Running Streak Week 1

As I mentioned before, I’m attempting a running streak over this next year-ish to keep me occupied.

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This week I ran pretty minimal every day, and only a mile today because today was a busy and long day. We went to the range at 0445, which meant that I was up before that and I had to qualify on two weapons systems, one of which I’ve never shot before. It was hot, I sweat through my sports bra, my t-shirt, and my uniform top and I’ve never experienced getting gunpowder residue in my eyes while shooting before.

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But there were definitely some nice points. My favorite discovery this week was the Old Fort Bliss Replica and running on the sand path around the parade field in the evening with the sprinklers misting me.

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It also helped me acclimate easier, I think. By the end of the week I no longer felt like I was melting in the sun. It wasn’t pleasant and I was definitely sweating more than at home in Alaska, but I didn’t feel as miserable.

The rest of this week we did some computer-based training, I got some new shots, including anthrax (yay?), malaria pills which have a whole host of gnarly side effects including nightmares and vivid dreams (so of course I’m taking it at bedtime), and my personal favorite – gear draw. It gave me flashbacks to my first days in college opening up my uniform box and wondering what all the items were, how they were worn, and wanting to wear them all. Now I mostly know what they are, but there were still a few surprises.

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This is Gladys. She’s my trusty squirrel sidekick who goes everywhere with me. She really likes how all the green goes with her green MBC sweater and yellow ribbon scarf.

Running Streak Week 1 down, fiftyish more weeks to go.

For One More Day

I’ve wondered for a while what I would do if I knew one day would be my last. Would I jump on a plane and go somewhere I’ve always dreamed of seeing? Would I call my family and friends to talk to them one last time? Or would I spend it quietly at home, going for a run or going fishing?

Yesterday was about grieving. Sadness held me in a big, cold hug. It felt oppressive and gray.

Today was about business.

I went for my last run here.

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I ran down by the river and into downtown.

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I ran through the park one last time. It was one of the first places I went when I moved here and I think it’s so cute.

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I finished my cross-stitch project that I wanted to get done before I left. I think the K could be a little more left but the pattern was very vague there so it’s probably fine. Either way, I’m not changing it.

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Finally, I finished packing. I hate packing. I put in a pair of socks and Zane came and took them back out and walked away with them. Eventually I put them in a plastic bag and he was sad.

I also watched Star Trek: The Next Generation pretty much all day, The Butler (which made me cry because I’m a big sissy sometimes), shipped my saddle off to the woman who bought it, and sometime later P and I will go to my favorite sushi restaurant in town for our last meal. I ate there right before NTC so now I feel like it’s my good luck ritual.

I thought I’d have liked to go fishing, or spend all day at the movies, or reading a book but as it turns out, there is no other way that I would have liked to spend my last day here than with the things I love most in all the world.

June Stridebox

About a month ago I signed up for a monthly assortment of running samples from a company called StrideBox. I got my June box in today and wanted to share.

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I think the packaging is so cute.

Inside is an assortment of goodies. Some drink powders for recovery by Mestrength in lemon lime and orange, two refueling gels from Hydrate in mocha and strawberry lemonade, a peanut butter dark chocolate Kate’s Stash Bar, and raspberry Skratch which says it’s an energy chew. I also got a nice gray towel, a new sticker, and an Action Wipe and a little tube of Ruby’s Lube. I already opened the lube and it smells really nice from the lemongrass in its formula.

One thing I really enjoy about StrideBox is that so far all of the products I’ve gotten have focused on being as natural as possible. I also enjoy that I get to try some new products without having to choose them myself. I’m really unadventurous in trying new fuels so it’s good to have some forced on me and since I hate wasting things, I’ll use them just to use them up if nothing else.

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The haul! Plus a couple of coupons from the makers, which is nice because if you like something it makes it even easier to get.

From this, I think I am pretty interested in trying everything. I’m heading down South where it’s blazing hot so I think the Mestrength beverage powders will help me stay hydrated on my runs, the Hydrate gels will be good while running, I’ll use my Action Wipe to clean up real quick, and honestly, I love energy chews. Sometimes/most of the time I eat them as a snack. The lube will help me not chafe in the extreme heat and I’ll probably eat the Stash Bar as a snack on the plane.

Maybe the best part of StrideBox is how affordable it is. It’s only $15 a month with a $15 sign-up fee (which I got discounted because a friend gave me a coupon). I love getting mail every month and I love that it’s a surprise about what I’m getting. So far I’ve really enjoyed the products and I think I’ll continue for as long as I’m enjoying it.

Last Weekend, First King

In addition to running, I also really, really love riding horses, skiing, and fishing. The salmon are running so last weekend we drove down to Copper Center and camped and went fishing. It was so much fun.

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I caught my first king salmon ever, saw bald eagles, gulls feasting on leftover salmon carcasses, moose tracks, and the scenery was just beautiful. It was so relaxing and peaceful there too. My phone had no signal down there so we were really off the grid. We packed in our own water and food for some dry camping. The mosquitoes were fairly rough and at one point I woke up to a spider crawling next to my face, but I still had such a good time. It was the best time I could have on my last weekend in Alaska.

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I already can’t wait to get back next year. I’m already planning a multi-day fishing trip to fish for salmon, go dip netting and go down south to do some deep sea fishing.

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Mentally on Vacay

I’m one of those people who when I go on vacation, all of me does, and then I have a harder time getting back into shape afterwards. I signed out on leave yesterday and took the day off to enjoy a small breath of freedom and to finish unpacking, putting everything away, and then cleaning my house from top to bottom.

P still has work so I found myself going to bed at my usual time last night and up again this morning with him. He went off to PT and I…well, I was awake. I pulled on my workout clothes which I usually like to lounge around in anyway, fooled around on the Internet for a little bit and then I figured I had nothing to do today, I should go for a run.

I did just a little loop by my neighborhood that I walked the dogs on a little while ago. They acted so exhausted by it that I was extra surprised at how small a loop it was.

It was a nice run, though. I ran by the community garden at the university and while it was chilly this morning, it wasn’t raining like it is now.

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Lots of gardens, all unmolested by moose

I always feel more productive and better about my day if I manage to get a run in. It’s so tempting to just laze around while on vacation, but I feel so much better just being a little more active. And then I can sit and cross-stitch on my couch all afternoon and feel a little less guilty.

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I am determined to be done with this someday soon.

5-1 5K 06 June 2015

In what will likely be my last race of the year, my husband and I decided to run the 5-1 5K today on post.

We picked up the packets yesterday. It was put on by a unit so it was pretty small. Actually, events up here seem to be pretty small in general.

We showed up around 0930 to say hi to some people, watch the kids’ 1K run and then we lined up for the 5K start. I put myself towards the front because I thought I was going to go fairly fast despite not having run anything over a mile in at least a month. P hung back because he’s still recovering and knew would be a little slower.

The course was around the airfield which was kind of nice because it was perfectly flat, but you could also see the whole course, the sun came out and it got a little hot and it wasn’t terribly interesting to look at.

I went out way too fast and at one point realized I was carrying a 6:40 pace. Don’t worry, that didn’t last. My first mile was 7:24 which was good, but I felt hot in my tights and ran an 8:22 second mile. I felt like I was fading so I focused on keeping it under that and did 8:17 for the third mile. I finished a little over 25 minutes. I’m still not completely in tune with my new Garmin Tactix and I know I started it a little ahead of the start and a little behind the finish.

I am definitely out of 5K shape, or any kind of running shape it seems, but it was fun to get out and run on a Saturday morning because I have all the rest of the weekend still. And we got these cool shirts which Zane is graciously modeling for us, kinda.

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At the finish they had water and bananas and cookies for the kids. They also had a table set up selling some things so I bought three boxes of Girl Scout cookies because I was starved.

Good things:

– T-shirt. I like races that have either a shirt or a medal (or both). When it’s neither I feel like I’ve been robbed for a training run.

– I didn’t feel bad on the run, just slug like and out of shape.

Five Things for Friday

I’m in a bit of a rut because I’m in between parts of my life. I’m essentially done with my job here but I’m obviously not in my new job yet so I’m just kind of keeping busy buying things I need and trying to unpack and clean my house before I leave.

1. Bras.

Why is it so hard to find a decent bra anymore? I used to be able to just buy a multipack of those cheap Fruit of the Loom variety, but then I bought a fancy running bra and now I can’t go back.

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These Champion Marathon bras are my new favorite. They come in lots of colors, but black is only about $15 right now on Amazon so I’m buying them in that color. Plus, I don’t like my bras to show so it’s not like anyone is ever going to see them.

2. Socks. 

As hard as it is to find a good bra, socks are even harder. In the Army, we can only wear white ones with no visible logo and it must cover our ankle bones. About a year ago I bought a few pairs of these Elite Dryad socks from Road Runner Sports and they.are.perfect. Of course, they don’t carry them anymore. They are so perfect. They’re thin and light, no irritating seams, they cover my ankle and they have no logos.

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3. Goody spin pins.

I’m part of a Facebook group for military women and recently one mentioned Goody spin pins made her buns so much easier. I tried it and I’m a big fan. I still use a couple of bobby pins to tame wayward hair, but overall it’s less things in my hair and a little faster.

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4. Freezer meals.

I used a few meals from Once a Month Meals to premake some dinners before my husband moved here and they were so good I bought a cookbook, Once a Month Cooking which I am less of a fan of. But overall I am a big fan of cooking freezer meals. Last weekend I made 14 days worth of dinners for about the same it costs me for two weeks of food, but we also eat the leftovers for lunch and it makes menu planning a lot easier. I used a menu from the cookbook and there’s been a few meals we haven’t liked, like last night’s Chicken Spaghetti which we threw out, so I would recommend the website over the book.

5. QALO rings.

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I’ve been thinking that I don’t want to take my wedding set with me because what if it gets scratched up or damaged. QALO makes rings out of silicone that don’t catch while lifting and can be cut off easily in an emergency. They also don’t conduct if that’s important to you. I ordered myself a purple one and a white one and got a black one for my husband to try out. They’re about $15 for a woman’s ring and $20 for a man’s and come in a lot of different colors so it makes it easy to try out a few.

I try to YOLO every day because I don’t believe in reincarnation 

As my time here draws short, I’ve noticed I have an increasingly difficult time saying “no” to things. I’m no stranger to leaving and this time should be different because I know I’m coming back here, it just somehow seems so much more final. 

This resulted recently in drinking far more mojitos than any one person should consume because I thought about how pretty soon I wouldn’t be able to drink anything like this at all. And then it led to a bout of crying about how much I was going to miss my dogs and cat. I knew that was going to happen, just not when. 

I have all these crazy emotions swirling around inside lately. They’re making me depressed, antsy, anticipative and also hesitant.  

I take these wildly swirling emotions with me on every run and when I first start running, I think about them all but eventually my thoughts devolve into focusing on the run, little things that I see like a funny license plate or a sign, and when I do come back to my thoughts, they’ve quieted a bit. I’m going to get through all these things just like I get through my runs-bit by bit. It’s not always going to be smooth, sometimes I have to stop and walk, but I know there’s a finish line at the end and I am going to get there.