5 Ways to Plan Your Next Hike

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Planning your hikes is part of the fun, although being spontaneous can be fun, too. There are so many resources out there to plan hikes these days!

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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 ways (and things to think about) when planning your hike.

1: AllTrails App
AllTrails may not be perfect, but it’s a great help in planning your hike. I like to look at the most recent comments. Is it buggy? Muddy? I always look at the elevation gain, too, because I’m usually hiking with Mr. Judy and Bandit. If you have the Pro version (which I suggest), you can do things like print out trail maps, look to see where nearby rest stops might be, and create lists.

2: Bring Fido
I like to check out Bring Fido if we’re hiking with Bandit. There’s not usually a wealth of information there, but you might find a hike you didn’t know about or a caution about a certain hike if you’re bringing your dog.

3: Actual Books!
Yes, I bought an honest to good, real life book for the vacation that didn’t happen. It has plenty of hikes that are within driving distance of us, so it will be useful and hopefully someday we’ll actually get back to that vacation (or somewhere similar). The book I bought was about hiking with your dog, and it rates hikes by difficulty and also dangers for dogs (among many other features) so very useful.

4: Facebook Hiking Groups
I also got on a local Facebook Hiking Group I’m a member of (and often get ideas for hikes from) and asked for any suggestions on where to eat, parking, and hikes that might meet our requirements. They were very helpful!

5: Yelp
You gotta refuel before or after your hike, right? I use Yelp (and sometimes TripAdvisor) to search out nearby restaurants, and whether or not they’re dog friendly — or at the very least have an outdoor patio. Not all restaurants with outdoor dining are also dog friendly. The one we ate at before our most recent hike was a real winner and even brought water for Bandit.

Bonus Tip: Blogs
One thing AllTrails isn’t always very good at is giving you an address for the Trailhead. We’ve usually had good luck finding something when we search for blog posts on hikes we want to do. Some hikers write really detailed posts that are so helpful!

Final Thoughts
Mr. Judy and I have been hiking, on and off, since before we were married. It all started with a visit to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks when my brother graduated from law school. I remember when we went to Great Smoky Mountains in the 90s, we had a lot more trouble trying to plan and pick our hikes. There’s so much information readily available now!

Do you plan your hikes?

What resources or tips would you add?

Running Groups are Great …

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. . . even for Shy Runners. That’s me in the white vest towards the right above.

A Reason to Show Up
It’s much harder to bail on a run knowing that other runners are waiting for you. It also helps if you’re a runner who tends to procrastinate.

Someone to Share the Miles With
As the saying goes, misery loves company. Sometimes it’s about sharing the wins:

  • PRs
  • Overcoming injuries
  • A new distance
  • Maybe just some cute new kicks or running clothes!

It’s all too easy for runners to get in their head, but running with other people can help you forget about what’s bothering you.

A Little Push
Sometimes you end up running with someone who is a little faster than you are — as long as you’re careful and don’t run too fast for your body, a little push every now and again is a good thing.

Slowing Down
For the runner that always runs like a bat out of he!!, sometimes running with someone who runs slower is just what the doctor ordered.

Finding Your Tribe
Let’s face it, our non running friends, or SOs who don’t run, and probably the rest of our family can get a bit tired of hearing about our runs. Runners love to talk about running!

Final Thoughts
I started out as a solo runner, I ran with different groups for a lot of years, and for a variety of reasons I’ve been a solo runner the last couple of years. Like anything there are pros and cons to running solo and to running in a group.

I will say this though: I wish when I had started to run that I joined a group. It can be immensely helpful when you’re a new runner, although if you’re a slower runner, sometimes finding the right group takes a few tries. It’s worth it though!

Group runner?
Solo runner?
Both Group and Solo?

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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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Little bits add up: 7/12 – 7/18 WRD

It’s been a roller coaster of a week. Towards the end of the week things seemed to improve for my mom, but I know it can still be back and forth. I am back down at my sister’s for a few days, with lots of rain in the forecast. Maybe I’ll throw in a photo of Bandit because otherwise there’s just no photos from this week.

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and doing my best to stay active in a difficult time.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (40 min), PB Walk + Toning (25 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (40 min), PB Cardio + Balance + Core (25), PB CD (10 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Much Needed Rest Day
  • Thursday: Yoga (30 minutes), Dogwalk, PB Cardio Toning (25 min)
  • Friday: Dogwalk, 4 TM miles. Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (30 min), 2 TM miles recovery run
  • Sunday:  Most likely Yoga (40 min), hopefully some PB cardio/toning

Running Mileage: 6 (-5)


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

Running Update

Friday Intention: just run
I wanted to get Bandit walked first because the heat and humidity is so hard on him, and by the time I had time to run, I said no thank you to the humidity outside. I tried to keep it fairly easy, as it had been a week since I’d run, with just a few little surges in there.

Saturday Intention: recover
Getting packed up again to go to my sister, so a quick Peloton WU and recovery run. I chose not to bring running clothes to my sister. It’s supposed to be very rainy and hot, and my hope is that I’ll only be there a couple of nights.

Favorites of the week
Being home for a few days. Finally getting my mom transferred to rehab — third time was the charm. With a lot of bumps in the road she seems to be improving slightly. She has a cough that she’s had for a while now, before all this happened. The rehab did a chest xray and that showed nothing so that’s good. Fingers crossed for continued improvement.

GWY Yin for Happy Hips

ICYMI: A quick Yin Yoga practice to loosen up those hips.  Check it out here. Followed up by a vlog with 5 more tips to keep your hips happy here.

Coming up on Tuesday: Even though I’ve been a solo runner during the Pandemic, I have been a group runner and I’m sharing why I like running in groups. On Friday I’m sharing some tips for how I plan my hikes.

5 Sneaky Places Sugar Hides

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A little sugar can be a good thing, especially when it comes to a little energy boost for runners. Although I like to get my sugar boost from honey (aka Honeystinger). Too much of anything, of course, is never good.

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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 sneaky places sugar gets out of hand.

Protein Bars
Who doesn’t love a nice chocolate covered protein bar that promises to help you start recovery off the right way? They sure taste good after a run, amiright or amiright? Sometimes those protein bars are just glorified candy bars. There’s debate on how much protein we need, and how much we can use at one time, but you can read this article for a little more information on that, if you want.

What should you look for in a protein bar?

  • Ingredients you can pronounce
  • Roughly 140 – 200 calories (higher and it’s more of a meal replacement)
  • Around 10 gm of protein
  • Around 7 gm of sugar (hopefully from real sources like honey)
  • Around 4 gm saturated fat
  • A ration of 3 or 4 to 1 protein to carbs

The above is a very rough guide. It depends on so many factors! It isn’t easy to find protein bars that are satisfying, not a gazillion calories or packed with way too much sugar. Just be a smart consumer and read labels.

Yogurt
Yogurt will always have sugar in it because of lactose, the sugar in milk. Plain or vanilla flavors typically have less sugar then other flavors or yogurt with added fruit. Women should have roughly 25 gm of sugar a day; (no, I don’t count sugar gms). There are flavored yogurts out there that have almost that much sugar in them!

Salad Dressing
Love your honey mustard dressing? Me too! A little sugar in your salad dressing isn’t going to kill you. Some dressings can way overboard on the sugar, though — because it’s addictive. Most of the time it isn’t even real sugar. Just read labels and choose wisely (around 2 gm per serving or lower).

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Bread
Store bought bread is another sneaky spot sugar hides. It can easily be 3 gm or more per slice. Have a sandwich and you’re actually getting more than a teaspoon of sugar with that sandwich. Hey, the more you know!

Pasta Sauce
Tomato sauce is healthy, right? It definitely can be, but it’s another place that sugar can sneak into. Sure tomato sauce is very acidic and a little sugar helps ease that acidity.

Final Thoughts
Manufacturers spend a lot of time finding out what will get you eating their products — and what will keep you coming back for more. Restaurants, too. Usually it comes down to adding too much sugar and fat. We’re just hard wired to love sweet and fatty things.

It’s never about just one thing that you eat. Think about a day’s worth of eats: have some yogurt for breakfast (or a snack), a sandwich for lunch, a protein bar after a run, spaghetti and salad for dinner — and you could easily overdose on sugar despite having what looks like a pretty healthy day of eating.

I want my sugar in cookies or ice cream, not in the “healthy” foods I eat all the time.

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or medical professional.

Do you ever read labels?

Were you aware of how much sugar was in some of these foods we think are healthy?

Any great protein bars with real ingredients that you love?

Myth Busting Runner Style

Have you been in Facebook groups where someone asks about what your favorite running shoe is? Or maybe your running friends admire your new kicks and want to know what they are.

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The same running shoes can make anyone faster
I cringe every time I see someone asking other people which shoes they love. What they should be asking:

  • Do you pronate or supinate?
  • Do you wear a neutral shoe or need more stability?
  • Do you like a lot of cushioning?
  • Is running in zero drop shoes comfortable for you?
  • Is your foot narrow or wide or normal?
  • Do you wear insoles?

I could go on an on. Just because certain shoes makes one person speedy isn’t a guarantee that it will give you some pep in your step — or that you won’t end up with an injury.

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Eat this too often — what’s it really doing to your body? |Photo by Robin Stickel on Pexels.com

If the fire is hot enough anything will burn
Dave McGillavray, Boston Marathon RD, has the story about how he believed this . . . until he needed heart surgery. Have you heard the saying garbage in, garbage out? Just sayin’. And for some of us, that fire just never gets hot enough in the first place (raises hand).

To get faster you have to run more
Maybe. Maybe not. There are a lot of fast people who don’t run a whole lot of miles. Then there are elite runners who do run all the miles (but they are basically outliers). There are as many ways to get faster as there are runners.

If you wear the race tshirt on race day you’ll trip, break a leg, and get hit by lightning
The subject given for this post was the funniest running myths you’ve heard. Probably the funniest one I’ve heard is that if a woman runs more than 800m her uterus might fall out. Thousands (millions?) of female runners have disproved that myth!

I couldn’t think of other funny running myths when I sat down to write, but as I was coming to the wrap up, the taboo about wearing the race tshirt on race day popped into my mind. I did a little looking around at blog posts on this very subject. No one actually had a bad luck story to tell from wearing the race shirt on race day, and of course you see it at every race. Usually the worst thing that happens is chafing.

I’m still going to say you have to earn that tshirt, so wear it proudly afterward and feel free to wear a shirt from a race you’ve already run during.

Did you come up with funny running myths?
If you wore the race tee during a race, did something awful happen to you?
How about running superstitions?

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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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Bad news & we’re off!: 7/5 – 7/11 WRD

Off to the Adirondacks. Adventure awaits!

I wrote the above & most of the rest of the post before I got the news on Friday; my Mom fell and broke her hip. We left on Saturday, since it was unlikely that anything was going to happen that quickly — and if it does, we’re not that far away and come home. Prayers, healing vibes, whatever you got appreciated.

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and running through more cutting back this week — just time, mainly. I don’t think we’ll do a ton of hiking, but we should do some while we’re gone.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (15 min), 3 miles easy, Dogwalk, Filmed Yoga Video (60 min), PM Yoga (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (20 min), 2 mile recovery run, Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk, Swim (10 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (30 minutes), 2 miles easy, Dogwalk, PB ST (25 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (40 min), 4 TM miles mixed
  • Saturday: Yoga (40 min), Dogwalks a short hike or two
  • Sunday: Yoga (40 min), Headed down to my sisters & the hospital

Running Mileage: 11 (-.5)


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

Running Update

Am I the morning only one who thinks these things on the grass are creepy?

Monday Intention: time on feet
It was a lovely morning but somehow I wasn’t really feeling this run even keeping it really easy. My Garmin seemed to think it was okay though.

More Fourth decorations

Tuesday Intention: keep it REALLY easy
I sure did, too. It was soupy. I had checked the radar before my run, and it looked like we’d be dry for a few hours so the plan was to come back & walk with Mr. Judy & Bandit. Except as I was walking towards home it started to thunder. Luckily I didn’t get caught in a thunderstorm, it only lasted a short amount of time, and we walked Bandit when it finished.

In summer there’s usually not so much to photograph. The raindrops on these flowers caught my eye.

Thursday Intention: add some miles
It was supposed to rain and have possibility of thunderstorms all day long. I woke up to no rain, so I decided I would just try to get 2 miles in so that I could be near to home again (in case). The radar showed it would be clear for a couple of hours. I got rained on , of course (also when I walked Bandit after my run), but not for long. I had hoped to do my long run today, and I could have — if I hadn’t been fooled by the weather app.

Apparently we had a pretty good thunderstorm the night before — I’ve been super busy all week long and I slept right through it. I’m usually a really light sleeper!

New Mizuno Wave Horizon 4. Finally ran on the treadmill so was finally able to try them out— they were a Prime Day deal. I’ve run on Mixunos before, but let’s just say it’s a good thing these were a deal I’ll need a few more runs before I really make up my mind about them but I at l least know I’ll keep them now.

Friday Intention: and just a little longer
Radar said rain almost all day. Would you believe not a drop til almost dinner time? Sigh. Well, I did have these new shoes to test out. I did a 10 min WU and then a 45 min run, which was a mix of steady state and surges. 

Severence Moutain overlooking Schroon Lake. Had it mostly to ourselves! Photo courtesy Lloyd Litt

Favorites of the week
We are in the Adirondacks as you read this. Hopefully the weather cooperates. Hopefully the traffic isn’t too bad. Hopefully the three of us enjoy this short break! What  actually happened is we packed up the car, had lunch, hiked. On top of the mountain I facetimed with my sister (who recently got an iphone) & my mom, and the doctor happened to come in during. Long story short surgery might happen today. We headed back home and I’m off to the hospital (about a 90 minute drive, actually a stop at my sister to drop off my stuff first).

Met up for a very brief swim (more talk than swim) and a little bit of poolside Yoga midweek. Very thankful that my friend is gracious with her community pool!

We have “booked” our next slightly longer vacation (still less than  week). We have been planning to visit with friends in ME for months, but we made it official and nailed down some dates in August. I have a 2 day course right before we leave. It’s gonna be busy!

How are you staying cool this Summer? 

What’s your favorite way to cross train? Yup, I do love to swim, but it’s harder to find places close to me to swim at since the community center I used to go to closed. Now it’s a sports complex and cost way more $$.

Any vacations coming up?

GWY Cooling Hatha Yoga

ICYMI: A gentle Hatha Yoga that will both heat you up and cool you down — while stretching everywhere a runner needs to stretch.  Check it out here. I also explain a bit more about Prana here. You might be surprised at my definition of Prana!

Coming up on Tuesday: I’m busting a few running myths. On Friday you can see ways sugar might be sneaking into your eating.

6 Ways to Keep Your Cool on the Run

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Sometimes a cooling towel makes or breaks a run

Do you really struggle with running when the heat is on?  Sometimes only a cooling towel (or hat, gaiter, skirt) is the only thing that stands between you and melting on the run. I am definitely #teamcoolingtowel. In fact, just the other day I was looking for mine . . . but that’s a tale for next month’s Runfessions. In the dog days of Summer I often sport one while running.

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Now there are cooling towels, cooling gaiters, even cooling headbands!

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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 cooling towels that might just make that next hot and humid run a little easier.

1: Chill Pal Gaiter
I am definitely intrigued by this one — there may be a review in the future! I have a couple of cooling towels, and one problem is they get on your clothes (wet tshirt anyone?) and you don’t really need that! You can buy this here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

2: Mission Multi Cool
Another gaiter! How did I not know these existed? One reviewer claimed it lasted for 2 hours in CO. Mine never seem to last that long. It would be “cool” if it did! You can buy them here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

3: Alfamo Cooling Towels
People gave these cooling towels 2 thumbs way up. One even said her dog loved it. Hmm, Bandit is very heat intolerant — maybe he’d like one? You can buy them here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

4: Ergodyne Chill-Its Cooling Headband
Headbands are not my thing — well, not during running, anyway. I want my face and eyes protected as much as possible! I know many that don’t like hats or visors that do run with headbands. How cute is the stars and stripes pattern? Sorry it’s too late for this year, but maybe next!

Reviews on most of the cooling headbands, including this one, weren’t very favorable (as in they do not cool you for more than a few minutes), and they’re on the pricier side. So do your due diligence. You can buy them here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

5: Syourself Cooling Towel
The reviews on this one say it stays cool for hours, and it comes in a variety of colors at a relatively low price. You can by them here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

6: Mission Women’s Hydroactive Max Laser-Cut Performance Hat
That’s a mouthful! The reviews on this was mixed. Some people said any hat you wet would do as a good a job, others felt it really helped. I think I need to look for a cooling visor next, that’s what I like to wear in the Summer! You can by them here (Amazon Affiliate Link).

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I got this towel as swag. It does help, but needs to be “hydrated” sometimes

Final Thoughts
I have done a lot of very hot races with my cooling towels. I’ve also done some very hot races without them — and wished I’d brought them. They do help me. Skirt Sports’ Cool It line was made of the same sort of cooling material as most cooling towels, and they became my hot race uniform!

Most cooling towels are relatively inexpensive, but read the reviews: some towels do not live up to their marketing hype.

Have you ever tried a cooling gaiter?

Do you have a cooling towel you love?

What running gear would you like to see in a cooling material?

Half Year Check In

Do you take a moment to look at how the first half of the year has gone, or do you just go on with the second half? Whether you set goals or not, I always think it’s a good idea to reflect (but not ruminate) on what has happened, so you can adjust your sails if need be going forward.

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Races
Zip, zero, zilch, nada. I’ll get back to racing when the time is right for me, and so far, I just haven’t felt the need. Although I used to race somewhat often, racing wasn’t really that important to me.

So far this year there haven’t even been any virtual races for me. I do enjoy some new swag once in a while, but nothing has really caught my eye and I spent a lot of time in the first quarter of the year feeling run down.

Health
I am very grateful that COVID, for the most part, didn’t seriously impact my family. I know too many who were impacted by COVID, though, so I don’t take my health for granted.

It seemed like the vaccines — and the tetanus booster last December — hit me harder than a lot of people. It felt like every time I finally felt better I’d get another shot and have to slowly rebuild my base.

I am healthy, though, and I am grateful for that. Everything that has happened this year has helped me to get even more in tune with my body and what’s right for me.

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Yoga has really helped keep niggles in check

The niggles
It’s no secret that my Achilles Tendon bothered me — annoyingly on & off — for about a year. It seemed to have resolved — until I got my COVID vaccines. Since then it’s been a lot better again, but every once in a while it randomly aches. I was able to run 8 miles, twice, without (much) pain — that is, much pain afterwards. I’ve also taken to wearing compression after long runs most of the time, too, which seems to help. I’ve been working much more on Hatha Yoga as opposed to Yin Yoga (although I am still practicing Yin, too!) — that also seems to have helped.

Then there’s the high hamstring tendinitis that has also been a random companion for a long time. It also comes and goes. Recently it seems gone. Hoping by the end of the year both these niggles are in the rear view mirror!

Embracing recovery runs
I have never been a huge fan of recovery runs. I’d rather walk, hike, or hop on the stationary bike. After reading Laura Norris’s detailed post on recovery runs, which unfortunately I didn’t bookmark and can’t find, I decided to give them a try.

I still am not a huge fan of the recovery run — but you know what? My body seems to really like it. It’s almost like hitting a reset button.

From 3 to 4 and back again
Embracing those recovery runs made it relatively easy for me to move from running 3 x week to 4 x week. Until I felt really run down recently. I had been saying I was going to take a cutback week, but then the weather would be nice for my long run and I knew that wouldn’t last so I just had to take advantage of it.

Until I felt the need for a break. Which I took. Why not? I don’t compare my mileage or even my training to anyone else. Hopefully I’ll be back to 4 x week soon, and if not — it’s not a big deal.

Coaching myself
I have worked with a coach, which I absolutely loved. It was great to have someone else tell me what to do and not have to think about it — not to mention having your own personal cheerleader.

It’s also great to coach yourself, because in the end, only you know what’s going on in your body.

Final Thoughts
Despite niggles and sometimes feeling run down, this year has been going well. I truly don’t miss training for races — and neither, it seems, does my body. I make wiser decisions (mostly) when I’m just running for me. It’s easier to listen to my body and say nope! that’s not what it wants right now — or maybe it does.

The slow reopening of my state and the country for the most part has definitely been hopeful. I hope that when I do train for a race again I listen to my body and know when it’s time to push and when it’s time to back off. I will always train, because it prepares my body, but it’s just a race.

How do you feel about the first half of 2021?

Are you feeling hopeful?

What are you looking forward to in the second half of 2021?

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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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Happy Birthday, Grandpa Sam!: 6/28 – 7/4 WRD

My grandpa Sam was my only grandparent to be born in the US, and he was born on the Fourth of July. I’ve always thought that was special. Although he’s been gone since I was a teenager, I always think of him on the Fourth.

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and running through another bipolar weather week, with ridiculous heat and humidity until the weekend, rain, then another big cool down.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (15 min), Dogwalk, Swimming, (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk 3.5 TM miles, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (45 min)
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, Yoga (30 min
  • Friday: Yoga (40 min), 6 mile LSD, PB Cardio Toning (25 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (40 min), 2 mile recovery run, Dogwalk
  • Sunday: Yoga (40 min), PB Cardio Toning (25 min),  Dogwalk/s, stretching our legs at Olana, visit to Mom

Running Mileage: 11.5 (-3.5)


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

Running Update

Tuesday Intention: easy progression?
I skipped my run on Monday. My body just said NO! But it was very happy to swim. So I just wanted an easy 3 miles, but even if I hadn’t walked Bandit early, just no to that heat & humidity! 

I did a warm up walk with Adrian on Peloton. I don’t think I’ve ever done a class with him before, but I enjoyed it. Then I did Matty’s Broadway run — which was enjoyable, but of course had me pushing a bit more than I set out to do.

Hey, works for the fourth & olympics!

Friday Intention: easy shorter long run
I had been thinking about taking a cutback week (talking about it, too) for quite some time. This week my body said DO IT! So I did. While our heatwave finally broke today, it was still soupy out there. Because of the potential for thunderstorms, I decided to run in the neighborhood so I never had to be too far from home. 

I did one almost 4 mile loop, came back, and switched out water bottles. I know people do this sort of thing all the time, but I never have. Took back off and completed the other 2.25 miles. Got rained on (softly) the last mile and a half which felt nice. I thought it would be super slow, I was definitely tired and my legs felt heavy, but in the end it was a decent pace. Of course no thunderstorms, but I’ve been caught miles from any shelter in a storm before and it’s not something I want to repeat.

I’d stopped to take a photo of the bunny in the back when I noticed ears poking up through the grass in front of him

Saturday Intention: recover
It was finally quite cool and dry (as in not rain dry) this morning. Better day for a long run, but I knew I wanted to do a recovery run, which is why I did my longer run on Friday. I was going to run 2.5 miles to even out my week, and then I asked myself why? Will an extra half mile make a difference? No! Of course not!

Favorites of the week
Ah swimming, how I’ve missed you! This may have been one of my longest breaks from swimming. It was broken thanks to a friend and her pool and it felt glorious. No photos were taking, just catching up with a couple of friends.

5 years ago a photo line this would have been unimaginable. We couldn’t pick him up. We couldn’t walk him with Lola. We had to separate him from both Gizmo & Lola at all times. He randomly growled at people. It wasn’t easy but it has been worth it.

Bandit celebrated his fifth Gotcha Day yesterday. Very easy to remember the date, and of course he was memorable for a long, long time (for those new to the blog, Bandit was a senior rescue and let’s just say it was a very rocky start).

We are off to visit my mom today. There’s a outdoor BBQ, but the weather is iffy again. We are bringing Bandit. It’s going to be interesting. Have a safe and happy Fourth, if you celebrate it!

Did you survive this heatwave? 

Are you racing this weekend?

Any plans for today?

GWY Cool the Fire Yin Yoga

ICYMI: Ready for a cooling Yoga practice that will also do a great job of stretching and strengthening everywhere a runner needs?  Check out today’s Yin Yoga practice here. I also have a quick video on Pigeon Pose variations here.

Coming up on Tuesday: After wrapping up June last week, this week I’m looking back on the last half year! On Friday it’s time to cool it down and I’ve got options for you.

Albinos, Painted Deer — What’s Next?: Tea/coffee Date July 2021

teajuly21

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Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, I’m sitting here with my hot chocolate (whether it’s cold or hot outside!) and I have a lot of unusual animal sightings to share with you this month.

Photo credit Lloyd Litt. Albie. Yes, his eyes are pinkish!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I we did see the Albino squirrel again. He was hanging out in one of our pine trees grooming himself in a rain storm. Unfortunately Mr. Judy was unable to get good photos this time — although he actually went out in the rain to try!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you Mr. Judy also noticed a deer in our yard. The first time we’d ever seen a young deer in our yard was last year; we figured he’d gotten lost and we never saw him again. This was a doe and her adolescent fawn. 

The interesting thing was that the doe had white blotches, kind of like a pain/pinto horse. I’ve never seen a doe that looked like that. They were running through the neighborhood too fast for Mr. Judy to take any photos, alas.

We joked what’s next? Bear? Tigers? Elephants?

Photo Credit Lloyd Litt. Seriously he looked bigger than any Robin I’ve ever seen. Doesn’t he look hawk-like?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I was very excited when I saw this bird hanging out on top of the kennel. I thought maybe it was a baby hawk. My birder friend informed me it’s a fledgling Robin. Can you believe I’ve never really seen one? And he was big!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that a long time ago I had wanted to try an Amazon Firestick (we don’t have cable) but never did buy one. We got the light version of it on Amazon Prime Day. It came with several free months of both Disney+ and Hulu. We’re almost set for the Summer now.

We watched Nomadland, which I’d wanted to see. It was slow, and although I adore Frances McDormand, I was actually rather shocked she won the Oscar for that performance. It was still an interesting movie and I’m glad we watched it.

We have started WandaVision (we’re big Marvel fans) — I’d heard so many raves about that show, and I’m enjoying it so far. I also enjoy that the episodes are short!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I still want to get HBOMax so I can see “In The Heights” before it’s gone (7/11, in case you were wondering). My sister didn’t think it was that great, but I still want to see it and I think there are other shows on HBOMax we’d enjoy. My sister and my cousin both recommended Mare of Eastown..

Seen some unusual animals in your neighborhood recently? 

Anything to recommend on Disney+ or Hulu? 

Have you seen In the Heights? What did you think?

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