Playing Catch-Up

Procrastination is the thief of time.

Or at least that is how Indian actor Vinu Chakravarthy describes the reason why I haven’t posted since last Thursday!

It wasn’t because I didn’t want to.

It wasn’t because I am lazy.

It wasn’t because I haven’t done anything special.

It actually isn’t because of any other excuse you or I could think of!

The fact is simply that I just put it off, and put it off, and put it off.  Leaving me at a point with a lot to write, but nothing to write about (if that makes sense).  Basically I felt left with no substance, no meat, nothing interesting so I didn’t want to write it.  But putting it off longer will not help me out…

So with my apologies, let me get to catching you up…

Friday afternoon after summer school I headed to Tar Beach with my brother Michael and his girlfriend Meaghan.  We hung around the pool, drank some beers, and listened to the Jack Johnson CD Michael made for me. Jack Johnson is perfect 5 o’clock music and ranks right up there with Ray Lamontagne and David Gray.  I appreciated the cd as I am always looking for new music!

Friday night was night was a continuation of the afternoon, with Michael and Meaghan replaced by Maureen and Amy, and a guest appearance by my mom and auntie Erin.  We had some pizza and some more beers and listened to Jack Johnson again.

The full moon, blurry because of the slow shutter speed of the camera!

In total I think I listened to the Jack Johnson cd at least 6 times Friday.

Saturday I got to go to a birthday party with Jack and his family down in Duxbury.  (Which is not close to where I live, and is on the same route as Cape Cod).  We sat in a lot of traffic but it was well worth it!  This 71st/21st combination birthday party was exquisite.  It was complete with valet parking, a bartender with a well stocked bar, catering from the Hilltop Steakhouse, DJ, karaoke, and a jumpy thing for the kids. No pics!  Sorry!

Sunday was a walk around Boston.  Jack and I started in Charlestown, walked through the North End, and followed the waterfront basically into Southie (but not actually into Southie).

We had coffee and biscotti in the North End.

Lunch was at the Chart House on Long Wharf.

We sat outside and watched the boat tours come in and out of the Harbor.  I had a couple of glasses of wine and a blackened chicken sandwich on buttery toasted bread with jack cheese, lettuce, and tomato.  It came with the crispiest shoestring fries!

I spent lots of time with the fam Monday and Tuesday.

Well- now we are all caught up: there was a lot of eating and drinking going on in my world the past few days.  I have also gym-ed it but haven’t allowed time for my runs, which I now CRAVE!  So I will add that to my to-do list for the rest of this week.  Cooler weather will help make this happen!

In other news: I am working on refocusing my blog.  I started it out in March with loose focus on working out and eating healthier and have lost that focus to just talk about my everyday life.  It isn’t that I mind sharing with you what I do everyday, but that isn’t what I started blogging to do!  I need to find my focus, tighten it up, and stay on track!  Stay tuned!

~L

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St. Peter’s Feista 5K

Good evening! I have had a super busy day, starting at 6 a.m. with Day 4 weights, then summer school, then a nap (that part wasn’t so bad), followed by a 5K up in Gloucester, and now wrapping up with some pizza and baked french fries.

Last night I went to see the band The Hot Tamales play in City Square Park in Charlestown.  In addition to hosting a summer concert series (the next one is July 24), Charlestown Yoga also hosts yoga in the park on Saturday mornings for the month of June.  If you are in the area you should check both out!

I had a glass of wine at Jack’s place before the concert.  Riesling, a perfect summer wine. 🙂

Then I headed to City Square, which is a very short walk from Jack’s condo.

The Hot Tamales were on break when we got there but there were a ZILLION kids running around.  Kids are pretty entertaining!  Once the band started up they were all dancing, so cute!

After the concert we went to the Warren Tavern for a couple of beers and some nachos.  I got a blueberry beer (I am on a fruity beer kick!).  It was cold and refreshing!

This morning I went to the gym to do new Day 4 weights, which we did today because half of the exercises were left overs from yesterday’s!

Day 4- Chest and Back

  1. Push-up burn outs- 4 sets until failure
  2. Circle Chest Flyes- 4 set of 10, 12.5lbs
  3. Wide Grip Row using cable machine- 4 drop sets of 10, 70lb/60lb/50lb
  4. Bent Over Row- 4 drop sets of 10, 15lb/10lb/7.5lb

This new weight routine is a killer.  My body is so sore and tired that it has definitely earned a weekend of gym-free relaxation.  Body Pump is on hold for now, maybe sub a manicure or a massage in for it? 😉

Tonight kicked off the St. Peter’s Fiesta in Gloucester and I was psyched to run my first 5K. I got to set a PR without having to beat a previous race’s time! Woo!  Actually, I was a little tired and feeling kind of not like running but I stuck it out and I am glad I did.  I always feel amazing after a run/race!

We got up to Gloucester around 5 and picked up our race materials.  Walking back to the car, the sky got dark and gloomy and the rumblings of thunder were getting closer.  We decided to wait the impending storm out in the car.

The sky opened up and it poured.  And thundered a little.  And there was lightning.

I was secretly hoping this meant the race was off (hey, I was tired, don’t judge!) but it passed and before I knew it I was being directed into the starting area and then we were off.

#'s 76, 75, 74- Mo, Amy, Me

I added some new songs to my playlist, and had them all in order, the hit shuffle as I started running.  I hate running in shuffle because I organize my playlists for how I will feel at certain points.  Ya know?  Start off slow, build up, finish hard!

Gloucester 5K Mix:

  • Drake- “Find your Love”
  • Eminem and Rihanna- “Love the way you Lie”
  • Michael Posner- “Cooler than Me”
  • Miley Cyrus- “Can’t be Tamed”
  • Katy Perry- “California Gurls”
  • Dave Matthews Band- “Two Step”
  • The Beatles- “IN my Life” and “Eleanor Rigby”
  • Travie McCoy- “Billionaire”
  • Justin Beiber- “Baby”
  • Eminem- “Not Afraid”

The run was a bit hilly, looped down side streets, and came back around.  There wasn’t much shade but there was plenty of community support in the form of people waving and clapping on the side of the road, an old lady with a spray bottle, and a house with a hose to sprinkle runners (both were welcome because it was so hot).

I finished the 5K in 28:56 and actually felt pretty good with that.  I didn’t have any expectations.  I wanted it to be like my regular Thursday run, but with lots more people and fun!

Post race we hung out for a bit to check out the scene.  Tonight was the block party and a DJ was set up and ready to play until midnight.

Pink sky at night, a sailor's delight! I love summer!

Jack is headed here with pizza and I have some french fries baking in the oven.  Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!

Eating, couching it, then bed!

And how was your day???

~L

New Day 2- Ouch!

Happy Hump day everyone!  You wouldn’t believe how much I have got done in the short time I have been awake, and after this post I am snoozing-hardcore!

Well- to start- I woke up late this morning. Really late!  Like when I was supposed to be on my way to the gym I was just rolling out of bed!

I jumped in a the shower and dressed quick and made it to BSC just before 6.  So I was a half an hour late for our gym date this morning Amy- sorry! 🙂

Luckily- I both packed and made breakfast last night so I was ready to go this morning.  I have really been dragging my feet with getting ready the night before so it was like the Universe was telling me to sleep in a few extra minutes (or an hour) longer today!

Let me share my food with you- because so far today I have had some delicious eats:

Breakfast was a new recipe I took from Tina at Carrots ‘N’ Cake. She has awesome recipes but I have been dying to try her over-night oats.  You mix all ingredients the night before and in the morning you have yourself a tasty-cold-oatmeal concoction.  I used her measurements for the liquids and oats but chose my own mix-ins!

Overnight Oats

Adapted from: Carrotsncake.com

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • crushed pecans
  • cinnamon
  • dried cherries
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (added prior to eating)

Mix all of the above and refrigerate overnight!  It is just enough time for the oats to absorb all the liquid and flavors.


I wasn’t sure if I’d like cold oatmeal, but I do!  This is a must try!

For snack I had some strawberries that I bought for $1 at the Farm Stand last week with a diced peach!  MMMMM, perectly summer!

Lunch was Panera Bread with the ladies.  I was so excited to eat there because I had almost completely forgot about the amazingness that is their new Tomato-Fresh Mozz-Basil salad. I had tried it a few weeks ago and was definitely ready to enjoy it again!

This one had larger chunks of tomatoes and cucumbers than my first salad, and had way more lettuce too!  Add the balsamic vinaigrette dressing and you have my seal of approval.

But as it turns out- it is loaded with calories, 770 to be exact- WOWZAS!  That is a lot for a salad, I think at least!  Fortunately, 340 of those calories come from croutons which can easily be left off, leaving the salad at 440 calories or so.

I also had some french onion soup!

My workout was so hard today!  As I said before we are using a routine we found in the May/June issue of Fitness RX magazine.  It introduced drop sets to me and after today’s workout- I have decided I hate them!  They hurt so much!  But the results will be amazing and I am glad my workout has been switched up.

Today was new Day 2- Shoulders and Back.

  1. Shoulder Press– Drops sets, 10 of each weight (15lb, 12.5lb, 10lb), 4 sets
  2. Dumb Bell Rear Row– 10 reps with 25lbs, alternating arms, 4 sets
  3. Upright Row– Drop sets, 10 of each weight (15lb, 12.5lb, 10lb), 4 sets
  4. one more shoulder exercise that was hard but I can’t remember- STAY TUNED!

It was hard and left my arms feeling too tired to even blow dry my hair or hold the book up during my read aloud at summer school!  Great feeling!

There were three more exercises which we decided to add-on during Day 4 because the above took almost an hour and 15 minutes!

Tonight I am off to Charlestown to see a New Orleans funky- brass band, The Hot Tamale Band, perform in City Square.  They are going to be having performances on Wednesdays throughout the summer as a part of CitiBank Concert series. the  It is a perfect night for it so I can’t wait to check it out!

Enjoy your evening!

~L

    Week 9 Running Club Recap and a Smoothie

    Hello there! How is it that on some days it takes me hours, literally, to find the motivation to do the simplest things? For instance, I was home from summer school at 1:30 and lounged in bed (not on the couch) while reading magazines and blogs, watching TV, and napping, but didn’t get the motivation to clean up around the house or write this post until now (6:30).  Of course, as many of you know, it is Tuesday and Running Club is at 7!

    • Could this be the lazy days of summer setting in?
    • or just regular old procrastination?
    • or the need to “feel the pressure” to get things done at the last-minute?

    Hmmmmm…maybe a little bit of all three…anyways….as you probably could’ve guessed, I ran out of time to finish up the post before running club!

    This morning it was so nice setting my alarm for 6:45 and actually waking up, on my own, around 5:45!  There really is something to be said about the days when you happily wake up before your alarm and are plenty satisfied getting out of bed at your own convenience.  The world would be a much better place if we slept until we slept and then got to start our days! 🙂

    I was feeling so motivated this morning that I finally attempted to make my first home-made smoothie. Months ago Amy let me “use” her blender and I have just got around to giving it a shot today.  I even went to Starbucks and bought one of their cool, plastic cups with the hard plastic straw for my home-made smoothies and iced coffee (which is still in my parent’s fridge, that is another story).

    I set out without a recipe but kinda remembering a smoothie recipe I may have read about at one point.  It was made with frozen fruit (bananas and raspberries) and yogurt, how hard could it be?

    Pretty hard it turns out.

    So hard I couldn’t get the frozen fruit to do anything but get stuck just above the blade of the blender.

    I waited.  And waited. And waited some more for the fruit, which was sitting in the blender, to thaw enough to blend.

    Then added some almond milk.

    And a bit more.

    And threw some oatmeal in the mix (why not right, it was already a disaster!)

    Well, I did salvage something out of the blender.  Probably wouldn’t call it a smoothie though.  I poured it in a cup and then tried my darndest to sip it out of a straw.

    Impossible.

    Down the drain it went.  FAIL!

    So, I opted for a bowl of Kashi cereal with milk.

    and a small french vanilla iced coffee with extra skim milk.

    Running Club Week 9 Recap

    Topic: Melrose Running Club Membership

    Tonight’s intervals were run 14/walk 1, which I found to be pretty silly for myself.  The way I saw it, the longer I ran, the faster the route would be over.  I am pretty confident that I can run for thirty minutes straight so when I started my run and got to chatting, the time pretty much flew by!  Tonight I ran with John and we talked about pretty much anything just to keep talking.  There were a few times the pace was a little too much for me so I just laid back a bit which was fine with me.  he is so motivating and greeted any runners he passed with kind and encouraging words!

    Next week is our week 10!  Wow!  It is our special graduation run and it is starting a little earlier than usual, because the whole club comes out to support us as we arrive back to the Knights.  I am super excited I signed up for the program because I really have met some great people and learned lots of helpful information about everything from injury prevention to hill running to nutrition tips.

    This week we learned about the history of the Melrose Running Club.

    • It began in 1996 with just 70 members.
    • They run two routes that change in summer and winter and the routes are 3 to 7 miles to appeal to individual runners.
    • The first Tuesday of each month is their social night at a “local establishment”
    • They do lots of fundraising for the community in the form of donations from members (food baskets at holidays, winter coats, monthly “themes”)
    • Members receive a 10% discount at Marathon Sports

    I HEART running a lot 🙂

    Well, I am off to bed because I am hitting up the gym, A.M. style at 5:30.  Then off to lunch with the girls.

    I HEART summer too!

    Night!

    ~L

    PS-Got any good fruity-smoothie-all natural- smoothie recipes for me to try? I have come to the understanding that any recipe I think I “remember” reading about ends up being no good.  Next time I will google myself a recipe!

    Fitness RX- Just what the doctor prescribed!

    As I have said before I have been feeling less than stoked lately to hit the gym. I narrowed down my lack of motivation to three main reasons:

    1. Boredom
    2. Lack of a Goal
    3. Excuses, excuses, excuses!

    I also made a plan of attack to get back at it:

    1. Start a new routine which incorporates some new classes and activities
    2. Set a small, measurable goal to work towards
    3. Stick to my regular gym schedule!

    Today I got right back at it with a schedule that worked well for me before my workout “rut”.  I will be doing three a.m. gym sessions a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), Running Club on Tuesday nights, and some fun runs and various cardio activities throughout the week. I love morning gym (even though it is sometimes hard to get up early) because it gives me an incredible amount of energy to get me through my day AND I get it out-of-the-way in the morning so my day is free!  I am excited to be back on schedule!

    My schedule this week is:

    Monday- A.M Gym (New routine I’ll explain below)

    Tuesday- Running Club Week 9!  Almost graduation time!

    Wednesday- A.M. Gym

    Thursday- RACE DAY!  Doing the Fiesta 5K in Gloucester, MA

    Friday- A.M. Gym

    Saturday- Body Bump!  (for the first time, yikes!)

    Sunday- Run

    When Amy and I develop our strength training plans we generally use what works for us.  Her brother, Aaron, started us out in January with two suggested routines: a total body which take up to an hour or more each session and a body-group-a-day routine.  We chose to go with the latter and have used this format successfully since January.

    When we have developed new routines (We have done three total) we have kept the format the same and changed the moves.  We check out several books, websites, and a few magazines that help us with our plan-development:

    Our new routine was taken straight from the pages of the May/June issue of FitnessRX magazine. It is a great plan that I will write more about tomorrow!  Let me tell you about Day 1 (quads), which incorporated drop sets into the mix.

    What exactly are drop sets? Glad you asked because I was unfamiliar with them too!  Drop sets mean doing one set to muscular failure then as quick as you can, lowering the weight and doing another set to muscular failure, then quickly lowering that weight and doing another set to failure. This is repeated for multiple sets in a row. (SOURCE)

    Day 1- QUADS

    1. Smith Machine Squats- dropsets (70lb, 60lb, 50lbs) 4 sets of 10 with each weight (totaling 120 squats)
    2. Leg Extensions– dropsets ( 60lb, 40lb, 20lb) 4 sets of 10 with each weight (totaling 120 extensions)
    3. Cross-Over Step Ups on a Bench– 20 on left leg, then repeat with right, 4 sets (totaling 80 for each leg)

    Diet also has a huge part in muscle definition and toning.  Your body is 80% nutrition, 10% exercise, 10% genetics. By diet I don’t mean cutting things out, eating less food, and/or leaving out food groups, it means eating more of the right thing!  Cutting back on refined sugars and other “junk food”, eating more foods prepared at home, and incorporating more whole grains, fruits, and veggies would be a plus.  But I guess that means I shouldn’t be having wine and Doritios for dinner like I did tonight, huh? 😉  The diet part may or may not come at another point!

    So the final piece to getting me out of my “rut” is setting a goal.  Goals are a must when entering any strength training (or other fitness) program because they give you direction and focus and something to work towards.  I like my goals to be small, measurable, and realistic!  My new fitness goal is to lose a half-inch off my midsection by the end of the summer (with an ultimate goal of a six-pack at some point, maybe?!). I will take a measurement of my midsection each Monday morning before the gym (starting next week) and continue doing my AB routine 3 days a week!  And when I reach my goal I am going to buy myself a new gym bag to carry my work clothes and toiletries in!

    ……………and those my friends, were my thoughts and actions for Monday!

    Thoughts??

    Bed is calling my name!

    ~L

    Special Olympics

    This Father’s Day was a very special one because my whole family got to watch my cousin Sean compete in the Special Olympics! This is his second year competing in the roller-skating portion of the Games.  It was really cool to be there to cheer him on!

    They took place at Harvard University June 18 to the 20th.  In the Summer games, athletes compete in track and field events, swimming, roller-skating, tennis, volleyball, and power lifting.  Over 2,000 athletes compete in the summer games!

    Sean competed in two races: an individual and a relay race. He did great!  There was lots of cheering and high-fiving going on while he competed! 🙂

    Uncle Brian and Sean getting ready to skate!

    My brother Michael and Sean

    Sean nabbed the silver medal in the individual AND relay race!  Go Sean! 😉

    Sean and his relay-mate

    Danny checking out his big brother's hard-earned bling!

    The post games party was at Tar Beach!  The boys of mi familia immediately grabbed some frosty beverages and jumped into the pool.  Yesterday we determined this little backyard pool is 20 years old- wow!

    Happy Father's Day Dads! (and Mikey and mom too I guess!)

    Three amigos: Uncle Brian (you can thank Mikey for the bunny ears), Dad, Uncle Mac

    This pool has survived many whirlpools and cannon balls.  It may be small but it does the trick when it is hot out– and yesterday was hot!  By the end of the day everyone was soaking wet- not because of the rain, but because of the water guns that the guys got a hold of.  I put up a fight for a little bit but realized soon enough there was no use fighting it!

    Uncle Mac is the original "cannon baller" of the fam

    We had Chinese food for lunch.  I had some pea pods in brown sauce, white rice, scallion pancakes, chicken fingers, and a roll dipped in duck sauce.  Yum!  I also sipped a few Long Trail Blackbeary Wheats, which I haven’t had since our Vermont trip!  They are nice and summer-y, subtly sweet, and tasty.

    Speaking of Vermont, I am finally getting the beach vacation I was dying for in April! Just as Jack promised I would!  He is taking me to Hawaii at the end of July (Waikiki Beach on Oahu to be exact)!

    This will be my first time there and I am so excited!  I can’t wait to do lots of stuff- luaus, catamaran cruises, Hawaiian sunsets, volcanoes, rainforests, beaching it!  I want to do it all!  I have even entertained the possibility of trying to run a race while I am there (but I have no clue if there are any!).  Lots of reasearch to do and clothes to be bought!

    Hawaii Bound 2010

    Anyone have any fun activities that you recommend for us while we are there??

    I’ll be back with a post of todays activities, which include (but are not limited to): gym, summer school day 1, and a nap.  Haha!

    Lata-

    ~L

    Week 8 Running Club Recap

    Today I spent a sun-filled afternoon with my mom and dad at Tar Beach.  I brought my new book that I am reading: “Spent, Memoirs of a Shopping Addict” by Avis Cardella and pulled a beach chair beside the pool to catch some rays.  My mom helped me make home-made iced coffee (which I have yet to try) and then cooked some lunch while I listened to the Sox game with my dad.

    Lunch was steak (I had a small burned piece with teriyaki sauce), a baked potato with butter, and green beans.

    My kitty Nala (who my parents have been “babysitting” since I graduated college in 2003 😉 ) isn’t as sly as she thinks she is and was hoping to have some of our left-overs!  No luck Nala!

    After lunch I headed home and put together a playlist for a summer-evening run.  As I said before, I didn’t make it out for my run this morning, and because it was so hot today, an evening run was my only choice.  I laced up and hit the street at 7:30 listening to the following playlist:

    • Eleanor Rigby- Beatles
    • Two Step- Dave Matthews Band
    • Empty- Ray Lamontagne
    • Beautiful Day- U2
    • Walk On- U2
    • Billionaire- Travie McCoy
    • California Gurls- Katy Perry
    • If We Ever Meet Again- Timbaland ft. Katy Perry
    • Beautiful- Akon

    I didn’t put the songs in any particular order, but it ended up being that the perfect song was always playing for a specific part of my run.  My running route today was the 3ish mile loop we do for running club, which starts on Main St, and goes up the Lynn Fells Parkway, which is a long, windy tree-lined street.  My run was so enjoyable tonight!

    I sat outside for a little bit after my run, thinking.  Thinking about how I have been feeling the past few weeks in regards to the gym and working out in general.  I had come to the decision a bit ago that I needed to find a balance with my real life and my fit life, that I need to allow myself the flexibility to switch up my workout schedule, but lately I have been finding that my motivation towards my fit life is lacking harcore.  The thing is that my fit life is the piece that relieves my stress, gives me energy, challenges me, and over all makes me feel confident and happy. How could I let something I love so much fall by the wayside?

    Well, there a couple of reasons:

    1. I got bored with my routine. This is normal and happens every 6-8ish weeks.  My body and mind get so used to the movements and routine that it seems to take no effort to get through the  workout (if that makes sense).  When this happens I tend to dread the gym because it makes it feel like another thing “to do” instead of something I want to do.
    2. I don’t see/feel a difference in my body. This problem is two-part.  One, I need to shock my body and get my muscles moving different ways by adding in intervals/supersets/plyometric exercises to rev up my metabolism.  Two, I don’t have an actual fitness goal (and haven’t had one for a while).  I need to make one so I have something measurable to work towards.
    3. I was making excuses and using them to get out of getting to the gym.  I was allowing myself to stay out later, drink a little more, and sleep in instead of sticking to a schedule (which is what I personally need to stay on track).

    So what am I going to do about this? I am glad you asked!

    1. Start a new routine ASAP!  I have a few magazines that already have some great workouts planned (why reinvent the wheel?!)
    2. For a change, try to incorporate Body Pump (I’ve never done it so yikes!) and possibly some yoga into my fit life.
    3. Keep running with Running Club and sign up for a few more races this summer
    4. Try trail running (I really want to!)
    5. Make a measurable goal for myself to accomplish by the end of the summer (any thoughts??)
    6. Stick to my regular schedule, no excuses!

    Running Club: Week 8 Recap                            Topic: Motivation

    Amy picked me up the articles since I didn’t make it to Running Club this week, and boy am I glad she did!  There were some article on motivation and ways to keep you running.  I would even go as far to extend the advice given to my strength training as well.  In the article “Stick with It” (Runner’s World, May 2002), John Bingham discusses what the key to running is, and isn’t:

    • The key is to be dedicated, not disciplined.
    • It is about becoming a person who is dedicated to a life of physical activity and making the most of whatever physical talents and skills you possess.
    • Dedication sometimes means doing what you don’t want to do and it also means understanding that frustration is an important part of the combination of ingredients that leads to progress.  For example, it isn’t the discipline to run/lift three days a week that makes you a runner (or whatever), it is the dedication to run/lift for the rest of your life that matters.

    There was also an article from Runner’s World (January 2000, pg 24) that gave several tips for how to stay motivated to run.  I picked my favorites to share with you:

    • Notice something beautiful every run (I was mesmerized by the setting sun on my run this evening)
    • Enter a race for a cause (I’d like to do one for Autism)
    • Make my runs social (Running Club, woop woop)
    • Introduce a non-runner/out of practice runner to running (Anyone interested?  Let me know!)
    • Abandon the rut (find a new route to run each week, start training for something)

    Wow- it is ten o’clock already, and this was a really looooonnnnggg post!  I needed to get some order to my thoughts so thanks for bearing with me!  Now I am going to watch some TV and veg out for a while.  Tomorrow I am headed to the Special Olympics to watch my 9-year-old cousin, Sean, compete!  It is so exciting!  My whole family went last year to cheer him on too!