Two weeks. That is the time I have without a training schedule. After finishing the amazing Rock and Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon (for fun!) I was set free by my coach and told to “only do what feels good” for the next 14 days. Since Las Vegas and “feel good” are synonymous, I started my two weeks a little early, but last week was my first test to see what I would come up with when left to my own devices.
It’s kind of sad how dependent I am on my coach for workouts. Looking at blank entires in my Training Peaks log did not fill me with excitement…at first. Let’s see how week one of no set schedule paned out…
WEEK OF NOVEMBER 14, 2016
After the half marathon I took two full days off. We flew home on Monday and on Tuesday I played the awful game of “catch up on absolutely everything you neglected in the past five days.” By Wednesday I was happily attending Barre class and went for my first easy run. It was fantastic. The weathermen then declared Saturday as basically the last sunny and somewhat warm day of the year so I decided to get out there and soak it up.
It was pretty great running free with zero plan. I kept my watch on for these runs but really to only make sure I was truly running easy. It worked and it felt great.
I completely wimped out and got on my bike trainer instead of cycling outside. When it’s 40 degrees, running is amazing, not so much for cycling. I don’t mind the trainer, especially for an easy ride, and I’ve been listening to Bryan Cranston’s (aka Walter White) book A Life in Parts on Audible. More on that under “reading” but here’s hint: it’s fantastic.
I also picked up those weights after my hour ride and did a 15 minute strength and abs routine. I never do that when I’m in training so, having some down time has benefits.
Sometimes I cannot believe how much I truly love being in the pool. I see all my buddies, swim the stress away and soak in the hot tub afterward. What’s not to love? I especially loved choosing a workout I enjoyed and not having to do any speed. I worked a lot on breathing (genius!) and flip turns. This is super exciting stuff, I know.
Sadly, I did not take many pictures of my food in Las Vegas. I feel like a complete douche when I do and, I always feel like I’m annoying everyone else at the table. So, with very few pictures, you will have to take my word on my top five foods from the strip:
- The soufflé at the Eiffel Tower restaurant in Paris. Oh.My.God. I seriously have never tasted something so amazing. I cannot even describe how delectable this dessert is and, the first thing I’m doing when I return to Vegas, is going to be eating one. It’s that good.
- Duck Fat Fries at Old Homestead in Caesar’s Palace. I am now officially addicted to these since first tasting them in Omaha. My SIL and I devoured a huge cone of them with dinner and they were the first thing I had after the half marathon the following day.
- Everything at Nobu. No, seriously, everything, The drinks, the sushi, the caviar (I know but it was fantastic!) even the people we met at the bar. Great place, excellent food and, they have one in NYC.
- Brunch at Mon Ami Gabi. Completely worth the wait (and there is always a wait) to sit in the sun and eat a perfectly cooked spinach and goat cheese omelet with an array of fresh fruit (complete with dipping sauces) and a side of bacon with an apricot glaze. I mean really.
- The charcuterie board at Giada. The pasta was also to die for but, the bacon wrapped figs made the cheese plate appetizer out of this world. I had also just run 13.1 miles so I was especially hungry!
I also love Fizz at Caesar’s Palace. It’s owned by Elton John and adorned with photographs from his famous collection. I’ve been begging my husband to get me this one of the Versace sisters:
I don’t know why but I absolutely love it. Maybe for Christmas? I promise not to hang it in the bedroom!
[Tweet “Top 5 places to #eat for #runners in #LasVegas!”]
THINGS I LOVE
Having a family photo shoot.
In case I need to tell you, we are not exactly a family that does professional (i.e. posed) photo shoots. I always want to have a funny or impromptu Christmas photo of the boys because that is just our style. But, a wonderful friend of mine, who used to nanny for the boys, is an exceptional professional photographer and I finally caved and set an actual appointment to have family pictures done.
Of course I immediately fell in love with the results, not all of which I even have seen, but just look:
We still have a trick up our sleeves for the holiday card so don’t think I’m giving anything away with these first look photos. We may have these hanging in our home but Christmas cards are play time for me!
THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH
Talk of Black Friday.
Adding “move the fucking elf!” into my calendar starting 11/24
Basically anything related to Christmas when we have not yet enjoyed Thanksgiving. And, is black Friday even necessary? Doesn’t everyone shop online now?
I get a tad cranky this time of year because it’s so stressful. I absolutely adore Thanksgiving but Christmas? I enjoy it the day of but so much leading up to it makes my chest hurt.
Lately I have been overachieving when it comes to reading. I currently have one book I’m actively reading on my Kindle, two samples waiting and one on Audible that I listen to in the car and in my kitchen via my Amazon ECHO, aka Alexa.
A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston | Such a great read (or listen as the case may be) for it’s thoughtful and intelligent chapters, laugh out loud stories and just one incredible life. There have been so many surprises in this book and I have somehow become even more of a fan of Cranston, which after watching Breaking Bad I didn’t think was possible! If you don’t love this book after reading/listening to the opening chapter, you have problems I cannot solve.
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay | I had no clue about the subject matter of this book until I started reading it. It came highly recommend from several friends but, some days I just can’t pick it up. It’s a story surrounding the roundup of over 14,000 Jews in France by the French, on orders from Germany in 1942. Sarah is a 10 year-old Jewish girl who, on the night her and her family were arrested, locks her four year-old brother in a hidden cupboard and takes the key, thinking they will all be back soon.
Obviously it’s a horribly depressing subject but the story is anything but. If you can take it, I highly suggest reading it.
I have a confession to make. We had tickets to see Brittany Spears in Las Vegas and didn’t go. *hangs head in shame*
It was the night of the soufflé, our third night in Vegas and the night before the race. I wanted so desperately to see her and hear her sing “you better work bitch!” but none of us had the energy to go to the show. How horrible is that? We physically could not drag ourselves there out of pure exhaustion. Instead, after dinner, we all went back to the hotel and it was lights out by 10pm.
I would blame it on age but my SIL was in total agreement and she’s like 30. Sad. Very, very sad.
RANDOM QUOTE OF THE WEEK
One “part” of Bryan Cranston’s life was becoming a Universal Life Church minister. You need to read the book to find out why but, he ended up performing quite a few marriage ceremonies in and around southern California in the 1970s. I was riding the bike when I heard this part and actually LOLed:
“I could almost hear, years later, couples all over southern California in their living rooms yelling ‘honey! I think Walter White married us!?’ in shocking disbelief.”
How was your week?
How long have you taken off from running/training?
What is your favorite restaurant/food?
Your family photos are amazing! BTW – love the boots. I don’t really like staged family pics either but I’ve had this hankering to get some done. It’s been a few years so maybe it’s time…
I was dying over the pic of your hubs and BIL. Been there, done that. Although I can’t really say I skipped out on a Brittany concert before.
Glad you are enjoying your time off!
Thanks Angela and you should definitely get them done! So worth it!!
Isn’t that the best picture? It really captured how totally DONE we were. Sad.
READ THIS REREAD THIS and am STILL THINKING:
what if that was our entire lives?
what if we ONLY ever had to do what felt good?
what would our lives and our world look like then?!
and some fiction ideas were born….
Oh I love that this got your creative juices flowing!!!! Cannot wait to see where this takes you… because, really, what a friggin concept! xoxo
For some reason, when I read you didn’t have a training plan for two weeks the song “Philadelphia Freedom” came on. Don’t ask…I think I’m just weird LOL.
I love your weirdness so much. xo
Everyone that I know who has seen Britney in Vegas (whose opinions I can trust) says that she is AWFUL and it is a waste of money. So you did fine.
I don’t have a training plan right now… and I ran 40 miles last week. I NEED A TRAINING PLAN. And today? Totally wimping out and doing the indoors thing because it is in the 30s and i’m not ready for that shit yet.
That makes me feel 1 million times better…and that the tickets were free. THANK YOU!
I feel you on the indoor thing. The wind here is insane. I opted for weights and spin – inside!
What if we could have breakfast like that every day? Donald Trump could and yet he ran for president. So there’s that to ruminate on…
My sister and I didn’t see any shows when we went to Vegas. Sacrilegious? We had a blast and just couldn’t fit it in. No Britney Bitch for us.
Oh so true!! I was just saying to my husband, while griping about writing deadlines, “why am I doing this?” His response: because you love it. I think Donald’s response is “because my narcissism knows no bounds.”
We almost never see a show in Vegas and I feel like it’s wrong. I would love to go see any one of the Cirque shows!!
Your photos look amazing!! And the boys are so stinking cute. We’ve never had professional photos done, maybe once when my sister arranged it but it is nice to have a decent family photo! And hooray for no training plan! Can I tell you how much I’m looking forward to that now that Philly is done?? As for Brittany and Vegas, um, we would have done the same thing. No shame. Plus I’ve heard mixed things too about her show.
Enjoy your time off!
I’m SO PROUD of your accomplishment at Philly – even if you felt awful. Like I said, you did it the hard way!! #BOOM
I have a feeling that after a few weeks with no training plan you will announce a spring race. 🙂
I’m hearing now that Brittany is not all that so I’m feeling much better. Thank you!!
THANK YOU for your music confession! I feel a huge ‘shame’ weight lifted. In the midst of my summer track racing season (just before a major championship), I blew off our expensive VIP PItbull concert tickets (‘hanging head in shame’). My excuses… it was a downtown Toronto event (I hate driving into the city), he was going to be on ‘late’ ~ 9:30, and had 2 warm-up acts (which we didn’t know at time of ticket purchase). And I was feeling a tad off. Sort of legitimate reasons but felt ridiculously guilty about missing a good time. 🙁
Oh SO legit!!! Thank you for making me feel less shame, and less like a complete loser 🙂 9:30 is way too late unless the show is in the same building as your hotel room!!
Oh wow!! Love your family photos! Those boots are so sexy!! Enjoy your two weeks of freedom!! I am winding down for a few weeks too!! Happy Thanksgiving week!!
LOL – thanks Kara! I started to overthink the boots at the last minute but then I just went for it. You’re supposed to look back on those photos in 15 years and say “what was I thinking?” right??
I love the professional Pictures!! You are rocking that entire outfit! I love it!
Putting Bryan Cranston’s book on my list of books! Have you read the Nightingale? I think you have… it’s really good. Similar themes. I liked Sarah’s Key, it was sad and worth the read. The main character made me a little crazy, she felt very selfish at points (not Sarah, the woman who found her story).
Did you see the Super Sweet 60 Bryan Cranston clip from Jimmy Kimmel? It is hilarious!
Thank you so much. I wasn’t sure about the boots but totally just went for it.
I have not read The Nightingale and didn’t know it was a similar theme. After a break, maybe I’ll go back and read it. I’ve heard great things about that as well.
I am going to YouTube right now to check out the Super Sweet 60…thank you!
Your family pics are beautiful!!! We took really nice professional pics about 4 years ago, and I think that we were at our “peak” then, so I have no desire to take them again because I feel like we’ll never take better ones…. I did read Sarah’s Key…. depressing but good read… Enjoy your time off training and have a great thanksgiving… btw, anytime I go to WR, there are 4 articles by you, so this professional stalker officially can’t keep up with you.
LOL – “we were at our peak!”
And yes, thank you for noticing on WR, I have become a regular contributor now 🙂
Have a fantastic Thanksgiving with your beautiful family!
Do you think my ninth grader could read that book (as far as reading level goes)? He watches Breaking Bad and loves it.
I love those photos. I’m so glad you got them done!
Christmas stresses me out. I totally know what you mean about your chest hurting. I ditched the fucking elf two years ago. He still comes out, but I’ll place him in lewd positions whenever I feel like it. I have enough miniature dictators in this house, I most certainly don’t need an elf telling me what to do at 11pm every night.
I think it would be challenging for a ninth grader and, maybe a little boring since so much of it is not about his acting or Breaking Bad.
The only reason we still have the elf is because my kids LOVE it and, they actually behave better with “Johnny Elf” watching. I don’t do any ridiculous or elaborate poses. The thing moves from one shelf or light to another and that’s enough!
Okay, thanks for letting me know about the book. And well, maybe I’ll dig that damn elf out again. I know my kids are older, but I’m sure they’d still find it amusing! Anything to put a little light into the season, right?
hey boys!! omg I love your family pics SO much! Also, yes, I have NO cares about looking crazy when taking food pics, because social media. My kids and husband often know to pause because mom needs a pic lol I can’t wait to get to vegas to try those duck fat fries! nomnomnom
HAHAHA – I guess I have to channel my inner Nellie when it comes to food pics 🙂 And OMG I cannot even with the duck fat fries!!!
Taking notes as we will be at Caesar’s Palace (not until June though) and neither one of us has ever been to Vegas. Thanks for all the tips!
So glad I could help! Vegas is super fun and delicious. I think this will be your first of many trips and, you will definitely be poolside in June. Enjoy!
Your photos are amazing – what a beautiful family!
Sarah’s Key sounds like such an interesting book! I am such a history nerd and enjoy books like that. Well, enjoy as much as one can for a depressing read.
Also, after reading about the duck fat fries I just had to Google for the best ones in Sacramento. I think I need fries like that after my marathon!
Keep enjoying your time down! And happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you so much Laura! And the book is a must for a history nerd. I’ve been googling things left and right – it’s just so interesting.
I hope you can find the perfect duck fat fries for your post-race celebratory dinner!! I want to hear all about it.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and send me a picture of Charlie please 🙂 xo
I love those down periods where the training is up to you… but as you know, find myself craving the plan pretty soon! Enjoy one more week of doing whatever you feel like doing. Vegas sounds like so much fun!
Exactly! I actually ended up teaching a spin class I was just going to take today so…FUN!
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and, I just may have to join your cleanse when it’s over 🙂
LOVE the family photos that you shared! The fall leaves look so lovely & I adore your outfit.
I went to Giada the last time I was in Vegas and the food was fabulous. Mmm!
Thank you so much! I hesitated with the boots but then thought “what the hell?” I’m so glad I did 🙂
Glad you know exactly what I’m talking about when I speak of Giada. OMG so good!
I’m so intrigued with Bryan Cranston and his book is totally on my list. Plus I love his voice, too bad he isn’t reading it! From the interview I saw of him about his life I know it’s going to be good.
Your family photos look fabulous!! I’m the slowest person on the family picture train. I still don’t have professional baby photos and I swear every mom within 50 miles is judging me. Judgy judge judge lol.
I need active recovery. If I’m not doing a workout then I at least need a walk. I guess the good thing about living in a town house is that we have 6 flights of stairs so I always get something done.
I love soufflé!!! I could just have an entire meal of different soufflés and be happy. And full lol.
OMG he IS reading it!!! Totally forgot to add that detail in. It really makes the whole story – obviously! Plus, you could listen while you do almost anything with your little angel 🙂
I didn’t do professional photos of the boys until they were like 6 months old and they turned out terrible!! The ones I took myself were great so don’t worry about it too much.
You MUST have the soufflé at Paris in Vegas…or I guess it would be even better in actual Paris! LOL
Those family pictures are beautiful! That is something we need to do sometime too. I’m totally with you on the “move the elf” gig. I like to make funny scenes with it, but that’s more like a once a week kinda thing!!
I’m in between training plans right now, for a few months. I have to come up with some schedule or I might just go nuts!
Thanks so much Lisa! And good for you for even doing special scenes with the elf at all. You are a super star mom in my book 🙂
Good luck getting back on a training schedule. I think we all need one!!
I feel like we were just talking about the freakin ELF!! That year flew by so fast!!!
Really trying to avoid being stressed by Christmas, so getting things done early (I hope it all comes together)!
LOVED Sarah’s Key!!
Your pics are GORGEOUS!! LOVE!!
A lack of schedule is good for a bit, then I feel lost! 🙂 Enjoy your downtime and Happy Thanksgiving, friend.
Thanks so much Nat and yes, that little bugger pops up so quickly but my boys adore him – it’s ridiculous…and also so great because I will miss it when they no longer believe.
Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving so much!!
I have to say that I have really enjoyed not really having a training plan for running this year, but I’m definitely starting to get the itch to get back to it! LOVE the family photos, and I better see a Xmas card in my mailbox soon 😉 I also loved Breaking Bad, so once my class is OVER…next week, maybe I’ll pick this one up!! I can’t remember the last time i read for fun!
You are definitely on my Christmas list – no worries there 🙂
I also didn’t mention that Bryan Cranston actually reads the audio book so, if that’s something you can do easier or say while on the treadmill, etc. I highly recommend it!!
Ohhh, good to know!! Thanks!