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?

 

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?

Lately my life has felt a bit routine and I think it’s time to edit my “template”. While I was running the other day this sentence popped into my head: “Life is a template and YOU just need to customize it.” I love when I have these profound moments. It dawned on me that I don’t want to make a drastic change to my routine…I actually like a lot of my routine. I like the structure. I like where my text boxes and picture boxes are anchored. I just need to add a few unique colors or shapes. (Yep, I’m a graphic designer so these metaphors are working for me. :)

I thought about the new things I tried in 2016: I added some new media “customization” in 2016 when I listened to my first audiobook and my first podcast and they immediately worked their way into my routine. If you’re looking for a good podcast to listen to while running (or walking) I recommend DizRuns.

Diz Runs

Diz Runs

Just lots of runner-to-runner kinda conversation. His first question to all his guests is “What is your favorite distance to run and why?” I love hearing the answers. On a recent episode an ultra runner’s response was “the 50 miler because I can sleep in my own bed”. That’s crazy! He even interviewed me on episode 248 earlier this year. I spent lots of summer nights walking for hours around my neighborhood just to finish up listening to the episodes in my cue. I want to do more of that in 2017.

I want to try some new workouts in 2017, cook some new recipes and maybe go as crazy as getting a new shade of tinted lip balm! Any suggestions?

Yesterday was Duncan’s 8th birthday. I can’t believe it.

lol

lol

I force him to wear his party hat for 30 seconds every year

I force him to wear his party hat for 30 seconds every year

I remember picking him up when he was 11 weeks old on March 23, 2009. A 10-hour round-trip road trip just to bring home this bundle of curls.

He stared at me for a good hour of the drive before he finally curled up on my lap.

He stared at me for a good hour of the drive before he finally curled up on my lap.

I’ve been dog sitting for Duncan’s cousin Casey. It’s been fun to see double doodles every minute of the day.

Door "flair"

Door “flair”

content to co-exist

content to co-exist

I got a lot of eyes watching my every move

I got a lot of eyes watching my every move

i guess i'll sit in the middle

i guess i’ll sit in the middle

 

Mr. SOTSS came to visit me the other night and brought me some roses. I love flowers on non-occasions. So special. img_8212Duncan was happy to snuggle between us. img_8215I had back-2-back crappy runs yesterday and the day before. 3 SLOW miles with my annoying hamstring tightness.

I did get to listen to an hour of a podcast between the 2 runs but that's the only thing that was good.

I did get to listen to an hour of a podcast between the 2 runs but that’s the only thing that was good.

I started to realize this hamstring tightness began right around the time of my birthday at the end of October. It basically feels likes there are resistance bands connected from the backs of my knees up through my glutes. I can’t seem to propel forward much which leaves me slogging through every run, especially hilly ones. Today I finally decided i’m taking a break. I’ll start with taking a week off and I’ll see how that goes. Maybe this will be the perfect time to customize that template with a new form of exercise 😉

Hope you all have a lovely fun-filled weekend, happy holiday and merry everything! Here’s my final holiday card that I promised I’d share.

The front

The front

and the back

and the back

P.S. Thank you so much for reading my blog. I don’t make a penny on this blog. It’s purely because I love to talk about my life and running.

I have 2 posts that seem to get a lot of traffic. Ironically one is about cookies…..ok maybe not so ironic :) Anyway, these are my 2 most viewed pages

My review of the Nike Aeroloft Vest and the Starbucks Toffee Doodle Cookies I made.