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…

 

Having breakfast, pre-race, in my hotel room in Las Vegas. I would give anything to have this daily.

Having breakfast, pre-race, in my hotel room in Las Vegas. I would give anything to have this daily.

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 14, 2016

RUNNING

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.

CYCLING

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.

My view from the bike! So interesting, right?

My view from the bike! So interesting, right?

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.

SWIMMING

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.

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FUEL

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
My husband and brother-in-law thinking they couldn't have any more food...and then we had soufflé.

My husband and brother-in-law thinking they couldn’t have any more food…and then we had soufflé.

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:

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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:

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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

Gift guides.

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.

READING

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.

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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.

MUSIC

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.

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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?