5 Tips to Sail through your First Colonoscopy

bcolonoscopypreptips

I promise this post won’t be very graphic, but if it’s still TMI for you, feel free to just skip it — I’ll understand! 

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 tips to make that first Colonoscopy Prep easier.

Soups allowed me to eat some veggies & feel fuller

1: Soups are your friend
Liquids tend to take up more room in our stomach, making us feel fuller, and like smoothies, the blending of the soup makes it easier to digest. I made some simple carrot soup — a bag of baby carrots, 32 oz of veggie broth, 2 tbsp of ghee or butter (I used ghee), and some spices (ginger, ).

I often had this carrot soup before a meal. It helped a lot! I happen to enjoy it too.

It wouldn’t work for me on a cold day but it hit the spot after a long run in the summer!

2: What about a post run snack?
I often like to time a run before a meal, but that’s harder to do in Summer. If I drive to run, I really do like to have a small snack right after my run. I couldn’t eat any of the protein bars I usually do — instead I made a smoothie and used one of my pack it bags (Amazon Affiliate link here) to keep it cold — it was a cooler day, but still Summer — although I wasn’t running that long.

This worked perfectly! I made a really simple smoothie using frozen banana, spinach, cottage cheese, and a little water and honey. Blending helps to begin the break down of the fiber in the fruit and veggies.

Cottage cheese tends to be higher in sodium, so I don’t usually eat that much of it, but a little extra sodium after a warm/hot long run is a good thing. I had gotten away from recovery smoothies, for various reasons, but the truth is they’re so much healthier than protein bars.

I suppose jello would have worked well too, actually, but I hadn’t made any yet.

3: Hydrate well all week
Just consider it a long distance race, LOL! You know it’s not the day before that you have to hydrate well, what really matters is the entire week, right? You do not want to be dehydrated on procedure day, although you will be consuming a lot of liquids the day before. Like, a lot. You’ll also be losing a lot of liquids, hence hydrating well all week long.

4: Jello is a clear liquid
Well obviously jello isn’t a liquid, but apparently it’s okay to have on clear liquid day. Or any time during the week before. I had jello for breakfast clear liquid day morning. I was never hungry — it served me well. That was the only thing “solid” I ate that day. Popsicles are okay, too, but I’m not a popsicle person. You can also have hard candies, and I like these honey drops — all the flavors, actually (Amazon Affiliate link here), so I did have a few of those on clear liquid day too.

5: Try to eat lighter the week before
The less you have in your digestive system, the less you have to get rid, and the easier the prep will be. It’s not easy though. I admit to being somewhat hungry because of the low fiber diet. Not all doctors require you to be on the low fiber diet as long as I was (starting a week before your procedure) — but that’s what my doctor had me do.

Especially try to eat lighter the day before clear liquid day, again to make the prep go easily, so to speak.

Now this doesn’t look scary, now does it?

Bonus Tip: You don’t have to use Gatorade with the prep
One tip I’d read was to mix the prep mixture, which so many people complain about, with cold apple juice instead of the suggested Gatorade. This worked great for me — truly, I just felt like I was drinking cold apple juice and I had no trouble drinking it at all (thank goodness it was summer, but I still felt cold because you’re drinking a lot of it!).

Mr. Judy used powdered lemonade mix, and he didn’t have problems with it either. You can, of course, use the Gatorade if you want to. It’s a really good idea to have some electrolytes because you’re basically not eating for 24+ hours. You can also use Nuun — I did drink a lot of Nuun on clear liquid day (lemon lime, if you’re curious, which you can buy at this Amazon Affiliate link here — no reds, oranges, or blues). 

I did end up buying way too much Nuun, because I got worried I wouldn’t have enough. It’s not my favorite flavor, but it’ll get used, don’t worry. I think 2 tubes for clear liquid day would be more than enough!

I chose the apple juice rather than the Nuun for the prep mix because I don’t like Nuun really cold.

Final Thoughts
Of course this is my experience, and not everyone has the same experience. I can tell you for sure that while the prep wasn’t fun, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it’s made out to be, at least not for me or Mr. Judy.

I debated on whether or not to write about the experience, but I read a lot of blog posts on it prior and found useful tips in them, so I thought someone might get some use out of these tips too.

I actually do plan to write a separate post about the experience, again not overly graphic — but people often just don’t really talk about it and that makes it scarier than it has to be. I had a cousin who had colon cancer, thankfully caught early, but he did have to do chemo. No one wants to do that!

Have you had colonoscopies already?

Any other tips to add?

Walkway over the Hudson:

5 Things to Know Before You Go

If you ever find yourself in Poughkeepsie, NY, this is the thing to do. Seriously, there isn’t really that much in Poughkeepsie (where I grew up), although it does give you easy access to things like:

  • FDR Library
  • Vanderbilt Mansion
  • Minnewaska State Park
  • Rhinebeck, Saugerties, Woodstock (all cute towns)
bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 things to know before you go to the Walkway over the Hudson.

Once you get over the Hudson — zero shade. But a breeze (which might not be a great thing sometimes!)

1: There’s no shade
Zip, zero, nada. Plus it’s high up, which means it gets hotter up there. I happened to visit it on a perfect day — but we’d been with Lola & Chester a couple of times, I believe — we didn’t get very far.

2: It’s windy up there, too
There wasn’t a whole lot of wind the day I visited, but up there? Yes, there was. I had to hold onto my hat the entire walk — and take it off so it wouldn’t sail away when I took photos. Take #1 & #2 into consideration if you want to run across it.

3: It’s concrete
Initially when I thought about visiting it, I thought I’d run across it. Concrete is just about the hardest surface to run on. I decided to pass on the run and just walk over, although if you choose to run you’ll have plenty of company.

It’s not long, but it connects to the rail trail plus you have awesome Hudson River views as well as a great view of the Mid Hudson Bridge

4: The walkway is about 1 1/4 mile long but . . .
. . . there are small areas on either side with restrooms, water fountains, and some food trucks. According to my watch it was about 1.5 mile one way. It does connect directly to the Hudson Rail Trail on the Highland side, so you might use those 1.5 miles as a long warmup and cool down before running on the more shaded, paved rail trail.

5: You can take your dog, but . . .
. . . as I said, it’s concrete. That concrete can get very hot on warm days. Too hot for most dog’s paws. Which is part of why I’d never walked the entire walkway before. There was one self-watering dog bowl on one end, which is nice (no idea if it’s always there).

Bonus Tip: Where to Park
If you park on the Highland side, you have immediate access to the Rail Trail, too. The address to park there is 87 Haviland Road, Highland NY 12528 — it’s in the town of Lloyd (no, you can’t make that stuff up!).

If you park on the Poughkeepsie side, I recommend 61 Parker Avenue. There’s a dirt lot right there that’s free, and there’s a paved lot just a little bit up that you pay for ($5 for 4 hours in 2021). We have actually parked on both side on different trips. I recommend going earlier, because on nice days those parking lots fill up quickly!

Final Thoughts
I’m really happy that I finally got to walk the whole Walkway. I grew up here, but of course the Walkway wasn’t built until 2009 (although it was previously a railroad bridge, built in 1889, which burnt down in 1974 — I have no memory of that, but I was only 12 at the time).

It’s a great view of the Mid Hudson Bridge, which always says home to me when I drive over it. It reminds me a lot of the James D. Pfluger Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge in Austin (which was built in 2001).

The big difference is the size of the water bodies the two bridges span. The Austin bridge spans Ladybird “Lake” (which will always be Town Lake to me), while the Walkway goes over the Hudson River — to me Ladybird Lake reminds me of a creek, not a lake, because the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie is the river I grew up with. I’ve also been to it closer to the source of the Hudson River, where it’s much smaller.

There’s a FAQ here to visit if you ever decide to walk across the Walkway

Have you ever heard of the Walkway over the Hudson?

Does this sound like somewhere you’d like to visit/run? Quite frankly there isn’t much else going on in Poughkeepsie.

5 Ways to Get Through Stressful Times

bcopingwithstresstitle

The simple fact that my mom is in rehab is stressful enough. Add in the travel back and forth, the packing and unpacking, trying to cram in the things I usually do in half a week (sometimes). Yeah, you might say it’s been a wee bit stressful.

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 I’m coping with that stress.

1: Be Kind to Yourself
If you’re going through a time where you need to do a lot of caretaking, you’re going to have less time to do the things you enjoy. Or even need to do! Don’t sweat the small stuff, as they say. This too shall pass. 

2: No seriously, take care of you!
I have to say it: yes, you do need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. That may look very, very different from your usual self care though. You just won’t have the time — and maybe not the energy. Do the best you can, and let the stuff that doesn’t really matter go. Who really needs a perfectly clean house anyway?

bcopingwithstress2

3: Download some exercise videos
If you use an app that allows you to download videos so you can practice them offline, do it. You never know when you might not have access to Wifi, or you may not want to use up all your data. Knowing that you can do something will help alleviate the stress of how/when you’ll get your workouts in. Obviously if all you do is run, you might not need this advice.

bcopingwithstress1

4: Bring some healthy food with you
That might mean just some healthy snacks or it might mean bring meals with you. I do both. I am lucky to stay at my sister’s house and have access to a microwave and refrigerator. Even so you will no doubt be in situations where you don’t have healthy options. Eating healthy meals and snacks will help you to stay healthy and cope better with whatever life throws at you.

5: Meditate
I can hear it now: I can’t meditate. I can’t turn off my thoughts. The point of meditation isn’t to turn off your thoughts, though. It’s basically to detach from them so you are able to remain calmer no matter what rabbit hole your thoughts are trying to take you down. The more you do it, the more you’ll be able to drop into a calmer place quickly.

Seriously can’t meditate? Just take 10 deep breaths when you feel like you can’t take it anymore. Notice how you feel once you’re done. Repeat as necessary.

Final Thoughts
No one gets through life without stressful times. There are simple ways to cope, though.

What helps you through stressful times?

What tips would you add?

5 Ways to Plan Your Next Hike

bplanyourhikes

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!

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 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?

5 Sneaky Places Sugar Hides

bsugar

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.

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 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).

bsugar2

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?

6 Ways to Keep Your Cool on the Run

img_8906-2
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.

bcoolingoff

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

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 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).

img_8583
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?

5 Workouts to Ditch the Running Boredom!

b5runningworkouts

Do you get bored with the same routes, the same distances, the same paces? You can mix it up without working to hard. I’ve got five running “workouts” you can play with the next time your find yourself in a running rut.

Disclaimer: I am not a running coach. These are just fun little workouts I use sometimes to get out of a running rut.

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 easy but useful running workouts to keep in your toolbox.

1: Pick Ups
Every runner is different, but I find I often run at a non challenging pace by default. A lot of runners have trouble running slower, but if you’re more like me and slow is your jam, just literally pick up the pace during a run. For however long you feel like. Usually I’m like that really didn’t feel so hard, why was I running so slowly?

2: Run hard for short distances
Mile repeats? I’ve done them but I don’t like them, gotta be honest. Tempo runs? Not surprisingly I’m not a fan of tempos either! Those longer intervals work. If you’re just looking to have a little fun running faster for a just a bit, go short: 200 meters just might be your sweet spot.

b5runningworkouts2

3: Alternate hard miles
The opposite of #2, this is a strategy I use in longer races and runs sometimes. It’s the longer intervals but with a break in between. Pick up the pace for a mile, then ease off the next — repeat as necessary.

4: Run faster on the downhills
I know some people are afraid of opening up the throttle on a downhill, but running downhill fast has always felt exhilarating to me. Probably why I love downhill races!

5: Add in a little PT
Start off with a little agility — grapevine, anyone? Run a while. Do sideways squats. Run some more. Do some skipping. Run some more. You get the idea. Do some high knees, some butt kicks, some toy soldiers. It would be a great way to get in those drills we know we should do, but then never do. I have to admit I would probably feel too self conscious to do this outdoors — but I have done some variations of this when I’m on the mill indoors.

Final Thoughts
Running can seem monotonous sometimes, but it really doesn’t have to be.

What fun running workouts do you do?

Short of long intervals?

Do you ever do running drills?

5 Hiking with Woman’s Best Friend Tips

bhikingdogs1

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

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

bfitfivefriday

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

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

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

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

mckinney3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have you ever hiked with your dog/s?

Is there any doggy hiking gear you’d recommend?

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

5 Must-Dos after a Long run/Race

bafterlongrun

You may have been #runningallthemiles during the Pandemic, but if you haven’t, you might be a little rusty on what to do after a long run — or race (still haven’t raced, not looking to anytime soon actually).

This post is a little reminder to myself — maybe something will resonate with you, too.

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 ways to jumpstart your recovery after a longer/harder run or race.

1: Move!
It’s really tempting to go home and veg on the couch all day after a harder/longer run or race. I have been guilty of this! You will recover better (be ready to run sooner rather than later without feeling wiped out) if you keep moving not just immediately after your run, but throughout the rest of the day, too.

Put your legs up the wall, too, before you go to bed. Seriously, I mean that literally! Very soothing to tired legs.

anonymous woman warming up in park during workout with instructor
Stretch out right after  your run, even if it’s only a few minutes! | Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com

2: Stretch while you’re warm
Warm muscles stretch easier. Which is part of why you want dynamic stretching before a run, but static holds can be okay post run.

3: Hydrate
You will lose hydration when you run long or race. You can even weigh yourself before & after to see how much, although I admit I’ve never done this. I keep thinking I really should, but then I never remember to.

Just like you need to refuel, you need to rehydrate. You won’t feel quite so tired if you start hydrating as soon as possible. If alcohol post run/race is your thing, just remember you might want to alternate with good ole water. Alcohol doesn’t really count as rehydration, no matter how good it may taste (to some).

strawberry smoothie on glass jar
A Smoothie post run can both hydrate you & refuel you & it’s easy to digest, too! | Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

4: Have a snack
You will have burned through your glycogen (carb) stores most likely. Want to recover quickly and be ready for that next run? Have a snack. Think more protein than carbs, but obviously you need some carbs, too.

I like either a small protein bar — or a smoothie. If you have no desire to eat post race, which isn’t uncommon, you may be able to tolerate a smoothie. Add some fruit and greek yogurt or protein powder (greens will help too — start with just a bit and you won’t taste it).

5: Compression
Maybe you race in compression socks. If you don’t, wearing some post race is a great way to get some blood to your legs. If you have those Normatec boots (or something similar) — lucky you! Even better!

Final Thoughts
It really doesn’t take much time to do these five things. They will start you on the road to recovery quickly, and the next run should feel a lot better.

What’s your go-to snack post race?

What’s your go-to beverage post race?

Which of these do you need to work on?

5 Cs of Mental Toughness

b5cmental

 

We all know that most anything in life is really more about what goes on in our head, not our body. The head can override the body — for good or bad.

I’m sharing five tips from the book “Mind Gym” (Amazon affiliate link here) to help you with your mental toughness.

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 ways to work on your mental game — whether you’re returning to racing — or not!

1: Confident

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t — you’re right!

In other words, believe in yourself, your capabilities, and your training

overgrown trees from window with drops in rainy weather
You can’t control the weather so just go with the flow | Photo by Sam Willis on Pexels.com

2: Control
Focus on what you can control:

  • Your thoughts
  • Your fueling
  • Your hydrating

Let go of what you can’t control:

  • The course
  • The weather
  • The people around you

Just don’t give any energy to the things you can’t control, pour it all into what you can control

3: Courage
It’s so easy to give into our inner critic:

It’s too hilly. It’s too hot, cold, windy, rainy. I may as well just give up, I’m never going to hit my goal anyway.

There are very few races — if any — that go completely our way. There’s almost always something we have to overcome. That takes courage.

I remember more than one race where I thought I had run too slow to ever meet my goal, only to realize towards the end that I still could — if I dug deep and had courage.

In other words:

Never give up

4: Consistent
This one is about training, not actual racing — but it’s important. I think it’s one of my superpowers, and I’ve always said that if I’m going to race, I’m going to train for it. Not because of PRs (although that’s nice, of course), but because it actually gives me that confidence, knowing that I have shown up, and done the work. Knowing that my body is prepared to race and therefore much less likely to get injured.

people running during daytime
You can see the competitiveness on their faces | Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

5: Competitive
You don’t have to be an elite athlete — or even a fast runner — to use competitiveness to your advantage. Even if  you’re DFL (dead frickin’ last). All you need is a rabbit to chase. I know I often do better when I’m chasing a runner who is just a little faster than I am!

Final Thoughts
You don’t have to be trying for a certain time, a PR, or qualifying for a race to put the 5 Cs into play. Even if the race is more about fun than racing, I promise you, you’re going to have a better experience if you work on the 5 Cs!

How is your mental game these days?

Which of the 5 Cs do you need to work on? Letting go of the things I can’t control for me

Can you think of any Cs to add to this list?