Tag Archives: christmas

A Cozy Christmas for Two

Hello out there! I hope you are currently nestled in holiday vacation glory, enjoying the remnants of leftovers, and continuing to enjoy this most joyous season.

I’m currently back at work—ish—however I decided that my Christmas-themed celebrating will continue until January 2nd. This decision came to me in a case of my inevitable post-Christmas depression: It never fails, around 4 pm on Christmas day each and every year, I get all pissy about how the merriment and happiness is OVER. However, this year I’m very pro-actively putting off the whole “Christmas is over” nonsense and continuing to celebrate with music and chocolate treats.

But in spite of this, let’s back track to the actual “day” of Christmas, which was a first for both BF and myself—since it was just us for the first time in both our lives.

I’ll admit, Christmas Eve day was rough. I spent the whole day shopping and running around to enable BF and I to have the most merry of Christmases. Somewhere among all the crowds and the cheese purchasing, I felt way too adult and emotionally curled into my shell. Where’s mommy?!

It was a little pathetic.

This was my coping mechanism for my sadness. Effective, no?

This was my coping mechanism for my sadness. Effective, no?

However, once BF returned from work, he (bless him) took it upon himself to cheer up his whiny Grinch. And how does one perk up a usually-Christmas-loving grumpy runner?

A Christmas light run!

Instantly, my mood went from this:

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To this…

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A quick little jaunt around our neighborhood with my favorite reindeer alongside was just the ticket. Instant holiday joy returned. See those bells on BF’s antlers? Best part.

Christmas day was pretty close to perfect:

Slept in, stockings in bed, cinnamon rolls, Skyping and FaceTiming family, gift unwrapping, long run WITH BF, cocktails, food, food, okay too much food now we’re too full, and Homeland.

Here’s proof:

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Want to know what’s the best part about cooking/having food for two people? There is inevitably A LOT of it. And please note above: not from a tube!

BF's feelings about going on a run in the rain.

BF’s feelings about going on a run in the rain.

Oh, also, it POURED most of the day. It wasn’t until maybe 2 that it lightened a bit and BF and I headed out on a couple run. Now, despite the fact that we’re both runners, he and I hardly ever run together, so two days in a row was like-whoa crazy. Especially considering the fact that we ended up covering 10 (!) miles on Christmas Day…a distance BF hasn’t taken on for quite some time.

I was so proud and so happy. I promise his mood improved as well.

Green bean casserole, rosemary red potatoes, and beer bread. Who says two 24-year-olds can't cook?

Green bean casserole, rosemary red potatoes, and beer bread. Who says two 24-year-olds can’t cook?

I'm perhaps the only runner that hasn't seen this. Quality stocking stuffer, BF.

I’m perhaps the only runner that hasn’t seen this. Quality stocking stuffer, BF.

I discovered Martinelli's and whiskey this weekend. Life. Changed.

I discovered Martinelli’s and whiskey this weekend. Life. Changed.

Using NEW glasses! See previous caption for details.

Using NEW glasses! See previous caption for details.

Happy ham chef. I'm now realizing that all of my photos are of food. Whatever. Our ham sandwich count is now at 4 and I think we'll be contenders for a record by the time it's all gone.

Happy ham chef. I’m now realizing that all of my photos are of food. Whatever. Our ham sandwich count is now at 4 and I think we’ll be contenders for a record by the time it’s all gone.

 

All in all, my first family-less Christmas was actually quite enjoyable. It’s kind of fun to put together your own personalized holiday. It was really the perfect combination for me of the things, and person, I love. Don’t worry though Mom, you won’t be able to keep me away next year 🙂

So, a belated (but not really because remember Christmas isn’t over) MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS from our house to yours.

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Holiday Randomness

Despite my lack of having anything very interesting, noteworthy, or glamorous to say—I feel compelled to blog today. Ready or not…randomness at it’s finest coming your way, holiday style!

…..

This is what 72 cookies looks like in their natural state.

This is what 72 cookies looks like in their natural state.

All I have been doing for the past week is eating cookies.

I’m not exaggerating—cookies at work, cookies at home, cookies in bed, you name it. They’re everywhere, and if you’ve known me for .4 seconds, you know that cookies and I have a very intimate relationship. It’s unconditional really—if they are in front of me, under all conditions, I will eat them.

Yes, I feel a bit like a slug when I pass out in a peanut butter/chocolate chip/butter/oatmeal/nutella coma every night…but frankly, I don’t really care. Every night, in my overly-sugared state, I swear I’ll hold off on the cookies the next day, and without fail, I do the same thing again the next day.

I am the living stereotype of holiday indulgence, and guess what…it’s the best. My version of “holiday eating survival” involves hoarding all the offices treats for myself. We’re nearing the end of the world people, don’t you know you need to overload on butter to ensure survival?!

Ok, I do leave some for others, but let’s just say if there were a “most valuable customer” award, it would definitely be mine. I think of it as doing a service to everyone who’s avoiding holiday treats. You’re welcome, America. But good luck when you’re SOL on Friday and I’m giddily licking the chocolate off my fingers.

Peppermint bark, also known as...me pretending to be fancy.

Peppermint bark, also known as…me pretending to be fancy.

……

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I’ve succeeded in watching my two favorite holiday movies: Home Alone 2 and Love Actually, therefore I can breathe easy.

Actually, Home Alone 1 and 2 tie for me…Home Alone 2 just happened to be the one I came across when viewing time ensued. It’s amazing just how many lines I can effortlessly remember from those gems of cinematic genius. Did it ever blow anyone else’s mind that Kevin was 9 YEARS OLD and pulled off all those traps and tricks? More importantly, he went grocery shopping??? I think I was still sleeping with stuffed animals when I was 9. Oh wait, I still do.

And as for Love Actually, just like every other female ages 18-45, I adore that movie. Especially, in no particular order: Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, the story of Colin Firth(Jamie) and Aurelia, Liam Neeson’s son, Olivia Olsen’s version of “All I Want For Christmas is You,” the fact that Billy Bob Thorton plays the U.S. president, and also the fact that Snape is in it.

Plus so much more. Happiness.

……

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In case you haven’t heard, LES MISERABLES THE MOVIE is coming out on Christmas Day. Fun fact: I am obsessed with all things Les Mis. The book, the show, the music, all of it. If Victor Hugo were alive today, he’d have a restraining order against me.

Case in point: For my 15-mile long run last weekend, I listened to the ENTIRE show—start to finish. It was heaven. There is nothing quite like Javert’s suicide (the saddest moment in theatrical history, IMO) to get your legs a-moving—or something like that. It was magic you guys, magic.

I realize the movie might not live up to my wildly unrealistic expectations given my deification of the Les Mis genre, but that’s okay…I trust Hugh Jackman to pull off a beautiful “Bring Him Home.”

Sorry to everyone who doesn’t understand my references…like I said, obsessed.

……

I spy...Bernadette the elephant!

I spy…Bernadette the elephant!

By some miracle, our quaint, two-person tree has a lot of presents under it! Thanks, family! I also might have spoiled BF a little bit considering we’ll be without our families.

And since this is my first Christmas without my family/siblings, I’m filling that void with excessive spending on him. And cookies. You’re welcome, BF.

……

Running. Oh yea, that. I’m still running. When I feel like it, which somehow has been a lot considering the whole cold/dark/rain/misery state we in Washington currently face. As I’ve said before, I love me some winter running. I’m also participating in Nicole’s Runcember, so there’s a little accountability factored in as well 🙂

My last race of the year will take place on, literally, the last day of the year. I’m running the Yukon Do It half-marathon with a group of co-workers on New Year’s Eve, and it promises to be cold, flat, and fun. In a perfect world, I would tackle my sub 1:40 half goal…but we’ll see. Honestly, I’m still a little shocked at my Seattle half time, and the thought of running faster than 7:40 miles is a little horrifying at this point. But, who knows. It’s a much easier course than Seattle, and with any weather luck I suppose there’s a chance.

I guess what I’m saying is…I won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t happen, but if there’s a chance, I’ll go for it.

…….

That’s all for now folks. Basically, I’m relishing the cookie-and-winter running filled lifestyle right now. I’ve got approximately 1.5 months left until I hit goal-marathon training HARD, so until then it’s rest days and holiday cocktails galore. I suppose someday I’ll detail all my goal-marathon ambitions for you someday, but it’s been far too long since I’ve had a cookie, so I think it’s time to…as they say…”hit the sauce.”

DOUBLE RELEVANCY PHOTO. These are holiday cocktails ("candy canes") and this is literally "the sauce." I'm amazing sometimes.

DOUBLE RELEVANCY PHOTO. These are holiday cocktails (“candy canes”) and this is literally “the sauce.” I’m amazing sometimes.

Tell me things about you!!

What’s your favorite Christmas cookie?

anything with peanut butter, chocolate, or sprinkles.

What’s your favorite holiday movie?

Do you love or hate winter running?

A Little of This, a Little of That.

Apparently when I’m not posting race reports, being injured, or training for a race, I have nothing to blog about—hence my absentee-ism last week. I still don’t have much in store today, however there are a few fun/random things to point out from this weekend.

Recently, I feel like I’ve been back and forth between do-everything-possible-in-two-days weekends and do absolutely nothing weekends. This weekend was more of the latter, and it was highly enjoyable.

Seriously, I felt like all I did was workout and veg out. Repeat. Which is just fine, because if there’s anything I love more than a long workout on the weekend, it’s the lazy-session that happens afterward.

So here are some highlights from my stellar do-nothing weekend.

16 Mile Run on Saturday

Month-old photo added for detail. I did wear this hat though...

Lie. This is a month-old photo added for detail. I did wear this hat though…and a braid.

16 is the furtherest I go when I’m not marathon training. And guess what? It’s still hard and still takes a long time.

This run was fine. I felt good, with the exception of the strong headwind for over half the run…not to mention the indecisive rain which would start and stop the entire time. I lucked out though…there were very few non-raining periods of time the whole weekend.

Love you Seattle.

Also, I decided it didn’t matter that I was stupid-dehydrated and completely empty-stomached beforehand. Can someone please show up at my house on Saturday mornings and tell me to not be such a huge asshole about proper running necessities?

Finished in 2:14, 8:18 average. Everybody wang chung tonight.

Saturday night, BF and I ventured into the world of real people and decided to see Argo.

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Good stuff. Highly recommended…particularly if you’re interested in our ongoing issues in the Middle East. There’s also a strong presence of early ’80s mustaches in the movie, which is apparently all the rage right now.

#hipsterthings

The movie was not seen, however, before injesting some very important sustenance…

My one true love.

Photo lie #2. This is from a year ago, when I was better at taking photos. But this is what I ate on Saturday. Marry me, Chipotle.

Chipotle > everything else.

Sunday was essentially the same scenario, with a few twists added.

And by twists, I really just mean I went to double spin classes and watched my real TV instead of the big screen. Originality people, have to keep things exciting.

Kidding, I kind of suck.

After spinning for an incredibly boredom-inducing amount of time, I felt a little unsatisfied, so when BF suggested I come along on his run…I changed from one pair of sweaty clothes to another and hopped right to it. 5.4 miles later, and I was a happy little clam. Apparently being outside is always better than being inside, even when “outside” means wind, rain, cold, and dodging little children and skate-boarding teenagers.

We spent a little time reading and people watching at Starbucks afterward, grocery shopped like champs, and returned to the nest for one of my favorite activities of the entire year…

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BF: “Do you want an action shot, or for me to smile at the camera?” RB: “BOTH!”

I know every female screams about loving “the most wonderful time of the year,” but I’m very serious when I say I could majorly throw down in a “who loves the holiday season the most” contest.

(pause for amusing image)

I turn into a giggling, jolly mess during Christmas…and that’s on top of my overly-enthusiastic personality.

Needless to say, last night was the best.

 

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The finished product! I love our tree. Also, I spy…not one but TWO Belle ornaments.

Seriously, the best.

Congratulations if you’ve made it this far and have now read all about my hum-drum weekend.

Two final things to add are that we’ve decided to go Monday-Friday this week without spending any money. Exceptions are Christmas presents for OTHER people, and I suppose paying any bills and such.

It’s a great exercise…but will be interesting to see the results. I panic if I think I don’t have the ability to buy a snack if needed…

And finally, if you don’t already watch or haven’t heard from the 6,487 people shouting about it…

Homeland.

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Watch. Now.

If you don’t have Showtime, go buy it and enjoy wasting enhancing the next week of your life watching every episode. Then come and thank me afterwards. Then go and watch all the Dexters while you have the subscription. Best investment you’ll ever make.

Also, where in the world has Claire  Danes been since Romeo and Juliet Leo-style?

Please tell me about the mediocrity in your lives so I can feel that I’m not alone. Argo? Homeland? Run? Rain? Chipotle? If you so much as mention Q’doba…I will find you, and you will regret it.

 

 

 

Returning from My Nest

Greetings!

Serious apologies for my absence, I’ve been in vacation mode big time– which fortunately comes with a lot of fun activities but unfortunately loosens my diligence to blogging.

However, I’m here with a recap some of the fun things that have happened over the past week, including some favorites (per standard Friday procedure.)

Lucky enough for me, my favorites for this week tie in nicely to some info on the happenings in snow-covered Colorado, where I’ve been spending the past holiday week.

As I’ve mentioned, BF and I took an early flight out of Seattle on the 24th, and we’ve currently been stowing away in our respective homes in Colorado Springs since. It’s been lovely here so far, and I love having some leisurely time with my family.

I have fortunately (and somewhat miraculously) been able to maintain my running while here, and although the altitude has definitely stretched my lungs to their capacity, I’m grateful that my physical condition is good enough to work around the compromising elevation. I’ve run 4 times since I’ve been here, the longest run being 12 miles, and I’m looking forward to building up some powerful red blood cells that can gulp oxygen like a beer-bonging frat boy.

So, in order to make this week-overdo post at least somewhat manageable in terms of length, I’m going to try and condense my trip recap and my Friday favorites into one glorious sequence. Prepare yourself, because I don’t really know how this will turn out…

I’ll try, though.

Friday Favorites!

1) Ice Skating

Mommy and me.

We went ice skating two days after Christmas, and despite the fact that it’s slightly horrifying when you first step on the ice, it turned out to be super fun. I realized that there aren’t too many activities that you participate in as a child that can be equally as enjoyable as an adult.

I highly recommend participating in something you used to do but somehow fell away from. Sure, it’s a little scary and the likelihood of falling on your ass and embarrassing yourself in front of a ton of speed-skating-triple-axel-doing 5 year olds is somewhat high, however there is something refreshing about returning to basics and reminding yourself of a long lost fun time.

2) Miniature Fruit

I must write a book about this cutie. It will be called, "The Littlest Tangerine."

So this doesn’t entirely describe much about my trip, however I’ve consumed about 100 of these little babies (thanks to multiple shipments from my grandparents in California), and they are spectacular.

I love little, cute fruit, and whenever I have the option of miniature versus regular sized anything, the tiny things almost always win.

3) Running-Themed Gifts

Best ornament ever! Running shoes that strangely look very similar to mine.

This year, my family rocked it and gave me several gifts related to running. It started out with my lovely running shoes ornament, which is spectacular, but I also received socks, energy gummies, a gorgeous long sleeved tech shirt, AND a “26.2” sticker! I have been too nervous for whatever reason to buy one for myself, so I was PUMPED to be bestowed with a lovely pink one bought by my stepmom (who has also run full marathons).

The gifts helped remind me that running is an ongoing work in progress. It doesn’t just exist for warm weather, training season, or racing– but it exists wherever and whenever we want it to, which is frankly an awesome thing. I love knowing that wherever I am, so long as I have my beloved Asics, I can lace up and return to the quiet, happy place that running provides me.

4) Beauty and the Beast- RETURNING!

Midnight showing? Ohh yes.

So, if you haven’t already heard, Beauty and the Beast is the best Disney movie of all time, and Belle is not only the most independent and educated princess out there– but she’s also the prettiest. No discussion on this matter, sorry.

Anyways, my beloved favorite Disney movie is coming BACK to the big screen. It’s in 3D this time, which I guess is cool if you’re into 3D, but frankly I’m just pumped that I get to make a date night out of going to the movie theater and seeing this timeless classic

I recommend you go too.

5) My Dog

Beauty sleep.

If I’m being perfectly honest here, I haven’t always gotten along with our dog. She’s manipulative, hysterical, and frankly does anything she can to get her way…and in the past we’ve clashed big time. However, now that I don’t see her as often and our interaction is limited, I have found this sneaky little pseudo-lab to be a bundle of love.

I think it’s partially due to the fact that the rest of my family practically considers her to be a fourth child, however I do love coming home and knowing that this pup will never change…and that we will still love her for it.

A little creepy, a little cute, a lot of love.

 

I do have a lot more updating to do on my trip, and I’ll be sure to flesh out more details later on. However, for now I’m enjoying staying in the moment and not letting my consistent desire to chronicle my life override my ability to actually live it.

In a nutshell, I’m loving being with my family, this holiday season has been truly wonderful, and I’m looking forward to basking in the hope and promise that a new year brings along with it.

2012 is going to be great, I can feel it.

Resolutions and more vacation highlights are soon to come! Right now, I’m going to concentrate on soaking up my mile high vacay (literally) and abusing the dessert-after-every-meal holiday excuse until the very last second.

It’s getting bad people, but I’m not stopping.

Also, I’m going to the Lakers vs. Nuggets game on New Years Day. Dear Denver, please don’t kick me out..I can’t help my passion for the purple and gold.

Yes, there it is for the world to see… I’m a Lakers fan through and through.

Tell me about your holiday celebrations! Any annoying dogs you got to cuddle with or fun shaped ornaments you received?

The Best Run of December and Gift Exchange

I have an incredibly high level of excitement for the content going into this post, so bear with me and forgive my likely excessive use of exclamation points and ALL CAPS.

No time to mess around with silly anecdotes on life, let’s get down to business.

First of all, BF and I exchanged our Christmas gifts last night (we needed to celebrate early because we’ll both be getting on a plane on Saturday). The night was wonderful, complete with stockings, chocolate, great gifts and a dinner made by me. Little did BF know, I was secretly planning a mini carbo load for my long run this morning. I think the loaf of bread for two might have given me away…

Anyways, I’ll talk about our gift exchange in a bit, but first I need to detail why this morning’s run was simply—magical.

I wanted to get in a good long run before my lungs must submit to choking on the thin Colorado air (read Altitude Apprehension for more details), and so I made the switch from Sunday to Thursday for this week.

I was on the road around 6:20. The sky was completely dark, however it was incredibly clear, calm and silent. I took out my headphones almost immediately and basked in the stillness of the morning. The stars were shining brightly above, and the water was still except for the splash on the shoreline.

I was completely immersed in how beautiful it was, and I allowed my concentration to only focus on the run itself. I saw so many Christmas lights along the way, which was perhaps the best tour de lights I’ve ever taken.

By the time I reached the end of the run, I’d made it 17.43 miles—a bit further than intended— and the sky was blue and the sun was shining! Not quite what comes to mind when you think about Seattle in December. My legs were tired, but my mood was soaring—and I got a good kick realizing that I feel my absolute best when my face is covered in sweat salt and my calves are tight from the miles they’ve covered. It might sound strange, but truly—the sweat, exhaust, and, yes, smell after a long run is my happiest state.

 

Okay, moving onto the probably much more interesting part of this post—Christmas presents!

BF and I both did a good job this year if I do say so myself, and we now have more stocking candy than two people should ever have within reach. But don’t worry, we got it covered.

My stocking consisted of a pedometer(which I’ve wanted to play with for SO long!), tons of chocolate, a cookie monster shirt (he knows my true self), and a race registration! BF signed us up to relay a 10k race in January, and the best part is our team name:

Grizzly Bird

He is really a keeper folks.

Lindt truffles and a big blue Cookie Monster shirt. Happy camper

For BF, I got him a book called I Used to Know That (he thinks it will help him with nightly Jeopardy—PSH!), the Stick, and a running watch! He uses his cell phone timer to time his runs, therefore I thought it was time for an upgrade.

check out that Iron Man! oh and the watch is nice too.

YOU GUYS. You are not going to believe what BF got me.

Okay, well, both of my presents were so totally awesome—but this one is very very special to share with you:

BUMPER STICKERS!!!

Talk about supportive!! BF made these Run Birdie Run bumper stickers as one of my gifts, and I’m seriously PSYCHED. There are 6 of each, and {hopefully} more will need to be made someday! I’m trying to restrain myself from using them up by plastering them on everything I own, but I think for starters my car will wear one of these beauties.

{shameless plug: if you want one for whatever reason (you like stickers, you like to run, you like birds, you enjoy this blog) please let me know and I will seriously hand deliver it to you}

I ALSO GOT ROLLERBLADES!!

insert childlike giggles when viewing this photo

I warned you about the CAPS, so don’t judge. But seriously, this is an awesome gift especially since we live near 7 miles of flat, paved ocean-view trail AND BF owns his own pair. Alki Beach, you aren’t gonna know what hit you!

Anyways, successful gift exchange, and I’m already excited to eat a few more truffles tonight. Or ten.

I hope everyone is enjoying the heart of the holiday season, and I’ll be back tomorrow for some Friday Favorites!

What are you thankful for this year? What are you most excited to give? What’s the most memorable gift you’ve received? Tell me please, I really enjoy comments.


Friday Faves and Explaining my Hypocrisy

Happy Friday to you!

I’m definitely excited to reach the end of the week, however I’m also horrified that come tomorrow Christmas Eve is ONE WEEK away. I’ll be flying with BF to Colorado at 7 am on Christmas Eve morning, where we’ll spend the next 10 or so days hanging in our hometown. I’m really excited, it just seemed to creep up so quickly!

Alright, so obviously Friday Favorites will be presented shortly, however I need to take a brief minute to explain a bit about the conflicting posts that I had this week. On Tuesday I wrote all about being a morning runner; as you might remember I went on and on about the advantages of doing your workout in the morning, and from my high and mighty thrown I advocated how everyone should push their inclination to hit the snooze button aside and strap on some running shoes.

Something like that, right?

So then yesterday[during a particularly foul mood, could you tell?]I admitted that earlier that day I had neglected my plan for a usual Thursday morning run and went back to sleep instead. Directing contradicting my message about being all go-getter-ish.

Nice Robyn, negate your OWN advice on your own blog. Talk the talk and then immediately not walk[run] the walk?

However, that’s not exactly what happened, and let me explain—because I think explaining this conflict of principles will offer some insight into my own development as a runner.

I’ve advocated on this blog the importance of rest, both for runners and for regular exercisers in general. Rest offers muscle recovery, mental reprieve, and an overall rejuvenation of our motivation. However, I admittedly have a difficult time following this advice, and it finally caught up with me yesterday morning when I ignored my alarm.

Although I’ve become much better at making sure I don’t overdo it in terms of running, I still enjoy doing something active nearly every day. Because I include a lot of variety, I often don’t realize that I haven’t taken a day off in a while. What happens, then, is because I don’t really recognize the fact that I’m burning out, I start to get grumpy about my workouts and less inclined to enjoy them. Yesterday morning, it finally hit me that the easier choice (sleeping in) was actually the better choice for me. And in lots of ways, it actually wasn’t the easier choice. This might sound somewhat elitist or snarky, however it’s actually more difficult for me to choose to take a break than it is to get to the gym or get out for a run.

Frankly, I love the way I feel both physically and mentally when I exercise—and so I see nothing wrong with trying to feel that way all the time. I treat my workouts, both before, during, and after, as an athlete would, meaning I know my limits, I’m fueling and refueling properly, and I’m staying safe. However, part of being a smart athlete is knowing when your body is saying, “Time out here tiger.”

So, in a nutshell, that’s why I completely contradicted my morning running post yesterday. I know I have the capacity the get myself up and run, but reminding myself that I also have the smarts and the control to know when I need a break is equally as important to both this sport and my own mental health.

I was very grateful for the day off yesterday, and today I felt rested and ready to gear up once again.

Running in the morning is great, but so is knowing when rest is more important than a daily workout.

Enough heavy stuff…let’s get to Friday Faves!!

I want to give a quick shout out to my coworker Leanne, who has started doing Friday Favorites on her blog as well. It’s spreading!

Also, this week on Glee, they sang “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music, and yes my head was exploding from the overload of my own favorite things all coexisting in one united spectacle. It was awesome.

1) Foam Rollers

"I will hurt you so good."

If you are familiar with this innocent looking tube of foam, you know one thing: This shit HURTS. Seriously, I have to hide my face whenever I use these at my gym, or else people will be all, “Why does that girl look like she’s constipated and about to cry at the same time?”

Not a pretty visual, huh? Yea, it’s not.

So why, you may ask, is this little devil on my favorite list? Well, despite how excruciating it may be, foam rollers actually do wonders for runners. If you can endure it, rolling out your legs after a run does an incredible job of loosening the muscles that get super tight when you’re running. Namely, your IT bands, pirifomis muscles, hamstrings, and hips in general. I find that if I spend just 5 minutes rolling my legs on one of these after a long run, I recover much quicker and I can prevent injuries from developing.

If you’re a distance runner and don’t already use one of these, get on it. The prevention in and of itself will be worth it.

2) Fro-Yo

Art.

Let it be known: I. Love. Fro-Yo.

Specifically, the newest fad of pay-by-weight fro-yo joints where there are several flavors available and endless amounts of toppings to choose from. The best part is that you get to make your OWN, therefore the opportunities for combinations (and quantity) are endless.

Last night, BF was in the mood for sweets(99% of the time it’s the other way around), and so when he mentioned fro-yo, I said, “I actually I love you a little more right now.”

No, I didn’t say that—but I might have thought it.

3) Nicki Minaj

I know she’s uber popular and overplayed right now, but I really cannot get enough of this chick.

I think she’s mega talented and unique, and her songs have me constantly dancing in my seat. In public. Just try her out if you haven’t yet, and not just Super Bass or Fly—but some of her lesser known stuff.

And yes, Mom, I know it’s explicit content.

4) Yoga

You know, just me on the beach, getting my "Tree" on. Damn paparazzi.

Yoga is a new found love of mine, and although it took me a while to actually learn to love it, I simply cannot get enough of it.

[When people say, “It took me a while to learn to love/like something,” it actually means, “I really effing hated/resented it for a long time.”]

There are so many reasons why I love yoga, both mentally and physcially, however I feel that the biggest reason is the sense of presence I get from it. Yoga forces us, whether consciously or not, to focus our attention on the present moment. I think it has a large part to do with the breathing, combined with the need to focus on each isolated movement.

No matter how stressed or distracted I may be, I never leaving a yoga class without feeling at least a little bit better and calmer. Yoga offers me an hour of stillness, which I think so many of us shy away from in our fast-pace world. We never long for the opportunity to be present because so few parts of our day allow us to really experience it. However, I truly believe that if we can connect with the present—independent of whatever else is going on in our busy lives—if even just once a day, we will can reacquaint ourselves with the beautiful things in life we so often take for granted.

Also…

yoga + running legs = ohhhh yaaaa

If you’re a runner, yoga feels fan-flipping-tastic, and it relieves our muscles of the impact they take on during running.

5) Peppermint Bark

For best results (and sustainability) store in freezer!

I always see peppermint bark around grocery stores during the holidays, and instead of shelling out to buy a small bag of it, I decided to make my own instead. I still shelled out a bit, but after making two batches of this seasonal treat—it was worth it.

This stuff has now become my drug of choice for December 2011. Not that I change metaphorical drugs every month, but you get the point.

It’s delicious, it’s pretty, and it makes a great present! I got the recipe from this post on the blog Peanut Butter Fingers, another recent addiction of mine.

There you have it, 5 more Friday Favorites! I hope everyone has a great weekend. BF and I will be racing on Sunday, so I’ll write a recap to post for Monday!

Now…tell me a few of your favorite things!

First Friday Favorites!

Hello! Welcome to my favorite day of the week.

I made a snappy decision this morning that since Fridays are always so magical, and I have an unhealthy amount of gleeful merriment surrounding me, this day of the week on RunBirdieRun will officially be known as…

Friday Favorites!

[Whenever I use the word “gleeful” in describing my mood, 99% of the time it should be translated as “caffeine induced.”]

Since I do not like taking good moods for granted, I decided that Friday is the perfect time of the week to reflect and share some of my favorite things. Some will be very current, some will be things I love all the time but just happen to give frequent accolades to. But no matter what, I will hereby devote some Friday time to proclaiming a few of my favorite things. And the best part? YOU can too! I absolutely adore hearing about the things that people love, and I think it’s a healthy practice to consider the things in your life that make you smile.

Puppies are one of my favorite things. Smiling puppies are even better!

Aside: Please know that the inspiration for this idea came in lieu of my affection for the song, “A Few of My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music, not Oprah.

No, not Oprah…she’s cool, but yea…no.

Also, when you  say “hereby” in any capacity, you are fully committing to whatever decree you are making. So therefore, I’m in!

Moving on…

This week, I wanted to kick off “Friday Favorites” with a little combination of the things I’m currently enamored with and the things that keep me happy day-to-day, just so you can learn a bit more about me 🙂 So without further ado, this Friday, I am favorite-ing…

1) This mash up:

I admit it, I still love Glee. This mashup of “Rumor Has It” and “Someone Like You” hits the nail on the head, and if you love Adele like I do, you won’t be disappointed! I can’t stop listening to it, and it will definitely be making it’s way onto my running playlist soon.

2) Cookie making!

This is a regular past time for me, and it helps me find my happy place. My specialty is chocolate chip, but recently I’ve been experimenting more and trying out all different types of recipes.

OM NOM

My co-worker Leanne and I are competing tonight in a peanut butter cookie showdown. We’re having an annual holiday party, so our colleagues will be voting on who made the better batch. I admittedly have done a lot of shit-talking(I also never said this blog was rated PG), but whatever happens…I got to make cookies, and I will get to eat cookies, therefore I consider it a win.

3) DEXTER!

So BF and I use our Netflix account pretty much for the sole purpose of renting complete seasons of shows and watching them beginning to end. We recently got all caught up on Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother, so we decided something a bit more dark and mysterious was in order.

In a nutshell, this show is awesome. It’s addicting, creepy, interesting, and gives you just the right amount of adrenaline to keep you on your toes (this coming from two people who both dislikes scary movies, I’ll have you know). Highly recommended! I’m hooked.

4) Creeping on Lululemon.com, particularly this section

If websites could have stalkers, I would be on the most wanted list for this place. I cannot stop gawking at literally everything, and my wallet just cries out in horror the whole time. I never really get anything, and when I do it’s after weeks of careful deliberation (I have bad buyer’s remorse), but I can’t help looking at all the pretty things.

5) Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong.

Okay, so I actually finished this book a few weeks ago, but I loved it so much I felt like I had to share. Kristin, yes Lance’s ex-wife, is a contributing writer for Runner’s World and she has now written a few books. This was the first book of her’s I’ve read, and I was so touched by it. She offers so much wisdom on all the things running can offer, especially for women, and her combination of clever personal anecdotes and honest reflections really spoke to me. I tried to read it slowly, because I loved it so much I didn’t want it to end. If you love running, this book will inevitably help inspire and excite you. She also has a blog, check it out!

 

So there you have it!

Five favorites for Friday. So much alliteration, my English major self is all giddy inside.

Looking forward to the weekend…holiday party, seeing Breaking Dawn, long run, and putting up the CHRISTMAS TREE! I should be giggling for two days straight.

Let’s hear some of your favorite things! They can be random, simple, weird, whatever…I’d love to hear, and who knows, maybe it will help widen your Friday smile 🙂