Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday 5: What's in my Gym Bag

It's the Friday Five!  Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney posed the question "What's in your gym bag?" for today's post.  I don't have a gym membership, so I don't have a regular gym bag, but I do go out of town for races on occasion.  When I travel for a race, I always make sure I have these 5 things:

1. The stick.  I used to always just lug my foam roller, but when I flew to Florida for a race this wasn't really an option.  I purchased the stick for traveling and I'm so glad I did.  It's so much easier to roll out my super tight calves than with a foam roller.

2. Race day breakfast.  I always am nervous on race day and have found that good ol' energy bars are the best thing to get me through a race.  Added bonus is that they are quick and easy so I don't have to worry about getting up any earlier than I have to.

3. My water bottle.  I try so hard to stay hydrated and it's much easier when you're constantly toting a water bottle around.

4. Flip flops.  After a race my feet have no desire to get back into real shoes.

5. My favorite travel buddy.  Whether it is my best gal friend or my best dog friend, it's always nice to have someone there to cheer you on!  (Yes, I know this one was cheating a little, but how else am I going to get a pic of my favorite guy up here!)

Maddux says he wants to do a post on what's in his bag, too!

What are your gym/race bag essentials?   Anyone else doing the Runner's World Summer Run Streak?  So far so good on my end!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Five: The Running Club vs. Training Program Debate

It's Friday!  Back to the Friday Five with Cynthia, Mar, and Courtney!  Make sure to stop by and check out all the amazing blogs linking up!

Guys, my running has been beyond pathetic lately.  I haven't mapped it out yet, but I'm pretty sure my training program for my next half is starting up soon (you guys know I like to slowly build up).  I also want to do the Runner's World Summer Running Streak and right now the mile is getting to me.  I have some serious catch up to do.

Remember that happy PR day? 

Although I do fine by myself, I really want to have some running buddies this time around.  The long runs were kind of tough once they reached double digits and I would love to have someone to share in the misery joy.  Now the debate is whether I want to join a local running club or a fall half marathon training program.  Here are the big factors I'm considering before making my final decision:

1. Cost.  The running club is significantly cheaper, plus it lasts for the entire year.  The half marathon group is rather pricey, but a PR is priceless, right?!

2. Half marathon training program = every body is going toward the same goal.  I like knowing that everyone is in the same boat.  I love hearing other people talk about their upcoming races and I think it would keep me excited about my race.  While I'm sure several people in the running club would be training for a race, too, there's no telling where they would be in their training cycles.  There's no guarantee that our programs would match up, whereas if I go with the official program we will all pretty much be in the same place.

3. Schedule.  Because the running club lasts all year, it wouldn't really matter if I missed some of the workouts occasionally.  I think it would be more low key, whereas the half marathon program only lasts for a couple of months.  I would be feeling some huge guilt over missing workouts and my summer schedule is pretty busy with travel.  

4. Relationships.  Once again, this goes back to the timing of it all.  Because the running club lasts as long as I want to keep paying for it, I would be able to see the members consistently.  This might mean longer lasting running buddies.  We wouldn't have to try to figure out when to meet up because we'd already have weekly workouts.

5. Coaching.  I'm pretty sure running clubs have leaders, but I love that the half marathon program has someone that is specifically assigned to help you reach your goals.  I need that extra kick in the butt (and expertise!) to break 2 hours!

Anyone in a running club?  Ever done a training program?  What else should I consider?  What would you recommend? 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Weekend Recap

This weekend flew by!  I feel like every weekend lately has had something going on and while that's great and I look forward to all my plans, it makes time go by so fast.

Friday night I took it easy and did twenty minutes on the elliptical followed by a little over a mile on the treadmill.  I'm trying to ease into this whole working out routine again, and it's been tough!  On Saturday I vowed to run 3 miles.  I headed to the park and was surprised to see that a big (for my little park) festival was going on!  Luckily I got there at the beginning and found a parking spot easily.  I figured I would head up to the festival after I ran to check it out.  After two miles of running I thought I was going to die.  I walked for a while and then conquered the last mile.  It was such a gorgeous day that although it was frustrating that I had to take a walk break I didn't mind the being outside part of it.  I walked over to the festival after my run and on the way back to my car decided that I may as well run back.  I felt so good that I decided to go ahead and finish another mile.  4 for the day!  I think that's more than I had run in all of May eek.

Later Saturday evening I went to pick up my newest foster pup!  She was so, so sweet, but very shy.  Luckily she got adopted right off the bat at the event on Sunday to a great family.  She even got a corgi mix brother, score!

Since it was another beautiful day, Maddux and I headed to the park after the event and walked for over an hour.  He was so energetic, which was a nice change from our rather sluggish pace we've had lately.  I guess he was happy his foster sis found a home!

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Five: MADDUX!!

Ok, so I'm not back on a regular blogging schedule like I thought I'd be by now.  I have high hopes that  between the Runner's World summer running streak and starting up training for my next half (it will be here before we know it!) that I'll start pulling it together and be able to make time to starting reading and commenting on my favorite blogs again.  I haven't forgotten you, I promise!  Until then, at least I have the Friday Five with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia!  Make sure to check them out!

If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you already know that Maddux and I celebrated our THREE year anniversary yesterday!  In honor of my sweet boy, you guys get to read five things I really love about Maddux!

3 Years!

2 Years!

Our First Picture (Year 1 got lost somewhere in the crazy amount of pictures I have taken over the years)

1.  Maddux loves to explore and learn.  I've gone to so many parks I probably never would have (or even known about) without him and have enjoyed every minute of it!  Seeing how excited he gets to be out on the trails never fails to put a smile on my face.  I get lots of laughs when we go to class.  Maddux loves to please his trainers (they have the best treats after all) and acts ridiculous when it's his turn to practice.

2.  He is a super snuggler.  One of the great things about adopting an older dog (Maddux was 4 when I got him) is that (depending on the breed) they are out of that crazy puppy stage.  He definitely has his spurts of energy, but he is happy to nap next to me while I read or get work done.  He's snoozing as I type this.  Maddux is the first dog I've had where I am the only one responsible for his care.  He has been perfect for me and relatively easy to figure out.

3.  He has forced me to improve my sewing skills.  When Maddux plays he likes to destroy toys.  I'd be lying if I said he didn't have enough toys for a whole shelter worth of dogs to play with, but I've saved a ton of money by learning to fix them myself (and if we're being completely honest, bringing them to my mom and aunt to fix!).  I've sewn more than I ever thought I would since he's come into my life.

4. I have a great place to volunteer!  I adopted Maddux from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue and am so glad I did!  They are a great organization and make it super easy to help out dogs in need.  They don't actually have a shelter (they rely on fosters and boarding facilities) so the adoption events take place all over the DC area.  Many of the events are really convenient, so you don't have to go far out of your way to make it and seriously?  What better way to spend the afternoon than hanging out with a great dog?  Maddux doesn't know this yet, but we're getting another foster tomorrow!  Possibly just an overnight, but I'm really excited!  Now that I get the behind the scenes emails with foster updates I appreciate Lucky Dog even more.  They work so incredibly hard to find the best homes for as many pups as possible.

Fingers crossed the next foster is as great as the first!

5.  Maddux made DC feel like home.  I've gotten to know the area so much better because of our exploring and I love coming home and seeing his happy face.  I don't know what I'd do without my boy!

Happy weekend!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday 5: Fitness Truths

Haaaaappppy Friday!  Today the theme for the Friday 5 with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia is Fitness Truths.  As we all know, not every "truth" applies to every person because there are a gazillion exceptions to rules, BUT I'll share with you the things that work with me.

1. Fitness should be fun.  I really enjoy exploring new trails with my pup.  It just makes me happy.  Sometimes I forget that walking is a great form of exercise.  If I'm doing the Nike Training Club workouts I usually catch up on one of my favorite tv shows while I'm doing them.  Makes time fly by!

2. Fitness in the great outdoors is so much better than fitness in the stuffy indoors.  I love spending time out in the sunshine, whether it be a long walk with my pup or a run on a trail.  Tank top tan lines are the best.

3. It's ok to not sign up for races that you've always done.  Tomorrow I'm 99.9% sure I am not running in this local 5k that I love.  I'm just tired and haven't been running at all.  I'm really looking forward to sleeping in.  Yes, I'll get my run in later, but I just can't justify spending money on a run when I literally can't remember the last time I ran.  Just because I've done it in the past doesn't mean I should feel obligated to do it now.  (On a side note, it's also ok to sign up for races and just have fun without worrying too much about time.  This is just not that race for me.)

4. It's ok to sign up for completely ridiculous races.  Last weekend my nice friend and I ran in the Flying Dog .1k.  Yep, you read that right.  .1k.  It was so much fun and we had many good laughs watching people complete the "race."

Yes, those are gels to fuel up for the race.

5.  Check lists are incredible.  When I was training for my half marathon I had a check list on my fridge and I was a little obsessive about making sure every run got checked off.  I made one for May, but need to come up with some kind of reward system to make sure I actually get it done.  A PR in my race was the perfect motivation, but this one has no race at the end of it.  I just really need to make fitness a priority again and hopefully this will help.

What are fitness truths that you swear by?  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Friday Five: What's Been Going on Lately

I've been a little MIA lately.  Part of this is because the weather has been really nice and I just want to be outside (whereas this winter I had all kinds of time to veg in front of my computer since it was so cold!) and part of it is because I haven't done much worth writing about.  After my half I just kind of stopped doing consistent workouts, but I am finally ready to get my butt back in gear.  The fact that the pool will be open in about a month might have something to do with that!

Here's what I have been doing:

1. Visiting my family.  I had a great time spending about a week with my family.  Maddux and I made a stop in North Carolina to visit my brother and his amazing girlfriend.  They introduced me to Morning Star Spicy Black Bean burgers (yum!) and took us to a lake where we had a nice long walk.  My brother's girlfriend and I vowed to run the whole 7 mile loop one day.  After visiting with my brother, Maddux and I headed down to Alabama and had a great time just relaxing and hanging out.  I ate waaaaay too much, but managed to get in a couple of runs and workouts.  My parents have an area in their basement with an elliptical and my little hand weights, so I alternated between 10 minutes of elliptical time and lunges, squats, and arm work a couple of times.  It was a nice way to switch it up!

2. Buying things for my dog.  I signed Maddux up for another class! I'm so excited to start!  I also got him a subscription for Bark Box since our THREE year anniversary is coming up.  I can't even remember what life was like before this handsome fella made it in my life!

3.  Reading.  You guys know I could read all day if someone let me.  I finished up a couple of random books I had on my Nook as well as After Her by Joyce Maynard.  Right now I'm reading The Returned by Jason Mott.  It's the book that inspired the ABC show Resurrection.  I'm not very far into it yet, but so far I like the show better.....I have hopes that it will pick up soon.

4. Cooking!  After the week with my family I realized that I needed to do some serious clean up as far as my diet is concerned.  I flipped through my Cook Yourself Thin cookbook and picked a couple of recipes to try.  I made mini meatloaves which were pretty good and then lasagna.  It's been nice to have a more regular intake of fruits and veggies in my system!

Best dinner ever on a stormy night!

5. Connecting with fellow bloggers!  I got accepted as a Girls Gone Sporty ambassador this weekend and I'm excited to meet other fitness loving writers.  Girls Gone Sporty is an online magazine, but also a site that provides support and encouragement to women trying to lead better, healthier lives.  Check out their website here.

I hope everyone has been doing well!  I hope to get back onto a regular blogging schedule again soon, but until then enjoy your break from my rambling. :)