(Late) Weekly Workout Roundup (8/4-8/10)

This post is so late I can barely remember what I did last week, but luckily I’m the type A type (sometimes) who writes down what I do every hour of the day in my planner!

Sunday, 8/4:

PM: 20 mile road ride

Nice, easy ride after an extremely filling brunch. It was a gorgeous day out! 

Monday, 8/5:

AM: Ran 5 miles with Scout

I ran on trails for some of this run, and it was very hilly. Also, ran through Byrd Park which has about a million geese that Scout likes to pretend to hunt. Mostly she just eats their poop.

Tuesday, 8/6: Rest.

I woke up feeling SO sick. It was only a minor cold, but I had a throbbing headache and a sore throat, so I felt like death. I ended up laying in bed the entire day (minus a morning interview).  Taking about a 4 hour nap and then sleeping 14 hours that night made me feel a little better…

Wednesday, 8/7:

PM: 30.5 mile road ride. 

Felt better and also decided it would be nice to go on an easy ride. This ride was extremely slow and flat, but it was nice to leave my bed. I was turning into a vegetable and needed to move.

Thursday, 8/8:

PM: 60 mile road ride (10 mile commute + 50 mile ride)

Hot and uneventful. I am not sure if it is typical to count a bike commute into long ride mileage, but as I was pressed for time, it will have to do.

Friday, 8/9:

AM: 17 mile road ride 

PM: Did a 15-minute circuit workout at the gym! Woo! 

Somehow it isn’t hard for me to get out and bike for 4 hours at a time, but getting myself to the gym to work on my muscles is another story….

Saturday, 8/10: 

AM: 10-mile run with Scout

As I mentioned last post, I literally ran my errands. It was really nice getting in a longer run. I have grand plans to do a couple of more ultras in the spring, so would love to start increasing my running mileage every week.  

Do you ever count a couple different runs or bike rides as one long ride/run if done in the same day? 

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Scout-a-palooza, or the story of a party pup.

Last Thursday’s long bike ride (THANK THE LORD) did indeed happen, although my nose was running the entire ride (annoying).

I had to work that day from 9am-1pm, so I biked to and from work (about 8-9 miles total) and then ventured out on the road all kitted up around 2pm. I ended up doing about 50 miles, which gave me a total of about 60 miles total for that day on a bike.

The ride was pretty uneventful, but I love getting out of the city and riding on hilly country roads. It makes me miss riding out on mountain roads A LOT, as I did in college…..

Anyhow- VA is pretty evil in the summertime and is extremely humid about 99% of the time, so post-ride I replenished all my lost sweat with about a half-gallon of Arnold Palmer’s sweet tea. Later, I stuffed my face with some of Kashi’s frozen stuffed pizza, and it was glorious.

Saturday, I had a couple errands to run and made the decision to literally run them all. I ended up running 10 miles total. It was only a little awkward running while carrying a bag full of Scout’s flea medicine and heartworm pills….

And-by some power of God, as SOON as I finished that last mile and was casually hobbling walking down my block to my house, it started thundering and down-pouring like crazy!!!! I was super thankful that I was so close to my house!

Luckily the rain stopped shortly! I mentioned it in my last post, but that night I was hosting a party for the first anniversary of adopting my sweet dog, Scout! The party was aptly named “Scout-A-Palooza.”  It was a hit- more people showed up for her party than any other party I’d ever hosted! Scout got balloons, treats, and a couple of (accidentally)spilled beers to lick up (she is rather obsessed with the stuff and it scares me a bit…)

I also dressed her in a pink hippo party costume.

She obviously loves the costume...

She obviously loves the costume…

Overall, her birthday was fun, and a lot of good friends enjoyed themselves! It was also amazing to spend time with the new roommates (one of them is my little sister, so not really a “new” roommate, per se). Can you tell which one is her?

New roommates!

New roommates!

Have you completed a long or hard bike ride or run recently?

If you have a dog, is it obsessed with beer/any other type of alcohol?

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Moving is Stressful. How to Deal.

My life has been bonkers, lately.

I moved houses last week.

I only moved one measly mile away, but everything that COULD go wrong, went wrong or at least it seemed that way.

My landlord told me we couldn’t have a pet.  This made me go a little crazy because she previously had told me that we could. (?).

Anyhow, Scout kind of resembles my adopted daughter and I was not about to let her get left to the curb, so I wheeled and dealed with the landlady until she gave into my requests. Probably because I was talking her ear off.

Lots of things were broken and needed to get fixed in our new house. 

  • Air-conditioning=broken
  • Downstairs toilet=broken
  • Upstairs bath=wouldn’t drain
  • Sink= leaky

Besides that, everything is okay. I live in a very cool little area of Richmond now (called Oregon Hill). It is very close to the James River, VCU, bars,  and is very central to most places I frequent in the city.

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Not my house or picture, but what the neighborhood looks like.

The first night we hung out at our new house on the front porch, seven different people walked over and welcomed us to the neighborhood! Also, I found out that there is a neighborhood farmer’s market once a week. How freaking cute is that???

Plus, well- I love living with my little sister. We are super close in age (2 years) and get along very well.  Last year, I lived with all guys, which was super fun and low-key, but lets be honest…I miss being able to raid a roommate’s closet :)

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SisterSisterrr

On top of moving,  I have also been working and socializing a lot.  Probably too much.

Photo-bombed at my friend's birthday earlier this week.

Photo-bombed at my friend’s birthday earlier this week.

I have also been trying to up my biking mileage. Last week, I biked about 145 miles total.  Today, I hope to squeeze in a 60-ish mile ride after I get off work at 2pm, although the forecast is def calling for rain (grrrr). I will let yall know how that goes.

All of that constant activity plus little sleep has ended up in me catching a slight cold earlier this week.

How to Deal with When Life Catches Up With You:

1. Catch up on sleep. I had only been getting around 5-6 hours a night, which is basically nothing compared to my usual preferred 8-9.

2. Buy healthy groceries so you’re not eating crap. I bought salad, and although it was not the most appetizing while sick, it is way better for me than easy mac.

3. Rest on the exercise-front. I had to take a couple days off this past week. Instead of running or biking, I just started reading “Eat. Pray. Love.”  I’m late to the game, but its so good!

4. Plan something exciting for the weekend, so you have something to work to get well for!

I am hosting a one year adoption anniversary party for Scout this weekend! Apparently (at least I’ve been told) that I am a crazy dog lady for doing this, but good thing I have no shame.

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American pup.

I have a feeling that it will be realllll classy and go somewhere along the lines of “every time Scout drinks out of someone’s beer, you have to finish yours.” Although, apparently in grad school, you are supposed to act mature…

Q: Have you ever hosted a party for your pet? ANY TIPS? I am thinking a party hat for Scout, but am very non-creative at these kinds of things.

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Turn It Up! Tuesday: A Brief Guide to Music You Should Be Listening To. Right Meow.

I am in the process of moving houses right now, so life has been pretty very busy.  It is a LOT of work to move exactly one mile away, but that is life.

Moving sucks, but I try to keep focused on the one positive aspect- hauling boxes up and down stairs is an extremely good workout! So we will count moving for strength training this week ;)

Anyways, because of lack of time, I thought I’d share some music that I have really been digging lately, all for different reasons:

Best Song to Listen to at Work:

Where is My Mind?- Trampled By Turtles

I am completely biased on this selection, because TBT has been my favorite band for about 3 years now. They are a indie-ish bluegrass band formed out of Duluth, MN. Half of their fans are country folk and the other half are hipsters (I might fall into the 1% that is none of the above…) If you dig this song, I highly recommend their popular single, Wait So Long.

Best “Get Suddenly Really Happy” Song:

Wake Me Up- Avicii

What is up with the Swedes making terrific pop music these days? I’m obsessed and intrigued…

Best Workout Song:

Burn- Ellie Goulding

Ellie G. is my new idol not only because her amazing ability to create music that makes you think you can dance like Beyonce, but because she is also a half-marathon runner! Get it girl!

Best Song to Chill/Sleep to:

Down in the Valley- The Head and the Heart

This song actually always makes me want to cry for some reason. So embarrassing. But it’s low-key and an absolutely beautiful tune, so give it a listen! Sidenote: it also made the 100 Most Beautiful Songs According to Reddit.com. Amazing.

Best Song of 2013:

We Can’t Stop- Miley Cyrus

Just kidding. Terrible song.But her video is so sassy! Kind of love it…

Any songs that yall have been loving lately? 

Have you heard any of these songs that I’ve listed?

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A Week of Workouts

Happy Sunday! 

This week for me has been kind of hectic because I’m getting ready to move into a new place on the 31st, so cleaning and packing has definitely consumed my life. Thank goodness I’m only moving a mile away!

Nonetheless, I definitely had some strong workouts this past week! I mainly try to bike and/or run at least 5-6 days a week, with 1 long run and 1 long ride somewhere in there.  Basically my training looks kind of like a Half-Ironman training plan minus the swimming. I’m getting ready for a bike race in the fall, and then maybe a 50K and an 8-hour trail running race in the winter, so I try to bike and run a lot!

I’m currently in grad school full time and work 20 hours a week, but school is not in session, so I also have a LOT of free time to workout and spend too much money going out to eat/drinks…

Monday:

Biked for around 75 minutes, or 20 miles. Pretty uneventful except that I was scared it was gonna downpour on me the whole time. Richmond has been very rainy lately!

Did a 30 minute Yoga for Cyclists practice <—–Sage Rountree video! Good for opening up hips.

Tuesday:

Woke up at the CRACK of dawn and biked a 40-mile route.

It was basically still pitch dark outside and I though I was going to get hit by a car the whole time (I had lights, don’t worry!). Coming home at 8:00am and already have burned like a gazillion calories for the day felt amazing, however.

Wednesday:

Jogged 2 miles with Scout before work.

Around 8:30pm, a friend asked me to run to a bar with her, and obviously I was stoked. One of my very favorite things EVER to do is bike or run and having the final destination be food and/or beer. So clutch.

Ended up running 6 miles total for the day!


Thursday:

Ran 5 miles on a treadmill at the gym (very slowly)

Yoga at my college’s gym. It was actually a very terrible class because the instructor kept getting distracted and forgot what to say. It was a good stretch though and the final song was this CLUTCH piano cover of The Pixies song “Where Is My Mind?” Check it out!

Friday:

I usually try to make it out to an early morning group ride on Fridays. We meet at 6:30am, bike for an hour (~15 miles usually) and then end at a local bread shop called Montana Gold Company. (Notice the trend with working out and eating….)

Anyhow, at MGC, I always get this HUGE cinnamon roll with pecans. Then I have a sugar high all day, but so worth it for all the gooey delicioiusness. Only downside of the bakery is that they don’t serve coffee (WTF), and usually after waking up at 6am, caffeine is a NEED.

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In search of Montana Gold!

I went to work after the bike ride, and after I got off around 2pm, it was so beautiful outside that I had a hankering to go on ANOTHER ride. Also, the Jeremiah Bishop’s Gran Fondo (a 105 mile ride with 12,000 feet of climbing) is looming ahead of me (its in Sept), so riding as much as possible is basically my new game plan.

So I did a 40 mile loop to finish up with 57 miles of riding total for the day. Bam. My legs were tired and a cold Gatorade never tasted soooo good.

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Special edition Strawberry-Lemonade flavor. So good!

Saturday:

Ran 10 miles around 10:30am with a new running buddy. It was extremely pleasant outside and felt wonderful! We started and ended at Ellwood Thompsons, a local organic food market that is pretty much a small version of Whole Foods, but with better coffee. Somehow I also got suckered into buying a super nice bottle of vino, so the rest of the day looked like this:

photo (9)

Sunday:

Woke up after a late night with a text from my sister asking if I wanted to go to my fam’s lake house.

There is seriously no better way to relax in the summer (in my opinion) than by floating on a lake on a warm summer day. Scout is obsessed with going to the lake too, because she gets leap off the dock into the water and swim to fetch tennis balls :)

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Rivah Monster!

Do you do a mix of strength/yoga/cardio? I definitely lack in doing strength training besides the occasional plank.

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How to Run with Your Dog…

…and not look like this:

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Every dog is special sometimes…. :)

Last summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to adopt a beautiful, young Golden Retriever from a local “kill” shelter (of all places, get it together people). At that point in my life, I was having a tough time emotionally, so when Scout (known as “Tazia” back then…she did not come from the best part of town…) calmly laid her head in my lap, my heart melted and I gave in to her adorable-ness.

At first, I only took her for a short walk every day, but I quickly noticed her ability to keep up with the people she was with. Only a few days after adopting her, I took her out for a 4-mile hike and she kept up with the group I was with just fine. After that hike, I gradually eased her into running with me, one mile at a time.

After almost a year of running with her, I can definitely say Scout is my favorite running partner! She is ALWAYS up for a run and never complains if the pace is a lil too slow ;)

I am definitely lucky that as a Golden baby, Scout has a naturally laid-back temperament and likes to stay by my side. Not all dogs are so eager to please, however.

A lot of dogs are wild, crazy, and will run away in a heart beat if let off of the leash.

Or they may not be natural born runners.

Example?

My roommate’s dog can play at the dog park for hours, but if taken on a run, he will sit down and won’t move after 100 meters.

Here are my tips for finding the best canine running partner that you can:

1.  Get a breed that’s known for running.  If you know that one of the qualities you want in a dog is a running partner then do a little research before you have your heart set on a certain breed.  This article by Runner’s World provides a wealth of information on this topic.

2. Make sure your dog is good on a leash while walking before attempting to run. If walking with your pup is a arm workout for you, then you probably shouldn’t advance to running just yet. In other words, if Fido is still pulling hard on the leash and does not know how to walk properly by your side, you probably still have some training to do with him/her.  Teach them how to run with you and not ahead of you.

3Slowly work up your dog’s endurance.  Dogs are JUST like people in that they cannot (or should not) just go and pull out a 5-miler on their first run. Work up to it. Scout’s first run was around a mile, and slowly, but surely, I worked her up to longer distances. Her longest distance so far was around 16 miles. On that particular run, I made sure to carry dog food and extra water with me. I also was trail running, so my pace was quite slow.

Taking a break by the James River on that long run!

Taking a break by the James River on that long run!

4.  Keep temperature in mind.  Dogs don’t sweat like humans.  To get rid of body heat they pant.  This makes them much more sensitive to warm temperatures.  Keep this in mind during the warm summer months. In the winter, Scout seemed to be able to go for hours, but what a difference the heat makes!? This summer, I can only take Scout on runs in the morning or evening or else she will overheat.

Hot dog!

Hot dog!

5. Keep your dog on a leash. While running on trails, especially, I am tempted to let Scout off her leash. If I am running in an area with no leash laws, I usually do. However, be respectful to other trail users!  I am a strong believer in the phrase that no one will ever love your dog as much as you do! 

Also…remember to ALWAYS keep an eye on your dogs and their needs too! If you are trying to get 6 miles in, but your pup is slowing down and panting by mile 4.5, it is probably best to drop your dog at home before finishing up your run.

Running with Scout has been GREAT bonding exercise! She truly does get super excited when I put on my running shoes.

Dogs are the best.

funny dog poster

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How to Have Fun and Explore Your City By Bicycle! (And Not Die Doing It)

I first picked up cycling while I was going to college at JMU in beautiful, rural Harrisonburg, VA.

JMU is almost always listed as one of the most fun schools (ie: party schools) in the U.S., but it is definitely not known for its bar scene. Downtown H’burg is eclectic and friendly, and although it is growing, it is not an urban area at all. 

The lack of hustle bustle made it an AWESOME place to bike, however. It usually only took about 2 or 3 miles to get out of populated regions. Then, it was bliss…

Harrisonburg is located right in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, between 2 mountain ranges, so roads in and right outside the city were hilly, but not killer mountains or anything. It was a quick jaunt to get to the mountains, however, if one wanted to climb and kill themselves (but the views are worth it….). Most of the county that surrounded Harrisonburg was Mennonite farmland, which meant that there weren’t very many cars either. Only horse buggies :)

Mountains!

Mountains!

Also- ponies!
Also- ponies!

Yup, biking around Hburg was pretty sweet riding.

Last summer, I graduated and sadly had to move on from my fave place on earth.

WHY?

Because I got into grad school at VCU! Let me tell you- Richmond is fairly close to Hburg (~2 hours) but it is completely different in so many ways!

Hipsters, fixed gears, coffee shops, homeless people, busy streets, financial districts, a dirty river, Civil War history memorabilia everywhere….It was mind-boggling. I didn’t own flannel or drink PBR or own a fixed gear. AAAAH! 

Also, with all these cobblestone streets, how in the heck was I supposed to ride my road bike? How was I to commute to class without getting hit by a crazy driver?? Do I wear my helmet at all times?? (the answer is yes!) What was with all these one-way streets?

Eventually, I learned slowly but surely my way around a city on a bike without getting shot, hit, or banged up too much. The journey to that point could be a whole other post…it was such a learning experience…

For now, I’ll leave y’all with these tips for how to successfully bike around an urban area:

1. As mentioned before, WEAR A HELMET.  I was hesitant to wear a helmet while commuting to class (duh, had to look cute), until I saw with my own two eyes a guy get hit by a car while on his bike. He was right in front of me, too. Scary stuff.  For your brain’s sake, wear a helmet.

2. Find a group to ride with. Somehow, group rides ALWAYS seem to know the back roads and shortcuts that will take you out of the city itself and onto the quiet rural roads. Also, it is an easy way to meet people with your same interests (biking!) plus you get to ride with cute boys in spandex. Score!

3. Get Lost. I am guilty of being the planning type and mapping out routes before I embark on a ride. Sometimes, however, it is almost more fun to get lost, find new places to ride, and then figure out my way back home.  Tip: bring a smart phone with a mapping app with you in case you actually get really lost.

4. Save Money. In a smaller, but busy city like Richmond, it is often quicker to commute by bike than by car.  Why spend money and time on a car when you can get fit, save money and time, and do good to the environment by riding your bike? Many urban areas have a bike path/route system, that are easy and safe for commuting purposes if you want to avoid busy roads. ALSO, something super nice about commuting everywhere by bike is that you don’t need a DD when going out to bars or parties. Thank. The. Lord.

5. Explore. What better way to learn about your city than by exploring it by bicycle?? Find a friend and have fun visiting historical sites (Richmond has a LOT of battlefields just outside the city, for example), trying out coffee (or pie) shops, and/or seeing beautiful views of your city,  while enjoying a fun AND cost-free date :)

I actually somehow gathered the energy to do a 2.5 hour exploration ride  in the 95 degree heat today.

Why it rocked:

  • I deepened my biker tan lines! So unfortunate looking, but I can’t help but be proud of them :)
  • I didn’t die from heat stroke. Always a plus in my book.
  • And, I got to explore a little bit of Richmond that I hadn’t really noticed before:
Mini Statue of Liberty in Richmond? FREEDOM BABY!

Mini Statue of Liberty in Richmond? FREEDOM BABY!

Country Roads, take me home

Country Roads, take me home

Civil War Hospital!

Civil War Hospital!

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there”- Lewis Carroll

What are you doing? Get out there!!

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