Sunday, May 31, 2015



I woke fairly early Saturday morning and decided to do a slow 5 mile run/walk.  I had already run 6 miles the day before and we were planning to head to the lake later in the day.  I wanted to save some energy for water skiing.  After much anticipation, finally the day was here!  And what a beautiful day it was!


Off to the lake we went and everything started smoothly.  We all held our breath...and the boat cranked perfectly after sitting unused for 7 months.  {...Exhale...}  We headed up the river at full speed, the only one PoPo is familiar with.  That's when it went very un-smoothly.  Our boat blew a gasket!  Thankfully, PoPo had played golf many times with someone who lived nearby.  He graciously came to our rescue and towed us in with his pontoon boat.

The entire breakdown and rescue only lasted 2 hours.  I played with my GoPro (picture above).  The videos were not interesting (or full of bleep-able language -- ha ha).  We consoled ourselves at the Mexican restaurant on the way home.  This is definitely an unplanned, aggravating expense.  I'm very disappointed that my water skiing will be put on hold.  I can only hope the repair won't take long.  This is our 3rd boat and it has been the best by far, so I can't complain.  She was purchased as an anniversary gift and we christened her The Happy Anna.


I slept late Sunday morning (so unlike me) and decided it was already too hot for a run.  It was another beautiful day but without any breeze whatsoever.  Besides, I had already run the 2 previous days.  May was a scheduled low mileage "resting" month anyway (today is still May, right?).

After mulling it over with coffee on the porch, I chose to give Bertha a spin instead.  I pumped up her flat front tire and off we went.  We made it 16 miles before her front tire became too low.  I was hoping for 15 miles and therefore  was very pleased.   I was also thrilled because I finally coaxed Bertha into gears 14 and 21.  Good old gal!

My Fitbit indicated the entire ride (well over 90 minutes) was spent in my aerobic zone.  (My runs are always in peak zone and I'm finding it difficult to pull those numbers down.)  I just love that kind of information and felt I got a good cardio workout.


The in-between of the weekend was spent relaxing in my back yard.  I didn't do much yard work this weekend (or housework for that matter) but chose instead to just enjoy the fruits of my previous labor.  This is the view from my back porch swing.

Tell me about your weekend!  Did anyone race?
One more week until marathon training officially begins!

I'm linking up with Tara, the gracious host of Weekend Update. 
Please visit Tara as well as all of the participating bloggers.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Five Runfessions (May 2015 Edition)

An Active Day

I runfess ...

I was out running 6 miles last Saturday.   It was a perfectly gorgeous morning. I felt awesome and was puffed up with pride and confidence.  I was almost home when I ran into a neighbor who also runs.  Since I was finished and she was walking her dogs, we chatted a while about what we were training for, etc.  When I got into the house, I realized I had my shorts on backwards.  The Nike swoosh was so obviously in the wrong spot!  Geez.  Let the deflation begin...

I runfess ...

I decided if I was going to wear the Fitbit received as a Mother's Day gift, I wanted one with a heart rate sensor.   So, I swapped it.  After all, who cares about step counts?  Well, apparently I do!  This little band has put new determination and motivation into my running.  I want to run every day, and walk the dogs too.  {Whoa, Nellie.}  Huh, who knew? And just ask me how upset I am that we've had evening thunderstorms all week.  That makes for lower numbers!

Viking Half Marathon
-- Just Doing What I Do --
I runfess ...

I ran my slowest 8k ever this month.  My time was 8 minutes slower than last year's race.  8 stinking minutes!  I was actually kind of embarrassed.  Yes, I knew I was getting over a nasty cold.  But on the internet results, there is no asterisk beside my name with a footnote indicating "she sucked due to illness".

I runfess ...

I gained back a few pounds that I had lost earlier this year.  I don't really feel my eating is terrible.  I'm trying not to give it a lot of weight (pun intended).  You know, I'll just relax and act like it didn't happen!  I'm pretty sure the culprit is my late night snacking.  But dang, I'm hungry!

I runfess ...

I have no, that is spelled z-e-r-o, races on my calendar until October.  ME -- someone who ran 45 races last year and 41 the year before.  It's what I do.  I seem OK so far.  But, I'm sure I'll be needing some racing therapy.  And soon...

Do you have anything you need to Runfess?

I'm linking up with Marcia today from Marcia's Healthy Slice
Please stop by and join in with your Runfessions!

Over at the Friday Five Link Up, it's free day.  I'm sure there will be many interesting topics.  
Please check out what everyone has to say!

Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC,
Mar from Mar on the Run!.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

136 Days


I can't help but sing the old Carly Simon song (or think about Heinz ketchup) when I see this word.

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting...

                                      Merriam Webster defines Anticipation as: 
  • a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen 
  • the act of preparing for something

Today, there are 136 days until my first {Gulp} marathon.  136 days!  (Not that I've been counting or anything.)  How is it possible for this to seem so close and yet so far away at the same time?  Officially, training begins in 10 days if I follow an 18 week plan.  That's a long time to anticipate something.  I've been trying to wrap my head around this, but honestly I feel a little freaked out.  I do anticipate my nerves will settle down once training begins.

Speaking of training, I haven't decided between two different plans.  I'll probably come up with a modified in-between.  I typically build my base during the summer and run five days a week.  Now, I'm worried that's too much and I might get injured.  I am "older" you know.  And yes, I'm over analyzing it.

What was I thinking with training through the entire sweltering summer?  My morning runs are already so thick and heavy with moisture.  {Sigh}  I can only anticipate after training in these conditions, the weather will break toward the end and it will feel blessedly easier. 

One thing is for certain.   It's very important to me that I anticipate an incredible experience.  As the quote says below, I will enjoy what's coming.
Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life.
Work's important, family's important, but without excitement, you have nothing.
You're cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what's coming.

Nicholas Sparks --
Three Weeks with My Brother

What type of training plan works for you?  Why?

If you've run a marathon, what's the most important thing I should know or do?

I'm linking up with Deb @ Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekend Update

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful Memorial Day.  It is getting ready to storm as I write this.  The weather didn't exactly cooperate.  Don't get me wrong, it was sunny and pleasant most of the long weekend but incredibly windy.  My plans to ski for the first time this season were put on hold.  High winds and slalom water skiing just don't mix.

The wind did keep it very comfortable outside.  I managed to get a lot of yard work done.  For those of you that don't know - it's one of my very favorite things to do.  I attempt a whimsical tropical theme in my backyard.  This is my collection of crabs (bahaha -- doesn't THAT sound awful?).  I repainted most of them last year so only one needed painting this year.  I got that taken care of.

I ran 6 miles on Saturday and 5 miles on Sunday.  Both were early morning, high humidity, just "get 'er done" type of runs.  The family came over Sunday afternoon.  We grilled chicken and sausage and swam a little, even though the water was chilly.  5 year old grandsons don't seem to notice!

My dogs were happy that I walked them every day.  Let me just say, Fitbit challenges will definitely get you off your tush.  I hit 20,000 steps on Saturday.  Woohoo.  It's addictive.  I can't wait to see my step counts when I get back to longer runs. I really appreciate the heart rate information.  I have my Fitbit set to display HR when I tap it.  I can check it at any time during my runs.  I LOVE this feature!

There is a nice and shady running/walking trail in my neighborhood park.  I usually don't run inside the park.  All of the trees seem to block the breeze so I find it cooler and easier to run the streets.  But this is where I walk the dogs.  It's a big treat for them to chase park squirrels versus their regular run-of-the-mill yard squirrels.  When it's time to leave and walk toward home, one of my dogs does her best to refuse.  She doesn't get very far with her defiance as she only weighs 14 pounds.

So that was my fairly quiet, uneventful Memorial Day weekend. 
I hope you had fun!  What did you do? 

Please visit Tara the gracious host of Weekend Update
 as well as all of the participating bloggers.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Running Country

I didn't always like Country Music.  I was raised in a somewhat musical family and learned to play classical piano.  We lived out in the boondocks.  There was no such thing as cable TV, and we watched Hee Haw on Saturday nights.  ( ... anybody ? ... )  That was all the country I was exposed to, and I wasn't very impressed.

I preferred Rock N Roll, 70s funk, and what we called "Top 40" when I was young.  (Everyone's heard of Casey Kasem, right?)  I do remember a few country songs crossing over into the Top 40 back in the 70s, but I still was not a fan.  In the early 90s, PoPo and I collected a large stash of Classic Rock CDs as we were members of a CD club.  (Ah, the good ol' days before downloads.)

When I got into running, it was important for me to have songs with just the right beat.  There weren't many rock songs with the exact cadence I wanted.  However, the Country Music genre seemed full of them.  I learned to appreciate the new artists, but as I continued to listen I realized the older music was ... um... quite the entertainment

You may be rolling your eyes.  It's OK.  I used to (PoPo still does) but, just stay with me here.  I'm not talking about the My-Dog-Just-Died or My-Mama's-In-Prison songs.   I'm talking about the fun, rather amusing, lively, foot-tapping, upbeat music.

Impulse buy after a Nashville half

Five Must Try Older Country Songs:


As an older runner, the last song really SAYS IT ALL!  (You really should check out the mullets in that video!)   I know many of you are thinking "Blech, Country Music -- Never"!  But, you know, it helps to have something different to keep running break up those long miles.  Therefore, I challenge you to have an open mind and listen to one (or more) of these songs.  You may find they are fun!  Come on, surely at least your little pinky toe will be tapping!

I'm open to all genres of music.
What's your favorite running song?   I'll listen!

I'm linking up with the awesome ladies from the DC Trifecta: 

Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC,
Mar from Mar on the Run!.

 Please visit or, even better, join in on the Friday Five.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Appreciate ...

I appreciate ...
  • a three day weekend
  • a large mug of strong morning coffee, or two
  • a sparkling sunny day
  • being in, on, or around any body of water
  • skiing on a windless day and seeing the sky's reflection on the glassy water

I appreciate ...
  • when "special dog" doesn't have an accident in the house
  • lying on a float and watching the hawks and falcons circling high in the sky 
  • when my neighbor doesn't do his yard work while I'm relaxing in my back yard
  • the view from my back porch swing
  • hearing the peacocks calling from their nearby home

I appreciate ...
  • a thank you from my kids
  • any meal I didn't have to cook
  • a freshly made bed
  • a good night's sleep
  • not worrying about anything, even if it's just for a little while 

I appreciate ...
  • what this over 50 body can do 
  • running on southern winter mornings
  • the downhill sections of my neighborhood route
  • that PoPo tolerates my running obsession and the occasional ensuing travel
  • kind and encouraging words from family, friends and virtual friends too

What is something you appreciate?

I'm linking up with Deb @ Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fitbit Fanatic

Saturday morning was the scheduled Jubilee 8k Run For Cancer.  After being sick with a nasty cold for 10 days I thought I'd be OK to give it a whirl.  My plan was to treat it like a slow training run if I didn't feel well...and I didn't.  Before I could get through the first mile, my lungs felt sore.  I guess I wasn't quite over the crud.  It was also very warm and humid so I'm not sure I could have run very fast anyway.

I also participated in the 1 mile memorial walk/run to honor those we've lost to cancer.  There have been quite a few in my family.  I was satisfied to complete 6 miles.  Admittedly, I ate a huge White Chocolate Macadamia cookie as a consolation prize.  Remember the old adage, "Feed a cold, starve a fever?"

I surely need some Fitbit bling!

I finally swapped the Fitbit I received as a Mother's Day present and started wearing it Saturday afternoon.  I love this little strip of black rubber!  I ran Sunday morning with it and checked my heart rate periodically.  I never liked the chest strap monitor than came with my Garmin.  However, the Fitbit Charge HR is just awesome!  Along with lots of other information, the app also told me how much time I spent at peak HR, aerobic HR and fat burning HR during my run.  Don't you just love all that data?  It was also a nice little surprise to receive an alert that I had already reached 10,000 steps around 9:00 in the morning!  {Score!}

I was pleased and encouraged that my 5 mile run on Sunday felt much better than the day before.  My marathon training starts in a few weeks and until then I'm still taking it easy.  No long runs!  I'm also working on strengthening my hips, but the exercises are making my hips sore (obviously a Catch 22).

It's definitely summer where I live!

I continued to work in my back yard.   I would like to have everything looking neat and tidy by the coming Memorial Day weekend.  If the weather cooperates, that is where we will be for three days...except we might hopefully skip off to the lake for a little water skiing too.   It's time!

Are you a Fitbit Fanatic?  What do you like?  Any tips?

Did anyone race this weekend?  If not, what did you do?

Please visit Tara the gracious host of Weekend Update
 as well as all of the participating bloggers.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Happy Friday!  We all know having our running gear organized saves precious time.  For me, it's about the small items.  I don't have to look very hard to find shoes - there are several pairs sitting around.   And, it's easy to find running clothes.  My problem arises from all that little stuff I've amassed.  Here's what I do so I DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.


As a wearer of headbands in all weather, I have tons of them.  Underneath, I also wear the narrow, tight bands that control flyaway hairs.  I keep both kinds together in a bin that slides easily into a drawer or onto a shelf.  It is so frustrating to search for these items when they are mixed in with everything else.  {I need my solid black headband!}

Hair Accessories

I keep all my ponytail holders together in one place.  These days, I'm wearing a double pony tail so I always need two.  I can easily select the colors I need (yes, they need to match!).  I keep a supply of my favorite barrettes in the same location for when I've just had a haircut and need that extra help.  {Oh no, she cut my hair too short!}


Arm Sleeves, Calf Sleeves and Gloves

I have a larger bin (yet short enough to slide into a drawer) for arm sleeves, calf sleeves and gloves.  These are paired items so it's important to always keep them together.  How frustrating it is to only find one of a pair!  {Now I've got to rethink my race outfit because I can't find the other pink sleeve!}


This is another paired item you always want to keep together!  I have a drawer dedicated to socks, but I will absolutely not put them in the drawer without their mate.  I've never lost a sock!  Match them together before you store them and you won't be searching when you are in a rush to get out the door.  {I can't find but one of my good rainy day socks!}

The Necessities

I keep my Garmin, Shuffle, Yurbuds, GU, Salt Stick Caps, and chargers in the same place at all times in my kitchen nook.  On a normal training run, everything I might need is right there ready to go.  My handbag lives there too, so if I'm headed out to a race I can't miss these items.  If it's a local race, I go ahead and put it all on me before I leave so I won't stress out at the race.  {Where did I put that Shuffle?}

Please tell me your tips for small running items! 

I'm linking up with the awesome ladies from the DC Trifecta: 
Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC,
Mar from Mar on the Run!.

 Please visit or, even better, join in on the Friday Five.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Little Challenges

Our lives are full of challenges.  Some are huge, unwanted, messy problems that can be out of our control.  These test us and make us strong.    Then, there are challenges that we willingly take on.  We choose them because they test our abilities.  We attack them with gusto and are duly rewarded in the end. 

Today, I'm focusing on the little every day difficulties...the minutiae of challenges I guess you could say.  

Life's Little Challenges

Finding a shirt that fits through the shoulders
Sleeping while sweating
Sleeping while not sweating
Still training my "special" dog after 7 years
Cleaning the house
Keeping up with the laundry
Hearing anything about a Kardashian
A good haircut that is still long enough for a ponytail
Broken hairs that stick in my eyes
Talking to teenagers
Listening to teenagers
Being told what to do
Opening the jar of maple almond butter
Eating too much maple almond butter
Slalom water skiing on a windy day
Running up the hill back to my house
Pinning my race bib on straight
Drinking at fluid stations without walking or choking
Taking a decent finish line photo

Actually, I could go on and on forever 

Please share with me some of your little challenges!

I'm linking up with Deb @ Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pancakes and Pedals

I am sick.  I admit it.  Usually when I don't feel well, I just plow right through.  (If I don't acknowledge it, it will just go away, right?)  It's actually pretty rare that something knocks me down.  I can thank my youngest for passing this one along.

I had already signed up for Saturday's Pancake 5k, one of my favorites.  It's in a beautiful neighborhood and they serve pancakes afterward {Hello}.  My symptoms had started Wednesday night with sore throat and fever, followed later by congestion.  Since the sore throat was gone, I thought I'd just go ahead and run.  That probably wasn't the smartest idea I've ever had.

Jennifer, Valerie, Jenny and Me

It was HOT.  I started out fairly well, but by mile 2 it was evident a good race was not happening.  It was all I could do to average a 9:20 pace, a result of a lot of walking. On top of not feeling well, I was also aware of my achy hips and the remnants of my foot blister.  They weren't bad -- happily they are both much better -- but still made their presence known.

It was great to see some running buddies.  However, many of the usual crowd were missing. Valerie won her age group and I somehow placed third in mine (out of only 12).  One advantage as you get older is there are fewer people in your age group, at least around here.

Our oldest son and his family came over and hung out in the back yard for a while.  Later, PoPo and I watched the movie The Gambler with Mark Wahlberg (yeah - don't even bother).  I then spent Saturday night coughing...all night long.  I'm pretty sure this was a direct result of my less-than-stellar decision to run the 5k.  Sunday morning, realizing my symptoms were now below the neck, I chose to ditch my beloved Sunday run. {Heavy Sigh}

Meet Bertha
After my cold medication kicked in, I took my 15 year old mountain bike - which is school bus yellow I might add - for a 12 mile spin.  I call her Bertha.  She is old, heavy, creaky, slow and doesn't like to change gears (she prefers #7).  I can't even pick Bertha up!

I had forgotten how much I enjoy bike riding.  I usually save it for when I'm injured, but I think I've selected the cross training activity for my summer marathon training.  I pedaled about as fast as Bertha would allow and had my heart rate up very nicely.   Wow - it feels so much cooler when you ride than when you run!  I also saw the cutest baby donkey on my ride.  I'll get to watch it grow.  It needs a name...

The rest of the day was spent doing as little as possible.  I napped floated in the pool for a while and then stayed in my back porch swing the rest of the afternoon.  I simply loathe being indoors on a beautiful day, sick or not.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Mother's Day weekend.  I was thrilled to receive a Fitbit, beautiful basket of flowers and much needed car wash and vacuum.  My Mother has been gone about 7 years now and I still miss her, especially at this time.


Please visit Tara the gracious host of the Weekend Update as well as all participating bloggers.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A New Dream

(This photo was taken while waiting on the ferry in Jamestown, VA)

  • Often times, acting on a dream demands you step out of your box.  It will require you to be outside of your comfort zone.  Dare to run on the other side of the path.

  • You are the one who will make it happen.  You can't follow your dreams without taking action.  Never put yourself in a position to look back and think "I wish I had ...Only you can take the first step.

  • On the road to realizing your dream, you will encounter obstacles and speed bumps.  Revisions or redirection may be required but it certainly doesn't mean you won't get there.  However, it could take a little longer than anticipated.  A slower pace may be necessary to achieve success.

  • Do not let others discourage you.  Everyone may not understand or be supportive.  That is okay.  Do not limit your dreams nor be tempted to chase someone else's.   Run your own race.

  • "We are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream" -- C.L. Lewis.  My new dream is the marathon distance.  It will be a worthy challenge.  I will finish strong.

Do you have a new dream?

Are you chasing one now?

I'm linking up with Deb @ Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Green and Blue

Green and blue.  That's how I'll summarize my weekend.  Everywhere I looked, these two colors were exploding all around me.  The weather doesn't get any better than what we had right here.

Guacamole Hostas grow so well in the shade!

It was a race free weekend for me.  It is a shame because the weather Saturday morning was IDEAL.  The closest race was 80 miles away and it just wasn't worth the drive.  I did go out for a 5 mile progression run that I felt really good about.  The afternoon was spent getting some things finally accomplished in the back yard.

 A refreshing color of blue!

PoPo and I attended a casual outdoor cocktail party Saturday evening and I'll admit that a slow 6 mile run was about all I could handle Sunday morning {too much fun - wink wink}.  It was already near 80 degrees when I started out so I kept mostly to the path in our shady neighborhood park.  However, there was a gnat reunion in progress and I came home covered in them.  I'm sure I inhaled my share as well.  Too bad you can't absorb protein through your lungs!

Sweet Potato vines make beautiful pots or baskets.

My marathon training (yikes and yippee) will not start for a while.  My plan is to not do anything crazy, no extra long runs.  This month I will focus on getting rested, healthy and finding good strengthening exercises -- especially for my hips.  {Darn you, old lady hip pain.}  I do have a couple of local, short-distance races on the May calendar.

If you lay on our deck, this is what you see.

I'm still very much aware of Buford (my blister) but thankfully he is not nearly as painful (oh look, another P word).  There is so much damaged skin that has still got to come off.  Hurry up and go away!

I know many of you were racing this weekend and I can't wait to hear about it!

Do you have any hip strengthening exercises you swear by?

Please visit Tara the gracious host of the Weekend Update as well as all participating bloggers.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Coffee Talk (May Edition)

It's Saturday morning.  Let's settle in, have coffee and chat for a while!

Over Coffee... I'd tell you this was the week of Buford the Blister.  OMG.  He appeared on the ball of my right foot during the Biggest Loser half two weeks ago (due to extreme humidity aka wet socks).  Buford was planetary.  He was healing nicely until I ran a 5k a week later in the exact same conditions.  So, this has been a rest week for me...imposed by Buford.  It's time for him to leave now.  Seriously.

Over Coffee...You'd hear how upset I was to not receive the promised Tuesday email of my lottery status into the Chicago Marathon.  My eyes were glued to the screen.  All. Day. Long.  I sadly reconciled with the fact that I did not get in.  I'll just register for the Walt Disney World Marathon before it sells out (take THAT Chicago).  On Wednesday, something told me to log into my Chicago account just to see what it said.  Huh...that would be "Approved".  Well, there you go.  Two marathons within 13 weeks.  Oh Boy.

Over Coffee...I'd tell you that we went to Grandparents Day at our grandson's school last week.  The theme was "Grandparents Rock" and the different classes sang Rock n' Roll from the 50's.  It was actually very cute and extremely well done with props and costumes.  About midway through, PoPo leans over to me and asks, "Where's the Van Halen?  The Bon Jovi?"  Bahahaha.  Yep, we were the youngest people in the room. 

Over Coffee...I'd explain how I bought this small chalkboard at Michael's the other day.  Mainly, I just thought it was cute.  I also thought it might come in handy to write down reminders, items we need to pick up, appointments, or leave a note to the family (you know -- what cell phones are for).  Apparently, PoPo didn't get it.  He left me the first note.  And, I answered.

What would you tell me over coffee?

Please visit our hosts and join too!