Don't blink. Just run.

Where training meets fandom. And everything in between.

Face The Music Friday #76

 

Friday – Shoulder PT + 90 minutes of Freestyle Friday at Unleashed
Saturday – 6.75 mile hike
Sunday – Yard work, moving furniture and cleaning around house for a few hours
Monday – Packing and moving
Tuesday – Shoulder PT + 30 minutes yoga, 4 mile ruck and 45 minutes lifting
Wednesday – Shoulder PT + Rhode Runner Blackstone Blvd 5K
Thursday – 1 hr kickboxing

 

This week was kind of a blur, what with Memorial Day and all. It was also a short week for me because I have today off to head up to VT with friends to run Infinitus.

The moving and packing was to help Tara’s parents out. They are moving, along with her brother, to VA in about a week, so we had some extra furniture we no longer wanted that they are taking and then helped them pack up their POD with their own stuff as well. All that on Sunday and Monday was plenty of a workout for me so I didn’t do anything additional. I also hurt my back at Freestyle Friday trying to dump a 60 lb sandbag off my ruck, but it caught and basically snapped my spine backwards…so yeah – OUCH.

With my knee still tweaking a bit and my back not 100% recovered, I’m not running the race tomorrow. I’ll be bringing my ruck instead and hiking it. I found a couple of friends who also aren’t running so I won’t be alone, which is nice. My other friends are doing the 88k (I’m doing 8k) so I’ll be hanging by myself a lot of the time in the tent I’m sure.

I’m excited to spend the weekend in the woods. From what I’ve heard, there may not be any cell service up there, which could be kind of nice. We’ll see. I think it will be nice to disconnect a bit.

This week’s song is in honor of the mountain I will be climbing tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #50

Saturday – 7 miles

Sunday – 3 mile ruck

Monday – Rest (kind of)

Tuesday – 3 miles

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 3 miles

Friday – Rest

 

Ohhh this week! It’s been interesting. Training runs done, that’s all I can really ask for.

I did my long run this weekend on Saturday to get it out of the way for a planned ruck with friends on Sunday. Originally, we thought Julie and Dan were coming down to hang out Friday night/Saturday, but they changed their mind. This freed me up to make that change with the run. I got home from it around 1pm and then found out they were coming down after all and just staying Saturday night instead. Woo hoo! We had a fun time! We watched the premiere Doctor Who episode again since Dan hadn’t seen it yet, checked out a new restaurant for dinner and had our first scorpion bowl (well, for me and Tara anyway) and then played Pictionary outside on the deck in the dark. It wasn’t as hard as it sounds because we have a patio umbrella light, plus candles. Very fun day!

 

Check out that carrot flower!

 

Sunday we just kind of lazed around with them and they took off around 10:30. We had plans to meet with friends for a hike at 4pm so we just kind of hung out until then. We picked one of them up around 3:30 and met the other one there, at Parker Woodland. I packed my full ruck (4 bricks, 100 oz water bladder) for training, as did the other women. Parker Woodland is the first place Tara and I had started hiking last year so it was nice to go back. It’s a nice little hike, but lots of rolling hills made rucking interesting. Afterwards, we booked it home, split up so we could get showered and changed and we all went to see Guardians of the Galaxy (finally!!!!). I loved the movie and had a great time, but one woman fell asleep and Tara said she didn’t like it. Oh well!

 

 

I had wanted Monday to be a relaxing day since it was the end of a busy long weekend, but nooooo. We ended up taking down the pool finally (it takes a few days to drain) and putting that away. I also re-caulked the shower/tub. Let’s not forget that summer decided to show up finally and it was near 90 with about 1000% humidity Sunday and Monday (and during this week). That wasn’t a great choice for doing manual labor.

I had a pretty nasty run Tuesday night. I headed out for 3 miles (can I get a woo hoo for tapering?!) and about 3/4 mile in I noticed my left thigh felt like it was chafing. Well, when I ran at 5pm it was still like 86* and ridiculous humidity so just thought maybe it finally caught up with me. I always wear compression shorts to avoid the chub rub, but you never know. I spent the next 2.25 miles fiddling with my shorts legs to see if I could situate them just right. By the time I got home I was in agony and knew I was going to have a mark of some sort. Turns out, the seam had finally given out (they were nowhere near new shorts) and there was a hole a little bigger than a quarter. So essentially, my left thigh had been rubbing the seam of my right thigh almost the whole run. I’ll spare you the picture, but I’ve got a mark about 6 inches long that is just pure, raw skin. I immediately went on Amazon and ordered a new pair that I had before my 3 miles last night, so all was right with the world again. Didn’t even notice the chafing while I had them on!

One more thing I just HAVE to talk about is Chik-fil-a. They opened their first store in RI and it just so happens to be about 5-10 minutes from my house, between home and work. I heard on Wednesday that people were already lining up for the grand opening on Thursday, so I took a detour on my way home to see these chuckleheads. I guess the first 100 people in line would all get 1 meal free per week for a year, so they were camping out. It was ridiculous. So here is a picture of their tent city.

 

 

This weekend I’ll be doing my first 5K with all 3 of my compadres – Tara, Julie and Dan. I’m really excited to do a race with them, even though we’ll likely be walking it. But hey, the race is in a zoo, so wouldn’t you want to walk anyway???

For this week’s song, I chose one that I’ve always found beautiful when I’ve heard it on Spotify, but never really paid much attention to it. I watched The Great Gatsby remake over the weekend and it made it even more haunting.

Lana Del Ray – Young And Beautiful

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Follow The Yellow Blaze Trail

 

On Sunday, Tara and I met up with some friends from Unleashed for a hike. This would also be my first training ruck for my GORUCK Light I have coming up in October. Tara was just coming along for the hiking portion and carried her own regular hiking pack. One of the women that came along brought one of their extra rucks and bricks. They recommended I start with only 2 bricks, instead of the 4 bricks I will have to carry during the actual challenge. They thought I should just get used to the weight before anything too crazy – and after the hike we took, I’m glad they told me that.

 

 

We went to the Long & Ell Ponds Trail in Hopkinton, RI. We carpooled in two cars (there were 7 adults and 2 kids) and drove the roughly 30-40 minutes down. Originally, it was thought we wouldn’t do too much because the kids would be with us, but they proved to have more energy than all of us combined. What we estimated would probably end up being a 2-3 mile hike turned into about 5 miles and 3.5 hours (including breaks).

 

 

We were warned that this was a pretty technical trail with some climbing, but I wasn’t sure I expected SO much climbing. I had buckets of sweat flowing all over me and we weren’t going that fast, nor was it that hot out. The beginning, and unfortunately the end, was very heavy on the climbing rocks to continue on the trail. In the beginning with plenty of energy – no big deal. Talk to me again after walking for a few hours and then having to come back that same way! I was very glad to only have 2 bricks in my ruck instead of 4.

 

I promise there is a trail there somewhere

 

This trail had some absolutely breathtaking views and I think it’s one that Tara and I would definitely come to again for a hike. We’d probably plan on bringing a lunch and stopping more often to enjoy it or rest. There’s apparently a lot more down there that we didn’t explore, so maybe next time we’d do a loop. The only reason we did an out and back instead of a loop this time was because one of the women said that it was about a mile on a dirt road, which is kind of boring (and if anything like the drive in, would be dangerous walking on). It was definitely one to add to our list of favorites.

 

 

 

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A S’more On A Grill Is Still A S’more

Friday was SO slow at work I thought the day would never end. Once it finally did, we did our typical errands for the week and decided on a whim to grill up some burgers and eat outside since it was gorgeous out. We lit the patio candles and brought out the umbrella light and it was perfect ambiance. The bugs aren’t out in full force yet, but we also lit some citronella candles just in case and were OK for most of the night.

 

This is what happens when you get home from work and your wife tells you that you look nice and wants to take your picture but you really just want to get your errands done.

I am the Grill MASTER!

 

After the burgers, we made some s’mores over the side burner on the grill. High class here, people. We don’t have a fire pit so it will have to do. It still got the job done and they were delish. I didn’t want to stay up too late though, so we cut our porch time short. I think we ended up getting to bed just after 10:00.

 

Someone was getting a little punchy

 

I set my alarm for 5 am so that I could hit up the OCF class at Unleashed at 6:30. I think I left the house just after 6 am and had a few minutes to foam roll when I got there before we started. It was a KILLER class. I don’t know if I can remember everything, or the specific order we went in exactly, but basically it was sort of as follows: warm-up consisted of running 1 lap around the building, 5 burpees, another lap around the building. I think then we went inside, grabbed a 50 lb Wreck Bag, tossed it over our shoulders and ran around the building again, did 10 squats and went inside? I’m sure I’m messing the order up, but still all the same stuff was done. After we went in, with the bags still on our shoulders, we went over all the plyoboxes (6 boxes total maybe?) 3 times. We did left foot stepping up over all, then right foot up over all, then I think the last round was whatever we wanted, which I think I did left. At some point during all this, we did a couple of minutes of burpees as well.

After the “warm-up”, we broke into groups of 3 to start obstacles. The first set of obstacles was the 3 walls (6’ wall, 8’ wall and 12’ rope wall), the traverse ropes and vertical ropes. Our group was group 1, so we had walls first. I still can’t get over them, so I attempt the first one, then just end up rolling under all 3 of them. Next up – the traverse rope. I did REALLY well with it that morning, the farthest I’ve ever gone! If you don’t know what this is, you’re basically hanging upside down from a rope and need to alternate moving your hands and feet to climb across (and sort of up because they are tied to the top). Lastly was vertical ropes, which I still don’t have the hang of (get it? haha) so I use the practice rope and just do “climbs” up and down it lowering and raising my body weight to build grip strength.

After this set, I think we ran a few more laps outside, with burpees thrown in between each lap. When we came back in, we got back into groups and this time was the kettlebell hoist, cargo net/ladder climb and the traverse wall. I managed the kettlebell hoist no problem, but it sort of tweaked my shoulder a little. I tried the cargo climb after this, but my shoulder decided it was all done playing around so I just stepped aside and did burpees. I was fine with this because the cargo net and ladder climb make me too scared because they’re super wobbly and if I’m gonna be climbing, I want stability! Moving over to the traverse wall, I have trouble with this because of my grip, so I ended up using the wood slats built next to it and just basically shimmying side to side on it to work on my grip and foot placement. It was good practice at least!

After class, Unleashed was offering free FMS screenings so of course I wanted in on that. I had a screening when I first started seeing my sports chiro a few months ago, but I feel like it wasn’t the entire screening because this one on Saturday seemed more thorough. I continue to amaze people with how inflexible I am. The guy that did my screening was cool, though, and went over my results in detail and will be emailing me some exercises (which will be helpful since I can’t see the exercise specialist at the chiro anymore).

After the FMS screening, I chatted with some of the ladies for a few and then headed home to do yard work. I weed whacked, mowed, fertilized and watered but just didn’t have the energy to do the weeding so I left that for another time, probably this weekend.

Tara and I had talked about a hike since it was a gorgeous weekend, so we looked through a book we bought at REI recently and found a few nearby places. Tara still wasn’t feeling 100% yet, so we wanted a short hike, relatively close to home so we didn’t need to bring packs or anything. We found a few and ended up deciding on one that was about 20 or so minutes away called Fisherville Brook Wildlife Refuge.

The directions were really clear and it was easy to get to, however once we got to the road that we needed to take, it was SUPER sketchy. The road leading into the area was really narrow and windy, but this road was 10x worse. First of all, it was just a dirt road. No big deal, done it before, however it was littered with big rocks and huge holes. The sign at the very beginning when you turn on to the road stated “pass at own risk”, which is not a good start. Once we got about 100 feet in, the road took a STEEP decline and there was no way with that angle, plus the rocks and holes, that my little Hyundai was going in there. No way, Jose!

We had passed 2 small dirt parking lots on our way into the area that had some people at each one, so we decided to stop at the larger one and check it out. It wasn’t in our book, but Tara Googled it really quick and found out there was about 4.5 miles of trail in the woods as part of the Big River Management Area. There were 3 or 4 trail heads so we just picked one and decided I would watch my Garmin and see when we reach ½ mile, then we’d turn around and come back out since we didn’t know the trail and didn’t want to walk too far. It ended up being just over a mile since my GPS wouldn’t kick in until we’d already gone into the woods a little ways. It was a really pretty hike so we’ll definitely go back down there some time with our packs and make a day of it.

 

We saw tons of lady slippers!

 

After our hike, we decided we were close enough to keep driving south and go to The Umbrella Factory. Basically, it’s a hodgepodge of things. There are local artisans, a huge bamboo forest, a farm café and animals on the property (emus, goats, chickens and some other stuff I’m not 100% on). It was a really cute, very artsy place and it was all free to walk around.

 

Do you like my bamboo teepee?

Emus and goats!

 

We realized we hadn’t really eaten since breakfast, so we used Yelp to see what was in the area and ended up at K&S Pizza. It was a “seed to fork” pizza place and the menu sounded really good. It was a very cute place and I really love how everything is locally sourced. Tara got a Farmers Harvest pizza (basically a veggie pizza) and I made up for her and got a Meat Lovers pizza. It was so delicious!

 

 

When we got home, we were beat and wanted to start binge watching the second season of Orange Is The New Black. Well, it ended up that Tara wanted to work on her blog a bit, so she wanted me to watch something else so she could focus on her writing and not the TV. I decided that would be a good time to start watching Game Of Thrones. What ended up happening is that we are now BOTH addicted to it and we watched the whole first season, plus 7 episodes of the second season over the course of the rest of the weekend! I can’t wait to catch up to real time to talk to other people about it. Right now I’m just trying to avoid hearing too much about it that I haven’t seen yet.

 

 

Who else is hooked on either of these shows? Or what are you all hooked on?

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #34

Fitness this week:

Saturday – 5 mi (1:05) run + 3 hours yard work (mowed, spread fertilizer, weeded, planted flower beds)

Sunday – 1.5 hr hike (approx 3 miles)

Monday – Chiro appt
Tuesday – 30 min run + 10 min challenge*
Wednesday – Mowed lawn
Thursday – 1 hr Unleashed OCF class
Friday – rest
*For this week’s challenge, my reps were as follows (click here to see the challenge origin):
Lunges – 60
Push-ups – 35
KB swings – 71 (w/ 4K kettlebell)
Burpees – 15
Planks – 34 sec, 30 sec, 15 sec
 

Overall, a nice improvement on last week. I decided to do it before my run this time to see if that would be any different than doing it after my run like I did the first time. It definitely made a difference, but then made my run a bit tough. I think that makes the decision that much clearer that I can’t do the challenge on the same day as a run, period.

Monday night I had my chiropractor appointment as usual (I’m trying to go every other week now so I don’t use up all my visits before the end of the year). I asked her to take a look at my shoulder that’s been bothering me for well over a month now. At first I thought I just strained it on the monkey bars, but after trying the monkey bars again it still felt pretty bad. After BoldrDash, I could barely move my arm for the rest of the day and we didn’t even have any hanging type obstacles. This made me a little nervous because that is the same shoulder I had a SLAP tear in a few years back.

After she did my ART on my hip/leg and adjusted my back, she took a look at said it was definitely off within about 3 seconds of feeling my shoulder. She told me it’s likely an impingement (which I had to Google afterwards) and I should definitely take it easy on overhead stuff like monkey bars. The last two times I’ve gone to OCF class at Unleashed, I just told Kevin that I wouldn’t be doing them and took myself a little walk over to the TRX, where I did some rows and push-ups. I told the chiro this and she said that was perfect and what she would have suggested I do anyway. I don’t plan on doing monkey bars anytime soon, at least until I feel no pain in my shoulder and my lats/biceps are stronger to hold my weight like that. I’ve already put myself into the mindset that when I do Tough Mudder in 2 short weeks that I won’t be doing any obstacles that are strictly body weight hanging from something. If I know it going in, I will get less frustrated. Trust me, it’s better for everyone.

Substitute the monkey bars for the weight and shoulder for back LOL

 
 

Tomorrow, I’m going to my hometown to run the Abington Police Community Partners 5K. It’s supposed to be pouring rain, which I’m not a fan of, but it’s a nice little race. I ran it for the first time last year (since I’m a newbie runner) but it’s been around for a few years now. I know I won’t be beating my time from last year since my endurance is for shit right now, but I’ll just go and enjoy seeing the familiar sights.

I leave you this week with my song choice. Whenever this song comes on my playlist, I can’t help but feel happy. I think it’s the music itself or something, but it always makes me smile and sing it out loud.

Noah And The Whale – L.I.F.E. G.O.E.S. O.N.

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Weekend Recap

The weather here this weekend was so close to perfect, it will be hard to top for the rest of the spring/summer. Originally, when I looked earlier in the week, it showed rain Fri/Sat/Sun. It is the last “free” weekend Tara and I would have in May, so we wanted to do some fun stuff. I was kind of bummed with that forecast. As the week went on, the forecast slowly changed to show only rain on Saturday. I could handle a half nice weekend so I was OK with that. What it ended up being was mostly awesome!

Saturday, we woke up to cloudy skies, but no rain. It was VERY muggy out though. We kind of just lounged around for a bit, had some breakfast, checked our emails and I noticed the forecast didn’t show rain up until 3pm. I decided I would get my longish run out of the way for the weekend instead of trying to do it Sunday. I headed out around 11 and planned on an hour run (which turned into an hour + 5 minutes so that I could reach 5 miles LOL). While I was out, it was super humid, but never rained. The sun even tried to poke through a few times. There were a lot of people out and about on the bike path and almost every single one of them said hi back to me when I said hello, which doesn’t always happen.

 

Who wouldn’t say hi to this smiley face?

 

By the time I got back to the house, I was drenched in sweat and couldn’t wait to take my new Camelbak off to let my back breathe a bit more. It was just after noon at this point and Tara had lunch ready to go when I got home because she had been following my eCrumb on the RoadID app.

Since we were keeping up our lucky streak with the rain, we decided to run to Home Depot to pick up our flowers for the front and back flower beds. This year, instead of just getting annuals, we decided to throw some perennials and bulbs into the mix. I can’t remember everything, but we got some lilies, gladiolas, marigolds, salvia and dusty miller. We also grabbed a few herbs that Tara is going to try growing in some containers.

 

Our fuzzy supervisors

 

It was darkening up a bit so when we got back from HD I rushed to grab the lawn mower and get that done while Tara started on her placement of the flowers/bulbs for planting (she’s the artist). I finished up the lawn and was spreading fertilizer when one of our neighbors came over for a quick chat. After she left, I helped Tara plant the rest of the flowers and weeded the back flower bed in advance of her switching to plant what was left back there. We ended up finishing before any rain and I even had time to grill us up some burgers and cover the grill back up before we ever heard any raindrops. And then what happens (after I hoped it would rain to water the new flowers)? It barely drizzled for like 10 minutes and that was it! HA!

Sunday was the most perfect weather day we’ve seen in a long time. We had planned a hike over the weekend and knew this would be the day for it. We lounged a bit, having breakfast and whatnot, then we packed up a few things, got dressed for a hike and headed out to the Maxwell Mays Wildlife Refuge. I got to break in my new hiking shoes that I finally settled on. I ended up returning those Merrells I had gotten before and got a pair of Salomons instead (since I fell in love with the trail running shoe I have from them). The Merrells (as much as I love them) are just too wide for my feet now.

 

 

The sun was shining all day, with just a slight breeze and perfect humidity. There were a few other people out on the trails, but other than that we barely saw anything or anyone. There were a few funky birds (one had a mohawk) but we didn’t see any other animals. The water was a little higher than I remembered from our only other trip there last summer, but we were still able to cross any streams without issue. It was nice, too, because the last time we were there we were eaten alive by mosquitoes, but I think it’s too early in the season so there weren’t many out yet.

 

 

Mr. Grumpy Rock from last year now has a cigar in his “mouth”

I thought this tree “arch” was cool, like we were royalty walking under it

 

This trail is a nice easy loop, but can be shortened if needed. There is a 1.3 mile loop around Carr’s Pond. You can also extend the CP loop to the Hammit Hill loop and it ends up being just under 3 miles total. It’s nice to have the options in case you can’t walk for too long. With stops for pictures and water breaks, it ended up taking about 1.5 hours for us to do the 3 mile trail.

 

 

 

When we got home, we took out our patio chairs and umbrella and got those cleaned off and set up for the summer and then we ate lunch outside. I grilled up some chicken later for dinner and we enjoyed that out there as well. It was far too nice to eat inside.

 

Flynn getting some outside time, sunning his belly

 

Today is another gorgeous day, but unfortunately I was stuck inside at work while Tara had the day off. I was tempted to call out, but I’m glad I didn’t because the person who would cover for me called out instead. I even made a bet with Tara she would probably do so because it was nice out and she calls out a lot. Oh well! Hopefully we’ll have many more nice weekends to come!

 

 

 

 

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Face The Music Friday #31 (Plus The Update You’ve All Been Waiting For!)

Fitness this week:

Saturday – 1 hr Unleashed OCF class + 4 mile hike

Sunday – Rest/Easter business

Monday – 2.62 miles for Boston

I don’t know if you heard of, or took part in, the Boston Marathon World Run, but I had pledged 25 miles. I finished the week before, but didn’t realize you could get fun virtual swag.

 

 

 

Tuesday & Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 1 hr Unleashed OCF class

Friday – not sure yet, but I have lots of stuff to do around the house today and will probably just chill today and tomorrow since I have the Newport 10 Miler on Sunday

 

Well, looks like the ol’ blog is taking a backseat again, but it’s OK – it just leaves you more time to yearn to read my words again. Life has been fairly busy as of late. Tara and I had a really nice couple of days last weekend. We had plans for a mid afternoon lunch/dinner for Easter at my aunt’s house, so we checked with Julie and Dan about making a weekend out of it since we hadn’t seen them for a bit. They live only 15 minutes from my aunt’s house which meant we wouldn’t have to drive the hour plus up there and back on the same day as dinner.

I found out that Unleashed was hosting BoldrDash last Saturday morning as part of their race series they’ve started where the race directors come in and promote local races and you can get discounted entries and swag, as soon as you finish a kickass workout of course. I wanted to check out BoldrDash because it’s on 5/3 – which I originally had a race, but the race date got changed and I had to cancel due to volunteering on the same date they moved it to. I wasn’t sure what discounts BoldrDash were offering, but because it’s such a last minute registration for me, I didn’t want to sign up online at full price so I made plans to take the Saturday 6:30am class and then check them out afterwards. And yes, I got suckered in and signed up, so now I’ll have a “minor” warm-up race before Tough Mudder at the end of the month. I’m looking forward to it though – I’ve been told it’s a GREAT local race and I’ll be running with my Unleashed teammates so I’m excited.

After class and signing up for the race, I headed home to do a couple of things in the yard and then we drove up to MA. The weather last weekend was gorgeous, so we planned a hike around the Ponkapoag Pond Trail that Tara and I had done once last year. We knew it would be an easy beginner trail for Julie and Dan because most of it is gravel/dirt road and not so much an actual trail through the woods. I think it was a great time and it was fun doing something active together as a group.

 

Testing out my new Camelbak hiking pack I got for Christmas!

Me and Jules

 

 

The rest of the afternoon/night we just spent hanging out. It was also nice being able to chill with them on Sunday morning. Normally we’d drive up Friday night and leave Sunday morning, but because our dinner at my aunt’s wasn’t until 2:30 we didn’t have to rush off anywhere. I had brought my running stuff to get 4 miles in, but my shins and ankles hurt so bad from the hike I decided not to push it.

Easter was nice – just our small crew from my mom’s side of the family. My aunt, uncle, cousin & bf, my grandmother and me & Tara. My grandfather was working and never ended up making it there before we drove home around 4:30ish. There was lots of yummy food and we watched a little playoff hockey while we were there. I love just hanging out with them.

Monday I decided I would do that run I missed on Sunday, but what I intended to be 4 miles didn’t turn out that way. My shins were still really bothering me throughout the day, but I figured I’d try it out and see what happened. We drove up to the high school track so that I could run while Tara walked. I was OK for the first interval, but then my shins were screaming. I did a few more intervals, but couldn’t hack it so I just stopped and walked the rest of the time with Tara until I hit 2.62. I figured if I couldn’t get my 4 in, that would be perfect to do for Boston.

 

 

Speaking of Boston, I only have one thing to say – MEB!!! That was amazing! I had to work, but as soon as I got there I logged on my computer and the first thing I did was pull up the live feed of the race. I had it going in the background for hours and kept giving people updates even if they didn’t want them. I was so hoping Shalane was going to win it for the women, but you know what – she still kicked ass! Meb was a rockstar though, what an amazing finish. I only wish I could have been there and been a part of it. Maybe next year.

As for the rest of the week, well, Tara’s been a busy bee! She had the whole week off due to school vacation, so she’s tackled various projects around the house. The best one of all was our office/second guest room which is now our office/second guest room/MY RUNNING ROOM!! Now all of my workout clothes and running related gear all have one single home to live in instead of being scattered throughout the house. It’s pretty bare right now, but it was painted a cool grey color called “Pier” and we’re going to hang my medal holder I got for Christmas, as well as the awesome race photos Julie and Dan bought me. I’m sure I’ll post some pics eventually, but I pretty much suck at blogging and never remember to take pics of anything.

We also had some trees trimmed around our property line as well as had a weeping cherry tree removed that the previous owners decided would be a good idea to plant in the flower bed. Geniuses. None of the trees we trimmed actually live in our yard, but they’ve come over from the neighbor’s yard so much they were touching the house, our porch and the shed so we finally had enough. We couldn’t reach enough to trim ourselves anymore. It looks so naked, but now even more sunlight will reach the back of the house so that’s awesome – especially once we put our pool back up for the summer!

 

Tara said these guys climbed like monkeys. They were doing the trimming in the pouring rain!

 

 

OK, so…drumroll please! The most fabulous update you’ve all been waiting for….SHOES! Maybe that’s not such a big deal, but I really had you holding your breath, didn’t I?

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve been seeing my sports chiropractor for a couple of months now. Since our very first appointment, she urged me to get bigger, narrow width shoes. I was wearing a size 8 regular width at the time, which I thought fit me fine. I had about a fingernail of space at the end of the toes and my foot touched both sides of the shoe – sounds fine, right? Nope. She said I had very narrow feet and should really be in a bigger shoe, length-wise, because she said my arches were like knots because my feet couldn’t stretch properly and the bone that protrudes on the outside of my foot, well, it shouldn’t do that apparently.

Every week I would go and every week she would tell me to get the other shoes. I really didn’t want to because I don’t want to spend tons of money and have to replace every shoe I own because once you stretch your foot out, the ones you have won’t fit anymore. Plus I had just gotten new running shoes a couple of months back so I didn’t want that to go to waste. So we battled every week until finally, about 3 weeks ago, she was so adamant about it that she actually said she would reimburse me for the shoes if it didn’t work out. I also figured she has nothing to gain because it’s not like she’s selling the shoes to me, so I finally caved in.

I went on Zappos since they have the free shipping both ways (in case I needed to return them) and got one of the only 3 pairs they had in stock of size 9.5 narrow width of the running shoes I already owned (Mizuno Wave Inspire 10’s). Yes, that is a size and a half bigger than my current shoe. I figured they would feel like clown shoes and I’d be tripping over my toes! Well, when I got them in they actually fit like a glove. I was totally astonished. I brought them with me a few days later for my appointment and she put two pieces of felt pads in each shoe, one under the arch and one under the ball of the foot to “spread the toes”. That felt weird for a day or two, but now I barely notice them. She said it would just help my feet adjust to the new space and get them stretched out. I have to say, I can definitely tell the difference when I’m running and she said she’s already seen improvements in my muscles releasing during my ART.

Since this was the only pair of shoes I had in my now-correct size, I had to get a note from her to wear them to work (since we have to dress business casual) so I could be wearing them at all times. Not that you’d hear me complaining about getting to wear my sneakers all day long. I gave it a couple of weeks to make sure I wouldn’t be needing to adjust anything or change my mind and decided that I would definitely replace everything in that size (except for dress shoes, which she said would be 8.5 narrow). I can’t buy all my pairs of shoes at once, but since we were going hiking last weekend we swung in to REI to get new hiking and trail running shoes (since I’ll need those for TM next month). I fell in love with the first two I put on my feet, which happened to be the only two that they had there he said would work well with a naturally narrow fit. So now I have a pair of Salomon trail running shoes and a new pair of Merrell hiking shoes. I’m not 100% on the hiking shoes yet because they are a lot more rigid than the Merrell’s that I got last year and they seem to rub my ankle bones. I haven’t worn them outside the house yet because I want to be able to return them if I need to. I ended up wearing the Salomons when we went hiking and they did amazing. I’m totally in love with those.

 

The 3 pairs of shoes I’ve replaced so far

 

 

One other quick chiropractor update, other than her telling me that she noticed my muscles releasing more easily, is that my CES that I see after her ART/adjustment told me that I’m improving there as well. My issue with this is some unfortunate news we got earlier this week from the chiropractor. Back in March, she moved from her own practice location to a small area of a gym in Providence. This wasn’t an issue for me because it was pretty close to her old office and she said it was less overhead for her so I was happy for her. However, earlier this week I received an email saying that due to insurance or whatever, that the CES Mike wouldn’t be a part of her services anymore. He would basically be working through the gym now and would be paid for his own separate appointments – at $50 for 30 minutes!! I already pay a $40 copay per visit with the chiro so basically when I go for my appointment on Monday, I won’t be seeing Mike anymore. It’s too bad, but I’ll figure it out.

On to the song choice of the week now that you’ve probably all fallen asleep. I heard this play on my iPhone on the way up to MA on Saturday morning and just kept focusing on the lyrics “my body tells me no, but I won’t quit, cause I want more”. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up nicely – especially after the massive cramping I had in class last night and my shoulder being all jacked up from the monkey bars last week.

My Body – Young The Giant

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sugar Sugar

4 mile hike – Ponkapoag Pond Trail – Canton, MA

The weather today was perfection for our hike. Not too sunny and hot, nice level of humidity and a slight, cool breeze from time to time. So nice! We were a little disappointed with this trail because it was about 90% road and 10% trail. We passed through a golf course. Yes, you read that right. Through the golf course. We had a stop sign and another sign indicated that hikers were to give the right of way to the golfers on the tee – because the path went through the middle of the tee to the green! Crazy business!

 

8:23:13 hike weather

trail map 8:23:13

ponkapoag trail sign

ponkapoag pond

 

 

After our hike, we decided to Yelp it up to find a spot for lunch that we’d never been to. We ended up at Windy City Eats, which is owned by people from Chicago (hence the name, duh), and it was primarly a hot dog place.

 

Windy City Eats

 

 

The inside decor was Chicago-centric and for whatever reason it had dollar bills all over the walls, and even the ceiling, that had people’s names on them.

 

windy city wall

 

 

I decided before we got there that I was going to order the corn dog and cheese fries. My hopeless journey continued, however, as they make their cheese fries with melted American cheese and not cheese sauce. I figured if I was gonna eat crappy food I was gonna have the good stuff! It was not meant to be though. I ended up getting a side of onion rings and they were actually really good.

They were also redeemed while we waited in line because they had homemade sodas and they have raspberry lime! Yes please! After my horrifying “raspberry lime rickey” at Not Your Average Joe’s last weekend I was hesitant, but it was wonderful. Like a unicorn spewed rainbows directly into my mouth! And I have to say – I’m not the biggest hot dog fan, I maybe have them once a year – their hot dogs tasted phenomenal. They had a great flavor to them. I couldn’t even tell you what it was, but my tongue was doing a happy dance!

windy city lunch

 

 

Tara ended up getting a cheesesteak and it was pretty good. It was just a basic steak and cheese sub and the first time I’ve ever seen one with orange cheese, which was interesting. She doesn’t usually crave meat like that so it was weird for her to order. I literally don’t think I’ve ever seen her eat a steak and cheese in the almost 10 years we’ve been together.

Right next door to Windy City was a place called Donut King. I do enjoy a good donut and we decided to check it out just because it’s not a chain (that we’re aware of) and sometimes they have the best donuts. Well, first off, it was sketch city. We walked in and there were 3 or so guys sitting at a “bar” type counter playing Keno. What the hell kind of donut place has lottery and Keno. We took a peek at the small tiny selection and decided to just get the hell out of dodge.

We were now craving a nice dessert, so we decided to turn to my friend Yelp again for some place I could find a real half moon cookie. Not one of those fake, plastic-y tasting “black and white cookies” from Stop & Shop. We ended up going to Hingham to White’s Bakery and Cafe. They had a huge selection of delicious looking treats and I was thrilled to see half moons! I got 2 of those and Tara got a chocolate covered cheesecake slice.

cookie & half and half

I was pretty full from lunch so I just ate one cookie and saved the other for another time. While we were at the cafe, I saw half and half in their cooler and decided that would taste wonderful because it had gotten much warmer outside by then. I think I’ve had the most sugary beverages today than I have in the last 6 months combined! I figured I’m gonna have fun these last two “summer weekends” and not worry about weekend food too much. I’ll still be doing my workouts, and Mon-Fri I’ll still be eating my regular healthy stuff, but the next two weekends will be enjoyed to their fullest!

 

 

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