I’m Going Streaking!

I’ve mentioned it a few times on the blog already, but I can’t do a running streak without a post claiming “I’m going streaking!”. Har har har. It’s basically part of the tradition. (This is year two for me, so that means it’s a tradition, right?)

I’m playing along with the Runner’s World rules, they’re the same rules I followed last year and they worked for me, so why not? It’s simple: at least one mile per day, every day, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

streak-page-header

Last year, I hadn’t ever run more than two or three days consecutively when I signed up for the running streak, so I had no idea how it was going to go. I just thought it would be fun. I promised myself that if I was hurt or sick I wouldn’t push it, and I didn’t. I ended up having a blast and finishing with a PR race on the last day of the streak, so I feel pretty confident saying that I didn’t push it.

It was a lot of fun, so if you’re on the fence, I’d say you should join right in!

Still not convinced? Check out my posts from last year’s streak: 2013 Holiday Running Streak

Tomorrow morning, I’m shuffling off to Buffalo for Thanksgiving, so I’ll see you on the other side of the holiday! Enjoy!

 

I wore a headband on my run today, but this post has nothing to do with that.

I finally got my act together and went for a run! Yay me! I didn’t end up going to the gym with Jeff because it was practically a heat wave (44 F), so I went outside instead. I ended up going 5.5 ish miles, and even though I had a pretty good time, it was a tad harder than I would have liked. My legs felt kind of cement-like. I think I need to do more stretching and foam rolling, or you know…any stretching and foam rolling.

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I don’t look like myself with a headband. Also, the face I’m making is a little odd, too.

After farting around for an hour and a half, I finally got out the front door around 8 this morning. I ran over the bridge (will this ever get easier?) and then around Salem for most of my run. I like this route. I despise running up the bridge, but it’s a very nice view. I love running by the water. 🙂

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Only one boat left, that’s how you know winter’s coming.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is this week. I feel like the entire month of November has flown by. I’m looking forward to visiting with my family and friends that I don’t see very often. And of course, I’m thrilled to be running the Buffalo Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. My brother in law agreed to join us for the run this year, which is super exciting. I’ve never run a race with him before, and I love racing with family.

As for this coming week, I’m planning on a short run Tuesday night before I finish packing for our long weekend in WNY. Then, the Winter Running Streak starts on Thanksgiving, so I’ll be running at least a mile a day for the rest of the year. I think that I may have went on a skipping binge this week knowing that pretty soon I will not be skipping at all. 😉

How do you feel about headbands?

What changes around your neighborhood when the weather gets cold?

Are you excited for Thanksgiving?

 

 

Skip, Skip, Skip to My Lou!

In case you couldn’t guess from the post title, this week was NOT full of running. As of right now this morning, it’s somehow been a whole week since I ran. Where does the time go? You might be wondering why I haven’t ran, but I don’t have a very good excuse. Luckily I’m not injured or sick or  buried in 6 feet of snow (I’m talking about you Buffalo), or overwhelmed by work or other responsibilities. I just chose not to.

On Tuesday, I was cold and tired and had to stop for gas on the way home (that’s a good reason to skip, right?). I told myself (and Jeff) that instead of skipping running and ordering pizza we were being good by skipping running and eating a healthy dinner. haha. Then Thursday rolled around and my (already obnoxiously long) commute ended up being an extra 20 minutes long…and I was cold, so I sent Jeff off into the night by himself and I read blogs and took a hot shower. It was a relaxing alternative.

So, after all that skipping, I obviously went running this morning, right? Nope! I have a bunch of things to do this morning, so I opted to postpone the long run until Sunday. This comes with the additional perk of hitching a ride with Jeff to the gym, where I can avoid running in the cold. So, instead of running I’m blogging, eating breakfast, and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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Toast w/ maple pumpkin butter that my sister sent me (because she’s awesome. Not shown: diet doctor pepper.

 

And, I guess I’ll get back to running next week. It’ll still be cold and dark, but maybe I’ll remember how much fun winter running is? The turkey trot will help with that, I’m sure!

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Proof that I think winter running is fun.

 

Ever skip a week for no good reason?

How do you feel about it? I’m not really concerned.

Do you like pumpkin butter? How about pop with breakfast?

I’m Knot Crazy!

After reading a review of Lock Laces last week, I got to thinking about how I lace and tie my running shoes. For years, I’ve been fascinated with different methods for lacing shoes (not just the running variety), and my favorite thing to do when getting a new pair of sneakers is to remove the laces and sit on the couch with both shoes. I usually choose two lacing methods, lace up the shoes, and pick the one that tickles my fancy. I’ve also been known to lace other people’s (Jeff’s) new sneakers, but he usually request that I lace them in the traditional manner. What can I say, I just genuinely enjoy lacing shoes. (ahem…weirdo). So, when I read about shoelaces the other day, I got all excited.

Let’s talk about how I tie my running shoes. I use a modified double knot. I’m not sure where I picked this up, but since I’ve been using it, I’ve had no problems with my shoes coming untied on the run (unless I forget to do it). I call it a modified double knot because it’s not the same as your traditional double knot, with the main advantage (in my opinion) being the ease of untying. Double knotting can be tricky to get untied, but this one is much better in that department.

So, here’s how I do it (I apologize for the horribly inadequate and unclear explanation):

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Start tying your shoe like normal.

 

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Still normal.

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Instead of pulling it tight, stick your second loop (on the right) under, around, and through the hole a second time. (Does that make sense?)

 

 

 


And the untying:

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Pull one end (not too hard, though)

 

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Pull the other end, and voi-la!

 

Now that we’ve got that explained, let’s talk about lacing the shoes. Here’s a magnificent website that has more ways to lace shoes that one would ever need to know: Ian’s Shoelace Site. It’s amazing, and my go to for choosing a method to lace my non-running shoes.

Normally, I choose to go with traditional lacing for my running shoes. The fancy lacing methods aren’t necessarily ideal for running, but there is one specific lacing method I do like for running. It’s called lock lacing. It’s not very fancy, but it does keep your laces tight and holds your foot in place in your shoe. The main reason I don’t always use it is because it requires a longer shoe lace. But if you have trouble with your shoe laces staying tight and your foot staying put, you can find standard shoelaces in many different lengths for pretty cheap.

You can see step by step directions on Ian’s Site, but in case you wanted to follow along with me:

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Lace up like normal, leaving the last eyelet (hole) empty.

 

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Feed lace through the last eyelet on the same side.

 

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Feed lace through the loop you just created. And Ta-da!

 

Any other lacing enthusiasts out there?

Do you tie your shoes like me?

Can you follow along with my instructions? I have a feeling they’re pretty awful.

 

Have I Mentioned That I Love Running?

First things first: You’ll notice I changed the theme on my blog! I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but I wanted to make sure I picked one I liked. I don’t want to switch it up too often, I always find it a little disorienting when others make big changes to their blogs. I hope you like it, and it doesn’t take too long to get used to. 🙂


Now let’s talk about running! Yesterday, Jeff and I ran another long run together. We also ran together Tuesday and Thursday night….I’m really loving non-marathon training!

Tuesday we did 3.5ish miles (my watch was being difficult) and Thursday we did 2.5 miles. These runs were just okay. My legs have been sluggish and I’m still getting used to my new “working amy” schedule. After working all day and then driving home for an excessively long time, I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to go back out in the cold and dark to run. But I did it, and it was a good decision both times.

Our long run was a lot more exciting than the two weekday runs. First of all it was Saturday morning, which is my absolute favorite time to do a long run. I pretty much can’t sleep in on Saturdays anyways (I woke up at 6:13AM this weekend, and it’s usually not much later than that.), and it’s just so nice to get out there when you have the whole weekend ahead of you.

This Saturday was COLD. In the low/mid 20s. I’m still getting used to the weather change so I wore a lot of my “it’s super cold out” gear…hat, mittens, multiple shirts, and of course my fancy cold weather running socks:

cool kids wear argyle

Last week, we did 5 miles with a fast finish (last mile) and I really enjoyed it. With my long runs so much shorter than they were in the summer/fall, I have more options when it comes to pace. When I was doing 20 milers, the only option was “run as slow as you must in order to not pass out”. But now, a little speed thrown in is totally possible. This week we did a progression run, trying to make each of our 6 miles faster than the last.

It was really interesting. I loved getting faster and faster as the run went on, but it was tricky because it required us to not speed up too much and end up with a last mile that would be impossible. When our first mile clocked in around 10:30, and the second at 10:11, I was seriously concerned about what time we’d have to beat for mile six. Luckily we stopped getting faster at such an alarming rate (10:06, 9:56, and 9:48 for the next three miles), and our goal for the last mile wasn’t outrageous.

We finished up with a 9:36 mile, and I was thrilled! I was most proud of tackling a tough hill in mile five and not slowing down. I used all my focus and “hill tricks” to push through that mile. The last half mile was also a struggle, but Jeff was there cheering me on, and I knew it was the end…it’s so much easier to push at the end. So we finished all smiles having completed our goal, and I realized that my legs had felt the best they have since the marathon. I think I might be out of recovery mode…hooray!

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Another perk of winter running….hot chocolate to refuel!

Do you like running in the cold? I do! Right up until the ice makes an appearance.

Do you ever throw some speed work into long runs?

 

How to get a lot of likes from travel bloggers

After I posted my Cape Cod marathon recap, I immediately started getting more likes than I normally do, and from new readers. As I checked out these other bloggers, I started to notice a theme…they were all travel blogs. Hmmm…that’s odd. And then I had a realization. I had categorized my post under “travel” because I had traveled to the race. This must have led all these travel bloggers to my post. I think this is really cool, and I will now be using a “Running” category on every post. It’s kind of funny, though because I didn’t actually talk about travel AT ALL in my post. Haha.

After all that, I thought I should write a little about the Cape and our travel experiences. I thought the best way to do this would be to make up a quick travel survey to fill out.

BARE BONES TRAVEL SURVEY

  • Location: Cape Cod, Falmouth, MA
  • Time of Year: Late October
  • Length of Stay: Not Quite 2 days, 1 night

Where’d You Stay? At the beach! Seacrest Beach Hotel. The hotel was nice, and had an off season discount, but I wasn’t super impressed. The pictures on the website are nicer than the actual rooms, and it was a bit more expensive than I felt was worth it given that it’s not beach season, but it wasn’t out of line with the area. In context of the race, the hotel was about a 15 min drive from the start/finish, and it was one of the very few (only?) hotels that didn’t have a 2 night minimum.

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The hotel beach

How’d You Get there? Drove. We had no problems with traffic, but I know it gets very backed up during the summer.

What/Where did you Eat? I purposely tried to eat “boring” things before the race, so I’m not going to comment on this one. It could give the wrong impression. 😉

Any Must See Sites/Attractions? The beach!  Specifically, the Lighthouse was spectacularly beautiful with the ocean in the background. (Mom, I know you’re laughing because of all the complaining about our lighthouse visits when I was a kid.)

lighthouse

Picture from the race facebook page. It’s even more beautiful in person!

Cranberry bogs being harvested. This was just so cool. You’ll have to visit in the fall though if you want to catch the harvest.

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Where cranberries come from.

What was the weather Like? Highs in the low 60s, sunny, and very windy.

What was the Running Like? Beautiful views, and the race was very well organized. Outside of a race, I’d stick to the beach front area, and maybe check out the bike path. There are a lot of blind curves on some of the inland roads and this was also were most of the really tough hills were.

Would you go back? Yes, but probably not during the summer….I’m not a “hanging out on the beach” person, and there’d be too many people, I think.

Did you know that categories actually did something?

Have you been to Cape Cod?

Any other questions I should answer?

Thankful Thursss…oh wait, it’s Tuesday.

We’re over a week into November, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Some of the other blogs I read (Run Away With Me and Darlin’ Rae) have been posting about what they’re thankful for in order to get in the mood, and since I’m a copy cat I’m going to do the same. At least with this single post.

Here are some things I’m thankful for:

1. My Job I haven’t written about this on the blog, but long story short: I left my job as a mechanical engineer in January. I then spent the majority of the year studying for the first couple actuarial exams and trying to find my way into a new field. Last Monday was my first day in my first actuarial job! I’m so thankful everything came together and this is working out.

2. Trip to Buffalo – Jeff and I are spending Thanksgiving in Buffalo this year. I can’t wait to spend some quality time with my family and friends, especially my just-about-6 month old niece who I haven’t seen since July! We’re also running the Buffalo Turkey Trot which I have run 6 times now.

thanksgiving_bowling

My extended family likes to go bowling after thanksgiving (and christmas). We also have things like trophies and certificates.

3. That I like to Run – Not just that I can run, but that I like it and I figured that out. If I hadn’t given it a chance and stuck with it for as long as I have, I might never have known how much fun it is. It’s so great to be out running on a sunny Saturday morning in the fall, but so many people don’t get to, or even want to.

4. Friends & family – I have some great family and friends. Whether it’s the big things like supporting me during a career change, or just sending me a funny text in the middle of the day. They’re great. I’m counting you, my blogging buddies, in this one, too.

5. Chapstick – I’m a tad overly interested in chapstick these days.  I rotate flavors and look forward to the days when I have my favorites. Which are: Burt’s Bees Coconut Lime, Grapefruit, and Vanilla Bean, and Badger Balm Lavendar & Orange. It may sound like I have a problem, but I bet I won’t be having any issues with dry lips this winter.

so much chap stick, so little time

6. My smartphone – My new work has a very strict internet policy and I can’t use my work computer to check my personal email – even during lunch break – so I’m extremely thankful to have a phone with a data plan that I can use for this purpose. I also get to read and comment on my favorite blogs while eating.

7. Streaming video – I’m talking Amazon Prime and Hulu. Who doesn’t love a good TV series binge? Now that it’s getting colder out, I’m really looking forward to curling up on the couch with my computer and multiple seasons of a show. (Well, to be honest, I do this year round).

8. A Comfy Bed – Getting into a nice soft bed with clean sheets is so nice. Sometimes it’s the little things.

9. Books – I have a HUGE stack of books I’m reading. There are just so many great ones out there! And, now that I have a long commute, I’ll be listening to audio versions, too.

There you have it, some of the things I’m thankful for. Now you tell me:

What are you thankful for?

Any of the same things as me?

Ever go overboard on the chapstick?