winter north park

last week at next gen house

It takes me longer than the average bear to recover from long, busy weekends. So this past week was spent generally trying to get my bearings and get things back into a routine. That and actually trying to clean my house.


Last Week in Running

Mileage went up to 23 this week, my fifth in training for the Pittsburgh Half. It was also my fifth week of running 5 days each week. Which means my calves are the size of those giant turkey legs you see at state fairs, and they are pretty much tight all the time. I did my first hill repeats with Elite on Tuesday night for a total of four miles, and I thought it went well, though I was pretty cold. But I didn’t actually know what running in the cold was until I went out on Saturday to the group run at North Park. Six degrees with a “feels like” -3. And wind. I realized that gear is what makes the difference, because the parts of me wearing good gear, like my hands, ears, torso, feet? Nice and warm, once we got moving. But my butt and legs were another story, since I’ve been wearing Walmart tights all winter (after having found ones marked petite this year). And let’s just say they are not for arctic temps, because the wind went right through and it was for the first time, actually painfully uncomfortable. So this weekend I tried to buy new winter running tights from a company that sells them. And the only company I could find with available petite length tights was Athleta. And they were $86. (Hey other companies. Don’t be telling me that your tights are “short” when I see a 32″ inseam, get out of here with that. Under Armour and the North Face in particular should be ashamed that they don’t carry even ONE line of tights for an under 30″ inseam. Let’s just say they will be hearing from me about this.)

OK, rant over. It was nasty cold and I did 8.4 miles. With ice in my eyebrows. For real.

IMG_20150131_095307 I keep trying to tell myself that these cold temps and nasty conditions will fade into spring eventually. And that it’s weeks like these that produce the PR, the good race, the great feeling. So I keep going.

Last Week in Eating

I barely remember what we cooked last week, which probably means that none of it was particularly remarkable. This week is another crazy one, with one or both of us gone a lot of the evenings. So it will be more easy stuff – salads and chilis and penne with defrosted tomato sauce – and nothing remarkable. But it doesn’t need to be. Even people who are crazy about food, like me, need weeks where the meals aren’t photo worthy and they mostly just do the job. To me, when the weather is nasty and work is crazy and your life is busy, just making the time to cook at home is enough.

Last Week in Homesteading

I mentioned that I tried to actually clean my house this week. Which is about as much homesteading as I got done (though thanks to Deanna for the tip on the lights around the kombucha – going to see if that helps it maintain temp).

But can I just say something about house cleaning? Just like every other facet of modern life, there are blogs and books and Pinterest boards a plenty about how to keep your house sparkling and organized, as if giving me a 30 day challenge or a fun printable can just miraculously help me get this done. I would like to see a realistic cleaning list entitled “The Minimum #$%^ You Must Do to Not Qualify as Foul.” That is what I spent a lot of time this weekend doing, and that is the free printable that I would like to see next.

Last Week in Reading

I am about 20 minutes from finishing the third Dresden Files book on audio, so by the time I get to work, that will be finished and I will have started the third book in the Lunar Chronicles. I really need to stop reading books that are first in a series of 5,000.

I’m also reading a book called The Chain, which is about the meat industry, but not from the perspective of health or animal rights, but from the workers on the line at meat packing plants. I am about 100 pages in and will officially not be complaining about my job this week, let’s just say that. Review coming when I’m done.

Last Week in Randomness

Shout out to 1 of 4*, our remaining black austraulorp, for laying 3 eggs this week, when she hasn’t laid in months. Go get it, girl.

How was your week?


*Oops. Original post got the name of the chicken mixed up. It was 5 a.m. What can I say?

  • Jenn @ Running on Lentils

    OK, I swore I was following you on Bloglovin and just realized I wasn’t…so I missed the past few months of posts. :-( So you are training with Elite? I didn’t know they did their group runs at North Park.

    • Joanna Taylor Stone

      Yeah, I decided to join Elite’s free training program this year because I wanted to kick my training up a level in order to PR in the half and also to get past my bad feelings that the full marathon I did in October created. It’s been amazing so far.

      It’s a group that allows for people of all abilities and all levels of comfort with social interaction. I’m an introvert by nature, so I like having people there to make some small talk with during long runs, but I don’t feel pressured to do a ton of socializing.

      The Monroeville and Robinson locations each do two runs a week (one a workout and one an easy pace run) close to their “home base”. And then both stores “come together” to run long on Saturdays. Three weeks a month it starts at the South Side Riverfront Park under the Birmingham Bridge and then the fourth week is at North Park. (Including the races they have at North Park – Spring Thaw and Just a Short Run)

      Anyone can do the group runs for free, even if you aren’t signed up to train with them. (You just get more resources to help you when you sign up and discounts on the races and gear, etc.)