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Photo from this last weekend: Shenandoah Skyline Drive

The last few weeks in our VA house have been an experience. Firstly, I have learned that leaf blowers are probably men (or woman’s) best friend in the southern states. More than a few times I’ve had people come up to me as I raked to tell me this little secret. Still the husband has been diligently on the computer trying to determine if he wants an electric, a gas or solar leaf blower. Okay, so maybe they don’t have solar but seriously there are a lot of things to consider when picking the perfect one. And to think, in the Northern states we chuckle at people that have them for wasting their money. On a plus side, I know have what I like to call “rake arms”. Basically I explain this while showing my arm muscles – oh yeah!

Running hasn’t been in my daily schedule book unfortunately and I’m dearly missing it. I have run only a handful of days since moving here, mainly thanks to be too tired, and also due to the fact that the hills are frightening me! Ha-ha I’m a flat ground kind of running gal – guess I’m going to change that really fast. My latest past time is to exclaim that those cows on the farm (while driving past) must have “strong calves”. Hehe Just call me a cow…Wait, no on second thought please don’t. So today as I lathered on some icyhot to ease the pain of raking, I decided I would not rake today and instead go out for a nice short run.

Another thing I have learned, iPhone 4 GPS does not work where I live. Apparently it has given up on South Africa and has moved to America, just about 30-60 minutes from where I live. No idea! I keep hinting at the hubby that I want to get a Garmin watch for myself since they just came out with a lighter version one. Hopefully he gets all the hints and complaints that I can’t use my WalkMyRun app anymore, which is unless we move to South Africa (maybe it’s a sign). My run went really well, wherever I ran today. I really enjoyed myself, even through the huffing and puffing. A shout-out to Mother Nature too for the amazing weather we are having this week – 82F/27C!!!

My run turned into 1.57 mile run which is a convenient loop near my house which does not have much vehicle traffic so I can run directly on the road. It’s something I have to get used to again since I have only run in Cleveland, Ohio where if you run on the road, you better get used to near death experiences. My right knee did start to have a little pain, which I will keep an eye on from now on, but I’m not too worried about it. I’m guessing the slight irritation is from the unknown hilly territory.

As for food, we have returned to eating healthier meals with the occasional item off the health charts here and there. This last week I made healthy meals but then made the husband and his new colleagues vegan chocolate cupcakes with vegan cream cheese frosting. My husband got really good response from them (one person said it was the best he had ever had), but I wasn’t as pleased because I am getting used to the difference in elevation and also the electric oven. Funny that five years ago I was complaining about learning how to use a gas oven and now I’ve switched back to electric and having issues again. The two do in fact bake differently but I haven’t decided which I prefer just yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Question of the day: How do you train for hilly terrain? Tips, suggestions, any help?