Run Out Of The Rut

After cheering on all of my fellow runners at the Hartford Half Marathon last Saturday I was particularly stoked to take myself for a run on Sunday.  Now that the temps have cooled down I didn’t have to rush out the door before the heat of the day took over.   Instead I took my time with my usual Sunday morning chores, breakfast, etc.  I bantered a little with my buddy Dave who is training for his first 5K next month.  By then I was ready to hit the pavement!  It was a perfect 54 degrees out.  I donned my shorts and tee-shirt (remembering to dress like it was 10 degrees warmer.), clipped on my phone, road-id and sunglasses and took off!  As I have mentioned previously I like to change my routes from time to time to keep things interesting.  On Sunday I decided for a minor change and drove to the middle of my usual 3 mile route.  This can sometimes backfire…which it sort of did for me on Sunday.  As I was running past my house (now in the middle of the route) which happens to be on an incline, I lost all drive!  NO!!!!  My mind and body both decided that we were home and it was time to stop.  Oh good grief.  I will admit, I tanked and allowed myself to walk for a few paces.  After a sever talking to I picked up the pace again and managed to hang on for the rest of the run.   Not my best run…by far…but having room for improvement is always good.  Now I am looking forward to my next 3 miler knowing that I can CRUSH Sunday’s lackadaisical showing.  (Wow, spellcheck is agreeing with “lackadaisical”, I think I broke spellcheck.)  I have learned that I may need to change-up my routes more often so that I don’t fall into a running rut.

On a side note, please be careful if you are running or walking where the acorns have littered the ground.  They can be very dangerous.

Watch your step please.
Watch your step please.

I got myself back to “Mix-Fit” with Sue at Just Results on Monday evening!

What does Sue have planned for us?
What does Sue have planned for us?

I was nervous having not been to that particular class since June, Yikes!  After a 5 minute cardio warm-up we started with 50 sit-ups!  Thanks Sue, love you too!  This class is different every time.  Sue gives us entirely new workouts with each visit and even the number of people ranges from 4 – 34!  On Monday there were only four of us which meant…..nothing was getting by Sue.  (Really, it never does)  She had us circle the gym four times performing everything from push-ups to tire flips.  My neck was making noises but no real pain, Yay!  I have missed you Mix-Fit!

The rest of last week was blur.  Fast forward to yesterday, J-Dawg and I got our Art On!

My project
My project

I have been enamored with “Art Journaling” lately.  This is one of my attempts…getting better.

Jenn's project
Jenn’s project

Jenn actually has talent.  This latest project of hers was all about the Sass!

Autumn continues to roll in New England, here are a few images for you.  Some of these I took this morning when it was only 29 degrees out….you’re welcome. 🙂

This is the view from my living room.
This is the view from my living room.
Birch trees are too cool!
Birch trees are too cool!
29 degrees folks
29 degrees folks
.....just another Fall day.
…..just another Fall day.
Check out that contrast!
Check out that contrast!

I am going to focus on getting back to a normal routine this week.  My nutrition took a backseat this past week and Lori gave me a talking to yesterday!  Aiming for normal….maybe a little better.

Thanks for stopping by.

  • What was the best part of your weekend?
  • Do you have Fall Colors where you are?
  • Are you artsy/craftsy?

Guilt is an Odd Motivator

Guilt can be such a great motivator.  Which sucks, because who wants to feel guilty?  Seriously, if you enjoy feeling guilty…seek help.  I had planned out my workouts for last week to include a few days off.  I still need more days off than I would like but I am at peace with it….sort of….not really.  My plan included a couple of run days and a couple of gym days.  I NEED the gym in order to rebuild and then maintain my strength.  I lost a lot of strength and endurance over my Summer sideline.  Sadly, I never made it to the gym last week.  I was determined to go on Thursday.  I had the day off work on Friday and knew I would have plenty of time to recuperate.  What I hadn’t planned on was my neck acting up again.  By Thursday afternoon just the thought of driving home, changing into workout gear, putting in my contacts and tackling 30 minutes or more of rush hour traffic was too much for me.  I decided to bail on the gym….sigh.  Once I got home I was feeling SUPER guilty about not going.  I was playing the head games.  Does my neck really hurt that much or is it an excuse?  Am I just being lazy?  I can’t keep bailing or I will never get my strength back.  In a last ditch effort I changed into my workout gear, grabbed my phone (music) and hopped aboard the treadmill.  My thought was that I would run SLOWLY for just 20 minutes.  Instead of music I found an interview with the writers of the “Big Bang Theory” on my phone and watched that while I ran.  I love the Big Bang Theory.  “Raj” was a moderator and “Amy Farrah Fowler” was a guest on the panel.  I would like to say time flew, but let’s face it, I was running on a treadmill so it really didn’t.  Instead I turned my 20 minute run into a 40 minute run/walk.  I still burned over 400 calories and managed to ease my guilt a little.  I also realized that I should NOT have worked out on Thursday because my neck was KILLING me on Friday.  Oh well, live and learn….and LISTEN to what your body is telling you!

The Random’s;

I ran my car through the car wash.  Per my usual I proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon running around town with the plastic cover on the back wiper.

How embarrassing!
How embarrassing!

I feel like in the automotive world this is the equivalent of having toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Tsk….tsk.

As you know (I hope) from my last post, Saturday was the Hartford Marathon.  I stopped for coffee on my way over to Dana’s.

The condiments come pre-packed...who knew?
The condiments come pre-packed…who knew?

Once the runners started flying by there was no time to even think about coffee!  I brought most of the box home to Phil, he was thrilled!

The leaves are really starting to get their Autumn on.

Only the beginning.
Only the beginning.

This birch is still mostly green with just a few leaves starting to turn yellow.  Before you know it we will be surrounded by every shade of yellow, red, orange, green and brown.  Autumn in New England is truly a sight to behold.

Phil rescued this clock.

She's a beauty
She’s a beauty

One of his clients had relegated it to the trash heap. Poor thing.  Something that you probably don’t know about Phil is that he can fix almost anything and has a particular fondness for time pieces.

“let’s see what we have here”

He spent a few evenings carefully making adjustments and lubricating the gears.

MacGyver at work

On Sunday morning Phil got up for work, went out to the living area and was met with the beautiful chimes from the clock that was still running and keeping time! Now as I sit here typing I am listening to the graceful tic…toc…tic  behind me.  He’s a talented man!

I met a friend for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  I was surprised to see that they had re-decorated the place complete with various murals throughout.

I am diggin' the Sugar Skulls!
I am diggin’ the Sugar Skulls!
  • How do you motivate yourself?
  • Are you handy?
  • Favorite part of Autumn?

Sounds Like a Plan!

I read a headline recently, I believe it was from Women’s Running online? It said “Worrying About How Slow You Run Could be Holding You Back”.   I believe this.  When I started running it was part of my never ending effort to lose weight.  Once I completed my first 5K (3.1 miles) I was hooked.  My time for that particular run was 34:34 (11:08 minutes per mile pace) not bad for a first timer.  Since then I have been chasing the elusive sub 30 5K.  In other words, I really want to finish a 5K in less than 30 minutes (10:00 pace).  The closest I have come to this was a couple of years ago when I completed those 3.1 miles in 32:04 (10:34 pace).  Now I find that when I train I am more focused on pace and less on total time.  I know that for weight loss I should be running for longer periods of time and not focus so much on pace.  This past June I completed my first 10K (6.2 miles) in 66:58  (10:31 pace).  That was by far my favorite race!  I felt great the whole way.  I think a big part of that was because it was my first 10K so no matter what time I pulled in at it would be a personal record (PR).  I was running at a comfortable pace which ended up being faster than I had anticipated.  I was also running for a longer period of time than I normally do…66 minutes vs. 32.  At the end of the day, that is where I am going to see a bigger calorie burn and isn’t that what I wanted from the beginning?

Where does this leave me in my training plan?  Should I continue to chase the sub 30?  NO.  Let’s face it, I have an injury that is not going to go away. (If you are just catching up with me, I have a bulging disc in my neck.)  Until I manage to lose a significant amount of weight I truly do not believe I can improve on my pace.  It sounds like a “Catch 22” doesn’t it?  Run to lose weight, lose weight to run.  So here is my plan, are you ready? Can you guess?  I am going to do my best to increase my distance which in turn will increase my workout time which will help me to lose weight and then MAYBE one day I will break the tape before the clock strikes 30.  Who’s with me?

The Random’s;

Phil said something the other day that made me go “Awwwww”.  The Ford commercial came on with Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” playing.,d.cWw

Phil said, This song makes me think of you.  I have had some obstacles to overcome in my life…who hasn’t?  Phil explained that when he hears “Fight Song” he thinks about how I took charge of my life and learned to thrive.  How flipping sweet is that?!

I had my bi-annual Dental check-up earlier this week.  I am happy to report, no problems there!!

Dental Goodie Bag!
Dental Goodie Bag!

Oddly, now all I can think about is a caramel apple!  What the…?  I don’t even really like caramel all that much.  Why is it that now I feel like my life won’t be complete if I don’t chomp into a caramel apple and soon?!

An Apple a Day?
An Apple a Day?
  • What is your current goal(s)?
  • Dentist, love? Hate? Meh?
  • Caramel Apple, Yay or Nay?

Hibernation Mode

Have you heard the term “Hibernation Mode”?  If you have ever tried to lose weight, probably.  Hibernation Mode is the excuse that many of us use in the Fall Season to justify eating more and exercising less. An EXCUSE is exactly what it is.  There is really no such biological phenomenon as “Hibernation Mode”.  If you type the term into google you will find a lot of responses discussing the technological derivation, but digging further in, nope…we are in fact fooling ourselves.  I have been struggling with my own hibernation mode this year.  The carbs are calling to me and the cold, wet weather has me diving back under the covers.  I know that it is all in my head I just need to break out of hibernation excuse mode.  What to do?  I have a few recommendations and I would LOVE to hear some of yours!

  • Get up and get out. Find a class at your favorite gym and GO!  Remind yourself that you will NOT regret going.
  • Tell a friend. By committing your workout to someone else you are held accountable. Just don’t commit to an enabler, that’s a whole different problem.
  • Set a goal. Goals can be anything, just decide what you REALLY want it to be and go for it!  Be realistic with that goal.  For instance, if you have never run before, setting a goal of  running a 5K in 6-8 weeks is realistic…..setting a goal of running a marathon in that same time, not so much.
  • Don’t quit! Quitting is easy and you WILL regret it.
  • Visualize yourself reaching that goal! By focusing on the positive you will end up ONLY focused on the positive and quitting won’t even be an option.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Can you have an occasional cookie? Okay.  Can you have the whole tray of cookies? NO, I can’t believe you even asked me that.;-)

Now it’s your turn.  Tell me some of your tips and tricks to break out of Excuse mode.

The Random’s:

Felix is shedding and he is super grumpy about it.  He is our biggest shedder and the most bothered by it.

“Sorry Buddy”

The weather here in New England has been cold and wet lately.  My Mother would say “Raw”.  The Saturday morning walkers were relegated to…um….well…..mall walking…oof!

I grew up here.
I grew up here.

Phil has a cleaning business.  Every month he orders supplies for the business.  When I got home on Saturday there was a box waiting by the garage.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Then I picked it up and the bottom dropped out!

“Dear Mr. FedEx…”

I wish I could say that this is the first time something like this has happened with one of his shipments but sadly….nothing out of the ordinary.

Next week is the Hartford Marathon!  I will be handing you water at around mile eight of the Half.  I can’t wait to cheer for all of the runners and hopefully capture some great pictures to share with you!  See you there!

Thanks for stopping by!

  • Are you hibernating?
  • Any tips to break out of excuse mode?
  • What is your next event and when?

what? what?

Saturday started strong with a spin class at “Just Results”.  I hadn’t planned on spinning this week but late Friday J-Dawg emailed to say “Let’s go spinning tomorrow.”  So I went.  I spun.  Spinning is weird for me.  I really LOVE the workout but because I don’t hear well (one of my eardrums is backwards.) it is a real struggle for me to hear the instructor.  At one point she was talking to me directly and I didn’t even realize it.  Ugh!  One of the best parts about spinning is the awesome workout music played loud.  Sadly I cannot hear two things at once and the music takes precedence.  I don’t always catch the timing for the jump sequences but I do ok…I think.  I am not going to stop spinning, it’s too much fun.  In fact, I am considering investing in spinning shoes so that I can “clip in”.  Any recommendations?

Phil, Bonk and I watched “What If” on Saturday afternoon.  It’s an Indy film starring Danial Radcliffe (Harry Potter).  We all liked it, there was enough humor to keep it moving.

"What If"
“What If”

Sunday was supposed to be a run day but my stupid neck was throbbing…sigh.  When it gets that bad I really can’t do anything physical without a lot of pain.  I started the day grocery shopping and doing laundry, jealous?  Then J-Dawg texted asking if I was free for lunch….um YES!  We went to our favorite, the “Cruisin’ Café” which is part of a local antiques store.

No rubber biscuits here!
No rubber biscuits here!

They serve the best food there, you can’t go wrong.  The antiques store always gets dressed up for the seasons and holidays.

Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!

Right now Autumn and Halloween are making an appearance.

Remember that pulled calf muscle from last week?  Well I didn’t!  Not until I started running on it again.  Monday’s plan was just an easy 2 miler.  At about ¼ mile that darn muscle started to knot up good!  I pulled over and gave it some extra stretching but by then the damage was done.  I kept on going telling myself that once I got fully warmed up it would loosen up again…never happened.  Oh well, it’s all part of being a runner, we learn from our injuries.  I know that I need to rest my calf more so that it will mend completely. That said, I have decided to bail on the Apple Harvest 5K this coming weekend.  This particular race is just not important enough to me to risk re-injuring myself.  I am calling it a season.  It was a tough one for me, mostly because I was only able to get in two races due to injury.  At the same time, it was also a really great season for me!  I ran my first 10K at a very respectable time and buoyed my desire to push myself even farther.  My sights are now set on the “Surftown” half next Summer….doing it!  Now I just need a training plan.  I hope you will stick with me as I try to figure it all out .

The Goal

Tuesday was National Coffee Drinkers day!

Just pour it in a cup.
Just pour it in a cup.

I got myself back to Sue’s boxing class on Tuesday evening.

The bags won!
The bags won!

I had not been since JUNE, Yikes!  Needless to say, class won!  J-Dawg met me there, it was her first time ever in this class and she can’t wait to go back!  You should come with us next time!  Not only is it a fantastic workout but it’s FUN!  Sue and Lori keep us laughing while still providing tons of instruction and support.  Plus, there is usually a super cute puppy wandering around…nothing wrong with that!

What the heck kind of yoga pose is that?
What the heck kind of yoga pose is that?

As always, thanks for stopping by!

  • What is your favorite movie?
  • Current goal(s)?
  • How do you mix-up your workouts?