Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Sample of Colorado Races

Remember how I said I did a combo of Pure Barre and Jillian Michaels core work on Sunday?  Boy was I sore when I woke up yesterday.  Throw in the hamstring exercises I did Saturday, and I was walking around work like an old lady.  I was making noises when I was sitting down and standing up.  It's the good kind of sore, but still, ow!

Today's TOTR topic is hometown races.  Y'all know I did the Bolder Boulder, signing up for it even before I knew I'd be moving up from Dallas.  At least I had a few months to acclimate a bit to the altitude.  Boulder has a higher elevation than Denver, and the highest point on the course comes before mile 5.  If you look at my splits, despite my knee protesting, my fastest mile was #5 since it was downhill.

The BB isn't the only race in Boulder... I mean, this is Boulder, and Colorado to boot.  Even though I didn't sign up for any hometown races this spring, there are some options I looked at before signing up for the Bay to Breakers.  Here are the big races that I know of, if anyone wants to check Colorado off their list.

The Colfax marathon, half marathon, 10-miler, and marathon relay.

The Spring Boulder Rez weekend has a half marathon, 10k, and 5k.

If you want even more altitude, Steamboat Springs has a marathon, half, and 10k.

Leadville has a trail marathon and heavy half.  My mom and aunt did the half in 2005 or 2006.

Through the summer months last year, Boulder had the full Ironman in June, and the half in August.  Apparently the organizers switched the two events from 2016, hoping to get better weather for the full.  Mother Nature had other ideas.

In the fall, the two big events I'm aware of are the hot chocolate series at the beginning of October, and the RnR series.  I volunteered for RnR this year, and I almost signed up for it instead of Vegas.  But it's no fun fighting traffic into a big city to get my race gear, only to drive back home, and drive back the next day for the race.  I enjoyed Vegas much more.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Monday Musings 1/29

Happy Monday!  This'll only be the second week to work 5 full days since the new year.  It wasn't so hard the week before MLK day, so I can do it again, right?

After a good birthday week, my mom and I went to Snooze on Saturday to celebrate both our birthdays.  Hers is a couple weeks after mine, and since my parents will be skiing her birthday weekend, we decided to celebrate both.  I went with a pancake flight with their pineapple upside down, sweet potato, and cinnamon roll pancakes.  Delish!  There's only been one time I've been able to completely finish the pancake flight, and all other times were just a couple bites left.  When I'm stuffed, I'm stuffed.

After that, we went shopping, and I picked up a weight rack at Dicks.  All the dumbbells have been on the floor, and my OCD kicked in.  I wanted something that could organize them all and get them off the floor.  I think it took me 15-ish minutes to put it together.  It all looks much better :)

I saw this shirt too at Dick's and didn't get it, but I'm thinking about it.  It's the perfect lounging shirt.

The rest of Saturday was a normal weekend day.  My running is easier and flowing again, and I'm pushing my way up to 3 miles.  I'm getting comfortable with it all, which feels good with training starting less than a month away.  I'm still messing with my playlist, but I know I have my staples, and I'm looking for bands that started in San Francisco.  So far I only have Jefferson Airplane, but I'll keep looking.  I think White Rabbit will work well with part of that Hayes Street Hill.

Sunday was Pure Barre with some Jillian Michaels thrown in.  I'm still working on my core, and wanted something different from the PB exercises.  Some of the ab work strains my hip flexors, so I need other exercises that don't bother my hip flexors.  It was a good combo, and when I went to get lunch at Panera (and to get my free birthday treat), my legs were shaking a little while I was standing in line.

I also started another book over the weekend.  I read Stalking Jack the Ripper back in October, and now I'm reading the next book in that series, Hunting Prince Dracula.  I started reading it Saturday night, but after only 1 chapter, my eyes couldn't stay open, so I went to sleep and I picked up the book again Sunday afternoon.  It's amazing how much progress I can make when I'm fully rested.

Linking up with Holly and Wendy for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Birthday Week

Hello from an older person!  I am one year older as of Wednesday.  I took the day off from work to just veg a bit.  I hadn't had my birthday truly off in quite a while.  My birthday either fell during high school mid-year exams, the beginning of the semester in college, or I had to work.  Boo, right?

1) I slept in by almost an hour.  I know that meant I was still awake before 7, but an extra hour of sleep on a week day was heaven.  Then I could take my take and stay in my PJs a lot longer than on a normal week day.

2) I got more running gear.  I got a new sports bra, which I haven't had for a couple years, and a new running vest.  It's still not light enough when I get home to take it out for a test run, but I'm looking forward to it when I can.

3) I also got a few other things, like season 1 of Victoria.  I'm collecting different shows on DVD, and it's a lot easier to start when the show only has 1 season out.  It's taken me forever to get all the NCIS seasons I want, and there's still one more to go!

4) I ordered Girl Scout Cookies.  A friend's niece is selling for her troop in Washington, and I ordered 9 boxes for my family, and 1 to donate.  These websites make things so much easier.  I was a scout for a year (didn't really like it, but I didn't hate it either), and we had the old fashioned booklet.  I wanted Savannah Smiles, thin mints, and peanut butter sandwiches.  My mom wanted thin mints, caramel delites, and peanut butter sandwiches.

5) I finished the book I was reading.  Book #1 for the year, several more to go, including another mystery being released next week!

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Runner and Their Shoes

If you're a runner, you know how important the right running shoe is.  The first piece of advice for brand new runners is usually to get fitted properly for shoes.  As much as it's tempting to go for the colorful, shiny shoes, they may not be the best.  Who wants to be doing this while on a run?

And of course, a runner needs to take the time to get fitted properly.  There are so many shoe options out there, and much to our chagrin, shoe companies think it's fun to keep changing up what we love.  No!!

There are also so many kinds: running, trail, hiking, ack!!  This is why newbies should go to a specialty running store.  The employees know their running, and they know their shoes.  Most also have a 30-day return policy.  If the shoes aren't working, you can return them and try something new.  I've done that when shoes hurt my feet (last summer, anyone?).  As long as shoe companies aren't messing with a shoe model, I  know I can trust what I'm liking at the moment.

My current pair is the New Balance 860, and I'm hoping beyond hope New Balance doesn't mess with them.  ASICS lost a loyal customer when they couldn't stop **** with the shoes.  My once trustworthy brand had me running for the hills, in a completely different brand.

I'll also Runfess real quick, I wear these at work too.  I'm already rough on my shoes, so I know I'll need new shoes faster than most.  Why not keep my feet (and knees) happy during the day?

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Monday Musings 1/22

Happy Monday, from snowy Denver.  We FINALLY got a proper snowstorm today.  4-8 inches where I live, and it snowed from sometime between Saturday/Sunday, and didn't stop until sometime Sunday afternoon.  But we really need it.  We hadn't had a good snowstorm yet on the Front Range this season, and this was the first one.

To start the weekend off, I got a new figurine for the mantle.  I will warn y'all: if you like figurines, and Disney, don't go to Jim Shore's website.  If I spend any more time there, I'll shoot my budget.  But since October, I've had some fun figurines for the mantle, and now I have a great one for the non-holiday months.

I did all the grocery shopping Saturday since I probably did not want to go out on Sunday.  Cold weather in the forecast means some great soups and crockpot recipes.  I'll be making chili too during the week.  It seems as if winter is finally here, but we'll see.  I also got my run done this weekend, and it seems like the running is coming easier.  After struggling for a couple weeks, running seems better.  I would certainly like to get outside, but Saturday's wind had quite a bite to it.

Sunday brought the snow.  It was perfect for vegging, but I did do strength training.  The other big news is the new recumbent bike arrived!  It's now put together and in the basement.  I can now cancel my gym membership. 

The other exciting thing is a new book was released this week, #3 in a mystery series I enjoy.  It's called A Treacherous Curse, by Deanna Raybourne.  I enjoyed her first series, and am enjoying this one.  Another book I'm waiting for is scheduled to be released at the end of the month.  A new year means new books :)

I also saw Dunkirk, but I'm not sure I like the movie.  The topic is fascinating, but I got bored during the movie.

Linking up with Hoho Runs and Wendy for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter Fitness

As much as the winter has been mild in CO so far, we are scheduled for snow on Sunday.  I've been waiting for storms to wallop us, and 4-8 inches are possible where I live.  I think winter's coming, thankfully.  I had to visit my doctor this week because my allergies have been wreaking havoc the past couple of months, and I finally cried "uncle!"  I need a freeze!

Winter fitness can be tough, depending where you live. 

Granby, CO
 1) In Boston, we had snow, a lot.  And it wasn't the dry, fluffy snow found in Boulder.  This was wet, heavy snow, that made me thankful our neighbor had a plow attachment for his truck.  Shoveling that stuff, only to have to get to work, was not one of my favorites.  I felt like I needed to shower before heading to work, but I didn't want to have to dry my hair.

2) Texas brought winter, and mostly ice.  When Dallas hosted the Super Bowl in 2011, we got an ice storm the Monday night before the big game, and nothing started melting until Friday!  Work was cancelled, and I was stuck in my apartment for days.  I had stairs on the inside, which I took advantage of.  My calves killed me for a couple days, but I kept at it.

And for my sanity, there's Margaritaville on DVD.

3) Home gyms are really helpful when the weather is bad.  I missed a few days last spring because I didn't want to drive to the gym in the snow.  I'd have to brush snow off my car after my workout to get home.  Now that I have a treadmill (and a recumbent bike is on the way!!), I don't have to worry about road conditions.  I don't have any excuses when I can walk down to the basement.

4) Most Coloradans love outdoor activity in the winter.  I'm not one of them, but the ski resorts are relishing the snow they've gotten since Christmas.  Skiing and snowboarding are 2 big activities here.  There's also a big ice fishing tournament in my parents' town of Grand Lake every year.

5) I'll put in watching the Winter Olympics.  While I'm on the couch, in warm clothes and drinking hot chocolate.  I'll be watching the skiing and hockey, but I don't know what else.  Maybe curling.  it's not fitness, but it can be inspiring. 

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Getting Back to It

Ever since I got back from the holidays, I've been trying to get back to my cardio and strength training routine.  I'm focusing more on strength training since Bay to Breakers training doesn't start until 2/19, and I have some extra time to focus on my muscles.  I'm also working on sharpening my base, but I found one problem:

I don't seem to have a base.

I took a month off after RnR Vegas, for a physical and mental break, and at that point, we were fully into the December holiday festivities.  It was hard to motivate myself to run, which is why I signed up for the Bay to Breakers.  That seemed to help, but then Christmas break came, not to mention I got sick the day before my last day before break.  Then came all the holiday foods, extra wine and champagne, and no working out.

My base is shot.

I've done 5 runs since the new year, and each of those runs have been a struggle.  1 mile, 2 miles, 2 miles, 1.5 miles, 2.25 miles.  I'm still doing my run/walk intervals, and I think those are saving my bacon at this point.  I can keep pushing, even when my legs are protesting, and my lungs are burning.  The only thing I can do is just keep going.  I know I'll get my base back, but I do hope it's before 2/19.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday Musings 1/15

Welcome to a snowy Monday morning.  We're supposed to get a couple inches of snow, but we also got some freezing rain before that.  Good thing my only plan was being lazy today.  I may use the treadmill to get a run in, since my schedule's a little wacky this week.

Nothing much happened this weekend, but my parents came down, and we went to see Darkest Hour.  I know Gary Oldman won a Golden Globe for the role, and he's almost unrecognizable in the movie.  I'm not usually one for Oscar hype, but I've wanted to see this movie since I heard about it during the summer.

I also made 2 more recipes from Run Fast, Eat Slow.  Even though I do have some Super Hero muffins left, I made the blueberry-lemon-cornmeal scones before heading to see the movie.  I used fresh blueberries instead of frozen because there's plenty of fresh blueberries at the store right now.

The other recipe was the burst cherry tomato linguine with shrimp.  This one is definitely a keeper.  It's super easy, and the longest cooking aspect is the linguine since I needed to boil the water.  Cooking the tomatoes and shrimp takes about 5 minutes, and the sauce is really light.  It's not a heavy tomato sauce at all.  I have leftovers for some point during the week.

Linking up with Hoho Runs and Wendy for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Staying Warm in the Winter

Ever since I knew I was moving to Colorado, I've had to up my game about running outside.  It was much easier in Texas, but I've had to brush up on tips and tricks in Colorado, especially since I hate being cold.

Our winter's been mild so far, and in fact a drought has been declared.  The spring brings the big storms, so we'll see how that goes.

1) Layering is key, especially since I warm up quickly when I start running.  I was never really a vest person, and a few years ago my parents gave me a vest for my birthday.  My thought was what the heck am I going to do with THIS??  Now I use it all the time, and I've asked for another vest for my birthday this month.

2) Bundle under layers inside.  I have a couple throws for the living room, one of which I got for Christmas.  There's nothing like yoga pants, sweatshirts, and blankets to veg out after a run.

3) If it is cold outside, I recommend some hot chocolate after the run.  I love the hot chocolate made with hot milk.  A lot of studies have shown milk is great for recovery, so why not recover from the run, and warm up at the same time?

4) If it's too cold, or icy, or blizzard conditions, staying inside is always an option.  It's gotten better since I got my treadmill, but if runners need to switch things up and do a home workout instead of run, that's OK too.

5) Get a cat!  Allie produces her own heat, but she loves to snuggle when it's cold out.  She's my ultimate thermometer.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Guilty Pleasures to Celebrate a Race

Today's TOTR topic is guilty pleasures for runners.

Since I was just in Vegas, the first one will be easy.  All the chocolate I bought from Ethel M's.  Granted, not all of it was for me, but the chocolate boxes were the big purchase of the trip.  The only other item I bought was the Starbucks You Are Here mug.  I wanted something that wasn't food.

I also know what I'm going to do after Bay to Breakers.  San Francisco is home to Ghirardelli.  I know we shouldn't turn food into guilty pleasures, but it is food I don't have unless I'm in particular places.  I made sure to stop at Ghirardelli in 2015 when my parents and I visited for my 30th birthday trip, and I got the Nob Hill Chill.  What other concoctions can I order?

Disney of course has the Dole Whip, and EPCOT has a great drink at the French pavilion.

There are many other ways to splurge after a good race.  I try to get a pedicure after a training cycle because my feet do need it.  I didn't opt for one after Vegas since I'd gotten one before my cousin's wedding, but I'll schedule one after the Bay to Breakers.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Monday Musings 1/8

Another Monday, and now the first 5-day work week of the year.  Ugh.  Anybody else have a really difficult time getting back into the work routine?  I was exhausted last Thursday when I got home, and I'd only worked 3 days at that point.  How am I going to get through these 5 days?  We do have a 3-day weekend coming up, and I'm taking my birthday off for a vacation day.  So two weeks in a row where I only work 4 days.  OK, I'm feeling a little bit better.

Anybody have a good weekend?  Last week I ordered Run Fast, Eat Slow with a giftcard my grandfather gave me for Christmas, and I went through the book to look at the recipes.  I'm a really picky eater, but I found quite a few recipes I'd like to make, and I'd only have to omit an ingredient, or substitute one in.  The breakfast frittatas, for example, call for kale, but I'll swap in fresh spinach instead.  I made the Super Hero Muffins, minus the zucchini, and they smelled really good when they were baking.  I also made the bison meatballs, with pre made marinara (I cheated!), and they are really good!

After following so many people on social media who were down at Disney for marathon weekend, I got a crazy idea.  I'm thinking Princess weekend, 2019, and seeing if I can register for both the 5k and 10k.  My own mini challenge.  I'd sign up for the 10k first, and then see if the 5k is still available.  Crazy?  Or typical runner goals?

I'm jumping back into strength training, and my muscles are protesting.  A break after my race felt good, but now my muscles are being jolted, and it hurt a little bit being on the treadmill Saturday.  I played with the incline setting, to get a feel for San Francisco hills.  Now that is definitely crazy.  I'm starting to wonder what was I thinking???

I wrapped up the weekend by watching Victoria reruns on PBS.  The new season kicks off next Sunday, and I can't wait.  Since I only watch a couple shows now, it'll be good to have this back.

Linking up with Hoho Runs for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, January 5, 2018

5 Workouts for Quads

It's now 2018... still feels like 2017.  The weather is still messed up, but shout out to those on the east coast.  Stay safe!  My cousin got a snow day in DC yesterday, and I was jealous.  I know I just got back into the swing of work after holidays and vacation days, but it's always depressing when the festive decorations get taken down :(  Not to mention I was exhausted last night, after 3 days of work.

Since I don't do resolutions, and I talked about my one goal (push my mileage in training for the 12k), I'll go off topic.

Who else read Calvin and Hobbes growing up?
After I told my chiropractor my next race will be in San Francisco, she said I'll have to do a lot of quad work.  If we go up the Hayes Street hill, we'll have to go downhill at some point to get to the ocean.  So I've been mapping out some good quad exercises.

1) Lateral lunges - I don't do them often, and I shred my inner thighs whenever I do them.  I did them yesterday for the first time in forever, and yeah, I was already feeling it.  You don't know how much work the inner thighs do until they're shaking and don't want to work.

2) Lunges - Good ol' lunges.  What to double up?  Do a twist at the same time for some ab work.

3) Pure Barre thigh work - I've been doing so much hip work with Pure Barre, and now I need to make sure I do the thigh exercises as the same time.  Good thing there's a lot to choose from.

4) Goblet squats - I love to hate goblet squats, but it's another exercise that works more than one muscle group.  My Runner's World workout says get low enough, and it'll engage the glutes too.

5) Stretching - Last but not least, stretching.  I always stretch my quads when I'm doing my stretching routine.  I took the pose from Pure Barre, when we stretch after the thigh workouts.  It can hurt so good sometimes.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

So It Begins

Initially I was going to wait until I got to work because my training plan from Vegas is on my work computer, BUT I found a printout of it at home this weekend.  Since I bought a new 2018 planner, I knew I needed to sit down and map out my B2B training.  It's always good to know when training begins.

Ta-da!  February 19th, and this makes is practically 3 full months (13 weeks) of training.  Race is May 20th, so I have one extra day, plus the 3 months.  I'm still figuring out what I need to do during the week, but my long runs have been entered in, in pen no less!  I know I need to get hill work in, and my treadmill will come in handy for that.  I put it at a 12% incline a couple weeks ago to find out what I'm getting myself into on Hayes Street.  Yikes!  I know I mentioned it before, but I'll be walking up a bit of that hill.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.