Beer and Running = A Perfect Partnership

Anyone who runs knows the importance of carbs…it’s our fuel. Beer is a carb. So it’s not surprising that you see beer stands at the finish line of half and full marathons.

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And it’s not a surprise that some local breweries are starting to have running clubs. In Lexington, we have quite a few different running groups and clubs that I’m a part of, and I love it. I’ve talked about my love for running groups on here before, but I definitely have found that meeting up with people who hold you accountable for your mileage is the best motivator. It’s gotten me back into running this winter.

Tuesday night I met up with a friend for the weekly West 6th Brewery Running Club. Everyone meets and goes out on their own on 1.5 or 3 mile courses (there might be some longer ones), then grab a complimentary soft pretzel, water, and maybe a pint or two of the micro-brewery’s monthly selection, and enjoy. I just started running with them this year, so we do a 3-mile route through downtown. It’s definitely different contending with traffic, stoplights, etc., so it kills your pace, but it’s also nice to have so many people running with you.

Free swag? Sold!

Free swag? Sold!

One of the cool things about this club is that after a certain number of runs, you’re rewarded with swag. Tuesday I was surprised with a t-shirt–sweet! The next level is a BPA-free water bottle and then a pint glass, all with the brewery’s logo. Great way to advertise, huh?

I’m doing my best to get back into running more consistently now. I’ve found a race that I can actually afford to enter, it’s a new half marathon (with a 5K and 10-Miler) in the area this June and I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve been helping my friend Joy train for the Run the Bluegrass, so I’ve been running with her for her long runs, so why not aim for a half marathon this summer? I’ll tell you more about it when they get all the details nailed down. For now, if you’re interested in a rolling race in gorgeous Thoroughbred country, check out the Bourbon Derby by 3 Way Racing.

Your turn: Do you have any local breweries that have running clubs? If not, maybe you can start one!

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Sometimes You Just Gotta Do Nothing

Continuing with my theme of “Sometimes You Just…” that I guess I started last week, I give to you the OK to be lazy.

If you know me, you know that that was really hard to say. I hate feeling lazy. I hate being lazy. Growing up on a farm instills in you that you spend as much time outside as possible when the sun is out and the weather is decent. You wake up early and get moving early. You don’t spend hours in bed, and you don’t spend days not doing much.

But this weekend was a rarity for me. After waking up early to meet a friend for an 8-mile run Saturday morning, I came home to walk the dogs (well, Dally plus two dogs from my friend that I was watching) two miles, showered and then settled down with compression socks and knee sleeves to recover. I had every intention to spend the day writing articles, blog posts, and cleaning the house…but none of that happened.

Sunday is usually my one day to sleep in. I did sleep in…until 7. Then I rejoiced in the quiet of the house until M came home from work at 8. We had a lazy Sunday morning breakfast: he had scrambled eggs with chicken, cheese, and salsa, and I had scrambled egg whites (w/1 whole egg) with sautéed spinach, chicken, cheese, and salsa and leftover Amish cinnamon sugar bread (recipe to come). Considering my mornings are usually rushed between coming home from CrossFit and getting ready for work, this was nice.

The rest of the day? Well, after grocery shopping, it was supposed to include writing and cleaning. Nope…not much of that happened. I did do some laundry, and I ended up pushing myself to belt out a story (out of two), but not the productivity I was looking for.

When I complain “I feel so lazy…I have done nothing all weekend..” M reminds me that I ran 8 miles Saturday morning and was dog sitting all weekend. Yes, but that’s not the productivity I’m talking about. “It’s OK to just relax…it’s OK to just do nothing,” he says.

Sometimes the lack of motivation might be your body and your brain’s way of telling you to take a break, to truly rest your body and mind. Maybe you don’t feel a cold coming on, but your body might be fighting off illness, and you just don’t know it at the time.

Sure it means you have to make up for it later, but hopefully by then you’ll have the energy to accomplish everything you need to.

Sometimes you just gotta do nothing…and be OK with it!

Your turn: How do you feel about lack of productivity on the weekends?

Good Reads: CrossFit Open, Peyton Manning, Food Prep & More

It’s time to share some more good reads and a little link love, a couple of posts might be older, but still a worthwhile read. I hope you enjoy!

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For Each And All (CrossFit Games): An inspirational post about why people who aren’t top athletes are signing up for the CrossFit Open. “Why not me?” has been said a lot lately since the Super Bowl, so why not me? Man O’War CrossFit has been encouraging all of its members to sign up, and while I haven’t yet, I will if I have an extra $20 to spare. Have you signed up yet?

Dear Mr Manning (The Denver Post): This might be a couple of weeks old, but it personifies  exactly why I love Peyton Manning so much, and not just because he was drafted by my beloved Indianapolis Colts. I hope more professional (and some collegiate) athletes can learn from him about how to be prideful, but not full of yourself, and how to be a star. Who’s one of your favorite athletes?

Top 10 Foods for Sunday Food Prep (The Lean Green Bean): I’ve recently tried to start doing Sunday food prep mostly because of inspiration from Lindsay’s blog. These tips are a big help for anyone who is starting and feels a little confused as to how to get started.  Have you started weekly food prep?

Thing I Hate Most About My Blogging (Fitting It All In): Clare is always so open about her life, which is inspiring because to me she’s fearless. There are times I just want to say it like it is on here, but I hold back because I’m worried about backlash, etc. I haven’t mastered blogging yet, but with inspiration from the likes of Clare, Lindsay, and Tina, I can only get better.

WIAW: Positive Body Talk (The Real Life RD): Again, Robyn is so straight-up, tell you like it is in all of her posts. This time she talks about how her body perception isn’t always 100% positive, but she combats a bad (“point five”) moment with thoughts of how we are all stars in our own rights. Negative body thoughts can suck the life right out of you, according to Robyn, and I agree. But, as women, we have such a hard time combatting that. We all need to find our own light to shine brightly. Thanks for that reminder, Robyn!

Sometimes You Just Need a Girls’ Night

There comes a time when you realize that your life has been so busy, yet lonely because you haven’t spent much time with your girlfriends. Last week I realized that I was in the position–I needed some genuine girl time.

So, after talking with a friend and former co-worker, I decided to implement a monthly “Girls’ Night” amongst some of my friends and their friends. These nights could be spent at a Mexican restaurant over 2-for-1 margaritas, someone’s house over a couple bottles of wine, or wherever, just as long as it’s just the girls and we have a good, unabridged time.

Our first night was a small affair, just three of us over half-priced house margaritas (on the rocks, with salt) and a chicken quesadilla. It was mostly a night of catching up, but it was great to reconnect.

This led me to believe you have to just stop yourself from whatever has been keeping you down, and break the mold of the usual evening and just let go. Be unapologetic. Be happy. Embrace your girlfriends. They’re there for you no matter what, so be thankful.

OK, so maybe not drinking that much, but you get my drift.  (Source)

OK, so maybe not drinking that much, but you get my drift. (Source)

Scenes from the Weekend 2

I had a jam-packed weekend visiting friends and family in Indiana. I’ve got some news to share with you, but for now here are some photos from the weekend.

The weekend started with M giving me 6 red roses (for our 6 Valentine's Days) for the holiday.

The weekend started with M giving me 6 red roses (for our 6 Valentine’s Days) for the holiday.

Sunrise over lots of snow on the farm.

Sunrise over lots of snow on the farm.

My best friend from high school's baby shower cake: Ahoy it's a boy!

My best friend from high school’s baby shower cake: Ahoy it’s a boy!

The momma-to-be. She's due in April and looks great!

The momma-to-be. She’s due in April and looks great!

Snow puppies running amok on the farm.

Snow puppies running amok on the farm.

One last lunch date with one of my best friends, who's moving from Indiana to Texas. I'm going to miss her!

One last lunch date with one of my best friends, who’s moving from Indiana to Texas. I’m going to miss her!

And, finally, I got to squeeze in some pony lovin', even in the chilly temps with lots of snow. I've missed this fuzzy nose.

And, finally, I got to squeeze in some pony lovin’, even in the chilly temps with lots of snow. I’ve missed this fuzzy nose.

More to come later!

Your turn: How was your weekend?

 

Valentine’s Day Love

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!! I’ve never been much about celebrating this holiday (I feel like you shouldn’t need one specific day to tell someone you love them, you should celebrate love everyday), but some times you can’t help but get in the mood.

I just wanted to share my two favorite Valentine’s (next to my hubby, of course), from a little puppy Valentine’s Day party at the Bluegrass Barkery last weekend.

LaMesa & her (boy)friend Stout.

LaMesa & her (boy)friend Stout.

Dally & her (boy)friend Porter (and our friend, John).

Dally & her (boy)friend Porter (and our friend, John).

Give everyone a little extra love today!

Your turn: How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Back on the Running Bandwagon?

I haven’t been running much lately. OK…I haven’t been running much for almost a year now. I admit that I haven’t run as much as maybe I should–one of my 2014 goals is to run at least twice a week–but considering the winter weather we’ve had here, running outside isn’t much fun at the moment, and I’m trying to avoid hitting a treadmill.

Last week I got in a great 6 mile run with the rare mild weather and my friend Joy, so this Saturday we were aiming for 7. The Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon hosts monthly training runs over its course, with 4-, 7-, and 13.1-mile routes for training. Last month I tackled the 4-mile route and added on an extra mile to hit 5. But Saturday dawned freezing–18*, but clear skies and clear roads (which is rare around here with the snow and ice we’ve had).

So here came 7 miles. I hadn’t run in a week, only did CrossFit three times the week before (coach was sick, so my mornings were all sorts of messed up), but I felt I had fresh legs and could tackle the hills in the cold.

We kept a good pace, stopping after 4 miles for water at a water stop. We finished in about 1:12, which is pretty good for lack of training, the cold, and the hills.

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It felt great hitting the road again-it helps to have a friend as motivated as my friend Joy has been this winter. She’s training for the RTB and just signed up for the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon to go for the Kentucky Half Classic, a special medal they’re giving to those who tackle both half marathons within a month. I’m envious because I have wanted to run both races in the same month, and want to run in the Derby Half badly, but I can’t afford the registration fee. 😦 So, basically, I’m training with Joy for fun…no race in the future, but just as a support.

It’s hard to motivate yourself without a goal to push towards, though, and while I’m sitting here icing my ankle (some slight ligament soreness), I’m thinking maybe it’s crazy to potentially hurt myself for no upcoming race.

Until then, I hope to continue lacing up my Sauconys and enjoying the pounding of the pavement with no pressure.

Your turn: Have you ever pushed yourself with no apparent goal up ahead? How do you deal with disappointment of not being able to do something like run a favorite race?

My First Attempt at Food Prep

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So I’ve never been much of a good planner lately. M and I always talk about planning our meals ahead of time and making solid grocery lists and sticking to them when we shop, but we fail at that…unfortunately. At least we try!

But for some reason Sunday afternoon I got a wild hair to do a little food prep for the week.  I didn’t have a solid plan as to what we were going to have all week long, but I figured just doing a little bit would help. So here’s what I came up with:

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You’ll see that I washed and cut up celery to have on hand either for snacks or to cook with later.

I made M some chicken salad so he can just grab it for his lunches either at work or when he’s at home (fat free mayo, diced celery, dill relish), and put them in two separate grab-and-go containers.

I tried a new cookie recipe for when I get hit with my sweet tooth (blueberry oatmeal cookies), but I’ve already decided the recipe needs work (a little dry).

I also tried a protein muffin recipe so I can grab one for a mid-morning snack for work. I changed the recipe from the pumpkin cinnamon roll protein muffins I found on Pinterest, so I’ll let you know how they taste and post the recipe.

I also pre-made Italian turkey meatballs for a meatball casserole I’m going to finish up for dinner tonight (this way I can just add the zucchini and spaghetti sauce and pop it in the oven.

Finally I pulled out some  beef veggie soup from the freezer that M’s mom had made for us. I’ve been taking some for my lunches at work along with a sandwich.

Hopefully next time I can do a little more for prep to help with meal selection. At dinner we usually make more than two servings so M can take the leftovers to work for his “lunch.” That’s been a big help.

One thing about it, I did feel accomplished writing out this list of what all I’ve finished this afternoon.

Thanks to Lindsay for the constant inspiration. Check out her weekly posts on for food prep every Sunday for her ideas and other blogger’s food prep ideas.

Your turn: Do you do weekly food prep? If so, share your tips!

Common Courtesy: Shovel Your Sidewalk

This is more of a public service announcement than a blog post today, but I got to thinking I wanted to do a little (harmless) griping while trying to walk my two, stump-legged pups the other evening.

Most of the United States has been hit with winter storm after winter storm. Kentucky is no different. But some times my dogs just don’t understand why the “conditions aren’t right” for their daily walk. Monday I was able to pay snow tennie with them for a good 30 minutes to wear them out in the deep snow in our backyard–no problem there. Tuesday saw a quick tennie session before I headed to CrossFit with a promise of a walk afterwards, but then the ice storm came. So Wednesday I bundled up and decided we could handle a simple 1.5 mile walk for us to get some fresh air. WRONG.

Our treacherous walk after the ice storm hit this week.

Our treacherous walk after the ice storm hit this week.

Now I understand that shoveling isn’t fun. Growing up in the country, we rarely shoveled, unless we were trying to make a path for the wheelbarrow at the barn. Most of the time we relied on neighbors with plows and our mechanical snow blower. But now that I live in the suburbs, I’ve learned the joys of shoveling your driveway, and your sidewalks, and some times your neighbor’s place. It’s a good workout. And I know some of the older folk can’t easily shovel, that’s why M and I used to do our old neighbor’s driveway all the time in our old neighborhood. But it’s just common courtesy to shovel your sidewalk.

If you’re already shoveling your driveway, what difference does a couple more minutes make to shovel the sidewalk? 

It’s a safety concern for everyone–delivery people, trash people, and your neighbors who have to walk along the side of the road for one reason or another.

Even just one swipe with the shovel (seen here) helps a neighbor out!

Even just one swipe with the shovel (seen here) helps a neighbor out!

There were times, due to the icy snow, that I had to actually pick Dally up and carry her to the next clean area. Sure I got some extra calorie burning there, but it’s sad to watch her struggle with her 4″ long legs (and “tender toes” as we say) struggle over the messy sidewalks.

It’s pretty sad when it’s safer/easier to walk my dogs in the middle of the snowplowed streets than the sidewalks. As a runner, I also know how hard it is to run on sidewalks or roads that are not plowed or taken care of.

If you can’t physically do the shoveling yourself, I know there are always neighborhood kids looking to earn a couple extra dollars to do so (I was asked by some last week, in fact). Help an entrepreneur out.

OK…stepping off my soap box. You may return to your regularly scheduled blog reading. 🙂

 

A Short Respite From Winter & A Run

Saturday we saw a short respite from the rough winter we’ve been having lately. Just a week removed from a blizzard and frigid temperatures, the morning dawned in the 40s and sun…SUN!

I met my friend Joy for a 6-mile run around downtown Lexington. She’s training for the Run the Bluegrass and I’m training…for nothing. Unfortunately, due to financial reasons, I can’t afford to sign up for either the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon nor the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on running–I still want to build my mileage back up so when it comes time for me to be able to register for a half marathon this year, I’ll be ready!

It felt so weird having to decide what to wear for the run being in the 40s and not single digits. I went with my Nike warm capris, a short sleeved shirt, and a 3/4 zip pullover that has fleece on the inside, along with a headband to cover my ears. Great decision!

We averaged about 10:10 miles, and that’s with stopping at road crossings (one of the bad things about running downtown), which is pretty darn good. Considering I hadn’t run in over a week, and I completed a week of some heavy leg work at Man O’War CrossFit, I was afraid my legs wouldn’t be able to handle it, so I was up for a leisurely run. The hour went by so fast while we chatted throughout the run–it didn’t even feel like 6 miles and I almost could have gone for a little longer!

We capped off our run with a trip to North Lime Donuts (warm, freshly made yeast donuts? Yes, please!) and I was able to take the truck to get washed (which makes me very, very happy).

The day was capped off with some agility training with my dogs and a friend’s two dogs. She’s sidelined from having a couple of broken ribs, so I’m taking over on training her dog and possibly running him at the AKC Nationals, so I had to capitalize on the beautiful weather we had.

And then Sunday turned cold…and raining…and gross. Boo. Back to winter.

Your turn: How was your weekend?