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live life healthy and happy


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Dancing in the sun…

Happy! Happy! It’s always interesting to notice how much the weather affects me. After dreadful 3 weeks of rain, I was losing it. BUT, yesterday, the sun made an appearance, so I packed my camera and headed out to Kew Botanical Gardens.

I was soaking in the sun like I hadn’t seen her in weeks (I hadn’t).

Baby ducks in Kew Gardens

I have been doing some tough tempo workouts in the gym last week, so I decided on a walk instead of a run to REALLY enjoy the weather. In Kew Gardens even the ducks took their ducklings for a walk. They were pretty cute and wouldn’t hold still for a photo. Plenty of their friends around, too. I always find it amazing to watch how protective Mama duck gets as children were trying to play with the little ones.

Peacock in Kew Gardens

Further along my walk, I was looking at all the amazing bluebells that have come out. It looks like a blue carpet really. I am a big fan of nature’s colors. As I was walking I heard this noise to my right and saw an amazing peacock just walking around. I was hoping he would shake his feathers for me, but I guess he wasn’t so much into me. I have no clue about any of the plants or flowers in the Botanical Garden, but I do enjoy being out there and seeing the blossoms and colors at this time of the year. It should get more colorful each week now.

Keeping up with the Olympic theme, I went to check out the Floral Spectacular which is a floral installation of the Olympic rings in Kew Gardens. 20,000 plants were arranged in the form of the 5 Olympic rings. It wasn’t quite that impressive to see it there as you are a person’s level up to view this grand installation (50 meters long), you really need a bird’s view. Apparently, it is visible from a plane when you land in Heathrow and the flight path takes you  over Kew Gardens.

Olympic floral spectacular at Kew Gardens

All in all, a great day. And all happiness is restored again.

Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.
~ Robert G. Ingersoll


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Still raining cats and dogs…

This happy runner is slowly losing her happiness.

The rain is driving me crazy!! I am used to at least run for an hour outside every day and then spend some more time walking, making my sunshine intake 2-3 hours most days (more on weekends).

At the moment my sunshine intake is very close to zero.

I have been going to the gym most days now and my tempo training is going well (one good thing with the rain). Today I am going to try a Burn and Firm Cardio exercise on the treadmill out of SHAPE magazine (another good thing: I am trying new workouts). I really should be running 10-12 miles for my San Diego race, but I can’t face that on a treadmill.

I am a fair weather runner. I learned to tolerate the odd drizzle starting during my long runs, but I am not going out there while it’s pouring… or raining “cats and dogs”, which is an expression I learned in school and still – after 16 years of living in countries where English is the native language – I don’t get the expression.

Why is it raining “cats and dogs”? It’s rather cruel, isn’t it? And it’s not like you send your cats and dogs outside. Even they hate the rain after a few days (weeks now).

The German expression (used while I grew up) is “Es regnet Bindfäden.”, which translates to “it’s raining strings”. And when you look out of the window and it is pouring, the rain looks like it’s coming down in strings rather than drops. An expression that makes perfect sense. But cats and dogs?

Seriously, someone explain, please! 🙂


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Leap Day Challenge

I am a sucker for NIKE+ challenges – even though my NIKE+ GPS watch doesn’t congratulate me anymore when I break a record… what’s up with that?

After I started January with a 100 miles, I wanted February to count, too. Though I am going to fall a little short of 100 miles, I am getting close. With that in mind I entered the NIKE+ Leap Day Challenge.

Off to the gym I went (just grey and gloomy outside) to do my hill training on the treadmill. I had 3 miles in mind for the hill training and completed those, then just decided to keep running slowly for a little longer – just for fun as one does…

6.4 miles later I stepped off the treadmill (elevation gain 594 feet).

Then I followed my upper body workout plan for another 20 minutes.

I made leap day count. Happy! 🙂

How are you making leap day count?

I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.
~ Groucho Marx


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Some cross-training thrown into my running

I have been a slacker when it comes to cross-training during previous running seasons. So this year I vowed to be better.

The legs, bums, tums class is one step into my cross-training; an upper body workout program done by a professional trainer in my gym is another step.

I noticed though that as weather has become more pleasant again, I am not stepping into the gym as often. And I am really not motivated to go there after a run outside. What I really needed was additional motivation to do some cross-training at home after my runs outside.

Valerie posted 14 Days of Workout-for Love Week! last week and I have been following this every day that I am not in the gym. I am on day 7 today, adding the kettle swing.I am going to try not to break a window or anything else in my living room…

Play not only keeps us young but also maintains our perspective about the relative seriousness of things. Running is play, for even if we try hard to do well at it, it is a relief from everyday cares.
~ Jim Fixx


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There will be singing…

…not just in the gym.

I have been a little off topic this weekend.

This weekend turned out to be a full cross-training weekend. After the long hike on Saturday, we were off on Sunday to see Snow Patrol perform live at the O2 arena. There was dancing. There was singing. And without surprise, there was no voice today.

The run on the treadmill  – of course accompanied by Snow Patrol songs today – got glances from the runner on my left again. This time it wasn’t really my singing along as much as my crackling along with hardly any voice at all. But then he wasn’t there at the concert last night. So, I was the one throwing glances of forgiveness back…

We are listening
And we’re not blind
This is your life
This is your time

~ Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol in London at the O2 arena

Snow Patrol in London at the O2 arena


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Legs, Bums, Tums and Arms = OUCH!

Back to my Legs, Bums, Tums, class yesterday. A day of successes:

  • no dropping of dumbbells
  • no dropping of kettle balls
  • no falling off the exercise mat
  • only one fall off the exercise ball!

This is my third week into this program. And only on Monday I finally had a program put together to work my upper body. Yesterday was the day to put this all together. So, off to run and then work on my arms and upper body in the morning and then off to my legs, bums, and tums class at night. My LBT instructor decided to add some arm workout yesterday (maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned last week that I feel I have no upper body strength?).

So, I ended up with 2 workouts yesterday working my upper body.

Ouch, typing this post hurts today already… Hopefully, I can move my arms later. My only exercise goal today will be moving my hands to my mouth to eat… I fear that alone will be hurting…


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No water no problem!

Yesterday I got a little sidetracked. When I got back from my second gym workout of the day (I am so kicking butt!), the water was turned off in my apartment. That’s exactly what I needed after a workout…

Being a seasoned runner, though, I quickly realized that I am well prepared for situations like this:

  • bottled water
  • baby wipes

are staples in my household. After a quick “wash” I felt just like after one of my morning runs with my Austin team ready to head for breakfast, only that it was night and I wasn’t in Austin.

But the smell was exactly the same…