Monday, January 16, 2012

A great start to the week!

I love short work weeks and holidays!
This is mostly because I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, i.e. going to the gym and eating lunch (another facet of being the DINKy Runner). :-)
So, when I woke up today (around 8 am-woo hoo!) and didn't immediately get dressed for the gym, I told myself  "'s okay. You have all day! Have your coffee, self, eat your wheat toast and peanut butter, rest some more, and then head out."
Sounded like a great idea to it did for a LOT of other people, too!
The gym was super crowded at 11 when I arrived.
This is also prime time for AOA (Active Older Adults) and AOA classes, to which I think are fabulous (even if AOA's do tend to 'hoard' the machines-I know...that's mean). 'They' would probably say that I am the one invading there time and space, as I usually don't go at this time.
I did 30 minutes of this and can honestly say that I sweated out ALL of those toxic, chocolate (although extremely yummy) brownies that I managed to devour over the weekend. (check out this blog/site: and search on 'mint brownies'-or don't, and save yourself the few extra pounds-seriously, the website is great with awesome recipes-the blogger is even a Southern girl, now living in CA):

And, no, I didn't have that view...remember, lots of AOA's!

After sweating like no tomorrow, I headed in the weight room for some leg exercises. Yes, all sweaty but I use a personal, large, clean towel for every machine (as I have seen some pretty gross things go on with those towels).
I haven't been doing too much leg weights as I have been upping my running game in preparation for next month's half and wanted to prevent an injury. (Did I mention that I am now doing a half, a heck of a 5k bridge run, and a 10k in February? Geez!)
I do enjoy leg exercises and I can tell that they improve my running and biking. This is unlike chest exercises, which I detest. (I dread chest days)
Then, of course, I was hungry and decided to eat at the club cafe, which is wonderful for you locals that haven't tried it.
I have not had a bad meal there yet and they make awesome smoothies. Then again, I'm not picky, especially if someone else is cooking.
So, I had this yummy salad:

That's a delicioso spinach salad with gorgonzola cheese, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, and grilled chicken! Yes I did!

By now, most of the crowd had left, just as I did upon finishing.
I told myself, earlier in the day, that I would try to make yoga this evening, as I am flying solo this evening and Monday nights suck on t.v.
I will have to see about that, as I first have to get an afternoon nap and then an espresso and maybe a glass of vino for dinner! Not 
Not an overly exciting day and not filled with too much craziness...but perfect to me!
Hope your Monday was somewhat fabulous and kicks your week off on the right foot!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Trying to look cool

What can I say?
We had yet another day/ weekend of absolutely perfect weather!
The hub and I decided to get outside with some exercise as much as we can. We don't get too many days in the 70's here in Coastal Ga.
After our long run Saturday, we set out for a long bike ride to the north end of the Island, typically a ‘less traveled’ area of the island where you can actually ride your bike on the road (still praying you don’t get hit from behind). There are also awesome bike paths, trails, and rest stops on the way (with a wonderful playground, if you have kids).
And did I mention the view?

Sorry for the blur-it copied into this crappy blogger this way

The only problem with perfect weather is that the bugs (a.k.a. sand gnats) love this weather, too! (For those fortunate enough to not be familiar with the gnats, they are micro-scopic little insects that you can only feel nibbling at your inner core-you can't see them)
They were definitely out in full force on Sunday and nibbled on the hub while we stopped and snapped a couple of pics (definitely, not coordinated to ride and take pics at the same time).
For some reason, they don’t mess with me like they do him…I guess I am just too sweet!
So, this was actually my 3rd time riding the bike with my clip pedal shoes. I am NOT in love. In fact, I believe I have become a bit uncoordinated as I have aged (I danced ballet for 20+ years-where did that coordination go?), as I fell again (note I said again…2 times now…the 1st hardly counts though, for reasons I shall not mention).

Do these shorts make anyone look good? I feel like a stuffed sausage.
Fortunately, I only had a scrape, as my “extra cushion” on my butt and hips saved me, and I bounced right back up (probably from shear embarrassment as 1 car traveling by ALMOST stopped to see if I was okay-they slowed-that’s good enough for me-they probably saw me come up like a tiger, cursing the entire time, and figured I was just fine). Funny though I NEVER fall on the grass…it’s always on the hard-ass pavement! My luck.

I’m not making excuses (never), but I seriously think it’s my clips. I have the old school, medal kind. They are small, round and you have to be exact, something rather hard to do while steering a bike, looking down and back up so no one rams in to you. I am sure a lot of people still use them...maybe just not me.
The hub’s are the new LOOKS hard plastic kind, which appear to be more ‘user friendly.’ I have talked to several people and they agreed that the new ones are easier to use.
 Just to prove a point, when we got back from our 1.5 hr ride (geez), I had the hub put on my shoes and attempt to ride my bike with the medal clips. He agreed they are MUCH harder and he could see how I would have a problem and bust my a**(they are a bear to get out)!
Honestly, they freak me out and make me feel like I am trapped on the bike. I need to get over this (maybe a 1/4 of a zanex would help), as this is probably all in my head and suppose to be fun. However, I cannot imagine the fall I would take if I had to get out of them quickly, perhaps dodging a car.
I am not giving up on the shoes (as they are way cool Pearl Izumi’s and fully functionable) or the bike, for now. But, if I continue to ‘not grasp the concept’ of the clips, I shall switch back to regular bike pedals. Going old school…and loving it!
I know what you are thinking… "LL-you won’t look cool" or (attempt to) look like a professional. But, I’ve never seen Lance sporting one of these on race day, either…..

NOTE TO SELF: Pack a granola bar for the next ride, as I missed my mid-morning snack and lunch on this ride! Hunger pains didn't help.
On a different note, another blogger’s post this week has been on my mind, a LOT.
It seems a cousin/ family friend/ runner of SUAR (insert link) blogger out of Colorado disappeared while running on her normal 6:30 am Saturday morning run in Montana. She is a 40+ year old female, mother, wife, teacher, coach, etc…
From what I have read, it sounds like the town is very small, around 5,000 people, slightly smaller than where I live.
I initially thought  assumed she might have been attacked by wildlife of sorts (maybe this being the best case scenario now), due to her living in Montana (somewhere I would imagine has a lot of bears, mountain lions, etc). However, the more I read, it sounds like law enforcement believes it to rather be an abduction (probably because they have discovered her shoe-in fact, the Sherriff now the FBI is involved).
Another theory is that someone hit her and decided to move her or hide her body, instead of doing the 'right thing' and calling the police.
Not only is this very, very sad but all theories scare the SHIT out of me. I mean, seriously, you do NOT know who is watching you and your every move and maybe knows that you run every Saturday morning through the same area at/ around the same time.
It’s a sad day when you can no longer take a run or walk outside by yourself for fear of someone abducting you.
What's even sadder is that they may NEVER find anything of her. So sad for the family, as I would imagine closure is the next best thing to having her home. The 'unknown' will give you nightmares.
It has made me seriously think about my runs and my daily routine and to try and make it not so ‘routine’, even so much that I hopped on the dreaded 'mill on Tuesday evening, rather than running alone, at night, in my neighborhood. Too, I plan on picking up some pepper to run with me (like I need something else to carry). Ijust hope I would have the thought and quickness to use it if I needed to.
Please think about what you do and always be aware of your surroundings (something kind of hard to do when you are running and focused and have your headphones on-definitely not a good idea but I am not sure I can break this habit? Maybe I will start with one ear bud, turned down low).
Be safe out there, fellow friends and runners!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I won't be a statistic!

Yeah! It's the weekend!
What a short work week. I wish they were all that way.
So, on tap for today I had a long run on the schedule. 7 miles, at least.
I did the usual prepping: pasta the day before, eating right all week (which I have done a pretty good job of this week except for the occasional leftover holiday homemade Nutella cookie-btw: they come HIGHLY recommended), and staying hydrated...with water. (bet you thought I was going to say wine! :)
The weather on the island today was beautiful!

The shrimp boats were out today-I am guessing it's prime harvest season-Wild Ga. Shrimp...yummo!
It was a little cool starting out..just enough for my nose to run faster than I was going. But, it warmed up nicely and everyone was outside enjoying the weather!

My 7 mile run ended up being a proud 8 miles! Woo hoo!
I have to stay on target for this half marathon on Feb. 12, 2012:

It is a short 37 days away! Wow!
And guess what...I think the hubby is going to run the half with me!
Of course, he won't be running with me, in a physical sense...he runs much faster (and will definiately have to that day just to prove a point).
I'm not complaining about him insisting on running faster but am instead trying to be encouraging.
He ran 7 miles today, as well.
I love the idea of us running together but he gets a much later start than I do (and did I mention he's faster?).
I like to head out and get it 'over with' so I can come back to this (which is what I had immediately upon my return):

Not exactly the best choice of a 'post race' meal..but, hey..did I mentiont that I had a tall glass of organic milk with it? Doesn't that count for something? Plus, what's that 'eat right 90% of the time' rule? I wonder if that means 90% of the week or 90% of each day??
I would love to say that I made these from scratch but we all know that didn't happen. (if a recipe has the word 'yeast' in it, I immediately skip it-too much work!)
I got them from a local bakery on the island. It is a treat, indeed.

Last, I got an email this week with interesting 'resolution' statistics that I thought I would share:
"According to research on New Year’s Resolutions, 40 to 45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. 17% infrequently set resolutions; 38% absolutely never set resolutions.  Only 8% of people are always successful in achieving their resolutions.
The following shows how many of these resolutions are maintained as time goes on:
-past the first week 75%
- past 2 weeks: 70%
- after one month: 64%
- after 6 months: 46%
Almost half of the New Year’s Resolutions don’t make for more than 6 months and 46% don’t make it for a month.  More surprising is that 25% fail in the first week!"
Some pretty sad statistics.
Thus, I make a resolution to NOT be a statistic this year!
I am sticking with the goals I set (not resolutions-I don't like that word).
Are you with me?
What are you going to do to try and stick to your goal? One of my goals was to get on a strength program and stick with it. I can proudly say that I stuck with it for week 1 and am tremendously sore. Amazing...I've done strength training before and, heck, I've even done the exercises that I am doing under the program before..but something about the weight, repetitions, or rotation of the exercises, or all 3 combined, has made me feel it this week! I'm not 12 weeks, I hope to be able to see my abs and have defined arms (of course, I'm going to have to lay off the cinnamon rolls)!
Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I had big, BIG plans for this week.
With all the time off, and a light work load, I was going to exercise HARD every day.
I was going to start my morning off right with a run or bike ride, knowing that I didn't have to get up a dark-thirty to get it done.
Notice a pattern here....'I was going to...'
But...somehow, family, friends, and life (wine) got in the way.
I mean, it is the holidays!?!? Who would think about celebrating without an occasional glass of wine?!?!?!
Ok-Who am I kidding? Lots of wine since Christmas Eve.
I have thoroughly enjoyed myself, with few slow morning starts.
But I now feel guilty and like I didn't meet my goals/ plans.
I'm frankly a little disappointed and am trying to be beat myself up about it.

I've come to realize that I do better with a routine..and by that I mean a work and exercise routine.

Yes, I am a list maker and, no, I don't make a list for my daily routine. But, I have heard that writing exercise time in your calendar can help to 'get it done.'

My daily routine is something like this:

6:30 am, get up
Maybe go for a quick run (not a morning person, remember?)
8:30, get to work
12, Eat lunch
5:30, go exercise
Sleep by 10:30 pm

It's not a detailed routine, even though I left out some details.
But, that routine, as opposed to the the one I have kept since last Friday (wake up-eat-computer time-eat-nap-exercise-eat & drink-sleep), is a lot better.
I shall move on to other topics....

Since everyone is reflecting on the year that's almost history, I thought I might, too.
Here are two things, exercise related, that I accomplished in 2011 that I am most proud of:

1-C.H. and I completed our first Sprint Tri and, admit, that we had fun and want to do it again! (I would insert a picture here of me but me, in a swim condom  hat, is not that attractive.) We actually got a late season start so we only participated in 2. But, we are going to start training for more tri's in 2012 and are better equipped this year! Watch out professionals! Here we come!

This is actually C.H.'s new bike-mine is borrowed but just as good (and lots cheaper!)...and I am fine with that!

2-At the beginning of 2011, I made, yet again, the same resolution as everyone lose weight. Of course, I didn't necessarily mean diet..I wanted to learn to eat right and healthy and lose weight the right way. I can actually say that this book and eating plan (as it's not a diet but a way of life) helped me do that:

The book isnt' rocket science. In fact, it's everything you know with maybe a couple of things you have heard about before but were unsure of (eating 6 small meals a day), along with eat lots of veggies, nothing white or processed, eat lean protein, exercise, and limit your alcohol (really difficult).
I did the plan for approximately 6 weeks before the Savannah RnR Half and I lost around 10 lbs!
Woo hoo! It does work! 
I plan to get back on it, hard and determined, come next week (notice I didn't say Jan. 1).
Plus, the energy it gave me was unreal!
I won't say it's an easy plan but eating healthy, as we know, can be more expensive and definitely requires some planning. But, the results were well worth it! Let me know if you want to borrow the book.

As I talked about in a previous post, I don't have any specific resolutions for the new year but do have some plans/ goals in re: exercise.
I won't go in to those again.
However, one goal I forgot to mention would be to spend more time building muscle in the form of weight training.
I know the benefits of it, as my mom is 60 and is excellent shape. Her Dr's tell her this every year! (BTW-she manages a gym-she can work out while she's at work! How lucky!)
Honestly, I want to have arms & abs like this:

I know my abs are somewhere in there and they look exactly like this...but I can't seem to find them?!?!
You know, she's for real, right? I mean, she has a good story...use to be really overweight, took control of her life, and now is in the best shape EVER and she's 37! One year older than me!

Plus, I like her because she's a major smart ass and tells it like it is ("get your fat ass off the couch and do something"..."stop eating junk, aka Doritos"..."you don't have a thyroid have an eating problem".)
I know this because I download her free (yes, free!) Itunes podcast.
You should listen to them. She has some really good and realistic ideas about eating right and exercising.
On the other hand, I don't like her on the Doctor's...or maybe it's the show I don't like.

Oh point in starting the 'down and dirty' eating plan until next week. I still have NYE to get through!
But, watch out..after that, it's game on!
The next thing I will hear people say is...
"Girl, where have you been? We haven't seen you in a must be at the gym ALL THE TIME..."
"Are you eating? You are too skinny!!!"
He, he!
Happy New Year!!!

Looks like someone had a good Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Memories to cherish

I’ve come a long way in a year!
Today marks a one year anniversary completion of my first half marathon.
Woo hoo! I actually kept to one of my resolutions, dreams and goals! I couldn’t be more proud and, to make my first half more special, I did it with a special friend.
Actually, let’s say I convinced her to do the race with me (although it didn’t take much convincing).
She, like me, is extremely goal and purpose driven (hard headed, some would say) and the shear thought of running more than 3 miles not only scared the shit out of both of us but excited us!
To make the whole experience even better, I have pictures to prove (evidence) that we did this!
I am on the right, as disguised as I possibly can be. To explain the shirts: race day was also my hubbies 40th birthday. We surprised him by wearing shirts that read, which was my own creativity: "In memory of...(and on the back)..Chuck's younger days! Today he's 40" Too bad his vision is so poor, and worse without his glasses, that he couldn't read it until we crossed the finish line. Classic!

Look close and you can see us crossing the finish line. Woo hoo!

However great this race has sounded thus far let’s not exaggerate a few facts of race day:
·         It was perhaps one of THE coldest days I can remember. It wasn’t necessarily the temperature that was cold (race start of 40, usually ideal race weather) but there was NO sunshine at any point during the day (a rare thing for Florida in December) and it misted rain the ENTIRE time! Totally miserable! There were even people wearing/ running in trash bags to avoid the constant mist. Of course, we weren't dressed appropriately. That didn't help. (this race was one of the reasons why I made the splurge on the all weather coat that I mentioned in my 'favorite things' blog post-well worth the $)
·         The route was uber-boring! Flat…yes (thank the lord and a reason why we chose this race)! But, it was the most boring route that I’ve ever run (not as bad as running on the ‘mill..but close). I’ve even had people tell me since the race that they thought the route was boring as well.
·         I/ we were in an extreme amount of leg pain after our 2:30 race time! We had prepared for the distance and endurance but we ran slightly faster (yes, that's possible for us turtles) on race day than normal (this would explain the advil I took on the afternoon and following day). I am sure it was the excitement and adrenaline of the whole event that made us run faster than normal. A hard lesson learned.
But, it doesn’t matter about the pain, freezing ass temperatures, or the mist that had my hair in ringlets by the finish line (naturally curly hair and it LOVES humidity)…
To hear that announcer say both of our names as we crossed the finish line and get our ‘much deserved’ medals was all worth it!
This picture says it all!

Two proud weiners winners! Aren't we are all winners if we cross the finish line (or get off the couch)?
I couldn’t imagine spending a more memorable event like this with any other person in the world than one of my best friends! It is a moment I will always cherish!
Going back through my pictures, I also found a couple of very sweet pictures of my friend and her parents. 
The picture's have a new and different meaning this year, as her dad passed away last week after a very sad and debilitating disease.
So very sad to see such a vibrant, healthy man one year ago and to know he's gone today.
(Note: I respect her privacy and grief and therefore will not post these. Trust me, they are sweet, proud parents and everyone is all smiles :) )
There are a couple of things that I learned from her dad in the short time that I knew him, to which I feel honored and special:
·         To deeply love and cherish your family, spending as much time with them as possible! We hear this all the time but do we actually do it? No regrets…that’s my motto.
·         To work hard but play harder and to have a passion (boating, fishing and anything water related was this man’s)
·         To love life and everything about it: the successes, the failures, the obstacles, the set-backs, the moments, the accomplishments, etc..  Life is what we make of it but the obstacles we face are all part of some greater power’s plan.
These are my resolutions for 2012 (instead of DIEting…such a losing battle anyway).
My friend has a very sad heart right now. My heart aches for her.
No words I can say will ease her pain.
However, I hope that by just ‘being a friend’ and listening and loving her I can offer her some comfort and joy.
I look forward to the day when her heart is at peace and she can laugh again.
It will come. It always does. It just takes time, as bad and indefinite as the cliché is.
In the meantime, I plan to continue to nag her to exercise, run, bike, weight train, eat right, drink wine (hello..that is my motto!), laugh, smile, cry, scream, etc…anything to exert some positive energy, just like I always have!
Hey, that’s what friends are for!!!
Merry Christmas to all my followers!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things!

I thought since it has FINALLY started to feel like Christmas around here that I would share a couple of my favorite running apparel and gear items.
Feel free to pass this post along to your Santa and if you were naughty nice he might bring it to you!

Again, when I first started running I came across a few unknown  pains that I have never experienced before. Chafing being one. I first tried another product that did NOT work. Then, the guys at a local bike shop (Monkey Wrench) introduced me to this product. In fact, he said, and I quote, "this will change your life." I laughed at the time but honestly, it has! I hesitated to buy it because it's +$20. But, after I rationalized it with the fact that the size would probably last me for years and the fact that chafing was much more painful than spending $20 (a bottle of wine) I decided to go for it. Now, it travels with me ANYTIME I plan on running.
This is my new favorite thing this year. It's a least for me. It was $100 and I did a lot of research for a jacket of this type and for the best price. However, you know me being female, I had a justification for this purchase, too. First, I needed something to protect me from unexpected light rain (after I got caught in several rain showers a couple of weeks ago and ended up having to wait under a restaurant's shelter until it quit). This does this and has a special pocket for your ipod to protect against the weather. Then, I wanted some kind of light weight jacket to keep me warm in the Ga winters (which aren't that bad). The reason I wanted light weight is so I can layer, as more times than not, it's warmed up considerably by the end of my long Saturday morning runs. Also, I needed something reflective so drivers that are texting or just do not want to stop for pedestrians can at least see me when they hit me. Last, this jacket becomes a vest with one quick zip. How cool is that? Sometimes you want your chest to be slightly warmer than your arms (or at least I do). So, I got the blue one and love it! 

My 3rd love (besides Chuck, of course, and Roxy).. my Brooks Adrenaline.  Before I got these, I was never able to run from knee pain. In fact, my first pair of shoes that I got run fitted for weren't right either. They gave me blisters...a bad things and almost discouraged me from running altogether. But, then I got professionally fitted (the whole treadmill gait and arch analysis thing) and these shoes were recommended. Since, I've tried other stability shoes but none compare! I am a Brooks stability shoe fan! Now, if they would just make them in some other color besides blue/ white and red/ white.
I admit it, I am all girl! Thus, I like to look semi-cute when I run (at least when I start-I end up looking like heck before it's over). I adore this skirt. A runner friend of mine (much more professional than I ever want to be) told me about running skirts and advised me that if I purchase one to make sure that it has splits on the side. This is the cutest running accessory.

I love my hand held water bottle (not necessarily this name brand).  The zippered pouch allows you to carry whatever...a gatorade pack to refill w/ water mid way through; chapstick; pepper spray; toilet paper (just in case, as you never know)...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Planning for 2012 runs!

It's been a week since I last posted a blog. Sorry. My only excuse is that I've been trying to figure out what the heck I want to do with my life...I mean, in terms of exercise in 2012.
I think I have finally arrived at a plan.
At first, I considered doing a marathon, since I felt pretty good after Savannah.
However, I really don't want to put in the training for it right now (long runs of 13 miles on Saturdays are enough for me).
Yes, that's laziness (or so I think). Instead, I want to work on my half marathon time for 2012.
It doesn't mean that I won't keep the marathon idea in the back of mind for future years. It's still on the bucket list.
To improve on my half marathon time, I have to do 2 things: faster training runs and participate in more half marathons (as opposed to the 1 every 6 months that I've been doing-that's not going to get me anywhere, fast).
I also plan to incorporate some cross-training (bicycling and swimming) and strength training in to my weekly schedules so I can be better prepared for upcoming tri's in May (and perhaps make a better time on those, too).
With that said, and being that their are only 7 days in a week and I need one day of rest (wine), that doesn't leave much "play" time. (oh-did I mention I plan on continuing my Monday evening yoga practice? geez!)
So, to add to the encouragement and commitment, I signed up for this:

I signed up for this event (the half marathon) first for many reasons:
  1. this is the only race/ run to fight breast cancer, which is for a great cause (thankfully, it hasn't touched me or anyone in my family, personally).
  2. I have watched coverage on the news for years and thought it looked like so much fun, from the (I've heard) awesome expo, to the bands at every  mile, to the crowd support, to the runners all decked out in pink, and to the beautiful view (at one point, the race is on the beach)!
  3. this race is only an hour from home-which means I can save some $$$ on this one and travel to another great race
It was a no brainer.
I am thinking of signing up for the Charleston, SC, half marathon (with an added Sunday bike ride, not race) in January and the Gate River Run 15k in March, again.
I have never done Charleston but absolutely love the idea of running through such a beautiful city (did I mention the terrain is flat, the weather will probably be awesome, the fees are cheap, and the city is FULL of awesome restaurants!?!?!?!).
I've got a training plan in place to incorporate weekly speed, tempo and long runs in. In fact, I started it today. Right now, I'm feeling pretty good.
Not only should my speed increase, but the HIIT (high intensity interval training) that will be incorporated into my runs should do wonders for my ever decreasing metabolism! That's never a bad thing for a gal!
Last, I want to recap a couple of things that I saw in exercise news this week, that I thought you would find interesting (or humorous):

Buff Runner Seen Streaking Near College
According to NBC & Runner's World, this man was seen 'streak running' near Fredericksburg. Well, isn't that interesting? I wonder if he knows about the races where clothes are optional? I'm serious! Google it! Even though you would probably feel the wind in places that have 'never felt the wind' before, I still would NEVER participate in one of these races and I am guessing that those that do participate REALLY shouldn't be! 

She is running the Rock n Roll Las Vegas marathon this weekend-I guess she has a lot of spare time, huh?
(in case you are without a tv or newspaper, or have your head in the dirt, this is Kate Gosslin-nice tummy tuck after 8 kids, huh? I still don't think she needs to be showing that belly...just saying!!!)

Until we chat next time...remember, tis' the season to NOT be eating! But, if you are (and we all will at some point during this month long celebration), AT LEAST get outside and walk for 20-30 minutes. It, seriously, does wonders for your mood (and waistline)!
Happy holidays!