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...)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dust If You Must

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Wendy@ Taking the Long Way Home wrote a post about being cautious. It is really inspiring and you should go read it. In a comment, I told her about one of my favorite poems. It’s called Dust If You Must. I have it hanging on my classroom door and would like to post it here for you to read today.

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better,
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come 'round again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not always kind.
And when you go and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.

I seriously get tears in my eyes every time I read this poem. The last line is so powerful: “And when you go and go you must, You, yourself, will make more dust." It just gets me.

My takeaway from this poem is: Don't live your life the way you think you "should" live it. Live it the way you want to live it.

We only have one shot at this crazy life. I don't want to get to the end of it and think, "I wish I would have done (fill in the blank) but I was too afraid." There is no next time. This is it!

A couple years ago, Paul and I decided that we were going to live life in "high def". We would no longer feel bad about spending money on trips and experiences because those are things we will never look back and regret. I mean seriously, has anyone on their deathbed said, "Gee, I never should have taken that trip to the Grand Canyon."

I know that for everyone, work can get monotonous, the weeks can drag, and we can easily end up being too busy to do the things we really care about doing. I think it is important to pause and remember that this is OUR LIFE and we should live it exactly how we want!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ways Chrissy Ruined Our House

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No, this is not the workout I promised. I forgot my camera at work again. And with all the piano lessons and shit I have this week, I am not going to have time to record the workout, so I am postponing it until Sunday. Sorry guys. Blogging is supposed to be fun, but right now I am STRESSED. (Not by the blog, by other things. Which interfere with me doing fun things... like blogging and recording workouts!)


I love my cats with all my heart. Chrissy definitely has some behavior problems, but we are in it for the long haul. We love him. The truth is, animals can scratch up your house, pee on things, and make things messy. But that is something you have to accept when you decide to have pets. It's their house too. We are not fair weather pet owners. Christmas bit me. Twice. He has peed on lots of things. I have ripped poop off his butt hair with my bare hands. This is my life, and I love it.

But let me show you all the things Christmas ruined in our house!!!!

This is the side window in our music room facing the carport.
These curtains used to reach the floor. Until Chrissy peed on them. So I cut them shorter.

This is the back corner of the couch in our music room. As you can see, Chrissy scratched it pretty good. Jelly has to take a little bit of the blame for this one too.
Funny story: I once found red pen marks on this couch that were from one of my piano students. She would do little art projects while she waited for her sister to be done with her lesson. When I discovered the red marks, I was FUMING! The little kid ruined my couch! Then it dawned on me... This couch had been ruined by the cats long before the little girl put her pen marks on it. Calm down, Megan.

This is the front bay window in our music room.
There used to be curtains and a valence here. But they are gone. Somehow, they got covered with cat urine.

These dark marks are from a pee stain we didn't find because the pee had seeped under a floor lamp.
I was pretty surprised when I moved the floor lamp for the first time in a year and realized that oh, the hard wood floor is ruined.

This picture isn't of anything Chrissy ruined. I just wanted to show you that we have a litter box in our dining room.

This is one of my dining room chairs. The other 5 look the same or worse.
Thanks, Christmas.

Again, nothing is ruined in this picture, but I wanted to show you how we have to block Chrissy from getting up on things. That is a fake Christmas tree on top of the cabinet. Christmas likes to jump on the folding table and then up onto the cabinet and eat the fake pine needles. He is a pig and doesn't care  if it's real food or pretend food. So we used a pillow and my foam roller to block him from killing himself via the constant ingestion of artificial pine needles.

The corner of the couch in our sun room. Jelly can take a little bit of the blame.

Of course it is super annoying cleaning up after Christmas and seeing my furniture get wrecked. But you know what? When I die, I am not going to say, "Gee, I wish I had nice dining room chairs." I'm going to say, "Damn am I glad I got to have Christmas." 

A couple weeks ago, Paul and I sat down with our dinners, ready to watch Jeopardy. Well, Christmas pranced into the room and started peeing in the corner. We had to jump up to stop him and clean everything up before we could continue with our dinner. It was very frustrating, but I said to Paul, "Someday, Christmas isn't going to be here and we are going to wish he was here, peeing on all of our stuff."

I am so thankful I have been able to experience what unconditional love is. Christmas and Jelly are pretty special little bundles of fur.
Have your pets ruined anything in your house?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up!

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Happy Monday! It's almost October!
I like the beginning of the month. It's when I get paid for all of the piano lessons I teach. Who doesn't like pay day!?

Here is what we were up to this weekend...

I had a great speed work session before work. I wish I could say I did speed work because I wanted to, but I really did it because my mp3 player wouldn't work and I needed to keep myself preoccupied during my workout. The math involved with speed work gave me the distraction I needed.

Even though I felt fine in the morning, as the day went on, I started to feel sick. My voice was scratchy, I was getting hot and cold flashes, and I was just so tired. It bummed me out because I had a lot planned for the weekend and wanted to feel my best. Luckily, around lunch time, my symptoms stopped worsening which was good.

After work, I ran a million errands, including finally getting a new mp3 player!  I was getting some serious road rage and my anxiety levels were through the roof! Luckily, I had girls night to look forward to.

My friends Karen, and Andrea are all music teachers and we all get together about every two months for some girl time! We talk about life, teaching music, our pets, and anything else we feel like! Karen taught Andrea and I a goodbye song for music class and then Karen and I taught her a finger play for kindergarten. We recorded it because we are silly! (I'm trying to keep up with Karen and Andrea because I am still learning the uke!)

I slept until 11am!!! Chrissy and Jelly were with me the whole time. It was magical. I really needed it.

After fiddling around and catching up on blogs, I went for a 10 mile jaunt around my neighborhood. I was feeling pretty bad ass with my new mp3 player.

This is how I run 10 miles without ever being more than 3/4 of a mile from home...
lots and lots a loop dee doops!!!

Since I slept half the day away, no sooner had I gotten home, stretched, and did half a puzzle, did I have to go get ready to meet my mom. We had a big night out on the town planned! First, we'd have dinner at Ad Lib. They specialize in the whole "small plates" thing, which I think is pretty froo-froo, but the food was GOOD!!!

It's in the Hilton. VERY chic!

Olives, feta, and bread. Why not!?

Chickpeas with tofu, eggplant, cauliflower, and carrots. It was all divine!

Then we walked to the Whitaker Center to see Joy Behar's one woman show called Me, Myself, and I. I have watched The View for years and have always loved Joy. I even went to The View once and was asked back to be featured on a segment

Obviously all my Joy Behar dreams had already come true, but little did I know I was in for another Joy Behar surprise... When we picked up our tickets from the will call, they informed us that since we had orchestra seats, we would get to do a meet and greet with Joy afterwards. "You're kidding!?" I shrieked to the ticket man and I started jumping up and down. My mom laughed and laughed, and then we both called our husbands to share the good news!

If I look crazy, it's because I just found out I was going to MEET JOY!

Joy's show was a mixture of her stand up while she told the story of her life. I learned a lot of things about her I didn't know. And I laughed. Oh boy did I laugh! If you like Joy Behar, you will like this show. If you don't like her, stay far away!

After the show, we got to take pictures with her during the meet and greet. Her skin is FLAWLESS up close. She is 72! HOW??? She has less wrinkles than I do! HOW????

I had so much fun out on the town with my mom. We should go out an meet celebrities more often!

I had THE PERFECT SUNDAY! It involved running, lifting, blogging, minimal cooking, and puzzles! This puzzle was tough at first but it ended up being one of my favorites to do!

Just the right amount of wine makes me focused.
Water keeps me hydrated.
I think I am ready for the puzzle Olympics!
Describe your perfect Sunday!

Do you like Joy Behar? I know she is polarizing... especially since #nursegate!

What do you like to do for Girls Night?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rooting Against Reality TV Contestants

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I know I was supposed to post Workout #2 of my Strength Training Challenge today BUT I left my camera at work! So I will post it on Tuesday instead. I am so sorry. I feel like I am making an excuse for turning in a school assignment late! I effed up. Sorry friends. Tuesday I will have a new workout. If you were dying to lift something heavy today, just do Workout #1 again! Or check out my Workouts tab. Word on the street is that the Oh No, It Snowed Workout really sucks!

Now, ONWARD to something no one cares about!


Over the years I have watched a variety of reality television shows. For the past couple years, Paul and I have been watching Big Brother and Survivor. They are my favorite shows on television right now. 

While it is fun to root for someone on these reality shows, it’s probably more fun to root against people. It’s satisfying when a hero wins, but I get a special sort of glee when someone I HATE crashes and burns.

**Note: When I use the word “hate”, I don’t mean I actually hate them for real. I just hate them in the way it’s easy to hate people on reality television shows!**

This past Wednesday was a BIG NIGHT in the Michael-Cooney household! It was the premiere of Survivor Second Chances and the finale of Big Brother 17. I really enjoyed the Survivor premiere, but this post is going to be more about my reaction to the Big Brother finale. Please note: There are SPOILERS in this post. If you did not yet watch the finale and are planning on it, please don’t read the rest of this!

Let me begin by saying I HATED VANESSA. Every week I was hoping she would get voted out of the Big Brother house, but each week she managed to squeak by. “The Game” is all about lying and manipulation, but she acted like she was the only one allowed to lie and manipulate. She was emotional, self-righteous, and she didn’t own her game. There are a lot of villains who are loved and respected because they admit to what they are doing (Helloooo Dr. Will!) but I think Vanessa really believed she was the only honest person in the house. Did I mention she’s delusional too?




Somehow Vanessa managed to make it to the final three and she battled against Steve to win the final Head of Household competition. Whoever won the comp would choose who to take to the final two. However, there was no way Steve and Vanessa were going to take each other. Whichever one of them won was surely going to take Liz, who would be much easier to beat.

My heart was PUMPING during the final comp! Steve had a one point lead right until the end when Vanessa managed to tie it up. There was one question left. When I saw their responses, I really thought Steve had gotten it wrong but he was CORRECT! As soon as he won, I knew it was over for Vanessa. Watching him evict her was the sweetest thing I could have asked for. I screamed. I jumped up and down. I scared the cats. Paul shut the window so our neighbors wouldn’t think I was getting murdered. It was glorious!!!!

Look how sad she is. It makes me so happy!!!

It wasn’t until the commercial break that I realized I had a pounding headache from all the stress… The stress of rooting AGAINST someone! (How do football fans do it!?)

When the episode was over, I was too hype to go to bed right away. I was happy Steve ended up winning the whole thing, but I was even more happy that Vanessa LOST! I even woke up a couple times during the night to go to the bathroom (I drank a lot of water to try to make my headache go away) and whenever I woke up, I would instantly remember how Vanessa got evicted and it just made me happy all over again.

Confession: I have re-watched the Vanessa eviction 3 times since that night. I finally deleted it off my DVR.

So as I reread this post, I am realizing I sound like such a horrible person! I hate someone I don't even know and get great satisfaction seeing them in emotional turmoil. I don't feel like this toward real life people, just people on reality shows. I can't help it! I get very wrapped up in it and take it so personally- even more so than the contestants in the game! I watched post season interviews of all the contestants and they all said, "No hard feelings! I love everyone! We will all be friends!" I am amazed how they can let it all go, while here I am in the corner still high from Vanessa's loss!

Just so you know, Vanessa is already a millionaire from playing poker and her girlfriend just proposed to her, so she is going to be juuuuuuuust fine.
Do you watch any reality TV shows? Was there anyone you HATED?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Weekly Workout Recap!

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This was a GREAT week for me. Here are the highlights!

1. One LONG run.
2. One speed session.
3. Two lifting days.
4. One complete rest day and one lower body rest day.

I am very excited, and if I was a careful planner that actually stuck to a plan, I could actually have more weeks like this! But I am not ready for a plan yet so I'm just going to keep flying by the seat of my pants and some weeks I will end up running too much and some weeks I will get some great rest time.

Here is more about my week if you care to read on!

Saturday- 12 miles with my pal Tracy and then 3 miles when I got home. 15 is the most I have run in over a year! And it didn't suck! I did eat all the food.

Sunday- Complete REST. I really wanted to get out and run because it was so beautiful, but I gave my body some TLC instead. I ended up feeling quite blue that day and I don't know if it was because it was a Sunday or because I didn't run.

Monday- 8 neighborhood miles before work. Blues be damned!

Tuesday- 5 neighborhood miles and then chest. I woke up wide awake a half hour before my alarm went off, so I took advantage and squeezed in the chest workout.

Chest Press- 5x12x25lb
Push Ups- 4x10
Shoulder Press- 4x10x20lb
Plank- 4x45 sec

I have started using Perfect Push Up to do my push ups. It is A LOT harder then just doing normal push ups. My dad got them for me!

Wednesday- A ran 5 miles AFTER WORK. Very strange. I was a bit faster than normal but it felt horrible. I will not be changing up my routine any time soon!

Thursday-  Back @ home. I wanted to run, but I had just run 12 hours before. Also, a lower body rest day never hurt anyone! Later that day my right glute was really sore from my glute work. My left glute felt fine. WTF? It felt like being sore from doing squats but it only affected half your butt.

Band Asst. Wide Grip Pull Ups- 5x5
Row- 4x10x25lb
Bicycle Crunches- 4x40
Band Asst. Neutral Grip Pull Ups- 4x8
Bicep Curls- 3x10x15lb
Planks- 3x60 sec
Hip/Glute Work & Stretching

Friday- Speed work. My plan had been to do 6 miles just "la la la" and listen to an awesome pod cast but my mp3 player would not turn on. I was devastated! My run was going to be so boring. So I changed it into a speed workout so at least it would break it up into sections and I would have some math to do in my head. I don't even know what to call this speed workout but this is what I did:

1/2 mile warm up

.25 mile on
.25 mile off

.35 mile on
.25 mile off

.45 mile on
.25 mile off

.55 mile on
.25 mile off

.65 mile on
.5 mile off

.75 mile on

1 mile cool down

My the goal for my "ons" was to be <7. That ranged anywhere from a 6:30 to a 7:00 minute mile... I am bad at keeping a consistent pace these days. My mile splits were pretty good though! 8:06, 7:02, 7:23, 7:05, 7:01. 7:51.

I am not an elite runner and I have much improvement I could make on my speed, so I have found as long as I do speed work- ANY kind of speed work, it gets me to run faster. My M.O. when I do speed work is to decide during my warm up what is going to happen.
How do you decide what speed work to do?
Ever try The Perfect Push Up?
Do you ever get blue on a rest day?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Switching Up My Routine... For Reality TV.

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On Wednesday, I did something very strange.


I never run after work! The last time I was probably two years ago. There are several reasons I do a morning workout…

1.    Some nights I teach piano lessons, so the earliest I would be able to run is around 7:30pm. That is just too late for me.

2.    I am tired after work. My legs feel very heavy.

3.    Running in the morning gives me the “me time” I need before I face the day.

What caused me to change my routine? Well, my reasoning was twofold. First of all, I was having quite a lot of trouble falling asleep on Tuesday night and was still wide awake around 11pm. That was not going to bode well for a 5:45am alarm! Second of all, Wednesday was going to be a big night. The Survivor premiere was on at 8pm and the Big Brother Finale was on right after and would not end until 11pm. That’s a long time for me to try to stay awake! I figured if I slept in on Wednesday and ran after work it would give me more energy to be able to stay up late on Wednesday night to watch the BIGGEST NIGHT IN REALITY TV!

I do not like changing my routine. I had some anxiety issues going on Wednesday morning when I pretty much had to wake up and go straight to work without my “me time”. As the day went on, the anxiety lifted, and it felt like a normal day… except for the fact that my eating was completely thrown off and that messed with my head!

When I got home, I changed right away and hit the asphalt around 4:20.

The good parts about my afternoon run:

1.    I got to work on my tan.
2.    I had an excellent pod cast.
3.    My pace was GREAT! I started at an 8:11 and gradually worked it down to a 7:31 for a total of 5 miles @ 7:49 average pace. (If you follow my workouts, you will note that is 10-15 seconds faster than my morning 5 milers.)

The bad part about my run:

1.    I felt so slow. My legs were heavy. Everything felt like slow motion. It was not enjoyable AT ALL.

I am interested in seeing what you all think of what I am about to say. Even though my pace was markedly faster in the afternoon, it does not trump the fact that I felt slow and lethargic. In the morning, even though I am a bit slower, it feels enjoyable and I feel ALIVE. I will not be changing my running routine just because apparently my body is a little bit faster in the afternoon.

Now I know this is just one run. It is totally possible that I could run in the afternoon again and be slow as molasses. It’s not like I have a lot of data to draw on at this point. But running in the afternoon is just so not enjoyable for me that I will not be testing out this theory. I am going to stick to my morning runs except for the rare occasion such as this one!
If you were markedly faster at a different time of day, would you switch from your normal routine… even if the run didn’t seem as enjoyable?