My intentions have been to post once a month but will you look at that?…It’s been 2 months since my last post. And so it goes. I hereby declare I’m going to post when I feel like it to free myself of guilt!

Unfortunately, summer hasn’t started out so well for us….Mr. SOTSS’ dad passed away over the weekend from a rare and rapid illness called CJD and we’re really all just in shock. His dad was just shy of 72 but was quite strong and healthy up until 2 months ago when he started to show symptoms. He was still running a business and doing all the things. Neither of us ever expected this. We’re now navigating through unchartered territory with the loss of a parent (and me trying to to support someone who’s lost a parent). I’m grateful to have had a few years to get to know him and experience some memorable family sailing trips as well as two special trips to Block Island (off the coast of Rhode Island)—first, for his wedding in 2015, and then two years later to celebrate his 70th birthday. I have to say that his passing has left me feeling that sense of urgency once again. Stop waiting and start doing….wait, isn’t that the tagline for The Home Depot? But really….we need to just tell our loved ones we love them as much as we can and go do what makes us happy on the regular.

Our captain at the helm.

Mr. SOTSS and his dad in Block Island celebrating his dad’s 70th birthday

My first kayaking experience was when we were in Block Island

Sunrise over the pond behind the house we stayed in on Block Island

On a brighter note there have been many awesome moments since my last post too.

Mr. SOTSS’s birthday was a quiet one this year but we celebrated with ice cream which is always a great way to celebrate 🙂

Yes, I brought a candle to the ice cream shop and sang Happy Birthday to him right there on the sidewalk. 🙂

His youngest daughter just graduated from middle school and his oldest daughter just turned Sweet 16.

My lame attempt at decorating. But hey, I used 16 cupcakes total so A for effort!

I have also discovered that our yard has some lovely flowers growing. We had peonies a few weeks ago and now we’ve got hydrangeas.

Freshly cut Peony bouquet

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Hi there.

Hope Spring is treating y’all well. Here in New Jersey we’ve been “welcomed” with ticks! YUCK, I hate them. Apparently there will be a big surge of the buggers this season thanks to our milder and wetter Winter.

But we’ve been enjoying the outdoors with the pups anyway.

He looks pretty happy. 🙂

I love this shot!

Hanging at the beach

Dock smile

I also got a little Spring decorating bug. After we repainted the sunroom floor the month before I figured we should do a bit more to make the space more defined. So we got a nice area rug, a cute throw pillow and a cubby shelf thingy to sort of form a “mud room”. Little nautical touches finish off the look (rope handles on the cubby bins, the white stripe on the rug and I stacked some old boating books and compass that Mr. SOTSS had to finish off the look (plus one nature book of mine). We are both really happy with how it all looks and love that it actually feels more like 2 spaces now.

Mud room cubbys…one for each of us (yes the dogs each have their own along with the adults and the human teenagers 🙂

The cutest denim blue pillow ever IMO

Nautical accents

Modeling the new rug

In work related news I’ve started working in the city 2 days a week for some on-site design consulting. It’s actually be really nice to break up the week working at home 3 days and in the city 2 days. Duncan misses me but I feel better knowing he can hang with Chester until I return.

Oh and I designed my first food truck vehicle wrap for Mr. SOTSS’s business. This was fun…customer wanted something that would stand out. I think lime green does the trick!

 

Ok now on to my recap…

It’s been 3 weeks since I ran the 2019 Philly Love Run half marathon.

First of all I just want to say I’m SOOO happy that I finally got to run a half marathon after more than 2 years of injury, loss of fitness and other life events. I was training for the 2017 Philly Love Run when I injured my toe just a few weeks before. And last year I wasn’t fully recovered. This year almost didn’t happen when some very mild posterior tibial tendonitis became a bit more severe forcing me to stop my training with a long run of only 7.5 miles. But I slogged through to finish in one of my slower times of 2:38.

The back of the finisher shirts modeled by the girls in front of me at the start. I use mine for pajamas because it is very soft and not tech-fabricky.

A little sunrise peeking through at the start

This will be more of a highlights recap and not super detailed. Bottom line is I really have nothing negative to say and would definitely recommend it.

smiles = early on in the race. Actually this was around mile 5.

  1. The course: I love how this course is broken up. You start at Eakins Oval right by the art museum with the famous Rocky steps and the first 4 ish miles are in the city center. I swear these miles felt all downhill to me but maybe it was just the rush of running a race. I felt GREAT for the city miles! Right around mile 5 you pass Eakins Oval again and head out to run a whole lot of out and back miles along the Schuylkill river which is a nice change of pace in contrast to the city. It also allows you to watch some of the faster runners on their way back into the city for that finish line. There’s not much in the way of running through neighborhoods on this course but there are still lots of spectators who come out to cheer (especially when you pass the start/finish area. And there are a few miles inside of Fairmount Park which are hilly and definitely challenging as they come around miles 8-9.

    Running past this cottage (Boelson Cottage) and the beautiful daffodils made me smile. I had to look it up after the race to learn how old it was. Um, this cottage was built in the late 1600s!

  2. Weather: It was way warmer than the other times I ran this race. You can read about how I PR’d in the pouring rain at the race’s inaugural event back in 2014 here. You can also read my recap of the 2015 race here and the 2016 race here. It did rain this year but not enough to be uncomfortable. The heaviest downpours happened while I was driving home about a half hour after the race. There were heat sheets provided at the finish this year which I used to quickly protect my phone from the rain because #priorities.

    last few miles….rain had started….struggle bus in full swing

  3. Fueling/water along the course: I sort of felt that there could have been more water stops along the course but there were enough. They had Nuun and water and I think some type of gel was offered around mile 7 or 8. Personally, I was just so happy to be running I spaced on fueling at all for this race. They didn’t have Gatorade at all and I kinda missed that. Nuun is ok but I don’t think it has the sugar like Gatorade.
  4. Start/Finish area: They had a very organized wave start. I was a few waves back from the front and started about 20 minutes after the first wave. And my very favorite part of the finish is that they had soft pretzels in addition to plenty of other tasty post-race food items. I’m just a sucker for a soft pretzel. 🙂 They make it start/finish area feel very much like a festival and there’s even a section to go for a post-run beer (I think one beer is included with the bib).

    Whew! Finished in one piece

  5. Bling/Swag: I love their medals! They also provide a nice mug and shirt.

This is what the front of the shirt looked like

Oh happy day!

I definitely want to run this race again next year. Hopefully I’ll be better trained and maybe no rain? Who wants to run with me??

What does your Spring running look like? Is it too late to start talking about Fall?

It’s Oh Three Oh Four… 03/04.

Yep, It’s getting harder and harder to come up with blog titles. Figured I’d share a little update on the last 7 weeks. How on earth did I ever blog multiple times in a week when I can’t even post once a month now?

I’ll start on the fitness front.

I started running again! I ran my first miles of 2019 in Orlando Florida! More on that at the end of this post.

first miles of 2019

I have had some mild posterior tibial tendonitis (self diagnosed) but I’m doing a good job of keeping on top of it. I’ve been super diligent about strengthening and stretching. I found some great stretches and exercises online here and here and have been doing them every other day.

I ran a trail 5k last weekend (the Cold Feat 5k which is held in Staten Island’s Greenbelt) which was muddy and hilly but still lots of fun.

omg another hitch-hiking thumb

hitch-hiking thumb again

mud!

hitch hiking thumb

post race selfie!

I also finally took on the challenge of incorporating strength workouts into my life which is something I mentioned wanting to do in my last post. After listening to a podcast where the guest was a fitness instructor for an app called FITON, I bought the app. (there was a promo code so it ended up being a lot cheaper for a one year membership). I love it! I’ve completed 6 classes so far in the last 10 days. Most are bodyweight only classes but some use light dumbbells which I have. Some classes are as short as 16 minutes while others are around 30 minutes. There’s a really nice variety. You can choose from pliates, yoga, total body strength, dance/barre, cardio, and more. I’m really trying to strengthen my hips and glutes which will help as well in the ankle tendonitis department. Oh and core! I’m finally working on my core! And lots of arm work too. It’s felt so seamless which is bizarre to me because I’m 45 and haven’t been this jazzed about strength training EVER! Maybe it’s that I feel like it’s a really small commitment of my day and so easy to squeeze in. The instructors are very chill too. Hoping to stick with it for the entire year.

I had one really good run last month and came home and signed up for a half marathon because I guess I was having that “runner’s high”. Probably a very stupid thing to do but I am hoping i’ll get there. My attitude was “hey i’ve signed up and paid a lot for races that I couldn’t run in the past so what do I have to lose?” It’s the Love Run half down in Philadelphia. I ran it in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and I was signed up to run in 2017 and then got injured and missed it. Good news is they also have a 7k distance now so if I needed to I could drop down and not lose out completely. I completed my first “long run” of 5 miles last Tuesday and struggled for sure. I’m looking to do a 6 miler tomorrow. and then 8 miles next week. And a few short runs in between. I’m really just looking to complete the race so it’s a bare bones approach and not one I’d ever recommend 🙂

This was the run that I felt so great on that I went home and signed up for the Love Run Half Marathon

This was a run that got interrupted by a phone call from Mr. SOTSS. I don’t usually answer my phone but he rarely calls so I got worried. Ended up being nice to have a long walk break in between.

a nothing special run

My first long training run of the year and NEW kicks….New Balance 1080s. They’re currently being tested. I’ve got a couple of months to decide how I feel about them. 

For additional fitness I have been hiking here and there, and this past weekend Mr SOTSS and I took his girls skiing. So I got a good amount of exercise in traversing the mountain.

 

Found this heart shaped rock on one of the hikes

night hike!

In house-related news we repainted our back sunroom.

I give Mr. SOTSS props for closing off the room to the rest of the house, donning a respirator and sanding the layers of paint for a few hours. That was definitely the hard part. I just rolled on the paint.

Before and after floor closeup

It looks great except that after about a week a few little areas chipped and we’re now a little concerned that the prepwork we did (Mr. SOTSS spent a few hours sanding the old paint layers down with an orbital sander) wasn’t enough. I read that if there was an oil-based layer of paint underneath and you’re painting with a latex paint/primer that it could cause chipping without a special primer. Anyway, we’ll just wait it out and see if it continues. It could also be that the paint can take a full 30 days to cure and we only gave it 2 days before returning furniture and using the floor again.

In work-related news Mr. SOTSS and I attended the FASTSIGNS National Convention back in January in Orlando.

Learning a lot and enjoying some free lunches lol because isn’t that why everyone goes to a convention?

We learned a lot that will help us refine some of our business practices and grow the business too. I’m enjoying helping him with graphic design but sooooo happy I don’t have to do the sign production anymore. That was really challenging for me. And in my personal graphic design business, after a little lull in the new year, things are finally picking up! Whew! Freelancing can be quite the roller coaster.

In hair news I found an awesome new product line for my curls thanks to a sponsored ad in my Facebook newsfeed. Back in December I ordered some products from Lus Brands and can’t tell you how pleased I am. I got their travel kit size to try of both the kinky and the curly products and I mix a dollop of each into my hair when it’s soaking wet right after the shower. I scrunch and air dry and that’s it. The shampoo and conditioner are great too.

curly hair don’t care

Other than that it’s been the usual…

Cleaning up after dogs…

muddy doodle

Oh I wasn’t supposed to go on the furniture until you gave me a bath? My bad.

oops muddy

Hi mom. Can you let me in. I’m done digging in the yard.

Walking dogs…

Cuddling with dogs…

cuddles with duncan

Playing with dogs…

wanna play

hmm, I think we have a toy hoarder situation

Soccer anyone?

and clearly taking too many pictures of dogs. 🙂

Do you have any races coming up?

Do you like DIY projects or do you like to just hire someone?

Another year is here — hello 2019!

I’m finally starting to feel human again after getting sick just two days into the year. I don’t know if it was the flu or a virus or what but it really took me down.

how most of my first 2 weeks went down. First tea with lemon and eventually back to my beloved coffee

I went hiking that night and just couldn’t keep up with my group. I felt lightheaded and tired. The next morning i was full on feverish and achy and that lasted a couple of days before the head cold and chest congestion folded into the mix. Yucko!

Let’s just say it was a lovely “extra” gift from Mr. SOTSS this holiday. He was sick first. But he did give me another gift for Christmas that was AWESOME!

He booked us a ski weekend in Vermont for that last weekend of 2018. I felt bad that he was sick but he was a trooper and we had a great time.

snowboarding and sniffles

We are both super grateful that I didn’t get sick until AFTER the trip because I am not the a trooper type when I am sick. I’m actually the biggest mope and whiner you’ve ever met when I”m sick. 

All smiles waiting for the lift up for our first run of the day

Skiing always makes me feel like a big kid. Oh wait, maybe it’s the pigtails 😉

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