Who Let the Dogs Out? We Did! At the Doggy 5k Fun Run

You know it’s been too long between blog posts when you can’t remember your password to log into your blog… and if you’re too lazy to even reset your password it doesn’t look good that you will be motivated enough to write an entire post. Yet here I am! If anything is motivating enough for me to hack into my own blog and write about, it’s running and dogs. Two of my favorite things, combined!

Today Ross, Mango and I and some friends participated in a Doggy 5k! The event raised money for some great causes, including the Animal Rescue League of Boston and a new dog park in Medford, MA. It was the first year this was put on, and the race definitely didn’t go off without a hitch, but I hope they continue and to improve it and hold it annually. It’s a great idea!

The Pros: As I mentioned, dogs and running are two of my favorite things. It may have been my personal worst 5k time-wise, but it was a personal best getting to run with my 4-legged best friend! I liked the course and the t-shirts and dog bandanas were pretty cool. There were some fun companies giving away treats like doggy massages, iced coffee (for the humans) and doggy ice cream. Ice cream flavors included: Beef, Chicken Soup, and Peanut Butter). Beef: It’s what for dinner dessert.

The Cons: Very disorganized registration and long lines. No bathrooms. Zero, zilch (maybe they expected us to just go outside like the dogs?). The biggest concern was that there didn’t seem to be enough medical staff/vets there, it was a hot, humid day and some dogs were really struggling along the course. We saw one older, larger dog who was down and couldn’t get up. They sent someone on a bicycle with a gallon of water which was nice, but the dog probably could have used an I.V. and a get-away vehicle with AC. I really hope that dog is okay!

All in all, we had a great time.

The crowd waiting for the starting gun to go off!

The crowd waiting for the starting gun to go off!

Water stop at the half-way point

Water stop at the half-way point

Running Family photo op

Running Family photo op

I ran ahead to get a photo of the finish line (it is the finish line, even though it says "Start")

I ran ahead to get a photo of the finish line (it is the finish line, even though it says “Start”)

The whole (tired) group post-race

The whole (tired) group post-race

 

BrooklynIceCream

Mango’s friend Brooklyn enjoying a well deserved ice cream after her finish

Now it appears Mango is going to sleep all day which never happens, so I’ll have to find something to do with all this free time today! Maybe some wedding planning….but more on that in another post šŸ™‚

He put a ring on it, now what? Thoughts on working out with your engagment ring on

Fact: I didn’t go to the gym for a whole 2 weeks after Ross and I got engaged. Some of that was due to the champagne consumption and celebrations that ensued post-engagment, but some of it was just dealing with the logistics of what I would do with my engagement ring while I worked out.

I have no problem running with my ring on, but I really don’t like the idea of it getting scraped up or damaged on dirty barbells. I also really don’t like to take it off. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, and when I do I’ve been known to lose plenty of it by taking it off in bathrooms/locker rooms. Luckily everything I’ve lost was either cheap or given to me by ex-boyfriends (or most likely, all of the above ;)), so it was never completely devastating.

Losing this ring or having it stolen would be devastating- and the idea of leaving it in a bag or locker somewhere just doesn’t sit well with me. So, I’ve been wearing my engagement ring during my workouts, but not on my hand. I’ve been wearing it as a necklace. This allows me to still have the ring in my possession during workouts, and let’s face it, since I’m pretty vain constantly watching my form in the mirror to make sure it’s correct, I can even see the ring the whole time. This has been working pretty well for me so I thought I would share, just in case anyone else newly engaged is having similar issues and avoiding the gym like I did at first! This is assuming you actually want to work out of course, if you don’t, not wanting to work out with your ring on is a great excuse, FYI!

Ring

Bicep

Do you wear your rings during workouts? Do you have any other tips or tricks to share about working out with your engagement ring/wedding band on?

Weekend Update

Hey Sunday! You came fast. I hope everyone has been enjoying the weekend- it’s be sun filled and mild here in Boston. The boys and I spent another weekend at home, we are usually all over the place on weekends, but lately I’ve just been too tired by the end of the work week to get up and out. How bad is that? I blame the commute and the change of seasons. Mostly the commute. (the bad weather and daylight savings have not been helping my already long daily drive). Do you have a long commute?Ā  This is how I’m dealing with it:

Yeah. So anyway…

Friday I got home around 7pm after sitting in traffic, nearly in tears and tried to convince Ross we should rush to catch the 8pm yoga class we had planned to attend. Ross, knowing me better than I know myself, realized that the best thing for me to do would be to immediately get into sweatpants, have a glass of white wine at watch 90s movies and pass out at 11pm.

Good call Ross! I woke up early Saturday morning feeling much better! We took Mango for a walk, went to a 9:30 am hot yoga class at Prana, stopped at Starbucks (I got a feta spinach wrap and grande coffee with 1 peppermint shot and skim milk. This drink is almost as good as the Peppermint Mocha latte, for less calories and $$$) then did some grocery shopping for the week at Trader Joes.

Saturday night we went to dinner and a movie. How original are we? Dinner was at Stoddards. I’ve been there for drinks before but never for food. I was surprised that almost all the dinner tables were taken at 5pm! Ross absolutely loved his burger and french fries, and I was pretty happy with my vegetarian pot pie with root vegetables (and half of Ross’ french fries). As I recall, the cocktails here are amazing, but since we had a movie to catch (and stay awake for) we both choose an IPA from their extensive beer list. After dinner, we saw Argo. Great movie! Not my favorite of all time, but very interesting and suspenseful. We spent the rest of the night discussing our conspiracy theories about the CIA, as well as conspiracy theories about the sodium content in movie theater popcornĀ  šŸ™‚ It’s been awhile since we had a date night, I think they are importantĀ  for our relationship and something that we should be better about doing weekly or at least bi-weekly.

This morning I made multi-grain pancakes with fruit for breakfast, and as a result have been super hungry all day. I love pancakes, and while the idea of a pancake breakfast makes me happy, it never fills me up for long. Perhaps it’s the lack of protein? Next time I’m going to try something like this this recipe from Men’s Health.

But for today, back to the carbs! I went for a post-pancakeĀ  2 mile run (I had scheduled a 6 mile run this weekend, but it just didn’t happen.)Ā  A little later, our friend Scott came over for football, pizza and beer. I partook in the pizza and beer, but chose to do some blogging/ researching DIY Christmas gift ideas on Pinterest in lieu of actually paying attention to the game today. Priorities.

What are you up to for the remainder of your weekend!?

An Engaging Post…Promise!

Happy fall folks! Seeing as my last post is titled, Red Hot Summer I have obviously haveĀ some catch-up blogging to do. Turns out life does go on when blogging stops, in fact this has been one of the busiest (and best!) couple of months yet. Many things have changed for us both personally and professionally. While I’ve been MIA, we moved from the North End to Charlestown, I changed jobs (same company, new role) we attended a few amazing weddings of very special friends and family, dealt with some hard medical issues, celebrated birthdays (Ross on October 16th, me on November 3rd). It’s been crazy busy (I could definitely use a little more sleep), but definitely fun and there is a lot to share, but I’ll skip right to to the exciting part…

Ā 

Ross and I are engaged! On September 29th, he proposed at Doe Orchards in Harvard, MA. I was SO surprised. It’s not easy to completely surprise someone that you live with and have been dating for about 5 years. Especially not when that someone is me (I’m not exactly big on surprises, and am usually far to curious/annoying to let people actually pull them off) but he did it! It was a random overcast fall Saturday, and he somehow pulled some inception-like mind game and even got me to suggest the apple picking in the first place. Since the weather wasn’t perfect, we almost had the whole place to ourselves which worked out perfectly because there weren’t a million families and kids around when he got down on one knee and pulled out the most beautiful diamond ring I’ve ever seen!!!

I couldn’t be more excited to be marrying my best friend, and I look forward to sharing the wedding planning experience on here!

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Long, Short week

Did anyone else experience this? It was a short week with the holiday Monday, but I felt like it just went on forever. This might be due to the fact that I hardly slept, at all. I did the power yoga classes in Waltham at 6:15am on Wednesday and Friday. I love how doing yoga in the morning makes me feel, but having to wake up at 5:15am to get there is quite a commitment. I’m finally turning into less of a monster more of a morning person, it’s the late afternoon where the over-tiredness really kicks in, and I’ve been totally lagging and craving sweets and junk food by 3pm BAD.This feeling, and the average of 5 hours of sleep I’m getting (http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain) counteracts many of the benefits I’m getting from yoga and working out, so I definitely need to work on this!

The problem is, there is just so much I want to do! My commute and work schedule makes for long days to start with. A normal day I leave my apartment in Boston at 7AM and I get home at 6:30pm, so if I want to do anything fun (ie actually live my life) I have to fit it in before or after work, and this week I just tried to get the fun in before AND after. As aforementioned, the before fun was yoga, and the after fun included:

Wednesday night: YAPPY hour at the Liberty Hotel. Swanky hotel, fun outdoor bar, music, mingling AND you don’t have to feel guilty about leaving your dog home all night while you go have fun. Mango seemed a little nervous and out of his element at first but after a few Gin&Tonics special dog treats, he loosened up and had a great time! We’ll be going here a lot this summer.

Thursday night: 1st KICKBALL LEAGUE. Yes, I joined an old-school kickball team with a bunch of people from my company and will be playing Thursday nights this summer. I’m sure there will be plenty of photos to share, in fact this might warrant it’s own separate blog. Randomly, the bar that hosts us post game is a COSTA RICAN bar in Waltham called Boca Bar. I felt instantly at home, and look forward to a weekly Imperial, gallo pinto and dancing to latino music.

Friday Night: We got our Tequila on at Mija in Faniuel Hall with dog park friends. We’ve met a great group of neighbors from the park, and after months of standing around together in rain, sleet and snow trying to force our dogs to play and waiting for them to relieve themselves, we’ve all kind of bonded and even go out drinking without our dogs sometimes (it’s rare that our dogs go out drinking without us though).

So this has been my crazy long short week. Luckily, I got plenty of sleep over the long Memorial Day weekend last week. Ross and I stayed at a B&B in North Conway called the Buttonwood Inn. There is a blog post coming dedicated to this very special place, stay tuned.

This well-deserved lazy Saturday (I’m sorry, but I am SO happy it is raining right now) is going to be spent running errands, cleaning and catching up on that sleep thing.

Do you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night, or do you have more of a ‘Carpe Diem, you can sleep when you’re dead’ routine going?

Summer in the City

It’s not quite summer yet, but it certainly felt like it this weekend. I like to think that summer is more of a state of mind than a season anyway..Don’t know what I’m talking about? Please check out the following Youtube videos They sum it up better than I ever could:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4MXo7cW_e0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvUQcnfwUUM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXlnMveRt-Y

Our spoiled lucky puppy got an early start to the weekend when one or our good friends (who shall remain anonymous on here, just in case her boss reads this blog.I know the odds of this boss being 1 out of the 2 people who actually read this blog are pretty slim, but you never know….) anyway, this friend took the day off and spent the whole day outside playing with Mango

. Why don’t jobs offer PTO for walking friend’s dogs anyway? Something to ponder/bring up with HR. She sent me this amazing video of Mango enjoying the sunshine and as you can see, he is definitely in a summer state of mind!Ā  https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=104f909d23&view=att&th=13760d49abb6665d&attid=0.1&disp=safe&zw

Ā 

One thing so great about Mango, and dogs in general, is their enthusiasm for life. Mango wakes up everyday just so excited; excited to see us, to go for a walk, to eat breakfast, he’s excited to just ‘be’. I think we humans could all learn a little bit from dogs in this regard. I don’t know about you, but I do not wake up excited and happy many days, it’s more like lethargic and grumpy.

Ā 

Yet another thing I love about Mango (in addition to everything) is his contentment. Whatever we are doing he seems totally content and happy to be doing it. He’s not checking facebook and thinking that everyone else has a better Saturday night plan than than he does, or read a blog and feel jealous that the author had a better run/dinner/date than he did. I think there is a lot of pressure to not only be perfect, but to also make everyone else knows how perfect your life is.

Today, forget perfect and just aim for happy. Start with that summer state of mind, and go from there. Whatever you do, enjoy your Sunday!

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-John Lennon

We bought a CAR!!!!

We did it. We’ve been thinking and talking about it for awhile, and today we finally bit the bullet. It only took pretty much all day, and caused me quite a bit of stress. The 5 cups of free super sugary French Vanilla Cappuccinos probably didn’t help with my nerves, and neither did the lack of food.

My Mom (who was amazing for being so patient with us all day) and Ross and I actually had to leave in the middle of signing papers to go scarf down some Burger King. It had been hours since any of us had eaten anything, and we had all worked out in the morning. I got a BK cheeseburger kids meal with french fries and a root beer. It immediately killed my stomach, and has now left me with that awesome bloated/fat/hungry feeling that only fast food can do. I never hardly ever eat fast food, but I think it was created for days like this, and certainly served it’s purpose at the time.

We looked at several different kinds of cars, and test drove a bunch, but we both went in already in love with one car in particular and that’s what we left with (note: This is the same year/make/model and color, but I didn’t take this photo and it is not the actual car. We will pick up the car early this week, and then I’ll have some great photos of it with Mango modeling, because lets face it, it’s really his car after all)….

2007 Honda CR-V EX-L.

I am going to go watch some of the Oscars eat some vegetables and hopefully get some sleep and dream about not having to take the train to work everyday. It’s crazy to think that just last year I was watching the Oscars from my hospital room in San Jose. Needless to say, I’m very happy to be here right now šŸ™‚

Baby You Can Drive My (Zip) Car

While y’all were sleeping in and enjoying your long weekend, I was up at 6AM getting ready for work. Since I don’t have a car, I commute by train from North Station to Waltham everyday. While I was busy with my usual pre-work morning ie chomping on my cereal and browsing Twitter, I happened to overhear on the news that the Commuter Rail would be running on a holiday schedule. When you rely on a reverse commute schedule like I do, less train times = bad news.

I obviously did the rational thing, and completely panicked. I went running in the bedroom to wake Ross up (at 6:30AM on his day off) and started bombarding him with 4 letter words about the MBTA and presidents. When he finally was awake/coherent enough to figure out what was going on, he reserved a zipcar and drove me to work. Not only was I on time, I was early and got to spend a glorious 30 minutes in a car with Ross enjoying the early morning sunshine, sipping coffee and listening to NPR.

If you don’t have a car in the city, I definitely recommend getting a zipcar membership.

The rates are much more affordable than standard rental cars or cabs, and we have had no trouble reserving a car whenver we need one, even last minute like this morning.

This being said, my everyday commute is weighing on me a lot already (and it’s only officially week 2) so I think I’m going to have to seriously consider getting a car again. Although I’ve enjoyed being car-less for the past 4 years or so, it would be great to have one for the new job outside of the city, and also for weekend trips and vacations with Mango. Any car suggestions are much appreciated!

Ross also picked me up after work, and took me to Trader Joes! He definitely won the best boyfriend of Presidents Day award. Seriously, sometimes I don’t know what I would do without him.

So, Ross thank you for saving me again! To show my appreciation I am dedicating the following song to you ā¤ :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ts2U1mkfz4

Pet Owners and/or Pet Lovers: PLEASE READ! Pet Deaths on Delta Airlines

My sister pointed out this article to me today. Please take a moment to read it. http://shine.yahoo.com/pets/more-pets-died-delta-flights-2011-why-211100693.html. See my explanation below.

Normally, I don’t take these articles too seriously. I don’t like how they try to play around with facts and dramatize statistics just to make headlines. From reading this article alone, I would gather that flying with a pet is a risk and maybe Delta had some bad luck last year with weather, medical issues, and pet owners making poor decisions.

I am not judging Delta’s animal practices just from this article though, I am basing it on my own experience flying home with our puppy from Costa Rica this past December 2011. I referenced it briefly in this post when we first got back, but honestly I just haven’t been in the right frame of mind to write a post about our flying experience. It was traumatic for all of us (to say the least). I didn’t want to come out and bash Delta (that’s not what this blog is about), but really, after reflecting on the experience for 2 months, I can confidently say they were awful.

We did a lot of research before flying home and really liked what we read about Delta’s pet program. We thought Mango might be too big to fly under the seat (he was still growing when we booked the tickets several months in advance) so we flew him as checked baggage instead of in the cabin to avoid getting stuck in Costa Rica. And Delta treated him like checked baggage, or probably worse.

Everything went smoothly leaving Costa Rica, we had all the necessary documentation and health verifications (including an arrow sticker saying “this side up” on his crate- that should have been our first indication that something wasn’t right…) It was surprisingly not in Costa Rica that our flight problems started but rather our layover in Atlanta that was a mess (we couldn’t find a direct flight from San Jose-Boston so the layover somewhere couldn’t be avoided).

I’ll be happy to share our whole story with anyone interested, but to spare you all the details here now, I’ll keep it short as possible. Basically, they lost our dog in Atlanta. Twice. I was in over-tired, over-whelmed and in tears. Delta gave us several free drink tickets (should you even drink that much on a flight?), then threatened to call security on me if I didn’t calm down. One women (Gail) even said “ma’am, please sit down. You’ve been dealt with”. Really? I’ve been dealt with? Because my dog is still missing and no one can confirm that he is even okay.

They didn’t take Mango out to go to the bathroom during the layover, as promised (because he was lost) and so he was locked in his crate from 2AM in Costa Rica until 9PM in Logan Airport. 19 hours. Locked in a crate.

Also, they “found” him in Atlanta right before our original flight was set to take off. We were so relieved and all ready to board, when we were called to the front desk. I thought we were going to get bumped up to first class for all our trouble, but no! They called us up to tell us the heater in the baggage area (where the dog would be flying) was broken, so it would be freezing there. They asked if we wanted to fly without him, or wait for another flight with him. Seeing as though we paid hundreds of dollars to fly with our dog (about the cost of another passenger ticket), we opted to wait a few more hours to get home (even though we were coming home after a year away and had many friends and family eagerly waiting our arrival. Our luggage was left on this freezing flight with no heat, and many of our souvenirs got broken/ruined in the cold, but that’s beside the point).

During this additional layover, Mango still didn’t get taken out and they wouldn’t let us see him.

It. Was. Awful.

Basically Delta treated our dog, a living animal, in a manner that would be insulting to a suitcase. And they didn’t treat us (their paying customers) much better. I will probably never fly Delta again because of how deceiving their pet program was, and how disrespectful they were to us. If you decide to still fly with them after this, let me know, because I still have some of those drink tickets they gave me in exchange for my dog’s safety and my sanity. I am happy to report that Mango made it to Boston happy and healthy, but that happy and healthy part is no thanks to Delta. As proof that he’s okay, I have included a picture of him cuddling with my friend Ashley tonight:

It’s still hard for me to write about this, but after seeing that article tonight I felt it was my duty to share my story. I wish I had read something like this before I choose to fly with my animal on Delta.

As the article states, please only fly with your pets if it’s an absolute necessity, and if it is, don’t fly them on Delta.

Emergency Travel Alert: Don’t Transport Pets By Air!
Airlines Show Little Regard For Animals’ Safety

35 Pets Died On Airplanes Last Year, Over Half On Delta

Over Half the Pets That Died On Airplanes Last Year Flew Delta

In the name of love

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines Day yesterday! It was seriously all I could ask for and more, with flowers, candies, surprises, presents, a fantastic homemade dinner (martini included) and cards from BOTH my boys (Ross and Mango). I feel so incredibly lucky.

Oh, and you should feel lucky too, because one of those presents I mentioned above is a brand new CAMERA!!! Say ‘cheese’ (or, if you’re in Costa Rica, say ‘whiskey’. I have no idea why they say ‘Whiskey’. I have even less of an idea of why we say ‘cheese’.) This means the blog will once again have daily pictures. I’m still figuring it out, but here are a few from last night:

My favorite things about Ross’ gifts to me were the thought he put into them. Sometimes it’s not the ‘what’ that counts but they ‘why’ behind it. We had a really challenging year last year, and I think it has definitely made us stronger. It has certainly helped us to recognize what’s really important, and what isn’t.

I’ll stop with the Valentines Day love-fest now, but I seriously had the best time. I know you ‘should’ tell and show those you love just how much you love, care and appreciate them everyday and not need a commercial holiday to remind you. Other things you should do:

-Sleep 8 hours
-Save for retirement
-Wait 10 minutes after eating before you swim

You get the point.