A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! (Things I'm Afraid of While I'm Running)

Happy Halloween, Friends!

We sort of skipped Halloween this year. No parties, no events... We haven't even watched any scary movies. My biggest Halloween celebration will be this blog post. Exciting, right?

Just because I didn't dress up this year doesn't mean you don't get any Halloween pics! Here are some pics from past Halloweens...

This pic is from the college days.
I went as Madonna like 3 years in a row...

2012- I went as the WINNER of the Boston Marathon!

1983- My brother and I as Native Americans... back when
it wasn't politically incorrect!

1984- An angel... Clearly there is a look of determination in my eyes.

And last but not least, to "celebrate" this holiday, here is a list of the things I'm afraid of while I'm running.


I have written about my irrational fear of snakes before. As much as I love running trail, I avoid it in the summer... lest I see a scary serpent. But now that it is getting colder, I can run trail again!


Again, I am usually more afraid of this while on the trail. But in reality, I'm probably much more likely to get abducted while I'm running on the road!


This season of American Horror Story is not that scary... except for TWISTY. I mean seriously, have you ever seen a scarier clown? 

Part of my neighborhood running route goes past a tree line. The other morning, it was really foggy, and as I was running past the trees, I was suddenly convinced Twisty was going to pop out and hatchet me.
Is there anything that scares you on a run?
Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Before we get on with today's "Currently" post, you gotta see this video starring... Jelly!
Last night, when Paul and I were playing cards, I crumbled up a piece of  scrap paper and Jelly started to go nuts over it.  I then proceeded to throw it at him and he would catch it in mid air... 
because he is a genius and a cathlete (cat + athlete = cathlete). 

nyway, enjoy!! (Or skip you haterz!)

Current book: I decided to yet again, reread some Christopher Pike books. I have read most of his books several times, so I picked out one that I probably only read about 5 times...

Current music: None at the moment. I know, it is sad... It's just that I hear music all day long, so once the work day is over, I want silence. That being said, the song that has been continuously running through my head is this song from kindergarten music class:

Sing to the tune of "Oh My Darlin' Clementine."....

"Found a pumpkin, found a pumpkin, found a puuuuuuuumpkin on a viiiiiine
Yes today I found a pumpkin and the pumpkin now is miiiiiiiine!"

Current guilty pleasure: Pringles Tortilla Chips. I have said to Paul, "Eating these is my favorite part of my day."

People who say food isn't supposed to make you happy
clearly never had a Pringles Tortilla Chip.

Current number of Seinfeld episodes on my DVR: Three! Seinfeld is something mindless Paul and I can agree to watch while we're eating dinner. (We never sit at the dining room table to eat. The dining room table is for playing cards and petting Christmas.)

Current drink: Some of my colleagues and I have chipped in to buy a Keurig for the faculty lounge. We split the cost 17 ways, so it only cost me $8! On Wednesday, I had my very first cup of coffee from the Keurig, and it was wonderful. I did notice that I can only do coffee in the mornings because on Thursday, I drank a cup on the way home from work (so I would have the energy to teach piano lessons until 7:30pm) and all it did was make me super jittery, anxious, and paranoid!

Current favorite show: Well, now that Big Brother is over, it's Survivor: San Juan Del Sur!

Go Josh!

Current need: To cut out Jelly's latest butt knot. He is very particular about it and refuses to let us snip it.

Current triumph: I am not feeling very triumphant lately, so let's just go with the fact that I finally mowed my lawn after taking mayyyyyybe a month(ish) break.

Current wish list: I wish we could skip fall and fast forward to Christmas. Then I wish we could skip January-April and go right to May.

I will never forget this picture!

Current bane of my existence: Dry skin. My face is literally peeling off. Thanks, Proactiv!

Current most annoying celebrity: Easy, Rosie Perez on The View. She annoys the crap out of me and was a poor choice for a new co-host.

Current indulgence: Sleeping for 10 hours on Friday nights.

Current food: Cheese. I have mentioned before that I am really into cheese. Cheese & chips is my current pre dinner snack I have every night while Paul and I play cards. So healthy, I know!

Current things I am thankful for: Paul finally shaving regularly again! He has been rockin' the beard for awhile, but it covers up his hot, hot, hottie face!

There's that gorgeous face!

Current excitement: On November 2nd, I am going to see one of my idols... Terry Gross! (You thought I was going to say Nancy Grace, didn't you?) More on that later...

Tell me something "current" about you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Trainer Tip: How to run FAST!

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Fast is a relative term. I should really call this post "How to run FastER!"

The truth is, with the proper training, anyone can run faster! There are many different ways to accomplish it. Let's discuss...

Everyone has two different types of muscle fibers- slow twitch (Type I) and fast twitch (Type II). While the amount of each muscle fiber you have is genetically predetermined, everyone has some of each.

Here's the quick low down...

However, both types of muscle fibers have one thing in common...

What that means is, you can train your fast twitch muscle fibers and get faster. Here are some ways you can do that...

One of the most effective ways to run faster is to incorporate speed training into your weekly runs. There are many different ways to incorporate speed training. The main concept is this: Alternate running at a very fast pace with running at a recovery pace.

Tempo runs are another effective way to train your body to run faster. People throw around many definitions of tempo runs, but the true meaning (as I have understood it, and I could be wrong!) is running a portion of you run at a predetermined pace. This could be your goal pace, 30 seconds slower than goal pace, etc. It's up to you.

Then, there are hill repeats. They suck, but they work. This is how you do it: 1. Run up a hill. 2. Try not to throw up. 3. Run down a hill. 4. Repeat.

Something else to note...

Speed training, tempo runs, and hill repeats are all well and good, but PLEASE don't underestimate the importance of recovery runs and REST. Not every run has to be at max effort and you don't have to train every. single. day. Actually, I take that back. I think you should look at your rest day AS PART OF YOUR TRAINING. What's the use of breaking those muscle fibers down if you're not going to build them back up?

And I gotta give myself a plug...

If you want to become a faster/better/smarter/more awesome runner than you already are, consider hiring me as a person trainer! Check out my website and contact me for your FREE consultation!

How often do you incorporate speed workouts?
Do you have a favorite type of speed workout?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Do I make money off my blog?

Short Answer: YES.
Long Answer: Yes, but only a little bit and I haven't gotten any of it yet...


Blogging without trying to make money is very time consuming. Coming up with quality content every single day is fun, but it definitely takes time. I couldn't imagine trying to blog and make money from it! I guess that's because I already have a full time job and two part time jobs. I don't want to make blogging my third part time job!

That being said, I have technically made money off my blog- but I haven't gotten it yet!

Allow me to explain...

You may have noticed I have an ad on the right hand sidebar. I put AdSense there on November 28, 2013. I am embarrassed to tell you the reason I put an ad on my blog, but I'll tell you anyway. I thought it would make my blog look more "legit". So many of the blogs I read contained several ads. I thought putting an ad on my blog would make it look "official". (I was so silly with my logic.) I didn't add a million advertisements because I didn't want them to be distracting and I didn't want it to take forever for the page to load.

The ad has been up for almost a year, so 11 months later I have earned... $19.40!!!! Woohoo!!!

The funny thing is, AdSense doesn't pay you until you reach $100. So at this rate, I should be getting a check from AdSense in about 4 years! Do you think I will still have my blog in 4 years?

Now, if I had put 5 ads on my page, I maybe would have earned $100 by now. But at what cost? Annoying ads flying up all over the place? Video ads with sound that automatically play? Believe me, I know how annoying that is! (Ask Paul about the time he was accidentally woken up by a Vagisil commercial at five-thirty in the morning. I have to remember to turn the sound off of my computer!)

I don't think there is anything wrong with earning money from your blog. For some people, it is a job. Or, just a simple(???) way to make some side cash. I mean, all I had to do was spend 10 minutes putting that AdSense advertisement up, and look! Not even one year later and I can use that money to go out for sushi! (Paul will have to buy his own sushi though, not sure I can cover both of us!)
Do you earn money from your blog?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up!

What a non stop week! My weeks are getting busier. I took on some new piano students. Now I teach lessons on Tuesdays from 4pm-7pm. On Thursdays, I teach from 4pm-7:30pm with a break between 6-7. But I am looking to fill in that time slot! If you are looking for piano lessons for you child, contact me, as I only have two spots left! 

By the time Friday rolled around, I was ready for relaxation...

As usual, we stayed in on Friday. After a few quick errands, we played a round of cards, watched American Horror Story, and then I curled up in bed with a book. My light was out before 9pm. Then I slept for 10 glorious hours...

That was me this week!
I had a lot of catching up to do on Friday night!

I planned to run 10 miles on Saturday, but I missed a turn, so the run ended up being 11 miles. This is the longest I have run since... I believe June! I kept it at a "plod along pace". When I was done, I didn't want to go any farther, but I could have. That's a good sign. It would be nice to get my long runs long again. But then I ask myself, "For what purpose?" Do I really need to be running longer than 10-ish miles on the weekends if I'm not training for a marathon? No.

That afternoon, Paul and I headed up to Knoebels Grove to meet my parents, brother, SIL and nieces for some Halloween fun at the park. A lot of the rides were open and everything was decorated for Halloween. Think "Hershey Park in the Dark" but waaaaaaaaaay more wallet friendly.

My niece rode the fire engines not one, not two, but FOUR times!

Paul loves America!

- Parking and entry into the park is FREE. 

- You can pack your own food and drinks so you're not forced to buy expensive/unhealthy park food if you don't want to. 

- You can buy an all day riding pass or pay for each ride with tickets.

- Knoebels has one of the highest ranked wooden roller coasters in the country- The Phoenix, and one of the best Haunted Mansions in the country!

- Animals are allowed in the park. There are even three rides you can take your dog on- the carousel, the pioneer train, and the antique cars! (One thing I have not been able to figure out... do dogs need tickets to ride.

- You can camp at their campground or spend the day swimming in their huge Crystal Pool!

**Knoebels did not pay me for this free advertisement, but maybe they should? I just LOVE KNOEBELS!

On Sunday, I did what I do pretty much every Sunday... housework, errands, and dance rehearsal. Oh, and our lawn is now mowed. You're welcome, neighbors.

We now have chicken after about 5 days without it.
My muscles have been getting concerned.

Speaking of muscles, I read an AWESOME article on Sunday morning... 4 Reasons the Word Toned Needs to Die.

My Sunday run was... hill repeats. Ugh! I haven't done them forever and they are horrible!

The vomit inducing hill.

I shall leave you with an inspirational picture... (You know I can't end a Weekend Wrap Up without something cat related!)

Have you ever been to Knoebels?
Anyone race this weekend?
What do you think of the word "toned"?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

4 Books

Kristen @ Sweat Courage started a new blog series- 10 Day You Challenge.

Today is 4 Books!

I am going to have to go with types of books today. It is simply impossible for me to pick 4 of my favorite books. When I was a kid, reading was my favorite thing to do. In fact, when I would get in trouble, my mom would ground me from the library because that was worse than anything! As an adult, I don't make the time to read as often as I would like to. The summertime is when I usually start devouring book after book.

Anyhoo, here are my 4 favorite types of books, and of course some of my favorite books from each genre!

1. True Crime.

Some of my favorite cases to read about... O.J. Simpson (he did it), Casey Anthony (she did it possibly by accident... and by "accident", I mean drugging her daughter with chloroform so she would fall asleep, not die. Girl is EFFED UP.), JonBenet Ramsey (Patsy did it), and Lizzie Borden (her sister did it).

The most informative book about the OJ case I have read. 
I had read countless books about the case, but when I read this one, 
 learned so much new information that the other books did not cover.

This book is written by one of the lead detectives on the case.
There are so many clues that point to Patsy being the killer.

I'm going to have to read this book again because I forget a lot of it.
But Spiering made a strong case against Lizzie's sister.

2. Young Adult novels by Christopher Pike.

Please do not compare Christopher Pike novels to R.L Stine's Fear Street. Pike's novels are much more deep and actually well written. Granted, a lot of them deal with sci-fi/fantasy type stuff, which I am not into, but a good number of them are in more of a "whodunnit?" or "howdunnit?" format.

I have read most of Pike's books several times and I am rereading a bunch of them yet again. Here are so of my favorites. I put the taglines from the front covers under the book title since they are so silly/dramatic!

"It was their last year of school- Maybe the last year of their lives!"

"They killed her- but she comes back."

"Death came along for the ride..."

3. Memoirs/Biographies.

I read all kinds of memoirs. I'll read "deep" stuff like Hillary Cinton or Princess Di, but I will also read "fluff"... like Tori Spelling and Bristol Palin. I also like to get both sides of the story. For instance, I read Amy Fisher and Mary Jo Buttafucco's back to back. Here are just a few of my favorite memoirs...

Natalie Wood                     Kathy Griffin

Jane Fonda                      Greg Louganis

4. The Catcher in the Rye.

Okay, maybe I will pick a specific book. I freaking love The Catcher in the Rye, and I loved it from the moment I read the first sentence.

''If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.'' THE CATCHER IN THE RYE (1951), J.D. Salinger 
Do you have an absolute favorite book/author/genre?