August 26, 2011
It has occurred to me that my life has gotten much, much busier over these past few months since I started massage therapy school. It's going absolutely great and I am so happy that I've started on this new path. Between two nights at school and my new job - where I've help launch a new website & some other social media outlets - I haven't been able to commit the time I'd like to posting here on CincySpin. So, I've decided to take a break from updating here on the site. I love this blog & I love the outlet it has provided me for the past 3 years. Thank you for following along my life's journey these past few years & for understanding why I need to make this change.
I will be back one day - full of things to say!
July 09, 2011
We tried to hit up Johnny's on a Saturday around 1pm and we could barley stand inside the fairly small dining room, it was that crowded. So we changed plans that afternoon and hit up the shop the next afternoon when it was a little less crowded. After standing in line for a few minutes and staring up at the big white board filled with Po-Boy options, we decided to split a "Johnny's special" - roast beef, grilled ham, swiss & american cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickle - all piled up on some french bread.
While waiting for our sandwich, I loved all the people watching. Tons of people were bringing out their phones to grab a photo of these huge sandwiches that they were about to consume. The dining room is small, but I did notice some people where headed to the back of the building so I'm guessing there was some more seating back there.
Johnny's is 1 or 2 blocks north of the Riverwalk along the Mississippi River, so JJ had a great suggestion to get our po-boy to go and head over for a picnic along the river. I once saw a show on the travel channel where some guy was talking about po-boys saying that the way to tell if it's a good one is when the juices run down your arm when you take a bit out of it and let me tell you Johnny's did not disappoint - it was totally awesome!
Check out Johnny's Po-Boy if you ever get to the historic French Quarter of New Orleans. Don't be discouraged if there's a line when you visit - it goes fast and if it's a nice day, then I recommend getting it "to-go" and heading over to the Riverwalk area where there are plenty of benches and open green space for a picnic.
June 07, 2011
Maybe not the best lyrics for such a young kid to be singing, but I still thought it was a great video. Love the outfit with his striped tie and matching warbler jacket, love his enthusiasm and how about those dance moves....
Watch out Blaine & Dalton Academy - looks like you've got some competition at Nationals!
May 18, 2011
After JJ and I split off on different routes, I did have a bit of mental stuff start to happen. From about mile 7 on, I ran by myself along the route, which was not something I planned on doing. From my first training run, I had my running buddies right there beside me. But on this day, we all got separated and so there I was for 6.2 more miles alone with my thoughts. By Mile 10, I had pushed through some of the rough physical moments with my body, but there were some mental thoughts that started to creep in like "oh lord, I still have 3.2 mile to go", but like I had done on several training runs I dug deep and put my thoughts to good use. Remembering that I could in fact finish this and that I had made it to mile 10 already and the rest of the course was mostly down hill, so just keep putting one foot in front of the other to get to the finish line. These pictures of me below are around mile 11 & 12, so I'm almost about to hit the final straight stretch of the course towards the finish line.
One of the Running Spot coaches spotted me with about .2 miles to go and I did my best to hold together the emotions I was feeling. I gave him a huge "high 5" and smiled from ear to ear - I had done it! With Coach Micheal's encouragement, he told me to pick out someone in front of me and beat that person across the finish line - so that's what I did - set my eyes on a gal in a gray t-shirt and pounded my legs so hard that I blew past her as I crossed the finish line.
The numbers broke down like this:
13.1 miles took me 3 hours and 6 minutes at a pace of 14:13 per mile
The feeling of pride & accomplishment when I crossed the finish line...
May 04, 2011
Me and JJ at Mile 7
Once life settles down a little I plan on posting about how everything went and some more indepth details about the day. Like I said, it was really great - eventhough it rained the first 5 miles or so, I really embraced the morning and took in all the excitement and emotions that came along with completing this goal I'd set out to finish. I can not thank everyone enough for all the support these last few months and especially the days leading up to the big run. I received tons of shout outs on Facebook and also got many text messages from loved ones cheering me on and all of those mean so much to me. Looking forward to recaping things and getting another blog post up soon with the details and hopefully some of the office race day photos!
April 30, 2011
April 27, 2011
April 21, 2011
I've had my first anatomy test and got a great score, which made me very happy. The test covered the make up of the body with various systems and anatomical terms for body parts, so lots of good info to have as a base for when we get into the bones & muscles. It's full steam ahead in that class with our next text covering the chapters on chemistry and cells.
In massage class, it's been hands on learning since last week. I really like this part of how the school approaches the learning process. We have before class reading assignments where we learn about new techniques, then the majority of class time is spent practicing on the others classmates. Our instructor demonstrates the way to do the technique, then spends the class walking around each set of students and helps us with hand placement and body positioning. The basic technique we've learned so far is called gliding, where you use your hands to glide over the body to increase blood flow and circulation in the body.
I've done three practice massages on friends and family so far and they've gone pretty good. I have learned something new during each one of them. My massage room is all set up now since my table arrived last week, so I'm looking forward to the learning process and continued practice on people over the next few months. We will build new techniques and learn new areas of the body over the next month during class and be up to practicing full body massage by mid-summertime.
That's about it on the school front, I'm enjoying every minute of it and still feel I've made the right decision about things. There's an amazing energy I'm feeling in class that is very positive and exciting. It's something I haven't been around professionally in awhile and it's very cool to feel how that positivity can spread and make you want to learn more, do more, and be a better person. There are 13 people in my class, so they will all become my new buddies over the next 18 months as we go through this process together. We are all different and come from different backgrounds, but we're all interested in massage therapy and have choosen this new path for ourselves so we'll be needing each other to succeed in class and in real life as we move forward. So that's it for now, not sure how much I'll be able to update things here on CincySpin but I'll aim for at least one school update per semester.
Thanks to all for your support, it means so very much to me.
April 10, 2011
I drove downtown, parked my car and head out on my run on a nice morning. I snapped a few pics along the way to document my run and overall it was a great day. Starting out on the campus of Marshall University was very nice. There were several other runners around the area which was nice to see along the way.
Once through Marshall's campus, I head out one of the main roads in Huntington and made my way to Ritter Park which is part of the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District. I am familiar with this park because it is where my friend holds the annual Lexi Black walk for SLOS (check out the link for more info) so I knew there was a 1 mile walking path around the park and there are also tons of beautiful houses and side streets to explore in that particular area too. Checking out these houses and enjoying the view of the park made the time pass quickly along the run.
After a few times around the park, I headed out back to the main road that would take me back to Marshall's campus. I did run into some "shady streets" as I made my way back to the other side of town and some of the roads I had marked on my routed ended up being alley ways, so I choose not to run those and ended up running about 8.5 miles total instead of the full 10. All in all, it was a great morning for a run, especially in a new place. Using the USATF website to map out a run is a great way to explore new areas if you are traveling and want to get in a walk or run. Just be flexible if things don't exactly match up and study your route on the map and turn by turn directions several times before heading out to pound the pavement in a new town. After the run, I headed back to my friend's house, made some coffee and spent the day enjoying the company of two lovey little girls and also loved spending some good quality time with my best friend since 4th grade - hard to believe we've been friends for over 20 years - where does the time go?!!
April 05, 2011
Today I'm acting on a dream I've had for a very long time. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone. Taking a big chance and trusting my instincts. Putting my faith in a higher power that I will find the answers I need to the various questions that are running through my mind about where this new adventure will take me.
I'm about to walk into my first night of school to become a Licensed Massage Therapist.
Excited beyond words, nervous beyond measure, but 100% sure I am where I need to be for me, at this very moment - the rest will come in time...
March 27, 2011
As seen in my email in-box today...
Congratulations! You are now registered for the 2011 Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon...
I've made it official by paying for my registration, so it's no turning back now. This weekend was a drop down week with shorter runs for Tuesday and Saturday. Next weekend, we're back up to 10 miles, which I'll be running on my own and not with the group since I'll be out of town visiting a friend and her new baby girl (Yay!). It will be quite challenging to motivate myself to get out there alone and keep going for 10 miles, so I'll be looking for some new tunes to load up on my iPod to jam out to along that upcoming long run.
That's about it for now - thanks for all the support as I embark on completing my goal of participating in a half marathon!
March 19, 2011
Bridge number 3 was the Licking River Bridge (click link for photo). This one runs over the Licking River in Northern Ky and there's a long gradual hill leading up the this bridge, so it's never fun to cross this one and the pedestrian lane is pretty skinny along this bridge which is well depicted in the photo link.
The fourth bridge of today's run was the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge (the far left bridge in the photo). This one is pretty challenging, however I really like this bridge because of the views it gives you of downtown Cincinnati. It runs between Covington and downtown Cincy and it's right next to the home of the Bengals, Paul Brown Stadium, so when it's football season, you might be able to catch the players out on the practice field.
So, there you have it - a quick tour of some of the bridges spanning the Ohio River that I traveled on by foot this morning. While very challenging, there's a part of me that enjoys the up and downs of the bridges. Usually the down part is my favorite but hey no big surprise there because who doesn't love a downhill!
March 15, 2011
And it seems that sweets have been the culprit as of these last few days - cake and ice cream for a birthday party on Saturday night, more cake with yummy icing on Sunday evening at a neighbor's dinner get together, and then last night was the kicker...a reece cup blizard from the DQ! Now, I did share those last two items with JJ, but let's be honest here, I was the one who wanted them and since he's not huge into sweets, he only had a few small bites of each dessert.
I'm not really looking for any feedback or comments with today's post. I'm just putting it out there for my own benefit and need to "come clean" with myself, so that I can move on with things and get back on track. My water intake is up significantly and today's a new day - one where I will recommit myself to myself. I've got running group tonight, beginner's yoga tomorrow night and plenty of good food choices in the fridge for lunches and dinners, so I'm pressing on, despite this past weekend's minor set back!
PS - Did I mention there's been a huge family size box of Frosted Flakes in the control room at work...seriously...temptations are all around me lately!
March 09, 2011
So, the countdown is on: 52 days until my first half marathon
Up next: Thursday's shorter run (3-4 miles) and Saturday's long run (8.2 miles)
Today's question to those runners out there: what has been your experience with energy products? Do you like a particular kind or find that a gel works better than an energy bar? Let me know your thoughts and experiences!
February 28, 2011
That is the question I'm posing to myself after this past weekend's training group run. I accomplished my longest run ever, like ever in my life, 7.5 miles. It's been a tough two weekends with the groups runs - 6.8 miles of Cincy hills and 7.5 miles of bridges and downtown streets. Despite my nerves, I made it through both runs and felt pretty strong after Saturday's 7.5 miler. So strong that while enjoying breakfast with my friends, my ears perked up when one of them told me that you can participate in both the Cincinnati Flying Pig 4-person Relay Run and the Half Marathon. So, after some research that's where I am today - seriously considering runing 13.1 miles through downtown Cincy and some of my favorite neighborhoods the first weekend of May.
When I started this running journey less than a year ago, I never thought I'd be thinking of taking on such a chalellenge. Once I finsihed the Thanksgiving Day 10k run, I did feel that one day I want to tackle a half marathon, I just never thought it would be this soon - less than a year after I started running. But my energy is up, the excitement is all around me, and I feel like there's no time like the present. I'm already half way through the training with the group, so if I want to continue running with them on the weekends, then I'll be uping my miles b/c they're all training for the half - so why not just go ahead and do it - check it off my life's to do list. If I do it, the race falls 11 days before my 32nd birthday and what better gift to give myself - pride and accomplishment on completing my first half marathon, sounds like a pretty great b-day gift to me!
Thoughts - advice - words of wisdom - I'm ready to hear it all. Have you done a half marathon? If so, what's something you wish you'd known before your race? Let me hear it blogger friends!
February 23, 2011
Here's the recipe:
- 1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 10 oz can rotel tomatoes with green chilies
- 15 oz canned or frozen corn, drained
- 15 oz kidney beans, drained
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 16 oz fat free refried beans
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 2 1/2 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
Serve with a few baked tortilla chips and your favorite toppings such as low fat sour cream, jalapeños, reduced fat cheese, chopped scallions, onions, or chopped fresh cilantro. Freeze leftovers in individual portions for future meals.
I did make some homemade baked tortilla strips for this dish - it was so simple. Take a few flour tortillas and brush each side with some vegetable oil. Stack them and cut them into strips. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, flipping at the half way point. Just keep your eye on them so they don't burn and they're a great addition to put on this soup with some shredded chedder cheese. Enjoy!
February 21, 2011
A Family is Like a Football Team
My Mom typed this up for me many years ago, when I was raising three young children. It's been on my refrigerator ever since!
"A family can be a lot like a football team. Everyone has a different assignment, and if one does it well, and works well with everyone else on the team, the family can have a winning season, and some even a championship season."
If you don't learn to cooperate well with each other, everyone else on the team will suffer. A winning season makes everyone happy.
Your folks, and the rest of the family, deserve to be happy. Give each other a chance. You're not going to stop loving each other just because we all have other people in our lives. It doesn't work that way. The members of a football team change every year, but when we all pull together, we can still have that winning season."
As I read this article so many years later, it still rings true to me! Our family has changed a lot! Our kids are grown and gone, living their adult lives; three of our four parents are gone now; and our "football team" is certainly heading into another season of changes! But that doesn't mean we love each other any less. Our "football team" is still playing strong, why, it's even growing - with a daughter and son-in-law now - and we're all still headed for that winning season!
May your "team" always be strong, too --Best always, Carole
February 14, 2011
So, however you celebrate Valentine's Day (or don't celebrate), enjoy today - share a laugh with a friend, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you and pass on some positive energy to others, because it's the cool thing to do!
February 02, 2011
If you didn't see the show and have any interest in this hot button topic, then I highly suggest you check it out. Here's a link to her website with more about the show. There's an interesting segments where correspondent Lisa Ling visits a slaughterhouse. While this segment might be hard for some to watch, it was the first time I recall seeing or hearing about the details on how cows are treated at the feed lots, transferred to slaughterhouses and put through the process of becoming packaged meat.
Now on to another recipe that I whipped up last night. This is what I call cooking without a plan. I pulled out some veggies from the fridge and we had some cooked thin spaghetti noodles. So here's my take on another meatless meal:
Chop up some fresh broccoli, onion, tomatoes and flat leaf parsley. Heat some olive oil in a medium size saute pan and add the broccoli with some garlic. Once that is cooked, set aside and to the same pan add the chopped onion, tomatoes, and parsley. Squeeze some lemon juice over that mixture and saute for a few minutes. If you so desire (which I did), add in a little white wine too. After the onion mixture softens, add the broccoli back into the pan and toss in some cooked spaghetti noodles. I let all this cook together for a few minutes and below is a picture of the finished product. It was pretty good and the lemon juice gave it a very fresh flavor, which made me think that this would be a great meal to eat during the summer months. You could easily add grilled chicken this dish to satisfy the taste buds of the carnivores in your life too. Enjoy - and don't forget to post any meatless meals you and your family enjoy in the comments section - Thanks!
January 24, 2011
Here is my take on the recipe:
- 1 lb cooked ground turkey
- small amount of minced garlic
- 1/4 chopped onion
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp chef tony's creole spice mix
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 red bell peppers
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, and remove all seeds. Place peppers in backing dish and add meat mixture into each pepper half and fill it with as much as you can. Sprinkle each pepper with cheddar cheese. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes.
January 21, 2011
It may not have been my fastest 3 miles and I may not have had the best form, but today I got out there in about 5 inches of snow and just did it. I layered up in some cold weather running gear and like Nike says, I said to myself - "Just Do It" - so I laced up my shoes, headed out the door and before I knew it I was half way through the run. Overall, it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. With the snow packed down, it was almost like running on sand just much colder and instead of hearing the ocean waves all you can hear is your shoes squeaking down as they pack down on the piles of snow, which is pretty freaking cool!
I took some video to document my run. That may sounds silly to some people, that I taped myself running, but it's honestly something that I never thought I would be doing, especially in the snow with the temperature around 15 degrees. So if you want a good laugh, watch this quick clip from my first snow running experience:
So here is today's message from CincySpin (courtesy of Nike):
"Just Do It"
No matter what it is, no matter how many time you've talked yourself out of it, no matter how much you don't want to, no matter what the out come - at least you will have tried and most likely succeeded at accomplishing your goal - just like I did today with completing my first run in the snow!
January 17, 2011
While we have not fully adopted Meatless Mondays in our house yet, I am trying to make one meal a week that does not include meat, poultry or seafood. So, here's my first recipe for a meatless dinner:
Mariana, Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
2 portobello mushroom caps
Fresh spinach leaves
Feta & Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to broil setting. On medium heat, saute mushroom caps in some olive oil on for about 5-10 minutes, flipping the caps to cook on both sides. Place mushrooms in baking dish and fill the caps with marina sauce, spinach, feta & shredded mozzarella cheese. Broil in oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
This is a very informal recipe - I didn't do any measuring of the ingredients, so just go with the flow on this & fill the mushrooms with whatever amount looks good to you and bake them up. I'm sure you could also bake them on 375, but I like the cheese a little browned, so the broiling them worked out great for my tastes.
If anyone has any suggestions for meatless meals, I'd love to have your recipes. One good thing for me is that JJ will eat anything, so that's great to have someone who's up to trying new things. I am the one with the less than adventuresome taste buds, but I am trying to expand my palate and have done so in the past few years. I feel this challenge will help push me beyond my comfort zone when it comes to food. Just this weekend we enjoyed a night out at some friends house and I tried some chili with beans, so that was a big step for me. I didn't eat all the beans, but a few snuck in and it wasn't too bad!
So, suggestions and thoughts on this topic are welcomed. Let me know what types of meals you & your families are eating this year!
January 12, 2011
Leg 2 - Eden Park at Mirror Lake to Wasson Ave = 5.16 miles
Leg 3 - Wasson Ave to Eastern at Linwood = 7.67 miles
Leg 4 - Eastern at Linwood to Finish Line = 6.55 miles
JJ has already laid claim on the shortest distance - leg 2 - but what he may not be aware of this that particular leg is pretty hilly. The "upside" (pun intended) to choosing this leg is that it goes through the Hyde Park neighborhood, which is well known for being a place where tons of people are out cheering on race runners. After talking with him the other day, he now says he really doesn't care which leg he gets and that he was just joking about wanting the shortest leg.
I think I'm going to run leg 1 - 6.83 miles - this way I can kick off our team run and my team mates, who are probably all faster than I am, can make up some time on the other legs of the run. I'm also excited about running the first leg of the race because I'll be able to meet up with my running group gals! They are all running the half marathon, so I know it will be fun to be with them for the first half of their run. The girls have joined the half marathon training group with the Running Spot, so they're out there in this January cold weather already pounding the pavement. I'm very tempted to join the group also, even though I'll be running 7 miles and not the full 13.2. Being part of the group motivates me to show up at the group runs and push myself when I'm out running. I'll keep you posted if I decide to join.
What's not motivating me right now are the cold temperatures in Cincy - it's snowy, windy and icy and that just doesn't sound like a fun way to get back into running. But I've stocked up on some cold weather running gear, so I just need to bite the bullet, lace up my shoes and hit the ground running (again, pun intended).
I'll be using Cincyspin to track my progress with my running this year. I also plan to load up the Dolce more often once Spring rolls around and hit the bike trails. So, cheers to making the commitment - I hope it's a fun & healthy year filled with bike rides, running events and maybe even some yoga!
January 02, 2011
This time of year can really be inspiring. The obvious is making the New Year's resolution, which some people say they don't make because they don't want to set them selves up to fail on the first day of the year. Many people set up goals around this time of the year and succeed in accomplishing them - so when ever the time of year - I say go for it and make it happen.
Cheers to a great start for 2011 - I hope this year brings you many days filled with laughter, love, adventure and happiness. Best Wishes for an awesome year ahead from CincySpin!