Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Reflections on July

July has gone by fast.  I feel like we were just celebrating the 4th.  It's hard to imagine tomorrow is August, and it's welcome nonetheless.  9 business days stand between me and Alaska.

New running toy
Running has been going well.  Since I decided I wanted some miles on my training schedule before my trip, I've been using the full 10k training plan as a guide to help me build up mileage.  I only started running again at the end of June, and getting back into things has been interesting.  Mainly I've gotten my butt kicked by the heat and humidity combo, which seems worse here than Texas.  I don't know why.  We finally have some good weather, and I want to head out for a quick run this morning temps in the (!) high 50s.

Strength training is going too.  I bought a kettlebell at the beginning of the month, and I've been enjoying using it and seeing what exercises I can do.  I'm also incorporating prehab and PB more than I did in the spring.  I learned my lesson when I skimped on those.  I am lifting too, and some days I'll do a PB + lifting combo to shake things up.  I did that on Sunday, and my mid back was definitely feeling it yesterday.

Christmas in July
Self-care is going well too.  I had a chiropractor appointment yesterday, and I have acupuncture today.  Gotta take care of myself if I want a good training cycle.

Family time happened too.  We had a big family gathering to celebrate my grandfather's 90th, and then my cousins and I got together for dinner the next week.  We get so busy sometimes, and it's good to check in and have some laughs with good food.

No wonder July went by so quickly!

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Monday Musings 7/30

Only two more days and it's August.  I can tell summer is coming to an end with traffic increasing in the mornings.  It's been quite nice the past month plus to have little traffic heading into work, and getting in 5-10 minutes early.  It means I could leave 5-10 minutes early.

This past week was my first week of training.  I had a couple good runs on the treadmill, and some good strength training sessions.  I was quite sore Monday after my PB session Sunday.  I definitely felt the knots in my hamstrings.  Foam rolling hurt so good.  I got runs done Tuesday and Friday.  I woke up at 2:30 Thursday with a storm and couldn't go back to sleep.  Since I was tired when I got home, I shifted my second run to Friday.  I figured I could take my time Saturday morning and I wouldn't have to get out the door before it warmed up.

Thursday I got a Stitch Fix box, which I almost didn't do since the last two were awful.  I don't think my style is that difficult, and sometimes I think the stylists are sending what's popular right now.  I wanted to see if they would send me anything for the cruise, and they did!  There's a skirt that I absolutely love, and can't wait to wear it.  Good thing I like it too, since Allie likes it too.  There was also a tank top I kept, something I can wear to work. 

As I get closer to Alaska, I'm setting aside things to pack, and making sure I wash things that have been put away for the summer.  I ended up watching Buying Alaska Friday evening, and these people agree to outhouses?!?!  Oh hell no!  That would be grounds for divorce, if I was married.  I require indoor plumbing.  There's a reason things like that have been invented.

Even though I recently bought my shoes, I decided to head to Roadrunner Sports because my right foot seems to be pronating a little bit more than the past couple years.  It was worth a shot to see what their opinion would be.  I ended up getting custom inserts that they process in the store.  After analyzing my gait, they said my shoes are what I need, and they suggested these.  I could tell a difference almost right away.  I did one mile on Sunday to help me get used to them.

I finally downloaded City of Lies onto my Kindle Saturday afternoon.  I can't believe it's been a month since I bought a new book.  I knew it had been a little bit of time, and I was shocked I spent all of July not reading a new book.  The month went by so fast!  Seriously, how are we in the second half of the year already?

I decided to make Superhero muffins this weekend too, and I discovered I want a food processor for Christmas.  The recipe calls for grated carrots (and zucchini, which I don't include), and grating the carrots takes a lot of time since I use the small grate.  Too the point where my fingers feel cramped.  I know a processor would really speed it up, and I can use it for other baking/cooking needs.

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


Sunday: Pure Barre

Monday: Foam rolling and stretching out those hamstrings

Tuesday: 2 miles, prehab exercises

Wednesday: Upper body strength

Thursday: rest

Friday: 2 miles

Saturday: Pure Barre seat

Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday Five: Oh Disney Store

Y'all know how I ordered the Mary Poppins ornament for Christmas?  I've ordered another ornament from the Disney Store.

They're doing a legacy series, 10 in total, and they released 3 this past week.  One for Mickey's 90th birthday (same age as my grandpa), 30th anniversary for Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and 10th anniversary for WALL-E.  I'm not much of a WALL-E fan, and I have enough Mickey Mouse stuff.

The first time we took a trip to Disneyland after Toon Town opened, we picked up my mom's parents as my dad drove from Tucson to Anaheim.  When we all went on Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin, my grandmother did not want to spin.  She and my mom rode in one car and went straight through the ride.  The other car had the 3 of us who wanted to spin, and we spun all the way through.

Not only do I love this ornament design, it reminds me of my grandmother.  Her spirit will be on my Christmas tree (and I need a bigger tree this year.  Home Depot!!).

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Aftershokz Wireless Titanium

After a few runs with my new Aftershokz, I wanted to post my review.  Spoiler alert, I like them so far.

Pairing with my iPod was an adventure.  I was following all instructions, and the iPod kept indicating the headphones needed to be turned on and in range.  They were both in range and on.  WTF?!  The web didn't exactly have much information either.  All the posts I found from Aftershokz said the same thing: what the instructions say. 

Finally I tried the help desk email and they said reset the headphones and turn them off, AND turn off the bluetooth device too.  That worked! and I was able to pair both my iPod and iPhone, but I was trying to pair these two things for almost an hour.  Don't mess with a runner when they want to use their new toy!  Especially after a bad day and I wanted to feel better.

Since I was sick the day after they arrived, I didn't get a chance to start using these until a couple days later.  As much as I'm trying to get outside, I used the treadmill because of the threat of rain, which we didn't get.  I need to increase my mileage too during the week, and the treadmill was a good place to let me do that.  I ran 1.5 miles, and the headphones did quite well.  It is going to take time to get used to where they sit since I've never had headphones there before.  They stayed in place, despite my (purposeful) bouncing and pony tail, which was one of my concerns.

This past Saturday was my first run outside with them.  My neighborhood isn't very noisy, so I didn't get to really test out the ambient noise.  Just like on the treadmill, the headphones stayed in place, and the sound was mostly good.  I did notice a slight different when I was looking ahead versus when I was looking down.  I don't know if that affects the position of the sound buds.  The sound also varied just a little bit, reminding me of the Doppler effect.

And remember when I said it came without a charger?  The help desk sent me one, free of charge, and it should arrive in a couple days.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Monday Musings 7/23

So... the last full week of July.  When exactly did that happen?

At least my flowers are enjoying the heat
Did anyone register for Disney's marathon weekend on Thursday?  I have to say, after hearing about how the new registration site was freezing and crashing, I'm quite happy I went with a TA for Princess.  Takes a lot of worries off my shoulders!  My cousin was able to register when she got home that day, when the heavy traffic was done.  Between Amazon Prime crashing and this, it wasn't a good week for internet servers.

The weekend started on an interesting note.  I think my acupuncture is working, and I'm sleeping harder.  It's a good thing, though it wasn't fun on Friday when that alarm went off and I was sleeping so deep, I didn't even know what day it was.  Thankfully after a couple seconds my brain did kick in, knew it was Friday, and I turned off the alarm for the weekend.  Then I got into work and the AC wasn't on in the building.  And it wasn't working in my office unit.  Who needs AC when the weather app said high of 96??  Facilities did get it fixed, so I didn't have to go work at home.  Drat!  I kept saying if they didn't fix it, I was heading home.

As I mentioned Friday, I've bumped up my training by a couple weeks, and Saturday started it all with 2 miles.  Again, I didn't get out early enough, and even though it was 72 when I started, it was warmer and "feels like" 79 when I finished.  The sun has a lot of power here, and I struggled the rest of the day.  I popped a couple salt caps to help with recovery, but I had to take it easy the rest of the day.  I started a Friends marathon with seasons 1 and 2 to spend the time.  So either I have to suck it up and use the treadmill, or suck it up and get out before the sun is up.  It's hard on Saturdays when I want to sleep in...

Sunday wrapped up with dinner with my cousins in Boulder.  It's nice to be in Boulder and not be heading to work!  We met at BJs (no pictures), and I got their arugula and shrimp enlightened tacos, on pita bread, and subbed in fries instead of the grains.  Everything in moderation, right?  We also got rain, and we're supposed to get more rain this week.  Fingers crossed!   My car desperately needs a bath, but I'll let the rain move through first.

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

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Five Alaska Preparation

I'm that much closer to Alaska!  Fridays may now be updates as I get closer to the trip.

I went out to Kohl's this week and got a suitcase to check for Alaska.  I've made do with a carry-on for years, but this time I need more suitcase room.  I can pack perfectly for a racecation, but a cruise demands much more.  I have to pack clothes for layering, workout clothes, jeans, dresses, and liquids for a week, without being able to rely on Walgreens, like I did in San Francisco.  Kohl's has Samsonite, which is wonderful, and they were having a luggage sale.  I got this suitcase for almost half off!  I hope to get many good years out this one too.

To help with packing, I started writing out a packing list for the cruise.  I've taken up left and right sides of an 8x10 notepad since I don't want to forget anything.  If I come up with anything else, I'm going to have to flip the page over!  Good thing I have two suitcases now, and I'll figure out how to pack between the two.

I've also bumped my training up a couple weeks.  I'd been hoping to shorten the training cycle this time around, but since training would've started the weekend I start the cruise, I decided I wanted some consistent training before boarding the plane out of Denver.  I'm now doing the full training plan for my 10k, and I'm OK with that.  I'm currently up to 2 miles, and some guidance early on is always appreciated.  This way I can have some miles under my belt and not stress too much about getting miles in on the ship.

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Running on Vacation

Do you run while on vacation?  I know plenty of runners, myself included, plan racecations, so of course we run during that time.  I need to get better at planning actual vacations so I can see more of a place and not worry about resting my legs.  Plus, a longer vacation means more time off from work.

I've done plenty of racecations, whether it's at Disney, or Las Vegas, or San Francisco, racecations are a balance of having fun and saving yourself to have a good race.  Or sometimes, not save your legs.  I had a huge knot in my calf at Disneyland because I walked so much.

Anyone plan big vacations, and run during them as well?

When my parents and I went to Napa in 2015, I didn't pack any running gear.  I packed clothes to relax in after a day in the vineyards, but I didn't plan any runs, and that's OK.  We trekked around San Francisco our first full day in the Bay Area, and I swore I'd never do a race there.  HAHA!!  Oh running bug.  You got me :-p

The next big vacation, I may have mentioned once or twice (or more), is Alaska.  I'm less than 4 weeks away!  I hadn't initially planned on running while on the cruise, but since I signed up for a 10k on Oct. 7, training is going on during that week.  I'll take advantage of the fitness center, but I won't sweat it if I miss a day.  The cruise is all about having fun and seeing a state I've never been to before.

My next racecation will be at Disney.  Again.  My mom and I have our bibs paid for, and the trip has been booked by the wonderful Patty.  I'm already planning too.  I ordered a Minnie Mouse Sweaty Band to go with my planned theme, and it arrived yesterday.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Monday Musings 7/16

A short weekend after a long week.  After I worked from home on Thursday, I so did not want to go in on Friday.  I even slept all the way until my alarm, and since I was still dreaming, it took me a bit to realize the music was my alarm.  Ugh!  If I didn't have an alarm, who knows how long I could've kept sleeping.  At least I got to test out my Aftershokz on my short run on Thursday.  Due to the weather, it was on the treadmill.

Friday ended with my third chiropractor edit: acupuncture appointment.  We're increasing the time between appointments now, and my next one is two weeks from Tuesday.  I asked for the sinus treatment too since the allergies are still bad right now.  Add in the wildfires around the state, and the air quality is not that good.

I had a lot going on this weekend, and no running.  I like the off season so I don't have to sweat a missed run.  Saturday morning was breakfast out with my parents before the World Cup 3rd place game (yay Belgium!), and then naps all around in the afternoon before my family got together for my Grandfather's 90th birthday celebration.  We met at the Cork in Boulder, and had an amazing meal.  The only picture I took was of the dessert I got, the Belgian chocolate mousse.

They like footie too
Sunday was a slow morning, and I got to enjoy the World Cup final.  I was fine with either team winning, and it was an entertaining game.  That's what I hope for with these finals, since I'll be honest, sometimes they're a boring stalemate.  After lunch, my mom and I went for a walk around the neighborhood before the rain moved in, and then we all met friends for dinner in Louisville.  Yes, we finally got some rain!  I can't remember the last time we got a good rain storm.

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

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday the 13th Five

Sorry for the no post on Tuesday.  I woke up around 3:45 Tuesday morning with a very upset stomach.  I also knew I couldn't use a sick day since I had a mandatory meeting I had to attend, in person.  The drives in was interesting.  Thankfully I started getting hungry growls around lunch time instead of the sick feeling, and after eating, felt a little better.  I hope it was just something I ate the night before.

It was Christmas in July this week (and I wish the temps would come down a teeny bit from high 90s and 100!).  Each July, the Disney Store releases just a few of their 2018 ornaments, and I've already ordered one.  It's Mary Poppins with the penguins.  There's an Alice one too, with the singing flowers, that I'm tempted to buy.  Most likely these will be on the fireplace mantle again this Christmas, with Allie still climbing Christmas trees, or taking a flying leap at my ornaments.

My headphones arrived Monday, and a surprise to me was there was no USB charger.  When I called REI, they said what they sell doesn't have the charger.  Interesting.  It shows on the back of the box it should include the charger, so is Aftershokz taking those out when sending them to retail outlets?  I saw the little zip lock bag they should've been in.  Luckily I have a spare charging battery for electronics, with all kinds of charging attachments.  One of them is the one for the headphones, so I was able to charge them over night.  Since I still wasn't feeling 100% Tuesday when I got home, I skipped my run and worked on pairing up the headphones with my iPod.

I also have a special shout out to my Grandpa!  I don't think he even knows I have a blog, but I'm putting this here anyway.  His 90th birthday was Wednesday, and the family has planned a big dinner celebration tomorrow.

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

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Monday Musings 7/9

It's Monday, and a full work week at that.  Anyone else thrown off with the holiday in the middle of the week?  I worked 3.5 days last week, so 5 days will be rough, even if it is back to normal.

I got my stitches out Thursday afternoon!  I can't yet eat whatever I want because I still need to be careful with the new gum tissue, but I have more flexibility about what I can eat.  If I want to have crunchy food, I'll chew on the left side of my mouth.  My dentist said everything is looking great, and in 3 weeks, I can add back more foods to eat.  Everything should be fully healed by Alaska, and I'll have no restrictions.

My running continued this week, all outside too!  I got my run done early Tuesday before I started work, Thursday I had the afternoon off for my dentist appointment, and I got out Saturday morning, still a little too late.  It was 75/feels like 80 when I got out, and I pushed it to two miles.  It was 80/feels like 86 when I finished.  I was wiped too for most of the afternoon.  I slept until 7 both mornings, and it's obvious my body needs sleep.  I hope this means the acupuncture is working.   I am trying to avoid the treadmill, but I will use it if I need to with the extra sleep and this heat wave.

I continued to watch the World Cup Friday and Saturday, and I am disappointed Sweden is out.  I was pulling for them to continue their run.  All the experts never really gave them much thought, and said they overachieved by making it to the World Cup.  Well, they won their group and made it to the quarterfinals.  This World Cup has been nuts, and it makes me wonder what would've happened if our team had qualified, if our veterans could've pulled their heads out long enough to beat Trinidad.

I'm still bitter.

Sunday was a lazy day after my strength training session.  I had thought to postpone my run Saturday morning to Sunday, but Sunday was just as hot.  It was already 80 degrees when I was driving to Target at 8am.  Ugh!  I call Sunday a two-shower day.  I showered after my lifting session, and before bed.  Anybody else do this on hot summer days?  I got out for a couple more errands, including stopping to pick up more Rock Tape.  I have two rolls, one with pre-cut strips.  I'm curious if I'll like the pre-cut strips.  They're set at 10", and I don't think it'll need all of that.  If I have to cut them shorter, I will.  When I was looking online at Rock Tape, I saw there's a design with autumn leaves.  Of course that got the wheels turning, and wanting that for my fall race. 

I also got 3 tubes of Nuun.  It's hot enough that I need to replenish the electrolytes after each run.  If I don't, I get a horrible headache.  I finished the book I was reading too, and on to the next one.  The next book is a new one by Victoria Thompson, who did the Gaslight Mystery series.  While I couldn't get in to the Gaslight series, I'm willing to try this new series.  The first book is called City of Lies.

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

Friday, July 6, 2018

Friday Five Short Week

Did everyone have a happy and safe 4th?  It got pretty warm here, but I did get out to see my neighborhood bike parade.  Each year they encourage everyone to decorate their bikes, and give prizes after the parade.  I don't have a bike, but went anyway to watch and socialize.  They were giving away snow cones and otter pops, and the adults chatted.  Someone mentioned we should get the 5th off as well.  Yes!  It's hard to stay up for fireworks at 10pm when I need to be at work the next day.  And let me tell you, traffic was quite light heading into work yesterday.  Moreso than normal summer traffic.

I finally decided to try a wireless headphone, and I bought Aftershokz Titanium wireless through REI.  I had a membership dividend to use, and I hadn't yet decided what to use it on.  Between that, and the lower price at REI, I got it for $40 off the vendor price.  Sweet!  They should be delivered early next week, and I will certainly post about them once I've had a chance to test them out.

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

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

4th of July Plans

I have two straight days at home this week!  Today I work from home, and then tomorrow is the holiday.  I guess Allie is going to be plenty of snuggles, if she wants.  It will be a warm week, but she has her ways to get attention when it's warm.

Is anyone racing tomorrow?  I had thought about it since there are a couple races in the area.  After trying to go 2 miles Saturday, I'm happy with my decision to not run a 5k.  I'm nowhere near ready :-p  The other issue too is when there's a holiday in the middle of the week, I don't want to have to get out the door to meet a deadline.  I do that each morning I commute in.

Thinking back on 4th of Julys, 2005 was quite fun, in Russia.  Since the World Cup is in Russia this time around, any footage of St. Petersburg brings back great memories.  That was the last cruise my family did, and our Alaskan cruise is on the same ship.  You can't plan that one!  The day itself was spent with 3 tours.  The morning was a bus tour of St. Petersburg, the afternoon was spent at the Hermitage, and the evening was at the Yusupov Palace.  As my mom said "when's the next time we're going to be here?"  Good point.  Enjoy some pictures from that day :)

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Monday Musings 7/2

Hello, July.  The month that stands between me and August, which is the month for Alaska.  June 30th was fiscal year-end, and July is all about compiling those quarterly financial reports for our grant sponsors.  Thankfully I don't have any final reports due this month.  Hopefully this week will be calm since we're waiting on month-end close.  We have a holiday on Wednesday, and I'm taking Thursday afternoon off to get my stitches out.  Yes, it's been almost 3 weeks since my gum graft, and whatever stitches are left will be removed.  I'm pretty sure the dissolving stitches aren't there anymore.

That Friday feeling
Did anyone see the medals Run Disney released for Disneyland Paris?  This is why I keep coming back to Disney.  Each year I get medal envy, so I hatched my Disney plan for Princess next year.

I started looking at wireless headphones since my Yurbuds went kaput, and I'm not sure I'm ready to spend that much money on headphones.  I've looked at Bose, Jay Runs, and the same company that has Yurbuds, and the complaints are the same.  If the sound goes out, it's not $40 or $50 to replace, it's $150+.  What to do?  I'm currently using the buds that came with my iPod, and those aren't ideal.  They're getting the job done, but they aren't super comfortable either.  It would be nice to not have to deal with that cord.  It was flapping around a little bit on my Saturday run.

I did do some shopping Saturday, for a couple more short sleeve running shirts.  Since I don't have to use my treadmill for hills this time around, I can do more of my runs outside.  That means I need a couple more short sleeve shirts to protect my shoulders.  One thing I noticed is the trend seems to be going towards crew necks right now.  I much prefer v-necks for comfort around my throat, and I did find a UA one, so I ordered it.  The other is a Saucony crew neck, and I figured it was on sale, so worth a try.

I also did some shopping Sunday.  Some flowers my mom and I got weren't doing well at all, so I got some replacement flowers and planted them in the big pot.  They surround a zinnia as a filler in the "thriller, filler, spiller" theme.  They're very pretty, and I hope they take hold.  I also bought a 10-lb kettlebell since I'd been wanting one for the past few months.  Now I need to find exercises for it.

Around all of this, I got my run done on Saturday, and I did Pure Barre Sunday morning.  Holy crap!  I hadn't done that workout in a while, and my glutes were shaking when I was standing and my quads protested when I went up my stairs.  My arms are rather noodle-y too.  I know I need to get back to upper body work since my arms and torso are tired from my cardio.  Gotta get everything back before training starts!

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