Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kasey vs. Running In the Heat

I've never really been a warm/hot weather person. Except, of course, floating the river on a 100+ degree day. Other than that, I'd much rather be cold than hot. I started running at night in August while living in Arizona. It was still close to 90 degrees outside, but I was so out of shape that the heat didn't matter. As the weather got cooler, I got better at running. In fact, I LOVE when it's cold outside. I think it makes me run faster. My perfect running temperature is 45-50 degrees: I can wear my light gray sweater and unzip as needed and still feel warm but not overheated or cold.

I don't know what to do with all this sunshine and heat. I bought new clothes, and I love all the tops I bought. I bought bright colors so I can be seen at sunset and possibly complete darkness. I know that later in the summer I will not be running when the sun is out. HELL NO. The shorts I bought on sale are really great and comfortable to run in. Those were a good choice. I also bought a running skirt because I think they are cute. I tested it out today and it was an epic fail. The little shorts under the skirt wouldn't stay put. I'm just not a running skirt kind of girl. So, with the right combination of clothes I think I can beat this heat. Now to find the right time of day...

I've been running in the early afternoon lately due to working evenings and things happening in the evenings. The afternoon is all I have. So for now, I struggle to complete a good run in the heat. I know when summer comes, I will have to muster up the energy to run after a 7 or 8 hour shift on my feet work (that is, when I get home around 7 or 8 at night. I will not be running after I close at night). I'm hoping the new Runner's World magazine will have some summer running tips.

My new shoes are great! I just wish I could give them a good run instead of walking so much.

I'll be doing the Muddy Trails 10k in The Woodlands this weekend. I think the last time I ran 6 miles was the Rodeo Run 10k. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

I've been waiting to read this one for a few years. I thought it might be interesting because I'm a theatre historian, however, this novel has a different twist. It's a vampire tale. It's not your average "emo vampire" love story that is rampant today, but a more carefully crafted story based on an actual historical character, Vlad Tepes from Wallachia (in Romania). I was intrigued, and I'm glad I chose this book. I know it will probably be my last vampire novel because vampires are CREEPY. I have no idea how vampires turned into a romantic figure, and I don't want to know. If I see a vampire in my life time, I'm running the other way. I do recommend this book because it is suspenseful, but can also be slow. It's the story of tracking down the vampire through historical research, which is interesting to me and I know it's not interesting to some people.

On another vampire note, I had to work the midnight DVD release party for New Moon. Ugh. Lots of screaming girls and grumpy mothers at midnight to buy a stupid movie.

Theresa rented "Whip It" the other day and we finally watched it tonight. I approve of this film! It was really cute, and to top it off, it takes place in Austin! A lot of known actors are in the film, and it has great laughing moments as well as great mother-daughter scenes. I will probably buy this one from Blockbuster when it goes on sale next year.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

This was another make title at the store but it looked interesting so I picked it up. Just like "Reliable Wife", I read this one in a matter of days. It's a story about two women from very different parts of the globe. One is a young girl escaping death in Nigeria and seeking sanctuary in England. It's a gripping tale, and I encourage anyone who wants to laugh and cry while reading the same book to definitely check this one out. It makes you think about what the price of a human life is and how some people can forget that we are all invaluable.

I saw "Inglourious Basterds" the other night and LOVED it. Tarentino has been one of my favorite directors and this one has to be my favorite, surpassing both Kill Bill films. The ending was amazing, and Brad Pitt's character offered the perfect comic relief in such a horrible time. Justice is served in so many ways and I literally clapped my hands and cheered at the way things played out. Excellent!

I'm still on the prowl for summer running clothes, although I found a bright colored tank for cheap at Walmart! I'm thinking about getting a running skirt, too. Hey, I may sweat like a pig, but I'm still a lady! :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Roasted Veggies and Couscous!

Sorry for two posts in one day, but I made a really great dinner tonight. I got the idea from Bobby Flay and got the recipe online at FoodNetwork.com. Here it is!

Toasted Israeli Couscous with Vegetables and Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 4

1/2 pound Israeli couscous
12 spears asparagus, grilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 zucchini, halved, grilled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow squash " "
2 large red peppers, grilled, peeled and diced into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tbspn chopped fresh basil
freshly ground black pepper
Lemon-vinaigrette: recipe follows

Heat large saute pan on grates of the grill over medium heat. Add couscous and toast until lightly golden brown.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil over high heat, add 1 tablespoon salt and toasted couscous and cook until al dente. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Add grilled vegetables, olives, basil, and vinaigrette and toss until combined; season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving or cover and refrigerate.

Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk shallot, juice, zest, vinegars, and salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.

[I just used Newman's Own Lime Vinaigrette instead of making my own, and I added roma tomatoes and a yellow pepper]


Milestones and "The Lost City of Z"

I ran my first 10k last weekend! The amazing this is, I ran the entire thing at a pretty steady pace without completely tiring out. We had a pit stop so Nick could propose to Liz before we rounded the corner to the finish line. It was so sweet! My official chip time (which includes the proposal) was 1:13. I consider that a huge achievement and I'm excited to run another race! I found a great website that lists area races and I'm trying to get Corey to run a 5k with me in San Marcos in a few weeks.

On another running note, I need to train my body to run in warm/hot weather. It's finally warming up here in Texas and I realize that I haven't run in the heat. Of course it was hot in Arizona, but I always waited until the sun went down to run. Running with the sun beating down is not my cup of tea, but I just need to train my body to get used to it and invest in some summer weather running clothes to keep me cool.

I finished reading "The Lost City of Z" last night. It was one of our make titles at the store so I bought it. It was really interesting, and even though it's a non-fiction account of history, it's written like a novel. In 1925, Colonel Percy Fawcett disappeared in the Brazilian jungle with his oldest son and his friend in search of evidence of a large civilization deep in the jungle. It is estimated that over one hundred people have ventured into the jungle in search of his remains and his city. I recommend this book to anyone looking to read about adventure. This is as real as it gets! You have to check it out, just look at this awesome picture! He was literally one of the last explorers to hack through the thick jungle with just a machete while others brought along radios, hydroplanes, expeditions with nearly a hundred men. I'm not going to tell you if they found the city, that's part of the adventure!

My only goal today is to go grocery shopping and clean the bathroom. I feel like doing nothing but popping in a movie because of the gloomy clouds. But I will get it done- I work tomorrow!