My #1 Race Pet Peeve

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I’m sure most runners right about now would be willing to overlook a lot of race faux pas if they could just race! Today’s subject was “What was the worst thing that ever happened to you at a race?”.

I’ve been lucky; nothing horrible has ever happened to me at a race. Instead I’m sharing one of my biggest race pet peeves.

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Water. Sometimes it makes or breaks a race | Photo by Meir Roth on Pexels.com

Running out of water!
This is what drove me to always carry water when I race — no matter what the distance is. Even for a 5k. I am a thirsty runner. Not only that, but did you know that your fascia (the webbing that surrounds pretty much everything in your body) gets more tangled the more dehydrated you are? I’ll be telling you more on Friday about that!

Some of the stiffness you feel post race (or the next day) can actually be traced to dehydrated fascia. It’s enough to drive you to drink!

Bottoms up
I have run numerous races where they’ve run out of cups, run out of water, or run out of both. Some only for the BOTPers like me — some for even the speedy runners. I understand that trying to figure out how much to get is a science, and that when the weather is not as predicted that can throw a real monkey wrench in things.

Maybe I can understand running out of water when it’s unseasonably hot (and not predicted to be so). But cups? That’s just disorganization. I know that putting on a race is not easy, but it seems to me that should never happen.

There is still nothing worse than running a really hot race, coming up to an aid station, and finding it dry (as dry as you are). Or finding they actually do have water — but no cups!

I’ve had some hot races with no water where I’ve given serious consideration to stealing someone’s water bottle — before I started to always carry my own water.

What’s your biggest race pet peeve? 

Do you already have a plan for your first race post C19 (whenever that may be)? 

Have you had races run out of water or cups or both? 

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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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Putting on your oxygen mask: TOLT

I sit down here at my computer, with no freakin’ clue what I’m going to be Thinking Out Loud about today. A smart blogger would probably just move on to polishing her Friday post, which is about 75% written. I never claimed to be a smart blogger.

My blog is stuck
I would love to grow the blog more, although I won’t be getting up to any shenanigans to do so. I guess I’m just not a shenanigans type of girl.

If someone offers me something to give away — something I like or believe in — I’m all too happy to pass that on to you. But not too many companies will look at a blog my size and offer me stuff. Obviously a few have, and I’ve also reached out on my own.

I won’t be buying you gift cards on my own dime to give away, either. I want to attract people who either get something out of my blog or feel a connection to me. I know I love building connections with other bloggers!

I’m not quite sure why my blog remains where it is. New people stop by. People still follow it. Yet it seems stuck. Maybe it’s because I am usually fairly busy during the day — the time most bloggers are stuck at work (and therefore blogging), or the fact that I’m not a night person, another prime blogging time, or the fact that I’m busy with my furkids and parents (or the fact I write about the furkids and the parents), or even the fact that I’m still self hosted.

Anyone with constructive insights, I’m all ears.

A little spoiler alert
I’ll be writing about this in my weekly wrap, too, but different folks read different posts. Last week the running was so good. Hard, but good. It’s my peak week this week, with my half just two long runs away.

I wouldn’t say I’m struggling, but it definitely started off feeling a lot harder this week. The wind? March is definitely blowing in. I’m so over wind, but wind ain’t done with me. The cumulative time and miles of training hard? Juggling all that training and the demands of everyone else around me?

Don’tcha hate when that happens?
I took out my credit card and put it in a coat pocket after my tempo run on Tuesday. When I got to the store, it wasn’t there. Or anywhere else that I could see (luckily I had more credit cards with me).

I ransacked my bag, my coat, and my car when I got home. Twice. I couldn’t find it. I informed Mr. Judy when he got home, and he had the typical male reaction, to which I naturally reacted with such grownup attitude (not — we all have  our breaking points).

Then he went to look in my car and found it immediately. He thought I’d blow up at him again — I was just super grateful that he found it — I think that is a male vs female thing (in general).

Putting on my oxygen tank
You know what they say about oxygen tanks on planes. I’ve been trying to practice a little more self care lately. It can be hard to squeeze in, but it really is so important.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Try to use my footspa at least once per week (really shooting for twice)
  • Moisturizing my hands more often
  • Trying to use my massage chair a few times a week
  • Meditate daily
  • Do my nails (because pretty nails do make me smile)

Some things take only a couple of minutes; some things about 10-20 minutes. Don’t tell me you’re too busy to take a couple of minutes a day for you. You don’t have to do what I do — do what’s soothing to you.
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You can still run Utah with me
And maybe meet a few of your favorite bloggers. I don’t have any more entries up for grabs, but code crj15 will get you 15% off your race entry (register here).

Come for the mostly downhill Boston Qualifier course, finish for the 10th anniversary jacket. Don’t forget to let me know if you do register — I’d love to meet you! It’s gonna be a party.

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He’s a little camera shy

He loves me, he really loves me
One day Bandit was trying to jump into my lap, and I tried to help him up — the same exact maneuver that got Mr. Judy nipped the day we met Bandit. He didn’t nip me, but he sure let out a yelp and ran away. Later I made sure to pick him up a different way — he’s not super fond of being picked up, but he’s okay once you get him up.

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Look very closely for the Bandit photobomb.He loves hanging out there, looking out the Bay window.

Then during our “adult conversation” on Tuesday, I accidentally stepped on Bandit’s foot. Another yelp. And then he proceeded to climb into my lap when I sat down to check him out and try to lick me. Don’t you just love that about dogs?

Do something to hurt a cat and they’ll run away and hide. Hurt a dog, and they’re likely to try to cuddle up with you (if you have a good, established relationship). Don’t get me wrong, I love both cats and dogs pretty equally — dogs need a purr, for instance.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Cats, dogs, or both?

Is there anywhere in your life you feel stuck right now?

How do you show yourself a little love?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

2 for the Price of One!

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I find picking a word for the year to be a helpful tool. I may not be good at setting goals, but boy, I’ve got that word of the year thing down — I’m not sure how long I’ve been doing it, but it’s been a few years, at least.

I do keep my word in mind as the year goes on, too. I may not think of it every day, but I do find myself thinking about it. Last year’s word, too — anything beyond that tends to just fade away. Memory is not my strongest suit — unless we’re talking about food!

I usually spend some time in the fall thinking about what my upcoming word should be. My subconscious goes to work on it, and some day, sometime, the right word just pops into my mind: 2017 is patience (just don’t ask Mr. Judy to grade me!).

Or is it?

Brace yourself for the “big” reveal
Suddenly last week another word popped into my mind. I’m not ditching patience, it’s definitely something I need to work on, but this other word . . . it calls to me too. So 2017 is the year of two words.

Inspire

One of my goals for this blog has always been to inspire other people. For the most part I feel as though I am often preaching to the choir with my blogger friends, because as someone trying to live a healthy lifestyle, I naturally gravitate towards others with similar goals.

While “runs” might be a part of my blog name, this has always been more than just a running blog. I’m a pretty open person, and I like to share all my passions (for good or bad), whether that’s healthy eating, weight management, animals, fashion, yoga, or, yes, running.

As a relatively new blog, I am still finding my way. Although of course I’m not sure that any blog ever really just settles into a style — we grow and change as people, and our blogs grow and change along with us.

Sometimes blogging seems like an incredible indulgence. What did we do before the internet, anyway? Maybe we actually got out of our houses more often and interacted with each other more often.

While yes, it’s true, blogging does take up time that could be spend on “better” pursuits, it does connect us. I have met so many wonderful friends through this blog, some in person and others just online — although if you ever meet an online friend in real life, you’ll find that you really have been friends all along.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more,  you are a leader.
–John Quincy Adams

Me — a leader?
I’m not so sure that I’m a leader, but I hope that I can fulfill that position as defined by John Quincy Adams. Or perhaps I am just leading myself, because I do believe that I dream more, learn more and become more.

I became a runner, after all, without any athletic ability and not a whole lot of guidance in the beginning. My goal to run a half in every state is definitely a big dream. And running helps me to always be learning — for such a simple sport, there’s a lot to learn!

If you follow me on Instagram (@chocolaterunsjudy), maybe you’ve noticed that my posts recently have changed a bit. I realized, one day, that Instagram is such a perfect platform to inspire people. It’s both quick (instagram, after all) and visual. Never doubt the power of a picture.

I’ve been taking a bit more time with my photos and trying to include an inspiring message. I hope I can inspire you to try things that may sound weird to you, to be open minded, to be open to change.

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I want you to join me in my healthy lifestyle and journey. I want you to see that movement, in any form, isn’t punishment; not only is it good for you, it can make you feel good, too.

I want you to realize that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean deprivation or starving yourself, although it might be more work than you’re used to — but soon you’ll find that that extra work has big payoffs — more energy, less cravings, and maybe better fitting clothes.

I want you to try new things and keep an open mind, whether that’s exercise or food or hobbies.

I truly want to inspire you. And I love it if you share how you’re changing your life for the better — because you just might inspire me, too. And other people you may never hear from.

Maybe it’s not so indulgent after all
Yes, blogging is a first world pleasure, but maybe it really isn’t so indulgent after all. Like most powerful things, and never doubt that your blog is more powerful than you think, even if you never get a comment, it can be used for good or bad.

Blogging can connect you with people all over the world, and that’s really cool — something that would never have happened for me if I hadn’t started my blog.

Blogging can definitely inspire people. I know I read inspiring blogs all the time. And I hope that I can inspire you, even if I never hear from you. It’s a big reason that I started this blog — I am always saying that if I can run a half marathon, anyone can. I believe that. You can do anything you want to do, if you want it badly enough and work hard for it.

Tell me in the comments:

Do you think blogs can be inspiring?

Is blogging worth the time it consumes?

What have you been inspired to try recently?

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup. Hopefully they won’t mind that I’ve gone a bit off topic this week.

Tuesdays on the Run

I am thankful for you: TOLT

I’m Thinking Out Loud about how grateful I am to my blogger friends (again), PRs (again, in case you missed it), and, of course, Bandit. Someday I’ll be able to stop posting updates on him because he’ll just be part of the pack!

What is a PR, anyway?
I touched on this briefly in my Girls on the Run 5k recap. A PR should be so simple, right? It’s a personal record, as in the fastest you’ve ever run a distance.

Does it only count if you achieve it in a race? Not that I ever PR a training run, anyway!

Does it count if the course is short?

What if you know that your actual time was a PR, but the race only uses gun time, not chip time?

Race tee sizing
This isn’t actually a rant — someday I’ll air my pet peeve about race shirt sizing. Nope, this one was a sort-of pleasant surprise.

I wasn’t guaranteed a tee size for my Girls on the Run 5k because I signed up so late. I’ve got plenty of race tees so no biggie. You had your choice of M, L, or XL, but no guarantees if you picked it up the day of the race, like I did. And when I picked mine up, all they had were L & XL — I figured it would make a nice layer or throwaway, being such a nice bright yellow.

Then Sunday night when winter arrived in a really fierce way, I figured it would be good to sleep in. I got it, looked at it, and thought “man, these really ran small”. So I looked at the label — surprise, surprise, it was a small!

Everyone has an opinion
I know my body fairly well. When I somehow pulled a groin muscle during sleep (or so it seemed) and shared that on the blog, my blogging peeps were full of advice: rest. don’t stretch too much. roll it.

Although I’ve been known to be wrong, I was fairly certain it would go away on its own (which it has, unless it comes back of course).

I know my friends just had my back, but I always get a chuckle out of the advice that comes out when you admit to a niggle — and I am 100%, absolutely guilty of doing the same thing.

I wrote about how grateful I am to all of you yesterday in this post, and I am, and I hope if you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today — or if you’re not — that you’re having a totally awesome day.

So I’ve been feeling as though I’m fighting off a cold all week long . . .

Team foil roaster pan?
I have real roaster pans. They’re rarely used. Y’all know my “love” of cleaning and housework! So when I have to roast something, most of the time I use a foil roaster pan, even though I try to avoid using foil much around food.

I bought my turkey parts — breast, wings, drumsticks — that’s how I roll instead of an actual turkey — on Monday. I’d bought my roaster pans ahead of time. Or so I thought. When I got home I realized that there is no way those turkey parts are going in the two pans I bought. I was going to go back out, because I don’t want to have to go out shopping tomorrow (or Wednesday), but Mr. Judy offered to throw himself into the gladiator pit for me and pick some up.

I need some large ziplocs too . . . .

You know you love something when you miss it
Like running — you know how when you can’t run, it seems like runners are everywhere, and all you want to do is run?

Or blogging, for instance. Maybe because it’s still relatively new for me. But when I couldn’t blog as much as I wanted to during all the family drama, I really missed it.

I keep telling myself I’ll pull back, just a bit, to turn out more quality posts, rather than quantity, and yet . . . here I am. I’ve always been a journaler/journalist/diarist? at hear.

Bandit likes me sweaty after a treadmill run

Bandit update
We made a second visit to the vet (see my scene of the crime post from a few weeks ago) and Bandit did great again.Of course, he didn’t have to wait in a waiting room for half an hour and still didn’t see the vet, but he did get on the scale and I did pick him and put him on the exam table. Baby steps!

I also made a quick pitstop at the grocery store and left him in the car for about 5 minutes. I gave him a piece of jerky, which he stopped eating the minute I left the car without him. When I came back out, he was sitting and just staring at the dog. But he wasn’t jumping up, barking, or destroying the car. He got back to work on the jerky when I got back in the car.

It got so cold and windy that he didn’t get a walk for a couple of days, too. The first day I tried, and he was totally not into to it, so I gave us all a break (we’re talking windchills in the teens). He seems to be managing.

Part of it is his secret supplement cocktail: Nurticalm, RX Clay, and Diarrhea Tabs (Amazon affiliate links). He is sleeping through the night and I’m not having to clean up messes. Knock on wood! It’s like having a baby or a puppy . . .

In some ways he’s so like Chester — separation anxiety resulting in poor poops and not touching food when I’m out (we’re past that now), smart, protective, prefers me to Mr. Judy although not quite as bad as Chester was, not terribly interested in playing with Lola — although the jury is still out on that one.

There are a couple of major differences: with Chester, most days, getting out first thing in the morning was like a major emergency (Bandit was like that at first, too, but things have calmed down and now I don’t take him out until I’ve fed Gizmo — big change!). And Bandit is like Lola in that he likes to go to sleep early. He snoozes in his bed while we watch tv and he actually would rather go into his crate than downstairs with Mr. Judy!

Today will be a big test for him, with all the chaos and people, assuming the weather isn’t too bad and my family gets here. I’ll let you know how he did next week.

 

Making sure Lola gets some play time, too

 

Giz trying to “help” me decorate for Thanksgiving

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Team real roaster pan or foil roaster pan?

Do you play a doctor on the Internet?

How did Thanksgiving go and what did you serve (recipes please!)?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

The Dark Side of Blogging

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It’s so easy to get sucked into the dark side. We all start out with good intentions — we find things we love, and we want to share what we love with other people. And maybe we want to make a little money, too, because who couldn’t use a little extra change?

Bloggers really can influence people. And that’s why companies want to get into bed with bloggers. I remember not long after I first started blogging, I read the post Why Bloggers Should Stop Working for Free.

And I thought, that’s all well and good for you, obviously you have figured out how to turn your blog into a business, something that still eludes me. And if you read the post, you will notice that Megan does say not to expect to be paid for reivews — at first. Also to ask for what you want, such as a link back to your content.

So I filed it away in my little brain at the time and I have to be honest — for the most part, companies are not beating a path to my blog. Not yet, anyway. And some of the ones that have clearly fall into the categories Megan talks about — it’s all about them, not about creating a working collaboration.

Fast forward a year or so
So one day I read Patty @ Noguiltlife’s post Newsflash: Mom Blogs Do (Sometimes) Suck, which she wrote in response to the post Dear Mommy Blogger. I’m not actually a mommy blogger, but I’d say I fall into the hobby blogger community, and the wannabe a professional blogger maybe community.

Posts like Josi’s always strike me as a plea for attention and a bit of sour grapes. I think a lot of bloggers get into blogging with good intentions, find some fast money, and find themselves sucked down into the rabbithole and doing things they weren’t planning to when they first got into blogging.

You see posts like this every so often. We get lured by money, by more exposure, by flattery.

The ZOOMA Debacle
I dodged a bullet on that one. Darlene was signed up for ZOOMA Cape Cod. Mr. Judy & I like the Cape. His parents retired there, and we’ve spent a lot of time there, although they no longer live there and we don’t spend as much time there anymore.

It sounded like fun, though. I’ve already done my MA half, but the 10k fit nicely into my training schedule. There was a lot of back and forth between Mr. Judy and myself. I tried to get a few of my friends to come with me. We actually got as far as renting a house (knowing we could get a full refund within a month if we changed our minds).

In the end, despite some interest, the friends weren’t going to come. And then while we were in NYC last Friday, I got a text from one of those friends: the race was sold out. Oh well, I thought, it wasn’t meant to be.

I had noticed, a couple of days before, that there was a note on the ZOOMA Website saying “permit pending”. And that was the problem — they failed to get a permit. They canceled the half, changed it to an untimed 5 & 10k and yoga weekend, and tried to make it seem as if this was a good thing.

Last year I ran ZOOMA Annapolis. It was the eighth year the race had been run. It was hot, hilly, and humid. And at one aid station they ran out of cups, at another they ran out of water altogether. Luckily I had my small handheld with me and had had it refilled halfway through the race.

Let’s just say I wasn’t particularly impressed by ZOOMA, which is a darn shame. The idea is good. Apparently this year the Annapolis race was even more disorganized.

I am now boycotting ZOOMA races; they don’t really seem to care much about the runners.

But What About the ZOOMA Ambassadors?
ZOOMA Ambassadors don’t get the same experience as the people who pay for their race. Let’s face it, anytime your don’t have to pay for a race, and you’re wined and dined and get extra goodies, it can’t help but shape your opinion of the race.

I am friendly with some bloggers who are ZOOMA Ambassadors. It was suggested to me that I should apply to be a ZOOMA ambassador, too, but I replied that after my experience last year, it just wasn’t a race I could get behind. Which is probably kind of snarky on my part, because it was my one and only experience of ZOOMA and you really can’t judge a franchise by one experience.

With everything that has gone down recently, though, I’m glad I didn’t apply. I’m not holier than thou — I want free stuff as much as the next person. But it’s hard to stay objective when you’re given stuff for free.

I still like my fellow bloggers who are ZOOMA Ambassadors, but I know that it’s just not for me. I also know that the way ZOOMA handles its races most definitely not the ambassadors’ fault, and no doubt they’re not terribly thrilled by what’s going on, either.

I do get a small amount of money to spend on  Skirtsports and a nice discount. I’m pretty honest (I hope) with my opinions about their clothing. While I do love Skirtsports, and have been buying them long before I was chosen to be an ambassador, there are still things I don’t like (the fact that, for me, anyway, I can’t put sharp objects into the Gym Girl Ultra Skirts’ pockets without getting cut, although it’s fine on the Happy Girl Skirts, for instance).

I hope I can always remain honest in my reviews. So far I haven’t hosted a giveaway (except that one time which was my own baked goods, which in an odd twist of fate Darlene won — fair and square, I swear!), and if I do, I hope it’s for a product I truly love and use. You can be sure that I’m not going to purchase a Kitchenaid mixer out of my own money just to host a giveaway for it and hope to get some new likes, because those likes are not going to keep reading my blog, and connecting with other runners and like minded people is still my number one objective for this blog.

You get what you put into it
Even if I never make a dime from my blog (so far, I havne’t), I don’t anticipate that I would stop blogging. I enjoy it. Perhaps someday I’d spend less time on it. Even this summer I’m spending a little less time on it.

I enjoy writing, I enjoy the comments, I enjoy the interaction with like minded bloggers, I enjoy sharing healthy recipes, and often I have something to say.

Does my blog suck sometimes? No doubt. Did I start my blog just to make money? No. But if you could make money doing something you truly love and not get sucked into the dark side . . . well, that’s the holy grail, isn’t it?

If the only reason you start to blog is that you want to make money, some day you will no doubt burn out. Maybe you’ll find yourself doing things that really don’t interest you or feed your spirit. Maybe you’ll find that it’s no longer fun or rewarding.

And maybe you’ll make a ton of money and never have a moment’s regret!

I’m truly interested in what you have to say about this subject — especially if you’re a blogger or if you got caught in the mess that is ZOOMA Cape Cod. Tell me in the comments:

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

What sort of topics would you like to see more of on my blog?

Have you run a ZOOMA race? Did you like it? Would you run another one?

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Tuesdays on the Run

Forget downward “dog” . . . : TOLT

. . . .cats are good at yoga too — especially savasana!

I’m Thinking Out Loud about truly random things this thursday: writer’s block, eyebrows, weight management, oh my!

Creating the perfect eyebrow
Ok, I don’t know how to do that, you got me. But I did read this tip this week and wanted to share it. If you use an eyebrow pencil to fill in your brows — I do, by the way; I may have been gifted with full brows, but they look better with a little filling in — start at the arch and then work your way out towards your nose, rather than starting at your nose and just working out towards your hair.

The reason is our first strokes tend to be heavy, and that can look harsh no matter how much smudging you do. And I have definitely run into that! This tip works really well.

Not having a doctor’s note is a good thing
I know I whine a lot about how difficult it is to maintain my weight at just 2 pounds above my goal weight.

Weight Watchers actually does let you get a note from your doctor to adjust your goal weight. I have some friends who have done this. I haven’t simply because I don’t have a primary care doctor. Yes, the girl who sees a chiropractor, physical therapist, and massage therapist doesn’t have a primary care doctor. But I do have a ob/gyn. Well, I went once, anyway.

Don’t judge.

I realized one day, though, that striving to stay within 2 pounds of my goal weight helps me to try harder. To not let 2 pounds become 5, 5 become 10, and so on.

Life isn’t meant to be easy, folks. The hard is what makes it good.

Blogging controls mindless eating
Did you know you could use blogging to distract yourself from eating?

Works for me, anyway. I don’t eat while I’m on the computer. And I find reading, commenting on, and writing blogs makes me forget that I’m hungry.

It was probably just boredom, anyway.

 

Where’s the friggin’ sun already?

Writer’s block . . . 
Can be solved by taking an exercise break.

Okay, I wasn’t actually blocked, but I’d only partially written yesterday’s post when I left to take Lola to the park.

When I cam back, the words just flowed.

There is really quite a lot of science about how our brains continue to work on a problem when we take a break and do something else. Why else do you get your best ideas in the shower or on the run?

 

Namaste

My fellow yogi Gizmo
I’ve written about it before, but Gizmo likes to help out with my yoga. I finally remembered to bring my ipod down with me one morning and sure enough when I did savasana at the end, he was doing his own savasana right on top of me and I got it.

I’m still losing my mind
My senior moment for this week: I got Lola into the car to take her to the park and run a few errands. Then I realized I’d forgotten the library books I meant to return and went back up to get them.

I’m sure you guessed that I’d already put them in the trunk so I wouldn’t have to worry about carrying them while carrying her out to the car (I don’t like her to think she can just wander into the garage, especially since Mr. Judy goes in and out of it a lot and sometimes forgets to close the door).

Do you use something to distract yourself from eating?

Have you had a senior moment recently?

How do you get the creative juices flowing?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

I love you, now go away: Spilling over high tea

Seriously, I do love my husband. I ought to; we’ve been married over 30 years now! We might have the strongest marriage of all our siblings (one is separated, one sort of hates each other’s guts but stay together, one seems pretty good but those children make it hard to work on the marriage).

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High tea: any wonder I’m planning that for my birthday?

That doesn’t mean I don’t like a little alone time now and again. More time to enjoy my tea (hot beverage of choice; not a coffee drinker here).

I am joining up with CocoDeborah, and Lynda for their ultimate coffee date anyway.

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that my husband was out of town just overnight this week. It was a nice little break. For me, anyway.

I love my husband, and having lived apart due to his job in the past, I know that while I can live alone, I’d rather live with him.

That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a little break once in a while: more computer time to work on the blog, watching the movie I really want to, making the meals I really want to.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that deviating from my training plan (which I just barely began) always makes me anxious.

And then I get sick, and all I want is to be able to move again!

I wasn’t really sick this week, but I was feeling a little off, with muscle aches and a slightly elevated temperature.

I took a few extra rest days, but seriously, with grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, dog walking, animal caretaking — it’s hard to rest!

So rest meant a couple of days with very little formal exercise (yet I still managed to almost get in close to 10,000 steps those days).

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I like to plan . . .

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I have you, my fellow running bloggers, to thank for not sticking strictly to my training plan, which had barely even begun.

On my own I probably would have.

I channeled all my fellow bloggers who are so good at listening to their bodies to help me feel a little calmer about those extra rest days.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you that I think blogging is easier if you work outside the home.

Before you jump down my throat, let me explain. My guess is a lot of people are chained to a desk at work and they’re at least part of the time commenting and answering comments while multitasking at work.

I am not terribly attached to my phone, and so I will work on the blog for an hour or two in the morning and then I am on to other stuff or out running errands (and no, I rarely check my phone while I’m out — the cell phone is not the best way to get a hold of me!).

Granted, I don’t have all those pesky work tasks and meetings interfering in my blogging time.

I’m not a millenial, so I didn’t grow up with a cell phone attached to my hands.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would you that I just have real trouble documenting my life. I know that people are drawn into blogs with photos, but as I said, I don’t always have my phone around (or iPod, since that’s what I use to take photos with usually) and most of the time I just don’t think about taking photos.

It’s just not a way of life for me. But it makes for a kind of boring blog! I’m working on it. Any tips for me?

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would you that blogging is good for my shopping addiction. Oh sure, sometimes it’s bad for it too, but I find I often don’t have the time to shop online that I did before I devoted so much time to my blog!

This is not a bad thing.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you had an epiphany about Weight Watchers, or really just weight loss in general, while I was in the shower the other day. Doesn’t everyone have the best thoughts in the shower?

Anyway, I’ve had more than one Weight Watchers friend who has been hugely successful on the program. And then eventually they decide it’s no longer working for them and they quit Weight Watchers (insert your “diet” of choice there).

And they begin gaining back the weight they’ve lost.

And that’s just the problem: they’re viewing it as a diet and not a lifestyle — or, in other words, that it’s something you do temporarily and then you go back to your “real” life.

Except all those things you did to successfully lose the weight? You can’t stop doing them if you want to maintain your weight. Trust me on that — I have learned that in 25 years of weight loss/maintenance efforts.

Yeah, it really kind of sucks sometimes. Only it really doesn’t. If going to weekly meetings, planning what I eat, and tracking what I eat are the tools I need to maintain my weight, they’re a small price to pay.

Diets are temporary. Healthy habits are a way of life and will help you to maintain and not struggle so much.

Take it from someone who struggled for decades!

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

Do you diet or do you make healthy lifestyle changes?