Gader Girl in Sandy Eggo

Trial and Error

Well, I got picked for jury duty, wouldn’t you know it?!  All I can really say about it is that I was selected for a criminal case and it will probably go though Friday.  Yeah, Friday!  I’m frustrated, because I have so much work to do at the office, but it is really interesting to watch the inner workings of our legal system.  It’s definitely not as glamourous and exciting as Law and Order makes it look!  Monday afternoon I ate at Thai Time downtown for lunch.  The food was ok, but I think I picked the wrong thing.  I ordered veggies and tofu in an oyster sauce.  I’d never had oyster sauce, and it wasn’t my favorite.  I also forgot to ask for brown rice.  I also ordered it at a spiciness of 7, but it was not nearly spicy enough!  Oh well!  I’m planning on saving money for the rest of the week by bringing my own lunch.  But, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of convincing the other jurors that we clearly deserve happy hour at Yardhouse once the trial wraps up!  Gotta love their beer selection! 🙂

Jury duty has also given me the chance to see the sites downtown.  We typically get an hour and a half for lunch, so I usually eat my lunch quickly and take a nice long walk.  I love doing this because my legs get so stiff just sitting all day, and I get antsy to move around and stretch.  I think when I return to work, I’ll keep up my post lunch walk.  It makes me feel so good!  Well, I’m off for another long day sitting in a juror box!


Duty Calls

Yesterday’s Rock N Roll Marathon was sooo inspiring!  I was just as amazed to watch the elite athletes smoke the course as I was to watch the average joes struggle through.  It was incredible!  I will SOOO be running this next year.  We had so much fun passing out water and cheering people on, my voice is still a little hoarse 😉  One thing that struck me was just how grateful people were for the volunteers.  When I passed out water, many people thanked me as they took their cup.  Many of those who were too exhausted to verbally say thank you said it with their eyes.  I even had several people hollering to us as they passed, “Thank you for being here volunteers!”  Marathons really bring together a very diverse crowd.  There were people of all races and ages from all over the world.  This experience has given me a new source of enthusiasm for my own training, I am ready to take on the world!  I was so sore from my workout the day before the marathon and from standing for 6 hours while volunteering that I decided to switch the 10 mile run planned for Sunday with today’s rest day!  So, I’ll be running 10 miles today!!  Wow, I’m a little intimidated and nervous, I have never in my life run that far!  But I’m going to give it all I’ve got.

 . . . Right after jury duty.  That’s right, I have been summoned to jury duty this morning.  I’m not sure if combining Monday grumpiness with jury duty is going to make it better or worse.  I won’t really be able to work in a full capacity, so it might be kind of like a hiatus.  I’m really not quite sure what to expect, I’ve never been to jury duty before.  I know that I’m allowed to bring my laptop, but I imagine I probably can’t use my cell phone to make the necessary work related calls.  So, it might be a bit like an extension of my weekend.  It might even be an interesting insight into how our legal system works.  Although, after watching countless episodes of Law and Order, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert 😉  One thing I’m sure of:  I’ll have no refrigerator to keep my lunch in, so it looks like I’ll be trying out a restaurant downtown for lunch.  I’ve already been scoping out yelp for cool places to eat, I’m thinking maybe Thai (when am I not thinking Thai? lol!).  Look for a restaurant review tonight!  Have you ever been on jury duty before?  What’s it like?  Any interesting stories?


Yesterday was an insanely busy day!  I woke up and did 20 minutes of Power Vinyasa Flow #4 in the apartment.  I am fully addicted to this video!  I love the chatarangas and plank series!  It really kicks my butt and gets me really sweaty first thing in the morning.

After yoga, I headed into work, which was a pretty slow boring day, but I did get off at 2:00 at which point I went home for a quick snack and nap.  When I got up, I did the tempo workout on tap for the day:  1 mile slow warmup, 4 miles fast, and 1 mile slow cool down for a total of 6 miles.  It was a good workout and the weather was cool, but I did start to get a little tight in the shoulders half way through.  I’m starting to become much more confident about my ability to finish the half marathon.  Now, it’s not a matter of IF I’ll finish, but HOW!  Afterwards, I jetted over to the gym for a quick chest/shoulder strength training.  I had to hurry home to shower and get ready for dinner!

I met up with some lovely ladies I met in blogland at Trattoria Fantastica, a cute little restaurant tucked away in Little Italy.  Meghann , Ashley, Sarah, and Bobbie are running the Rock N Roll Marathon on Sunday.  Hallie will also be volunteering at the race as well, so there was lots of excited marathon chatting.  These amazing women are such an inspiration and make me wish that I could run on Sunday!  I have to remind myself that while I am not ready now, I will be totally ready for next year!  I can’t wait!  Dinner was fantastic!  The bread looked very yummy, but I wasn’t super hungry and I didn’t want to spoil my appetite with bread.  Yay for intuitive eating! I started with a nice Pinot Noir and had an Eggplant veggie pasta dish.  It was soo tasty, I am definitely on an eggplant kick!  * Note to self, buy eggplant and do some recipe experimenting!*  I ate about half of my dinner and boxed the rest for leftovers.  I left the restaurant feeling satisfied, but not uncomfortably full.  Yay for more intuitive eating!

We had such a nice time and it was wonderful getting to meet some San Diegans and make some new friends 🙂  I’m heading to the expo tomorrow to pick up my parking pass for the marathon.  I’m not sure what to expect yet, but I hear there are going to be samples.  I hope Larabar is there! *Crosses fingers*

Day One

It’s been awhile since my last race.  My runs in the park have gotten a little stale without the added incentive of working towards a goal.  I love 5Ks, but I find that thy are just not as challenging and thrilling as they once were.  My training runs are typically longer than a 5K each day.  I can always run them to improve my time, but I’ve decided that it’s time to take on a new challenge.  So I have signed up for the America’s Finest City Half Marathon on August 16!  I am so excited!  To date, my longest race is a 10K, so this is uncharted territory for me.  I found a great half marathon training program on, which I will be following to prepare myself for the race.  It’s actually based on the training schedule of American running hero and second place finisher in this year’s Boston Marathon, Ryan Hall!   Who better to model my running after?

Tonight was day one of my training.  I went down to the Balboa Stadium, which is just a few miles away from our apartment.  I ran 6 x 800 meters at about a 8 minute mile pace.  800 meters is half a mile, or twice around a standard track.  I did 6 reps with about a minute break in between to stretch, get some water, and catch my breath.  I haven’t run on a track since high school, and it brought back so many memories!  I had a great time, and was feeling especially encouraged by my very own red headed cheerleader!  Thank you, husband 😉  I’m having a little trouble with shin splints, but I am running through them, doing lots of stretching, and icing them as I type this!

It’s Official, I’m Obsessed!

I am falling more and more in love with running!  It’s just such an awesome way to completely let go at the end of the day.  When I’m not running, I’m thinking about running.  I’m just itching to get home so I can go on a nice long run!!  And now that I don’t need an afternoon nap, nothing is standing in my way 🙂

I also have a new favorite website:  I love all of the articles on how to get the most out of each work out, how to fuel properly, new streching techniqus, all of the exciting races taking place all over the world, and the seriously inspirational special interest stories!  I just wish they would post articles more frequently, because I go through them way more quickly than they can publish them!  I fully plan on subscribing to the magazine after my Shape subscription runs up. 

I joined the San Diego Track Club and they have Tuesday night practices at Balboa Stadium, which I can’t wait to start attending!  I’m hoping that I can meet some people, it’s been difficult to make new friends when my job pretty much involves no face to face human interaction.  And I would love to have someone to run with!  I’m also volunteering at the Rock and Roll Marathon (which I hope to run myself next year!).  It should be really exciting!  I love race days, even when I’m not the one racing!  There’s just such a buzz in the air 🙂  The half marathon training starts in June, can’t wait!

In other news, I am officially announcing my goal of becoming a nurse.  I’m looking at nursing programs in the area to find one that will best meet all of my needs and fit into my schedule (and budget!).  I have found one program that takes 15 months to get my bachelor’s, then the next 4 years will be spent working and taking classes towards my masters.  It looks great, but I have lots of time to figure out the best course of action.  First step is first:  prerequisites.  Next week, I will be signing up for classes at the local community college for the Summer session.  I’m actually totally excited for classes!  I love to learn and just can’t wait to crack a thick bio book and discover all kinds of amazing things about the body (Anatomy & Physiology was one of my favorite classes in high school)!  It will probably take about 2 years of cc to finish the prereqs, but I’m willing to stick it out.

The Energizer Bunny

Over the past several months, I have been experiencing some, ahem, gastro intestinal funkiness (no need to elaborate).  I have always had some problems with it, but things have been getting worse lately.  I have spoken to my doctor about my issues, and he thinks that I might be lactose intolerant.  On his advice, I have been eating dairy free for the past week and will continue the experiment for a full month.  I have decided that there is clearly some kind of issue that I need to figure out.  I am hoping and praying that dairy isn’t the culprit (no more ice cream, milk, or cheese?! Sob!) but I want to at least give it a shot.  I am also cutting out artificial sweetener because I have done some research and discovered that it’s really not the best for our bodies.  I think that consuming just a little of the real stuff is much better than trying to fool my body with chemicals.  I am also trying to really limit the amount of processed foods that I eat.  I’m really trying to get back to basics.  I have always eaten a TON of fruit, so I’m eating a lot more veggies, beans, nuts, fish, etc.  I am trying to limit the amount of meat I eat too.  Don’t worry, I am NOT turning vegetarian on you, I really love steak way too much 🙂  I’m just trying to go meat free a few days a week. 

I have to say, I am feeling so much better.  My stomach is pretty happy, my skin is clear sans medication, and I don’t have any canker sores . . . yet.  I’m not saying that this is a cure all solution, but I am feeling amazing right now.  And the best part is that I have sooooo much more energy!  I wake up well before my alarm clock, don’t get tired at the end of the workday, and I have been foregoing my afternoon nap.  And I do this all of this without the help of coffee, which I used to rely on!  I’m not giving up caffeine intentionally, but who wants coffee without milk?  Yuck!  As much as I LOVE all things dairy, it will be worth the sacrifice to me in order to feel this good all of the time.  Now if only they could develop a better tasting soy milk . . .


We had a lovely Easter weekend in San Diego.  We went with the Strukoffs on Saturday to a community Easter party.  We were late and missed the Easter egg hunt, but Sophie got her picture taken with the Easter Bunny.  She wasn’t afraid at all, in fact she was petting him!  On Sunday we went to Church, then back to Kelly and Regan’s for a little Easter brunch.  Afterwards, we took advantage of the incredible weather and hung out by TJ’s pool.

In more recent news, Sophie took her first steps on Wednesday!  Michael was so upset because he was at Kelly and Regan’s house watching Sophie just a few hours before she walked.  We got a video message at dinner, showing Sophie proudly toddling around.  She is so proud of herself!

Happy Friday!!

Whew! It has been an intense week, and I am sooo ready for some weekend fun! This week my boss’ kids were in Arizona, and we were invoicing.  Our goal was to get all of the invoicing done before they got back into town yesterday at 2:00.  We pretty much managed it, but I had to go into work this morning for a few hours to double check all the invoices.  BUT we’re done now!  Yay!!  I got out of work today at noon, went to Trader Joe’s for groceries, and now I’m home enjoying a nice cup of tea and doing some laundry.  The weather is kinda meh, unfortunately, but that means that I can get all the laundry done before the weekend officially begins.  With all of the weekend chores done, I have a whole two days of fun!  I’m not sure what our plans are for the weekend.  Tonight I think we’re staying in, I’m going to make homemade pizza (making the dough in the bread maker), open a bottle of vino, and watch Marley and Me, which arrived from Netflix this afternoon.  On Saturday, we’re supposed to go to an Easter egg hunt with Sophie, which should be pretty fun!  I’ll take LOTS of pictures!  

Last weekend was one of my favorite weekends ever in San Diego.  We drove up to Carlsbad on Sunday morning for the Carlsbad 5000.  We got there early and watched the men’s race.  It was incredible!!  The winner ran it in 13 minutes and 19 seconds, which is just over a 4 minute mile!  These guys didn’t even look winded, I was so inspired!  I ran in the women’s 30-39 age group so I could run with Kelly, Terra, and Harold.  I ran it in 25:49, which is a full 2 minutes and 3 seconds faster than the last 5K I ran.  I was so proud and feeling really good.  This was one of the most beautiful courses I have ever run, it overlooked the ocean at some points.  The weather couldn’t have been any better.  The sky was just so blue without a single cloud.  I had never been to Carlsbad before, but I would definitely like to go back.  All of the shops were very picturesque and the houses were incredible.  After the race, we went to claim our 2 free beers in the beer garden, then off to Pizza Port for a few pies.  Then, we walked to the beach to catch a few rays.  Michael and I went for a nice long walk on the beach and marveled at the mansions lining the coast.

Here are a few professional pictures.

Sophie’s First Birthday!

Admittedly, I was supposed to go for a run this morning.  I managed to wake up early and everything, but I have no desire to go out into the chilly morning to run.  I think I just need to learn to accept the fact that I am simply not a morning runner and I am done trying to force it!  I’m an afternoon runner, and that’s perfectly fine.  In the mornings,  I would much rather stay in my pajamas, watch the news, and catch you all up on my weekend . . . 

We had a jam packed weekend!  My mother-in-law, Peggy was in town to celebrate Sophie’s First Birthday!!  We had a party for her on Saturday, which mostly involved lounging by TJ’s pool for the afternoon.  I made vanilla cupcakes with pink buttercream icing for the event.  They came out pretty well, I got lots of compliments on them.  Sophie definitely enjoyed them!  She dove head first into hers.  She has never really had dessert before, so she isn’t used to all of the sugar, and she was involuntarily shaking from the sugar high.  She was acting all spazy, until she crashed about an hour later, it was so funny 🙂

On Sunday, we went to the zoo, where we did the Zoofari, which is like a giant safari bus that takes you around the whole park.  It was really fun, and we were able to see pretty much the entire zoo, which is impossible in just one day of walking!  Sophie really seemed to enjoy it, I think it was easier for her to see the animals from the top of the bus.

Monday was a continuation of the weekend!  Peggy wanted to babysit Sophie so she could spend a little one on one time with her before she went back to Omaha.  So after work, we went to Old Town for dinner with Kelly, Regan, TJ, and Laura (a friend of TJ’s who was visiting from Iowa).  We had fun chatting over dinner, but the margaritas were seriously weak!  I think the bartender forgot a key ingredient . . . TEQUILA!!  

St Patrick’s Day Run!

Last Saturday I ran the St. Patrick’s Day 10K!  I ran it in 57:27, which is about a 9:15 mile.  I was aiming for under a 9 minute mile, but I’m very proud since I had never run a 10K before.  You can check out the official results here.  I was number 949 out of 1909 people.  It was much more challenging than I had thought it would be!  I felt like my adrenaline was so rushed, which helped me get going at the beginning of the race.  But as time went on, I felt like I ran out of steam a bit, but I think overall I managed to pace myself pretty well.  I also think I need to start closer to the start line, so I can get away from the pack more quickly.  The race was on Fiesta Island, which sounds cool (for all the gringos out there, fiesta means party en Español) but its pretty much a barren island with little vegetation.  The morning was overcast, which was nice since the sun wasn’t beating down on us while we ran.  Michael was waiting for me at the finish line and took an awesome video, which I’m having difficulty uploading . . . I’m working on it!  I did a pretty good job of passing people in the final moments!  I got a cool shirt and the race ended in a beer garden!  That’s my kind of race!  So I got my beers and realized that I couldn’t share one with Michael since he didn’t run the race.  I could only drink one, so I turned to a group of people who were chatting.  Out of hundreds of people, I just happened to offer my extra beer to the man who won the race!  What are the odds?!  I was so exhausted after the race that I came home, showered, and crashed for a few hours!  

My next run is the Carlsbad 5000, it’s known as the World’s Fastest 5K.  The course is supposed to be flat, fast, and very scenic.  Mike and I are planning on driving up for the race and making it a little weekend getaway.  We’re going to get a hotel room and enjoy a little wine tasting.  We could use a little relaxation after the crazy year we’ve had.  Mike takes his new position at UCSD at the beginning of May, and we have no idea what his schedule will be like.  Researcher jobs are not usually confined to 9 to 5, unfortunately, so we’re really looking forward to taking the opportunity to spend some quality time together.

The La Jolla Half Marathon is in just 5 short weeks, and I am just not sure that I am going to be prepared.  I might have to pass this one up to work up my mileage and maybe find a different half marathon to do.  I don’t want to overextend myself; thirteen miles just sounds so long!!  

Michael’s mom is going to be in town on Wednesday for Sophie’s first birthday, so we’re looking forward to that!  I need to get prepared for her party on Saturday, since I am making the cupcakes!!  I’m going to try this recipe, I know I should have done a trial run, but I’ve been so busy!  I’ll be sure to follow the recipe closely and say a little prayer.