Black and Tan

I am back on the move and feeling good!  That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!  Yesterday I got myself over to Just Results (gym) for an early morning spin class.

My Gang
My Gang

This was the first workout that I was going to attempt in about a month and I was nervous.  We started right on time….thank you.  The lights went out and we were off!  As we moved through the different exercises…climbing….climbing I felt my breathing and heart rate increase, so far so good.    After a while I thought, we must be almost done and I looked at the clock.  btw, NEVER look at the clock!  You guessed it, we were only 15 minutes in.  ugh! During one particularly strenuous climb, (well it was for me) I felt something wet run from the corner of my eye down my cheek.  Was that a tear?!  There’s no crying in spinning!!  But no, just sweat, it was still good. 🙂 Then, just when I felt like I was going to explode and fall off my bike a blast of AC came wafting through the room.  Ahhhhhhhh……  I can do this.  As we all know, what goes up, must come down.  This is the part of the class where we have reached the summit and get to ride back down.  No, we did not coast, I can’t believe you thought that!  We SPRINT fast, fast and faster.  There are different exercises to add variety (in the saddle….out of the saddle…etc.) but on the whole we were peddling like we were being chased by zombies.  Then we were done, we stretched and wiped down our bikes and headed home.

Until next time.
Until next time.

As I was leaving the instructor said to me, I hope you come back.  Yes, yes I will! When I drove out of the parking lot someone from class who I see at the gym from time to time but has never acknowledged me actually waved….to me!  I guess I passed 🙂

Every year when my peeps and I go cruising my buddy Bill and I find at least one day to enjoy a couple of Black and Tans.

Man that looks good!
Man that looks good!

Have you seen THIS?

I'm talking to you
I’m talking to you “Cruise Peeps”!

Now we can ALL enjoy a black and tan!

Half Chocolate and Half Salted Caramel.....yes please!
Half Chocolate and Half Salted Caramel…..yes please!

What’s better than ice cream?  Watermelon!  This beauty followed me home yesterday.

20150801_165103

I thought about trying to go for a short run today but I really need to be smart about returning to my activities.  I DO NOT want to wind up benched again.  Instead I think I will plan to save the running for tomorrow and I will simply read about it today.

I can do hard things.
I can do hard things.

Enjoy your day, thanks for stopping by.

  • Favorite ice cream?
  • Watermelon? Yay or Nay?
  • What was the best part of your Saturday?

Motivating Motivators

After nearly a month of inactivity I have been struggling to get back at it!  Falling out of the habit is a whole lot easier than getting back into it.  I can read motivational quotes all day long and think “Yes, that is so true, I’m doing/not doing/trying/pursuing/fixing…..that!”  The reality is, reading about and doing are two entirely different things.

SO Just Do IT!
SO Just Do IT!

While I have been cleared to run again, it is a solitary exercise (at least for me it is….do you want to run with me?) and I have been finding it difficult to get myself back out there.

Let's be those people!
Let’s be those people!

When I started running years ago I signed up for a race, maybe I need to do that again.  I know!  Let’s sign up for a race together!  That’s a great idea, what looks good to you?  Hey, we don’t even have to run the same race, just the same day (or weekend), then we can push each other to get ready…that sounds like a GREAT idea!  Who’s with me?!

We can motivate each other!
We can motivate each other!

In the meantime I am thrilled that Just Results (my gym) has added a spinning class on Saturday mornings.  I love spinning, and cannot remember looking forward to something this much since my last cruise.  Yes, well that’s more than a slight exageration, cruising with my peeps is the BEST!

Chris and Marilyn
Chris and Marilyn

In other news:

The Flagstone project is done and Skye gets to sleep in the garage again, Yay!

Peace and Quiet
Peace and Quiet

It turned out really nice and they even redid the path through the pachysandra!

Nice right?
Nice right?

Bonk didn’t want to come out of her camper the other night so Phil rolled Felix over to keep her company.

“Hi Honey”
  • Who wants to run a race with me? Together or virtual?
  • What is your favorite activity? (keep it clean)

Serenity Now!

Phil and I are fortunate enough to live in a very nice house on a beautiful piece of property in a quiet (usually) neighborhood.

Good Morning Bambi.
Good Morning Bambi.

I try not to take anything for granted but maybe I have been lately.  I say this because my quiet solitude has had more than one interruption over the past month.  Less than half a mile from my home a woman was attacked on the bike path.  Having been on that path by myself the day before the attack I was really shaken.  Thankfully the man was apprehended and is behind bars.  I will NOT be returning to that path however.  I lost a sense of safety that day.

This past weekend my landlord and his son and grandson have been replacing flagstones in a section of our driveway.

20150725_065141

The landlord is a mason who built our house as well as his own on 12 acres of property.  The landscaping was placed in a way that we have our own private island. Having two huge men and a 9 year old wandering around all weekend has blown my privacy balloon right out of the water.  Let me be clear, we are very thankful to have a landlord who truly cares about us.  He is taking the time to fix the stones and doing it right. However, once the son starts working on anything in our yard he tends to overstay his welcome. For instance; I had just sat down to enjoy my lunch when the son appeared at the slider to take down the winter supports.  Ummmm…it’s almost August, just leave them.  Then Phil and I were watching a movie (Rumor has it with Jennifer Anniston and Mark Ruffalo, it was ok.) when the son appeared AGAIN at the slider to patch some holes in the eves that the bumble bees had drilled into.

1.) Leave the bees alone, we like them.

2.) Boundaries!

Am I just being whiny?  Maybe, but when you become used to a certain pattern you start to count on it. I am truly thankful for what I have and can’t wait for my solitude and tranquility to be restored.

Rant Over.

Saturday’s plan was to get up and take myself for a short slow run.  However, after being subjected to a jackhammer working right outside for FOUR HOURS Friday evening my head was in no mood.  Instead I got to meet up with the Saturday morning walking crew at the reservoir.

Pat, Chris, ME, Joey and Dana behind the camera.
Pat, Chris, ME, Joey and Dana behind the camera.

Because I am always early, I was hanging out waiting for my peeps on that bridge down there.

So calming
So calming

I overheard two women as they passed by saying “Molly could wear combat boots with a dress at the wedding and that would be fine.” You GO Molly! OWN IT!

Although Sunday was rainy Jenn and I managed to sneak in a two mile walk to the Collinsville dam and back.  Such a beautiful spot!

Picture Perfect :-)
Picture Perfect 🙂

I was happy to put the miles in this weekend and am looking forward to building speed and distance!  Stick with me, I’ll get there!

I made one of my favorite one pan meals for dinner on Saturday.  I haven’t made this in a long time so it tasted that MUCH BETTER.

“Squash, Leeks and Eggs ” Chop up one cup yellow and/or zucchini squash and one leek.

IMG_20150725_171205

Saute in oil with garlic (Phil hates garlic so I omit it) then add one cup chopped tomatoes, season to taste with oregano, salt and pepper.  Let simmer approximately 15 minutes.  Whip together 6 eggs and half a cup of romano cheese.  Add to the veggies and cook until done.

Now add the eggs and cheese.
Now add the eggs and cheese.

Serve immediately.

  • Favorite One pan/pot meal?
  • Something funny that you have overheard?

Enjoy your day!

“Giggle Twins”

I had a consultation with an Orthopedist this week after the MRI that I had showed a bulging disc.  I was sort of dreading/expecting him to tell me that I was going to need surgery.  Nope, not the case.  The doctor held up my MRI, threw it in the trash and said “that’s what that is worth”.  Dramatic much?   Don’t worry, he pulled it right back out and reinstalled it in my file.  The point that he was trying to make was that the bulging disc that I have is very minor and very common in people my age.  “Hey Anne, you’re 50, remember that!” ( I tend to forget because I usually fell like I am 30, not 50. ) The doctor proceeded to test all of my reflexes and range of motion, I PASSED!   We talked about how to manage the pain in my neck which came down to strengthening my back and improving my posture…mom?  See those small muscles in the middle of the back called Serratus   Posterior Superior? Those are the guys I need to strengthen.

That's a lot of muscles!
That’s a lot of muscles!

There are a number of exercises that I can/should do using bands instead of free weights.

A present from the physical therapist.
A present from the physical therapist.

I was instructed to avoid slapping ropes or flipping tires for a while which means I can’t go to my favorite “Mix-Fit” class for a little bit longer, sigh.  I can however start running again! [ Insert angelic chorus here.] I will start off short and slow and build back up to where I want to be.  Who knows, I may even be able to sneak in another 5K this year 😉 HEY, You should come too!

I will continue to keep my ice pack at the ready just in case!

Don't eat these!
Don’t eat these!

I had the opportunity to join two good friends, Sandy and Bonni, for lunch earlier this week.  We were reminiscing about a time when we had all worked together.  As the conversation progressed I realized that we were only talking about all of the fun and laughs that we had.  Of course this got us laughing again!  Bonni and I sat near each other at work  and frequently would only need to exchange a look that made us burst out laughing….not chuckling, LAUGHING.  Sandy has an infectious laugh, I DARE you not to laugh right along with her.

"Giggle Twins"
“Giggle Twins”

I am so thankful to have friends like Sandy and Bonni.  Was everyday a laugh-riot?  Absolutely not.  Did we reminisce about the bad/angry/sad/lousy times?  No way!  What’s the point?  I walked away from that luncheon thinking “I can’t wait to see those guys again”.  THAT is the point!  Wouldn’t we all rather smile and laugh and truly enjoy being with our friends?  After all, Laughter is the best medicine 🙂

In other news, I updated my sock wardrobe!

FUN!!!!
FUN!!!!

BUNNYMASTER this week:

The Otterbot!

She's Meditating, shhhhhh...
She’s Meditating, shhhhhh…
  • Do you have one or more friends that you know you can always count on for a good laugh?
  • Do you keep a bag of frozen peas just for bumps and bruises?
  • How is your sock wardrobe looking?

That was OPEN?

This is a picture of what an “open” MRI machine looks like.

It doesn't LOOK scary.
It doesn’t LOOK scary.

Here’s the thing!  It did not feel open in the least!  I realize that this may have been because they were imaging my neck which had to be kept immobile, but a little heads up would have been nice…..pun intended.  I had two big, fat square cushions on either side of my head, sort of like a horse with blinders on.  Then there was what I can only describe as a roll cage that spanned from cushion to cushion over my face. I had a maximum 1 inch clearance between my face and the “roll cage” and then less than an inch from the “roll cage” to the machine.  Again, this probably had a lot to do with the location of my scans.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we?  I showed up at the imaging center super early even by my standards (I am always ridiculously early, don’t stop me, that’s how I roll.).  I got checked in and settled in front of the television in the waiting area.  There was a really interesting show on about Lions.  Surprisingly I was called in after only a few minutes.  I was led to a closet changing room which was only approximately 4X4 feet.  I changed, locked up my belongings, opened the curtain and sat down in the changing cell as instructed.  Then I waited, and waited, and waited…..30 minutes later!  Are you KIDDING me?!  This is one of my pet peeves, don’t call me until you are ready for me.  I could have been watching lions but noooooooooo I was watching the walls instead.  Ahem, sorry, I digress.  When I was finally brought into the MRI room I had to surrender my glasses….begin elevated heart rate.  I put in ear plugs and got settled on the table.  Brian, the technician gave me a call button and explained that when I heard the “LOUD” noises I was NOT TO MOVE, not even to swallow or take a deep breath.  Really Brian?  I know we just met but I am the queen of the fidgets.  OK fine, I’ll behave, let’s just get it done.  It was somewhere in Brian’s instructions that he let me know that it was going to take about 25 minutes, geeesh!  Okay,okay! They slid me into the machine (que elevation of heart rate) and Brian told me that it would be easier if I closed my eyes.  Easier huh? Then Brian’s disembodied voice (very faint, remember the earplugs?) was telling me that the first scan would take about three and a half minutes, which meant DON’T MOVE.  You have probably heard that MRI’s are loud….yeah, that’s an understatement.  The weirdest part about the noise is that no two scans sound alike.  As it turns out they all took about three and a half minutes but one sounded like a steady banging, one was a steady swirly whirring, another one had me picturing the natives on Gilligan’s Island having a drum off, and the last one felt and sounded like I was on a shake machine.  Wild!

So I made it!  It was an experience for sure and I came away with a headache and feeling overall exhausted (probably the anxiety) but I am glad I got it done.  Now I just have to wait for my doctor to call with the results.  Sigh…more waiting.

A few images from the weekend.

Flowers are never downers.
Flowers are never downers.

Sunday was National Ice Cream day so Jenn took my picture with this sign at The Cruisin Café.

I am wearing my "Hungry Runner Girl" shirt, one of my favorite blogs.
I am wearing my “Hungry Runner Girl” shirt, one of my favorite blogs.

This deal was happening next to Jenn’s driveway, I thought it looked interesting.

Hey, you dropped something....
Hey, you dropped something….

When I got to work Monday morning we had no lights for about 30 minutes.

Happy Monday!
Happy Monday!

Maria and Jan were in Florida last week and they brought me back this beautiful glass paperweight.

Love it!
Love it!

I believe we are now caught up!

  • What was the best part of your Monday?
  • Favorite flavor Ice Cream?

Goals

First and most important, Sunday is National Ice Cream day….are you prepared?

Mmmmmmmmm......
Mmmmmmmmm……

 

Have you ever felt particularly anxious?  As I type this I am waiting for a call back from my doctor.  My fear?  He is going to tell me that I need an MRI.  Yup, you guessed it, claustrophobic!  At the same time I am almost hoping he tells me to get an MRI TODAY.  I want to know what is causing my neck pain once and for all!  Suck it up Buttercup, get it done!

Google defines anxiety as:

anx·i·e·ty

aNGˈzīədē/

noun

  1. a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Knowing why I am feeling anxious sometimes helps me to get through it.  Sometimes not.  Sometimes just having a timeline does the trick for me.  For instance, if I do need an MRI you can be sure I will ask how long it is expected to take.  Although that can backfire too.  If I am told 20 minutes and I am still in the tube 25 minutes later I guarantee my heart rate will be increasing.  That said, if there is someone talking to me the whole time and telling me what is happening all the way through, that will help to calm my nerves considerably.

Jump forward two days and I have been back to the doctor who HAS told me to get an MRI.  On the plus side, I will be able to go to the fancy schmancy “Open MRI” facility in Bloomfield, whew! I will be sure to tell you all about it.

I opened my training log to a random week and took a picture for you.

Getting it DONE!
Getting it DONE!

Then I took a picture of this week.

Definitely NOT getting it done.
Definitely NOT getting it done.

“sigh”

Having all of this downtime has given me a lot of time to whine think about my goals, both old and new.  As you know I successfully completed my first 10K road race this year.  Do I want to run another one? Absolutely!  Goal # 1: Run another 10K. Do I want to run only 10K’s from now on? No Way!  Last weekend when I had to pull out of the “Red Dress Run” I thought it wouldn’t bother me because I have run it more than once already.  I was wrong!  As it turns out, it bothered me a LOT!  Goal # 2: Run the “Red Dress Run” in 2016.  What about increasing my distance?  You know it!  How about a HALF Marathon?  I think so! Goal # 3: Run either “Mystic” or “Surftown” Half Marathon in 2016….or BOTH!  Is that it? Maybe, maybe not.  I would like to increase my pace (speed) but am not sure about putting that on the tangible Goal List just yet.  That may just have to wait for 2017 😉

Monday was Dana’s Birthday so we all took her out to eat at “Blue Plate Kitchen” in West Hartford.  I enjoyed a lobster roll with BIG chunks of lobster, it was yummy!

Cool signage
Cool signage

When I was conducting interviews for “Bunny of the Week” this week Felix pulled up a chair wearing his super cute long pants…how could I resist?

Trouser man!
Trouser man!
  • Ever had an MRI? Are you claustrophobic too?
  • What are your current and/or future goals?
  • Lobster, yea or nay?

First Job

Earlier this week I had a conversation with some folks about first jobs. Mine was working for a needlepoint company who my Mom designed and painted for. There were 6 or 8 women who hand painted designs on needlepoint canvas to be sold in boutiques and at trunk shows. My job was to cut the large, heavy rolls of canvas down to size. I was asked if that job was as lousy as it sounded. On the contrary I really liked it! I was able to work from home in front of the TV. I made my own hours and I was only 14 earning some scratch, nothing wrong with that!
DSC05677
I think my Mom really liked her job as well because she ended up going into business for herself with her own designs. She was such an incredible artist.
DSC05678
I continued to cut her canvas and even got to trace the designs from the paper to the canvas for her. Beats babysitting any day! But that’s just me 🙂

Melinda sent me a text on Friday to let me know it was National Pina Colada day!  Shoot, I could have taken the day off to celebrate.  A little heads up next time please!

Friday is the day that I go to “Just Results” and step on the scale.  Aside from getting to visit with Lori and Sue the appointment is really nothing that I look forward to with glee.  This week having been predominately sedentary I was pretty apprehensive about stepping on that scale.  How in the world I managed to lose half a pound is beyond me, but hey, it’s the right direction so I’ll take it! YAY!

20150713_061742

Jenn held her second annual BBQ/Firepit/Sing-a-long on Saturday.  I exaggerate about the singing, although we did sing “Happy Birthday” to Dana!

DSC05672
Pinterest is my friend!

As always it was a blast!

True friends are the ones who will sit around a firepit with you when it is 85 degrees!
True friends are the ones who will sit around a firepit with you when it is 85 degrees outside!
  • What was your first job? Did you love it?/Hate it?/ Tolerate it?
  • Have you been to any BBQ/Firepit/Sing-a-longs yet this year?
  • Favorite Cake?