Ride Along

To paraphrase Snoopy, “It was a hot and muggy morning”. Apparently it is Summer here in New England!

As much as I enjoy taking myself for a run it is just to warm.  J-Dawg and I have been biking about once or twice a week.  At least on a bike you create a breeze.  Plus, there is the added bonus of traveling through lot’s of scenic landscapes.

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This will be even more beautiful in the Fall

We typically travel South for a little more than seven miles. We then turn around to round out our ride at 15 ish miles.  Yesterday however we decided to head North and explore the great unknown.  The ride consisted of many comments such as, “oh, I know where this comes out” and “oh, this is near…”.

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That tunnel goes under a super busy road, I never knew this picnic area was here!

One of the benefits(?) of travelling North was that we were required to climb a few more substantial hills than we are used to.  While the flat, shady stretches are the preference (really downhill is the preference) the hills are what build muscle and stamina, and I’m all for that!

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Ironically, heading towards Florida involved MORE uphills than Maine!

While much of the trail is shady, there are intervals of sunshine.  Once we start moving into Autumn and the days grow chilly I am certain we will be relishing those sunny spots.  Yesterday however we were embracing any shade we could find!

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Hey J-Dawg wait up….I’m taking a picture…wait!!

Because of the high heat and humidity yesterday we shortened our ride to 12.5 miles……WITH HILLS!  Burning calories and enjoying nature, that’s how we roll!

Random News:

I had to miss boxing class two weeks in a row due to various obligations and let me tell you I am really anxious to get back to it!  I introduced another buddy to boxing a couple of weeks ago and she fell in love with it too!  Such a great workout, de-stressor, class!

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Sue does NOT approve of my gloves 😦

Riding and punching is not all I have been up to however!  My friends at work have gotten me hooked on “Game of Thrones”.  I have only just begun but I can sort of follow along with conversations now…sort of.

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Does this make me a “Gamer”?

Do you like sushi?  I want to, I really do!  It is a healthy, cost effective meal and I keep trying it but honestly….ick!

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I want to like you!

On the other hand…Mangoes!!!!

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True Love!!

 

 

  • Do you watch Game of Thrones?
  • Sushi, yay or nay?
  • Mangoes?  Please say Yay!

 

 

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Protection and Prevention

We have all heard the warnings about making sure we warm up before working out, but have we heeded them?  I know that I am guilty of just jumping in without always properly warming up.  Lately the warm up has proven not only necessary but also a bonus.  I think I realized it most dramatically when I took myself for a short run following spin class last week.

Having had many bouts of bronchitis in the past and even walking pneumonia once, my respiratory system is not what it once was….which really bums me out.  Now when I start my runs, especially in colder temps, I wheeze for a while…sometimes more than a while.  It is something that I have become resigned to.

As I was driving home from Spin last week I was feeling super energized and decided I had time to bang out an easy mile just to burn a few more calories.  I parked at the High School and took off down the road.  Having not planned this particular run I was flying sans music.  I quickly realized that I was not wheezing AT ALL.  Because I had just completed 45 minutes on the bike my lungs were already warm and clear.  I didn’t even miss my music because I was so thrilled to be running comfortably.

Warm-ups have definitely been added to my routine!

In addition to warming up properly we also need to cool down.  Again, guilty of rushing or even skipping the cool down.  We all know that stretching is boring and once the hard work is done we just want to get on with the day.  Let me ask you a question.  Have you ever regretted a workout?  The answer is “No” isn’t it?  The same goes for the cool down or stretch after the workout.  I am sure we have all found ourselves in mid-stretch thinking that feels good.  You know you have.  Let’s face it, stretching really doesn’t take long at all.

My Spin instructor Corrine was counseling me recently about some foam rolling exercises that will not only help the muscles that I just worked out but they will also help with my neck problem.  Everything is connected.

This is my foam roller.  The center comes out so that I have three different levels of firmness.
This is my foam roller. The center comes out so that I have three different levels of firmness.

Taking a few minutes to roll and ease so many potential pains is a no brainer!

I also roll my feet on frozen golf balls, you heard me.  As a runner my feet take a pounding, literally.  I keep a few golf balls in a plastic container in the freezer so that I can just grab them whenever I need them.  It is nothing to sit and read, watch tv, solve the world’s problems…whatever, and roll my feet over these frozen gems.

FOUR!
FOUR!

The Randoms:

The weather in these parts has been gorgeous lately!

It's so nice to have Spring come early this year!  ;-)
It’s so nice to have Spring come early this year! 😉

Every year my grocery store gives out coupons for a significant amount off of a Thanksgiving Turkey.  I got my coupon when I went shopping this past weekend.

It's getting real.
It’s getting real.

We are “past peak” as far as the Fall Foliage is concerned.  I still think it is beautiful!  Here are some pictures for those of you who don’t get to experience Autumn in New England.

Enjoy!

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That tree positively glows, the camera cannot capture all of it's splendor.
That tree positively glows, the camera cannot capture all of it’s splendor.

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There's that birch again.
There’s that birch again.
Oooo....Ahhhhh.....
Oooo….Ahhhhh…..
  • Do you warm up? Cool down?  Do you have a best tip?
  • Are you ready for the Holidays?
  • How is the weather in your part of the world?

Thirteen Chilis

My girl Jo and her Man Jeff had a Housewarming / Chili Cook off on Saturday and it was a blast!  Phil and I swooped over to pick up J-Dawg then headed on up the hill to the “Big House in the Woods”.  Short trip, easy parking, great weather….perfect!  I myself am indifferent to Chili so I decided not to enter the competition, that’s all I needed was to win on a fluke and start a riot.  I did however take part in the judging of the 13 different chili’s.  Yes, THIRTEEN!

Crockpots for days!
Crockpots for days!

This beautiful lady won!  Her entry was named (by Jo) “Engineer me some Chili”.  Can you guess what she does for a living?

Congratulations Chilli Queen!
Congratulations Chili Queen!

Here is the second place winner and his lovely wife.

Cheers to you too Chili Prince!
Cheers to you too Chili Prince!

It got tense for a minute when there was a tie for second but they battled it out…no blood was drawn.

The kids enjoyed the fire pit.

We see you....
We see you….

The adults enjoyed the glow bands.

Girl Power!!!!
Girl Power!!!!

Notice we are all wearing BLUE.  Apparently this was the most coveted color among the kids.  We were warned to stay alert!

Best of all there was LOT’s and LOT’s of laughter.  I didn’t know any of these people when we arrived and now I can’t wait to see them all again!

I like your mustache kind stranger.
I like your mustache kind stranger.
Shhh....voting is happening, this is serious stuff!!!!
Shhh….voting is happening, this is serious stuff!!!!

Hey Jo and Jeff, could you make this an annual event please?

The “Sunday Spinners” reunited on….wait for it….Sunday!  Our amazing instructor Corrine was out of state all Summer so we had to fill the void as best we could.  Now she is back and we are hitting the road…you know…metaphorically.

Corrine is all about proper form, she doesn’t want anyone to get hurt.  After dealing with the bulging disc in my neck I am on board with proper form as well!  It is so easy to be careless with form, especially if you are feeling good.  Once something rears up to say “hey, pay attention to me” then you become cognizant of what you are doing wrong (and right).  Corrine also gave me some foam rolling tips to help ease the annoyance in my neck. We still have a lot of fun while riding properly.  I love that Corrine uses the disco lights!!

Boogie on down!
Boogie on down!

Once the lights go out these colors really pop!  We should ALL use disco lights at work…why not?

Did you know that Tuesday was National Beer Day?  I didn’t learn about it until it was too late to celebrate.  Note to self: get your “National Days” straight ahead of time!

umm...yes!
umm…yes!

Wednesday…National Chocolate Day!!  Yes Please!

ooooooooo........
ooooooooo……..

Phil forgot something at work so I rode over with him to take care of it.  While he was taking care of business I was wandering around in the parking lot.  The trees are just so beautiful right now…Go Autumn!!

Autumn for the win!
Autumn for the win!

Thanks as always for stopping by!  Here is another New England in Autumn picture for you.

You're welcome
You’re welcome
  • Have you been to any great parties lately?
  • Chili Yea or Nay?
  • Are you down for Disco lights at work?