Saturday, November 29, 2014

Icy trail running and Christmas tree time

Um, it was really cold this morning.

Like, really cold.

We had a surprisingly large group for our run this morning, especially considering there was ice and snow on the trails.

I forgot to start my Garmin before we started moving, so it took until about 2.25 miles in for it to find me. Fortunately, we run the same trails every Saturday, so I was able to estimate the distance/pace based on what time we left and what time my Garmin started.

This is how I felt for most of the run:

I'm not used to the cold weather yet.

6.6(ish) miles at around a 9:07 pace. Not bad for all the ice dodging we were doing!

It's after Thanksgiving, so that means it's time to get the Christmas decorations out (those are the rules)! Tom was less excited, as this meant he had to carry heavy things up and down the basement stairs. Well, he didn't have to, but I don't think he wanted to watch how I move the heavy things up and down the stairs...I did it last year and didn't die or break anything. :)

Part of the beauty of our decorations is that there aren't very many of them. We pretty much do the tree and call it good. But I love having the tree up. It just makes me happy!

There are still a few branches I need to fluff up a little better, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Do you have your tree up yet? 

Real tree or fake tree?

-We always used to go out and cut our Christmas tree down, and I love the smell of real trees, but I have to say, the convenience of an artificial tree is pretty awesome - the lights are already on it! Plus, it takes all year to get rid of all the pine needles that fall off of real trees.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Runner Holiday Gift Guide 2014

I'm not going shopping today. Becky + pushy crowds is not a fun combination. So instead, I thought I would give you some gift ideas for the runner in your life (or to give the non-runner in your life some ideas).

Socks - You can never have enough socks. My current favorites are my Balega socks.

Tom got them for me for Christmas last year, and they're always the first ones I wear after laundry day. I want to try out these Pro Compression Runner socks one of these days, too!

Arm Warmers - Ok, so these are more fall/spring gear, perfect for those in-between weather days where you don't want a coat but it's too cold for a tank top, but they would make excellent stocking stuffers! These Oiselle Arm Warmers would do the trick - and they're SO soft!

Lip Balm - Not everyone is as addicted to lip balm as I am, but it's wintry and cold out, no one likes chapped lips! Plus make sure to get one with SPF because the sun is still out there, even on cloudy days.

Shoes - do they have a favorite? Most runners have a favorite brand/shoe. Do a little spy work and make sure to get the right size. My favorite right now are my Mizuno Wave Sayonaras.

There's always gift cards if you're not sure.

Snacks/Fuel - Runners love snacks. That's a proven fact, and hello stocking stuffers! I know you see them crammed in your cabinets, everyone has their favorites. My favorite fuel right now includes NuunGU, and Clif shot bloks.

Seriously, pretty much every runner I know would be happy with an edible gift!

GPS Watch - For as basic as our actual needs are for running, runners love gadgets! Right now I have the Garmin Forerunner 10. It's pretty basic, but it works really well and gives me the stats that I really need.

I currently have my eye on the TomTom Runner Cardio which has an integrated heart rate monitor (no chest strap!) and all the stats I could possibly ask for.

Also: Pro Compression just came out with compression tights today! I'm just saying...

What's on your wish list?

This post contains affiliate links

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is how it was supposed to go down: wake up early and meet up with the group to ride a trolley together to the race. That was the beauty of this race. It's super popular, so it's very busy and parking is apparently a nightmare. Once the news of the snow hit, and the trolley option was out, I kind of mentally checked out of this race.

I really didn't want to wake up crazy early to drive somewhere I haven't been, to get stressed out by parking and packet pickup (which I never do on race day).

Rather than wake up early, get stressed out, and run in the snow, I stayed up late watching A Million Ways to Die in the West with Tom, and slept in a little this morning.

I'm not sorry.

Buddy is super excited for Thanksgiving.

This morning, we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while Tom made cranberry sauce.

I ran my treadmill miles as my race since I skipped out on the race. I'm pretty happy with my splits!

1 - 8:37
2 - 8:21
3 - 8:18
4 - 8:13
5 - 7:45

5 miles in 41:14 - thank you very much.

Now we're off to stuff ourselves celebrate Thanksgiving - I hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Snow, jewelry and my first DNS

The weathermen were not wrong. Well, they weren't completely wrong. It did snow all day, but I don't think we ended up with as much snow as they said there was going to be.

It started pretty early this morning.

And then it just kept falling.

It isn't supposed to stop until around 1am.

The real bummer is that it's enough snow to keep me from driving (my non-4wd car) to the Turkey Trot tomorrow. Not that it would be a lot of fun to run 5 miles in the 3+ inches of slush that are on the roads right now. I can only imagine how cold and wet my feet would be!

No thank you.

Technically this race will be my first DNS (did not start) which is lame, but on the bright side, it isn't a DNS because of an injury.

*Edit: Tom has informed me that the roads are not that bad, so now I'm debating how much I want to wake up at 5:30 in the morning/trying to figure out if there's space in a carpool my running group has going.*

I got the charm to go on my Motivate Wrap today.

Love it!

They have a lot of cute jewelry, you can check them out HERE.

Tonight I learned that not only are my waterproof boots no longer waterproof, they have almost no traction. No, I didn't fall, but there were a couple of close calls.

They've seen better days.

So now I'm drinking some of my favorite tea (pretty much the only tea I drink) and perusing shoe websites while I watch Willy Wonka (the original, because as much as I love Johnny Depp, the new one is weird).

We (and by we I mostly mean Tom) are in charge of bringing cranberry sauce and some roasted veggies for dinner tomorrow, so we're pretty low key as far as Thanksgiving prep goes.

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not a superhero run

I had a slow start this morning. I slept in, drank coffee and worked on some blog things. It was really nice!

Buddy cried like a big fat baby while Tom was out front changing to his winter tires. He's obsessed. Seriously.

I dragged him with me to the basement while I ran so he would stop crying at the front door.

Today's run was not a superhero run. I did not feel awesome, I did not want to run forever. I wanted to stop. Nothing was hurting, I just wasn't feeling it. 

I ended up doing 6.25 miles at an 8:54 pace. I'll take it. The usual Gilmore Girls kept me company.

I brought Buddy's bed in, but he decided to lay next to it rather than on it. He's a smart dog.

Tom bought some protein powder the other day. I've been "borrowing" some after my runs because I'm pretty sure that I don't get as much protein in my diet as I should.

We hit the grocery store tonight. It was a little busy, partially because we're supposed to get a bunch of snow tomorrow (which makes everyone freak out) and partially because of Thanksgiving.

I also found this:

I can't help myself. It's going to be delicious. And I don't even have to share, because Tom doesn't like malted milk balls. Weirdo.

Our winter storm warning didn't magically disappear.

Tom's really excited for the snow. I'm undecided.

Monday, November 24, 2014

New goals, new shoes and snow?

Happy Monday!

You may have noticed that I have been running more lately (or you might have more important things to think about) - there's a reason for that.

Earlier this month I realized that if I put my mind to it, I could break 1,000 miles for the year, which would be pretty cool. Since I'm mentally busy (houses and jobs and cars, but with plenty of free time right now, I can get more runs in than I would normally be able to.

I'm just shy of 860 miles for the year right now. That means I have 37 days to run 140 miles. It sounds like a lot when I write it like that, but really it averages out to 3.78 miles per day. See how manageable that seems? :)

Also: I've been pretty consistently foam rolling lately, and it doesn't hurt nearly as much as when I only do it once in a while. Go figure.

My shoes came today.

They fit and everything!

In the spirit of my personal mileage challenge, I hit the treadmill for 5 miles this afternoon.

Buddy was confused by the room change, and wouldn't lay down until I dragged his bed into the unfinished part of the basement where the treadmill is.

He was definitely ready to leave the basement when I was done.

I listened to an episode of Serial while I did some dishes and finally put away the laundry that I started yesterday. More than half of my laundry doesn't go in the dryer (running clothes) so I had things hanging all over the basement.

We have a winter storm watch starting on Wednesday - they're talking 6-10 inches of snow. That might put a damper on my plans to run a 5 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. And by might, I mean - if there's that much snow, I'm not going. I'll Turkey Trot myself right down to the treadmill.

Tom assembled an amazing salad for dinner.

You should definitely be jealous.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The cold makes us faster

I am super tired today. But I did it to myself, so I shouldn't whine. I stayed up too late (doing nothing) last night and was up at 6:45 to get ready to meet up with the group for our run.

Buddy thought it was too early and went back to bed after I gave him breakfast.

 I actually wore a long sleeved shirt under my running jacket this week (usually it's just a tank top). I did not run in my slippers.

It was a chilly one this morning. Really chilly.

Apparently the cold made us faster, we finished our usual 6.6 mile run at an 8:53 pace - on the leaf-covered trails.

I was very happy to sit down with a hot cup of coffee when I got home.

I tried these chips from my RunnerBox today. I have zero idea how they managed to get 21 grams of protein in there.

They were really good, but somehow oddly extra crunchy. I would probably buy them if I saw them at the store. 

This afternoon we had some group hang out on the couch time. Buddy was pretty excited. And by excited, I mean he slept the whole time.

A cuddling Buddy is a happy Buddy.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Car things, running and shopping

I was up bright and early this morning to take my car down to get its inspection. New York has a yearly safety/emissions test that all cars have to pass. I also had a slow leak in one of my tires that I've been alternating between ignoring it and adding air when needed. Apparently there was a screw in it. Whatever.

Then they called to tell me my brakes were worn down to practically nothing. Since I kind of need those, they went ahead and fixed that.

I spent some quality time with the treadmill - 7 miles - and watched my usual Gilmore Girls. It's a habit.

And I tried out the root beer GU.

Not my favorite. Don't get me wrong, it pretty much tasted like root beer (though slightly off), it just seemed wrong for it not to be carbonated. Needs more bubbles!

Tom and I are going to a semi fancy dinner in a couple of weeks, and I had absolutely nothing to wear (because all I wear are running clothes or jeans), so some shopping was in order.

I was expecting to have to try a few stores, but I actually found a dress at the first place I stopped. Can I just say, there are a lot of really ugly clothes in stores right now. It can't just be me, right? There's some really strange trends happening.

I tried on 5 dresses, which ranged from "hahaha - no" to "the dress."

Some hahaha - no's for you:

I ended up getting this one in black. But I got it at TJ Maxx, so it was way cheaper. I don't have a picture of it yet, (because I was making a really weird face in the picture I took and deleted it) but eventually there will be pictures. My mom has already demanded photos of Tom and I all dressed up, so it's going to happen.

There have been a few unsuccessful attempts to find some dressy shoes the last few days. I got rid of most of mine during the great packing purge when I moved from Oregon to Alaska and everything had to fit in my car. I found these on Zappos.

Hopefully I got the right size, but even if I didn't, Zappos is so fast, I would still have plenty of time to get the right ones.

How often do you dress up?

- Once or twice a year, max.

Would you rather dress up or stick to casual?

- Casual! In fact, where are my pajamas?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Health insurance and a new RunnerBox

I was very responsible this morning. I spent a ridiculous amount of time figuring out my health insurance for next year. It really shouldn't have taken that long, since all I wanted to do was renew the plan I already had, but that's health insurance for you.

Then I did a little running. Since I'm not working right now I feel like it's extra lazy if I don't run.

I got a treat in the mail!

It always comes in a padded envelope, but this time it had extra goodies that didn't fit inside.

I'm excited to try some new snacks, plus I never turn down lip balm! I'm really intrigued by those protein chips - that bag has 21 grams of protein!

I almost bought that root beer GU the other day at REI, but couldn't decide if it would be good or not - now I get to find out!

How did they know I love purple?

I may have a charm on the way to replace the cardboard "what motivates you" - it's going to say "Run and be happy." :) Apparently I was very suggestible this afternoon. If you're feeling suggestible you can check out all their jewelry HERE.

I really enjoy the RunnerBox more when it's mostly snacky things - I dig food.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A lazy dog and an addicting podcast

I haven't gone outside yet today. It's cold, so I'm ok with that.

I did manage to get my laundry done. Ok, well it's in the dryer anyway. That last step of getting it out of the basement always takes me a while.

Buddy won't fold my laundry for me. Lazy dog.

I hit the treadmill for some Gilmore Girls and a few miles. I didn't mess around with my shoes today, I just stuck with my Mizunos.

They did come untied a few times though - it's always something.

6.5 miles with a few water breaks and stopping to swap my laundry into the dryer. Multi-tasking at its best.

Have you heard about the Serial podcast? I started listening to it the other night when I was babysitting. I'm totally sucked in.

Here is what the podcast's website says:


Serial is a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial will follow one story - a true story - over the course of a whole season. We'll follow the plot and characters wherever they take us and we won’t know what happens at the end of the story until we get there, not long before you get there with us. Each week we'll bring you the latest chapter, so it's important to listen in order, starting with Episode 1. 
It's frustrating, and addicting. 

Consider yourself warned.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A shoe swap saves the day

Do you ever feel really productive doing little everyday things? We have been letting the dishes pile up for a few days and I finally got around to washing them this morning. It never takes as long as I think it's going to, and now the kitchen is clean!

Sunday was mostly uneventful. We watched the Giants/49ers game, I wasn't sure who to root for since the Giants are Tom's team and the 49ers are my mom's favorite. It was a much closer game than we thought it was going to be.

I wasn't planning on running yesterday, but after the football game I started getting antsy, so I hit the basement and ended up having a really good run!

I even stretched after I was done. Weird, right?

Today's terribly exciting plans included running, and a trip to Target and the grocery store. We're living the glamorous life around here.

The first two miles of my run were kind of miserable. I just felt off, and my PureFlows were bothering me. After a quick shoe swap, I was feeling great and ended up running 6 miles. I don't know why my PureFlows were bothering me, they're usually one of my favorites!

I also tried out this Caramel Macchiato GU that I got when we were at REI the other day. I wish I had more, it was really tasty!

The guys are kind of hilarious.

Buddy is only happy in 65-70 degree weather. Anything warmer or colder and he's not happy. He was curled up tight last night so I covered him with his towel. He didn't move again until bedtime.

He's kind of a wuss. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Good thing he's cute

I think winter is almost here you guys.

It was 30 degrees for my run with the group this morning. There were 4 hold-outs still in shorts, but the rest of us were properly bundled up. It's hard to get used to the cold again.

My new mittens worked out great on the run. My hands were actually too hot for the last half mile and I ended up carrying them!

My winter running gear is very colorful.

Buddy's new spot when we leave him alone - he makes a nest in the pillows. Brat.

Good thing he's cute.

I'm doing the best kind of babysitting tonight - the kids will be in bed when I get there. I'll be reading.

Any exciting plans this weekend?

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