Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome to my pretend studio!

Yesterday I completed my first confirmed double digit run since my spontaneous Summer Streets 13 miler with Luna Chix Sara and Jacqui. The weather was perfect, the time constraints non-existent, and I enjoyed every moment of it in spite of my ravenous hunger (hey, it happens).

So today when my alarm went off I thought, time to run! Oh wait. You probably shouldn't go for another substantial run the day following a 2.5 hour run. See, I'm trying to be a wee bit friendlier to my poor, long suffering bank account after my stint in Manhattan and am holding off on joining a gym. Therefore, I run. I run a lot. I run all the time. These joints need a break.

yes even that one...I have a very tense upper body.

In order to continue saving my precious pennies and not completely abuse my body, I've been incorporating simple yoga and pilates moves into my routine, which is conducted in my bedroom. Hey, my closet doors are mirrors so it's similar to being in a studio....?

not a picture of my room - a picture of my room through the MIRROR

I get inspiration from my favorite Steve Carrell look-a-like, from Cassey and from the Fitnessista. All of these provide great ideas for working out sans equipment. Full disclosure: I don't even have a yoga mat anymore. I practice on carpet. I hope we're in the trust tree right now.

Some moves that are currently saving my bank account and joints right now:

Chaturanga - I have learned to appreciate this pose on its own, and not just as a transitional pose to move from high plank to upward facing dog.

Urdhva Dhanurasana - or for you plebeians, "wheel pose." Do you ever look around the room when your instructor calls out poses by their sanskrit name to see what everyone else is doing before transitioning into the pose? Even if you regularly attend that class and the instructor introduces that pose by its sanskrit name every time? Oh, yea, no, me neither.

The Hundred - so easy, and so hard.

Burpees - ew. Now riddle me this, how does she talk like a normal person while doing this move?

Squats and lunges and pretend-push-ups. All sorts. Jumping, pulsing, on my knees, not on my knees (why is this starting to sound wildly inappropriate...)

At any rate. I bought a Groupon for a 3-month gym membership in midtown St. Louis for $59, which I'm pretty psyched out of my mind about, but until then (and possibly after that time period elapses) I'm fairly confident that I have enough body resistance moves to preserve my knee ligaments through long runs.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Long run and a Christmas preview!

So as we all know, runners are a strange folk. Timely example: we are currently trying to sell our home and  today held a two hour open house. When I heard we were having an open house and I should probably be out of the house for the duration, my first thought was: oh, wonderful! Now I can get in the long run I have been meaning to do! Since coming home, I have not gone on a run longer than 8 - 10 miles and had been itching for a good excuse to get out and stay out. I was also tiring of running laps of my regular neighborhood loop but nervous to cross some of the larger suburban St. Louis streets that are less than pedestrian friendly. In fact, I would say that they are pedestrian-mean.

But knowing that I needed to get out of the house for about a two and a half hour time period, I put on my big girl shorts (which look like my little girl shorts - Nike running shorts, all of them) and ventured over to some sidewalk-less car-full streets to run laps around Tilles Park. While not as well landscaped as good ol' Central Park, what it lacks in iconic statuettes, variety of vegetation, and amusing tourist spotting, it makes up for in its number of neon playgrounds and mysterious workout equipment. This park is also the setting of Winter Wonderland, a holiday themed lights display that I say I will go to every holiday season and never do. This year, though! I will totally make it.

In that vein, in my first lap of the park, I saw this little fellow waiting anxiously for Thanksgiving when he will be displayed in all his full glory:

nobody puts Santa in the corner.

Santa Claus is coming to town! And I cannot wait.

My legs felt wonderful but about an hour into the run my stomach started eating itself. You know those people who don't get hungry after working out? I am not one of those people. I told my stomach to hold its dang horses, finished my run (waiting to return home until 15 minutes after the open house officially ended - I hear sweaty, smelly current residents turn off potential buyers...weird, I know), got home and just shoved a massive smoothie in the face. IN THE FACE.

Yup, just like that.

What's your favorite post-run snack?
What's your favorite scene from The Hangover? Surprise! Mine's the one right above. Close second: Tiger song. I LOVE TIGERS.
When do you start listening to Christmas music? We have a strict rule in our household - no Christmas tunes before Thanksgiving. Sometimes it is so very hard to wait.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Random Facts, She Wrote.

You know the section in Us Weekly - "25 things you didn't know about me," written by some random celebrity you didn't want to know 21 facts about? Yea, me neither....I've never touched that magazines, promise.

I've always thought it would be fun to think of my own 25 facts, but if you really put your brain to it, that is a lot of facts so I will compromise (with your patience) and present you with:

7 things you didn't know about me.

1. Whenever I put fruit in my oatmeal or cereal, I eat all of the fruit and then the oats/cereal because I don't actually like fruit in with my breakfast grains {it's a texture thing} but do it because I know it's good for me.

not all elements of this bowl will be eaten simultaneously

2. I have four fake teeth. Count 'em.

if you can't tell...well then, why did I?!

3. Incidentally, though, I love going to the dentist! Nothing beats that clean-teeth-feeling.

4. I tried to teach my childhood dog to read. Oddly enough, it was an unsuccessful endeavor.

5. I spent the summer of 2007 conducting an anthropological research project on a Cree Indian (technically, First Nation, as we were in Canada) reservation. Many of the children had never seen a blonde person in real life before and referred to me as "the barbie." I was not embarrassed at all. SIKE!

6. I am scared of birds. Seriously.

7. I am pretty sure I have seen every episode of "Murder, She Wrote"...twice. I am also pretty sure that the real reason I went to Colby College was to become a Mainer like my hero, Jessica Fletcher. Don't tell anyone that, though.

for some reason I felt this photo encapsulated me, in Maine

What is your favorite embarrassing television show?
Do you force yourself to eat certain 'healthy' dishes?
Do you think my current dog could learn to read?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Midwestern adventures - a picture book

So I think we all know by now that I tend to be a bit...verbose. I also lack the photographic technology and prowess many bloggers are blessed with and therefore, while my personality leans towards the fruity and colorful side, my posts tend to be black and white. In an effort to diversify, allow me to share some utterly unrelated sights from some of my recent midwestern adventures:

puppy got her hair did!

blang blang

I got this ring for free at the Queeny Park Art Fair! That is my personal favorite price for new goods.

sight for sore eyes

My dad asked me if I wanted to go to the Cardinals (my team) v. Reds (his team) game the first weekend I was back in town. I couldn't say YES! quickly enough.

what time is it? Skyline time!

In Cincinnati, OH for my dad's wedding and my cousin insisted on a Skyline pit stop. Unpictured: a follow-up stop on my insistence at Graeter's Ice Cream - one buckeye blitz for lunch, please.
I spy with my little eye...

columns on Mizzou's campus

alcoholic slushies named after Tigers in Columbia, MO? YES.

Believe it. Because it is real.

sooo artsy

My friend's boyfriend is extremely talented and made the above painting for her apartment in Columbia, MO!

good morning, breakfast

Oh, and I'm having a bonafide love affair with my blender. Having a full kitchen of appliances is nothing short of life changing. Also life changing: the red pants I scooped up at Anthropologie. Unfortunately, I think I've maxed out on photos for this particular post so you will have to use your imagination.

What little things have "changed your life" lately?
Have you ever won anything amazing? Other than the gift card at the art fair, I've only won something once: a swag bag of men's extra large gym shirts. Yippeee!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don't you just love St. Louis in the fall?

My entire train of thought on autumn, and home, and personal history, began on a walk from my childhood home to the nearby Walgreens to collect Listerine mouthwash and floss, as per my dentist’s instructions. A terribly mundane activity on an average morning allowed my mind to wander as I walked.
The heat wave of the past week had been broken by a brief but torrential storm on Saturday evening and left the area with markedly cooler temperatures - so cool, in fact, that I had been moved to put on a fleece over my gym clothes before stepping outside. 
I had noted upon my arrival how heat feels differently everywhere - except, of course, in New England, where there is no real ‘heat.’ The feel and smell of the distinct brand of dense, humid air hung around me quite differently than the sweaty, filthy brand of humidity unique to Manhattan. Just as the heat varies geographically, so too does the cool.
Six years have past since my last true autumn in Saint Louis. The season has come to be my favorite in New York, and was a very close second to the long awaited spring breaking the seemingly endless dreariness of Maine winters while I was in college. I have been anticipating fall’s arrival for far too long, really, and was suddenly struck with the thought a few weeks ago that I was anticipating a type of autumn of which I had little to no memory. Did I enjoy fall in Saint Louis? Did the trees turn beautifully as they do in New England? Is the air perfectly crisp and fragrant as in New York? I couldn’t recall.
Walking tediously to Walgreens, I got my first taste - or re-taste, I suppose - of autumn in St. Louis. I was caught up in sensations that were hardly foreign to me, rather, they brought me back to elementary school, junior high, high school, different flashes of memories at different moments with some occurring simultaneously, all jumbled amongst each other.
The weather brought me back to a time when St. Louis was all that existed to me. I had no concept of the ‘culture’ of my family, my hometown, or the midwest, a culture I cling to when abroad (does the east coast count as abroad? my artistic license says yes). I had no concept of such a culture because in order to define it, I would have had to be able to define what it was not and therefore define it’s contrapositive. Living in Maine and then New York, I was able to define what home meant to me by what it lacked that I found in those new homes, and in what those places lacked that St. Louis held tightly.
But in my autumns in St. Louis, six years ago and earlier, St. Louis was my world. I enjoyed other places I had visited on vacation - Florida, New Orleans, London, Honduras - but the thought of building a life in any of these places, or any of the countless other places I had yet to visit, was just beyond my abilities of comprehension.
And now here I am - I’ve made lives in other places and returned to my life here, where I always imagined I would be.