Sunday, January 29, 2012

week 4 run recap

This is a "lake" I frequently run past in a planned community near me.  Somewhere at the bottom of this body of water, gollum clutches my loyal, stay-at-home-dad friend's wedding ring - tossed in there after his successful, narcissistic, neurologist wife began an affair with a 20-something year old (dubbed "50 cent" by my friend).  I'm  in a phase of life when people are getting divorced left and right... Anyone know that phase?

Anyway, successful week of running for me.  I ran for 36 minutes on Tuesday, 25 minutes on Wednesday.  Saturday I did a longer run - 5.3 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Longest run of my life, though I easily could have added another mile to equal the 10K that I'll hopefully be running in a few months.  The long run was a 14.14 minute mile (my goal for the 10K is 12 minute/mile).  I've realized a few things this week:
  • The first mile is really tough, but after I hit mile 2, I wouldn't quite call it the sought-after "runner's high", but I definitely feel energized, like I could just go for miles and miles.
  • The knees can't handle more than one long run a week - I'm bracing myself going up and down the stairs.  :(

Monday, January 23, 2012

Free Book and Free Book Download - Bebop Garden!!

Check it out!!!

Amazon is doing a promotion for BeBop Garden to run Tues Jan 24 & Wed Jan 25. During that time, anyone can download Ricki's book for $0 by just clicking here.  

Ricki (one of my favorite garden bloggers!) is hoping that this great deal will "kindle" interest far and wide. Of course, on Kindle, one would be missing the beautiful cover. Any person who leaves a comment on Ricki's blog including an email address will receive a downloadable version of the cover that they can then print out for themselves.

GIVEAWAY:  I've enjoyed reading about Ricki's passion for gardening and am so excited that she got to publish her thoughts in this funny and lovely little book.  Leave a comment here and I'll put you in a drawing for my paperback copy (only read once by me - still with new-book smell).  Drawing closes Sunday, 1/29.

Then, be sure to go check out Ricki's blog and Bebop Garden!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

week 3 run recap

Early crocuses peeking out from the lavender brush.

And speaking of peek, At the beginning of this week, I signed up for the Pike's Peek 10K on April 29th.  At baseline, I'm running a 15 minute mile (a little embarrassing yes, but I mentioned accountability - I'm going to be totally honest about all this!).  My goal is to run the race at a 12 minute mile.  I've done this or even better, but never for more than a distance of 4 miles (a 10K is 6.2 miles).  The website says that if you run at a 13 minute mile or slower, then at some point, they will need to re-open the street and make you move to the sidewalk.  Talk about embarrassing.  If I could just avoid being in that group, I'd be really pleased.  I think this race is a good goal to work towards.  We'll see how it goes!

My cold this week did not provide a good start as I did no running, unless you count running to Fuddrucker's for chili cheese fries.  :(

Monday, January 16, 2012

week 2 run recap

This week, I'm in NC, watching my adorable almost 3 year old while her parents are soaking up the sun in Bermuda.  The annoying thing about travelling with sneakers is that they take up half the space in your weekender carry-on.  I thought I'd go ahead and pack my sneakers and other things in a roomier suitcase and check my bag instead.  Did you know you have to pay $25 to check your baggage (one way!) these days?!

Some scenes from my run through residential North Carolina, near Winston-Salem.  Shade+moisture=some very beautiful objects in nature such as these fallen branches.  I really wanted to make good food choices while I was away too, but here in the south, Cracker Barrels and Biscuitvilles abound - and I'm a Southern breakfast junky.  I would never, ever, ever make it here.

This week - I ran for 47 minutes at home, for 30 minutes in  my sister's very hilly neighborhood, and then did some other exercise with my niece.  I've found my knees can't take running two days in a row (even with good sneakers).  Anyone else with knee probs - and advice?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

GBBD - January 2012

On this Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, I'm going to check out May Dreams Gardens to see what's blooming in the other parts of the world because here in cold and frosty Maryland, I got nothing.  However, I did receive some lovely bouquets recently.  The pink beauty above was from a student of mine.  Her mother put it together.  I think the netting is just fabulous.  The centerpiece below is from my friend Grace.  And delivered with her box of incredible cookies below?  I'm so lucky she's my friend for many reasons.  Her pecan bars are my favorite!

Above, my little one with her own blooms after her very first Nutcracker.  She was an adorable "flower petal" in a very clever casting of the 6,7 year olds.  At the end, when Clara is back at home, the little ones are sitting by her feet and as Clara drifts back to sleep, the little ones stretch out and yawn and lay down to sleep, then the curtain falls.  It was so precious and the ballet ended with smiles from everyone.  Below, just a random picture of a chocolate terrine (white, milk, and dark) my sister whipped together for Thanksgiving.  The fresh and quite amazing raspberry coulis is not in the photo.

And while I'm posting random photos, this was the eggnog I enjoyed after my beer-making endeavor.  Though beer is not my thing, a warm eggnog with a generous splash of rum is very much my thing.  Update on the beer: success!  The kolsch was tasty and holds a history/origin my husband found interesting.

Also other odds and ends I did not got a chance to post earlier - above: a fall scene, below, euphorbia rudolph. I love this beautiful guy.  Anyone else grow it?

Monday, January 9, 2012

week 1 run recap

I used to belong to a really nice and really expensive gym where the "concierge" gives each member a little smooch on the ass at every visit.  I loved this gym and tolerated getting up at 4:40 each morning to do an amazing step class (I think this ages me - the fact that I'm of the step generation).  The gym decided that since there were ONLY about 12 people each morning, they would cancel the class.  Did I mention the expensive membership?  Humph.  This made me (and the other steppers) so mad.  Plus, you know how gyms might have tables advertising an energy drink or hi-protein bar or something?  This gym had tables advertising botox.  That was a little over the top.  There is this one guy who is always at the gym when I am, and who loudly clears his throat about every 30 seconds.  I can hear it 6 treadmills away and with my music on.  The incident that put me over the edge was this other guy I was running next to one morning.  At first I thought he said something to me, and I even said "What?", but then I realized he was talking to himself.  Every two minutes he'd go, "Come on".  Two minutes later, "Do it".  Then again, "Come on".  It was a little bit creepy.  Very quickly, I figured that if I was going to just run on the treadmill, I'd enjoy my own company on the open sidewalk more.

I love running but only have committed spurts.  This year, I want to be able to say, "I'm a runner", and not, "Well, I run, but like, just sometimes.  And really, I do more of a walk/run.  But I haven't run in a while, but yeah, uh...I run".  

I do have some weight loss/fitness goals.  I would like to start by dropping 8 pounds.  Slow and steady is perfectly fine.  Then, I would like to stop yo-yoing once and for all.  Never really go off the rails again.  In the past maybe...5 years, it's been gain 10, lose 10, gain 10 lose 10 and I'm sick of it.  

I would also like to run a race.  Maybe Pike's Peek.  More on this later.  

To accomplish this, I have pre-scheduled weekly "run recap" posts that will post automatically whether or not I'm doing my job.  They'll be mostly short and sweet, and are intended to provide accountability.  I will list what I did for that week, and if all goes well, will be able to track some progress!  And just for my records, I will record my weight at the beginning of each month.  I'll try not to bore readers, because I do realize this is a public blog.  There are usually some interesting things along the way that I'll capture on my increasingly crappy Blackberry.  On to the inaugural post...


Week 1: baseline week after a couple months of being mostly sedentary.  Ran 20 minutes on Friday and 35 minutes on Sunday.  I love how cardio progress is so quickly made.  Part of my run includes a stop at the bleachers.  Here's where I do some crunches and push ups.  This week, I can do about 50 crunches and 30 push ups (on knees).  Weight at the beginning of the year is _ _ 3.  I really don't care about revealing my weight to people, but some people can be funny since weight is a tricky subject, so I'm just going to record the last digit.  

I've really enjoyed the holiday decorations - including this festive and dignified port-a-potty cover in front of someone's house.  I live in a neighborhood where there are lots of lovely old homes that are constantly being added on to.  This one (not pictured) was fortunately tastefully done and looks great.  

And my treat when I got home?  A breakfast of bread and nutella lovingly made by my 6 year old.  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What seeds do to gardeners

I doubt I'm the only one who is suffering from wintertime amnesia - blissfully forgetting about last summer's failed crops, pests, the fact that I can't grow a freaking cucumber, the mosquito bites, and about how damn hot it can get.  Truth is, last year I made no effort.  Not quite sure what was going on, but even as I started seeds, I knew I wasn't fully invested.

This year is different.  It's January 8th and my heart is completely in it.  This summer, I resolve to go outside every single morning while it's still cool, do a bit of weeding, spin the composter, water the cukes, and I'm going to lovingly tend, tend, tend my little garden.  I'm expecting butterflies.  I'm expecting bees.  I'm expecting nibble-free greens, and fruits of every shape, size, and color.  What about you?!  It's crazy what a bag of seeds can do to a gardener.
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