Monday, March 31, 2014

Running Weekend!

Monday AGAIN?! Sheesh. This Monday, for a little something different, it snowed. Oh wait.... That's not different at all, is it?

No Mani Monday today. Sorry... Maybe for Thursday :) But I DO have some running stories to share and pony pics today. What's better than that?

These are my post run wet footprints...
Up until today when it started snowing again, CT has been getting a LOT of rain. A lot. The bonus is that at least it was warm enough for rain! My Thursday run didn't happen because it was 17 degrees out in the morning, and I had plans that evening. Katie (check out her blog here!) mentioned that she was heading out Friday evening for a short run, so I decided to join her. In the rain. Yep. We decided since it was raining and a bit chilly that 3 miles was long enough! Despite starting out a bit slow, the run was decent! It even stopped raining about halfway through.

I spent most of Saturday playing with my ponies. The weather was not cooperative during the week to ride after work (it was really cold again last week) so each horse needed a little play time before riding. I can't really think of a better way to spend your Saturday than in the barn! Can you?

The horses were great, but I'm becoming increasingly more aware of how out of shape I am from three months off! Rio was easy of course, but Jampy was reminding me how much strength I've lost. Hey, someone has to do it since I apparently was unaware! Ducky was fantastic this weekend, and we were able to work on his canter more than I expected. Did I mention it rained the whole day? Cause it did. By the last horse it was getting pretty chilly out too. Ugh. But at least they all got worked! And the footing was holding up too.
Ducky wanted to take some selfies after riding:

Sunday was another run day! Katie has been telling me about a run/walk program she's trying for her marathon training. You run 1.5 miles and walk 1.5 minutes alternately. I was curious if this would be as great for me as it's been for her, and had mentioned wanting to give it a shot. She had an 18 miler planned, which obviously, I'm not up for, but we talked about me meeting her toward the end of her run for a few miles.

A few turned into 8 somehow. Who agrees to that after having not run more than 5 for at least a month?! Me I guess... Anyway, we headed out around 11:15. In the rain. I couldn't complain, since Katie had already run 10 miles in the elements. It was also quite a bit colder than Saturday, but once I got going I warmed right up. Even had to remove a layer! Funny how that works isn't it?

Overall, I did still struggle with the distance, but more so from adding a good 3 miles to my last long run. The walk breaks really did make a HUGE difference. I'm not sure if it was just mentally breaking the run up into segments or maybe it was just extra nice to have some stimulating conversation during the torture, but the 8 miles went by really quickly (seemed to anyway, we weren't exactly speedy)!

Katie looked a lot more lively at the end than me... Which is extra sad given she ran 18 miles! And I ran only 8. But clearly she's been training really hard! My props to her for being a running machine!
The rest of my Sunday was spent doing laundry and straightening up the house. I had hoped to work horses, but the torrential rains had left the footing a little questionable. It was also getting colder by the minute and VERY WINDY! All ingredients for an unplanned dismount if you ask me. I opted out, especially since my legs were exhausted!

So that was my weekend! Did you have any sunshine where you live? Do anything fun? Get a long run in?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Old habits die hard....

Well my friends... Let's just say you can't quit stuff cold turkey. That goes for shopping too. I did at least limit myself this time!
I had gotten a $10 coupon code to use at BaubleBar and didn't want to waste it! I also had some points to use, and figured I could get something pretty cute for around $20.00 (BaubleBar always ship free too). I was right! I picked this adorable initial necklace. There were twenty or so colors to choose from and obviously you could get any letter. I chose this mint color:

I also had a free item code to use on Little Black Bag AND they had a great promo going on (open with jewelry and get two free items in addition to normal stylist picks!), so I caved and opened a bag. I did pretty well though, and only spent $39.00 including shipping. My box arrived today, so I figured I'd show you all my goodies!

I opened with this blue bracelet from Geranium:

It's matches so nicely with my watch! I held on to this one the whole trading week, but it had some really nice offers on it. It actually is a little large, but I was able to hook it closed a bit tighter:

I did all kinds of trading with the other items in my bag when I opened and everything else is the result of all that... Here we go!

This Shar K bracelet I was really excited about. I had opened with it once before but traded it away. I have had trader's remorse ever since! Unfortunately, it is a little too big for me, and the studs stick up a little too high for my liking. I am going to return it for an exchange credit:

I am HUGE fan of the Nakamol bracelets I've gotten in the past, and this purple one is no exception! It's adorable! They are adjustable and fits perfectly on the tightest notch. (My photos are a little dark today, but this bracelet is so pretty in person!)

I went back and forth, and back... and forth again on whether I loved this Catherine Stein Designs bracelet. I finally decided I really did like it, and I'm so glad! It's sparkly and gorgeous, and pretty sturdy feeling too!

This elephant necklace from All The Rage was sold out and pretty tough to trade for. But one showed back up in the gallery and I added it to bag right away. I was totally wishing it wasn't silver though. To my surprise, it's NOT silver! It's an antique gold color. So excited! The chain is really long, which I don't really like, but I doubled it up and it's a cuter length:

I wasn't planning to ship this All The Rage arrow bracelet, but I'm super happy it didn't really have an offers. It's adorable! The beads give off a pretty shine, and it has a little heart charm I didn't know was there! I love how dainty it looks.

I had gotten this polish in a multi trade for something and am looking forward to trying it out! I have a couple other magnetic polishes, but truth be told, I haven't used them yet. I love this green though, so it might actually happen this time!

I had two jewelry items left in my bag that I definitely wasn't shipping so I just started offering them out on things I liked. I wasn't really sure my offers would be accepted as the items weren't of high value , but I wound up with a pair of Not Rated boots! WIN! I was a little nervous when I opened the box since one of the boots was all scrunched up in there, but once I took it out, it was fine. They're pretty cute! I'm not sure I LOVE them, but essentially they were free for me. And shoes are expensive to ship back. I wore them around the house for awhile, and they're super comfy, so I bet they'll get a lot of use next winter!

So there you have it... my shopping indiscretions. What can I say? I guess I'm an addict.  What do you think? Any items you love?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday's Threads

I've pretty much given up. I mean, it's never going to be Spring here. Not for longer than a day. So today my friends, I went for comfortable and warm. I'm talking grandma sweater comfy. Let's take a look shall we?

Told ya. I actually love this sweater, despite its grandmotherly appearance. I mean, how do you not love a GIANT ZIPPER?

Exactly. Plus the sweater IS pink, so you really can't go wrong there.

The pants are shiny. I feel like that makes up a little for the grandma sweater. Shiny pants trumps matronly. Truth. They are by Seven Jeans, and I got them at Loehmann's before they went under. (Loehmann's I miss you already!)

I decided, in keeping with the GIANT ZIPPER theme, to wear some black booties with a slightly less GIANT ZIPPER. (See what I did there? Playing with fonts is fun.) They are from Steven, which is Steve Madden's more upscale brand. Although my pair came from Loehmann's so they didn't cost me an arm and a leg. (Seriously Loehmann's, I'm not sure how I'll survive without you).

Arm Party time!
Left has on stretchy rhinestone bracelet from Express (it was part of a stack, but I split it up), a chain bracelet from T&J Designs that I got awhile ago from Little Black Bag, and of course, my favorite watch.
Right is wearing a thin beaded bracelet from Nakamol (also from LBB), a little rhinestone cuff that I can't remember if I got from Julep or Baublebar, and a rhinestone/chain bracelet by Punch (another LBB find!).

I also finally did my stubs nails! And they totally match my grandma sweater. WIN! Ok, maybe not entirely an accident. Anyway, the under polish is by Pantone Universe from Sephora and the color is Purple Wine. I have a glitter coat over top from Zoya, called Kissy. Kissy has ultra fine magenta glitter and longer silver holo shreds. I love them together! On my accent nails are wraps from NCLA. I think they were called Hollywood? They're some kind of crazy art deco take on the 100 dollar bill. Super cute!

So that's what I'm wearing today! What about you? Is it actually Spring where you live?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Truthful Tuesday

Time once again for Truthful Tuesday, when I tell you something you may not already know. Or maybe you do. But I'm going to tell you again anyway!

I get irrationally angry when people start in on how unhealthy carbs and gluten are. And how they need to be removed from one's diet. It's as if they are directly insulting my first born. (I told you IRRATIONALLY angry!) I'm not going to get into a long dissertation on why this isn't true unless you're ACTUALLY a Celiac which is only 1% of the population. (As far as gluten is concerned.) Nor why there's no reason to remove carbs from your diet (everything in moderation folks!). I'm just going to leave you knowing of my irrational anger. And some photos of my kids delicious gluten.

PS: Don't forget to head over to Facebook and like Amateur At Large!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Not one but TWO weekend runs!

Friday evening was pretty gorgeous, though chilly. And I was D-R-A-G-G-I-N-G! I planned to get a 3 mile run in after work and was actually somewhat excited after my speedy 4 miler on Wednesday. But alas, by the time the equine were fed, I was trying to find excuses not to go. I had eaten way too much at lunch and was still feeling full. I was tired. It was windy and cold. Blah blah blah. So I said to myself, "Fatty, you ate all that lunch, don't you think you should run it off? And when have you ever regretted getting a run in?" Am I not the most annoying human EVER when I'm trying to be lazy? Sheesh. But I had made some good points, so off I went.... I started off a bit slower than Wednesday, but for whatever reason, I REALLY wanted to be faster. So I kicked it up the last mile and managed to average a few seconds faster. Good work self!

Saturday was pony day. You can read more about that here. But Sunday I planned to run the Leprechaun 5 Miler with some of my running buddies/book club members. (Our groups tend to overlap.) I'm 100% for running races in ridiculous attire, and the Leprechaun 5 Miler is the perfect venue for such silliness.Thankfully, my friends are into it too!

It was CHILLY Sunday morning, and it was a little tough to get moving! I stayed with my friends for the first mile, but they are just getting back into running after the miserable winter, so I asked if it was ok if I went ahead. They didn't mind at all, so off I went. But I have to tell you, this race was a tough one for me! I really was thinking I'd lay down 5 miles at the pace I've been running all week, but for whatever reason I was struggling! Thinking I was averaging about ten minute miles, I was determined to push through the last mile. I just wanted to make it under 50 minutes... And I DID!

I wasn't as fast as during the week, but given the cold and the slow start (we were alllll the way in the back at the start!) I was pretty happy with the time. Besides, my last race was the half marathon where I averaged 11 minute miles, so clearly it's an improvement! The best part about finishing a little quicker, I got to cheer my friends on at the finish AND get photos!



Chelsea wasn't in the pre race photo, she took a little detour and was a little late!
And here's everyone, plus one of Vanessa's co-wokers, after the race!

This race is a lot of fun! They have great sponsors which spoil us runners with homemade clam chowder and green bagels at the post race party (all for free)!! I didn't take photos along the way, but we run right along the Long Island Sound with gorgeous views. The hills are minimal, and the miles pass fairly quickly. My only complaint is the water stop locations. The first one isn't until close to mile 2 and the next one is before the 3rd mile. So you have a long waterless stretch at the beginning and end. Other than that though, it's a great time. I missed it last year to run the NYC Half Marathon, but was happy to return this year!

Did you run any races this weekend?

No Mani Monday today...

That was short lived huh? I have a good excuse though! I got to ride MY PONIES this weekend! I also did a lot of running, but I'm thinking I'll split ponies and running into separate posts today.
Saturday was a relatively gorgeous day. It started out a bit cloudy, but eventually the sun came out and it warmed all the way up to 60! SPRING! I had an eye doctor appointment in the morning at which they dilated my pupils, so I had to hide in the house until about 1 when I could see again. But even then I was bit blinded by the sun (isn't that a lyric?). I really dislike the whole riding in sunnies look, but I had to do it.

Seriously, look at that sky! What a day!
Ok, enough about the sun. Let's talk horses. I know most of you readers probably aren't horse people. So let me fill you in a little on what my equine have been doing all winter. A whole lot of NOTHING. They go out, but with the ice and snow, they can't really run around or anything. As a result, they are WILD. Seriously, WILD. Caps lock wild. The older boys will go out on a lunge line and get their crazies out there before I get on. A lunge line is a long leash like rope. The horse (ideally) works around you on a circle, allowing you to control their antics somewhat. Here are some pics to explain (and show off my handsome steeds):

Ducky is a bit more of a challenge. He prefers not to lunge. I'm pretty convinced he knows how, as I have had a few moments of success with him, but he's really not good about it. He tries to come stand with me or will refuse to do anything other than walk on the circle. Very frustrating. Especially since he's definitely cuckoo in the brain from all the time off.

There are a few things that do not help when dealing with fresh ponies. Mostly noises, wild animals, and wind. So of course we were having gusts up to 30 mph. Why wouldn't we? But I put on my big girl pants and got to work. I decided for my own safety to give Ducky a little bit of a sedative so I could ride him without getting either of us injured. It takes about a half hour to forty minutes to take effect, so I started with Rio. He was a little frisky on the lunge line, but not at all out of control. I think he was excited to start working again too. Once I climbed on, he was pretty great! Just a few moments of excitement the first time we picked up the canter. Who can blame him with the wind?

My favorite view!
Ducky was ready for me by the time I was done with Rio. I decided not to push my luck with him. We worked on a small circle so I could keep his attention better. The wind had really picked up, and I didn't trust that he would keep his mind on me. Plus my neighbor was outside making all sorts of weird noises. We just did walk and trot for about 20 minutes, and he was really a good boy!

I saved the Jamposaur for last. I was a little apprehensive about lunging him at the end of the ring because he's quite certain that's where monsters breed. Also with the gale force winds, I was a little worried I was going to wind up with a horse in my lap. Thankfully he kept himself in check and lunged very nicely. I wasn't at all worried when I climbed aboard. He was actually a bit tired by the time I rode which was nice, but my poor legs had to work to keep him going! Quite a feat after not riding for 3 months. Ouch. I didn't get a photo from aboard Jampy but here's another of him looking handsome on the lunge line:

Alas, all good things must come to an end. So with sundown Saturday night came the return of winter. High on Sunday was about 39 degrees. Waaaaaahhhhhhhh. I couldn't ride early due to running obligations (more on that to follow!). By the time I was ready to ride it was getting really cold out. I told myself to stop whining and go work horses. I started with Rio and then did Ducky, similar routine as Saturday. While on Ducky though, the wind really picked up and it was getting colder by the minute. I thought I was being a baby, but checked the weather anyway. Low and behold:

Yeah. Feels like 30. No wonder I was freezing. I decided to let Jamp off easy with just a good grooming session in the barn. I think he was grateful. He had fun taking selfies too:

This week is looking very cold with the chance of a snowstorm on Tuesday, so the horses get to go back on vacation until things thaw out again. I'm hoping it's only a few days. I can't wait to get back in shape and get to some horse shows!