Friday, March 31, 2017

Runfessions with a Side of Coffee

Welcome to Runfessions!

Welcome to Coffee Talk!

Today I'm runfessing as we chat over coffee. There's Peppermint Mocha creamer in my Dark Magic coffee and I'm ready to spill my guts.

We've just returned from a long road trip to Monarch Mountain, Colorado where we snow skied and went dog sledding among other things.  So, that's what I'll be yacking about.  Here goes...

I'd Runfess...

Because it was relatively warm in Colorado, I didn't wear a ski jacket -- mainly because mine looks hideous.  I wore running tops instead.  On our last day, I wore my red 2016 Disney Marathon shirt.  One of the ski lift operators was a 90 year old Willie Nelson lookalike {kudos for still working dude}.  He wanted to know how long that marathon was.  I was nice...  I swear!  I have to give him major props for knowing, and telling me, where the name Marathon came from!

Now that I think about it, that marathon was 27.6 miles long!

Over Coffee...

I'd tell you how very fun and interesting our dogsled ride was.  It was an adventure and experience I'll never forget, in more ways than one.  You see, you have to be able to roll with the to speak.  The dogs like to poop while pulling.   Uh-huh.  I'm actually in awe that they could do that while pulling hundreds of pounds.  Seriously, could you?  Anyway, the blanket they gave me to keep warm came in handy as a poop protector.   Appropriately, it was brown.

Some of the dogs wore socks!

I'd Runfess...

We had some Griswold-esque family bonding time on our trip.  On our way home, we were stuck in a snowstorm.  Yes -- we were trapped on the interstate due to a jack-knifed semi and its ensuing pile-up of cars near the NM/CO border.  Apparently, there was no way for law enforcement to get the cars off the interstate because the exit ramps were all blocked by other vehicles stranded by the snow.   After sitting 5 hours on the interstate (ugh!) and then being redirected twice due to more road closures (argh!!), we only made it 200 miles in 13 hours.  It was a loonnngggg day.  My true runfession would be how I used the "facilities" but I'll spare you those details.

Our interstate view!

Over Coffee...

I'd tell you how we see the strangest things on road trips.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd find my namesake restaurant in Arkansas.  Of course we pulled in to eat!  And then we pulled right back out.  Too sketchy. 

I'd Runfess...

I'd forgotten how hard it is to run at altitude (at least for this low lander).  I ran eight miles at 8000 feet on what I thought was a mostly flat dirt road where our rental house was located.  I had to stop frequently to catch my breath.  It was quite humbling.  When I checked my Garmin later, it had recorded 430 feet of elevation gain.  I guess when you have mountain peaks all around, everything else appears flat.  I'm glad the upcoming Utah Valley Half is not nearly as high!  And downhill!

The view from my run.

What would you tell me over coffee?

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

I'm also linking with the lovely Ultimate Coffee Date hostesses Coco and Deborah!
Be sure to stop in for coffee on Saturday and chat with everyone.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Rocky Mountain High (WW # 86)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
This link was created to support active women.  
JOIN IN!  Click HERE  to see complete rules.

Tricia and I are thrilled that new ladies continue to join us here on the Weekly Wrap.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week and check some of the other posts.  You may just find the connection, support or motivation you've been searching for!

But the Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it raining fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullaby
Rocky mountain high (Colorado)
--  John Denver

Our Colorado trip was fantastic.  From the round house we stayed in beside the river; to skiing on the slopes where the locals folks do; to dog sledding through the San Isabel National Forest while it was snowing; and everything in between.  Fantastic.   But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

This was a road trip.  My sister lives halfway to our Colorado destination.  Trust me, spending two days in a car is not an ideal situation but it makes it all worthwhile to be able to spend time with her...both going and coming.  We ran together in a park full of pecan trees near her home on a very warm and muggy morning.

In Colorado, we rented a round house with stunning 360 degree views of the Rocky Mountain.  Every morning, the sunrise would touch the snow capped peaks and turn them pink for just a few moments.

What a way to start the day!

The house was also nestled beside the Arkansas river.
I captured this at sunset.

Day One.  It felt great to be back on the slopes.

Another gorgeous day for snow skiing!

The skiing on Monarch Mountain is always fantastic. The base elevation is around 11,000 feet and 12,000 at the summit.  Even in this warm spring weather, they still had over 80 inches of snow.  No lift  lines.  No hoopla.  No commercialism.  Just skiing.  {And Starbucks...always appreciated!}

The nice posed shot...
The fun shot... (the photographer said jump!).

We took the opportunity to check an item off our bucket list by dog sledding through the San Isabel National Forest.  The guys at Monarch Dog Sled Rides did an outstanding job, allowing us to meet and play with all of the dogs before sledding.   It started snowing during our tour.  You couldn't ask for a better experience. 

My husband and youngest son took turns "driving" (with a guide).

I felt the daily snow skiing was more than ample cross training, so I only ran one day while in Colorado.  At 8000 feet of altitude, 8 miles was quite the chore but the view was incredible.   And now...{heavy sigh}...back to the real world. 

And that's a wrap!

Do you prefer an active vacation or one of rest? 

What's the next item on your bucket list?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Plain Vanilla Week (WW # 85)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
This link was created to support active women.  
JOIN IN!  Click HERE  to see complete rules.

Tricia and I are thrilled that new ladies continue to join us here on the Weekly Wrap.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week and check some of the other posts.  You may just find the connection, support or motivation you've been searching for!

Monday = Bike Trainer 15 Miles
Tuesday = Ran 4 Miles
Wednesday = Strength
Thursday  = Ran 7 Miles
Friday = Bike Trainer 15 Miles
Saturday = Strength
Sunday = Ran 4 Miles

Ran = 15
Cycled = 30
Strength = 2


This week was nothing special, just a plain vanilla week.  Since I've recently returned to a regular running schedule, I'm trying my best not to would be my typical obsessive nature.  With a few spring half marathons on the calendar however, I will have to up my mileage very soon. 

Our house guest this week.

Our college kid was home for the week.   He was babysitting a dog for a friend, so naturally so were we. We had a doggie zoo.  At least that's the way it felt with three neurotic dogs underfoot.  He prepared supper a few nights for me.  What a treat!  On Pi day, it was quiche.   I'll also give props to our at-home kid for making Super Hero Muffins.  He loves eating them for breakfast. 
My first run after springing forward.   With most of it in complete 
darkness, I wanted to make certain I was visible.       Nailed it!  

I ran my longest run (7 miles) since the Disney Marathon on Thursday morning.  It was one of the coldest days we've had during an extremely mild winter -- 29 degrees without any wind.  {I'd really enjoy a few more of those, Mother Nature!}  It was too annoying to look at my watch under the layers, thumb-holes and gloves, so I ran by feel.  I could have kept going and going.  Alas, work duty was calling.  I was surprised to see that I negative split the miles.

A green sparkly trainer ride for St. Patrick's Day.
After whining pleading talking about returning to Colorado to snow ski in the Rockies, that's where I'll be by the time you read this.   I plan to bore you with lots of pictures from the ski slopes next week, although I know many of you are so over the snow!  I also will be checking off a bucket list item while we are there.  You'll have to tune in next week to see what that will be.

This will be our home away from home.   Pretty cool, huh?

Since we are staying in the middle of nowhere, I'm not sure if I'll have reliable (if any) internet reception.  I'll be reading your posts, but please forgive me if you don't see a comment (so hard to do on my phone!). 

And that's a wrap!
Have you been to the Rockies?
Do you snow ski or snow board?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Montgomery (WW # 84)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
This link was created to support active women.  
JOIN IN!  Click HERE  to see complete rules.

Tricia and I are thrilled that new ladies continue to join us here on the Weekly Wrap.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week and check some of the other posts.  You may just find the connection, support or motivation you've been searching for!

Monday = Rest
Tuesday = Bike Trainer 15 Miles + Strength
Wednesday = Ran 4 Miles
Thursday  = Ran 3 Miles + Strength
Friday = Rest
Saturday = Ran 5k Race + Ran 2.5 Miles
Sunday = Strength


My dear friend and co-host Tricia and I signed up for the Montgomery Half Marathon last fall when it was dirt cheap ($30 maybe?).  Since I'd just recently returned to running, I decided to transfer to the 5k and not risk injury to my newly healed foot.  I thought I'd feel bummed about that, but actually it felt good to be able to race and be back at what I love most...regardless of the distance.

The porta-potties are ready!   Are we?

I had not seen Tricia since our HoLottaFun trip in December and therefore was delighted to see her Friday afternoon.  She sweetly brought me the cutest green braided "RUN" bracelet {Thank You!}.  We hit the expo at the Biscuits Baseball stadium where they kindly swapped my race distance.  We received a fleece blanket this year, which was a nice addition. There were few vendors and we were on our way quickly.  We dined at a favorite Mexican restaurant and chatted all evening.  We had a lot of catching up and Weekly Wrap business to attend to.  I also spent way too much time obsessing over what to wear for the not-warm-but-not-cold weather forecast. 
A very nice full-sized fleece blanket.

Race morning dawned chilly at a windy 46 degrees.  I saw Tricia off for the half and proceeded to warm up for the 5k which started 15 minutes later.   The course is difficult starting uphill and continuing that way for over a mile, with other rollers after.   My only plan was to stay conservative until the initial big hill was over. After being back to running for only 2 weeks, I had not yet attempted running at 5k pace.  

Beth and I were happy to both place in our age groups.

There were over 500 people in the 5k and that energy felt fantastic.  It propelled me up the first hill fairly strong.  I was slower -- as I expected, but I was able turn it up a bit and ran a pleasing 8:48 and 8:49 for miles 2 and 3.  Afterwards, it was fun catching up with running friends I hadn't seen in a while.  Since I had told Tricia I would come back and run the last miles of the half with her, I could wait no longer on the 5k awards ceremony.  I asked my friend Beth to receive my award if I happen to win anything. 

Congratulations to Tricia for another strong half marathon finish!

I ran the course in reverse (all uphill) until I caught up with Tricia late in mile 11.  She looked really strong even though she indicated the whole race had felt tough.  I did my best to talk about nonsense and distract her.  But, I'm not sure she was having any of it.    Just before the finish, I cut through the stadium in order to capture her finish picture.  

I was thrilled to discover I had placed first in my age group.  We hung out a while and ate the yummy shrimp and grits breakfast they offered, complete with eggs, hash browns, and a ginormous biscuit.  There was the obligatory Starbucks on the way home too.  We toasted our success with Mimosas and spent quality girl time in my back porch swing. Later, we hit the spa for pedicures.  PoPo took us to Aw Shucks for dinner with a live band.  We ended the long day with nightcaps downtown, chilling around an outdoor fire pit and listening to live Reggae music.   

Ricotta Cheese Pancakes.  Delicious!

Before Tricia left for home Sunday, we brunched at First Watch.  I had the most delicious Ricotta Cheese pancakes topped with Lemon Curd.  It was well worth the 30 minute wait to get in.   After a little more sightseeing, Tricia and I sadly said our farewells. 


Have you transferred from a half to a 5k at the last minute?

Ricotta Cheese pancakes?  Yay or Nay?

Have you received a fleece blanket at a race?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Welcome, March! (WW # 83)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
This link was created to support active women.  
JOIN IN!  Click HERE  to see complete rules.

Tricia and I are thrilled that new ladies continue to join us here on the Weekly Wrap.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week and check some of the other posts.  You may just find the connection, support or motivation you've been searching for!


For various reasons, I was glad to see February come to an end.  Most of the month was spent riding my bike and although I had some incredibly beautiful long rides -- I was ready to get back on my feet.  March is such a beautiful month here as flowers begin blooming and trees begin bursting with that lime green color.  It will be a fresh new month of running for me, even if it has to be on a scaled back basis.   I will continue to cycle as I increase my running miles.

Mailbox greetings after running four miles.
March came in with warm temps and 100% humidity! 
(Tank by Sarah Marie Design Studio.)

I seriously had no clue educators were celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday this week.  Somehow, very appropriately, I wrote a Suess-like poem for Deb's Wednesday Word linkup.  Check out HoHo Be Nimble.  Please add your own lines and lets keep the poem going. 

 Two days later it was 35 degrees for this 4 mile progression run.
Returning to running is not easy.  I've done it before and, odds are, I'll do it again.  Every twinge, niggle, or bit of soreness sends me into a tailspin.  It's a roller coaster ride that I'd rather not be on.   My podiatrist advised that my right foot may be uncomfortable for up to a year.  {Ummm, excuse me?}  So right now, I'm coming to terms with what will be the normal expected discomfort and not the bone shattering sure death of my right foot ( <<  humor).  Suffice it to say -- it is a process.

While waiting for the temperature to warm up Saturday morning for a ride, I decided to turn my overripe bananas into breakfast.  Using equal parts wheat flour and oats while adding, zucchini, pecans and chocolate chips to my usual banana bread recipe made for delightful muffins.   They didn't last long.

Bike selfies...still a challenge!

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day for riding and yard work.  I stayed out until dark trimming and raking. It never ends.  I got out early for a six mile "long run" on Sunday hoping to spend another sunny afternoon in the yard (that didn't happen).  It did seem I had less discomfort after this run, so I'm calling that...progress.

March = Azaleas at my house

Weekly Recap:

3 Runs = 14 miles
2 Bike Rides  = 40 miles
Hip/Glute Strength Sessions = 2
Yoga for Backs = 2 Times

And that's a wrap!

What are you looking forward to in March?

Do you tweak your recipes or go by the book?

I'm also linking with Ilka and Angela this week.  
Be sure to check out this great link up!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

HoHo Be Nimble

When I saw today's word of course I gave thought
To old Jack Be Nimble...jumping fire's what he sought.

Hey, what on earth would make someone prove
That fire on their bum would be a good move?

The yogis out there can certainly relate
Nimble is required to get those moves straight.

But what can I say about nimble today?
Do I think I am graceful?  Ha!  Noooo way.

Remember I fell, in Chicago no less.
That proves my graceful hot mess.

I waterski, I cycle, I love to run too.
But nimble is not a word I would choose.

Do I think am I quick or light on my feet?
No to those two, but I do still compete.

Nimble can also be applied to the mind.
The way you respond, sharp witted or kind.

Nimble can mean how quickly you adapt
To struggles, to injuries -- Yep, I've done that!

HoHo be nimble, HoHo be quick
Get back to your running and quit writing shtick.

OK my friends, just keep it going!  
Your own lines I hope we will soon be knowing.

I'm linking with the lovely Deb from Deb Runs for Wednesday Word.
Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!

I'm also linking for the very first time with Running Coaches' Corner. 
Please give these wonderful ladies some love!

Hop on over and visit RachelSusie, Lora and Debbie!