Hi and welcome to my weekly check in :)

Figured I share some of the highlights of this past week and weekend.

Monday and Tuesday must have been fairly uneventful because I have no photos from the day :). Wednesday felt like a Spring day with temps reaching 63 so of course I took Duncan to the park.

Duncan and the sunshine but winter storm approaching

Duncan and the sunshine

I went on another night hike as it’s now become my routine Wednesday night. We covered about 4 1/2 miles in about an hour and a half. But lots of elevation!

Thursday we had a snow storm. I slept over Mr. SOTSS’ the night before so we could ride out the storm together which really means take the dogs for some snow fun.

Lots of snow can't distract Chester from wanting to play with his ball

Lots of snow can’t distract Chester from wanting to play with his ball

I love this picture!

I love this picture!

oops blinked!

oops blinked!

The repercussions of snowplay

The repercussions of snowplay

My view at sunset after the snow storm with an almost full moon

My view at sunset after the snow storm with an almost full moon

More »

Happy Monday Internet friends!

It seems I’ve turned into a once-a-week blogger and I hope you’re ok with that. I just can’t seem to find the time (to check in more frequently). I’ve also become a once-a-weeker in running and hiking too. I’m trying to fix my hamstring (and now hip!) issues by easing up on anything too strenuous more than once or twice a week and adding in 2 scheduled rehab days of lots of hip and glute strengthening exercise and foam rolling until my fascia is happy. I’m currently trying to rehab on my own but I might be making an appointment to see a sports injury doc soon if I can’t make progress.

A much less strenous activity last week was taking the Staten Island Ferry into the city last Tuesday to meet some former coworkers for some much needed cocktails and conversation. The view of the NYC skyline really never gets old….especially in the early evening when the sun has just set.

It was FREEZING on the outer deck but I couldn't take the picture through a dirty window :)

It was FREEZING on the outer deck but I couldn’t take the picture through a dirty window now could I? :)

So these night hikes have led to meeting some new people who like running on the trails as well as hiking. Yesterday morning I met up with a couple of them for 4.25 miles. And, my next run will be next Saturday so that works out! IMG_9092

I love trails that are just named by colors. Easy to remember

I love trails that are just named by colors. Easy to remember

FullSizeRender 8

when you discover a random chimney ruin in the woods you take a picture in front of it

IMG_9107

Mr. SOTSS and I had some fun with his girls this weekend doing some “candy chemistry”. We watched what happened when you drop Mentos candy into a bottle of diet cola.

Oh and I signed up for another race…. I’ll be running the Spring Lake 5 miler Memorial Day weekend. FullSizeRender 7After spectating in 2014 and 2015, I ran it last year. It was hot! Anyway, I’m excited to run again and have some yummy brunch after with friends.

Duncan and I did plenty of exploring in the woods last week too.

So you hike these trails in the dark ma? How can you see any squirrels?

So you hike these trails in the dark ma? How can you see any squirrels?

And I got a bee in my bonnet to do my hair straight this weekend. But only for a day.IMG_9078

And just a couple of cute dog pics to share before I sign off:

cute dog on couch #1

cute dog on couch #1

cute dog on couch #2

cute dog on couch #2

Tell me what’s new in your life. Any good news to share?

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.