Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ho Hum

Maybe it’s the winter blues, maybe it’s the relentless work schedule, maybe it’s the lingering letdown from accomplishing my crazy goal of StoneCat 50 miler in November.  Or maybe it’s a combination.  Whatever it is, it’s equating to a feeling of “Ho Hum”.

Scott reminded me the other day “you usually get this way during the winter”.  And even though I may have wanted to debate that point, he’s right.  I hate being cold and I hate the dark. I feel tired before I start some days.  And yet I live in the Northeast, where it’s cold and dark for so very long.  Match made in heaven, right?

Last weekend, I joined Meaghan for a 13 miler and felt fantastic.  You know, that feeling that confirms a good workout – sore legs, tired, almost a sun kissed face (due to cold wind of course).  As the new week began, I fizzled.  This week was particularly cold, but in addition to that discomfort, I also had a business trip to the even colder area of Vermont.  We’re talking temperatures of negative 10 – and that’s without the wind chill.  We’re also talking about making sure my car was backed into the hotel parking space just in case the battery needed jumping.  It didn’t, but boy my car was not happy about having to start during such cold temperatures.

I managed one 4 miler on the hotel treadmill and that was it.  I can’t say I was being lazy per se, but just a feeling of “ho hum” or “whatever”.  Not good.  Although I’m not running Boston this year (pout), I have signed up for a Spring marathon.  So it’s not like I have nothing on my calendar.  Time to kick my own butt.  And stat!

So what to do to get out of the Ho Hum space?  Here’s my plan:

Run with a friend as much as possible – I usually enjoy solo runs for the most part, but running with a friend makes it more fun.  Plus it provides great and free therapy! 

Monitor what I’m eating/drinking – When I’m “all in” to my training, I become a better eater and drinker.  I do what I have to in order to avoid bonking on a run, so that means taking the time to creating a good/healthful dinner and drinking water or other non-Coca Cola products.  My dessert should come in the form of a multi-vitamin.

Reduce my time on the computer – This is more about work related computer time, but let’s face it, it’s very easy to gaze mindlessly into the computer screen at absolutely nothing and suddenly find you’ve lost hours of your life you can’t get back.

Reframe my picture – Stop thinking “I have to run XX miles” and think of it more as “I get to run XX miles”.  Huge difference!

Obviously I could do what a lot of people do and head to FL right about now.  That would solve a lot of issues!  But for what I’ve got to work with right now, I think it’s realistic to give the above a shot.  “Ho hum” is not a good feeling to have about anything.  I’m hoping to recharge by simply acknowledging that this is a tough time of year, but that I also have some control over how I react to it. 

And I’ll start with a long run that I “get to” run, of course!

How do you manage the winter blues?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold Beauty

A “dangerous cold" week up here in VT as I wrap up another business trip into coffee central.  Because my daily commute to my VT office is so short, a day like today meant I needed to do a little more driving to make sure my car battery had ample time to charge.  After all, temperatures like these are nothing to joke about:

However, this was my reward for “having” to take a longer route to work to accomplish the aforementioned sufficient battery charge:

The day turned out to be on the crazy side, but at least it started off amidst a beautiful serenity.  I'll take it when I can get it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Game Day Decision

Today is game day – Ravens vs. Patriots.  But the game day decision I’m referring to is whether to run today or not.  Not.
I ran a hilly and windy 13 miles with Meaghan yesterday.  A very solid workout.  This morning, the slight twinge I had noticed in my knee has now escalated to a low roar.  My quads were just plain pissed off.  So, I listened to that roar and decided that, after an hour walk with Bella, a run today would simply be counterproductive. 

So instead, I drove around and found my hubby as he tackled his long run.  I grabbed a water (for him) and a Coke (for me) and set out to find him…

This is what that hill, amongst a partial view of his 18 miler, looks like on an elevation chart –

Holly Hill Work!
Of course I saw a number of runners out there on this bright and sunny day – taunting me. After all, aren't all the cool cats getting their Boston training long runs in today? (no, I am not running Boston this year – boo).  And thus entered the moment of doubt about my game day decision.  Ultimately, I knew abstaining from a run today would actually benefit me more than forcing a few more miles just to say I did.  My walk with Bella stretched out my muscles without torturing them. 

After indulging in a late breakfast, Scott and I grabbed Bella for a hike.  I threw my Garmin on just to see what the mileage was going to amount to, and that helped me confirm that I ended up walking/hiking a little over three miles today.  So although I didn’t run, I did move.  And I’m OK with that.

Now let’s hope the Patriots make some good game day decisions later…

Monday, January 14, 2013

"What we've got here is a failure to communicate..."

A few months ago, my mom signed up for the 2013 Portland Marathon.  She asked me to do it with her and, once I was able to coordinate time off (that time of year is always crazy busy for me), I committed.  So on Friday, I signed up for the Portland Marathon and “surprised” mom with a post that “I’m in!”.

Then I started receiving race registration confirmations on my work email.  Hm, I thought, I’m pretty sure I signed up using my personal email.  What gives….

One phone call from Mom cleared up that mystery right away.  She signed me up.  Yes folks, I’m indeed signed up TWICE for the Portland Marathon!
I was but a pup when Cool Hand Luke came out in 1967, but the phrase lives on!

My bad – totally.  When she committed to the race back in early October, she told me it “was on her”.  Over three months later, I had completely forgotten that conversation and went ahead and registered.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Grocery Store Hilarity

Silly me, heading to the market on a Saturday – the day before the big playoff game.  I knew it would be crowded and crazy, but I needed regular food and some ingredients to make one of my few dinners I’m able to wow Scott with.  What I couldn't know is how much laughing I would do during today’s jaunt…

The Spousal Interchange:

Shopper Wife:  (in a smoke-5-packs-a-day guttural voice) We got enough peanut buttah, right?

Shopper Husband:   No answer - but the bubble over his head that represented his expression that read, “Whatevah”

You probably had to have been there, but seriously, it cracked me up!

The Young/Maybe-New Cashier:

Cashier:        What kind of onion is this?
Me:                A red onion
Cashier:        (after looking up on chart) Oh, right.

Yet, he knew how to code the English Cucumber? 

Common Sense Wanted (no, make that NEEDED):
As I loaded my car up with my groceries, I noticed one bag held only one individual box of Blistex.  That’s all.  I might have to report the bagger boy to the environmental police.  Oh but then I’d have to admit I don’t use the recycle shopping bags (oops).  As a sidenote:  I do recycle the plastic ones – no, I really do!!!

I mean, it was a “33% more” tube of Blistex afterall, but did it really need its own bag??

What craziness/hilarity have you come across today?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nowhere else I’d rather be

A very special countdown began for me today!

October 6th will be the day I am lucky enough to walk alongside my mom as she walks her first marathon ….

We’ll walk
We’ll talk
We’ll eat
We’ll drink
We’ll sweat
We'll cry (when we finish - no doubt)
We’ll celebrate

Nowhere else I’d rather be.  Mom, I’m so IN!!!!  We've got a medal to chase!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

If Bella could talk...

Bella can't contain herself as she hopes to join Scott, Martyn, and Andy on their long run

Saturday, January 5, 2013

When Pigs Fly (aka: a day of play in pictures)

Today began with sleeping in.  Wayyyy in.  By the time I finally got up, Scott had already gone for a run and was getting ready to take Bella for a walk.  I gasped at the sight of 9:30 on the clock.  Once the shock of all the things I “could’ve done” or “should’ve done” by 9:30 wore off, I decided I obviously needed the sleep and moved on.

After all, Scott had the day off and I didn’t want to waste any time lamenting over silly stuff.  I did make the bed (can’t stand to come home to an unmade bed) but that’s all of the “should do’s” I did.  Then we headed out.

First Stop – Kittery Trading Post, Kittery ME
Kittery Trading Post is always a great place to find winter clothing/accessories/ active-wear/running pepper spray/chocolate covered anything, and of course, indoor moose crossings!  Although we didn’t find what we were looking for, this store makes for interesting browsing.

Next Stop – When Pigs Fly
We drove a bit past the shopping frenzy and stumbled upon this great place -
"When Pigs Fly" consists of one side pizzeria and the other side bakery.  We started out at the pizzeria with a tale of 2 beers.  Not sure where else you can get “Flying Dog Raging Bitch” on tap, but it sounds like a crazy beer to me!  My Capt'n Eli's root beer was to die for.  

Today was a first – lunch was served on roof slate!  One of the best burgers I’ve ever had.  Seriously.

We passed on dessert and walked next door to the bakery.  Good thing, because we didn’t escape the bakery without a purchase – 1 loaf of chocolate bread and 1 loaf of honey & oat bread.  Yes, I said chocolate bread. 

Next Stop – Hike
Upon return home, we gathered up our winter gear and Bella and headed out to the trails.  It was the most perfect weather day and the timing of the day revealed beautiful lighting that slowly turned into sunset and dusk…

So lucky to have all of this almost literally in my back yard.  So pretty.  So peaceful.

Final Stop – Home by the fire
We were all happily tired from a day of running, driving, shopping, hiking, and just being.  Finishing up my book by a warm fire is an “almost” perfect end to the day.  

“Perfect” is adding a big slice of honey & oat “When Pigs Fly” bread to this equation.  Including the breadcrumbs that fell between the pages. Yes, perfect.  

Hope your day was perfect!!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year – couch style!

Happy New Year Everyone!  I love starting the new year off with a run – any distance, any speed…just a nice, refreshing run.  Although I’ve had this lousy chest cold since Christmas morning, I was able to run those last miles to get to my new PR total of 1400 for 2012!  And just because I have a hard time letting go of big milestones (remember this?), here’s what 1400 miles looks like on a map –

Cool, right?

So back to today.  There will be no running today.  In fact, at 12:30 pm, I’m just finally off the couch and re-entering the world (in sweats of course).  After our neighbor invited us to a quiet, game-filled, food-filled, conversation-filled New Years Eve gettogether, we were in bed by 9:30 pm.  I prayed for a solid night’s sleep.  It’s been a week of terrible, broken sleep that even NyQuil couldn’t cure.  Unfortunately, last night was no different.  Up at midnight, up again at 2ish, up yet again to a puking puppy at 4ish……then the coughing began in earnest.  Oh what a Hollywood life I lead, huh?

I’ve been on the couch ever since.

The moral of the story?  Though I seem to be ending 2012 on a less-than-stellar note, I feel happy with the way the year rolled…
  • I started my new job and still love it!
  • I ran a ton (ok, I won’t say “1400” again….oops)
  • I learned how to run (and fall) on the trails!
  • I met my big running goal – StoneCat 50 Miler
  • I stayed healthy & injury free (sans this past week)
  • I had a wonderful trip to Mexico with Scott
  • I traveled to Montreal for the first time
  • I discovered the concept of running at lunch (has helped me so much!)
  • I got to participate in great volunteer activities through my new company!
Do I have lots to improve on?  Hell, yeah!  And that leads me to my #1 goal for 2013 and beyond:  Although I try to stay positive, I realize I can be too easily influenced by the negativity around me.  There’s no reason for me to look for negativity or read into things that aren't there.  I’ve also found myself recently reminding myself of The No Complaining Rule book/concept I wrote about some time ago. 

So I’ll get practicing with my current situation.  “I’ve been sick for a full week now, least I have today off from work, can curl up on my couch, and start a great book my mom gave me!”

Now see how easy that is?