At least you’re not the Yankees today…

Welcome back from the weekend, we’ve survived another hot one.

My Friday started, as it usually does, nice and early thanks to a 4:30am wake-up call. This also means my weekend kicks off early, so I can’t complain. After work and a solid strength training workout, I lounged around the house for a bit before it was Red Sox v. Yankees time. I almost feel bad for the Yankees, but not quite.

I headed into the game with a friend who happens to be a Yankees fan. I did feel bad for her team of losers and made sure to sing along to Sweet Caroline nice and loud for her.

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In college, I was so used to walking to and from the game from just down the street and afterwards, driving into the city, that taking the subway was an adventure. A very hot, sticky, and crowded adventure.

On Saturday, I had a leisurely morning, sleeping in and enjoying breakfast.

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My niece and sister came over for the day and we had a great time just watching this little face.

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It’s crazy how fast they grow!

I went to bed early for a Saturday night and was up early on Sunday morning to fit in a run before my hair appointment. It was warm, but dry outside and I cruised for a solid 4 miles of running. Felt strong!

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After grocery shopping and touching up my roots, it was meal prep time. I chopped up a ton of veggies for salads and made my breakfast for today.

I started watching Sharp Objects on HBO, so far so good.

How’s your Monday treating you?

Post-Celebrity Meeting Life

In all the excitement of yesterday, I didn’t even touch upon the sadness that is David Ortiz retiring. In Boston, we’ve been lucky to have some stellar sport stars over the years, including Tom Brady and my personal favorite Nomar Garciaparra (who okay, maybe, is not quite up to their level but he COULD HAVE BEEN). Nobody quite is as beloved as Big Papi, in part thanks to his help in breaking an 86 year curse; for being clutch, lovable, and fun; and for his words after the Boston Bombing in 2013 when he reminded us that it was our f****** city and no one else could take it from us.

Though I’m sad to see him go and can’t even imagine what a Red Sox team looks like without him as DH, I’m happy to see him leave on top, still hitting like he’s in the prime of his career, and giving us his all.

Thankfully, we’ve still got a post-season in which to look forward, hopefully very far into it, like say, another World Series ring for the big man.

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Image found on Google. I’ve never been close enough to snap this.

Monday didn’t provide as much excitement as Sunday, but it was still a solid day. I decided for now to not wake up super early, but instead exercise after work. Thankfully I’m constantly on my feet on the job, so I already had 11,000 steps when I walked into the gym. My workout consisted of triceps, chest, and core with some quality time on the spin bike.

Breakfast was simple. Peanut butter, jelly, toast, fruit. Do you like my banana/strawberry design? It was inspired. I had to cut a chunk off the banana thanks to decay.

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For lunches this week, I made another large vat of quinoa and beans, this time of the red bean variety. I added some Brussels sprouts and spinach with soyaki. Not only does it taste great at lunch, but it’s so easy to assemble at night.

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After my workout, I was ready for dinner. I put together a large salad with grilled chicken tacos. So good! I had a couple of chips with hummus as well.

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As I ate, I caught up on the latest episode of Bob’s Burgers. To end my night, I wrote some more (something that I’ve been consistent with!), read for a bit, and fell into happy sleep.

Go Ahead And Ask Me How The Red Sox Did

Really baseball? I was so excited about the start of the season, in yesterday’s post I wrote, “At least I have baseball,” and what happened? Baseball was cancelled! It wasn’t that Monday was a bad day so much as it was an off one for me. Weird, not terrible but not great things happened and I was in a bit of a funk, which I think is to be expected. The snow certainly didn’t help, nor did the POSTPONEMENT of the baseball season thanks to a bit of cold (it could have been freezing, I don’t even know).

I at least did get a good amount of writing in during the day, which rarely happens. I just have to be consistent with it. Once I trekked through the snow to the gym, I fit in a killer tricep, chest, core workout before work. Always helps to get a sweat on.

Anyways, today is a new day and I’m bursting out of my funk! Here’s a food pic!

This lovely revelation was last night’s dinner, consisting of pulled pork, brown rice, zucchini, peppers, and spinach. Delicious!

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Here, have another! This morning’s breakfast was a heaping bowl of warm oats to fuel me through my early morning run and workday.

Dare I say, Go Red Sox!? (Or is it still to chilly for the big bad boys of baseball?)

Time

They say time heals all wounds, which is sad because it advances on the human capacity to move forward. Right now, I’m okay, getting through, because even as my own world has shifted, life as a whole does not stop. It’s an old cliche. Death means pain, but it’s a product of love, which makes living worth it. Funny, in that it’s not funny at all, how we so easily forget our own mortality until it’s forced upon us.

The weekend was a weird one and I can’t say that I’m sad it’s over. I took a good amount of time for myself to reboot. The weather isn’t helping my mood, considering it’s April 4th and snowing. On the bright side, I do seem to have a fowl problem. On the way to the gym on Saturday, I had to stop thanks to a flock of geese crossing the road and on the way home, I had to make another stop for some turkeys. Strange, but I had to laugh.

On Saturday, I had to run inside on the treadmill thanks to a rainy day. As it turns out, if I had waited until later that afternoon, I could have run outside as the sun flashed itself, but it was still a good workout. On the treadmill, I have trouble with boredom (who doesn’t?!) so I decided on an interval program that followed the pyramid method. I started at 6 minutes of walking at a slight incline, then ran for 6 minutes at a slower pace. As I went to 5-4-3-2-1 minutes, I increased my incline for walking and speed for running. It was effective! To finish, I used the Tabata interval method by sprinting for 20 seconds and recovering for 10 seconds over 4 minutes. By the end, I was tired and looking like a sweaty mess. No matter how hard I work, nothing affects me quite like running. To finish the workout, I went through a plank-heavy core workout.

Sunday was the official start of the week for my workouts, which meant it was biceps and shoulders day. Last week, I performed each exercise for 8 reps and 6 sets, which is long and exhaustive. Even though the end result is the same, I found the 12 reps and 4 sets that I did yesterday to be friendlier. I did six exercises for each body part, including core, before fitting in some quality cardio time on the elliptical.

Though I spent an unfortunate amount of time being lazy and procrastinating, I did get some writing done, something in which I’ve been slacking. The unfortunate thing about writer’s block is that it’s exacerbated by not keeping up the habit, so I’ve pretty much been screwed. Here’s to making time for it, just as I do every day for exercise.

Healing occurs through living and experiencing, and so, I’m trying.

At the very least, there will be baseball today. (Picture found somewhere online probably).

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Go Sox! (Picture taken by me…)

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I’m a Retailer’s Dream

Ok, yesterday I was wrong. There is something better than an afternoon walk, a morning run outside! Now that I’ve taken my runs outdoors- praise!- I need to get into the kind of shape that allows me to maneuver up and down hills. This is not easy. I’m at a good clip running 3.1 miles, but by the end, I’m tired. I think after next week, I’ll stretch it back out to four and progress from there. It’s not easy running up hills and in my neighborhood, flat surfaces are hard to come by. Soon, an extension of my route will be necessary.

Before getting out there in the sun, I started my day with some Yoga. I can’t believe how stiff my body is in the morning. I don’t realize it until I’m doing Yoga and I can’t stretch as far down as when I’m  warmed up. My plan of attack for the summer is to do strength training with weights 2 days a week, body strength 2 days a week, and Yoga another two. My cardio would be running, swimming, and Plyometrics. I’m trying to mix things up a bit, but also keep my body healthy!

Breakfast was a warm and filling bowl of peanut buttery oats. I enjoyed it with strawberries stirred in, with a big cup of coffee, and some reading material. While I am in the middle of a novel, the past couple of days, I’ve been reading television scripts like a fiend. It’s fun to be able to picture the actors portraying them, but they are also really beneficial to my own writing.

  
For lunch, I mowed down on a stir fry. This one had chicken, veggies, and brown rice. Two hours later, I was starving so I had my snack of grapes, carrots, and a cheesestick early. I was wondering why I was so hungry so early and my mom suggested I wasn’t eating enough fat. See, fat is important! For tomorrow’s lunch, I added a sprinkle of cheese, which I hope evens things out and fills me up! Still tasty though!

  
Sausages, pasta, and a veggie medley were on the menu for dinner. Among the marinara goodness, one might find peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli.

  
Among other things going on in my life, I’m trying to decipher two things about the Red Sox. One is more pressing. How can they keep scoring huge amounts of tuns and losing the game? Going into the season, I thought we had mediocre pitching. To lose 11-8 is dismal. Get your ish together, friends, or I’m dusting off my glove and trying out because apparently we have no standards!

The second matter is a bit more personal. The Red Sox merchandising folks are out to get me. Let me lay it out for you. In 2003, I start to become a huge Sox fan and realize my crush on Nomar Garciaparra is full on love. I buy myself his shirt. They trade him- actually, let’s not go down that road because it’s too painful still! Ok, fine. A season or two later, I buy myself a Johnny  Damon shirt. He signs in hell shortly after. This one player, Jeremy Hermida, was projected to be a huge star, but injuries plagued his young career and his original team trades him. The Sox get him and I hear how everyone thinks he might finally find his groove. He does well for a week or two, I think he’s cute, so I buy his shirt. Doomsday, then he’s released. But then I still have my beloved Jacoby Ellsbury and I think we are going to have one of those one-team forever type relationships. I buy his short and he signs in hell too. Last season, I’m looking for a new shirt because obviously the others haven’t worked out- though I still wear Nomar- and I play it carefully. I put so much thought and caution into this purchase. I wait awhile into the season. I listen to the radio and the tv. Who’s the hottest prospect, who’s on the team for a good long while. I go with our hot stud of a new third baseman Will Middlebrooks. What happens? He’sinjured or in a slump and boom, he’s traded. For the record, it was between him and Grady Sizemore.

So I’m heading to a game soon and I’m thinking to myself how I might want to buy a new shirt. Mookie’s got a chance to be a franchise player, I think. Hanley’s fun  to watch, I murmur, but then I think, oh but Blake Swihart might be coming up soon. And them it hits me. I’m a jinx. Or, at the very least, I choose players’ shirts my my eyes and my heart, rather than my baseball knowing mind. If I were a GM of a baseball team, we might go 0-162, but we’d be on all the covers of the magazines.

No matter the cause, I’ll keep my distance from Mookie especially. Maybe it’s time I go for an  opposing team’s shirt?

Crack of The Bats

The Red Sox came back in dramatic fashion. All winter we’ve been talking about this hot and heavy offense and that’s exactly what we saw today with five home runs, four solo shots and a grand slam. We also heard a ton about the lack of an ace on the pitching staff, but Clay Buchholz is trying to show he’s still got it. I won’t get ahead of myself, but his outing today was his best I’ve seen in a long time- and pricey Jon Lester couldn’t secure his mediocre team a win last night- and I think people just have to wait and see how it turns out.

I get it. We are baseball fans. We are Boston baseball fans and we like to complain. The winter we’ve had gave us a lot to cry about. Jon Lester not signing with the Sox was probably better received than if he had because we could complain about it. But there’s a lot to enjoy this season. We have an offense that, if they stay healthy, will provide a ton of fun throughout the summer and well into October. Let’s be honest here, pitching might win more games, but an explosive offense is just more fun to watch. Few go to the park and squeal with glee at a 1-0 pitchers’ duel through seven.

We don’t have a World Series title to defend and we are coming off a losing season, which means, if patterns of late continue, we are in for a title. The young kids are taking over and for once in a longtime, it appears that the Red Sox might actually get lucky and live up to the hype. Mookie Betts will be the player. Jacoby Ellsbury showed flashes of. Xander Boegarts, inspired by the likes of Ortiz, Ramirez, and Sandoval, will regain the cocky confidence a player his age needs to show signs of being a star. By  June, we will have a young stud catcher behind the plate in Blake Swihart and another young, quick, athletic star of an outfielder in Rusney Castillo rounding out the team. It’s just a blow that we have to wait a year for Christian Vazquez who might prove useless once we get used to Swihart.

The bullpen might be a cause for concern, as will the starting rotation, but we also have a line of guys who are looking to prove themselves, either coming off a season of injuries or out of the shadows from Bona fide stars on another team. I’ll say it first, this pitching staff will be better than everyone expects, even outstanding for stretches. Don’t underestimate the power of the ground ball and the all-star, gold gloves in the field.

Speaking of, did everyone see and hear what Dustin Pedroia had to say on this opening day? Not quite? Well, he will show you the rest of the season. Pedroia is the heart and the soul of this Red Sox team. He will work his hardest and he will be the greatest and he expects everyone else around him to do the same. He won’t necessarily say it, but he sure will show you. Papi, Ramirez, and Sandoval will make things fun as much with their personalities and self-assurance as with their bats. They will be the type of trio you would call obnoxious and egotistical if they were on the opposing team. People will hate them and we will love them even more.

Baseball is growing more exciting in the next few years. Younger, cheaper teams are in the forefront. We will worry about the Mariners, Royals, and a host of National league teams the way we used to worry about the Yankees and Rays. The Yankees are old and the Rays are silly and we will laugh, while reminiscing about the good ole days of such a rivalry. Younger, cheaper teams play harder because they want it more and they don’t feel entitled. And some of the more expensive teams will feel as though they are among the younger and cheaper because they will bring joy back into the game- but maybe I’m a little biased because the Red Sox have that good vibe going.

Did I mention the Yankees suck?

Meal time! Before my workout this morning, I woke up to a hard-boiled egg and a cheesestick. It fueled me through a kettlebell strength circuit, a barbell strength circuit, and a run/walk that had me running faster at a steadier pace than I have in awhile. It felt good to be running that fast and feeling my heart beating. Got the Monday going off to a good start.

Breakfast was this bowl of overnight oats I made the night before and gobbled up after my workout. Oats, walnuts, raisins, dates, banana, milk, and cinnamon. Divine.

I was bummed when I realized I forgot my popcorn at home, but this salad was filling and delicious. The usual medley of I egged and some grilled chicken made my tummy happy.

Dinner was a delectable pasta meal. Spicy sausage, a meatball, whole wheat penne, and stir fried zucchini and red pepper. So good with a little red pepper flake and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. I couldn’t resist a piece of toast to sop up the sauce at the end.

Pick Up A Bat, Dust Off That Glove

The Red Sox start a week from today. I repeat. The Red Sox start a week from today. It doesn’t matter that there is still a bunch of snow on the ground. The weather is still gloomy and frigid. Blankets will be needed at games and it will feel more like October baseball than the games are worth. But the boys are coming back and are bringing a banging offense with them and at the moment, it’s the only true sign of spring.

Like, hello? Easter is on Sunday. I’m used to wearing dresses with flowly skirts and bare legs, sitting outside and enjoying the sun. This is not spring, but spring things are happening, so maybe the weather will catch up. I’ve been wearing many dresses and skirts lately, hoping to inspire some changes, but this morning, I walked into work just as it was starting to snow.

Do you know how glorious it will be to step outside in the morning and not be freezing despite being bundled up in layers? I need to defrost at the gym before I can even get moving. But April is coming, Easter eggs will have to be dyed, and the Red Sox will still play and eventually, the weather will warm along with it.

Speaking of Easter, my mom and I are currently belting out lyrics to Jesus Christ Superstar. I love that musical- though there are few that I don’t. The music is very catchy and singable. Tis the season!

When my alarm went off Monday morning, I was shell-shocked for a few minutes, but then I rolled out of bed and felt fine. I enjoyed a quick tortilla wrap filled with peanut butter, guzzled some water, and nestled in my car with a warm cup of coffee. I actually don’t mind the darkness in the mornings- though it will be nice when it gets lighter and warmer to run outside!- because it’s my time to really wake up and I feel like I’m the only one awake. Once I step out of my car and into the gym, my day moves quick and loud, so that silence is much appreciated. 

At the gym, I kicked things off with some kettlebell action. In my circuit, I performed each move in four sets of twelve reps- swings, alternating shoulder presses with step ups, high pulls, tricep kickbacks, and shoulder raises. I moved onto heavier weights with the barbell after, four sets of eight reps, doing dead lifts, bicep curls, rows, squat presses, and bench presses. For my cardio, I started off thinking I’d do my run/walk incline/speed workout, but after my first walk cycle, I was feeling strong and I just ran, upping my pace every couple of minutes. I never know when I’m going to have an amazing run, so I jump at it when things run smoothly.

For breakfast, I had an overnight oatmeal brewing in an almost empty jar of dark chocolate peanut butter. With the bits of peanut butter left, I enjoyed oats mixed with milk, raisins, dates, walnuts, and mashed banana. I was still feeling a but hungry after, so I had some strawberries and a cheesestick.

  

For lunch, I had this salad. I chopped up some rotisserie chicken as a hit of protein on top of my usual salad fillings. I’m seriously obsessed with this blush dressing. It’s sweet, but not overly so, and compliments the veggies well, upping the flavor. I had a Baggie of popcorn to go with it- lately, I’ve been digging Angie’s kettle corn brand. Again, it’s sweet and salty, but in a nice subtle way. It’s good that I don’t have the entire bag with me at work because I could eat it all!

 

Part of my spring cleaning meal plan is to incorporate more fish. For dinner, I had swordfish grilled in a blackening spice with cauliflower au gratin, spinach, and brown spinach rice. A great, healthy, and tasty dish!

As I type, I’m happily sipping peppermint tea from my new mug. It’s way bigger than anything I’m used to though so I keep spilling all over myself. The rest of the night, I’m planning on hunkering down to work on my script and perhaps doing a little reading before bed.

A little tease for tomorrow’s blog: I READ A BOOK THIS WEEKEND AND WATCHED A NEW SHOW. Review time! And no, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.