I’m getting ready to to clean out my home office and dump a lot of stuff. And since it’s Wednesday I decided “humpday dumpday” would be a cute post title. I also feel a little like humpty dumpty after eating so much this weekend.

I’m still dog-sitting for Casey but we brought the party to my house this week. I can’t tell you how happy I was to sleep in my own bed after 5 nights. Duncan is being a gracious guest and letting Casey sit in his favorite spot and play with his new toys. So proud of him.

it's Tangle Time

it’s tangle….i mean walk time

It's nap time

Everyone likes my bed

 

Gracious Duncan

Gracious Duncan

I’ve been sticking to my decision to skip out on running for the remainder of the year. But I just made plans to run with my friends on Saturday morning which is still technically 2016. Oh well, I’m giving myself a pass because it’s our run through the city to see the Rockefeller tree and department store windows. It’s tradition and I couldn’t miss it. Here’s my post from 2014 and 2015 which ended up being just Lisa and I. Today I walked a bit. Mr. SOTSS got me this new Garmin Vivofit for Christmas since mine broke at the beginning of October so I can get back to tracking my steps. img_8287Speaking of Christmas, it was very lovely. We got to spend time and exchange gifts with his girls on the eve and then we exchanged with each other on the day. I got some pretty gloves too from his dad’s wife.

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the hearts are touch sensitive so i can use my phone

Always my favorite present

Always my favorite present

I also just made a last minute decision to join a local group for a night hike in the woods. I’m off to get batteries for my headlamp. I’ve never hiked in the dark. And I think it’s supposed to be about 5 miles. This should be interesting. I’ll fill you in on how it went next post.

Hope you all had a lovely holiday (or non-holiday) weekend.

What’s new? Anyone feel like the last week of the year always feel so out of sorts? 

 

 

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.

 

As 2016 comes to a close I thought I’d recap my top 10 favorite runs of 2016. All for different reasons why they made the list and not in any order (although maybe they’re in date order now that I look at it).

1. There was my first time running a 10 miler…

The Cherry Blossom 10 miler in Washington D.C. Jane, Amy and I got into this race via lottery and while it was cold and windy we all did really well and had a fun girl’s weekend. The Cherry Blossoms were post-peak but I was fortunate last year to experience them during their peak so I wasn’t too bummed about that. I left that weekend with this desire to want to run more 10 milers. Of course there just aren’t a ton of 10 mile races so I haven’t run one since.IMG_2267

Found one!

Found one!

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Jane, me and Amy FREEZING our butts off before the race

2. And a half marathon in Philly for the 3rd year straight…

The Love RunI set a PR (in the pouring rain) at the 2014 Love Run, the first year I ran it. This year I had a solid run. My fastest of my 4 half marathons of 2016.finish2016

The medals at this race never disappoint. Last year was a spinner medal. This year was just super glittery.

The medals at this race never disappoint. Last year was a spinner medal. This year was just super glittery.

Good times

Good times

3. A Meaningful run to honor someone’s memory:

More »

Geez! Life has been whirlwind lately. I have a whole slew of post ideas that require my focus, yet I’ve been so busy with work and other commitments that I can’t seem to find the time to work on them.

Meanwhile, every year during the month of December, I want to slow down time and just sit and enjoy the twinkling lights on my tree and sip hot cocoa, but instead I’m scrambling to buy and wrap gifts in between working.

He agrees. He'd rather not have to work and buy and wrap gifts. Oh wait, he doesn't.

He agrees. He’d rather relax and not have to work and buy and wrap gifts. Oh wait, he doesn’t.

I took my niece to Six Flags Great Adventure on Sunday so we could get our season passes for next year. We hit up one of the roller coasters while we were there (Superman) and then went to the outlet stores a few miles away to shop.

Superman! My favorite ride at Great Adventure

Superman! My favorite ride at Great Adventure

That roller coaster in the background? We went on it earlier this year and we both freaked out because the safety harness felt loose!

That roller coaster in the background? We went on it earlier this year and we both freaked out because the safety harness felt loose!

Holiday in the Park!

Holiday in the Park!

I went for a quick run on Monday evening just before sunset to regroup.

i love when the sun sets and the moon shows up at the same time

i love when the sun sets and the moon shows up at the same time

I was feeling so frazzled and had so many things to tackle that it was easier to go running and think about how to prioritize my to-do list. I really love that aspect of running.

I had to bring my Subaru in for service on Tuesday and squeezed in a second run while I waited for it to be ready. It wasn’t a pretty route.

not the most scenic to run by

not the most scenic to run by

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I stopped to take a phone call from the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment which slowed my time overall but I actually kept a decent pace.

I basically ran over one of the biggest highways in New Jersey. But a run is a run right? There will be plenty of more scenic runs in 2017.

I also ran some errands with Mr. SOTSS while waiting for the car. We stopped at the post office for stamps. I hung back with the pooches.

Do you think he'll come out with biscuits?

Do you think he’ll come out with biscuits?

It’s really cold out today. Windy and in the 20s. Duncan gets static ears every year when it gets so dry in my house from the forced air.

So you're saying I need to tame the frizz?

So you’re saying I need to tame the frizz?

I took him to the vet this morning for routine stuff and to buy a 6 month supply of his heart worm and flea and tick preventatives. Geez. So expensive! Cost me over $300 in total. And he didn’t seem too appreciative. More like….”Can we go now?”

The "I got blood drawn" look

The “I got blood drawn” look not to be confused with the “you made me wear a halloween costume” look.

I took him to Petco after to pick up dog food…cha ching! img_8062And now he’s at the groomer which costs as much as a salon haircut and color. Plus, I’ll probably give his groomer a larger than usual tip for the holidays. In other words….I’m pet poor at the moment. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

We’ll I’d better get back to working to keep the kibble on the table.

Hope you’ve had a good week so far.

Anyone have fun weekend plans coming up?

Any solutions for static electricity (and shocks) in the winter?

Roller coasters? Yay or Nay?