Tuesday, May 14, 2013

10 miles

T-3 weeks until the Rock and Roll Half Marathon!

Training has been so much better this time around.  It's cool, because I have the added confidence before every long run of knowing that I've done it before.  And the shorter runs during the week are getting easier too.  It's much less of an "event" to run 3 miles on a week day.  It's fun to see how far I've come since the Color Run back in November where I had to walk toward the end of the 5k.  Now, I generally don't run less than a 5k when I head out.  I guess persistence does pay off. :)

This past Saturday, I ran 10 miles.  Last time around, I didn't run more than 8 miles before the race, so running 10 miles is the second furthest I've ever run! I'm trying to get race-ready, so I'm practicing eating the right food before and during my long runs and wearing the clothes I'll race in.


Saturday morning, I got up early to eat my oatmeal and then crawled back in bed for another hour.  That's the only downside to morning runs- trying to leave time to digest before you go out is a little more difficult then for runs later in the day. I grabbed some Cliff Shot Bloks to take with me after I woke up the second time and headed out.


Eating while running is kind of hard- I find myself panting to catch my breath after chewing.  Fortunately, even though these Bloks are like giant fruit snacks, they only require a few good chews before I can swallow them.  Which is good, because I like breathing.

I planned to do two loops around the park (all by myself).  I felt fantastic during the first loop (about 6 miles) and then I came to this awful hill that totally drained me.  Plus it was already about 80 degrees outside which was killer.  Although I find loops super boring and I get frustrated running over the same path, I knew I would appreciate being near the many water fountains of the park while I ran.  I even found a secret water fountain (I guess it was just a secret to me), but it made my life better when I was really getting hot.

The second loop was hard, I won't lie.  There were some solid walking breaks, but I ran the entire last mile and finished under 2 hours, which was my goal.

The best part of the run was coming home to my new air conditioner!  The cat still doesn't quite know what to make of it.



So sweaty!
I wanted to keep my legs from tightening up, so I grabbed my purse and headed back out to walk over to Bread and Cie to get some coffee.  And maybe a cookie too...


So good!

I had a really nice dinner with my aunt and my dad who was visiting from NorCal later that night.  We went to 100 Wines which I think is in my top three favorite places to eat in San Diego.  We ordered the crispy cauliflower with a balsamic reduction which never fails to impress me.


They display their food so beautifully!

We ended the meal with a dessert called the Menage a Trois which came with three little samplers of chocolate cake, peanut brittle, and a pot au creme.  The manager came over before our order arrived and told us how good the chocolate cake was.  As she left our table, she said "Enjoy your menage a trois!" which is a super awkward thing to hear when you're with your dad and aunt...

It was great seeing my dad (my parents need to visit more!) and the dinner was a great end to the day.  Next weekend will be a similar long-running, family-time couple of days.  It's my sister's graduation from college and I somehow need to fit in an 11 mile run- eek!


 


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pizza Review: The Haven

On Wednesday, I got together with my girlfriends for pizza night number two.  Sharon had recommended The Haven in Kensington when we were leaving our first pizza night at Project Pie, so we headed there. 

When I arrived, I was super excited to see the layout- I'm a sucker for patios and open air restaurants! 

I'm standing outside on the sidewalk looking into the restaurant
I timed my arrival perfectly and Courtney and Dana were just ordering drinks.  I got a California Wit from the Coronado Brewing Company- a local brewery.  When the rest of the group arrived, we ordered the Haven Twists (breadsticks) with the spicy pizza sauce and garlic sauce and also the roasted brussel sprouts.  Sadly, the server never put our order in, so our pizzas were on the table before the appetizers. Fail.  We ended up canceling the order of Haven Twists, which was a little sad.  I thought the brussel sprouts were good, but not exceptional.

We decided to share a few pizzas and ordered the Spicy Pesto (spicy pizza sauce, hazelnut pesto, with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella), the Cortez (candied bacon, gorgonzola, and tomatoes, topped with fresh arugula and avocado), the PBTO (hazelnut pesto, candied bacon, diced tomato and caramelized onions topped with mozzarella), and the "New" New York (spicy pizza sauce, seasonal onion mix, bell peppers, mushrooms and vegan sausage with mozzarella). 

The Cortez
The pizzas had some fun topping- candied bacon, hazelnut pesto, spicy pizza sauce- but overall, I wasn't impressed.  I felt like pizzas just didn't fully come together- the Cortez, which was my favorite of the bunch, seemed like it was missing something.  The next day, I was thinking of adding a poached egg on top of the leftovers I took home, but I was out of eggs.  I think that would have made the pizza fantastic (but maybe I just like poached eggs on everything...)

Spicy Pesto pizza with my delicious beer
Don't get me wrong, the food wasn't bad.  I was just looking for more.  And after the do-it-yourself style at Project Pie (where I got to choose exactly the toppings I wanted), it was hard to compete.

At least the company was great. :)

Clockwise from me: Sharon, our new friend Ginny, Lauren, Courtney, and Dana
I apologize to Courtney and Dana if I was being a bad conversationalist, I was just so mesmerized by the giant mural behind their heads.


You are too, now, aren't you?

My other complaint was that the service was disappointing.  Our server just seemed really out of it.  Fortunately, our second server (or manager or someone) was more competent and she thoughtfully took the brussel sprouts off our check at the end.  However, when we asked to have our leftovers boxed, we got this:

Really?
I guess it's less wasteful then a whole box?  When we asked the server if he knew which little bundle held which pizza, he responded yes, but then proceeded to open and rip each pizza-filled foil package to check it and tell us.  Really helpful, thanks.

Oops, I forgot I'm trying to be more compassionate towards others.  Hmm, maybe he was having a bad day.  Or he was new to the job.  Or maybe he was drunk?

In conclusion, I loved the atmosphere, liked the food, and was annoyed by the service.  I know some in the group enjoyed the food more than I did, so perhaps I'm being harsh.  I think our waiter biased how I felt about the place.  I recognize that he was just one person, so maybe the other servers are all awesome.  I would go back again, but I'll probably hit up Project Pie (and some other places) first.






Monday, May 6, 2013

Jedi Mind Control Tricks


I've been thinking a lot lately about thinking. I've been working on controlling my thoughts, (sorry, these aren't the take-over-the-world type of Jedi Mind tricks you were looking for) and I think it's really improving my life.  Have you seen this diagram before?
 
Source

When I've been sad in the past, I've had lots of people tell me, "Go work out- you'll feel better."  While I've always understood the connection between thoughts, actions, and emotions, it's been hard for me to implement this by just going to the gym, because I usually don't want to if I'm feeling down.  So I know that changing my actions is easier said than done.

I think most people agree that changing your emotions is even more difficult, so this has left me looking at my thoughts.  The first Jedi Mind Control Trick that was pointed out to me was that feeling emotions is okay, but certain thoughts will sink you.

Thoughts That Sink You


Let's say, for example, that you've recently been dumped (and didn't blog nearly as much as you would have liked to at the beginning of the year as a result). This is hypothetical of course.  But say a relationship has just ended; it's okay and normal to be sad that it's over, but it's not productive to think "I'm going to die alone."  That's a thought that will sink me you.

Source
Lots of people have studied these "sinkers" and call them Cognitive Distortions. (There's a whole bunch of them: all-or-nothing thinking, over generalization, "should" statements...)  So I started trying to recognize my sink-inducing thoughts (or my cognitive distortions), and just recognizing them helped me feel better.  If I'm able to pick out those distorted thoughts, I can remind myself that they are incorrect and move on.  Surprisingly easy and helpful when I remember to do it!

The next trick that I picked up recently was asking myself the following question:

What Does That Thought Do For Me?


I was talking to a friend about something I was worried about and the friend asked me, "what does that worry do for you?".  It stopped me in my tracks- I had no good response.  The worry wasn't making me more productive and it was, in fact, making me feel bad, so it seemed logical to let it go and stop thinking about it.  Another way of looking at it: I'm either going to get the promotion or I'm not; but worrying about it won't change the outcome (or it will, in a negative way).

I love this diagram.  Source

So I've been trying to ask myself this question when I feel stressed or sad.  Is this thought/worry/concern helpful and beneficial to me? If not, who needs it?! 

The last thing I've been trying to keep in mind these days is...

Compassion


This is not only for my attitude toward others, but also toward myself.  Back around my birthday, I made a resolution to be nicer to myself and to others.  One thing that has helped is changing my tone of voice with myself.  That sounds kind of ridiculous, but it worked.  When I'm struggling and at a low point, I try to talk to myself like I would to a small child: "It'll all be alright", "You're gonna be okay", "You made a mistake, but this is not the end of the world."  It helps, I promise.  Try it next time you're stressed or sad and then get back to me on this.


The other part of my birthday resolution was to be nicer to others.  I think to truly have compassion for myself, I need to have compassion for everyone around me as well.  To me this means being more forgiving and aware that people have their own way of doing things and that my way is not the only right way.  This is a work in progress.

Do you have any super Jedi Mind Control Tricks?      







Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to be a Grown-up, Part I

Sometimes I feel like there should be a manual for how to be an adult.  Since no one else seems to have produced this, I plan to do it someday.  Here's part of what my manual will include:

At the grocery store


Sometimes it's okay to divide produce; other times it's not.  

 
Source

So you only want three bananas and there's five in the bunch?  Cool, pull off the three bananas you want.  However, if you only need one stalk of celery for your recipe, don't just rip off one piece and head to the check out, because your mom is probably going to mock you for the rest of your life and the check out clerk will likely be confused and say, "uh, I don't really know what to do with this.  I think I'll just give it to you as a sample."  And you will feel dumb.  So don't attempt to divide celery. (Age I learned this lesson: 19)


At home

 

Sheets not only come in different sizes, they come in different heights too!

Source
You probably learned about different sheet sizes before you left for college.  They probably told you to get twin XL sheets for the dorm room- not just twin size!  But who knew there was such a thing as "deep pocketed sheets" and that those were what fit a pillow-top mattress??  (Okay, my mom, apparently.)  So while you may feel proud of yourself for purchasing your very first mattress, make sure to get sheets that will fit (and won't keep popping up over the side of the mattress when you roll-over).  Macy's tells me the following:

Sheet Pocket* Size:           Mattress Height:
Standard                            7-12 inches
Deep                                 13-17 inches
Extra Deep                        18-25 inches

*"Pocket" refers to the space created at each corner of a fitted sheet that lines up with the corner of the mattress.

(Age I learned this lesson: 28; Years with my mattress before I learned this lesson: 3)

Finances

 

If you get a W2 Form or if you received a paycheck during the year, you have to pay taxes.

Source

Okay this one may sound obvious to you and me, but some young adults still haven't figured this one out (cough cough, my sister, cough).  If that W2 form shows up in your mailbox (or gets sent to your parents' house) don't ignore it.  I'd recommend just doing Turbo Tax (I've filed with them every year- even when I had to submit for three different states- and they make it a piece of cake!)  Or ask your parents to help.  But sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich will only mean you have to pay more taxes (or a fine!) when the IRS finds out what you're doing.  (Age my sister learned this lesson: 21).  


What's something you've learned the hard way that you felt someone should have taught you?