Friday, February 25, 2011

Bitter, Party of One

Most mornings I make my first cup of coffee at home and drink it on my way to work. Within 30 minutes of getting to the office, I'm ready for cup number two, so I head down to DiBruno's for the most delicious iced coffee I know of. I get at least one cup a day, sometimes a second one mid-afternoon, so the baristas know me and get my large iced coffee ready while I'm in line, so it's sitting there for me when I get up to the register.

I've lamented before the fact that DiBruno's hasn't jumped onto the bucket-o-beverage bandwagon with most American chains. The largest size they offer is a (very reasonable) sixteen ounces. Some days, that's plenty. Most days, I suck it down instantly and wish I had four more waiting for me. I could get an extra-large 20 (or 30 or 40 or whatever) ounce iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts,'s just gross. It's weak, kind of flavorless and sort of reminds me of dishwater.

Well, this morning, I didn't make my coffee at home. I figured I'd head straight to DiBruno's instead. And much to my disappointment, they were out of large cold I was stuck with twelve measly ounces.

Let's say it didn't last long. And that I'm glad Starbucks is on the bucket-o-beverage bandwagon.

DiBruno's may as well have given me a shot of coffee.

It's no secret that work has been pretty stressful for me recently. Lots of hours, but also a huge sense of urgency where everything has to be done NOWNOWNOWNOWNOW - which does great things to my blood pressure, I'm sure. I've been trying to force myself to the gym, even if it's only for a half hour or so just to get a good sweat, because it really does help.

Yesterday, all I wanted was to run. Work and related obligations had kept me out of the gym for three days, so I was starting to get a little stir-crazy. But naturally, my knee was bugging me for most of the day.

And I just start to get bitter. I see people on the treadmill and I get consumed with jealousy, and let me tell you, it ain't pretty. "OH, it must be NICE to be able to RUN WITHOUT KNEE PAIN. You're not so great. I could do that too if my knees didn't hurt." I even get bitter towards people who DON'T have knee pain but choose not to run, like they're somehow obligated to engage in that particular high-impact activity just because their patellas are in the right place all the time.

Most of the time, that bitterness subsides once I get moving doing whatever it is I end up doing instead of running - whether it's yoga or hill intervals on the bike or just lots of [relatively] heavy lifting. I recognize that it's not rational, but I just can't help it sometimes.

Lucky for me, last night my knees actually behaved just fine while I was running. I ran about 1.2 miles in ten minutes, increasing my speed from 6.5 to 7.0 to 7.5 as I went. I probably could have gone farther, but given the pain I'd been having earlier in the day, I didn't want to push my luck. And happily for me, that was all I needed - it was enough to get me started on sweating, enough to get my heartrate up, and enough of a start that I didn't have any trouble keeping my heartrate up when I moved over to the bike for another 20 minutes. I wrapped it up with P90X chest, shoulders & triceps (I don't really care for this workout - too many weird moves), and returned home a much happier Chrissey.

I love endorphins. I also love that it's Friday. Plans for the weekend?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Brunch

PhillyGuy and I always say things to each other like "Man, there are so many great places in the city that we never try!" Because, well, there are. And we don't.

So today, we did. We headed over to the other side of Broad AND the other side of Vine (hoooooboy are we getting crazy now!) to have brunch at Prohibition Taproom this morning.

I started with coffee...

AND a bloody mary, since it came free (!!!) with our meal.

I love me some bloody mary mix. This one was a nice, tasty standard - not a ton of horseradish, not too spicy, and nothing crazy or fancy about it. Just an olive, a lime, and spicy tomatoey goodness.

We split an order of the tempura-battered green beans to start. Holy COW, these were good. The batter was crunchy and salty, the beans were crisp and the aioli was tangy...I could easily have eaten buckets and buckets of these. BUT, I needed to save room for our entrees.

We split two things. The croque madame:

Pork roll, fried eggs and beer cheese sauce over a crusty baguette, and...

the burger special - gruyere, watercress, truffle oil and yet another fried egg. SO GOOD. I saved the aioli to dip fries and smear on the last of the burger bun.

With such a heavy breakfast, I'm still not hungry now, at 7pm...which I guess is a good thing. I also guess it's a good thing that I started my day off at the gym.

I haven't lifted in what feels like ages - while I've been good about getting to the gym regularly despite my nutty work schedule, said nutty work schedule leaves me craving the best possible sweat in the shortest amount of time - which for me is always cardio.

So, this morning, I started off with a couple quick miles (five minutes at 6.5mph, six minutes starting at 7.0 and increasing by .1 every 60 seconds to 7.5mph, then reversing back down to 7.0 again and cranking it back up to 7.5mph to finish off my two miles in about 17 minutes. Anything to combat treadmill boredom!), followed by P90X back and biceps. And WOW, it's been a while since I've done that workout, and it showed...I was totally spent by the end.

That particular workout ends with a strip-set of curls - you're supposed to do four sets of 8 and decrease by 5lbs with each set, but for little ol' me that's not mathematically possible. So, I started with 15lbs, decreased to 12.5, then to 10 and then to 8 for my last set. I gotta say, there's just something I LOVE about the feeling of your biceps shaking, even with 8lb weights, and then that delicious, DELICIOUS relief when you throw those little 8lb dumbbells down at the end.

So now, Cosmo and I are chilling on the couch (shocking) waiting for PhillyGuy to get home. I'm hoping I can get him to watch a movie with me tonight...I'm thinking either something with Woody Allen or something by David Mamet. A coworker recommended "the Spanish Prisoner" earlier this week, but I can't find it on demand and now I'm on a mission. Any recommendations?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Halfway Home

I cannot believe the week is more than halfway over! I guess that's what being busy does.

This weekend, we brought Cosmo home a new bed.

He likes it. A lot.

It's currently sitting on the couch next to me. I'm hoping to slowly "trick" him into sleeping in this bed instead of OUR bed. Don't get me wrong, I like cuddling with my dog...but that M-Fer hogs the bed.

I know, I don't get it either. But believe me - less than 25 pounds is enough to shove me out of the way. And PhillyGuy. Somehow, by the time morning comes around, the two of us end up pushed out to the edge of our respective sides of the bed, and Cosmo is sprawled out in the middle, complete immovable.

Anyway. After the insanity that my job has been lately, I was DYING to run tonight. I crossed my fingers that my knee would behave itself, hopped on the treadmill and set out to run some intervals. I alternated between 6.5, 7.5 and 8.0mph for anywhere between 1 and 5 minutes at a stretch with no real rhyme or reason. I wrapped up three miles in 27:56 and was WIPED. MAN, I hate getting back into shape. It's freakin' rough.

Cosmo chilled on his bed next to me while I finished up some work and guessed it.

Roasted broccoli.

With a big fat pile of sundried tomato hummus and some (super classy) pre-cooked chicken.

While Sophie watched TV.

What can I say? I live a glamorous life.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Have Been MIA

yeah. I've been MIA.

This week was full of...stuff. Lots of stuff.

Like this, which greeted me at my desk at 6:22 am on Thursday morning.

I hadn't started my day with a Starbucks latte and bagel in forever. This used to be my daily breakfast - until I moved from center city to G-Ho, where there is no Starbucks. At the time, I was actually concerned about that - I truly did not know where I was going to get my coffee. Answer: if I don't make it at home (see: copious amounts of Via and a reusable cold cup)...

...then I go to Good Karma, on 22nd between Pine and Delancey, or LaVa, at 21st and South. Or any of the other fun, neighborhood-y coffee shops all over this city. How, in god's name, did I manage to live in Philly for so long (like two or three years!) without realizing it? I guess that's what happens when you live in CC proper.

Anyway. That stack of documents is a third of what I had to review this week in time for my 10am meeting Thursday morning. I also had four filings, a bunch of agreements to finish up, and a lunch with new clients out in the 'burbs. It was a nutty week, and left me feeling like something just punched me in the face.

I still managed to hit the gym a few times, for some short speedwork and a bunch of time on the recumbent bike. The entire week, I was just counting the seconds for this:

I'm a casual snowboarder - I've gone a few times a year since college. I'm not anywhere near good, but I'm comfortable on green terrain and easier blues. PhillyGuy has never so much as touched a mountain, but I finally managed to drag him up to Camelback for some lessons and a weekend of fun, easy snowboarding.

We had some much-needed beers at a local brewery right by the mountain.

Why did the bar I worked at in college not do this?