Apple Harvest

I am psyched!  While I have faced the fact that I will not be race ready for “Old Weathersfield” this year I am not ready to call it quits on the season yet! I feel CERTAIN that I can get myself race ready for the Apple Harvest Road Race on October 4th!  Even more exciting, I recently learned that the amazing Jennifer will be conducting another running clinic with sights set on this race! ( I had to drop out of her last clinic when the neck problems started.)

http://www.sccymca.org/images/Roadrace2015small.pdf

I ran this race for the first time last year and it was a fun one!  The start is a bit daunting because you head up hill, but what goes up must…well you know.  Guess what happens right before the finish line?  Yup, that same hill, turned around and pointed DOWN.  Not being familiar with the course and having no timing/gps device on me last year I did not realize just how close I was to the finish line and therefore continued to hold back.  In fact, I did not realize that I was about to cross the finish line until I was doing it!  Weird right?  You see, there are two races happening simultaneously, the 5K and a 5 Mile.  I thought we were being split onto different courses, which we were, I just didn’t know that my course, the 5K,  was ending so soon.

This year I am going in armed with experience.  I will be able to use that final downward hill to my benefit and I will know when to start my final kick.  No more just cruising across the finish line at the Apple Harvest for this girl!

2015 Here I come!
2015 Here I come!

Thursday rolled in with even MORE humidity.  It also brought a renewed ache to my neck.  I have not determined the weather as a factor to my neck aches but I am not discounting it either.  Luckily for me Thursday was a planned “Off” day.  Off days are important both mentally and physically.

Lori (my awesome nutritionist) has schooled me on the importance of NOT eating the same things everyday. Breakfast on Thursday consisted of three links of Turkey Sausage and a bowl of Cinnamon Chex with blueberries and fat free milk.

The most important meal of the day....
The most important meal of the day….

Have you tried Fairlife milk?  It tastes yummy and has a crazy long shelf life.  I only use milk for my cereal and that is only a couple of times a week.  For someone like me the long shelf life is key!

Speaking of Lori, I finally got myself back into her office.  It has been a couple of months of just plain feeling sorry for myself which has resulted in a SIX pound increase on the scale.  Good job Anne, well done!  I have faith that Lori will whip me into shape.

Do you like my new water bottle?

Hey Nathan...'sup?
Hey Nathan…’sup?

This is the latest and greatest object in my quest for the ultimate vessel to carry while running.  I hope to try it out this weekend.

  • Do you carry water while you run?  What type of bottle do you use?
  • When is your next race? How far?
  • Are you a milk drinker? What is your favorite breakfast?

I MUST Run!

Ever since this whole “neck fiasco” of mine I have been working on regaining my lost fitness.

I have become "one" with my ice pack.
I have become “one” with my ice pack.

I was happy to start incorporating strength training into my workouts.  Runners need strength just like any other athlete.  What I did not realize though was that I was neglecting my running.

The plan for Monday was to meet Jenn at the track for one of our epic “Do whatever you want” workouts.  What we had not counted on however was the temperature soaring above 90 degrees with crazy high humidity.  Jenn being the smarter of the two of us decided to opt out.  I almost did the same but because I had not worked out in earnest since last Thursday I chose to go forward with a simple 2 mile run.  I apparently have sabotaged myself further by spending so much time at the track as opposed to road running.  At the track I have (and take) the option of stopping periodically for Gatorade and/or filtering in different exercises like squats and triceps dips.  Shortly after takeoff on Monday afternoon I realized that I was not going to make the two miler without a few walk breaks… sad.  Part of the reason I was struggling was the high heat and HUMIDITY….holy cow!  I made a conscious decision to break my run into 4 parts one half mile at a time.  While I had hoped to be further along in my grand comeback by now it is all a process.  I am learning slowly what I can and cannot do.  I have learned, particularly from Monday’s run, that I really need to run!  My mood which would have put “Grumpy Cat” to shame turned a complete 180!  Now with a renewed energy and focus I am going to continue to build on my distance and stamina while still working on strength….sorry Jenn, you’re not off the hook!

Wednesday went slightly better.  I managed 1.34 miles before stopping to walk.  I am hopeful that once the humidity breaks my mileage will increase more easily. But hey, progress is progress, no matter how slight.

Holy Humidity Batman!
Holy Humidity Batman!

Hey, did I tell you that I am doing the 30 day Plank Challenge?  I am up to 90 seconds as I type this.  By the end of thirty days I should be able to plank for FIVE MINUTES!  I will admit, I’m a little scared.  Did you hear about that guy who planked for over five hours?  Dude!!

5 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds for the WIN!
5 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds for the WIN!

Hi from Lefty!! Photobomb from Felix…he’s a card!

"'Sup?"
“‘Sup?”
  • How long can you plank?
  • Is it hot where you are?

Thanks for stopping by!

Inspiration

My last post did not go up on facebook like it was supposed to.  Then it went up but only half of it made it!  I swear I didn’t do anything differently than I always do but I will admit to being technologically impaired.  I apologize if you got hit with my post twice, or not at all GASP!

Guess where I found the inspiration for this post…c’mon guess.  That’s right! French Fries!

um...yes!
um…yes!

Earlier this week I wandered into the kitchen at work to fill up my water bottle.  It was shortly after the lunch crowd had dispersed and the room smelled of French fries and ketchup!  That aroma triggered memories from my childhood of sitting in a booth at Friendly’s with my family eating hamburgers and French fries smothered in ketchup….YUM!

I would like fries with that!
I would like fries with that!

Then I started thinking about how powerful the olfactory senses are in triggering memories.  That led to…hey, I should write a blog about that! Somewhere along the way “memories” turned into “inspiration” because it was a memory that inspired me (see what I did there?).

Where do you find inspiration? Whether for running, biking, or swimming to a particular goal, or picking the color of paint for your dining room? Inspiration is everywhere we just have to be open to it.

For me, I see inspiration in a number of areas.  Sometimes a song that I have heard 147 times strikes something in me on the 148th time.

Music makes the whole world sing....sing a song....
Music makes the whole world sing….sing a song….

Occasionally a conversation with a friend or even a stranger will inspire something in me.  Reading others’ blogs is always a good source, especially when I am trying to climb out of a funk.  I also love to read and frequently get lost in a story that causes me to want to change everything about myself…not really, just some daydreaming.

Once inspiration hits you what do you do with it? Do you create a board on Pinterest, or an old school story/idea board? Or do you simply act fast and paint that dining room cantaloupe orange?  Don’t laugh, years ago I almost painted our stairwell cantaloupe orange with honeydew melon accents, but then I woke up!

Right now I am trying to find the inspiration to get back to my usual workout routine.  While I have determined a number of exercises that I can still perform I am having difficulty getting myself out there to actually DO them.  Maybe you could say something that will inspire me?

I mentioned to Jenn a few weeks back that I was thinking of trying Yoga.  Typically Yoga does not require a lot of (or any) jarring movements that would aggravate my neck situation.  Jenn was nice enough to loan me a “Beginner Yoga” CD.  I finally tried it on Sunday morning and I have to say….YIKES!

Nope, turning it off and walking away.
Nope, turning it off and walking away.

Here is the problem.  Much of the pain that I have comes from certain neck positions.  Imagine you are riding a ten speed bicycle with your hands on the lower bars.  You have to lift your head to see where you are going…this is the WORST most painful position for me.  While Yoga does not require any hard hitting, jarring motions it does require looking up!  Especially when the instructor is performing on the television but not verbalizing the instructions…pet peeve # 76.

I will stick to running….EYES FRONT!

I made a pilgrimage to the sporting goods store not long after the Yoga fiasco to purchase some KT tape.  I will certainly report back if it helps…..or not.  Look at the beautiful floral arrangement that was parked out in front of the store.

"P" "U"
“P” “U”

Pretty right?  Too bad it smelled like dead fish!  Whoa!!  I don’t know if it was the fertilizer used or one of those weird stinky plants but somebody do something!

  • How do you find inspiration?
  • Do you put ketchup on your fries?
  • What was the best part of your weekend?

My Scale is a Jerk!

annetracks

My scale is a jerk!  I mean it, every time I look at the thing it has climbed…UGH!!!!!  I know, I know, it is my own fault!  Ever since the whole neck pain fiasco started I have not only slacked off on  stopped exercising, but I have also thrown my whole nutrition plan out the window!  Good job Anne!  Well I am over it!!  I have started exercising again and I have also made an appointment to get back on track with Lori my awesome nutritionist. Doing it!

JERK! JERK!

A couple of days this past week I met up with Jenn at the track.

On your mark.... On your mark….

The plan was, there was no plan!  We walked and jogged and ran and sprinted around and around.  We were not keeping track of the distance which I love.  Between each half mile or so we would pull over to:

  • Plank – Up to…

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My Scale is a Jerk!

My scale is a jerk!  I mean it, every time I look at the thing it has climbed…UGH!!!!!  I know, I know, it is my own fault!  Ever since the whole neck pain fiasco started I have not only slacked off on  stopped exercising, but I have also thrown my whole nutrition plan out the window!  Good job Anne!  Well I am over it!!  I have started exercising again and I have also made an appointment to get back on track with Lori my awesome nutritionist. Doing it!

JERK!
JERK!

A couple of days this past week I met up with Jenn at the track.

On your mark....
On your mark….

The plan was, there was no plan!  We walked and jogged and ran and sprinted around and around.  We were not keeping track of the distance which I love.  Between each half mile or so we would pull over to:

  • Plank – Up to 1 minute 20 seconds.
  • Dip some triceps up to 40 per set.
  • Push up about 20 times up.
  • Squat and Lunge until my quads burned!

We spent more than an hour working out each day but because we were chatting the time flew!  Come join us!! I also got a feel for what exercises I might be able to pull off again.  Push-ups are ok, but NO mountain climbers just yet!  I am excited to realize that I may be able to return to “Mix-Fit” soon!!  One of the best parts about working out with Jenn is that she makes me do the strength exercises that I normally slack off on.

Weighting around...
Weighting around…

It is funny, or maybe just sad, how quickly we lose our fitness.  As I was huffing and puffing around the track yesterday trying to reach one lousy mile I was remembering how just a couple of months ago I was able to run 6.5 miles.  While we want to keep one eye on the big picture it can be overwhelming. Starting over is just that, STARTING over. If I try to run six miles every day and continue to fail every day how long do you think I would last before just giving up?  Failure on top of failure is not good for the psyche.  On the flipside, if I set smaller goals, like 1,2 or 3 miles every day and continue to meet or beat them every day then my smile will grow right along with my goals.  Before I know it I will be building on the 6.5 miles shooting for a half marathon, but for right now, I will continue one mile at a time.

Sometimes I find the best meals are the simplest.  My favorite Quick, Healthy and Easy meal from this past week was Pan seared Sea Scallops with Pan seared baby plum tomatoes and baby peas.  I used a little olive oil in the pan and seasoned with fresh cracked pepper…that’s it!

Yum!
Yum!

You should have seen Phil’s Mechanics putting the car cover on…HILARIOUS!

Lunatics
Lunatics
  • Do you weight train?
  • Favorite meal from last week?

Mystic Art Fest!

The other day someone asked me what I do when I have to run in the heat.  Being the wiseacre that I am I replied “I sweat”.  Helpful?  Probably not, but in reality it is in fact good advice.  If you are running in the heat make sure you don’t stop sweating.  It has happened to me a couple of times.  I was running along feeling good and all of a sudden I realized I had stopped sweating.  So I STOPPED RUNNING!  Our bodies use sweat as a cooling mechanism.  In order to sweat we need to be properly hydrated.  It is possible that when I stopped sweating while running my body had run out of hydration to pump out and cool me down.  I am still waiting for someone to set up a water station for me when I run around my neighborhood, but in the meantime I am learning to carry my own fluids.  It’s kind of a drag to have to haul around 20 – 30 ounces of water or Gatorade but if it keeps me moving it is SO worth it.  Remember, we sweat to keep the skin cool, if we stop sweating we are risking overheating and that can be downright dangerous!

Run Strong, Run Safe!

As a girl with curves, it is not always easy to find running gear (particularly shorts) that not only fit well, but are comfortable AND have at least one decent pocket.  That is why I am excited about my new “Happy Puppies” running shorts.

What do you call one Flip Flop? A Flip or a Flop?
What do you call one Flip Flop? A Flip or a Flop?

These are the “Mandy” style which is long enough to prevent that dreaded chaffing while still being SHORTS.  And check out those pockets, TWO of them!  You never know when you are going to need to carry your giant phone and flip flops on a run!

“Happy Puppies” is a really cool company that does good things.  Check out their website.

http://happy-puppies.myshopify.com/collections/shorts-pants

Note: I am not a spokesperson for “Happy Puppies”, I just really dig them!

Christine, Joey and I found our way to Mystic on Saturday for the annual Art Festival.

So much fun!
So much fun!

When I was growing up my family had a cottage in Mystic and that is where I spent my summers.  Plodding around town brought back many happy memories.

Perfection!
Perfection!

We stopped and watched a silkscreen demonstration.  Have you ever seen this, it is so cool.  This is how they made those nifty marbled papers on the inside covers of books back in the day.  Now the technique is used to make beautiful, unique scarves.

First, add the oil paint to the water.
First, add the oil paint to the water.

Next the paint is manipulated, swirled, pulled, etc using either a metal rake-like tool or a simple pointy stick.  This lady used the pointy stick for her design.

The silk is placed on top of the water and paint for a couple seconds.
The silk is placed on top of the water and paint for a couple seconds.

Then it is pulled out and wrung out in a bucket of water.

See the bucket?
See the bucket?

Now the piece is complete and you have a one of a kind scarf!

Smile lady, this is for my blog!
Smile lady, this is for my blog!

The entire process is a little hypnotic to watch.  Let’s go back next year and make a scarf together…start thinking about colors!

There were SO MANY incredible artists at the festival, I am still smiling.  I snapped this picture walking by the Alpaca booth.  I wish I had stopped to inspect more closely.  I find Alpacas slightly fascinating.

The
The “Dryer Lint Balls” what?!

Now I am off to meet Jenn at the track.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, thanks for stopping by!

  • What are your feelings about Alpacas? Llamas?
  • Running Shorts, Skirt or Capris? 

No Timing No Track

I always get super excited about races when I am sitting at my desk, or driving, or basically doing anything other than running.  I have high…SOARING expectations about what I can accomplish.  This week I learned that my friend Lynn is going to run a 5K at the end of the month.  So after not running, or even working out for a month until a few days ago, of course I am all over running it with her!  I have three weeks to get ready…doing it!

I think I can...I think I can....I KNOW I CAN!
I think I can…I think I can….I KNOW I CAN!

Along the same lines of lofty goals, I also REALLY want to run the “Surftown Half Marathon” in 2016.  I have never run a Half but I know, sitting here typing that I can definitely do it!  Will you come and cheer me on?  Pretty please?

Whooo Hoooo!!!!
Whooo Hoooo!!!!

On Monday afternoon I found myself cruising down the sidewalk.  The comeback has begun!  I purposely chose NOT to strap on any timing or GPS devices.  I simply wanted to get back out there and that is exactly what I did.

All day I had planned to drive over to the track so that I could just coast around at my own pace and know that when I wanted to stop I would be able to.  However, as soon as I pulled into the garage after work Phil tucked his car in right behind mine.  He was making new floor mats and wanted to be under cover.  Rather than bugging him by asking him to move his car I changed plans and ran out of the driveway.  The best part about running from home is that I start on a gradual downhill.  The worst part about running from home is that I end on a gradual uphill.  Of course come race day I am thankful for all of those uphill’s that I have trained on.  Maybe I need to reclassify those uphill’s as “best” instead of “worst”….maybe…I’ll sleep on it.

Not having a timing device with me I had no idea of my pace.  I felt like I was flying!  Still, I did get winded, and very very warm before the end of the street.  I know that from my house to the corner is slightly farther than half a mile so I pushed myself to not stop until then.  Whew, made it.  Then I let myself walk about 20 or 30 seconds before shifting back into high gear.  I ran another half mile then let myself walk again.  This was where I turned around and headed for home.  By now the sun was beating on me and I was crazy hot!  I really don’t understand why no one will set up a water station for me…rude! I made the management decision of taking it easy on the mile back home.  I ran/walked but still felt like I was pushing myself .  The cool part about returning to running, or I guess any sport, after a long period of time is that you can do it at your own pace.  It is acceptable to stop and walk if you get really tired/hot/thirsty/feel like dancing/whatever.

Do you hear the music?
Do you hear the music?

Then it was Thursday and Phil and I were off to dinner at Metro Bis in Simsbury with his Mom and the Kids.

Awwwww.......
Awwwww…….

The food was yummy.  Phil’s Mom suggested we order apps and dessert and skip the entree…Brilliant!  I had the crispy lobster ravioli and Pecan Pie with Vanilla ice cream.

mmmmmm..........
mmmmmm……….

Even the coffee was good.

When Wednesday rolled around I was determined to get to the track after work.  I really wanted to just run some intervals at my own pace and have the option of stopping when I needed/wanted to.  Once again Phil pulled his car in right behind mine!  I was taken aback because I had told him (more than once) that I was planning to head to the track.  The problem was that the landlord’s son was spreading gravel in the driveway and Phil had just washed his car and he didn’t want it covered in gravel dust…sigh.  When it comes to his vehicles my husband has blinders on, but that’s okay.  So once again I found myself pounding down the sidewalk.  I revisited that same two miles but this time I managed to lengthen the running intervals a little bit.  Progress!  I see you Old Wethersfield 5K!

http://www.hartfordmarathon.com/Events/Old_Wethersfield_5K___10K.htm

Bonk wants to know if you chew your socks too?

Weirdo
Weirdo
  • Where would you rather run? Track/Sidewalk/Trail….other?
  • Favorite Pie?
  • Do you obsess over your vehicle?