The Curious Case of the Standard Chihuahua: Spilling over tea/coffee February 2018

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Somehow it seems as though mostly what I’m sharing is senior moments (not really — but it feels that way!). And a long discourse on chihuahuas that I totally understand if you skip it.

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’d tell you I came downstairs with the purpose of reading and commenting on some blogs and to start this post, with a few ideas of what I wanted to say in mind.

Except then I sat down to write and had no clue whatsoever what I meant to write about . . . I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person that happens to — right? Right???


If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you oh yea, this is what I meant to tell you: I had Lola at the vet (normal appointment) and there was a new assistant? vet? shadowing. She seemed extremely knowledgeable. She asked a lot of penetrating questions. She was able to guess Lola’s age exactly — most people see a chihuahua and think “puuuuuuuppy”, no matter how old they are.

Turns out this woman has had many chihuahuas.

She lost me when she claimed that Lola was a standard chi. Say what? I like to research things. And I definitely researched chis before we decided to get a dog — I really wanted a Papillon, but they’re not easy to find in rescues, and a long haired chi is just a Papillon by another name, right? We are often asked if she’s a Papillon.

So anyway, there are long haired and short haired chihuahuas. End of story. Teacup, while “cute”, is not really a breed — it’s the runt of the litter, and they often have quite a few health problems. And oh yeah, the breed standard is 4-6 lbs. Lola ranges from 9-11 lbs.

Seriously, keeping weight on that dog has always been a struggle, and she has a fantastic appetite. But this woman insisted there were teacup chihuahuas and standard chihuahuas, and that Lola was obviously a standard chihuahua and a purebred (which she supposedly was, but no, chis aren’t that big and they don’t have the really long back Lola has, which is why she has back problems).

Both Mr. Judy and I poked around on the Internet after that and neither one of us could find any evidence to support this woman’s claims. Very odd. Maybe I shoud have put this last because I can feel your eyes glazing over now that I’ve gone on & on.

Oh well, it’s what I’d tell you if we were enjoying a cup of tea!

Now my news device; cut the cord on tv news


If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I downloaded the NPR app. Which is pretty funny, because I never listen to NPR. For years I’ve taped the Today Show & watched it when I had the time, but the truth is I get sucked into it and it’s really a talk show. For almost 3 hours.

Granted, like all my shows, I fast forward through the commercials, and like the Olympics, I fast forward through stuff I don’t like. I can get through those 4 hours in less than 2. For now, though, I’m going cold turkey.

I think I’ll continue to tape it because when I do end up on the treadmill, that’s what I like to watch.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that 2 massages in one month was heavenly. And I have one last one to use up within the next 3 weeks — I bought a package of 6 last year, but was too busy to use it for a while.

I don’t think I’ve ever had so many massages so close together.

Told ya Winter ain’t over!

.If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I totally get the winter bashing, and this winter weather has definitely been crazy, but here’s the thing: it definitely wasn’t our worst winter (YWMV = your winter may vary). In fact, I lost track of the amount of times the snow melted away (but always seemed to come back). Which is much better than having snow on the ground continuously from December to April.

If you’ve never lived in an area where it snows, that snow on the ground acts like an AC unit — pumping out coldness. It makes it feel much colder than it actually is.

Would I rather be in TX for the winter? You betcha. But it won’t go down as the worst winter ever — at least, if March behaves itself (ahem, March, you’re starting off on the wrong foot or coming in like a lion, pick your metaphor). And I just saw leaves budding on a tree on my dogwalk Thursday. It may not be right around the corner from us, but it is coming.

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

What news apps do you like?

Are those senior moments multiplying?

Do your trees already have leaves?

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Today I am also  joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy.

I ran out of ice: 1/22- 28 Weekly Wrap

Songs that involved ice, that is. I tried to look up new ones but nothing caught my fancy. Ice seemed to play somewhat prominently in this week. This felt like the first normal activity week in a long, long time. And no shoveling, either, which was a blessing (although the remnants tried to take me out one day — you’ll have to read on to find out about that).

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home to share my activity this week.

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Workouts update

  • Monday: 4 miles easy with 4 strides, DM Bodyweight, Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, DM Flow
  • Wednesday: 4 treadmill miles, DM Ball, 100 squats
  • Thursday:  3 treadmill miles
  • Friday:  DM Legs & Abs, Massage!!!!!, Dogwalk
  • Saturday: YFR Hamstrings, 6 mile LSD
  • Sunday: Travel to parents, but lots of short dogwalks (and 3 hours in the car)

Mileage: 17 (+1)

JY = Jasyoga
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 

 

It was a little chillier than anticipated but I was okay in my tough girl top and pocketopia leggings.

Monday


Bandit’s trying to kill me. He’s on one of his hunger strikes again and has suddenly started to wake me up way before it’s time to get up — but doesn’t actually want to get off the bed. So hello, sleep deprivation and taking a half hour to feed the animals (cause Giz ain’t exactly a speedy eater in the mornings, either).

It didn’t look bad . . .

Anyway, thank God I walked down the driveway instead of running down it like I normally do because the minute I stepped onto the street I stepped onto a patch of black ice but somehow by the grace of God managed to stay upright. I turned right around and put on my screw shoes and the rest of the run was uneventul (if dreary).

Wednesday


Again the temps plummeted overnight — with the rain yesterday I thought there might be black ice, but looking out it didn’t look like any. I kept waffling, though, because it was super windy, and when the flurries started, I figured I’ll stick to the treadmill and not procrastinate so much getting out the door. Wrong — I just procrastinated getting on the treadmill! But I did, and it got done.

Pretending it’s summer . . .

Thursday


A beautiful, sunny day. And brutally cold with the wind chill. Say it with me: could I run outside? Yes. Did I want to? No! Right now I’m really hoping for a mild summer . . .

Cool ice on the river

Saturday


We were able to get out by the river since most of the snow has thawed. There was still some ice on the path, but it was runnable long enough to get 6 miles in. Surprisingly speedy miles for me. Cold makes me speedy!

My happy place

Favorites of the week
It was time for a massage. Seriously, isn’t every day time for a massage? Love the uplifting quotes on the walls (and that the iphone does better with photos in low light than the ipod did).

Bandit gets cozy with my Dad

At home Bandit is very attached to me, although not as bad as Chester was. Oddly enough, now I think he’d make a good therapy dog. Definitely not when we got him. When he got him, he growled at random people. Nice people. People who actually liked dogs!

Now he cozies up to the folks at my parents’ senior living community. He goes right up to folks and sits down by them waiting to be petted. I don’t really think I have time for the training, and in some areas I don’t think he’d pass the training, but he sure seemed to love laying next to my Dad.

I’m wrapping it up with a few favorite blogs from this week:

 

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This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

What (if anything) prevents you from getting your run on outside?

Do you sleep with furkids in your bed — and how’s that working for ya?

What’s your favorite way to relax?

June 2017: Did I pass?

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It seems a little unfair, really, that as we reach the peak of our race training, many of the things that keep us in shape tend to fall by the wayside: good nutrition, prehab, cross training. Did that happen to me in June?

You be the judge!

Getting in scheduled runs
I stuck to my training schedule, for the most part, until race week (which happened to coincide with the beginning of June). I’m definitely giving myself props for getting in that last long run the day after arriving in UT.

I skipped several runs on the schedule in favor of hiking in National Parks. The one run I managed to squeeze in was shortened because I was running at 8000 ft (thankfully the race was only at 5000 ft). But I picked up where I left off when I got home with no problems.

Grade Earned:  B+

Recording my runs
I’m doing a little better getting those runs recorded in a reasonable time frame now that life isn’t quite so hectic.

Grade Earned: A

Dynamic Warmup
I know how important it is to warm up. And yet . . . it seems like I always want to get out there and just get it done. Generally because I’ve got other stuff to get to.

And my warmup before the race was definitely lackadaisical.

Grade Earned: A-

Foam Rolling
Boy when you slide, you slide big. I had my worm with me in UT. I think I used it once. Even when I got back home, I kept skipping the foam rolling . . . I’m back at it (for now, anyway).

Grade Earned: B

Respecting my body
I think this was one area where I did good. I could’ve run in 97 degree heat. I could’ve run after hiking all day. It wasn’t in my best interest.

Grade Earned: A

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A little too much sugar . . .

 

Nutrition
I must say that the food in Bryce wasn’t terribly exciting. I managed, somehow, to get plenty of veggies in while in UT — not always easy while traveling. But there was also Garret’s popcorn — I did impress myself with saving some for post race — I bought that on the way to UT! And there were pretzel sticks, pie, ice cream, a large dark chocolate peanut butter cup, lots of fries . . .

So really kind of a mixed bag there.

Grade Earned: B

Support
I had a chiropractor appointment, a massage, and I visited the Salt Den again before leaving.

Grade Earned: A

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. . . but a whole lotta hiking!

Cross Training
There was all that hiking, of course. And I’m riding my stationary bike again and swimming. We even got in a hike last weekend!

Grade Earned: A

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It’s always a good month with a PR in it — but I could have done better, as usual!

May 2017 gets  . . . 
. . . a B+. I definitely see (and feel) the lack of strength training in my body. I thought I ate fairly well in UT, but when I really think about it . . . maybe not so much. Don’t get me wrong — I’m okay with indulging sometimes. And you could say “but you were on vacation”. Except it was my second vacation in three months. It doesn’t take long to put on the pounds, but it sure takes longer to take them back off.

And I just kept blowing off all the stuff I know keeps me running pain free. Usually because I just didn’t want to do it.

Yes, I had an awesome PR (you can read about that here), but I had that PR partially because I put in the work. The year isn’t over and I have one more big goal race and probably a few shorter races too. Which leads me to:

How’s 2017 treating me?
On a personal level, the first half of the year was definitely rough. It wasn’t easy to see my parents so unhappy. My mom has realized they are better off where they are, although it still doesn’t make her happy. My dad will never really accept it, but he’s not going anywhere. Moving them and getting them to give up the car were really major victories. I wonder, sometimes, though, if they are now declining more rapidly because of the move. I also know they truly couldn’t remain where they were.

Sometimes aging really sucks.

Going back and forth almost every week to work on their house — not to mention the stress of actually sifting through most of their belongings — well, the only thing good I can think of about that is at least they are actually still alive. Although in some ways that made it even more difficult, trying to decide what was important for them to keep. It was both physically and emotionally draining.

Never having time to get together with friends and rarely being able to do anything fun wasn’t a lot of fun, either. But I knew it would pass, and my life is more or less back to normal. For now. I hope for a good long while!

But of course we’re talking running. Running was good. I’ve run 3 half marathons in 2017, and technically every single one was a PR. I was shocked to have a PR in a very steamy NOLA half (read about it here). I ran my first trail half — read about that here — (that was the “technically” a PR — because it was a first trail half, I suppose you could claim it was a PR, even if it was my slowest half ever). And I ran my first half at elevation (read about that here).

I’ve had little aches and pains, but nothing major. I’ve managed to stay healthy, knock on wood.

I started out the year by giving Rachel @ Runningonhappy a month trial as my coach, after which I continued to follow her coaching — and I have no doubt that she is definitely part of the reason I’ve had such a successful season racing in 2017 — so far!

It’s time to dial things down a little, and yet ramp them up, too, as I begin to train for my fall half marathon.

Goals for July:

  • Continue keeping my journal up to date.
  • Swim once a week.
  • Run on trails occasionally — an easy run once a week would be great, but something is always better than nothing.
  • Continue to hike occasionally — if the weather doesn’t get too humid and buggy for it.
  • Get back into regular (2-3 x week) strength training.

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.

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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

May 2017: Did I pass?

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The toll of three halfs in as many months began to make itself known in May. I am in awe of people who run marathons every month or a gazillion halfs a month. That’s not me.

Let’s get into it.

Getting in scheduled runs
Cold, rainy long runs. Sudden 90 degree heat. Windy. May wasn’t a run/walk in the park (see what I did there?). Every once in a while we caught a beautiful day to run, but they were few and far between.

I was able to run recovery runs the week following my half at the end of April (read about it here), but I had to skip one tempo run when my hamstring complained. Which was the right call.

Grade Earned:  A-

Recording my runs
I’m doing pretty good journaling. Which is a good thing, as I needed that journal to see what I ran the last time I was forced to do a tempo run on my treadmill. But there were definitely a few times where it took a few days to get around to recording a run.

Grade Earned: A-

Dynamic Warmup
I won’t lie, some days my dynamic warmup was very abbreviated. And some days I added in a few extra exercises to keep my glutes and hamstrings happy.

Grade Earned: A

Foam Rolling
I was “rolling” right along, until one night after a long run when I just chose rest over getting my foam rolling in. I really need to make more of an effort to do it as soon after a run as possible!

Grade Earned: A-

Respecting my body
I skipped a run when it became clear that my body was rebelling for whatever reason. I was tired much of this month, but I actually felt more recovered than I did after NOLA.

Grade Earned: A

Nutrition
I made a few poor choices food-wise in May, but usually each time I did so, I learned something from it. Buttered popcorn at the movies and an Auntie Anne’s Pretzel for dinner one night in the same week really wasn’t the best idea. I don’t get Auntie Anne’s often at all, though, and I’d been craving one for long time. Sometimes it’s a good idea to get those cravings out of the way.

I was getting into the sweets a bit too much — even healthy sweets aren’t healthy when eaten all the time.

I began to slowly clean up my eating (although you’d never know it from my weekly wrap a little while ago which you can drool over here!), and my pants began to fit a little better.

Grade Earned: B

Support
I made my chiropractor appointment ahead of time. Although my left hip was really bothering after my last appointment — and continued to bother me afterward, too. Sometimes I’ll be a little sore after an adjustment and then it goes away. This was weird.

In fact, I runfess (see more runfessions here, if you missed them) that it was really killing me right before the Mud & Chocolate Half — but I knew I’d be okay to race, and I was.

I should have gotten back in there, but life was busy. Eventually it calmed down.

Grade Earned: A-

Cross Training
I fell off the stationary bike but back into the pool. And the sauna was fixed, which made me so happy. But swimming was only once a week.

Grade Earned: B

May 2017 gets  . . . 
. . . a B. Or maybe a B+. I did meet most of my May goals, except the meeting up with friends to run. My schedule just doesn’t seem to jive with my friends’ lately. I did run with Jan once.

Goals for June:

  • Continue keeping my journal up to date.
  • Swim.
  • Listen carefully to my body again after my next half.
  • Hopefully Rachel @ Runningonhappy will be dialing back my mileage now that my next half isn’t until October. I’m ready for a small break.
  • Get back into the stationary bike habit.
  • Get new trail shoes so I can hopefully run trails again occasionally before it gets too buggy!

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.

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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

Half #16, State#14: 4/24- 30 Weekly Wrap

When you choose to do all your halfs as racecations, it’s always a busy week before your race. I’m typing this at the beginning of the week, before most of what I’m writing about even happened, but if there’s one thing I know for sure this week, it’s gonna be busy.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin so we can all inspire each other to stay active.

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: JY Power Your Pushoff, Dogwalk, 6 miles easy
  • Tuesday: Walking to drop off and pick up the car for service (took the dogs with me for pick up), Pilates Total Body & Stretch
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, 6 miles easy
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, Iron Strength Abbreviated
  • Friday: Travel to WA
  • Saturday: 2 miles easy, Salt Room, lots of yoga
  • Sunday: Mud & Chocolate Half Marathon

Mileage: 25.1 (-1.1)

JY = Jasyoga
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 

So peaceful by the river

Monday


This was just what the doctor ordered. Not the run so much — there was nothing terribly remarkable about this run, good or bad. It was a bit on the slow side, but the last time I ran at this unpaved path I had a lot of frustration fueling my run.

No, it was the weather. It was just so darn beautiful. And I sat on a picnic bench by the river afterwards eating my snack. And vowed to my self I need to do that more often. It’s just a shame that this particular path is quite short; not even a couple of miles.

So yes, I looped three times.

Spring has sprung

Wednesday


For some reason Bandit was dragging today, although he never stopped so I assumed he wanted to run. I’m guessing it was the fact that it was still wet out and his belly was getting wet.

I dropped Bandit off after 2 miles and finished a non-remarkable 4 miles on my own.

Shakeout run

Saturday


I felt up to my shakeout run, unlike NOLA. Some of those trails were really steep so a lot of walking. Perfect running weather. Hoping for more of the same for the next day. 

Not the muddiest part!

Sunday


The Mud & Chocolate Half lived up to its name. It was hilly, rainy & muddy but I met my simple goals of finishing within the time limit within falling. 

Favorites of the week
A wonderful hot stone massage. They had a special going, so I treated myself to a 90 minute massage. It felt wonderful.


The sundae I shared with Mr. Judy & my SIL post race. 

And a few photos from my half. 



And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

If you raced this week, how’d it go? 

If you haven’t raced, are you gearing up for a race? 

Ever used a race as a training run?

April 2017: Did I pass?

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The great thing about running two halfs a month a part is that you really don’t have to work as hard. Especially when you decide that the second half is just a training run (we’ll see how that works).

Let’s dive right into how April went down.

A beauftul day to say goodbye to running around Vassar College
Getting in scheduled runs
I had hoped to run a couple of races this month, but I had to continue working on my parents’ house and it was easiest to go down on the weekends when I didn’t have to pay someone to watch the dogs — because it’s an all day thing. So no races for me until my half.

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Ran a lot of hilly trails

Running trails meant driving to run half the time. Thankfully it’s only about a 15 minute drive.

It took a while for Spring to bust out

Now I did skip a few scheduled recovery runs when I got back from my last half. It seemed to take me a really long time to recover for whatever reason. I knew it was the right decision for me and that I could get back at it in enough time to train for the next half — and I did.

Grade Earned:  A

Recording my runs
My journal is getting filled again. Occasionally I forgot to record a run for a few days, but mostly I get it down the day of or the next day.

Grade Earned: A-

Dynamic Warmup
While there were still a few chilly runs, there was no mind numbingly cold runs. I may have abbreviated my warmup a few times, but I don’t think I ever skipped it. I received the book Hit Reset (Amazon Affiliate link) to review, so I started throwing in little bits of yoga when I ran from home — which wasn’t often!

Grade Earned: A

Foam Rolling
Nailed it. Yeah, no sooner did I write that, before the end of the month, then I had a very busy few nights and totally forgot to foam roll one night.

Grade Earned: A-

Respecting my body
I took the rest I needed at the beginning of the month. It seemed to take me a really long time to bounce back from NOLA, for whatever reason. The payoff was never getting really sick and feeling strong by the end of the month.

Grade Earned: A

Nutrition
It’s been a difficult month of going back and forth to my parents. I relied on frozen foods a little more than I really like to. I didn’t have as much time to make my own food as I’d like to.

I’d like to say that I left all those delicious treats from NOLA behind me in March, only then there was a full weekend working on my parents’ home, and that humongous brownie sundae. After I hadn’t been running too much (because we’d just come back from NOLA that week!). However, I didn’t order it, my niece did, and we shared it between about four people.

And I am now looking forward to eating all the chocolate after my half. Because the spread is supposed to be awesome.

Grade Earned: A- (or is that a B?)

Support
Only one chiropractor appointment, but that’s because that’s all I felt I needed.

I got one massage — and even booked it ahead of time! Usually I’m booking last minute.

And I tried out Halotherapy (more on that at a future date).

Grade Earned: A

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Got back at it!
Cross Training
I got back on my stationary bike on a pretty frequent basis. Pilates and yoga became more frequent.

I still haven’t made time for the pool . . . maybe now that I don’t have to spend every weekend down at my parents’ and the weather is getting nicer I’ll find some time. Except there’s Mother’s Day, there’s a graduation . . . I miss swimming and the peaceful feeling it gives me!

Grade Earned: A

April 2017 gets  . . . 
. . . an A-. I don’t think there’s ever a perfect month, but I rested my body when it needed it, I got back at it as soon as I could, I started to cross train a bit more, and I spent a fair amount of time on prehab.

Goals for May:

  • Continue keeping my journal up to date.
  • Swim.
  • Listen carefully to my body again — if I need some recovery time after my half, take it; even though I have another half in a month, I’ll be okay
  • Hills. Hills. Hills. I spent a lot of time on hills in April — my April half will be hilly — in May it’s time to continue focusing on downhill repeats in prep for UT.
  • Try to meet up with a friend for a run more often — shouldn’t be too difficult since I only did it once in April!
  • I’m in a vegetable rut — asparagus, bell peppers, carrots. I’ve been trying to mix it up a bit more, I’ve done baby bok choy, but it’s time to do make sure I’m getting more variety.

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

5 Ways to put on your oxygen mask

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I do love to pamper myself. I may not have kids, but I have a big kid, aka Mr. Judy, and I have the furkids. And then there’s the parents. Yes, like most women, I have a tendency to put the needs of others before my own.

The old flight attendant line is true, though: you really do need to put on your oxygen mask before you can help others.

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to talk about 5 ways I pamper myself.

Regular massage
I try to get a massage monthly, although sometimes months do go by without one. There are a lot of opinions on whether or not massage is actually helpful for runners, but in general, the consensus is yes. If I could have a daily or weekly massage, I absolutely would!

I am not a nurse or a doctor but here are some links on the benefits of massage for runners:

Heated massage seat = bliss!

My massage seat
I mentioned that I took home a massage seat from my parents. They don’t seem to miss it. Their loss is my gain.

You’d think I’d use it every day, but I have to set it up and typically I think about using it at night, when Gizmo likes to lay on me, and he doesn’t like it. I do try to use it at least once a week, often after my long run.

You can get a similar one (from the same company) here (Amazon Affiliate link). Yes, it’s pricey, but then when you think about what I pay for an actual massage — totally worth it to me. Plus I didn’t have to pay for it, if you don’t count the half a year working on my parents’ home.

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Bliss for tired feet

My foot spa
It’s bulky and awkward to fill and clean, so again, I don’t use it as often as I’d like to — which would be several times a week. But when I do . . . sheer bliss. Both my massage seat and my foot spa are heated.

You might notice a theme going on here.

You can buy my foot spa on Amazon (affiliate link) here. Yes, it’s the same company that makes the massage seat.

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Also good for drying clothes

My towel warming rack
This was a gift from Mr. Judy several years ago. I use it year round. In fact, as I type, I’ve got some towels warming on it because I’m about to go shower. Nothing like wrapping yourself in a warm towel when you step out of the shower.

I know sometimes I get really chilled after a cold long run, and it’s not until I’ve showered and dried off with a nice warm towel that I begin to feel human again.

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Healthy food is good for the body!

Good nutrition
I love me some treats as much as the next gal. It doesn’t take long following me to see that. But most of the time I eat relatively healthy. Why? Because it makes me feel good. Put crappy gas in your car, and you’re not going to get very far. Food is fuel for humans.

I shared with you that I hope I can inspire you. And I really hope I can inspire you to see that healthy eating isn’t a punishment, and can be downright tasty. Sometimes it can be the difference between a good race and a bad one, or a good workout and a bad one — you get the picture.

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Yummy waffles with just a few ingredients

So yes, I absolutely consider eating well to be one of the ways I pamper myself.

So let me know in the comments:

How do you pamper yourself?

Ever heard of — or tried — halotherapy?

What was the best pampering experience you ever had?

March 2017: Did I pass?

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We continued with the weather whiplash in March, and we thought we got a lot of snow in February? Thanks to Blizzard Stella, we got almost twice as much in March. In one day. To say that made running challenging is an understatement. And then there was the cold!

So how did I mange my March?

Getting in scheduled runs
March blew in continued trips to my parents, the celebration of my mom’s 89th birthday, and a blizzard just for giggles and grins.

I always found a solution, only this month it involved the treadmill. A lot.

Grade Earned:  A+

Recording my runs
I continued to be pretty good at recording my runs. Not perfect, but I think there was some improvement.

Grade Earned: A-

Dynamic Warmup
Again, I skipped this on one super cold run. With no dire consequences.

Grade Earned: A-

Foam Rolling
I’m pretty sure I nailed the foam rolling this March.

Grade Earned: A

Respecting my body
I tried, but it was hard. There were many days I just had to push through fatigue and get it done. Some weeks when I was too busy to even soak my feet.

I think I mostly did the best I could under the circumstances.

Grade Earned: B

Nutrition
This month is was my mom and my dad’s birthdays. Good thing I was at my highest mileage this training cycle.

I actually did mix things up a bit this month — figuratively and literally. I experimented with a lot of new recipes for pre and post run, as well as during as well. I even decided not to worry too much about my weight. Not to go crazy, but to add in a little more carbs than I might normally do if I was trying to lose weight (I’m almost always trying to lose weight).

For the most part I think I ate pretty well in March, but I was still rungry a lot and sometimes I made the same things over and over again because they’re quick and easy (hello, tuna waldorf caesar salad, I’m looking at you).

Grade Earned: A-

Support
I went to the chiropractor on a regular basis. The tendinitis became a mild ache rather than an acute pain. I even stopped taping it toward the end of the month.

Unfortunately, I switched from Pahla B’s workouts to Iron Strength to mix things up. I’ve done Iron Strength before, but I kept the same weights. Which apparently was not a good idea and then I strained my hip. Again, nothing serious and it’s getting better.

I got one last massage before my racecation.

Grade Earned: A-

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Not enough of this

Cross Training
Oooh boy, did I fall off the cross training train. Not nearly as much biking as I worked toward my peak training, yoga became scarce, Pilates became scarce.

Maybe it was actually a good thing. Maybe it gave me a little rest that was needed.

Grade Earned: B

March 2017 gets  . . . 
. . . an A-, or maybe a B+. I did the best I could, but I definitely fell short in some critical areas.

Goals for April:

  • Continue keeping my journal up to date
  • Get back to cross training
  • Keep up the healthy eating, with a side of indulgence occasionally
  • Eat a savory breakfast at least once per week (bonus points for more than once)
  • Decide on April half after NOLA — let’s see how I’m feeling
  • If I decide to do the half, which is a trail half, join in the trail series (which scares me)
  • I’d like to organize another get together for the Wineglass girls, but let’s see what’s going on in my life

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.

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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

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What goes around . . .: 2/28-3/5 Weekly Wrap

. . . Comes around

I’ll get to the title in the Favorites of the Week.

Nothing super exciting about this week, again, other than the fact that I survived the workouts Rachel @ Runningonhappy cooked up for me and had a real confidence building long run.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin so we can all get together and inspire one another to be active and fit. Let’s do this thing!

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, Pahla B ST
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, 6 miles (4 @ tempo), Dogwalk, JY Post run hip reset
  • Wednesday: JY High Mileage Reset, Dogwalk, 4 miles easy
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, Pahla B ST
  • Friday: 5 TM miles speedwork, Dogwalk, JY Hip & foot reset
  • Saturday: DM Yoga Flow, JY Neck & calf reset
  • Sunday: 11 Mile LSD, JY

Mileage: 27 (+1.5)

JY = Jasyoga
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 

 

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What a difference a week makes! No snow

Tuesday


What a difference a week makes! The bike path was completely clear — it’s been a long time since I could actually head out for a whole 3 miles on it (and 3 miles back).

This tempo run didn’t feel any easier than last week’s, and yet somehow I managed to take 2 minutes off of it. Actually, I know how: my warmup and cooldown were about a minute faster — and all my tempo miles were actually at the right pace.

These runs are seriously hard for me. They’d be so slow for most of my friends. Just sayin’.

I guess my phone doesn’t focus well with the self timer


Wednesday


I had every intention of taking a day off running today. The runs are getting longer and harder, and I didn’t want to run three days back to back this week.

Except: insanely windy and almost 60, or insanely windy and in the 30s? What’s a runner to do?

Skirt up and take her dog out for 2 easy miles, then drop him off and finish with another 2 easy miles. I’ll take Thursday off to rest up for my speedwork on Friday.

Friday


More wind and cold. With a lot to do. I retreated to my treadmill, even though it was a beautiful (if cold) sunny day. Mostly for the time savings.

This was kind of a scary run for me — 4 x 800 @ 5 minutes (so a 10mm pace) with 200m recovery. I suppose I could say the treadmill made it easier to actually do it at the assigned paces (although “easy” is relative — it wasn’t easy for me!).

I took advantage of the treadmill run to wear fleece lined tights for a little heat acclimation. Not sure it will help at all, really, but I did it. And I spared you a photo. You’re welcome.

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SALE20 gets you an extra 20% off sale items at Skirtsports untile 3/12

Sunday


If last week’s long run was good, this one was great! Definitely not because of the weather: teens + windy = feels like negative numbers. But it was sunny! Sun makes such a difference. And I have the right cold weather gear.

Unfortunately the downtown reversible skirt from Skirtsports doesn’t really work for a curvy woman — I spent the first 7 miles tugging this skirt down. I have better luck with the toasty cheeks skirt — it can ride up a little, but I’ve done long runs with it and it didn’t really bother me.

I stopped after 7 miles to refill a water bottle, and I ditched the skirt. It did do its job, though — it kept my butt warm those first few frosty miles.

This was my unicorn run. It started when I woke up, put my feet on the floor, took my first few steps . . . and realized that my feet felt normal. And my lower back, which I managed to strain doing the same workout I’d done a few days before, felt good too.

And the run felt . . . almost easy. Some of it felt easy. I ran it faster than my prescribed pace for long runs — by like more than 30 seconds. I wasn’t trying to. I slowed down deliberately at times.  I felt strong the whole run, and I felt like I could definitely run a half at that pace — which may just be my fastest 11 mile long run on my own ever. I even ran my fastest mile my last mile. And I felt good afterwards!

Next week’s weather looks so nasty . . . mix of snow and rain, anyone? For 12 miles? I’m really hoping they’re wrong.

It’s easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.— Leonardo Da Vinci

The quote above just might refer to that dessert below . . .

Favorites of the week
Going back to my beginnings: running in Brooks (except my long runs in Newtons, and right now the plan is to run my half in my Newtons), and eating honeystinger chews on the run.

And the running was really good this week. Hard, but good. Could it be the honeystinger chews (not an affiliate link, but I am a Honeystinger ambassador)?

I haven’t ditched real fuel yet. I’m using a combination. My brownie bites went moldy before I refrigerated them (they have pureed butternut squash in them). I was so sad. But I’d made some Fig Crumble bars to try out . . . swoon (also from Rocket Fuel — Amazon Affiliate link). Kind of hard to keep them from falling apart — hello, crumble? But so good. And the chocolate chip cookies from Feedzone Portables (Amazon Affiliate link).

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Chocolate Hazelnut Torta

And then this happened a little while ago. Yes, there was some pasta first, but this was the main attraction and it was totally worth it. Unlike my birthday dessert, we did share this. Maybe a little unevenly.

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Have you had a confidence building run recently? 

How do you shake off a bad run?

What dessert would you order if it were your last meal (and you knew it)?

February 2017: Did I pass?

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I think February might be dubbed the month of self care, as in the month I got back into trying to take better care of myself — so that I can care for others.

The weather was wild and wacky: wind, cold, record breaking heat, killer snowstorms, freezing rain — yes, all in one month. I still got outside for the majority of my runs.

My weight has stayed relatively stable with a mild detour for my birthday.

There’s been some personal stress, but who doesn’t have that?

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Running in a skirt in February

Getting in scheduled runs
February was pretty challenging with the weather whiplash, the back to back killer snowstorms, and the grind of going to work on my parents’ house every week.

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But also in these . . . 

I always found a solution, whether it involved Yaktrax or the treadmill.

Grade Earned:  A+

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Got back to my journal

Recording my runs
I finally got back to my written journal. I won’t say I’ve always recorded my runs as soon as I should, but at least I’m making an effort again.

Grade Earned: B+

Dynamic Warmup
Almost always. Maybe skipped it on a really cold run or two. Won’t say I didn’t shorten it up sometimes . . . 

Grade Earned: A-

Foam Rolling
Same as January — foam rolling helps so I almost always do it. Once in a blue moon I skip it.

Grade Earned: A-

Respecting my body
By now the cat’s out of the bag with my foot tendinitis (if that’s what it is). Yet I’m still running. Often three days in a row. I’m always so impressed by people that take off a couple of weeks for what seem to be relatively minor aches.

But here’s the thing: basically, as I wrote in my Runfessions, this is like Plantar Fascitis, except it’s not in my fascia, it’s the tendons on the side of my foot. Activity actually helps (aka it doesn’t hurt when I run; it doesn’t alter my gait).

Do I wish it would go away? Fervently. Do I think a week off would make it go away? No. Remember my ankle last year? It took many months before it calmed down. The good news is that it’s feeling a lot better right now.

Rest has been hard to come by, too, when basically I’m losing a day every week. Which means making sure a lot of stuff is prepped ahead of time. And yes, often running 3 days in a row so I can have 2 days of “rest” before my long run (rest in parentheses because one of those days is spent driving/working on my parents’ home).

Grade Earned: B

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Nutrition
Well, my birthday did fall in this month and I totally enjoyed a decadent dinner out. And paid the price on the scale, despite the fact I even got in a birthday run. But it was fine — I’m in maintenance, after all, and the scale will go up & down — and down it went the next week — the exact same amount; that rarely happens.

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Also prepped healthy food & alternative running fuel

In general I’ve been eating pretty good. Trying new recipes. Eating freggies. Playing with alternative runner fuel.

Grade Earned: A-

Support
I’ve spent a lot of time at the chiropractor getting my foot worked on. Had a foot massage. Got myself that foot spa for my birthday and am using Epsom salt soaks twice a week (wish I had time to do it every day — can you overdose on Epsom salts?). And now I have my massage seat, too.

Grade Earned: A+

Cross Training
I wouldn’t say I got off the rails with the cross training, but some weeks were better than others, especially as my mileage has climbed to the peak (not sure if we’re at the peak yet, probably not, but we’re close!).

I barely spent time on my stationary bike last week and didn’t get much Pilates in either — but I did some of both, and that was only one week. I’ve already been on the bike a few times this week.

Grade Earned: A-

February 2017 gets  . . . 
. . . a pretty solid A-. It was a tough month on many levels, and aside from not as much cross training as I’d like to see and not really enough rest, it’s been a pretty solid month. It ended with a confidence boosting 10 miler last weekend on a pretty brutal day weather-wise.

Goals for March:

  • Continue keeping my jouranl up to date
  • Chiropractor appointment before we leave for NOLA
  • Massage at some point (another infrared wrap?)
  • Keep up the cross training
  • Keep up the healthy eating, with a side of indulgence occasionally
  • Eat a savory breakfast at least once per week (bonus points for more than once)
  • Listen carefully to my body and be flexible with workouts
  • Set goals for my NOLA Half

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

Tuesdays on the Run