A Friday Confession

And just like that, it’s Friday.  Thank the goodness.

This week has been a wonky one, because most of us here at the shelter had to work last weekend. We held a mega adopt-a-thon last Saturday/Sunday and GUESS WHAT!? Our 4 Sacramento area shelters adopted out the most animals in the country! 525 to be exact.

Murphy is very excited.

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So it’s been a little inconsistent over here. If you’re new to the blog, just get used to it. I never win best-blogger-award so don’t even try to nominate me 😉

I do however; have a Friday confession for you…

Last weekends’ ½ marathon was a tough one. We were not prepared to run the last 6 miles of hills, and since we didn’t train very well, it made it even tougher. I managed to run a 2 hour (and 1 minute!) which was about a 9:15/mile. Not as great as my last one, but also not too shabby. After being ridiculously sore for 3 days after, I realized I need to move on to something a little more…relaxing. I needed to not feel 80 years old. I looked around at the other runners; I did not see anyone else wearing running knee braces. I’m 27 years old for crying out loud! So I did something I swore I’d never do, I joined the yoga phenomenon.  

I walked into a nearby studio with running shoes on (hello amateur) rolled out my yoga mat which still had mud tracks from an outdoor boot camp (*crickets*) and Vinyasa flow-ed all over that 85 degree room.

One of my favorite people in the world, Megan, is a yoga instructor and English teacher in South Korea. She is zen and tranquil and all sorts of spiritual awareness. When she visits, she usually has to drag me to these classes and puts up with my lack of enthusiasm. I usually toss around hateful words like “petri dish of germs” and she lovingly puts up with me, nods her head and mumbles a “Namaste” in my direction.

I can’t say I’m 100% sold, but Groupon continues to sway me with its killer deals, and the cheap-skate in me can’t really turn down an unlimited month of yoga at the low, low rate of $22.

I am by far the less flexible person in a room full of human pretzels and am convinced that the woman who stands on her head is slipping something into her tea– but until late November I am determined to try this whole ‘find your zen’ thing on for size.

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It’s kind of like “reaching for the stars” with trying something new, expect my goal is to just try and touch my damn toes. Baby steps people, baby steps.

What are you all going to be for Halloween? I tried to give Murphy a little flare this year but he was not having it. Shame.

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Excuses, Excuses

Oh hi there, happy Friday!

I am always happy it’s Friday, but less happy when Saturday has a very early wake up call…and a 13 mile run.

Remember that half-marathon I signed up for back in like…May? Well, it’s tomorrow. Like, tomorrow, tomorrow. And no I don’t feel prepared.

I think I’ve run a total of like, 5 times in 3-months. Yes, I ran ONE 11-miler and felt fine, so I know I’ll DO fine, but geez! Get it together woman.

I have many excuses though. Here there are:

I’ve been out of town for the past three consecutive weekends.

Late September we went camping. WHO camps in a TENT in Northern Lake Tahoe in September?

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Murphy is wrapped in a luxurious and sassy leopard towel
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These guys. (Yes, normally the weather isn’t 30 degrees at night, but this year…it was!)
While everyone else wore plush robes and ate bon-bons from their Winnebago kitchenettes, we double-layered ourselves in thermal, burrito-ed ourselves in subterranean sleeping bags and shouted “good night!” over the howling wind. Not sexy.

The following weekend we were in San Francisco for the most awesome co-bachelor/bachelorette party. IT was Great Gatsby themed and so fun! Forgot how expensive the city is though. Yikes. I decided that dressing up however is really a must nowadays. Everyone else just looked so ordinary. We drew crowds! (Not really. We had 11 people, so it just looked like it)

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The girls!
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THEN the next weekend we flew to San Diego and took part in one of the most fun weddings ever! Two very close friends Heather & Jeff married in a beautiful vineyard and I cried like a small child. Check out that sock bun! Compliments of yours truly 🙂

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Bridal party, the ladies’ side
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Awwwww
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Ok so all of this is so fun but I need a break, right?

Yea, come home only to realize that “Oh neato, you’re 13.1 mile race is here and you haven’t run in 3 weeks.” Good thing you didn’t overeat or drink over the last 3 weekends, making you feel light as a feather. Drat.

Wish me luck! xo

Paleo Pasta & a Half-marathon Update

OKfirst off- I realize that paleo foods and running do not go hand in hand. Believe me, I’m big on carb-loading for races and think that bread is just…well, genius…but for the sake of this blog- it’s a group effort.

I’m including a “pasta” (fasta?) recipe for anyone looking for a low-carb meal here and there. In our house we try to go low-carb when we can. I’ve blogged about paleo breakfast ideas and I only blog about stuff I recommend. Promise.

But first! An update on my half-marathon training for the Folsom Blues Breakout. So. I ran my first half in March of this year and was super stoked for the entire 10 weeks I trained. I really wish I could say the same for this time around, but to be honest, I’m just not feeling it. Frustrating because I can’t figure out why.

I think a big part is my crazy schedule. We try to keep our Saturdays for long runs, so last week was 8 miles. I have this thing with loops, laps and basically just going around in circles that drives me batty. We decided on doing 4 neighborhood laps and it was all kinds of crazy. This week we are slated for 9 miles but of course, I have my biggest (read: huge-a-mungo) work event of the year on Saturday. I’ll most definitely be clocking in 9 miles (at least!) on foot but as for running…hello back burner.

And it doens’t help that the next 4 weeks I’m either out of town or have fun things planned. Running your bootay off in the AM and then having things to do in the PM is not the recipe for a happy girl.

I recommend signing up for a half-marathon because the feeling of pushing yourself to do something that MOST people in this country (world!) cannot do is a pretty outstanding feeling. But I also recommend you convince yourself- “I’m going to devote every Friday night, Saturday AM and most likely Saturday night to you running shoes….shin splints…nana knees” and realize that it’s not child’s’ play my friends.

Ok so now for the food!

This recipe is pretty cool, I must say.

First off, take broccoli slaw and put it in a saucer with a little bit of water. The internet will tell you it takes about 5-8 minutes to steam the suckers so that they are soft and ‘pasta-like.’ Well that’s all fine and dandy…but if you’re in my kitchen it takes 15-20 minutes to get them soft enough. You’ve been forewarned.

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On the side, saute onions, garlic, zucchini, turkey meatballs and sauce and get things cookin’! As a garnish I added fresh basil and tomato (from my very own GARDEN!!)

ImageMix it all together and you’re basically eating a bowl full of yummy, really filling, veggie comfort food. It looks kinda weird when all is said and done, but don’t let your eyeballs deceive you. Dig in!

Training…we meet again

You’re never too old to realize how crazy you are. (Or you’re never too young? Can’t decide)

Murphy has a new kind of crazy every day. His new thing is following me when I leave my office. Yes, my dog gate is slightly broken and yes, sometimes I just choose not to close it, giving him more than enough freedom to waltz around like he owns the place.

Tuesday AM weekly meetings in the boss’s office…”step aside, can’t be late!” He not only opens my gate, but he has also learned how to maneuver hers, and yes…everyone makes room.

Happenstance, end up in a co-worker’s office to chat about a big work event? “Don’t mind me, I’m just going to sit here in this very small basket designed to hold petite, small things.”

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See?  There is more than enough room on the crazy train.

Walker and I signed up for the second half-marathon of the year, the Folsom Blues Half.  In some countries this qualifies you as having run an entire marathon….err…something.

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Shamrock’n Half-Marathon (March 2013)

Either way, I’ve gone-done impressed myself that I honestly think I can do this again. Walker of course helps boost my ego when I question why???? Training January-March was pretty enjoyable. But August- October? Helllloooo Sacramento.

We ran the first big run (6-miles) over the weekend and it went OK. A mixture between terrible and OK. But that’s fair! I haven’t run farther than 4-miles since March so I’d say that’s quite the accomplishment. A mere 7-miler on the books for this Saturday. Wahhhhh.

Ever thought about running a half-marathon?

Here is my 9-week training schedule in case you’re curious:

Saturdays are the long days. This means say goodbye to Friday night and hello to one hungry-girl Saturday/Sunday.  I think I ate an entire loaf of bread between Saturday and Sunday. Eat your heart out caveman!

So you start with 6 miles and work your way up to 12.  (That’s 7 Saturdays total, with one break before the race.) The run is October 19 which is PERFECT timing because I’m in a wedding October 12 and plan on dancing and running to the bar and that’s about it as far as physical exertion goes.

So what do you do during the week?

It’s good to fit at least a 4 or 5-miler in at some point…just so your legs remember who is boss. And if you can squeeze in a boot camp or yoga class that’s a winning combo!

My goal this time is to stretch more so I don’t feel like a jelly donut for a week after. And of course, to PR (personal record and yes it’s a verb. “To PR” Google it!)… Because if I can’t race the guy next to me I sure as hell better race myself!

So what new, fun, crazy, things are you enjoying lately?

Checking In

Helllooo out there!

I got a really nice comment from a stranger-turned-new-blog-friend and it made me realize it’s been a heck of a while since I’ve posted!

I’ve had blogger angst lately. Feeling like I want to revamp everything and write about food and fitness and organic living and finding a use for cute mason jars. But then I think, won’t that be hard to keep up?

“It’s never too late to be the person you want to be.” Someone smart said this. I don’t know them, but I imagine they are old and full of ideas, without the strength and energy to do any of them.
I am working on it. I’m going to save this for another post. Stay tuned!

And let’s be honest… in the blogging world. It’s all visual. And taking pictures is really taxing for me. Mentally of course, not physically. The blonde roots don’t run that deep.
And while I’ve been experimenting on a more green/organic lifestyle- it doesn’t really tie into a blog about your four-legged pup, now does it? He’s eyeballing me even as I write this! Alright, alright…moving on…

Doggy Dash. Is. Over! Craziest event ever and proof that people who do event management are of a different breed. We set up all day Friday, arrive at 4:30am on Saturday, run that puppy (no pun intended) like a well-oiled machine and then tear it all down, until every last table is collapsed and every bit of garbage is picked up. My friends and boyfriend made it out to the event and despite the fact that it reached 108 degrees that day; “No air” air…we made it through. AND made over $200,000 for the pups and kittens and chickens and buns at the Sacramento SPCA! Yes. Sir.

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Photo compliments of Patrick Storm Photography

And this guy… no, he does not attend the Dash. Image*Look how scrappy he used to be! Taken in Jan 2011 when I first got him. Poor nutrition and a flea infestation made him scratch all his lil’ hairs out. A face only a mama could love 🙂

Murphy hates the Doggy Dash. It makes me a very busy lady at work and not up for walks and play time. Plus…it’s 5,000 people with their 2,000+ stinky, butt-sniffing dogs. That’s like his own personal hell. He could have come with Walker but we talked about it and both decided the AC at home was a better option. Him and his little slow beating heart waited patiently for mother to come home.

Speaking of Murphy and his itty-bitty heart. Ok, ok I dont think his heart is actually any smaller, it’s just slower, that’s all. I opted out against the $1000+ vet visit and decided to instead monitor him and go from there. So far, things are really good. He is still able to go on walks and even run on cool nights. Yes Sacramento has temperatures other than 108 in June. They just don’t choose to grace us with their presence on days where you have 10 hours of manual labor to do.
And he seems to be doing well. I just avoid him getting over-heated on hot days. So far so good. Thanks for your well wishes to the little guy!

And yes I mentioned I’ve picked up running again. Finally. It took awhile! I needed a break, and even though it’s been tough as molasses to get up and go, it’ll be good for me. Walker and I signed up for the Folsom Blues Breakout for October 19! Another 13.1 in the same year? Who is this girl?!  Too bad I have three weekends in a row of out-of-town fun-ness leading up to the run; including camping, a bachelorette party and a wedding. Oopsie.
My goal will be less than 1:58:30 but we’ll have to see!

ImageWell that’s it for now. How is June half over? Christmas is almost here people!

xo, Juj

Shamrock’n Recap

You know those comics where they ask you how you’re feeling? Do they have one for SORE?

The days following your first half-marathon are a blur. Luckily I thought ahead and took Monday off work so I could literally sit on the couch all day and relive the race- through the pain my body was punishing me with.images

Totally 100% worth every ounce of pain because it was totally, 100% the coolest thing I’ve ever done.

I won’t bore you with the details but since I have blogged about training for this race I figured I should recap a little bit:

I was swimming with emotions at Sunday’s Shamrock’n Half-Marathon.  I’ve always been a “jogger” but once I crossed that finish line and knew I beat my time, I burst into tears and knew I was officially a “runner.”

Cheesy? Yep. Agreed.

But cheese is what’s on the menu so let’s just go run with it. Eh, eh!

Training for this was all kinds of crazy. Lots of running and trying to limit the crap food intake was good for me, especially since it kept me from worrying about vanity and staying in shape. It was just a natural product of pushing your limit.

I was aiming for a 9 min/mile over the course of 13.1. We were booking it the entire time and stayed ahead of the pace group. I ended up keeping up with Walker until about mile 9 (his 6’4” frame and neon yellow shirt were like a beacon in a sea of people). My hips started acting up and I was getting shooting pains up and down my legs so I had to pull over, stretch and slow it down just a bit. Ended up clocking a 1:58:30 at an average 8:43/mile pace. I was SHOCKED. Seriously. Sub 2-hours?? Say whaaat?

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Shield your eyes!

My roomie volunteered to hand out water along the course! Such a fun way to pass mile 11!

My roomie volunteered to hand out water along the course! Such a fun way to pass mile 11!

I’m sort of shocked that after all that training I’m in so much post-run pain BUT considering I pushed myself, I suppose it’s not a surprise.

The downside of Sunday was I had to miss out on the service my family held in Tahoe. They spread Logan’s ashes and said goodbye. I rocked his “Forever in our Hearts” bracelet and honored him with my running bib, but he was on my mind most of the time. Grief is a strange little bugger. Seems to settle in and get comfortable as soon as you open up space for it. The finish line was also home plate at the Rivercats Stadium. Logan loved baseball more than anything. Seemed really fitting wouldn’t you say? I thought so too…

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And because this blog is supposed to be about Murphy…I have to add that he was very unhappy to have missed out on such an epic day. He is now punishing me by pulling hard on his leash, forcing me to walk faster than my current 95 year-old nana pace. We’re learning to compromise.

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Dog Mom Extraordinaire

Dog folk- when you make plans to meet up with someone, say for a Saturday walk, and decide to bring your dog, do you get EXCITED when they get to meet said dog? And I mean like, MEET him. Like hang out, have a chat, seen how funny he is?

My friend Carly and I planned a midtown walk on Saturday (hours after my 9 mile run which I’ll recap in a bit) and she got to meet the Murphster!

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Like he needs a name tag!

I already know I’m a weirdo for saying “thank you” when people comment on how cute he is, but when you make plans with a friend and literally use the expression “Oh you’re going to love him!” does that cross boundaries? Visions of “Jeh-ree…you have to see the baybeeee!” come to mind.

So let’s talk training for a minute… I was telling all my FB friends (they’re real!) that running 9 miles isn’t so much the hard part. It’s the ‘trying not to act like a zombie all day’ that is tough. PLUS on such a big weekend- (Next year Niners!) I was pooped…all…weekend. Although I must say, the run went great! I was feeling pretty smooth until we stumbled onto the course and merged with runners in the JED Smith Ultra 50miler (ummm what!?) and felt slightly less cool, and yet, more sane? I just can’t imagine.

I’ve heard training can get addictive and I totally get it. Running for vanity is like “eh, I’ve got a boyfriend. He loves me. Pass the dip.” But when you’re $60+ dollars invested and you (ahem, blog about it) and people are asking how it’s going….you take on a new kind of responsibility. And even though this responsibility requires me to eat bananas (dislike. Takes me at least a half-hour to eat, unless of course it’s smoothie-erized) and carrots (No wonder they spend their whole lives under ground; Could they BE any more boring!?)

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I’m realizing that food is fuel you fool. Get. It Together.