Tunes Thursday

I was inspired by Alexa’s post last week, featuring some of her favorite tunes and decided to do a TUNES-day Tuesday this week … but forgot to actually do it on Tuesday! Woops! So here it is on Thursday, instead. Here are a few of the songs I’ve been listening to this week – enjoy!

To get me pumped up for St. Patrick’s Day, a little Dropkick Murphys:

Something from my new favorite CD, Fun: (yes, I have concert tickets for when they come in June!)

Nicki Minaj, Starships: (sorry, don’t think the official video is out yet)

Some Mumford & Sons … not new, but in my head this week:

  Another St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Pick, Flogging Molly:

AND for all those dying for The Hunger Games movie to come out, Taylor Swift:

Weekend Recap: PETEFEST 2012

Friday at 3 p.m., I shut down my laptop and put my phone on the Out of Office Mode. I had changed my Out of Office email to read, “I’m in Atlantic City for Petefest 2012 (don’t ask). I’ll be back, and checking email, on Monday, March 12” and my weekend was ready to begin!

This weekend, B and I traveled to Atlantic City in honor of Petefest 2012, the celebration of B’s cousin’s 21st birthday. Though I’d been to Jersey many times before (being from NY and Staten Island, I obviously have family that lives there), including the Jersey Shore (Seaside Heights, what what!), the only impression I had of AC was from Sex and the City. Who doesn’t remember that episode where it’s Charlotte’s birthday and they go to Atlantic with Richard right after Miranda has had a baby? I digress.

We hit the road around 4 p.m., picked up B’s sister, and headed on the 9 hour drive to New Jersey. We pulled into Atlantic City right around midnight, passing by the skyline – larger than I had expected. We arrived at the beach house about 10 min away from AC that B’s Aunt Marie had rented, and caught up with half the group (the other group was out gambling), including the birthday boy, who had returned from a day of celebration.  We stayed up to celebrate a little, but then decided against hitting the casino and instead headed to bed, as we had a 13.1 training mi scheduled for the next morning.

The next day we woke up early, ran our half marathon training run (more on that here), and then joined the rest of the group for a day of celebration.

half marathons make me sleepy!

After a quick nap (13 miles tires me out!) I put on my Petefest Shirt and joined the others in some games, including the longest game of Kings EVER and a heated game of Bunco (not to brag but my team may have won).

Aunt Marie prepared a pretty awesome meal of cavatelli and meatballs, and then we all got ready to head out for the night. Aunt Marie’s friend Bev did my hair – Jersey style of course!

We headed to the Legends Concert – the birthday boy’s request – and saw a rocking show of Tina Turner, Elvis, Ray Charles, the Blues Brothers and Liza Minelli. We then headed to the casinos to gamble and party some more.

The group with the Blues Brothers

What a fun night! When the birthday boy got tired, B and I headed back with him, knowing we’d be getting up at 7 (really 6 a.m. with the time change) to drive 9 hours back to Cleveland for B’s mom’s birthday dinner. But not without a stop in Philly to meet some college friends for brunch! Mitch (who had visited us a few weeks ago) had suggested the famous Philly brunch spot Sabrina’s, but after finding out there was a 1.5 hr wait (which would make us late for dinner), we headed to Hawthorne’s and enjoyed a delicious brunch! My eggs benedict with smoked salmon were AWESOME. We chatted it up with our friends, then headed back to Cleveland, and made it to dinner at 6! We were home by 10 p.m. and crashed from great weekend of 18+ hours in the car, 13.1 miles of running, fun, family and big hair.

Marathon Training: Week Eight Recap

Phew. I survived week eight of Cleveland marathon training! Wow. This week called for a half marathon on Saturday, and also a trip to Atlantic City! But I’m getting ahead of myself …

Anyway, this week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 6. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 13.1, for a total of 25.1 miles. I stuck to the mileage this week pretty religiously.

Monday: rest!– Hadn’t planned on running, and I decided to sleep in (until 7:20 a.m.!) and then spend the afternoon relaxing. After work B and I went to Second Sole to pick up some more Gu packs and some orthotics/inserts for my shoes. After Saturday’s painful run where my feet, then knee, and then back started hurting. I was willing to try anything. I picked up a pack of Powerstep Pinnacles and was excited to try them out during Tuesday’s 3 miler.

Tuesday: 3 – B and I hit the streets after work. My body and breathing felt good but OMG my feet. The right insert felt strange, but not painful — but the left one? OUCH. It was not fun. I could barely keep up with B and couldn’t wait to get home to take them off. I know it would take me a while to get used to them – but is it supposed to be painful in the meantime?

Painful Powerstep Pinnacles... hopefully they get better!

Wednesday: 6.14 – Post-work, B and I tried out a new route through the Flats. We set out around sunset and it was still 55 degrees! I ran without the Powerstep inserts and my legs/feet felt fine. Best part? Post-run, B made lamb chops for dinner!

Thursday: 3 –  Put back in the inserts and headed to the gym for a post-work dreadmill run. Again, thank goodness for the FUN CD – What a boring run it would’ve been otherwise! My shoes were hurting again, but maybe it’s just something I’ll have to get used to.

Saturday: 13.25– Scheduled to run a half marathon – 13.1 mi – for training and of course we were due to be out of town this weekend, celebrating Petefest 2-12 in Atlantic City NJ. Thank goodness B and his sister (also training) were on the trip and B mapped out a very flat beach-view route when we arrived — two 5ish mile loops followed by one 3 mile loop. The first 5 miles went well, we started off on the boardwalk and then ran around the condos and houses in the town we were staying in, just outside of AC. BUT, then we somehow made a wrong turn and finished our 5 mi loop in 47 minutes – meaning we didn’t actually hit 5 miles. Woops! The next 5 mile route we found our right turn decided to run an extra 4-5 minutes, just to be sure we hit our 13.1 mi goal. We took a break at tenish miles, refueled, and then finished with the most painful/boring/windy 3 miles ever. The new loop included a nearly mile long street, which was into the wind the entire time, and not fun after running 11 miles. BUT we finished strong and were SO happy to have run the 13.1 miles – and were ready to go out and celebrate!

The half-marathon route! (which ended up being 13.27 after our wrong turn)

Weekly Total: 25. Woohoo! Despite the pain of the Powersteps, it was a great week that included good food, a good weekend trip and not too many bad runs.  More to come on the Atlantic City trip!

I’m a DCA City Advocate!

A few weeks ago I got an email from my sister-in-law. All it said was, “Thought you might be interested in this:” I opened the link and was so excited to read about the Downtown Cleveland Alliance City Advocate program. The program description started:

Launched in 2009, the DCA City Advocates Program serves to provide civic education and fosters active engagement for rising leaders in the Downtown Cleveland community. Through this unique program, participants gain access to Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s staff and board and engage in open dialogue with many established leaders in the private, public and non-profit sectors. In addition, participants work collaboratively on self-selected projects that support Downtown’s quality of life and ability to attract residents, businesses and visitors.

It seemed to let me do what I already enjoy and do on a daily basis – sharing my love for Cleveland – but in a more organized fashion and with others who share the same love. I filled out the application and anxiously awaited a response. After hitting send I got nervous. Would I be accepted?  What if they wouldn’t take me because I wasn’t a lifelong Clevelander? The short responses weren’t difficult but what if I didn’t show my passion for Cleveland in 250 words?

My dad did a similar program about ten years ago in Albany, called Capital Leadership. I’m so proud of him – he was working full time, had two kids and managed to graduate the program. He was supposed to choose one or two projects and we did about five of them – painted a men’s shelter, cleaned up a ball field, painted a women’s shelter, conducted a clothing drive for free distribution and more. Surely a program like this was in my genes?!

Well, I’m excited to say that I’ve been accepted! I’m so excited for the program to begin, and to get more involved with the city where I live, work and love! Some of the past projects that have been done include:

  • Working with the City to get a playground built for residents and visitors with children to use.
  • Working with property owners to place temporary art and/or informational displays in empty storefronts.
  • Creating viral marketing videos and posting to YouTube; creating content for Downtown Cleveland’s Wikipedia page.
  • Researching the potential for a public/private partnership to create free transportation on Saturday nights connecting four major hubs of activity in and around Downtown.

Doesn’t that sound great? I’m SO excited to start. I can’t wait to share some of the great things we’ll be doing!

Like Father Like Daughter? (and of course, my Grandma)

Marathon Training: Week Seven Recap

Seven weeks of Cleveland marathon training down! Woohoo!

Anyway, this week called for Tuesday: 3. Wednesday: 6. Thursday: 3. Saturday: 12, for a total of 24 miles. I stuck to the mileage this week but changed the days again. Woops!

Monday: 6.11 – Hadn’t planned on running but I happened to check the weather forecast for the week and saw that Wed (when I was due for the 6) was supposed to be severe thunderstorms (gotta love Cleveland in February!) so I texted Mary to see if she’d be interested trying the 6 on Monday. She actually decided it worked better with her schedule and we ended up on a spontaneous run after work around Ohio City. Finished 6.11 miles in 58 minutes – my best run time so far!

Tuesday: 4 – Knew I was in for a busy day at work, so feeling good in the morning, I opted for a pre-work run again. Legs felt good but my body was much slower than the previous day.

Wednesday: 3.17 – Had planned on skipping the run Wednesday but of course the thunderstorms held off and B and I went for a post-work run. The sun had already set but it was still warm enough to wear shorts! I ran the first 3 with B (who hadn’t run on Monday) and he continued to do 3 more after I was done. At least I was able to cook him dinner while he finished up.

Thursday and Friday: Off! Had completed my pre-long run mileage by Thursday and Friday off. Was probably a good idea since I was so sore on Saturday during the 12 miler. But more on that later. So what did I do instead? Thursday B and I had a date night. We hit XYZ Tavern for some beer and appetizers before making it to the Capitol Theatre for a showing of the Oscar Action Shorts. They were awesome! And I love the Capitol Theatre. We followed followed the movie with dinner at Indian Delight, another rone of our favorite ethnic eateries in the area.

Saturday: 12.06 – Ouch. I was dreading the run especially after checking religiously and seeing the 30+mph winds on the screen, but thank goodness I had a running buddy. Mary and I met up downtown and ran the route I had mapped – all the way to Lakewood! Wow. I knew 12 miles would be a lot – but seeing it on a map made it even more real. About halfway through the run, my feet started hurting. This had never happened before. Then my left knee started hurting followed by my back. I ran the last three miles with my back seriously aching. Poor Mary – she could’ve left me in the dust as I hobbled along the last few miles but she stayed with me and we finished strong. I’m thinking I may hit Second Sole for some new shoes or orthotics – maybe I need more support?

Weekly Total: 25. Woohoo! Despite the pain from Saturday, overall, it felt really good. AND I hit a major accomplishment – the 12 miles marked my longest run since I ran the half marathon 2 years ago … and at that time I didn’t even hit 12 miles during training! Woohoo! Here’s to another great running week.

AND I leave with with a photo of the butterscotch oatmeal cookies I baked on Wednesday night. Maybe one day I’ll share the recipe.