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?

Happy to Cheer

The Hartford Marathon is less than a month away!  I am looking forward to watching it from the sidelines.  As much as I enjoy running finishing races I have never had any desire to run this one, no matter the length.  October is really an ideal month for running a long race like the Marathon.  The temps will probably be cool, which most runners love.  Although, New England IS a wild card!  Last year it poured throughout the entire race…love/hate.  April is another good month for cool temps with the bonus of longer days.  So why not plan the Marathon for April?  SNOW!  It snows in New England fairly regularly all Winter.  Then the snow melts and re-freezes overnight.  Know what that makes?  ICE!  Trying to train for a marathon, or any distance of length on icy sidewalks is neither ideal nor recommended.   By scheduling the Marathon for October the runners have the entire Spring and Summer to train on less dangerous terrain.

Why don’t I want to run the Hartford Full, Half or even 5K?  Simple, I fade drastically in the Fall.  The early days of Autumn are the worst.  I don’t know the reason.  It could be the realization that we are about to be closed up indoors again for a number of months.  Or because the daylight has taken a sucker punch all of a sudden.  Despite the wonder that is New England in Autumn I truly have no desire to pursue anything for those few weeks leading up to November.  That said, I am very much looking forward to cheering for my fellow runners as they cruise on by mile 8 of the half!  Every year Dana and her neighbors set up an unofficial water station where the runners pass at the end of their street.  I am going to try my best to get on over there to help out before the roads are all closed.  It is always so great to experience people/strangers cheering for you while racing,  I hope I can add a little pep to some steps!

In Other News:

Thursday was a run day.  I set up Runkeeper and Pandora on my phone and headed for the hills!  After a little more than one song Pandora suddenly shut off!  Pandora can be a jerk that way sometimes.  Then I was stuck listening to myself breathe with an occasional update from Runkeeper.  I had a slow start heading UP…UP….UP but then I built up my pace and was in a pretty good zone heading down a long straight stretch of glorious downhill.

A little hilly
A little hilly

Runkeeper confirmed that I was averaging a decent pace (for me, everyone’s different) of 10:36.  Then all of a sudden a woman about my age (maybe a little younger) and general build (a little thinner) cruised on past me!  The nerve!!  Naturally my competitive instinct kicked in and I picked up my pace….until…oh no…I pulled a muscle in my calf.  Sigh.  This happened to me once before, also on a downhill.  I think I sometimes get a little over-excited by the coasting speed on the downhills and push just a little too much.  This just re-confirms how important it is to listen to our bodies.  After all, who knows better what they can and cannot handle?  Yes, it is okay to push ourselves in order to better ourselves, just be careful not to overdo it so that you end up sidelined.  Take it from me, rebuilding lost fitness is tough!

My hairdresser gave me a TON of parsley from her garden.  Bonk decided to garnish herself…she’s so goofy.


I had to pull over to take this picture on my way into work one morning.

No Words
No Words

This particular spot on my route can be very dramatic at times.  That fog is coming off the river.

Phil likes to put chocolate milk in his coffee >>shudder<< He had a mishap in the store.


The bottle slipped out of his hand and landed on it’s head.

I had to open the coat closet for the first time since Spring this morning….hrrmmpphhh 😦

I'm not ready!!!
I’m not ready!!!

That’s the latest, thanks for stopping by!

  • Do you mentally race while you run?
  • Favorite season?
  • What are you doing this weekend?

Running Spirals

Where am I?!  This was the exact thought in my head as I was running on Tuesday afternoon.  Because the temps were in the mid 90’s with crazy humidity I took off with the intention of staying on a mostly shady route.  I had decided to run hills for a shorter period of time than usual.  I knew where I was and I knew where I wanted to go (home) I just couldn’t quite figure out how to get from one to the other.

There's no place like home.
There’s no place like home.

Good grief!  I had also opted to leave my giant phone at home and instead took my much smaller mp3 player.  Silly me!  If I had had my phone I would have been able to figure out where and when to turn.  I was only a few minutes from home but I had turned into a neighborhood that I believe was laid out on a Spirograph board.  Remember Spirograph?  I sat drawing spirals for hours as a child, but I digress.  This was not my first venture into this neighborhood but it WAS coming from the direction that I chose on Tuesday.  I hope the neighbors had a good laugh when I came to one intersection and ran a few paces down three different streets before finally choosing number four!  Oh yes I did!!  Fortunately I made the right choice and found my way home again….whew!!!  Note to self always bring your phone when exploring a new neighborhood!

Wednesday was scheduled to be an OFF day but after sitting behind a desk all day long I was feeling antsy.  The weather was questionable with thunderstorms looming.  I decided to take a walk on the treadmill but once I got out there I realized I had a whole lot more energy than I thought. I made the executive decision to run some sprints instead of walking…just a little different.  I keep ten pennies on the dashboard of the treadmill for running sprints.  Here’s how it went down:

All at an incline of 1.0

  • Three minute walk at 3.4 speed.
  • One minute sprint at 6.5 speed
  • One minute walk at 3.4 speed.
  • One minute sprint at 6.6 speed.
  • One minute walk at 3.4 speed.
  • One minute sprint at 6.7 speed

You get the idea.  I kept ramping up the speed until I got to 6.9 and then stayed there to the end.  Every time I finished a sprint interval I would move a penny to the other side.

Pennies as counters.
Pennies as counters.

The plan was to run ten intervals but once I moved that last penny I only had about five minutes left to get to a 30 minute total workout so I added a couple more intervals.  I finished with a three minute walking cool down.  If I had planned all day to run sprints I probably would not have been so into it, but because it was just an “In the moment” decision I really enjoyed it and felt great for pushing myself!

I am so happy that Jenn decided to join my gym “Just Results”, you should join too we will have so much fun together!  Jenn has taken some of the classes as a drop in but Saturday was her first official class as a member.  We attacked the 8:30 am spinning and burned up a bunch of calories!

In Other News:

I was in Pier 1 earlier in the week and saw this guy.

Whooo doesn't love Owls?
Whooo doesn’t love Owls?

I really love this painting, especially juxtaposed against all of the furnishings as it is here.

That was my week, thanks for stopping by.

  • Ever get lost while running?
  • Do you love owls?