Aug 122014
 

I wanted to take full advantage of the lovely summer weather instead of being cooped up in the gym. When I got home from work I went for a run at the track nearby. It was sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and around 87 degrees. A little on the hot side for running outdoors, but I was committed. I filled my running water bottle with half Gatorade and half water (that seems to work well for me in hot weather).

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I love the track in the summer time. It’s not very crowded, it’s easy on the knees, and it’s close to home. The five minute walk from the house was my warm-up and then I got right into it. I am always a little slower than normal (and I’m already slow) when it’s hot out but that’s ok. Not trying to set any records here! I turned on Pandora and one of my favorite new songs popped up.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that music makes a HUGE difference with my running. If the right song comes on with the right beat/pace, I notice that I am a little faster, my form is a little better, I have more endurance and I’m lighter on my feet. I wonder why the perfect song can make such a difference? I guess maybe your feet just start to run to the beat.

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The far side curve of the track was completely shaded from the trees so I used this section of the track for walking. I cooled down a little bit, my heart rate reduced and then when I was back in the sun I was ready to run again. I ran for a little over 35 minutes and then decided to head back to the house. I walked to cool down and when I got back in our yard I played ball with Bella for a few minutes while my heart rate got back to normal.

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She was SO happy to play ball! Her favorite thing ever. It took a little bit for my heart rate to lower. I guess it was the heat? Anyways. She continued to show off and be totally adorable:

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2.86 miles and 413 calories burned. Here are my stats, complete with a Bella photobomb:

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Read this hilarious article: 22 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning When You Are A Runner. I had to laugh at some of those–especially the tan one. I’ve got super awesome (ugly) tan lines that I have to get rid of before the wedding!

After that I met up with my friend Sam for an early-ish dinner/snack at The Brooklyn House in SE Portland. I had never heard of it but when I searched for  restaurant that was kind of a middle point between us this popped up with great reviews. It was a cute a little house next to that German grocery store that everyone raves about (and I still haven’t been there) off SE Powell. They had an adorable outside patio that was partially shaded and that was perfect for us. It was quiet and comfortable and we had the patio to ourselves.

I got an iced tea that was lovely and the waitress, also named Lisa, who was very friendly and prompt, brought out a little simple syrup instead of traditional sugars for the tea for easier mixing. It just needed a teeny bit of the syrup. The tea was wonderful. Sam and I ended up ordering three appetizers and sharing those. The first was their “nibble plate.” It was a basket of large, warm, fresh out of the oven, buttery crostini with four “dips.”

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There was an olive tapenade that was to die for, tzatziki sauce, a white bean puree and a little bowl of Mama Lil’s Peppers (my favorite!). The crostini was perfect. Sometimes you get crostini in restaurants and it’s so hard you feel like you are going to break your teeth trying to eat it. This was not that!

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We also shared the grilled cabbage. They must have blanched the cabbage before grilling it because all the bitterness of the cabbage was gone and instead it had a smokey flavor. The texture was perfect. It came with a lemon aioli sauce on it and my one complaint of the dishes was that the lemon aioli didn’t have much flavor. Despite that everything tasted great and the presentation was gorgeous!

The last dish was the roasted carrots in brown butter sauce. I did not get a photo of that, sadly, because I was too busy eating! The carrots were probably my second favorite dish next to the dips. The carrots were perfectly prepared–a slight crunch was still soft, the butter flavor was rich and there was a hint of salt every once in a while. The carrots were amazing. Loved them! Overall it was a great meal and I’d like to go back and see what else they have. Their entree menu was very limited but the appetizers were vast and they all sounded so good. I will definitely go back here!

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Aug 042014
 

My weekend started with this:

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Unapologetic IPA from Stone Brewery. After a swim on Friday night I met my friend Robyn at N.W.I.P.A in SE Portland. It’s a beer bar/store that carries mainly IPA’s (my favorite). It was a good beer, of course it did not compare to my beloved Boneyard…I love this beer bar but it was insanely hot and stuffy in there. They did NOT have AC. I probably sweated out the beer! I left with a large bottle of Firestone Union Jack IPA and a bottle of Burnside Brewing Sweet Heat, for later.

Then Saturday morning I woke up to have my ass kicked at the Warrior Room Boot Camp:

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I’ve been trying to hit a Boot Camp class for awhile now and one was cancelled and then I had to cancel one that I had signed up for. So I finally made it. It was an exceptionally hot morning and the sun was beating down on us the whole time. There were some guys practicing soccer on the other end of the field and there were some older people walking around the track (and watching us with horrified expressions).

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We met at the Warrior Room, got our kettle bells and a plate and then walked a few blocks to the nearby school football field and track. We did a warm-up of jumping jacks and squats and then ran once around the track.

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Time to start the workout. We did a LOT of sprinting. I’m not really a sprinter. I’m a slow runner but I recognize that sprinting is beneficial (and burns more calories). I was feeling a little rusty as we did sprints from the goal line to the 25 yard line and then back. Then we did walking lunges holding the plate (15 pounds) to the 20 yard line where we left it. This was the hard part. We did burpees with the plate weights. So you go down, do a pushup, jump up with the plate and then do it all over again. We did sets of 5 of this, then sprinted back to the goal line, then back to the 20 yard line for more burpees. Yikes. This was HARD.

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Time for some kettle bell work. We did alternating single arm swings, then squats, then kneeling presses. Then more sprinting. Then back to the kettle bells. Two kettle bell swing, the high pull and more squats. It was SO HOT out. I brought some Gatorade and a bottle of water and was taking a lot of drinking breaks. My heart rate gets pretty high when I do kettle bell work in the air conditioned gym…outside in the stifling heat? My heart rate was insanely (too) high. I had to take more breaks than normal.

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We bent over and pushed the plate weights from the 20 yard line back to the goal line (that was difficult) and then we did a sprint/pushup combo. As a group we sprinted from one end of the track to the corner, all got into plank position in a circle with our heads in the middle and did a “waterfall” push-up. Person 1 does a pushup, then the next person, and so on. We did 3 rounds of that, jumped up and sprinted to the next corner, did it again, then ran to the next corner, and so on.

We ended with some more sprints then abs. I was totally cooked by this point. I wore sunscreen and I took a lot of water breaks, but I was so hot and felt like I was just burning up. It took awhile to cool down, too. My heart rate had been way too high during the class as well.

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Nice calorie burn, though! I felt like I was going to die at the end…Would I do Boot Camp again? Maybe. If it wasn’t 80-90 degrees. I absolutely loved that it was outside in the fresh air and sunshine, I loved that it was a bunch of new stuff to shake things up. I did NOT love how high my heart rate got and how hot I felt. When I got home I took a very long cold shower.

Then it was off to Papa Haydn’s for lunch. Michael treated me to a lunch date and we sat outside on their shaded patio that thankfully had “ceiling” fans. It was nice and cool and just the right temperature. Michael ordered the fried chicken sandwich and I got a Cobb salad. I had a bite of Michael’s sandwich and it was just ok. The fries were fantastic, though.

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My salad was great! I rarely get Cobb salad and I should get it more often. This one had a really delicious, creamy garlic dressing and all the usuals: avocado, bacon, Gorgonzola cheese, tomato, a hard boiled egg and turkey. The salad was so filling! We got two slices of cake to go to test for the wedding.

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Later that evening, Michael’s mom and stepdad came over for dinner. We made prime rib and a tomato, cucumber and mozzarella salad and sat outside on the deck while we ate and drank a very wonderful bottle of Gnarly Head Pinot Noir–it was so smooth and creamy, mild in flavor and just perfect. It went well with the steaks. But before dinner, Michael’s mom had brought over a few different bottles of wine to test for the wedding. They are graciously getting the wine for the wedding and we’ve got a healthy mixture of different varieties, more red than white, but there’s some good Pinot Gris (which I like) that they got, too.

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I’m not a huge chardonnay fan but this one she got was pretty good. The other? Not so much. We all made a “no way” face when we took the first taste.

For dessert we brought out the Papa Haydn’s cake. The first one was a slice of their German Chocolate Cake. The second was their Velvet Gianduja–chocolate truffle cake with hazelnut milk chocolate mousse, almond joconde and chocolate ganache.

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So I put out the two slices on different plates. Michael and his mom started with the Velvet granache hazelnut slice and Michael’s stepdad and I shared the German chocolate and then we switched. Of course Michael preferred the velvet cake and I liked the German Chocolate. I just felt like it was more “cake” and not as much of a torte…the texture was more cheesecake-like and I thought that would be difficult for us to cut and feed each other at the wedding. While I don’t think we can go wrong with either choice, I think we’re going to keep looking…

And my weekend ended with this:

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Thorns game! It was the first one Michael and I had ever gone to and it was crazy and FUN. We met up with my cousin Anna, who has season tickets, and her friend.

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The fans are CRAZY. ;) And apparently you stand the entire game and sing and chant. They all knew the words. Crazy I tell you! There were 19,123 people packed in the stadium. If you were there or watched it on TV and saw these nutjobs holding a sign on the jumbotron? It was us. :)

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Haha! It was for a scavenger hunt one of Anna’s friends was competing it. So hopefully they won something! Anyways, it was a rockin’ weekend. :) And the Thorns won!

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