Monday, October 20, 2014

Weekend and Race Recap

This weekend I did no house work or home improvement projects and it felt so nice. Sometimes you just need a break. On Friday we went to see a co-workers band play at the Greenhouse in Warren. Holy cow, how can a town that is not that far geography take one so long to get to? Once we finally got there I decided we should probably stay until the end of the show to make our travels worth it. That resulted in staying out way too late. 

Charlie wasn't feeling well on Saturday so instead of staying home with his germs I treated myself to a movie. This is the third time I've gone to the movies by myself and I don't know why I don't do it more often. I love going with people so I can talk about the movie afterwards, but not having to share popcorn was kind of like heaven on a rainy Saturday. The popcorn actually lasted for longer than the previews! I saw Gone Girl. Going into it I was a bit sad that I had read the book, which never happens to me, usually I like having read the book first. I just didn't want to know what happened, but I did. Despite knowing what would/was going to happen I was totally entertained and loved it. Well, as much as you can love a movie where you hate all of the characters. There were two men sitting across the aisle from me with their wives who were very surprised, and vocal about their shock, by the turn of events of the movie so that was entertaining to witness. Once I returned home Charlie was feeling better but I needed a nap. All in all we probably spent about 3 hours awake at the same time yesterday. Enough time to eat dinner and let Blaze do this. 

It's a good thing he's so cute. 
Charlie signed up for a 10 mile race, and then last week I realized my training plan was to run 10 miles this weekend so I figured why not do a 10 mile race instead of running on the same (flat) trail I always run on? I only regretted my decision once (during a particularly large hill). Charlie had a great race and finished 5th overall and 2nd in his age group with a time of 1:01:10. OMG he's fast. I wanted to finish in 1:30 or under, which is 9 minute miles. I ended up finishing in 1:26:48. New PR! I kind of worked myself into a tizzy around mile 7 thinking I was not going to make my goal time, so I busted out a few 7:55 miles (downhill thank goodness!) and also blasted some pump up jams on my ipod.  "Pump up Jams" in my book are "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne, and "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift. I did not win any prizes and was 8th in my age group. Charlie said it was because we were in Concord, if the race were near our house no 20-29 year olds would have run it. I am trying to enjoy my last 1.3 years of my age group before I stop winning prizes until I turn 80.

The race was really nice. It was well organized and had more volunteers and people marking the course than maybe any other race I've done. Everyone was very friendly despite it being really cold and windy. I felt kind of funny sweating in a tank top and capris when people at the water stations were wrapped in blankets. The course was a bit hilly, but not much compared to climbing a mountain. I'd do this race again since Charlie and I talked about how 10 miles is a manageable distance and doesn't beat up your body to the extent that a marathon does. Have I mentioned I am never doing a marathon again? Just like to write it every once in a while to make sure I don't make that mistake ever again.
Is it just me or does the logo on the sign and shirt look kind of like someone flipping the bird?
After the race there was a lot of food, most of which I could not eat because it was full of gluten and I didn't feel like feeling like butt for the next two days (since I'll already be sore for the next two days.) As a side note I feel super annoying for writing that. I still sometimes can't believe I turned into one of those people. Charlie ate two mini burritos and two slices of pizza. I did have a bowl of vegetable soup that was ladled out of a gatorade jug but tasted delicious. Since the fare was less than filling I forced Charlie to take me to Friendly's for ice cream. The waitress was a bit confused when we told her I only wanted ice cream, I think she even looked at the clock to check what time it was. 11:45 is the best ice cream eating time if you ask me.

Excuse me Miss, does this have gluten?
I ate the whole thing and then had a belly ache for about four hours. Totally worth it though. I have said it before and I'll say it again, ice cream is the number one reason I run. Once I was showered I took another nap. It was not as great as Saturday's naps since Blaze kept scratching at my head so I'd wake up and take him for a walk. Still though, two naps in two days? Life is good.

Hope you had a good weekend!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Snaps From The Long Weekend

 Over the weekend Penny helped me decorate the outside of the house for fall.

We made a scarecrow. I rested the pumpkin on top of his shirt for a head, but overnight it rolled off his neck, down the driveway and across the road. I assumed some neighborhood kid had stolen it and smashed it, but alas my pumpkin just rolled away on it's own accord. 

Charlie and I did trail work. Sometimes on the weekends I wait until he gets dressed and then purposefully put on a matching outfit because I think it's funny. We wore the same sweatshirt that we both got for finishing the marathon last year, and our Carhart vests that we got for Christmas two years ago. 

Had pizza and beer at Schillings in Littleton. I was expecting a dumpy town but it was so cute and busy. 
 Dug up a bunch of blubs, and then planted other bulbs. It seemed counter intuitive, but I did it anyways.

Went hiking and picked out a Christmas tree. I swear this was Charlie's idea. You pick on you want and decorate it then go back and cut it down, you know, after HalloweenThanksgiving.

Harvested sweet pea pods. This was one thing I grew this summer that actually did really well. Hopefully I'll be able to use the seeds to grow even better sweet peas next year. 

Enjoyed cider donuts, hot cider and a game of checkers at the new and improved Cardigan Mountain Country Store

Took the dogs for lots of walks and runs. This walk involved a covered bridge which neither minded, and a wire suspension bridge, which both dogs hated. It was pretty funny watching them walk across it. It was the only time all weekend Blaze didn't tug on his leash.

I wish every weekend was a three day weekend.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Purple Skirt, Because Duh, You Can Never Have Too Much Purple

Holy Cow! Can you believe it's October and it's 70+ degrees out? I could get used to this. In an effort to be more "into" fall I have tried to dress more like it's fall. With the holiday weekend I was able to spend my extra time sewing. I was getting kind of sick of sewing quilt squares so I decided to finish two skirts I had been working on. This one was started in August with the intent of being used/worn this fall. I figured I'd better get crackin' if I wanted to actually wear it this fall.
It's from the Cyntha Rowley 2215 pattern that I made this dress out of over the spring. As usual I messed up the zipper, since there is a pocket where the zipper goes. Nothing a little seam ripping wouldn't fix. I also had to actually read the pattern, I so hate doing that.

My plan was to wear it today with my brown boots. I even painted my fingernails my most fall color last night. Except this morning I heard it was going to be 70 degrees so I just had to wear sandals for potentially one last day.

Despite saying I enjoyed the weather today I certainly look very annoyed in these pictures. Taking my own picture is definitely the worst part of blogging. And also having to spell check definitely every single time because I just can't figure out how to spell it. 

Also! Did you know you can plug in your e-mail address in the "follow me by e-mail" box on the left and you'll get an e-mail when I post. Never miss another fascinating post from me again. I can feel your excitement. 


Friday, October 10, 2014


How is it already October? I read last week "the days are long but the years are short", it seems like the days are long but the months go by in the blink of an eye. Currently I have been...

Watching Charlie and his friends run a marathon relay. It was fun to go to a race that Charlie was doing but I wasn't so I could watch him instead of plodding along 3 (+) minute miles behind him. My brother- and sister-in-law ran the full marathon and it was great to be able to pay back the favor of cheering for them during their marathon when they so nicely cheered for me last year when I hobbled 26.2 miles through the woods with bloody stumps for feet. They looked great.

Enjoying our ever increasing view of the mountains. One good thing about fall is that the leave fall off the trees that obstruct your view. I am very excited to see snow on that mountain.

Wondering why and how my tomato plants that were planted from seeds in April are just now ripe. What the what?

Making fall pretty for myself. I have always thought my issue with fall outside of it being the end of summer is that I am not super into the colors of fall. Yellow, orange and red are not my colors. And mostly I just see a lot of brown it seems. Organizing the leaves was a fun way to make me see and appreciate the colors.

Keeping the summer momentum of buying flowers for the house going. I am very proud of myself for sticking with the autumnal feel instead of going to my favorites; pastels! I even feel like I kind of know what I am doing when I pick out flowers now. And I am making friends at the florist.

Staying warm. One other good thing about fall is that we can use the pellet stove again! I love it and so does Blaze, see his tail wagging.

Finding a favorite fall tree. In college Lorelei and I had a tree outside our dorm that was so pretty in the fall, I think I took a picture (or 5) all four of that tree. Since then I try to look for a new favorite wherever we live. Luckily this one is in our yard. I've noticed I am drawn to the red trees more so than orange or yellow. Red leaves against a blue sky, I guess Fall doesn't suck.

Getting crafty everyday. I set a goal to myself to do something crafty everyday (forever). It keeps me from being lazy and watching TV mindlessly at night. Although lately I have been working on my felt ornaments and watching TV, but at least I have been doing something. Charlie and I are also working on a project together, that's been interesting. It's helping me with another goal "be more patient", for sure.

What are you up to?


Friday, September 26, 2014

Trail Race Success

The race this weekend went great. Thanks for your music recommendations friends. It was a 14 mile trail race, which involved climbing up a mountain and then running back down. I ended up beating my time last year by almost 20 minutes! I still can't believe it myself. In trying to think about the reasons I ran so much faster I have multiple variables that played in my favor.
  1. New shoes. Last year I was wearing Saucony's and they were literally shredding my feet to bits. I did this race as a training run for the marathon I did in November and got really bad blisters. Then like an idiot I kept running in the same shoes for two more months. I wrapped my toes in band aids, wore different socks, but never actually changed my shoes. Dumb Lauren. In April I bought a pair of Hoka's. They look like clown shoes but honestly feel like running on clouds so I don't care how dumb I look in them, and I don't care if my friends make fun of me. I had one tiny blister after this race, but nothing compared to last year. I also think the blister was due to the wet conditions of the race, not the shoes. They are much wider which always makes it easier to run on uneven trails. I love these shoes. 
  2. New Socks. A few people recommended Injingi socks after hearing about my blisters and they worked well. I only wear them for long runs because I hate putting them on, and also only have two pair.
  3. Losing weight. This seems like a touchy subject and something not a lot of people talk about, but I think it's worth mentioning. Since last years race I have lost weight. Not having to carry around the extra pounds for 14 miles was excellent and definitely made me faster. 
  4. Eating right. Another touchy subject, but here goes. I mentioned it in the spring back when I started eating healthier, but I have at least attempted to continue the momentum from that. I have stopped eating gluten, because I figured out through elimination that it was making me sick. I also have not been eating a whole lot of dairy, I did let myself eat ice cream this summer, because I love it, but I am not drinking gallons upon gallons of milk anymore.  I now tend to eat a lot of eggs, meat, vegetables and fruit. Since going gluten free I have been trying to do some gluten free baking, because I actually like baking (and have a huge sweet tooth) so I've been making cornbread and cookies, but trying to limit it to only weekends. 
  5. Cross training/ Crossfit. I have not mentioned this here yet but I have been going to a crossfit class since February. It's an exercise class that mixes cardio with weight lifting and strength training. After the marathon I pretty much took 3 months off or running (and most exercising) so when February rolled around I felt quite sloth-ish. I contemplated joining a yoga class, but then Charlie said he would do a crossfit class with me so we both joined. He has since stopped going to focus more on running, but I have continued to go. I was initially worried I'd start looking like a body builder but that has not happened, and I really don't think it will. The classes are always fun; what really keeps me coming back though is the people. I like running, but it's a very solitary activity for me. At crossfit there are lots of people around to inspire and motivate you. I would never do these exercises if there wasn't someone there to help me do it or to inspire me. Everyone is very nice and I love the energy. It reminds me of diving practice, doing fun but difficult things and having people cheer for you when you do well, and cheering for others as well. I like the team mentality of it, even though it's mostly individual. We also do a ton of squats, which have made my legs much stronger. I felt stronger climbing up the mountain on Sunday. My legs didn't burn, as much, as last year, and I felt less winded.
  6. Running less/no burn out. Last year I was running 6-7 days a week. I was running at cross country practice (slowly) then running on the days off to make up for the slow running or to get a long run in for training. This year I only ran 3 days a week. One short, one medium and one long run. I didn't ever feel sick of running or think to myself "ugh I don't want to do this." Well, I did say I didn't want to do it a few times but only because it was raining or I had to wake up earlier. I am also not coaching this year which has been fantastic. I finally came to two very important realizations. First is that if you like doing something it doesn't mean you will like coaching people to do that something. I kept feeling like I was doing something wrong for not liking coaching, and that if I didn't like coaching it must mean I didn't like running. But that's not true. Second was that I can say "no" to things I don't want to do. I didn't like it for multiple reasons, I tried my best, but ultimately I just didn't want to so I didn't. 
  7. Music. I mentioned this before but running with music really makes me go faster. I only had fast/upbeat songs on my ipod on Sunday and all the songs pumped me up and made me really enjoy running. I also think it helped the time go by faster. 
  8. Actually Stretching. People are right, you should stretch before you do do any kind of physical activity. I don't know why I took so long to figure this out. I do dynamic stretching. 
  9. Confidence. I talked myself up, before the race and during. I knew what my goal time was and kept reminding myself to keep up the pace in order to finish by that time, and kept reminding myself that I could finish in that time. 

I also think my galaxy running capris helped me run fast. Or at least made me think of funny space puns while running. I'll spare you. 

Charlie and I have already signed up for another trails race in November. It's not a marathon though, only 11 miles. If I ever say anything about signing up for a marathon again please knock some sense into me. 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Summer Top #5

I feel like I am sewing a ton of stuff I had planned to finish this summer in hopes of wearing them before it gets too cold. I'm pretty sure I missed the boat on my Date Night Dress. This summer tanktop was finished in the nick of time. 

This makes the fifth top I've made using this pattern. So many that I don't even look at the directions anymore. I've had the fabric since when chevrons were first cool. I always joke that I have to wait for a trend to die before I pick it up. The chevrons feel no different. My Dad also jokes that New Hampshire is where trends go to die, so that saying works too. 

 I wore it on Friday, paired with the obvious choice, a cardigan. Wearing tank tops with a cardigan makes them much more wearable for New England. The next top I have planned is a version like this one by Rae

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