Saturday, April 30, 2011


that's what i should rename this blog. Or maybe "PhillyGirlNeverF!@kingRuns&isSuperBitterAboutIt."

It's been a nutty week. We road tripped it back home on Sunday and spent most of the evening getting everything in order to get back to the real world on Monday.

LOVE road trip snacks. I definitely had my fill of "junk food" on vacation, so I was ready to get back to eating normal stuff. And yes, beef jerky - in all of its sodium-laden beauty - is "normal" for me.

Between catching up on what went on while I was gone, addressing a couple of minor emergencies, managing a closing that I had hoped - foolishly - would happen while I was gone, and having one major crisis on Thursday (yes, I did actually cry at work. in my office. while my boss was there. don't worry, she offered me Crown Royal), this week was exhausting. I managed to work out pretty regularly, and the beautiful weather made my commute very calming - thank goodness.

Honestly, I think those two things - a gorgeous commute and regular sweat sessions - are the only two things that kept me from collapsing on Thursday. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted, and all I wanted was comfort food. So, I came home, put on my bedazzled Phillies sweatpants, and ordered my new favorite takeout - a chicken kabob salad with feta cheese from the pizza place across the street.

Not pictured is the enormous styrofoam vat of hummus I ordered with my salad. I mean, come on. I cried at work. Do you think I was really going to soothe that with lettuce? I ate just about the entire order of hummus, between dipping my chicken in it, dipping my veggies in it, and just flat out dipping my fork in it.

But hey - it wasn't an entire pizza.

All of this was further complicated by the fact that Broad Street was coming up. I've mentioned before that my knee started bothering me right around the time I registered. And true to form, I've been short-sighted and I've kept myself from healing by continuing to run a couple times a week, 3-4 miles at a shot, with plenty of intervals and speedwork. It's satisfying, in the short term. It gives me a good sweat, releases some endorphins, and helps me stay sane. But I never felt 100% and I never did long runs, since I'd inevitably start one and punk out at 4 or 5 miles, when my IT band or my patella started to hurt.

I didn't want to admit to myself that there was no way I could get in shape for this race. Could I have finished the ten miles? Probably. Would I have been risking a much more serious injury? Also probably. Would I have been hard on myself for running at a pace likely 90 seconds over my goal pace? Definitely. Am I going to be hard on myself tomorrow, when I'm down at Broad & South with my camera, looking for my friends? Well...I'm going to try not to be.

And maybe next time I won't be so shortsighted. In the meantime, I spent 20 sweaty minutes on the bike today, followed by a shoulder-and-arm-blasting session of P90X that left me totally smoked. And now it's time to settle in for some Ghost Adventures, a sleeping Sophie and a bowl of roasted veggies, chicken and marinara sauce.

Good luck tomorrow, Broad Streeters! Look for me at South Street!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

More Grilling

and a confession.

First the grilling. One of my favorite summertime meals - spiedies.

While PhillyGuy manned the grill, I chopped up a bunch of brussels sprouts and half a sweet onion, tossed with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.

While those roasted up, I made myself a fairly simple salad.

Romaine, red pepper, cucumber, and some olives mixed with chunks of feta and an olive oil/vinegar mixture that I picked up at the grocery store. Since I didn't bring my favorite vinegar to make a salad dressing, I relied on the oil from the olive mix to flavor the salad - which it did just fine.

I topped my salad with a bunch of spiedies.

For those unfamiliar, these are an upstate New York (well, Binghamton area - which is really not at all "upstate") tradition. It's just marinated chunks of chicken breast, but I can't quite replicate the marinade at home, so we stock up like crazy whenever we visit PhillyGuy's parents.

And now the confession.

This entire vacation, I've been scared to run.

This is kind of embarrassing. I brought plenty of workout clothes. Duck has a great path running along the main drag which is perfectly shady in the mornings. I have my shoes. I have my industrial-strength sports bras. My knee hasn't been bothering me at all, and I've been routinely running a couple times a week - not much, maybe 3-4 miles of intervals or repeats at a pop, but still.

Every day on vacation, I've told myself that I am going to start the day with a run. A short one or a long one, it didn't matter - I intentionally left my Garmin at home, figuring it would be a nice break to just put on my shoes and GO without worrying about time or distance.

And every day, I get nervous and make an excuse as to why it's not a good day for a run. Why am I nervous? I honestly don't know. I usually don't feel like going right away when I wake up, and then later in the day, when I DO feel like going, I talk myself out of it, rationalizing that it's gotten sunny and hot(ter), or that my husband wants to hang out. As if I couldn't even do 30 minutes or so, or as if 75 degrees is unbearably hot for a run.

I don't get this at all. I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself, and hoping that I just snap out of it in a couple of hours or days or whatever. But I don't like this feeling, at ALL.

Whew. Got that out. Now to enjoy our last day of vacation.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Puppy Ice Cream

We started this morning off with P90X yoga. As I mentioned before, I've been regularly going to hot yoga...not a ton, but I've managed to go once a week. Taking classes again has helped me tremendously - my form is much better, which means that, in turn, many of the poses are more difficult. I'm happy about it, because it means that I'm doing it right, but it's also freakin' BRUTAL when I'm in the middle of it.

P90X yoga is challenging in general - about 45 minutes of tough moving asanas, lots of warrior sequences and chest opening poses, followed by another 45 minutes of balance postures and abs (in Horton-speak, the "yoga belly 7"). I broke almost as much of a sweat moving through this in our OBX living room as I do in the 90-degree studio at Philly Power Yoga, and I got through the tough poses by reminding myself that the only way it would ever get easier is if I pushed through.

And then I made bacon for breakfast.

Delicious, expensive, Whole Foods bacon.

Around noon, I suggested to PhillyGuy that we take the pups for a nice long walk, since (not unlike us) they've been spending much of the vacation like this:

But, as luck would have it, as soon as we set foot out the front door, it started raining.

So instead of a nice long walk, we packed the dogs into the car and drove about a mile down the road to get some ice cream.

I had cookie dough.

(Side note: how is that a small? I could eat 47 conch fritters, but I couldn't even finish half of this ice cream. I hit my capacity with sweet stuff WAY faster than I do with salty/savory.) The pups got to share some plain vanilla.

Sophie loves ice cream, but (kind of like me) loses interest quickly.

Cosmo, on the other hand?

He never gets bored with it.

(Okay, more little bite.)

We're back at the house, I'm snuggled in my sweats and we're getting ready to spend the rest of this rainy afternoon playing scrabble. Yeah, I'm that awesome.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sunset Grille

I can't say it enough - the Outer Banks were SUCH a great idea.

I've been waking up between 6:45 and 7:30 each morning - no alarm, just naturally - and taking the dogs for their morning constitutional. We're probably half a mile or so away from the beach, which is just fine with my pups - it probably won't shock you to hear that the same dog who is afraid of the backyard is also afraid of the ocean.

After our walk, I pour myself a giant glass of iced coffee - I made a pot our first night here and then chilled it in the fridge, rather than my usual method of relying on starbucks Via and cold water - and then hang in bed catching up on the internets indefinitely.

Tuesday, PhillyGuy and I started the morning off with some P90X Chest & Back. As a refresher, here's what that entails:

Standard Push-ups (for me - 12-15, on knees)
Wide Front Pull-ups (8-10 on the assisted pullup machine with a 70lb counterweight, OR 15 "pullups" using a resistance band stuck on the top of a doorframe)
Military Push-ups (12, on knees)
Reverse Grip Chin-ups (narrow grip, palms facing in - 8-10 on assisted pullup machine, 70lb counterweight, OR 15 "pulls" using the band)
Wide Fly Push-Ups (12-15, on knees)
Closed Grip Overhand Pull-ups (narrow grip, palms out - same as the others, 8-10 pullups or 15 "pulls" with the band)
Decline Push-ups (I still cannot do more than one of these, so I do what I can, followed by 8 "real" pushups here)
Heavy Pants (two-armed back rows - I do 10 with 20-lb dumbbells)
Diamond Push-ups (hands spread and close together with thumbs/forefingers forming a diamond under your chest - 12, on knees)
Lawnmower (single-armed back row in a side lunge - I do 10-12 on each side with a 25-lb dumbbell)
Dive Bomber Push-ups (downward dog to upward dog and back again - the booklet describes it best, "like going back and forth underneath a fence." this is murder on my shoulders. I do about 6 before failing and finishing with 8-10 standard pushups)
Back Flies (8-10 with 10lb dumbbells)

...then repeat the entire set. Since we're traveling, we don't have access to a gym, and brought our resistance band instead. I strongly prefer doing the back exercises with the pullup bar and dumbbells, but the band is better than nothing. We followed that up with the super-toolbox-titled Ab Ripper X DVD, which involves 15 minutes or so of ab and hip flexor burning in the form of 25 reps each of the following:

In & Outs (standard crunching movement, starting in a V with legs bent and back straight, then extending legs while leaning back)
Seated Bicycle (forward and reverse for about 30 seconds each)
Crunchy Frog (hate this name - it's basically In & Outs, but with arms up, extending to the sides while you extend your legs and wrapping around to the front when you bring your knees in)
Wide Leg Sit-ups (laid out flat with legs wide, full sit-up followed by a twist over to one foot, repeat)
Fifer Scissors (lay back, one leg straight up at 90 degrees, the other hovering over the group - switch every couple seconds)
Hip Rock n’ Raise (too stupid to describe, but it burns - see video here)
Pulse Ups (laid back, legs up at 90 degrees, raise hips straight up)
V-up Roll-up (blah blah blah - full situp followed by V-up, repeat)
Oblique V-ups (side crunches)
Leg Climbs (here's the hip rock & raise dude doing leg climbs)
Mason Twist (these make me really, really dizzy, so I replace with static oblique holds - laying flat on my back, with my legs held over to one side a foot or so off the ground. I switch every 10 "mason twists")

It felt really, really good to get a decent sweat in...before I proceeded to spend the next several hours napping and watching TV. Yup, that's right.

Later that evening, we headed down Route 12 to the Sunset Grille for a couple beers and some snacks.

The view truly can't be beat...

...but I wasn't expecting too much of the food.

And I wasn't let down.

I started off with a Fat Tire while we waited for our conch fritters and jerk wings to come out.

After that, I got excited about the prospect of some nice, simple steamed seafood, so I got a raw/steamer combo of crab legs, peel & eat shrimp, oysters and clams. The shrimp were really tasty and the crab legs were decent, but please explain to me WHAT I was thinking when I ordered raw oysters from a place that serves fruity rum drinks in plastic parrots.


Thankfully, I'm none the worse for the wear. And really...the view WAS awesome.

Duck Continues

Vacation is great.

I get to drink plenty of vino - a random $10 bottle recommended by the kid at the little wine shop down the street.

And - since wine isn't particularly good at quenching thirst - plenty of Pepsi Max on the side.

Bringing your own food means that you pare down to the very basics.

Beautiful weather means your husband grills (and reads a giant textbook while he's at it).

It means multiple levels of deck to sit out on - each one with its own type of furniture.

Steak and roasted green beans, mushrooms and onions?

Okay, fine.

Not a bad first night.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Sophie doesn't like vacation.

We rented a house with a big, fenced-in backyard specifically so the dogs could run and run and run.

Preferably while PhillyGuy and I sat in the hot tub.

Turns out Sophie's scared of the Outer Banks. And this house. And the backyard. And the hot tub.

Let's hope she gets used to it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just in Case were wondering... these bars are NOT good at all.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Zavino Meetup

Tuesday night, I met up with a bunch of my favorite Philly bloggers for dinner at Zavino. I had never been to Zavino before, but as soon as Lisa suggested it, several others jumped all over the idea - and who am I to turn down gourmet pizza? (Or happy hour, for that matter - but we missed that boat.) I started the evening off with a much-needed glass of's been a rough week. It had already BEEN a rough week and it was only Tuesday at that point :) I also had a taste of made-in-house honey orange soda, thanks to Sabrina, who was kind enough to share. The chef was kind enough to send out a complimentary Kennett pizza, drizzled in bechamel and dotted with several types of mushrooms. I'm going to pretend it was because he was impressed by our beauty and grace...and NOT because we were a table full of girls taking pictures of their food and beverages. Look at that crust! (Not that I eat crusts. I never have and never will, probably due, in no small part, to my parents' fervent insistence that they would "make my hair curly" when I was little.) For dinner, I agonized over the choices before going with the Polpettini. (WTF weird shadow??) Crushed tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and (wait for it) veal meatballs stuffed with ricotta. I got so caught up in chatting with everyone that I only managed to eat two pieces of my pizza, plus a piece of the Kennett...but I'm pretty sure PhillyGuy was happy to polish off the leftovers when he got home that night. Pictured: Lisa, yours truly, Sabrina, Leslie, Allison, Lauren, Melissa and Kelly.