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Monday, April 29, 2013

Training Update: Week 7 (The IT'S HOT Edition)

If you aren't from around here, you may not have known that SUMMER IS COMING to South Florida. You see, in South Florida, we anticipate summers like the Starks of Winterfell fear winter. 

Only instead of an army of whitewalkers, it's dreadful heat and humidity. The kind that fogs up your spectacles as you leave your air conditioned apartment into the smoggy haze.

Right now, it's not that bad. It's actually great weather for lounging by the pool. I spent about two hours by the pool with Will on Saturday and had the grizzliest sunburn to show for it. The breezes were so refreshing I didn't feel my very own skin cooking! Oops. 

A clever visual demonstration of some ridiculous sunburn.

Mine was worse than his.

While the weather is fabulous for bronzing by the pool and relaxing on the beach, it doesn't make for the best conditions for endurance runs. 

So here you have it:
  • 4M - 37:57/9:12
  • 6M - 52:16/8:43
  • 4M - 39:04/9:28
  • 12M - 2:15:00/11:15
Let's talk about that horrific twelve miler that happened yesterday. I set my alarm for 6:00AM sharp to hit the road for a twelve miler (HAHAHAHAHAHA. No). The dogs miraculously slept in until 10:15. Unprecedented. Smartly, we thus decided to start our run around 2:00PM, the hottest part of the day. I do this all the time. I don't know why.

It really wasn't bad at all at first. We kept a steady pace and were feeling fine. Most of our run was on the El Rio Trail in Boca, our first time running it. The trail was nice, flat, and quiet, but lacked something essential: 


Photo shoot/water break at mile 6. Don't mind if I do. This was the one spot on this trail that was shady. 

This is right by Florida Atlantic University. In case you are seeking out this landmark of a shady area.
But it is waterfront property!
Nobody has ever looked cool sucking water out of a camelback. But Will Brez comes close.

Here comes the highlight of our run:

Mr. GIANT reptile. He feels the same way about shade. It's pretty important.

Every tiny bit of foliage that provided the eeeensiest bit of shade on your face was like a tiny miracle. The black asphalt trail became pretty unbearable after a while. After mile 8, things just fell apart. We ran out of fluids and there was a lot of walking.

Bright side? I'm not sore today and now Daisy can help me do some laundry.

Hoping that training in the heat gives me some slight edge on race day. The average high in Annapolis on June 1 is 81. It was 82 yesterday. So there.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Training Update: Weeks 5 & 6

A training update for the last two weeks with some trail running tips.

Week 5:
  • 3 M - 24:04/8:02
  • 6 M - 1:00:00/10:00 (ripping/burning pain in arch during mile 5!!!)
  • Lifted & 2 M - 20:00/10:00 (weighted squats, lunges, and calf raises)
  • 4.2 M - 42:00/10:00
Week 6:
  • 5.25 M - 47:45/9:07
  • 5 M - 44:30/8:54
  • 12.21 M - 2:59:06/14:40 (TRAIL)
I generally took it easier the past two weeks, deciding to run a bit longer distances at a slower pace. It seemed to help my heel/arch pain.

This past Sunday, I ran a Down2Earth Half Marathon Trail Run at Oleta River State Park. (It's not really a "half marathon" per se, but four 5K laps, which is why my Garmin tallied in at 12.21 miles.)

This was my second time doing a trail race, so I had an idea of what to expect. (Last time, I did the 10K, it was wet, I slipped on a plank, and broke my butt.) It is a grueling course, not to be underestimated. I knew that I had four laps, so I decided to be extremely conservative. I kept a very easy pace all throughout the race and had no trouble finishing. 

That's not to say I didn't have plenty of suffering over the course of that three hours to offer up to the victims of the Boston marathon bombings. It was tough, but quitting never crossed my mind. I left this race with a ton of confidence going into the final stretch of half marathon training. 

Finishing was so glorious.
Which is why I am bombarding you with multiple pictures of it.
Also, Will took them.

Now I have some advice for some trail running newbies. I am no expert, but I have a bit of experience with trails and I see people making the same mistakes all the time. 

1 - Do not underestimate the trails. Oleta is tough. Of course it's possible to run your first 5K or 10K ever on the trails, but you won't be happy with that decision! You WILL exert 1,000 times more energy to go the same distance. Also, be vigilant and don't overexert yourself. If it's your first race, you'll want to. But if you get delirious from running hard, you are so much more likely to trip on a branch, slip on a plank, or hit your face on a tree.

2 - Wear proper footwear! Ah, this is the toughest to watch. This past Sunday, I think I observed at least four really bad spills. Five, including myself! Last time I ran and I broke my butt, I was wearing an old pair of Newtons and it was basically a slip-n-slide to the finish. This time I wore Merrell trail running shoes and it made a world of difference on those steep slopes. (N.B. I wore these same shoes hiking Camelback Mountain and I was so glad I had them. Definitely worth the $50 or so spent.) This includes socks. Will did not have the proper socks on and he wound up a blister the size of my sister.

3 - LISTEN!!! Passing on trails is dangerous. There is nothing worse than shouting "on your left!!" over and over only to be drowned out by Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake. The trails are much quieter than Miami roads or your gym; there is no reason to blast your music! (Unless you are that very old man blasting Gangnam Style. You can do no wrong, sir.)

4 - Keep a moderately steady pace. Passing on trails is dangerous. Don't sprint ahead passing ten people only to crap out in a quarter mile, get passed by all ten of those people, and then sprint ahead of them again. (I'm looking at you, stranger called Travis!)

Those are my little tips if you are ever thinking about doing one of these trail runs, which I highly recommend! They are relatively inexpensive to enter, are held every month, and will give you an excuse to eat lots and lots of ice cream the entire following week. 

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Five Faves (Volume 4)

Linking up with Hallie for another installment of my Five Favorites this week. I have never been preggers, so Hallie's list was of limited benefit to me at this point, but maybe I will try Dan's lavender oil trick on Will as he studies for the Bar exam. I will knock the stress right out of him. Like a ninja.

1 - Handwritten thank you cards from strangers named Loretta. 

I had a couple snafus involving Will's graduation/commissioning announcements that involved slightly under an hour of phone conversations with some customer service reps at We ended up solving the problem (a new order was sent free of charge with free overnight shipping!) and then I received this handwritten thank you card thanking me for my angry phone call. So, duh, I recommend them.

2 - Ground flaxseed. 


I started adding a heaping spoonful of ground flaxseed to my smoothies in the morning. It's super cheap and you can't even taste it. Plus, I feel healthier just by saying the words "ground flaxseed."

My smoothies consist of (estimating here): 3-5 frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1/4 C greek yogurt, 1/2 scoop 100% whey protein, 1/4 C blueberries, 1-2 C orange juice, 2 T ground flaxseed, 1-2 C spinach.

I truly feel that I'm faking out my body into thinking it's drinking a sweet strawberry milkshake. 

3 - PEAS!


My friends all know me to be a lover of peas. I would put peas in every meal if my husband let me. I have in fact contemplated changing the name of this blog to "Pass the Peas." But probably no one would get it. I don't even get it. Anyway, I did a happy dance when found and bought that FIVE POUND BAG of peas pictured above.

But don't call me a pea head.


4 - White chocolate macadamia nut Clif bars.

GOSH, these are good. When I was in law school, we had a Subway on campus and I would treat myself to the white chocolate macadamia nut cookies on the regular. Only 120 calories a pop. NBD. Now that I'm older and wiser (j/k, it's only been like two years), I opt for the Clif bar version. It's still a lot of calories (240, I think), but it's made with organic ingredients and packs a lot of protein. It's perfect for an afternoon snack before working out and doesn't taste disgusting like every other protein/energy bar ever made.

5 - Contigo autoseal travel coffee mug.

This mug gets me through my morning. You see, I have two problems when it comes to coffee: (1) I like to spill it on myself, and (2) I drink it slowwwwly. You have to press the button to drink out of this mug, and if you don't, you could throw it across the room and not lose any precious Tribute blend. It does not leak. Also, it keeps my coffee hot all morning, which is good, because I usually take a few hours to drink 20 oz.

That's it for me. Check back with Hallie for some other faves!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Strong


I can't blog about running without acknowledging Monday's tragedy at the Boston marathon. I have been utterly consumed by images, interviews, and accounts of the event. It's pretty unproductive, but I, like most people, just want answers. I know on a theoretical level, evil exists as the absence of the good, of God. But I just need some information, a motive, so I can wrap my head around what occurred. I can't stop asking, Why?

It is just so sad that an event intended to be a celebration of dedication and success was targeted like this. At first I thought what a shame for something so senseless to cast a dark shadow over the running community a negatively impact future races, but instead I see the running community, and the nation as a whole, come together to support Boston. It is inspiring. I've mentioned briefly before about offering up runs in prayer. From here on out, I will be praying and running for Boston every single training run. 

Boston Strong. 

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Daisy Wants a Baby

A little something for your Monday . . .

The dogs have been behaving horribly lately. Sure, it's probably our fault for not being home with them enough, but our bigger dog, Daisy, figured out how to break out of her crate. This is a problem. 

The first day she broke free, she was prompted by some sort of stomach bug and just pooped everyyywherrreeee. 

We made some adjustments to our sophisticated crating system (i.e., turned the door against the wall and utilized a different door), and yet she still broke free. On this day, no poop. No real damage either, save one exception: she chewed up my basal thermometer.

The following day we really didn't make any adjustments. Just lazy. So of course, she broke free yet again. This time she chewed up by beloved NFP charts on my nightstand. Probably a year's worth of paper charts. Chart blizzard all over the bedroom. It looked a bit like this:

 "mwah ha ha ha"
Daisy is sending a clear message: she wants a baby. She really showed us what she thinks of those sympto-thermal rules! But if this is Daisy's way of showing she wants a baby brother or sister, she is going about it all wrong. This behavior will not be tolerated.

(Besides, it hurts our feelings that she doesn't like her puppy, Ace. We got him for you, Daisy! Isn't he enough?)

We exacted her punishment, which was appropriate and proportionate to the offense committed. It involved pantyhose and looked like this:

The outtakes: 


Still love her.

(If you think this is cruel, she also got into my makeup.) We hope she learns from this very public humiliation to express herself in a more productive way. 

We will make great parents.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Five Things

This weekend is the most glorious kind of all: FREE. No plans. No meetings. No work. Just freedom. And it will be our last for some time. While we have many exciting events and to-dos coming up, I am just exhausted and in need of some nothing. Can't we all relate? The dogs even got the memo and slept in until 9!

The lovely Kallah tagged me in a post where I have to tell five interesting, random things about myself that readers may not know about me . . . orrrr just . . . five things. I can't handle the pressure. Since the theme of this weekend is to r-e-l-a-x, we will just see what we come up with.  :) 

1. This one is easy. I was a huge tomboy as a kid. Exhibit A:

That's right, I played tackle football with the boys for two years in 4th and 5th grade. When I was nine, I scored my one and only touchdown. It was called "Theresa's Play" (creative!). My mom took me to Walmart afterwards and I could pick out whatever I wanted. I chose a forest green fleece pullover. Sign of the times.

2. Basically, what this means is that Catherine (of Bachelor fame) and I would be best friends. We both played tackle football when we were little, we're both Asian, and we both have two sabotaging sisters (j/k, Trish and Shannon). Most importantly, we are both terrible at making eye contact:

3. Luckily, I beat the odds and still found me a husband. Will and I met in college, as you know. But we actually had a couple classes together before we were formally introduced so we kind of knew each other from cutting baby pigs open together in Biology Lab and singing Nada Te Turbe with Sister Jane in Theology 201. (N.B. Will's Sister Jane impression is impeccable. Impeccable!) We were even super official Facebook friends and I maybe stalked him photos for hours at a time but that's neither here nor there.

Only slightly obsessed with our alma mater.

We weren't really introduced face-to-face until some good friends intervened. My roommate, Michelle, was dating Will's baseball teammate, T-Mac. The three of us were hanging out in our apartment and I was lamenting my singleness and listing all the qualities I wanted in a boyfrayn. T-Mac, animated as ever, literally leaps up and shouts, "You are talking some SERIOUS Will Brez!" (You have to picture this scene with T-Mac's trademark southern accent and maybe a hint of crazy in his eyes.) That Sunday evening, T-Mac and Michelle asked if I wanted a ride to student Mass. Of course I do! (which is really ridiculous because the basilica was---tops---a ten minute walk from our apartment, but I digress.) Who was awaiting me in the backseat of the car but Will himself? Pretty much from that point on we were seriously dating and we knew we were getting married yadda yadda changed my life forever. You know the rest.

4. I chose to go to law school, partly because I thought I'd be good at it but mostly because I wanted to be like my grandmother.

A little teary at grandma's surprise 80th.

She is a living saint! She went back to school with eleven kids to become a lawyer and eventually became a circuit court judge. My dad was tenth out of the eleven, which I think contributes a lot to his personality, and therefore mine, but I won't even get into that right now.

5. While we are on the topic of grandmothers, let's talk about my maternal grandmother. (I know these aren't really facts about me per se, but these ladies have influenced me greatly!) Yes, my other grandmother is also a living saint, but she only had six kids, so she gets less publicity. ;)

It's strange being in a family where none of us look alike.

She was born in California, a Japanese-American, and was detained in the Japanese internment during World War II. She and her family came out of internment with nothing; their business was burned to the ground, so they returned to Japan. Eventually, she met my grandfather who was stationed in Japan with the Army and they came back to America together (oh, that is another story!!!).

There you go! Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Seven Quick Takes (Volume 7)

Linking up with Grace this week for 7 Quick Takes. (Congrats to the Fulwiler family! And prayers for the new babe.)

1. Will commissions in one month! (As far as we know, he is one of three prospective law graduates commissioning in his Air Force JAG program in the whole country.) Should I change the name of this blog to Lieutenant Brez Blog? Perhaps not. I can't go running to spell check every time I want to refer to my blog.
2. We received assurances last week from some high-ups on the JAG food chain that Will will indeed go active duty in September/October 2013. The uncertainty with sequestration and DOD budget cuts really had us worried.

Unfortunately, this really puts a damper on my September Costa Rica vacay aspirations. Oh well, at least we're not saving for a trip anymore. To the Target shoe section!

Legit ran out and bought these after typing that.
3. We are going to the Heat vs. Celtics game tonight. Well, maybe, if Lebron is playing, so I can see this in person:

merp a derp derp BASKETBALL

The tickets to the game were a three years late wedding gift. Love that. Never stress about the old rule of getting a wedding gift to someone within the first year, because getting a surprise wedding gift about 2.5 years into marriage was about the coolest thing ever.

4. Time for a PUPDATE.

Don't let this happy scene fool you.

Daisy and Ace are life-ruiners lately. Stressss. Let's just say they are taking their jobs of preparing us for the rigors of children quite seriously---they've got all the bodily fluids covered (along with half the square footage of our apartment).

5. The pupdates go on for another take, my friends (channeling John McCain here, I guess). Daisy a/k/a Houdini can officially escape her crate. We don't know how she does it but we think she slithers out somehow. It's a real freakshow in the Brez household.

6. I have self-diagnosed myself with plantar fasciitis. It's also what I self-diagnosed myself with four years ago when I was dealing with the same issues. I'm so smart, I know. After all, I am a doctor.

7. Have you seen the dogs in tights trend? It's like planking only weirder and funnier. Now that summer is upon us in Florida, I may have to sacrifice a pair of my winter tights for some pinups of Daisy. We're taking this blog viral.

Head over to Grace's blog for more quick takes! Oh and while you're at it, make sure you read this post. Funnier than dogs in tights. Promise.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Training Update: Week 4

Let's hammer out another training update, shall we? "Have you had enough? Or are you thirsty for more?" (Name that movie classic.)
  • 3.38 M - 32:52/9:44
  • 5 M - 43:58/8:48 (with Will!)
  • 4 M - 33:14/8:19 (TM @ 1% incline)
  • 6 M - 1:02:38/8:57 (TM @ 1% incline for first half)
Running Song that's Literally on Repeat: Hopeless Wanderer by Mumford & Sons

This was the first week I actually felt strong and fast during a run. It did not occur until Friday, but it occurred. I am still battling some heel pain, stemming from my arches, my calves, or both, but I took two days rest before the four-miler before taking to the treadmill instead of the pavement, and I think it helped. I'm keeping things RICE-y with icing and stretching (learned some new yoga poses thanks to my favorite lawyer-to-future-yoga instructor, E).
You find this all enthralling. You do.
My life would be so much better if I could just drag my butt out of bed and run in the mornings. But I can't. I need at least two cups of coffee before attempting anything remotely productive. I never want to run at night after work. There is maybe one day a week, after the drive home, changing my clothes, tending to the pups (who BOTH had the blow out of all blow outs yesterday!!!!), etc., where I really feel like running. Usually, I'd rather veg out on the couch.
It's worth it though. I have leg muscles again. My clothes are fitting better. And I gotta say, I am really encouraged by my progress over the past four weeks.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekend Update

Coming at you with a recap of our weekend. I know what you're thinking. Theresa, a post all about what you did this weekend? That's right. I'm gonna tell you about all the hottest spots for nightlife in South Florida.

"Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!"


We never even made it to the Delray Affair on Saturday. C and E (Miami friends also known on the blogosphere as Dr. and Mrs. Smartypants) came to visit! We were all so starving shortly after they arrived, so we headed to the restaurant.

Beeline to Mellow Mushroom. Yessss, bump some tunes, Will Brez!


We ordered a new stereo for our truck online and thought we'd save some ca$h by installing it ourselves. Only, we made just one tiny mistake in our installation: the speakers. Everything else worked perfectly. The pretty lights were flashing. The name of the song appeared. Even the Bluetooth could make phone calls! Just, um, no speakers. So we made due like this instead:

We all sang just like the little boy. "Nice vibrato, buddy!" Except we didn't really know any of the words . . . but I promise we all sounded just like the little boy.

The plan was to get a quick bite to eat at a place right off Atlantic and then walk on out to the fair. Easy peasy. I was at a calorie deficit for the day that I was determined to top off with some Funky Q Chicken pizza. Success. I think we all did some damage.

By the time we finished, however, all the tents were already packed up! Oops. 

On Sunday, Will and I tried the fair again, and we made it on time, but man it was SO CROWDED.

Everyone's facial expression in this photo says, "I'm hot and it's crowded."

Too many warm bodies. We brought the dogs so it was just impossible. I ended up taking the dogs off to a side road, Will ordered food, and we got out of there.

Ace remains unfazed, as usual. 

The food was amazing. We had ribs and seafood rice. It was expensive for street food, but amazing. (I was way too hot and hungry to snap a pic.) I'm pretty bummed we couldn't hang. I'm sure Saturday was less crowded and we just missed out.

Byeeee, Atlantic Ave!

No concluding thoughts. Just shutting this thing down.



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Friday, April 5, 2013

Seven Quick Takes (Volume 6)

I haven't really been on top of blogging this week, but I am, as usual, determined to get in my seven takes. If Jen can post a 7QT post in the face of robot vein surgery, then I can churn out these 7QT in the face of . . . well . . . uneventfulness.

1. First, thank you, Jen, for finally hosting a Seven Quick Takes: Procrastinators Edition. This was made for folks like me. Obviously.

2. I wanted to do a Five Favorites post this week but never got around to it. (Btw, congrats Hallie on the arrival of your little Charlie. Peeped him on the 'gram all creepy like. Oh so adorable.) But anyway, these were going to be at the top of the list this week.

My Zensah compression sleeves that I may never take off. (People do that. I read it on a blog.) I've been having heel pain when I run lately and these bad boys seem to help. R-I-C-E, I guess. The watch AND the shoes also made the list, so there's three of five right there. We'll leave it at that.

3. Will takes the MPRE tomorrow! It's a two hour professional responsibility exam required for his bar license. We found out last minute that he can't use a mechanical pencil and must use a "wooden" pencil, so I asked a coworker if she had any before I left work. All she had at her desk were ones she bought for her eight year old daughter, so Will's pencil stash for his professionalism exam has yellow and pink Easter bunny patterns all over them. Guaranteed pass.

4. After his exam, we are hitting up the Delray Affair with some Miami friends. It's an arts and crafts fair on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. I've heard wonderful things about it so I'm really looking forward to it. I will be sure to report back to you whether reality = expectations.

5. I am recently obsessed with the J.Crew Factory website (didn't even know there was one until I started reading Erika's blog). I recently bought this dress, and this sweater, and this dress (and maybe a couple of other things), but I wanted to share the love because everything (!!!) is 30% off right now and so far everything fits like the website says it will. (N.B. I am officially cut off. No more purchases.)

6. We think Ace is coming out of his puppy phase. Hallelujah! He may have turned the corner. That doesn't mean he still doesn't do stupid things (like refusing to walk on wet grass which is really annoying right now), but his energy level is definitely starting to decrease.

Where's Ace? Hidden by the prison dementors?

7. I'm off now to go running. I don't want to, but I'm going to. And then I'll probably chillax in my Zensahs.

You may now commence teasing. I can take it.

Head to Conversion Diary for a list of all the top procrastinators!

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Shots from Holy Week(ends)!

We spent Palm Sunday in Miami because Will had some meetings for school. I walk-jog-walked around campus with the pups one at a time (it was pretty hot out so they didn't last long). Afterward we went to World of Beer at Dadeland to meet up with some Miami friends.

Since it was Sunday, Will ordered some beer. This one was called the He'Brew Funky Jewbilation. (Can't make this stuff up, people.) The strangest beer ever. Fruity, smooth, and bitter all at the same time.

World of Beer had some dog treats, so Daisy thought she would show off with her one trick: THE SHAKE.

"Are you not entertained?!!!" - Daisy Maximus Meridius

We headed to Mass at our old parish, St. Augustine. We miss it there so much! It's always packed there. Such a great community. 

Afterward, we went to our favorite burger joint ever. Ever ever. Lokal Burger and Beer in Coconut Grove. Everything is local, organic, grass-fed, homemade, all that good crunchy hipster stuff. 

Our server told us Shane Battier (of the Miami Heat) closed down the place the night before. Just look at us. We are so trendy. 

Daisy did not stop growling at this fake dog or raiding the dog biscuits so she was put in time out. 

I just ran (slash walked slash jogged - whatever) five miles so I decided to splurge and order My Childhood Dream. It's a cheeseburger topped with a runny fried egg and a Krispy Kreme Doughnut in lieu of bun. Yes, my first Krispy since I did that which shall not be named

It was a little too sweet for me (wished I had a regular bun), but the fried egg was amazing. I may never eat another burger without a fried egg ever again. 


This past weekend we headed up to Daytona Beach to spend Easter weekend with Will's parents. We headed out to Disappearing Island on the boat briefly on Saturday.

Now, there are Manatee signs everywhere down here, and in my six years of visiting Daytona, I have never, not once ever, seen a manatee.

NO, I still haven't seen a manatee. 

BUT! I saw this. I thought it was driftwood at first. Can you tell what it is?

It's a BOBCAT. A swimming bobcat.

Only fitting that there be a manatee crossing sign in the background.

And off it went on the other side. Unbelievable!

Ace is not impressed. Oh well.

When we got to the island I was so excited to see how Ace would react. It was his first time on the beach.

Neddy-bear don't care.

Not quite sure what this water thing was all about.

It was pretty hilarious watching the dogs play.

"Take it easy!" - Hurley

"Dithappearing Island ith tho much fun. Theriously."

"Do I have sand on my face?"

The dogs were so worn out after only an hour.

Hurley Brez.

To further flaunt my lack of manatee-sightings, we spotted some Dolphins on the way back!

I do not have a picture of us from Easter Sunday, but this will do.

Happy Easter!