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. 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!


Wednesday…National Chocolate Day!!  Yes Please!


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?


Whew! I think I have finally turned the corner!  I am really feeling like myself again!  Did I just use three exclamation marks in my opening line?  I DID!  As many of you know I have been trying like mad to figure out what exercises will work for me and my bulging disc.  I have been struggling to get back that feeling of not only wanting to workout but enjoying it as well.  Here is what I have figured out so far:

  • Running – YES! Even if my neck is bothering me running does not aggravate it and once I get warmed up it even starts to feel better….Win!
  • Spinning – Yes! As long as I let my head drop down on occasion to relieve the disc then Spinning works out just fine for me. Win!
  • Road biking – Nope, the head position combined with the bumps on the road…I can’t even talk about it.
  • Boxing – Yes! I just need to be careful about some of the exercises that go along with it, like sit-ups…sadly sit-ups can aggravate the disc.
  • Mix-Fit – Kinda sorta. Some of the exercises are tougher on my neck than others. I love mix-fit so I am going to pursue it with caution.
  • Yoga – NOPE! Yoga is by far the worst!!  Too many twists and turns for my neck…not doing it and you can’t make me!  I am not sad about this, I never really enjoyed yoga to begin with. Win! 😉

For the past few weeks I have been feeling….well….blech.  I have been trying and trying to find the Anne from before the whole disc fiasco.  The Anne who loved to workout and never skipped a class or a run if she could help it.  That Anne went away back in June when my neck started hurting like mad.  Even as recently as this past Monday I wasn’t feeling it.  I made myself go for a run Monday afternoon and now I feel like I have turned a corner!  The run itself wasn’t great.  It was chilly which makes me wheeze but that’s okay.  I did it, I got out there, I got the endorphin’s flowing.  Now I just need to grab on to that momentum and keep it going!

First sleeves of the season.
First sleeves of the season.

Tuesday was Boxing with Sue.  I really dig this class….usually.  This past Tuesday no one was in sync.  The energy level as a whole was low and I myself could not find a rhythm with my sparring partner.  It was a mess!  Still, “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.”….or something like that.  I maintain that it is the bad days that make the good days that much more awesome.

The bags won!

The rest of the week got mixed up.  I had planned to run on Wednesday and take Thursday off because I had an appointment after work.  Then my Thursday appointment got moved to next week so I decided to take Wednesday off instead and run on Thursday.  While I was driving home on Wednesday I felt like I really wanted to run so I seized on that feeling and went for a really good two miler.  Nothing fancy or far, just a good solid run that felt good.  Now that Thursday was open I thought about heading over for another boxing match but then realized I needed at least one day with nothing to run to.  Not to mention I wanted to get this post written because what would you do without all of my ramblings?  You’re welcome:-)

The Randoms:

I needed stamps so I went to the post office since that’s where they have them.  The woman at the counter asked me if I wanted the “Peanuts” stamps.  Since Snoopy is my guy that was a no-brainer.  I was laughing while walking to my car….they are Christmas stamps!!  Love it!

My Man Snoopy!
My Man Snoopy!

New England continues to Autumn.

Go New England!
Go New England!

Why are the lights on in the middle of the day?

I don't understand....
I don’t understand….

I came across this picture of a Christmas tree made from vintage jewelry.  Now I want to make one!

  • How do you mix-up your workouts?
  • Snoopy for Pres?
  • Have you started Holiday shopping yet? (I have)

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?

RIP Bonk

It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of Bonk on Tuesday evening.  She went unexpectedly and suddenly but thankfully very quickly.  Phil and I were both in the room when all of a sudden she appeared to have a heart attack.  It is also possible that she had gastric distress which is very common with rabbits.  Either way, she will be dearly missed by her bunny and human family alike (we are one).


Bonk had a unique personality.  She was born at a petting zoo on the fourth of July.  She loved Llamas and Burros but insisted that “Goats are jerks”.  She even had a pet elephant!

Bonk and Elephant

Bonk had a great sense of fashion and liked to dress for special occasions.


Phil and Bonk would crack each other up during their verbal sparring.  Phil was her favorite person in the world.

Bonk and Phil

Bonk was a really Good Bunny and a really good friend who will be dearly missed.

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?

Hartford Marathon

I did not run the Hartford Marathon but I did help cheer and pass out H2O along the Half Marathon course.  We were stationed near mile 8ish at a rogue water station.  As much as I love running in these races I must admit that cheering for all of the awesomeness  was a real blast!!  Here are a few pictures from the morning.

Game on!!
Game on!!
Here they come....
Here they come….

The first runner to pass was well ahead of the pack!

So focused
So focused

Here are some random shots throughout the race.

Doing it!
Doing it!
Lookin' good!
Lookin’ good!
YOU are awesome Linda!!  You too Bryana!!
YOU are awesome Linda!! You too Bryana!!
Getting it done!
Getting it done!
Flying high now.....
Flying high now…..

I ran next to this fireman for a couple of miles during last June’s 10K!

My Fireman friend...setting records one race at a time!
My Fireman friend…setting records one race at a time!
Whooo hooo!!!
Whooo hooo!!!
You GOT this!
You GOT this!
Last but no where near least!!  Superstar you are doing it!!!!
Last but no where near least!! Superstar you are doing it!!!!
Thanks to ALL of the men and Women in Blue keeping us all safe!
Thanks to ALL of the men and Women in Blue keeping us all safe!

I am so, so , so proud of my fellow runners!  ALL of you!  Well done!!!!

  • Did you run Hartford?  Which race?
  • If you ran last year and this year, which race went better for you?
  • How was the weather for you?

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?