Saturday, September 28, 2013

Our "Thing"

In the land of fairy tales and make believe, I feel couples have their "thing." The "thing" to which I'm referring is some sort of event that couples do together religiously. Whether it's a weekly drink at a bar or a Sunday brunch. The Mister and I have had a go at various different activities. None of them sticking.

We tried a talk night a coffee shop. We did it once. While we enjoyed ourselves, drinking coffee after 5:00pm isn't the greatest idea. Nothing like riding a caffeine high when you both have to be up at early for work!

Another idea we tried was going to the driving range to hit balls and then grab dinner after. Despite me being an awful golfer, we had a great time, but we only did it once. It's hard to plan things when we only have a sitter on certain nights (teen daughter) and Mister gets stuck at work late other nights.

This morning, while doing my core work out, I was fantasizing about having another cup of coffee on the screened in porch. I needed a distraction. I was feeling tired and day dreaming about coffee helped a lot. It was beautiful out and I love coffee. Then, it hit me. Mister and I do have a "thing." Almost every single morning, we enjoy a cup of coffee together. We may talk about our dreams from the night before, plans for the day or we may not say anything at all. Just enjoy the quiet of the morning.

It's not a lot and nothing special, but it's our "thing." On the off chance once of us sleeps in a bit later and we don't have a cup of coffee together, the day seems a little off kilter. The day certainly isn't ruined but I feel like I'm missing something to complete it. I'm certainly not opposed to finding another "thing" to add to our routine, but I don't have to keep looking or trying to force it. It was right there the whole time.

Do you and your significant other have a "thing"?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Donut Go Breaking My Heart

Hi. My name's Cecilia, and I'm addicted to donuts. Yep. ADDICTED. If you know me, you know this fact. I am not ashamed to admit it. Many times, I run just so I can eat a donut. Many times, I do not eat just one donut.

I've only had a handful of jobs in my life. My first job? I worked the counter at...... you guessed it A DONUT SHOP!! I worked weekends during the school year and filled in during the week in the summer. I worked at The Baker's Dozen for five years. I like to include the longevity because it shows that I did not eat all of their profit as some would believe. I sure did eat a lot of donuts while working, though. Sigh. The good old days.

The other day (whilst eating donuts, naturally) my hubby and I tossed around the idea of searching for the best donuts in the area. Why I never attempted to do this before, I don't really know. Seems like a no brainer. I love donuts. I love to write. Why not blog about donuts? Brilliant.

So, Mr. 'man Clan and I are discussing strategy and locations. Hopefully some time in the near future, I'll be bringing you reviews of donuts in the area in the quest to find the best donuts and the best overall donut shop.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Trying Hard or Hardly Trying

The other day I came across a link to this article The Wall Street Journal posted. It's a great read for any runner with an interesting perspective. The article talks about the decline of competitiveness in the sport of running. In the last decade, I've noticed this trend in other sports. The "let's give everyone a trophy" mentality. I'll have another post on that topic. For now, I'll stick to the running aspect. It never occurred to me that this trend could carry over into the sport of running.

I am not a speedy runner. Realistically, I will never win a race that I run. If I train hard enough, I may be able to win my age bracket. Knowing this does not hinder me from trying to be a better, faster run. I'm not satisfied with running a sub-8 minute mile a couple of times. I'm not content running a sub 2 hour half marathon. Was I excited when I met those goals? Heck yeah! But it isn't' enough. It's never enough. There are always new goals and new times for me to beat.

Reading the article, I learned there are races that are not timed. Ummmmm. What? What's the point of running an untimed race? I'm all for having fun, but when I'm running in a race, I'm there to meet a goal. Not to giggle and frolic. I'm there to finish the race and I'm trying my hardest to get the best possible time.

The sport of running has seen an increase in popularity in the past few years. I think this is evident in the number of gimmicky races popping up all over the country. Many of these being untimed races. By no means am I opposed to participating in a themed race: doughnut, cupcake, chocolate. But you better believe it will be a timed event. I can run just to run at any time. I'm racing because I'm trying to beat my old times. To a lot of runners, times aren't official until you complete them during a race. Yeah. I can PR a practice 5k, but it doesn't mean anything to me until I've had it professionally timed.

Some people go as far to say that perhaps not all participants should receive medals. Only those top performers should receive a prize. I think a medal for a 5k is a bit excessive (read: trophy for all mentality). That's not to demean the distance of a 5k race.  3.1 miles may be a big achievement for many people, but more training and commitment go into the longer distance races. I've run several half marathons. I've never won any. I've never finished in the top fifteen percent of my division, but I deserve that medal just as much as the elite athletes. Completing a 13.1 mile race, at any speed, is a huge accomplishment.

It saddens me the younger generation has no desire to compete. On the other hand, maybe I'll have a better shot at winning my division (possibly even a race) with the lack of desire by the youth. I can promise one thing. As long as I'm running, I'm doing so with the goal of being faster each and every outing.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Working on My Fitness

As I mentioned in the last post, I am 100% healthy and back to running. I'm also working on toning everything. With weight loss comes saggy, soggy.......well you get the idea. My arms have always been a problem area for me. My abs? Ha! They leave a lot to be desired, but I've made this unofficial goal in my head to be bikini body ready by next summer. Don't panic and run for the hills. I don't actually plan on WEARING a bikini in public. Your eye sight will be saved. No nightmares for you. Breathe a sigh of relief. Just knowing that I could slip into a two piece and not make a fool of myself is good enough for me. All joking aside. A good core is really important to improving your run. I'm all for bettering my run times while firming up my tummy.

To help build up my arm strength, I'm doing the 100 push up challenge using this sweet app. No. Push ups will not give me the definition lifting weights will, but it's still something. I've definitely noticed an improvement in my over all strength and my muscle tone.

Another great app I love is Workout Trainer by Skimble. Skimble is free. It does have an upgrade option, but I have not felt the need to do this yet. I've been using the Ab Attack workout quite a bit. This particular program consists of several different exercises broken up into small segments. There are rest points as well. What I love is that it's just enough time to feel the burn before you want to quit and take a break. By the time it starts to hurt, it's time to move on and work a different area.

What makes Skimble really fantastic are the options. Name a body part, and Skimble has a workout for it. You select the area and the degree of difficulty and off you go! You can pause or skip at any point. I tend to skip a lot of the jumping exercises. Jumping kills my knees. I know what you're thinking. " run. Doesn't that hurt your knees?" Not so much. Yes. There is impact when my foot is striking but nothing like the jolt you get from jumping. Also, I'm a sissy.

Any at home workouts that you're loving?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Fall"ing in Love.....

.....with this amazing weather and running!

The Midwest has seen a reprieve in the unbearable heat. I wish I could say that it will last a week, but we all know how foolish that would be. I love the cooler temperatures. I love being able to open the windows and listen to the leaves rustling in the trees. Magical. Simply beautiful. Makes for some great sleeping at night.
Another bonus to the amazing weather? RUNNING!!! I'm happy to report that I have fully rehabilitated my torn muscle. I am back to running. Everywhere. Any time. The only thing I'm omitting for now is speed work. I'll get back to that when I'm actually training for a race. Right now, I'm just running to run. It feels amazing.

I had been playing it safe and stuck to the flat lands. I figure the less strain on my muscles the better. I don't want to find myself in the same predicament, although I always seem to injure myself each year. Different injuries mind you. Hitting the hills has been h.a.r.d. I don't regret a second of it. I love the challenge. 

I can't fully put into words what running does for me. It's not just about my physical health. Running clears up any head (and heart, for that matter) congestion I may be having. Feeling stressed? Hit the pavement. Unsure about a resolution? Pound it out. Happy because it's beautiful out? Stretch those legs, breathing in that gloriously cool air. I never really fell out of love with running. I just missed being able to do it. I ached to run.

I feel like myself when I'm running. I feel like I can tackle the world. Nothing can hold me back, and really nothing ever should. I need to strap on my running shoes to remind myself of that.