back to Kansas City around noon.  It was a four hour drive.  After the coffee debacle, I decided to grab lunch BEFORE I got on the road.

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It was a long, foggy, boring drive.  Thank goodness for Dan Savage podcasts.

Somewhere along the way, I decided I might as well do my long run today.  I’d be back at the office at 3, meaning I could be at the gym by 3:30, do the run, and be home before 6.  If I waited to do it tomorrow, I wouldn’t be able to start until 5 and wouldn’t be home until 7:30 or 8!  Plus, I got a lot of sleep last night and was sitting on my bum all day.

I changed and walked over to the gym.  I wasn’t sure if I’d want two gels or one, so I brought two just in case.  I also brought some Gatorade powder because I remember craving it during my run last week. 

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And…the running commenced.  Today marked the start of double-digits for me with my first 10 miler!  I broke it into two 5 mile segments.  I took the Tri-Berry Gu at mile 5, and refilled my water bottle and added some of the Gatorade powder.

The first five miles weren’t bad, and I definitely felt a nice energy rush after the Gu.  But at about mile 7.5, my energy started to wane.  Fine.  I can push through low energy.  But at mile 9, I realized I probably a) should have saved the gatorade for post run and b) probably should have incorporated both gels into the run.  My stomach started feeling kind of barfy and sloshy.  Nonetheless, I pushed through, literally counting down the seconds until the 10 miles were done!

All in all, 10 miles in 1:40:00—I stuck the treadmill at 6.0 and left it there.  (I took maybe 1 minute to reset the treadmill and fill my bottle, but whatever.)  It wasn’t a bad run, but I think that I learned that 9 miles and over requires two Gus—maybe at mile 4 and 8 or something.  I also forgot a stick of gum, which helps with dry mouth, so I drank too much water which I think contributed to the stomach issues.

My right foot is also a hot mess.  It kind of reminds me of raw ground turkey.  And the toenail just keeps getting blacker.  Sigh. 

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In other news, remember the awful yellow flowered capris Victoria’s Secret sent me instead of my rehearsal dinner dress?  Well, the actual rehearsal dress showed up yesterday.

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I need to wear it with Spanx to smooth everything out, because it’s a little clingy, but I do like it and the price/casualness level was perfect.  I think I’ll wear it with some kind of sandal, maybe.  It’ll also be good to take on the honeymoon. 

So, that’s that.  10 miles, in the books, and I lived to tell the tale.  Just tack a 5K onto that and I’ve got a half marathon!  Eep!

Are you Irish? Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Negative Splits

Today was a good day.  Not great, but good. 

This morning Tim ate his first breakfast cookie!  He has been complaining that his normal breakfasts (either a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios or a peanut butter sandwich) don’t hold him over until lunch.  I made it my mission to make him a filling breakfast that tasted good too!  The verdict?  He thought it took too long to eat (he’s a slow eater generally).   I asked him if it was delicious, and his response was, “Well, you’re a healthy eater, so it’s delicious for you, but maybe not delicious for normal people, like steak, and bacon are.”

So, I’ll take that as a mixed review.  I tried.  I think I am going to start packing him a morning snack instead.  😦

I think I need a bigger lunch box.

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Same lunch as yesterday, with the last sweet wheat Western Bagel instead of the corn muffin.

I can’t get enough of clementines lately.  I ate 3 today and might have another before bed!  They’re so tiny, but they take a long time to eat.  Andplusalso they’re pretty.

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I have successfully polished off one of the two bags of spinach so far this week.  Success!

Unfortunately, the volume trick didn’t work for me today.  I was hangry.   Around 3 o’clock, I had a Clif Mountain Mix Mojo bar.  I looove these things—salty and sweet, with nuts and raisins and seeds and chocolate chips and pretzels…yum.

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But, yeah.  Didn’t hold me.  I feel like a bottomless pit today!

My stomach felt like it was eating itself by the time I got to the gym, but today was just 3 miles so I powered through anyway.  Since I had some lung trouble yesterday, I took my inhaler before I ran and oh my gosh, what a difference!  This was an AWESOME run.  I pushed my speed and it felt great.  I really think sometimes I’m being a little too conservative with my pace and I need to crank it up a bit.  I did:

  • 0-0.5 miles at 6.1 mph
  • 0.5-1.0 miles at 6.2 mph
  • 1.0-1.5 miles at 6.3 mph
  • 1.5-2.0 miles at 6.4 mph
  • 2.0-2.33 miles at 6.5 mph
  • 2.33-2.66 miles at 6.6 mph
  • 2.66-2.9 miles at 6.7 mph
  • 2.9-3.0 miles at 7.0 mph

Final total?  3.0 miles in 28:15.  Boo.  Yah.  I felt like I could keep going, too! 

Anyway, we just ate dinner (burger on a sammich thin and brown rice) and I already feel hangry again.  Guess it’s just one of those hollow leg days!

I’m off to prepare a rant-y post for tomorrow.  Get excited, because I am one angry bear!

What do you do on bottomless pit days?  Feed it or fight it?

Snowy Sunday

SO, I have to say I’m a little peeved.  Today in the blog world, people went on long outdoor bike rides, went on long runs in the sunshine, dined outdoors, and even went to the dog park!  Here in Kansas City, though, we got this:

lucy 002 I’d estimate we have probably 6 inches of snow on the ground, and it’s still going and going and going.  WTF?  It’s February 21st.  Get with it, weather.

Anyway, complaining aside, I made a most excellent breakfast for Tim and I this morning.

lucy 001French toast (mine with an Arnold’s Thin!) made with a little beaten egg, milk, and vanilla, topped with peanut butter, caramelized bananas (bananas cooked with a little bit of butter and brown sugar), and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  Ohhh so good.  We always make nice breakfasts on the weekends, and Tim’s usually in charge because of his pancake and waffle skills, but I’m the French toast girl.  This was awesome! 

I braved the snow and ice to go grocery shopping this afternoon. It was slushy and annoying, but we REALLY needed food.  Okay, though, confession time now: I’m terrible about eating vegetables.  I buy them and they go bad and then I feel bad for wasting money and stop buying them.  It’s a vicious cycle.  I do eat a lot of fruit, but I just am not a veggie girl.  I do love spinach salads, though, and baby spinach was buy one, get one free, so I have a fridge full of spinach I’m determined to eat this week.  I made Tim and I side salads to have with our dinners:

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Baby spinach, clementine segments, and Lighthouse Organic Raspberry and Lime dressing.  So good!  I’m much more amenable to veggies when they taste like fruit, so I usually put fruit in my salads.   I’m going to pack salads in my lunch this week—volume-wise, this whole big bowl was probably under 70 calories!  (Note: I will also eat more stuff with the salads.)  Bug me about this, friends.  Remind me to eat my spinach this week.

Anyway, other than snow and ice, I bought gifts for our flower girl and ring bearer!  Our flower girl, Maddie, is a big princess fan.  I saw this bracelet on Etsy and knew she’d love it.  (The charm is a little tiara.)

il_fullxfull.124941927I also wanted to get both kids a gift that would keep them busy if they got bored at the rehearsal dinner and reception.  So, I ordered these bags (again, on Etsy—love it) and we are going to fill them with small toys and things for them to play with.

This is Maddie’s:

il_fullxfull.125028907(Of course, it will say “Maddie” on it.)  Purple is her favorite color, too!  Hers will contain princess-related stuff—my mom’s on the hunt, but we’re thinking wand, tiara, feather boa, princess coloring book and crayons, et cetera.

And this is Liam’s.  He’s still little but loves animals and bugs:

il_fullxfull.125029071For him, we’re thinking an animal book, maybe a magnifying glass and a lightning bug collector, some plastic bugs/animals to play with, and again, coloring book and crayons. 

I just think these bags are adorable!  I can’t wait to see them in person.  Oh, and little miss Maddie’s dress came in and I got a picture.  (She’s practicing her petal throwing!)  It needs to be shortened quite a bit, but thankfully her grandma (or Bubbie, as she calls her) is a great seamstress.

20953_1171950353788_1678914571_356412_356570_n And finally, a cuddly picture of Milhouse for a snowy day.

lucy 012Any other ideas for the kiddie bags?  I know I’ve got mom readers out there!

Superbowl Sunday

Hi guys.  Sorry for no post yesterday–it was exhausting!  I got up at 5 for work, worked until 2, came home, napped, showered, and my future brother-in-law came in for a meeting so we all went out for a late dinner at my favorite French bistro.  It was a lovely dinner–I especially love their generous pours of their delicious house red.

Also, random sidenote: I don’t talk about alcohol too much on the blog simply because it’s not a big deal for me.  I drink maybe 1-2 glasses of red wine a week, with the occasional beer thrown in, but not much more than that.  I don’t really like the way booze makes me feel in excess, and I’d usually rather eat my calories.

So, anyway.  We woke up today around 8:30 and tried out the pancake mix Leah sent!

I have never had anything marionberry before, but it was delicious!  It tasted like a cross between a blackberry and raspberry.   It was very strong, so I only used about a tablespoon for dipping.  We each had two pancakes.

Then I went grocery shopping, and came back, happily, to find John (future brother-in-law) hanging out at our house.  He lives on the east coast and his flight home was canceled, so we hung out all day.  We had Chipotle for lunch, watched Inglorious Basterds (which I really liked), and made frozen pizza and beer for dinner while watching the Superbowl.

I bought the fixings to restock my snack drawer at work:

I also bought a few different kinds of goo to experiment with while running.  I’m now putting myself on a strict “fuel during runs 5+ miles” plan in hopes I will avoid nausea.  And also some intense hand lotion, because winter is making them chapped and gross.

I went to a different grocery store today, and got some fun new products I’m looking forward to trying–the new Yoplait Greek yogurt, some new Dannon flavors, healthy wheat bagels, and some other stuff.  I’ll post about them as I eat them!

Anyway, go Colts! I’m not a big pro football fan generally, but if I had to pick, I’m a Bears fan and a Colts fan because of my family.  (Yes, I realize this is kind of impossible, but whatever.)  I like pageantry and good commercials and fun parties, and the Superbowl fits the bill.  I have to say, I’m pretty excited about the Olympics coming up too!

What’s your favorite sports event? I’m a big Olympics enthusiast!

Good morning!

Don’t usually post this early but I have a few extra minutes today.  Today’s brekkie cookie was seriously fabulous.  Contents?

  • oats
  • coconut
  • dried cherries
  • chocolate protein powder
  • Ghirardelli chocolate chips
  • TJ Natural Creamy PB

With a healthy dose of coffee on the side.  I’m strictly a one cup a day girl–anything else makes my stomach ache.  It can’t handle the acid.  However, I do have a nasty Diet Coke habit I should TRY to kick or at least reduce…but I’ve tried and failed several times before.  I know the artificial sweeteners are terrible for me, but at least it’s diet, right?  I drink 1-2 cans a day.  (Which is down from my 3-4 cans a day in law school, so, hey, progress!)  I also usually drink a mug of herbal tea in the afternoon!  However, I drink lots and lots of water–at least 2 of my giant 24 ounce Camelbaks, and much more if I work out.

Today will be kind of play it by ear.  Tim’s not sure when he’s getting back from his trip and it’s still COLD here!  If he gets back in the afternoon (I hope), he’ll be able to take the dog out and I can go to the gym.  I’m feeling like some serious weightlifting!  But if he’s back later, I’ll come home and attempt to brave the freezing weather again. 

And finally, cute animals to get the day going in the right direction:

What’s your caffeine intake like?  Are you happy with it or trying to reduce it?

Don’t forget to enter my Chobani Giveaway!

Ice, ice, baby

Happy Thursday!  I’m glad it’s almost the weekend.  I can’t wait to sleep in, cut more wedding invitations (barf) and wear pajamas 24/7.

Anyway, apparently planning for my bridal shower and my bachelorette party is getting into gear.  I don’t know the details of either but I’m getting excited/nervous about both of them already.  I got a very mysterious phone call from my sister asking if I could take one Monday in April off work, and my mom requested a shower guest list from me, too.  I didn’t expect this, but I feel kind of guilty about both of them!  I know that having showers and bachelorette parties are pretty standard as far as weddings go, but I can’t help thinking about how much time/effort/money is going into these and I feel a little bit bad.  I know my family and bridesmaids are awesome and doing this because they love me, and I am so thankful.  I just hope they know it!  I’ll have to find some really awesome hostess gifts.

Anyway, moving right along.  This morning, again, the first cup of coffee I made was full of grounds.  WTF?  We have a Keurig.  Any thoughts?  (If it’s broken it’s not a tragedy.  We also own a french press and a regular coffee maker.)

I wanted to take a picture of my breakfast cookie, held triumphantly aloft, because I thought I’d FINALLY reached perfect hand-holdability.  But, alas.

I’m hooked on breakfast cookies!  They keep me full for sooo long and are yummy.

Today Tim decided to go play poker with some friends right after work, so I went straight home instead of going to the gym.  I did, however, change into my running clothes at work, so as soon as I got home I could let Milhouse out of his crate and we could run together for as long as he deemed prudent.  I COULD have changed when I got home, but the second Milhouse sees a person in the house he whines, loudly, to get let out of the crate and it breaks my little heart.   So, I came prepared and changed at work.   It was still pretty cold today–23 degrees!  See?

There is nothing like taking a riled-up beagle running ON ICE.  I should take a video.  He stretches first–a quick downward dog and child’s pose–and then just takes these huge bounding leaps, ears flapping in the breeze.  It’s adorable and hilarious.

 

We made a friend!

 

We only did about a mile and a half because I underestimated how very slippery it is to run on solid ice with a very fast dog.   I felt a little unsteady, to say the least, even though I didn’t hurt myself!  I have to say, I definitely feel like cold weather running is my thing.  I have always hated being hot–I don’t particularly like the summer, and love bundling up in sweaters.  And even though I like getting a good workout, I hate the physical act of sweating.  I’m going to need to invest in some gear–I have a warm compression shirt on the way, and a Road ID, but I’d also like a warm pair of running tights and gloves, some kind of hat, and some spikes.  (Any recommendations?)  I feel so peaceful when it’s just me and the dog with snow crunching under our feet–no iPod, no TVs, no cars–it’s perfect for me.  I wanted to keep going tonight!

I came home and made breakfast for dinner since Tim was gone.  He is a strict food constructionist–breakfast is eaten at breakfast time, hot dogs go on hot dog buns and not bread, et cetera.  Breakfast for dinner is my favorite!  Pancakes and bacon–yum.

Healthy?  Well, probably not.  Awesome once in awhile?  YES!

It appears I’ve tired out my running buddy and I am too. 

 

Are you a cold weather person or a warm weather person?  I’m definitely a polar bear inside!