A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Weekend Wrap Up!




Happy Monday!
I hope you had a great weekend.
Mine was pretty busy since I had a girls weekend in Baltimore to run the marathon relay!


My morning started with my first run with a Garmin in several weeks! (Spoiler Alert: Paul found it, but I am getting a new one and I need your help with that! More tomorrow!) I was pleased to see I was no longer running my sluggish summer paces and moved on to my fall pace... which is anywhere between 30-60 seconds faster per mile!)

Work was easy because I only taught two classes. I had a personal day in the afternoon so Meranda, Ana, and I could head down to Baltimore. I did have a lot to prepare for the substitute, though!


On my way home from work, I ran some errands and finished packing. It was so nice to only be going away for one night. I didn't have to pack too much! Meranda picked me up, we grabbed Ana, and then we drove down to Baltimore to meet Heather and Lacey. Meranda, Ana, Heather, and I were a relay team called East Coast Bloggers and Lacey was running the full marathon.

It was so nice to be a passenger and not drive!

I'll have more details about our race weekend on Wednesday!

After checking into our hotel, we walked down to the expo to get our bibs and shirts. Then we walked to the harbor to have a yummy al fresco meal. I had a kobe burger. Omg... I hate spending $16 on a burger, but this one was good!

The view from our dinner spot.

Then we all went back to the hotel for a good night's sleep!


Even though I was running the third leg of the relay and could have slept in longer, I got up at 6:25 when Ana did. (We shared a room.) Before I had to walk to my relay exchange point, I had about two hours to kill alone in the hotel. I drank coffee, listened to a podcast on gluten, took my time eating breakfast, and did some writing. 

At 9:30, it was time to head down to my exchange point. It was about a mile away and I had no problems getting there. The race was going on all around me and I was starting to get excited! Race energy is contagious!



I waited at the exchange for about 40 minutes, and then Meranda passed our timing chip to me and I was off! My section was a little over 6 miles. The sun was HOT and a lot of my leg was just long, continuous gradual uphill. I didn't do any specific training for this race, but I did try to push myself. I was proud that I averaged in the 7:40s by the time I saw Ana at Clifton Park. I gave the chip to her, and off she went for the finish line!

Getting back to the harbor was a shit show. I had to take a shuttle and the driver got lost. It was very frustrating but I'll get into that tomorrow. The short story is I finally made it back. I was getting frustrated with the crowds, Ana had finished before I even made it to the harbor, so I just walked back to the hotel. I was over the craziness.

Bus picture. Not happy.

Our relay team ended up doing really well and Lacey crushed the marathon! Before we left, we grabbed lunch, then we headed home to PA. I had so much fun gabbing with Meranda and Ana during our car rides.

What!? I never get to just relax on a car ride!!!!

When I got home, I dropped my stuff off and then headed over to my brother's house for his annual Fall Festival. I had so much fun hanging out with my family and meeting some of Tyler and Debby's friends. When it got dark, most people left, but some of us stuck around and sat by the fire. We played games, told jokes and stories, and sang songs.

Me and cousin John!


Debby and her sister, Suzy!

BABY CLARK!!!!!!
I can't freaking take him.

Before I went to bed that night, I watched the fifth episode of the Oxygen series on Maura Murray. IT WAS SO GOOD! There is only one episode left and this all better be going somewhere...


When I woke up, I had the sudden urge to decorate for Christmas. Don't worry, I didn't do it!

Look how my babies sleep with me in the morning...





I had quite a few odds and ends on my to do list, which is typical for a Sunday. I lifted, did yard work, packed lunches for the week, laid out all my clothes, dyed my hair, took Paul to Weis for some beer, and did some cooking. 


I made this butternut squash casserole. It's really good! 


We opened a nice bottle of wine, Paul made fish, and we actually ate at the table!







As soon as we were done toasting, Chrissy hopped in the litter box (right beside us in the dining room) and went to town. 


I also had a lot of blogging to catch up on. And some puzzling. And reading. What a day!



Tell me something fun you did this weekend!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

It's finally fall, y'all!

On Tuesday morning I went for a run, and it finally felt like fall for a couple reasons...

1. The fall constellations are out! As soon as I step out of my driveway, I look up and say hello to Orion. When I turn the corner, there is the Big Dipper! These are the only two constellations I can find on my own.

2. It's COLD! It was 39 degrees on Tuesday morning! I was in shorts, but up top I wore a short sleeve, long sleeve, my Boston jacket, two pairs of Dollar Tree gloves, and an ugly orange hat I stole from Paul.



3. It's dark for my whole run. I leave my house at 6am and get back before 7am. It's pretty dark the whole time, which does make me a little uneasy. I don't listen to murder podcasts much in the dark anymore. I wanted to listen to one on Steven Avery on Tuesday morning but I was chicken. I'll save my murder podcasts for relaxing lunchtime listening.

4. My neighborhood is decorated for Halloween. I don't know if it's a Central PA thing, a Shiremanstown thing, or if decorating for Halloween is just becoming more of a thing everywhere. But my neighbors really do it up for Halloween with lights and outdoor decorations. It looks good! But it really gives me a hankering to get out my Christmas lights... Don't worry, I'll wait at least another 3 weeks. If I said I won't do it before Thanksgiving, I'd be lying.
What constellations are you able to find?
Is it cold yet in your neck of the woods?
Are you ever scared to run in the dark?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Weekly Workouts!


Hey all! Just a quick and dirty recap today.
This week was sort of blah. It wasn't bad, it was just a git 'er done week. I enjoyed my runs... plodding along in the mornings...

Saturday- 6 miler. My knee was hurting at the end of last week but today it was feeling a lot better.

Sunday- Rest. I slept until noon! Crap! My sleep is going to be all messed up this week... I spent the day running errands and cooking. It was beautiful out, I just didn't feel like making the time to run.

Monday- 6 miler. It's so dark in the mornings now. It used to get light during my runs but now it doesn't get light until right before I leave for work.

Tuesday- Freezing cold 6 miler! When I say freezing cold, I mean 39 degrees! That's quite a drastic jump from the temps we have been having. I had to bundle up!



Wednesday- Lifting upper body at home. I would've preferred to run because I had a good podcast, but since I planned to run Thurs-Sat (Saturday being a race!) I made the good choice and lifted. Plus I hadn't lifted in awhile!

Thursday- 6 miles. I had a great podcast! But my knee hurt later. Why? I thought that went away. Who knows.

Friday- 6 miles again. I'm loving my morning fall runs with my Survivor podcasts! Is running just an excuse for me to listen to podcasts!? Maybe sometimes... But more importantly, it's my "me" time in the morning.

How were your workouts this week?
Anyone watching Survivor? Who do you like?

I like:

Ryan, Ben, Lauren, Devon, Desi, Dr. Mike

Friday, October 20, 2017

Baltimore Marathon Memories- Friday 5!



Hey all! I am linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 5 2.0!

Tomorrow, I am running in a relay team at the Baltimore Marathon! Meranda @ Fairytales and Fitness, Ana @ Mother, Hike, Run, Heather @ Heather's Spin, and I will be covering the 26.2.

I ran the Baltimore Marathon in 2009 for "fun". And I actually did have fun when I ran it! The race is on a Saturday, which is kind of weird. It threw me off a bit, as you will read below...

Today, in honor of my second running of Baltimore (well, part of it), I'm going to share 5 things I remember about running the Baltimore Marathon in 2009.

Note: I would have included race photos to make this post more interest but I didn't take any! I went to the race by myself and this was before I had a smartphone, so it's not like I carried my big bulky camera at the race.


1. I accidentally worked out the day before the race. Full disclosure... I was deep in my exercise addiction/disordered eating back in 2009. But even back when I was all messed up, I would still rest the day before a marathon! But I accidentally was on the elliptical for an hour on Friday morning! I just wasn't thinking! The race was on a Saturday, which was weird... so that's what threw me off.

2. Transportation issues. My first transportation issue was that I got lost on the way to my hotel! This was in 2009... back before I had a GPS or smart phone. I had printed out Mapquest directions which were CRAP. I had to call Paul and my friend Maren (who lives in Baltimore) for directions to get to my hotel. After I finally got there, for some reason I needed to take a cab to the expo to pick up my bib. (I probably had to take a cab because I didn't know how to get there!)  But I ran out of cash, and on the way home from the expo, I had to tell the cab driver I had X amount of dollars (I forget how much) and to just drive me as far as my money would take me. The driver took me all the way back. I guess he didn't want to just drop me off somewhere. Solid guy.

My second transportation issue was actually getting to the race. The garage I parked my car in was LOCKED at that early hour and I couldn't get my car out! I was several miles from the start line and there was no way I would make it in time. But a couple in their 50s, who were running the marathon (they had their bibs and everything) offered to give me a ride and I took it. I mean, they were CLEARLY running the marathon... but no, I didn't know them. They didn't murder me.

3. I wore the race shirt on race day. I often read about how it is a SIN to wear the race shirt on race day. LIGHTEN UP, PEOPLE! At this race, I wore the race shirt on race day and everything turned out FINE. I have since thrown out that shirt even though I loved it. It was a dry tech short sleeve. I wore it so often that it developed a bit of an odor. Okay, it was rancid.


4. At mile 20, I was full of all sorts of energy! Since I was only running for "fun" I wasn't stressing out about my paces. I remember when I reached mile 20, I let out a little whoop and yelled, "Woooo, Mile 20, guys!!!!" but no one around me was having it. They were DEEP in the throws of Mile 20 pain. I get it. I've been there before. But not on this day. On this day, I felt great!

5. I was still in the bathroom when the race started. I didn't care. I was just running for fun! Plus, it was chip timed, so it didn't matter, right!?


HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you have strong opinions about race shirts on race day?

Have you ever actually felt good at mile 20?

Would you have gotten in the car with the couple?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Halloween Candy

I feel like I want to address something! A few weeks ago, I posted about how we bought all of our Halloween candy already. I got a bunch of mini chocolates and a bunch of straight up sugary items like lollipops, taffy, sweet tarts, and Nerds. On Sunday, while I was at Aldi, I ended up getting some mini Rice Krispy Treats to pass out on Halloween as well. To say we are stocked is an understatement!



On the post about the Halloween candy, I got so many comments that basically asked how in the world are we able to get our Halloween candy this early without eating all of it.

It's really not that hard to abstain from eating Halloween candy for two reasons... 

First, the candy is in the basement. Honestly, I don't even think about it because it is down there. Out of sight, out of mind.

Second, we ACTUALLY HAVE OTHER SWEETS IN OUR HOUSE THAT WE CAN EAT!!!! We always have cookies, ice cream, or candy. So it's not like the Halloween candy is the only sugar in our house.

Even though we always have desserts at the ready, I don't eat dessert every night. If I want it, I have it. If I don't want it, we don't have it. It's that simple.

I used to deprive myself of food, particularly "bad" food, but I don't anymore. Sometimes I have dessert, sometimes I don't. Since I know I CAN have it if I want it, it's not like a do or die situation. It's not like, "oh my gosh, all this Halloween candy is in my house, I better eat it!!!" NO! That is crazy. I can have candy whenever I want it. 

When I eat junk, sometimes I have a normal amount and sometimes I eat too much. But I don't obsess. It all evens out in the end. I am proud to say I am not anal about it anymore. Because I truly know I can have what I want, (and not feel guilty) I only eat it when I truly want it.

I don't mean for this to be a soapbox thing because I HATE WHEN PEOPLE TELL ME HOW I AM SUPPOSED TO EAT. So this post is NOT me telling you how to eat or how to think about food. I am just telling you what works for me. And believe me, I KNOW that what works for me does not work for everyone else. Not by a long shot. Everyone has to figure themselves out. And if you can figure out how your mind ticks and overcome it, it's GLORIOUS.

I never, ever, EVER thought I wouldn't obsess about food and calories, and now look at me! I still get obsessive 5% of the time. I'm not perfect. But guess what? 5% is WAY better than 100% so I'll take it.

Again, NOT TELLING YOU WHAT TO THINK/FEEL ABOUT FOOD AT ALL. Just telling you that it has taken a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of uncomfortable feelings for me to get to the point where I can eat intuitively and be okay with it.
THOUGHTS!?
I don't even have specific questions. Food is such a touchy subject.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

We're going SOLAR!

Hey guys! I can't remember if I have mentioned this yet but...

WE'RE GOING SOLAR!!!!

That's right! Yesterday, our solar panels from Solar City were installed! I'm excited to help the environment by using renewable energy!

Yesterday morning, after my run, I took one last picture of our house before the solar panels were installed.



While I was at work, a crew of 5 men installed our panels. Their team name was called Hannibal and they were from Maryland. I told Paul to ask them how they got their team name but he forgot!


Jelly was a little concerned with the noise...



The team started at 8:30 and it took them about four hours. Here's some pics of the process...







And the final product!



We don't own the solar panels, Solar City owns them. We do not need to pay anything for these panels. We don't pay for installation, insurance, maintenance... nothing! It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? We do pay for the energy.

People ask, what's in it for us? Well, our energy bills will be a little cheaper. (Not a ton, we have a small house, as you can tell, and it doesn't take a lot to heat/cool it) and we are helping the environment. AT NO COST! If anything, our energy bill will be cheaper.

Our home will be about 76% solar energy and 24% from our normal electric company, PP&L. Any energy our panels produce that we don't use will be kicked back to the grid for our neighbors to use. We won't pay for power we don't use.

Also installed was a Nest thermostat. Now we can control our heating and cooling when we aren't even home. Nest also informs Solar City if there are problems with our panels. We don't have to check for problems or inform them. They will know because of our Nest and they will take care of it.





Unfortunately the power went out on our street on the day our panels were installed. The power outage had NOTHING to do with our installation though, so I hope our neighbors aren't mad at us!

If you're curious if solar panels are right for you, contact our field consultant, Chuck Westerlund- cwesterlund@solarcity.com. 



Have you ever considered solar panels?

If you decide to get solar panels from Solar City, be sure to mention that you heard about it from Paul and Megan! We get $400 for every referral! 

(That's a normal thing, not something special I get for blogging about it.)