Signs of spring

Grrr … Now that my NCAA bracket is well and truly screwed (Thanks for getting your a$$es kicked, Gonzaga.), I’ll have to pin my hopes on Kansas to win it all.

Enough about basketball. I bet you’re here to hear about my day — or a week’s worth of workouts and eats … or something like that.

Even though the alarm went off at 9:45, my day got off to a late start. But when I did finally roll out of bed (ahem … at 11:15 … ahem), I hit the pavement for a walk. It was sunny and gorgeous, but the wind made it a bit nippy. I stepped outside and went right back in to get a jacket.

The view of the Peaks is better from Railroad Springs.

The view of the Peaks is better from Railroad Springs.

Thus properly attired, I headed down the road a piece to one of my favorite walking neighborhoods. I love walking in Railroad Springs. I should do it more often — and would, if getting there didn’t take so much energy.

Maybe I ought to drive over and park so I can get more pavement time in the neighborhood. Not only is the view a bit better over there, there are also more and steeper hills. That makes the workout more intense — something I’m actually starting to want.

That can’t be a bad thing, right? That’s what I thought.

Plus, there’s access to the FUTS trail behind the houses over there. FUTS is the Flagstaff Urban Trail System, and it runs all over the city. Some of the paths are dirt/gravel, some are paved. The one behind Railroad Springs is of the earthen variety.

When I walk over there from my neighborhood, I’m usually ready to stop before I even start exploring the FUTS. If I drove over, I could explore to my heart’s content.

My heart would be content with just a little exploration though. I’m half afraid to use the FUTS, because I’m scared I’ll get lost. I have a shitty sense of direction.

Of course, I also have an iPhone — with Google maps. If I got lost, I could probably find my way back to civilization.

Thanks to all the hills, I huffed, puffed and worked up a nice sweat. On my way back to the house, I spotted a sure sign of spring: Daffodils.

I walked right up in some guy's driveway to snap this photo of daffodils. Hope he wasn't home!

I walked right up in some guy’s driveway to snap this photo of daffodils. Hope he wasn’t home!

Daffodils are my favorite flowers. They have been ever since my semester in England. Over there, they grow wild on the hillsides — so beautiful.

When I got back home, a package awaited me. I ordered some smoothies and 2-Point mini bars from Weight Watchers online last week, and they finally arrived. They were on super sale —  nearly half-price. On top of that, it was the only way for me to get the mint-flavored smoothie. They didn’t have any at my local meeting room last time I checked.

Finally!

Finally!

Much more reasonable than the one from McD's.

Much more reasonable than the one from McD’s.

Mmmm. Mint. I’ve always been a sucker for mint chocolate chip ice cream.

As per the recipe I saw on Instagram, I blended a packet of the Mint Cookies & Cream smoothie mix with a Mint Cookie Crisp snack bar, 8 ounces of water and a handful of ice cubes.

At just 4 PointsPlus, it’s a much wiser choice than a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s. It’s also a tad less sweet — and less minty. I liked it okay, but I might tweak a bit when I make it again. Perhaps a drop or two of mint extract, chocolate chips or a single Oreo instead of the WW snack bar … maybe even a little green food coloring, because my smoothie sure didn’t look as green as the one on the box.

A walk isn’t the only thing I checked off my to-do list Saturday. I also finished up my taxes. Hooray! That’s one less dreaded task hanging over my head.

So this post can qualify as a workout roundup and not just a bunch of ramblings about fun neighborhoods to walk in and minty green smoothies, here’s a snapshot of this week’s workouts, as recorded by Nike+.

Workouts week of March 18, 2013Monday: 25-minute walk covering 1.4 miles

Tuesday: 10 minutes stretching

Wednesday: 20-minute walk covering 1.19 miles

Thursday: 15-minute walk covering 0.85 miles. (I actually got a wild hair and started out this one at a slow jog … but quickly ran out of steam — and breath — and dropped back into a walk)

Saturday: 35-minute walk covering 2.09 miles

Thanks to Amanda’s Spring Bootie Buster Challenge, this has been a pretty good month for workouts. I’ve done 11 “runs” in 4 hours and 42 minutes, covering 16.1 miles.

Compare that to 2 runs for 2.18 miles in February, 3 runs for 5.01 miles in January and 7 runs for 10 miles in December. You can see why I’m pleased with myself.

Last September, I recorded 13 runs and 29.3 miles. Last October, it was 5 runs for 10.3 miles; last November I had 8 runs for 14.2 miles.

How do I add friends on Nike+? Having a little friendly competition might prompt me to get out there more often — and to pick up the pace. Anyone want to be my friend? You can find me under Arlene Hittle (I think).

I don’t have any good eats to report this week. It feels like I’ve been in a bit of a rut, eating the same thing day after day: Half a banana with PB before my walk, the other half — sans PB — after. Starbucks latte. Some kind of candied nuts as a snack, along with veggies and hummus or some other kind of dip.

At least it seems to be working. For the last few days, I’ve been noticing my stomach seems flatter — and I don’t think it’s just wishful thinking.

Same outfit, different bathrooms. I feel thinner, even if I don't look it.

Same outfit, different bathrooms. I feel thinner, even if I don’t look it.

On today’s agenda: a nice, long walk, NARWA paperwork, a movie, maybe some reading and (hopefully) some writing.

Hold me to it, will you? I’m aiming to break that September 2012 Nike+ record.

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2 responses to “Signs of spring

  1. Wohoo way to go!! I love that you are able to challenge yourself to beat previous months, that’s such a great way to progress. Maybe look for a challenge on Daily Mile, there are some good one’s there… or we can do a mini challenge within the SBBC!

    • Thanks! I’ll have to look into the Daily Mile. That’s a site I haven’t checked out yet. But I’d be up for a challenge within SBBC,too.

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