Quick Post-Christmas Check-In

Hi friends! I kind of disappeared there for a minute. It wasn’t intentional, but between holiday festivities and a bunch of time off work, I just didn’t feel like blogging.

I ended up with seven whole days off from work, which was an absolute treat. I got to spend some time with my family and Ben’s, relax, and just enjoy the holiday season. And the best part is, this is a short week, with another long holiday weekend coming up, woohoo!

I’m hoping to get back on the proverbial wagon as far as workouts go, but I know that motivation is way low this time of year, and it’s supposed to be in the single digits or colder all week, so my motivation is even lower!

Anyway, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and that this week is short and painless! I’ll try to check back in on Friday with my usual Friday Free-For-All post. I’ve got lots to update you on!

Friday Free-For-All – 12/01/17

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Thanks for all your kind thoughts about Harley. She was truly a special pup, and will be missed.

We are officially under contract on our house! Things are far from certain, and the situation is still fairly complex, but we are absolutely delighted to have taken a concrete step in the right direction. Next comes all the inspection BS, hiring a lawyer, making sure financing is good etc. If all goes well, we will close in mid-January. Keep your fingers crossed!

My sister in law Emily comes home from Prague tomorrow! She is bringing her boyfriend, Jirka, and they will be home for almost the entire month of December, which the whole family is excited about. Tomorrow is also my father in law’s birthday, AND we’re seeing a show, so it’s big doings around here!

Christmas music season is in full swing for me. I know some people (like Ben) can’t stomach it until basically the week of Christmas, but I’m obsessed. We have a local radio station that plays Christmas music non-stop from Thanksgiving until Christmas, and you can bet I’ve been tuned in constantly.

I have a new snack obsession. Plain Greek yogurt with Honey Nut Chex. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, it’s delicious. You get a nice crunch and sweetness from the Chex, almost like granola. But I’m not a super huge fan of granola, whereas I could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, you’re getting a good mix of protein and carbs. Give it a try! I’m sure you’ll thank me later ūüėČ

How do you feel about Christmas music?

Friday Free-For-All – 12/23/16

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I AM SO READY FOR A LONG WEEKEND.¬†I have to work today (Ben has the day off and I’m very jealous), but then I have Monday off for Christmas, so¬†I’m basically living for 4:30 pm. I’m very much looking forward to relaxing with my family, watching Christmas movies, sipping eggnog, and NOT being at work for three days. And then I only have to work three days next week, and only four days the week after that, so basically I don’t work a full week for the next two weeks. Score!

Christmas music has gotten me through this week.¬†I just haven’t been feeling work at all lately, but jamming out to Christmas tunes has at least kept my mood up enough that I can perform my basic job functions. In fact, I’ve actually been pretty productive this week in preparation for year-end and quarter-end madness. I’m just trying to square everything away today so I don’t have any work anxiety this weekend.

My sister-in-law Emily is home from Prague. It’s been really fun having here here. She’s been living in the Czech Republic for almost two years now, so I don’t get to see her very much. We’ve been spending lots of quality time together playing video games, cooking, and eating. My other SIL Leah is arriving on Saturday, at which point I will be in Quechee with my folks, but she’s staying through New Year’s, so I’ll still get to spend some time with her as well. I’m anticipating some marathon games of Settlers of Catan once we’re all in the house ūüôā

I started a Bullet Journal in September and it’s pretty magical. I’m not going to try to explain what a Bullet Journal is because there are so many descriptions, videos, blog posts, and general rave reviews already out there. I’m just saying, it’s been great for me. Part planner, part journal, part to-do list, part art project, it’s working for me the way other planners never have, because it’s 100% customize-able to my needs and preferences. If you like paper planners but have never found the “perfect” one, go Google Bullet Journal and prepare to fall down the rabbit hole.

Did you/do you have to work today? Are you ready for Christmas?

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, dear readers! I’m feeling very lucky to be at home with my parents, my sisters, and my dog, and to have a bit of a break from work.

I hope Santa brought you everything on your wish list, and that you are relaxing with your loved ones, or doing whatever brings you joy.

Christmas 2015

 

Friday Free-For-All -12/18/15

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I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night. I¬†won’t give any spoilers, but I will say that I was one happy nerd. I’m dying because all I want to do today is talk about it and I don’t have anyone to talk about it with.¬†I can’t wait to watch it again.

ONE WEEK ‘TIL CHRISTMAS! I have Christmas Eve AND Christmas day off, and I can’t wait to sit in front of the fireplace at my parents’ house, rocking PJs and sipping spiked eggnog.

We are having some decidedly un-Christmas like weather and it’s bumming me out. This time last year we had a solid foot of snow on the ground. Today, it’s in the 50’s and raining. And the forecast for next week looks like more of the same. I can’t remember the last time we had a Green Christmas, and I kind of hate that it’s happening. I know that there are people in this country and all over the world who usually DON’T have snow for Christmas, but it’s just not normal for me.

Have you seen the new Star Wars movie yet? What did you think?? And remember, NO SPOILERS.

spoilers

 

2015 Christmas Wishlist

I cannot believe that it’s already time to write this post. Christmas is NEXT WEEK, ya’ll! This year has been an absolute blur. I feel like just yesterday I was so excited about being cast in Legally Blonde, or Chess, and now all of a sudden it’s the Christmas season and once again, I’m woefully behind in my Christmas shopping.

But hey, it’s ok, it’ll get done. It always does. Maybe with a little more stress and spending a bit more than I’d like, but what can I say except, it’s Christmas, and we’re all in misery¬†(name that movie!).

Anywho, just like last year, I wanted to take the time to put out my holiday wish list.¬†Some of it’s running related, and some of it’s not. I also know that some of them will likely be under the Christmas tree on December 25, and some of them I’ll just have to suck it up and buy like the grown-ass woman I am. But a girl can dream, right?

The “Lauren” Clutch from Hobo

lauren

I have coveted one of these clutches for years, but always balked at the price tag. This year, I actually told my parents that this was the ONLY thing I wanted, and to please forgo¬†all the tchtochkees and doodads and bath products I’ll never use, and just get me this one thing. I am hopeful that this will soon be mine.

The “Believe” Training Journal

I go through phases with journals. I’m usually really excited about them when I first get them and write every day, and then my excitement wanes, and I fall out of the habit for a while, and then a few months go by and I start up again with renewed vigor. I really want a personal documentation of the training I do for my first marathon, and while this blog is a great way to share with friends and family, I will want something more personal and private as well. This fits the bill.

Running Socks

I don’t have that many running socks, and truth be told, at least two pairs NEED to be thrown away. But because I don’t have many, I keep wearing them. Not good when I’m about to start marathon training. I’m not particular to any brand or style, but I definitely need something moisture-wicking and preferably with a bit of cushion for my blister-prone feet. I’ve heard great things about Bombas, Swiftwick, and Feetures, but never tried any of them.

“I Believe in the Blerch” Shirt

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If you are at all familiar with the Oatmeal, you know who the Blerch is. If you don’t, click here and read about him. It’s brilliant.

“Cheers to Beer” Running Socks

cheers

Seriously, how cute are these socks? And if you know me at all, you know I love me an ice-cold beer after a tough run.

New Winter Boots

I have some that are ok, but they don’t come up really high, so if we get more than a few inches of snow, I get wet feet. I’d love to have some Sorrells, but they’re pretty spendy.

Starbucks Giftcards

I rarely go to Starbucks anymore because it’s just too expensive. But I LOVE all of their delicious seasonal drinks, and a giftcard for a few bucks would allow me to treat myself more than I’m usually willing to.

What’s the number one thing you’re hoping to find under your Christmas tree this year?

 

Friday Free-For-All – 12/11/15

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I feel like it’s been a while since we’ve had one of these… since before Thanksgiving? Wow. Time to get my ish together…

I decorated the office for Christmas this week and it’s making me SO HAPPY. I love coming in every morning and turning on the lights and smelling the balsam sachet on my desk. It’s really helping me get into the Christmas spirit, which, for the first time ever, I’m having a bit of trouble with. It might be the weather (no snow on the ground), or being stressed out about Mary Poppins auditions, or who knows, but I’m finally getting there.

My sister-in-law Emily is home from Prague for a whole month! She arrived on Wednesday, and Sunday is her birthday, so we’ll be doing dinner with the whole family. It will be great to see Emily and do fun things like watch movies and play video games together. I’m sure she’ll come into town and stay with us at least a few nights ūüôā

I had a callback for the title role in Mary Poppins last night. It was very exciting to be asked to come in to sing and read some more. I think it went well, but casting a show is like putting together a puzzle, and at this point, I just have to hope that I fit the big picture. I won’t know until tomorrow afternoon!

The RW Holiday Run Streak is over for me. I made it two weeks, which I think is pretty damn good, but I’m done. I’ll talk more about it in a post next week, but for now I’ll just say that I’m not injured or anything like that, so don’t worry!

What’s the longest run streak you’ve ever done?

Are you feeling the Christmas spirit?

Race Recap: Ri Ra’s Santa Run 5k 2015

This is a recap of my personal experience running the race. If you’re more interested in 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 BibRave.com!

Pre-Race:
I was really excited to run this race, because I had to DNS last year due to my foot injury. For this race, you get a Santa suit complete with pants, coat, hat, and beard, and you’re required to wear them to run. It’s really funny every year to walk around downtown Burlington and see gangs of Santas roaming all over the place.

I parked about a half a mile away from the restaurant, because I knew that traffic would be a cluster due to lots of people and road closures, but since it was Sunday, parking was free at all the meters, so that was nice. There was a DJ and music, photo opps and a coffee station, and Ri Ra’s was open so that people could use the bathrooms or get out of the cold.

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Race-Time:
The race course is decent; you run down Main Street, so you get some nice lake views, and then up Battery Street, which is sort of Burlington’s own “Heartbreak Hill” during the Vermont City Marathon. Then up Pearl Street, over South Willard, and looping back to Ri Ra’s down Main and Church Street.

Within the first half mile, I was having issues with my Santa pants, and I wasn’t the only one. SO MANY PEOPLE were struggling with these stupid pants. They’re really basic felt pants with a drawstring, and if you don’t tie them just right, they’ll be falling off your butt in no time. Next year, I will definitely just wear some festive tights instead, because those fricken pants drove me crazy. I had to stop twice to adjust them, and I know I looked ridiculous for most of the race. I also plan to add some velcro to the “coat”, which is basically just a robe with a tie, and it was flopping open most of the race as well.

I knew I wasn’t in “racing” shape, because I haven’t been doing any speed work, and I was tired from streaking, so I just tried to have a good time, and other than the stupid pants, I did ok.

Photo Dec 06, 9 37 28 AM

Post-Race:
My official chip time was 31:24, which, considering I had to stop twice, isn’t too bad.¬†Right after finishing, I got a full-sized bottle of water. As part of the registration fee, each runner got a free Irish breakfast, but I didn’t actually get mine. Due to the number of runners (over 1500), breakfast was held at Memorial Auditorium, which is about half a mile away from Ri Ra’s, and I just couldn’t be bothered. I had my Mary Poppins audition that afternoon, so I needed to go home to shower, change, warm up, and get ready.

Overall:
This is definitely a fun themed race, and I plan to do it again next year, especially because once you have the “official” Santa suit, you can register for $10 less. The biggest drawback in my mind is the cheapo felt Santa suit. I understand that this event is a fundraiser for Camp Ta-Kum-Ta so they don’t want to spend a ton of money, but running in the suit SUCKS. I would even pay a slightly higher registration fee if instead of the coat and pants, runners got a nice long-sleeved tech tee or half zip. As it is, event t-shirts were sold separately for $15, and they were boring black. I’ll never wear the Santa suit outside of the race, and it would be nice to have a nice souvenir shirt like the Santa Hustle races¬†do.

Have you ever done a Santa or Christmas-themed race? Did you costume hinder your running?

My Christmas Wishlist

It seems like everyone and their mother is doing a post about Christmas wishlists, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. ¬†But I’m not limiting myself to running gear, oh no! ¬†I have an enormous list of little things I’d love to have for Christmas, so someone please direct my husband, sisters, parents, and friends to this list so I get some good loot this year!

1. ¬†This adorable Olaf Tervis tumbler. ¬†How perfect is this for coffee/tea/water at my desk? I would also like some of the plastic straws to go with, because I find it’s easier to hydrate when drinking through a straw. ¬†Anyone else find that to be true?

Olaf Tumbler

2. ¬†Fleece-lined leggings or tights, and not just for running. ¬†I hate wearing pants (except for jeans), so I wear mostly dresses to work. ¬†Unfortunately, my office is really cold. ¬†Therefore, I need some warm leggings to wear with my dresses to stay nice and toasty. ¬†Sarah at Running On Healthy clued me in to the Heattech line from Uniqlo–they come in lots of great colors and patterns and the prices are awesome!

So cute!

So cute!

3.  Warm gloves that work with my iPhone.  I have been struggling along for years with some cheapo pleather gloves from Target, but in order to use my phone, I have to take them off, which is a real drag in freezing winter temps.  I found these on Amazon and they have pretty good reviews.  I feel like I could use them for both running and normal life.

Gloves

4. ¬†Mary Poppins on DVD. ¬†This is one of my absolute favorite Disney movies and I haven’t seen it in 15+ years. ¬†This is sad.

Mary Poppins

5.  Good books.  I love to read, but all of our books are currently in storage.  Thankfully, my dad is also a book worm, and usually gets me one or two every Christmas.

6. ¬†iTunes gift cards. ¬†I almost never buy music for myself unless I have an iTunes gift card, but there are tons of albums out right now that I’ve been itching to buy (I’m looking at you, TSwift 1989).

itunes gc

7. ¬†A Wool Buff Scarf. ¬†These things are great for outdoor activities in the winter–skiing, running, sledding, whatever! ¬†The wool is soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking, and you can wear it multiple ways. ¬†Perfect for all of the cross-country skiing Ben and I have planned for this winter.

buff

8. ¬†Papermate Flair Pens. ¬†I’m weirdly in love with office supplies, pens being an absolute favorite. ¬†These felt tip pens come in lots of great colors, and the medium point is fine enough for everyday use without being so tiny as to scrape along the paper if not held at the correct angle (yes, I really am that particular). ¬†I’m also a huge fan of color-coding (brown for work events, green for birthdays, orange for fun events, red for important appointments etc), so having a wide range of pen colors is essential.

9. ¬†Any and every Julep¬†nail polish. ¬†I actually earned one of these for free using the Every Move app, and this stuff is AWESOME. ¬†Minimal chemical crap, and thick, rich color. ¬†Too bad they’re $14 a pop!

What’s on your wishlist this Christmas?

 

A Break from the Norm

Yes, I know, this is not my usual Manic Monday post. ¬†But between my foot issues, a mysteriously painful, possibly-strained muscle in my abdomen, and the Thanksgiving holiday, I didn’t really do much last week. ¬†I made it to the gym exactly once¬†and¬†did some random strength stuff at home, but nothing really worth writing about.

Today is December first, and while for the last few months (September, October, November), I’ve done monthly goals and recaps, I’m gonna skip that today as well. ¬†November was a bit of a wash. ¬†I ran twice, got injured, and biked twice. ¬†Again, not really much worth summing up. ¬†And since I’m injured, I won’t be doing too much training, so there’s really no point in setting goals for December, other than “don’t gain 10 pounds because you’re not running anymore.”

I will hopefully be seeing my doctor this week and figuring out what’s up with¬†my gimpy foot. ¬†Until I’m running again, I’ll be spending a lot of time with the recumbent bike and focusing on strength training, which has definitely been lacking over the last year or so. ¬†I’m hopeful that mixing it up a bit and getting myself stronger will mean that all this time off from running won’t necessarily mean a huge loss of fitness and speed once I’m back at it.

And now, to dispel the gloomy tone that has unintentionally crept in, I give you this:

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IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!

Do you have any goals for December?