Just stop it. And start THIS.

I had already started a draft on something like this … but after reading, there is nothing more for me to say.

Lisa and I were at TJ Maxx on Saturday and she was trying on clothes and I was waiting to give the ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ … there was a 9 year old girl with her mother trying on bras. I had seen them shopping and heard the aftermath – the mother and (aunt? I think) were full of harsh and negative body image talk for the young girl. She was a little overweight, certainly … but NO ONE deserves to hear what was said to her.

But after talking to Lisa, it was even WORSE in the dressing room! Calling her fat, and unbelievably fat and gross and they’ll have to do something about how fat she is … and the girl calling herself ‘hot’ (yes, at 9) and … well, it was just like a playbook from ‘negative body image talk that MUST STOP NOW’. It was just really sad…

Anyway, I love Nicole’s post – check it out!

The Girl Who Ran Everywhere

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This week I was in the dressing room at Tj Max and I overheard a couple of teenage girls in the dressing room next to me. This is how their conversation went:

Girl 1:I gained more weight this winter than I thought I did, I look awful in these shorts…like a beached whale.
Girl 2: try this on instead.
Girl 1: I’m so fat! I hate it!! I look awful next to everyone else. I’m never eating again!

In the dressing room at Target the next day…(yeah I know, I shopped a lot this week!)
Girl 1: what are you thinking? I feel like you guys are judging me
Girl 2: we’re not judging you, we’re just helping you shop.
Girl 1: this dress is out, I hate it
Girl 2: we don’t even get to see it on you?
Girl 1

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Three Generations of Fathers and my Weekly Running Summary

Today is Father’s Day – and I wish the very best to any dads reading, and also the husbands (and fathers) of all the great ladies reading! I don’t know what my family has planned for me, but I know I will get the one gift that I always want and that trumps all others – plenty of love! 🙂

I figured what I would do is walk through a number of pictures of four generations of Andersons … my boys, me, my dad and both of my grandfathers. I have one picture of my great-grandpa Murphy (who really did carry a flask of ‘holy water’) but I wanted to focus on cross-generational aspects. So here we go – starting more than 50 years ago …

My beautiful picture

At my parent’s wedding 1962, my grandmother, aunt Chrissy, mom and Grandpa Dew

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Grandfather Anderson with my dad (on his right), uncle Roger (left), grandmother, and aunt Judy and uncle Dave – from military retirement in 1969

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My dad in 1971 with Karen, me and John

My beautiful picture

The only picture I have of just me and my Grandpa Dew …

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My first communion 1974

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With my grandfather Anderson on my birthday in 1978 … you can practically FEEL the 70s oozing from the page!

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Me and my crew in 2014!

My Running Summary

I have said before I am not a fan of random running recitations, and that definitely includes these. I feel on the one hand like they need more context, and on the other that they are STILL just a list of miles I ran. Yay … zzzzz. This week I’m keeping it short, but next week I will see what I can do.

This week was the first week of Megan’s Abs Challenge, which has been fun and loads of work! As a result I kept my route fairly consistent most of the week (except Wednesday where I changed it up again) so I could get in the Abs work!

This week was my first ‘plank’ – which is really hard to do and sustain … I managed to break 2 minutes by the end of the week … but it is definitely a struggle increasing by 5 seconds each day!

Sunday: 14.5 miles around the airport loop.
Monday: 9.25 miles, Abs, 1:00 plank
Tuesday: 9.25 miles, Abs, 1:13 plank
Wednesday: 10.10 miles, Abs, 1:54 plank
Thursday: 9.25, Abs, 2:06 plank
Friday: 9.25 miles, Abs, 2:11 plank
Saturday 10.5 miles and ‘5 minute abs’ workout

It was another great week – I ran all 7 days for a total of 72.1 miles … and honestly I can feel it! I stopped the Runner’s World Streak – but have run 13 days straight since! Adding the abs has made me more tired and sore – but I am loving it all, though I know I will need a day off soon as I am getting more exhausted!

My pace this week was all over the place, and the weather was warm and wet – the morning temperature was normally about 65 and humid, and I got rained on nearly every day, though most days the heavy stuff stopped before I went out. Only Saturday was cooler – in fact we had a development-wide yard sale and it was only a high of 55 for most of the day! Great for running … but chilly standing there for 7 hours of the yard sale!!

Thanks for all of the awesome comments on the last couple of posts – your insights affirmed for me how great the blogging community and why I do this! I have one more post in the ‘blogging introspection’ series that will come tomorrow, then I will put all of that behind me. Thanks again!

Oh – and I know Laura is running the Manitoba Marathon today, so good luck to her – and also to anyone else racing today, and I hope everyone has a great day whatever your plans!

What do you have planned for Sunday?

Happy Mother’s Day!

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No post today, and no run today – there are more important things going on.

Today is Mother’s Day, a time to celebrate the Mother’s in our lives. I know that ALL of my readers have mothers, and some ARE mothers, and some are married to mothers. So to all of you – thank your wife and/or mother, and if you are a mother, enjoy your day.

I am taking today to celebrate the center of my life for this past quarter century, the love of my life Lisa. She has been at my side through good times and bad, and together we’ve lived the roller-coaster of two wonderful teen boys.

Our plans are pretty simple – tea and berry scones for breakfast, the new local mini-golf place has opened and we’ll be playing, then stroll down market street for some shopping, then grab some goodies at Wegman’s for a nice picnic and enjoy the 75F weather.

The picture at the top is from 2010 when we went to a nice tea place for brunch. It was a blast!

What are YOUR plans for Mother’s Day?

Five Things Friday – Random Fun Weekend Thoughts!

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Happy Friday! Today I am taking a rare vacation day – and even more rare a solo vacation day – and heading away for the weekend for my fraternity 150th anniversary celebration as I mentioned yesterday. In fact, as you read this I am probably close to Troy or already there. As I noted to a friend on Facebook, in contrast with past visits this will be the first time I ever went running in Troy, and there will be much less alcohol consumed than when I was young! But I am anticipating loads of fun!

So I wanted to just blast out a few random things on my mind – and hope everyone has a great weekend!

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1. Invisible Fence

If you have dogs and own your own home, Invisible Fence is definitely something you should know about – it is a system comprised of a collar with electrodes and a buried wire that runs around the perimeter of our property. When the dog gets close to the boundary a high pitched been starts, and when they cross the line they get a shock. It might sound a bit nasty, but generally the dogs will stop even before hearing the sound after a bit – and the result is they have free reign of the yard!

We’ve had the system since just after we moved to New York, and the dogs love it because they can run around outdoors, bask in the sun, and generally watch the world go on around them.

Well, we’ve been on the annual battery plan (new batteries every quarter for each collar), and kept putting off replacing them, first because they were still working, then because of various other things … then we got lazy!

We have seen them start pushing the boundaries and a couple of weeks ago when Lisa and I were going to go for a walk without the dogs Rosie followed right along. But neither ever left the property … so naturally on Thursday Rosie decides she’s going on a great explore of the neighborhood. Lisa texts me about the adventure getting her home then I get an alert from the Whistle app that she already met her activity goal (Whistle is like Fitbit for pets).

Fortunately it all turned out fine – we made a priority stop to get new batteries, and the dogs quickly readjusted to their borders. Whew!

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2. Mark of the Unicorn

Way back in 1985 I took my first electronic music class at RPI, and the software we used was Performer from MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn) running on a 512k Mac. After using it in the lab for all those years, when I bought my own Mac, naturally I grabbed Performer, which was probably version 2 or 3 by then.

I kept upgrading until version 6, when MOTU end-of-lifed it and replaced it with Digital Performer, which brought in video and audio capabilities. I upgraded THAT a couple of times, but then let things lapse for a number of years.

After moving I never made sure I had all of my registration info, so when I recently decided to get my studio back together, I searched everywhere physically and electronically for the information … to no avail.

So I send an email to customer service with my name, the last address I THINK I used to register, a couple of potential emails, and the versions I thought I had. Total crap-shoot … but they came back in minutes with my info, and when I asked about versions for older PPC and 040 Macs (I might be getting an old one back after many years) they said they’d send an installer CD for those as well as the brand new version.

Oh, and they even sent me the digital registration for the newest version – so I was able to quickly get things going again! It was pretty awesome! Great, great customer support!

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3. Wedding Rings!

I think it is a very common thing to twirl and twist your wedding rings – and they tend to spin on their own as it is. The problem – particularly for someone wearing multiple rings (engagement, wedding and anniversary bands) – is that all that spinning translates into wear on the rings. This is exactly what happened to Lisa’s rings – the prongs holding the diamond in place were worn, and the channels were wearing down and the channel stones were starting to get compromised.

Last year she had a mall store jeweler look at the prongs and they ‘repaired’ it – but not all that well. Fortunately we have a good jeweler in the area, and this week they replaced the setting, repaired everything and soldered the rings together. The channels are still very worn down (amazing contrast compared to mine!) but things are safe and secure and it buys us more time.

Speaking of which – since our 25th is coming in a few years, it seems like an opportune time to possibly replace the entire ring set … and we saw a cool set that we will keep in mind. But for now we are just so happy to have Lisa’s set safe and looking better than ever.

The big thing for us is the sentimentality – these have been part of our lives for a very long time (just past 23rd engage-aversary), and it isn’t about the money or value or size or carat weight or whatever. It is about us, and the meaning of these rings. Hopefully our current set will last for a while longer, but we know it won’t be forever. On Instagram Megan mentioned having done hers already after 2 years, and I encourage everyone to consider it.

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4. Bringing Back the Garmin

For some reason this week I wanted to get my Garmin back out and start using it again – actually I know exactly why, Garmin launched a new version of their connect site with a separate app for syncing up your device.

It was fun getting the FR-10 back into service, having to sit it on the windowsill as I put on my running shoes to link to GPS, and so on. The fit and feel are great, but one thing I noticed after having used many other devices over the last several months? The elevation was considerably ‘off’ from the rest, and there was a patch that was installed that … you guessed it, dealt with making elevation more accurate!

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5. Nutri-Bullet!

So yeah, three weeks in and I continue to use my Nutri-Bullet every day. Generally it is breakfast and dessert – which makes for such a great way to get an ice cream-like dessert that is much healthier.

People at work have taken an interest – one friend was thinking about it for her and her husband, so we were talking, then another person in that group got hooked in, and another … it is kind of crazy. But it is a really fun way to mix things up!

Oh – and thanks for the recipes and pointers! I have used some of them and variations of others … great and yummy stuff!

Bonus: Walking Season!

The picture at the top is from the end of a walk Lisa and I took with the dogs this week. The weather has just started to warm up to the point where we can go for evening walks – the dogs love it, it is so much better than sitting down after dinner, it feels great, and is a great way for us to get to chat even more!

So … what are your weekend plans? Do you like going for walks with spouse / friends / family / pets / alone / etc?

Spill It Sunday ‘Protein’, Weekly Running Recap, and ‘Who Wore It Best’?

Weekly Update 4

Happy Sunday – I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend! What an incredibly crazy weather week we’ve had – started and ended near 40F … but had a snow and ice storm and wind chills of about 15F in the middle! I was hoping that this would be the first week without a sub-zero run … but alas Friday was really cold in the morning (and broke 50F in the afternoon)!

The top picture is my Saturday run gear – single layer and light gloves and my Saucony Kinvara 4s. Wait – what?!? That’s right, I brought out the retired shoes again – why? Because I was feeling like the New Balance Minimus were getting played out, so I tried the Kinvaras to see … and sure enough the Saucony felt better. Only 600 miles or so on the New Balance. Not exactly happy when I have been getting more than 1300 miles on the Saucony and Nike shoes.

Here is my weekly summary:

Sunday: 17.75 Miles
Monday: 22F … 8.25 miles
Tuesday: 18F … 6.75 miles
Wednesday: 39F … 7.25 miles
Thursday: -6F … Rest Day!
Friday: -2F Wind Chill … 7.25 miles
Saturday 45F, did 9.1 miles

So another pretty solid week with 56.35 miles – obviously my long Sunday run helped the total. I hadn’t planned to take Thursday off, but I had run 10 days straight already … so it wasn’t a bad choice. Friday I was annoyed about how cold it was – and I knew there was no way I would get out in the afternoon, so I pushed it a bit harder in terms of distance and pace. And on Saturday it was a matter of threading the run in between National History Day and the marching band playing at the St Patrick’s Parade in town. I dedicated my run on Twitter to #RunForJane, for the young single mother who was killed recently while out running.

As you read this a two day cold snap is descending on us before returning to more seasonal temperatures. Who knows – THIS might be our first week without a sub-zero morning!

Who Wore It Best?!?

Poor Megan, she has to take abuse two weeks in a row! A few weeks ago she did a review of Natural Energy Rush eBoost, and one of the items she got was a hat that wasn’t really her style. She said whoever made her laugh most in the comments won the hat – and that ended up being me!

This week I got the hat … but also so much more. Here is what I found when I opened the box:

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There was the hat, of course, and also the promised shirt – but also a bunch of goodies … raw, natural, organic goodies! And also a wonderful note! Check it all out:

Weekly Update 2

We have already tried out some of the snacks: the Go Raw pumpkin bar was great, as were the flax snax; the Tanka Bar was a bit ‘jerky-ish’ and that isn’t something we generally eat so it was less of a hit. We haven’t tried the rest – but there were some great things in there we’ll definitely be checking out. And for pricing context, you can get 10 of the Go Raw pumpkin bars for $11.90 at Amazon.com.

But the REAL reason we are here is for the ‘Who Wore It Best’ challenge. Let’s start with Megan:

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And here I am (sadly you can’t see my ‘live long and prosper’ sign). The joke here is I won for talking about how ‘gangsta’ she could look in the hat!

Weekly Update 3

One final thing – looking at how huge the hat is on Megan compared to knowing how small it is on me (I had to adjust it larger) puts the relative size of our melons in context!

So … ‘Who Wore It Best’ – Megan or Me?!? Let me know in the comments!

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And this week over at Arman’s site, the ‘Spill It Sunday’ is ‘Protein’ – one of the most important things we put into our bodies.

1. What is your favourite protein source?

I would have to say nuts – I have peanut butter on my toast at breakfast, or sprinkle almonds on my oats or yogurt, keep pistachios in my desk for snacks and so on. Yeah, nuts.

2. What is your favourite meat (If you eat it)

I rarely eat it (less than once per month), but steak.

3. Which protein receives unfair flack? Which protein is most overrated?

Red meat is unfairly criticized. I say that because all of the studies showing how bad it is included bacon and sausage and other processed crap under the ‘red meat’ category. A good, butcher trimmed lean grass-fed piece of red meat is about the best source of protein available.

In terms of over-rated, I’ll go with Protein powder. Why? Because there’s no need to consume processed food in order to meet your protein intake goals. Obviously everyone has to make their own choices, but if your dietary choices (as opposed to health-related restrictions) has you eating things make in labs and factories, then please don’t claim you are a ‘clean eater’ or that that you only eat ‘whole foods’.

4. Link up a favourite protein rich recipe (it can be your own or another bloggers!)

I always mess around with recipes, but this Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili is one of my faves. The sweetness of the potatoes makes if less of a chili, but I totally love this and could eat it every week (not so for my family … see comment about sweetness).

5. What is YOUR perception of this macronutrient?

Protein helps keep me full and fueled, and is incredibly important to me.

6. What benefits does PROTEIN play in YOUR personal eating habits?

As a runner it is incredibly important, helping to rebuild and restore my body, including bone and muscle tissue. Since it fills me up, it keeps me from snacking too much or getting cravings that I might fill with junk foods or empty carbs.

So what about you? How was YOUR running this week? Did you have better weather this week? And how do YOU feel on the subject of meats and proteins?

Hope everyone has a great week!

Spill It Sunday – ‘Reality TV’ Edition and Weekly Running Recap

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OK, so I have already complained enough about the cold … not complaining anymore (this week). Also, today was just gorgeous outside – 25F when I started and 30F by the time I got home. That allowed me to try out my new Merrells … and they were fun to run with. Definitely stiffer than the Minimus, not surprising since they are trail shoes. Can’t wait to put them to the test on actual trails!

Here is my weekly summary:

Sunday: Rest Day!
Monday: Still warm at 18F … I did 8.25 miles!
Tuesday: Back to cold … 6.75 miles
Wednesday: ~0FF … 6.75 miles
Thursday: -8F … 6.75 miles
Friday: -17F … 6.75 miles
Saturday 30F with variable winds, did 15.1 miles

Surprisingly I managed to break 50 miles this week (50.35) – I say surprisingly because I felt like I had to REALLY push to get anything going this week. The latest Polar Vortex after that warm-up really killed my motivation, and I was very moody about my runs by Thursday and Friday. But hey, Saturday was awesome, so it is all good, right?

This week we are predicted to get snow followed by more sub-zero cold before finally warming up to ‘normal winter’ late in the week. Hopefully it will last this time.

Blog Love

I have linked out to Laura’s ‘This Is Thirty’ blog before, but since she is now 31 she decided to switch up the name to go with her focus. I always enjoy her stuff, and you should definitely check out her new site!

Check it out!

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And this week over at Arman’s site, the ‘Spill It Sunday’ is ‘Reality TV Edition’ – and this is going to be tough since I’m really not a fan.

1. What is your favourite Reality TV show?
Iron Chef / America – the multitude of ways things are made on each show, how ingredients are paired and so on – always learn something. We watch Chopped more often, but this one is always educational.

2. What competition reality TV show do you think would be your best shot of winning?
Chopped – I am a pretty decent cook and perform well under pressure. Not that I WOULD win … but I think I could do okay.

3. What is the worst reality TV show competition out there?
That is a tough one, because most of them don’t last 5 minutes on my screen … but the Rachel vs. Guy show is totally obnoxious and only reminds us that the ‘Next Food Network Star’ show also needs to go away.

4. A reality TV show you’d never admit to watching but secretly enjoy?
Cheaters – we only come across it occasionally, and it is one of those shows that is always the same, and generally awful, but occasionally there are moments that really make us laugh.

5. Which reality TV star do you find has accomplished something?
I think Iron Chef Michael Symon has done a lot – as a representative of Food Network he is a teacher, advocate, and constantly involved with cooking for improvement.

6. Worst Reality TV show?
Based on cultural impact alone it is hard to choose between Jersey Shore and Kardashians.

So what about you? How was YOUR running this week? Did you have better weather this week? And how about YOUR favorite reality TV shows?

Hope everyone has a great week!