Beach Day!

This weekend my husband and I went to the beach with our friend Danielle. While we’re not exactly beach/ ocean people, Danielle is actually a mermaid, born in a human body. Way back in high school we used to hit the beach for a whole weekend and she would spend all day on the beach while I spent all day in the hotel room, reading a book (and maybe recuperating from the night before) away from the awful burny sun.

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So many brightly colored umbrellas!

We lathered on the sunscreen, gathered up some books, snacks, chairs, etc. (lots of etc.) and hit the road. We got to Island Beach State Park around noon. The beach wasn’t super crowded and the weather was kind of perfect. Not too hot, not too sunny, a little windy.  I put on more sunscreen. The water was kind of cold and WAY saltier than I remember. I mean, I know it’s the ocean, and it’s salt water but ICK. We got there around low tide and there was a huge sandbar, so we walked out really far and floated around on the waves for a while. There was a sign that said that water conditions were slightly dangerous – the tide was really strong. Walking back to the beach, it was seriously pulling you backwards. Like, you could take a few steps and not move forward at all. Crazy! We put on more sunscreen. We enjoyed some time in the shade of our umbrellas reading books : I chose the first of the Anita Blake vampire hunter series and Danielle had the first of the Dresden Files series. Gary… just stared into the distance and enjoyed the sound of the ocean. I put on more sunscreen. We took a walk, then came back and I laid in the full sun on the beach blanket. I put on more sunscreen. Then we packed everything up and I was impressed and awed by the trust we put in other people at the beach – we walk away from chairs, leaving our phones, wallets, and car keys hidden in our bags yet defenseless, and still, everyone respects everyone else’s beach space. I folded our Doctor Who towels, grateful for the unwritten code of the beach. Then I put on more sunscreen.

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We ate dinner at the Berkeley Fish Market just outside the park. They ordered oysters & clams and calamari and I watched them eat in horror, wondering how on earth they could look at those things they scraped out of their shells and STILL put them in their mouths.  I ate shrimp stuffed with crabmeat- the shrimp was pretty good, a little tough, and the crabmeat was bland. I’ve had better. I will always measure crabmeat against the crab cakes I had in Maryland, and all other crabmeat will ALWAYS fall short.

This whole beach thing was actually my idea, although I’m not really a beach / ocean / excessive sun person.  I remembered how much fun we used to have when I was younger when I had fun doing stuff that wasn’t my thing because it meant hanging out with good friends. Sometimes it’s not what you’re doing, it’s who you’re with.

Last night my husband and I watched a movie called “Mile, Mile and a Half” about a group of people hiking the John Muir Trail in CA. They take off for like, a month, carrying all their provisions, sleeping in tents, crossing rivers, stomping through snow, and it looks super fun and rewarding, but also, like, really physically difficult. My husband and I talked about how this would be something we would be interested in, but on a much smaller scale! Since we have the Appalachian Trail right here, we would probably be able to find some easier sections to do a one or two night hike. Has anyone ever done a hike like this? I’d like to pick your brain.

OOOOH SHINY

I haven’t been very dedicated to running this June since Juneathon has taken over my brain a little, so I’m absolutely voracious for running workouts right now. I get emails from pretty much all the running sites I’ve ever visited with links to articles: “Time to Tweak your Half Marathon Training with these Absolutely Important Workouts You’re Missing!” or “The Top Ten Strength Exercises You HAVE TO DO” and I’m like, “ooooooh! look at all the shiny new workouts!” My eyes are way too big with new ideas for workouts and I have to write this post to remind myself to slow down, because at the moment, I’m not running at all! How can I add these workouts to my normal exercise schedule when I don’t have a training plan at all?

Am I training for anything? I have a Color Run in Philly in July, but I’ve heard that they’re so packed with people, you can barely run, so no training required. I don’t have any other 5Ks on my horizon, although I will probably sign up for the Ocean City 5K and the Mercerville Mistletoe 5K I did last year. I would like to do a 10K, but since I still can’t run a full 5K, I’m wondering if I should try look for a 5K training plan (something other than the Couch to 5K) or move up a 10K training plan. Maybe I should actually pay for one of those personalized plans. Anyone using any great training plans, or do you make it up as you go along? What do you do when your plan is over? At some point you’re too “advanced” to go back and start all over again, the early weeks aren’t challenging enough. 

When it’s this nice outside, I just can’t think seriously about my future.

Why Juneathon Just Had to Die

This is how I felt about Juneathon on Day 1: LETS DO ALL THE WORKOUTS

This is how I felt about Juneathon around Day 10: I’m tired and busy but still trying to rock Juneathon!

This is how I feel about Juneathon today: Juneathon, I just think it’s not going to work out between us… it’s not you, it’s me.

The whole thing was a little overambitious because as it turns out, there are times when I just don’t have time to work out like I want to! It was actually kind of distracting as well- I tried to find so many cool and unique workouts so I could A) try new things and B) keep Juneathon spicy, but it took me away from the exercise I really love: running. Next time: I will be alternating “cool and unique” workout days and running days and I won’t stray. I WON’T STRAY, I TELL YOU.

Here are things I learned about myself this Juneathon:

  • I like to feel beat up after a workout, like I really made an effort, so sometimes a couple of crunches or planks just doesn’t make me feel like I have worked out enough, even though in the long run, if I did them every day, it would probably make a difference eventually.
  • I am very bad at being my own drill sergeant; I work out better to videos or guide that tell me exactly what to do. I guess that means I am better when I am held accountable, although I’m sort of really shy and feel so awkward about my interactions with other people that I can’t really engage enough in a community for it to be worthwhile (although, for the life of me, I wish I could really connect with more people and not be so awkward.) I am REALLY bad at making my own workout plan and sticking to it – I figure, if I’m the drill sergeant, I’m the teacher, I’m in charge, I make the rules, and I can bend the rules…. so then I, the student, start sucking up to and manipulating the teacher, and then I, the teacher, usually feel sympathy for the student and bend the rules so far that they break and we wind up just watching Supernatural instead of doing the Supernatural TV workout, which I found online and then tweaked to include fun things like 15 squats whenever Dean mentions or eats pie. 
  • I have tried a lot of new things that I might incorporate into cross-training, but really, I’m just itching to run! I think I ran sometime last week. I have to make time tonight to run, I don’t care how hot it is. 

(I was going to make a video talking about my yoga class and I even taped it but it’s going to take a little while to figure out how to edit it, so maybe I’ll save the vlogging for another day) I went to a yoga class with my friend Manisha last Wednesday. It’s vinyasa flow yoga so it’s sort of fast-paced and the instructor tells you exactly what to do, even when to breathe. It requires a lot of focus – I’d go so far as to say it demands all of your focus. Every time you break from the routine & stop for a moment, you realize that you’re actually going to throw up. The instructor started out the class with some quiet meditation and a poem, and then at the end we laid on the ground and she repeated the poem and I can’t remember any of the words except it’s about losing and finding yourself in the woods & nature and it was really very relaxing. It’s the kind of thing I would do again- I’d like to take a few more classes this summer (it gets a little packed when the college kids come back into town) although probably not every week. (yoga ain’t cheap, you know?) 

On Saturday, my husband and I went into New York to see Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway. It was super amazing awesome and if you have the time and money to see it, you have to. Everyone was so incredible: Lena Hall nearly brought me to tears when she sang The Long Grift. I was absolutely living for the sing-a-long during Wig in a Box. AND I didn’t have any trouble fitting my hips into the seat. YES! We did TONS of walking this weekend, as one always does in the city, but we also didn’t exactly eat well, so I think it all balanced out. Back on track today. 

Juneathon 16 and 17: GPS watches are fun

Working out every day is starting to catch up to me. Yesterday I had a hot but great run. Today, I ran around a lot at work and then fell asleep on the couch. I may never get the hang of this.

It was really hot around four when I got home from work yesterday so I told myself it would be a good idea to work out later at night when it might be cooler. Somehow I wound up outside ten minutes later in my running gear, warming up. I’ve never been one to pay attention to “good ideas” or “good advice”… Sort of like Alice in Wonderland. “I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”

I expected to walk a lot and didn’t stress over it too much. My phone was at home charging so I just sang in my head to keep my pace. I ran/ walked for like five minutes and checked my gps watch… .4? Already?! Thats awesome!! … wait, WHAT?! .4? Already? That’s actually impossible. Almost half a mile and I’ve only been out for five minutes? Something ain’t right here… I know I’m not that fast! For a second I felt a warm fuzzy “maybe I really did do that” feeling and then I realized I forgot that I had switched my watch to kilometers! Haha! Ok, that explains it. I wound up running 2K in about twenty one minutes, which is about where I’m at- no better, no worse. Tough to run in the heat, though. My calves were really tight! Gotta figure out which foam roller to get… I looked at a few on Amazon and there seem to be a couple of options- I’m trying to keep the costs low but I want to get a good one so I need to do some more research. Any suggestions?

I want to increase my mileage but I’m a little concerned because I am a slow runner- the more miles I add to my runs, the more time I spend in the sun and heat. #slowrunnerproblems I’m going to have to bring water with me if I wind up doing another afternoon run.

Catching up on Juneathon

It’s been a very busy weekend! On Friday (the 13th) my husband and I watched scary movies and played games. I did some ab work.

On Saturday, I helped my friend move – we had some heavy furniture to move and she lived on the third floor. that’s cardio and strength training all in one! In fact, today I am so sore that my Juneathon contribution is an important aspect of fitness- rest and stretching. My husband and I also took a walk in the park this morning while grabbing a few geocaches. I need another day to rest before going back to work!

Juneathon Day 12: short yoga session

I looked up “yoga for weight loss” on YouTube and found a great 40 minute video by Yoga with Adrienne. I only did about fifteen – twenty minutes before my stomach hurt so bad I had to quit. It was a real challenge and I was feeling the burn! I like how organic her videos are- she’s a real proponent of “if you feel it, do it.” Going to do a few push-ups and call it a day. I hope the weather is good for a run tomorrow!

Juneathon Day 11: The Obstacle Course

Safety Stand Down day was yesterday, and I’m a little late in blogging, but I was able to join in! I put on someone else’s gear (pants, boots, jacket, and helmet) and crawled over and under benches, breached a wall, and crawled through a course of wires designed to mimic a possible entanglement. I had it a little easier than everyone else- I wasn’t allowed to wear the whole mask piece and SCBA tank, which adds at least 50 pounds to the already-heavy coat and pants. Not because I couldn’t, but because it wasn’t my gear and it was sort of an insurance risk. I know that the reason we train is so we’ll be ready if we’re ever put in a really deadly situation, so it’s really important and serious, but I still got a kick out of it. I never realized how difficult it is to move in all that gear – Like you’re wading through pudding. Not that I’ve ever waded through pudding……mmmm, pudding. But anyway. When you’re on your back or side, you’re really like a turtle on it’s back trying to get the momentum to roll back onto your hands and knees. At least, I definitely felt like a turtle. 

Later on, my husband and I went to the mall and walked around quite a bit. We bought crazy awesome things like pants! scented candles! and tank tops! Wild, I know. So that was pretty much my workout for the day. I’m not sure what I’m going to be able to do today, I have a LOT on my plate tonight and I really just don’t feel like sweating today!