where did that come from?

Seriously!  I wanna know!  I decided mid-workday to sneak in a few miles before yoga tonight, and by the time I started at 5:15, I was down to only 30 minutes of available run time.  Fun fact:  I was halfway through my first mile before I realized I did–in fact–only have 30 minutes; up until then I thought I had 45 minutes and that yoga started at 6:15, not 6 pm.  However, 30 minutes is better than no minutes, and I simply repeated that to myself over and over again.

I headed out and somewhere toward the end of the first mile, I turned onto Girard Ave and ran into a sucker of a head wind.  First mile: 8:25.  Not too shabby for a warm-up and feeling crappy.  Not only was I out of breath and feeling sluggish (a.k.a PMS), I was fighting the wind for more than a mile.  Imagine my surprise when my watch beeped and mile 2 clocked in at 8:04!  I knew I was putting in more effort into the wind, but didn’t anticipate getting much faster.

I ran the length of Girard, and after the wind grew stronger as I rounded Parkdale Elementary and turned onto Buffalo Rd toward the circle, it died down.  At the circle, my watch beeped again: 7:43.  No way.  Now it was on.  I’d had negative splits each mile, and my OCD-self just had to keep the trend going.  I pushed up Main Street, trying to fight for each second but starting to really tire.  Once I turned right onto Olean and then Oakwood, I was at 3.5 miles but wanted that 4th.  I ended up doing that ‘turnaround thing’ a runner does when she’s basically where she wants to finish but still has a little more distance to go, so I continued down Oakwood, then ducked left on King, then turned around and ran back up Oakwood…and then back again.  I was so tired and when my watch finally beeped, I started walking and could barely contain my heaving chest.  Mile 4: 7:35.

Muscle memory, guys.  That, and some real mind-over-matter.  Honestly, it’s all the training I did last summer.  I may not have felt like I had it today (and on many recent runs), but clearly my legs did.  And before my marathon training, I never would have pushed myself to that much discomfort so easily.  This run definitely buoyed my spirits, re-ignited a desire for speed and gave me a little more confidence in my fitness level (even if the Lloyd’s taco truck in my tummy says otherwise).  It also–just as any good workout session does–renewed my desire to keep less-healthy food choices to a minimum.

And, lest I bore you with more details of my run, check out my new shades!  I’d actually been thinking of buying a pair of these Goodr sunglasses for awhile now, and it turns out I won them in the Winter Warrior Challenge!  I wasn’t able to attend our party at the end of March (SUCH a bummer), and Debbie just gave them to me this week.  I’m in love, and they are totally making me re-think my decision to get prescription sunglasses for running. If these aren’t ‘me,’ I don’t know what is!

they came, they saw, they ate pt. 2

Emily and Dan visited us this weekend.  I couldn’t bring myself to lug around Andrew’s huge camera (sad), so there are very few photos of our weekend (even more sad.)   Emily sent me a couple and we had a couple, taken in the room.

Guess I’ll just have to paint very good word pictures for you all…

We were blessed with INCREDIBLY good weather this weekend.  Picture blue skies, white fluffy clouds and high temps (high 70s to mid-80s).  They couldn’t have come on a better weekend.  In fact, our Ohio natives thought we’d been lying to them this whole time about how cool and comfortable it is here in the summer.

We had to start with the best Friday night: Pasquale’s pizza and wings (you can read more about it here).  We ate there and the pizza was a little greasy, but both Dan and Emily loved the wings.  We walked off some of our meal and then visited Abigail while she was working at Fowler’s.  Emily and Dan got to sample sponge candy and we sampled various flavors of ice cream before settling on our choices.  We went out for another walk through the village, pointing out cute houses here and there near Hamlin Park.

I awoke bright and early Saturday morning and was surprised that our guests were up at just about the same time–before 7 a.m.!  What is it about sleeping in an unfamiliar place that causes one to get up so early??

I went for a quick run, Emily did the elliptical and Dan ran on the treadmill.  If you noticed that Andrew was conspicuously absent from the line-up, he was.  He could have been found snoozing away in bed!

After our cardio session, Emily and I started up P90X yoga.  I’d never done yoga for more than an hour, so I knew this would be a workout.  Dan was a lifesaver and took Hadrian for a walk since he (the dog) was pretty much in the way no matter where he plopped himself.

Andrew did (finally!) get up and took Hadrian for a short run before we all got ready for the day.  We all, dog included, piled in the car and set off for East Aurora.  We left Hadrian in Andrew’s parents’ backyard and proceeded to downtown Buffalo to find a nice place to eat outside.

We chose an upscale (as in NOT your typical gyro place with neon signs in the windows) Greek place on Elmwood Ave. and were able to sit under an awning on their deck.  I got the Monsoon Chicken Salad; it was filled with coconut-crusted chicken strips, strawberries, mango slices, dried cranberries, banana chips and walnuts.  YUM.  Emily got a hummus and white bean platter with rice and grilled veggies that looked awesome.  It will definitely be somewhere Andrew and I will go again.

After lunch we headed across the border to Canada to see the falls.  We scouted out cheap parking ($4) and walked to Journey Behind the Falls, a tourist attraction that allows you to go down and behind the falls.  Andrew has always wanted to give it a try and so we figured now would be a great time.  Emily and I weren’t huge fans of the tunnels or crowds, but it was kinda neat to see how powerful the falls are up-close.  The worst part?  The mist (a.k.a. rain shower) you have to walk through to get in and out of the building that houses Journey Behind the Falls.  I DO NOT LIKE GETTING RAINED ON.  I don’t even like running in the rain.  I think it’s the sensation of cold water on my skin.  Here are some of Emily’s shots:

I love how Emily can pull of the “giant sunglasses” look.  I so cannot.  I will say, thought, that my weight-loss has caused my face to become more and more square (or maybe heart-shaped?) and less round.  Does that mean I get to buy new sunglasses to complement my face?  (Don’t answer that…)

Dan must have, by far, the longest arms EVER.  You can hardly tell they took this themselves (except for his arm in the shot, but you know what I mean).  And kudos for getting the rainbow in the background!

We spent a few relaxing minutes in the grass near the falls and bird/squirrel/people-watched.  Did you know they have black squirrels in Canada?

To continue taking advantage of the great weather, we ate in downtown Buffalo at the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery and enjoyed some cold beers and great good.  I was craving a burger and fries, so that’s exactly what I got.  Emily went light (or so she thought) and got the gouda soup, which was essentially drinkable beer cheese, but man, was it good!  Dan’s jerk chicken sandwich was a bit on the spicy side, so we promised him a strawberry milkshake to cool things down.  I enjoyed their seasonal blueberry beer and know Andrew and I will definitely be going back–the atmosphere and view were fantastic.  On a side note:  we’ve basically fallen in love with eating outdoors in nice weather, especially if we’re going out to eat.  Lately, we aren’t even interested in places without outdoor seating.  Does anyone else feel that way too?  (I think Europe has ruined us for indoor eating forever…)

About a gazillion calories later, we were on our way to pick Hadrian back up after indulging in sundaes from Antoinette’s.  They’re known for their sundaes and I couldn’t resist, even though my tummy told me to.

I went to bed early with a stomach ache and the others started watching our recent Netflix DVD: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

Sunday morning we all got up and exercised again; Emily and I ran to the park (1.5 miles) while Andrew and Dan drove with Hadrian.  The three of them walked around the park while I did another two miles, then Dan, Emily and I ran back home.  We all jumped in the pool to cool down before getting ready for the day.

We ate blueberry pancakes (the best!) at Charlie’s Diner, toured Vidler’s Five & Dime and got drinks at Taste before we had to say goodbye to Emily and Dan.

We got back to the hotel and Andrew let out a loud gasp!  We’d been FISHED!

Long story short: Jen and Dave have this huge fish pillow (above) from goodness knows where.  Awhile ago, they, along with Emily and Dan, hid it in our bed at home in Ohio while they were all over watching a movie.  Ever since then, we’ve been trading it back and forth unbeknownst to the recipients.  Let’s just say I knew it was going to appear sometime this weekend–how could it not??

Guess we’re going to have to make a trip back to Ohio…