Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wine and Whine

I am dying to post...

Hopefully over the weekend this will come to pass.

Last weekend hubby and I went to a blind tasting wine event in Williamsburg, VA with Master Chef, Rhys Lewis

The tasting room was set up with covered cups that had everything from burnt toast to cut up oak in them to help us test out our sniffers. Hubby and I probably guessed about half of the scents. It's funny how some smells seem familiar but you can't place what it is without a visual clue. 

Chef Lewis hosts wine events regularly at the Williamsburg Lodge. Hubby and I agree his series,  Wine, Wit, and Wisdom is appropriately named. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing him speak about all aspects of wine making, and felt entertained, as well as a little more educated after the presentation. 

We had a lovely aged 2003 red wine that was an amazingly tasty treat for the palate.
We had samples of  Chardonnay, a sparkling white, a Sauvignon Blanc, and two reds, one of which was the 2003. 

When our glasses were empty they started refilling them and gave us cheese trays so we could pair the different flavors together. The refilling of the glasses continued as the pastry chef (love him) shared his homemade dark cherry truffles and cheesecake.  
I did try to manage my hydration (thinking long run the next day) and kept our server busy refilling my water glass.    

Sometimes balancing running and fun is a challenge.  Ideally I should have hydrated, ate healthy, and rested the night before a long run, but sometimes a gal just has to live, right. 

Hubby and I have never attended an an event like this and the experience was truly a wonderful way to spend an afternoon together.
Pastry Chef, server, and Master Chef 

It was a rainy humid day - perfect to be inside enjoying fine wines for a few hours. 

I haven't indulged in any wine since my fun wine tasting event last weekend and I am headed to the beach this weekend so hopefully that great long run is coming. I am tired of whining about how rough my runs have felt. 

Any fun weekend plans? Long run plans? Ever done a wine tasting like this one? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday Run ~ If I feel Like...

Sunday I finally got out of bed and put my running gear on, after many taps to the snooze button. I was so excited it was finally cool, but I had lots of wine from our fun Saturday wine tasting event. (More about that in another post) I was still tying to sleep it off. 
My run started out rough- but I tried to ignore it and tell myself the weather was perfect and I felt great. It felt so crisp outside, but my body just felt heavy. My last few runs I have been struggling to get my feet going in a decent rhythm. I am having a hard time getting my knees up and my mind doesn't seem to relax, but I keep plugging along, it has to get better, right?! I am sure the wine didn't help and I made a mental note that it is time to dry out for a few weeks and get serious about my half training. 

About four miles in I remember thinking my goal of an hour and half wasn't going to happen. 

Then I saw my hubby biking toward me  ❤  He pedaled along with me and it helped to distract me from my heavy feet and poor form. I figured if he made the effort, I was going to keep plugging along slowly and try to make the most of the run.   

Hubby took a few short videos for me - he had to entertain himself since he was biking at my sluggish running pace

I ended up making it 1:25:00 - I only covered 8.2 miles but I'll take it. I could not wait to get home and get on my bike. Hubby and I went around our loop, which it just a little over a mile, and shook out my legs. 
I only ran 16 miles last week, and 13 miles the week before so I am really behind where my training guide says I should be. I keep hoping I will have a breakthrough run where I shed that sluggish feeling...soon!

How was your running this weekend?  Curiosity question-if you drink the day before a run do you think it has an impact on how energetic you feel? 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oh No, Running Woes

As soon as the two days of rain showers took leave here, the sticky hotter temps returned. (((Sigh))) Repeat loudly and really lift your shoulders...that's how I feel. 
Hubby gave me beautiful flowers on Monday to brighten my desk. I love the colors and they made me forget how dreary it was outside. 

I am over the crap humid weather. Today when I came out of work I wanted to change and get my workout in right away. That's my usual routine unless I am hungry because I skipped lunch. If I run before I shower in the morning I usually only run a mile or two, I think my longest run was three miles because I have to be there by 7 a.m. 
Anyway, after work it was still about 85 degrees and fairly sticky, soooo off the gym I went. 

I managed an hour on the treadmill, which is 6 miles for me. I just ran it easy pace.  I wish I could say I got a great rhythm going, but I didn't, my goal was to stay in motion for an hour...I know that probably sounds fairly lame, but it's true.  

I stretched quite a bit when I was done - I love holding those elongated stretches when I am warm. I did some incline sit-ups and back work in-between stretches. Twenty four minutes later I was suddenly feeling ravenous. 

I stopped at Jimmy Johns and in freaky fast time I was scarfing down a seven grain veggie sandwich with baked chips. Ever notice how tasty stuff is when you are really hungry. 

As soon as I arrived home, I washed my car. There is some construction work still going on in portions of our building and when I came in out of work my car was covered in a layer of dirt. I don't what they were blowing off the roof but it was gross. 

Car clean and I am ready to pedal  :) 

Then I hopped on my bike and pedaled hard around the neighborhood. 
Wouldn't it be cool if these were running splits instead of my bike ride? 

Avg Speed

I went into the house right before dark...vacuumed, washed dishes, threw in a load of towels and finally showered.  It felt really good to get the grime off me. :) 

I could have waited to run till about 7 p.m., the temp had dropped to comfortable by then, but I am sure I wouldn't have got as much done.  
I am anxious to start logging some runs outside soon, sadly the temps, and daylight are still challenging me. 

What's your favorite time to work out? Do you work out as soon as you get home from work? 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I Blinked and a Month Went By

I am not sure where to begin...

I spent over a month at a temporary location for work while the new building was getting ready. When we first moved into the new building we had constant internet issues, but finally we have students in the building and things seem to be rolling along nicely. My lap top at home was also experiencing issues, which my hubby seems to have solved, so hopefully I will have regular internet access now. 

Running, well I managed to keep my mileage up all summer but my stamina has certainly changed. 
July (81 miles) and August (85 miles)  I ran similar mileage, but not doing long runs for so long has really impacted my endurance.  I was feeling it on my last few runs, my stamina for long runs has really (sadly) slipped away.

July, I still manged to make a few longer runs and I didn't feel dead from it.
August, I ran for an hour a few times but most of my runs were shorter and the dreaded loss of endurance shifted in. Amazing how fast that can take place :/ The only thing I can hope is that I can build it again and that it doesn't kill me. 

Last week I attempted to run for an easy pace hour and half and I barely survived an hour and 10 minutes, granted it was very humid and I am not use to much outside running, but I have to get my half marathon training rolling and I feel like I am starting from scratch. 

One of my rare attempts at a trail run in August - I did manage an hour of running that day

My next event is November 15, the Richmond Half, and my second half is the Princess Half at Disney in February. I loaded a training calendar in to my Garmin calendar and I love the easy easy accountability of checking off my workouts, but right now all it's showing me is how behind I am.  I chose a three runs a week plan because I do seem to need rest and still plan to get some weight training in each week.

The plan is set up to help build endurance, it's not really a speed orientated plan. I am not really stuck on a time goal for either event.  I haven't been able to keep up with the plan already and if the temperature and humidity doesn't take leave soon, I am going to be a nut case. The temperate did drop from the upper 90's for the first time today, but it's still that sticky stagnant feeling when you walk outside. I just want to feel some cool dry air.  I plan to try to run for at least an hour later, it should be an hour and half run...who knows, maybe once I get rolling I will feel energized, yea probably not.

This summer really changed my routine as far as working out goes. 

I only took two complete no activity rest days in July.  In August I only took 5 rest days all month. The past year it's been the norm for me to work out four times a week, every once in awhile I would throw in a fifth day, everything I did was built around my running and increasing my distance

The switch this summer to primarily weight training and shorter runs more frequently, felt strange at first, but I have grown to enjoy it, especially living in humid, hot VA where six months out of the year are a challenge for me. I love a/c...just saying :)  

I am really excited to tell you hubby and I both got new bikes and he is going to start going on some biking adventures with me. I really ❤  a bike ride around the neighborhood after my work out. 

Hubby's new bike :) 
Treated to a nice view on  my last bike ride 

So to sum it up - 
I've been active, my weight's about the same, I got a bike and I love it :)  I don't feel like much of a runner anymore, I love my new office and most days I have internet working so hopefully I can get back into a regular routine and not drop off the face the earth for so long. 

I have been starting to read through blog posts again and I am enjoying catching up on what everyone is up too, but I still seem to be experiencing the comment issue quite often...I get a blocked message at work because of our filters...very frustrating!

Oh and here's what I spend a large amount of my time doing now. I am just passing this along in case it ever happens to you. 
Tweek, my toothless wonder

has decided in his old age he doesn't want to get in the litter box to tinkle anymore,  so I change pads several times a day 

This is just a tip in case you get a moody cat who decides getting in the litter is too much work. The pads are really absorbent, the brand Wal-Mart sells is not nearly as absorbent. 

I hope I have good running news to share with you soon! Tell me anything, I 'd love to hear from you  
Cheers - 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Another Birthday

Friday I celebrated my birthday with a fun night out to see Carlos Mencia at the Richmond Funny Bone with my family.
Hubby, me, Mencia, Cassie, Andrew my son

Right now I am slurping down a protein shake trying to feel recovered enough to go by the gym and run so I don't mess up my streak. My celebrating has left me feeling slightly challenged...

True tidbit: I partied quite a bit when I was younger and was still living in Baltimore. I moved to VA in 1989 - that makes me sound crazy old - and had my son in 1990. While pregnant I was motivated to quit drinking and smoking for the obvious reasons and after my son was born I decided if I could abstain that long, I didn't really need those activities in my life.

A few years ago, after almost 20 years, I tried wine and discovered I really enjoy it. Probably because I upgraded from MAD DOG and Boone's Farm lol to Sangria and Pinot. Last night I enjoyed a few Long Island Ice Teas at the Mencia show. I am not quite the party animal I once was, as I am moving fairly slow today.

Recently I saw a quote somewhere...
"Yea, you are old. Get over it."

I will be 48 years old on Sunday. I don't know how this happened to me. In 1984 I remember feeling 30 was ages away! I was rolling along in life till about 45 and honestly birthdays didn't bother me much. The past few years I have seen the physical changes and I realize you can't really do anything to reverse what is happening. Sure you can eat clean, drink lots of water, take your supplements, but the sun damage, the wrinkles, the hair thinning, you can't control it, you just have to accept it and try to age gracefully.

I have shared this tidbit before but in case you missed it...

Celebrate your 30's! It is the best decade. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how damn good you look! Strut your stuff every so often. Enjoy your smooth skin, go without makeup and enjoy it, show off those muscles you work for and if there's anything you really want to do...just start! Being in your 20's and 30's is peak time in my mind, and you will enjoy being in your 40's more if you took life and lived it to the fullest in your 30's.

Time is precious.
♦ Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. ~Wayne Dyer
♦ You may delay, but time will not. ~Benjamin Franklin
♦ Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference. ~Mignon McLaughlin 

If I could share one thing I wish I would have done better in my 20' and 30's it's -  weight train. Weight train your arse off! Make muscle and eat enough protein, it will pay you back tenfold later in life, never ever think it's a waste of time. 

Till next time, 

What's your favorite way to celebrate a birthday? 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Speed Work - What's That?

I have seriously been slacking at speed work. My last formal, following a plan, speed work was in the beginning of April.
That's a lot months ago!

I occasionally do a little fast running here and there, but nothing structured, no exact timed intervals, certainly not even weekly do I really push myself. Progression runs, yes, I can technically say I do  progression runs, but I typically start my first mile at a fairly easy pace.  10:00, 9:40, 9:13, and the last mile I will work 9:13 up to 8:34 pace. These runs do involve some pushing, but I am slacking by not starting more challenging.

When I was 10K training I would do four mile progression runs and start at a 9:20 pace and hold the pace for a mile and keep bumping up up to an 8:34 pace.That would wear me out.
Why did I stop? A big part of that was weight training. I found it was a challenge for me to use THAT much energy and weight train. I also hit my 10K goal and since speed work was causing a lot of soreness and icing I decided it may be a recipe for injury and I am 47 (days from 48 now) so I just decided easier pace was better for my big picture goal of running till I am 90.

Every so often I feel a hankering to go out and run fast. Since I have been doing the run streak
and running at least a mile every day, I have done a few fast ones and it always feels so good to get a nine minute mile in :) My fastest mile was an 8:58 and it's funny, seeing an 8 in front of anything makes me feel so bad @#s. 

Yesterday I was feeling a little frustrated all day, it's hard getting older and accepting some of what comes along with it. I noticed some new wrinkles and my gray hair is getting very out of control. I am now almost completely gray/white all through out my head and it's hard to cover it. I called and got a hair appt. and had a pile of hair cut off and had it colored. It's nice to see NO gray today (I know it won't last) but it helped.
Relief, no gray hairs today ") 

After I got my hair done I decided to go for a run and push. It was really humid, but I kept telling myself's short, suck it up. I actually didn't feel nauseous right until the end :) It's amazing what pushing does for me, the ick just drains out of me, and I slept like a baby. That's why I love running so much.
Avg Pace

I really wasn't sure I could still pull this off. I will confess I could not have maintained one mile at that pace, shoot...I couldn't even do a slow mile. I had to walk for about 5 minutes when I was done and then jogged one more mile home. In April I was able to maintain this pace for a 10K,  so slacking at the speed work has really caused me to lose some stamina.

One thing I am curious about. How much faster above your average pace do you do speed work at?

Do you do speed work even if you aren't really training for anything? Thoughts on speed work in general?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Long Run

I woke up Saturday and it was like this...

Actually it was darker, because I took the above when I was done my run, but you get the idea, not a lovely day. It drizzled the whole way, but I was determined to run outside.  About four and half miles in I thought I was going to flake out, so I kept running further from my house :) 

I made it nine and half miles.

Avg Pace

I tried to start out easy and relax so I wouldn't gas my self out. I didn't have an exact goal, but I didn't take my hydration pack, so I knew maybe I could make it 8 miles or so. My feet hurt off and on during the run, but I kept pushing and told myself not to stop. 

I took a bottle of water with me and I thought I would carry it for the first two miles, then stash it for the way back. Ha! I stashed it about a half mile from my house, I didn't want to carry it.  I hate carrying extra "stuff".  I ended up taking two short stops at sprinklers during my run to splash off and get a handful of water. I just didn't want to deal with my hydration pack, carrying it does provide the advantage of not stopping of course, but I just don't love it. I need something I can wear that "disappears".  Rinsing my hands and arms, flushing my eyes, feels very refreshing, but I am left to the random luck of if and when I will pass a sprinkler.  I never feel the need till I am at least four miles into a run to get water, but after that I am usually looking for an opportunity. I always wonder if someone is sitting drinking their morning coffee cussing at me for leaning over their sprinkler lol I only stop if it's right on the edge of the yard. 

It was nice to have a bottle of water for my walk home after my run ") 
I was a sweaty happy  ❤ mess when I got done. Amazing how good even a mediocre run makes me feel right now :) 
I did chafe my right thigh raw. I will spare you the picture. My body glide must have worn off in the extreme drizzle and sweat mix I guess, but you know I don't even care. The ouch reminds me I ran. 

July turned out okay. I did have a few panic moments where I was convinced I was completely losing my running stamina, but I still managed 80 miles for the month.
So far during the streak I have only missed one day. This really helped my mileage last month, so I am still on track to bypass my goal for the year. ❤  

Do you ever stop at sprinklers when running? Would you cuss at me if you saw me splashing my eyes? Have you ever done a run streak for any length of time?