Settling into a Groove: 6/7 – 13 WRD

I find it’s easier to get in more fitness during the Summer — how about you? I seem to have settled into a groove of running 4 x week, even though that wasn’t a goal. I told myself I was only going to run 3 x this week, but oops.

After a very hot and humid start to the week, it finally cooled off and I just knew I had to take advantage of that!

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and my most weekly miles in a long time. Not that it’s much, but hey, I did one of my best halfs with just 19 miles a week.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (30 min), 3 miles easy, Dogwalk, PB ST (25 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk, 3.5 miles of Intervals, PB ST (25 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk, Shortish hike
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), 7 mile LSD, Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk, 1.5 miles recovery, Cardio Toning (25 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (45 min)

Running Mileage: 15 (+2)


PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike

Running Update

Thankfully they did not go out the side the sewer was on; I haven’t seen them again

Monday Intention: beat the heat & keep it easy
I didn’t get out quite as early as I’d planned — what’s new? — but this is the earliest I’ve started my run so far. Thank goodness, because there was not a cloud in the sky and even at 6:30 it was hot. It probably didn’t help that I stopped to take some photos of the Mama duck and her ducklings. Yup, she was going walkabout again. 7 ducklings! Poor mama!

Wednesday Intention: I feel the need for speed
It has been about 70 and very humid when I’ve been walking Bandit for the last few days at about 6:30 am — I finally cried Uncle and decided to take it to the mill today. Which meant I could push myself a little harder than I have been lately.

I chose a 45 minute interval run. They were intervals of 4 minutes (2 at marathon pace, 2 at half pace) and 6 minutes (3 at half pace, and 3 at 5k pace) — something like that anyway. The instructor challenged you not to walk in the recovery interval but nope, I did. #sorrynotsorry.

Mr. Judy came in as I practically melted onto the mill at the end, wondering if I was okay. I was but it was not an easy workout!

Again not sure what these wildflowers are. They actually look a bit like petunias.

Friday Intention: increase distance
A dew point of 44 degrees! I took advantage of that to relax longer in the morning than usual lately, and even though it got a bit humid towards the end. even with a late start this run was fine. I thought my legs would feel heavy after the previous day’s hike, but they were fine, too. I know I said this would be a cutback week, but I took advantage of the cooler weather at the end of the week to go longer. Who knows how long that will stick around?

Saturday Intention: recover
Again a cool morning, so I walked Bandit before my run, instead of after. The heat earlier in the week definitely took something out of me and I was still recovering. Although my pace was slow, still not as slow as a recovery run should be (about the same as my long run pace!). Garmin said my V02 Max nudged up to 40 afterward, which is a number I haven’t seen in a long time, so I guess I’m doing something right.

Bandit doesn’t like water. We really weren’t sure he’d cross the stream. He did. Twice. No problem. Where we crossed wasn’t as wide as the photo above, but a little too wide to just jump across.

Favorites of the week
Thursday was finally a really lovely day. Mr. Judy actually suggested we hike. He wanted to go somewhere that was relatively close to home (within 30 minutes). The small park I chose wasn’t exciting, but I think we both had a good time. I know Bandit did.

We also ran into an older gentleman who used to be a runner as we were finishing up our hike. He had all sorts of stories to share with me; I’ll be sharing more of that when we meet for coffee/tea in a couple of weeks.

I had plans to go on another hike yesterday with a friend, but a long to-do list, a rainy morning, and already having tackled mud with Bandit on my last hike and my friend and I agreed neither of us really wanted to go. Today I bookmarked some hikes in MA & VT for the future.

Do you feel it’s easier to fit in more activity during Summer? 

Getting out earlier to beat the heat or just enduring it?

Training or just running?

GWY Yin Yoga at the Wall

ICYMI: We are switching it up and using the wall as a prop in this hip opening Yin Yoga practice. You’ll find the video here.

Coming up on Tuesday: Why it can be good to unplug. On Friday if you’re looking to shake up your runs just a little bit, I’ve got some ideas for you.

5 Hiking with Woman’s Best Friend Tips

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Hiking with your dog has its ups and downs (so to speak). They sure do like to mark — where the heck does all that pee come from anyway? Your dog, if it’s fit to hike, will absolutely love exploring new territory.

If you’re ready to start hiking with your pooch, I’ve got a few tips to help you get started. One I didn’t cover: make sure you can bring your dog on the trail with you. The AllTrails App is a fairly good resource about what trails do and don’t allow dogs — because some trails just don’t (not that that stops some people).

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 tips to get started with hiking with your dog/s.

Lola May have been a little dog, but she was feisty & able to conquer moderate hikes. She was hiking with us pretty much right up until the end. Notice I’m wearing a hydration vest. Bandit and Lola at Thacher Park in Altamont, NY.

1: Consider your dog’s age/fitness level
Bandit is just about 13. Lola was doing easy hikes until the last week of her life — at 15. Both have/had slight heart murmurs (which never was a big problem with Lola, thankfully). Lola had a lot of arthritis, and Bandit has some.

You may want to consult with your vet to see what sort of hikes your dog can conquer. It can depend based on age, type, weight, and current level of activity. Your dog wants to be with you, his pack, and he won’t necessarily know when to cry uncle — so you need to know what your dog can tackle.

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We’ve always treated our small dogs as regular dogs. We have always walked them, and people are always surprised when they see us out on the trails with them. You definitely do have to take breed into consideration — dogs with pushed in faces like pugs, for instance, have a hard time in heat. Here’s Chester at McKinney Falls in Austin.

2: Make sure to bring water for your dog
Bandit is an odd dog. He really does not like to drink water when he’s out and about. I bring a bowl for him and filtered water, because he’s just picky about his water. Lola never met water she didn’t love, LOL.

I also bring a small water bottle that fits into a pocket and give one to Mr. Judy, too, for short hikes. For longer hikes I’ll wear a hydration vest. Bandit still will only take a few sips — often when we’re done. So we have to be careful he doesn’t get dehydrated or overheated.

3: Double up on Flea/Tick preventative
In addition to his regular Tick treatment, we also use a powder that can be worked into his coat the morning of a hike. It’s just an added precaution. Plus we check him for ticks afterwards. Lyme is rampant in this area, and Lola had a pretty severe case at one point. With almost no symptoms.

4: Consider the weather
I once tragically heard of a dog dying from heat stroke. His owners hadn’t hiked that far and the dog was young, but it was one of the times it suddenly got hot and the dog hadn’t had time to acclimate to it.

Many hikes are a lot shadier than a normal walk. They are often cooler due to elevation, too. You may want to leave your dog at home if it’s forecast to be over 85F; we have hiked with the dogs in those temps — you just have to go early, make sure you have more water than you think you need, and keep an eye on your dog/s.

Notice whether they’re excessively panting, have pale or bright red gums, and also notice if their tail is hanging down. Be careful and be on the lookout for signs of heat stroke/exhaustion in dogs:

  • Excessive panting/drooling
  • Dry, hot nose
  • Pale or bright red gums
  • Unable to produce urine
  • Diarrhea or stool with blood in it
  • Shaking
  • Vomiting

If you think you’re dog may be experiencing heat stroke:

  • Pour cool (not cold) water over your dog (cold water could send them into shock and possibly stop their heart)
  • Get them into shade
  • Get them to a vet as soon as possible

The hands free leash clips on to a “belt” around my middle. It means I can easily grab trees when necessary without pulling on Bandit, easily hand him off to Mr. Judy, and yet still have control of Bandit because of the place to hold onto it with your hand. Great for outdoor dining, too — beats sitting on the leash!

5: Try a hands free leash
I have a hands free leash for Bandit from when I used to run with him. I finally decided to try it on a hike. What a game changer! Sometimes on steeper hikes, it could be hard to hang onto his leash and safely hike myself.

On our most recent hike (see Bandit below), there was one section that was quite steep, downhill, and muddy. I let Mr. Judy get about halfway down that, then unclipped Bandit and handed the leash off to Mr. Judy — who gave me his hiking pole. It was a very slippery patch with nothing to hold onto to, so this worked great.


You can see the hand grip at the bottom of the photo; there’s also one close to Bandit so you can easily grab him. Bandit at Lisha Kill Natural Area.

There are grips on the leash, so you can still hold onto your dog (unlike a retractable leash where you can only reel your dog in). Even better you can detach the leash — this allows me to sometimes hand Bandit over to Mr. Judy so I can easily get a little exploring in on my own (especially handy when you’re on a rock or getting close to an edge).

It also helped a lot when we stopped for lunch after our hike

Final Thoughts
Hiking with your dog/s can be fun for the whole family, but don’t expect to be setting any speed records with all the sniffing and marking. It’s definitely easier with one dog, although we did quite a bit of hiking with two dogs. 

Yes, little dogs can hike too. Chester, Lola, and Bandit all love/d to hike. More than once people were surprised that we were tackling a hike that was a bit more on the moderate than easy side with our little dogs. 

The path comes up toward the back of this boulder, so it wasn’t as high as in the front, but it was still a pretty good jump for Bandit! He thought it was a ton of fun! Bandit on the way to Stewart’s Ledge in Lake George.

Funny story: on one of our last hikes I wanted to sit on one of the boulders. I thought it was a bit too high for Bandit, but no sooner had turned to ask Mr. Judy’s opinion than Bandit had jumped up on top. 

Then I thought he probably shouldn’t jump down (down is always harder than up on joints), but he already had. He then proceeded to jump on and off a few more times. He was having a really good time! Little dogs can surprise you with their agility, but you do have to keep an eye out for them.

Have you ever hiked with your dog/s?

Is there any doggy hiking gear you’d recommend?

Do you have an animal that is weird about their water?

Can You Conquer the Heat?

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Do you find yourself struggling when the heat is on? Or is running in heat your jam? If so I admire you!

Love it or hate it, chances are at some point you’re going to have some hot runs. These tips might just help you conquer your hotter runs.

Forgettabout pace
Especially as it first begins to heat up, it’s going to take a little time for most of us to find our hot legs, so to speak. You’re probably going to slow down. You should, in fact, slow down. 

I was thinking about just this subject on a recent run, when temps had turned suddenly warmer. The run was good . . . the pace was slow. That’s okay.

When it’s hot, especially when it’s suddenly hot, run by effort

positive woman waking up and using smartphone in bed
Set an alarm on your phone to make sure you don’t get up too late | Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Do whatever it takes to get out there early
Obviously if you have to run later in the day, it is what it is. If you are not a fan of hot running, though, your best bet is early morning. 

  • Run fasted
  • Lay out everything you’ll need the night before
  • Have a snack ready if you just can’t run fasted
  • Charge up the gadgets the night before
  • Set an alarm so you don’t oversleep

This is something I’ve dealt with a few times recently. I wanted to run, and Bandit needed a walk. Sometimes I’ll walk him first, then run, but I chose to run first this day. I came home, I had a snack, I changed, and I was out the door with Bandit.

Some runners like to sleep in their running clothes. I have never tried it; it just doesn’t sound at all comfortable to me. You never know, though, you might like it!

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Cold Stuff is Your Friend
Use that cooling towel. Stuff some ice cubes down your bra and under your hat. Fill a water bottle with water the night before a hot run and stick it in the freezer. Top it off with cold water the morning of your run and you’ll have cold water a lot longer than if you just put cold water in that bottle.

When you’ve finished your run, set up the next half filled water bottle in your freezer. There will be another hot run and you’ll be ready to tackle it.

More to Explore

Final Thoughts
The weather has been downright bipolar lately. It’s in the 70s a few days, then suddenly it shoots up to 90 one day. Then falls 20 degrees as a cold front comes through. And then the highs are actually in the 50s! 

My point? It takes time to get used to heat, and you’re not going to get used to it with weather like that. Just remember the first tip — run by feel, forget about pace — and I promise you you’ll have more enjoyable runs than if you cling to a training plan.

Best heat busting tips?

Are you are cold or hot weather runner or somewhere in between? (in between for me)

Would you rather run in the morning or evening on a hot day?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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The one with animals & easy hiking: 5/31 – 6/6 WRD

It was a somewhat busy week with a trip to my mom and an early long run. Very glad I got that done before Summer started to come back again! I used to run very early all the time, but over the years I’ve found that can feel tiring after a while — even though I’m up early naturally (and doing my Yoga then).

There are really only two ways for me to beat the heat though: run on the treadmill or get my butt out there early. I haven’t run on the treadmill recently . . .

bwrd

I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and slowly building up a base again.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (30 min), Short walks & hikes
  • Tuesday: Yoga (30 min), 6 mile LSD, PB ST (25 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (30 min), 2 mile recovery run, Dogwalk, PB ST (25 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), 3 miles easy with surges, Dogwalk, PB ST (20 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (30 min), 2 miles recovery, Dogwalk, Filmed Yoga Video (60 minutes), Cardio Toning (25 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (40 min), Dogwalk, Walk/ Easy Hike

Running Mileage: 13 (-1)


PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike

Running Update

She must have been laying eggs although I didn’t see any

Tuesday Intention: keep it easy
Going to see my mom is always a long & tiring day, so normally I wouldn’t run the next day. I definitely don’t usually do my long runs on Tuesdays either. It looked like the best weather so I decided to roll with it and just keep it easy. No pickups/surges just easy miles. The weather was cool at the beginning, getting a touch humid (but not hot) at the end.

Thanks to Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly for the Global Running Day collage!

Wednesday Intention: recover
Of course normally I wouldn’t hike Monday, do a long run Tuesday, and then run again Wednesday. I’m trying to embrace the cooler mornings before the next heat wave and the recovery run at the same time. Even I have trouble running slowly enough for it to be a true recovery run, but it’s certainly not fast.

Thank you for your service

Friday Intention: easy — acclimate to warmer temps
That was the intention. Just like my intention for this week was a cutback week. No on both counts. I set out for an easy run, and it wasn’t a hard run, but I found myself putting in surges in the last couple of miles anyway.

Trying to hide in plain sight by our driveway

Saturday Intention: recover
I’m getting out there earlier and earlier to beat the heat. I definitely took this run easy.

Suddenly there’s a lot more bunnies

It was still somewhat cool, getting a touch humid, and for whatever reason my pace was slower. Which is not a bad thing for a recovery run.

The flowers at Olana are lovely; too bad it was a cold & nasty while we were there!

Favorites of the week
Will we or won’t we? My mom was super excited by the fact that we could join her for her Memorial Day picnic. Unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t get the memo, and while the rain held off, it was far too chilly to eat outside — we are still not allowed into the dining room. So a picnic at Olana it was.

We could bring Bandit into my mom’s apartment, finally! We joined her to chat after her BBQ. My sister and BIL came too. Everyone except my BIL was maskless (BIL won’t get vaccinated). Still inching back towards normal.

We saw more turtles & some deer crossing the river — quite a ways away from us though.

A maskless catchup walk with a friend today, too.

If you celebrated Memorial Day how did you celebrate? 

Have you had to adjust when you run due to the temps?

Training or just running?

GWY Strong Legs Yoga Flow

ICYMI: An hour Hatha Yoga practice. I believe that you need the Yin and Yang practices. This practice will help you get strong legs. You’ll find the video here.

Coming up on Tuesday: Since it’s heating up, let’s talk about ways to conquer that heat. On Friday I’m sharing tips if you want to hike with your dog/s.

Case of the Mysterious Disappearing Tulips: Tea/coffee Date June 2021

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, I’m sitting here with my hot chocolate (whether it’s cold or hot outside!) and ready to share one of my pet peeves. 

The red tulips got moved from the back of the house to this plantings area up front — & now they completely disappeared from there, too. Weird.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you on one run a while ago I watched a woman planting a bunch of red tulips. The next week I ran by the same home, and they were all gone — with other bushes planted in their place. 

Mr. Judy has suggested she moved them to another planting bed — but why go to all that effort? ETA: it appeared she moved them to the planting bed above, but then they promptly disappeared from there, too.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I do not like invisible fences. They often don’t work (the dog is willing to take the shock to get at what it sees near its lawn) and it doesn’t protect the dog from being attacked by people/other animals.


These are big & determined dogs (Bernese Mountain Dogs)

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you one house in our neighborhood put in an invisible fence. I never saw the dogs out in the yard. I have seen the dogs basically eating their actual fence, and I know how expensive fences are!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that another house in the neighborhood put one in, and their dog was still hit and killed by a car. Now the house across the street from the house where the dog was killed, which doesn’t have a great track record with dogs, is trying one.

They had an elderly (sweet) cocker spaniel who was forever getting out of their fenced yard. Then they had a Border Collie puppy pretty much doing the same, and that dog disappeared and we never found out what happened to it.

There were no dogs for a while and now apparently they have a new (large) puppy, and they’re trying the invisible fence. Another reason I don’t like invisible fences is that the dogs can run right up to your dog while you’re walking, if it takes the shock, which is exactly what happened to me on two walks with Bandit so far.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we had these sorts of situations plenty of times with both Lola & Chester, and Bandit & Lola. It is not easy when there’s two of them, but much simpler one there’s one. The puppy and Bandit seemed fine, but Bandit is almost 13, and you never know when an older dog’s gonna get annoyed by a dog suddenly running up to it and getting all up in their business, even if they are both polite.

The woman came over and said they were trying to get the dog used to the invisible fence. I couldn’t see if the dog was wearing the shock collar, but it sure didn’t make a difference to this dog. This house is basically on almost any route we take with Bandit.

Ever had an invisible fence? 

Ever had a run-in with dogs that have an invisible fence? 

Any landscaping antics from neighbors that make you go — whaaaaaat?

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

Let’s be clear here: May 2021

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I love this quote below:

Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.
— Mary Pierce

Often times things aren’t clear. We don’t always know why things happen the way they do — maybe not in the moment, and maybe not ever.

Setting goals helps me to be clear on the things I need to work on. Maybe I work on them, maybe I don’t get around to them, but they’re a compass for where I need to go.

Collection of May flowers: as seen on the run, hike & walk

Getting in scheduled runs
Still running 3 x week. I knew I’d be too busy the first half of May to add in an extra run. Then the third week I added in a hike instead of that extra run. The final week I did manage a fourth (short) run!

Grade Earned: 

Recording my runs
I have veered off course here again . . . seriously, I need to start using my planner again because it helps me to keep focused.

Grade Earned: C

Dynamic Warmup
I have been doing my short dynamic warmups right before a run. What I’ve stopped doing is the warm up walk. At least I’ve been consistent with the cool down walk after the run — often picking up Bandit for his walk then. The previous is what I wrote in April. It’s still true. I always seem to be in a rush to get out there.

Grade Earned: A

Foam Rolling
I pretty much foam roll (or some variation of foam rolling) every morning. It helps tremendously!

Grade Earned: A++

Nutrition
I was doing really well, slowly feeling more comfortable in my clothes. I don’t really feel as though I started to eat terribly, but I haven’t made as much effort to cook and we’ve eaten out a bit more, and things have started to creep up again — a lot due to too much sodium, I think.  We actually didn’t have ice cream this month I think.

Grade Earned: B

The sometimes cooler weather was perfect for hiking

Cross Training
Yoga, running, a little more hiking, walking, not so much indoor cycling. I have been doing a bit more strength training.

Grade Earned: A+

May 2021  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. I was at a 7 mile long run last month, and only made it back up to 6 miles this month. Running is going well, my body mostly feels good, and I try my best to eat healthy (with varying results).

May Goals:

  • Add in another running day (when I can). N. I kind of had a feeling this might be hard to work in, especially with travel. I added in an extra day of hiking one week, though, and that counts for me! One week had four runs.
  • Do some longer ST. Y/N.  I did better than I did in April, so slowly building back up here, too.
  • Strength for Wheel Pose. Y/N. I started out strong at the beginning of the month, but petered out trying to get everything in towards the end. No time limit on this one!
  • Flexibility Challenge. Y/N. I seem to have a mental block on putting myself out there with this. Not quite sure why. Tired? Lack of time? More likely not feeling good enough, even though I know I can lead what I’m planning on (in my head — the planning that is). 
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.. Y. I have made just a tiny bit of progress here, with things trending down just a bit — well, they were trending down but took an upswing toward the end of the month. Not quite sure why. 

Which leads me to June Goals:

  • Add in some stationary cycling/hiking. I would definitely hike more if I could get Mr. Judy to do it more. I know it can be tiring for him though. I need something else than just running. Garmin says hiking gets me into the moderate range for intensity.
  • ST 3 x week. Somehow this seems challenging for me with getting in runs and lots of Yoga time. Even though I know it’s said to keep your easy days easy — in other words, don’t do strength training on days you’re running easy — it just doesn’t seem to work for me. Still working on this one! I think part of the problem is I’m really trying to get in one real rest day per week. 
  • Strength for Wheel Pose. I am definitely not even close. Again not sure whether that’s a mental block, lack of strength, or my particular physiology. My bodyweight exercises to work towards this are great exercises for runners — so it’s a matter of balancing this with everything else, which so far I haven’t been great at.
  • Flexibility Challenge Practices. I need to carve out some time and actually write out some practices. I have an idea of what I want to do in my mind, so now it’s time to plan it out and get it out there.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Always a goal. I just want my clothes to feel good on my body! And I don’t want to buy new clothes because I have to, only because I want to.

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Inching towards normal: 5/24 – 30 WRD

It was a busy but quiet week, if that makes sense. I thought it would be a cut back week but I finally added in a fourth (short) run this week. Mainly because of the cooler weather at the end of the week! Next week it’ll be a juggling act to get in three, I think, so it’ll be my cutback week.

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and running hot and cold (literally!).

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (30 min), 3 miles easy, Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (20 min), Walk with a friend, Yoga (30 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (20 min), 3 miles easy (last mile fartlek), PB ST (25 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk, Filmed Yoga Video(60 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), 6 mile LSD, Dogwalk, PB Toning (20 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (30 min), 2 miles recovery, Dogwalk, Yoga (20 minutes)
  • Sunday: Yoga (40 min), Dogwalk, Filmed Yoga Video (45 min), Some sort of ST at some point

Running Mileage: 14 (+3)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

Can you see the bunny? Apparently all the cool bunnies hang out at the bike paths. Which means our Hostas are thriving.

Monday Intention: recover
Is it wrong that my recovery run was slightly faster than my long run and also just slightly negative splits? I blame the lovely weather. A cold front had come from the afternoon before, I didn’t have to hustle to get out early, and it was perfect running weather.

I really enjoy doing a quick sketch after a run, sitting in firelog to stretch my legs — if it’s not too cold, humid, or buggy. Although if I’m bundled up I’m ok.

Wednesday Intention: try to add just a little speed
I was a bit apprehensive about this run, suddenly Summer made a brief appearance again, but there was a lovely breeze by the river and the bugs were AWOL. The middle mile was rather slow, accommodating the still warm temps (about 70 at the beginning), but I decided to do pickups during the last mile, which just kinda turned into run a bit faster as long as I felt like it. Which resulted in a much faster pace for the last mile than expected.

Sadly I forgot my phone at home so no photo. It’s such a lovely spot. The trail is very short, but fine for 3 miles. I share this quick sketch I did after the run — journaling and doing a quick sketch in my journal has become a favorite way to relax after a run. Now that it’s getting warmer, though, and buggier, it’s not always quite so enjoyable.

More of whatever this wildflower is

Friday Intention: distance + speed
I have been to this bike path, and fairly recently, but I guess I’ve always gone the other way. Suddenly one way the benches have multiplied! On mile 3 and mile 6 I decided to do intervals within intervals — so sort of a fartlek in my run/walk intervals. Mile 6 was actually the fastest mile. 

The weather had dropped 40F (from 90 to 50) since Wednesday, so no reason to get out there early — and it did make for some lovely running weather. 

Caught the woodpecker on our walk this morning!

Favorites of the week
I got together for a walk with a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while (working on trying to meet up with a couple of other friends!). Speaking of parks changing, we went to a park I hadn’t been to in a long time (because it’s usually fairly crowded). My how that one has changed! No photos, we were too busy chatting.

We did not wear masks. We are slowly inching our way back to normal. Mr. Judy had mentioned that he was ready to eat indoors, I wasn’t so sure, but when we decided to get some restaurant food on Friday, he decided he didn’t want to do that after all. I just hate all the extra plastic that goes along with getting takeout!

Have your parks been upgraded during the Pandemic? 

Enjoying the maskless freedom?

Anything fun going on this weekend?

GWY Grounding Chakra Meditation

ICYMI: Do you always run out the house feeling scattered and unfocused? This quick 10 minute, guided meditation can change all that. It will help you get in touch with all your Chakras, too. You’ll find the video here.

Coming up on Tuesday: It’s time to wrap up May. On Friday I’ll be sipping some hot chocolate and catching up with what’s going on in your world — and mine.

Travel Edition: Runfessions May 2021

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Do you find it difficult to travel again after a long time with travel? This period was one of the longest time with absolutely no travel in my entire life. Some of it due to the Pandemic, and some of it due to helping out with my Dad in the last few months of his life. It was the perfect storm, unfortunately!

I runfess . . .
I had some trouble tracking down my travel stuff when packing for our trip to Long Island. There was a time I was half living at my parents, and I pretty much had things down to a science. It’s been 2+ years since I had to use various packing cubes, etc. Not to mention reorganizing a lot of my space in that time!

I runfess . . .
I brought running shoes and clothes with me to Long Island. I never felt like running. Plus it warmed up much more than they predicted that last day we were there, and I would have been very warm in the clothes I brought. We did plenty of walking. 

#sorrynotsorry

Warm clothing takes up space! Doesn’t look warm, right? Well, it wasn’t!

I runfess . . .
You might get a laugh from this: I took my largest, expendable suitcase with me, although I did not have to expand it. Technically it fits in an overhead, but the long way. Mr. Judy couldn’t understand why. He was like: seriously? Yes!

The weather was cold to warming, which required a couple of sweaters. I dragged a pair of boots with me (although these ultimately didn’t go in the suitcase) because, burial (and maybe rain, although thankfully it ended before the burial). Lastly I packed running shoes and clothes — which, of course, I ended up not wearing — hat, sunglasses — you know that stuff is bulky!

Again, #sorrynotsorry. We were driving. Why not bring what I needed? I also brought a travel Yoga mat and Yoga blocks, by the way, which I used every day.

I runfess . . .
Running has been going well lately. I still have no real goals, I don’t really push myself all that much, but for much of the Spring it was a struggle. I really do blame the COVID vaccines! For a while the cooler weather was great for running, but even as it’s warmed up, it’s still been going pretty well.

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I runfess . . .
My Garmin is at it again. In a run last week, when I went to check my steps after my run, my watch told me to turn on tracking to show that activity. I know I did not turn it off, because it was tracking steps just fine before I left the house. After my 3 mile run and a half mile cool down walk it showed me something like 755 steps. 

For some mysterious reason my Garmin decided it didn’t need to track my steps from that run and walk. It was the first, and so far last, time this has happened.

Have you had trouble finding things you haven’t used since the Pandemic began? 

Do you travel light even if you’re driving?

What do you have to runfess from May? Come join us

Runfessions

I am also linking up with:

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My Secret Weapon

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Who doesn’t want to recover quickly so they can have a great next run? It should come as no surprise to people that read this blog for a while that I’m all about taking care of my body so that I can recover quickly. I have a secret weapon for that, too.

G is for Garmin
I have a Garmin Vivoactive 3. Before that I had the original Garmin Vivoactive. I replaced the Vivoactive after about 4 years because a) it was acting a bit wonky and b) I really, really wanted the HR monitor function — which was not built into the original version.

I like that I am not switching back and forth between a regular watch and a Garmin. Because it tracks my sleep, my steps, my floors, my resting heart rate, my stress levels, and so much more — I wear my Garmin Vivoactive 3 24/7. I may have to remember to charge it before a run, but I pretty much always know where it is.

Some of those features are incredibly useful to me: they help me figure out whether or not I should push a run off to another day, or maybe just do an easier run rather than a planned harder workout. Here are the things I check frequently.

I don’t really think my fitness age should be 20 & if it really is 20 yr olds are in trouble!

V02 MAX
I know that the V02 MAX reported by my Garmin is not extremely accurate, but I’ve found over time it’s pretty consistent. Sure it moves around a point here, a point there, but it usually stays in the same relatively narrow range.

I’ve never looked at several months of V02 MAX stats. You can see what happened in January when I was sick & didn’t run for 3 weeks. You can also see what happened with each COVID vaccine.

After my COVID vaccines I was struggling with my runs and my energy levels. Sure enough, my V02 MAX had fallen lower than my normal range. It took a while before it settled back into its normal range and my runs slowly started to get better.

My physiological stress levels are usually pretty low.

Stress
Garmin uses HRV (heart rate variability) to give you a number for how stressed your body is feeling. You may not feel stressed, by your heart doesn’t lie.

I actually find it kind of fascinating. In general my Stress metric is usually in the low range, but I could see it jump up after my COVID vaccines, for instance. I also know that if I see it jump up, it’s another good indicator it’s not time for a hard run (and maybe not any run at all).

Resting Heart Rate is something I do keep an eye on. It’s one of the best measurements I’ve found that can warn you you’re heading into the danger zone. I generally know when it’s most likely just a blip & the times it really means it’s time to rest by feel & from tracking it for so long. With both vaccines it jumped about 10 points in one day — which it almost never does.

RHR (resting heart rate)
Very similar to the Stress metric. If you see this jump up more than 5 points, it’s a good indicator something’s brewing. Although I’m not quite sure of the algorithm Garmin uses, because they do adjust it down sometimes the next day, so I’ve learned to take this one with a grain of salt.

Yes, my RHR jumped up almost 10 points after both vaccines, too. If I see it move up more than 5 points, again, it’s time to either readjust my run or my schedule.

I actually don’t track my heart rate while I run anymore, mostly just running by feel, and for the most part, it’s pretty consistent.

Final Thoughts
A lot of people could care less about these metrics, I know. I sync my Garmin with the app each morning (I believe that helps me to get a signal more quickly), so it’s just a matter of glancing at the info that’s already recorded. There are times I don’t have to look at that to know that it’s not a good idea for me to run hard, or run at all.

There are other times, though, that I don’t feel bad, yet the data says something is brewing. How many times have you felt fine until you didn’t? Tracking these three simple things (if that’s available to you) might help you clue in to fact that you’re not recovering well, for whatever reason, and you can adjust accordingly.

I am not a slave to the numbers, either, but I just find that it’s good information for me, and it’s readily available to me. I like not having to wear a fitness tracker and a GPS watch!

What’s a signal to you that you’ve recovered well?

Do you ever feel fine and then suddenly get sick?

Are you good about adjusting your running due to how you feel?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Hello, Summer!: 5/17 – 23 WRD

Last week we kinda went from almost Winter to Spring, but I could see looking ahead that we were rapidly moving into Summer. Which we did. Suddenly I was running earlier and earlier and it was getting warmer and warmer.

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and trading pace for effort.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (30 min), 3 miles with long hill repeats, Dogwalk, Yoga (20 minutes)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (30 min), Short but steep hikes in Lake George
  • Wednesday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk
  • Thursday: Yoga (15 min), 3 miles easy Dogwalk
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk, PB ST (25 min), Yoga (40 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (60 min), Dogwalk, PB Toning Arms Walk (20 min), Yoga (30 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (20 min), 6 miles LSD, maybe a walk with light weights later, Yoga (20 min)

Running Mileage: 12 (+1)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Just another bunny

Running Update

Monday Intention: take it up a notch
Animals: 30 Robins, 1 Large Rabbit (who was still there when we walked Bandit)
I may often miss a Monday, but I also enjoy running on Monday because that leaves me options if the week goes sideways. I did have an early Webinar to catch, so I had to get out there early, so that Bandit could also be walked before the temps rose.

I wasn’t really feeling strides, so I did my hill repeats where I run up the short hill, over to the longer hill (which is also an incline), down the longer hill, and back over to the shorter hill — repeat as desired. Still riding the good running wave.

This house keeps us guessing. Last year they planted mini sunflowers & other flowers outside their fence. What are they up to now?

Thursday Intention: EASY
Animals: 50 Robins; a variety of squirrels, chipmunks, and other birds; 1 rabbit
Things are heating up quickly here (hence the subject of this post). With two harder workouts at the beginning of the week, I wanted to make sure I just spent some time running. I also got out much earlier as Mr. Judy wouldn’t be home, and Bandit needed to be walked before it heated up too much.

I was really shocked to see that this run was negative splits. Slow negative splits, but negative nonetheless. Hello, Summer Running!

These were all over the bike path

Sunday Intention: steady & easy
Animals seen: plenty, but I wasn’t counting today; although apparently this is where all the cool bunnies (and chipmunks) hang out
Thank God for cloud cover and starting early. It had warmed up considerably by the end of this run. I had 6 miles in mind, but I wasn’t married to it — but because I went steady and easy, 6 miles were totally doable.

At the beginning there was what seemed to be an entire family of both chipmunks and rabbits on the bike path, and yes, plenty of robins, too. What wasn’t there? A bear. One had been sighted recently on the bike path, but not really that close to us. I kept alert; you never know.

The really odd thing is that before I heard about that, I’d had a dream about bears, and one I saw somewhere I often run, although when I woke up I couldn’t quite remember where that had been. I told Mr. Judy about it, because I very rarely remember my dreams, so I have proof!

I think we all enjoyed this hike. I enjoyed the second, wish I could’ve gotten to the overlook though!

Favorites of the week
I was surprised when Mr. Judy agreed to an impromptu trip up to Lake George to hike on Tuesday — so also hadn’t had time to properly research it. The first hike went very well, and despite the fairly full parking lot, we only saw one person on the trails (and that was as we were heading back to the car). No doubt most people were tackling the longer hikes there. It was nice to have the views of the lake all to ourselves.

We had passed a preserve on the way, and decided to stop there and check out a trail on the way back. Even though that trail was relatively short, it was much steeper. Plus Mr. Judy was definitely getting a bit hangry (he also has a sometimes angry hip). We’d gone less than half a mile when I suggested maybe he should turn back with Bandit.

I went on about another quarter mile, but still couldn’t see the scenic overlook, and knowing they were waiting (although I ended up getting back to the car just a few minutes after they did), I decided to also turn around. Probably a good thing, my left calf was incredibly tight for a few days after despite lots of foam rolling! It’s fine now.

I’ve been doing quad stretches at the wall a few times a week for a while. Let’s just say those quads are incredibly tight! This morning they felt quite a bit looser. Not sure if the calf workout on the hike or the recent Yoga was responsible for that.

I think Mr. Judy was mollified when we finally stopped at a BBQ place he knows on the way home. Bandit got a lot of my turkey, too, so I’m sure he was happy.

Are you already acclimated to the heat, or struggling? 

Are you struggling to do the things that have to be done? Fitness is going well for me, but I seem to have lost my motivation to do some of the things that need to be done (cook, clean, even work up Yoga practices)

How’s your running/fitness going?

GWY Crown Chakra

ICYMI: We have arrived at your Crown Chakra. You guys, I personally loved this practice. I felt so opened up (in a good way) afterwards! I do have a warning though — I can’t see you to guide you through shoulderstand, and even though it’s modified, be careful if you choose to do it. A good alternative is plain ole legs up the wall. You’ll find the video here.

Coming up on Tuesday: I’m revealing one of my secret weapons that helps me choose whether or not it’s a good day to run. On Friday I’ll join you all to get a few things off my chest at the Runfessional.