Tag Archives: nature

I Can’t Control My Eyebrow!

8 Mar

Happy Friday!

I woke up at 6:00 this morning and truly thought it was Saturday. Whomp whomp: What a bummer, right?! But that means I still have a full weekend to look forward to!

Here are some random things I’d like to talk about:

The sun came out to play today!

sunshine

 

I just love these big, giant windows outside of my office! After two dreary, grey days, the sun has finally decided to grace us with its presence. It’s still pretty cold, but at least there is sunshine. Also, the weather forecast for the weekend looks like this:

weekend

 

…which means there is at least 1 outdoor run on my agenda this weekend!

In less exciting news, I think I may be coming down with a little cold. I’m definitely a little sniffly this morning. Hopefully it stops there!

Speaking of running, I’ve been really good about getting my miles in this week. I’ve done a 2 mile, 3 mile and 4 mile treadmill run so far this week. Yesterday’s four-miler is thanks to the ABC app on my phone and catching up with this week’s episode of The Bachelor: The Women Tell All.

tierra

Holy wow. Now, I just started watching The Bachelor this season, and I definitely see the appeal. It’s like a trainwreck! It’s so awkward to me. Sean will be on these intimate dates and the whole time I’m thinking, “He’s doing this with x other women….” — I just can’t see the appeal of being on that show! Watching it, however, now that’s a different story.

How about Tierra, huh? Could that girl be any more delusional? Before watching this episode, my favorite Tierra quote was:  “I can’t control my eyebrow! I can’t control everything on my face all the time!” – but now it’s, “I didn’t call you a liar, I said you lied to me.” and when someone explains to her that it’s the same thing, she says, “See? Everything I say is WRONG!” — oh man. I think it explained a lot when she said she was Little Miss Nevada when she was a child. Now we know what happens to Toddlers and Tiaras when they grow up!

I only watched through Tierra’s part and covered about 4 miles. I’m excited to finish it off, can’t wait to see what Ashlee has to say to Sean!

run walk

 

I noticed when I was walking back from the gym how bright it still was outside! It was almost 7 pm! After we turn our clocks forward this weekend, we will have so much daylight left in the evenings! Yay!

shade

 

My Shade order arrived this week and I’m loving what I got. For how inexpensive everything was, I’m loving the quality. I wore the top above to work yesterday (sorry for the awkward selfie, I’m still working on it) and I got a lot of compliments on it. I love the trendy chevron pattern.

Ok, that’s enough random for one day!

I hope you have some nice weather this weekend wherever you are!

Question of the Day:
What are you most looking forward to this weekend? 

 

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It’s Almost That Time

19 Feb

I’m still not in the best of moods. I went to the dentist again today, and it appears my dental woes are still not over. Please learn from me, don’t put off going to the dentist! I plan on making regular 6 month appointments once I’m through all of this. Add to that, just feeling blah still like I discussed yesterday, and I’m just not feeling great.  I really wish I would perk up soon! Any ideas?

However, yesterday I did something that made me a little happier:

photo (7)

 

I got to run outside! Yes, a glorious 3.03 miles (at a 10:32 pace, which is faster than any recent treadmill run — I told you I was faster outside!), and it was a lovely evening for it, as you can see. I just had to stop and take that photo — as I ran West toward the setting sun, the sky just kept getting prettier and prettier. It really felt great to run outside! It was in the mid-50’s, so it was perfect running weather. We’re back to the 30’s today (stupid fickle weather), so it’s back to the treadmill tonight. But, I’ve got a taste of Spring and I’m ready for it! It’s almost that time!

Question of the day:
What’s your favorite Spring activity? 

My Favorite Place to Run

10 Oct

I don’t talk much about Huntington on this blog, as was the intention when I started it. As you know, Huntington was named “America’s Unhealthiest City” in 2008, and since then the city has tried to outrun that embarrassing label. I can’t say we’ve completely turned ourselves around, but we have made significant strides:

  • The P.A.T.H. (Paul Ambrose Trail for Health), a 26-mile bike and pedestrian pathway that is being constructed, providing free health and recreation for Huntington and surrounding areas. In addition, an annual 5k, 10k and walk (dubbed “Fit Fest”) is held to raise money to continue construction on the trail.
  • Jamie Oliver came to our town to film his Health Revolution reality show, building us a state-of-the-art kitchen downtown which provides free healthy cooking classes for people of all ages.
  • In general, I see more and more people out walking, running and biking on a daily basis in town.

There is much more, but those are our largest accomplishments.

Surprisingly, Huntington may have one of the best areas I’ve ever seen for outdoor fitness: Ritter Park. I live exactly one block from the park, and it’s my very favorite place. I’ll attempt to give you a ‘virtual tour’ of our lovely park:

When you enter the park at 10th street, the first thing you see is the fountain:

Photo credit: This amazing blog post about Ritter Park.

The park is a wide, open grassy area with an awesome playground (trust me, my nephew will. not. leave. it. when he’s visiting) on the East end, and is surrounded by a wide gravel running/walking path that is (I’ve heard) 9/10ths of a mile. If you follow the path under the 8th street bridge:

This bridge was painted pink a few years ago for Breast Cancer Awareness and caused quite the uproar. It has since been repainted.

(There is a path underneath that bride so pedestrians don’t have to cross the road), you will be on the continued path which goes about 1.5 miles to the World War II Memorial Arch located at the intersection of where Ritter Park ends and Memorial Park begins:

A good photo of the path that you follow around to get under the bridge, again from the awesome blog post.

I actually took these photos!

On certain holidays, the GHPRD (Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District) hangs a giant flag on the arch. If I run from my front door to the arch and back, I have run exactly three miles. If I continue on the trail through Memorial Park (where my favorite water fountain is located) and back, I’ll have gone about 5 miles.

Backtracking back to the Ritter Park loop, if you don’t go under the bridge to follow the trail to the arch, but rather keep on the trail a bit, you’ll find a set of stone stairs that you can climb which will lead you to this gem:

The Ritter Park Rose Garden! The roses are in bloom Spring – Fall, and it’s seriously breathtaking. You can have your wedding there, and it’s quite cheap, but it doesn’t seat very many people, so it wasn’t an option for us. Perhaps some kind bridesmaid will read this and throw me a bridal shower there.

If you don’t climb the stairs to the Rose Garden, but continue on to the East End of the park again, you can make a right and you will see the tennis courts. There are 4 courts, I think, and they cover two of them for the winter. I don’t play tennis, so I’m not going to spend much time on those. However, after the tennis courts, there is a huge hill which is great for hill sprint repeats!

Tennis courts and the park building

If you climb the giant hill, at the top on the left is the brand new Huntington Pet Safe Dog Park. Huntington won a contest that was sponsored by Pet Safe which funded $100,000 towards our dog park, and it turned out great. It’s basically a large fenced in area where the dogs can run. There is a doggie drinking fountain, a small dog run, and that’s basically it, but man do the doggies love it.

On the right at the top of the hill is the Ritter Park Ampitheater:

 

Where outdoor concerts and outdoor theater are held.

And that’s about it! Ritter Park is about the best thing ever, in my opinion. I consider myself very lucky to live one block from such an awesome park where I can run, walk, and interact with other healthy residents of my town.

Recently, Ritter Park was named one of America’s Great Public Spaces by the American Planning Association, along with parks located in Denver, Chicago and Anaheim.  I don’t know if the residents of those cities are as pumped about the honor as the residents of Huntington were, but I’m guessing not. It’s great for our small town to be ranked up there with big cities. I truly think that Ritter Park deserves the honor. I run in that park most days of the year, and I never get sick of it.

Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite place to run? 

 

Good News!

4 Oct

Good news! Waking up earlier proved to work out for me making it to the gym. I really do think setting my alarm earlier is the answer, because I like having a little time before I head out the door.

This morning, I set my alarm for 5:25 AM (it has been going off at 5:45) and those extra 20 minutes really helped. I got up and got dressed, then I was able to drink a glass of water, have a banana, read some blogs and then search for a good strength routine in my old magazines before heading to the gym.

I hit the treadmill first thing. My goal was 3 miles at half-marathon pace (9:40/mile), and then weights. Well, for some reason I was just not feeling the running so I did 1.5 miles and then told myself I’d do the rest after I hit the weight room.

I know you guys love it when I post photos of my treadmill display. I’ m a little worried about not running outside very much lately, but I’m doing all my long runs outside, so that should be ok for the half.

After that little run, I headed down to the weight room to do this power-pairs dumbbell workout that I found in the December 2010 issue of Women’s Health. It was TOUGH. One of the trainers saw me doing it and came over to ask to have a look at the rest of the workout. He said (and I quote), “I like that! It looks hard!” — he was right. It was a toughie. I did three rounds of 12 reps of each exercise (it calls for 15 reps, but I used heavy weights — 10 lbs for most of the moves, 8 for the others). I was definitely sweaty and out of breath when I was done.

Ok, speaking of workouts from magazines. Sarah (of SarahFit.com) did a video once about magazine workouts and how there is always one move that is just impossible to do. This workout was no different.

If you click up there where I linked to the workout, there is a video showing a fitness model doing this exercise and she seems to have no problem, but I could NOT do it. I can do those hamstring curls on the ball, but I need my arms out for stability. Adding in the dumbbells, I was all over the place. If you have a minute and the equipment, give it a try and tell me in the comments below if you could do it. Maybe I’m just a mess!

After that, I did get back on the treadmill, but I cut it short about half a mile because it was getting late. Oh well!

Rewinding to yesterday, I don’t know if you remember a couple months back when I wrote about how I had to get my learner’s permit because my Pennsylvania license had expired before I switched to West Virginia. Well, yesterday I finally bit the bullet, left work a little early and went to take my driver’s test. I’m happy to say that I passed with flying colors! I’m a licensed driver again!

After Zach and I got back from the DMV, I was starving, so I ended up not getting in my run for yesterday. I made dinner, and then we walked over to the Dog Park, where Margot (Courtney’s doberman puppy) had her Dog Park debut. Puppies can’t really go outside or be socialized with other dogs until they are 16 weeks old and have had their final Parvo vaccination. Apparently Parvo can live in the ground for a very long time. I had no idea!

I felt a little creepy going to the Dog Park without a dog of my own to contribute, especially since I’m a HUGE dog lover and I knew I would be petting everyone’s dogs like crazy! I wish I had some photos to show of the dogs I met, but they all moved so fast it was hard to get a photo, but here’s a photo of my other friend Courtney’s dog when she was all worn out from chasing a ball:

Yes, I have two friends named Courtney who have Dobermans. No, it’s not really that confusing — unless I’m blogging about them! Here’s a photo of Courtney Bell’s dog Margot for comparison:

Photo courtesy of Courtney Bell

So, you see, it’s completely different! The dog park was so fun. I met: a Newfoundland named Fat Head (he was awesome and loved the other dogs, but all the other dogs were afraid of him), two bulldogs, a puppy named Miko who was the same age as Margot but a quarter of her size, three chihuahuas, a bunch of mutts and a black lab that carried a soccer ball around in his mouth. It. Was. Awesome. I left wanting a dog RIGHT AWAY!

The walk to the dog park was about a mile, uphill, and then we walked back so yesterday ended up not being completely sedentary. I’ll tell you what, the sunsets here have been amazing lately:

Red sky at night, Sailor’s Delight. Red sky in morning, Sailor take warning.

I’m so excited for date night tonight! Registering at Macy’s and dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s (can’t wait for that salad bar!)

Question of the Day:
Do you have a dog? What kind? Can I dog-sit him so I can go to the dog park without being that creepy dog-less lady?

Camping Trip Recap

18 Jul

I took a lot of photos during our camping trip last weekend, and I’ve been dying to share them, but first I want to talk about my workout this morning (scroll down a bit if you’d like to get right to the camping goodies.)

Typically on Mondays and Wednesdays, I attend the ‘Cardio Fusion’ class at my gym. I’ve been attending this class for over a year, and I never get bored by it. It is taught by my favorite group fitness instructor. He really pushes us every morning. The class (despite being held at 6:15 AM) is always packed, and there are a variety of people. It’s lots of work with weights with cardio peppered in. As I’ve mentioned, however, my gym is closed for maintenance this week. SIGH.

I was really missing my class this morning, so I decided to try to do something similar. I picked out this workout on Netflix:

Looks a little corny?

The video was 44 minutes long, and separated into two sections. You could do each section independently, as there is a warm up before and stretch after each section.  I did the lower body section, then I paused it and went out for a one mile run, then I did the upper body section.

This was a good video. The lower body portion starts out with squats, then goes into lunges. Pretty basic stuff, but effective. The upper body section covers your back, shoulders, biceps, and chest. The shoulder portion is particularly grueling,  I had to step down the weights during that section. Speaking of weights, I find it hilarious that everyone (even the instructor) in this video appeared to be using 3 lb weights. I was surprised when I looked this up on Amazon and saw that it was released in 2006, because the fact that everyone was using puny weights and looked like this:

Nice outfits!

I would have pinned this as early 2000 at least. Unless you are completely new to weight lifting, I would definitely use heavier weights than what they use in the video (I used 8 lb weights, but went down to 5 lb on the shoulder section). Even without the run in the middle of the video, this would have been a good workout. I had already broken a bit of a sweat by the time I paused it and hit the road, but by the time I was completely done, I was drenched. If you have Netflix Instant, you should definitely check this one out. This was very similar to what I would have done at the gym, but with more cats:

The goblin cat stared at me, the lurking cat lurked and the fat cat laid directly in my way and protested loudly if I stepped on her tail.

Ok, on to the camping trip!

So, the plan was to leave Friday directly after work and make the three hour drive to Marlinton, WV, however, the rain on Friday was intense. After much texting back and forth between me, Zach and our friends Susie and Shane (who had made the drive up the previous day), and many, many checks of my weather app, Zach and I decided to stay in Huntington for the night and leave bright and early the next morning to head to the campsite. Everyone else got there relatively early in the day on Friday, and we just didn’t want to drive up there and set up camp in the dark and the rain. Turns out everyone stayed overnight at Susie’s family’s condo in Snowshoe, WV (you guys, this place is BEYOND beautiful) anyway, so driving up on Friday night probably would have been a better option.

But, the drive up on Saturday was incredible! I drove most of the way because Zach was sleepy. I’m a natural early riser, so of course I was raring to go. I turned on my This American Life app (the best thing ever) and just drove. The weather was perfect! The plan was to drive to the campsite, set up our tent, then meet our friends at the condo and head over to the Greenbrier River for floating.

Our Drive from the campsite to snowshoe. The views are so lovely! We had to use old school handwritten directions because the cell service and GPS are sketchy in God’s country 🙂 P.S. I love the sign at the entrance to Snowshoe Mountain.

Once we got to Snowshoe, we gathered our friends and headed out for  the drive to the Greenbrier River. It’s a bit of a hike (as everything is up  there). It started to storm the second we started driving, and the drive was pretty stressful. It seemed like every three minutes, the weather changed from gorgeous to ominous:

Rain, sunshine, black clouds, fluffy clouds. Stress!

But, once we got to Jack Horner’s Corner (the place where we rent the inner tubes), the weather looked like it would probably hold up. The store where you rent the tubes is adorable!

They have all kinds of cool stuff: Like Root Beer! P.S. aren’t my friend Josh’s shorts the coolest?

Turns out, we had amazing weather for our float down the river! This is the third year that we have done this, and every other year there was a guy with a flat bed truck to drive us down to the drop off point. This year, he wasn’t around, so we had to improvise. The guy at the store gave us a long rope and we tied a bunch of tubes to the top of Susie’s jeep, and then a few others rode in Zach’s car while holding tubes out the window. It was pretty hilarious. I put my phone away for pretty much the whole trip after this, so the photos that follow were taken by my friend Susie:

The group photo is pretty much excellent.

The camping portion was great too! We had a little rain, but Shane (the birthday boy!) made this really cool tarp thing strung up in the trees that kept us (and the food table) dry. He is so handy! The only downside is that mine and Zach’s tent leaked, so we ended up sleeping in basically a puddle! The tent we used was an old one, so we just tossed it out and didn’t even take it home. All in all, we had a great time! This weekend, we’re off to Louisville to attend the 11th Annual Lebowski Fest! I’ll be sure to take plenty of photos to share.

Our campsite was perfect! That river flowed right behind us and got pretty high late at night during the rain. I was afraid for a second we might have to pack up camp in the middle of the night, but everything turned out ok.