Run Streak Fail

Well hey there. I haven’t written in several days—it’s been busy around here!—but I’m alive.

Matt and I went north for Thanksgiving, allllll the way up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It’s such a small place up there, I flew into the Houghton County airport and laughed out loud when the plane pulled up outside of the “terminal”…which was a tiiiny building, like a house! Ha! We deplaned onto the snowy ground and waited for our luggage there.

Waiting outside for our luggage. Hey mister. Houghton County Airport.

Waiting outside for our luggage. Hey mister.

Then it was a whirlwind few days of turkey eating, visiting with family, drinking a few beers, taking some real hot saunas, playing endless games of Old Maid in a pillow fort with a 6-year-old, and catching up. It was a great time, but we definitely left exhausted on Sunday, and were happy to sleep in our own bed that night.

Sadly, my run streak totally FAILED while we were up there. I was so motivated and excited to start it on Thanksgiving Day, after my first run. But, where we stayed up north was in the middle of the woods… And it was hunting season there. I was told in no way would I be running around outside! The chance of getting shot at didn’t seem like a smart idea, so my run streak died after just one day. Womp.

I planned to pick it back up once I got home, but work has been SOOO busy with all the holiday marketing we have to do. If you want any sweet holiday deals on underwear, go sign up for Jockey.com emails—stat! At the least, you can buy people some nice socks for Christmas. 😉

Anyway. I’ve been getting up early and working late, it’s a bit exhausting. Doesn’t leave much energy or time to run, so I only got out there tonight—finally. It was a great run, and I got to spend it with a very special person who may or may not be a superhero… For real. I will fill you in on it soon!

Any guesses what superhero I got to run with today?

Have you snagged any good deals during your holiday shopping yet?

Happy Thanksgiving + Run Streaking

Happy Thanksgiving!

Before the celebrating, eating and merriment of the day takes over, I want to thank all YOU readers out there! I have sure loved writing here over the last several months, and I’m so thankful to have an outlet for my creativity and passion for life, love, food & running. And that some people out in the world are finding it useful and entertaining, too. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

I began my Thanksgiving Day by being thankful for my comfy bed—and not wanting to get out of it. But it was time to let the run streaking begin…

I have travel plans today, so I needed to get my first official Runners World “run streak” run done first thing this morning. I got up at 6:30, but it was still pretty dark out, so I made some coffee and got some packing done while I waited. I don’t like running in the dark alone; I always feel like behind every tree/bush/mailbox/lawn gnome is someone waiting to spring out at me. Plus, the other night I heard a pack of coyotes barking and howling just outside (!!!) so I definitely wanted to wait ‘til I could see the day in all its glory.

Once it was light enough, I pulled on several layers of clothes (the “feels like” temp was only 16 degrees out!) and laced up my shoes. I only had time to run a little over a mile, but since the Runners World Run Streak ‘rules’ are that you only have to run at least one mile a day, from today (Thanksgiving) to New Years Day, it would still be official.

There was still a little dusting of snow on the ground. Pretty.

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Even though I hate the thought of the cold, once I’m out in it, I love how the crisp air feels with every lungful of breath. It feels so fresh and freeing. I’m definitely thankful for all of the positive ways running makes me feel, and how it lets me enjoy the world.

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I’m thankful for this wonderful lake scenery, and the home we were able to buy this year that lets us see it so often.

I’m thankful these ol’ feet don’t hate me yet.

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Probably because I dress them up in such pretty colors. 🙂

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Day #1 of the #RWRunStreak complete!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Enjoy the day, eats lots of yummy food, and take a moment to remember what you’re grateful for.

Much love!

The Long Haul to Turkey Day

It’s been a busy week so far. Even though it’s a short week at work, I’m counting down the hours ‘til Thanksgiving: Family, food, relaxation & a break! I’m in need of all those things. And maybe a few glasses of wine.

Well, always some wine. 😉

Here’s what my week has looked like so far:

My weekend involved lots of house cleaning, organizing & improvements. I’ll do full reveals of these rooms once they’re completely done, but I’ve pretty much finished making over our main guest bedroom and my office. Yay! Finally.

Sneak peek of our guest room. Neutral and comfortable.

Sneak peek of our guest room, picture unhung.

Tidbit of my office: My favorite part, my "clothesline" for fun stuff!

Tidbit of my office: My favorite part, my miniature “clothesline” for fun stuff!

I took a break Sunday and broke my hermit streak. Seriously, once it gets cold out, I do NOT want to leave the house. But my friend, Liz, invited me to meet her and a friend for a beer at a local craft brewery, Rustic Road. Beer? Sure!

Rustic Road Hazelnut Harvest Beer

Rustic Road Hazelnut Harvest Beer

I drank the Hazelnut Harvest amber ale. It was supposed to have flavors of vanilla and hazelnut, but they were pretty faint. Overall, the beer was okay, but not one I’d buy at a store. Which is sad, because I love me some hazelnuts!

I came home and got into the Christmas spirit a bit… Okay, I admit, I’ve been listening to Christmas music for the past week. But, I’ve been working on Black Friday and other holiday emails every day at work, what do you expect?!

Our first Christmas wreath!

Our first Christmas wreath!

Matt got us this wreath, handmade from some Boy Scouts. Love it! Mmm, fresh pine.

Then I enjoyed an Angry Orchard amidst the romantic glow of candles…

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…while I baked some [break ‘n’ bake] cookies to bring to my running club meeting for the next night. I’m a cheater.

Simply Pillsbury break n bake cookies - peanut butter and chocolate chip. Yum!

But I tell ya, these babies are so yummy! Lots of my running club buds were even saying so. Plus they are made “simply” without a bunch of crap like normal pre-made cookies. So, uh, they’re good for you, right?

On Monday, I got into work by 7a.m. and put in a good 11 hours, trying to get everything done for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Had to skip my planned run with friends, but it was worth getting some extra stuff done. Plus, I rocked an afternoon presentation to my boss and some execs. Ohhh yes. Hoping to help make some good changes in the near future!

Left work by 6 to go to the running club meeting and feed people with my delicious homemade cookies. The cookies were gone quickly, and they [plus pizza] fueled us through a couple hours of packet stuffing for our upcoming sponsored race, the Mayor’s Day Turkey Run!

Did you ever realize how much work goes into that packet stuffing?

I hadn’t.

Packet Stuffing for the Mayor's Day Turkey Run

Packet Stuffing for the Mayor’s Day Turkey Run

But it took a while, and a whole bunch of spunky runner folks.

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And a few paper cuts.

Packets for the Mayor's Day Turkey Run

Look at all those packets! That’s not even all of them…

But we got it done! If you’re looking for a Turkey Trot or a Thanksgiving Day race to help offset all the eating, drinking & being merry on Thursday, sign up for my running club’s race! It’s almost sold out, it’s a popular one. 🙂

Today was another long day at work, but in a good way. Getting lots done and ready to bring on the holiday shoppers! But coding a bazillion emails has made me cross-eyed. Good thing my boss brought in cupcakes to fuel us along.

I give thanks for cupcakes.

I give thanks for cupcakes.

BTW, best way to eat a cupcake: Tear it in half, and flip the top with the frosting over. Eat like a scrumptious cupcake sandwich, with frosting in every bite. You’re welcome.

One more long day of work, LOTS to get done. Then it’s Thanksgiving break time!

And also time to start streaking. A run streak, that is. You in?

Good thing this post looks so healthy, with all its boozy mentions and cookies and cupcakes. Maybe I should start taking pictures of my salads. But you know, those just aren’t as pretty.

What’s getting you through the week?
What are your plans for the holidays?
Will you be run streaking?

8 Tips to Help You Stay Motivated This Winter

8 Tips to help you stay motivated this winter - ways to motivate yourself to work out in the winter

As a kid, I used to LOVE snow. I grew up along the lake effect snow belt in Ohio. It was theee best when you went to bed with no snow on the ground, only to wake up to a foot of fresh powder and pretty snowflakes falling from the sky. Oh, and school cancelled, of course!

Now that I’m all grown up and the mythical Snow Day has been snatched from existence, just like Santa Claus, my love for snow has dwindled. Not only do I have to drive in this stuff (i.e., dodge all the people who can’t drive in the snow), but now I have to find a way to stay motivated to work out in it, so I can eat, drink and be merry stay healthy all winter.

Alas, here I am, in Wisconsin, land of beer and cheese and snow and bitterly cold wind. Over the last couple years, I’ve run during snowstorms; I’ve run during monsoon-like winds; I’ve run in temperatures topping out in the mere teens. I’ve run with YakTrax (spikes) on the bottom of my shoes, so I can prance along snowy, icy sidewalks and streets. I’ve run when other sane folks are only outside because they have to snowblow two feet of snow out of their driveway, and they look at me like I’m a nutjob.

(They may be right.)

Are you dreading cold weather runs in the snow, and finding it’s hard to get your butt out the door to go work out? Well, you’re in luck!

Here are eight of my tips and tricks for staying motivated to run and work out during the winter months.

1. Good Ol’ Fashioned Self-Bribery
Reward yourself for facing the arctic conditions that any normal human would cower against. Get yourself some new (warm) workout gear, new shoes, a sweet treat, hot cocoa…you could even set aside a few bucks in a jar every time you complete a workout and spring for a BIG reward. Whatever it is, paying yourself back with some sort of incentive to get out there can help.

2. Sign Up for a Winter Race
Turkey Trots and Santa Runs can help keep you motivated for the next month or two. Or, sign up for an early spring race, and your training schedule will demand training time over the winter months. Having a goal race to train for—and a set training schedule for it—is one of the best motivators to get out the door.

3. Join a Running Club
My bah-humbug motivation savior! Find a running club, or even just a friend or two, and set concrete plans to run together at least once or twice a week. Knowing someone is planning, and waiting, to meet you will make you less likely to flake on a workout.

4. Go Streaking
Not for the faint of heart: Join the Runner’s World 2013 Holiday Streak and run at least 1 mile per day from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s. Will you win anything? No. Will it be awesome? Yes. I am going to go streaking myself!

5. Enjoy a Post-Run Warm-Up
Have hot cocoa or tea ready to heat up when you get back. Or, hop in a warm bath or shower to relax & de-stinkify. You might not want to get out.

6. Remember: Cold > Hot
When you think it’s too cold out to run, think of all the days you had to run in the sun, in 90 degree (or more) heat, and ridiculous humidity. Cold is oh-so-much better to run in than the heat.
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7. Try a New Workout
Okay, so you’re not going to get outside. It’s just not gonna happen. Take these few months to try new workout classes or pick up some cross-training. Sign up for a spin class, yoga, Pilates, TRX, CrossFit, bootcamp—the possibilities are endless. Don’t think you’ll even want to leave your home? I like to hibernate, too. Get P90X or other fitness DVDs to do in front of your own TV, or find workouts online to do at home, no equipment required.

8. You’ll Be a Bad Ass
If you continue to run throughout the winter, even in snow and below-freezing temperatures, you’re kind of like the Super Hero of runners. Everyone wants to do it, but only a select few will really stick with it. You, my friend, will be a Bad Ass.* And as such, you’ll feel a little lighter, a little faster, and a lot more awesome come springtime.

*To non-runners, you will be a Crazy Ass. Proceed with caution.

What are your tips for staying motivated during the winter months?
Do you find it harder to get outside and run, or it’s just like any other time of year for you?