Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday Funday

Good Afternoon! I hope everyone is having a good start to the week. I had a great Monday! It's weird...sometimes after an indulgent couple of days it is nice to take it easy and enjoy the consistency of working and doing errands.

My Monday started off with a little babysitting...

A little background... I am currently in my 3rd year of a MS/CAGS School Psychology program and had my first summer off from classes in a long time. With my time off, I worked full time (well 27.5 hours) for 6 weeks as an aide for three children with Autism/PDD. Since I had a few weeks in between when the program ended and when I start my full time internship (September 13th) I agreed to babysit a few days for a family I worked with last summer. They have one little boy who is 3.

So as I was saying... I started off the day hanging out in the park playing baseball, making sand castles and playing soccer.

After babysitting I met Evan at Whole Foods (my favorite store in the whole world) for our weekly shopping trip. I love how food shopping is almost like a reward for me. The whole time while I was babysitting I kept thinking only a few more hours until I can go food shopping, HAHA I am so silly sometimes. Anyways, I was so proud of us because we finally got our weekly grocery bill down to $100. We have been going a little overboard with our food selection and have been trying to make a conscientious effort to cut down. With that said, we usually eat most breakfasts and lunches from home and 4-5 dinners at home.

Does anyone have any helpful tips on cutting back on the grocery bill?

Once home, I made a great late lunch: A toasted open face ham, cheese and tomato sandwich, Leftover orzo salad and Cantaloupe.

My afternoon consisted of paying bills, making unfun phone calls (Comcast, etc.) and planing Evan's 26th birthday celebrations.

I headed to the gym around 5:30 and did:

15 minutes on the Stair Climber
15 minutes on the Elliptical
3 x 10 leg presses
3 x 10 chess presses
3 x10 biceps curl
3 x 10 triceps dip
3 x 10 lungs
3 x 10 shoulder raises
3 x 10 push ups
3 x 10 dead lifts
3 x 10 rows
3 x 10 back pull down machine?? (not sure what the name of this machine is)
Stretch on the foam roller

My workout took a little over an hour and surprisingly I was not that soar from my 9 mile run. It is funny, the only part of my body that was really soar was the left side of my neck (I must have slept on it funny).

Once home, I made some fish (marinated with a little butter, lemon juice, garlic, tomatoes and herbs), string beans (steamed) and corn on the cob (my FAVORITE summer veggie). Oh and a little Naan bread on the side, just because I LOVE bread.

I then enjoyed a little frozen yogurt while I caught up with reality tv (Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of NJ).

By the way did anyone catch the finally for the Real Housewives of NJ? How crazy is Danielle????

Monday, August 30, 2010

Long Run and Family Fun!

Happy Monday! Wow, the days are just flying by! Yesterday (Sunday) started at 7:30 a.m. with a large piece of toast with peanut butter, 1/2 a banana and a small cup of coffee. By 8:15 I was on the road for my first 9 mile run since last Fall. I was really, really nervous and did not sleep well the night before. It is kinda weird that before a long run I tend to stress out a little and worry that I wont make it, even if it is just a training run.

Does anyone else get stressed before a long training run?

Well all my worrying was for nothing because I made it! Here are my splits:

Distance: 9 miles
Duration: 1:17:58

Mile 1: 9:10
Mile 2: 8:27
Mile 3: 8:23
Mile 4: 8:23
Mile 5: 8:24
Mile 6: 8:24
Mile 7: 9:14 (I was trying to navigate getting over a bridge and had to walk up some stairs)
Mile 8: 8:44
Mile 9: 8:46

I noticed that my first mile is always the slowest and my last one or two are a little slower, but overall my times are pretty consistent. I think having a Garmin helps a lot. With the Garmin I am able to pace myself better because I can occasionally look down at my watch to confirm I running at an even pace.

Also, after my first mile I started to get really tired and all I could think of was that I have 8 miles to go. To solve this "negative thinking" I broke my run into 3 parts and took a break to stretch twice during the run (after 3 miles and then again after 6). This helped A LOT because I only had to think 2 miles or 1 mile to go until I can stop for a second. I also think this helps to prevent injury because I was constantly stretching instead of waiting until the end. However, I am unsure how this will transfer to racing because I will (hopefully) not stop during the race. We will see how it goes on future runs, but I think the two positive reasons outweigh the possibility of having to stop during the race. I also did not include the stop in my overall time.

Do you think it is good to stop during a long run? Do you count the stop in your overall time?

Once home, I stretched and iced my knees for 15 minutes. After a nice long shower I had a blueberry Chobani with my other 1/2 of banana and 1/4 cup of Raisin Bran Cereal. I also had another cup of coffee.

Then I was on the road, again!! My Uncle and his family are visiting from New Jersey and rented a home on the Cape near another Uncle's summer home. So Evan and I took a day trip to the Cape to spend time with Dad's family.

Once we arrived, I was ready to eat again! I had a small ham and cheese sandwich, fruit salad, and a few pieces of crackers and cheese on the patio while we caught up with my family from New Jersey.

Once we were full from lunch we headed over to my other uncle's house and played with all his water toys.

Evan and Jon (my brother)

We then enjoyed some cocktails (I had a margarita) on the porch, while my Uncle fired up the grill.

Dinner was a smorgasbord of meats and salads. I do not care for mayonaise, so I just stuck to regular salad (not pasta salad) and meat (1 chicken tip, 1/2 burger, 2 steak tips).

I also had a small sliver of both types of pie (triple berry and apple)!!

We said our goodbyes and then headed home. What a great day with family! Thank you to both my Uncles for hosting us for the day!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Highlights from Day 3&4

I took Friday off from formal exercise, but I sure got my fair share of exercise in the form of WALKING. Montreal is such a walking city and we took advantage of it. We fueled up with a little breakfast in the form of a blueberry scone and fruit at the food court of the underground mall (they had free WIFI).

Quick change of shoes and we were off to climb Mount Royal.

We kinda got lost on the way up the Mountain and took the HARD trail up. I was definitely not dressed appropriately and was sweating the whole way up!!!!

However, once we got up to the top we were greeted with beautiful views of Montreal!!!

We took a MUCH easier path down and walked to a local brewery on St. Denis street for lunch: Les 3 Brasseurs.

I tried a 1/2 pint of the Blonde Ale and Evan had a pint of their Amber Ale. The beer was VERY good!

For lunch I ordered one of my favorite meals of the trip: an open face sandwich of goat cheese, tomatoes and herbs.


On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the Notre Dame Basilica and got a cappuccino.

Once showered and changed we headed out for dinner at a place recommended by our friend Laura: Boris Bistro.

We started with the trio tapenade (Olive, red pepper, artichoke).

For dinner I ordered the Mahi Mahi.

The food was OK at the Boris Bistro, but the restaurant had one of the best atmospheres we have ever been to. After dinner we went to a local bar for a few drinks.


I started Saturday with a quick run on the hotel's treadmill. I ran 4 miles in 35 minutes and 30 seconds.  My time was OK; I think I was starting to feel all the food, walking, and drinking we have been doing the last few days. We had a quick breakfast at Starbucks and then hit the road again. 

We made a quick stop in Burlington, VT for lunch and some more walking up and down Church Street. The weather was beautiful and we really took in the sights and sounds of the town. 

We had lunch at a French bistro because they had an incredible veggie burger on the Menu: Black Bean and Rice Burger!

We enjoyed our lunch on the patio and then set out back on the road. We arrived back into Boston around 8:00. After unpacking and parking the car we enjoyed some peppers and eggs on the couch with a movie: Remember Me. Oh, and there might have been a little ice cream for dessert!!

A perfect end to a PERFECT vacation!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Exploring Montreal

Hello there! Sorry for the lack of posts, but our hotel did not offer free WIFI, so it has been a little challenging finding free Internet. Today is our last day in Montreal and Evan and I are a little sad to leave. We have had a GREAT trip! What a unique city Montreal is. Let me start with Thursday....

I started the day off with a quick workout in the hotel gym.

I warmed up with 30 minutes on the elliptical and then did a series of strength moves:
3x12 squats
3x12 chess press
3x12 bicep curls
3x12 tricep dips
3x12 lunges
3x12 push ups
3x12 shoulder lifts
It was a good workout considering I was using a small hotel gym. After we showered and beautified we headed down to St. Denis Street (which is a little like Newbury Street in Boston). We had heard it was a great street for cafes and people watching. We ended up finding a cute little French bistro where we could sit outside and enjoy some coffee and sandwiches.

I ordered a ham and cheese panini with a small side salad. It was a perfect lunch.

Evan ordered another crepe with ham and cheese, veggies with provencal sauce, and an egg on top. I tried a bite and it is so weird how crepes can be made to taste SO different. This crepe was SOOOOOOO different than the night before.

After lunch we walked up Saint Denis Street onto Sherbrooke street. We walked along Sherbrooke and checked out McGill College. There was a freshmen orientation going on and it looked SO fun, it is kinda weird to me that you can drink at 18 in Montreal. Next we walked up onto St. Catherine Street and walked in and out of a few shops. Luckily we did not buy anything, but it was fun to window shop.

Once we started approaching the hotel we saw a Diary Queen. We thought it would be good to get TWO blizzard treats from Diary Queen. BAD DECISION!!!!!

After eating most of our ice creams we immediately got tired and went and took a nap by the hotel pool.

After we rested up we went to investigate this "underground mall" we kept hearing about.

It was pretty much like every other mall I have been to, but it was all underground which was pretty cool. Also, they had a supermarket, hair salons, metro station, fitness center, work buildings, and apartment buildings also attached to the underground area.

Once we freshened up we headed out to dinner (we were still full from the Blizzards). We went to a restaurant called The Keg, upon recommendation of the hotel. Apparently they had just opened up a new trendier version of the restaurant in the financial district of Montreal.

When we got there (around 7:30pm) there was a 45 minute wait, so we went to the PACKED bar and got a drink. I like how in Montreal you can order a small drink or upgrade to a larger drink for a few dollars more. I decided to upgrade my glass of wine to the large, while we waited for our table.

Around 8:30 our table was ready. The Keg looked like a traditional steak restaurant with very manly looking furniture and decor. For dinner, I got a Filet Mignon wrapped in bacon and Evan got a prime rib and Shrimp combo. We also shared the trio side, which came with asparagus, marinated mushrooms and sweet potato fries. YUM!!!!!

For dessert we split a Spanish Coffee.

One thing I noticed/love about Montreal is how the waiters do not rush you at dinner and dinner can take up to 2-3 hours because everything is so relaxed. We had a great dinner at The Keg and a great second day in Montreal!

More Montreal coming soon.......