Meet Duke

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I can’t believe I never introduced this little guy!  (Seriously, I thought I wrote about him ages ago!)  This is Duke.  We got him about 9 years ago – before we were even married!  He’s a Cairn terrier, and his zest for life is matched only by his enormous underbite!  Duke has been my steadfast companion through all kinds of ups and downs.  This little guy has a lot of personality – he’s super outgoing, greeting every guest and playing with every dog he meets!

I don’t take him running, since his legs are awfully short and he’s getting a bit of arthritis now that he’s getting a little bit older.  We do take him out and about, though.  He loves to run on the beach and through the woods.  And, after a long day of adventuring, he wants nothing more than to snuggle up on my lap!

 

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Winter Day at the Beach

 

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Since it has been unseasonably warm here, we decided to head up to Maine and spend a few hours at the beach.  I love going to the beach anytime, but there is something special about going in the winter.  Maybe it is the small/nonexistent crowds?  Or maybe just that we can bring our dogs…?

Duke has always loved the beach – he chases toys into the water and runs around like a crazy dog!  He also loves meeting all the other (big) dogs.  People are always surprised that his little legs can keep up with all the larger dogs (seriously – he’s tiny.  Only about 13 pounds!).  Fiona loves the beach too, but she’s a little less social than Duke.

The only downside to the day is that we forgot the camera!  Our phones did the work this time, but it would have been nice to try out my new macro lens. 🙂  Although.. forgetting the camera gave me an excuse to collect shells and rocks to bring home and “practice.”

I’m definitely going to need one or two more quiet days at the beach before the crowds come back!  This was just what I needed for a mental break!

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Meet Fiona

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This is Fiona!  We adopted her from a local animal shelter.  Since she was about 7 months old and kind of quiet, no one at the shelter seemed to notice her (everyone was focused on the bouncing puppies!).  One look in those big, brown eyes, though, and I couldn’t leave without her!  Duke loves her (and is so much happier now – he had a hard time when we lost Wendy), and she is settling in nicely.  She’s roughly 60 pounds, but thinks she’s small – in fact, she’s curled up on my lap at this very moment.

She’s definitely the right dog for us, and at the right time.  Sometimes I feel guilty about how attached I’ve become, since I had to lose Wendy to find Fiona, but I’m learning to separate the two (especially since I was equally attached to Wendy).  Fiona is attached to me too – when I come home at night, she sticks to me like glue.  If I stand still, she sits on my feet!

I hope to teach Fiona to go running with me.  So far, she’s been pretty nervous to even go for walks, so I’ve been taking things pretty slow.  She had a rough puppyhood in Puerto Rico (she’s a Sato!), so she can be a little timid and jumpy.  Now that we’ve had her a few months, her confidence is improving so I hope to get her out on the roads with me once spring arrives!

 

Tired Dog!

We went for a long run today, as planned.  I wasn’t really feeling it, though that tends to be the pattern lately.  Either way, I knew I needed to do something so I headed out.  The schedule said 6 miles, but it is kind of hard to plan exact routes now that parts of my normal loops are snowed in, so I ended up a bit over (6.4).  It felt good… no, it felt great!  I felt strong throughout.  Wendy seemed perfectly fine for the distance too (it was her longest run ever!).

We’ve been having some warmer weather lately, and I really enjoyed the higher temps during my run.  I think we got close to 50º F today – not too shabby.  It was foggy too, so the whole neighborhood had a very quiet and peaceful feel.  My phone said the humidity was 100%, which felt surprisingly nice.  I’ll have to remember this in the summer, when the humidity is high along with the temps!

I feel good about my run today, and optimistic about my progress.

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Resting after a job well done!

 

 

Winter Motoring

Today was a rest day, so I did a little bit of stretching and drank a TON of water.  The weather was decent, so we decided to take a short road trip out to Western Massachusetts.  Since Jeb and I both drive Mini Coopers, we’ve started to refer to our little adventures as “motoring!”  The dogs always love a good road trip, too.

 

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First, we stopped at the Pumping Station Bridge, a covered bridge in Greenfield.  It is closed to traffic, but we were able to hike around and check it out.

Then, we drove over to the Montague Bookmill.  It’s an old sawmill that has been converted into a used bookstore/craft store/bar/restaurant.  It has such a warm and cozy atmosphere, which is why I prefer to visit in the winter.

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We took our time driving home, even stopping at a new doughnut shop in Amherst for a snack.  It was a cool little place – small (no seating), but there were TONS of varieties of doughnuts and the owners try to use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.  We passed on Maple, Lemon, Key Lime, Maple & Bacon, The Elvis (peanut butter and banana), and so many more!  Jeb ended up with an Apple Fritter, and I got a Chocolate Frosted with Toffee.  Both were delicious.  I especially liked that the doughnut did not taste heavy and greasy – it was very light!  I will definitely have to limit my trips back, but I’m already deciding if I will try Lemon or Maple next!

We finished the night with a big ol’ salad (with chicken), and some relaxing on the couch.  Back to the pavement tomorrow!

 

No excuses

No excuses.  Just go.

src: Fitness Magazine

My oh my!  I was not feeling up to working out today.  Here is a sampling of all the excuses that came to mind as I procrastinated got ready for my run:

  1. Jeb got home from work really late (like 8 hours late – so at 8 a.m.), and I tried to wait up for him.  I was exhausted.
  2. I’m getting some sort of head cold.
  3. I’ve been in a crazy homework loop for the last two days, which has pretty much sucked away my motivation for everything.
  4. I should probably clean the house or run errands or something…
  5. I was feeling kind of stiff.

But, I decided to go for it anyway.  Here’s why:

  1. I have a race coming up, and with my injury setback, I don’t have a lot of time to mess around.
  2. A crappy run is better than no run, and getting my heart rate up could only help with my motivation and mood.
  3. I was actually supposed to do today’s run yesterday, but I decided to switch around my schedule because it was an unholy level of coldness here yesterday.
  4. Wendy looked at me with her big, brown eyes and I knew she could use a workout too.
  5. Housework and other chores can wait.

And, I am glad I went!  I did a 3.3 mile loop, and had a nice long stretch when I got home.  I’ve spent the rest of the day moving through my routines, but with a bit of satisfaction.  Plus, I’m moving a bit better.

Tonight, I’m going to attempt to make Chicken Wellington for dinner, with this Creamed Spinach on the side.  I haven’t been able to find a good recipe for the wellington, so I’m just going to wing it.  The creamed spinach, though, is SO good.  It tastes kind of like spinach dip (maybe because I use extra garlic?).

In other news, WHY are these jello worm things still all over Pinterest?  I see this picture every.single.day.