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...)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Meeting some famous bloggers!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Guys, a couple exciting things happened this past week!Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

I got to meet some famous bloggers!

On Monday, I met Ana @ Mother, Hike, Run Repeat at a local coffee shop for a chat. We had been following each other's blogs for several months, and since we live in the same town, it was more than time for us to meet in the flesh!

Ana's blog has just the right mix of running and non running related posts for my liking. You see, when I start reading a blog, I get super nosy as to just the day to day stuff about the blogger that isn't even running related. So while I do love her running posts (particularly her hilarious race recaps), I also enjoy the other topics she writes about.

We chatted for almost two hours and it was quite interesting how alike we are! She was a very fun, bubbly person. I hope I get to hang out with again!

I am sorry we didn't get a picture! Next time!

On Friday, I met Karen @ Running Over The Hill. I don't know how I discovered Karen's blog, but I am so glad I did. She is a breath of fresh air. She keeps everything REAL, which is very refreshing. We have lots in common... We both work at schools, we love to run, and we are awesome cat moms!

Karen and I live about 5 hours apart, so we met nearly halfway for a hike in the Shenandoah Mountains.

I knew Karen and I would hit it off, and whaddaya know, we did! A couple things to know about Karen... she smells really good, she is just as beautiful in person as she is in pictures, she is not afraid of bears like I am, and she hikes FAST. Seriously. This woman gave me a workout!!!! We hiked 8 miles and I was pooped by the time we were done!

We saw this little buddy and he wasn't scared!!!!

Have you ever met a fellow blogger?

I have been getting around these days as I have been lucky enough to meet... 

Heather @ Girl Goes Running

Ali @ Hit The Ground Running

Kristina @ Kristina Running

Lacey & Meranda @ Fairytales and Fitness

By adding in this past week meeting Karen @ Running Over the Hill and Ana @ Mother, Hike, Run, Repeat...I think I can officially call myself a blogger meetup whore!!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Paul is home!

Paul has been gone for the past week! He went to Virgina for a family vacation.

I stayed home to watch the kitties and teach piano lessons. Also, I don't vacation well with others, it's just not my thing. Paul supported me in my "stay home" decision and I supported him in his "go on vacation" decision.Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

I didn't mention his absence because I didn't want the whole world to know I was going to be HOME ALONE for a week.

Guys, I missed him A LOT. I missed him before he even left!

The first night was weird. I woke up twice and felt very sad. It was hard to fall back asleep.

The next day I tried to keep busy. I felt pretty good as long as I had something to do. I could tell the cats were wondering where their daddy was...

Actually, I spent a lot of the evenings this week drinking sangria and weeping with Jelly while watching the DNC. The speeches by Hillary, Michelle, Obama, and Joe all inspire me to be a better person and a better public servant.

When I was really missing Paul and the DNC didn't fill the void, one of the things I did at night to cheer myself up was read a book I loved growing up. It is from the Sweet Valley Twins series and is called The Magic Christmas. This was actually one SVT book I decided to hang on to!

I've read this book so many times but it never gets old. The odd thing is, it's a fantasy book, and I don't like that genre at all! But I like this book.

It's so comforting to read a book you love. It's like an old friend.

Somehow I survived the week and Paul came home yesterday! I'm so glad he's back. All is right in the world again!
What do you do when your partner is gone for several days?
Tell me what book is an "old friend" of yours.
Did you ever read The Magic Christmas?

Friday, July 29, 2016


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Today I am participating in Marcia's Runfession's link up! Be sure to visit her blog and check out some of the other bloggers who are Runfessing today!

Runfession #1: The band on my Garmin broke over a month ago. I STILL HAVEN'T BOUGHT  NEW BAND!!! Talk about procrastinating.

Runfession #2: Last week, I completed the very first 16 miler of my training plan. I finished strong, but not without some pretty painful chaffing!

Runfession #3: I kind of want to run a race soon and see if the past two months of marathon training has actually made me a better runner. Any suggestions on what distance I should race?

Runfession #4: My running/lifting shoes smell so bad they are making our entire guestroom smell. I know shoes are supposed to smell- that's nothing new. But normally they only smell if my nose gets close to them. Now it's like all I have to do is walk into the room and PHEEEEEEW STINKY!!!!

Do you have something you want to Runfess?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Halfway Through Hansons

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Since I just completed Week 11 of an 18 week training plan, this post is a little late! Nonetheless, I figured I'd give you some thoughts on my training thus far.

Some quick background info in case you're new here!

I am using the Hansons advanced training plan to train for the Via Marathon on September 11th. My goal when beginning this training was to run a PR- 3:25:00.

I started out the training cycle SUPER excited to try Hansons. The book had motivated me so much. I never used a formal training plan for a marathon before, let alone one as specific as Hansons, so this was all new and exciting for me.

I figured the easiest way to do this is to break down the weeks and then finish with some overall thoughts...

Week 1: This week consisted of easy runs. I got the hang of running "slow" on the easy days pretty quickly. I ended the week feeling strong.

Week 2: I ran my very first speed session a little too fast and it resulted in a PIMA. I reeled in the paces after that scare and the PIMA went away. I ended this week's training post with a very foreboding thought: "I have a feeling in a couple weeks I will look back at this post and wish I felt as fresh as I do now!" Oh, how this statement very quickly became true!

Weeks 3-4: I was able to hit the prescribed speed workout paces, but my MP runs were all over the place! While the overall pace averaged out to my MP, my actual pace was all over the place. I reminded myself that there were plenty more MP runs in the training and my body would eventually learn to settle into MP. 

Also, during Week 4, I would wake up in the mornings with a little bit of heel pain, but it would go away. I was scared of getting PF, so I did a lot of stretching and finally my morning heel pain went away. But not for long...

Week 5: This was the first week I deviated from my training plan for two big reasons...

1. We went on vacation.
2. I got a rip roaring case of plantar fasciitis by the end of the week.

Week 6: PF SUCKED. I ended up taking a complete week off running to make sure it was gone for good.

Weeks 7-9: My plan was to ease back into running without getting PF again. My weekly mileage was much lower than what my training called for, but I knew I had no choice but to ease back in. Luckily, I was still able to hit my training paces, but obviously it's much easier to do that when you're only running 30-40 mpw, not 50-60 like the plan called for...

I felt really down during these weeks and questioned whether I should even keep going. And if I kept going, should I reevaluate my goals?

Week 10: This week went very well! I actually felt like I was back in the game! My knee felt a little weak, but that was nothing new for me. My knee/ITB issues seems to be the new "normal"... as in, it is normal for it to come and go sporadically. It's annoying, but I wasn't going to let it get me down. I ran the most miles in a long time- 47!!!!

Even though I felt good about my week, I had not hit the prescribed weekly mileage since Week 4. I had been meaning to really sit down and evaluate my goals, but I kept pushing it off...

Week 11: Another great week! I had long since decided I needed to modify my training plan. I did 50 miles this week, even though the plan called for 61. I felt like the only way I was going to stay healthy and strong was to shave a couple miles off here and there. I was very scared to complete my first 16 miler, but I did it and I did it well!

My overall thoughts on Hansons so far...


I love knowing EXACTLY what to run each day and EXACTLY what pace to run. This plan really speaks to my anal retentive, rule following qualities.

The speed and tempo workouts scare me but I LIKE them.


I keep getting injured.

I don't think one rest day per week is enough.

At this point in time, I feel like this plan is way to high in mileage for me.

Due to my body not cooperating, I have not been happy following this plan since Week 4.

There has not been a single day in which I felt confident that I will reach my time goal for the marathon.

Wow, those are some pretty shitty cons, aren't they?

Have you ever done Hansons? Did you like it?

What type of training plan do you normally use for a marathon?

What's your ideal weekly mileage and ideal number of rest days that keeps your body happy?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It's time to stop saying "atheist" as if it is some horrible thing.

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This is NOT a post about the DNC, presidential candidates, or the 2016 election. But it was inspired by this weekend's news item in which some DNC emails were hacked. 

Among the thousands of leaked emails, there was one from chief financial officer Brad Marshall in which he suggested that it would be beneficial in the primaries to insinuate that Bernie Sanders was a "possible atheist with Jewish heritage". Please, read the full story.

What I don't understand... Why is someone's religion or lack thereof important?

The fact that the word atheist has a negative connotation has been bothering me for awhile and I have to get some things off my chest.

I judge people on their character.

I judge people on their actions.

I judge people on their kindness and their humanity.

I judge people on how they treat others.

I don't judge people on their religious beliefs.

Hell, I don't even know what religious beliefs some of my friends hold. And I don't care! What I care about is what kind of person they are. This may be influenced by their religion, their parents, their teachers, any number of things or a combination of several. My point is, whatever has contributed to making someone the wonderful person they are, it doesn't matter to me. A loving person is a loving person.

Friends, I am an atheist. I have been my whole life. I am steadfast in my personal belief and I am comfortable sharing it with you.

What I hate is when the term "atheist" is thrown around as if it is a bad thing. Because anyone who knows me knows I am not a bad person. I am a loving, kind, person... who happens to be an atheist.

There are many atheists in this world. You probably know a lot of them, even if you don't think you do! You probably like and respect many atheists. If you like me a little less or think negatively of me after learning this fact, I would urge you to look within yourself and figure out why that is. Because that would have more to do with you than it has to do with me.

I have no questions today, but I am happy to answer any of YOUR questions. The reason I say this is because I realize not many people understand atheists, and I think the more we can understand each other, the more accepting and loving we can be!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Via Marathon Training: Week 11

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Hansons called for a 61 mile week.
Megan called for a 50 mile week.
I made it to 50! Wahooooooooooooo!

Monday- 4 easy miles. My knee felt a little weak and I was looking to shave off some miles from my week, so I only did a couple miles. (Plan called for 61, Megan called for 50.)

Tuesday- My very first strength workout! 6x1 mile @ 7:39 pace (MP minus 10 seconds) With 1 mile 1/u and c/d I got 9 miles. I thought this run would be hard but... it wasn't. Today was one of those days I felt good. I don't know if the training is working or if I just had a good day...

Splits: 7:36, 7:40, (oops!), 7:32, 7:38, 7:16 (oops!), 7:35

Wednesday- REST. Upper body at home.

Band Asst. Pull Ups- 2x6, 2x5, 2x4
Band Asst. Neutral Grip Pull Ups- 2x8, 3x6
Chest Press- 5x10x25lb
Row- 5x12x20lb
Push Ups- 5x10
Shoulder Press- 5x10x20lb
Bicep curls- 5x10x15lb
Tricep dips- 5x15
Bicycle crunches- 5x40
Stability ball sit ups- 5x15x10lb
Stability ball knee tuck- 5x15
Plank- 5x45 secounds
Glute/Hip exercises

Thursday- 8 mile tempo run (7:49). With a w/u and c/d I got 10 miles total. Guys, my paces are ALL OVER THE PACE. I can't just run a 7:49 and chill. These were my splits:

7:48, 7:56, 7:32, 7:36, 7:41, 8:07, 7:54, 7:58

I am not getting and closer to even splits... but my average pace was right on point.

That afternoon I walked 2.5 miles with my friend Bree and her daughter Alice. It was a scorcher!

Friday- 4 easy miles. Just around my hood. Nothing notable to say about this run except I was slooooooooow.

Saturday- 7 easy miles. My knee felt better than it had in awhile, but not better.

Sunday- 16 hilly miles! BOOOOYAAAAH!!! 

The real feel was going to get up to 100, so I started my run around 7:00am.

I ran the first 5.6 miles around my hood. I felt pretty good. Since it was cooler, my pace hung around an 8:30. That made me feel great. During all of my training, I have felt like I am slower than normal, yet I fail to remind myself of the effect that the heat can have on my paces! 

After about 45 minutes on my own, I met my brother and he finished the last 10+ miles of the run with me. These miles were HILLY. I mean, there was one hill I was running up that I was averaging a 15 minute mile. Basically, I could have walked up a lot of the hills at the same pace I ran up them. But I made myself run because I wanted to RUN 16. 

And I did!!!

I also got some pretty epic chaffing... 

It was so weird to have that "post long run feeling". I hadn't had that in so long! It felt good. I was tired and ravenous the rest of the day. Oh, I did do SUP for the first time with my brother and my friend Bree. We paddled around City Island! It took an hour and a half and it was pretty tiring!

Training Goals:

1. Rest days = complete rest! F (I lifted.)
2. Walk 1 min per mile run. C
3. Stretch after each run. A
4. Foam roll when needed. N/A
5. Glute/hip exercises 5 days per week. C
6. Stick to the prescribed paces. A
7. Practice proper hydration and fueling. Read as much as I can on the topic. B
8. Alter training if I feel potential for injury. A
How were your workouts this week?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up!

Sorry for all the pictures in this wrap up!!!

It was a wonderful but tiring weekend!

My morning started with a 4 miler around my hood. I had an awesome pod cast but my knee hurt from the very first step. Eff.

Then we had to take Jelly to the vet. The day before, we noticed he was having some trouble with his back legs when trying to jump on the couch. He wouldn't try to jump on anything higher than the couch and was being very dainty going up the steps. We were a little (okay a lot) concerned so we made an appointment.

Jelly was a champ. He doesn't like the vet, but he doesn't hiss and growl like Chrissy does. He basically looks mad and annoyed the whole time, but he tolerates it. And that little baby DIDN'T EVEN FLINCH when they stuck the thermometer up his bum. I'm so proud of him! Maybe he liked it?

The vet thinks Jelly probably just hurt his back a bit, so they gave us 3 doses of anti inflammatory meds and sent us on our way.

Good job, Jelly!

I love you too, Chrissy!

When I got home, my friend JK-L was waiting for me. We went to the AT at Boiling Springs and did a very short trail run/walk. Then we went to the Boiling Springs pool. I saw FOUR STUDENTS THERE. What the heck?

That afternoon I was dead set on getting my ears pierced but when I called the place, the piercing guy wasn't in. So instead I stocked up on sangria. I got carded again, so I pretty much felt like THE SHIT for the rest of the evening.

That evening we watched Big Brother's Battle Back special. We set up a bracket and Paul won! Darn him!

Funny story: Just as I was about to take a picture of my beautiful dinner, it fell on the floor. "Get the spatula!" I shouted to Paul. I spatula-ed that shit up off the floor, threw it on my plate, and ate it. Judge away. I don't care.

It looked better before it fell on the floor...

I woke up early to get in a 7 miler. It got very hot by the time I was done. At 10am, it was already 95 degrees! No wonder I lost some steam at the end!

Paul and I had plans that fell through... aka, Paul didn't want to spend the day outside when the real feel was over 100 degrees. I can't say I blame him, but I was sad because I was really looking forward to hanging with friends. Plus, part of the reason I got up early was to get my run in before we left! I hate getting up early if I have to...

But the good part was I got to hang out with my family instead. We went to my brother's house to celebrate his birthday. A good time was had by all! I carbed up for my 16 miler the next day via pizza, sub, pork fried rice, and shrimp lo mein!

What's more annoying than a three year old playing the recorder...
A three year old playing TWO RECORDERS! BWAAAHAHAHA!

I think my brother Julian plays the piano better than I do.
Maybe it's the shorts?

Oh Clementine, why are you so beautiful?

My beautiful SIL, Debby, and baby Clark.

Clark: The party animal.

Ellie politely asked to use my camera and took the following photos:

Auntie Megan

Uncle Julian




My day started EARLY because I had to do my first dreaded 16 miler! The real feel was going to get up to 100, so I started my run around 7:00am.

I ran the first 5.6 miles around my hood. I felt pretty good. Since it was cooler, my pace hung around an 8:30. That made me feel great. During all of my training, I have felt like I am slower than normal, yet I fail to remind myself of the effect that the heat can have on my paces! 

After about 45 minutes on my own, I met my brother and he finished the last 10+ miles of the run with me. These miles were HILLY. I mean, there was one hill I was running up that I was averaging a 15 minute mile. Basically, I could have walked up a lot of the hills at the same pace I ran up them. But I made myself run because I wanted to RUN 16. 

And I did!!! 

My achilles felt a little tight once or twice, but it went away. My knee started to hurt a little around mile 11 but it wasn't too bad!

I did finish with some pretty epic chaffing...

Later on that afternoon, my brother and I met Bree to try SUP for the first time! We rented the boards and went for a little paddle around City Island. It took us about an hour and a half! I wish I had some pictures for you but we didn't take any.

I was surprised at how easy it was to balance, but also how tiring it was on my legs and arms. I know I wasn't paddling totally correctly. I am pretty sure there was a way more energy efficient way to do it, but I was a newb, so I just did the best I could.

Final Verdict: SUP on the Susquehanna was super fun and I hope to do it again! Preferably not on the same day I run 16 miles!

We were all completely exhausted by the time we were done and my brother and I were starved! We got some fried chicken and took it to my parent's how to stuff our faces. His girlfriend ate with us too. It was a great time!

The evening ended the same way every Sunday night this summer ends... with BIG Brother!

How was your weekend?
Was it super duper hot in your neck of the woods?
Would you eat your dinner if it fell on the floor?
Have you tried SUP?