Friday, September 22, 2017

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall (Friday Five Edition)

Today is the first day of fall.  I thought I would look back to see the highlights of the summer.  The sad thing is, I had to really think hard to get five things.  I'll have to try better next summer.

1. One of the main reasons I am having a hard time thinking of highlights of the summer is because of work.  One, I don't get paid time off, so it kinda is hard to justify to take off a day or there to do something fun.  Don't get me wrong, I will be taking time off, but I feel I really need to justify it now.  I also go thrown into a huge project the month before go-live.  Meaning I was working tons of hours.  Good for the wallet, bad for fun extra things.

I also got a new job title of Scrum Master.  Basically that's a glorified Program Manager in the Agile world.  I might do a post to explain all of that in a week or two.  It's a position I have been wanting to get for the last year and a half, so I'm glad that I finally have the title.  I still work with my original team doing the things I did, but I also joined a second team as the Scrum Master.  I know it sounds like I'm doing two jobs, but it's worked out.

2. I decided that I needed to take some time off from running.  So at the beginning of the summer I got myself a new bike.  This was something I have been talking about for the last two years.  It was about time I got off my butt and get one so that I could enjoy some time on it.  And I did.  Minus a few weeks when work was crazy and my IT band really was bothering me.

I was able to get out for many beautiful sunrise rides.

I mean a lot.

Really I should say tons.

3. With this new bike, I did a triathlon.  It had been a couple years since I had done one.  On top of that, I was very under-trained.  But getting out there and doing it, I forgot how much I enjoyed it.  The training can be hard to fit in, but even with very little, I was able to put everything I had out on the course.  Before the race I swore I wasn't going to sign up for this one again.  After, I knew I had to as I love that course.

4. We have been having a friend stop by the back door almost every day before summer started.  She came by every day and just sat at the door.

My cats loved when she came by.  They would just sit there and watch her.  Sometimes they would claw and hiss at the windows, but mostly they all just stared at each other.  I ended up naming her Duibhe (Doobie), which is black in Gaelic.  All of my cats have Irish names, and since I didn't know if the kitty was a boy or girl, I thought this would work.  Since then my neighbor had said she believes the cat is a girl.  I don't quite know how she knows, but she does a lot of work with cats.

5. As summer hit, it was getting very hot in my upstairs.  Every summer I hate being upstairs during the day because I have two skylights in my bedroom.  With full sunshine in there for most of the day, it was very hard to keep the upstairs cool.  I had heard of shades for your skylights a few years back and kept meaning to get some.  But, like my bike, I'm very good at putting things off.  I don't know why as it was the best thing for my house.

What did you do this past summer?  Anything fun?  Anything productive?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Monday, September 18, 2017

Weekly Update (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

This was a busy week for me, especially in the work out realm.

Monday I really didn't have anything planned on my calendar.  I had two good bike rides over the weekend and I really needed to give my legs a rest.  I could tell during my stretching and rolling that my quads and glutes needed extra attention with a couple of knots in them.

Tuesday I went to my regular FT class.

Wednesday I actually went for a run.  This was the first time I had in 2 1/2 months.  I know my relay partners are saying "Finally!"  I did 2 1/2 easy miles before work.  I kept it light and did a 30:30 walk run.  I didn't push myself and I didn't slack off and walk any extra.  It was good.  I kept thinking my run time was set to 15 seconds instead of 30, so that's probably a good sign.

Thursday I went to my regular FT class before work.  The gym at my job offers classes to take as well.  I have taken a couple over the last month and they added a new one on Thursdays.  It's a Core Blast class.  Basically 30 minutes of nothing but abs.  The class lasted about 25 minutes and I felt it as we engaged our abs and lower back the whole time.  While we were doing some leg lifts the knot in my quad from Monday started to cramp.  Oww!  I didn't feel soar after (not even my quad), but I know it was a good workout.  My core is something that always needs to be worked on.

Friday I went on a second run for the second time.  I did the same mileage and run/walk times from Wednesday.  My IT band was a little tight, but nothing that is no different from when it bothers me before so I wasn't worried about it.  I did notice that both these runs were not any slower then what I had done last summer when I was heart rate training.  So I really don't think I've lost too much taking the break over the summer.  There was a beautiful moon out shining through the clouds.  It's just weird getting a whole run in before there is any hint of the sun to come up.
I had decided to do the TRX class again at the gym at work.  I had enjoyed it the first time I took it as I feel it really worked my core.  While it was still a fun class, I don't feel my abs like I did after the first class.  So I probably will try to take one of the two classes a week to make sure I get some extra core work in.  My quad was bothering me a bit during this class.  Not bad, but it was talking to me some.

Friday night I took my friend out to a nice dinner for his birthday.  He loves Texas de Brazil, so it was a lot of meat.  I can't eat red meat, so I fill up on their yummy sausages and some wonderful goat cheese.  We then made our way to the Apple store as I wanted to check out their AirPods.  I wanted some truly wireless earphones and I wanted to make sure they would fit properly.  Well they did and they were comfortable so I bought a pair.  I'll post something about them in a couple weeks after I have a chance to use them and run in them.

This past weekend I wanted to try to get at least one bike ride in.  The weather would be nice for riding in the morning.  Saturday I knew my quad was still a little acky to head out.  And the only group going out was a little faster then I'm used to, so I knew I didn't want to push it.  I set my alarm to head out with a group on Sunday morning and when I woke up my quad hurt more then it had in the last few days.  So I decided to not go and stretch and roll it some more.  I decided to use that time to start looking into getting some Podcasts onto my iPod.  I've listened to Podcasts every so often, but it was never a regular thing.  I decided to add a few to my iPod to listen to during my runs.

How is your training going?  Do you listen to Podcasts?  If so any recommendations?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Five Reasons I'm Trying to Love the Fall (Friday Five Edition)

I am one of those that does not like to see the summer over with.  There are many reasons I don't like the fall.  I don't like the cold, I don't like the shorter days, and I think I have repressed memories of going back to school.  I don't have kids to be excited that they are going back to school.  I don't drink coffee to be excited about all the fall flavors.  I hate wearing layers of clothes, I just want to put on shorts, shirt and sandals an head out.  I won't get a chance to bike ride as often or any during the colder months.  Instead of being sad about it, I thought I would come up with five reasons to love the fall.  I hope this helps others that are already missing the summer days.

Cooler Running - There is about 2-4 weeks of perfect running weather each spring and fall.  I still don't have to think about what I need to wear for the temperature and I'm not a sweaty mess the second I step out the door.  If I could have every run in the mid-50's I'd run all the time.  There are also the prospects of a lot of fun fall races.  This weather has even motivated me to get out and run after 3 months of not running.

Open Windows - I love to have my windows open.  If I could have them open all day every day I would.  But like running, there are only a few weeks each spring and fall that I can do that.  My kitties love it even better.

Fall Foliage - If you have seen my Instagram, you will know I love beautiful nature pictures.  The colors of the trees in the fall just fascinate me.  Sometimes I take a day trip up to Charlottesville to see all the colors in the mountains.  And something I have been doing since I was a child was stepping on leaves.  I still love to hear that crunch.

Chili - I don't do a lot of cooking, but the one thing I make and make well is chili.  I do a few different types of chili, but I love making my White Chili.  Instead of ground beef, I will cook up some chicken and cut it up to little pieces and then add the beans, spices, and tomatoes.  I will also add corn and rice.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

TV - While TV has evolved over the years, I still have excitement over the new shows and episodes that will come across the tubes.  I don't have cable anymore and I don't watch a lot of TV weekly, but I still look forward to hearing about the new shows and putting them in my Netflix or Hulu queues.  And with the weather colder and the nights darker, there is nothing better then snuggling under a blanket on the couch.

And each day that we get through fall brings us closer to the Holidays!!

Why do you like the fall?  What else can I be excited for?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Monday, September 11, 2017

Weekly Update (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

It was a busy week for me.  Not necessarily running, but I did think about it.  lol

Monday started off with Labor Day.  I had the day off so I decided to power wash my deck.  It's been at least six years since I had done anything with it and it really was starting to show!!  It took me forever as it was just ick.  But even though it wasn't perfect when I was finished, it looked a heck of a lot better.

I didn't take a before power washing photo, so this is the best one I could find to show how icky it was.

This is the after power washing and before staining.

Wednesday I planned on getting up and running.  My alarm went off when I was in the deepest sleep ever and I couldn't function, let alone get out of bed.  So I reset my alarm for another hour and went back to sleep.  I tell you I just couldn't wake up at all throughout the day.  I felt like a zombie and couldn't wait for bedtime.

By 9 PM I was dead asleep and an hour later I woke up to go to the bathroom.  This really isn't out of the ordinary, but not a second after I got back into bed I had to go pee again.  I knew right then and there that things felt off and I probably had a UTI (bladder infection).  I've only had one before and from that experience I know it gets bad very fast.  Every time I made it out of the bathroom I had to go right back in.  I knew it was going to be a long night.  I searched for a Doc in a Box (Urgent Care) that was open, but none were after 10 PM, so it's either I suffer and not sleep all night, or head to the ER.  I decided to head to the ER, especially since things were getting worse and all I wanted to do was sleep.

My trip to the ER wasn't bad.  It was actually fairly quick.  They took a urine sample and I sat in a room playing games on my iPad.  They came back and verified that I did have a UTI and gave me a prescription.  The nice thing is that they tested my sample with the antibiotic that they were going to give me to verify it will work with that medicine.  I asked if their pharmacy was still opened, and of course it wasn't.  But they were nice enough to give me my first dose.  And within an hour I was feeling much better.  I did decide to find a 24 hour pharmacy because the ones near me don't open up till after I'm at work and I didn't want to miss a dose.  The antibiotics did their job and the next day I was feeling much better.

I was planning on maybe running on Friday morning but I can't remember why I didn't.  But I didn't get out there.

Saturday I woke up really early to go for a bike ride.  My riding buddy had been out for like 6 weeks with back pain.  He was back and ready to ride a slow short route.  A few of us headed out for an early ride to watch the sunrise as we rode.  While it was a little chillier then our past rides, it was still a lot of fun.  We ended up getting 33 miles in, which is good for me.

That afternoon I started staining my deck.  I didn't want to do the spindles but when I really looked at them and realized it probably was at least 8 years since I have done them, I realized that I had to stain them too.  I only got the outside of the deck and about a quarter of the inside spindles done.

Sunday I woke up to join my riding buddy again for another 33 mile sunrise ride.  Even though others said they would be there, it was just the two of us.  Which is good as we ride well together.  As the sun was just starting to come up and it was a bit dusky out I saw a deer run across the street in front of us.  It was amazing to see.  A Jeep was heading toward us and all the sudden I saw a second deer jump right in front of the Jeep.  I gasped as I saw it happen and then a loud bang happened.  My riding buddy had not seen the deer, and just heard me gasp and a bang and he thought something happened to me, but he saw the lights on my bike right behind him.  I told him that we would stop at the next intersection as I couldn't bare to see what happened.  I love animals, I love nature, and to see something like that just made me so sick to my stomach.

We continued on with our ride.  I just kept seeing and hearing it over and over in my head.  Heading back we realized that we would have to take the same road.  I kept taking deep breaths and mentally preparing myself for what we might see.  When we came around the curve there was nothing on the road and the Jeep was off on the shoulder.  There wasn't any glass or blood anywhere.  So two things could have happened.  Whoever hit it, took it home for the meat.  Or what I am going to assume happened is that the deer was stunned, but OK, and went off after his friend.

That afternoon I finished up my deck.  The wood was so dry that I felt like I just needed to pour the stain on it.  It took four gallons when it normally only takes 2.  But it was done and I was proud of all the work I put into it.  

Morning after staining, but still a little wet.  May need another coat.

**Edit - I took this second picture after work. It's looking so much better. I don't think I'll need the second coat.

Later that evening my cat's little friend, Duibhe (Doobie), came to visit.  I was hoping that she wouldn't step all over my wet deck, but she did.  And stayed there for awhile.  It doesn't look like she left any paw prints anywhere.
You can sort of see the white area where it is so wet pretty wet.

So that was my busy week.  I'm hoping it's a little calmer next week.  And maybe get a run in.  The races on my calendar are coming up very quickly.

Did you have a good week?  If you had Labor Day off, did you do anything fun?  What was the most traumatic thing that happened to you on a bike ride or run?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Weekly Update (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

The last couple of weeks have been busy but boring.  Here are the highlights.

I know it's been a couple of weeks since the Solar Eclipse, but I haven't posted about it.  I ordered glasses the Wednesday before and they were supposed to be in my mail by Saturday.  Well Saturday they didn't come.  I stalked the tracking information and it said it would be in my mail on Monday.  At first I was just going to go home at lunch and work from home while I watched it.  But I changed my mind and ran home and went back to work.  I'm glad I went back as a few of us went out and I passed my glasses around.  There were about 50 people out just in front of our building experiencing the beauty of the eclipse.  We had about an 86% eclipse and at the height it looked like a crescent moon.  It was amazing to see such a rare thing.  It has me thinking of traveling to see the full eclipse when it comes back to the US in 7 years.

I've biked a couple times a week for the past month.  It's good to get out there on the bike.  Most have been early morning sunrise rides.

I had an annual check-up for me, my car, and one of my cats.  Of course all separately.  The car passed it's inspection as did I.  Aiden did well for his but he was so scarred that he peed on me while I was trying to comfort him.  Then he hid under the chair and pooped.  The poor thing.  I got home and he still loved me, so all was good.

I was supposed to take a couple days off this week to take a class to get a certificate for work.  They canceled it the afternoon before and now I have to find another to take.  It was disappointing as I was looking forward to the class.

My mom started back teaching school for the fall.  We now have a nurse come by and stay with my dad while she is working.  Thursday I got a call saying my dad snuck away from her.  They did find him as I was on my way to their house.  I decided to stay with them till my mom was done with her class and came home.  My dad did seem agitated, but calmed down a little while I was there.  Apparently he keeps looking for my mom and will take the dog out for a walk looking for her.  Though he has letting the dog off the leash, so a neighbor will be taking her while my mom is not home.  But even without the dog he will go out for a walk looking for my mom.  So the nurse and I took turns going for a short walk with him till my mom got home.  My mom now has gotten bells for the door and is ordering a GPS finder to stick in his wallet.

My work has classes we can take at the gym.  I took a TRX one on Friday and thought it was good.  I didn't think I worked out too hard, but two days later my abs are still hurting every time I move or breath hard.  I will defiantly take the class again.

I finished up another month with a buns challenge.  I haven't thought about September yet, so I may not do this month's challenge.  I really liked this challenge and will probably add in a few things to my daily stretching.

I've caught up on the latest season of Game of Thrones.  I was disappointed that it was only 7 episodes instead of 10, but still another really good season.

Does your animal get scarred at the vet?  Have you taken a class that you could feel two days later and looked forward to taking it again? 

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Weekly Update (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

This probably will be a nice short update.

This weekend was our project deployment for the project that has been taking all my time for the last month.  It went fairly smooth, but a lot of time and a lot of moving parts.  I'm hoping after this week I'll be getting my life back.

I actually got out on my bike on Sunday.  I have only been on it a couple times in the past month and I have missed it a lot.  It turned out to be a 38 mile ride which was a little more (and a little faster) then I should have done considering the little I have been on my bike.  My quads were trashed.  Not like they were pulled and can't walk, just that I really couldn't have done much more biking.  I took it to the limit.  My biking partner is having back issues so and the people that ride early morning are a bit faster then me, but I still plan on getting out on Wednesday with them.

The Solar Eclipse is today.  I'm super stoked about it.  I was supposed to get glasses delivered to me on Saturday but they won't get to my house till today.  I'm hoping that my manager will let me head home at lunch and then work from home (minus the time I will be watching the eclipse).  I can't wait.

So that's really about it for this past week.  Just work, work, work.  Fun times.

Are you excited about the Solar Eclipse today?  

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Weekly Update (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

It's been another not so exciting week for me.

Because of work, I haven't been able to do much of anything.  There were days when I had things that had to get done, like laundry and grocery shopping, and I just didn't have the energy, but still had to get them done.  Days like those, I wish I had a wife to do the domestic things. :)

I still haven't had a chance to get out on my bike.  Between rain and work, things just haven't worked out.  Though I'm thinking about going for a run next week.  Maybe.

The new position that I'm slowly transferring to has gotten under full swing.  I had some people question my authority of the new position, but I stood my ground and had management backup.  Things are starting to go really well with it now.  I enjoy the roll and have really missed it.

Even though I had to work some this weekend, I didn't plan anything social.  I really wanted a couple days to just decompress and sit on my couch and be a sloth.  I decided to get a monthly subscription of HBO and catch up on some shows from the last year.  I got through the last season of "Silicone Valley" and the first season of "West World".

"Silicon Valley" is just a fun show.  Though I do get tired of right when you think things are great, something bad happens.  Not just bad, the worst thing that could happen at that moment.  I understand needing the ups and downs, but it's getting really predictable on when something horrible is going to happen to them.  Like every third episode.  But it's still a fun watch.

"West World" gave me mixed feelings.  I do enjoy sci-fi and the thought of where we could go with our technology but the moral aspects of AI bothers me a bit.  There have been many stories out there of AI being "alive", from "Short Circuit" to "I, Robot", but this takes it to the next level.  I think it would be so much fun to have a world to go into to go on an adventure.  Like if I were to join "The Lord of the Rings" or "Alice in Wonderland".  But then there is the moral aspect of, if we make AI to look and act as another human, is it OK to rape, maim, and murder them knowing that they are just robots?  Is it any different then video games?  It's no wonder they rebelled in "Terminator". :)  I also have to say that their opening credits feels a lot like the "Game of Thrones" opening credits.  Similar music and a slow movement of different things.

Over the weekend, in Charlottesville, there was a lot of violence.  Charlottesville isn't very far from here, maybe an hour and a half.  It's a great town that I like to visit.  It's a university town with a lot of wineries near by.  What's not to love?  Like in Richmond, they have confederate statues of southern soldiers which are in debate on if they should be taken down.  A white supremacy group decided to protest the removal of the statue.  They have rights to their own views, but when those views turn violent it just makes me sad.  It just hurts my heart that someone could hate someone so much without even knowing them.

Have you been watching any shows?  How is your training going?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.