Tag Archives: happy running

5 Happy Things (for Friday)

Whoa, whoa…what? A post that isn’t a training recap or a race report?

Remember way back in the day when I would do Friday Favorites religiously every week? Well, somewhere in there I got busier and/or ran out of things to talk about. But since it’s been a little while, and since I’m desperate to help move this Friday along, let’s talk about some things that are making me happy recently. I’ve been in the midst of an upswing in terms of both running and health, and while I’m still proceeding with caution, it’s really been great to break through the clouds and let a little sunshine in. And I mean this both literally and metaphorically. Because…Colorado, obviously.

Colorado

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This really is a beautiful state. When I grew up here, I never really appreciated just how splendid and unique Colorado’s geography really is. When I moved to Washington, I realized that maybe I shouldn’t have taken all those years of being in the sun and near the mountains for granted. Low and behold, here I am again, and I’m trying to take in every beautiful view and day that comes my way. I’m anxious for adventures aplenty this summer, and I’m looking forward to experiencing this beautiful place to the fullest.

New Shoes

I spy...pretty blue running shoes!

I spy…pretty blue running shoes!

So, I’ve had shoe issues since last summer or so. I’ve been able to get by on rotating between a few suitable pairs, but I’ve been missing that running shoe magic. Since the few I’ve been using have been mostly getting the job done, I kind of gave up on my quest for a new shoe. That is…until one came to me. I’d had a few running friends mention to me (and by mention I mean rave about) the Adidas Energy Boost.

At first I was all…Adidas? Really? Pretty sure I wore their sneakers once in 5th grade and that’s because I liked the color. I’d never heard them in running shoe conversations before, so I was skeptical.

(Sidenote: never mind the fact that Adidas is the athletic sponsor of everything at the Boston Marathon…minor detail.)

Nevertheless, after 5 minutes of convincing in the shoe store and an A+ first run in them, I was a changed woman. I love these shoes. Everything about them. The cushion, the weight, the support, etc. They’re a bit of a change from the lower drop shoes I’ve been wearing for the past two years, but I don’t feel at all like my foot strike or stride is compromised. On the contrary, my feet feel way better than they have in a while. Not to mention the fact that these shoes are currently the best-sellers at just about every running store, and allegedly they last up to 700-800 miles. Wins all around, I love these blue beauties.

Moscow Mules

Change out of my running clothes for day-drinking? Nah.

Change out of my running clothes for day-drinking? Nah.

I’m a beer girl all the way. In fact, cocktails are the lowest on my preference list of alcoholic beverages. BUT, that’s changed a little bit recently, all for the sake of this yummy concoction. I know I’m late to the party, and essentially everyone’s known about this drink forever, but it’s still new-to-me and I’m crushing on it hard. Ginger beer, lime, and vodka-y goodness. Additionally, I think the concentration of sugar and carbonation in beer is a little rougher on my stomach than other libations, so this seems to be the safer route nowadays. Pro tip: try it with whiskey.

The November Project

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If you’re a regular Runner’s World reader, you may remember back in December a group called “The November Project” featured on the cover. It took a while for me to connect the dots myself, but the originally Boston-based group of running and fitness buffs has expanded their reach and grown to 17 different “tribes” throughout the country. One of those tribes is in Denver, and thanks to the encouragement and enthusiasm of this girl, I decided to try going a month ago.

Basically, the November Project is a free, twice-a-week group who meet up at local parks, city centers, etc. to get in a workout. I’ve gone four times now, and let’s just say I’m not only drinking the Kool-Aid, I’m close to injecting it into my veins. I love it.

Sorry for the drug joke, but seriously…the November Project is a game changer. I’m planning to do a whole post about it at some point, but essentially this group is exactly the kind of shake-up I’ve needed in my exercise and running routine.

I spy again...shoes!!! Also, I'm still sore from these.

I spy again…shoes!!! Also, I’m still sore from these.

This Weekend

Guess what! My best friend Anna is running HER FIRST MARATHON this fall!!!

(Anna, I’m sorry for telling everyone. This is a safe space, don’t worry.)

Senior year? Junior year? Either way this is a very sober picture. Maybe I should wear my hair curly again?

Senior year? Junior year? Either way this is a very sober picture. Maybe I should wear my hair curly again?

I think that I might be a little more excited about it at this point than she is, but regardless…she’s already killing it in terms of preparation. Case in point: this weekend, she’s signed up to run the Happy Girls Half-Marathon in Bend, OR. Which is all well and good, and then I realized that she was running it alone. As in…driving from Boise to Bend by herself, running the race, and then driving back.

Well that won’t do!

So in what was perhaps the quickest text-based planning session, we orchestrated the best Memorial Day weekend plan ever. This afternoon, I’ll be flying to Boise, tomorrow we’re driving the 5 hours to Bend, Sunday we’re running the race together then enjoying all the wonders (beer) Bend has to offer, and then on Monday I’ll be flying back to Colorado. The best, amiright? I’ll be running the race entirely with Anna, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

There you have it! Five Friday things. I’m so proud of myself for being so blogging-savvy today.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Tell me something you like!

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Closing the Thigh Gap

Just to be clear, I absolutely hate the term “thigh gap.”

If you’ve never heard of this term, consider yourself lucky. But essentially, it’s exactly what it sounds like: the elusive distance between your thighs.

From what I’ve gathered, the gist of the thigh gap “ideal” is this: the more light that can shine through the space between your legs, the better. Makes sense, right? I mean, if skin-and-bones is the goal for our waists, arms, and faces…why not throw in the most naturally muscular part of a woman’s body? Who cares about strength and fitness when you can have light shine through your crotch!

The thigh gap is the latest love child of the fitness industry, and while it may be a term of aspiration for some, it kind of makes my blood boil. That term, along with the vast majority of the “ideals” put out by the industry, represents so many of the falsities currently being spoon fed to women, in my humble opinion.

Nonetheless, as a woman who is inevitably barraged by all the latest and greatest body “must-haves,” I’ve been somewhat forced to question my own thigh gap.

My initial reaction?

I’ve never had a thigh gap.

And while this whole notion is absurd to me now, when I look back on all my tumultuous years of puberty, I realize I didn’t always feel this way. There were definitely periods of time where I wondered why my legs weren’t straight and thin like some of my friends’ were. And this was back when I was young; as in, my body hadn’t even begun to morph into that of a lady. Eventually, through years of basketball, softball, track, and all the weight-lifting that came with high school sports, I began to accept that my body was going to look a certain way if I was intent on being an athlete.

When I transitioned from a recreational to a {relatively} competitive runner in my early 20s, that cordial acceptance of my bulky legs started to turn into appreciation. The fact that I could motor myself through 10 miles before most people were out of bed became a source of pride, and I realized that I would much rather be a strong athlete than a lithe twig. Not everyone would make the same choice, and I understand that, but for me—running fast would and will always trump looking a certain way.

Which brings me to present day.

As you may or may not have heard me mention, back in December in the midst of my terrible Crohn’s Disease flare up, I lost a decent amount of weight. I don’t ordinarily weigh myself, so I don’t know exactly where I started off, but I know that at my sickest point I was probably hovering around my early high-school weight. Needless to say, it wasn’t natural nor healthy for my 25-year-old body.

Once I started getting better, I stopped weighing in (I was only doing so beforehand per doctor’s instructions), but I figured eventually things would level out and I’d get back to normal.

What I didn’t realize, however, was just how much of that lost weight had been muscle. Sure, my pants fell in a way that I knew was due to decreased glute and quad size, but I suppose I didn’t calculate just how much of a physical impact it would make.

Case in point: when I started to exercise again, nothing felt the same. I was sore in spots I’d never been before, certain muscles had to work harder to compensate for the loss, and my speed was slower than it’s been in years. Part of this was due to loss of fitness, certainly, but I’ve been out of shape before…and this was nothing like previous experiences. I knew my muscle loss was the culprit.

I may have had a thigh gap for the first time in my life, but I was also without all the things that make me, me.

I’m not going to pretend like I don’t have narcissistic, body-conscious thoughts. Of course I do, probably on a daily basis. And yes, I’ve pondered about how “nice” it would be to be smaller in certain places. I’m human, and unfortunately there’s not many ways around these types of thoughts.

But when my body did whittle down to what, at some point, may have been my “ideal” size, I never felt less like the person I wanted to be. Of course, part of that may have been because it was an effect of a very bad period of time (the flare up). But I’m not so sure that I wouldn’t have had the same adverse reaction should the circumstances have been different.

What I’m trying to say is this: the literal thigh gap that came from this weight loss created a bigger figurative gap between the person I saw in the mirror and the person I wanted to be. Despite achieving a look that, by society’s standards, is optimal and coveted— I never felt more disappointed in my body.

It was a telling experience, to say the least.

Today, my clothes are nearly all fitting the way they were pre-flare up, and consequentially my health has been steadily increasing every day. These two things aren’t unrelated, and it’s given me a whole new appreciation for what my health really means.

Something else that isn’t unrelated: as my short-lived thigh gap has been closing, the pace of my runs has been dropping. And while society may define success as keeping that gap wide, I define it as the ability to feel fast, strong, and capable. It’s ironic, in the best kind of way, and it’s helped remind me that success is determined by my own guidelines and never someone else’s.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve upon your physical appearance. As I said, it’s an internal conversation I have with myself all the time. But I suppose the takeaway I’ve had from this whole experience is that it should matter so much more to us, as women, to focus on what our bodies can do and not what we are lacking. Because in the latter mindset, there’s inevitably always going to be something that we feel we’re missing. This mentality ensures a life constantly in the negative. 

Changing our “I wish I had…” language into “I’m proud of my…” language has transformative effects, and not only can it help us to love ourselves a little more, but it can be the catalyst for society’s ideals to change.

Because…fuck society’s ideals.

My thighs are reclaiming their territory, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

A Year Without Injuries

This is potentially the most jinx-filled post I’ll ever write. But since I’m not a huge believer in that type of thing, I’ll just go ahead and write it.

(Knock on wood, knock on wood…)

As of this past weekend (Saturday to be specific) it has been one year since I’ve been injured. One year, you guys!

On Saturday, September 8, 2012, I was forced to cut short a 20 mile Chicago Marathon training run because my ankle blew up to the point of not being able to walk. It was heart-breaking, and although I ultimately was able to run the race and had a great time doing so, the injury was still a wake-up call of sorts.

And since then, I haven’t had to take a day off of running for anything other than basic aches, pains, and soreness. Kind of hard to believe! And if any of you are thinking, “It’s just a year Robyn, what’s the big deal?” let me recap some things for you:

In 2012 I was hurt three separate times, all of which were the result of improper (too much) training and general bodily negligence.

– In April, I got horrible knee bursitis which completely threw off my Tacoma Marathon training. It took a cortisone shot and a lot of Aleve to weasel my way out of that one in time for the race.

-In May/June, the evil IT Band Syndrome got me good, and I was limping with knee pain for nearly two months. No running whatsoever.

-In September (as previously mentioned) my ankle tendonitis nearly eliminated my chance to run the Chicago Marathon. It was a little miraculous that I actually made it to and finished the race, and it wasn’t without a lot of luck and prescription anti-inflammatories.

I was actually very fortunate in my year of injuries. While they definitely were the result of over-training, none of them were very permanent and could mostly be quick-fixed with rest and drugs. I definitely consider myself lucky in that regard, but I still knew that my luck wouldn’t hold up if I didn’t make some changes.

It’s one of those “Fool me once, fool me twice…” scenarios. But in this case, I was certainly the one to be shamed, and I knew that these running injuries were going to keep happening if my habits stayed the same.

Nothing changes if nothing changes, and it was time for me to change.

And here I am…a year later, and (okay fine, lots of knocking on wood) I’m healthy and running happily. I will be the first to admit that a lot of this is luck; running and injuries sometimes just go hand-in-hand, no matter how careful you are. For some reason, I’ve been able to avoid the inevitable injuries that can knock us out.

However, I have definitely made changes that I’m certain have played a role in eliminating overuse injuries. Here’s a few things that I think have made the biggest difference:

1 rest day per week. No matter what. I used to take a rest day once every 2 (sometimes 3) weeks, and now I don’t know how that was even possible. I start to crave my rest days, which I also think means that I’m working harder during the other days.

Foot strike. I know this is a debated topic, but between last year and this year, I have fully transitioned to a more minimal shoe and have completely changed from a heavy heel-striker to a mid-foot striker. It could be a coincidence, but I’m guessing that this has a lot to do with the lessened impact.

Added walking. I walk every day between the water taxi and my office building (~.7 miles each way) and often times this is right after I’ve run and showered. I could be wrong, but I think the prolonged striding and extra “shake out” that walking provides has helped my legs recover more from my running.

Strength. This is potentially number one. Up until last August or so, I never did any kind of leg strength training. I always wanted my legs to be fresh for running, so I never bothered with squats or lunges or anything like that. I kind of cringe to think about this now, given that I’ve done a 180 in that regard. Currently, about twice a week, I do all kinds of strengthening, flexibility, and balance (<–super helpful!) work thanks to the lifting class I found. Not only do we work the big running muscles (hammies, quads, and glutes) but also the smaller, less obvious muscles that ultimately make a big impact on both performance and injury-proneness (not really a word, but I think you understand). In a nutshell, I think I had it wrong before; cross-training for running should actually be more about strength and less about other types of cardio. This might not be the same for everyone, but I’m convinced that adding strength training and dropping spinning has been perhaps the number one injury prevention technique.

Here’s the kicker to all this: I’m actually running more days per week and more miles than I was last year when I kept getting hurt. I have built up to this in a totally safe way, no doubt, but I think it’s interesting to look at how I’ve actually been able to do more since I’ve made the above changes.

And let it be known: more running wasn’t even the intention when I decided I needed to reevaluate my habits; in fact, it was actually more the opposite of that. But along the way, I think I found that with the added balance and the added rest, running was granted to me more freely. Some weeks are better than others, and some weeks require more rest and less miles. Ultimately, though, I think I’ve finally gotten a handle on the balancing act of the sport. Much like any relationship, it’s very give and take; the more you nurture your running with things like rest days, stretching, rolling, and nutrition, the more it will give back—in the form of more pain-free and happy miles.

I’m constantly reminded of how much like life running is, and how much it can teach us about other aspects of our lives. This past year has really solidified my belief that nothing changes if nothing changes, but also that we are in control. I think for all of last year, I felt as if running owned me; like it was an abusive relationship, and running had all the power. Of course this was wrong, but it was hard to see things otherwise when the sport I loved so very much kept disappointing me.

Now, I realize I had the power all along, and in fact I was the one who was abusing it. Today, I feel infinitely more control over my training and my running, which is an incredibly empowering and comforting feeling. As a result, I feel like I’ve become both stronger and faster—and perhaps most importantly, more conscious of both my limitations and potential within the sport. So long as I continue to give and take, I have a feeling that that potential will continue to turn into results.

As evidenced also by this past year of three different PRs, it’s safe to say that there’s nothing wrong with being a little bit safer.

Take care of your bodies everyone. We all love to run as much as we can, but sometimes our running, just like us, needs extra TLC.

And if you are hurt right now…here’s one of the most wonderful things I discovered last year after sitting on multiple sidelines: running isn’t going anywhere. It will be right there to take off with you whenever you’re ready again.

Eugene Marathon Training Week #7

Last week was peak week ya’ll.

56 miles on tap. 22 mile long run.

All kinds of big numbers that make me question my sanity and sends my injury-paranoia into overdrive.

Every 50+ mileage week I’ve ever done while marathon training has led to minor injuries. Once a major injury. I also haven’t had an injury-less spring in three years. Needless to say, I have been ridiculously in-tune and overly-wary of how my body has been feeling and how the runs have been going.

So how did this past week fare?

Things are looking/feeling/going great!

Here’s the deets:

M: 7 miles with 7×100 meter pickups, after work

T: 10 miles, no watch

W: Maximum Sculpt class + 1 hour swim

T: 12 miles w/ 7 ” fast” miles

F: 5 miles easy + Maximum Sculpt class

S: 22 miles

S: 1 hour swim

Total= 56 miles

And tack on way too many push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks every night, too. That’s right… PSJJ is still going. We hate it.

A couple of things about those runs/workouts up there:

Thursday’s run didn’t go exactly as it should have.

The truth? I gave myself a little bit of an out.

On the docket was 12 miles with 7 miles @hmgp. When I read that description on my training schedule on Sunday night beforehand, I was already scared. It was like I somehow knew that I wouldn’t be up for it, and—surprise—when the day came, I definitely wasn’t. And while ordinarily I would write this off as a missed-workout and a loss of mental strength, I’m actually glad that I decided to approach this run differently.

After last weekend’s faster-than-planned half marathon plus 7 miles, my body was a little toast. Not overworked, just in need of a little more recovery than a regular training week. I decided to “do what I could” on the run instead. Go fast when I could, hold back if I needed to, essentially—let my legs dictate the run. And wouldn’t you know it, the results weren’t too shabby:

Let's play, "Find the steep uphill mile of this fun." Go!

Let’s play, “Find the steep uphill mile of this fun.” Go!

Perhaps I should have just done the workout and not let the voice of doubt get the best of me. But I’m actually happy I took the route I chose instead. There’s a difference between not giving into fear and recognizing when you actually should hold back, and it’s that fine line that defines the difference between constructive and destructive training.

Onto my favorite training run of the week: the big kahuna.

I’ve only ever done 22 miles in marathon training once before, and it was in my first training cycle. I don’t completely think that it’s physically necessary, but mentally…it’s huge. For me, getting within 4 miles of the full marathon distance does a lot for my confidence, and in distance running… confidence can at times be more important than actual endurance.

That said, there was really only one thing I wanted out of Saturday’s 22 miler: confidence. I had gained a great deal of excitement and encouragement last week from the race, but now was the time to really go long. No stopping, no breaks in the middle, just running. And running. And running.

I decided to tackle this monster on the Burke-Gilman trail for a change of scenery and also for some company. Sure enough, there were runners/bikers/walkers galore…and it felt like the place to be on a Saturday morning.

No sugar coating— this sucker took a long time. But truthfully, it felt like it went by relatively fast. I enjoyed essentially every mile of this run, and with the exception of a couple lonely/tough miles around 15-16, I felt great the whole time. I should note that it was also so m-f cold at the beginning that anyone would rather be running than standing still…meaning the first 5-ish miles were spent thawing out and regaining control of my fingers.

Once the end was in sight and I knew I wasn’t going to blow up, I decided to go for a strong finish. A strong finish in a regular training run (at the tail end of a high-mileage week) would be optimal for the whole “confidence” goal…and I’m really happy with the end results.

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8 minutes per mile flat average pace. Last mile in 7:30. I like it.

A little fast, I’ll admit. But my recovery this training cycle has been so much better than it’s ever been. I woke up on Sunday without any soreness (11 hours of sleep probably helped 🙂 ) and I essentially have zero lingering fatigue.

I decided to swim on Sunday to shake out my legs, after debating if I should take a rest day or not, which felt fantastic. I still maintain that swimming has actual magical powers.

The universe disagreed with this decision though…and it made me pay the price. I woke up yesterday after a horrible night’s sleep with a cloudy head and sore throat…allergy season, you devil. I always forget that the spring is the worst allergy-wise for me, and apparently running through the woods for 3 hours doesn’t really help them stay put.

Alas, unplanned but welcomed rest day yesterday. This week is a partial step-back week with a “shorter” long run, and otherwise— we’re heading into the homestretch, folks. Just two weeks until the three week taper starts. Crazy.

I’ve really been loving this training cycle…and as much as I’d like it to continue, I’m getting really anxious for the grand finale. My focus on my BQ goal hasn’t wavered a bit, and if anything… I’m hungrier for it now than I’ve ever been.

I think it’s possible. I think it’s going to take a little more work and a little bit of race day luck. I’m a big believer in never doubting the unexpected—both for better or for worse. But I’m also a big believer in race day magic.

We’ll see. All I can do now is continue to run well, run safe, and keep my eye on the prize.

Happy Tuesday!

How was your weekend?

Eugene Marathon Training Week #3

Good morning!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and your Monday has started off well (or at least—bearable 🙂 ) Did anyone watch the Oscars last night? Let me rephrase that…did anyone not watch the Oscars last night? The internet was blowing up with commentary. I somehow managed to watch the entire show—beginning to end—and was pretty entertained. The show is always more enjoyable when you’ve seen a lot of the big films, which I somehow managed this year, so overall I enjoyed it. The Sound of Music reference killed me. Also…this:

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Moving on, last week was my third week of training for Eugene, and it was a good one.

M: 6 m trail run- slow, meditative, perfect

T: 5 m run + spin

W: 11 m run + Maximum Sculpt

T: REST

F: 5 m slow run + Maximum Sculpt

S: 18 m long run w/ 10 m @mgp

S: 75 min spin + lifting

Total= 45 miles

Saturday’s long run was a bit intimidating. I wasn’t feeling 100% tip-top, and I woke up in a grumpy mood to begin with. However, it turned out pretty great—and while it was a little fast again, I’m starting to really feel “in the zone” in my hopeful goal pace. I finished in 2:24, which is exactly and 8:00/mile average- 10 of which were between 7:50s and 7:55s.

The thing I was probably most pleased about in regard to this run was just how well I recovered from it. I had zero lingering soreness that night, and yesterday morning I felt 100%. Good signs. I tried to walk around a lot after the run on Saturday so I think that may have had something to do with it.

Otherwise, training is going well. I like the more orderly schedule I’m following as it takes a lot of the guess work out of it. My first of 4(?) 20+ milers is this weekend, and next week will be cutback week…which happens to be perfect timing, because next week I’ll be heading here…

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Oh Maui, you can’t come soon enough.

Have a lovely week, friends!

Running Slow and Running Fast

Hey peeps.

So, obviously I haven’t been blogging too much recently—not because I’m especially busy, but  because I don’t feel like I have much of interest to talk about.

Quality > quantity, that’s my kind of mantra.

Not that most of what I write is especially “quality” to begin with…but I basically don’t want to fill the internet with more pointless jargon.

Moving on. I have been having some good fun running-wise these past few weeks of the new year, namely because I’ve been doing new workouts and I’ve had a running buddy more often!

I’ve finally convinced BF to hit the roads with me every once in a while and I LOVE it. I always thought I preferred solo running…but there’s something extra fun about having a companion. It feels like killing two birds with one stone…exercise + catch-up time.

Although we don’t necessarily have much to catch up on…considering the whole “living together” thing, but that’s besides the point.

Doing my favorite thing with my favorite person makes me one giddy-happy camper. The other day, he even texted me, “How far are we running tomorrow?”

*swoon*

The other good thing about this arrangement is that my pace is much closer to where I should be running my easier runs. I have the very non-textbook habit of running all my runs at race pace, and then doing one speed-session per week. NOT GOOD. BF’s pace is right where my comfortable/recovery pace should be…and I’ve felt much better because of it.

On the other end of the speed spectrum, I’ve started trying to do more regimented speed work—other than simply “run faster than normal for a few miles.”

In fact, the other day I did 800s for the first time EVER. Really, ever. Well, except for high school track…but nothing really counts from high school. Including my awkwardness.

Albeit, the 800s were on a treadmill (too slick outside), but I think keeping myself exactly on-pace with a simulated belt was actually better as a “beginner.”

Here’s how the workout went down:

1 mile warm-up

4 x 800 @8.5 mph ~3:30 

w/ 800 @ 7.3 in between ~4:07

1 mile cool down

Success! This felt good…they got harder toward the end, but I felt like I could have pulled off one or two more without too much difficulty. I liked this a lot also because it made the whole treadmill experience much more entertaining…the blaring Macklemore Pandora station helped too.

I think I’ll add one more 800 next time I do it…and so on. I’m trying to get used to this whole “planned workout pace” thing because the program I’ll be following for Eugene training is fairly regimented. I like that this will be a whole different approach for me…and I especially like that the short/fast and slow runs are becoming more appealing .

For so long, I was all about medium-long runs at the same speed…all the time. I’m digging the variety nowadays, and I’m realizing that the slower runs are really enabling the faster ones to be more constructive and more comfortable.

So there’s your update. I love running slow, and I love running fast. The two pair together quite nicely. I’m in the final stages of base-building right now before starting my actual training program on February 4th. The week before I start, I’m thinking I’ll be doing little to no running AT ALL, just to rest up, get psyched, and alleviate any soreness before the real work begins.

I can’t wait.

That’s all I’ve got! But here are some questions…

Do you prefer outdoors or the treadmill in the winter?

Outdoors, always. Unless there’s ice/monsoon rain.

Do you like slow long runs or fast short runs more?

Do you prefer running alone or with someone else?

A Cozy Christmas for Two

Hello out there! I hope you are currently nestled in holiday vacation glory, enjoying the remnants of leftovers, and continuing to enjoy this most joyous season.

I’m currently back at work—ish—however I decided that my Christmas-themed celebrating will continue until January 2nd. This decision came to me in a case of my inevitable post-Christmas depression: It never fails, around 4 pm on Christmas day each and every year, I get all pissy about how the merriment and happiness is OVER. However, this year I’m very pro-actively putting off the whole “Christmas is over” nonsense and continuing to celebrate with music and chocolate treats.

But in spite of this, let’s back track to the actual “day” of Christmas, which was a first for both BF and myself—since it was just us for the first time in both our lives.

I’ll admit, Christmas Eve day was rough. I spent the whole day shopping and running around to enable BF and I to have the most merry of Christmases. Somewhere among all the crowds and the cheese purchasing, I felt way too adult and emotionally curled into my shell. Where’s mommy?!

It was a little pathetic.

This was my coping mechanism for my sadness. Effective, no?

This was my coping mechanism for my sadness. Effective, no?

However, once BF returned from work, he (bless him) took it upon himself to cheer up his whiny Grinch. And how does one perk up a usually-Christmas-loving grumpy runner?

A Christmas light run!

Instantly, my mood went from this:

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To this…

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A quick little jaunt around our neighborhood with my favorite reindeer alongside was just the ticket. Instant holiday joy returned. See those bells on BF’s antlers? Best part.

Christmas day was pretty close to perfect:

Slept in, stockings in bed, cinnamon rolls, Skyping and FaceTiming family, gift unwrapping, long run WITH BF, cocktails, food, food, okay too much food now we’re too full, and Homeland.

Here’s proof:

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Want to know what’s the best part about cooking/having food for two people? There is inevitably A LOT of it. And please note above: not from a tube!

BF's feelings about going on a run in the rain.

BF’s feelings about going on a run in the rain.

Oh, also, it POURED most of the day. It wasn’t until maybe 2 that it lightened a bit and BF and I headed out on a couple run. Now, despite the fact that we’re both runners, he and I hardly ever run together, so two days in a row was like-whoa crazy. Especially considering the fact that we ended up covering 10 (!) miles on Christmas Day…a distance BF hasn’t taken on for quite some time.

I was so proud and so happy. I promise his mood improved as well.

Green bean casserole, rosemary red potatoes, and beer bread. Who says two 24-year-olds can't cook?

Green bean casserole, rosemary red potatoes, and beer bread. Who says two 24-year-olds can’t cook?

I'm perhaps the only runner that hasn't seen this. Quality stocking stuffer, BF.

I’m perhaps the only runner that hasn’t seen this. Quality stocking stuffer, BF.

I discovered Martinelli's and whiskey this weekend. Life. Changed.

I discovered Martinelli’s and whiskey this weekend. Life. Changed.

Using NEW glasses! See previous caption for details.

Using NEW glasses! See previous caption for details.

Happy ham chef. I'm now realizing that all of my photos are of food. Whatever. Our ham sandwich count is now at 4 and I think we'll be contenders for a record by the time it's all gone.

Happy ham chef. I’m now realizing that all of my photos are of food. Whatever. Our ham sandwich count is now at 4 and I think we’ll be contenders for a record by the time it’s all gone.

 

All in all, my first family-less Christmas was actually quite enjoyable. It’s kind of fun to put together your own personalized holiday. It was really the perfect combination for me of the things, and person, I love. Don’t worry though Mom, you won’t be able to keep me away next year 🙂

So, a belated (but not really because remember Christmas isn’t over) MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS from our house to yours.

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