#weekendcoffeeshare – 2-26-17

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If we were having coffee, tonight, I would be having tea.  (of the green variety)  Tea because it is hydrating and relaxing, and I’ll be in the bed in just a few minutes.  I’d be more than happy to hook you up with a cup ‘o joe though, or a tea if you prefer.

Hopefully, the past week treated you well.  Mine went well right up until Saturday.  Friday night really because that’s when I found the problem, and then Saturday trying to fix it.

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#weekendcoffeeshare – Winterfest 2017

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Just outside of Gatlinburg.  Newfound Gap, I think.

If we were having coffee, at this moment, I would be a bad host. See, right now, I don’t have any coffee, though I wish I did. It would help with the yawns while on the road, maybe. (Don’t worry, I’m not driving!) We would make plans to get coffee at the first opportunity though, and that opportunity will most likely be somewhere at the Biltmore Park Towne Square. That’s where we’re stopping to eat on the way home, so onward to coffee!

That’s right. On the way home. Yes, we’re on the road again. Sometimes it feels like we are on the road more than we’re at home, but that’s fine. We always have fun on the road. We spent this weekend up in Gatlinburg, TN, hanging out with thousands of other Christians for Winterfest 2017.

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#weekendcoffeeshare – 02/12/2017 NOLA

If we were IMG_20160408_194710083having coffee, I’d tell you all about my recent trip to New Orleans and all the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells that came along with it.  It was a good time, and an experience that I will never forget.  Hopefully the future holds another trip to the Big Easy, where I can take my time and do some exploring.  This visit was quick, one night, passing through on a work trip.

Have you ever been to Bourbon Street?

Well, let me tell you, it’s wild down there!  You’ll see some stuff down on Bourbon Street.  Some things that maybe you want to see, others not so much.  Same with the smells I mentioned earlier.  Some great, others…not. Continue reading “#weekendcoffeeshare – 02/12/2017 NOLA”

Running Tammany Trace

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The trailhead sign in Mandeville, La.

Sometimes it’s tough to make time to exercise when you are on the road.  You’re away from home, off schedule, working a lot, and eating, more often than not, late at night.

 

There are opportunities to work some fitness in on the road though.  There is of course, the hotel gym.  No one really likes the hotel gym though.  I mean, I’ll use it, but at its best, it is a necessary evil.  With the hotel gym being not the best option, let’s move on.

Often, the locals can help you out.  I took advantage of that today.  When asked where I could run, they directed me to Mandeville, La and the Tammany Trace Trail.

The Tammany Trace Trail is a 31 mile trail that runs along the lakefront of Lake Pontchartrain.  It is open, according to the sign to running, biking, and skating.  The “trail” is paved and has some good views.  I can say this even without having made it to the lakefront, which was the ultimate plan.

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#weekendcoffeeshare 5-8-16

If we were having coffee, I would be drinking something new from the Keurig machine today. Cafe Verona, a dark roast from Starbucks, is on brew today. I picked it up from the grocery earlier today, and it’s pretty darn good. Won’t you have a cup? 

Coffee not your thing?  That’s okay. I’m sure we have something else. Maybe a nice tea or hot cocoa. Help yourself.

Last week was pretty good. On the running front, I had several morning runs, but nothing over three miles. The lack of mileage is just a bit of a disappointment, as I had hoped for a long run later in the week that never happened.

Saturday was a rest day after my hardest workout of the week Friday morning. Friday’s workout involved lots of sprinting and tire flipping. It went like this. A one hundred yard Sprint followed by twenty tire flips, repeated until 120 tire flips were done and over a mile of sprints were logged. What a workout!

Today, I logged two miles in the trails, 20 burpees, 10 tire flips, and a rope climb. Not bad, but not the best. Tonight, I’ll do a bit of meal prep and get some good sleep for tomorrow’s morning run. I’m looking for my best week in a long time this week. Hopefully, my mileage will be up a bit and that long run will happen.

Running in the morning isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. Hope you guys have a great week. God bless!

A Good Start

Lately I’ve been lamenting my lack of morning motivation. I even wrote a whole blog post yesterday (that I did not post) about how much of a slacker I had been, and how much respect I have for those who are able to drag themselves out of bed and get a workout done first thing in the morning.

That post, like most everything else I post (fitness related anyway) was targeted straight at me. Calling me out for my lazy morning ways. I know that I can do the morning workout. Once upon a time, when I was a gym member, it happened on the regular, but lately I’ve struggled.

What I wrote yesterday worked though. I thought about it all day, went to bed at a decent hour and woke up ready, if not raring to go. By a few minutes after five, I was stretched and running.

The dark did put a little hitch in my giddy-up, but just in where I was running, not the run itself. I opted to run the pavement over the trails for safety’s sake.  Even with flashlight in hand, no one wants to roll an ankle first thing in the morning. What small bit of off-road I did run was slow and at the end, but still, three miles before the sun came up is something I’m proud of.

Now to keep it up. I feel great about the start, but we all know that fitness is all about that consistency. Hopefully I can stay with it and shake off my lazy ways for good.

May your miles, be they morning, evening, or midday, be Swift and smooth. God Bless!

Climatzing

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The heat is on, so drink up!

Though many of you are out there, still frolicking in the merriment of springtime running, summer is beginning to show it’s teeth here on the southeast coast. With temperatures rising quick, I thought that it would be a good time for a quick reminder about adjusting to the warmer temperatures or climatzing.

We like to say around here that we only have two seasons; summer and winter. For the most part, it’s true. It seems that we are rolling right along, running mile after mile in the, admittedly mild, cold, and then boom!  Here comes the sweat. It can be a bit jarring on the body at times.

When the thermometer goes from the mid 30’s and 40’s to over 80 in a matter of days or even a couple of weeks, it can catch you off guard. Your hydration habits may not be good enough now that the temperatures are rising. Those runs that were tough before, they may feel impossible now.  They aren’t though.

All you really need to do is take a few precautions:
1.  Drink more water.
2.  Spend more time outside, getting used to the new normal.
3.  Run.  Yeah, it’s hot, but you will get used to it.
4.  Don’t overdue it. Heat stress and heat stroke are real and can cause great injury or death, so be careful and if you have any doubts, consult a physician.

If you do these things now, when the mercury rises above 100, and the humidity soars with it, you’ll be ready. You’ll still be able to reach your goals.  All it takes is planning and determination, and I know you have the determination.

Happy (hot) running everyone!  And if you’re someplace cool with no humidity, just know that runners everywhere envy you, lol.

God bless and be safe and cool out there!

Unlucky Lately

I’ve been trying to train. Really, I have. It seems though that my luck is just not with me lately. Either that, or all my luck is bad.

Sunday was an eight hour day at work, so that left me with a bit of time for a little run. It was a short one, but that was planned. For some reason, I had been feeling less than good Sunday and thought a short slow run would help me feel better.  Silly me.

While running, I felt better. Then I caught that little stump in the trail with my toe. We call those little stumps, stobbies around here. So I caught a stobby, it hurt, but not bad enough to stop running.

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Now, I’ve got a swollen middle toe, that hurts when it bends. Not what I needed.

A lesson learned?

Maybe I can learn from this. See, I prefer to do most of my training runs in Vibram Fivefingers toe shoes. They are great, and I believe they are the reason my knees don’t bother me anymore.

That being said, they do pose a danger to my toes while running out in the woods. They are minimalist shoes after all, so that is to be expected and not really their fault.

What I may have to do from now on, though it pains me but maybe not as much as those stobbies, is wear a fuller shoe out on trail runs. Something with a bit more toe protection. I don’t like it, but I don’t like blue, swollen toes either.

I will still wear the Vibrams out on the dirt road and places where the stobbies are not expected or are at least more easily seen. I love the Vibrams, but I’ve got to face the fact that they may not be suited to every situation.

Well I better run. Or maybe hobble on my way now. Hope you guys are having a great day and that all your toes are their correct color.

Happy running, and God bless!

#weekendcoffeeshare 4-10-16

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If we were having coffee, tonight I would be drinking this Gevalia Cappuccino that I found the other day at the grocery.  That’s it in the pic above.  Yeah, I know that it’s not a real cappuccino, but that’s okay.  It’s really good and simple too.  Just pour some powder in the bottom of the cup, and let the Keurig do the rest.  Amazing!  You should give one a try, but if that’s not your thing, I’m sure we can hook you up with something.

So we’ve put yet another week of 2016 behind us, and are looking forward to the future ahead.  What’s that future hold?  Let’s see.

  1.  Work should be getting back to normal.  That means that I can start running and training the way I wish I could have over the past month.  The Spartan Super is coming fast, and I need to be ready for it.
  2. I’ll keep writing everyday.  So far, I’m up to somewhere north of 1000 days in a row on The Magic Spreadsheet.  That’s at least 250 words a day for over a thousand days.  I plan to keep that going.

That’s really all that’s on my list.  Oh, one other thing.  I signed this site up for the Amazon Affiliate Links program in order to monetize the site.  I don’t expect much from it, but it’s a great experiment and that’s one of the fun things about blogging.  The fun of experimenting.  So let’s see where it goes.  I promise that I won’t club you over the head with ads, and if things get annoying, they’ll stop.

With that said, I’ll let you go.  We’re going to watch “Fear The Walking Dead” and then head off to sleep.  Hope you guys have a great week!  Thanks for stopping by.  God bless!

Relieving Stress

There are many reasons to exercise.  Better health, to be more fit, weight loss, etc., etc…  One thing, though maybe overlooked at times, is the use of exercise as a stress reliever.

Let me tell you a story.

There was a guy, who lived out in the country where internet service providers are limited. While there are advantages to living outside of the hustle and bustle of the cities of the world, internet connectivity is not one of them.

The guy was stuck with satellite internet. It was slow, but faster than dial up, and had bandwidth limitations that sucked. On top of all that bad, it wasn’t cheap. You would think that if a company is going to provide you with less than great access and then limit said access, that at least it would be cheap. You would, unfortunately, be wrong.

So when the company decided to up their speed with a fancy new satellite, they naturally thought everyone would want to switch, even though it would cost the customer more every month.

When they called this guy who lived out in the sticks and asked him to switch, he asked them up front, “what will my new bill be?” 

They replied, “oh, just ten dollars more a month, but you get so much more speed.”

There minds must have had trouble processing his denial of their new great deal, as they called back month after month, trying to get the poor guy with the crap internet to switch, only to be answered time and again with a resounding, “no.  Not until the bill will not increase,” he would tell the disappointed sales person.

Then the company hatched a new plan. They called up the guy and told him all about the new plan. How his bill wouldn’t go up, and how everything would be great. He would get better internet, not the best but better, at no extra cost to him.

All was well. Flowers bloomed and the internet was there, unless a storm cloud passed over or the modem went wonky as it was want to do. Overall though, ok.

As it seems though, with all these big companies, the other shoe is bound to drop at some point. It fell just two years later. While checking his account, low and behold, there was an extra charge. One that had not been there before. A ten dollar equipment lease fee.

There must be some mistake.  A phone call was in order and so it was placed. After a good half hour on the phone, most of it on hold listening to some of the worst hold music ever imagined, it was decided that the extra ten bucks added to the bill was in fact the new normal and would be there going forward forever.

The guy, feeling lied to and cheated, did not take the news well and vowed to do all he could to find another provider, knowing all the while it would be a tough task.

His anger roiled inside him. Loud music blared on the way home. He knew what he needed and that too was being denied him at the moment. He needed to run.

Once home, the running shoes slipped on and he was off. Running in the open, through the fields and trails as fast as he could. His heart pounded in his chest and blood filled his ears, and the anger, while still there, lessened. The stress slipped away a little with every step. Things would be alright. The run was making things better.

After the run, the guy was still ticked off at the company for lying, though that is the way of big business.  He did feel better though. He was able to go inside, have dinner and watch a movie with his family without all that anger threatening to boil over into the family.

The run actually fed on the anger, eliminating so much of it, allowing for better focus and better decision making after the run. So when the stress gets too much, or something happens to set off your anger, hit the trails, road, or gym, and put that negative energy to good use. You can make it work for you instead of against you if you focus on it. And with all that extra energy, you may just make a new PR.  Who knows?

So good luck out there. If possible, stay calm. If not, rant and rave and run really fast. Have a great week. God bless.