Monday, April 21, 2014

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IMLP Training Recap: Week 22 [Lake Placid!]

Happy Monday!

I am back from a little Spring Break training up in Lake Placid.  Amy, Bill and I went up with our kids (who were off from school) and decided to make a little training stint out of it.  Recall what I said at the end of last week's IMLP Training Recap:

Stay tuned for next week's Placid recap.  I can handle wind, rain, and cold.  Just please.  For the love of God: no snow.

That was a bit of foreshadowing, I suppose.  We ended up dealing with all of those things: wind, rain, cold, snow and one extra: ice!  Woo hoo!!!!  We had to shift the schedule around and roll with things on the fly (which you know is very difficult for me to do).  But ultimately, it was a really good trip.  We got in all of our workouts and we really, really, biked that course.  I'll do a separate, longer post on the Placid trip later this week.

But for now, here's the recap ... with just 96 days until the race:

Week 22: 12:21:34 hours

Swam: 1:54 hours (5200 yards)
Biked:  8:26 hours (111 miles -- all outside!)
Ran:  1:57 hours (12.8 miles)

Workouts (workouts in Lake Placid bolded):

Monday:  swim
Tuesday: long run
Wednesday: bike
Thursday: long bike
Friday:  brick
Saturday: long swim
Sunday: REST DAY!!

My Monday swim was pretty standard: a mix of endurance and some speedwork, which took about an hour to complete.

Tuesday morning we headed up to Lake Placid.  Our coach had Amy and I doing our workouts together and Bill doing his solo. This was per our request so we would take turns with the kids.  Initially, Amy and I were supposed to do a brick on Tuesday, a long bike (two loops of the bike course) on Wednesday, a brick on Thursday and a long run on Friday.  It was pouring and cold when we got up there on Tuesday, and we knew a brick wasn't safe.  So we decided to do our long run instead.  We ran the Ironman run course, but had to turn around a bit earlier than planned because the road was flooded out from all the heavy rain.  We considered tacking on another 2-3 in town, but it started sleeting (?!!?) and we called it a day.  Here's what greeted us when we arrived in Lake Placid:

 

Wednesday.  Wednesday was to be our long bike ride, but once again, the weather threw a wrench into the plans with snow on Tuesday night and very cold (i.e., freezing) temps on Wednesday morning.  Snow and ice covered roads = no bike. So we moved things around. By the afternoon, the roads had cleared so Amy and I did an hour on the bike.  We knew the road conditions at the end of the bike course were the best, so we biked there.  It was a great idea to get on the bike, since this was our first time biking outside since the Fall!  We were planning to do two loops of the bike course (without the out and backs) on Thursday.  Wednesday ended up being a gorgeous, if cold, clear day.

From the top of Little Whiteface Mountain - that is Lake Placid (photo courtesy of Amy)
Thursday was the big long bike.  It was, again, freezing.  Literally.  But we came to bike this course and that's what we did.  It took over 6 hours, but we biked 85 miles of the course.  It was a challenge (honestly, equal parts mental and physical for me) but I also walked away feeling like with some more time in the saddle, I can overcome those challenges.

On Friday Amy and I did a brick: we biked the same route as on Tuesday and then went back to the hotel and quickly changed gear and went out for a run around (a very frozen) Mirror Lake.  The brick felt great and was what I needed to bump my kind of shaken confidence from the ride the day before.

Saturday I had an easy, long swim! It was 3200 yards - 500 yard warm up and then 4x600 for the main set -- all easy pace.  I loved this.  I could just swim and not pay attention to my watch at all.  It felt so good to be in the water.  I worked a little on sighting, as my first tri of the season is coming up in just two weeks!

Sunday - rest day!!!!  I rested.  I am good at resting.

Stay tuned for a fuller recap on Wednesday.  Have a great week!

See you swoon,



Friday, April 18, 2014

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More Progress in the Playroom: art table, pillows and art on walls

Ah good morning! I hope you're having a great day so far.  

I'm making even more progress in the downstairs playroom!  It's almost ... almost ... done.  I've already blogged about the first few steps of this room: cleaning it up and then organizing and decorating it.  The hard part of this space is done!  Now it's just a few loose ends.

1.  Molly's New Art Table.

I bought Molly the Sansad table from Ikea.  It was about $50 and what sold me on it was the adjustable legs as well as the nice large size.  What I didn't like was the table came with red and blue plastic feet.  


I tried to spray paint them but did not have luck: the paint scraped right off with a fingernail. I think it's because I did not use spray paint primer before I painted.  So I grabbed my regular Zinsser oil based primer and used a coat of that, followed by a coat of my Sherwin Williams Dover White and a quick swipe of poly on top.  Now look at those legs!


Here's the space now, which needs a rug under the table so Molly can let her creative spirit soar and not have to worry about getting paint, marker, or whatever other medium on the carpet.  


2.  Pillows in the TV area.

I went to Home Goods over a few Saturdays recently without a shopping list.  Danger!  But those are the days that I tend to stumble upon good deals.  I found all of the new pillows and love them.  I'm really happy with how they lighten up the space.  And pillows are so crazy cheap at Home Goods! Way cheaper than Target.  




I thought working with pretty shades of green and blue would look good in this space.  I liked how all of the prints worked together too.  

3.  Art on the walls.

I still have a lot more art to hang, but I got started.  I had this modern print hanging in the kids' bathroom before I changed it up.  I bought a big frame at Ikea and hung it up.  I thought it looked nice over the sofa table.


4.  Clean Up Craft Area.

My little craft area became a big dumping ground for frames (for the stairwell project and the playroom), my triathlon gear, extra furniture, bags for Goodwill and stuff to store.  Here it is before.  


This was just a matter of moving things around and putting them in the right spot.  A lot of the "stuff" is now in my storage room, which I absolutely need to organize ASAP and I won't show you because it kind of looks like an episode of Hoarders.  But this space looks fantastic now: nice and neat.  All that is left here are the frames that are going in the stairwell and around the playroom. 


5.  Baskets for Owen's Trains & the Big Red Bricks.

This was more of a "wanna" versus a "haveta" project in the playroom: I wanted new storage bins for Owen's trains and the big red bricks.  Owen's trains were a gift from my family a few years ago and he loves them.  They're a really nice train set.  I've stored them in a big open plastic bin from Target:


I bought a fabric bin  from Home Goods and the trains live in it now.  I'll find a new space for them but for now they're good here. 


The big bricks are a total throw-back to my own childhood. My sister and I had bricks just like these when we were kids, and I remember playing with them all the time, making forts and houses, and having a ball.  So when I saw them when Owen was a baby, I put them on his Christmas list.  My kids adore them too, which is fun to see.


I am not crazy about the storage bins for them.  They're laundry hampers from Ikea and have worked pretty well, but they aren't that attractive and take up a lot of space.  I'm on the hunt for a large basket or maybe trunk to hide these in.  

6.  What's Left?

Whew!  I really don't have much more to do in here.  The biggest project left to tackle is to paint the furniture and pegboard: I have to paint the dresser that holds the TV, the sofa table, a big wall shelf, and the piece of peg board for behind Molly's kitchen.  I'm going to do all of this at once very soon - probably Easter weekend, when I'm hopeful it will finally be warm enough to open up the sliders while I paint.

Once the furniture it painted, I need to hang the pegboard, hang the wall shelf and hang the last pieces of art around the space.  I also need to hang a smaller shelf and some hooks near Molly's baby section.

I also need to update that lamp on the sofa table.  I need to spray paint it (and figure out what color to use) and buy a new harp and shade for it.  I'm waiting until the weather turns to do that, since I'll need to paint it outside.

Finally, I'll have to decorate a little: the sofa table, the big wall shelf near my bike and any other remaining spots. I need to get something to hold the bricks and pick up a blanket or two as well but that can wait.   

So close!  It's my goal to have this space completely done by the end of April.  

See you swoon,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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What I Wore {post 40}

Spring is finally in the air!  Even if the air is still not quite as warm as I'd like.  Here are some recent outfits.  

* Green & White Wrap Dress *

This dress was a great investment.  I bought it in 2006 when I was going back to work after having my son.  It was from BCBG and I have no idea what I paid but I know it was full price, which is something I don't like to do, but absolutely will if it seems like an investment piece.  This dress was.  I have worn it so many times and I can't see it ever going out of style.  The only thing I have to do is text Amy when I wear it because she has a very similar green wrap dress.  These pictures are really fuzzy.  I'm sorry.  I need a new iPhone.  


* Chambray Blouse, Navy Pencil Skirt, Anthropologie Scarf *

The scarf is the star of this outfit.  It's from Anthropologie from a few years back and is made up of smaller pieces of all different patterns of scarves.  I wore it with my chambray blouse and navy pencil skirt.  I thought brown boots and belt dressed down the outfit a bit.  


* Green Sweater, Gingham Blouse, Skinny Jeans *

This was a casual Friday at work.  It was a beautiful day but chilly.  I really wanted to wear my gingham blouse but topped it with the sweater so I didn't freeze.  The outfit needed something, so I wore my turquoise bubble necklace.  



See you swoon,


Monday, April 14, 2014

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IMLP Training Recap: Week 21

21 weeks in and things are OK.  Not great, not awful.  I'm just feeling a little ... I'm not sure what the right word is.  Uninspired? Tired? Simultaneously over and underwhelmed?  I'm looking forward to heading up to Lake Placid this week with Amy and Bill and all the kids.  The weather is looking very unpredictable, but I'll be glad to see the race site and bike and run those courses.  No way no how am I setting so much as one toe in Mirror Lake right now!  

In any event, here's hoping the week away gives me a little shot in the arm.

Week 21:  10:19:56 hours

Swam: 1:41 hours (4,950 yards)
Biked:  5:06 hours (all on trainer - watch says 73.7 miles)
Ran:  3:32 hours (23.7 miles)

Workouts:

Monday and Thursday were both swims.  Same swims that I've been doing for awhile - Monday was a bunch of 500s with some speed work.  Thursday was 4x600 as the main set.

Tuesday was an easy 50 minute endurance bike.  Gotta love that.

Wednesday was my favorite day: a 1:45 run.  Yes, one hour and forty five minutes on a Wednesday workday.  I started running around 6:20.  It was a beautiful day outside - sunny and cool.  I hit a nice easy pace and just enjoyed.


Friday was a tough bike with some tough intervals.  I tried to take a pic after - this picture does not remotely convey just how sweaty I was.


I also had a 3 mile "shake out" run on Friday, which I did after work (and about 12 hours after my bike).  It was supposed to be endurance pace but I ran it at an average speed of 8:08/mile. That ... is not endurance pace.  I had a tough day and when that happens, I take it out on the run.  It felt good at the time, but I need to be careful not to do that.

Saturday I had a 50 minute endurance bike and a 50 minute endurance run.  Both were fine.  I did the run at home in NJ, which was great.

Sunday.  Aie.  Sunday I had a pretty easy run: run 9 minutes at endurance pace; walk 1 minute and repeat a total of three times.  Then I had a 2 hour and 20 minute bike, which unfortunately I had to do in the evening.  I got it done, but man.  I was done. D-O-N-E done.

Stay tuned for next week's Placid recap.  I can handle wind, rain, and cold.  Just please.  For the love of God: no snow.

See you swoon,



Friday, April 11, 2014

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Master Bedroom: Filling the Blank Space over the TV

Hello and good morning!  If the devil is in the details, as they say, then this post is all about the devil.  muuuu hahahahahaha.    I found some great prints for my bedroom TV wall and hung them up.  woo hoo.

I pretty much finished up my bedroom earlier this year, and I blogged about it here and also in my new years resolution update post.  All that was left was to (1) paint my jewelry box and (2) hang something above the TV.  I tackled the latter.

Here's a shot of the wall when I started:


I wanted something simple up there, and I even debated whether it was necessary to put anything up at all.  The more I lived with it, the more I thought, yes, something needs to go up on that wall.  I went through a few options in my head:

Option A: framed prints - this seemed to make the most sense, but the hard part would be finding exactly what I wanted.  I didn't want photos. I wanted some kind of art or print.  Something like this look:

* via
Option B: magnetic flowers - I've seen these magnetic flower things on blogs and Pinterest, and I thought they might work (without the inspirational saying as pictured below). In the end I think they're a little too juvenile for me.  Molly, on the other hand, would love them:

* image via Amazon.com *
Option C: vintage looking oar - Jamie and I saw some oars at a cute little shop down the shore a few years ago and loved them.  I thought one of those would fill the space nicely, but ultimately, I ruled it out.  I didn't think an oar made sense in my bedroom.

* image via Pottery Barn Kids *
Option D: mirror - I love this look but I already have mirrors over my bed.  And a mirror on the wall next to my jewelry box and little light blue chest.  I thought that was mirror overkill.  But this looks nice:

* Image via Thrifty Decor Chick *
So Option A it was.  I thought 8x10 prints would be the best size, so when I was recently at Ikea, I picked up a couple of frames that would hold them.  Then came the hard part: deciding what prints to put in the frames. I trolled Etsy and went back to a seller that I love and from whom I've purchased art in the past: Judy Stalus.  I love her ethereal floral prints and thought two of them would look great in this space. She has so many that would work and in the end I decided on the close-ups of some pink peonies on blue background:



There were a few sepia or black and white prints that I liked too, but I thought that wall needed a little something, and pink was it.  My room is very feminine, so I wanted to go "all in" with that.  What's more feminine than pink peonies?  Here are the prints on the wall:




I love it!  And a particular shout out to Judy Stalus: I ordered the two 8x10 prints and did not realize that if you purchase two prints, she has a special price for those and it's less money.  She promptly contacted me after I paid and told me I overpaid and she was refunding some of my money.  So nice!  

So all that's left is that jewelry box.  I bought new knobs for the drawers (from Etsy of course!) and now I just have to paint it.  I need to get myself over to Home Depot so I can try their own brand of chalk paint that I'm seeing all over blog land, including on the Home Depot's own blog.  Once I do that, my bedroom will be done for awhile.  

See you swoon,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

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What I Wore {post 39}

Hello and Happy Wednesday!  It's been a little while since I did some What I Wore posts, but that ends today!  These really run the gamut from a girls' night out to something really casual. 

* Black Strapless Pants Set *

I wore this to a bachelorette party recently.  This outfit is from Victoria's Secret from 1999/2000.  I saw it on a guest at my friend Heather's wedding (though she wore it in blue).  Another bridesmaid said she had the same outfit but in black.  I knew black would be a wise choice, so as soon as I got home, I took out the catalogue (!!) and placed my order.  This was back when online shopping wasn't quite as easy as it is now.  Anyway ... this outfit is perfect for a bachelorette party.  I wore my fun long necklace and large earrings and my Burberry stilettos (purchased on sale years and years ago).   I went with a smokey eye and light lip for makeup and used a flat iron on my hair.  I took a close up of the makeup (and earrings) and also took a side shot of the outfit so you can see that the top is sort of like a tunic (you can't really tell from the front picture).  




* Orange Cardigan & Navy Pants *

I have to wear my flats most of the week these days.  I really do try to limit my heel use to only twice a week, which pains my heart because I love love love my heels.  But I notice a huge difference in how my knees feel if I avoid heels (hint: they don't hurt).  So I often base an outfit around the fact that I have to wear flats.  This was one of those days.  I wore my ankle length navy pants with an orange cardigan and a navy shell.  I wore my persimmon colored bubble necklace from the j.crew factory with it.  


* Short Sleeve Wrap Dress *

This was a new buy!  I found it at the Ann Taylor outlet when I was there with Heather around Presidents' Day Weekend.  It was a new arrival but on sale for 50% off.  I think it was around $45.  I really liked the pattern and fit and thought the belt at the waist was super cute.  The neckline is a little gapey so I pinned it, but I'm going to take to a tailor to have them fix that for me permanently.  



I've heard more than a handful of people warn that when we have a Winter like the one we just had, that we probably won't have much of a Spring to speak of, but instead will have cold to hot overnight.  Dislike.  And sad face.  Here's hoping they are all wrong.  I really love Spring.  

See you swoon,





Monday, April 7, 2014

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IMLP Training Recap: Week 20

Happy Monday to everyone!  We finally had some nice weather here.  I really wish I could have ridden outside on Sunday, but it was just not in the cards.  Overall, I am still feeling good.  I notice a definite difference cardio-wise.  My coach told us that anything at the "endurance pace" should be done at a pace where you feel you could go all day long.  My runs and bikes this week were exactly like that.

I'm looking forward to Lake Placid next week!  Hopefully the weather will be good.  Temps up there are all over the place right now but seem to be around 50 degrees. Except this Wednesday when snow is predicted.  Please don't snow when we are up there.

Week 20:

Swam: 57 minutes (2,650 yards)
Biked:  3:36 hours (all on trainer - watch says 48.8 miles)
Ran:  2:58 hours (20.04 miles)

Workouts:

Monday - Rest Day!  Yay! 
Tuesday - long swim
Wednesday - bike with speed intervals + 2 mile shake out run
Thursday - easy brick
Friday - long run at endurance pace
Saturday - endurance pace run
Sunday - long endurance pace bike

Monday was a rest day.  I really needed it after my hard effort at the Philadelphia Love Run half marathon the day before.  My quads were really sore!  I enjoyed every second of my rest day.  I capped it off by using my stick roller on my screaming quads, which is definitely a love/hate exercise.  It hurts so much when I do it, but feels great after.

Tuesday was a long swim, which felt really good and helped loosen up my still kind of tight quads.  This swim workout is one I'm growing to like: 200 yards easy, four sets of 600 yards (150 easy/50 semi-hard and then repeat 3xs), and an easy 50 cool-down.  The 600 yard intervals seem a little daunting, but breaking them up into 200s makes it go pretty fast.  I was really psyched when someone joined my lane and I was lapping her.  Until I realized she was about 50 years older than me.  [still ... I won. #nailedit]

Wednesday and Thursday were bike+run workouts.  Usually, I do my bike and shake out runs in immediate succession kind of like a brick, but on Wednesday I had to drop off the kids at school, so I did the bike early and then took them to school and then did the run after drop-off but before work.  This was the first time I ran since the race and it felt good and I was very fast.  Ditto Thursday's run.  That brick was ah-maz-ing and it helped that it was nice and warm and sunny on the run!  Short sleeves! See?


Oh and ... who wants tickets to the gun show?  I should mention that I also have many leather bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.   If you want to go fisticuffs, fine. I've got Jack Johnson and Tom O'Leary ready for ya.



My arms are getting really cut and it's all due to swimming.  I used to do an at-home workout with free weights at least once a week, but I have stopped that because I work out every.single.day and I would much rather enjoy my down time with a beer [currently a rotation of Hop Devil, Dirt Wolf and Stella] on my couch than do more workouts.  Plus, the swimming is making my upper body pretty darn strong.   And beer seems to be a vital carb in my training.  And a vital part of happiness.  And life.

Friday! Friday was a 90 minute run at endurance pace.  I really loved the conditions: cool, kind of damp and overcast.  A little Eeyore-like but it meant I would be perfectly comfortable the entire time.  I wore short sleeves and arm warmers and capris and that was the perfect mix.  I put on my most mellow playlist, settled in and enjoyed a truly comfortable pace.  It felt terrific.


There were two hiccups on this run, though.  First, about 3 miles in, I realized I absolutely needed new sneakers and new inserts. My arches were bothering me, which means it's too late.  I rectified that by purchasing new shoes (Saucony Ride) at lunch. The second hiccup involved an idiot driver.  I was coming to the corner of two roads, which always makes me nervous because drivers - especially in the morning - don't really look both ways when they are at intersections, so I need to look out and assume they don't see me.  In this case, the guy didn't look and didn't see me and cut that corner very close.  I ran out of the way and smacked my left thigh into a guardrail.  I yelled some choice words that may have involved a few body parts, but the guy kept going.  I have a huge bruise on my thigh to show for it.  :(

long run = fuel belt time
Saturday's run was thankfully uneventful.  I had a great run - faster than the day before and it was sunny and warm.  I felt a little perkier, so I went with poppity pop songs that were very happy and covered in glitter.  I wore my new sneaks with new inserts and they were amazing.  Not gonna lie: I don't love the color scheme on my sneakers at all (especially after my old ones which were beautiful and super reflective and neon pink and orange).  But ... I know it will be time to replace these bad boys in early July, so I will at least have sneakers that I love at Ironman.  I also realized it's time once again for speed laces.  I have a pair of hot pink ones which I need to put on my shoes ASAP.  Maybe they'll make me like my new sneakers' colors a bit more.




Sunday:  I had a 2 hour bike ride on the trainer.  All endurance pace.  Not much to say about two hours on the trainer.  It was fine.  I got it in.  It felt good.  I watched HGTV and played on my iPad.  

See you swoon,

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