Oak Island Marathon

Forgive me for these race recaps being so close together but I’m trying to get them posted before this weekend.  If I don’t I’ll be 3 race recaps behind.  LOL   This grandma is one busy lady!

Oak Island Marathon is part of a race series called The Big A$$ Medal Series.  Again, my good friend Lisa, put me up to this series.  She’s always finding the best races!  The cool thing about the medals are not only are they really big but they all connect together making one Ginormous medal!  Crazy Big!

Here I am all showered up after the run sporting the cool shirt and the medal.  If you like bling, this is the series for you.

shirt and medal

Oak Island was first and was held on February 18th.  It is the only race in the series that has a full marathon option.  The other 3 are all half marathons.  The next race is in May and it will be on Sunset Beach.  Then comes Holden Beach and Ocean Isle in September and October.  Ron and I have never vacationed in this area so we are really excited to get to know the region.

We headed down to Oak Island on Friday and were there in just over 2 hours.  The expo was super little but very well organized.  We were in and out of there in minutes flat.

OakIsland expo

For the rest of the series, we may not worry so much about getting the day off on Friday and just head down after work and pick up our bibs the morning of the race.

After the expo, we drove out to the Oak Island Lighthouse.  It is a cute little lighthouse and it is right beside the road.  You can climb it in the summer months but you have to make a reservation.

Next after checking into the hotel we headed out in search of pizza and pasta.   This little gem popped up on Yelp for me and we loved it.  Great pizza.  Great spaghetti.  And great craft beer for Ron.

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Pizza and pasta

It was getting close to dusk by this point and the wind had picked up a bit but we still enjoyed a short walk on the beach.

birds

Check out Ron doing Tai Chi on the beach!

TCR

The hotel (Holiday Inn Express) had a comfy bed and quite rooms.  My rest was blissful!  Ron slept very well too.

Since I had had such a bad run in Charleston and overheated, even though it was a little cool at the start, I opted for running in a singlet.  I had my new one from Vac & Dash and since I knew it would be quite sunny, it proved to be perfect.

flat for OI

The only thing I didn’t think of was my headlamp.  Ron told me that the race organizers had told us plenty of times to be ready for the dark start but for some reason, I missed that.  The run in the beginning was through some neighborhoods and I was fearful of tripping in a pot hole or something.  I really wished I had my light.  On the other hand though, I’m glad I didn’t have to carry it with me for the rest of the race.  I like to run with only the bare essentials.  I don’t even like running with my phone.  I’ve got to change this because I love all the pictures that all my friends capture.

Check out this gorgeous sunrise my good friend Jordan shot.

Oak Island Sunrise

That was 2 weekends in a row that I ran and got to see the sunrise.  So Pretty!

The first part of the run for me went well again.  I really enjoyed running over the bridge and running to the lighthouse.

Around the half, you run by the finish line area and usually I get down when I hear all the partying knowing I have 13 miles to go.  This time it didn’t bother me.  I kept running and I didn’t really know it at that time but I was slowing down big time.  I felt really good and was in good spirits until around mile 23.  With only 3 miles to go my legs started to buckle under me.  What!  I got really scared and thought I was going to faint or something.  I wasn’t dehydrated and I had had 3 Gus so I should have been fine.  I started walking at this point and must have walked about a quarter of a mile or so.  I sucked it up and before long I saw Ron and my good friend Claudia and her husband.  They ran me in and Claudia handed me a beer and a slice of pizza.  Claudia was so thoughtful to wait on me.  She had finished about an hour before me and had qualified for Boston!  She’s turning 60 this year and is my hero!  I want to be like her when I grow up!  LOL

(Claudia’s husband got a picture of us but I don’t have it yet.  I’ll post as soon as I can.)

 

Here I am at the finish line.  I look happier than I felt!

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Here’s a shot of my other good friend, Jordan and me.  I was right with Jordan at mile 23 but she beat me by 10 minutes over those last 3 miles.

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And here Ron and I are.  Ron had a good half marathon but had to give the after party a thumbs down.  My beer lovin’ husband won’t touch an American lager.  LOL

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Here’s  Ron is coming in!  All smiles!

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I’m really excited for the rest of the series and even though I’m bummed about my 2 recent marathon times, I’m trying to stay positive and see if I can figure out what is going on.  My gut is telling me I’m not running enough.  I love going to Camp Gladiator on MWF and I think it is healthy for me.  I just think if I am going to get faster, I have to get more miles and more fast miles under my feet.  I think I am training myself to run slow.  I’ve got to run fast in my training runs if I  ever am going to run fast in races.  Good news is my LifeTime Fitness Run group is offering a speed class beginning in May.  8 weeks with the awesome Coach Kelly.  I am very excited for this.

Here’s my training calendar leading up to the race.  I had high hopes of doing so much better.

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Here are my splits.  (My Garmin measured it at 26.43)

Splits Distance Time Cumulative Time
1 1 10:35 10:35
2 1 11:28 22:03
3 1 11:39 33:43:00
4 1 11:35 45:18:00
5 1 11:32 56:50:00
6 1 11:40 1:08:30
7 1 11:28 1:19:58
8 1 11:28 1:31:26
9 1 11:41 1:43:06
10 1 11:52 1:54:58
11 1 12:07 2:07:05
12 1 12:36 2:19:42
13 1 12:24 2:32:06
14 1 12:55 2:45:01
15 1 13:18 2:58:18
16 1 12:51 3:11:09
17 1 13:00 3:24:09
18 1 13:09 3:37:18
19 1 13:31 3:50:50
20 1 13:19 4:04:09
21 1 13:33 4:17:42
22 1 14:32 4:32:14
23 1 14:31 4:46:45
24 1 14:59 5:01:43
25 1 16:08 5:17:51
26 1 16:20 5:34:11
27 0.43 09:09.2 5:43:21
Summary 26.43 5:43:21 5:43:21

I’m not giving up on the full distance but I am definitely giving it a rest for a while.  I’ve got the Tobacco Road half coming up this Sunday and then I’ve got the other 3 halfs in the BAM series.  I also am registered for the Kiawah Island half in December.

I am toying with the idea of maybe signing up for the Richmond full in November.  All my running friends tell me it is a great marathon so I might give it a try.

Happy Running Friends!

 

Fellowship of the Idiot 19.7 mile Run

My sister lives near Morrow Mountain State Park so I’ve known about the Albemarle area for over 40 years.  In fact, my niece got married on the top of Morrow Mountain.  What I didn’t know about this area until I got into running was this awesome running store called Vac & Dash.   Vac & Dash is a unique store.  They sell vacuum cleaners and running shoes.  They also are a UPS shipping outlet, sell and repair bikes, time races and sell disc golf supplies.

Back in 2012 when I was doing a race a month, I stumbled upon Vac & Dash and the awesome Run the Valley half marathon.  I was very intrigued about running to the top of Morrow Mountain.  I signed up and ran with a new friend from my Galloway running group.  I wasn’t at all concerned with speed at that time so I went into that race with a very relaxed attitude.  It was a hoot!  Beautiful scenery and very well run race.   It is the only race to date that I have placed in my age group.  (disclaimer:  I got 3rd place in my age group…and there were only 3 of us in the group.  I got a trophy though.  LOL)

Fast forward 5 years and my oldest and one of my dearest running friends, Lisa, messaged me and ask me to join her in the Fellowship of the Idiot Run.  The Fellowship of the Idiot Run started back in 2003 with a few friends getting together for their last long run before the Myrtle Beach Marathon. They started at the YMCA in Albemarle and ran to the top of Morrow Mountain and back.  Every year since then, idiots have gotten together for this awesome long run.  This year there were 174 runners making it over 600 official idiots since the run’s inception.  Fellowship was 19.7 miles and there was a hard cut-off at 2 hours to make it the top.  I jumped at the chance to run such a fun run with such a great friend and said yes immediately.  However, when I learned about that hard cut-off, I worked myself up and became very anxious.  That meant I had to average about a 12:00 minute mile.  Not too much of a worry on a flat course but going up the mountain…. Hmmmm, I didn’t know if I could make it or not.

I really, really wanted to become an Official Idiot and earn my shirt.  I tried to keep a positive attitude and tried very hard to just enjoy the run and not stress so much about pace.  My good friend Claudia told me to run 30:30 intervals if I had to on the steepest incline (30 second run: 30 second walk).  So that was my plan.

The run starts at 5:30am and since my sister lives about 25 minutes from the start, we traveled to her house on Friday night.  I stayed up way too late visiting but somehow managed to wake up at 4:00 and make it out the door by 4:30.  I was in Albemarle just before 5:00 and had plenty of time to use the bathroom, find Lisa, and check in.

Peter, the owner of Vac & Dash, welcomed us all, said a few words and then it was a simple, Ready, Set, and Go.  We were off!  Here we are just before the start.

Idiots at the start

The first few miles were in the small town of Albemarle.  Since it was so early there wasn’t anyone on the streets except us.  It was very dark.  I had my reflective vest on for safety and I also wore my new headlamp.  By the way, I highly recommend the Petzl Headlamp.  I love the USB charging feature and it is very comfortable.  It stays put on my forehead and doesn’t bounce at all.  The only thing I wish is that it had a blinking feature on the back some way.  That would be cool and even safer.  There was one hill early on in the run and it was very tough.  Lisa and I were talking and I was having trouble completing my sentences.

The next miles passed effortlessly.  We talked and talked and enjoyed meeting other idiots out for this 19.7 mile run so early in the morning.  Before long, we started seeing the sun begin to rise.  It was a beautiful orange.  The weather was on the chilly side but not too bad.  I like chilly for a run so I was in heaven.  There really wasn’t a wind to speak of at all.

Lisa’s whole family came out to support her and they were blasting cool songs and ringing cow bells, and hootin’ and hollerin’ and pretty much being the very best supporters ever!

We stopped a few times for pictures and I walked a few steps when I was drinking or taking a Gu but for the most part, I ran all the way.  I didn’t even have to use the 30:30 plan to make it up the mountain.  I was so surprised I was able to run the whole way up.  I was all smiles coming in at the top of the mountain!

Here’s a shot that Lisa’s husband, Wes,  captured of me.

me at top

 

And here we are at the top.   This shot was from the race site and we must have been looking at Wes.

us at top

And just look at this amazing shot Wes got of the sunrise!  Breathtaking!  We really ran to heaven that morning!

 

Wes' sunrise

After these photos and a quick Gu and bathroom break, we headed back down the mountain.  The run back was just as awesome.  Morrow Mountain State Park is so peaceful.

Morrow Mtn

The roads were a little busier when we got back into Albemarle but not too bad.  The directions were clearly marked and before we knew it we were back at the Y.  We had earned our shirts and now were official idiots!

got our shirts

Note, In years past someone was pictured holding their shirt upside down by mistake and now everyone does it.  An Idiot Tradition!

From the race you get that awesome shirt and a funny idiot certificate.  Wes however, couldn’t have us complete a run of this magnitude and not get a medal.  He designed this medal and got them for us.  Lisa was Idiot 1 and I was Idiot 2.  Lisa’s daughter made the buttons for us.

I had the most fun ever.  Thank you so much to Lisa and her whole family for including me!

Thanks so much to Peter from Vac&Dash and thank you to all the volunteers that make the run possible year after year.  I certainly want to be a returning Idiot next year and beyond!

When you are planning your 2018 race calendar, you really should include Fellowship of the Idiot Run.  If something comes up and you can’t make it, you can’t get a refund.  But somehow I think you’ll be okay with that.  There isn’t a race fee at all.  Completely free!

Do however, make sure to make a donation to help support this remarkable run.  Make sure to save some time after the run and go on down street to Vac & Dash.  If you’re lucky like me you might just find something on the clearance rack!

singlets

A Hinson Singlet with the year I ran on it!  Woot Woot!  Best $4 I’ve ever spent!   (Vac & Dash does the apparel for Hinson.)  I also got the red one and it was only $4 as well.  I’ll be stylin’ for sure this summer!

Happy Running Friends!

Deconstructing Charleston and a New Breakfast Idea

Let’s start off with a cool new breakfast idea.  Look at this yummy egg and banana pancake.  I found the recipe on an old blog that I just keep reading year after year.  Love KathEats!

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It looks like a huge breakfast but it is really only 2 eggs and 1 banana.  (and some chia seeds, vanilla, and cinnamon)

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All you do is mash the banana up and stir in the eggs and other ingredients.  Then fry it up on a lightly greased pan.

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Boy was it delicious!

It is a rainy day here in North Carolina so I’ve got some time to jot down a race recap from last weekend’s Charleston Marathon.  Let me start off by saying Charleston is a wonderful city and the race was very well organized.  We stayed near the convention center and boy was this area hoppin’.  You will find every imaginable chain restaurant and store that you could ever want.  The cool thing is this area is only 3.5 miles from the finish area so it is very convenient.  The finish area is actually the coolest area though.  This is where you’ll find nice restaurants that are not of the chain sort.  We had Italian Friday night and then after the race we went to a seafood restaurant.  I just love visiting new cities and exploring.  The weather was on the warm side and we even dined outside on Friday night.  Dining al fresco is my favorite!

Let me give you all the normal recap stuff and then I’ll go into more detail of what happened in my race.

Expo  –  on the small side but well organized

Shirt – nice!  Long sleeved tech shirt.

Medal – nice as well!

Course – Flat!  Pretty nice scenery.  We got to run by the water and to the end of a dock.  I had heard that the 2nd half would be lonely but that didn’t prove true at all.  I was never alone.  There are plenty of full marathoners and even after the split at mile 10 there were so many other runners to keep me company.

After race party – Very good.  They had shrimp and grits, boiled peanuts, mimosas, and a good craft IPA beer.

Here’s my flat Melissa for the race.  I was being so superstitious and I have no idea why.   I wore my OBX hat to help me remember I can do hard things. One year at OBX there was a monsoon and it was very tough. I wore my Lifetime training shirt to honor coach Kelly and all my running buddies. Also because I hope to run for the rest of my Lifetime. And those gray running shorts are the ones I wore in my very first marathon. (I can’t believe I still have these. LOL)

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My race was not what I had hoped for.  My time was 6:04:51.  My second slowest time ever. My slowest was a 6:05 at City of Oaks back in 2012.  How could I have repeated this?  My IT band didn’t hurt this time and Charleston was flat!  City of Oaks was very hilly!  It really doesn’t make any sense to me at all.  All of 2016 I really focused hard on speed and I felt I was prepared for Charleston.  In late 2015 and early 2016 I posted the best half marathon times of my life.  I cross trained and I had lost a little weight.  I ran all my long runs.  Charleston should not have been a 6 hour marathon.

Here are my splits:

Charleston splits

As you can see, I was doing okay up until the half.  This was what was written on my hand and I had such high hopes of really knocking this race out of the park!

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I started slowing down a bit but not too much.  At mile 16 I had planned to get my music going.  I hadn’t walked at all up until this point and I was trying to get my music started while I was running.  I have an old iPod and even though I had charged it fully when I turned it on before the race it was dead.  I charged it while we were driving to the start and it was about 50% charged when we lined up for the race.  However at mile 16, it was dead again.  I tried hard to not let this bother me and I really can’t blame what happened next on the music.

I mentioned that it was warm and it was.  The race didn’t start until 8:00am.  I enjoyed not having to get up so early but that late of a start meant I was in full sun for quite some time. I got a little dizzy around this time and I think I started psyching  myself out.  I decided to walk a little.  I saw the 4:45 pace group go by me and my plan was to stick with them like glue.  Well that was a laugh.  They seemed to fly by me!

Then the 5:00 pace group leader passed.  I knew him and he stopped and gave me a hug.  He was all smiles and running effortlessly.  No sticking with him by any means.

Then not long after that the 5:30 group passed.  They were doing intervals and I kept up with them through 2 walk breaks.  They were flying as well.

I started calculating how long it would take me to finish if I continued with 20 minute miles.  Oh my gracious. Was it ever hard.  I wasn’t hurting and after a few Gatorade stops I wasn’t dizzy anymore.  What was going on?  Well I say I wasn’t hurting.  I was a little.  I have a bunion on each foot and they always tend to hurt when I run very long distances. My left bunion was burning but I just chalked it up to the normal hurt that it always does. After the race when I tried to take my sock off I realized it wasn’t the normal hurt.  This time I had a blood blister and my sock was stuck to my skin.  I know, I know, Yuck!  But that’s what happened.  My socks were good ones so I have no earthly idea what the cause could have been.

Here I am with Ron at the finish.  It was a hard race for me but Ron did great!  I was so jealous.  He hardly trains at all and seemed to be out for a walk in the park.  Ron isn’t fast by any means but it amazes me how effortlessly he runs.

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The good news is I have another marathon on February 18th.  Maybe this can be my redemption marathon.  It’s at Oak Island so it should be flat as well.  Maybe I’ll try intervals from the beginning.  What I do know is that for the next 4 weeks, I’m going to focus on cross training.  I haven’t been going to Camp Gladiator and this is going to change.  I promise to go 3x a week for the next month.

I’m also going to work on push-ups and planks.  Every single day.  And yoga and my ITB routine.  I’ve got 4 weeks and I’m going to make the best of it.

Tomorrow I’m heading out for 10 miles and then the week after that 14.  On February 11th I shouldn’t be running 20 miles but I’m going to.  I’m an idiot for sure.  I won’t kill me and even though every running coach out there would tell me to taper, I’m not gonna.  If I can eat right, focus on getting a good night’s sleep each night, drink plenty of water, cross train, and run, I think Oak Island is going to be mine!

Let’s get to it!

PS…I put a bandage on my blister area and went out for a slow 5 mile run last night.  I felt good.  My bunion burned a little but there is no new damage.

 

 

Basic 5 ingredient overnight oats

I eat a lot of oats.  And I get a lot of questions about them.  I’ve had friends text me while they were in WalMart looking for rolled oats.  I’ve had questions as to if I eat them cold.  And….do I really put beans in them now? 

Well here you go.  This is my go to recipe for what I eat most every morning.  Let me preface this by letting you know that I have been eating these for about 6 years and my taste buds have changed a lot.  If you’re not into oats yet, start out with them warm and make them the whipped banana oatmeal way.  These are the bomb!  Put a little shredded coconut on top and a little White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter.  Oh man!  Delish!

But if you are ready to go hard core, follow these simple directions.

Get out a 4 cup glass bowl.  Slice up one ripe banana into the bowl.  Add in 1/4 cup of Cannellini beans well rinsed.  Now take out a potato masher and mash the banana and the beans together.  Add 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats and 1/2-3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk.  (depending on how thick or thin you want your oats)  Drop in a few drops of vanilla extract.  Stir well, cover, and refrigerate overnight.  If you don’t mind the banana getting brown, it can last in the fridge for one week as long as you put them in glass containers.

I make 5 of these at a time almost every Sunday.  (The other 5 glass bowls are my chopped salads.)

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Enjoy!

Fishless Tuna Salad

 

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Ron and I visited Triangle VegFest on Sunday and had a blast.  We stumbled upon the Loma Linda table and I ended up buying 2 cans of fishless tuna.  They sent me home with a recipe and I followed it as close as I could.  I substituted a yellow onion because I didn’t have any green onions and I only used 1/2 cup of mayo instead of the cup that it called for.

I had this mayo in the fridge already.

And, I served it over these rice cakes.

I haven’t really looked deep into the nutritional content or the calories yet but I wanted to share anyway.  It was so yummy!  If you like tuna salad, you’ll love this.

I’ll pop back in soon for more of a review of VegFest!

Happy Eating!

Resolve

The end of August!  How in the world is it almost fall already?

Time go so much faster than it used to!

Time source

I thought I’d pop in and give an update to my New Year’s Resolutions.

  • First up was the Run Streak.  I ran every day for 65 days.  Most days I ran at least 3 miles but there were some of the days that I only ran 1 mile.  Two times I ran in place for 10 minutes.  I know, Crazy!  I really wanted the sweatshirt and I was so hoping I could make it all year but it wasn’t in the cards.  On the day before the Chattanooga Half Marathon, I “forgot to run.”  I didn’t realize it until the next day and I was so bummed.  I truly just forgot.  After that, I didn’t have the heart for it anymore.  I may try it again next year and see if I can get farther.  Maybe not though.  A runner I met on Facebook that  is much faster than me told me her secret to going fast is scheduling in a LOT of rest days.

 

  • Next was the Tai Chi and Kung Fu experiment.  I was a student for 3 months and made it to Blue Belt and boy was it fun but very, very, hard.  I passed the Tai Chi test too. This proved to be the most mentally challenging thing I’ve done in my adult life. I really loved it but after the Blue Belt test we had to purchase mouth guards and then we had to start sparring.  Like in real fighting.  Ummm, No thank you.  I respectfully withdrew from class and wished Ron the very best.  I secretly think he’s happy I’m not a student anymore.  He was excited to share it with me but in the end, it was his thing and not for me.

 

  • When I gave up Kung Fu, I knew I needed something for cross training.  I had huge success last year with Cross Fit and I really enjoyed it.  However, I really wanted to work out in the mornings before work to help use my time more efficiently.  My coach’s box had a 5:30am class and I did try it a couple of times.  I’d leave the box as close to 6:30am as I could but more times than not, I’d still end up in bad traffic.  Sometimes I wouldn’t get to work until 7:30 and I’d have just barely enough time to shower and get to my desk by 8:00.  It wasn’t working.  And, even though the 5:30am coach was awesome, I missed Liz, the owner and head coach.  I was very close to giving up on my goal of morning workouts and just sucking it up and trying to make it to after work sessions.  However, my good friend and running buddy, Amelia, had been talking about Camp Gladiator.  It just so happened that they were running a huge promotion.  I tried it out in March and was hooked.

Let me give you all a review of Camp Gladiator.  Each time you go to camp you “check-in.”  I’ve checked in 41 times so far since March 16th.  That’s an average of 2 times a week.  That’s pretty much what I was doing last year with CrossFit.  My goal is 3x week so I’m hoping to up my game for the rest of this year.

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Camp Gladiator has outdoor camps just about everywhere.  I think there is something like 75 different locations and times in the Raleigh area.  It’s a group fitness class with a personal trainer.  Most of the camps are in the mornings but they do have camps after work and even a new one coming up during the lunch hour.  They have a couple of locations that offer Saturday camps.  You have to bring your own mat and dumbbells but CG provides all the other equipment.  A couple of the camps have indoor locations at area churches and such but some just have parking decks and awnings to get under if it rains.  It really isn’t a problem at all.  I think it has only been raining 2 times that I wanted to go to camp.  1 time I went to the camp at the United Methodist Church in Garner since they have a gym and the other time I went to my regular camp at Cameron Village.  I run all the time in all kinds of weather.  Cross Training outdoors is no biggie at all.  In fact I love it!  This is going to sound cheesy but near the end of the workout when we are stretching and on our mats, I love to stare off into the sky.   I look at the moon and stars and the clouds.  I notice the rising sun.  It really is a great source of inspiration.  Think about it.  How many chances do you get to lay on your back and look into the heavens on a regular work day?  Sure you can when your at the beach on vacation but how often do you do it during a normal week?

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The way CG works is they have 4 weeks at a time for camps.  Each week is different:  Endurance, Strength and Agility, High Intensity Interval Training, and lastly Peak or Metabolic Conditioning week.  The 5th week is what they call Bold Week and that’s when you can choose to take a break or try a different kind of workout.  During these Bold weeks they have things like Zumba, Cardio Dance, Yoga, Run clubs, etc.

Camp Gladiator has helped me a lot with strength.  I’m doing so much better on push-ups.  I can do 10 now on my toes but I don’t go very low.  One of my coaches told me she wants me to stay on my knees for a while longer until I can get stronger.  Not gonna lie here, it hurt my feelings but I know it is the  truth.  Form over speed and number of reps!  I’ve still got a lot of work to do in the flexibility area also.

The best things about CG is all the amazing people.  Everyone is so nice and supportive.  All the coaches are very motivating.

  • My last resolution for 2016 was to try and not buy anything.  I’ll do a separate post on this.  I haven’t been perfect but I haven’t given up either.

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Best wishes to all as we strive to make the most of our time and push forward in our goals.

Good Vibrations

Last Thursday my good friend and co-worker, Susan, called me and invited Ron and me to go see Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys with her.  She had 3 tickets and her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend had to cancel on her unexpectedly.  For a split second when she invited me, I thought about my long run that was scheduled for Saturday.  I knew if I stayed out late there would be no way that I could make it up in time to get my run in.  I had promised my coach and other running friends that I wasn’t going to miss any more long runs and I was so close to thanking Susan but giving her my regrets.

For some reason though, I didn’t.  I told her I’d ask Ron and get back to her.  I gave Ron a call and within minutes we had plans to go the the award winning, Pet Sounds tour.

Susan’s gracious gift of the tickets was amazing.  We were honored to treat her to dinner.  And, what restaurant is right across from the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts?  You guessed it!  My favorite…….Living Kitchen!

Susan is an omnivore but she was sweet and seemed to enjoy the raw veggie creations.  We had so much fun at dinner!

We got an appetizer but they were so fast with our choices we barely touched it.  It was yummy though.

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The tri color hummus was so delicious and that bread there is my very favorite too!  It is Great Harvest bread and they make is especially for Living Kitchen.

My choice was the Fire and Brimstone Burger with the Broccoli Waldorf .

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Words cannot express how much I loved this!  It isn’t too hot in the beginning but then after a few bites, it hits you.  I love spicy so I was in heaven!

Ron got the Rawco Taco Salad.

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Ron liked it a lot.  He wasn’t very hungry and it was a perfect light choice.  He gave me a bite and man was it good!

Susan got the Avocado and Basil Sandwich with the beet salad as a side.  She made me smile when she got the beets.  Smile

A fellow beet lover!

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Susan wasn’t a fan of hummus so she got it on the side just in case.  She said this hummus was good though.

You know I’m a sweet-a-holic so I tried a different dessert from our first visit.

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It was called the Turtle Cake but in my opinion, it was exactly like German Chocolate Cake!   Wowzer!  The very best ever!

Susan got the cheesecake.  I can’t remember if it was the Lemon Berry like I got last time or if it was the Passion Fruit.  She liked it!

If you are in the area, please give Living Kitchen a try.  I promise you.  You will not believe that it is raw and vegan!

Next up was the concert.  I was born in 1965 so The Beach Boys were a little before my time.  I do love them though.  I think it’s because my sisters are 7 and 11 years older than me.  I was able to sing along to almost every one of the songs.

My favorites of course were Sloop John B, Good Vibrations, and Help Me Rhonda.  But now after the concert, my new favorite is God Only Knows.  Susan, Ron and I had a blast singing along with all the other old folks that were in the audience.  (Ha!)

As predicted, I missed my long run last Saturday.  Ron didn’t miss Kung Fu though and he was up and out of the house by 9:00am.  I had the whole day to myself and I Googled and YouTubed all things Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys for hours.  I’m a true expert on them now.

The coolest thing was when Ron got home from Kung Fu he found the movie for us and we watched, Love and Mercy.  I ‘m so happy that Brian happened upon Melinda in that car dealership.  Saved his life for sure!

Moral of the story is, eat some plants, stick around those that give you Good Vibrations, and don’t be afraid to skip a run or two every now and then.

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Here’s hoping you have,

“Love and mercy, that’s what you need tonight
So love and mercy to you and your friends tonight”