When Turkeys Attack

I don’t want to waste your precious black Friday shopping so I’ll keep a short post for today.  I do all my shopping online so I’m probably still on the internet.

If you know me then you know I’m afraid of birds.  Though there are many birds that I can tolerate, there are three that scare the pants off me. 

Turkeys

Geese

Seagulls on VA Beach when tourists drop food

I’m afraid of Turkeys for a multitude of reasons but I guess I will start with my college period in Upstate NY.  One of my closest friends was doing a lot of cycling.  He was training and would go on 100+ mile rides on the weekends through the Adirondacks.  The North Country of Upstate NY is a different world (even more so though normal Upstate, NY and it’s a different planet then NYC).  There are no big cities and towns only have a couple thousand people.  So there he was riding 100 miles (and probably only saw 20 cars the entire journey along “main” roads).

He had stopped to get food and drink in a small town.  He was leaned up against a fence when all of a sudden a wild upstate turkey comes charging at him gobbling.  Not a little baby chicken, but a turkey.  He panicked and got on his bike and tried to ride away but the turkey was chasing him!

As he was trying to leave a few cars were stopped and watching him.  He was in the middle of the road and no one would help!  Then finally he was able to gain enough momentum to get out of the turkey’s sights.  He said the Turkey left him alone because it found something or someone else to follow but he didn’t look back.

Long story short Turkeys attack (or at least in Upstate, NY). 

I was once driving through Upstate to an even more north town then Potsdam and two turkeys flew across the road at windshield level.  They were only about a foot from my car and if they had hit me, they would have shattered the windshield…or dented my hood.

Turkeys are scary creatures and I have no issues eating them for Thanksgiving.

Next time I’ll tell you about my hatred towards Geese perhaps but I don’t think there are holidays dedicated to Geese.  Enjoy Black Friday shopping.

Questions for you:

1.       How was your Thanksgiving? Are you Black Friday Shopping?

2.       Least favorite animal? 

Happy Thanksgiving.

First Happy Thanksgiving. 

After I pulled a muscle in my quad this week I opted not to do the Turkey Trot in my area.  Though it was upsetting because I love this race, I’ll get to see them next weekend too.  My Thanksgiving plans are small and relaxed.  My family is close and we always have a nice Thanksgiving dinner with my immediate family.

Each time I come home I realize I am thankful for more and more things. It’s funny to put life into perspective.  I find myself in a stressful spot of my life right now.  Short time stress I guess you could say.  I am looking for a job; I’m longing to get back into what I love (running), and by no means settled.  Yet these are just trivial stressors and I’m truly thankful for my life and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

I am thankful for…

My family…

familyportrait

mattandi

runningtimandi

My friends both near and far…

theresaandi

Of course seeing Laura in Atlanta was a lot of fun!
Of course seeing Laura in Atlanta was a lot of fun!

lauraheatherandi

annahollie

My health. ..

My legs…

My off sense of humor…

and for trivial things I get to enjoy in life that I sometimes take for granted…coffee, nice clothing, going to restaurants and having a nice quality of life.

I’m honestly just Thankful for my life.

Though despite not knowing any answers to the questions I’m being tested with I’m thankful for everything and I know I’ll make it through.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Questions for you:

What are you thankful for?

What are your Thanksgiving plans? 

The Lazy Season

I might be in the minority but I don’t think it’s necessary or smart to race a marathon or half marathon every weekend.  I don’t think it’s smart to run a marathon every month.  Honestly, I don’t even think it’s smart to run more 2 maybe 3 at the most annually.  Yet in the world that is the internet, I feel in the minority saying that.  When I talk to a lot of my friends outside of blogging, not many run more then 2 marathons annually.  It could be my set of friends but looking briefly at elite runners, not many run more than 2 marathons yearly.  The fact is your body is not able to peak at multiple marathons each year.

When I finished New York the first question any one asked me was “what marathon are you signing up for next?”.  Is it Boston?  (no) Will I immediately be signing up for another full? No. When is my next race?  After my lazy season.

The off season is a very critical part of running or any workout plan.  In the blogging world, I find myself questioning how so many people run multiple marathons a year with no off season.  For me, my off season normally comes from injury.  To be honest with myself I tend to get injured about once per year.  Regardless you need a few weeks yearly of no running, as well as low mileage months.  Your body won’t get any better if it’s constantly being torn down.  If I logged 300 mile months every month (that is my personal peak) then I would be torn down, tired and injured.

Because I’m not “intense” about my paces or exact mileage and have learned that recovery is key I am often mistaken as a casual runner or uncaring about how I do.  That is far from the case and if you chat with me you know my passion lies in running.  I’ve learned in order to keep injury free I can’t worry about pace, exact mileage or set an exact goal weekly.  I’ve also learned my body needs rest.  I have crave those days where workouts or runs aren’t happening.  I crave days (or in this case weeks) or just recovering.  After 6 months of hard pounding on my legs my body needs this aspect as much as it needs high mileage to reach my running goals.

This particular off season was roughly 3 weeks plus the additional easy mileage weeks.  I can’t make any promises but I don’t plan to run high mileage weeks until early next year.  I have embraced the off season and down time whole heartedly.  Though I didn’t eat the amount I would running 70 mile weeks, I didn’t limit myself or deny myself calories because I was resting.  I’m obviously not burning anywhere near the amount of calories I was running.  While I don’t go and eat ice cream every night, if I want ice cream a particular night I don’t really care whether I rested or not.  My approach led to gaining a few pounds during this time.  (no it’s not muscle, or water weight…I gained a few fat pounds).  I remember reading somewhere that Ryan Hall allows himself to gain roughly 10 pounds before he resumes training after a hard marathon.  That was his way of knowing his body was ready.

You know what?  I’m not really that concerned.  I know that when I start to run again and begin another serious training cycle, I’ll be back to an optimal weight (I like to think is 130 since that is what I’ve been racing at) and be fine.

I’ve read several articles about resting after marathons or having an off season but this is one of my favorites.  Plus if you immediately begin training after a hard race you are setting yourself up for an injury.  It doesn’t matter if it was your first 5k, 10k or marathon.

So while I love running and running high mileage I also love having the ability to do that and I know I wouldn’t if I didn’t take this down time.

Questions for you:

How much down time yearly do you have?

What do you do in your “off season”?

For me I’ve taken solid rest and done light elliptical.  Nothing strenuous…

Training for Nothing Continued

Last week was another pressure free and worry free workout week.  I didn’t expect to run but then the sudden urge for me to run hit so I went with it.  I am enjoying going to the gym and actually motivated to do core work and lift weights.  I can only hope this keeps me continuing to be injury free.

Last week’s training was a little bit scattered.  I didn’t (and still don’t) plan what I’ll do each week.  I read somewhere that you shouldn’t weight train the same muscle groups every day so I didn’t… Since I started running again I hope I can keep up with doing strength and core.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: AMT and core/back
Wednesday: AMT and arms
Thursday AMT and core
Friday: AMT
7 mile run
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: 10 miles easy in the State Park near my house

AMT Cross trainer:

It’s a new machine to me (as of last week).  It reminds me of an upgraded version of the Precor 100i.  I really like it a lot and I know I’ll be cross training on it quite frequently.  I cannot remember if I posted this but my gym is pretty small and only has two different ellipticals…the AMT and a normal elliptical you see at all gyms.  I tried the AMT and really like it.  What I’ve been doing is using it for an hour on 20 resistances with an incline of 5.  I haven’t been doing intervals or anything and schedule it around a good TV show.  I enjoy getting cardio and watching trashy tv.

amtme
Here is a nice gym selfie incase you have never heard of the machine before.

Running:

I had not planned to run on Friday at all.  Then all of a sudden around noon I got the urge to run.  I was excited to run and hadn’t felt that way since the marathon and decided to go with it.  I’m glad I did and I felt okay.  I didn’t feel great obviously because I haven’t run in close to three weeks.  It was certainly a little bit out of breath running a 9 minute pace but I know my fitness will come back eventually.  I don’t have a running plan yet or goal races to train for but I know in the next few weeks I’ll start planning for those. (I guess that is what I can do this week).

Saturday my calves were really sore and I just tired.  I wanted to run but I was entirely too tired and spent half the day wishing it was bed time.  So two rest days it was this week.

Next week:

The rest of the week was good and I’m hoping to run a few more miles in the next week.  We are going to spend Thanksgiving with my family in VA Beach.  There is a Turkey Trot in the area I’m still debating on doing.  I want to see all my running friends, I know it will most certainly not be a PR or anywhere close but it would be fun.  In fact I don’t even know if I would hit my marathon pace but it would be great to see friends.

Questions for you:

Best workout of the week? 

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? 

Removing Stress

It’s not a secret that I’ve been semi-stressed lately.  Not so much stressed as in going crazy and off the deep end but stressed as in looking to find my niche.  My niche wasn’t in Potsdam nor Oswego.  I found my niche in VA but I’m not there anymore.  I’m here in New Jersey looking to find a new niche and a new beginning.  I thought my new beginning would occur 2+ months ago moving to Texas but that was short lived.

So alas here I sit today.  I have been asked how I find my comfort zone and how I keep my stress to a minimum.  If you followed my blog last fall when I worked in Oswego, you would know I did a lot of work in mental health. Out of all the topics in public and community health I think mental health is one of my favorites.  Being mentally healthy is just as important as being physically healthy but often times overlooked.  I don’t know anyone who considers themselves a healthy individual without being mentally healthy too.

Moving on, a big part of being mentally healthy is living without a lot of stress.  Sure we all have stress and stress can be good or bad.  However there isn’t a need to get worked up and find yourself restless at night because of stress.  I don’t have a set amount of techniques and working out has never been a stress reliever for me but I can tell you what has worked for me.  How you manage your personal stress ultimately defines you.

Here are some things I find helpful.

I like to wake up without an alarm (normally around 6) and have personal time to myself.  When I was living in Oswego, my housemates weren’t up at that hour so it was personal time for me.  My parents were sometimes up but I still had my own personal time at home.  At my house here, Tim is sometimes up or sometimes not, depending on his training schedule.  I know that I just need time to wake up, relax, occasionally drink coffee and just gather my thoughts.  I am always much less stressed on days I have this time.  Everyone needs their own personal time.

I’ve also found that getting out of my house works wonders for me.  It’s also not a secret that applying for jobs is a long process.  I don’t want to apply for jobs on the computer, sit at the computer for hours on end and then just hang out at the house (probably still on the computer).  I try and get out of the house even to go get some coffee at the gas station daily.  Since I don’t have a car I pretty much walk everywhere.  Getting away from any situation and coming back often provides clarity and also a nice break for your mind.  (I also found this to work well when I was studying or writing papers).

Another way that I have found to destress myself is to simply look at the future.  In a few months finding a job won’t be part of my worries, nor will finishing unpacking or anything that is currently stressful in mu life.  For instance, a few months ago I was stressed working 60+ hours weekly…now that is obviously not a stressor. As I said the other day, I’ve always been someone to look at an overall life plan.  Things might be stressful now but I know they won’t be later.  When I think about that then I find myself far less stressed.

Some people rely on working out to relieve stress and I can honestly say that isn’t for me.  I don’t ever find myself less stressed if I’ve worked out but that could help you!

Question for you: What are some things you do to relieve stress? 

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