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 everyone,

Happy Monday. I haven’t felt the urge to write much lately. Not really sure why. I’ll just blame the heat. I am one of the rare ones who doesn’t love summer heat.

I still managed to get out and walk for a bit a few days last week on my lunch break. Even when it rained.

Just walking at lunch in a drizzle

Just walking at lunch in a drizzle

Anyhoo, I didn’t run at all for an entire week but yesterday I decided to give it a go.

Getting ready for my first run in a week. 87 degrees out.

Getting ready for my first run in a week. 87 degrees out.

I had some various running injuries…a.k.a. “runjuries” that I hoped would ease up in the week I didn’t run and happy to report that I definitely had some improvement.

IMG_4390

My left hip had been sore for a few weeks. I don’t really know the cause although my theory revolves around the fact that it started over the 2 months that I was driving to and from work for 40-60 minutes each way and being quite sedentary during the day at the office, and also running mostly in the late evenings where I basically was sedentary right afterward. I think the hip got stiff.

My right foot arch had been sore for about a week. My theory for that is that my dress sandals that I’ve been wearing a whole lot over the last 2 months (due to the dress code at work) were a bit big on me and I was scrunching my foot unconsciously to keep the shoe from falling off.

I’m happy to report both of those sore spots were completely gone when I ran yesterday which makes me so happy.

woo hoo!

woo hoo!

The knee, (which was a huge issue last year) was much better and I’ll continue to foam roll and try not to run on any sloped roads and I’m sure in another week or so I’ll be able to up my mileage if I want.

For those of you that read here regularly you know I took the full time job a few months ago in addition to retaining my freelance graphic design business. Well, I decided the full time job wasn’t a good fit for me. I knew in my heart within the first week but gave it time just to be sure. So I wrapped up last week and now I’m happily back to my freelance life. Ironically the one thing I worried about wasn’t really an issue at all. I worried I wouldn’t be able to get my runs in, but I totally managed to get in 3-4 runs a week the entire 10 weeks including many awesome runs on those Friday evenings along the tow path by the office. But the job ended up not matching the description that I was under the impression it would be. I wasn’t being utilized fully. My skill set and senior level expertise weren’t being tapped into and I really wasn’t feeling very fulfilled. I’m really glad I gave it a whirl though. I learned a lot, especially how to work on a PC after only working on a Mac for the last over 20 years :)

Bye bye office building....hello again home office

Bye bye office building….hello again home office

I spent the weekend with Mr. SOTSS. We saw the Secret Life of Pets on Friday night and I was so disappointed. After the cute first 10 minutes or so it got a little too violent for me. I’m too sensitive to see animals getting hurt. Even animated ones. But the popcorn didn’t let me down. So there’s the silver lining.

Why is movie popcorn so good?

Why is movie popcorn so good?

On Saturday Mr. SOTSS and I took a drive down to the Jersey Shore. I wanted to just walk along the beach and maybe put my toes in the water. We didn’t look at the weather forecast and as soon as we arrived the sky got dark and severe thunderstorms came through. We ducked into a restaurant for a quick bite and then resigned ourselves to the fact that the rain was only getting heavier so we ran as fast as we could the 1/4 mile back to the car and left.

IMG_4350I read online later that 2 people actually got struck by lightening not too far away from where we were.

I love Mr. SOTSS’ backyard. When you sit out on the deck you really feel like you’re in a remote part of the world on vacation. We started our day yesterday with our morning coffee outside.

pooches at our feet

pooches at our feet

Morning coffee

Morning coffee

Then, we dined alfresco as well for dinner. We made some delicious fish tacos and paired some frozen margaritas with them.

All the fixings ready to assemble

All the fixings ready to assemble

I made the sauce. mayo, sour cream, chipotle, hot sauce, cilantro, lime, oregano, salt and pepper

I made the sauce. mayo, sour cream, chipotle, hot sauce, cilantro, lime, oregano, salt and pepper

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

Cheers to full bellies and full hearts

Cheers to full bellies and full hearts

It’s going to be in the mid 90s today so Duncan and I will be staying indoors for most of the day.

Do you like the heat?

Do you like fish tacos?

Happy Thursday y’all!

So two weeks ago I declared my goals for the NJ Half Marathon and then last week I declared I was chickening out. I’m so happy I took the pressure off because now I’m dealing with a different set of circumstances.
So the perfect weather forecast for Sunday’s NJ Half Marathon just changed to the not-so-perfect-weather forecast! I swear when I checked yesterday it said partly cloudy and 49 low with 61 high. No wind and no precipitation. And now…

weather-crap

But the 100% chance of rain is only part of my concern because as i type this I’m alternating between sitting on a heating pad and then an ice pack to try and calm down my sciatic nerve.

I’m just going to have to wait until Sunday morning to see how this all plays out. One thing’s for certain…I’ll be crawling across crossing the finish line with a smile.

What do you do when things start to go haywire the days leading up to a big race?

First let’s just look at some adorable Duncan photos…

He literally got woo'd away from chewing on the bone when I started giving him a belly rub....with my foot!

He literally got woo’d away from chewing on the bone when I started giving him a belly rub….with my foot!

Nap on the bone

Nap on the bone

Tug it Thursday

Tug it Thursday

Tongue out Thursday

Tongue out Thursday

OK now to my ramblings….so I’ve been skipping out on at least one mid-week run each week. I’m always finding excuses. Injury, weather, being tired, not wanting to leave the dog. Well some of them are valid to a point but I really am just not trying hard enough here and i know it. I’ve been so frustrated with my injuries and I’m having yet a hard time AGAIN trying to remind myself that it’s never one and done. Let me explain…

When the hubby died, I sort of decided in my head that I was exempt from any further tragedy.  Obviously I know that’s ridiculous. Well, for some reason my ridiculous notion of being exempt tends to stick in my head with running injuries too. Last July I had to drop back to the half at the San Francisco Marathon because of injury so I thought I had my “one and done” and I’d be exempt from having any other injuries or compromised marathons/marathon training. Nope. Then came the NJ Marathon this past April. I barely got enough training in because of more injuries. I assumed I’d take a couple of months off and start my NYC Marathon training strong and healthy and that this would be my chance to finally have a full marathon training cycle injury free. And here I am injured and frustrated (especially because it’s due to a cartwheel and not from running!) with little energy or enjoyment from my runs. I’m just shuffling through them (although I was super happy to see my friends this past Saturday and that helped make up for the fact I was shuffling and hurting).

So today I finally got a run in.

5 with the isn-factor

5 with the isn-factor

Since I skipped my Tuesday 4-miler and today I was supposed to do 5, I decided to go with the ish-factor and stopped at 4.75 and just walked it in for the last 1/4 mile.

Next up is supposed to be a 12 mile long run this weekend. Hmmm…I guess I’ll play that one by ear.

Switching gears. I received a great piece of equipment in the mail a few weeks ago from TKO—a soft grip jump rope. (While this was given to me at no-cost my opinions are my own.)

TKO soft grip jump rope

TKO soft grip jump rope

First let me just say I LOVE the color combo (Glacier+Lemon). There are so many great reasons to have a jump rope…

1. It’s portable! You can shove it in your suitcase and travel with it. (Perfect timing….i’ll be traveling next week!)

2. You can burn 170 calories in just 15 minutes! That’s insane.

3. It’s great for at-home cardio. Whether working from home, being snowed-in, or maybe you’re waiting for the cable guy and can’t leave the house you can get in a quick sweat-sesh.

4. You can take it outside in the yard while the dogs or children are running around.

5. A jump rope is great to incorporate into a high-interval training program. And this is something I really want to do. I now want to buy some yellow and blue free weights and resistance bands to match. :)

6. Most of all, it’s a super inexpensive piece of exercise equipment. (Amazon seems to have the best price. You can get it here for less than $15.)

This particular model has metal ball-bearings so the rope doesn’t tangle or twist. It’s 9 feet in length. The soft grip handles make it easier to keep a firm grasp on them.

IMG_7435

What is your favorite inexpensive piece of gym equipment?

Do you skip workouts?