Hi!

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was fairly quiet. Friday afternoon I went for a run. Just 3 easy miles. runningI’m trying to limit my running to just once per week and only a few easy miles while I try and get to the bottom of this hamstring/groin situation.running-in-rain

Spent some quality time with Mr. SOTSS and his girls…my nicknames for them are “K-Corn” and “J-Beans”. Oh and Saturday was apparently Squirrel Appreciation Day according to Facebook. Duncan celebrated.

Squirrel Appreciation Day

Squirrel Appreciation Day

Today it’s super windy (gusts expected to go as high as 60mph) and the rain is picking up as well so I tried to get the bulk of my 10,000 steps in earlier by walking briskly around the neighborhood for an hour. Most of it alone and about 20 minutes with the doodle.walkingwindyI’m already at 9,000 and I can easily get those remaining steps banged out just from doing my laundry. Bedroom on 3rd floor + laundry room on 1st floor = LOTS OF STAIRS! :) Plus I can always hop on my trampoline if Duncan is willing to share…trampoline

Oh, and I registered for the Cold Feat 10k, another local trail race. I’ve run it a few times before and I’m looking forward to it again this year.

This is from a few years back

This is from a few years back

I might have to serve jury duty the rest of this week. I have to call in later to find out.

Have you ever served jury duty??

Do you like trampolines? 

How was your weekend?

Hi and happy Wednesday.

Yesterday I logged my first mid-week run with a 5 miler.

Love how Duncan just chills out on his big ole dog bed waiting for his "she's going out" cookie

Love how Duncan just chills out on his big ole dog bed eating his “she’s going out” cookie

It was warmer than normal for this time of year. I enjoyed the warmth but definitely felt like it took more effort. As usual, once I realized I was hovering around an 11-minute pace I tried to finish the run with an 11:11 pace so I could make a wish. I came close but was a few seconds off. Oh well.

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I came home to a package at my doorstep. I was given a sample to try of the TKO 4-Way Resistance Bands from their PR agency.

TKO 4-way Resistance Bands and a cute doodle

TKO 4-way Resistance Bands and a cute doodle

My current resistance bands are so old and actually the rubber tubing is cracking. I keep thinking one day they’ll snap like a rubber band. The TKO bands are not rubber but more like a bungee cord. I really like that.

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And the resistance can be adjusted so you don’t need multiple sets of bands. There weren’t any instructions but I’m a genius and eventually figured out that if you pull some slack through the little black domes it makes the resistance stronger. In essence, you’re shortening the band making it harder to pull.

I tightened the resistance for the lower bands but left the top ones looser.

I tightened the resistance for the lower bands but left the top ones looser.

Since I just recently organized my “home gym” section of my living room this couldn’t have come at a better time. I immediately tried them out. I love how they are basically 2 bands connected so you can do arm/leg movements simultaneously. And it’s supposed to help engage your core muscles which is always a win-win.

IMG_1614I’m definitely going to use these if for no other reason than they are so easy to use.

Hooray for TKO's 4-Way Resistance Bands

Hooray for TKO’s 4-Way Resistance Bands

I already went online and found a cool video showing 3 exercises that use 4-way resistance bands.

I found them here for $12.99…cheap!

So now my home gym arsenal is fuller and that can only help me stick to my strength exercises which if you know nothing else about me I’m terrible at sticking to a plan. Not to mention these are pretty darn portable so maybe I’ll take them with me on the weekends I go to Mr. SOTSS’ so I can continue to stick to a plan.

Today it’s already in the 70s! Crazy considering it’s still technically winter! I’m going to head out for a shorter run later this evening as we get closer to sunset.

Are you good at sticking to a strength training plan? no!

Do you use free weights or resistance bands or machines or all 3? I have free weights and bands.

Do you prefer strength training at the gym or in your home? home!

Hard to believe my last post was a whole week ago! I’m so sorry I feel like I’ve neglected y’all. My work life has become a bit crazy. I’m freelancing full time now and am juggling lots of projects. I took my laptop up to bed the other night and somewhere between 1am and 2am I fell asleep ON the laptop. Luckily there were a few snoring dogs (and maybe a snoring man too 😉 that woke me up. I finished up my work and met my deadline. But that’s the freelance life. Feast or famine. So I’m trying to take all assignments I can right now.

Let’s see….I’ll fill you in on some of the highlights of the last week:

July 1: I spent the beginning of the week freelancing on-site in Manhattan at Scholastic and enjoyed ferry ride commuting with my friend Lisa and decadent snacks from Dean & Deluca.

Honestly if you ever come visit NYC in the summer take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry before sunset. You won't regret it! And it's FREE!

Honestly if you ever come visit NYC in the summer take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry before sunset. You won’t regret it! And it’s FREE!

Coffee and a dark chocolate sea salt candy bar was the first of many treats. By the end of the week I moved up to gourmet donuts. (Not pictured because I inhaled the donut before I took a pic).

Coffee and a dark chocolate sea salt candy bar was the first of many treats. By the end of the week I moved up to gourmet donuts. (Not pictured because I inhaled the donut before I took a pic).

July 2: I realized that with working so much I hadn’t been for a run in a week! So I went out in the evening for a very much needed stress relieving run.

Evening run

Evening run

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July 3: I went with Mr. SOTSS and his girls to their cousin’s 4th birthday party. It was a fun outdoor Frozen themed BBQ. The cake was homemade by the birthday girl’s grandma and boy oh boy was it good! Alternating lemon and strawberry cake layers with the perfect vanilla frosting in between. It was like eating a big cupcake.

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The birthday girl's reaction to one of her gifts....she's not only super cute but she has the most adorable 4 year old voice.

I took a bunch of photos but this one of the birthday girl’s reaction to one of her gifts was my favorite of the day….she’s not only super cute but she has the most adorable 4 year old voice too.

July 4th: I ran a local 5 miler in the morning on Staten Island.

11221852_10206980954744023_5787009635830465407_oThere’s nothing like a local race…getting up an hour before, forking over a little cash and just running. I really didn’t even think about running until a few days before. I had run this race in 2011 and 2012 but forgot that there are some hills. There’s a super steep one between mile 1.5 and 1.75.

7-4-15-5milerI finished in 50:22 which is my slowest time on this course but not by much (and I wasn’t really trying to run fast so I’m ok with that.) In 2011 I finished in 49:10 and in 2012 50:09.

After the race I showered and changed and then headed to Mr. SOTSS’s house to dogsit for his boy Chester for a few hours. I had lots of freelance work to do so I took to the deck with a glass of wine and the pooches and enjoyed some fresh air while I got my work done.

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I brought a yoga mat too so I could do some stretching and Chester took to it immediately…

Yoga mat = Dog bed

Yoga mat = Dog bed

Downward Dog

Downward Dog

After Chester-sitting, Duncan and I headed over to my sister-in-law’s for a bit. She was dog-sitting for Rylee who just so happens to be another labradoodle from the same breeder that my Duncan and her Casey are from. So we tried to get all 3 of them on the couch for an “Alumni” shot. Well, tried is the keyword.

doodle pallooza!

doodle pallooza! Duncan, Rylee and Casey (who is obviously so excited for this photo)

July 5th: Sunday Funday with Mr. SOTSS! We hiked for a couple of hours, enjoyed some more outdoor time relaxing on his deck, ran a few errands and then went for dinner and sat outside with our dogs at our feet.

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We’re all kinds of happy these days

paw prints!

paw prints!

Duncan looks adorable in Mr. SOTSS treasured Rutgers hat

Duncan looks adorable in Mr. SOTSS treasured Rutgers hat

who let the dogs out?!!

who let the dogs out?!!

Chester was off hunting down a chipmunk. Thankfully the chipmunk escaped

Chester was off hunting down a chipmunk. Thankfully the chipmunk escaped

It's too hot. We'd like to go back in

It’s too hot. We’d like to go back in

I happen to love grilled chicken wraps and french fries. Maybe you could, you know....accidentally drop a piece or two of chicken or a fry?

I happen to love grilled chicken wraps and french fries. Maybe you could, you know….accidentally drop a piece or two of chicken or a fry?

It’s really beginning to feel like summer! Well, I’m off to start mapping out what my NYC Marathon training schedule will look like. I’m going away twice in August so I’ll have to get creative with my long runs on those weekends.

Hope you all had a great weekend.

What’s your favorite part of your home? 

I love my bedroom at my house and I love Mr. SOTSS’ outdoor space (yard/patio) best at his house

Random question: What is your favorite salad dressing

I love the greek dressing from Panera but last night at the restaurant we were at I had their house dressing which was a creamy balsamic vinaigrette and it was so good!

Happy Monday…well it’s sorta late so I’ll also say Happy Tuesday too..

I spent the entire weekend with Mr SOTSS and it was such a treat!

Happiness is...

Happiness is…

It’s rare we have 2 solid days that are completely just for us to do whatever, whenever.I actually arrived at Mr. SOTSS’s house on Friday night after work and was in the middle of what I can now diagnose (per Google of course) as a spasm of the Piriformis =)  Weak pelvis/hips ladies and gents! The Piriformis is a pelvis stablizer and it makes sense since my hips/core are weak and my lower back has been bothering me that my Piriformis has been working hard at stablizing the pelvis. The whole kinetic chain thing! I used heat, ice and wine to alleviate the pain as best I could. Saturday morning I wasn’t anywhere near able to run but at least Mr. SOTSS got to run. He ran 8 miles with his loyal pooch Chester. It was cool and drizzly which allowed Chester the opportunity for the full 8. Since I couldn’t run, I walked Duncan into town to drop a card in the mailbox and then I tried to bike ride.
bikeSuccess! I hadn’t been on my bike since last fall. I kept it in the easier gear and just pedaled around Mr SOTSS’ neighborhood for about 30 minutes.
Then I came back and found this video on YouTube showing how to use a tennis ball to work out the spasm.
(The piriformis is right in the meaty part of your glute and sits on the sciatic nerve which is why it can be so painful) I have to say that within a few hours of doing the tennis ball trigger point massage and the pidgeon stretch I felt so much better!
Saturday night we cooked dinner together and then went to see Ted2. Cooking together was so lovely.
Fajitaless chicken

Fajitaless chicken

The movie Ted2 was really funny. I am 12 and get a kick out of teddy bears that curse. =)
Movie essentials

Movie essentials

Sunday morning we went on a hike with our dog hiking meetup group. And then we all had lunch together. It was raining but the trees protected us from most of the drops. So we got to enjoy the sounds of a downpour but only felt a drizzle.
It's like I'm wearing a raincoat dress. Not my best look!

It’s like I’m wearing a raincoat dress. Not my best look!

Always.on.the.go!

Always.on.the.go!

dirty doodle

dirty doodle

I looked up and took this picture. Only got one raindrop on my face

I looked up and took this picture. Only got one raindrop on my face

Sporting my Pro Compression leggings. I really love them

Sporting my Pro Compression leggings. I really love them

It was awesome! In the evening we made dinner together again. He did the outside grilling and I did the indoor sautéing.

We split the work. He did the outside grilling and I did the indoor sautéing

Grilled asparagus, chicken, salmon and sauteed eggplant and squash

After dinner we all just did a whole lotta lounging…
pile of paws

pile of paws

His tag matches the patio furniture so nicely

His tag matches the patio furniture so nicely

Chester was my heating pad on Friday night. Thanks buddy.

Chester was my heating pad on Friday night. Thanks buddy.

And then I had to go home. BOO! Well, I hope to run a little bit toward the end of the week and over the holiday weekend.

Oh and guess what? I won a Pro Compression sweepstakes/contest thingy held by Ali On The Run. I scored myself these awesome compression sleeves.

What's better than Pro Compression Calf Sleeves? Free Pro Compression Calf Sleeves!

What’s better than Pro Compression Calf Sleeves? Free Pro Compression Calf Sleeves!

Yup! It was a truly wonderful weekend. And now I’ve gotta get back to my work. I’m back to freelancing full time and boy oh boy am I busy right now. Have a great week!

Do you wear compression gear?

Did it rain at all for you this weekend?

Do you like to grill?