Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall Treats for a Party

Earlier this week I had some girl friends over for some Reflexology.  My mom had Reflexology done when we visited the Hershey Spa earlier this year and she said it was absolutely delightful.

I had booked a Reflexologist to come to my house and she agreed to work on me and a few of my friends. I decided to give our little get together a Fall theme and made all Pumpkin-y snacks.

Since this week’s Friday 5 is about Fall Foods, I thought I’d share what was on my table!

Here is the spread I had laid out.

It included:

1. Pumpkin Tarts (Had a Graham Cracker Crust and pumpkin filling)

2. Pumpkin Spice Pop Corn (Microwave pop Corn from Pop Secret)

3. Pumpkin Cookies (Packaged by Betty Crocker but mixed up and baked by me)

4. Pumpkin Trifles

5. Pumpkin doughnut holes (from the grocery store)

Then of course we washed it all down with some pumpkin Spice Soda!

Happy Friday guys!  -M

An InLinkz Link-up

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Workout Wednesday

Last week I misplaced my Garmin charger. I looked for that thing everywhere. I knew that I needed it for my Marathon the following weekend and could not take the chance of not having it pop up beforehand, so I went online and bought a spare one. I knew this week I was coming up on tapering so no long runs were scheduled. I still wear this particular Garmin for my every day watch so I felt naked not having it on. Luckily I did have my old Garmin Forerunner that I could use during my runs.

I went away this weekend and got to run on some different trails along the river. The temperature was pleasantly cool. I kept thinking I hope the weather is just as nice next weekend during the marathon. Before my run I put my old Garmin on and I could not believe how much smaller it was compared to the one I have been wearing. Of course it wasn’t fully charged so it turned off right at the beginning of my run.

I will really be running naked now I thought to myself. Luckily I did have my phone (which I normally don’t) so I pulled up an app on that during my run.  I completed three miles and called it day.

That evening I found my Garmin charger. You are never going to believe where. Well here is a short back story. I was charging my Garmin the other day before going to the gym. I threw the cord into my gym bag because it wasn’t fully charged and I planned to charge it later that day while I was at work. I tore that bag apart on the inside and out and could not find my charger. I thought it must have fallen out of my bag through my travels.

It wasn’t until this weekend when I took my blow dryer out of my bag and noticed that it was wrapped around the cord from my blow dryer. The cords were both black that is why I never saw it when I was searching through the bag previously. Now I have my charger but not my watch since I thought there was no reason to take my watch if it wasn’t charged. Luckily I was not planning on running the next day. I traveled back home and saw that I did receive my charger that I ordered already. I thought well it is always nice to have a back-up. That evening I had to prepare for some things that were coming up at work for the week. Why does it seem like you're schedule always gets crazy the week of a big event? 

The next morning I was looking forward to my run since I had my Garmin back and it was charged. I set out and took a route I do not normally take. It rained the previous day so I knew I didn’t want to go through the state park and deal with the muddy ground. I decided to run on the sidewalk through the different neighborhoods until I reached three miles. 

On the way back home I always pass a track and never usually stop. Today I thought maybe I will incorporate some speed work. I guess you could call it more strides where I would sprint the straight aways and then jog between them. I never do this so it was a challenge during my sprints. I completed just over a mile. When I was finishing my sprints at the track I saw this couple arriving with two dogs and skateboards. I thought to myself is this going to be another failed photo opportunity if these dogs get on the skateboards. But it wasn’t. They had brought the dogs into the track and closed the gate so they could leave them off their leashes to run around and play while they rode on their skateboards around the track. I then made my two mile run back to the house and completed my run with 8 miles. -L

Do you incorporate speed into your longer runs or do you do speed as a separate workout?

Do you ever make yourself crazy by not being able to find something important?

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Last Seven!

Saturday I got up early for my longish run. I saw that it was going to be quite warm in the afternoon so figured I should go early. It was also calling for rain in the morning so I only had a short window of time to knock out my planned 7 miles.  Since it did appear to be overcast, I made sure to wear my bright orange shirt so I was visible (since I did plan to run in town where there would be some traffic).

I started my run on the island. I did one loop before running up on the bridge to cross the river into town.  As I was crossing the bridge, I saw an eagle flying overhead. This was just amazing and I knew for sure it was an eagle. I could see its claws and its big white head.  There was another bird flying directly behind it which I would assume was also an eagle but I can't be sure because I didn't get as good of a look at it.  After doing the loop in town, I ran back across the bridge and finished up back on the island.

This run started off perfect!  I was feeling great and the weather was perfect.  I later found out it was 60 degrees and the humidity was 100% which I would not say that sounds perfect, but it felt like it was.  I even had my ipod playlist on shuffle and all the best songs came on. What more could I ask for.

I had just finished my first mile at a great pace and as I turned a corner,  (at mile 1.25) I had this stabbing pain in the side of my left knee. Not a real harsh stabbing but as if I was getting a shot. It wasn't IT band pain but it was a pain I had never felt before.  Yikes, this scared me!  I tried to continue around the next curve, but I couldn't. I had to walk. I had made it around the loop to where I had parked my car and stood there and did lots of stretching and rubbing.  After a few minutes I tried running again. My plan was to see if I could make it to the stop sign which was only a few feet in front of me, and I couldn't.  I thought maybe the best thing for me to do was just get back in my car and go home and then come back later in the day and try again.  However, we know how stubborn runners can be and I am no exception.  I don't give up that easily. I came to do seven miles so I was going to do those miles even if I had to walk.

I started up again and as I reached the incline to go up on the bridge, the pain went away. It must have worked itself out.  Wow, that was a relief.  I decided the best thing for me to do at this point would be to stop and walk a few seconds after I completed each mile.  So that's what I did.

This technique worked well until a little after mile 4. The pain came back. I had to stop at a little memorial park along the route and stretch it out.  This park is right along the sidewalk and I'm sure those who were driving by thought I was weird to be standing there stretching but I didn't care.

My new plan was to try to run until mile 5 and then just walk the remaining 2 miles. Once again, as I continued to run, the knee got better and I was able to finish out the 5th mile and still do the last two without walking.

When I got back to the park I made sure to do more stretching and then I found a picnic table and did some leg lifts.  I don't know what is going on with this knee! I'm not surprised though and I probably do deserve an injury because I have been running without doing much stretching or strength training.

 Of course like always, this is such a bad time now to have an issue because as you may know I am doing the Baltimore Marathon relay on Saturday!   I think the best thing for me to do is lay off running this week (or do real short runs or run walks), and do plenty of stretching instead.  -M

                                          We will be linking up with the gals from TOTR.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Weekly Wrap....October 15

I hope I can claim this week as a "good week" and not the week where it all went down hill. I'll explain more as we get in to the wrap!

Sunday I did a 5 mile walk with a friend. The conversation was good but we were getting hot and sweaty so we called it quits at mile 5.

Monday was my typical rest day.

We've really had some beautiful weather to be outside!

Tuesday I wasn't really felling it. Physically I was fine but mentally I was conflicted with some issues so running wasn't exactly the heaviest thing on my mind. I did 2 miles running with my mom and then another (almost) 2 mile walk.

Wednesday it was raining when I got home from work and I was actually relieved! That was my excuse to not run. It would have been only a short run anyway as I would have had to come back and shower quickly because I was meeting a friend for dinner and shopping.  I have officially bought my first Christmas gift of the season!  The last few times I've gone out shopping I've been seeing gifts I want to buy but I kept telling myself it was too early to start shopping for Christmas. Well now that stores have Christmas decorations up, I guess it's that time.  I have a mental list in my head as to what I want to get for people so I could probably get all my shopping done in one day and be done!  That probably wont happen though!

Thursday was 4 miles with my mom at the rail trail. She now has planter fasciiates so we are taking things slower.

Funny story, after our run we went to the grocery store next to the trail and as we were getting into our car, a guy was getting out of his car with a cigarette.  Instead of putting his cigarette out, he stuck it under his side view mirror until he came back out. Isn't this just the oddest thing?  As you can probably see from the picture it was damp and starting to spritz anyway. Why did he think it would stay lit?  I should have put this on the things that make you go hmmm, post!

I've been doing a lot of meal creations on Fridays and this Friday I made a homemade Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella, and Chicken pizza.  My Pampered Chef pizza stone broke a few months ago (it actually cracked while in the oven) and I haven't bothered to replace it so I got creative and made the pizza in this Kitchen Aid pan.  I wasn't sure if I could put this pan in the oven, but I did and it turned out beautifully. I may have to make pizza in this pan more often!  Oh, and it was yummy too! 

Aren't these Day of the Dead cookies cute? We thought it was a great treat to get since it was Friday the 13th!
Afterwards we went out with some friends to Starbucks for desserts and drinks. I recommended the Maple Pecan to Scott and a Friend but of course I had to get the Pumpkin Spice. My Pumpkin Spice Frappe was not as yummy as I remembered it and had a bit of a "smokey" taste to it.  Of course I finished it though, as well as one of their pumpkin muffins!  We ended up closing the place down!

Saturday I planned to do a 7 mile run but had to stop twice during the run because of some nagging knee pain. I don't know what this is all about but I hope it gets resolved before this weekend's race.
Besides the knee pain, I'll chalk it up as a pretty good run. I felt good the entire time and it really didn't feel like it was 7 miles. There was no struggling what so ever. This run had the potential to be perfect!

After the run, I got cleaned up and Scott and I ran some errands. Afterwards, met some friends and family to do some target shooting. This was actually a lot of fun. We only used bb's but it was fun shooting at zombie targets and then lining up containers to see who could shoot the most down when it was their turn.  Yes, I am easily  Afterwards we went out to dinner and then came home in time to watch The Disappearance of Maura Murray, which I am hooked on (Thank you Megan)!  I admit I dozed off at some parts so I think I may have to watch it again today.

And that's a Wrap! -M

Christmas shopping now, Yay or Nay?   Have you gone target shooting? What was the best homemade thing you've made lately?

We are linking up with Tricia and Holly for their weekly wrap!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Thoughts of a Marathon Relayer

When I was training for my first marathon, I did a post called Random Thoughts from a marathoner in training.  Some people commented that they liked posts like that, so I decided to do a part 2 (although now I’m only doing a marathon relay). My thoughts aren’t as random this time. They are all related to running!

One day last week I took my run to the rail trail. This is where I go when I want to do a longer run without interruptions since I don’t have to worry about traffic, red lights, broken sidewalks, or tripping over roots. My plan was to do 5 miles and if I could stick to the plan and do that, I would allow myself to make a pit stop at the Starbucks located along the trail before returning to my car.  Here are my 5 thoughts during this run.

It was still afternoon when I started and the sun was up in all its glory so it was still hot out! As I ran the first mile I could feel the tightness in my legs, my calves, and my ankles. It was a BIG reminder that I needed to get myself back to the gym.  I was definitely feeling the results of not stretching or strength training over the summer.  I finished the first mile at my target pace.

As I started the second mile I thought to myself “What am I doing”?  I don’t need to be pushing so hard on a training run.  I know I always say I don’t care about pace, but when I am running by myself, I seem to always want to push and see what I can do. That’s why I will never run without my Garmin.  Turns out I really did listen to myself and said “pace doesn’t matter, it’s all about getting the miles in”, but as my mind was processing it, I thought well if pace doesn’t matter than why don’t I just start walking?”  I was really struggling with my own thoughts here!  Of course pace does matter but not to the point where I need to push myself like on race day.

 I bargained with myself and decided I would run to the next half mile marker and then I would let myself walk for a few minutes.   I got to the end of the second mile and of course was disappointed in myself. I felt like cutting my run short (to only 4 miles) and just going back to my car. At this point I didn’t care about treating myself to a frappe from Starbucks nor did I feel like I even deserved it.

This didn’t bother me on my run, nor is it a reason I was struggling, but I could feel a slight niggle under my right knee cap. I felt it was at least worth mentioning (or remembering) in case it turned into something later.

I continued to run and when I got to the turn around point things actually started to get a little easier.  I don’t know if it was because the slight headwind that was blowing warm air on me had subsided or if it was a mental thing because I knew I was on my way back. I decided to just run at a steady pace that felt comfortable. I made it to mile 5 and decided that indeed deserved the frappe!  Afterwards I walked one extra mile just for good measure!    -M 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What's up Wednesday!

This weekend I felt really busy. When I sign up for a marathon I never follow a training plan so therefore I feel like I never get the amount of miles in that I should. I am the type that crams it all in at the end and tries to make up for all the miles I haven't ran and just hope for the best. I knew I had one more week of running before I taper so I wanted to make the most of it. 

Friday morning I had to get up and shadow an aqua class at the gym since I am going to start teaching it. The class was pretty early so after class I thought I should get a long run in since it was early morning and not as warm as it was expected to get later in the day.

I downloaded a few new podcast and I was out the door. I live next to a State Park so I normally just do the main trail, which is an out and back route for me. I always think about venturing off to another part of the trail but I do not know them very well and I didn't want to get lost or accidentally run more than I wanted. I ended up running 14 miles and felt great!That evening I even took a body pump class before meeting friends at the Melting Pot for Restaurant week.

 The following day I had planned to do another long run. I surprised myself and ran 11 more miles.

That evening my friend and I did some Halloween activities that including a Haunted House, Haunted Hay Ride, and Haunted Corn Maze. They were pretty good, but lines were very long and they try to crowd more people in at once to keep the line moving so it doesn't end up being scary when you have a group of 15 or more at once going through the same area. Afterwards we tried a brewery that I have never been to.

The following day I ran another 8 miles. This was finally on tired legs. I decided to take a different trail than I normally do to change things up, but once I went a mile down that way, I thought I better turn around because I'm not sure where this leads to and knew I wasn't prepared to do another longer run with no fuel nor water on me.

Afterwards I treated myself to a foot spa. It is next to one of my favorite sushi places so I splurged on that as well. I relaxed the rest of the evening and put my work out together for class the next day.

Monday morning I had to teach my first Aqua class. It went ok, but I definitely need to work on things. My teacher told me she wanted me to take the workout I put together and do it myself in the water. Apparently you cannot do certain moves in the water that you can do on land and vice versa, especially in deep water. I guess I never took that into consideration when I was planning. My teacher was very helpful and even gave me a book to look through to get some ideas. When I teach Aqua I stand on the pool deck while the members are in the water. By the end of class I looked like I just jumped out of the pool myself because I was sweating so much. Next time I am going to take a class or two in the pool to get a real feel for it. After Aqua I had to teach Silver Sneakers. After teaching my classes I decided to take the day off from running since I ran so much over the weekend. -L

Have you ever taken an Aqua Class?

When you set out to do long run, do you always plan how many miles you are going to complete?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Weekly Wrap...October 8

Okay, I have a calendar, so I can't exactly say that October "snuck up" on me!  However, seeing that we've been inundated with 80 degree days I may have been in denial that it is actually fall.  Which means that in my mind I had weeks to go until the Baltimore Marathon relay that I will be doing with some friends. IN REALITY I only have one more weekend until the race. O snap!

Needless to say, I could no longer wait until the heat and humidity subsided to do those longer runs. I needed to suck it up and do them now. I'm not a morning runner so I don't have the luxury of doing cooler runs. I'm out there in late afternoon when the sun is blazing because that's when I have my free time.

Sunday I waited till evening to run at the island and it actually wasn't that bad.

Monday I had a meeting after school and then just called it a rest day. I've been wanting to spend all my time outside and savor the weather but to be honest it was so hot I didn't feel like doing anything. I laid on the couch until dinner time. I seriously just laid there. I didn't watch TV or anything.

Tuesday I did some shopping after school. I got a mini haul at Ulta Beauty (where even mini hauls add up fast), and then I bought a chair cushion at Pier One.

I had wanted to get cushions for my outdoor chairs back in the summer and they were $48 a piece! I needed 2 of them so this wasn't going to happen. I had since given up on trying to find the right outdoor cushions but knew I needed to find a new one for this wicker rocker that was bought a Pier One years ago.  There was only one cushion left in the color I wanted and it was on super clearance!

Later that evening I did a 3 mile run with my mom.  I looked for those cats again, and they were there! We've been trying to do our runs twice a week.

Wednesday I went to the rail trail to try and do a longer run.  This was actually a struggle. I don't know if it was because it was 80 degrees or if  my body would have struggled regardless of temperature because I was feeling achy in places.

Thursday was another 3 miles with my mom. By the looks of the clouds, it looked like it could storm at any moment. We were hoping to get our three miles in before that happened. Turns out, we never got a drop of rain.

Friday was a walk day with Baylee.

Saturday was my longest run of this training cycle! 7 Miles!  I was only planning 6, and then maybe 6.5 but thought I could push to do 7 and am so glad I did.  The humidity was 100% and I was totally zonked afterwards, but it felt so good to accomplish that mileage and know that I will be prepared for my leg of the relay.  -M

And that's a wrap!

What was your best clearance buy lately?

We are linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap series.