Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekend Update

What’s new in the Stasi household this past week? Here’s a bit about our vegetable garden, and an update on my running and other fitness goals.

The Garden: Jason worked really hard this year to get the garden growing. He did all of this himself, from turning the soil to selecting the plants. He has more of a green thumb than I do… I tend to get uptight and “type-A” about everything, and gardening is as much about trial and error and going by instinct as it is about doing it “right”. We already have a ton of lettuce ready to eat, and the strawberries are starting to appear as well. The chard did not do so well, hard to say exactly why, maybe too hot? We also have tomatoes, onions, potatoes, squash, and pole beans. We might get some artichokes this season, since we planted last year. Artichokes act as perennials in our past of California, and sometimes you and get a summer and fall crop from them once they are well established.

My contribution to the edible garden is an array of herbs that I keep right outside the kitchen door. Right now I have two kinds of mint, three kinds of oregano, sage, basil, tarragon, thyme, chives, and parsley. I’m hoping to have the oregano and sage fill in around the fish pond for lush, edible landscaping.

The Run: Today is day 10 of my running streak! I am amazed at the benefits I’m already seeing from a daily run. I ran between 1.2 and 4 miles each day (mostly shorter distances before work). Knowing that I only need to run for 15 minutes each day makes getting out there much easier. I saw a significant improvement in my performance after just one week: I shaved nearly 6 minutes off the same 4 mile run I did last Friday, and felt way less fatigued afterward. I am also seeing a little bit more conversion of body fat to muscle.

The Rest of It: I've continued to commute by bike to work and to the gym each day last week. I skipped Friday because it was raining pretty hard, but other than that I stuck to my routine. Just to give an idea of what an average week’s workouts look like for me these days, here’s my workout stats from Sunday-Saturday of last week:
Bike: 43.5 mi
Pilates: 2 hours
Run: 12.1 mi
Yoga: 2 hours and 10 minutes (10 minutes each session, 2 times per day)
Zumba: 1 hour (usually this is 2 hours per week, but there was no class on Easter)

Last week was pretty ideal in terms of sticking to my planned workouts.  Usually I don't make it to two Pilates classes a week and Jason and I often slack off on daily yoga.  I think maybe the regular running has encouraged me to stick to other planned activities, as well.

I also blogged two times last week, which is a move in the right direction.  As always, thanks for reading and I hope to have a new interesting post again soon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Inspiration Points

I always enjoyed posted my mid-week inspiration, an am hoping to get back in the habit.  This week, as the school year hurtles toward the end of a good run, I'm feeling the pains of procrastination.  I often wait until something is "just right" to take action or complete a task, when in fact more often than not "good enough" is more than sufficient.  Take action!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Week in Review

As promised in my last entry, I'm trying to write and post more regularly again.  I still haven't decided on a format or on any regular projects that I want to showcase here, so I thought I'd just do a brief recap of what's new this week.
  • Last weekend, I joined Instagram! I held off on this online photo party for a long time because my old phone did not support the app.  Now, both my phone and tablet have a camera and can host the app, so I'm in business. I'm still figuring out how I want to integrate this new social network tool with my blog, Facebook page, and flickr account so you might see some duplicate posts for a while until I streamline how and where I put stuff on the interwebs.  I'm leaning toward just using Instagram for photos and letting it post to Facebook, but sometimes the square format is kind of limiting.  I do love me some filters, though!
  • I did not run a half-marathon last Sunday!  That's right, Sara Stasi, the ultimate perfectionist, did not do something she committed to doing.  Yes, it wrecked me to back out.  Yes, I was guilty all day and when one of my students showed up at school with a gorgeous volunteer tee I was wracked with jealousy.  But I didn't train for the race and to be honest I've had a hard time running at all lately.  Between biking to work, doing Pilates twice a week, committing to a daily yoga practice, and teaching and taking Zumba classes, I have a serious fitness regime on top of my "real" job.
  • That being said, I am determined to run the Capitola Half which is one month away.  I have run exactly one time per week for the past three weeks, and before that hadn't run since January.  That's a great training plan, don't you think?  Seriously, I have struggled to overcome running inertia and in order to help motivate myself, I have decided to commit to a daily running streak.  A running streak is when you commit to running a certain minimal time or distance each day for a set amount of time or ad infinitum.  I'm going to start with 37 days, to commemorate my recent 37th birthday. Today is the second day, go me!!!  That might not seem like much, but I already feel more excited to get out there every day and this goal did get my butt out of bed at 6 on a Saturday to hit the road (for a quick 1.2 miles). There are many benefits to establishing a daily habit, and I hope to rekindle my passion for running my shaking up my attitude and approach to the sport.
  • I've biked to work every day for nine days straight!  I'm putting my cruiser to the limit, riding nearly 45 miles per week, and am considering getting a second bike that is more commuter-friendly since I don't see myself riding any less in the future.  There are some things I really love about my cruiser though: it lets me sit upright, I can ride it in a skirt or dress, it's heavy and stable, it has fenders and a basket, and has three simple gears.  But those things that make it fun and easy to ride are also kind of a drag at times when commuting, and I would maybe like a lighter frame and a few more gears to get me where I need to go.
Those are just a few things that have been happening in the Santa Cruz Stasi corner of the universe.  As always, thanks for reading!  Tomorrow is Easter, and regardless of your religious orientation toward the holiday I hope you experience it as a time of rebirth, renewal, and rejuvenation at some level in your life.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Start Me Up

The popularity of Project 333 has brought many new readers to my blog. I want to get back into blogging again, and bring something exciting and inspiring to my new visitors, but I'm just not sure exactly where to begin.
It feels awkward to jump back in after such a long absence from regular posting. I took an extended break from blogging mostly because my laptop broke and I waited a long time to get a replacement. Then I got a replacement and it turned out to have a faulty fan so I had to send it back to the company for repair. I finally have a functioning laptop again but after being so long without a computer I pretty much stopped using it and have been relying on my phone and tablet to go online. In fact I'm dictating this blog post on my tablet using the talk to type feature! Pretty crazy! I'm also not taking as many pictures as I was which was a central feature of my blog in the past. Now I'm completely out of the habit of regular posting and am trying to find a good way to get started again.
I know that one of the keys to being a successful blogger is writing regularly, either online or just a paper journal, so I plan to make that my first step. In the past I've gotten great feedback from friends, family and other readers about even simple things that I put out there that are inspiring or helpful or interesting, which gives me confidence to get back in the saddle again and also helps me keep in mind that it doesn't have to be complicated or perfect to be worthy of posting. I do believe that something that seems insignificant to me could be very significant to one of my readers. It's the same idea behind smiling, being kind, and saying hello to people that you meet out in the world because you never know how a seemingly small gesture may positively impact someone else's day.
So whether you're a regular reader or visiting Santa Cruz Stasi for the first time, I hope to soon provide you with some more regular posts to enjoy!