Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Spring in My Socks?

I'm almost afraid to say it, but I think Spring might actually be on the verge of making an appearance in Wisconsin.  Then again...they did just get 3 inches of snow in Minneapolis, so you never know what's going to happen!

Monday, April 22nd: 
My cold is still going full force, but I couldn't let a beautiful 60 degree day pass by without at least trying to run.  Mr. R&R and I headed out together and did a combination of running and walking (when I started coughing and needed to catch my breath) for a total of 4 miles - and even with all the walking the pace wasn't too hideous.  Another bonus from the run was another chance to wear my Injinji socks.  I acquired them on a whim a few weeks ago and only had the chance to try them out once.

According to Injinji's website, the advantages of wearing their socks are:
  • Proper toe alignment
  • Superior moisture management
  • Better posture, better balance
  • Blister and hotspot prevention
  • Tactile Feel
At first I was dubious about these claims, but I figured I'd give it a shot. I have a nasty habit of gripping the inside of my shoes with my toes and I have to make a conscious effort to flatten my toes out. The first time I ran in them, the gripping problem wasn't a problem.  I really hoped that the awesome feeling I'd gotten wasn't just a fluke, but after tonight's run I'm pretty much a convert - it was like I didn't even have socks on!  I can't wait to try them out on the bike.

*Note: I was not compensated in any way for this review. I purchased the socks out of my own pocket and thought highly enough of them to post a review of sorts.*

Tuesday, April 23rd:
Where did my beautiful, spring-like weather go?  It was cold, gray and rained buckets all day long. Fortunately my plans for tonight involved a trainer ride and a little strength training.  I hopped on the trainer, armed with an old episode of Deadliest catch, a pair of Injinji's, and no specific speed goals in mind since I'm still a little under the weather.  I broke up the monotony a little by requiring myself to pick up the pace a little whenever the F/V Northwestern was on the screen.  I figured that since their motto is 'Shut Up and Fish', I'd translate it to 'Shut Up and Spin'!  40-ish minutes later, the episode ended, the Injinji's continued to be the BEST SOCKS EVER, I climbed off the bike and hit my mat for a quick 10 minute strength session.

Wednesday, April 24th:
I'm still feeling pretty run down from my cold (which seems to be on its way out) so I opted for a night on the couch and the latest episode of Deadliest Catch.  In the spirit of doing something useful tonight, I finally took the plunge and signed up for Feedly - the heir apparent to the Google Reader empire - since as of July 1st, Google Reader will cease to exist.  Pros at this point: easy import from Google Reader, free, free mobile apps for both iPhone and Android.  Cons at this point: not quite as idiot-proof as Google Reader, adjusting to new platforms always frustrates the hell out of me, and it seems like it sort of messes with the layout of photos, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time until I get used to it.

Thursday, April 25th:
10 hours at work + headache I couldn't get rid of all day +  having slept like crap for the last 2 nights = takeout for dinner, a night on the couch, and in bed at a grandmotherly hour.  I was going to attempt to do my 'life coaching homework' (still not impressed), but it appears that my coach is having technical difficulties, so the email has been delayed. *shrug* I can't say that I'm too upset about that. 

Friday, April 26th:
Work was not fun today. If it could go wrong, it did. By the time 4pm rolled around, I was more than ready to get on with the business of having a weekend.  The original plan was happy hour with the office, but that got rescheduled.  My secondary plan was to get a pedicure, but getting a last minute appointment proved to be impossible.  I ended up meeting up with Mr. R&R and The Usual Suspects for drinks and dinner - which is always a good time.  By the end of the night, my face hurt from laughing and my crappy day was just a distant, unpleasant memory.

Saturday, April 27th:
It was absolutely glorious outside today.  Mr. R&R and I took a long walk on the East Side, discovered a new-to-us gourmet market (which necessitated the purchasing -and later consuming- of an obscene amount of cheese), and spent several hours hanging around in our back yard reading in the sun.

Sunday, April 28th: 
I already know that I have a very full week coming up so I spent the day trying to get everything in order.  I find that when things get crazy, it's nice to at least start the week with a clean house, the majority of my errands completed, and all the laundry done!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sushi, Snowflakes and Camping

Another week has gone by in Rabbits and Runs land.  It started with bombs and birthdays. It ended with snow and a tent!

Monday, April 15th:
The horrific events in Boston today made it hard to think of much else. However, it was Mr. R&R's birthday, so we went to one of our favorite sushi places, Izumi's, for a low-key celebration.

Maguro, Hamachi, Sake, and Shiro Maguro

Tuesday, April 16th:
All day today, I felt like crap. Either my allergies are flaring up or I'm getting a cold. Dinner wasn't as pretty as last night's, but it was still good.

Wednesday, April 17th:
The road to hell is paved with good intentions...and the inevitable 'spring cold'.  Yesterday's 'is it my allergies or a cold' became a full blown cold by this morning. I follow the 'neck up' rule when it comes to working out while under the weather and since I'm coughing and my chest feels all's a couch day.  I was okay with this since my favorite tv show premiered it's new season last night and the episodes are usually available for download via Amazon the next day.

Alas, the episode wasn't available yet and I had to make do with re-runs of How I Met Your Mother and a book.  I'm currently reading:

Thursday, April 18th:
This cold is beating the crap out of me.  No workout, but I did finally get to watch my episode of Deadliest Catch.  That show never fails to remind me that no matter how rough things get at work, at least I'm warm and dry at all times - and unlikely to wind up dead!  I also spent part of the night cleaning for the bunny-sitter since we're going to attempt to go camping this weekend. Yes, I have a cold. Yes, it's been raining cats and dogs for like a week straight. Yes, the temperatures are probably going to drop into the upper 20's at night. Yes, they're predicting 30mph winds on Friday night. But, if we don't go now, there's a very real possibility that we won't get another chance to go until late October/early November - and damn it...I WANNA GO CAMPING!

Friday, April 19th - Saturday, April 20th:
Against all forms of good sense, Mr. R&R and I packed up and headed off to our favorite campground - never mind that the predicted low's were in the mid-20's (with wind chills in the low teens).  We got our tent set up and were just sitting down to eat dinner when it started to snow!!!

The snow shower ended just as an entire troop of boy scouts arrived and set up camp all around us.

Initially I was a little worried that they'd be loud and irritating, but as it turns out, they were pretty decent neighbors - except for the really dreadful bugle-playing when they went to bed.  We turned in pretty early due to the cold and were snug as bugs in a rug in our new sleeping bag.

The next morning we decided that we didn't really want to make it a two night trip due the hiking trails within the park being flooded, the hiking trails outside the park being unusable due to people with guns stalking turkeys, and the fact that moving 10 feet away from the fire after sundown wasn't a desirable thing to do.  So we spent the morning/early afternoon burning up our remaining firewood and reading.  Between the sun and the heat of the fire it was really pleasant. It was nice to just check out (even if it was only for 24 hours) and relax.  I knocked out about 90 pages before we packed up and headed home.

The rest of Saturday was spent unpacking , doing laundry (that campfire smell is a pain to get rid of), and vegetating on the couch.

Sunday, April 21st:
My cold, which seemed to be gone on Saturday, came back full force today so I spent the day alternating between finishing the laundry, reading through the "life-coaching homework" from last week (thoroughly unimpressed), and laying on the couch.  Oh - and somewhere in there I finished the book I started on Saturday morning.

On to another week!

Monday, April 15, 2013


I can't even begin to express how horrified and saddened I am by what happened today in Boston. So forgive me for this little ramble - I'm not exactly sure what I want to say or that it will come out how I want it to.

The finish line of a marathon, especially one as famous as Boston, is a place of joyous celebration. It's a place where you feel more fully alive than you've ever felt...on top of the world.  It's a place where hard work and dedication pay off and dreams come true.


It should not resemble a war zone or a nightmare.

My heart goes out to the runners, the spectators, the volunteers, the first responders, the City of Boston, and everyone who was affected by this tragedy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


As part of my tri club membership, I was offered the opportunity to receive 4 weeks of online, group 'Mental Skills Training' from a life coach for free. The idea is that there are specific mental skills that contribute to success in both sports and life in general.   While 'life coaching' isn't something I would normally seek out on my own, I figured it would be interesting to give it a shot since it was free.

The way it works is that I receive two weekly emails from my coach. The first email consists of 3 parts: Motivation, Brainy Stuff (the science behind the topic in the motivation section), and Cross-Training (how the topic applies in other areas of your life).  The second email contains a series of challenges designed to implement and practice the skills discussed in the first email.

This week's topic was 'Motivation' and we were challenged to think about what motivates us in various areas of our lives.  The things that motivate you in your home life are different from the things that motivate you in athletic endeavors, at work, or in your social life.  One of the 'challenges' was to think about what refuels your motivation tank.  It could be music, nature, training, friends, movies...just about anything.  My main motivating force at home is the happiness and well-being of Mr. R&R, Walter and Spot - and in return, spending time with them refuels me in so many ways.  My motivation on the athletic front has been at an all time low (see myriad complaints about crap weather and a rough couple of weeks at work).  Usually I derive my athletic motivation from successfully completing workouts - outside and in nice weather!

Another challenge was to make a list of favorite motivating movies, video clips, music, and quotes - so I thought I'd share a few of my 'athletic motivation' items with you.


Hands down winner. I won't tell you how many times I've watched this movie, but the number is pretty high. It always provides a good kick in the pants when I need one.

A movie about one of America's most legendary runners? Sounds like motivation to me!


This work of fiction, originally published in 1978, quickly became a cult classic in the distance running community.  I finally read it a few years ago and it was easy to see why.

When the 3x Ironman World Champion writes a read it.  Chrissie is both incredibly humble and incredibly motivating at the same time.

I know I've talked about my preference for running with music before, but sometimes I need an extra boost - those few songs that never fail to make me try a little harder, go a little longer - in short: power songs.

Video Clips:

This is one of my favorite YouTube videos. It reminds me that people are willing to go to the point of complete and utter collapse in pursuit of their goals.

The New York City Marathon is on my Bucket List of this just adds fuel to the fire!



What motivates you?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Training Starts In 30 Days

I have one month until I start formally training for my first triathlon and it's time to start getting ready - because I'm pretty sure that it's going to

Monday, April 1st:
My original plan for today was to go for an easy 3 mile run, but when the weather looks like this:
it's really hard to talk yourself into going outside - especially when there's a nasty northwest wind blowing at 20mph. I really wasn't in the mood to do anything (rough day at the office, coming down from an Easter candy-induced sugar high, etc.), so I opted to switch tomorrow's trainer ride to today since it's supposed to be marginally warmer and a little less windy tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 2nd:
Warmer and less windy? Hah!  Mr. R&R and I decided to take a long walk and get dinner at our local Irish Pub, but between an unfortunate fall on some residual ice (him) and frozen fingers and toes (me), we had to cut our walk short.  At least the food was good!

Wednesday, April 3rd:

Thursday, April 4th:
This is far and away the best weather we've had in months, so obviously there was only one thing to do. RUN!  I headed out for a nice, easy 3 miler. I didn't have high expectations for this run since I pretty much haven't run at all in months and ended up pleasantly surprised. The first 2 miles felt awesome. The last mile was hard (and up hill), but overall not bad. I've lost a lot of speed and endurance, but I'm hopeful that they'll come back once I start running consistently.

Friday, April 5th:
Office Happy Hour + A Birthday Party = Not working out.

Saturday, April 6th:
No workout again...must. stop. this.

Sunday, April 7th:
Workout? Does helping my mom figure out the best route to her new job (she's not very familiar with downtown/the EastSide), and then taking a little walk to Starbucks count?  No? Damn.