My New Trainer

Last year was not a great running year for me. We did several triathlons, but running didn’t really get the focus it needed. That said, I have a strong goal of running my first half marathon and my first full marathon this year. My only issue, is that running hurts now. I messed up my foot somehow in January and it hurts pretty good after I run (during my run) and even if I just walk too long on it. This makes running difficult. However, I don’t want to lose my ability to stay in shape. So..I turned some of my focus towards a different sport. Cycling. With the weather still being in the freezing category and me not really having the right apparel to be riding in these conditions, I bought a trainer.

trainer

It seems really sturdy and strong.  I’ve only ridden on it a few times, but so far I am pleased.  I love seeing it all set up.  It’s like it’s just sitting there waiting for me and that kind of motivates me as well.

2015-03-01 20.12.45

I’ve been searching on youtube for videos to watch while I’m riding.  I’m still at that point where I need the motivation (and push) of a trainer video to increase my resistance and push harder.  While I don’t have a cadence sensor (yet), I’m just riding based on time at this point.  I’m totally lost on what I should be doing though and we all know how google can be.  It tells you so much information that you can’t get anywhere.  I’m still excited though and can’t wait to get back on it.

yes..I'm braving the naked face on the internet...

yes..I’m braving the naked face on the internet…

So tell me, do you guys ride on the trainer during cold/wet days?  Any tips on a great trainer ride?  What’s your trainer motivation?

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Clearing Out the Cobwebs

Wow…so needless to say it’s been a while.  Sorry for that.  We moved into the new house and life just struggled from there.  It has literally been a fight for everything this year.  I shouldn’t say that because I feel so fortunate to be in this new home and fortunate to have a job and my health..but man does it just feel like everything is twice as hard as it should be.  I got to a point where I told myself to not stress about blogging.  Out of everything that was going on in life, blogging isn’t going to be my number one priority.  So I let it be.  I finally feel some sense of normalcy after 10 months and feel like I can pick it back up.  I’m making some changes around here though and casting it as more of a random thoughts blog because that’s really what it is.  It’s not a specialty blog because I don’t have a specialty.  I do many different things in life and I’d like to share thoughts on all of those things, not just beauty or fitness or whatever else I might have tried to focus on in the past.

I’m also updating the look some and I’ll be updating the pages as time goes on…see keep your eyes open when you stop by.  I’ll try my best to recap things that have happened this year as I remember them, but I don’t promise to remember them all. If I talk about something and it doesn’t make sense with the rest of life, just ask and I’ll do my best to clear it up.  In the meantime…I’ll leave you with a few pictures to recap the past 10 months.  Until next time.

Weekly Update

Hey Everyone! I’m dropping in quickly. I had all intentions of catching up on race recaps and posting one tonight..but I have just hit a wall tonight. We were out of town and outside for most of the weekend, I think I’m fighting off a sinus infection (can’t I just be healthy for once), and I’m scheduled to get up early tomorrow for an 8 mile run. So this is going to be a quick one and then I’ll get back to race recaps tomorrow.

Last week I did a little over 7 miles on Monday and they were a hard 7 miles. It was my first long run since the Ray Tanner 12k and it hurt. Mentally I felt good, but physically my body felt every step. I made it through though and am glad I did it. Tuesday I did my second RPM (spin) class and loved it. I love the way I feel after a spin class. I’m taking them to get used to riding again and get used to using my new shoes for the bike. Currently when I try to ride the bike in the neighborhood, I am scared to DEATH! I don’t know why..but something about trying to hold my balance, being so high up, and being so wobbly just makes me so uneasy. So I am doing spin on Tuesdays and then doing practice rides around the neighborhood on Wednesdays. It’s hilarious (and SCARY!) because sometimes when I need to turn, my arms just lock up and I can’t turn. I’m also trying to get used to getting started and stopping..needless to say it has been interesting.
Thursday we were out of town and I ran 2.37 miles at the race track we were at near Atlanta. I was planning to do more, but after doing this hill…
hill

…followed by about 5 more “rolling” hills…I was hurting and headed back for base. I was supposed to do a hill work out Saturday, but with feeling like crud and already feeling like I had done a hill workout of sorts..it didn’t happen. It wasn’t a great workout week, but it wasn’t completely awful. I’ll take it. Alright..I’m headed to bed..I’ll catch up with everyone later. Good night!

My First 6 Miler

Last Monday I ran my first run over 6 miles.  To say I was nervous was an understatement.  However, I was also very excited.  I was doing a completely new route as well and I was anxious to see how it went.

Normally I wouldn’t write a post just about one run, but this run was different.

The run started out pretty nice.  The weather was gorgeous.  I perfect cool temperature and the sun wasn’t really out for the first half of the run. Other than some small inclines…the run was predominately downhill it felt like for the first couple miles.  I was in for a rude awakening though around mile 3.  That’s when the hills started.  There must have been like 5 up and down hills between mile 3 and 4.  Having really only done gradual inclines…these hill’s were brutal! They definitely added some spice to my run.  Once I got to a point that I knew was going to be pretty flat until I got home, I was starting to get a little pumped.  I was doing 6 miles…WITH HILLS.  I finally felt like I was going to be okay with the 10k.

This run felt pretty special to me all week.  It felt like such a huge milestone and it had me on a running high all week.  I felt like no run was too long now.  I know it’s only 6 miles and I have a ways to go before the half and full marathons..but I’ve never run 6 miles in my life.  I don’t think I’ve even walked 6 miles in my life.  I am just so excited and pumped still.

I feel like I will actually make it on my 10k on Monday and I feel like I can go  in with time goals instead of just the goal of finishing.  I can’t wait to recap my first 10k next week.

Thanks for sitting through this self-indulgence post.  I’ve just never gotten that kind of high off a run and it felt blog worthy..so here it is.  Have you ever had a run that really sticks out to you as an awesome run?  Do you remember the run that really felt like a milestone to you?

Spring Flowers!..or Veggies

Hi Everyone! Wow..is it just me or did April fly by! I can’t believe it’s already May.  I’ll be doing an April favorites post soon, but I just need a chance to get it together.  Today I am going to talk about our vegetable garden and flowers in our yard.  Every year we spend too much money on plants and veggies for our yard, but in the end it’s all worth it because it is so pretty.

Last year, Andy and I put together two raised beds.  One is in the backyard and it has all kinds of flowers in it.  When it’s fresh, it’s gorgeous..however.. we cannot seem to keep the dog out of it.  He seems to think that is were he needs to bury his tennis balls.  So, if we don’t let him take them out, it’s not a problem..but on the off chance that we forget…he is right  in that bad trying to bury his tennis ball.  Any suggestions on how to keep him out?!

The second bed we built is in our side yard and it is my vegetable garden.  Our harvest last year was not very successful, but I feel like I may have planted too late.  This year..I put the seeds in the ground at the end of March (we have an early last frost date…I was about 2 weeks early since we have had such a mild winter) and the buds and leaves are really starting to grow.

I’m super excited because we have planted so many exciting things.  In our bed we have corn, squash, zucchini, green beans, pumpkin, watermelon, cucumber, and artichoke.  I’ve probably way overplanted, but I just couldn’t help myself.  I love fresh veggies out of the garden.  We also have a variety of herbs in pots: oregano, thyme, basil, and parsley.

On our front porch, in pots we have rosemary, strawberries, lettuce, and a pot of snapdragons.

Elsewhere in our front yard we this lantana bush.  It didn’t flower last year (it was transplanted from someone else last year), but I’m hoping it has found it’s bearings and will flower beautifully this year.

We also have two banana trees in our front yard.  The both died off to hardly anything over winter and I was really worried about them coming back..but here they are in all their glory.

In our backyard we have NO GRASS (thanks to the dog and his need to run like mad through the yard), but we have a few Hostas, some daylilies, and our Hydrangea in memory of our dog Racer who passed away a few years ago.

So that’s our yard.  I am not a yard working person by any means, but the satisfaction I get seeing everything put together makes it all worth it.

What about you? Do you enjoy working in the yard?  Do you have a veggie garden?  I’d love to hear about your yard and what you’re growing in the comments below! 

Swagbucks!

Hey everybody!

I am so exhausted.  The hubs and I have been working in the yard in our down time for the past week or so and I feel like it never ends.  We are absolutely horrible at raking up leaves and weeding beds at the end of fall and so our Spring yard work is like double.  We’ll get it done though.  I’m planning to blog soon about some of the things we’ve planted and what’s in our food garden this year.  So be on the lookout.

What I wanted to talk about today is Swagbucks.   If you’re not familiar with swagbucks then you should get familiar.  Swagbucks is this great website where you can earn virtual dollars to redeem for free things.  For example, this year, I have earned enough swagbucks to get me $35 in FREE amazon gift cards.  I always go for the Amazon gift cards because you can buy virtually anything on Amazon, but they have a slew of other gifts as well.

Before you read further..open this link…(trust me..just highlight it and open it another tab and we’ll get back to it in a minute): http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/Kpope51486

It’s really easy.  You just sign up and start earning.  There are so many ways to earn.  The biggest way I earn is through my search bar.  I used to be an avid Google searcher, but now most of my searches are done through swagbucks.  You can download the toolbar or you can make them your preferred search engine in your browser.  You can also earn swagbucks by watching short videos, taking surveys, purchasing offers from other companies through their website…the possibilities are endless.

You may think I’m crazy, but really, what do you have to lose…it’s a great way to get free stuff..and by Free..I mean truly free.  I’m not just saying that because believe you me…Swagbucks is NOT in anyway asking me to offering me anything in exchange to write this post.  I’m just simply a believer.

So, remember that link I had you open a minute ago…go to that window and sign up.  You’ll thank me the first time you get a free gift in the mail (or email).

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow to be notified everytime I post!

Stop & Go to Baltimore

Today we left Columbia to make the 8.5 hour drive to Baltimore.  Andy started the drive and drove until about 1/2 way through North Carolina.  We hit our first bit of traffic in Charlotte…needless to say…this set the precedent for the rest of the trip.

We stopped and got gas (we are in the Jetta…meaning more fill-ups) and did a driver change.  So far so good..weather was beautiful..road was smooth…we were just getting settled and Andy had just leaned back to take short nap when all of sudden traffic stopped.  We were just shy of the North Carolina/Virgina border and we sat in the first of many stop and go traffic jams of the day.  To backtrack…we went to the gym first thing this morning to get our workout in and I added a bit of a leg workout to the end of session today..so my calfs and legs are plenty tight today with working them and then sitting in the car for basically 9 hours.  To add to that…the Jetta is a stick shift which means with the stop and go traffic…my left calf and leg was getting twice the workout today from constantly pressing the clutch.

So we broke through that bit of traffic (which seemed to have no reason other than the 3 police officers hanging out around their cars on the side of the interstate) and got going again.  We had discussed me driving to Richmond and then switching back at that point.  So we start heading towards Richmond (we had to take I-77 to I-85 to I-95) and start getting into the city.  Richmond is a decently large city with a lot of neat older architecture.  I decided I was going to get us just past Richmond and then stop to switch.  Well just outside of Richmond we hit another round of stop and go traffic.  There was a sign saying that an incident was up ahead, but I never saw any clues as to the incident.

By this point, I was getting pretty tired of driving a stick in stop-go traffic.  I was getting not only physically tired, but mentally as well.  However, I knew I just needed to push forward to finish my stint.  I got us to just before Alexandria, VA (we really want to visit there some day…would love to see Arlington Cemetery..so much emotion) and we stopped for gas, driver change, and dinner.  Andy drove us through Alexandria were we hit a little more traffic and then through Washington DC (a little more traffic).  It’s always exciting to see the monuments and architectural designs of our nations capitol.  We can’t wait to drive through during the day.

So…here we are…we finally made it to Baltimore…right now we are laying in our bed…about to fall asleep, but I wanted to leave you guys with a few of these pics first.  Good Night Everyone!

Clock in Richmond, VA

Cool Night Shots in Washington DC

Tomorrow we will be in Baltimore.  We are planning to go to the inner-harbor and I hope to get a lot of great pictures.  Tomorrow is also a very special day in the sense that tomorrow is Racer’s birthday.  She would have been 18 years old.  It’s going to be an emotional day, but I am sure we will still enjoy the city sights and eat lots of crab for her. (Crab was one of Racer’s favorite foods).