Would I run Boston . . .

. . . if someone handed me an entry?

bboston

Thanks to Wendy @ Takingthelongwayhome for this blog post inspiration — check out her list of 60 Blog Post for Runners here. I may have to come up with my own list — if I can think of more; Wendy did a great job!

The Pros
Anyone that reads my blog for a while knows that I put a great deal of thought into most decisions. This one wouldn’t be an easy one.  So let’s start off with the good stuff:

  1. Mr. Judy grew up in Wellesley. It wouldn’t be that hard to twist his arm into going to Boston.
  2. Boston is within driving distance, which makes the logistics a bit easier to handle.
  3. Crowd support.
  4. Dave McGillivray, Race Director Extraordinaire.
  5. You may have to be fast to qualify for Boston, but the course stays open a long time.
  6. Bragging rights.
heartbreak
Oy! The heat! The hills!

The Cons
If I ever run a marathon, which is something I put a lot of thought into, actually, I’d, well, put a lot of thought into it:

  1. The course. OMG, the hills! Obviously I’ve never run Boston. I did do the one and only Runner’s World Heartbreak Half — there I am in the photo above, drenched afterwards, from an unseasonably hot day and pouring water all over myself during the race. The course was partially designed by Dave McGillivray, and it tried to mimic Boston: start with a downhill, Newton hills (including Heartbreak) towards the end. I remember thinking to myself you have to deal with these starting at mile 20? Are you NUTS?????
  2. The weather. You truly never know what the heck the weather’s going to do: broiling hot or snowing, yup, it all happens.
  3. Training through Winter. I may run through Winter, and I have trained through Winter, but not all that often. There’s a reason for that — Winter is tough to run through in the Northeast!
  4. The crowds. I have done huge races a few times. I’m actually okay with big or small, but Mr. Judy is not fond of crowds. And I’m not fond of not being able to find my own running space.
  5. The expense. I don’t know how much Boston costs, but I’m guessing it’s a lot. Of course, someone is handing me this entry in this scenario, because it’s for darn sure I’m never qualifying on my own, but still.

If a dream doesn’t motivate you to work hard, to get up early and get to bed early, to sometimes make the hard choices between training and going out — maybe it’s not the right dream for you. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Final thoughts
It seems as though the pros outweigh the cons, but not by a lot. I have to admit it’s not something I’ve ever given a lot of thought to, because I’m not going to raise that many $$$ or qualify. It’s not my dream.

My dream for a marathon? I don’t really know. I still have that feeling that someday I’d like to tackle one. Right now is not the right time for maybe. Maybe it will never be the right time. Or maybe someday I’ll find my own running space in life and see just what is out there after 18 miles.

Would you do Boston if your entry was paid for and guaranteed?

What’s your dream marathon?

Do you think it would feel as satisfying if you didn’t have to qualify? 

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Treading water: 1/13-19 WRD

I felt back to normal this week (until today, poor sleep last night, ended up on the couch with Bandit due to Lola making noises), and good thing, too, as we got a call from Hospice that my Dad was worsening and they didn’t think he has a lot of time left. Which could mean any day — or maybe even still weeks. No one really knows.

As you read this I’m on my way down to my moms, most likely. Or coming back (I hope). It could be my final goodbye to my Dad, although I don’t think so — but it’s almost definitely coming soon.

Updated 1/19: RIP, Dad. I’m glad I got down there today for what did turn out to be our final goodbye.

bwrd

Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and share how I try to keep my head above water by treading, doing what I can, when I can. As much as the weather and our news was gloomy, though, all was not doom and gloom.

briots

And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk, Filmed Yoga Video (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Taught Yoga (60 min), 3 easy miles
  • Wednesday: 7 mile LSD, Dogwalk
  • Thursday: Yin Yoga (30 min), Dogwalk, PB Cardio + ST (25 min)
  • Friday: 3 Progressive TM miles, Yoga (30 min)
  • Saturday: PB Cardio + Arms (20 min), Dogwalk
  • Sunday: Travel back & forth to parents

Mileage: 13 (NC)

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

It was a gray week — until it got really cold

Tuesday
Finally feeling better so I tackled some Hill Repeats, while we still have snow-less hills.

I thought the pattern on the still mostly unfrozen water was cool

Wednesday
The weather going into the weekend looked ugly. Bitter cold, windy, possible snow and freezing rain — yuck! Luckily feeling back to normal, and normally I wouldn’t tackle a long run after a hill repeat day, but I really didn’t want to run Friday when it would be in the teens (if I was lucky) with 20 mph winds.

I got out on the bike path and I kept a close eye on my HR, trying to keep it mostly in the “easy” zone, starting out a bit easier than normal. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing too much, too soon. Mission accomplished (I think).

Friday
Bitterly cold day as predicted, although sunny. Didn’t seem as windy as predicted, but I had a lot to do and was happy I have that treadmill available to me in the comfort of my own home.

Almost doesn’t look like a live plant, right?

Favorites of the week
The grow light on the peace lilies looks so cool!

Smoothie bowls, Protein Peanut Butter, Protein Chips, Oh my!

I explored theNew York Fitness Expo. So much local, delicious healthy food. We may have eaten our way through there. I may have bought a few treats for myself. This is the first year this event has been held, and it was quite literally 5 minutes from my home. I will definitely be attending in 2021; there was so much to explore (and not just food!).

Not sure I’d want that blow torch near me . . .

I’ve actually had a short, free cupping done before, but it wasn’t quite this flashy. There were fitness demos, all the CBD products, clothing, and so much more. It was amazing how many local companies we had no idea was in our area!

Notice that indent in the middle? That’s so it doesn’t press directly on your spine, but rather to either side of your spine. 

You know how much I love my recovery and foam rolling (read more about why I think recovery is so important here). The T-PIN! Vector is not a foam roller, but it is a recovery tool. I spent quite some time talking with the owner, trying it out. Then I checked out the rest of the expo, while mulling it over, and yup, went back and bought it.

That same indent helps protect your delicate neck, while still allowing you to roll the kinks out

You can expect a more thorough review in the future, but for now, I will say I was quite impressed with it and the price point (normally retails for $60, but there was a good deal at the expo so mine was cheaper) — you can find out more info on the T-PIN! Vector here.

See anything this week that made you just think now that’s cool looking? 

CBD — yay or nay? I’m still on the fence. How do you know which companies are legit? Not that that stopped me from picking up a few samples.

What’s your favorite recovery tool?  

5 Reasons you should do speed work . . .

bspeedwork

. . . even if you’re not training for anything

I am not training for a race. In fact, I won’t start seriously training for my summer half until about the end of March. I still include some type of speed work into most of my weeks. I’m going to share why you should, too.

Fairytales and Fitness

 

For some of us, sometimes speedwork means getting on the treadmill

What is the purpose of speed work?
Of course you never have to do speed work if you don’t want to; it’s a completely personal choice. Here are some of the benefits of including speed work in your running:

  1. It can help you increase how quickly you get oxygen to your oxygen hungry muscles, allowing you to run faster.
  2. It can help your body store more glycogen. Hitting the wall? That’s what happens when we use up our glycogen stores (and is why it’s important to take in fuel on longer runs). It’s a no brainer that being able to store more glycogen could be helpful in holding off fatigue longer (even though at some point you will deplete your stored glycogen).
  3. It’s generally accepted that if you want to run faster, guess what? You need to run faster!
  4. It can help you strengthen the muscles that help you run (glutes and hip flexors)
  5. It helps to prevent burn out. I don’t know about you, but running the same distance at the same pace all the time is really boring to me.

A potential bonus benefit: adding in a little speedwork might help you manage your weight. Your body quickly adapts to anything that you do all the time — and that includes those LSDs (long, slow, distance runs) and those easy 3 or 4 milers. You’ve got to shake things up if you want to maintain or lose some weight.

img_6851
Sometimes it means getting out there to race as training

How often should you incorporate speed work into your running?
One to two speed sessions a week is plenty (it depends on how many days a week you run). You shouldn’t do two hard runs in a row: if you do speed work on Monday and you run Tuesday, it should be an easy run.

Pay close attention to your body, as always. If you find that you’re not recovering well, or if a niggle — and especially a pain! — shows up, either skip you planned speed work or reschedule to later in the week (if you’re feeling better).

Hill repeats, by the way, are speed work in disguise.

Speed work can be playful
Right about now you’re probably thinking — ugh! I don’t want to have to run hard.  Speed work doesn’t always have to be hard, or even long. Add some strides (short, fast intervals — we’re talking maybe 30 seconds) midway in your run or after you’ve completed your scheduled distance.

Consider a Fartlek run (which actually means speed play). I have several routes that are lined by trees. I love to run hard between two trees, easy between the next two, and so on — I just do it until I don’t feel like doing it anymore.

Whether you want to get faster or not. speed work can help you get out of a running rut and put a little more pep in your step. Give it a try and see how you feel!

Do you ever do speed drills?

Do you preferred structured speed workouts or just inserting a little speed here and there?

What is your favorite type of speed workout?

The Trick to Reaching Your Goals

bgoals

A new year is all about new goals, right? Or maybe it’s just about the same goals but in a new year. Once you set those goals — how do you reach them?  There’s lots of talk about SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound).

I think the secret to your goals is even easier: baby steps.

babysteps

Take baby steps
You heard me: break your goal down into very small steps. Once you’ve done that, if you’re still having trouble working towards your goal, it just means your steps aren’t small enough. You need to break them down even more.

img_6969-1
Getting to the starting line is just the final steps in many baby steps

Let’s break down a race goal
Of course you’ll train differently for a 5k than you would for a marathon, but the basic steps to carry you to your goal are the same:

  • Pick a race and register for it.
  • If your race involves travel, book those plane tickets and make the hotel reservations. Early. Earlier than you think you need to do. I like to make sure my hotel has a refrigerator and microwave for those early race morning breakfasts (and leftovers!).
  • Get fitted for the proper shoes.
  • Either hire a coach or find a training plan (online, in a magazine, in a book, make your own).
  • Figure out when you have to start training for the race. I like to add in a couple of extra weeks to my training plan — life happens.
  • Put all the workouts on your calendar. This could be a digital calendar or a physical calendar — or both! Share with training buddies or significant others so they know when you will be available (or unavailable).
  • Also put any big events you’re aware of during your training period on your calendar. Think about how that event will effect your training. Decide how you’ll juggle the event with your training.
  • Make sure to book support appointments in advance: massages, chiropractic, fitness trainer.
  • Will you need a fresh pair of running shoes before the race? When will you buy them? Don’t wait til the last minute only to find out they’re not available in your size!
  • Test out your shoe, clothing, accessories like fuel belts or hydration vests, nutrition (if necessary), and hydration choices on your long (or longer, if the race is a shorter distance) runs.
  • Test out your pre-and post run meals on your long runs. If you’re traveling, look to see if you’ll be able to get similar meals near where you’re staying. What will you do if there are no tried and true options for you at local restaurants? If you’re staying local and you want to eat at a particular restaurant, consider making a reservation for that pre-race meal.
  • As the race nears, decide on your goals: finish with a smile on your face, run with a friend, crush a PR, enjoy the views? It’s your race, but knowing what you want out of it going into it can help you have a good time.

There are so many decisions that can go into a race, especially if you’re traveling for that race. There are so many steps to training. It can seem overwhelming in the beginning. Breaking down a large goal into easily doable steps will make it seem more doable, less frightening.

Breaking down a large goal into easily doable steps will take out so much of the pre-race anxiety and get you to the starting line feeling prepared. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Final thoughts: It works for all goals
Breaking a large goal into baby steps is the trick for reaching any goal: running, weight loss, career, getting stronger, getting more flexible. You name it and you can baby step your way to it.

Do you make goals and then never think about how to get to them? How does that make you feel?

What baby steps would you add to training for a race?

What are your goals — for 2020, for this month, this week? Please share!

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Running in skirt: 1/6-12 WRD

I was home all week, which helped, but I’ve also been quite busy between appointments and prepping to teach and teaching yoga. I felt pretty run down by the end of the week  — mostly due to a week or so of poor sleep — so I took a lot more rest than usual.

bwrd

Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and share how I try to walk my talk when it comes to listening to my body & rest & recovery!

briots

And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday:  SB WU (10 min), 3 progressive miles TM, PB ST  (25 min), Yoga  (20 min)
  • Tuesday: 3 easy miles, Dogwalk
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Taught Yoga (60 min)
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, Rest Day, Yoga (40 min)
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Rest Day, Yoga (30 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (60 min), Meditation Workshop (60 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), 7 mile LSD

Mileage: 13 (NC)

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

Monday
I’ve been spending too much time with my treadmill. I thought I’d be running outside today, but then it snowed on and off today — lightly — but we’d had rain all day Saturday, with a drop in temps on Sunday, which means black ice is hiding under that snow. No thanks.

Not everyone takes down their decorations quickly — and I’m okay with that!

Tuesday
Ran errands, then ran at home later. Good news: it had warmed up so any ice left from yesterday had melted. Bad news: I lost the sunshine we had earlier in the day. I was hustling to get it done before my haircut, so a nice pace (at the right heart rate).

Unseasonably warm with temps dropping — check it out — running in a skirt in January!

Sunday
Definitely felt run down this week, so you’ll notice there wasn’t a lot of activity. I kept putting off a long run, toyed with the idea of skipping it altogether, but by Sunday I wasn’t feeling too bad and it was low 60s (with wind — notice my neck gaiter on the hat).

I struggled a bit with what to wear, as I knew the wind would make it feel cooler and the temps would be dropping. I hauled out my long haul skirt, work a wool top, and it was mostly good. I deliberately kept the pace mostly easy, and I got 7 miles done. Glad I had the opportunity to run in a skirt in January (it’s already dropped into the 50s, and will only go down from there).

#teamnuun 2020!

Favorites of the week
Happy to be back representing #teamnuun for a second year! Which reminds me, I really need to go drink some Nuun Rest . . .

Lola enjoying the heated bed (that’s Chester on Mr. Judy’s screen!)

We plugged in the heated bed that used to be Gizmo’s and the dogs seem to be enjoying it.

I taught my second Cat Yoga class at the Humane Society. There were some people who had come to the first class. Even more rewarding was one of the women telling me afterward that one of the moves I did really helped her back, and another sharing her word for 2020 with me.

There are some exciting things brewing with my Yoga, but I’m not quite ready to share yet! What I am ready to share is my newest video: it’s basically the Yin half of the class I taught. I plan to video the first half of the class, which is more Vinyasa style, soon. Check out the video above here.

Sign up for my newsletter here to find out when I add new videos, and you’ll receive a free companion PDF to the video above and a bonus Abundance meditation.

I also have a short video I filmed in the car post run today, and I need your feedback on that one! Please watch it here (it’s only 2 minutes) and leave me a comment.

What good news did you get this week? 

What’s your go-to when you’re feeling like your coming down with something? A while ago I listened to an audiobook that recommended putting black pepper in your tea. I swear it helps (I imagine it would work just fine with coffee, too).

How has 2020 started for you?  

Hospice: it’s not what you think

bhospice2

Last week we were able to get my Dad onto Hospice. No, my Dad doesn’t have a terminal illness, although he sort of does: it’s called old age. I also pointed out to my sister that dementia actually does kill — people with dementia slowly lose their ability to move, and to eat properly. They are at higher risk for aspiration pneumonia because of this (when food goes down into their lungs).

I know this sounds very sad, and it is, but the fact that Hospice is still available to him gives us hope that his remaining days can be eased at least a little.

Fairytales and Fitness

 

What is Hospice?
Hospice (you can access the Hospice site here) is covered 100% by Medicare. My parents have Long Term Health Insurance, and that covers part of the Nursing Home expenses — but not all. Not nearly enough, quite frankly. It was a big relief to hear that Hospice won’t be an extra expense.

Hospice is for people who are not expected to live more than 6 months, although people can get better on Hospice, to the point that they are on it much longer. They are re-evaluated every six months.

Hospice adds a whole other layer of care for my Dad, potentially including:

  • A nurse who visits once a week and can help determine what medications will keep him comfortable — and what medications are not necessary (although the family has the final say about all medications)
  • Aides who visit one or two times a week, who feed him, shampoo his hair, shave him, and a lot more
  • A non-denominational minister
  • A social worker
  • Music therapy
  • Pet therapy

Because this is all new to us, we don’t yet know what services will be recommended. There is also a 24/7 hotline that the family can call, even if we just need to talk.

How to know when a dementia patient can be eligible for Hospice?
There are guidelines for whether or not a dementia patient is eligible for Hospice. My Dad was right on the bubble, but thankfully the nurse deemed him eligible. If she had visited him before he entered the nursing home, I don’t think that would have been the case, but in the short amount of time he’s been there there’s been a sharp decline, including being non-verbal and not recognizing family; not even my Mom.

The Hospice Intake Nurse follows the Reisberg Functional Assessment STaging Scale (better known as FAST).

bfast
You must be in Stage 7 to be eligible for Hospice

My Dad was definitely Stage 6 prior to going into the nursing home. He was still verbal sometimes. Often he wasn’t, but when he was, he was quite definitively — and not in a good way. Not in a way that he would ever had acted when healthy.

All the stays in rehab, hospital, the moves, the strange caregiver, and now the nursing home . . . change is very bad for a dementia patient. All these changes definitely seem to have driven him into Stage 7, and quite frankly, I thank God for that. The last day I say him (after New Years Day) he didn’t speak and he didn’t seem to recognize me, my sister, or my mother.

He wouldn’t have qualified for Hospice before, and would have spent his days in a recliner by the nursing station, because he gets up and tries to walk and he’s at risk to fall.

504edcae-a89d-435a-b69a-f4dca43ac6ce
Hope for a peaceful ending

Hospice can be hopeful
Of course I am not happy to see my Dad this way. No one is. He doesn’t have cancer, although he does have some serious heart disease, but in the end, mainly what he has is old age. His birthday is the end of March. He will turn 94 if he lives that long, and no one really wants to see him live that long.

He is deeply depressed and unhappy, and has been for a long time. It will blessing for him to pass and be at peace, and I visualize that often.

Hospice is historically underutilized for dementia patients, and that is so sad. We didn’t really know it was an option until recently. I wish I’d known about it for my FIL, who also suffered from dementia for many years. I’m sure both my FIL and my MIL and SIL would have benefited greatly from Hospice care.

That’s why I’m writing this post: I hope that it will help others that are unaware that it’s an option for their loved ones.

Hospice means that my Dad has a whole team trying to make his remaining days as peaceful and comfortable as possible. The nursing home seems very caring and competent, but they can’t give him one on one attention.

My sister visits him often, as she lives close, and might begin to take my Mom on a weekly basis if she wants to go. I will go when I can, but it’s a long trip and the weather during Winter makes it impossible to go on any routine basis.

Hospice can give my Dad that individual attention. Hospice gives me hope that my Dad can finally have some peace.

Do you have loved ones with dementia?

Have you ever known anyone on Hospice?

Do you have any other resources to share for those with dementia, or caregiving for those with dementia?

Thinking about choosing a word for 2020, or some intentions? I’ve got you covered! Check out my new video that can help you do that here. Sign up for my newsletter here to find out when I add new videos, and you’ll receive a free companion PDF and a bonus Abundance meditation.

Respect the Distance

brespectdistance

Do you ever feel like you can run a certain distance — doesn’t matter if you’ve trained for it or you’re injured — you’ve done it in the past so you know you can just go out and do it, right?

Maybe not
This post isn’t aimed at any one person, which I say because I can think of a few of my friends who might think it’s aimed at them, and it isn’t — or maybe, in a way, it is. I’ve seen so many runners who take on distances they haven’t trained for, either due to life happening or injury recovery.

So many runners get onto social media asking what other runners think of their situation, and the advice is often of course you can do it. Do they know how you feel? Do they know your body?

Marathoners, in particular, have a tendency to get cocky and say “it’s just 10 miles”, because in marathon training, that’s a baby long run.

Everyone thought I would run a marathon after tackling an 18 mile race. I knew there’s a vast difference between 18 miles & a marathon

I can say this of course, because I’ve never run a marathon. 18 miles is a far cry from a marathon. It doesn’t take a toll on your body the way a marathon does.

The next time you’re thinking of taking on a distance you know that you’re really not prepared for, I hope that you’ll at least stop and give it some thought.

Is running this distance worth the potential injury?

Do you really want to run this distance, or do you just not want to throw away the money you’ve invested in this race?

If you decide “I’ll just use this as a training run” — can you really? Or will you get caught up in the excitement of the starting line and run too hard?

Respect the recovery, too
I know I am always harping on recovery, but that’s because it’s so important! Is it that important to you to run this race — or is it more important to you to recover well from your last race and have a better “time” at your next race?

The first time we tackle any longer distance (let’s say any race that is double digits — but it might be a smaller distance for your body) it’s really wise to take some time off of running afterward. Even if you feel fine. Maybe especially if you feel fine.

As your body gets used to running that distance, you won’t need as much recovery time. But the first time? First times are special. Society today seems to reward people only when they push harder and farther. The real reward? A healthy, uninjured body.

Instead of pushing yourself into the next big thing, take some downtime to bask in all that you accomplished and thank your body for all that it does for you. Your body will thank you for that! — Chocolaterunsjudy

It was “only” a 15k, but I went up to double digit runs to train for it

Final thoughts: It’s only . . .
We’ve all said it: it’s only 5 miles. It’s only 8 miles.  It’s only a half. It’s true that as you train, your body adapts to longer and longer distances. It’s kind of miraculous. That doesn’t mean that your body is a machine that can just keep going without breaking.

Learn to listen to your body. Sometimes even learn to ignore your body and listen to your brain — your brain may tell you that you’re not ready, or that you need more rest, but your ego (or social media) might tell you you can do it.

It’s never “only”. It’s hard. Racing is hard. Sometimes even just running is hard. Ignoring niggles, outright injuries, and what your body or head is telling you you need — it often doesn’t end pretty. Be smart, and you’ll enjoy running a long, long time.

Do you take time off running after a hard race?

How much time, and for what distance?

Have you ever regretted not taking time off running after a race?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner