Week 7: Valentine’s Day

Monday, February 11 – Sunday February 17

Newfound Fitness Motivation

Last year, around this time, Oren and I started training for a 5K run. Oren had never run before and I had never raced before, so that was a great undertaking for both of us. After managing the 5K run (we used the Couch to 5K program, which has a free app, and I cannot recommend it highly enough) I had planned to just continue training with the 10K trainer version of the same program that essentially picks up where the 5K leaves off. But I never signed up for a 10K to give me a goal, and I still found 5K to be a challenging distance to run. Layer on tons of a excuses and busy summer, and the dreams of running a 10K fell by the wayside for 2012. I did run several other 5Ks after the first one on Memorial Day last year. I ran the Color Run with Oren and Becki in August, right before John and Meaghan’s wedding (photographic evidence exists if you look in the blog’s archives) and I also ran the Awesome 80’s Run in San Diego in October with John, where I shattered my personal records in order to get to my Saturday morning conference on time.

I always leave races with the best of intentions, but then fall off the wagon without an appreciable goal. Well, this month, I scrambled aboard the wagon once more. My BFF Emily and I have dinner once a month (at least we try to…it doesn’t always work) and last time she mentioned an all-women’s 10K in June in Central Park. It happens to be the day before Andrés and Molly’s wedding, which means that once again, all of our friends will be in town from all over the world. This was the kick in the pants I needed — I had enough time and the right motivation, so I started training again. I backtracked in the 5K training a little and I’m making steady progress. I’ll update on my training week by week until the race.

Valentine’s Day

Oren and I don’t usually making a huge fuss about Valentine’s Day, but this year, Valentine’s Day happend right before President’s Day Weekend, for which Oren had Friday and Saturday off, so we decided to make an event of it. On Thursday we went to Las Palmas, a Cuban restaurant in West New York, New Jersey. I got to bust out a few Spanish speaking skills and we ate enough delicious caribbean food to last us a while. The crappy iPhone pictures will speak for themselves — I got shrimp mofongo and Oren go skirt steak. We accompanied our delicious meal with an order of plantains and yuca, and we finished everything off with some dulce de leche. Not a bad Valentine’s Day meal at all.

VDay Skirt Steak

Mofongo Amarillos and Yuca

On Friday we piled into the car and headed to a bed and breakfast in Bloomfield, New York. We were en route to spend the holiday weekend at my grandparents’ house in Rochester, but we thought we’d spend a night in a B&B just for a fun, romantic stopover. We went through Ithaca on the way to the B&B and made a stop to see my aunt and uncle, Mary and Brian, and my cousin Joey. We had a nice afternoon coffee with them. It was nice to catch up and we even made an impromptu stop at a yarn store.

Aunt Mary and Brian

The B&B was beautiful and it was nice to scope out the town on the way from Bloomfield to Rochester. We stopped at a game store in Victor, New York so that Oren could do some hardcore nerding out, and picked up some fresh apple cider and cider doughnuts on the way to see the grandparents.

I don’t have pictures of our time at the B&B or at my grandparents’. A sure sign that we were having too much fun to stop and take pictures. 🙂 Highlights were going to the movies to see Silver Linings Playbook (which I get the impression that my grandparents didn’t 100% enjoy) and going to a farmers market where we picked up some ground buffalo meat and aced a test on sensible snack portioning at a health awareness booth.

The “weekend” really continues into Monday, when we’ll head back to New Jersey. Vacations always make time fly by way too fast. Here’s a scene from the drive home:

Western New York Scenery


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