Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update - Take a Walk With Me

Last Thursday I needed to drop by the library to pick up a book that I'd requested (recommended by Laurie - thanks!). I got to thinking...why not walk there? I mean really? I've run 13.1 miles - surely I can walk to the library and back.

I laid out my supplies:

Not pictured is my camera, which was busy taking this picture. Everything either fit into the zippered pouch on my water bottle, or in the side pockets of my running - er, walking skirt. And yes, the phone was in case I needed to call someone to come pick me up. Hedging my bets and all that. ;)

Put on some sunscreen (not enough, as it turned out), drove to the park where I usually start my walks, and set off.
Good bye, Wolf Pen Park - I'll see you in a couple of hours!
Walked by the place I used to work - still happy with my decision to leave that job. :)

I discovered one thing as soon as I turned onto the first major, busy street - holy moly, traffic is LOUD! And except for the tire-screeching-near-accident that I witnessed (and nearly had heart failure watching) in the first big intersection, I felt pretty safe.

I took a detour through the cemetery. I turned off my music and walked was really quiet, considering the busy street that it faced.
I left the cemetery and continued my walk. Here's a pretty water area of an arboretum that was on my way:I came to the side street I had to take to stay on a sidewalk - and looky here - a lighthouse!
It's in front of a scuba store - eye catching, for sure!

I made my way over to the busy four-lane road that the library (and post office, and high school) is on. The city has just put in a walkway - about time, as for years, many high school students had to walk on the busy road...not safe.

See the dirt? This section was just finished about a week ago!
Here's the high school that my kids attended - I had to walk past it, to the intersection, so I could cross over to the library - almost there at this point!

In the parking lot, I spotted a sweet classic car:
At last! My destination - the public library:
Ricky Bobby read 3.3 miles, which was a little more than I expected...but I did take that detour through the cemetery.
Can you believe the clerk at the library wouldn't pose with my book as I checked it out? How could he pass up the chance to be featured on my blog?!? LOL. He looked at me like I was crazy for asking. Anyway, I refilled my water bottle and set off. It was getting pretty hot, and in the parking lot of the Exxon station that I had to walk through to get back to the intersection to cross the street (no sidewalks on that side), I was sorely tempted to get a refreshing treat:
But no...I had Red Mango on my mind. I chose to wait.

Since I was so close, I decided to pop over to the post office and buy stamps for my son Sam's graduation announcements. Walked up about half a mile, crossed the street again (please read in Forrest Gump voice) and tada - post office!

Obviously built during the ugly, austere, government-buildings-shall-not-be-pretty era.

I was shocked to find no line - that was a first for me at this post office! Bought my stamps and set off. The only hinky part of the walk came here - I crossed back and thought, oh, I'll stay on this street for a while. Guess what? It was a dead end - too bad I didn't notice the sign until I was backtracking. But I digress...once I realized it dead ended into an apartment complex, I saw a bridge, and baseball fields in the distance, so I figured I could make my way through the park and get back on the street.

Bridge to the baseball fields, I thought...

Nope...the bridge led to a dirt area, and the only way I could see to get to the baseball fields was through this "path":
See that path in the dirt, through the brush and trees? I'm sure some people have used that it, but this area was deserted and my Spidey-sense said no, so I turned around and walked quickly back to a more populated area, where I THEN noticed the dead end sign. Oops.

It was all fine. Only problem was that I was getting hot. I'd just about gone through the water in my bottle, and I started to imagine I was in the desert...that was confirmed when I came upon this cactus:
OK, it's a little green to be in the desert, but it was getting hot!

I finally made it back to my car. Whew! It was 76 degrees when I started off, and 82 when I returned. My sunscreen didn't last through over two hours in the sun. But you know what? I walked 6.7 miles, all by myself! I'm quite proud of that. Not something I would have ever considered doing a few years ago - heck, even a few months ago! I'm getting brave, and I like this feeling.

Ricky Bobby showing how far I walked!

And then, I drove to Red Mango:
Did I mention that I was stomach-growling hungry about 45 minutes before I finished my walk? Might have overdone it on the yogurt and toppings, but oh well. I enjoyed every bite!

What I picked up while on my walk:

And what I did once I got home - iced that ankle! It wasn't "sharp pain" hurting, but it did burn a bit.
Propped up on my stability ball while sitting at my computer.

If you've made it this far, thanks for going on my walk with me!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Downtown Derby 3K Recap!

Surprise! I ran a race on Saturday!!! I didn't mention it ahead of time because quite frankly, I was nervous. I had not run since January 15th, when I injured my ankle. But, this was the ten week mark of when my orthopedist said that my ankle might be healed, and the race was a low-key event - Jenny and I did it last year, and I wanted to do it again to see if I could run. They offered both a 3K and a 5K, so Jeff and Jenny signed up for the 5K while I signed up for the 3K. I figured that even if it ended up that I couldn't run, I could at least walk it.

I tell you what - I was a bit cranky Friday evening. I know it was nerves. This race would tell me where I was with my ankle. Now, some people might think I was a little crazy, doing a race for my first run in ten weeks, but haven't you heard? Runners ARE a bit crazy!

The good news is that my ankle didn't hurt while I was running. I cannot tell you what a relief that was! This means that I should be able to ease my way back into running, which is a good thing, since my running club starts back up this coming Saturday. I was able to run just over a mile before I had to take my first walking break - walking because my lungs needed it, not because my ankle needed it. I then walked and ran my way to the finish line - 1.88 miles in total!

And now (you knew this was coming) - pictures!

Now the length of this race really didn't call for pre-fueling with much of anything, but hey, since I had some GU Chomps, why not? This flavor had a tiny bit of tartness that I liked. Jeff and I each had a couple - besides liking the flavor, our only other comment was that they were a bit sticky.
When did we become a family of two runners?!? Jenny and I, ready to get our run on!
In the starting area, Team Jelly - reunited at last!

The race started and all runners headed the same direction, which was great because I got to run with Jenny and Jeff for a bit. Weird also - this was my first time running with Jeff...good thing we had Jenny as a buffer between us! About .6 of a mile the 5K people turned left on the course while the 3K's made a U-turn. Because this was billed as a family-friendly race, there were a lot of kids, strollers (with the babies wearing race bibs...cute!) and dogs. It was just fun to be out in such a nice group of people. Oh! I almost forgot - as we crossed one intersection where the local police were stopping traffic, the cop there called out "Hi, Shelley!" - all three of us did a double-take...then I realized it was Darryl, from my running club! He is a retired policeman but comes back to work these kinds of events. Really fun to see him, and I even got a "high five" from him on the way back!

I was getting close to the turn toward the finish line when I saw Jeff coming toward me - what I want to know is when did I become the race photographer?!? Anyway, I crossed the finish line - woohoo! Obviously no picture because my pit crew abandoned me to become a runner - what nerve!
This is Mary Ann - my former co-worker's baby. She and her mama were at the finish line and she was so cute, waving and cheering on all the finishers.
Here's Jeff coming in for the finish...
And here's Jenny!
My "finish line" picture.

Dueling Garmins - Hers:
Mile 1 was an 11:35 pace - not bad for my comeback! Of course the second .88 was a 13:15 pace - still, I am ELATED!

Dueling Garmins - His:
Dang, he's fast. And he's only been running for about 8 weeks! Jeff's average pace was 10:50.
After - racers with nanners.
There was a *tiny* health expo after the race...
...where I got this swag - please note A) I did not grab all those bandage holders, they gave me that many; and B) black and white head in lower corner is Paco investigating the goods!
For a race that had a health expo afterward, I have to say it was a little contradictory to have these ginormous, sugar-and-calorie-laden muffins as post-race fuel. We just ate a banana...ok, we also had plans for a trip to IHOP, but still...those muffins don't even cross my radar as an option to eat anymore.
They had a lot of door prizes and Jeff won a gift certificate for a Road ID! You know I promptly stole that from him - I've been wanting the Wrist Elite, and now it shall be mine!
And finally, panqueques at IHOP - yum, I love love love their Harvest Grain and Nut pancakes!

All in all, a very good day!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Mishmash

I'm glad to see that pretty much every one was a little creeped out by that statue. Someone noted in the comments that he has a gun - yes, every statue at that park is armed (hey, this IS Texas!). No, seriously, it's Veteran's Park, and all the statues are of soldiers from different wars. Apparently no one fought while just using their words. Well, no one that the park people are commemorating, anyway.


So my new workout toy that I bought? Was on my planned trip to Target, where I forgot what I was supposed to buy (Gladware - remembered the next day). Fellow sufferers of C.R.S., stand beside me and take this pledge: "I will always write a list. And then I will remember to take it with me." I tell you what, it's always an adventure! Anyway, my toy? It's a hula-hoop! (Good guess, Roxie!) I got inspired from reading a guest post on MizFit's blog, and thought how fun and ab-tastic it sounded. So I sprang for one. Let me tell you, I used to be good at the hula-hoop back in the day. Now? Not so much. I was lucky to get 3 or 4 revolutions around my waist before it headed south. So, I went outside and corralled my neighbor girls (Ginger's human sisters) and had them demonstrate how to properly do the hula-hoop. Oh! That's how. OK, I tried again. Hah! They make it look so easy...but I will master it. Any case, it's fun, and I'm kinda popular with the 11-and-under set on my street now.


Bought during that Target trip when I couldn't remember why I was there...

This body butter is really awesome. But it tastes awful. I know you're not supposed to eat it (it even says so on the label!), but it's really strong, and even after washing my hands, it stays on. And I've discovered that I tend to lick my fingers fairly - hey, slicing pineapple necessitates lots of tastes, you know? (Hmm, I just realized that I'm wearing coconut body butter while slicing you think I have Hawaii embedded in my subconscious?)


Jeff has been traveling a lot. Doesn't stop Paco from waiting for him to come through the garage door every night, though. It's really I though I was the center of his universe!

"If I stare hard enough, maybe this day Dad will come home."


Remember that half marathon that Helen ran for my mom? Well, she sent her a gift last week - the race bib that she wore, and a really cool shirt that says "Inner Strength Has No Expiration Date" - such a sweet thing to do, and both my mom and I were really touched by it. Here's a picture of Mom wearing the shirt:

Looking good, Mom!


Because I've been living in either shorts and t-shirts or, walking outfits, I don't have a human Fashion Friday for you. I did, however, plan on showing you Paco in his new finery - his old collar is too tight, so I ordered him a new one. Unfortunately, I didn't actually measure his neck; rather, I relied on my memory, which, as that trip to Target proves, isn't so reliable. So the GINORMOUS collar is on the way back, being exchanged for one more suitable for a medium-sized dog and not a Saint Bernard...anyway, he wanted to model the new leash that matches his collar - really, he did!

"I feel dumb with leash wrapped round my neck. Not collar. How big you think I am, lady?"

Please also admire my mad photography skills, as I captured the elusive "invisible wagging tale" - you can just see it. Talent, I haz it. Or else luck. ;)


By the way, there are NO Attune bars in my town. I checked. I've also spoken with the yogurt stocker at my local HEB and made my request to get them back, so we'll see if that works. Meanwhile, I am in serious withdrawal!

Alright, have a great weekend. I hope to have a "good news" post up on Monday morning - fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Workout Update

The walking continues...and I've learned something about myself in the process. It amazes me to see how exercise makes me feel so positive about my body. The other day, in the span of a few hours, I went from hyper-focusing on my heavy jiggly thighs (in jeans), to looking down at them (in shorts) as I was doing my 4 mile walk and admiring the muscles in my quads. How they went from thighs to quads - same body part - is nothing short of a mental miracle for me. And why those same heavy thighs became muscular quads when I was doing something active really shows me how I approach my body. I wish I would, all the time, view it with the healthy vibe that I get from exercise. I'm not there yet. But just knowing how much good working out - be it walking, running or the group workouts I used to do - does for my mental state, as well as my physical being, should be enough to keep me active for the rest of my life. And please remind me of this if you see lazy Shelley pop up. Thank you in advance. :)


I've mentioned that Jeff has taken up running, and since he travels pretty much on a weekly basis and is running in strange areas, I got him a Garmin (the 205 - just like mine only without a heartrate monitor) so he can do out and backs, and keep track of his mileage and pace. I showed him the basics (ok, what little I know, which is all I need to know, really). Can you believe, he actually READ the instruction manual that came with it? Every few minutes, he was calling out to me that it does this, or it does that, or did I know it had a compass (no, why would I need to know that?!?) - I texted Helen about this and she said "Jeff has hit the nerd jackpot with his Garmin" - and boy, was she dead on with that one. He's set it for running, taken it for a bike ride, and can't wait to take it on his next hike with the Boy Scouts. I may never see him again!


I mentioned the scary statue in my last post - well, yesterday I went back to that park to take a few pictures to show you. This is what startles me when I round the bend:
See?!? There's a man hiding in the bushes!I try to be cool as I approach the scary man...
Oh! It's that dang statue. Why does it get me EVERY time?!?
Close up of the soldier for Kelly, who loves her some Texas history!
He hasn't been at the park very long...I suppose eventually I'll get used to him.


Today is a rest day for me - I've logged over 12 miles in the last three days and my legs are tired. But, I bought myself a new toy yesterday and will spend some time playing with it today - it's a toy and also something I can get a workout with...any guesses as to what it could be?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quick Ryders Review/Weekend Recap

I don't normally do weekend recaps, but seeing as how I didn't get the blog written that I originally intended to post for today, you lucky readers get a recap! I know, how exciting. Honestly, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, and we spent most of the weekend outside...away from the computer. I really need to plan my writing better now that we seem to have left winter behind.

First up, a quick review of the pair of Ryders sunglasses that I was sent (thank you, Scott and Outside PR!), along with a bunch of GU products, and a Gel-Bot. Reviews on those coming later. The sunglasses? Were STOLEN by my husband almost as soon as I took them out of their box! I mean really - what nerve! Sure, I can't see without prescription lenses, but I might have liked to play with know, pretend to be a fashion model and whatnot. But no. Not only did he take the sunglasses, he immediately got his man-sweat on them by going for a long bike ride with them. Fine. They are his now. So I made Jeff do the review.

Me: Do you like the sunglasses?
Him: They are awesome!
Me: What do you like about them?
Him: I look awesome in them.
Me: (eyeroll) What ELSE do you like about them?
Him: Everything is so bright! It's really amazing how well I can see with them, with no glare.
Me: (waiting for him to break into that "the future's so bright, I gotta wear shades" song but amazingly, he doesn't)
Him: You know I look good in these.
Me: sigh...
Jeff looking cool in Ryders Vela sunglasses.

Later on, after he went for a run with them, Jeff said that the sunglasses didn't slip down his nose and were really lightweight. On the website, I noticed that the nose pads are anti-slip and adjustable - nice features when you are active and sweaty. I haven't bought non-prescription sunglasses in eons so I really am not one to know about pricing, but at $39.99 retail, these seem pretty reasonable to me.

Jeff gave his new sunglasses plenty of use this weekend - along with a bike ride and a run, we hit up Lowes and spruced up the bed in front of our house with some colorful petunias, mulch and weed barrier. By we, I mean the royal, as in I sat in my impulse purchase of new plastic ergo Adirondack chairs, took in some sun, watched Paco play with Ginger, and fetched iced tea as needed. Hey, it's a tough life. Besides, he got the sunglasses. Seems like a fair trade to me.

Front bed all prettied up!
Other end of the front bed...woo, I changed up the flower color!
Artsy watering shot...

We also went for a walk (me)/run (Jeff) on Sunday morning - I have to bring my camera next time we go to that park - it's the one that I used to run in last summer. They keep adding new statues of soldiers from different wars, and the newest one - the "Come and Take It" guy (a Texan, naturally) startles me every time I see it. There I am, rounding the bend, grooving out to Lady Gaga/Katy Perry/Glee on my iPod (why yes, I am a teenybopper when it comes to my, walking music), when this man jumps out and scares me. OK, maybe I am the one who does the jumping, but he freaks me out every single time I see him. Not nice, Texas soldier, not nice at all!


Just so you don't think I'm a completely lazy wife, I did actually cook a nice healthy dinner Sunday night - chicken shish kebabs with red pepper, onion and mushrooms, asparagus, and quinoa...yum! I forgot how much I love grilled vegetables, and the quinoa came out great - I used chicken broth instead of water and cooked it in my little rice cooker - no butter or oil, and it didn't even need any Parmesan cheese sprinkled over it. Plus, I've already chopped up the extra veggies to use in an egg souffle-type dish that Helen was telling me about (and will have the recipe up on her blog today) - bonus! All in all, it was a great weekend. :)