Hi there.

Happy Spring. Here in New York City we got a big dump of snow thanks to Nor’ Easter Toby. But it has mostly melted.

at the beginning of the storm

at the beginning of the storm

the morning after the storm

the morning after the storm

I got back at the beginning of the week from being away for 17 days. Away from home, away from Duncan. Needless to say it was tough. But it was for something very exciting…

Mr. SOTSS is opening a business. It’s a franchise called FASTSIGNS.

Welcome to FASTSIGNS :)

Welcome to FASTSIGNS 🙂

Basically a business that creates visual communications like signage for other businesses. In addition to traditional signage there is digital signage now added to the mix and even vehicle wraps. When Mr. SOTSS made the decision to do this I immediately jumped on board because I knew I could help him design the signs. He was really excited about the production part of it (actually building the signs). So this seemed like a great combo. This has been in the works for well over a year now and over that span it became clear that he, as the franchise owner, would be busy with many tasks at first, including the very important task of sales and that the production part is really more a dual role for the graphic designer…moi. I knew this would be a challenge for me, and as I learned while we were away, challenge is an understatement.

Let me back up for a minute and tell you about the trip which was to the corporate headquarters of FASTSIGNS, in Dallas, Texas. We had to complete a 2 week intensive training.

a little bag of snacks was given to each of us to help us get through the training weeks. And a BIG BINDER that was full of info by the time we left

a little bag of snacks was given to each of us to help us get through the training weeks. And a BIG BINDER that was full of info by the time we left

We set out back on March 2nd on a drive that would ultimately land us in Dallas, We were originally going to take our dogs which is why we opted to drive. We also thought it would be fun to see a bit of the country as we traveled (I think we covered 15 states total—New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansa, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland).

I insisted on taking photos of each state. If I was driving then Mr. SOTSS took the photo

I insisted on taking photos of each state. If I was driving then Mr. SOTSS took the photo

We ended up not bringing the dogs (HARD THINGS #1: Leaving my dog for 17 days! and HARD THINGS #2: Leaving my home for 17 days when I’d never been away for longer than 8 days before.)

We started the drive through a snow storm and the first 6 hours of the trip were very stressful for us but more so for me. I legit had a panic attack in the car and asked if we could pull over. And so we found a WalMart and he got new windshield wipers and I took a few deep breaths. HARD THINGS #3 was definitely getting through the snow storm. There was an 18-wheeler trying to make it up a hill on the Interstate and kept rolling back. We were the vehicle directly behind it.

But after that we were smooth sailing and made it to Ohio where we slept for the night.

Happy road trip AFTER the storm

Happy road trip AFTER the storm

The next day we drove through Kentucky and into Tennessee and when we got to Nashville we walked around for a few hours.

Hi, from Nashville

Hi, from Nashville

nashville-cashmuseum

music-row

 

silly timer-camera stuff

silly timer-camera stuff

sweet treat stop at Goo Goo Shop

sweet treat stop at Goo Goo Shop

Hi, from Nashville

Hi, from Nashville

nashville-cashmuseum music-row

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Hi there,

How is it already December 8th????

I’m really getting busier and busier and unfortunately blogging keeps taking a backseat. Instagram seems to be my favorite way of letting you all know what I’m doing and #spoiler alert: It’s pretty much taking selfies with my dog and my laptop.  

seriously?

seriously?

My "boss" breathing down my neck. :)

My “boss” breathing down my neck. 🙂

not exactly ergonomic working setup

not exactly ergonomic working setup

I’m growing my business, helping my boyfriend get his new business going (more on that to come next year), doing the holiday decorating, shopping, (some grinching), and all that jazz.

twinkly tree

twinkly tree

My 3 minute outside decorating setup

My 3 minute outside decorating setup

I did run a race last weekend which was awesome…

Let me tell you about the Big Chill 5K.

This was my 4th time running it. Well, actually in 2014 I walked it thanks to a sprained ankle. Mr. SOTSS introduced me to the event because he’s been running it for like 15 years!

staying warm in the gymnasium until the race starts

staying warm in the gymnasium until the race starts

The entry fee is a new toy of $15 or more.

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It’s so powerful to see the thousands of toys along the wall in the gymnasium (where you check in and get your race #.)

staying warm in the gymnasium until the race starts

toys galore!

The race doesn’t begin until 10am but you have to get there around 8:30-9 to get a parking spot and then after getting your race # you have to kill some time. Luckily they keep the bleachers open and it’s warm so it’s not too terrible. This race now has close to 7,000 participants.

IMG_4150

Some are walkers. They have an option for you pay for a timed chip and have a separate corral in front for the timed-chip runners. We didn’t bother so we stayed in the non-timed corral. I asked Mr. SOTSS if he would stay with me for the entire run. He’s not a fan of running with anyone (unless it’s his daughters because then he’s giddy that they want to run with him) but he agreed. I didn’t want him to feel like he was going too slow so I tried really hard to keep up a decent pace. It ended up being about a 9:30 pace.

:)

🙂

My feet felt ok during the entire 5k. But by the evening they were aching.

After the race we went for breakfast and then back to the pups for a walk.

Chester's waiting his turn to sniff whatever it is that Duncan's sniffing.

Chester’s waiting his turn to sniff whatever it is that Duncan’s sniffing.

And for dinner Mr. SOTSS made a boatload of meatballs! (we both froze some for future meals)

The cook doing his thing

The cook doing his thing

There’s snow in the forecast for tomorrow. This might be my very last few true Autumn photo

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I haven’t run since the race and I’m probably going to refrain for a little longer. I’m just so darn sore and achy, especially my feet. I’m trying to stretch, foam roll and go to yoga as much as possible and trying to give my feet some rest. I know I’ll run at least one more time before the end of the year when I meet my friends in the city to do our annual holiday windows run. I blogged about last year’s Holiday Windows Run here , our 2015’s run here , our 2014 Holiday Windows run here and our 2013 run here

That’s all for now. I leave you with just a few more selfies with me and Duncan just in case you don’t check out my Instagram.

my support system

my support system

working our angles

working our angles

cheese

cheese

Have a great weekend!

What are you doing? Anything fun?

I was thinking today how normal it is for me now to NOT run like a crazy person. I used to run so much but since returning from injury this time around I’m basically down to one run a week. After the Fall Flat 5k two weekends ago I waited a week and ran 4 miles the day after Thanksgiving. It was an AWESOME run. Just felt so happy and appreciative. Great fall weather and a quiet day since most of my clients weren’t around.

A beautiful Fall day  run

A beautiful Fall day run…my Black Friday… #optoutside

My feet took a beating though over the next two days.

Saturday Mr. SOTSS and I took his two daughters and my niece into the city to check out some of the department store holiday windows and see the big old tree at Rockafeller Center (unlit since the tree lighting doesn’t happen until tomorrow). Of course it ended up being more about shopping, SnapChat and selfies as my niece is 17 and his girls are 12 and 14. #teenagers 🙂

Taking their SnapChat selfies

Taking their SnapChat selfies

They were SO excited because there was a special “pop-up” store of Kylie Cosmetics and they waited on a huge line to get in and buy some makeup. It was fun though.

waiting for the girls

just two kids skipping ;)

just two kids skipping 😉 And those french braids are one of my braid masterpieces of the weekend.

These ornaments are displayed every year for what feels like forever. I feel like they've repainted them to be extra sparkly this year.

These ornaments are displayed every year for what feels like forever. I feel like they’ve repainted them to be extra sparkly this year.

My niece is such a hoot. And a great role model for the girls too. I love to see them hang together. We walked a ton and then, the next day we went back into the city with Mr. SOTSS’ parents and the girls to see Wicked, the broadway musical.

3rd row!

3rd row!

She wanted a french braid to the side. Mission accomplished.....and I did it while standing on the train.

She wanted a french braid to the side. Mission accomplished…..and I did it while standing on the train. 

Needless to say after another full day of strolling the city my feet were achy yesterday. I did manage to go to yoga but today I tried to rest my dogs as much as possible today. The old me would have run today because I had the time and the weather was great. But I just don’t want to risk injury. I’ve got a 5k on Saturday and I’d like my feet to be happy so I can run happy.

I can’t even wrap my head around ever getting back to a training schedule. I’m just going to continue to listen to my body. I haven’t signed up for any races in 2018 yet. I’d like to gradually build back up to 3 runs a week but who knows when that will be.

November is almost over and so are my Thanksgiving leftovers.

Last  of the TG leftovers

Last of the TG leftovers

IMG_4024

I’m almost done designing my holiday card. I’ve even done some Christmas shopping. Hoping I can stay ahead of the game this year.

If I get stressed I'll just hit the bottle....not the wine...the whipped cream! LOL!

If I get stressed I’ll just hit the bottle….not the wine…the whipped cream! LOL!

Duncan's dropping the hint about what he wants for Christmas....he needs more tennis balls.

Duncan’s dropping the hint about what he wants for Christmas….he needs more tennis balls.

What’s new with you? Are you a fan of the holidays? Are you the type who gets more stressed or more spirited?

I’m a little of both. I do get stressed trying to get it all done but I LOVE when my tree is up and decorated and I’m wrapping gifts and listening to some holiday music.

For all my injured readers give me an update and let me know how you’re doing.

Well hello there.

Been super busy working but I’m finally catching a breath and thought it would be a great time to tell you about yesterday. I ran the Fall Flat 5K trail race here in Staten Island and got to catch up with my good friend Gina. She and I ran this race last year. I blogged about it here.

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So before I tell you about yesterday’s race let me first admit something that I haven’t told anyone yet. I had a bit of a freak out a week before the race. I woke up limping. Not kidding! It’s really pretty ridiculous. I feel like I’ve been a broken record the entire year! My “good” foot was hurting. I realized that it was the first week I’d run 3 times in a single week since the original toe injury and I also went to yoga twice and I probably just overdid it. I forget sometimes that for months that foot worked about 150% every single day. Every single downward dog I put more weight on that foot because I was still giving my bad foot a break. Needless to say I kept this to myself and decided to take an entire week off to see how things would go. The limp went away after about 2 days and since then I’ve been doing much better. I’ve been icing and stretching and while the foot is achy today I don’t think this is anything more than some mild tendinitis. 2017 has been rough. Clearly my body is letting me know that I need to take even smaller baby steps with this whole return to running. So I’m going to keep to only 1 or 2 runs of 3ish miles a week for the rest of the year. If there’s one thing I can do next year to help the situation it will be to start incorporating more strength work into my DAILY routine. I’m not going to allow myself to train for anything more than 5k until I feel more secure physically. Between the toe injury X2, the back spasms, the knee strain in my sleep, hurting the arch of my foot during physical therapy….am I missing anything? Yeah, I don’t want to have to utter a single word about injury in 2018! Ok, enough about that. Now on to my recap…

 

Fall Flat 5K Trail Race Recap:

The race starts at 10am at a park that’s only about 15 minutes from my house. Bib/shirt pickup opens at 9am. I like to get  there right at 9am to park at the entrance right nearby. There’s a second parking area but you have to walk a bit. Because this race is held by the same organization that runs the night hikes that I go on, I was able to see a few friendly faces.

I grabbed my cute shirt and walked back to the car to toss it in.

Fall Flat 5k 2017

Fall Flat 5k 2017

And then of course my running buddy Gina arrived. She and I met back in the mid 90’s! We worked together. We’ve stayed friends ever since. Gina is a Crossfit/Spartan Race kinda girl but every so often she likes to do a trail or road 5k.

I had no time goals in mind. Gina was hoping to shave a few minutes of last years time so I basically followed her lead. The course was changed up a bit this year which was nice. The only part of the course that overlaps puts you going in the reverse direction so at least you never feel like it’s Groundhog’s day 🙂 I totally forgot to turn my Garmin on but I sort of knew when we hit the first mile just by how I felt. I said that to Gina who looked down at her watch and confirmed we were at 1.03. I’m fairly predictable 🙂

photo courtesy of Run & Shoot Photo

photo courtesy of Run & Shoot Photography

We ended up finishing in 36:28 which was 2:30 faster than last year! Mission accomplished!

I love this race for so many reasons. It’s a local race but it’s one of the more popular events (size-wise) that this organization (The Greenbelt Conservancy) runs. There were about 300 runners (and walkers) of all ages and paces. It’s so nice to recognize so many familiar faces and to see the local running family. There are lots of local photographers capturing the event and they post their pics on Facebook which is such a lovely bonus.

©run shoot photo

photo courtesty of run shoot photo

It’s an event that truly appeals to all levels of fitness. The main goals are that everyone enjoy the trails that are maintained by The Greenbelt Conservancy and that the event raises some money to help ensure the trails can continue to be maintained. Win win! And the price is right. I think I paid $25. But even on race day the registration is only a few dollars more.

Photo courtesy of Run and Shoot Photographu

Photo courtesy of Run and Shoot Photography

My foot felt fine the entire run. It was definitely achy all day afterward. I iced it on and off and even wore compression socks. Today it’s feeling improved. I’m not freaking out anymore. I think with the continued TLC and the lower mileage I’ll be fine. Dear Santa: For Christmas I’d like to be free of injury next year mmmkay?

Do you run on trails?

Do you run local races?

Have I asked these questions before because I feel like I have 🙂