Running in the Summer

I do not run in the summer.

At least, historically, I don’t.  But, this year I was supposed to keep up a 6-8 mile endurance so I could start out strong for another half-marathon in the fall. Ha. Nope.  But I am running 3 miles about once/week, which is more than I usually do.

I’ve basically been picking one day/week (generally whatever day is supposed to be the coolest) to run on my lunch break.  My body seems to be adjusting to the heat and my pace is improving. Yay!  Hopefully by fall when the temps drop, I can break out a 5K PR.

Here’s my last 4 runs (click to make larger):

6-29-2015 2-57-37 PM

6-29-2015 2-57-57 PM

6-29-2015 2-58-15 PM

6-29-2015 2-59-12 PM

I just threw this last one from May in there to show you how much faster I run when the temperature is cooler.

If you look closely, you’ll see all these runs were on pretty much the same route at the same time of day so you can’t get a better comparison than that.

Hopefully if I can get pretty close to that pace during the summer, then I can rock out something awesome for a fall race.

Random summer running thoughts:

  • It’s better to run a little hungry than (for me) to run after eating.
  • I don’t bring water on runs this short (even in summer) but I do chug it afterwards.
  • I am using spray sunscreen, which I usually avoid, but it’s the only option for when I’m running alone.
  • I’ve really been needing to get some running sunglasses so I just ordered these Nike Siren Sunglasses.  Some of the colors are on sale down to $24.95 right now which is a great deal since other colors are $80+.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Garden Progress

I’m about 2.5 weeks into this gardening thing and I thought I’d give an update.  So far, so good!  I feel really good about the progress and I’m proud to say I’ve gone against my general laziness and watered them every day rain or shine because it’s been so hot.

For a refresher here’s what’s where (the three original beds are the three on top here, from left to right):

6-11-2015 10-25-40 AM

Here are the progress pics of the three original beds.

June 8, 2015

20150610_195947

 

June 25, 2015

20150624_185929Thoughts: The tomatoes and cucumbers are doing really well!!  I’ve started clearing space between/around the beds of grass because I know I will have to let the cucumbers lay outside of the beds at some point because they’re going to outgrow the beds.

One edamame plant looks great and the other withered and died…on the surface, but I’m pretty sure there’s something sprouting from the roots.  With regard to the carrots…I’m not sure.  I’m having a hard time figuring out what’s carrots and what’s a weed.  That’s what happens when you’re growing from a seed.  Just in case I accidentally pulled the wrong thing, I may throw a couple more seeds in there, but with toothpicks this time to mark where exactly they are.

 

June 8, 2015

20150610_195936June 25, 2015

  20150624_185919

Thoughts: The peppers and cucumbers are doing great here, too.  Except…something is eating my pepper leaves. :( They’re all chewed up.  I think I’m going to try this: Bacillus thuringiensis.

Just like with the carrots in the first bed, I think lettuce seedlings are even harder to distinguish between seedling and weed.  I’m just not going to pull anything unless it’s not remotely close to where I planted and hope for the best.

June 8, 2015

LG-H811

June 25, 2015

20150624_18582920150624_185904Thoughts: Watermelon plant is growing and tomatoes are appearing!  Seedling story is the same as above.


 

I did end up adding two more beds.

Watermelon

20150624_185805Zucchini

20150624_185739The zucchini sprouted up literally overnight and with relatively big sprouts.  I wish the carrots and lettuce would move that quick so it was easier to tell what’s what.

20150624_185751My blueberries are done for the season.  All 10 of them LOL

But, I’m trying to tame my blackberries a little so they’re easier to get to.

20150624_190152    20150624_190002 Nolan ate all of these and asked for more.  I tried to explain why that wasn’t possible, but he didn’t seem accepting of my answer. LOL20150624_190235

A Purpose

So that title sounds dramatic considering the content of this post.

I decided to start a vegetable garden.

I have been feeling a bit like I don’t have a purpose, lately.  I go to work, I take care of Nolan, I spend time with my husband, I occasionally clean parts of my house (very occasionally, and only parts).  But, I haven’t really had something all mine to get excited about.

And then one day (Monday to be exact) I fell into some homesteading blogs.  Now, while Josh may want to, I don’t see us picking up and moving to the mountains of WV (we do own land there) any time soon.  BUT, we do have plenty of room for a vegetable garden.

I ordered three raised 48″ x 48″ beds at Home Depot for pick up at the store Monday evening.  After dinner Josh, Nolan and I went to pick them up and get some other supplies, including the vegetables.

I did some Googling and figured out what could be planted this late in the season and decided on:

  • corn
  • zucchini
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • beans
  • carrots
  • bell peppers
  • watermelon
  • cucumber

At the store they had plants for tomatoes, edamame, peppers, cucumbers, and watermelon. For the corn, zucchini, lettuce and carrots I bought seeds.

When we got home we put together the beds (crazy easy) and Josh used the tractor to dump some composted leaves/dirt in the beds.  Awesome! I thought we were going to have to buy dirt.

I spent an hour or so removing rocks, roots, sticks, etc. from the dirt before going to bed.

The next day I started planning out the beds.  I tried to do it in my head/paper at first and then turned to SmartGardener.com.  Their website will recommend plants and spacing based on where you live and how much space you have.  Awesome!

This is what we have:

6-11-2015 10-25-40 AM

If you’ll recall, I only bought three beds.  As it turns out we need two more for proper spacing of the vegetables.  So, as of right now, and maybe for good, we only have the top three beds.

You’ll also notice no corn.  As it turns out, to grow corn you need at least 4 rows, spaced 2-3′ apart.  Not enough room in the beds for that.  What I may end up doing with the corn and extra watermelon is just planting some down the hill outside the fence and see what happens.  Or…I may buy two more beds for the watermelon and zucchini and just grow the corn down the hill.

Who knows?  Either, way, I’m super stoked to about it.  It was pretty darn easy with those raised beds, and now it’s mostly a matter of watering them and seeing what happens. Then start Googling when necessary.

I’m guessing the rabbits are going to be an issue at some point. Maybe the moles, too. Yes, our house is a zoo.

I basically have no idea what I’m doing, but am still hoping for the best.

So, here’s what we’re starting with…

Bed #3
Tomatoes in the back, carrots and lettuce (seeds so you can’t see them) and then one lone watermelon up front.
Bed #2
In the back are green and red bell peppers, then lettuce and two cucumber plants up front.
20150610_195947
In the last one are tomatoes in the back, then edamame are those long limbed ones, then carrot seeds next to them and in front are cucumbers.

Maybe my favorite part about putting in the vegetable garden was discovering a huge blackberry bush growing behind the garage.  I am beyond excited!!!  I can’t wait until they’re ready.  I’m going to save so much $$. :)

20150610_200022Oh, and…6 years ago, soon after we moved in, I planted a blueberry bush in the front yard. This is the first year where there are blueberries on it!!  Give it another 5 years and we’ll be giving them away by the basketful.

20150611_200312 20150611_200337While we’re not exactly homesteading, we are definitely making an effort to live off the land a little.  And there are pretty concrete plans to add a chicken coop soon.

The best part, I’m feeling a bit…purposeful…about it.

Spring/Summer Photos

meyer-024It’s that time again!  The always awesome KT Nichols did a mini-shoot with us on Saturday down at Oceanview beach in Norfolk.

Nolan is much less cooperative these days so it’s a bit of a production to get pictures.  However, I do realize that soon he’ll understand more what’s going on and he’ll get self-conscious as people do and these awesome candid shots will be no more.

So I’ll enjoy these while I can and hope you do, too!

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* Oh, and for those of you who are contemplating a photoshoot soon here’s a couple of tips.  1) Don’t wait until the morning of to decide what you’ll wear and 2) Get your greys colored. 😉

Connecting

Hello!

If you and I were Facebook friends then you’ve probably noticed I’ve deactivated my account.  Maybe temporarily, maybe not. We’ll see.

I know a lot of you used FB to be notified when a new post was up.  I’m using Instagram for that purpose instead.  You can follow me @admeyerlife.  The account is set to private, so just send a request.

If you have a fitbit, I’m @admeyerlife or Carolyn Meyer, whichever works for you.

If you want to contact me, I’ve added a Contact Me page to the site so you can email me if you need/want to.

That’s all! Hope to see you on Instagram or Fitbit! :)