Friday, October 24, 2014

Fit Tip Friday: Tips & Gear for Running in the Dark

If you're a morning runner like me, you have probably noticed that it's pretty dark out there in the early hours these days. I don't think the sun even rises until 7:30 am! So if you are fitting in your run in before work, you're probably running in the dark.

How can you stay safe when running in the dark?

Though I can (and will) write a whole other post with safety tips for running in the dark, today I'd like to focus just on some useful gear that you may want to purchase to ensure you can run safely in the dark.

You Need a Light Source!
One of the most important pieces of equipment for running in the dark is a light of some sort. Now, you could just carry a good old fashioned flashlight. I see plenty of people doing that. But there are two other good options that will allow you to keep your normal running form and still see where you're going.

#1 Headlamp
You can purchase one like mine at REI or most other outdoor/camping stores or at RoadRunnerSports here. Most headlamps will have a couple different settings- bright, dim, and strobe (blinking.) The light is attached to an adjustable strap and you wear the light right on your forehead.

#2- Knuckle Lights
A headlamp works just fine, but my personal preference for dark running are the knuckle lights. These lights come in a pack of two and you wear them around your hands. (Buy them here.)
I never need both knuckle lights. Just one is bright enough for me. What I like about the knuckle lights is that you are able to aim them at the ground to see where you're running, or if someone is running towards you, you can aim them towards to the ground so as not to blind the approaching runner. The knuckle lights also do not give me a headache like the headlamp does.

Reflective Accessories:
Nathan Sports is one of the top reflective gear makers and they sell a number of options for helping you light up the night- beltsankle/arm bands, and more! The purpose of these items is not to help you see, but to help you BE seen.

Reflective Clothing:
One of the most important pieces of gear for night running is reflective clothing. There are a ton of options in this arena.

For example, the Nike All Over Flash Jacket is an extreme version of reflective gear and an expensive one too. I think it's nearly $500! The Shield Flash Jacket is the only one I could find online and its still $350. It similar to the All Over Flash Jacket except it's only reflective on the bottom half of the jacket. (All  Over Flash Jacket pictured below)
Athleta makes a somewhat cheaper version with the Reflective Running Start jacket for  $298. I have been eying this option, but still think that $298 is a lot to spend.

As cool as these jackets look for running in the dark, you don't need to spend that much to light up the night. Brooks Running has their NightLife line of jackets and vests that might not be quite as reflective, but they get the job done. The Nightlife Essential Vest is one of my favorites:

Nathan and Amphipod both make L.E.D. vests or reflective vests like those shown below.

A vest works well since you can wear it over whatever layers you prefer depending on the weather.

Reflective Shoes:
Most running shoes these days have some reflective stripes, but many brands are taken it even further with a separate line of extremely reflective shoes. Asics is doing this with their Lite-Show line, and Brooks is doing this with their NightLife line. Pictured below are my running shoe of choice, the Brooks Ravennas from that Nightlife line. They are totally reflective and basically one step down from glowing in the dark!

                              Brooks Ravenna 5 Women's Guidance Running Shoes
Don't Forget About Your Headband..
SweatyBands makes a reflective headband that is quite reflective too. Buy one here.

A few bonus tips for running in the dark:
  • Ditch the music. You need to rely on all of your senses, including your sense of sound. Be aware of your surroundings!
  • Run against traffic. Even if the cars can't see you, at least you will see them and be able to move off the road if necessary.
And though this piece of gear is not about being seen, I still suggest that you carry pepper spray if you're running alone in the dark. 

I have read that some runners are against carrying pepper spray. They believe that you're more likely to spray yourself than spray a perpetrator. I'm on the other side of that debate though, as I feel safer carrying it. What do you think?

Those are just a few of the right fits out there for running in the dark.

Do you have any other tips for running in the dark? Please share in the comments!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tilda Tuesday: Matilda the Vizsla's Best (or Worst) Running Experiences

Last week, I shared my “Best (or Worst) of My Racing Experiences” (<--have you linked up yet? Please do!)

 Matilda my vizsla pup felt a little left out, as she has only done one official race (the Fast & Furry 8k). But even so, she wanted to share some of her own Best (or Worst) Running Experiences.

Hottest Run
Tilda has run in temperatures in the 90's, but always nice and easy with lots of water breaks and multiple cool-downs in the lake.

Coldest Run
She has definitely run in single digits, but always with a jacket. Vizslas are not cold weather dogs!

Longest Run: 
I think 10 miles is her longest run. I mean, I know we have done 10 mile multiple times, but I can't remember a particular time that she went longer than that, though I feel like she has gone at least 13.1 with me....let's just go with 10 miles though since I'm sure that's happened.

Scariest Run: 
Last week, she was super freaked out by a woman who was sort of hovering by the trees when we were running together in the dark. She got so spooked she actually pulled out of her collar, which caused me to freak out because she was running free! What if she got hit by a car??? I did get her to come back to me, but it was definitely a scare…We decided we need to buy a harness for running with her so she can’t pull out when she’s spooked. Vizslas are easily spooked, that's for sure!

FYI, we ended up buying THIS Ruffware Front Range Harness, as well as THIS new Stunt Puppy leash with reflective trim to make her more visible when we run in the dark!
Update- unfortunately this new harness chafed her under her arm on an easy 7 mile run. Even dogs get chafing issues when running. We had to return it. Does anyone have another suggestion for a better harness option? Help!

Hilliest Run
Probably the 10k loop that we do at the cabin. Those country roads are hilly!

Favorite Place to Run:  
She always prefers to run off leash...I mean, you can't beat the pure happiness of running off-leash!

...but when running with us onleash, she loves all the trails around the lakes. She probably knows Calhoun/Isles/Harriet the best, but she doesn't discriminate against Nokomis, Cedar, Brownie, Hiawatha or any other trails.

Things Tilda Hates to Encounter on a Run:
German Shepherds. We’re not sure why, but she hates German Shepherds.

Things Tilda LOVES to Encounter on a Run: 
Of course, there's her bff  Tin Fish lady. 

She also enjoys goose poop, bunnies, squirrels, and anyone who wants to pet her.

Strangest Behavior She Does on a Run: 
If you start the run with another person, you must end with that person. She leaves no man behind. She gets pretty upset if one person turns around and will keep turning back looking for that person.

Another funny thing she does is assume that every blond with a ponytail is me. When she runs with Dustin, she gets excited every time a girl runs by that maybe just might be me. She gets super excited and then she figures out that it's not me and gets disappointed. 

She knows how to make me feel loved.

Favorite Running Tradition:  
A Christmas Day run! The past several years, we have gone for an easy run before opening presents and eating an indulgent breakfast. It's a great way to start the holiday on a healthy note!

Favorite Time of Year to go Running: 
FALL! Tilda loves the fall weather. It's the perfect temperature for her to run- not too hot, not too cold.

I also love running with her in the fall the best because it's not as wet and muddy as the spring, so she doesn’t have to get a bath after each run. Let me tell you, she kicks up a lot of mud and dirt on her belly in the spring!

Highest Mileage Week: 
I haven’t really tracked this before, but I know that during this round of marathon training for the Outer Banks marathon, she has run at least 30 miles in a week with me.

Favorite Post-Run Recovery: 
A cozy nap under her favorite green blanket. 

Those are some of Matilda's Best (or Worst) Running Experiences. Be sure to check out THIS POST and link-up with some of YOUR best (or worst) racing experiences. Can't wait to read them!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fits Do Fitness Class Reviews: [solidcore] MSP

I was recently contacted by the owner and "Chief Inspirational Officer" (love it!) of [solidcore] MSP to come try out a class at their new studio in the West End in St. Louis Park.* I tried it out tonight and am excited to share my experience with you!

To be honest, I hadn't heard of this new studio yet...probably because they just opened on Saturday!

Though I'm always excited to try a new workout, I did spend some time beforehand checking out their website to see what I was in for. Here's what I learned beforehand:

What is [solidcore]?
[solidcore] is a fitness studio offering classes that follow the "Lagree Fitness Method." This method uses slow and controlled full-body movements with constant tension to work your muscle fibers to failure. The idea is that if you're working your muscles to failure, you will force them to rebuild a more sculpted and stronger you. The solidcore classes are small, with only about 12 students in each, as each student is on a  "Megaformer."  A Megaformer is a cross between a Pilates reformer and a Total Body Gym.

It looked a lot like a Pilates reformer machine to me, but the workout was very different- more intense.

What sets [solidcore] apart from other reformer classes (such as Pilates ProWorks?)
I asked this question of Alyssa, the owner, ahead of time. She said that their machine is similar to the Fitformer at places like Pilates ProWorks but the workout is very different. At [solidcore],  they exhaust and break down one muscle group then move on to the next one, never going back to the same muscle group. The intensity is much higher as well compared to a normal Pilates reformer type class.

WHERE is [solidcore]?
Twin Cities fitness fanatics, we should consider ourselves lucky! There are three [solidcore] studios in Washington D.C, but we get the first one in the Midwest. The studio is located at the Shops at the West End at 1653 Park Place Blvd, St. Louis Park (plenty of free parking!)

It seems that most of the time when a new type of fitness enters the market (barre, surfset yoga, etc) it happens first on either the West coast or the East coast and then it eventually makes its way to the Midwest. So it's really cool that this studio came straight from the east coast (D.C.) to Minneapolis! The owner, Alyssa, said that the fitness market in D.C. is actually very similar to that in the Twin Cities so she was excited to open a studio here.

How is the workout supposed to work?
The theory behind [solidcore]'s workout is that you perform the movements slowly and with control, forcing the muscles to stay contracted throughout the entire range of motion. Every class is designed to work the muscles to failure. According to the theory, when "failure" happens your body starts recruiting your slow twitch fibers, then the intermediate muscle fibers, and then your fast twitch fibers. [solidcore] also works through the use of compound movements where you work multiple muscle groups at the same time, which of course is extremely time efficient (and let's be honest, we are all crunched for time, right?) Each class is only 50 minutes long, but you are working hard the entire time.

I need proof...does it really work?
Have you seen the First Lady's arms?
 FLOTUS is kind of well known for how fit she is, and as THIS ARTICLE tells you, she is huge fan of [solidcore] in D.C. That's incentive enough for me!

So..what did I think of the class?
Holy moly. It was intense! I actually went into it thinking it would be kinda easy, or at least on the same level as barre or Pilates (and I love both of those but they are a good workout in a different way). However, from the first core series, I knew this was going to be hard. I was sweating like crazy and had to take a lot of breaks. WOW!

I don't know if every class follows the same structure, but at tonight's class, we started out with a ton of core on the machine. Then we went into quads/butt (OMG- so much legs!) and we ended with upper body. No particular move was so different than other moves I have done in other classes, but for whatever reason, it was hard. I think you just have to try it out to see what I mean. I'm pretty sure you'll agree.

Everyone at the studio was super nice, from the instructor, to the owner Alyssa, to the other two other coaches who were taking the class. The primary instructor was really helpful with assistance on form. In the beginning of class he took five minutes to breakdown some of the more complicated moves we would be doing. Yes, the instructor was a guy. In fact, there were two other men in the class and I heard them talking after class that they thought it was awesome! [solidcore]  is not just for the ladies.

I know that it wasn't the smartest thing for me to take this class during my marathon taper but I still have three weeks to recover from one class. I think I'll be alright. Taper starts now. But...I will definitely be back to  [solidcore] after the marathon!

Where can I find out more information, purchase classes, and reserve my spot in a class?
Find out everything you need to know here: 

What's the right fit for a [solidcore] class?
I had thought that Alyssa had told me to wear grippy socks like you wear in barre. But when I arrived no one else in the class was wearing them, so I went barefoot.  For apparel, yoga pants/capris and a tank (you will sweat!) work best. The guys were wearing shorts and t-shirts. Be sure to bring a water bottle. Towels are provided.  Keep the jewelry at home. No cell phones in class. I don't think there were any showers onsite, but there were small lockers at the front of the studio for your personal items.

How much does it cost for me to work out like Michelle Obama?
Well, there are a few Grand Opening Specials going on.

FIRST and most importantly, if you refer 10 friends, you get 10 free classes. So, please go and tell them Jessie at the Right Fits sent you! Thanks :-)

Grand Opening Specials:
First class is only $17
5 class package: $99
1 month unlimited: $199

Seriously guys, my mucles are super shaky right now. I can barely lift up my glass of wine....don't worry though, I'll manage.

(Every blogger needs to post a picture of a glass of red wine while watching Scandal, right? Just doing my job...)

Go check out [solidcore] soon. Your muscles will thank me!

If you have any questions about the class, please feel free to ask.

*I was offered a free class to come try out [solidcore] and share my experience with you. All opinions are my own. I'll always tell you the truth!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Weekly Recap: Peak Week of Marathon Training Ending with a Capitol Run!

This week was my peak week of marathon training for the Outer Banks Marathon. You know what else it was the peak week of? Fall colors in Minneapolis! Pictures cannot even capture how gorgeous the Twin Cities are right now. Every day that I drive down my street, I am seriously in awe of how pretty it all is.

These are just a few of the vibrant trees along the river on my long run yesterday. Stunning. This is EVERYWHERE in the Twin Cities right now.

So yes, being peak week of training, it was a full week of running!

Here's how things turned out at the Right Fits in Fitness this week:

Monday: 8 miles of running in the morning, C2 vinyasa yoga class after work at Corepower Yoga. Can you believe it? I actually made it to yoga. I took Nielle's class at the Edina studio and it was PACKED full, which also meant the already heated studio was even hotter than normal. I hadn't taken a hot yoga class in so long that I had to take a lot of breaks, but I still enjoyed the practice. She's such a great teacher.

Tuesday: Tuesday was my birthday and what better way to celebrate than with a track workout!

The workout was a tough one- about 2 miles to warm-up, 1600 at 5k pace, 400m recovery, 3 miles at tempo pace, 400m recovery, 1600 at 5k pace, and then 2 miles to cool-down for about 9.5 miles total. Whew! We celebrated afterwards with Pizza Luce. Happy birthday to me.

Wednesday: 7.5 miles easy with Matilda.

Thursday: 8 miles with 30 minutes at tempo pace (with Matilda- my tempo pace is still her "You call this running?" pace). After work, I took a 1-hour strength/kettlebells class with Ericka Darst at Balance Fitness Ericka taught the 10-week strength class I took over the summer at the Calhoun Beach Club, and now she has taken over Sarah's class at Balance. She is great! Seriously, come check out her class on Thursday nights at 6 pm. You will love it!

Friday: Complete rest day.

Saturday: 22 mile Capitol run! I actually went the wrong way around one of the lakes so I ended up with 22.75 miles. Here's how we did this- Dustin and I dropped a car off at the capitol in the morning and then came back to the Calhoun Beach Club. From there, we ran 22 miles of the Twin Cities course (separately of course- he's much faster than me!)
I took a quick selfie with THE bunny around mile 6 of my run.  I love this guy.

Though we were both running alone, we did have two very awesome friends who were on the course with Gatorade and water for us. Thank you both SO, SO much! It made the experience so much more enjoyable to have those support stops to look forward to. Even on a cooler day, the fluids made a huge difference. I did run with my fuel belt, but I filled up my bottles at the stops and took my GUs with the water they provided. More than anything, they provided a mental boost that really kept me going.

I am so grateful to have good running friends who will give up their Saturday morning to help out their friends. Thank you!

Dustin made it to the capitol over a 1/2 hour before me and was enjoying some chocolate milk and snacks that we left in a cooler in the car by the time I arrived.  Did I mention that Saturday was also our wedding anniversary? Six years! We celebrated the way most couples do...running 22 miles.


Even though I ran alone, this was probably one of my best capitol runs ever. I wish I could pocket up the way that I felt yesterday and save it for race day.

Sunday: 5.5 easy miles with Matilda and Dustin. Gorgeous fall day.

In summary: SIXTY miles of running, 1 yoga class, 1 strength class, and 1 complete rest day. Feeling strong!

So what's happening in Fitness Fashion at the Right Fits?
I think I have finalized my marathon day outfit- woot, woot!

What I wore for my 22 miler yesterday worked perfectly, so I will wear the exact same thing on race day. I plan to wear these Oiselle roga shorts in "fast red", this Oiselle Scantron Tank top in turquoise, a trusty Serena sports bra by Moving Comfort, one of my many BIC bands, and my Brooks Ravennas.  Outer Banks will be pretty toasty, so I'm not worried about being cold. Fingers crossed that the temps drop a little bit, mmmkay?

That's it for the week from the Right Fits. I hope you had a wonderful week and enjoyed the "peak" colors outside!

How are the fall colors where you live? Did you do anything fun in fitness or fitness fashion this week? Please share!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fit Tip Friday: Are Pedicures Okay For Runners?

A lot of you have completed your fall marathons (TCM, Chicago, Steamtown, Milwaukee, any others? Please tell me!)   If so, congrats!

Me? I'm still here trucking along with my training for the Outer Banks Marathon on November 9th.  In fact, this was my "peak" week of training. Training's going just fine but I'm going to be honest with you here, my feet have definitely looked better. Now, I have seen worse feet on runners, that's for sure. However, it's still 75 degrees in Nags Head, North Carolina so I might be wearing flip flops for that trip. My feet probably need a little TLC.

I'm trying to decide if I should get a pedicure now, or hold off until after the OBX marathon or is a pedicure both now and later a good idea?

The question is, are pedicures "safe" for runners during marathon training?

Guys- don't click away- this post is for you too.  Pedicures are definitely not just for the ladies! Almost all spas will give a man a pedicure. (Ivy Spa downtown is a luxurious treat). Your feet need some tender loving care just like the ladies' feet do!

From my research and experience, the answer is YES, pedicures are safe for runners.
In fact, there a lot of reason why you should get a pedicure when running a lot or training for a marathon:

It's a good opportunity to do some basic foot maintenance.
  • A pedicure is the time to have a licensed professional check things out. Unless you're super flexible (which most runners are not) it’s hard to see all of your feet so its best to let someone have a look. 
  • Even trimming your nails is easier if someone else is doing. There's less risk of cutting the nails wrong so that you set yourself up for future injury.
  • You need to keep your toenails cut short ; you don't want them to be too long or they can poke holes in your socks, setting you up for future blisters and irritations.
Pedicures are a great idea, but there are some things you want to keep in mind when it comes to pedicures for runners.

Tips for Runner Pedicures 
  • Do  not have your pedicurist remove the callused skin with a razor or emery board or pumice stone. Some people say its okay to get them scrubbed just a little bit, but never ever shaved (and in many states, this is illegal anyways) 
  • Here’s the thing- calluses are a good thing; they are our foot's way of protecting itself by developing a layer of thickened (albeit, dead) skin. You need those calluses!
  • Ask your pedicurist to instead spend extra time massaging your feet and calves.
At-Home Care...

There are things you can do at home to maintain foot health on your won 
  • Keep your nails trimmed.
  • Keep your feet moisturized.
  • Learn from your feet! Your calluses can tell you something- are they on the outside of your toe? Maybe you’re rolling your foot. Are your toenails black? Everything I have read says that black toenails are caused by improperly fitted running shoes.

Be sure you have the RIGHT FIT for your FEET!
I could go on and on about finding the right fit in running shoe, but I'll just briefly mention it again. Its imperative that you have well-fitting running shoes. Head to your local running store (Mill CityRunning, Gear, Run N Fun are all awesome!) and get properly fitted.

Be sure to wear moisture wicking socks.

In summary...

Pedicures are a good idea during marathon training, and they are also a great idea AFTER a marathon (or any other big run) as a way to treat yourself!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fitting Remarks: Best (or Worst) of My Racing History Link Up!

Guess what? It's my first link-up..I hope you participate!

So, on the "50 States, 50 Marathons" tab, you can see a map of the marathons I have completed. As I approach my 17th marathon, I have been reflecting on my previous races and I thought it might be fun to put together 16 questions based on my 16 marathons. I'm hoping you will link up and share your own "Best (or Worst) of My Racing History!"

Now, I know most people don't necessarily have 16 marathons to pull from, so please pull from ANY race distances- 1 mile, 5k, half marathon, whatever you want to share!

Best (or Worst) of My Racing History

The link up icon and code are at the bottom of this post. All you have to do is copy and paste the html code onto your blog for the above link-up picture!

You can answer as many or as few as you would like, or you can add your own questions! Then comment on the blog with a link to your post with the answers. If you don't have a blog, feel free to just answer them in the comments. It definitely does not have to be about marathons-it can be any race distance! Just tell me about your Best (or Worst) Racing Experiences! Looking forward to reading them.

Best Finisher's Shirt  
I'm going to go with the Newport Marathon. Their finisher's shirt was a zippered long sleeve. It's army green, so not my usual color choice, but it's perfect for a fall run and I end up wearing it way more than I thought I would.  

Otherwise I would go with the Berlin Marathon finisher’s shirt. I sported that shirt on #FinisherShirtFriday so it's clearly one of my favorites.

Worst Finisher's Shirt
The oversized green t-shirts from the Marathon-to-Marathon in Iowa were pretty hideous.

However, the shirts from Twin Cities Marathon 2005 were pretty bad as well. I ran that marathon with my sister and we were definitely at the back of the pack. By the time we got to the finish, only XXL cotton tees were left. It was basically a dress on me and the pee yellow was not my best shade.

Best Finish Line 
Twin Cities.  It gets me every time. I absolutely love the grandeur and beauty of coming over that last hill on Summit and seeing the capitol below- the colors, the people, the noise- it's so amazing.

The second best finish line would be at the Berlin Marathon. Finishing under the Brandenburg Gate was pretty darn cool.

Best Overall SWAG/Gear
I’m sure the best gear is at Boston, but I haven't run it yet, so I'll have to go with the Flying Pig marathon. Their expo had a lot of really cool gear. Every year they give every participant something unique- this year it was a waterproof bag, which we have used camping and my husband used it tubing with some buddies. I just loved how they carried the pig theme throughout the whole race. It was cute.

Best Crowd Support 
Berlin was definitely great, but like I mentioned in my recap of that marathon, not everyone cheered for you if you weren't from their country. I think I'll go with Twin Cities. I spectators ever, right? 

The Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA also had pretty great spectators.

Hottest Race 
I have run a lot of HOT marathons: Chicago 2007, Go! St. Louis in 2011, and the Marathon-to-Marathon in Marathon, Iowa. The first two were complete and utter disasters.  However, even though my time didn't show it, I ran the Marathon-to-Marathon a lot smarter (read my recap here). I adjusted for the heat and didn't fall apart.  The St. George marathon was also warm (in the 80's when we finished) but you start very early and at altitude so it didn't feel as bad.

In terms of actual temperature, I think Chicago and the Marathon-to-Marathon both were nearly 90 degrees when I finished.

Coldest Race
 The coldest marathon I ran was the Grand Rapids, MI marathon. I think the high temperature was in the mid-30s, but what made it crazy cold was the wind. I actually lost a contact lense at this race it was so windy (this was pre-Lasik surgery). This is the only marathon that I have run in pants.

Most Beautiful Course: 
Tough call. The Big Sur Marathon runs along the Pacific Coastal highway and really is stunning. The St. George Marathon runs through the breathtaking Snow Canyon and other amazing sites in the southwest. However, I might have to go with Twin Cities on this one. The fall colors are just too pretty...AND it's my hometown race. What can I say? I'm biased.

Hilliest Course 
Big Sur was probably the hilliest. St. George had a ton of hills in the first half and then a lot of downhill in the second half that really tore up my quads.
Big Sur Marathon
Race That Took the Most Mental Strength 
Definitely the Marathon-to-Marathon  Running 26.2 miles on deserted country roads in very rural Iowa,  with virtually no spectators and only 200 total runners was a challenge.

Most Disappointing Finish 
I'll vote for Flying Pig because its still the most "fresh" in my memory. My training went so well for that race, yet I fell apart and ran a 4:11 when I had really hoped for something in the 3:4X's.

Best Start Line: 
Any start line where you get to wait inside is awesome, so that would include the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, Steamtown MarathonGrand Rapids, and it used to include Twin Cities. However, the St. George Marathon probably had one of the coolest start lines with bonfires, music, plenty of coffee/water, and more.

Most Organized 
Definitely the St. George Marathon. Absolutely flawless organization. 

Flattest Course 
The Chicago Marathon, the Marathon-to-Marathon in Iowa, or Berlin. They were all very flat.

Best Finish Line Food: 
St. Jude Memphis Marathon- They had pizza, chili, beer, yogurt, freezy pops, soda, and of course all the regular stuff like bananas, gatorade, etc. Just an amazing spread.

Coolest Medal:
Either Newport (handblown glass) or St. George (granite)

Most Emotional Finish
Gosh, they are all emotional. I suppose one particular emotional moment was at the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle marathon when I finally went under four hours. That's me in the corner there breaking down in tears.

I look forward to hearing about your Best and Worst race memories! Link up below.

1. erin at sweet sweat life  twitter: @erinklegstad Read her awesome post HERE
2. Hyedi at Finding a Balance twitter: @hyedi  Read her fun post HERE

Best (or Worst) of My Racing History

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tilda Tuesday: A Day at the Apple Orchard

It's Tilda Tuesday! Today I'll be sharing a few pictures from our weekend trip to a dog-friendly apple orchard, the Fischers Croix Farm in Hastings, MN.

It's not fall without apple picking right? 

It was on my Minneapolis Fall Bucket list, so I was happy to have an opportunity to check it off!  Sidewalk Dog's blog had a post about all the dog-friendly apple orchards in the Twin Cities area, but my friend Vicki actually recommended that we check out Fischers Croix Farm in Hastings (which wasn't on the Sidewalk Dog post.)  Hastings wasn't too bad of a drive and Sunday was a gorgeous day to be outside.

The orchard was a little smaller than some of the others we have checked out, but they had plenty of apples available for "U-pick," whereas not all of the other local apple orchards still have apples available for picking. No honey crisp apples were available, so we went with the Honey Gold apples.

There were goats, chickens, and bunnies at the orchard. Tilda was curious about the goats, really wanted to chase the bunnies, and was scared of the chickens.

You're probably dying to know how tall I am, right? No?

Let me show you. I'm THIS big.

I love this picture because it looks like Tilda is giving me the cold shoulder. She did not want to be seen with a crabby teenager!

I am not sure if other dogs eat apples, but Matilda wasn't interested, which was good. It would have been challenging to keep her away from all the apples on the ground.

I would say that Tilda's first apple orchard experience was a positive one. It might have been a little too much excitement for her at a busier orchard, but the Fischers Croix Farm was pretty laid back. I'll call it a success.

Dogs aren't welcome at all local orchards though, so be sure to check ahead of time, and of course, leashes are required.

Have you brought your dog to an apple orchard? How did it go?