Barrel Box cab sav

I'd love to try and pull off a 'oh really, boxed wine is so beneath me', but seriously, Strawberry Boones is still one of my favorites.  How can you resist kool-aid wine?

I bought Barrel Box California Cabernet Sauvignon because it was about $7, is the equivalent of 4 bottles, and I remembered that I had tasted something Barrel Box and liked it.  It is really very good.  The box states "juicy cherry and berry flavors and hints of toasted vanilla".  I do taste dark berry flavor, and a lot of other subtle flavors that I can't name, but try as I will I do not taste vanilla.  Which is probably a good thing considering how much I like vanilla.  I'd have to change my blog name to wanna be wino for sure.

The best thing about this wine?  The box says it stays fresh for up to 4 weeks.  I opened the box I have 2 weeks ago, and so gar so good.  It tastes like I just opened it.  I wish all wine stayed fresh  like that!

On to yet another the best part.  I was trying to find a web site for the wine or who made it, but failed.  In the process I found this site:


I could be a wine snob and still drink wine from a box!!!  Even better, because I'd be pretending to drink it from a BARREL, which must be even better than a bottle since I've never tried it. You know you want one!


Finished the C25K!

I have officially finished the C25K plan.  That is I can run 30 minutes, not so much that I can run 3 miles.  This morning I'm going to map out 3 miles through the neighborhood in my car so I can see how far that is.  At my speed it'll probably be a three hour run, but we shall see.

My next goal is to start one of the 5k to 10k plans.  I found one in a podcast for the ipod that I'll probably use.  Unfortunately it doesn't have the same huge user base as the C25K plan but I did find a chart of how much running is involved each week.  It's a lot!   But it sounds really doable because it goes back to very short runs (4-6 minutes) with 60-90 second walks in between.  I'll have to do a bit more investigating other pans before I decide which one to use, but I definitely need to keep upping my time. 

Someday I'll start working on my speed as a goal. I've notices a lot of people running in this neighborhood now that I'm out and about, and most of them run a whole lot faster than I do.  But that's a goal for another time.


best run ever - then fell right off the wagon

So Sunday night after I wrote that post I ran on the tread mill for 30 minutes and then did one minute walk and 3 minute run * 4 which was by FAR my best run yet. 

Then Monday my sister had TWINS (yay!) and Tuesday and Wednesday I was sick as a dog and....  my next run was yesterday (Sunday) morning, for about 25 minutes with a walk in the middle.   

So I missed an entire week of running, I did no exercise of any kind to be honest.  I don't even think I used the stairs at work once which is unusual for me.  Proves the point that a body at rest tends to stay at rest!

But my mom decided that she was going to start the C25K plan so I started week 1 day one with her last night.  She did better than I did my first day, she finished without ever thinking of quitting.  Plus this morning's almost 25 minute run was with my brother-in-law.  Two runs with two different running partners in one day!

Now that I may have convinced 2 family members that running is all that I better get my butt back out there and on schedule.  So once again my alarm is set for 4:30 a.m. and my sneakers and socks are sitting at the end of the bed.  No more excuses!

By the way, notice how I blame this entire falling off the wagon thing on my sister having babies?  Talk about some negative karma...


EPIC fail

I was all excited to start week 7, it's a 25 minute run every day.  I didn't run in the morning because I had an errand to run, and I had a dinner date with the family (to include wine) so I wasn't going to run last night so I decided the thing to do was run in the middle of the day.

I made it all the way to 6 minutes before deciding that running 25 minutes in 80 degree weather with the sun trying to stop me was not a healthy idea.  What a fail!

Now it's Sunday and I couldn't run this morning because my older two kids are out and about and I don't want my youngest waking up in an empty house (but I would have been back by now and he's STILL sleeping) so I'm going to have to run tonight even if there are tornadoes, hurricanes, and large dogs out there. 

Maybe I'll try a run on the treadmill this time.


25 minutes! if only my daughter could go with me to the 1/2 marathon

W6D3- 25 minutes without walking

I enlisted my daughter to help me with this one.  She rode her bike alongside and caught me up on all the 5th grade going ons that could possibly be fit into 25 minutes.  Talk about a distraction, I was so busy listening to her that I was actually surprised when my time was up!  Now I'm wishing I knew someone around to go running with me, I may have to ask around.  It's amazing how many people I see running in my neighborhood, and I don't know ANY of them.  You can't stop someone in the middle of a run to introduce yourself, I'll have to see if any of them are on MapMyRun.


and a minor failure

W6D1 - a 5 minute run, 8 minute run, then 5 again.  It should have been easy after running 20 minutes straight last time!  Not so much.

I like to run at a park on the weekend so that I can run on dirt.  This time I tried the park across the street from my house, I walk there all of the time and it's a nice long, hard dirt road for as long as I could possibly go.  

What I didn't notice all the times I've walked it is that that nice dirt road turns to deep soft sand quite a few times.  I was thinking all the sandy parts were at the beginning where I was walking anyway! 

The good news is I saw a deer, the bad news is I didn't make it to the end of the second OR third run by a couple minutes.

After that I took two days off before W6D2, two ten minute runs.  I managed to finish them both on the nice, friendly, unchanging asphalt road.


Minor Success!

Contrary to what I thought when writing the last post, the next two runs WERE easier and I made 20 minutes today without even passing out or anything.  I actually got over the feeling of molasses somewhere around 10 minutes.   

My big concern of the moment is how to listen to music while running.  I've been using my cell phone to listen to an mp3 with a voice over to tell when to run and when to walk, and I've just been putting the phone in my jacket pocket.  We're not even all the way through February and it's already getting too warm to wear a jacket running, no matter how early in the morning I run.  I'm thinking of getting the ipod touch just because I read somewhere you can get a gps app for it, which would make it much more worth the money.


Getting kinda nervous...

I ran w4d2 last night, and I felt like I was running through molasses.  For the first time since I started running 4 weeks ago I started wondering what the hell I was thinking signing up for a 1/2 marathon when I hadn't even started running at all.  At least I can walk as much as I need to.  But somehow I'm also supposed to raise $2,300 to go with them!  I know I made my goal $3,500 but now I'm wondering once again what I was thinking...

Then again I just read over the coming workouts for the Couch to 5 k plan and I just realized it has you running 30 minutes a DAY for week 8.  For some reason (I swear I read the whole plan multiple times) I thought that was just the last day of the plan.  That'll be pretty cool if I can just get there!

I'm kind of looking forward to running tomorrow morning, but I'm kind of not because I'm worried it won't be any easier than last night was.  How am I going to be able to get to the end of week 5 and run 20 minutes if 5 doesn't get any easier?


Started week 4!

I decided to start running every other day instead of running 3 days a week plus a really light Sunday.  So of course I woke up to my first Monday I was supposed to run and it was raining.  I know I'll have to get used to running in rain if I'm gonna run in Florida, but I sooo wasn't feeling it. I did my off day arm and core stuff instead.  But tonight when I got home I felt good so I went out and started week 4.  It's 2 three minute runs and 2 five minute runs with little walks in between. AND I LIVED.  I didn't go fast and I did get out of breath, but I don't care because I still did it.

It was strangely different running at night instead of the morning.  Either way it's dark, but in the evening there's a surprising amount of people out doing whatever they're doing, and plenty out walking their dogs.  I don't usually like running when people can see me (I feel like I'm pretending to be a runner) but it was kinda nice to have people around, makes me realize how creepy running at 5 a.m. really is!

The best thing is since I wasn't planning on running tonight I did two days of exercise today.  That means tomorrow can be a guilt free easy day. I'll do some nice and easy yoga in the morning and spend the rest of the day in zen mode. 


Weekend runs rock!

I love weekend runs. Instead of running through a neighborhood in the dark I can run at a park and I can see where I'm going! If that's not good enough it's also the end of the week, which means I've finished another week in the program successfully!

One thing I'm quickly learning about running- it makes places a lot smaller.  The park I've been running at is about a mile long.  I didn't know that until I started running, I thought it was a lot bigger.  Of course it's on the water so if you have a boat it IS a lot bigger, but that's besides the point.  Running gets you to the end of a mile awful fast- even when you're doing more walking than running like I have been.

I went to a different park this weekend, and started at the place in the picture there.  Unfortunately that path ran out really quick, but I was still able to run along the water and watch for alligators.  None today, but I did see 3 deer when I was driving out of the park.  You have to love a Prius, it's so quiet that the deer just let me coast by without running off.

Next week starts week 4, that means running for 5 minutes at a time.  According to the plan that's about 1/2 a mile.  I don't think that's true in my case since I run extremely slow, but I'm going to call it a half mile anyways just because it sounds so impressive!
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200% humidity?

Happy news for me, friends from work said it was so hard to run this morning because it was literally 100% humidity this morning. I don't know if that's true or not, but I'll take the excuse. I know it was foggy for certain.

On my break at work today it was really odd weather- I couldn't tell if it was very slightly raining or like 200% humidity. If I stood still it was dry, but when I walked it felt like it was raining just a little! Four years in this state now and I'll never get used to it.

Tomorrow's forecast is early rain - it may be my first day running in rain. I'd feel bad for myself if I didn't know that there are people running in the ice and snow. Suddenly I'm looking forward to a little rain!

Wishing it were colder in Feburary?

Today was day 2 of week 3, and it felt harder than day 1! This is the first time that happened so far. I blame it on the weather.
My very first day running it was in the high 40s so I wore a sweatshirt and a light jacket, and I about died of heat exhaustion. I've always been the only cold person in a room full of people so that was pretty shocking to me. Since then I've under dressed to run and been much more comfortable. But today I just wore a t-shirt and a really light jacket and it was still too hot. It's 64 degrees outside! This is the first time in my entire life I was wishing it was in the 40s.
My calves felt weird today too, I think it's what people mean when they say their legs feel heavy. But I don't care a bit. I'm halfway through week 3 without any injuries or aches and pains and for me that's all the success I need.
But waking up to 50 degrees for my Saturday run would be nice too!


Week 3!

I did W3D1 this morning (though before 5 a.m. should still count as the middle of the night). Week three is 2 ninety second runs and 2 three minute runs. I thought the three minute runs would be hard, but they weren't too bad. I do think that I'll have to create my own mp3s with music I like for when the runs get longer though. Three minutes gives you plenty of time to notice if you're listening to music you don't really like.

I can't believe I'm starting my third week and I haven't hurt anything yet. I did about have a heart attack this morning though -a man was walking his VERY huge husky and it lunged at me as they went by. I think it was an I want to play lunge, and I saw the dog long before that, but I still jumped about a mile. That's OK, a good laugh that early in the morning is well worth it.


Getting Somewhere

I finished week 2 day 3 of the Couch to 5k program this morning! The third day was pretty easy both weeks, but that could be because I run day three in the park by the bay; after I wake up because I want to. Much more fun that waking up and running in the dark before work through the neighborhood! That officially wraps up week 2, though I'll probably go on an even slower than usual run tomorrow night too since my shins didn't bother me at all this morning. Last Sunday I went with the kids riding around me on their bikes, and they were distracting enough to make it another easy day. Too bad I can't have them ride their bikes with me in the half marathon!

Next week we go from 90 seconds to 3 minutes at a time. I'm actually looking forward to it even though it won't be easy.

I can't believe that I'm happy to be running a big 90 seconds at a time, but it's more than I could do 2 weeks ago!

What's even more amazing is that thanks to some very generous people I've already raised $200 for the Crohn's and Colitis foundation of America on my fundraising site. I don't know if I'll hit my goal of 3,500 by the end of May, but I'm off to a great start!



This morning was day one of week 2 of the couch to 5k running plan. I was surprised that I didn't really get out of breath like at the beginning of last week. My shins did hurt a little- but it wasn't bad at all and it didn't last very long.

I think the biggest challenge the next two weeks will be simply getting out of bed in time to run - I have to start getting ready for work at 5:30 so will have to be up by 4:30 to get moving on time. Especially if I want to do yoga afterwards, which I do. Yoga seems to keep muscles from getting as sore after a workout, and running is certainly a workout. I didn't have the time to do it this morning- gotta be more motivated next time.

I can't believe I'm getting up that early without anyone making me do it. But then I've only done it once- we'll see how the next two weeks go!


Jumping in with Both Feet

About a week and a half ago I heard the same commercial for running the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon Course with Team Challenge to raise funds for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation 4 times in one day. The last time I heard it as I was pulling into my neighborhood, so I still remembered the website when I got in the house. I took a look at the site, decided what the heck (doesn't that sound decisive?) and signed up.

It seems like a perfect fit - I have ulcerative colitis and I've always wanted to be able to run. The downside is that I don't actually run at all. Yes, I do mean AT ALL. Every time I try to run I get about 5 steps and either my knees hurt too bad for me to do more than hobble back up the driveway or else it's my shins - either way there is a whole lot of limping and looking pathetic involved. Oh yeah, and the closest thing I've every come to fundraising was selling Girl Scout cookies when I was about 9.

I decided this time will be different (again). I went to Feet First in St. Pete's and got fitted for real running shoes. It took about 5 minute and I got three choices of shoes- two of which didn't quite feel right and one which did. Then I found a mp3 to listen to on my phone to help me follow the Couch to 5k running plan . Then, I set myself some goals

My first goal is to raise $3,500 for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. Please help me obtain this goal by donating on my fundraising page and by passing on this information to anyone who may be interested in helping out.

My second goal is to finish the marathon within the time limit- and that is all. I won't have a goal of how much of that will be running until I get a lot closer to June!

I finished my first week of the Couch to 5k plan Sunday. The first day was kind of horrible-I didn't even do all 8 one minute runs. In my defense I wasn't sure it was ever going to actually end. The third run wasn't bad at all. I ended up doing a fourth run (against the program rules) Sunday, and it was actually easy. So far the plan and the shoes work!

Tomorrow starts week two, which means a slightly longer time running and less time walking. Wish me luck!