Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanks for the Miles

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all that is good. At our family gathering, we each take a turn to express our gratitude for the blessings in our lives. I'm a big believer in silver linings. In spite of some tough breaks this year, there was just so much good that came out of every bad situation and I'm so grateful for that.

I'm also grateful to be ending this year on a high note, with regards to running and fitness. Instead of recovering from a fall marathon and dialing down my mileage, I'm gearing up for my final race of the year. Next weekend, I'm traveling to Florida to run the Panama City Beach half marathon with a few of my fellow bloggers. Without all the miles I've normally run by this time of year, my legs feel fresh and young. This week was the best running week I've had all this year. I'm hoping to ride that wave (pun intended!) all the way to the finish line of this waterfront race!

Taking the Long Way Home


After crushing my 10 miler last weekend, I promised myself I'd take it easy. But riding that post-long run high, my legs just wanted to go. Looking down at my Garmin during my runs has made me smile. With the lightness I've been feeling in my stride, my PF continues to be a whisper and that Baker's cyst is behaving. Right now, the only unknown is the weather. If it's warm on race day, I'll have to adjust my goals. As of today, all my weather apps are in agreement that the conditions look to be ideal for the race. Stay tuned.

Taking the Long Way Home
Stopping to see my 2 favorite friends on Thanksgiving.
Today's 8 miler was a little bit more of a challenge than I expected. I blame my large dinner last night. We went to the BBQ restaurant where my oldest son works and gorged ourselves on the amazing pulled pork and sides. There was also some beer consumed. This morning's weather was cool and blustery, not sunny as predicted. But I got it done, and happy with my pace, I wrapped up my final "long run" for my half marathon training.

Taking the Long Way Home
King Dancer at the pond
Wednesday's yoga class was excellent as always but ended on a sad note. My long-time teacher, Kathy, is no longer going to be leading our class. There will be a new teacher, and I'm not exactly thrilled about who it is. I've taken a few of her classes and they aren't nearly as fun as what I'm used to. I'm willing to give her a chance with the hope that she'll be a little less intense than what I've experienced from her in the past.

Taking the Long Way Home
Twisted Bound Chair aka "bird prep"
I had another week without Becky, but opportunity knocked in the form of rugby conditioning. Yes, you read that right. My son is back to work with the team and they've been training with their strength coach. Matthew asked if I wanted to go with him on Thursday for conditioning. Never one to shy away from a challenge or a yummy coach, I went. We all did sumo deadlifts. Coach Nick had the boys max out but I didn't want to do that since I'm not currently in a strength cycle. I finished with 115# for my last set, feeling great with my effort. Then he divided us into 2 groups and we competed against each other, rowing 2000m and completing 150 burpees as a group. My endurance paid off handsomely. While my 17 year old teammate killed his turns on the rower, I was not the dead weight I'm sure he thought I'd be. In fact, the other boy on our team got nauseous and had to sit out, so it was just Joe and me to the finish. We beat the other team, which included my son Matthew, by about 10 burpees. Full disclosure: I realized about halfway into the match that I wasn't dropping to the floor with my burpees. Coach Nick said that was ok, calling them "girl burpees". I guarantee you that Becky would not have felt the same way. I just hope she doesn't make me re-do them next week when I see her. Anyways, I left with a huge smile on my face and felt completely badass for the rest of the week. I was so excited about this workout that I completely forgot to get a picture.

Taking the long Way Home

What a fantastic way to be heading into a race and a girls' weekend! For my race, I do have goals...always #1 is to have fun. I'd love a sub-2 finish--that Florida heat and humidity always have kicked my ass and I've never finished a half there under 2 hours. If nothing else, our hostess promises me there will be beer at the finish!

How was your week? Any end of the year races for you? Do the heat and humidity mess with you?

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap as well as Angela and Ilka for the Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup!


72 comments :

  1. Sounds like a great week! Ugh burpees are the worst. I'm impressed that you gave that workout a try! It sounds like you are as ready as possible for your race-hopefully the weather cooperates!

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    1. I hope everything falls into place next weekend!

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  2. Well done this week! Your trip and half sound so fun - can't wait to hear all about it. And how great to be going into it running so strong. I agree that I've never really had a great race in the state of Florida - I blame the humidity. Great pics as always - glad there weren't any more dead ducks or duck parts on your beach!

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    1. So grateful that the roadkill down to the minimum this week! And the only ducks I saw were swimming in the creek.

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  3. No races, of course, but today ran two 3/4 miles with a 1/2 mile walk between. It doesn't sound like much, but it's the longest I've been able to do since June. Better yet, I felt great if a tad tired by the second 3/4, when during the summer I had to bail on training before even reaching this point. I think that my body was crying for a long rest and I thought I'd never run again. I can't believe that I am back and still strong at 64. Next run, two miles, no walking, a huge step on this wonderful if up-and-down journey.
    Have a great time in Florida with your group. I wish you perfect weather and lots of fun.
    Your successful strength outing with the rugby team blows my mind. You rock.
    I will call upon my former trainer Coleen's voice in my head, "Push through! Push through! You've got this."

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    1. When I ran Big Sur, I kept hearing Becky telling me to "drive" every time I started up a hill. Funny how those voices become ingrained in our heads!

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  4. Wishing you the best of luck in your race, Wendy! Go for it--it's your time and you got this!

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    1. I hope so! Fingers crossed that all the pieces fall into place!

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  5. Heat and humidity I can handle. Hills, too. But hip/groin stuff? Not so much. ;-) Have fun in Florida....I'm eager to hear about all the antics ;-)

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    1. Boo to the hip/groin stuff. I wish you were coming with us. We'll have some shenanigans in Duluth!

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  6. You have beautiful friends! Are they Huskies?
    I am jealous of your girls weekend at the beach. Can't wait to read those race recaps! -M

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    1. They are Alaskan Malamutes. My neighbors are incredible owners. Both dogs are therapy dogs and are well known in the area. I feel like I am with celebrities every time I see them.

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  7. I predict sub-2 for you. Heat be damned! I suppose we'd best be getting out that luggage. Squeeee!

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    1. I'll run fast so you have someone to hang with at the finish line! Excited!

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  8. You all are going to have such an amazing time next weekend! I can't wait to hear all about it!

    Well aren't you one bad a$$ mamma!! Way to get the challenge done! Girl burpees.....child bye...you got it done!!

    Cute doggies!!

    Have a great week and safe travels next weekend.

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    1. I'd work out with the boys anytime! And the coach..yummy...

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  9. I love that you worked out with a bunch of teen boys! Who is old? Nobody!! I think are going to have good weather for the race, but you never know. No matter what the day brings, I plan to enjoy it. I can't say my legs feel young and fresh but here's hoping a few days of rest will help. Can you run and laugh at the same time? Just wondering. See you soon. Thanks for linking, Wendy!

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    1. Old? Oh hell no! And laugh while I'm running? All the time. It's how I roll. I cannot wait to see you! <3

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  10. I hope we have good weather and you & Holly get your sub 2s.

    I don't know if I feel ready or not. I never know. I've gotten a PR when I don't expect and sucked when I should have done well. My times in Fla have varied 20 minutes on similar course.

    Good race or not, the weekend will be a blast.

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    1. I feel ready but you are right, you get what you get...we'll see what the day brings!

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  11. Your girls trip sounds like so much fun! The perfect way to end the year of running.Can't wait to read all about it

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  12. Girl burpees? Sound like fighting words to me! I bet your form was 100% better. Glad you are ending the year on such a high note. Next weekend will be a blast I'm sure!

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    1. Yeah, he was also surprised about my deadlifting too--he started me out really light. I added a few more plates... :)

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  13. You are a bad ass- chicks rule!!!! It is looking like great weather for the half- you got this! See you there- can't wait till girl time!

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  14. I don't do burpees. I wonder if there's a substitute for them, but great job at winning the competition! Good luck with your race too. I don't have anything planned through the end of the year, but maybe once I get to Boulder, I'll find something.

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    1. No burpees? Why not? Yeah, they suck but they are oh so effective!

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  15. YASSSS. So great that you showed those rugby boys a thing or two! I LOVE IT!!!! You sound so ready for your race. Your legs are fresh. You've GOT THIS.

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    1. Let's hope so! I'm so overdue for a good race.

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  16. Running in the Florida heat and humidity is no joke - I wish we would get a bit of a break already but it's still quite warm here in Palm Beach. You learn to endure running in it but it's just really hard to leave your comfort zone in this type of climate. I'm excited you are running another Half in Florida! I have huge respect for anybody coming from Up North to run a race in Florida - so not easy! Have a great week Wendy! :)

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    1. Thankfully this is on the panhandle, so maybe the weather will be a little more moderate?

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  17. Hope the weather is good for your race! Good luck and have fun in Florida!

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  18. I'm so happy to read this and beyond excited for you!! It has been a while since I have felt as good as you do right now with my training so I will live vicariously though you. I also hope someday my son invites me to conditioning practice with zero embarrassment. Nice work showing those boys how it's done!!
    Safe travels!!

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    1. I was pretty honored to be invited.... and it was fun to show them that yep, moms have skillzzzz!

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  19. I have currently sworn off burpees for a bit, I am blaming them for my latest back troubles. If I did do them it would be girl burpees for sure. Great job keeping up with those young bucks and helping your team for the win!

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    1. It was fun, but I know now I need to work on those pushups!

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  20. Not going to lie, I briefly considered doing burpees this week... and then was like yeah no.
    I love that you are having a great running week and race prep. So overdue for you!

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    1. Yeah, not a huge fan. But they are really effective.

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  21. I told Darlene on our run Sat that I know one thing for sure: I will be last in our little group. By a LOT! I so suck at humidity, and of course like you, I'm coming from dry cold.

    I really don't have time goals, my goal is to have fun.

    Unfortunately strength training has been sorely lacking lately. Can racing take its place, LOL?

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    1. Yep, goal #1 is to have fun! See you soon!

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  22. Yay for running well! You deserve it!
    Humidity totally messes with me too. Hope the race goes well for you.

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  23. I hope it is cool for you in Florida! Yes, heat and humidity generally just slow me down. I can run in it and feel completely fine, but I am much slower.

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    1. I guess you have to train in those conditions to learn how to overcome them...

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  24. I am stalking PCB weather now LOL Heat and humidity kill me and I am not feeling recovered...my goals are out the window lol
    Hopefully you can nail the sub 2 :)

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  25. Good luck and have fun at the half marathon!

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  26. sounds like a really, really great week! I'm sure you'll have so much fun in Florida!

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  27. Wishing you a fantastic experience next weekend with your fellow bloggers. It's great to hear that your runs have felt so good recently, and that you are in a good spot with running. As much as I love marathons, the recovery period does suck, so it's good you are feeling fresh and ready to go for your half.

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    1. Altho I did run one of my fastest halfs last fall, just 6 weeks after Chicago!

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  28. I love those weeks when everything feels good! Sounds like you might surprise yourself at the half... hope you have a great race!

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  29. Wow great job with those burpees. What exactly are girl burpees?

    Good luck in your half marathon. I hope its not to hot and humid.

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    1. I don't know if girl burpees are a thing, but if not, I made it one...I just didn't drop to the ground and push back up like you are supposed to. I went from plank to a squat...

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  30. Nice to have such a great week. Those dogs are absolutely gorgeous!

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    1. I just love them! They get so excited when they see me coming! Who wouldn't love that?

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  31. So glad to read this. You sound positive, happy and confident. You will have such a great weekend in Florida. I am jealous ! Enjoy.

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  32. Way to kick ass and show those boys who's boss at that rugby conditioning! #supermom! I hope you have a blast at the race this weekend!

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  33. I'm sorry to hear you are going to lose your yoga instructor! that sucks !! really sucks!

    I am excited for your half marathon! I hope you meet all your goals!

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    1. I'm pretty bummed about the loss of my instructor too! We'll see how her replacement does...

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  34. Great week! You are going to have such a blast in Panama City! I hope the weather cooperates, but if there's anything that's unpredictable, it's Florida weather in December. I am no stranger to it, and it can really mess with you when running.

    I ran my last 1/2 of the year on Sunday and have Ragnar coming up in just under two weeks. And then I'm done for 2017, unless something else pops up in town.

    Best of luck this weekend! You are going to have so much fun!

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    1. You've been a running machine lately! I guess there are so many races this time of year in Florida.

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  35. Sounds like you have a great race to end off the year ahead of you! Have fun!
    I'm just starting to think about next year's races and eat I want to accomplish. I have 1-2 fun runs coming up in December.

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  36. Cool that you went to conditioning with your son! Way to go with the burpees! You are going to do awesome next weekend! Have fun!

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  37. Sounds like a great week! Have fun on your racecation!

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  38. Featuring this post at this week's Sunday Fitness & Food! Congrats on your Half-Marathon this weekend Wendy!

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