First race of 2017:

This past Saturday I ran the most dreamy of logistical races. With a 10am start time for the Resolution Run, a local 4 mile trail race, I left my house at 9:25am, was parked at the race at 9:35am, got my number and shirt by 9:40am and sat in my car until 9:55am when I decided to join the rest of the crowd (about 75-80 runners total) at the start.

easy peasy in the logistics category!

easy peasy in the logistics category!

A little about the course…Miles 1 and 4 were in Bloomingdale Park, the park I take Duncan to almost daily.

Here's the same spot in the race....

Here’s the same spot in the race….

and 2 days before with Duncan

and 2 days before with Duncan

These miles weren’t technical, they were either on the dirt paths or paved paths and I could keep my pace similar to road miles. Miles 2 and 3 were loops in the woods next to the park, so being aware of tree roots, and other potential hazards under the leaves meant slowing down the pace a bit.

crossing over a little stream

crossing over a little stream

pink ribbons marked the course

pink ribbons marked the course

I really love a good local race.

finish line goodies

finish line goodies

Yes, it’s weird to fork over $35 to run on the same paths I can run for free any day that I wanted but I like the medal a whole bunch and I think there’s something about being part of an organized even that pushes me to work harder than if I was just on my own. Also, I feed off being around people with the same passion as me. This race was the first in a series of 3. The medals are made to interlock and create one big medal so that really incentivizes me to run the other 2….both of which are the same 10 min drive from my house.

first race of 2017

Love the medal!

There’s a 5k next month and a 10k in April. Also, part of the proceeds of this race will support a local volunteer CERT (community emergency response team) organization. :)

OK, now on to my chronic hamstring pain situation. Not that I’m looking for advice, I just feel like venting but I wouldn’t refuse the advice :)

Hamstring pain situation:

So it started a few months ago….maybe September or October. Initially it was just that “sticky” tightness on the backs of my thighs right in the middle of my hamstring. Then I noticed especially in November during my road trip to North Carolina how painful it was to sit for long periods of time and that the pain had moved up more to the top of the hammy and where it attaches to the sit bones. I also started to get some pain in the groin. All mostly dull, achy pain. Running or even walking uphill and sitting happen to be the two things that irritate them the most.

After basically not running for 3 weeks (aside from my leisurely holiday run on New Year’s Eve) I really wasn’t feeling much relief. I noticed that all the hill climbing during my weekly night hikes were aggravating everything too. Well, after Saturday’s race the pain intensified. So running is still the main source of irritation for sure.

I’ve been researching and think it might be one of the following 2 things: High Hamstring Tendinopathy or possibly trigger point issue associated with my adductor magnus muscle.

Either way, it’s a surefire sign I need to strengthen my glutes and hips! When will I get it through my brain that I need to strength train to prevent injury? I’m a glutton for punishment for sure.

So that’s that. I spent the rest of the weekend with Mr. SOTSS. We saw Patriots Day yesterday and allowed ourselves a little flexibility in our diet for some popcorn.

Patriots Day and Popcorn

Patriots Day and Popcorn

The movie was really good but left me feeling such sadness all over again as I thought about the Boston Marathon bombings. I remember that afternoon so vividly. I was at my desk at work watching on my computer and tracking my friend Carey. She was a few miles from the finish and my boss and I went out to the ice cream truck quickly for an ice cream cone. As we were walking back into the office a co-worker came running up to me to say there was a bomb that exploded at the finish. My heart sank! I knew Carey was so close. She was probably still about a mile or so away from the finish when they stopped her and said the race was over. She didn’t know why at first. Once I realized she was safe I just refreshed CNN constantly for the rest of the day and the next few days too as I watched everything unfold. It is beyond my comprehension how anyone could cause such harm to innocent people. I had nightmares last night. :(

Yesterday was a day of simple pleasures. We started with a 2 mile walk, letting the dogs frolic for a bit and then we just ran some errands and cooked healthy meals for the week. We walked the dogs again at night and Mr. SOTSS caught some of the Playoffs Football action too.doggies

The face he gave when I asked what Chester had in his mouth :) "Um, you don't want to know"

The face he gave when I asked what Chester had in his mouth :) “Um, you don’t want to know”

Do you like going to the movies? 

What’s your favorite movie snack?

What are your favorite weekend simple pleasures?

Hi there.

So my toe was feeling better on Tuesday morning. I was so happy! Then, after our morning walk, Duncan ran up the stairs and was doing what I call “the zoomies” around the living room and next thing I know he was limping. Geez….really? He wouldn’t put any pressure on his right foot at all at first. But by later in the afternoon he was doing better and by yesterday he was back to normal. Whew! We avoided a trip to the vet.

We made up for lost time today with a stroll together….no coats/no limp for both of us!

:)

:)

Where'd all the snow go?

Where’d all the snow go?

It was 63 degrees and I actually had the sunroof open.

sunroof open!

My “sunroof is open” smile!

I was plowing through work for a client yesterday and at one point he sent me this message:

clientMade me feel so good. When you work for yourself you need some validation every now and again :)

Last night, since my toe seemed good I decided to go on that night hike again. They go out every Wednesday evening from about 6-8pm. This was my 3rd hike and I love how each time there’s something else that is unique. Last week I could see a sky full of stars and a whole lot of deer. My headlamp would reflect into the  This week there was still some patches of snow around and there was an almost full moon in the sky.15966270_10211670573141552_1967774039216652239_n It was cloudy but you could see the diffused light in the sky anyway.

a silhouette Sally selfie

a silhouette Sally selfie

It was unseasonably warm too. There were about 8 of us. 15977599_10211385058093086_7274360967031784655_nThere were times we were all chatty and other times all you could hear was the sound of our feet.

I registered for a local 4 mile trail run called the Resolution Run this weekend. This will be my first running miles and first race of 2017. And it’s the first of 3 trail runs in the series and each individual race medal interlocks to create one larger medal.

Between the hikes and the trail races I think I’m going to get much more acquainted with my local trails this year and this makes me happy!

So what do you have going on this weekend?

Do you like hiking/running on trails?

 

Some ups and downs so far 9 days into 2017 :)

Here’s what’s been going on in the last week…

We’ve got lots of cold weather and snow happening here on the east coast….both inside and out.

mmmm....snowsicles are yummy

mmmm….snowsicles are yummy

Yep, on Friday morning Duncan took one last rest on his pig (that Mr. SOTSS won me at the Washington State Fair last September) and then discovered a little hole big enough to de-stuff the pig and before we knew it, it was snowing in the house!

Such a comfortable pig

Such a comfortable pig

it's SNOWING!

it’s SNOWING!

It was also snowing outside and I decided to go for a 4 mile walk to get in a good amount of steps before the snow really accumulated. I walked for over an hour and really enjoyed every step. The neighborhood was quiet and magical with all the powdery white stuff falling.

being the first to step on fresh fallen snow is almost as fun stepping on (and popping) those sheets of packing bubbles!

being the first to step on fresh fallen snow is almost as fun as stepping on (and popping) those sheets of packing bubbles!

I love Winter!

I love Winter!

This is where things went south. I decided to pull out my trampoline and jump a bit for a little extra calorie burn and also to warm up and get the chill out of my body. As I went to push the trampoline in the center of the living room floor I kicked one of the metal legs so hard accidentally and next thing I knew my toenail was split into 3 pieces. Just like in the cartoons, I saw stars. I manually pulled off the two pieces that were hanging by a thread and covered the toe with antibiotic cream and a bandage and continued about my day. (no photos because I want you to continue to read my blog :) It wasn’t until the evening when I tried to put a shoe on to take Duncan for a walk that I realized how painful the toe was and how hard it was for me to walk.

I was feeling rather down on myself because of a multitude of things. First, I had been tracking my calories and trying to eat healthier all week. I hadn’t had sweets and was going through major sugar withdrawal. I also hadn’t run all week because my hamstring has still been bothering me. Combine that with the fact that my workload at the moment is really too light for my liking (read….typical freelance worry about cash flow and paying bills) and I really spiraled.

Luckily yesterday I was able to get out of the house and go have fun in the snow with Mr. SOTSS and his girls (and the dogs). I tried not to let the toe pain get in the way. We spent a few hours outside. But not before we all got bundled up.

Superdoodle

Superdoodle is not super happy about this getup.

Duncan hated me for putting him in his snowsuit and boots but it just makes life easier on both of us not having to deal with the snowballs that stick to his fur.

Best angle ever! #doodlebutt

Best angle ever! #doodlebutt

Happy despite the snowsuit. Also happy the paws were set free. Those booties didn't last long.

Happy despite the snowsuit. Also happy the paws were set free. Those booties didn’t last long.

so happy when he's being a kid

so happy when he’s being a kid

Chester likes big sticks and he cannot lie

Chester likes big sticks and he cannot lie

LOL. The face says it all.

LOL. The face says it all.

Does this snowsuit make my butt look big?

Does this snowsuit make my butt look big?

Things were looking up when I weighed myself this morning and I was down 1.4 pounds. But more importantly I’m really proud of myself for sticking to eating healthier for a week straight and I’m determined to keep up the good work. I know the number on the scale will fluctuate but if I can be more conscious about my nutrition throughout the year then I can consider myself ahead of the game.

Then I realized if I take my sock off before putting my boot on the toe pain is reduced and I can walk a little better. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get out for a slow walk today and sweat out the small stuff. Hoping a few more days will bring me enough relief in the toenail AND the hamstring area that I can run a local 5k trail run this Saturday. We shall see.

And I just got a new work assignment! Whew!

Moral of this story. Toenails are heavy! (LOL!) Seriously though, my point is that it’s so easy to spiral but if you give it some time, things can always improve.

Have a great week!

Anyone else have stubbed-toe-war-stories???? Any tips on healing the tender toenail bed?

Happy New Year! Are you ready to attack 2017? It’s going to be full of change for me but more on that in another post.

I finished out 2016 with a couple of fun activities.

Night Hike: Last Wednesday I decided to join a local group for a night hike. We hiked over 6 miles and it was really fun. I thought I’d be scared of tripping and falling but our headlamps gave plenty of light and the trails are really well maintained. They meet every week and they also have a group of trail runners out there too. Maybe I’ll get the courage to try the running at some point this year.

Headlamps and smiles

Headlamps and smiles

Holiday City Run: Saturday morning (New Year’s Eve morning) I went into the city to meet some running friends—Lisa, Gary and Mike—for our holiday windows run.

We started here

We started here

We didn’t run past as many department store windows as usual but still stopped to see the tree at Rockafeller Center, Bryant Park and we discovered another really beautiful tree at a random hotel on Madison Ave.

Barneys

Barneys

Saks 5th Ave

Saks 5th Ave

hotel-tree

Bryant Park

Bryant Park

Another shot from Bryant Park

Another shot from Bryant Park

Rockafeller tree and the gang

Rockafeller tree and the gang

I take this  exact shot every year.

I take this exact shot every year.

We made a quick stop into St. Patrick's Cathedral to say a prayer/light a candle

We made a quick stop into St. Patrick’s Cathedral to say a prayer/light a candle

These oversized ornaments are a classic over the years

These oversized ornaments are a classic over the years

We also ran into Times Square as they were preparing for the big New Year’s Eve ball drop shenannigans. There were already people who had gone through security and were “in position” at 9am! This is crazy to me. They basically were going to be spending 15 more hours just standing there until midnight. And no opportunity to exit. No bathrooms. It was really cold. I just think that’s nuts. They did however have bags with snacks. #priorities

All ready for the insanity

All ready for the insanity

Roads closed. You NEVER see Times Square without cars.

Roads closed. You NEVER see Times Square without cars.

New Year’s Eve: I had a quiet evening at Mr. SOTSS’s on New Year’s eve with Duncan, Casey (it was my last night of dog-sitting her) and Chester. I almost didn’t make it until midnight.

Mr. SOTSS, Casey, me, Duncan and Chester....

Mr. SOTSS, Casey, me, Duncan and Chester….

Not at all interested in staying up until the ball drops

Not at all interested in staying up until the ball drops

I leaned over the couch to reach for something on the sofa table and Duncan jumped up to get comfy. He's a riot and a half

I leaned over the couch to reach for something on the sofa table and Duncan jumped up to get comfy. He’s a riot and a half

New Year’s Day: After dropping Casey off, we took Duncan and Chester to our favorite park so they could get some exercise.

Duncan decided to roll around in some sort of animal poo and I had to give him a bath when we got home. I really don’t understand why dogs like to roll in stinky things.

Hey ma! I'm having a blast and I even rolled in something really stinky!

Hey ma! I’m having a blast and I even rolled in something really stinky!

Hoping 2017 is filled with lots of this

Hoping 2017 is filled with lots of this

We also painted Mr. SOTSS’ bathroom. He started remodeling his bathroom 2 years ago. It’s been a slow process because he hardly gets free time but the tiling is all done and now it’s painted.

I volunteered to do all the edging

I volunteered to do all the edging

Classic subway tile and "country house" blue

Classic subway tile and “country house” blue

It’s been really rainy here the last two days. I got some work done while Duncan kept me company. Not much different from 2016 :) I finally went to the mall to power-walk just to get my 10,000 steps.

my "office"

my “office”

 

I’m always optimistic at the beginning of a new year. So far I’m on day 2 of trying to drink more water and track my food. I’m not ready to say I’m on a diet but I just want to start being aware of what I’m eating each day.

Are you a resolutions person?

Have you ever hiked at night? I had run at night during my Ragnar Relay events but never hiking on trails before.

Have you ever wanted to or been to Times Square on New Year’s Eve?