Sometimes One Run Can Be Good AND Bad

Yesterday was the second 8 miler in the Half Marathon training plan. The weather predictions were for a bizarre February high in the mid 60s, and it was 32 when I left the house. Sounded like perfect outside running weather, but what I didn’t remember reading about was how windy it was going to be.

I mapped out a two loop run, 4 miles each loop. I was very happy to be meeting my running partner for the first loop after not seeing her for a few weeks. That first loop went well and though I noticed some wind, it didn’t stand out as a big part of the miles.

After saying goodbye to my friend, I started out on the second loop. About 1.5 miles in, I came around a corner…and blammo…WIND WIND WIND. Unfortunately, that was the direction where my car was waiting 2.5 miles away. There was no way to change plans, finish the miles, and still get back to my car (though I did consider giving up at one point and catching the bus, BUT I didn’t).

It was an ugly trip back to the car. The wind was hitting me in the chest, trying to steal my hat, making my eyes and my nose run, making my legs feel more like cement blocks than they already were after a high mileage week, and making me feel like there was no way I was going to have the race I was hoping for.

And that is my point in writing this. Sometimes a run just sucks. And sometimes a run can start out good, and then it can suck. And sometimes, you start out feeling like there’s no way you can run as many miles as you are supposed to, and it feels AMAZING! But most of the time, a run is just a run, and that is fine too.

Running has never been easy for me, and as I previously mentioned, I didn’t start running until later in life. The AMAZING runs for me are fewer and further between. Luckily, the feeling I get from those runs sticks with me through the really crappy runs, which are also fewer and further between. It is, unfortunately, too easy to let the few yucky miles have too much influence.

And that’s where I was yesterday, letting the wind win, judging my long run and my Half goals by the few ugly miles at the end. But it’s not where I am this morning. I am back in the groove, ready to get moving on this week’s mileage. And that’s the great thing about running, every run is a new run, you just have to start moving your legs and go.

 

pittsburg8

Spring Teaser

Yesterday morning the temp was 25, with a “real feel” of 8. The night before, the wind was howling and gusting like crazy. Tomorrow, it is supposed to reach the low 60s. This has been one of the more bizarre winters in terms of weather. Temps in the low 60s, led me to think about this:

seed starting

Which then led to thinking about this:

seedlings

Which naturally led to this:

spring planting

As I was looking for pictures to represent where my line of thought was going, I came upon two pictures that fall into the category, “you never know what you’ll see while working out in the garden.”

hot air balloon

The flame throwers in those suckers are loud, especially when they go right over top of your head. Then again, the next one wasn’t so much loud, as a sound we didn’t recognize and were trying to figure out as we saw this:

motorized parachute

A motorized parachute, which was a first for us.

So, maybe tomorrow the bizarre winter weather of 60+ in February (and, of course, no kid commitments any more due to that darn VERY empty nest) will let us get a head start on garden prep, or ripping down the garden fence, or weeding, or…the list is never ending. Whatever we opt to work on, Fargo will be supremely happy to be out with us after too much time indoors the past few weeks.

Chocolate Cherry Muffins and Week 6

After I made Sally’s Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins and they came out so yummy, I thought I would try the Chocolate Cherry version. I bought frozen cherries from Trader Joes to use in the recipe. They came out good, but the cherries really didn’t have much flavor and they were actually kind of soggy.

chocolate cherry muffins

I plan to try making them again, but I am going to use tart dried cherries next time. I like the fact that they use Greek Yogurt, applesauce, honey, etc.

Also, as if I didn’t like Sally enough because of all her amazing recipes, when I emailed her to tell her how much we’ve been enjoying, she emailed me back!

If I count the week as Sunday-Saturday, I had a 23 mile week. That’s the most miles in a week for a long time. I am sticking tight to the training plan and I am feeling good. Now I just need to continue on this way for another 8 weeks….

We have had some crazy weather this Winter. As of now, it’s looking like Sunday’s long run will be able to be outdoors. Yay! The other night there were some wicked storms. I took this in between those storms.

stormy skies

 

Pretty Pretty Floor and Fargo the Soccer Dog

The painting of the hallway/stairwell, and the laying of the floor has been completed. We are super happy with the results!

finished floor

There will likely end up being a carpet runner, both for Fargo to lie/stretch on and because there is an echo now. Next up is the bathroom.

Ever since we started letting Fargo play with the soccer ball he is obsessed. When we put it away, he stands and stares at the place we hide it (obviously the hiding spot is a good one). Given the crazy muddy state of the yard, and the rain over the last few days, he’s had more soccer ball time. Of course, his favorite thing to do with the ball is push it into my feet…over and over and over and over again.

fargo ball feet

Once the yard permits, I think it will be fun to take the ball outside and see if he enjoys playing with it in a more open setting vs bouncing it off walls and furniture…and me.

My long run was outside, but my weekday miles have all been on the treadmill. I was worried about 6 miles on a Tuesday morning after a hilly Sunday 8 miler, especially since the legs were still feeling the Sunday run, but it went super well.

Oh Fargo: Morning Face

Fargo is typically pretty chill in the mornings. Some days he makes it awfully hard to leave, dating from when he was itty bitty and had a face full of wrinkles. Given how many puppy pics I take, I have often wondered how many pictures of the girls I would have taken if we had cell phone cameras back in the day.

Fargo face

fargo face 2

Fargo face 3

Fargo face 4

 

 

Back of the Pack: Runniversary

Next month is our 11th runniversary. Next month is eleven years since we first decided to run a Half Marathon and did our first training run. Eleven years since we thought 2, mostly flat, miles was soooooo far to run, and since we ran loops around the block to be nearby if the girls needed us during the many minutes it took us to run those 2 miles.

We’ve marked this milestone every year with a “wow, can’t believe another year has gone by,” but this year I wanted to also take some time to reflect on what running has added to my life (our lives).  This list assumes the health and fitness by product of running.

  • Time for quality conversations with my girls when they were older and would run with me. Especially my eldest, who trained with me and completed a 15k and two Half Marathons.

Disney half

Eldest with her bling

  • Ditto this one with the hubby, especially when the girls were younger and uninterrupted conversations were harder to come by.
  • Spending hours talking with some spectacular running partners throughout training cycles for different events.
  • Re-connecting with old friends, and making new friends who have become a huge part of my/our lives.
  • Discovering running routes and areas of town I hadn’t necessarily paid attention to before.
  • Raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through Team in Training which made me feel slightly less helpless when my dad was battling lymphoma.

TNT shirts with names

  • Raising money for TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) twice while training for the Marine Corps Marathon to help those whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice.

TAPS hero

  • It gave us the opportunity to role model healthy life choices for our girls.
  • It allowed us to experience a variety of running events, big and small, near and far. We learned what a runcation was and planned several.

Girls at Disney Marathon

  • We got to where we knew enough about running that we were, and are, able to help and encourage others who would like to start running and/or run events.
  • It’s a great excuse to buy cool running gear in awesomely bright colors.
  • When I run, I feel proud of myself and my family is proud of me.
  • There’s always the BLING!!!

MCM Bling

  • Every once in a while, there’s that perfect running day that makes all of the less than perfect ones worth it.
  • Running has helped me learn more about myself, about setting goals and mapping out how to achieve them or at least put forth my best effort.
  • It’s made us realize how important volunteers and spectators are at running events (especially for this back of the pack slow poke) and therefore, we’ve all done both volunteering and spectating.

Lonely at the back

  • It’s done wonders for my self confidence (but then, so has growing older and wiser…right?).

 

Test Post

This is me testing out my brand new blog. Be patient while I am adding a new item to my “empty nest” life, using WordPress. I hope to soon be able to transfer and archive the previous 45 posts from the tumblr blog. In the meantime, here is a puppy Fargo picture to make you smile.

Puppy Fargo

Pizza, With Dough From Scratch!

I used the dough hook on the pretty kitchen power tool for the first time today during my first attempt at homemade whole wheat pizza dough.

dough hook

You definitely need to plan ahead, but it was actually easier than I anticipated and holy cow, it was good! I once again used Sally recipes and I decided I should email her and thank her at this point.

pizza dough in oven

I probably need a little practice on the whole circular pizza crust part (though it is National Drink Wine Day, so I did have a glass):

pizza dough circle

I then used Sally’s Spinach Artichoke White Cheese Pizza recipe and I added mushrooms as well. It was beautiful!

finished pizza

And absolutely delicious!!!

slice of pizza

I love that the recipe makes enough for two crusts, so one is in the freezer and we’ll see how long it lasts there before we make more pizza.

 

Bread and Jam

This was probably about the 15th loaf of bread I have made since I began the whole Dutch Oven Bread thing. It is a combination of the Sunflower Flax Seed recipe (really, just minus the seeds) and the Rosemary Sea Salt recipe (I added some dried rosemary). Every loaf has turned out beautifully.

more bread

sliced bread

In the middle of winter, there is something very wonderful about eating warm, homemade bread. Well, probably ANY time of the year it would be a wonderful experience. But, then add in homemade jam from your own fruit.

I love opening a new jar, the way the shiny surface looks:

new jar of jam

And then, the thick jam full of fruit:

jam on knife

This is when we reaffirm that the Cannin and Jammin work we did over the summer is all worth it.

Ready, Set…Floor!

What started out as a “rip up the only remaining wall to wall carpet and replace it with flooring,” turned into a paint, replace door knobs, paint steps and then put down flooring project. Yesterday the floor laying part began.

Before:

pre floor

During:

floor project

Notice the new silver door knob. All of the original brass coated knobs lost most of the brass coating, and we’re not shiny brass fans anyway.

Here are the pretty steps, now that they’ve been painted:

finished steps

And in the middle, I made cookies! Went back to Sally’s Baking Addiction Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal because they are awesome:

dark choc chunk oatmeal cookies

Hoping the snow/ice/rain is finished soon so we can get back to running outside. The treadmill is getting old at this point.