10 on Tuesday

1. This is one of those weird runner things: I’ve been taking a rolling pin to my very tight calves in an attempt to make up for the torture of suddenly jumping back into my usual workout routine after nearly two months of hibernation.  Sorry calf muscles! I promise you lots of compression sock and rolling pin love!

2. I can’t stop laughing at the Only a Game podcasts – usually while running (now that I’m doing that again, haha). I’m sure people that see me trudging down the sidewalks in the cold -and sometimes snow – laughing out loud think I’m certifiably insane, but come on! Their Superbowl coverage included a story about a friendly wager made between the Seattle Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum and a collection of Superbowl inspired Haiku.  That’s my kind of sports show!

3. There has been much thinking about/planning for the year ahead and what I want to do with it lately. More to come on this, even though I realize that it’s mid-February and it’s a little late for a post on goals for the year.

4. This is totally not my MO, usually I’m annoyed at how fast the weeks are flying by…but this month I can’t wait for the month to be over! Work has been nutty with an event I’m helping organize that happens the last week of the month and I’ll be happy when it’s over and I can fly home, change into PJs, and pour myself a big glass of wine. On the bright side, getting roped into planning this meeting means a mostly work-sponsored trip to Atlanta (warmth in the middle of winter?), where there just so happens to be a four month old little friend who I need to meet and snuggle!

5. Currently binge watching: Party of Five. I started from the beginning a few weeks ago. Now if I go a few days without the Salinger clan, I start to miss them. Also, reliving 90′s fashion via the TV show that carried me through most of my high school years is hilarious.

6. I’m still recovering to a weekend full of awesome: G Love at House of Blues on Friday, a party  (turned sleepover due to the snow) on Saturday, and dinner and Cards Against Humanity with more friends on Sunday.

7. I’m sure that everyone in the greater Boston area wants to punch me in the nose for this, but I am still giddy every time I see snow in the forecast! I know it’s a hassle for most people but since we don’t own a car, our landlord is responsible for snow removal, and I have the flexibility to work from home instead of commuting in crappy weather…well, I love sitting in the office/guest room with a hot beverage in my hand, watching the snow fall outside my window while I’m working away. Snow is the only reason that I put up with cold winters!

8. Have you guys seen the site Can I Stream.It? I just finished reading my boyfriend Rob Lowe’s  book Stories I Only Tell My Friends, which led to a lot of checking to see if I can stream all of the movies that he references. Unfortunately for me, the answer is usually “not unless you pay for it!”

9. I’ve been a total slacker on the blog-front lately, and I’m actually feeling a little guilty about having so much from the last few months that I haven’t shared here. I shouldn’t feel guilty, since there are only three of you that read this…it’s more that I love having this psuedo-journal to look back at what I was doing last February (ummm…not blogging) or the February before that (hanging at Club MGH, visiting local breweries, attempting to take a photo a day), or the February before THAT (eating cheese, crocheting, hanging out with Barley, listening to Pete play guitar)…or the February before THAT, haha (laundry at the Chocolate Factory! - I miss those sweat pants! And that apartment!, playing games). I’ll stop now, because I think that the pictures from the February before that…wait, NO. In February 2009 I was on vacation in NH with friends, taking photos of Leyre’s growing belly, and taking awesome selfies. I am really going to stop now, but if you’re really bored/curious, you can see February 2008 and 2007 for yourself – just be warned that a lot of photos from those very early days were hosted somewhere else and are missing. Anyway, that whole trip down memory lane is exactly why I am annoyed with myself for not keeping up with the blog regularly – it’s super fun to have this quick and easy look back at what was going on way back when!

10. If you made it this far, good for you! I had photos ready to go to make this more interesting, but apparently WordPress, Flickr, and I are in a fight! Barley is begging for someone to play fetch with him, and I’ve got a sink full of dishes that Pete says are my responsibility, so it’s time for me to give up on my photos and just get this posted already!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive (a little) compensation.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

(Kind of like my occasional Currently posts)

Can’t stop won’t stop…

…watching The Good Wife. Three seasons down in about a month? Great cold weather binge watching!

…listening to Frank Turner. This is the song that he opened his show with when we saw him at House of Blues a few weeks ago, and it’s been in my head ever since. If you have ~15 minutes, watch his NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (and enjoy those dimples).  The song below might be my fav of his (and was included in the London Olympics opening ceremony).

…reading the Divergent series. I’ve had this series on my “read those!” list for a long time now, but seeing the trailer for the first movie before Catching Fire prompted me to do so STAT. I have been reading in every free moment since (well…every free moment that isn’t taken up by Good Wife, haha).

…eating mac and cheese (specifically: Annie’s shells & white cheddar). At least once a week. Usually the entire box by myself (don’t judge), but occasionally I share with Pete. Sometimes I throw in frozen peas, because adding veggies makes it healthy.

…plotting and planning for 2014. This year has flown past and been so awesome and so not awesome in so many different ways. I’m excited to see what next year will bring, and finding it harder than usual to enjoy the good stuff that’s happening right now instead of thinking about the next thing.

…looking forward to my upcoming vacation (and Christmas and New Years)! T-minus 6 days until I fly to Virginia, and Boss Lady flat out told me to take an extra two days off instead of bringing my computer with me to work remotely (have I ever mentioned that I have a great Boss Lady?). I can’t wait to hug a whole bunch of my favorite people!

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Year in Running: 2013

I promise you this blog isn’t turning into all-running-all-the-time, but since I do spend a lot of time running, you have to deal with hearing about it periodically. I came across this survey on a few blogs that I read and really liked the idea of sitting down to figure out how I would answer, so here you go: my year in running.

  • Best race experience? Falmouth, hands down. Falmouth was totally unexpected – I didn’t even attempt to get a number in the lottery, but a got a bib through a friend of a friend who works for the race organizer. I was super nervous about this race because, at seven miles, it was the longest distance I’ve ever raced. The course is known to have a number of challenging hills. It’s also in August, on Cape Cod when humidity and heat are an Year in Running: 2013 | My Monotonous Lifeincredibly real threat, and those are my least ideal running conditions (they guarantee a post-race migraine). Oh, and at 13,000 runners, it’s the largest race I’ve ever run, which means all kinds of crazy logistics….but it’s Falmouth! Falmouth is a “bucket list” race for runners from around the world, and I was lucky enough to have a bib fall into my lap, so there was no backing out. I planned to run with the friend who had finagled me a bib, and as she was coming off a back injury our plan was to just take it easy. We dubbed it a “seven mile party on the run”, and that’s exactly what we did (with heaps of goofy race photos to prove it!). We zigged and zagged across the street and PRed in running under hoses and sprinklers. We high-fived every little kid we saw with an outstretched hand. We sang along to the music being played by both live bands and folks with huge speaker set-ups on the sidelines (the crowd support for this race is, with no hyperbole, legendary). We laughed a lot, and we ran my slowest race ever, and it was AWESOME. Before Pete and I had even driven out of Falmouth to head home after the race, I was plotting to buy a house there in order to guarantee me a race bib every year (donations towards this goal are accepted and earn you visiting rights). Runners up: Firefighters 10k and Edaville Rain Run – Pete’s first race!

Year in Running: 2013 | My Monotonous Life

  • Best run? Running in the Hamptons in March. Pete and Mark went on ahead of me and I had a tough, exhausting run that ended up including a lot of walking. Despite that, it was also a beautiful run through a state park and with a stretch along the beach, and maybe I spent part of that run worried that I was lost and never going to find Pete and Mark again and so would die in the woods….but it’s definitely the first run that comes to mind when I think of great runs this year. Runners up: my Philly run in October, running the Tan in Melbourne with Ros,  and (surprisingly) my super hilly training runs for Falmouth.Year in Running: 2013 | My Monotonous Life
  • Best new piece of gear? I’m not a huge gear person (at least I don’t think I am?), but I finally bought a pair of insulated running tights in an effort to do more running this winter than I did last winter, and I la-la-love them. I’m waiting to find another pair on super-sale to snatch up, because I would like to own a pair for every day of the week.
  • Best piece of running advice you received? I’m really not sure how to answer this one, because there isn’t one specific thing that I heard or read that clicked and changed things. I guess the best advice (that I didn’t get from anyone in particular but had the biggest impact on my running this year) was to really embrace strength training – and to do it consistently. The impact on my running was huge! I set PRs in every distance I race in numerous times this year (10k in April and again October, 5 miler in May and again in November, 5k in August). I’ve also been more comfortable running for longer distances than I have been since I was running three seasons of track in high school. The impact on my life wasn’t exactly small, either! My goal this year was simply to get strong, but I was hoping that “get strong” would lead to “get back to my pre-desk job weight”…I’m not there (yet?), but I did lose six stubborn pounds and I am back at my pre-desk job clothing size despite the extra few pounds. I dropped ~3% body fat, too. The mental perks have been great, and I picked up a bunch of bootcamp buddies along the way.
  • Most inspirational runner? This is hard! I am ridiculously lucky to have a lot of inspiring running friends. One of them survived three months in a coma, came out of it barely able to walkYear in Running: 2013 | My Monotonous Life, and is now running half marathons on the regular…and has taught me to appreciate every. freaking. day. (even a bad day is a good day) and every. freaking. run (even a bad run is a good run). One of them survived cancer as a child and is winning age-group medals at races. One of them has dropped heaps of weight and came out of it with a truly inspiring attitude. One of them set amazing goals and wasn’t afraid to talk honestly about the struggles of training and the disappointment of not reaching a goal, yet never gave up. Sorry! I can’t pick just one.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? PR city! Strong. SO MUCH FUN.

And last, but not least, here’s the recap from my race tracker spreadsheet for 2013…two races left before I’m done for the year (fun ones! Girls Night Out this weekend and the Ugly Sweater Run the following).

Year in Running: 2013 | My Monotonous Life

Fall 2013, Number 8: A Hitchcock Marathon

This isn’t super exciting to blog (or read) about, but it’s on the list so here’s the scoop!

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Let’s start at the beginning, which is back when I was in college. Studying Communications with a focus on video production means that you take a lot of classes that consist of watching and dissecting movies. Usually movies that were directed by someone amazing. Like Hitchcock. I remember having to watch a few of his earlier films and being astounded at how different they were than I expected. Hitchcock is typically associated with suspense and thrillers, but if you look back at his earlier work, you’ll find dramas and rom coms and movies that borderline on farce…and you will be pleasantly surprised. Because of that, at some point “watch every movie Hitchcock directed” landed itself on my Life List, and so I’ve been chipping away at it slowly for a few years.

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By the way…is anyone surprised to see that I have a spreadsheet that helps me keep track of items on my Life List? I didn’t think so! A few weeks ago, on a super cold and crazy windy Sunday when there were no football games that Pete was interested in (I KNOW. Trust me. I KNOW!), I sat down and dug up all the Hitchcock movies I could find online for free, then sat down to watch. Of course, Barley planted himself in my lap shortly after this whole shebang started….I imagine that is just as surprising as the fact that I have a spreadsheet to keep track of items on my Life List. Plus, silent film = no multitasking = no laptop = more room for kitties.

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First up was The Farmer’s Wife. It’s a Rom Com. Yeah dude! A Rom Com directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I know you don’t believe me, but you should take the time to watch this one (it’s available on Amazon Prime…and you will need time. It’s a silent film and they take longer because, you know, no dialogue to convey every message). It really does border on farce, and I loved it. There were a handful of laugh-out-loud moments, even.

Next on the list was The Manxman. Still a silent one (still available on Amazon Prime), but this time a drama. I didn’t enjoy this one as much, mostly because it was such a sudden change of pace after the hilariousness of The Farmer’s Wife. Also possible that I didn’t enjoy this one as much because, hello! Fours hours of silent movies for me, someone who doesn’t handle silence well! I realize there is music for silent movies, but still…no speaking for four hours. It may have been a bit ambitious for me. 

All in all, it was a great way to spend a cold afternoon! (Barley agrees) I’ve got eight more Hitchcock films in my Amazon Watchlist/Hulu Queue, and I intend to work my way through them over the next few months…I just need to be a bit more strategic about not watching multiple silent ones back to back. But for now: two more items ticked off in my Life List spreadsheet!

Fall 2013, Number 4: Celebrate My Birthday…

…by sipping tasty wines with some of my favorite ladies. (That’s a long one.)

When I first hatched this plan, I had every intention of heading back to the Farm Coast to visit one of the wineries that Pete and I visited and loved. By the time actual planning was happening, I decided that there are so many wineries around here that I shouldn’t be repeating any…just yet. A new plan was formed: tour and tasting at Newport Vineyards followed by some meandering through and dinner in Newport.

Newport Vineyards, Rhode Island

We did both the tour and the tasting. The tour was quick and educational. I think the last time I actually did a tour of a vineyard was in elementary school on a family trip to California. I have vague memories of a photo op pretending to smash grapes, and zero memories of the winemaking process. These guys did a great job including information about what makes their vineyard unique without sounding too sales-pitchy, and gave us a high level overview of the winemaking process.

After we all became wine-making experts, we moved into their tasting tent and got down to the real reason we were there: with five of us all willing to share tastes, we managed to sample the majority of the thirty seven wines they make. The two gentlemen working the tasting were great about making suggestions when we weren’t sure what to try next, and offered sometimes hilarious commentary when we were deciding between two specific wines – “this one is like a shovel of strawberries in the face” being so hilarious at the time that I actually made a note of it on my tasting cheat sheet. In the end, we bought two cases of wine between the five of us. I guess we liked the place!

Newport Vineyards Wine Tasting

After finishing at the winery, we headed into Newport (the Vineyards are actually in Middletown, just North of Newport) and did some meandering and shopping, and finished the night off with dinner at The Red Parrot. Dinner was tasty, and between the ability to continue window shopping while we waited for our table (their pagers have a one block radius) and the variety of food available, it was the perfect way to end our night.

Birthday Girls Day? Success!

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