The Friday 5 {14th Edition}

Here we go with Five Random things!

1) I have a hard time spelling Massachusetts  I’m not a good speller; I never have been, but over the years with the help of spell check and memorization, I can usually avoid embarrassment. Some words that I have a particularly hard time with: chocolate, definitely, maintenance, and Massachusetts. I usually get these right these days, but I have to think about it, and they always kind of look funny and wrong. (I am now wondering how many words will be misspelled in this post…)

2) I use bloglovin’ to read blogs  I really like it. Mostly because I can read any blog from any host. I could only read word press blogs in the word press reader. I do have one question, though. If I’m following people on bloglovin’ should I also follow them on word press? It would only take a second to click the follow button, but I usually don’t bother. Should I? Even if I don’t use the word press reader someone might like to know they’re being followed. Any one have thoughts on this?

bloglovin'

Click to visit bloglovin

3) I took the Cherry Juice Challenge! Originally, I thought this would get it’s own post, but I didn’t really think I had enough interesting things to say. So here’s the bare bones: I read about the challenge on the No Meat Athlete blog, got some concentrate from the internet, and I drank 2 tablespoons of tart cherry juice concentrate (diluted in water) every day for 16 days. Tart cherry juice is supposed to help reduce muscle soreness and improve sleep quality. I can’t say I noticed a difference in muscle soreness; I’m not usually very sore in the first place, so there wasn’t much to compare. I think I’ve been sleeping more soundly, and my fitbit seems to agree (it says I’ve been restless less now than I was before), but I’ve never been a bad sleeper so again there’s not a lot of room for improvement. Final thoughts: Cherry Juice is delicious and I’m going to keep drinking it because I look forward to it every day. I like to think it’s beneficial, but when it comes down to it, my proof is somewhat flimsy. You’ll have to try it out for yourself.

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I like to add the cherry concentrate to seltzer water.

4) Next week I’m changing up my eating  For a whole bunch of boring reasons I’ve been wanting to change up what I’m eating, and because of that I’m doing a 28 day challenge/diet starting on Monday. I’m excited to try out some new foods and recipes and see how eating healthier makes me feel. But I’m also nervous. I’ll be cooking a lot more than normal (and I’m sort of delinquent in the kitchen), and I’ll be avoiding or switching up some recipes that are current staples for me. I’m a planner, so I’ve got a whole menu set out for next week already, I just need to do some serious food shopping and prep this weekend. Wish me luck! Since this isn’t a food blog, I probably won’t share too much about this, but if I find a particularly delicious recipe I’ll post it, and if the diet makes me run faster, longer, awesomer, I’ll be sure to let you know! 

5) Walking 10,000 steps per day is tough! I’ve been building up my number of steps per day all summer, and ever since I passed 8,000 it’s been a lot trickier to get in enough steps, especially on days I don’t run. I’m not sure how many steps per day is my final goal, but I better start walking more if I have any hope of getting it.

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Fitbit says: WALK MORE!

Happy Friday, friends!

Are you a good speller?  Have you ever changed your diet drastically? How many steps do you walk per day?

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The Friday 5 {13th Edition}

Let’s just jump right in, shall we:

1) I got a new Garmin for my birthday! Isn’t she awesome? I named her Hermione. I’ve been reading Harry Potter out loud and so the name was in my head, but I also looked up the meaning of the name and found it’s the female version of Hermes who is the Greek god associated with speed. So, I think it’s a good name for a Garmin.  

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It was VERY difficult for me to take a picture of my watch while on my wrist. Any one else have this problem?

 

2) I did my long run today! I’ve been looking forward to my long run ALL week long, but I so so so did NOT want to go this morning. It took me an hour and a half to finally get my lazy bum out the door at 7:30 AM, and then it took around 8 miles for me to really get into it. Eventually everything worked itself out and I had a good time, but man was it rough getting out the door. (Side note: even though I wasn’t really feeling it, I was definitely grateful that I have the chance to do a long run on a week day.)

3) “It’s Raining Tacos…” This is possibly one of the weirdest songs I’ve ever heard, but it’s so catchy! And, I LOVE tacos. I like mine soft shell with guacamole, beans, cheese, and frank’s redhot (in that order). 

4) I had the best (non-traditional) grilled cheese ever last night. It went directly into my mouth without any photographing for the blog, but it didn’t really look particularly special anyways. It was the TASTE that was phenomenal: Cheddar & Brie w/ pear on Texas Toast. So good.  (If you happen to be near Brookline, MA: http://www.hopsnscotchbar.com/).  The grilled cheese, along w/ a drink or two w/ friends, and a late bed time probably contributed to how much I did not want to run this morning, but it was worth it. 

5) The Garage is DONE! They started building this thing in February 2013 – right next door to my house. I mentioned it once before in a Friday 5, so it seemed fitting that I’d give you an update.  They are finally, finally done. Which means…no more construction noise! You adjust to it, you really do, but on Saturday morning (starting as early as 6 AM), it’s hard to handle. I suppose it always ensured that I would get out for my long run nice and early, but I’m so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow! I went over to the opening ceremony, where I got to see the Governor of Massachusetts cut the ribbon for the “mobility center”. (Yep, apparently “parking garage” is not a fancy enough term.)  

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Yes, the GOVERNOR came to cut a ribbon for a garage. Slow Friday?

Happy Friday, friends!

Do you like tacos? What do you put on them?  Did you know that GoveRnor has an R there? I didn’t.

The Friday 5 – 12th Edition

I feel like I’ve been a slacker lately on the blog. Not because I haven’t been posting, I have, but I’ve been posting less than I previously was, and less than I want to be. I have a number of posts that I’ve started or want to write that I just haven’t finished and posted and that makes me feel a little delinquent.

As a firm believer in the adage “every day’s a new day”, and someone who feels hopeful and optimistic at the start of every new year, month, etc. I’m confident I can turn things around. And, I’ll start with a Friday Five list! 

Normally, my Friday Five doesn’t have a unifying theme, but this week I’ve been thinking about streaks and challenges and while this information doesn’t all deserve it’s own post, a list is a good place for it.

1) I finished the 100 happy days challenge. This is one of the posts I mentioned above that I have started to write and have not finished/posted. Hopefully, I can get that wrapped up this weekend. I’ll write about it more in that post, but I have mixed feelings about what I got out of the challenge. It was a good way to recognize small things that make me happy, but at times taking a picture/posting it every single day ended up being more of a drag than a boost.

100HappyDays

click to visit the website

2) Results of my summer stretching streak: Ha!  When the Runner’s World summer running streak came around this year, I really wanted to do it, but my legs just weren’t feeling it. So, instead I decided to make up my own streak of stretching. The plan was to do at least 3 stretches every day from Memorial day through 4th of July. I managed about 12 days before I missed a day because I just plain forgot. It was all down hill from there. I really just had no motivation to stick with the streak once I’d messed it up. Oops!

3) I’m going to start a gratitude journal. Today. I’ve been wanting to do something along these lines since I first read a “thankful thursday” post on a blog somewhere. I don’t personally want this to become a regular post on my blog, so instead I’m going to keep a gratitude journal. I have the perfect notebook in mind, and I looked up some tips online. This article suggests that you shouldn’t write every day, and I like that strategy. Looking back, I think the happiness challenge would have been more fun for me if it wasn’t daily. I’m going to write my first entry today, and my plan is to start out writing every 6 days. I might post about this on the blog every once in a while, but I don’t anticipate wanting to share everything I put in the gratitude journal with the whole internet.

3.5) I’ve been using a new happiness app. While 100 happy days kind of fizzled for me, I really do love the idea behind the whole thing. I want to be more aware and grateful for the good things in my life. Also, I believe that if you put in a little effort to be happy, you will be happier. That last principle, practicing happiness, is the idea behind an app I found recently called happify. I signed up for the free version and have been using it for a week. You start a track (I’m in one called “Conquer Your Negative Thoughts”), and they give you little activities and games to do within the track. I’ve been trying to do it every day, and so far I like it. It doesn’t take long to visit the site and do one quick activity. I don’t really know if it can actually make a person happier, but as long as I enjoy doing it, it probably will work for me.

happify

Click to visit the website. They have an iPhone app, but I am using the website.

4) I found a really neat meditation app.  l’ve wanted to learn to meditate and get into a meditation habit for years now. YEARS. But, well, I suck at it. I have a couple books on meditation that I’ve never finished reading, and when I got a smart phone I downloaded a couple meditation apps that I never used for longer than a week at a time. Recently, I found a new meditation app that I really like. It’s called headspace. The free part of the app is a program called Take10. It’s a ten day track of guided meditation  (10 minutes each) for beginners. I started it a few weeks ago and then it fell by the wayside, but I really liked it, so I’m going to start it up again and complete the entire 10 days this time. 

Headspace

Click to visit the website. I’ve been using the android app.

5) I’ve started the Kinetic Revolution 30 day challenge. We’ve all heard how beneficial non-running activities can be for our running. I’m constantly reading about cross training, stretching, foam rolling, and other exercises that will make me faster, stronger, and less injury prone. Unfortunately, running is really the only activity I’m able to stick with (see above stretching streak failure). However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying to start new habits. So when I heard about the Kinetic Revolution 30 day challenge, I got all excited and signed right up. It’s a series of exercises and drills aimed at runners to improve performance and reduce risk of injury. It’s supposed to take 10 to 15 minutes each day. I have completed day 1 so far, it took me 30 minutes (there were how to videos to watch, which added on time) and it was tough. It definitely pointed out some muscles that aren’t as flexible or strong as they should be. Also, I did day 1 on Tuesday, so clearly this will not be 30 consecutive days for me. Hopefully, that’s not a problem.

Kinetic30

Click here to visit the website.

Thanks for sticking with this long,dry Friday Five post. I’m sorry if this turned out a little ad-like. I really just wanted to make a list of the many challenges, programs, and habits I’ve been trying out recently. I wasn’t given anything in exchange for mention or review, this post is sponsored only by my crazy desire to do a million different streaks and challenges all at one time. 🙂 

Are you doing any streaks or challenges? Do you like to try and force a habit by doing it every day for a specified period of time? Have you tried out any of these things I mentioned, if so what do you think? Did you notice that my list has 6 things because I added a number 3.5? 

The Friday 5 – 11th Edition

It’s Friday! And a special one – 4th of July! I hope everyone else is having as nice I time as I am today. And, I’ve got some awesome plans for tomorrow, too. I get to see my sister, brother in law, and baby niece! Yipee!   

Now, a list of five things:

1. Not every Friday is a Friday 5 Friday. I keep a draft of this post and add things to it as I think of them. When I get to 5 things, I post the next Friday. Sometimes this happens every week, sometimes it takes a little while. Maybe this is strange, but I don’t want to force it. I prefer free flowing randomness.

2. I  managed to pull myself out the door twice this week for “early” morning runs. Even at 7am it is hot, and so HUMID!  But it gets nearly 20 degrees warmer throughout the day, so I’m pretty glad I got some runs in early. 

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I really think you can actually see the humidity in this picture. Or it’s just blurry.

 3. I’ll be 30 this month! I don’t have any problem with the idea of being 30, but it’s crazy to think about. I’m a real live grown up! Tying this back to running, I’ll be entering a new age group…a whole new opportunity for PRs. Since I started running in my 20s I’ve always been in the same age group, but now I’ll have a new one, and can start tracking age group PRs! Exciting!

4. I got a new computer. I broke my computer about a month ago by spilling tea on the keyboard. (Ugh, I still cringe just thinking that I did that.) Today I got a new computer, and this is my first post on the new guy.

5. Happy 4th of July! I’m rocking an awesome new t-shirt today, and I ran in my USA tank this morning! It may have rained all day, but running in the pouring rain was awesome, and I’m having a fun, albeit wet, holiday!

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Enjoy the long weekend! 

 

The Friday 5 – 10th Edition

It’s Friday! Last night I ran an easy 2.5 miles. This run felt much easier than Tuesday’s easy run, although my legs felt somewhat creaky after Wednesday’s interval workout. I was considering doing a tempo run today instead of taking a rest day, but now I’m thinking my legs might want a rest even if my brain doesn’t.

Now, a list of five things:

1. I bought teeny tiny little shoes for my niece, baby C. Aren’t they just the cutest? My other niece, baby S, will most likely also be getting some teeny tiny shoes in the near future. (I want to buy a million pairs!) Although, I’ve heard she likes to have bare feet.

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Those are not your shoes, Snowth!

2. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.  This is an actual sentence. It’s grammatically correct and everything. It works because the word Buffalo is a place, a noun referring to the animal, and a verb meaning to bully. The sentence means: Bison from Buffalo that are bullied by bison from Buffalo, also bully bison from Buffalo. Fascinating! I probably wouldn’t love it quite as much if I wasn’t from Buffalo. 😉

3. Lists. I love making lists. I’ve been trying to come up with what kind of challenge to do when I finish the 100 happy days challenge, and I think I may make something up that has to do with making lists. Another idea I’ve had is that I want to start a grateful/thankful things journal. I’m not sure if I’d do one or both of these things. I’m also not sure whether these would go on the blog. They’re not really running related, but I do think the blog is a good place for making lists. 

4. Boats are out!  A little change in scenery on my runs. Another sign that summer is right around the corner. 

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Those tiny white dots are boats. They looked MUCH bigger in person.

5. Game Night! Tomorrow is game night with some friends! I love playing games and we’ve been trying to get this group together for AGES! I’m excited that it’s finally happening. Woohoo! One of my non-running related New Year’s resolutions was to play more games. My plan was to try to have one game night per month with friends/family. We haven’t done that exactly (I think we’ve missed 2 months), but we have definitely been playing more games. We started a “Journey of Games” (I think I’ve mentioned this before), and we’re playing all the games we own, rating, and decluttering them. There is a spreadsheet involved, so this has been doubly awesome.

I hope you have a great weekend! 

Aside from the weather, what other differences do you notice about summer running? What’s your favorite game? 

The Friday 5 – 9th Edition

It’s Friday! Here are five things I’ve been thinking/doing:

1. It’s not very warm out yet, and I love it! Okay, I whined about it being cold and rainy on Wednesday, but once I got outside, I remembered that 48F is actually a pretty perfect running temperature. It didn’t take long for me to have some sense knocked in to me. I am now appreciating every sub 60F day, because I know I’ll long for them in a few months.

Good Weather

This is good. I don’t care if it’s almost June.

2. I’ve been doing short runs lately.  My legs are feeling much better now than at the beginning of the month, but I’m still keeping most of my runs fairly short (between 2 and 4 miles). Yesterday, I ran with Jeff for 25 minutes. It’s nice to get a run in and still have lots of free time. 

3. Yesterday’s post got a lot (for me) of responses. I liked reading all the how I started running stories people commented with! I’m glad I posted about how I started running; I always thought it was kind of boring (still do, actually), but it resulted in some fun comments, so it was a good choice!

4. I love to Juggle.  After mentioning joggling last week, I’ve been juggling more often. In fact, I decided last Friday to start a little knitting project. Over the course of a week, I have now knit 6 juggling balls. I love them! I still have no plans/desire to joggle, but I’ve started juggling on a regular basis.

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Aren’t they awesome? And they’re filled with beans!

5. I got my fitbit! It finally arrived, and works! Woohoo! Now I’m back to tracking my steps. I’m working my way up to 10,000 steps per day. I started with a goal of 1,000 steps in a day (easy), then I moved on to 2,000 steps for two days in a row; then 3,000 steps for 3 days in a row, etc. These early ones aren’t hard, but I like to have a system.  When I get up to 10,000 steps per day for a week straight, I’m giving myself a reward. 

Have a great weekend! 

Any interesting plans? How do you feel about cool temps when it should be warm? Do you juggle? Do you reward yourself for exercising?

The Friday 5 – 8th Edition

I hope you’re having a lovely Friday! Here are five things:

1. This weekend is Memorial Day weekend I have a plan to count all the flags I see on my run on Monday. Then (if I remember) I’ll do the same on July 4th and report back as to which is the flaggiest holiday.  I’ve been thinking about doing this for some time now.  2014-04-18 17.24.51 2. I’m going to try trail running this weekend. Or if it’s too hard, maybe it’ll be mostly a walk. I’m nervous about tripping, and also about bugs, ticks, poison ivy, etc. Why am I do this again? Nature, ick!

3. My fitbit is coming tomorrow! Remember on Tuesday when I complained that fitbit was out of stock in my color and I had to wait. I guess they were wrong because the very next day it shipped! According to tracking on the USPS site, it should get here on Saturday. Hooray!

4. I’d like to knit a blanket for our bed. I have to find a pattern I REALLY like though, because it turns out I will need an extremely large amount of yarn to do this. And, yarn is NOT cheap. 

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It took months to knit this baby blanket – about 1/9 the size I’d need for my bed. It may take a decade to knit something for my bed.

5. Have you ever seen a Joggler? I learned to juggle a long time before I was a runner, and was intrigued by joggling (running while juggling) as soon as I heard what it was. It’s never something I’ve wanted to do myself (cue visions of dropping a ball and breaking an ankle as I trip on it), but just thinking about it makes me smile. I saw a joggler once in a 5k and I was ecstatic… a real life joggler! The record for women’s 5k joggling (3 balls) is held by Trish Evans – 21:46. This is 4 minutes faster than my current 5k PR sans juggling.   

I hope you enjoy your long weekend, and if you decide to run on Monday, let me know how many flags you see!