Just because you can . . .


. . .  should you?

It seems like multi event weekends are all the rage now. And Ragnar, of course, which is sort of a multi event weekend. I haven’t done either. And I’m not saying you absolutely shouldn’t, but sometimes it’s wise to stop and give some hard thought to why you’re really signing up for an event, rather than get swept up in the hype.

For this Fitness Friday Five  from Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run,  I’m going to give you five ways to know that you’re ready to start training for your first half marathon.

I take recovery seriously
The line between injured and not injured is very, very thin. One minute you’re zipping along, running great, the next minute you’re sidelined with an injury. Or so it seems, anyway.

I try to be mindful and respect my body, because I’ve had a few injuries since I started running. I’ve been very lucky that none of them have sidelined me for very long, but even a short time on the sidelines can be very frustrating.

Since I just ran a half last weekend, I am not running this week. At all. Even though I have another half in roughly six weeks. 13.1 may not seem like much to a lot of runners, but I take it seriously, plus consider that I’ve been training for months already this year.

Your immunity takes a hit when you run a half marathon — ditto with travel, and I combined the two.

I won’t lose much, if any fitness, by taking this week off, and I have a lot to gain.

And that means being cautious about running too much
The highest weekly mileage I’ve ever run is 30. I won’t lie; it made me feel kind of bada$$. And fit. I felt truly ready for a big breakthrough in my finish times.

It didn’t happen, for a variety of reasons, and in the end, I struggled through one of my goal races in pain.

It’s not fun to run a goal race in pain. I may do this to challenge myself, and towards the end of a half I may question why I thought it was a good idea, but one of my first goals for all my halfs is to finish. Preferably not in pain.

I am still trying to figure out what the right weekly mileage is for me to achieve my goals and stay injury free.

It’s not only about weekly mileage, either. It’s also about how many times a week you run. 4 times a week seems to be a sweet spot for me. I also know that I can get by on 3 times a week. It’s rare for me to run more than 2 days in a row, but sometimes I do — I try to listen carefully to my body when I do. Just as I’ll take an extra rest day if my body tells me it needs it — it’s not easy for me, but I’ve learned to do it.

And that means not racing too much
I have marathoner friends, multi event friends, ultra friends. Of course I think they’re a special kind of crazy.

Racing is hard, y’all (and if it isn’t, you’re not racing). Sure, I could set a goal for myself to run a half every month. It would require a lot of travel and a lot of wear and tear on my body.

I’ve mentioned it before: I don’t just want to run a half in every state, I want to explore every state by running a half.

YMMV (your mileage may vary)
See what I did there? Some runners will run high weekly mileage and never suffer an injury. And some will run low weekly mileage and still be plagued by injuries. Some can run every day and be fine.

You get the picture: every body is different.

Listen carefully to your body. Don’t fall prey to FOMO.  And just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should.


Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:

Do you take time off running after a goal race?

Have you ever regretted not taking time off after a race?

Ever regretted doing a multi event weekend or a Ragnar?


I am linking up with Coach Debbie Runs, Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, and Crazy Running Girl for their Coaches’ Corner Linkup (even though I am not a coach — you can link up any running related post).

Epic trip, epic fails: TOLT

I’m Thinking Out Loud about all the shenanigans on our most recent epic trip. And there definitely were some!

Missing all the bloggers
When it came to blogger meetup, my recent trip was an epic failure. Patty @ Mynoguiltlife lives in Phoenix — but guess was she there when I was? Of course not.

Then I saw that Debbie @ Coachdebbieruns was also there for a workshop. We were actually there at the same time. But we couldn’t hook up either. I really wanted to pick her brains on integrating dogs into the pack, too.

And my friend Paula @ Neveradullbing? We met last time I was in Seattle, but couldn’t manage it this time.

The trip was epic
The trip, however, that was epic. Best vacation we’ve had in a long, long time. In case you missed all my Instagram updates, we visited with relatives in Seattle, where Mr. Judy met Alton Brown at a book signing.

We went to the movies twice — “The Queen of Katwe” and “Sully”. While you might think “Sully” wasn’t the best movie to go see a couple of days before flying across the country, it’s also about trusting your gut and your training. Good reminders before my half.

Yoga on the rocks


We spent several days in Sedona and I loved every minute of it. The highlight was definitely hiking up a hill (a steep hill — a little foreshadowing for my half?) and doing yoga on the rocks with the guide. It was amazing looking through my legs during down dog!

Then it was on to Fountain Hills (Scottsdale area of Phoenix), which is named hills for a reason. It was a tough half marathon that I’m proud of.

Maybe it’s the angle? Outfit fail

This outfit was an epic fail
Well, it served its purpose — comfortable enough to fly in, cool enough (once I removed the sweater I wore on the flight) to travel up to Sedona in.

But flattering? Nope, I’d say this was not a flattering outfit on me. Sometimes you need the photographic evidence!

I can only hold out so long . . .
Well, yeah, that goal of watching the sugar I wrote about in Tuesday’s blog post? I’ve been watching it alright — watching it march right into my mouth (and probably adhere to my stomach and thighs).

Don’t get me wrong, I was on vacation and I ran a half and I did a lot of hiking, too. So I expected some sugar consumption.

That cinnamon roll we bought in Sedona? We shared it. As I said, we gave some to a woman at the next table. I think we both ate some more of it the next couple of days. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but then there was also dessert the night of my half (remember, I indulged in more cinnamon roll shortly after the half), then fudge pie at Z Tejas, some Pinkberry on the way home . . .

Eating all the carbs (and some salmon for recovery)

10 days is a long vacation, y’all! I start out with good intentions, do pretty good for a while, but usually somewhere towards the end the dam breaks and I start indulging more than I really ought to. It is time to slam down those floodgates again!

Bandit update
Well, obviously we haven’t been dealing with Bandit while we were away. Or any of the furkids.

The pet sitter said he was doing really well. She was able to clip his claws. She used his muzzle, but she didn’t think that she needed it for the nail clipping.

Unfortunately I’m doing a quick turnaround and heading down to my parents (probably there as you read this), so it’ll be a few more days before I see Lola or Bandit.

Gizmo is demanding why were you gone so loooooong?

Gizmo made it very clear this morning that he needed some lap time, and as I type this on Wednesday, he’s wandering around meowing at me. Unfortunately for him I have a ton of laundry to do, need to get some food in the house, and oh yeah, pack again to go to my parents.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Do you cats velcro to you after vacation, or give you the cold shoulder?

What was your last epic fail?

Ever think you looked really cute until you saw the photo?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

Opportunist: how will you use your minutes?


Opportunist: a person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by consistent principles or plans

I have to admit, in general I don’t consider myself to be an opportunist, except, perhaps, when it comes to training plans. I like to experiment, which means while certain elements of my half marathon training remain the same, I’d be bored if I did the same plan every single time.

I’m always looking for that holy grail — the plan that will help me capture that elusive running unicorn — you know, the 20 minute PR? I keep doing the work, but I often feel as though I am spinning my wheels and not advancing (I’m picturing the ferrari in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off here).

I don’t need to get “fast”, whatever that might mean. While an Age Group award would be nice, I’m not gonna lie, I can live without that, too. But I’d like to move up from the Back of the Pack to the middle.

I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the as to whether we fulfill our destiny, but our fate is sealed.
–Paul Coelho

By the time you read this, I will (hopefully) have completed state #11 (and my thirteenth half marathon). I can’t control the weather, I can’t control how well stocked the aid stations will be, I can’t control how much the race director lied (just how big is that hill in the middle, anyway?).

About the only thing I can be opportunistic about with this half is trying to draft off another runner if it’s windy. Otherwise, it all comes down to my training (which went well, despite the circumstances) and

I did complete my half marathon. The hills were far worse than I anticipated (1000+ ft elevation gain, anyone?). While there was a slight breeze, no need to draft (not to mention finishing BOTP style means no one near enough to draft off of towards the end!).

One thing I know for sure
I’m not much of an opportunist. I like to plan, and I like to be guided by a plan. Signing up for the Best Damn Race in NOLA was rather opportunisitc, though: I was taking advantage of the lower price dangled as a carrot, but it was done rather on a whim, than with a plan.

Deb Runs

Tell me in the comments:

Are you a planner, or more of an opportunist?

Ever found yourself being an opportunist during a race?

Do you think being an opportunist can be a good thing?

What’s left to accomplish in 2016?


Not having goals is like setting out for a road trip without your GPS (which used to be a map, of course). Yet I’ve been cruising through most of 2016 without much thought to goals. First there was losing Chester, then going through the grief process, things finally started to look up, then there was Bandit, my mom’s surgery, moving my parents . . . the list of why I haven’t even begun to think about goals is long and varied.

Things aren’t at all settled yet, but it’s time to think about goals — before we’re already into 2017, which is just around the corner!

Race Calendar
I need to sign up for a couple of races:

Luckily I don’t need to sign up for the Turkey Trot I plan to run — but maybe I ought to just go ahead and sign up for it anyway!

Training Plan(s)
I won’t be running in a group training for PCB, so I need to sit down and come up with a training plan. The good news is it comes just 6 weeks after Craft Classic Phoenix — it’s mostly a matter of maintaining my fitness. It’s highly unlikely to be a PR, unless there’s a cold snap (always possible!), but I still need to train — to remain injury free.

Keep an eye on that sugar!
Now is the time I normally start putting on the winter weight. I’m at a good place with my weight at the moment, but as they say, #thestruggleisreal. 

Sugar is always a big piece of the equation for me. Not to mention a vacation in November, Thanksgiving (at my house, which at least gives me some control), and another vacation in December — both are not long vacations, but still, it doesn’t take me long to pack on the pounds — but it takes forever to take them back off.

Think about race goals that aren’t time related
I’ve signed up for three half marathons in states with warm climates — despite the fact that I don’t normally deal well with racing in the heat.

I’m currently reading Boston Bound, which was one of Wendy’s bookclub picks a while back. I happened to be looking at something else on my kindle, and it was a suggested book and only $4.99. I highly recommend and I think I got it at just the right time for me!

A few more I bought & was reading on vacation: Runner’s Brain, My Marathon, and Meb for Mortals. Yes, I was reading them all at once!

My goal for my half last weekend was to beat my last hot half. I did it by about 5 minutes!

I’d love to hear from you, so let me know in the comments:

Are you a goal setter?

What goal have you met recently?

Are you a little scared there’s just 2 1/2 months left in 2016?

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Tuesdays on the Run

State No. 11:10/10-16 Weekly Wrap

Lucky 13 today. I’m not overly superstitious, but I was wearing the same skirt as ZOOMA Annapolis & that one didn’t go so well. 

But first, let’s look at the workouts leading up to the race. 

So because I’ll be traveling a lot in the next few months, but “wrapped” up with family business too, follow me on Instagram to find out what shenanigans I’m up to. I’m wrapping it up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin because you just never know who you might inspire.


Workouts update

  • Monday: PT16x16 WO15, YFR Hamstrings 
  • Tuesday: PR16x16 WO16
  • Wednesday: 3 miles trail running, roughly 5 miles hiking, YFR Hamstrings 
  • Thursday:  3 miles with 4 strides, Pahla B Stretch & Strengthen Yoga
  • Friday: 3 mile hike, private yoga
  • Saturday: YFR Back & Hamstrings 
  • Sunday: Craft Classic Phoenix Half Maratho, Lululemon recovery yoga (search YouTube)

Mileage: 19.1 (-.9)

TIU = Tone it Up
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 


Bell Rock was within walking distance of our hotel. We headed there in the morning. I tried to run but it was rocky and steep so there was more walking than running & what running there was was slow.

But it was so beautiful I didn’t care!


I took it much easier and stuck to the roads (mostly downhill), with frequent photo stops and some strides thrown in at the end. 


Craft Classic Phoenix. A class act. I had a great race. Definitely tough, but the tough is what makes it great.  

Favorites of the week
Sedona. I’ve wanted to come here forever and I wasn’t disappointed. 

Today I finished my 13th half marathon (thank you Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherunner for the entry) & state 11. Awesome race especially for an inaugural one. It was tough but good. You understand. 

AZ you were good to me but it’s time to head home & move my parents.

And that’s a wrap 

Let’s get the conversation started:

Best vacation?

Are you superstitious?

Do you chat up runners at the start (I do!)?

5 hacks to replace eggs when baking


I am not vegan; no, I’m not even vegetarian. Yet I often do eat vegan and vegetarian — I also eat meat, cheese, and fish; but I try to limit the meat and cheese, as I don’t consider them the healthiest options.

I do eat a lot of eggs, but as I said, I like to mix it up, so I do love vegan baking. Maybe someone in your family is vegan. Maybe someone in your family is allergic to eggs.

Never fear, you can still bake!

It is the end of an era: I feel as though my blog has grown up the Friday Five  from Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run, and today, while helping you bake without eggs, I’m also saying thanks to these three bloggers for helping me grow my blog. The Friday Five will be missed.

Each of these hacks is the equivalent of one whole egg.

Flax Eggs
Mix 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds with 3 tbsp water and let it sit approximately 10 minutes until it gels.

Flaxseed does have a nutty flavor, so take that into consideration when choosing where to use flax eggs.

Chia Eggs
Mix 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsp water and let sit approximately 10 minutes until it gels.

I know, I know — this is the same thing as flax eggs, only using chia seeds. While flaxseeds will give a slightly nutty flavor to baked goods, chia seeds don’t — but they do have a tendency to stick in your teeth. On the positive side, chia seeds have a lot of healthy benefits, like lots of fiber and calcium, for instance.

Chickpea Four
Mix 3 tbsp flour with 3 tbsp water.

I have not actually tried this method, although I do have quite a few chickpea flour recipes I want to try!

One ripe banana (mashed).

This works well in anything sweet: pancakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, etc. The riper the banana, the more sweetness it will add. You may need to cut back on the sweetener — it all depends on your sweet tooth.

Use 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix).

It is time for all things pumpkin, after all.

Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:

Do you ever worry about how many eggs you eat?

Have you tried any of these egg hacks?

Are you allergic to any foods?

Weight loss should make you happy: TOLT

I’m Thinking Out Loud about the dangers of lawn services, how weight loss should make you happy (but so often doesn’t), and of course the furkids. There’s always the furkids!

Swimming Shenanigans
Last week when I went swimming there seemed to be all sorts of shenanigans going on. First there was dark cloud woman. You know the people who walk around like there’s a dark cloud hanging over their head — don’t approach me, don’t even think about talking to me?

She was there last week, and she made it clear she had no intention of sharing a lane. I went later this week, which worked out much better as there was room to swim, but she was leaving as I was coming in and she still had that dark cloud hanging over her.

Next there was some item of clothing sitting in the sauna when I went into it. At first I thought it was a man’s Hawaiian shirt, but on closer inspection it was a swimsuit top. The weird thing is there was absolutely no one else in the locker room at any time while I was showering, in the sauna, or getting dressed.

I mean, I could see how you might want to dry out a swim suit in the sauna (although I wonder if it’s good for it?), but wouldn’t you also come and get it at some point? Did that person stay in the sauna too long and have a meltdown?

Finally, there was the woman who walked in to just use the bathroom. Sounding like she was coughing up a lung. You know how you hate to be exposed to germs in your taper? Well of course I needed to use the bathroom before I left and that’s the only stall. She left with a snorkel mask in hand.

Was there a full moon that day?

Ballet Bun Works
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my happy accident in putting my hair into a loose bun instead of a ponytail when I went swimming. I did it again this week deliberately: same results, my hair stays a lot drier.

This is really good news, because the reason I usually stop swimming in the winter is that my hair gets so wet that I’m chilled when I come out. There’s no good place to blow it dry where I swim.

I am hopeful that I will be able to keep swimming  — maybe even through the winter?

My Happy Weight
One of my friends is generally 10 lbs below her Weight Watchers goal weight. She looks great. Yet she’s always trying to lose weight and has a poor body image.

I was very happy to get to a weight I haven’t seen in decades this month. I didn’t stay there long, but I’m still quite happy with where I am.

Would I love to lose even more weight? Well, sure. Are there areas of my body I wish looked differently? Well, sure. I’m human.

I’ve have been working hard to get to this place for years, though. And I am happy to report that getting here actually does make me happy. It’s not just about vanity; being at an unhealthy weight leaves you open to all sorts of diseases. Being at a healthy weight doesn’t mean you’re immune, of course, but it helps to be at a healthy weight — 40 lbs overweight definitely wasn’t a healthy weight for me!

It’s really easy to fall down the weight loss rabbit hole and never be satisfied. I am glad that getting to a certain weight destination, no matter how briefly, did make me happy. Losing weight doesn’t solve all your problems, of course — I think that is often why people get to where they think they want to be, and are surprised that their lives aren’t magically all rainbows and fairy dust. And struggle. Been there, done that.

I still need to work on being happy despite the number on the scale.

Lawn Services are Dangerous
I was walking back with the dogs and one of those lawn service guys was zipping around on a riding mower, behind the service’s van, of course. The problem is that unlike a push mower, they just zip out into the street to turn around. And they’re wearing head phones.

So they have absolutely no clue that I am about to walk up to them with two dogs.

Not good at all.

Bandit update
Not a whole lot going on, but I wanted to share a few observations about Bandit with you. It’s easy to see in retrospect that Bandit was pretty depressed the first month we had him — with good reason, of course, he’d just been dumped from the home he’d lived in for six years with strangers and a strange cat and dog.

Getting him to eat that first month was a constant struggle. I often had to resort to putting his food on my fingers, and even then sometimes he just turned his head away. He still is much more enthusiastic about eating in the evening vs the morning, which seems totally odd and wrong to me, but that’s his pattern.

Now at least I can report that while he might be slow to start in the morning, he cleans his bowl no problem.

Bandit is much more relaxed walking around the neighborhood now. He loved it from day one. His former owner didn’t walk him much and said he’d sometimes just lay down during a walk — say what? This dog loves to walk.

He was always on alert that first month, though; his body language was very stiff. It’s much looser and relaxed now. He has a long way to go to learn how to really walk nicely on a loose leash — he’s better alone, but I don’t have time to walk the dogs separately!

Finally, there was the time that he barked at 1:30 am. He did, indeed, have to go out. I’d had trouble falling asleep that night, so I wasn’t particularly pleased. I tried to give him a diarrhea tab (talked about those in last week’s (Weekly Wrap), and he spit it out. Twice. Both times wrapped in jerky (which he ate).

I may or may not have had a hissy fit at him. Not my most shining moment. I wasn’t really mad that he needed to go out, just that he was refusing to take something I knew would help us both.

One of the things we are training him to do is stop on the landing of our stairs (so he’s not running around loose). The next morning, when I wasn’t at all mad at him, when I told him to stop he just cowered and melted to the floor. I felt horrible. And thankfully he hasn’t done it since.

Bandit’s previous owner had rescued him from someone else that was neglecting (and possibly abusing him). Seriously, I felt about two inches tall that morning. He’s never really given any indication that he was abused before. We’ve bathed him, I can pick him up, I can pick him up and carry him out to the car — no problems. The only thing I haven’t attempted yet is clipping his claws.

He’s still a lot of work, he still has a long ways to go, but the reason I share all this is you never know who will adopt a senior dog. Often it’s easy, but if you’ve been following along with me, you know it isn’t always easy.

You know in your heart that this dog has had a raw deal in life, and while he still needs boundaries, he also deserves to be loved and unafraid. It will take time. And a lot of patience. And sometimes you’ll probably fail.

But dogs are so wonderful at overlooking our shortcomings.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Ever adopted a senior animal?

Did getting to a certain weight make you happy?

Ever been afraid of being run over by a lawn mower?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud