Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last two thankful days

Can I say I am thankful it is the end of the month and I am done with my thankful days?  How lame would that be?  If I wasn't so goal oriented and finish what I start type of person I would have stopped already!  But I have stuck with it so it wouldn't be smart to quit now!

Thankful Day 29

I am thankful for my laptop.  I can sit by the woodstove and be warm or just sit in any comfy chair.  I can take it on vacation and keep up on blogging, email, facebook or not.......whichever I choose.  I can watch movies easily without disturbing my husband.  I can watch movies as I do my stretches.  And on and on.  I do love my laptop. I can't believe I haven't had one before this one!

Thankful Day 30

On one of my favorite biking routes
I am a little bit thankful for my injury.    It certainly helped me rediscover my love of biking! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed biking this fall. I don't plan to let it out of my life again.  There were so many possible routes I didn't get to that I can't wait to discover this spring!  My injury was also a wake up call to not overtrain.  More is not always better.  Listen to my body!  All that stuff you read and know but knowing it in your head doesn't equate knowing it in your heart.  And sometimes.....we follow our hearts!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Good Running Partner is NOT Hard to Find

Today I am thankful for my running partner, T.  

She is up for anything.  Right now I am running very slow. Does T complain?  Not one bit. I am always slower than she is so I must seem  like molasses right now!

This summer when I wasn't running and I switched to biking, what did T do?  She switched to biking right along with me!  That is a good running workout partner!

T on the causeway!

Riding together playing the gorilla pod.

I need to go 10 miles. T goes 10 miles with me.  I need to run 15 miles. T goes 15 miles.  I need to do a pace workout for 10 miles and I don't want to talk.  T comes along and  doesn't talk.  

This spring T decided she was never going to be able to run with me unless she raced.  She really doesn't like racing.  But what did she do?  She began to race more!  

Racing this spring - both these pics.  The day of the lower one
it was cold, rainy and windy.  And I do mean cold.

I can't say as running in various weathers bothers me too much.  T prides herself on going out no matter what.  Once again - a match! (We both rethought this going out no matter what thing this fall.  Although the rethinking pertained to the bike.  We got seriously cold on one ride and realized,"Yes, there is a limit to what we will happily endure!")
Taken today - back running  together - yeah!

She is  a good friend to talk to and share things with.  We both lead busy lives and sometimes we are out of  state and don't get to run together.  But it is certainly a better run when we do!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Family, Work, Fun and Running

I have many days of being thankful to catch up on!

Day 24
From a birthday of mine 4 years ago!

I am thankful Emily lives close enough to come home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.  I picked her up at the airport and she is here for 5 nights before I have to drive her back. I know a lot of her time will be spent with friends - that is part of coming home - but I am thrilled to have her here! 

Day 25
Fruit salad requested by Jameson

Rolls requested by everyone - this 
year we skipped the additional cinnamon rolls

Yummy salad made my Emily, Jameson did the 
mashed potatoes, his best yet, Sorry didn't
get a picture

Old favorite comfort food - raspberry jello

Today I am thankful to spend Thanksgiving with all of my family.  Last year we weren't all together so this year is very special!  My hubby's sister also joined up to make the day an even better one!  Everything tasted good!  We did the pumpkin right up with pumpkin pie, pumpkin oatmeal muffins, pumpkin whoopie pies and Will Stevens Pumpkin Ale!  Is it clear we love pumpkin?

Day 26
Same birthday 4 years ago!

I am thankful for Black Friday as a day to have some fun shopping. I must admit I didn't get to any stores until 10:00 so I missed a lot of it. I was not looking for anything special so I slept in.  I had the most fun when I met Jameson to do a little shopping at Dicks.  Perhaps we showed each other things we wanted and we have a "faint" idea of what we might open on Christmas.  Then we went to lunch. Even though Jameson lives close by I don't get to see enough of him. This morning my two "kids" worked out together!  Love it!

Day 27

I am very thankful this year that we are all employed in my family.  Last year it was a very different story.  We were all working to some capacity but not at permanent, well paying jobs with health insurance. I was the only one in a good position job wise.  No pressure there!  My husband had been laid off and worked a variety of temp jobs during the many months he was laid off. He is now back working for the same company but insane man that he is he is also currently doing on the temp jobs from last year. I think he is finding it a bit much and will be cutting back somewhat soon.  My son now has two good jobs in very different fields which give him a good variety to his day.  My daughter has one main job as well as at least one "small" job teaching some fitness classes to pay for a gym membership!  So we are all in much better shape and it is such a good feeling and a huge thing to be thankful for!

The Running Report

On the running front I have run I believe 4 more times.  I have been sticking to the four miles but may adventure to 5  miles tomorrow!  My runs are pain free but OMG are they ever slow!  I am never a speedster but they are super slow.  Does it take a long time for the "speed" to come back?  It is absolutely like I am starting from scratch! But I AM RUNNING!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Days 22 + 23

I am thankful for my Pro Stretch. I don't think it is the cure for PF it claims to be on it's website but man does  it help. I left it at work accidently (some days I take it with me thinking I will use it - that so doesn't happen) but I did drive back and get it.
I am also thankful that November and December are dry months for racing.  Why you may ask when I LOVE to race?  Well, as I begin this rebuilding period of running I am sure that racing is not what the doctor had in mind when he said I could begin running again.  The night before I began I dreamed that I was at a start line of a half marathon for my first run. I knew I shouldn't be doing it but in my "dream world" I was going to run it but not race it!  Yeah, right!  So it is just as well that the turkey trots don't tempt me and the only race in December is on December 31st.  I missed two months already in my quest to race every month (I did accomplish this in 2009) so no pressure there.  So I am just going to run with no major agenda other than to listen to my body, begin to run a little faster and take those rest days!

But truthfully I would rather be:

Running a 5K
Or a 10 K (this is my hubby behind me, notice
I said behind)
Or a 15K

Or even a cold half marathon in February

Perhaps a fall marathon

Rather than a spring marathon
(isn't this pretty - come
do VCM!)

But no, I will not race.  Thank goodness there are not a lot of races right now or I would certainly be tempted to throw caution to the winds............and race!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Look at AJH run!

Today I ran!  Yes, you are reading that correctly. Today I ran for the first time in 11 1/2 weeks!  I only went four miles and it was darn slow. But it was pain free and it was running!  My heel still feels great several hours later and I can't wait to do a short run again tomorrow!  I am on my way back! I cannot tell you how much I love this!  I have worked hard to get back to running and I am so glad to be out there!  I plan to take it easy.  But........I am running!
T and I running together! Bright colors because it is hunting season!

This isn't a sign you see in every store window!

Today I read in the Sunday magazine that Jake Gyllenhaal loves to run.  But he couldn't run for awhile because he had severe shin splints.  He used biking as his main form of exercise.  Hello, Jake??? Why didn't you call?  We could have done some rides together and given each other some sympathy!  Taylor wouldn't have cared. (And that statement shows that I read People way too often!

On the way back on our walk
Yesterday T and I walked as that is what I was advised to do before I ran.  I am the perfect patient (seriously) so I did.  Then I hurried home and had no time to stretch.  I hated hated hated thinking I wasn't doing the most I could do for my heel.  When I got home later I went through my whole routine.  Then I could feel better.  Our walk was great!
This is a hill T runs up - seriously steep!
Walking towards T's house

So today I am enormously thankful for being able at long last............to run!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful Post # 20

Today I am thankful for.............. the sock sale!

Hm..you are thinking.  That AJH needs to get a life.  Yeah I would think that too. The first time one of my friends told me about this sale and how fun it is I thought the same thing. It took a few years to convince me to go but I have now gone 3 of the last 4 years.  Cabot hosts the sale for the "Deer hunting widows" to have something to do.

It's a great chance to buy local!  Cabot, a third-generation sock maker, is vociferous about his commitment to keeping his family business in Vermont. When the company faced financial difficulty in the early 2000s, Cabot leveraged his business savvy, his house and hosiery expertise to create Darn Tough Vermont, a premium performance sock brand. Since then, the brand’s support from core outdoor enthusiasts and supporters of American-made products has propelled it to the top of the market.

 I'm not a deer hunting widow but I went with two friends I work with that I haven't been able to spend much time with. So it was a chance for a ladies day out as much as anything.

But once there I decided I might as well buy what I could, right?  If you spend 100 dollars you get 10% off.  You're now thinking - 100 dollars on socks, I don't think so!  Well, believe me it is not that hard.  You've got that niece you just don't know what to get........how about some Darn Tough hiking socks for her next trip up Mt. Mansfield?  And pick up those skiing socks everyone swears by for your nephew.  Those co workers you want to give a little something to......well who doesn't need or like socks?  Looking at that holiday list you can check several people off!
People crowded the Darn Tough tables. It was 
hard to find a medium.  Small and large
were in abundance!

This is what I came home with!

I had so much fun buying socks that I feel a giveaway coming up. Stay tuned.

A teaser of the give away to come.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two Days worth of being thankful

Missed yesterday!  I had too much going on.  This will be short too.

Thankful Day 18
I am thankful for our woodstove which gives off such wonderful heat!  Presently I am the one getting home first to make the fires and I must say I am also thankful for my husband making it easy for me.  The wood is near the door ready for me to bring it in. The kindling is all cut and ready.  Throw in the newspaper. Add the kindling and the wood.  Voila! Warm fire to sit and read by, blog by, eat by, veg out by!

Thankful Day 19
I am thankful for bargains! Tonight I paid nothing for a new book at Borders.  First I had a coupon I printed off the web. That took 33% off. Then I mentioned to the clerk that I had received a $10 voucher on line to use.  She checked it out, handed me the book and told me I owed nothing!  Score! Then I went to Bath and Body which I have not been to in quite awhile. But it is holiday season and vanilla bean noel is my favorite scent.  I bought 3 lotions, then got 3 shower gels free.  I had spent $30 so I got $10 off with  a coupon.  This was combined with a coupon where I got an item free which will be a great gift. In fact I bought 2 more and used another coupon to get another free item.  (It wasn't time for the coupon yet but the clerk let me use it anyway!)

Now I need to go finish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Emily has finished the second one and assures me she will bring it home for me to read at Thanksgiving.  I love it that Emily is in a reading time. Neither one of my kids is the voracious reader I am but they both get into reading spells and I love it when they do!

Tomorrow I am going to walk with T. Yes, walk.  It is the precursor to returning to running!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful Post # 17

Whew! Those of you who always blog every day.  How do you do it?  This is hard!

Today I am thankful for having a job, a job that I like a great deal most of the time.  Here are some of the things I love about my job.

1. 8/9 year old kids are the best!

2. It is NEVER boring.

3. Every day, every hour, every minute is different......

4. There are many ways to be creative as a teacher.

5. You get paid to read books to kids!

6. You get to choose the books you are reading to kids.

7. When you see these kids out in public they make you feel like  a rock star.

8 Great colleagues to work with, many of whom are good friends outside of work.....

9.  You learn to appreciate differences in people.

10. It forces you to attempt to keep up with technology.

11. Many holidays off (yet there are many we work that people can't believe we work on, maybe it is Vermont)

12.  The chance to be part of a different community......

I had added things I didn't like about my job but then decided that didn't feel very thankful so it is gone.  I will include a picture of the current read aloud in my class. It is an excellent book for some thoughtful discussions around various moral issues.  Next  I am going to read Lassie, Come Home to make some connections!  And I'm not a dog person!  My all time favorite read aloud for kids is yet another dog book! (Kavik the Wolf Dog)  Did I just post about this?

When I googled Shiloh all I got was pictures of Brad Pitt's kid.  
So not what I was looking for!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 16 in the Thankful Posts

From the Mohawk Hudson Marathon
Something I could NEVER have imagined doing in
 my wildest wildest dreams 
before my gall bladder

I am thankful for the gall bladder surgery that I had many years ago now. It is what started me down this healthy path of caring what I ate, how I looked and being obsessed with exercising.  Eventually I began to run.  I have always said that my gall bladder surgery was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  Many pounds later, many many many miles run and walked later I am a much healthier happier person!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful Day 15

If you have been following me for awhile you know that I have not been running (that will be changing soon) because of PF. I have been doing stretches morning and night (well in all honesty I had recently only been doing them in the a.m. but was convinced today to resume the twice a day with throwing what stretches I can into other parts of my day.)  Anyway I have been getting up about 30 minutes earlier to do these and I am not a morning person.  BUT I have found them palatable for two reasons.  One is West Wing which I watch as I am doing them.  I am near the end of the 6 out of 7 seasons so at some point I will have to choose my next tv obsession.  But that is only one part of the equation that makes these morning exercises not so bad.  Here goes

Entertaining DVDs + Coffee = A Happily Stretching AJH at 5:30 a.m.

Today I am thankful for coffee!  I love the stuff.  I prefer - hugely prefer flavored coffee but will drink ordinary coffee in a pinch!  Coffee rocks my world!  If I am starving and trying not to overindulge in all that my brain craves - coffee can fill the void.  It is often my post afternoon workout treat.  I love coffee drinks (my Starbucks crack) but it is really just plain old flavored coffee that I want and need.  I am a loyal Vermonter and my favorite brand of coffee is Green Mountain Coffee of course!

  There's hazelnut, French vanilla, rain forest nut, caramel vanilla creme, mocha nut fudge and on and on.  The last requirement which is actually as important as the flavor is that the coffee is steaming hot!  No luke warm or reheated coffee for this coffee loving woman!  It needs to be steaming hot right out of the pot!
When traveling I can't get my beloved GMC a Starbucks 
with my girl works just fine!

Plus I am  - ahem  - not watching the weight quite so
closely when I visit Em and a "few" of
those higher calorie coffee drinks cross
my lips!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful Day 15

Thankful Day 15/Chris K These Pictures Are For You!

I am extremely thankful for such gorgeous weather this weekend!  I got two great bike rides in that I didn't expect to get again.  No gloves, warm weather, no snow to speak of! I thought I would be at the gym on the elliptical so this was great!

 One added element to my weekend rides was a  different take on pictures.  Awhile back Chris K. from BQ or Die challenged me to take some ugly pictures for a change.  My first thought was that will be easy.  Well..........it wasn't.  There are many sights around here I would not call beautiful but neither would I call them ugly.  Most things ugly are man made and I am not sure that is what Chris K had in mind.  And of course beauty (or the opposite of it) is in the eye of the beholder.  So I set off with my camera thinking this would be a cinch.  There are certainly some ugly houses/yards around here.  But .........do I really want to stand there and take a picture?  Every ugly place seemed to have a person in the yard.  I could imagine the conversation:

What are you doing?
Oh I am taking a picture of your place/yard for my blog?
Really?  He/she asks puffing up with pride
Yes, I am trying to find some ugly Vermont pictures to counter all the beautiful ones I usually post.

Well this would not go over so well as you can imagine. Plus it is opening season for deer hunting and there are a lot more loaded guns around than usual. So taking a picture while someone is in their yard.....not happening.

Here is my attempt at finding some ugly sights on my ride.

too close for comfort to my house

Picture doesn't do it justice - lots and lots and lots of 
junk in this yard

The next 3 pictures go together

A lovely pump house

Graffiti and a falling down barn - in my town! (horror and surprise
at the graffiti - there are many falling down barns!)
Dirty snow - always ugly!

That's it Chris K.  I may have to keep this in my mind and try to find more pictures over the winter.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankful Day 14

Chowing down on cake.  I do love cake!  This is my brother next to me.
Tonight I am thankful for an improved relationship with my brother.  It wasn't so much that we didn't get along as we didn't take the time to be together. I had tried several times but gave up when it didn't happen.  He has had some major health problems which is what precipitated the time together now. I have gone to some of his appointments with him and tried to be there for him. I am very proud of him and the things he is doing to improve his health.  Tonight was his son's wedding and I loved being there to share it with him.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful Day 12

I am thankful for my typical Friday night.

I leave work.  (big smile)
I get groceries and run other errands.  (I'm  old  on the other side of 30)and entertained in odd ways.
I come home and don't cook. (bigger smile)
I have popcorn for supper and eat it - lots of it - while reading a good book. (It has no calories because it is Friday night.)
I don't even do the dishes.
I don't do any work of any kind.
I have the whole weekend to look forward to.

On Friday night LIFE IS GOOD!