Hope everyone is having a nice weekend. The painting is finally done! And now I’ve just got to keep plugging away and cleaning, putting back some things, tossing others and then tomorrow I’ll try and hit up Home Goods for some odds and ends. I cannot tell you how awesome it feels to have a fresh coat of paint on every single wall! It feels like a new home. YAY!

I ran 4 miles today and dedicated them to Meg Cross Menzies, the young mom/wife who was tragically killed recently after being struck by a drunk driver while she was out for a run. It’s really great when social media can help to make a unified circle of support and awareness during tragedies like this. #megsmiles #runnersagainstdrunkdrivers


I actually ran the boring 4 mile neighborhood route that I just told you in this post but today it wasn’t boring. I didn’t bring music. I just listened to my thoughts and prayed for Megs family. I also thought a lot about my own life. And I thought about how I can run a little safer on the streets. If there’s 2 things you can do when running outside it’s 1) Don’t wear both earbuds or even better run without music period. You should really be aware of the sounds around you. 2) Always run against traffic so you can see oncoming cars.

I’ve got 8 miles on tap for tomorrow and I’ll be spending the remainder of the day cleaning and organizing of course.

Question: Are you cozy at home or did you go out on the town tonight? I met my friends at a sports bar for a drink and some nachos but now it’s 10:40pm and I’m doing laundry and blogging. 

Tricked you! I don’t have the BEST way to deal with stress and worry although I tend to think running is up there along with chocolate of any kind….


Seriously though, I just read this article in Fitness magazine and found it interesting for sure. Decision fatigue? I’d never heard of that. But it makes sense. I’ve always been the indecisive type, but didn’t know that even mundane decisions like what to wear or what to eat for lunch could zap my energy leaving me more vulnerable to stress and worry. Then there’s the “toxic thought spiral”. I know that well. I think I was in that spiral for most of 2010 (blame that one on a boy who left out some serious details about his relationship status. I couldn’t stop the obsessive thoughts about why things didn’t work out. I wasn’t pretty enough, or smart enough or whatever enough. A year later I found out and now I look back and laugh at the whole situation but I truly zapped a lot of my energy with all the useless spiraling.) The article suggests doing something that lets you concentrate on your movements like spin or Zumba to break the obsessive thought spiral. I thank my lucky stars everyday that I found running and it’s theraputic effect on me. It’s been 9 days since I last ran and I’m thinking I’ll need a quick “hit” soon.

Over the weekend I learned of some troubling health news—one involving a human and one involving a dog—both very dear to me. It got me spiraling for a bit. Nothing worse than feeling helpless when people (and pooches) you care about are hurting and you can’t fix it. I knew I needed to do something. So even though it was drizzly and foggy I took an hours’ ride to the State Line Lookout area, a section of the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey and went on a short hike with Duncan. It wasn’t the 7 or 8 mile hike I’ve been really wanting to conquer but nonetheless, enough miles to get my mind back to a balanced state. And the weather actually made for some mystical magical looking photos.

fairy tale doodle

fairy tale doodle

photo 5[1]

the only thing “more difficult” about the trail was the slippery rocks and leaves

It was so quiet. At one point Duncan and I stopped to have a snack and all you could hear was our crunching.

dog biscuits for the doodle and trail mix for me

dog biscuits for the doodle and trail mix for me

A few more pics…

It was so foggy that you couldn’t see Manhattan’s skyline behind me.

photo 2[1]

After our hike, Duncan and I drove about 20 minutes north to check on my friend’s mom. She’s 90 years old young and while I was just there to keep her company for a few hours she took great care of me! She made me fresh coffee when I arrived and after chatting and watching some TV she cooked me dinner! It was lovely. Made me miss my grandparents. I haven’t enjoyed the company of a senior in a while.

Duncan had to watch to be in the kitchen the entire time those chicken cutlets were frying

Duncan had to keep an eye on things in the kitchen the entire time those chicken cutlets were frying. You know, just in case she needed a helping paw.

I’m feeling recovered enough that I’d like to start tossing in a few easy runs this week. Lots of bloggers were running marathons and half marathons this weekend and it was super fun to track them and hear their recaps. But now I’m anxious to start training for my next one. In the meantime I’ll keep cross-training with the doodle. It’s actually fun to spend so much time with him. So long as it isn’t another National Squirrel Convention anytime soon =)

How was your weekend? Anyone have the monday blues? Anyone run this weekend?


As I mentioned in my last post I won’t be ramping up training for my next marathon until January meaning that for the next 7 weeks I will have a huge block of time each Saturday (or Sunday) morning now that I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn for a daunting long run. Having run 17 races this year, and with all the traveling I’ve done, I have definitely let a lot of things fall to the bottom of the priority list. Here are 10 things I plan on conquering:

1. Clean out cabinets and closets: My tupperware runneth over, my clothing runneth over….heck everything runneth over



2. Read! I have 2 great books to start reading and I’m 2 issues behind on Runner’s World and Fitness magazines

Reading does a body good

Reading does a body good

3. Create a plan for cross training and strength training for 2014: Since I HATE to strength train and I tend to let cross training become less important than running I want to focus on these and come up with a surefire way to keep up with this for 2014. Any advice would be appreciated. Right now these have been collecting dust in my living room. #fail

a weighty issue

a weighty issue

4. Print and frame some photos: Now that I’ve given MarathonFoto a million dollars, I’ve got all these great photos I’d like to frame.

5. Enjoy some creative outlets! I’m a creative person. A graphic designer by day and I moonlight every now and again as a photographer. It’s great. But it’s always for someone else’s benefit. This time of year I get to work on my annual holiday card. I’ve already got the idea for it. I just need to do a little photo shoot. These are a few of my past cards…

I also might just grab a sketchpad and a go sit in the park and draw. I’m also planning on re-painting all the rooms in my house so there will be a trip to the paint store for sure. AHHHH! I love paint chip cards.


6. Cook and bake! I hardly ever cook but when the weather gets colder I get the urge to make pies and quiches.


Apple crisp!


yummy quiche

7. Plan a hike with the hound! It’s been a while since we did a full fledged hike. Now that the temps have dipped below freezing the ticks and other buggers won’t be an issue.


we hiked to the top of a mountain for a beautiful view. And then Duncan decides to give you all a beautiful view of his butt!

8. Get into the holiday spirit! The season creeps up so fast each year and sometimes I’m just too tired to deal. But I am looking forward to spending a weekend morning sipping peppermint mocha, hanging some twinkly lights and playing my favorite holiday songs. And there WILL be this one organized run. Each year my friends and I go for a very relaxed run through NYC stopping to see the tree at Rockafeller and all the fancy department store windows.


Sally Claus!


SMILE it’s the season!

9. Clean out/organize and back up computers. No picture necessary. This is just a necessary evil!

10. Celebrate! I worked hard this year training for so many races. I don’t have a tally just yet but I’ve logged well over 1,300 miles. There were plenty of nights I went to bed early while everyone else was out partying so I could be up at 5am to run. With Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas coming I am going to enjoy some real celebratory weekend hours. Maybe go for a manicure or meet friends for brunch. Mimosa anyone?


So there you have it! I’ll be very busy during my “off” season.

Question: Do you have any other ideas to add? Especially in helping me find the love for strength and cross training. I’ll make you a quiche!

I thought i’d get this one last post up before I sit back and let the nerves get the best of me relax.

10 Important Things to Double Check the Night Before a Marathon:

#1. Alarm clock. Double check that your alarm clock is set properly (and for NYC Marathon runners that you remember to turn your clocks back tonight for Daylight Savings). This morning when it didn’t go off I couldn’t understand why. Did I sleep through it? I did have a few glasses of wine last night but I should have still heard it.


Don’t drink this the night before a marathon. Well don’t drink the whole bottle at least.

That’s when I realized I changed the settings to “weekday only” last weekend and never changed it. Last I checked they don’t call it Marathon Sunday for nothing. AHHHH! Glad I noticed today. I’ve changed my settings and it will now go off according to plan tomorrow. You should also have a second alarm set because you should always have a back up. Double check both alarms. Heck, triple check them!

#2. Race Day Fuel. Do you have enough. Are your fuel packets easy to open? I’ve struggled with tearing open my Shot Bloks and Sport Beans in the past. So I like to “pre-tear” them. Or, sometimes just put them in a regular zip-lock baggy. (My guess is that you can’t do this with Gu! Could get a little messy.

photo 3-1

#3. Electronics. Are they all charged? Don’t forget the ear buds if you’re bringing your iPod. Phone? Garmin? Do you have the right playlist? Test them. I’ve charged my iPod the night before but left it playing on accident and the battery was dead by morning.

It's gotta be the PERFECT playlist

It’s gotta be the PERFECT playlist

#4. Game Plan. It might be a bit OCD but I like to write out on a piece of paper my game plan/schedule with time increments. Know when you want to wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed and leave the house. I’ve got to take the dog out and then drop him at a friends’ house also so I really have my minutes allotted precisely.


#5. Weather: Check it one last time. Make note of wind speeds, humidity and “real feel”. For instance, tomorrow it’s supposed to be windy and I know that 45 degrees at the start will feel much colder. I’m bringing more than just a throwaway sweatshirt. I’m wearing an old down coat which I’ll donate. comfort is key before setting out on a 26.2 mile run right?!

#6. Review the course again. Pay attention to the elevation. Know where those hills are so you can plan for slower miles then.

#7. Breakfast. Make sure you have what you’ll want to eat the morning of the marathon. I happen to love soft pretzels (Yup! I should get Super Pretzel to sponsor me). I like one with my coffee when I wake up and I’ll take another in the car to eat an hour prior to race start. I realized yesterday that I didn’t have any in the house. So I made a trip to the store and stocked up. Whew!

Sweat Out the Small Stuff's Breakfast of Champions!

Sweat Out the Small Stuff’s Breakfast of Champions!

#8. Outfit. Double check that everything you’ll be wearing is clean and ready. Hopefully you’ve worn this stuff during training to make sure nothing rides up or bunches or chafes but either way do one last “fitting” before bed. I wear a SpiBelt when I run and tend to forget to adjust the tightness ahead of time and there I am during that first mile trying to adjust it so it sits right. Gonna use my own advice and get that squared away tonight.


#9. Access to your stuff. So this is a little thing that could really be a big thing. What do you plan on needing to access while running? Your fuel? Your music? Your chapstick? While I love my SpiBelt for running races, I HATE reaching behind me to find the little zipper. Sometimes I’ll spin the belt around but that could create a tangled mess if my ipod is clipped to it. One day I had the genius idea to attach a keyring to the zipper pull. Voila! Now when running I can easily find the keyring and opening and closing the belt goes a lot smoother. And as I mentioned in #3. I put all loose items in a ziplock so I can take that bag out and bring it in front of me to get what I need. Then i seal it up and it’s easier to shove one bag into the SpiBelt behind my back than if I had a bunch of loose items.



#10. Double check your spirit and your reason for running!!! You should be sure to act silly with your dog, spouse, kids or yourself to get some nerves out.


This is something fun and challenging that you’re about to tackle. Remind yourself why you are running. Every runner has a reason. I was part of this amazing campaign that Dicks Sporting Goods did earlier this year. You can view all the videos here. (Mine is titled “Lisa and Sally” from “week 2”. Oh and by the way, Lisa is running her 50th marathon tomorrow!!!!! Feel free to comment below with some big ole congratulatory messages for her. She inspired me to start running and continues to inspire me on a daily basis.

Tomorrow, i’ll also be wearing ribbons in support of Boston and for Melanoma Awareness and since tomorrow is the 3rd anniversary of the death of a beautiful angel who I didn’t know personally but who meant the world to a dear friend of mine, I will be wearing a little butterfly with her initials.

Meaningful Miles!

Meaningful Miles!


And the bonus item you should double check…..

Is that you have signed up for another race so that you won’t fall into a depression when your marathon is over! I signed up for the Trenton Half Marathon which is next weekend. I was lured by the swag…nicest shirt ever. (I paid to have my shirt and bib mailed to me to save me from having to drive down the day before to go to the expo—nifty!)


Enjoy your weekend everyone. And for all those running the NYC Marathon tomorrow or any other race have a great run!!!!