"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep." ~Robert Frost

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

My mom is great and I really miss her. I hope she's having a good day. :) Here is a poem I wrote for her as her Mother's Day card.

What I Got From My Mom

Pretty sky-blue eyes, a perfectly round face,
short legs that make it easy to
fit comfortably in small places,
Quinn-feet that Dad calls flat and fat,
but which I happen to think look super cute
in their size six and a half summer sandals!


Baby-fine hair that's thin and soft,
hard to grow out but easy to dry.
Pale Irish skin, lots of freckles,
and of course that infamous Quinn pooch,
which gives me an incentive
to go the gym and keep up with my crunches!

A face that always looks younger than I am,
thanks to seemingly wrinkle-free skin and some miracle
from above that she must have passed down to me.
A cute little nose and a big cheeky grin,
a face that clearly lights up or shuts down
depending on what my heart is feeling or my mind is thinking. 
An emotional and sensitive disposition,
a sometimes sudden spontaneity and love of everything fun.
A sense of humor and the ability to laugh
at whatever happens in life, even when it's hard.
And of course a sense of personal responsibility--
she refused to ever help me wake up in the morning!

A shared love of books, music and creative pursuits,
and the occasional tear-jerker or romantic comedy.
The knowledge that family is important,
worth cherishing and keeping close to my heart,
and that relationships are more important
than money, possessions, or anything else in life.

Encouragement, support, a listening and understanding ear.
And love, from head to toe, inside and out,
which I felt as a baby and at every age since,
which surrounds me in everything I do,
and for which I feel very grateful,
today on Mother’s Day, and every day.

<3 <3 <3

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 7/9 of Marathon Training, and Law Day luncheon

Today was week 1, day 2 of my marathon training program.  I didn't run yesterday.  Yesterday was a horrible day for me and I just didn't have the time.  Today I ran 3 miles along a Rio Grand trial with my friend Carey and her dog Tux. Sadly I didn't bring Venus because I had to go straight to my writing group meeting afterwards. It was a hard run but a nice trail. It is close to the Flying Star in the North Valley which is pretty close to where I live and not far from where Carey lives on the West Side. There's a dirt path along each side of the ditch bank and it goes very far. There are some pretty houses and yards to look at while passing by, and it's a nice place for the dogs. At one part it is very clumpy with sand, which was annoying. Other than that I like the route a lot and want to do it again soon! It took me 34 minutes which is s-l-o-w but it really felt hard! Carey kicks my butt and I have to get into better shape to catch up with her!

Also today I attended the Albuquerque Bar Association luncheon, which is held the first Tuesday of every month, and today was the Law Day lunch.  The national purpose of the American Bar Association was to celebrate the legacy of John Adams, and this was mentioned at our lunch but no one really talked about it in depth.  Instead Chief Justice of the NM Supreme Court, Justice Charles Daniels, gave a really interesting talk on technology in the Supreme Court and the law, from the quill to the computer. It encompassed a lot of things from early New Mexico history about how at one point the territorial map put us in Texas (the line was drawn to the Rio Grande) and how at another time the territory of New Mexico stretched through Nevada, making "Caesar's Palace a place in New Mexico." It was quite funny and entertaining. I also had the opporunity to visit with a lot of friends, former law school classmates and former colleagues (I've worked at four firms in the past five years, so, I have a lot of former colleagues. ;)

In other news, I put my deposit down for the apartment yesterday, so I'm definitely moving! I have a couple weeks to sort through my stuff and then I think I'm going to start moving in around May 14th, but I don't have to be out of my house until May 31st because I already paid for the last month's rent. I like that I have a lot of time to do it and I want to make sure I set up my new place very nicely, because I never really got around to setting up my current place at all. I always thought I would either move back into my own house across the street, or move back home to Pennsylvania/Maryland where my family is! Now I'm still here and it's time to get organized and finally settle in.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Three Pounds Lost During Week One

This morning, exactly a week after I started the marathon training program, I found out I lost another pound, which brings me down by almost 3 pounds in one week. :-)

The strange thing is that I haven't been crash dieting or doing anything extreme. I've just been watching what I eat and trying to eat smaller amounts and healthier foods. I guess since I haven't been doing anything in quite awhile, it's easy to lose weight. But eventually I'll probably have to be stricter about what I eat to get in the best shape possible.

Last week I had some pizza at work for Administrative Professionals day, some leftover Easter chocolate that people brought into work (it was rather morbid: a huge chocolate bunny chopped up into bits the day after Easter!), a donut on Friday which is always bagels or donuts week at my firm (hmmm, work is a bad influence on my diet! ;), and of course some alcohol (but not as much as normal as I'm trying to cut back on that for more reasons than calories-- just overall I want a healthier lifestyle). I suppose those things didn't matter much because overall I was quite food-conscience and made oatmeal with flaxseed and berries, and grilled chicken and veggies and hard-boiled eggs (yummy) etc.

I'm making small changes so as not to overwhelm myself but eventually I'd like to be strict about it and cut out almost all sugar and processed foods and just eat clean.  I was there at one point (I was following the principles of Tosca Reno's The Eat Clean Diet [eat only whole, natural foods], without doing the actual diet plan), and it was the best feeling in the world! Not only did I lose weight but I felt like I was radiating energy and my skin was super smooth and clean, etc. I would like to get back there but it seems so hard because it takes a long time to buy, prepare, cook and package the food. Right now I am so busy taking care of Katie, and just started this training program which takes a lot more time out of my schedule than I'm used to, and soon I'll be moving. So I think after I'm moved into my new place (or at least by the beginning of summer/June) I'll make nutrition a priority but until then I'll keep taking baby steps and paying attention to what I eat.

I love Tosca Reno and the eating clean concept:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week One Training Recap

It's the end of my first week of marathon training. Here's a recap:

Mon 4/25  3.5 miles, 40 min
Tue 4/26  2.5 miles, 30 min
Wed 4/27 2.85 miles, 32 min
Thu 4/28  3.5 miles, 40 min        Speed Intervals
Fri, 4/29   Rest
Sat, 4/30  4 miles, 44 min  Long Run
Sun, 5/1

Total: 19 miles, 216 minutes (3.6 hours)

I'm off to a good start. :-) And I'm down two pounds since starting the program.

Day 6/7 of Marathon Training

I didn't get to do Run for the Zoo this morning because I stupidly left my key in my friend's car last night and didn't realize it until it was time to drive to the race! I suppose it was for the best, though, because the weather was really really crappy-- cold and windy-- and so my time would have been horrible. There's another 5K run next weekend I'll do instead.

I was rather sore after my four-mile fast-ish treadmill run yesterday at the gym, so I did an easy run with Venus along the ditch bank near my house. We went for 2.65 miles (30 minutes) which neatly wrapped up the week. I'll post a Week One recap next.

I spent most of today listing books and other things on eBay. I decided I'm definitely going to take the apartment, so, it's time to downsize and get rid of a bunch of stuff!  Bye bye clutter. :) With today being May 1st, it's the start of my new budget, which basically means keeping track of what I spend and trying not to spend as much as I usually do. This should be fun... yeah right.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 5/6 of Marathon Training

Today I did my long run, on the treadmill at Riverpoint Sports & Wellness because I was over on the West Side to get a pedicure with my friends Jessica and Jena. (We went to Nail Time at Montano Plaza-- it's where Jena always goes and they were very good. They're a bit on the expensive side but in my opinion, well worth it.) I ran 4 miles; I alternated my pace but overall my time was 44 minutes. I always run faster and get more of a workout on the treadmill; it's my preferred way to run but I try not to do it too often because I need the altitude and incline training that's more in line with a real road race, and my dog Venus can't exactly run with me on the treadmill.

I signed up for the Run for the Zoo 5K tomorrow. I'm not in race shape but I figure it will give me a good starting time to build off of. I've never done the race but I've heard it's a fun time.

Speaking of races, I received some bad news: our group did not get chosen in the lottery to run the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. :( I'm so bummed because I was really looking forward to it. My sister and I are going to pick another marathon to run around that same time period. So for now I'm training for a marathon, but I'm not sure which one!

Yesterday was a much-needed rest day. I was so busy I didn't get time to run; plus it was time to give my body a break anyway!

I took Katie to the physical therapy vet and they said she is doing very well in her progress of recovering after surgery. :-) They put her in the water treadmill for a little bit and she loved it, even though she usually hates water! They also showed me some exercises to do with her on a fitness ball. The vet pinched her front paw with pliers and she felt a little bit of pain; the vet said that's a good sign for sensation returning to that leg that they were worried about due to nerve damage. So that was great news, and then I brought Katie into the office with me. She was pooped and I think a bit overwhelmed by the visitors; she basically just slept by my desk until I took her home. Everyone at work was so concerned about her and happy to meet her; it was sweet.

After work I did some much-needed grocery shopping and household goods shopping at Walmart. Boy do I hate Walmart and I usually try to avoid it but the vet had said to get Katie's heating pads there. I got $130 worth of other stuff as well! I finally have some food and paper towels and stuff.  When I got back home I did Katie's electro-magnetic therapy treatment while I finished watching the movie Conviction. It is based on the true story of a woman who went to law school solely to prove that her brother, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole, was innocent. It was very inspiring and happy-sad; I found myself crying! I would really recommend it. It was nice to see a movie about lawyers that seemed realistic, although there were a few things that didn't make sense or seem right to me about the process (but I don't do criminal law so I'm not sure.) As a bonus Juliette Lewis has a small but great part in the movie, and I love love love her.

Hilary Swank as a law student preparing to free her brother from prison

Oh, Juliette -- you're so good at playing crazy people!
My BFF Jessica was on a bowling date and she asked if I wanted to meet up for drinks. So I met her at Anodyne downtown. It's a pretty chill place with an eclectic crowd, mostly hippy-types and students. I was in really relaxed clothes and it was funny to walk down Central by all the girls decked out in club clothes. We had a nice chat and a couple drinks and then I went back home to go to bed! That was my Friday night-- I sure am getting old.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 4/4 of Marathon Training

Today I did a speed interval run along the ditch bank with Venus. I included six repetitions of two minutes of running as fast as I could, interspersed with jogging, some walking, and some regular running. It wasn't ideal-- I would have liked to steadily alternate minutes and pick up my non-sprinting pace, but it was hard because I'm out of shape, so I'm just glad I did it. :) Overall it was 40 minutes and I think about 3.5 miles. It was a sunny, hot day and I went at about 5:15 pm.  It was a hard workout but a good one!

After the run I went to look at the apartment that my former landlord is renting out. There are some good things about it and some bad things about it but for the price I think it's a good deal, and what's most important is that he doesn't care about the pets, and the place has a fenced, private "backyard" (more like a big dog run, but, that's fine for our purposes. ;)  I am pretty sure I'm going to do it.  I may spend tomorrow looking at a few other places to be sure -- I can never make up my mind about anything though so I should probably just jump off and do it.  My current lease ends May 31st and my last month's rent was paid in advance, so I think I'll sign up for the new place starting May 15th, which gives me two weeks to move everything out. I am a bad procrastinator and I hate doing practical things like moving, so, hopefully this will be ideal. 

Then I went to meet my friend Carey and her husband Sonu at Gecko's in Nob Hill. It was originally supposed to be for the purpose of picking up some things I accidentally left in Carey's car yesterday, but she invited me to have dinner and drinks with the group of anesthesiologists that Sonu was meeting with (he is in the last year of his anesthesiology residency at UNM).  We sat out on the patio and it cooled off and it was a lovely evening to do that!

Then I went to see my friend Jessica's new casita she's renting in Nob Hill. It's really cute--small but practical, and it has wood and cute trim and painting, etc. And it costs less than the place I'm considering. I thought about trying to find something like it but it doesn't have an enclosed yard.

Finally I went bowling with Jess, her sister Richelle who is in town to help her move, and a guy that Jessica is dating. We like to go to Holiday Bowl on Thursday nights because there's karaoke, cosmic bowling and $4 pitchers. Definitely a young crowd though-- high school and college. It was fun but I bowled terribly and stayed out too late!

Oh, today I had a meeting with my financial advisor and I wrote out a big check to my mutual funds company so that I can invest money for the future instead of keep spending it. Go me! :-) I have to really live off of a budget now, something I'm not used to at all, and I'm going to try to keep saving up more money.  Living in the new place will be almost $300 a month cheaper than my current place, and my current landlord was raising my rent by $100 so it will now be $400 a month cheaper! I still have to pay some of my mortgage after my own tenants pay their rent, so alltogether it's rather pricey but not nearly as bad as if I stay where I'm at now. I also plan to axe my gym membership at Sports & Wellness because it's way too expensive, and join Planet Fitness for only $10 a month. Plus I'm really going to try to cook more instead of going out so much and spending so much money on food and alcohol when I'm out, but, that is probably going ot be the most difficult goal to accomplish because it seems like I always have something going on.

Finally, I've lost two pounds in three days. :-) I still have so many more to go but it feels good to get a start at it, and I know I've lost them the right way, so they won't be coming back if I keep this up!