Tuesday, March 19, 2019

My Latest Training Schedule (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

My first race of the year is coming up in a few weeks.  I started training back in January.  Because my knee is still in a fragile state, I have been very careful with how much I run and how fast.

The race I'm getting ready for is the Ukrop's 10k, which is on April 13th.  Because I have had many relapses with my knee, I wanted to make sure that I did this training right.  I really didn't want to have to work up to a 10k at this point, but I have done this race for many years.  In fact this will be my 10th year running it (not in a row).  And it's the third race to complete the circle.

What is good about taking it slow on my training is that this race is the most friendly walker's race I have ever participated in.  They have several waves that are dedicated to just walkers.  My friend last year led her blind friend to finish the 10k.  I know if I have issues and just need to walk it, I will be in good company.

I pushed it too much during a 5k last fall, and at the beginning of the year I was ready to start running on a regular basis, mostly 2 1/2 mile runs a couple times a week.  I kept it slow with a 30s run / 1m walk.  At the end of January I knew I was in a good place, so I started to look to create a training schedule.  Looking that I had 3 months and knew it would take me awhile to feel comfortable with upping my mileage, I had a decision to make.  I couldn't both up my mileage and make my walk breaks shorter.  Because Ukrop's is so walker friendly, my decision was easy.  Up my mileage slowly and keep my run/walk time where it is.  This will be one of my slower 10ks, but I will be happy if I can just finish with no pain.

So far it hasn't been bad.  Over the first few weeks, I got my runs to 3 miles, 3 times a week.  I started a new cross training class (post to come), which gave me a couple set backs with soar muscles, and being just so tired the next day.  My long run last week was 4 miles, with no pain, so that was huge.  This week I'll attempt 5 and next week 6.  Then a drop back week and then the race.  It's really weird to be excited about a long run of 4 miles. 

My next race will probably be the King's Dominion Run and Ride 5k.  I did it last year and loved it.  With the 2 months between the races, I want to keep to low mileage, and work my way to 30s run / 30s walk.  Even if I just get to 30s run / 45s walk, I'll be happy.  I like my 2 1/2 to 3 mile loops in my neighborhood.  With the weather getting nicer and the days longer, an early morning run before work is a good way to start the day.  And sometimes I'll even see a beautiful sunrise.

Then after that, there are no plans.  Along with a run or two, I'd like to get some biking in throughout the summer.  I do kind of miss having a race a month, like I did last year, but this is defiantly what my knee needs right now.

What's your race calendar like this spring?  How are you training for it?

I’m linking up with with Join Kookyrunner and Zenaida for the Tuesday Topics Link-up.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Happy International Woman's Day (Friday Five Edition)

So my life has been so extremely boring lately.  But I wanted to wish all the wonderful, powerful woman out there a Happy International Woman's Day!

International Woman's Day celebrates the differences and similarity in all of the woman around the world.  It honors the achievements of woman, weather it's social or cultural or political.  Bringing woman together to share their strength in different aspects of life.

I learned that International Woman's Day has been happening for over a century.  The first gathering was in 1911 in different countries in Europe.  This is around the time of the Suffragists movements around the world.  Learn more about IWD here.

I have achieved a lot in my life and a lot of that has to do with the strong role model my mother showed me while growing up.  She had a high paying accounting job when I was younger and quit it to be able to go back to school to get her PhD so that she could teach accounting at a University.  That was a huge gamble with two young children, but she has her dream job that she loves and does not want to retire any time soon since she loves it so much. 

Do you have a strong role model in your life that showed you that you could do anything?

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Finding Joy in Everyday Moments (Friday Five Edition)

This year hasn't been the best.  My dad pasted away, we had a lot of layoffs at work (not me, but some great coworkers), and a friend of mine found out that after more than 5 years his cancer is back.  Even with all of this, I am trying to focus on the good things that can happen this year.  And then I look through my videos on my phone and remember I have moments like this to smile at. 

Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.

Friday, January 25, 2019

My First Mattress Buying Experience (Friday Five Edition)

I have a confession.  I've had the same bed that I slept in when I was in high school.  I know you are thinking, oh that's just a few years ago, but no, it was quite a bit more then a few years ago.  The reason I had not needed a new one since then is that it was a waterbed.

I was born in the 1970's when waterbeds were popular.  My parents had one.  And my parents bought me my first one when I had grown out of my crib.  Basically I have been sleeping in one my whole life.

Waterbeds do start to sag like normal mattresses because of evaporation.  But unlike normal mattresses, which you need to replace, I just need to add water every so often.  Over the last year I had noticed that while there was no actual holes, water was being lost quicker than the normal evaporation.   I knew it was time to do something about it.

I did look into another waterbed bladder to just replace mine, but there are just a few online retailers and each site looked a little like the other and just felt a little bit scammy.  I then decided to go the traditional route.  And man are there a lot of choices out there and with no true experience on a mattress I had no idea where to start.

A couple years ago, a friend told me about a time where she went to a mattress store and she lay on this bed and it measures how firm of a mattress best works for her.  I did some digging and found a local store that had that.  I went there and he said that I was right in the middle of firmness.  I lay on a few mattresses, but honestly, after the third one I couldn't tell what I liked and what I didn't.

I then did some research online as well as with Consumer Reports.  It turns out that there is this huge market for mattresses in a box.  Basically you buy a bed without trying it and get 90+ days to evaluate it.  And if it's not to your liking, they will take it back for free.  I was very uneasy about not being able to try a bed out, but I didn't rule these companies out.

The more research I did, the more I came to realize, that I probably will go the mattress in a box route.  This is so not like me, as I had to test drive my top two choices of the car I bought a couple years ago 3 times before I decided it.  After all my Googling and reading about mattresses, my choice was down to the Avocado Green Mattress and the Purple Mattress.  The Avocado Green Mattress was the highest rated mattress in Consumer reports for my sleep position and it is the most Eco friendly mattress out there.  The Purple Mattress was also highly rated in Consumer Reports, but it also had the best ad ever.  OK, the ad really wasn't a deciding factor, but you should watch anyway.  What I did add to the pro list of the Purple Mattress was the fact that I saw a few different reviews on different sites stating that those that went from a waterbed to a mattress had the best success with the Purple Mattress.  And the nice thing about both of these mattresses, was that they just needed a flat service.  Not box springs or anything.  This would save me money as I could use my current frame.

My final decision was the Purple Mattress.  I ordered my mattress and set up delivery.  On the day it was supposed to arrive, I went to empty my bed and realized that was going to be the hard part.  The best way to do it is to hook up a hose and put the hose out the window and use gravity to get the water out.  Well my screens are nailed shut because they would pop off very easily.  That means that when I had my windows open and a cat decided to lay in the windowsill, they fell out the window.  True story.

I put the hose in my bathtub but there was virtually no gravity and the water was drizzling out.  So I called and rescheduled my delivery.  I then headed to Lowe's and bought the cheapest wet vac that they had.

The next deliver date I was given was for in the morning of the day after Christmas.  After getting home from my parents kinda late on Christmas, I decided I was going to get up early and empty the bed.  I knew it would take a couple of hours to do it with the wet vac, but OMG that was the hardest couple of hours I spent.

I connected the wet vac, turned it on and let it fill up, then rolled it to the tub and dumped it out.  I did that probably 50 times.  My back hurt from all the bending over.  Brianna didn't seem to mind the noise of the wet vac and was happy to stay on the bed.

I barely finished up emptying the bed when the delivery guys came.  I then understood why they only offered white glove delivery (for free) - the mattress weighed a ton.  It came rolled up and the guys had a time trying to unwrap it from the plastic.

The moment that they had it lose, the mattress looked like it was inflating and soon it was a normal mattress size.  They put it on my bed frame and I had a new bed.

The first night I slept on it, it was FREEZING.  I knew it had some cooling ways too it, but OMG it was miserable.  By the second night it was fine, it was just that cold because it was sitting in a very cold warehouse somewhere.

The first week, I did feel pain in different parts of my body.  I almost cried cause I knew I couldn't sleep on something like that and the thought of trying again was not something I wanted to research.  I then read on their site that it could take a couple of weeks for your body to adjust to it.  So I gave it some more time.

Now I love the mattress.  The firmness works perfect for me and the purple grid is a good cushion.  And no, you really do not feel the actual grid, it just meshes with your pressure points.

I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

What Does 2019 Hold For Running (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

I don't make New Year resolutions.  Mostly because I do not want to make a promise to myself if I'm not sure I'll follow through.  I will make resolutions throughout the year when I know I have the motivation to do my best.

For example, I didn't make my resolution to do a race a month for 2018 till I was half way through the year.  It was a spontaneous one when I realized that I had done 6 months of that without even trying.  It allowed me to keep up with my running and rehabbing my knee because I wouldn't do any more than 5ks.  What I learned from this is that there are a lot of local races out there that are a ton of fun.  Most of the races I did last year were new to me races.

This year, I only have the Ukrop's 10k on my list.  I have done this race 9 times in the past - but not sequentially.  I'll also get the third medal in this streak to go with these two.

I have nothing else planned.  I'm not even planning on doing any runDisney races.  I've done at least one a year for the last five years and while I will miss the good times, I need to rest.  I have found that the weekends were just exhausting.

I'd like to try a few new races out this year.  But my real goal is to make sure my knee holds up as the year comes up.  This means more cross training on my calendar.  And making sure I do my stretches and exercises 5-7 days a week.

I think I'd also like to do the Ride and Run race again at Kings Dominion. That is a mini-runDisney race that was a lot of fun.  Who knows what the year will bring, but I hope it will be fun and my knee holds up.

I’m linking up with with Join Kookyrunner and Zenaida for the Tuesday Topics Link-up.


Friday, January 18, 2019

R.I.P Dad

Work has slowed down, but I still haven't posted this year.  This is because two weeks ago my dad passed away.  Now, I know everyone will want to share their condolences, but this was a good thing and we are celebrating his life.

About 10 years ago my dad started showing signs of Alzheimer's Disease.  He did fine till about two years ago when he started wandering.  Then a year ago, he started not wanting to be out of the sight of my mom, afraid that if he didn't see her, he would be lost.  At this point with the disease, most of what made my dad my dad was gone.  He no longer spoke as he did not remember words.  Growing up, my dad never even thought about raising a hand to anyone, but when he was scared or didn't get what he wanted he threatened violence.  Then a few months ago he stopped getting out of bed.  He would wake up and my mom or their nurse would give him some food and drink and he would go back to sleep.  This is why it was a good thing.

Knowing my dad is gone is sad, but he had been slipping away slowly.  I have had the time to grieve over the last couple of years and now it's time to celebrate his life.  He is no longer in pain.  My mom no longer has to worry about him and take care of him 24/7.

I was able to spend time with him over the holidays.  He was awake when I called to say Happy New Years.  It was nice that he made it into 2019.  My mom thinks he was holding on for the New Year so that she would get the tax benefit (he worked for the IRS and was a true tax man).  Yesterday we said good-bye to him for the final time.  It was sad that I will no longer see him.  My mom and I shared some pictures and remembered the good times.

My dad helping me hang my stocking.


My dad and me at Niagara Falls.

Mom and Dad at Animal Kingdom.

Dad at winery Virginia Winery.

Mom, Dad, my uncle and aunt, and me in Denver for Christmas two years ago.

Don't be sad for me.  Be happy that I was able to have many years with such a great dad.  The last few years were hard as he slipped away and Alzheimer's took over.  But now he is in a better place.

Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 Races in Pictures (Friday Five Edition)

In January all I had planed race-wise was two runDisney events and Ukrop's 10k.  By June, I had done at least one of each of the first 6 months.  I then decided to continue and do at least one per month for the rest of the year.  I sort of accomplished that.  All except December.  I signed up for one, but it was cancelled due to the foot of snow we got that weekend.  I still may be able to do one in December, on the 31st.  It's one right before midnight and the plan is to do it unless it's raining. 

I found that because of this, I did a lot of new to me races.   Except for Ukrop's and the runDisney races that I had already signed up for at the beginning of the year, I have not done any of these races.  All of them I would do again.  I don't know the plan for next year, and probably won't do the one a month race (though I still may), I want to continue trying new races out.  There are plenty out there that I haven't done yet.















I'm linking up with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness and other healthy lifestyle bloggers.