200 Miles in 37 Days!

Guess what?  I completed 200 Miles in 37 Days!!!  Back on July 18th I challenged myself to run and walk 100 miles by August 28th.  I reached my 100 mile goal on August 7th, hit 150 on August 15th, and ran through my 200th mile on August 23rd.  After today’s 5.6 mile run I’m at 214 miles total with 2 days still left to go in my original challenge!

iFit 200 Mile Banner

Miles since last post:  113.6
Days since last post:  19
Days until Deadline: 2
TOTAL MILES: 214.7

If you had told me in mid-July when we got our treadmill that I would soon be averaging over 5 miles a day I would have laughed (or actually cried) at the thought of it.  I started out slow with some 2-3 mile days in the beginning and a lot more walking than running but as the weeks have gone by running has gotten easier and I have even had a few 7+ mile days!  I’ve continued to track my progress on my Excel graph and I’ve also started to track my best treadmill times for 1, 2, 3, and 4 miles.  I’m not ready to go out and run a race or anything, but I’m still pretty proud of how my times have fallen during the past month.

Top Treadmill Times 8-26-13

So where do I go from here?  Forward!  I’m going to keep tracking my miles and I will continue to set mini mileage goals for myself since that has worked thus far to keep me motivated.  I’ve now decided that when I hit 250 miles I get to buy these Athleta running tights for myself.  They will be just in time for the Fall weather that I hope September brings next week!

Running....!

Related Posts:
•  100 Miles in 21 Days! (8/7/13)
•  100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge: 49 Miles to Go! (7/29/13)
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)

Weekly Photo Challenge AND Bailey is a Finalist in a Photo Contest!

First of all, I just learned that this photo of Bailey has been chosen as a Grand Prize Finalist in a photo contest! The winner is determined by popular vote which means that YOU can help Bailey win simply by clicking here and then hitting the “VOTE” button.

Please click to vote for Bailey!

I would REALLY appreciate it if you could take a few seconds to vote! Voting is open until August 16th and you can vote once per day. The contest is sponsored by Yakima Racks and the winner receives gifts from Ruffwear (Bailey’s favorite dog gear outfitter), Zukes (Bailey’s favorite treats!) and a $500 Yakima gift card!

In other news, this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is One Shot, Two Ways. The idea behind this challenge is to show the same subject from two angles and I have a fun example to share. The following two photos show Bailey flying through the air about to catch her duck. They were taken from two different cameras at the exact same moment during the same jump. Cool, right?

One Shot Two Ways #1

One Shot Two Ways #2

The first photo was taken head-on by a professional photographer (Key4Prints). I happened to catch the second photo from the bleachers at the exact same time… just as Bailey was contorting her body and snapping her mouth open mid-air in an attempt to catch her duck. While the professional shot is clearly a better photo, I kind of like the second shot because it helps you appreciate what a huge jump this was. Bailey ended up winning her division at this event with a 24+ foot jump!

Thanks for stopping by and, again, thank you to everyone that voted for Bailey in the photo contest!!!! (You can vote here: http://bit.ly/146NFcQ )

100 Miles in 21 Days!

I did it!!!  I completed my goal of 100 miles in just HALF the time I originally planned!  My 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge officially began on July 18th and this afternoon at 4:45PM after just 21 days I breezed by the 100 mile mark on my treadmill.  Woohoo!

Miles since last post:  50.4
Days since last post:  9
Days until Deadline: 20
TOTAL MILES: 101.1 !!!

Matt helped me make a cool Excel graph that charts my daily miles, shows my total miles completed so far, and (my favorite part) predicts out my future miles based on my current pace.  I love graphs and charts and it’s been very rewarding to enter in my miles each day to see my progress.  Here’s the graph as of today:

100 Mile Challenge Graph (8/7/13)

So… this means that I can get an iPad Mini now!  Of course now that I’ve ‘earned’ it I’m a little worried that Apple is going to announce the release of an iPad Mini 2 right after I invest in the old model.  I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about this (I’ve had a lot of time to think on the treadmill!) and I have decided that I’m going to wait and purchase a new iPad Mini 2 when it comes out.  The release date has not been revealed yet so I will spend a little more time reading ‘real’ books until then! 🙂

So where do I go from here?  I am going to increase my original challenge since apparently 100 miles was too easy.  My new goal is to complete 150 miles by my original deadline of August 28th.  Full speed ahead!

Related Posts:
•  100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge: 49 Miles to Go!
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge

100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge: 49 Miles to Go!

Last Tuesday I challenged myself to run 100 miles in 42 days and I’ve been running like crazy ever since!  Wednesday will mark the end of week two of my challenge and I’m currently on pace to complete 100 miles in just 24 days!

Miles since last post:  31.3
Days since last post:  6
Miles until iPad Mini: 49.3
Days until Deadline: 29

I realize that my timing is sort of backwards with the whole fitness thing… most people would have started working out before getting married to get ready for the big day but I, on the other hand, waited until after our wedding to get back into a serious exercise routine.  In my mind the reasoning is very simple — there’s no way that I had time to run/walk 5 miles a day in addition to all of the DIY wedding projects, vendor coordination and planning that I needed to get done before the wedding.  Now that our wedding is over and life is returning to normal I feel like I have oodles of free time and I’m happy to spend some of it working out!  🙂

Oh yeah… I got new purple running shoes on Saturday because my old sneakers were woefully worn out.  Like ’em?

New Running Shoes!

Related Posts:
•  The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge

100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge!

After 205 days of streaking our old Schwinn elliptical machine is starting to fall apart.  We have taken this as a sign that it is time to retire the elliptical and invest in a more serious piece of fitness equipment… a treadmill!   After some online research we settled on a NordicTrack and our new treadmill arrived by truck at 9:20PM last Wednesday night (gotta love that “12-6” delivery window..!).  Undeterred by the late hour, we happily pushed, pulled and heaved the 350 lb. machine up a half flight of stairs and carefully maneuvered it into the spot that the elliptical had occupied in our little home gym.  After some minor assembly we were good to go!

My new toy!

Our new treadmill!

My workout routine has completely changed since the treadmill arrived.  Throughout the first half of July I had been faithfully sticking to my mile a day streak, but now over the past six days I’ve been averaging more than THREE miles a day!  I’m sure the novelty of the treadmill’s map-based workouts and HD video runs will wear off eventually, but for now I’m going to keep my extreme workout schedule going by setting a goal:

If I complete 100 miles on the treadmill by August 28th I can buy myself an iPad mini!

Why an iPad Mini, you ask?  After lugging three books along on our honeymoon (and reading all of them) I came to the realization that a tiny eReader capable of housing dozens of books would be a great investment.  I looked at various options and determined that an eReader that also happens to be an iPad sounds pretty awesome!  As for the origin of my August 28th deadline?  Easy.  We’ll be going to a hunting camp in central PA for Labor Day weekend and I hope to spend lots of quality time in a rocking chair on the porch reading books on my iPad mini!  🙂

So… 100 miles by August 28th.  Including the miles that I’ve put in since last Thursday, this leaves me with 35 days to complete 80.6 miles.  That’s about 2.3 miles a day.  Think I can do it?  I’ll be posting updates that look like this:

Miles since last post:  19.4
Miles until iPad Mini: 80.6
Days until Deadline: 35

Wish me luck!!

 

July Update: A new streak begins and the garden keeps on growing!

Matt and I are home after spending 10 days in beautiful St. Lucia and a few days in Western Maryland for the DockDogs Regional Championships.  I’ll post honeymoon photos and the dockdogs recap soon, but in the meantime I have some updates!

After 205 consecutive days my mile-a-day streak ended the day before our honeymoon began (June 13th).  I initially thought I would keep on streaking while in St. Lucia but for the first week we were staying in the rainforest on top of a mountain at the end of a precariously washed out dirt road so running a mile a day wasn’t really feasible.  Oh well!  🙂 As of July 1st I have started a new streak.  We’ll see if I can beat 205 days… I’ll reach that goal on January 21, 2014.

In other news, we had record rainfall in June and as a result my vegetable garden has been growing like crazy!  Check out this photo that I took today… a comparison shot from my May 10th gardening post is below.

Garden 7-3-13

Garden (5-10-13)

Quite a difference, right?  When we got home from St. Lucia I was shocked to see how much the parsley, thyme and tomatoes had grown and I was overwhelmed by the enormous zucchini plants!!  (I think my basil was overwhelmed too… it’s now living in the shadow of those large-leafed behemoths!)  Here are some other photos of my garden and back yard flowers from today.

While I was wandering around with my camera this afternoon I was surprised to spot a white-tailed deer in the front yard.  It is quite common for us to see deer in our area (usually in other peoples’ yards or dashing across the road!) but it is very, VERY rare to see a deer in our yard because Bailey has made it her life mission to stalk and chase any and all wildlife that comes within her invisible fence boundary.

I guess the neighborhood deer herd realized that Bailey was not at home for most of June and as a result they are now making themselves comfortable in the front yard.  Luckily Bailey was on her game this afternoon and as soon as this deer made a move Bailey (who must have been stalking it from a different angle as I snapped away with the camera) came blasting over, chased it away, and then proceeded to roll and rub in the deer’s scent for a good 30 seconds.  Good dog, Bailey (even if you do smell now…)

Well, that’s it for tonight’s update.  Happy 4th of July and have a great holiday weekend!!

Related Posts:
• Streaking, Reflections, and Other December Challenges (December 3, 2012)
• Streaking, Day 100 (March 1, 2013)
• Let the 2013 Gardening Season Begin! (May 12, 2013)
• Waiting for Red Tomatoes (July 4, 2012)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Up, Up and Away! (Bailey)

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is “Up.” As you may have noticed, I love to use photos of Bailey whenever possible in these challenges and it just so happens that jumping UP is one of her favorite things to do!

"UP" - Bailey the little GSP competing in DockDogs Extreme Vertical

The first photo shows Bailey competing in Big Air at the Dock Daze event in May 2012 and the second photo was taken during the Extreme Vertical competition at the 2010 Delmarva Doggone Fun event. Bailey ended up winning with a height of 7 feet!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

I haven’t been very good about doing the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges every week, but I like this week’s topic so I thought I would jump back in and participate! Here’s my red-hued take on Color:

Looking at all of those beautiful red veggies and flowers is really making me want to plant my vegetable garden! 🙂 Just a few weeks to go…

Streaking, Day 100!

This morning I completed day 100 of my mile-a-day “streaking” challenge, woohoo! The challenge started out back on Thanksgiving Day as part of the Runners World Holiday Running Streak (#RWRunStreak) from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, but when 2013 rolled around I just kept on going!

On a typical weekday I wake up at 5:15 and elliptical my mile while watching the morning news. The downside of this is that the news is pretty boring (how many traffic reports can one person watch??) and yes, it’s early, but after I’m done I feel great all day knowing that I’ve finished my mile. I also like having a routine, even if it means that I now have to pack my running clothes on vacations or business trips.

Here are a few of my more memorable miles over the past 100 days:Matt and Bailey in RCSP

Day 13 (12/4/12)
I ‘ellipticalled’ a mile in the morning and then we went on a 5 mile hike in Ridley Creek State Park the afternoon! That was a big day for exercise.

Day 41 (01/01/13)
Matt, Bailey and I ran the first 2.4 miles of the multi-purpose loop at Ridley Creek State Park. Not bad for New Year’s Day!

Day 52 (01/12/13)
Thornbury Park in September
We ran a mile on a chilly morning in Thornbury Township Park. For some reason this felt much harder than the 2.4 miles on 1/1. (The Thornbury Park Photo is actually from September. I wish it had been that beautiful there in January!)

Days 54-59 (01/14-19/13)
Completed a week of miles on a treadmill in the Palazzo gym in Las Vegas. I was nervous at first because I usually elliptical in the privacy of my own home but I felt a huge sense of accomplishment afterwards! (And I think I managed to look tough and strong while running which is really half the battle, right?) 🙂Beach in Cape Charles

Days 94-95 (02/23-24/13)
Ran around Cape Charles on the eastern shore of Virginia while we were in town with friends for the Barrier Island Center Oyster Roast. On day 94 my iPhone app got confused and said that I ran 1.7 miles in 13 minutes (which is impossible) but I let myself believe that was true when I enjoyed all-you-can-eat oysters, clams, BBQ pulled pork and wine later in the day.

I look forward to keeping my streak going until Matt and I get married on June 8th. Wish me luck!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

OK, I know that I skipped last week’s “Resolved” photo challenge, but, photo or no photo, I am proud to share that I am going strong on Day 53 of my “Streaking” resolution.  “Streaking” was my December challenge to run/elliptical at least a mile a day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s but when January 1st came around I decided to keep the streak going until June 8, 2013 (which happens to be our wedding day).  We actually kicked off 2013 with a 2.4 mile RUN — the farthest I’ve run since college — but that’s a story for a different post.  🙂

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is Illumination:

Illumination

Illumination is a topic near and dear to me because Matt and I actually manufacture and sell these lights for a living!

Also related to the week’s challenge topic is the city that we’re traveling to this week:

Illumination

Nope, not Paris… we’re going to Vegas!  We go once a year for a big trade show so we’ll be working hard but I’m pretty sure that we’ll be able to find time to eat plenty of yummy food and take lots of photos.  🙂  Have a good week everyone!