Where’s my Spring?: Spilling over tea/coffee March 2019

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The groundhog said it would be an early Spring. Tell that to the wind, cold, and snow we’re having lately. What does a large furry rodent know, anyway?

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date, cause I have lots to share with you and want to hear what you have to say, too.

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February 2018. How long ago that seems. Always in my heart, Giz.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
Almost all of the cat stuff (and there was lots) has been sucked out of our house (well, into the garage/storage). The house is so much more open. Life is easier. I can wear clothes without worrying too much that they’ll be shredded.

Life is also a lot emptier and sadder. There’s just a huge cat-sized hole in my life. For a variety of reasons it’s not a good time for us to be adopting a new cat/s.

Still, when we went to pick up the bag that Mr. Judy had left at the pet store, there were cats waiting for fostering/adoption. I may have said we could foster, after all the room had been set up for a cat for months (but of course now all signs of cat has been removed).

Then as we were walking the dogs this beautiful Maine Coon came stalking towards us. I may have said that obviously the cat wanted to come home with us. He was also walking towards us the next day, too. He is not a stray; I know where he lives.

Yes, I’m very comfy, thank you. It’s MY couch.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that Lola has begun to act super clingy (which was happening before Gizmo “disappeared”, and we had Lola & Bandit sniff his body anyway). She just seems to be somewhat reverting to the super anxious dog we adopted (although thankfully not that bad).

She used to love to lay on the bed, but now she’s rarely found there. In fact, she’s driving me bonkers because I get into bed, turn off the lights, and suddenly she wants to go downstairs (where Mr. Judy is — Chester also started hanging out with Mr. Judy at night as he got older, and he was my little shadow). I thought maybe it was the diffuser which is somewhat new, but I’ve tried leaving it off and she still does this (unless she doesn’t, but that’s rare).

She stays on the bed when Mr. Judy comes to bed later. I am now making sure she goes downstairs before I get into bed so I don’t have to get up.

In addition, she is picking up bad habits from Bandit. She now drags the dogbed on the couch from its corner to the other end of the couch. She never did this before Bandit arrived in our lives. Why can’t they pick up good behaviors from each other?

This was just one dessert on race day. I never did take pic of the Chocolate PB Cupcake. 

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that I enjoyed every decadent, rich, fried, chocolate bite I had in Savannah.  I’m also glad that essentially we only ate there four days. As it was I felt as though you had to roll me home (although thankfully the scale wasn’t too bad — and again, lucky it was only four days!).

Originally I’d planned for it to be a week’s vacation. I had visions of visiting Tybee Island, too, and staying there a couple of days. I feel like we barely scratched the surface of Savannah, but there are still so many places to see in this country — it is actually part of why I am trying to run a half in every state.

Doesn’t that scream beach to you? Well it does to me!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that the mug I finally settled on is a winner. I’m extremely picky about my mugs, I have a whole set of criteria I am aiming for when I pick one (see my post about choosing mugs here).

As if my criteria didn’t make it hard enough, there’s also just the whole feel of the mug, and much like running shoes, you really don’t know if it’s right until you drink from it (or run several miles for running shoes).

No dribbling.

I was afraid I would have trouble with tea spilling from the lip, as I’ve found lips like that have a tendency to dribble, but the first drink was a success. I have found when the mug goes in like that, even if it’s larger, it tends to keep the tea warmer longer. And I just love the design — it reminds me of the beach (even if we never went to the beach in Savannah!).

I further runfess that some of my walking-too-much the day before the race (read about it here) may have been in search of the perfect mug, but at least I was successful.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
This should have been a runfession, but of course I already had plenty of those to share last Friday here. It occurred to me one day that it’s not so much that I hate running in the cold — even if I’m not very fond of getting started — who is?

No, the problem is that I’ve always been a heavy sweater. It doesn’t matter how little clothes I wear; I sweat. It’s the getting sweaty, and then getting super chilled afterwards as the sweat dries (because after all that’s the job of sweat), that I just have trouble facing.

I am chilled for hours after a cold run. Even when we have a mild winter, there are usually a lot of cold runs here. I get tired of being that uncomfortable!

Do your furkids pick up the bad habits from each other?

Have you worn something new on race day that was a problem?

How long do you think people can really improve with running?

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

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Adventures with a creamsicle cat

I’m sharing more stories about Gizmo (for those that don’t know, we helped him cross the Rainbow Bridge last week — read more about him here).

As I was sorting through photos and trying to choose them for the post above, there were so many that told stories.

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Giz enjoying some spring weather too from the safety of his kennel . . . 

Gizmo enjoying some time outside safely
This photo above doesn’t really tell a story, but it was in my last TOLT post. OTOH, it’s Gizmo in his outdoor kennel. Back when the boys were tiny little kittens, we decided we would build them a kennel outside that they could access via a cat flap in the house. It started out somewhat small, and it grew . . . and it grew . . . and it grew . . . and furntirure moved in . . . and it moved with us from TX to NY.

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The kennel in TX

The boys just loved this kennel. So did my elderly cat, Puss. Simba was in it on his last day on earth — Gizmo hadn’t gone into it in the last several weeks, though. In the photo at the top I am sitting on the bench next to Giz.

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Fresh air. Sunshine. Little critters. What more could a cat want?

My first two cats were strictly indoors. I wanted the boys to be able to enjoy fresh air . . . safely. There was a price, though — the critters they caught & brought in! They were mighty hunters.

Which leads me to one our most told stories about the boys: the time when I came home to find them staring intently at my treadmill. The space between it and the wall. I took a look, and I thought I saw one of their little furry balls. And then it moved.

Too big to be a mouse, I thought ewww! It’s a rat. Eventually they lost interest and wandered away. A few hours later, though, when Mr. Judy got home, they were back at it. And then we heard squeaking.

We managed to get the 3 cats (Puss was still alive) into separate rooms, and then we lifted  the treadmill. And it went from ewww, a rat, to awww! a baby bunny!

We eventually managed to get it, and Mr. Judy was concerned that it couldn’t fend for itself — so he put it out in my garden! The next morning there was no bunny, so I’ve always assumed somehow it’s mama found it. I just believe that it survived — poor thing had quite the adventure to tell!

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Cats’ agility is amazing thing to watch

How’d he do that?
I never tired of marveling at the acrobatic capabilities of the boys. I mean, I knew he jumped onto that little corner shelf, then jumped from there into the window — but how? They used to jump from the floor onto the top of our 6 foot entertainment center, too. Gizmo used to give me heart attacks jumping from our top floor here straight down to the bottom floor!

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Gizmo supervising my painting

Eventually Mr. Judy built this shelf for that back window and a ramp up to it. We don’t have windows like that here in NY, but we do have a big bay window in our living room and the boys spent many hours snoozing in beds there.

I remember the one time a tornado actually got quite close to us in TX . . . I was able to easily get Gizmo in the bathroom, but Simba was just sitting on that shelf staring out at the storm; eventually I got him, too, and we rode it out in our bathroom. It wasn’t a big one, but it did get somewhat close.

Puss was still alive and I wasn’t able to find her. After we got out, I found her behind the dresser in our bedroom — against an inside wall. I had no idea she could squeeze back there, but she was a smart cat — that was a good place to ride out the storm!

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Literally bouncing off walls

Speaking of acrobatics . . . 
We used to throw balls up against the quilt for the boys to catch.

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Training is fun

Who says you can’t train cats?
Before we ever had dogs, we trained the boys to sit up, lay down, high five, jump over a hurdle and jump through hoops. They loved it. They got so excited when the clicker came out — the dogs did, too — except Bandit. He’s afraid of the clicker. Not the vacuum cleaner, but the clicker. Weird dog.

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Jumping hurdles. Lola used to love this, too (we did agility with her when she was younger, just for fun)
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C’mon Simba, it’s fun in here!

Double Trouble
I remember the time that one of them got into the wastebasket . . . I fished him out, only to turn around and see the other one get in. This went on for quite some time. I’m sure they were laughing at us. I’d had two cats before, but this was the first time I’d had littermates — they were so much fun.

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We want to choose our own toys!

And so much trouble! Into everything! We actually had to put child locks on the drawers in our kitchen in TX because they figured out how to open them. In better days, every time I opened that pantry door (where the treats were), Gizmo would come running.

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Looking for trouble

This photo reminds me of the time the boys got out. Our windows were low to the floor in TX. They had solar screens on the outside, and we had some bars we’d prop up in the open window so we could get some air and keep the boys safe . . . or so we thought.

One day, when I was sick, I heard that yowling you only hear from cats when they see another cat. I got up to investigate, and they’d gotten the bars down, popped open the screen, and both of them were outside — as was some stray cat.

Gizmo always listened. I told him to get back inside and he just hopped right back in. Simba, OTOH, took off after the cat, who made a beeline for our neighbor’s yard. The one with the Chow Chow behind the fence, with Simba in hot pursuit.

Thankfully Simba had the good sense not to jump the fence, but he sure didn’t want to come back inside, either. I had to go in, get a crate, and eventually I was able to lure him into it and get him back inside. That training really comes in handy at the darndest times!

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Have you ever tried to train a cat?

Every had littermates?

What would you tell me about your furkid?

 

Goodbye my sweet boy: Spilling over tea/coffee February 2019

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If anyone in my life ever “personafied” unconditional love, it was Gizmo. This was not the post I’d planned to write today, in fact a week ago I was expecting to still be hand feeding Gizmo every few hours. Over tea today I’ll be sharing all about Gizmo, and I understand if that’s not your cup of tea, but it’s what’s in my heart this week.

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We renamed him Gizmo because he was a dead ringer for the Gizmo from Gremlins

This will probably get really long, and it’s really more for me than you, so I understand if you don’t read it much, much less all.

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date

Most of the time he was in Bandit’s crate, not on top of it!

NY has not been kind to our furkids
We lived in VT 7 years. No furkid losses (the girls were only 8 when we left). We lived in TX 17 years, and both the girls crossed the rainbow bridge — but they both had long lives: Cleo was 16 and Puss was an amazing 21. They are still there; we buried them in our backyard and planted a rosebush by them. It used to comfort me to go out there and talk to them.

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I have photo after photo of the boys curled up together

However, we have lived in NY for 10 years, and this is our third loss. The first two, Simba (Gizmo’s brother — he was gone before I started this blog) and Chester (many readers remember Chester, I’m sure, as I wrote about him frequently, especially after he passed — read his story here) were too young — almost 12 and 10 respectively. I know that’s not really young, but both seemed far too young to go to me, and both suffered a lot towards the end.

Gizmo had a good, long life; he was almost 18. He was never sick a day in his life until this last year, and it’s really only in the last 6 weeks that he really started to decline. I miss him terribly, but I am consoled that he had a great life, and that I helped him to pass while he could still enjoy lap time with me.

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Normally I probably wouldn’t share this photo, because it’s definitely not my best photo. But it captures perfectly the love we had for each other. Gizmo was most definitely my cat. (And yes, this was during the brief time I colored my hair).

Loving that Gizmo is still purring and curling up on my lap
The above is what I wrote last month. Yes, he was still purring and curling up in my lap til the very end.

He also was barely eating. He really couldn’t stand for very long, which is why he would lay down to drink water, and why after a few bites he’d go over to his hammock and I’d have to spoon feed him to get him to eat a bit more.

He could have lived longer, but he no longer had the quality of life I wanted him to have. It was very, very difficult to make the decision to help him cross while he still wanted to lay on me, but I knew it was the right choice.

A sign?
I was stretching out after my run on Monday, and oddly enough I heard a lot of bird song. It’s the middle of winter, there’s snow on the ground, and it’s damn cold. I looked over and I saw what looked like a flock of Robins — I’m not sure they were Robins, I wasn’t close enough, but a few flew back and forth to a nearby tree and they definitely had red bellies (and were not cardinals).

Was it a sign for Gizmo? A sign that Spring is coming, despite the cold and snow going on? I have no idea, but I do know that it brightened my day — something I would never have seen if I hadn’t opted outside to run, which as you know I don’t always do — it was actually a lovely day to run (for winter).

At this point I was still grappling with the decision, and I would make the arrangements after I got home from this run.

Coming to peace
I woke up Monday crying. I’m don’t cry easily; ask Mr. Judy. I also woke up in the middle of the night crying. I didn’t feel like I had to use the bathroom, but I wasn’t falling back asleep so I did anyway. I spent some time praying to be at peace with my decision.

Eventually I fell back asleep, and when I woke up, I wasn’t crying any more. And I was actually at peace with my decision. It was still hard, and yes, I did cry later on, still do, but my prayer was answered.

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Like most cats, he loved his boxes and could squeeze into the smallest places. He also had what we called his OCD behavior — obsessively pushing down on the flap of a box over and over and over. Yes, we have video of that.

All his favorite things
It’s very, very difficult to make the decision to let them go while they’re still eating (even if only very little), still want to be with you (sometimes, there were days he spent mostly hidden away), and still purring.

I didn’t question myself (much) after making the decision, but I set out to give Gizmo as much happiness as I could on his last night/day on this earth. Mr. Judy grilled a steak — yes, outside — sort of, he has the grill pulled close to the house and uses a method where he doesn’t have to be monitoring it constantly, and while Giz didn’t eat much of it, he did eat some.

My habit over the last few weeks was to get up, scoop the litter boxes, feed Giz, then go downstairs and do some yoga, then meditate, then pray a little. On his last day I wanted to spend as much time with him as he wanted, so I sat down after feeding him and let him lay on me until it was time to feed the dogs. And then I let him lay on me some more.

I got up to make a snack of some yogurt and granola. I really wasn’t hungry, but Giz loved yogurt — and he actually went to town pretty good on what I left for him. After that Gizmo went to his bed in a box (literally a cat bed we’d put in a box), so Mr. Judy and I took the dogs out for a very short walk (it was really cold).

Then I cooked a big batch of chicken thighs in the Instant Pot — I’m planning to make chicken noodles soup later this week — and fed him a bit of of the chicken. Again, he didn’t eat much at all, but he really enjoyed what he ate.

I am grateful that he was able to enjoy some of his favorite things on his last day.

Best toy ever
I didn’t used to feed Gizmo when I got up. It’s a really good way to get a cat scratching at your bedroom door. So for about 16 years, the first thing we’d do in the morning is play with his cat dancer (the Website is here, but you can buy it many places and it’s very inexpensive).

Best cat toy ever. Seriously. Very few cats don’t appreciate it (Simba wasn’t really impressed with it, but he’s the exception); I used to volunteer at a small cat rescue and few cats could resist the cat dancer.

Gizmo never tired of it, day in and day out, not until he got very old and arthritic.

Where’s mom?

Although Gizmo was annoyingly attached to me — seriously, when he was healthier, he would follow me around the house just willing me to lay down — occasionally he deigned to lay on Mr. Judy. He did so this past weekend. Mr. Judy felt he was saying goodbye.

Trying to nudge Bandit out of the bed

Giz really was not happy when dogs came into his life. Every time we went away and came back and there were no dogs, he was so happy. Towards the end, though, he really didn’t care. He’d walk all over them to get what he wanted — usually me or a bed.

Cats can sleep in the most uncomfortable looking places

Long ago I painted this on my large suitcase. It kind of comforted me to “take Giz with me”. That suitcase is also coming to the end of a long life, so I guess I won’t be able to take Giz with me anymore, except in my heart.

A thoughtful gesture

Our vet sent this Live Oak acorn to plant. They did the same when we lost Chester. We actually got that to grow into a small sapling, but we could never seem to decide where to plant it, an early snow came, and that was it. Oy. Can we keep this one going?

Mr. Judy has been trying to remove all the cat paraphernalia. We had boxes all over the house. In fact, it made me sad when I opened the box for the oak plantling — we almost always put down the boxes for Giz to play with before we recycled them (and some became permanent “furniture”). But now there is no one to play with a box, to jump in and out of it, to curl up into it even though it doesn’t look like it would hold him.

There are multiple cat trees. Multiple litterboxes. Beds. Scratchers. It didn’t make me happy to see them around, and it definitely makes our house much more open with them gone, but it doesn’t make me happy to see all signs of a cat in my home disappear, either.

For many reasons, I don’t plan to be adopting a cat in the near future. It’s the first time pretty much in my entire life I haven’t had a cat. Some day, I hope that we will have a cat/cats. For now we are once again settling into our new normal.

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The boys, in better days (and before cell phones!)

I still feel you
Gizmo was put to sleep in our home — if you’re local to the Albany, NY area, In the Comfort of Home — find their Website here—  will come to your home and they’re very kind and it was quick and peaceful; I do recommend them. It’s not the first time we’ve had furkids put to sleep at home, although the first time a stranger has done it.

I still kind of feel his presence, or maybe it’s just wishful thinking. I keep thinking I hear him or see him out of the corner of my eye, and just feel him doing the things he used to do when he was younger and healthy. It both comforts me and saddens me.

I also know he is reunited with Simba, and with all the many cats (and dogs) I have loved in my life. That is what I choose to believe, anyway.

I could go on and on for days. Seriously. When they were kittens I had an entire Website devoted to them. Yes, I am that crazy cat lady. People were so shocked when I wanted dogs, too, but that’s how I grew up, with both.

I actually started to work on copying that Website into a new blog when Chester passed, but it’s time consuming work. I didn’t finish and I hadn’t made it public.

So many photos. So many memories. 18 years is a long time, of morning and evening lap time, playing, feeding, scooping, and just purr/pure love.

I actually do have more I want to write, but I think maybe I’ll join up with Amanda’s Talking Out Loud next Thursday for the first time in a long time hereand share some more photos and more stories.

No questions today, just give your furkids some extra loving from us

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.

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I feel the need for speed: 12/17-23 Weekly Wrap

Training Week 3: Best Damn Race Savannah Half

Definitely a much better week than the previous one. Running is going pretty good. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not pushing as hard as I did in the last four goal races. It was a lot of hard training, so this time I’m still training but I’m just taking it a bit easier on the body. Things are feeling better so I decided to try out four runs this week. Unfortunately most of our weather was very windy and cold and either rainy or snowy or a mixture, so I ended up on the mill a couple of times.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home and sharing the need for a little speed.

WWSki-Orange

Workouts update

  • Monday: TM Speed Intervals (6 x 1/1), Dogwalk, TBL Pilates (30 minutes)
  • Tuesday: 3 Easy TM miles, Dogwalk, YFPR Align & Alleviate (30 minutes)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Balanced Life Pilates (30 minutes)
  • Thursday: 9 Mile LSD
  • Friday:   3 miles easy cause it was 60!
  • Saturday: Dogwalk, YFPR Rebuild & Restore (30 minutes)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Balanced Life Pilates (30 minutes)

Mileage: 19 (+2)

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 Updates

Monday
We didn’t get much snow, but there was a lot of ice overnight. It warmed up, the ice melted, and I could have run outside; I didn’t know that would happen, though, so I ran on the mill in the morning.

I haven’t been pushing things: no speed work, no hills, and only running 3 x week. The niggles are much better, so I decided it was time to ease into some speed work, specifically 6 intervals of 1 minute fast and 1 minute recovery, for a total of 4 miles (with warmup & cool down). It actually felt pretty good.

Tuesday
Extreme cold & wind, although sunny. I should have waited til Wednesday — still cold but no wind. But then I’d be running before my long run (moved due to a monsoon predicted for Friday). So 3 miles on the mill, which I swear felt longer than the 4 miles of speed work.

That winter sun — I felt lucky to see some, we don’t see it much

Thursday
With a real soaker coming in on Friday, I got my long run done on Thursday — I’m lucky that I can do that, although it made for some juggling. I was surprised that I couldn’t get too far on the bike path and had to loop a lot, because 2 miles in either direction there was just enough ice to make it unrunnable (for me). Had a fairly zippy pace for me then demolished all the carbs at afternoon tea.

If you squint real hard you’ll see some of the raindrops in the puddle

The monsoon came in almost as predicted. Actually it started early. The temps got up to 60F and I was able to run in a skirt. The radar showed it being dry, but I did get rained on a little. Still felt pretty damn good.

Nothing like a warm beverage to warm you up

Favorites of the week
I had to push the pace on my long run so I could get home, shower, and change. Although you might notice I didn’t have time to wash my hair . . . again. I wanted to do 10 miles, but I realized since I was pushing the pace and running four times this week, it was probably better to do 9 anyway.

I do enjoy afternoon tea every once in a while. Maybe a bit too much! I shared the desserts but demolished the rest on my own.

Gizmo doesn’t care who’s on me when he wants to be on me

Gizmo is at it again. Bandit took advantage of my empty lap to lay on me. Then Gizmo decided he needed to as well. He kept inching closer and closer to Bandit . . . then simply walked all over Bandit so he could be on my lap. You never know with Bandit, but he was good about it.

Gizmo is doing a lot better. Yesterday the fluids went great — he got a good dose and he ate great. This morning he was just not having it and I wasn’t as patient as I usually am. He got some, but not anywhere near as much as he should and he managed to pull out the needle not once but twice, getting himself and my glasses wet in the process — he’s still doing okay though. I probably should have given up after the first try (I learned that lesson painfully many years ago when Cleo bit me after one too many tries).

Gizmo is the third cat I’ve had to give fluids to. None of them are terribly accepting at first — Gizmo was only because he was sick; when they fight you, you know they’re feeling better. They do learn in time, though, that it makes them feel better. My cat Puss was definitely a handful at first, but eventually she used to just hop up onto the bathroom counter when it was time.

I also got together with a couple of friends on Saturday, one whom I haven’t seen in a few months, and we spent 2 1/2 hours talking over brunch.

Oh, and getting back to BDR Savannah, we booked our flights & hotels this week, which is always exciting. We are less than 2 months away!

Let’s get the conversation started:

Happy Holdiays! I hope you have a great time with friends & family

If you have cats & dogs, do they get along?

When do you start getting excited about a goal race?

Running & Watering: 12/10 -16 Weekly Wrap

Training Week 2: Best Damn Race Savannah Half

The week went sideways on me (read more about that in favorites, although it wasn’t a good thing) and I didn’t get as much activity in as I wanted — but I got my runs in and the bonus is my legs are feeling pretty good again.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home and wrapping up my second week of training for BDR Savannah.

WWSki-Orange

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: YFPR Flexibility & Flow (30 minutes), 5 miles easy
  • Wednesday: Balanced Life Pilates (30 minutes), Dogwalk
  • Thursday:  Rest Day
  • Friday:  8 Mile LSD, Dogwalk
  • Saturday: 4 miles easy, YFRHQ Yin Yoga (15 minutes)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Balanced Life Pilates (30 minutes)

Mileage: 17 (+2)

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 Updates

River is frozen over enough for the geese

Tuesday
Unlike last week, I ended up losing the sun on this one. It was out earlier, but I had errands to run and by the time I actually ran, it had clouded over. I had to pick up something at the vet, so I ran at one of my favorite paths I almost never run at — it’s very close to the vet.

It’s partially road and partially unpaved paths and a tiny bit of trail. I didn’t tape anything, and while my piriformis was really talking to me when I got up this morning and during the run (DOMs, maybe?), everything felt fine after. Progress.

Much more snow when I started running; by now it had mostly melted

Friday
We got unexpected snow yesterday — not much, but then there was some freezing over during the night.

Temps rose throughout the day, though, so I headed to the bike path with some screw shoes on. When I started the path was partially snow and maybe ice, so the first few miles were quite slow. As I ran, and the temps climbed, most of it melted and I was able to get to an almost normal pace.

My feet were soaked though — I swear it was worse than running a half in a Nor’easter!

Not sure what made those tracks!

The bottom line is that these 8 miles took far longer than they ought to, but they got done.

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Snow is completely gone — but more on the way

Saturday
Another group run. Unfortunately the group tends to not run long, which is why I’ve moved my long runs to Friday (when I can), so this was a recovery run.We were finally blessed with some warmer temps.

Doesn’t everyone have a cat IV set up? Thanks to Mr. Judy

Favorites of the week
It definitely wasn’t a favorite, but maybe there’s a happy ending. Wouldn’t you know after I picked up the supplement for Giz on Tuesday, that night he got very sick? Sick enough that I really debated taking him to the emergency vet.

I didn’t, which was the right call, but the next morning he clearly was still not himself so I managed to make an appointment at the vet for that afternoon. For those that don’t know, Gizmo is 17 and has been in kidney failure about a year now, although only diagnosed 6 months ago — it’s not my first time at this rodeo, though, so I knew what was going on before his diagnosis.

We started him on subcutaneous fluids. They are helping, although as he’s felt a bit better he’s fighting more so he’s not getting much, but feeding has gone from hard to really hard. The good news is that he is still eating. So the silver lining is he’s hanging in there.

I told Mr. Judy I am both ready and not ready for him to go. He’s had a really good, long life, and was never sick a day in his life until this year. His brother has been waiting at the Rainbow Bridge (if you don’t know the Rainbow Bridge, read it here) for almost 6 years now. But he’s my sweet boy, and I can’t even begin to imagine my life without him on my lap first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening.

We got the bloodwork results back on Friday: his kidney values are actually slightly better than 6 months ago. No explanation for what’s going on.

It’s rare for them to lay next to each other like this

The snow/ice/rain today made some interesting designs.

Let’s get the conversation started:

How are you squeezing in some activity with the crazyness of the season?

Go-to winter tights?

Have something fun to share with us?

Last Half Training for 2018: 10/15- 21 Weekly Wrap

Thankfully no snow here yet but the temps are cold enough for it overnight! Too soon, Mother Nature, far too soon.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home to share my last week of hard training for the Cape Cod half as I move into tapertown. Be sure to stop by the other bloggers to see what they’re up to.

WWSki-Orange

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, PB KB Cardio/Toning
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, 6 x 400s for 5 miles total, PB Cardio, Agility & Core (30 minutes)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, PB Low Abs HIIT (30 minutes)
  • Thursday:  5 miles easy, PB Beginner Leg & Butt (10 min)
  • Friday:  8 mile LSD, Iron Strength Glute Blaster (15 minutes)
  • Saturday: Dogwalk, Flat Belly Yoga (10 minutes)
  • Sunday: 4 very cold progressive miles, SB WU (5 minutes), PB Stability Ball Abs (25 minutes)

Mileage: 17 (-9)

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 Updates

Running along the Mowhawk Hudson path again — you gotta watch your step (although most likely you won’t see as many leaves on the path since it’s earlier)

Tuesday
Monday was cool and rainy and I was glad not to have to run. Today was much nicer, but rather raw and windy when I ran (although later in the day the wind died down and it was a beautiful fall day).

The 400s should feel easier on a cool day, right? My legs didn’t get the message. The overall run was faster than last week simply because the warmup miles weren’t so slow. Hit the right paces for most of the 400s.

As you’re almost nearing the finish, right before the gazebo and where the green path starts off to the right, you’ll see this little lake

Friday
Running Buddy J and I met up for a last long run before the half. She had to go out of town afterwards, and quite frankly the weather looked a little better on Friday — but Saturday wasn’t so bad, as it turned out. Although a bit chilly and windy with our first hard freeze.

We ran together about 3/4 of the run and then split off to maintain our own paces. Always nice to run with a friend, which despite my group I rarely get to do.

It’s definitely too early for these temps!

Sunday
Last week I asked where Fall went since it was summer-like for much of the week. Be very careful what you ask for because this morning was Winter like! It was super windy while I ran, but looking at the weather, the temps were supposed to drop and the wind pick up so I managed to get myself out the door in the morning.

I’d love to say  I nailed it, but the first mile was way too fast, the next 3 miles were too slow, but hey, the last mile was the fastest and it almost matched what would be race pace for me for 4 miles.

I’d still love to PR a 5k — it’s been years — but all indications just point away from that and of course time is slipping away. Just two more easy runs and then meeting up with a whole lotta AMR ladies I don’t know and running the Cape Cod Half Marathon. At least it’s not supposed to stay this cold.

Arancini. And was super yummy!

Favorites of the week
It was our anniversary on Friday (33 years) and we did what we normally do — we went out to dinner. We usually travel for our anniversary; we’d talked about Mr. Judy coming out to the Cape after the weekend, but in the end he decided not to. Obviously we’ve been traveling for a while now.

Wish I could say it was as yummy as it looked.

The cake was a disappointment to me. Mr. Judy was surprised when I put my fork down before him (we almost always share desserts). It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, and I just don’t need to waste time (and calories) on something that isn’t great — probably ate too much of it anyway.

Slightly fuzzy photo, but Gizmo keeps cozying up to Mr. Judy

Getting friendlier or secretly trying to smother Mr. Judy? You decide!

Let’s get the conversation started:

Do you find yourself struggling with your training at the end of a training cycle?

Do you prefer to run in the heat or the cold?

Do you have to clean your plate (clearly I don’t)?

Weather Whiplash, Again!: 10/8- 14 Weekly Wrap

Fall arrived in a big way this week, but not before Summer battled for it and almost finished me off. Seriously, a couple of days with highs in the low 80s, a super humid run, then temps plummeting to the point where you’re trying to figure out how to dress for running outside.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home to share training, racing, and life. Check out all the bloggers for a little extra dose of inspiration.

WWSki-Orange

Workouts update

  • Monday: 5 miles easy
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, 6 x 400s for 5 miles total, PB Tank Arms (25 minutes)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, PB Low Impact Bodyweight MetCon (35 minutes)
  • Thursday:  5 miles easy, PB Beginner Leg & Butt (10 min)
  • Friday:  Dogwalk, rest day
  • Saturday: YFR Hamstrings, Great Pumpkin Challenge 10k, Dogwalk, YFR Foundation & Back
  • Sunday: 6 miles easy

Mileage: 26 (+7)

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 Updates

Love the neighbors that decorate

Monday
I tried to do the right thing when I stopped midway through my run because I saw a dog off leash and by himself. He was by a front door, whining, so I watched for a while but no one came to the door. I approached the dog cautiously (you just never know, especially if you’re approaching a dog on its own property), but it was friendly, so I rang the bell.

Turns out they have an invisible fence. A little PSA here: I hate those things. It doesn’t protect the dog — they are still vulnerable to any wildlife in the area (a large coyote has been seen nearby) and if motivated enough, they will get through the fence — in fact, one of our neighbors with an invisible fence had a dog run over by a car (yes, the fence was on).

Oh yeah, the run was okay.  I was kind of dragging after a busy week last week, although I was working my way towards negative splits without trying to. I mentally told myself to take it easy, since it was an easy run, and I have a race this weekend. That seemed to work, because I was a bit slower on the last mile.

Wanna run Mowhawk Hudson? You’ll see a whole lotta this

Tuesday
The first 2 miles were slow. Not as slow as the last two miles in my recent half (read about that here), LOL, but much slower than normal. I was still tired (thank you, shorter days) and so not feeling this run.

I won’t say I totally rocked it, but considering it was humid and 70 by the time I finished, I’m actually quite proud of this run.

Where’s the rain when you want it?

Thursday
Where’d fall go? The last couple of days in the 80s, today a very humid 70s — ugh! I just dragged myself through this run, there’s no other way to describe it. And the damn rain actually stopped by the time I started — I had psyched myself up for some nice, warm rain.

Ok, we’ll get plenty of Fall on our race in Saturday.

Here’s the rain!

Saturday
We had quite the group at the Great Pumpkin Challenge. 10kers, 5kers, and an AG award (not me, not even close). A good time was had by all despite the hills and cold rain. Read about it on Tuesday.

A few things you might see on the way to the finish line of Mowhawk Hudson

Sunday
No long run due to my race, so back to back runs this weekend. Since Running Buddy J and I are doing the same half in two weeks and she also did the 10k yesterday, we met up this morning for the second half of our “long run”. A much nicer day than yesterday’s race.

Favorites of the week
It only took 17 years, but apparently Gizmo is warming up to Mr. Judy. 🙂 It happened again today, while I was out. All three of them with Mr. Judy. Welcome to my world, dear.

And speaking of warming up, first Fall soup was made and it’s yummy.

And someone else is getting cozy on the bed.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Did Fall just suddenly drop in after a return of summer?

Do your furkids play favorites (apparently the males favor me and the lone female favors Mr. Judy, although they all listen better to me. They know which side their bread is buttered on, so to speak)?

Tell me something great from your week!

Bouncing Back: Spilling over tea/coffee September 2018

 bteaaug18

I had this post completely written and scheduled before my race last weekend. Except I scheduled it for Friday the 7th, totally missing the fact that last Saturday was actually the first Saturday of the month. So I’ll be a little late to our coffee/tea date . . .

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you my running friends were in a tizzy about the weather for my 17 miler (although I wasn’t planning to run with them). On Friday thunderstorms were forecast for the early morning hours.

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No leaking and no rain — just humidity & sweat!

It was raining when I got up, which I knew it would be, but the chance of thunderstorms were taken out of the forecast. Running in the rain when it’s warm can be really nice — but running for 17 miles in the rain? In the end, I didn’t get rained on although I looked like I had because of the extreme humidity.

Some of my friends ran later; some planned to do their long run on Sunday, when there was no rain in the forecast.

The forecasters can’t forecast for the next hour, much less for the next day.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I was surprised by how quickly I bounced back after those last two really long runs. I was definitely a bit sore and quite tired after the 15 miler — too tired even to go out to eat — but I was fine the next day.

After the 17 miler? While I felt like I’d been run over by a truck immediately after the run, in a few hours I felt fine. And I felt completely fine the next day, too. Ditto with the actual race. But I’m not unhappy to be back in Half training mode!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that aside from a slight bout of runner’s knee after being sick in the winter, I haven’t taped my knees at all during the last two training cycles: not for my 12 miler, my 15 miler, or my 17 miler.

Yet I’ve continued to tape for my races. While it would be nice not to tape, it gives me peace of mind. Not only that, it actually does help you recover faster, much like compression socks do.

I was quite shocked, though, that not only did I get through those really long runs without taping but that I felt fine afterward (and I didn’t wear compression socks, either — which I really should, but darn summer humidity!).

Gizmo is still very food motivated, but I see changes even from this photo, which was taken 7/5

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that the day after my 17 miler, I did feel completely normal — aside from the fact that Gizmo started pacing, meowing, and scratching at our bedroom door at 2 am so I didn’t get quite as much rest as I’d hoped to.

In fact, I felt good enough to go for a hike. I also knew that this was not in my best interest. Luckily the heat and humidity was still killer, so even though I sort of wanted to go for a hike, it was an easy decision to stay home and continue my recovery.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you you should always carefully read through the race FAQ and Website. No matter how many times you have run the race. Don’t assume that there are no changes — and the Website may not call attention to them.

I almost talked Mr. Judy into coming to Camp Chingacook with me because we could take the dogs. He’s a sucker for most things that we can take the dogs to. Granted, four years had also passed since I’d run this race.

Luckily I did reread the FAQ, because dogs were no longer welcome at this race. Turns out that one of my friends almost brought her dog, too!

And of course I also missed the fact that Freakin’ Fast Half (read about it here) wasn’t chip timed — not that there was really anything I could have done differently that morning to change how the race went.

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Green smoothie?

Do you feel fine after a long run?

Do you do a recovery run after a long run?

Do you even look at the FAQ for races?

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.

Tor-box

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

Dog Days Running: Spilling over tea/coffee August 2018

 btreaaugust18

July was a busy, busy month, but it culminated in a much needed racecation. I’d tell you I’ve added yet another tea mug to my collection (I try to get a mug from each state I run a half in — read more about that here).

ID Mug
Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you there wasn’t a lot of chafing going on . . . until there was. In all sorts of odd ways. First there was my half — the hydration vest did end up chafing me, but I was completely unaware of it. Some was on my shoulder, some was on my back. And here’s the really weird thing: I never felt it, not even when I showered after the race.

And then there was more on my 15 mile run last week. The problem this wasn’t the hydration vest. First there was chafing in an unmentionable area — that one I could definitely feel developing, although not until the last few miles. It wasn’t too bad.

I also chafed underneath the pocket where I had my phone. I ran a half with my phone in the very same pocket, for cryin’ out loud, and no problems. I have done a lot of shorter races and some long runs in that skirt. No problems.

Again, I didn’t feel this at all. Not until I took my skirt off. In fact, I could swear it wasn’t there when I used the restroom after my run but it suddenly appeared at home.

Actually none of these are Happy Girls, but you get my drift

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you you’d think I have plenty of Skirt Sports skirts. And I do . . .except I don’t. I like to wear Happy Girl Skirts in the summers pretty much every day (use code 522CRJ for 15% off of non sale items). They’re awesome for walking the dogs, for instance — enough pockets to stash my phone, plenty of poop bags, and treats. Or going to the store — again, enough pockets for my phone and a couple of credit cards. Not to mention I can do yoga and strength training easily in them.

The only problem? I have about five of them. I usually run out of them before I do the next batch of laundry. I fill in with Mod Quad on the hotter days. But it still just barely gets me through the week. #firstworldproblems — for sure!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that our heatwave before we left for ID made it difficult to eat. Despite the fact that I don’t spend a lot of time out in the heat, that I ran more on the treadmill, I found most days while it was really hot that I actually had trouble eating enough. So not like me.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that before my ID half, I felt like I was running so strong. I don’t know if it’s just something to do with the dog days of summer — which seem never ending this summer — and even though I’m not running badly, it seems like it’s more of a struggle.

Quite frankly I’d rather struggle in training and do well in my race, and my only goal for my race is to finish within the time limit — well, actually, I would like to keep all my toenails and not get injured. So there’s that.

He looks so innocent

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you we did have one disturbing incident with Bandit this week. Gizmo was markedly weaker when we got back from vacation — he was having trouble jumping on things — although he seemed to rally after we were home a few days.

Anyway, one day I was on the couch, watching tv. Bandit was laying in his bed at my feet. Gizmo walked by, Bandit narrowed his eyes, and just jumped off the couch towards Gizmo. I was able to stop him, and I made him do a little training. He really doesn’t respond well to negative reinforcement (aka punishment), so I have to be careful to be firm but not too firm.

It was clear that he knew I wasn’t happy with him, but also clear he had no idea why. I’ve no idea why he did it, either. It was scary because there was no warning growl.

The odd thing is that he seemed to have accepted Gizmo as his alpha. Gizmo lays in Bandit’s crate a lot, and Bandit won’t go in there — even if it’s dinner time — when Gizmo is in there. Did Gizmo smell differently because of his illness? Lola hasn’t seemed to notice anything.

So it was a little nerve wracking to go out to brunch and leave them all together, but everyone was just fine when we got back. Thankfully. And then we went out to the movies, and again, everything was fine.

Then one day we heard a strange noise. I thought maybe Gizmo had got locked in the bathroom and had knocked something over, but when I went to investigate, turned out Bandit had knocked over a small (closed) trash can in the bedroom and was happily coming towards me with a tissue in his mouth (and tissues strewn all over the floor).

I guess he’s feeling pretty darn comfortable here now. He’s never gotten into anything before — other than socks, if they’re available.

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Green smoothie?

What running clothes can you never have enough of?

Do the furkids suddenly do something out of character that surprises you?

Are you constantly being surprised by new areas that chafe?

frifive2

Today I am also  joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy. I’m pretty sure this won’t be readable in five minutes so I apologize in advance!

Let purring cats lie: Spilling over tea/coffee July 2018

bteajuly18

I won’t lie: the last couple of weeks have been tough. Some of the stress going on I’m sharing here, others I’m not yet ready to share on the blog. In the scheme of things, though, I’m still pretty lucky and I’m still writing my gratitude list every night.

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date.

Yes, he still loves his boxes

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I took Gizmo to the vet for a long overdue annual, which was part of my stress this week, but the one nice thing from that visit is the vet said he has the teeth of a seven year old cat. He’s 17. He only had one dental, when he was five. Aside from a very short time when he was a wee kitten, before he came to us, he never ate kibble in his life.

We raised him on raw, although we switched back to canned several years ago when his brother got sick, but over the last few years we’ve fed a mixture of canned and raw — it gets harder and harder to keep him eating all the time, although inexplicably he’s actually a little overweight for the first time in his life. He doesn’t eat much at one time, and I’ve actually cut back on his food somewhat.

He’s not very overweight, though, and at his age, they can lose a lot of weight quickly so being just a little overweight isn’t always a bad thing (but it’s never a good thing if they’re really overweight, of course) — the vet didn’t seem worried.

Unfortunately, as I suspected, he’s in kidney failure. The good news is he’s still eating okay and keeping himself hydrated so at this point in time he doesn’t need fluids — very good, considering we have a vacation coming up!

Funny story: Gizmo has never been into people food, unlike his brother Simba who had some really weird tastes. Chicken, turkey, beef — of course. The one real exception is melon — which is not so uncommon with cats. Simba once ate through the rind of a cantaloupe I had ripening on the counter.

Anyway, if I eat melon he’s right there demanding some. If Mr. Judy eats melon? Crickets. The other day Mr. Judy was having some with breakfast — nothing. So I got the bowl from him and sat down near Giz and he immediately demanded his share.

The “family” all together

He’s still purring and happy, thank goodness.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I am making a real effort to get in a little more strength training. Those downhill races require strong legs, and I also have my longest race ever coming up just a short month after this month’s half.

As so often happens in our racing calendars, I’m wondering what the heck I was thinking? But sometimes I thrive on that kind of pressure, and training for the half kind of hid the fact that I need to start running what are — to me — a lot of miles.

img_1454
I was not unhappy to say goodbye to this hill!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I’m happy the downhill repeats are over and done with. Now I just have to struggle to make sure I keep up with the aforementioned strength training so my legs are strong!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that my resting heart rate has been higher this year than it was last year. Not a lot, maybe 4-5 beats. While I struggled with a long (although not serious) virus in the winter, I’ve been feeling much more like myself finally in this training cycle. Training is going well and I feel as though I’ve recovered well from my workouts.

It was interesting to me that my RHR was much lower Tuesday morning, the day after I went swimming for the first time in many months. Coincidence? I have no idea. Stay tuned.

Hopefully he’ll be this chill at the pet sitter

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you we left Bandit with a pet sitter we’ve used for Lola in the past when we went to see Andy Grammer. It was only one night. We’d already done a meet and greet, but this was a test to see if she wanted to take him for our trip to Idaho which will be long (and includes a side trip to see my MIL).

We had told her not to pick him up. We can do it, but he’s not super fond of it and that’s when he nipped Mr. Judy way back when they first met. As we were leaving she just bent down and hauled him up (so he wouldn’t run out the door) and he snarled at her, but was okay. She said she picked him up later in the day and he was fine. So that’s where he’s staying when we go.

As I told her, I wouldn’t have brought him if I thought he would be a problem, but he’s still a sensitive dog who doesn’t always adjust well. It definitely makes things easier to take both dogs to one person!

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Green smoothie?

Any funny furkid stories recently?

Any funny stories at all — I could use a good laugh!?

Does heat cause you to eat less? Stress, too?

frifive2

Today I am also  joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy. I’m pretty sure this won’t be readable in five minutes so I apologize in advance!