Well then.

Yes, I know it’s been a while. Ok, so it’s been 11 months.

I’ve been busy! I’ve also been blogging in more than one spot too. Although, since I started this job, I’ve been blogging less. It figures that once I started making and fixing WordPress, I didn’t have any time/energy to USE it. 😀

Terrible problems that I have, I know. In order to catch you up, I’m going to ask myself a few questions.

“You signed up for a race series? With a half marathon? Are you insane?”

“How did your half marathon training go?”

“How did your half marathon go?”

“What are you doing next?”

For the race series, I kinda go into detail into it here. So go read that and I’ll answer the half marathon training question instead.

(And read all the posts on that blog to get caught up even more on what’s been going on.)

It started out well, then it went to shit.

With my job, I get the opportunity to travel a lot – which I love! Since my last update on this blog, I’ve had the opportunity to go to:

  • Montreal (Canada)
  • San Francisco (CA) twice!
  • Santa Cruz (CA)
  • San Juan (Puerto Rico)
  • Austin (TX) for the SXSW Festival
  • Christ Church (Barbados)
  • Portland (OR)
  • Philadelphia (PA)

Gorgeous day in Philly. #latergram

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

All this travel is fantastic. However, it also throws a wrench into my normal routine which includes my training routine. I could have a long run scheduled on a travel day and I think “oh, I’ll just do it the next day!” then I get mired in being in a new place with people I’m not normally around and usually dealing with weather I’m not totally used to. You don’t realize how much a sudden 30 degree change in temperature or being at a different altitude can wreck your fitness goals.

Thus, a week where I was supposed to have run close to 18 miles, I only squeezed in 5. The next week, I was sick with a combination head cold and spring allergies. Do not recommend.

Time was ticking away to the half marathon date and I was woefully undertrained. I started planning on running a Galloway-style of speed intervals. For my half, I was going to do a 3min run/1min walk then adjust as necessary. Given the fact that my long run was only 9 miles and that was BEFORE the trips/sickness, I was in a slight panic.

Which brings us to the next question: how did my half go?

Well, it didn’t.

See, this post for that story.

Which leads us to what am I up to now?

Well, first off, I have to miss the last race in my race series! But it’s because of an awesome reason: I’M MOVING!

It’s no secret that winter and I don’t get along. Well, this past winter broke me and Tim and I made the decision to move to the West Coast. After some deliberation and a visit, we decided on the Portland, OR area.

The question I get all the time since we made the decision was “Why Portland?” Well, we’ve always loved the Pacific NW, and upon doing the research, it fits all our desires:

Changes of seasons. While Portland has distinct seasons, it rarely gets above 90 degrees even in the hottest part of the summer and in winter it rarely gets below freezing. It might snow and stick around for a few days, but it’s gone shortly thereafter. I can still wear sweaters/boots – but I won’t want to hole up in my house for 5 months and curse every time it snows because I have to shovel. Some people have said “but it’s cloudy and rainy”. I’ll fucking take it.

And the summers there get warm – and they don’t need air conditioning. SIGN ME UP.

Liberal leaning. Oregon is consistently a blue state. I don’t think I could even live in a red state, to be honest.

Tech community. I have a number of coworkers that are already in Portland, there’s a ton of tech giants and startups, and I can get FIOS internet for half of what I’m paying now for Comcast’s meager offerings. Hell. Yes.

Outdoor activities. I love hiking, biking, and running outdoors. With Portland’s weather, I can run outside year-round (unless it drops below 40 degrees). Where we’re going to live (outside of Portland proper), we’re an hour from the beach, an hour from the mountains, and an hour from wine country. Sounds pretty damn good to me.

Cost of living. The Portland area’s cost of living is very similar to Minneapolis. Seattle and San Francisco were much higher. Not needing to change our standard of living = awesome.

I could keep going on, but I’ll just leave it there. We love the Portland area.

Really the only stress point I have about the whole thing is moving the cats. Twenty-two hundred miles with three cats who hate the car? OMG SEND ALL THE BOOZE.

Since we’re driving both vehicles out, my sister is going to come and ride along with me so I’m not alone with the yowling. Well, I think Chester will be fine, and I think Pixel will chill out eventually, but Roxy will lose her shit.

The battle of stubbornness has begun. #friday #alwayswatching

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

The vet has some pheromone stuff that should help – they highly recommended to NOT tranquilize them because it stresses everyone out. I tend to agree.

Well, I guess that’s enough catching up for now! Stay tuned for my next post a year from now. 😀

Otherwise, see my WordPress.com blog linked to above or my other standalone site at carolynsonnek.com for future updates.

Dirty Girl

Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza

I just had to laugh at this post by The T-Rex runner about how sick they are of seeing all the posts in social media about paleo, gluten-free, vegan, et al.

I’m right there with them.

I love a nice cold beer on a hot day. I savor an amazing slice of coal-fired pizza. (Especially if it’s from Black Sheep Pizza – also pictured above.) Gluten-free, unless you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, is just a fad.

It’s fitting that I ran across that post today. I recently joined up at Lifetime Fitness because I needed something to break up the life monotony of being in my house all the time. For that same reason, I got a 1 day/week membership at Coco Minneapolis to get me out of the house on a workday – and so I can go to the food trucks. The best part is that it’s an amazing space:

Co-working at CoCo Mpls

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

Not a bad view while working.

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

Back when I worked downtown, I was OK doing my cross training workouts at home. Now, I’m *always* home and it’s slowly making me crazy. That combined with the desire to bump up my fitness level, I joined the gym. It’s close and they have great free group fitness classes*. Plus, my friend A who works for Lifetime tipped me off to a “free signup” weekend over the holiday weekend. No signup or processing fees – saved myself ~$150!

I did my free fitness assessment yesterday. A tool, I’m sure, to scare gullible people into purchasing personal training. When the nutritional part of the assessment came around, the trainer said that I don’t eat enough vegetables or protein and too many carbs and cheese.

No shit. I love cheese!

Yes, I can fit in more vegetables. In fact, that is one of my current goals. And protein? I’m pretty sure I don’t need as much as the trainer thinks I do – because their next point was to go down to the gym cafe/store and stock up on protein powders.

Um…no.

I think I also crushed the trainers happiness by telling her my goal was to improve my fitness and run times. “Not weight loss?” was the first thing out of her mouth after I said that. I said “sure, that would be great, but if I do the other things, the weight loss will naturally follow.” She then asked me if I “journaled my food” – i.e. calorie counting.

Sheesh.

I know I’m 40 and not skinny, but dieting/counting calories is the worst thing to do for someone who loves food. Because then I become obsessed with food and that’s all I can think about! Which makes me want to eat everything. EVERYTHING.

I’ll be more mindful of my portion sizes, because that is my downfall, but I’m not counting calories. Period.

Back to T-Rex’s post.

My favorite part of T-Rex’s post was this at the end:

So y’all, eat clean if you want. Be paleo. Don’t eat sugar by choice (GOD, WHY?). Go vegan. Only eat fish and things that are purple. I personally don’t care. But if you need me, I’ll be the girl with a craft beer in one hand and a cheeseburger in the other after every marathon, so don’t feel bad if you’re right there with me.

I know friends that have gone vegan and it was great for their health. I tried it, and couldn’t stick to it (cheese, y’all). For the most part, my goal is to eat vegetarian for breakfast and lunch, then dinner’s whatever I feel like making. If it’s a bacon cheeseburger or bratwurst, so be it.

So what I’m saying is: you eat what works for you and I’ll eat what works for me. Stop judging me! 😉

____
* – Did a kickboxing class on Monday. My arms FINALLY don’t hurt like a SOB. Goddamn. Now I’m taking an INSANITY class tonight…I think *I’M* insane! 😉

Engineering Happiness

Our baby just hit 1000 miles. Sniff.

A lot has happened in the past few months!

You all know about my career transition plans and goals, but my goodness there’s been a lot going on since I last wrote about it. To make a long story short, I posted about it over on my other blog, carolynsonnek.com.

Go read it. I’ll wait. In the meantime, look at Chester hatching a giraffe:

This is how Chester shows love.

Cute, right?

Oh, you’re back! Pretty cool, eh? New awesome career -> acquired. 😀

Since I have Awesome New Job, I finally quit Ye Olde Part Tyme Jobbe! With the travel opportunities that my new job offers in addition to the more demanding nature of the position, I need to have my full weekends back. Before, when I was slogging away in Cubicle Hell, I only needed a full day off to recharge. Now? I have much bigger plans!

We also bought a new car! We traded in the old 2003 Mazda Protegé for a 2013 Nissan Juke SL in Sapphire Black. She’s pretty. And fast. And awesome.

Next, I get to go to San Francisco for the first time in May – completely non-work related, funny enough. Our good friends Jason and Vicky (our only in-person guests at our wedding) from the UK are taking a California trip in May and we decided to meet up with them in SF for a few days. I’m very excited. Might have to get in touch with a few friends that live out there to meet for coffee or cocktails. I can’t wait!

Finally (I told you there were a lot of things!), I’m getting back into running and healthier eating after I saw myself in a fitting room mirror today. Who put my head on this fat body? I had been getting back to running on a more regular basis, but as always, I can’t run away a bad diet. The standing desk has really helped in my form and I’m not having as many hip issues like I used to. Score!

Since I don’t have the temptation to eat out for lunch all the time like I used to when I worked downtown, I’m going to refocus my energies into eating healthier and dropping some of this winter coat I’ve acquired. A goal I can stick with!

Hell, if I can transform my work life in 6 months, I can transform my body…right?

So that’s the latest in the life of ye olde Blogkitten! Keep an eye on my other blog as that will be more focused on the tech things I get interested in. And a lot of my Instagram photos. 🙂

Happy blogging!