Running and Living in Vermont

A Bit of a Running Slump

I’m experiencing some, shall we say, ennui, when it comes to running lately. My motivation has gone out the window. The last two weeks, I’ve only run twice each week. I’m mailing it in a bit. I think there are a few factors at play here.


First of all, I’ve decided not to do another fall half marathon. I couldn’t justify the cost, and I didn’t want to chance hurting myself before Wine and Dine, which I’ve been looking forward to for over a year, and which cost me a fortune to arrange. Because I’m no longer looking at a PR attempt or even really racing a half this fall, I don’t really feel the need to be aggressively training. I’m just sort of mailing in some long runs and calling it good.

Secondly, this year has just been so cuckoo-bananas busy that I’m really resistant to “having” to do something, even if it’s something I technically enjoy. I resent having to run so many miles on a certain day. I resent having to spend additional time before or after work running when all I want to do is veg out in my PJs and watch Netflix with a glass of wine in hand. I’ve been enjoying snuggling my cats, making dinner with my husband, and seeing my long-neglected friends. It seems like I’d rather be doing anything else but running right now.

Thirdly, and I think least of my current issues, is that the days are getting shorter. When a few months ago I could have gotten up at 5:30 and done 4 miles before work, it’s now pitch dark at 5:30 am. And it’s also pitch dark by 7:30 pm, if not earlier. I don’t have a headlamp, or reflective vest, or any of those other tools that make running in the dark safe, which means that I don’t run in the dark. Which means that if I don’t run immediately after work or on my lunch break, I don’t run at all during the week.

Honestly, I don’t even feel guilty that I’m not running much right now. I’m still hitting Body Pump regularly, I’ve got tap class once a week, and I’m getting my long runs in, so I’m not a total wastrel. I’m just gonna let this wave of indifference ride, and I’m sure I’ll eventually find my motivation again. For now, I’ll just enjoy Netflix and wine.

How do you handle lack of motivation? 

Fall 2015 Bucket List

I usually make a seasonal bucket list, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted it to my blog before. After my dear friend Lisa posted hers last week, I decided to share mine as well, in the hopes that I might actually cross off one or two things this year!

Fall is my favorite season, and there are so many activities I enjoy that it can be hard to fit them all in, especially when I get busy with other things like work and theater activities. But this year, I’m DETERMINED to at least come close to completing my list. And so, without further ado, I give you my Fall 2015 Bucket List:

Fall Bucket List

Do you make seasonal bucket lists? If so, what’s the number one thing on your fall list?

Disclaimer: I am a Color Run ambassador and therefore received a free entry to the race. All opinions and thoughts are my own. This recap is of my own personal experience at the race. If you’re looking for just the nitty gritty details, check out my BibRave review here. Don’t forget to help your fellow runners by reviewing all your races on!

What:  The Color Run 5k Burlington, VT

When/Where:  Saturday September 26, 10 am, Champlain Valley Exposition, Essex Jct, VT

Weather:  Sunny and cool with a light breeze


Pre-registration was available online with incremental price increases, and open until the day before the race. I received a free entry through my ambassadorship, but in the past I have registered for early bird pricing as low as $35. You can register as an individual or team, and team registrations are $5 cheaper.

Packet pickup was available the day before the race at a Kohl’s store in South Burlington. While this was sort of random, it was very quick and streamlined. I waited in line only about 5 minutes, then had my stuff and I was ready to roll. Race morning, my friends and I decided to park at one person’s house about a mile away from the Expo Center and walk up. I’m glad we did, because traffic sucked. Traffic on Rte. 15 in Essex is usually crappy, and it was more so because of the event.

We arrived at about 9:15 and I hit the porta-potties right away. There were plenty, and while the one I went into was relatively clean, there was no hand sanitizer (yuck!), and from what I gathered overhearing other conversations, most of them didn’t have sanitizer (double yuck!). There was a Jazzercise warm up happening on the stage, and just before 10 am, people started lining up in the Start chute. Like last year, we had to wait through a few starting waves, but the DJ was entertaining, and threw a lot of freebies into the waiting crowd.

Color Run Start

During the Race:

Once again, this race was run through the empty fair grounds, which is just sort of strange, and not very scenic. There was some music on the course, which was really nice, and the color throwers did an awesome job of getting some color on everyone without getting it into peoples’ faces. The colors this year were slightly different than last year–yellow, pink, blue, orange, and silver with glitter, because it was the “Shine” tour this year. While I liked the idea a lot and it looked super cool, I have to wonder about the health effects of inhaling a bunch of glitter…

My main goal going into this race was to help my friend, Emily, finish her first-ever 5k. You may remember her name popping up from time-to-time in my Manic Monday posts–I’ve been “training” her once a week for months, and she did some running on her own too, in preparation for this race. She was super nervous because she hadn’t run anywhere near 5k in any of her training, but I’d promised her that we’d reach her goal. We kept it slow and easy, and I used every motivational tip and trick in my arsenal.

Long story short, she did AMAZING. She ran the whole race without stopping and didn’t complain once. Just before the finish line, I sprinted ahead so that I could take pictures of her crossing the finish line. She crossed with a HUGE smile on her face, and collected her first piece of “bling.”

Color Run Finish


We grabbed some water and Kind bars, and headed over to the Color Party by the stage. The DJ was ridiculous–funny, loud, and energetic. He played great music and kept people really pumped up. The color throws were tons of fun–we were covered head to toe in color and glitter, and when I blew my nose later, it was rainbow colored (TMI I know, but it was too funny!).

Color Run After

There were lots of great backdrops for photos, and you could get a finisher photo taken, but the line was super long. There was also a place to get the excess color blown off you with leaf blowers, but the line for that was super long as well, so I just rolled the windows down on my drive home and created a little color and glitter tornado in my car :)


My only beef with this race is that I actually used my Garmin this year, and the course was about half a mile short. I get that it’s not a competitive or timed race, but if you advertise a 5k race, it really should be at least 3 miles. Otherwise, this race is a really good time. While it can be somewhat expensive, if you sign up early, you get a decent price, and especially this year with the addition of the finisher’s medal, the swag is pretty good–a nice cotton/poly blend t-shirt, sweat band, and temporary tattoos. This is a great event to attend with a bunch of friends, and is a perfect first race for anyone who wants to try it out.

And I just have to say again, I am SO proud of Emily. She set a goal, stuck to her guns, and DID IT. She told me that a lot of people in her life were really skeptical about her ability to finish, and I’m so glad she proved them wrong. As we were walking back to our cars after the race, she asked me to find her another 5k to run before winter. Looks like I’ve created a runner :-D

Have you ever helped a friend finish their first race?

What was YOUR first race?

Manic Monday – 10/05/15


What Was Planned vs. What Happened

Monday 09/28/15:  Body Pump Body Pump

My first Body Pump class since May. Ouch. I felt weak and lame, but I’m glad I went. I just need to make the commitment to go every Monday, and I’m sure I’ll get stronger. What’s great is that my hip actually felt a lot better after class. Woo!

Tuesday 09/29/15:  3 Miles Easy Rest

My hip was feeling better, but still sore, and I wanted to give it some time to heal up, so I just rested.

Wednesday 09/30/15:  3 Miles Easy + Tap Class Tap Class

The hip was still tender, and it was rainy and cold, so I decided to bag runch, and just went to tap class in the evening. It’s getting more challenging, which is fun and frustrating all at the same time!

Thursday 10/01/15:  Run Club Speed Workout Rest

I was dressed and ready to go, but unfortunately, Ben had a SNAFU getting the car home in time, so I wasn’t able to make it. I was frustrated and let that get me into a funk, so I just stayed in instead of heading out for a solo run.

Friday 10/02/15:  Rest Rest

It was the annual meeting for Lyric Theatre Company, half business meeting and half party. I did a great job of sticking to my WLC compliant food list in spite of the tempting fare, and danced for an hour with my friends :)

Saturday 10/03/15:  Run Club Short Run 4 Miles with Run Club

This was my first time at a run club event in over a month, and it was so great to be back. The weather was absolutely perfect, and I got to run with my friend Mich. Because it was my first run in almost a week, it was a bit of a struggle fest, but we kept a decent pace and had fun chatting.

Sunday 10/04/15:  10 Miles Easy 10 Miles

This is the first 10 mile training run I’ve ever done that didn’t feel like I was suffering the entire time. Unfortunately though, I felt sick to my stomach for several hours after I finished. I’m not sure why. Maybe I didn’t eat enough Saturday? Maybe the protein shake I made when I got home disagreed with me? Regardless, I took an hour long bath, and then an hour long nap, and felt mostly better.

For the next few weeks, I need to stay on track with my training. The past two weeks, I nailed my long runs but was lazy about doing shorter runs. The few weeks before that were the opposite. I need to make sure I’m doing both if I want to make it through a half marathon in November. Here’s the plan for this week:

  • Monday: Body Pump
  • Tuesday: 3 Miles Easy
  • Wednesday: Tap Class
  • Thursday: Run Club Speed Workout
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run Club Short Run
  • Sunday: 11 Miles

Does your stomach ever get upset after a long run? What do you do about it?

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Wigwam Ironman Run Socks to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I have talked many times on this blog about how I’m blister prone. No matter what shoes or socks I wear, I always seem end up with big, nasty blisters on the balls of my feet. Because of this, I’m always looking for new products that will help ease my blister problem. So when we BibRave Pros were offered the chance to try out some Wigwam Ironman Lightning Pro socks, I was eager to get my hands (feet?) on some.

About Wigwam Socks

Wigwam has in impressive array of products, from wool boot socks, to casual socks, to athletic socks like the ones I received. The Lightning Pro Low-Cut socks have a seamless toe, patented Ultamix moisture control to keep feet dry and minimize odor, and are made in the U.S. They also have mesh air vents, and are very light-weight. One pair retails for $11.00. They come in 9 color options, and a variety of sizes for optimal fit.

My Experience with Wigwam Socks

I had plenty of opportunities to put my socks through their paces, both in running, and other activities as well. They accompanied me on several short runs, a long run, the Color Run, to tap class, and to Body Pump, and they performed very well in all areas.

I was especially pleased at how well they cleaned up after the Color Run. I was sort of disappointed to have received white socks, because my feet always get sweaty and filthy when running, and I worried they’d get dingy really quickly. So far, they’ve washed well, and even after getting tie-dyed at the Color Run, they came clean in the washing machine.

Even though I'm impressed they came clean, I kinda liked the tie-dye look...

Even though I’m impressed they came clean, I kinda liked the tie-dye look…

I can’t lie, I felt the need to test the “odor resistant” claim, because I think that’s an important quality in running socks. I’ve had wool running socks in the past that have great natural odor resistance, and I was skeptical that a sock made of so much synthetic material could resist the stink. I was pleasantly surprised; I wore the socks to Body Pump, tap class, and for a short run without washing them (yes, I know, I know, that’s gross, but I let them dry in between!), and they didn’t smell at all.

Photo Sep 28, 7 35 12 PM

As for my blister-y feet, these socks were slightly better than most, but I still felt some discomfort and blistering in my trouble area. For me, that’s just normal. I didn’t get any blistering in any unusual areas when I wore them, and found them to be very light and comfortable.

I would definitely buy these socks for myself, and I would absolutely LOVE to get my hands on some of their wool boot socks, because let’s face it, Vermont winters are rough! If you’d like to try some Wigwam socks of your very own, use code 10-WG615BR for 15% off your order, plus free shipping!

And if you’d like to read more about Wigwam socks before taking the plunge, check out what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say:

Laurel | Brenda | Kim | Jess

Have you tried Wigwam socks? Which style do you like best?

FFFA (1)

This week has kicked my ass. The first two weeks after the quarter ends are my busiest times at work. That is exponentially so this quarter, because we’re revamping some of our quarterly processes, and I’m now responsible for a lot more stuff, yet still not 100% certain what I’m responsible for and how to do it. Thus, I am WAY behind in my blogging. I owe you a Color Run recap, I have a Fall Bucket List, and I have a product review that will hopefully go up later today. Cross your fingers that work will calm down a bit next week and things will get back to normal around here.

Because I’ve been so busy, I haven’t run at all this week. But I’m OK with it. I did Body Pump on Monday and Tap on Wednesday, so it’s not like I was a sloth all week. And I have run club tomorrow, which will be at least 3 miles, and my 10 mile training run on Sunday.

Starting yesterday, I’m off sugar, bread, pasta, and most processed foods until the end of the month. I’m loosely following the Whole Life Challenge “Lifestyle” diet plan, which I heard about through Kristen at Run Away With Me. But I’m doing things my way: I’m not giving up dairy, and I’m allowing myself one small glass of wine per day, otherwise I might kill someone. Yes, this will be hard. No, this is not a permanent change; I will never permanently give up pasta. HOWEVER, I’ve been on what I’ve been calling the “garbage diet” since before Chess ended. I’ve been eating anything and everything; not enough protein, not enough produce, too much pasta, too much sugar, and too much popcorn drowning in butter and salt. I feel gross. I need a hard-stop reset to get my habits back in order. More fruit and veg. Less processed junk. I’ll be counting on support from my Team Can-Am accountabilibuddies Lisa, Kellie, Kim, and Nicole. Wish me luck!

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Manic Monday – 09/28/15


What Was Planned vs. What Happened

Monday 09/21/15:  Rest Rest

Oh, and I rested most vigorously. My legs were a bit shot from running up and down a mountain, but the real problem was my back and shoulders. If ever there was evidence that I need to be going to Body Pump on a weekly basis, it’s the fact that my back and shoulders were stiff and incredibly sore for DAYS after the Spartan. Ouch.

Tuesday 09/22/15:  Short, Slow Run 3.5 miles @ 10:23 average pace

Unfortunately, Emily wasn’t able to join me for our final training run. Her husband was out of town so she had to take care of their toddler. I decided to head out anyway, and just maintain a comfortable pace. I forgot my Garmin at home (gasp!), so I just turned my Nike+ app on and didn’t pay any attention to pace or time. I just ran a route I knew to be a little over three miles, and it felt great. I was still pretty stiff and sore from the Spartan, but once I got warmed up, I think the running actually helped me feel better.

Wednesday 09/23/15:  Short Run + Tap Class Tap Class

I decided to save the running for Thursday and just went to tap. I’m still loving it, and it’s a great way to see some friends and get off my butt to do something a bit different once a week.

Thursday 09/24/15:  Medium Run + Sh’Bam Sh’Bam

Once again, no running. But Sh’Bam was an awesome, sweaty, 45 minute dance party, so I’m ok with it.

Friday 09/25/15:  Rest Rest

I picked up my race packet for The Color Run and ran a few errands, then just went home to relax for the evening. My stomach was off all day and I didn’t want to aggravate it the day before a race.

Saturday 09/26/15:  Color Run 5k + 6 Miles Color Run @ 13:14 ave. pace

I knew in heart that after running the Color Run, hanging out at the after party, and then driving home, I wasn’t going to want to run another six miles, so I decided to just push it off till Sunday and run 9 consecutive miles instead. Probably better for training to run it all in one go anyway. After the Color Run, I spent the rest of the day cleaning and relaxing in preparation for Sunday’s long run.

Sunday 09/27/15:  Yoga/Recovery 9 Miles @ 10:43 ave. pace

This run was a bit of a struggle, because my right hip was already hurting from the Color Run. I think I do something weird with my gait when I run slower, which makes my hip hurt more after slower runs than faster ones. Regardless, I got it done, and I’m feeling a lot better about half marathon training. I feel confident that, at the very least, I’ll be able to complete Wine and Dine without dying. Whether or not I attempt a PR half the weekend before is still up in the air. After the run, I spent a loooong time stretching and rolling my sore hip, then wore my 2XU MCS compression tights for the rest of the day.

Now that I’ve finally done a long run, I feel like I’m mostly back on track. We’ve been house sitting in Underhill these last two weeks, which means a longer commute and less flexibility for running/workouts. We’ll be back home tomorrow night, and now maybe, finally, we can get back to “normal.” I feel like I keep saying that and stuff keeps coming up. What is “normal” anyway? Here’s the tentative plan for this week:

  • Monday: Body Pump
  • Tuesday: 3 miles easy
  • Wednesday: 3 miles easy + Tap Class
  • Thursday: Run Club Speed Workout
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run Club (3-4 miles?)
  • Sunday:  10 miles

How was your running this weekend?

Are you enjoying some lovely, cool fall weather?

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