Training Recap & PFTW

Planned                                                            Actual
Monday:  Strength                                            Rest
Tuesday:  5 easy                                              Rest
Wednesday:  4 x 400 plus strength                  Rest
Thursday:  Rest                                                5 easy
Friday:  4 tempo                                               4 x 400 + 0.75 mile walk with dogs
Saturday:  Rest or easy XT                              2(?) mile walk with dogs + 30 min bike
Sunday:  7 miles                                               7 miles
Total:  19 miles                                                 Total: 15 miles run, .75 mile walked, 30 min biked

I knew this week would be tricky because of after-work commitments and a couple of afternoon appointments.  I know I can’t keep end-loading my weeks like this, especially as my mileage increases, but for this week it was the only way to get it all in.

This week I increased the easy, tempo, and long runs by a mile each.  Thursday’s 5 miles were absolutely wonderful.  If I hadn’t been close to running out of daylight at the end of those 5, I would have gone ahead and done my long run of 7 that night.  But it was getting late and dark, and supper don’t cook itself.

I was so damn proud of myself Friday.  I mean like “call the media” proud.  It was another craptastic day at work (those seem to be coming more and more frequently lately), and I was later than usual getting home.  I had debated the whole drive home on whether or not I was gonna run that night.  When I got home, I actually had a cold beer and bottle opener IN MY HANDS but then got pissed at myself for blowing off a run.  I put the beer back in the fridge and went to the track and ran intervals instead.  Major victory for the run there, folks.  MAJOR.

Saturday I broke my streak.  I missed a run.  I’m bummed about it, but I also know it won’t make any difference in the grand scheme of things.  I’m the one that made the conscious decision to put the run at the bottom of my priority list Saturday, so I can’t be too upset about it.  Instead I did lots of things around the house that needed to be done, took the dogs to the lake, dog-sat for a friend that afternoon and night, and went out to dinner with the hubs.  I did squeeze in half an hour on the spin bike before my shower, so I didn’t totally punk out.

Sunday I put my long run off until the evening, so I was tired before I even started and was really wishing that I’d gone ahead and knocked it out on Thursday, but once I got started I felt great and had a pretty good run.  It wasn’t fast by any stretch of the imagination, but it was enjoyable, and for where I’m at right now, THAT’S where it’s at.

Monday:  Strength                                        
Tuesday:  5 easy                                            
Wednesday:  4 x 400 plus strength                
Thursday:  Rest                                              
Friday:  4 tempo                                            
Saturday:  Rest or easy XT                            
Sunday:  7 miles                                            
Total:  19 miles                                            

An Obnoxiously Perfect Weekend

Not to sound like one of those annoying “life is great, everything is perfect, I fart rainbows” bloggers… but this weekend was pretty great.  We didn’t do anything special at all, but I just had this really content feeling all weekend.

When I got home Friday after my track workout, D wanted to go grab something to eat, so me and the dogs rode with him.  It was a really pleasant evening, so we stopped by the park to walk the dogs for a bit.  Usually when I’m walking the dogs, it’s at a brisk pace with me keeping them on task, but Friday we just made one slow, leisurely lap around the 0.75-mile loop, enjoying the beautiful weather and letting the dogs stop every few feet to sniff.  It just set the pace for a relaxing weekend.

Saturday morning, started off earlier than I’d have liked thanks to three STAAAARVING animals.  But if they hadn’t got me out of bed, I’d have missed this.

Besides, once all the furry bellies were full, I ended up falling back asleep on the couch anyway.  D went to the shop, so it was just me and the critters the rest of the day.  I was kind of in domestic mode, and we got lots done around the house.  C.C. even helped me fold and put away towels.

I’ll just make sure this stack doesn’t fall over, m’kay?

I texted my friend Suzan (the one I trade out dog-sitting with) to see if she wanted to take our dogs to the water since this may be our last weekend warm enough to do it, but she was stuck teaching a Common Core workshop (I can’t think of a worse way to spend a Saturday! haha) and couldn’t go.  So me and my two went to the state park at the lake not far from here, but that was pretty much a bust.  The water where they could have waded into the lake was sooo nasty and stinky.  There’s no way they were getting in that mess, so we just walked around the lake and enjoyed the day again.

Bella, my little co-pilot

And on our way home, we saw this sign!  I only caught a glimpse of it when I passed it the first time, so I had to turn around and go back to make sure I read it right.  We’re getting a brewery!!!!

Perrylodgic Brewing Co will be opening in November!

During my conversation with Suzan earlier in the day, she mentioned that she had almost called me to see if I could keep her dog that night because after she got out of her workshop she was only going to be home long enough to let Gnash out before she had to go to another event that evening and felt bad for leaving him so much that day.  I told her that we had no plans and to please bring him over.  He’s such a good boy, and he and my dogs are wonderful together.  They play and wrestle until they just crash.

After they’d worn each other out and settled down, me and D went out to dinner and had a nice night together–something we’ve had far too few of lately.

Sunday I slept till almost 8(!!!), which means it was already full sun and warm, so I decided to wait until the evening to do my long run.  That domestic mode I was in carried right on over into Sunday, so most of the day was spent doing house things including lots of time in the kitchen.  I was already tired when I started running at 5, so I didn’t expect much, but it turned out to be a great seven miles!

And to top it off, I found out it’s National Beer Day!  Who am I to refuse to celebrate that?!  What a perfect way to end a perfect weekend!!

Training Recap & PFTW

Planned                                                            Actual
Monday:  Strength                                            Rest
Tuesday:  4 easy                                              4 easy
Wednesday:  4 x 400 plus strength                  1.5 mile walk with dogs
Thursday:  Rest                                                4 x 400
Friday:  3 tempo                                               Rest
Saturday:  Rest or easy XT                              2.5 tempo, 0.5 easy
Sunday:  6 miles                                               6 miles + 1.5 mile walk with dogs
Total:  16 miles                                                 Total: 16 miles

Monday – Monday was Monday.  Nothing good ever happened on a Monday.

Tuesday – Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day!  70 degrees with a cool breeze.  Loved every single step of an easy 4-mile run.

Wednesday – Another gorgeous day outside, and my dogs deserved to enjoy it too.  Leisurely 1.5 mile walk with them at the park.

Thursday – Pretty good track session!  But I’m thinking I may have to move my intervals to the treadmill for a little while.  Unless I want to dodge high school football players and/or the band practicing, I have to wait until after 6:00 pm to go to the track.  I like to be done and showered by 6:00 pm.

Friday – Shitty day at work.  Beer trumped run.  I so wish I could be one of those people who are all, “Oh golly gee, I’m so stressed.  I can’t wait to go for a run.”  Nope.  Not me.  I’m more, “Fuck this.  I need a drink.”

Saturday – I waited until it was really warm to get out there and then probably pushed the pace a little too hard.  I stopped for a second to catch my breath at 2.5 and then just never picked the pace back up.

Sunday – Sunday just sucked.  Summer came back for what I hope was her last visit.  It was hot.  It was humid.  It was downright miserable.  I just couldn’t stay out of my head.  By the end of those six miles I had convinced myself that I suck at running and have no business even trying to do it.  I know that was just Summer talking, but I’m beginning to think she might be right!

Monday:  Strength (One day I might actually do one of these)
Tuesday:  5 easy
Wednesday:  4 x 400 + strength
Thursday:  Rest
Friday:  4 tempo
Saturday:  Rest/easy XT
Sunday:  7

This week will probably get shifted around a bit, too, because I have appointments Monday and Tuesday afternoons, but I’ll figure it out!  I haven’t missed a run in this training plan yet, and I want to keep that streak going!

Reliving Old Memories

I was a band geek in school.  And I’ve found out over the years… once a band geek, ALWAYS a band geek.  It NEVER leaves.  The sound of brass and snare drums still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  So I was super excited when my youngest niece tried out for and made the high school flag corps this year.

This weekend they hosted a marching invitational, so I spent six hours of my Saturday in the bleachers of our high school stadium watching bands from all over perform.  Gah, y’all, it brought back SO. MANY. MEMORIES.  Just watching those kids… their excitement, their passion…  I miss that.  So much.  And it blows my mind to think that it was HALF MY LIFE ago that I was there.  It seems like no time has passed.  I was already feeling super nostalgic just from being there, but then when my alma mater took the field and yelled “DC!” on their initial horns-up, just as we did 17 years ago (Jesus, I can’t believe it’s been that long), it was all I could do to not go get in formation with them.  haha

Their show was great, featuring music from the musical Chicago.  But my FAVORITE show of the night was done by a neighboring county…a ZOMBIE THEME!  Y’all, between my four years and then my sister’s four years (plus college), I’ve seen lots of field shows.  This had to be my absolute favorite one I’ve ever seen.  The show starting with the emergency alert over the PA, the zombie face paint, the bloodied-up uniforms, the flag corps in hazmat suits with their biohazard flags…they NAILED IT.

Off topic for a second… when a bee demands you hand over the last of your italian ice, you don’t argue.  You just do it.

Since our school was the host of the competition, our band didn’t compete but still performed in exhibition.  I was so excited to watch my niece out there.  She’s so GOOD!  And I wouldn’t say that just because I’m her aunt.  haha  I’ve got too many years of critiquing marching bands under my belt to give a biased opinion when it comes to that.  I tried to get pictures, but she was in the backfield for the whole show.  I zoomed in as tight as I could go, but they were blurry beyond recognition.  Bah.  The only decent one I got was of them taking formation, and she’s not even in this one.

That’s okay, I’ll have plenty of other opportunities!  Between ballgames every Friday and competitions every Saturday until the end of October, I’ll be seeing plenty more of her.

Do you have any childhood passions that have spilled over to adulthood?  Are they still a part of your life?

Food For Thought VI

Keeping in line with every other aspect of my life, I’ve been in a rut in the kitchen lately, too.  I really haven’t been cooking all that much.  The past few weeks I’ve had salads and popcorn and cereal  and smoothies for dinner more than anything else, and the nights that I have cooked it’s mostly been old familiar recipes.  But I did squeeze in a couple of new ones!

Taco Burgers from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean – Super quick, super easy, super yummy.  WIN!

Thai Tacos, also from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean (full recipe, along with a couple more from HHLL, featured here!) – This one also was really fast to throw together.  Bonus–no cooking required!  I ate it at room temperature the evening I made it and right out of the fridge for lunch the next afternoon.  I think I liked it cold even better.  And the slaw that you top it with is SO GOOD.  I’ll probably make that on its own at some point in the future when the occasion calls for coleslaw.

Morgan’s Veggie Chili from Little House of Veggies (full recipe in link!) – Okay, this is nothing new to me, but it is an all-time favorite and definitely share-worthy.  I’ve got like three chili recipes that I rotate through, and this is one of them.  We’ve had a couple of chilly nights lately, and I was excited to have an excuse to make this again.

I like it chunky.

Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches from Cookin’ Crunk – On my third day of eating the chili, there wasn’t enough left for a full meal, so I needed something to go with it.  I’ve had this recipe flagged for a while, and I figured this was the perfect time for it.  I used to loooooove pimiento cheese before ditching dairy, and y’all, this stuff is just like what I remember.  Appearance, texture, flavor…all of it.  PERFECT!  All hail the power of the chickpea.

Beer Me!

One of my favorite parts of the change in seasons is the release of seasonal beers.  It’s not something I’ve talked about much (at all?) here, but I REALLY like beer.  I don’t know a lot ABOUT it.  I’ll never use all the beer geek language.  (I still giggle when someone talks about “head.”)  But I still love drinking it and trying all kinds of different brews!
A couple of weeks ago, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. announced the release of a new seasonal fall variety pack.  The search was on.
We’ve only got one place in this little one-horse town that carries many craft beers, so I figured that’d be the place to go.  They didn’t have it, but the guy working said he’d talk to the distributor, and he took my name and number so he could call me if they got it in.  I couldn’t leave empty-handed, so I grabbed up another Leine that I hadn’t tried before, Hoppin’ Helles, and a Blackstone Brewing Co. Pumpkin Ale.
Since the Leinenkugels were already cold, they were the first ones I tried.  As the name suggests, it was pretty dang hoppy!  It wasn’t bad, but it had a rather bitter aftertaste.  
The next day, after the Pumpkin Ale had been in the fridge overnight, I cracked one of them open.
DUDE.  This. Stuff. Is. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!  It’s so smooth and creamy and just freaking delicious.  I dare say it’s my new favorite.  And, bonus, it’s local!  I didn’t even notice when I bought it that it’s brewed and bottled in Nashville.  I’ve since learned that they have a restaurant and pub and now I really want to go!
Then couple of days ago, the clerk at the liquor store called and said the Leinenkugel variety packs were in!  I picked one up right after work and immediately put one of each in the fridge.
Because I’m a pumpkin freak, the Harvest Patch Shandy was naturally the first one I tried.  It is absolutely perfect!  Unlike the Blackstone Pumpkin Ale, this one is a shandy, so it’s light, crisp, and refreshing.  It’s kind of perfect for these early almost-fall days when it’s still warm outside but close enough to fall that you’re ready to break out the pumpkin-flavored stuff.
So much YUM in one little can
Next I tried the Cranberry Ginger Shandy.  I did not like it.  At all.  Which really surprised me.  I like cranberries and cranberry juice (especially if it has vodka in it), and I like ginger, but this I didn’t like.  I’ll drink the others that came in the pack because DUH it’s still beer and you don’t waste beer, but I wouldn’t ever buy it again if sold by itself.
So much disappointment in one little can
And lastly there was the Old Fashioned Shandy.  I liked it better than the Cranberry Ginger, but I don’t think I’d buy this one again either.  It’s flavor was… interesting.  I didn’t know really how to describe it, so I googled for reviews and I saw the word “oak” come up a lot when talking about the flavor.  I think that’s a good description of the flavor.  
I really hope Leinenkugel will ditch the last two and start marketing the Harvest Patch Shandy on its own.  I would totally buy it again.  But as much as I love it, I won’t buy another 12-pack variety box for only four cans of the one I like.
Do you drink beer?  Any craft brews that you would recommend?

Training Recap & PFTW

After basically sitting out for about 4 weeks with all that was going on with D’s mom’s illness and passing, the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to get back at it and into a training routine.  Since I’d lost so much fitness (and gained so much weight) in those weeks, I decided just to scrap the plan I had started and start fresh.

This was my second week in the new plan, and it should have looked like this:

Monday:  Strength
Tuesday:  4 easy
Wednesday:  3 x 400 plus strength (yeah, I’m starting the speed thing from scratch here)
Thursday:  Rest
Friday:  3 tempo
Saturday:  Rest or easy XT
Sunday:  6 miles
Total:  15.5 miles

Here’s what it ACTUALLY looked like:

Monday:  Rest
Tuesday:  Rest
Wednesday:  1.5 miles walked with dogs
Thursday:  3 tempo
Friday:  4 easy
Saturday:  3 x 400 plus strength
Sunday:  6 miles + 1.5 miles walked with dogs
Total:  15.5 miles run, 3 miles walked

You see, Fall fell in West TN on Thursday.  And when you’re sitting here on Monday when it’s 90 degrees, looking at a forecast with highs in the 70s starting Thursday, it’s REALLY FUCKING HARD to get motivated to do anything until then.  So I end-loaded all my runs into the last part of the week, plus I got in a little bit of strength (which really wasn’t anything more than some push-ups, some ab work, and some squats, but hey it made me sore, so it counts).

Next week isn’t much different at all.  I’ll just be adding one more 400 at the track.  Everything else is the same.  I’m gonna try to get in a REAL strength workout or two this week though!  I haven’t been to the gym since… gah, it has to be two months or better.  I’ve got 11 more Crossfit sessions prepaid, so I really should make use of them!

Three Things Thursday – Fall Arrival Edition

Three reasons I’m ecstatic to see fall arrive!

1.   Hopefully this week will be the last time I end a run looking like this for a while.  Yes, I stand outside and towel off and drip dry before I walk in the house…

2.   Fall Brews!!!!  (More on this later)

3.   Goodbye, bugs!!!  We’ve battled mosquitos and ticks and gnats (OMG THE FUCKING GNATS!) all summer long but things hit a new level last night when the dogs and I came up on a freaking hornets’ nest while walking last night!  First one I’ve ever seen!  haha  We walked away as quickly and quietly as possible, then I drove back to it to take this picture from the safety of inside my truck.

Picture doesn’t do size justice.  This thing was at least a foot and a half tall!

The Personalized Pit Bull

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a huge pit bull advocate.  As such, I follow a lot of pit bull advocacy and rescue sites on Facebook.  Well a few months ago, one of those rescues was holding a fundraising auction, and a company called The Personalized Pit Bull had donated some items to be auctioned off.  One of those items was an 8 x 10 color portrait of your animal.  I bid on it, what I thought was a fairly low amount, so I was super surprised when I got an email telling me that I’d won it.  She asked for my favorite upperbody/head shot of my dog, and I decided on this one.

Smiling big after our trip to the gourmet pet treat store.

 So I sent it in and after what seemed like forever (she’s VERY popular and books people several weeks out!), she emailed me a preview of the finished product.  How cool is this???  I love the whimsical, cartoony style she uses!

As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have all my other furries done.  Bella was up next, and she was a tough one.  I have more photos of her than any of my other animals (or people for that matter), and not a damn one of them were suitable for having a print made from.  She’s a big ol’ clown, so in most of her photos she is upside down, half under a blanket, one ear turned inside out, with her bottom teeth sticking out.  haha  I tried sending the artist a couple of photos, but she nixed them both because she didn’t think she could get a good rendering from them.  (I was grateful for her honesty!)  So over Labor Day Weekend I had a photo shoot with Bella and finally ended up with one I thought might work.
I emailed it to her Tuesday, and yesterday she emailed me this!
While I do love it and think it’s adorable, I don’t like it quite as much as Harley’s.  In the artist’s defense, though, I realize that brindle must be terribly hard to do.  I’ll still definitely be getting C.C. and (the dearly departed) Lucy’s done too.
Tell me about your rescued pets!  If you bought them from a breeder or if you breed yours, I don’t want to hear about it.

Three Things Thursday

1.   We received a lot of plants and flowers at the funeral last week.  The flowers are beginning to look a little sad, but so far I haven’t killed any of the plants.  It’s a modern-day miracle.

2.   I’ve proven to  myself a couple of times that I’m unable to quit the blog, and since I’m gonna stick around I need to make some changes.  I’d like to rename it to something more personified and maybe migrate it to WordPress, but that all seems like a gigantic pain in the ass.  But you know what else is a pain in the ass?  It’s latest thing is telling me I’m not following any blogs.  It does it almost every day, but I can refresh the page over and over and finally it will pull my blog roll up.

3.   I finally found a shirt for RnR St. Louis next month!  I’ve got several Cardinals t-shirts, but they’re all cotton.  You wouldn’t think it would be this hard to find a ladies Cardinals tech shirt, but it was!  All I could find were men’s until I found this one on