So happy to report that my back is almost back to 100%! I was seriously freaking out when i last posted.

So now I’m finally planning my comeback.

Clearly Duncan is thrilled about my comeback

Clearly Duncan is thrilled about my comeback

I’m looking forward to joining my hiking group tonight and returning to the yoga mat tomorrow morning. I’ll modify as needed for my back if I feel the need.

And I’ve resumed what I was just getting underway with at physical therapy for my toe 2 weeks ago when the back went out. Yesterday I did 3 sets of toe raises and took a brisk walk. I’ll incorporate some jumps soon. Just want to make sure my back is truly 100 percent first. The next couple of weeks will be all about stress and rest which is what my toe needs to continue repairing in its final phases of healing. I found this great post on the site irunfar.com about recovering from soft tissue injury that explains everything so clearly.

My plan is to actually start running a little in another week or 2. I’m going to follow the rule of 2 starting with a 10 minute easy run and adding 2 minutes to each subsequent run so long as I have no pain. (I’ll be taking at least one rest day in between runs to monitor the situation).

Over the next 3 monnths I’ve got three 5Ks that I’d like to run (slow and steady!) if possible. I have to say that I am being cautiously optimistic but even just the idea that I’ll be running again this year makes me so happy.

trenton-halfSince Mr. SOTSS has already signed up for the Trenton Half at the end of October I’m hoping I can run the 5K. (Here’s my recap from 20162014 and 2013.)

fall-flat-5k

Then there’s the Fall Flat 5K in mid-November (where I truly discovered what “conversational pace” was at last year’s race).

big-chillAnd finally the Big Chill 5K in December (you can read a little about last year’s race here. If all goes well I’ll think about increasing mileage next year.

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

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20. May 2015 · 4 comments · Categories: inspiration · Tags: , ,

Warning: I get a little deep here and think I needed to write this more for me but I hope you gain something from reading. =)

Where do you feel most at peace? What gives you purpose?

Sunday morning I was in the car sipping coffee, singing out loud along with my favorite radio station’s acoustic set which I so rarely get to listen to (I’m one of the few people left on the planet who doesn’t have satellite radio otherwise i’d be listening to the coffee house channel because I’m a sucker for acoustic, singer-songwriter genre music. The doodle was on the front seat (about to be dropped off at my sister in laws) and I was driving to the start of a charity 5k run.
co pilot

co pilot

IMG_5465

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I felt so at peace and happy. It made me think a lot about the things/people/places that make me feel that way. After my husband died I spent more than a decade seeking out solitude and peace. I found it with a walk in the woods, catching up with a friend over a cup of coffee or a road trip. I loved to drive and would drive all over to meet up with friends for long weekends. And then I found running. Running soothed my soul and gave me peace and comfort. And we can’t post about peace without mentioning Duncan—I come home from work at night and all my stress melts away as we get comfy on the sofa and settle in for the night.
can't get any more peaceful. Dog, nature walk and coffee!

can’t get any more peaceful. Dog, nature walk and coffee!

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Anyway that leads me to the second part of this post and brings it back to the 5k I was driving to. I was headed to this charity 5k to run with Mr. SOTSS and his (almost) 10 and (almost) 12 year-old daughters. I was happy to be in such a calm peaceful and joyful mood. I was looking forward to the run not knowing it would be for anything more than just to help Mr. SOTSS out and my own Sweat Out the Small Stuff reasons.
As we lined up at the start I paired up to run with his older daughter and Mr. SOTSS paired up with his little one.
lined up

lined up representing a whole lotta sneaker brands Brooks, Asics, Saucony and Nike! =)

While I am now a year into my relationship with Mr. SOTSS I am still early on in getting to know his girls. Mr S. has been great at knowing when the appropriate time to introduce us was and he continues to know when it makes sense to include me. I know it’s all new for him too and I really commend him on how he’s handled everything so far. Those girls are very lucky. They have a super dedicated mom and a doting dad to start. And then they have lots of other role models in their lives like sports coaches, teachers and extended family. I’ve had some anxiety over how I would be perceived and whether or not the girls would really look for anything more from me other than dad’s friend Sally who does arts and crafts and plays video games with them. But it was during the race that I realized that I could be an additional role model in their lives and instinctually (the way I am with my niece and nephew) I thought about how I could provide value instead of just keeping his daughter company. At one point about halfway during the race his daughter who I was running with was struggling a bit…mainly the heat and humidity were getting to her. Her cheeks were flushed and she was having some trouble trying to stay in control of her breathing. I told her to let me know if she wanted to slow down but she said she was ok. Something made me think she she just might not have felt comfortable enough to tell me if she wanted to slow down so I told her I had friends who ran marathons by doing run/walk intervals. They had a watch that would beep every 4 minutes to let them know to take a walk break. And they would continue running 4 minutes and walking 1 minute for the entire race which helped them recover. I then told her about some strategies I use when there are hills. I would take it easy and walk up the hills knowing it’s easier to go downhill so i could start back running on the downhills. Basically I wanted to give her some food for thought. So as we approached the next hill she asked if we could walk a bit and then when we got to the top of the hill and she could see it was time for the downhill she said “OK, I’m ready to start running again”. I didn’t tell her what to do or how to handle her discomfort yet my information helped her to make decisions. And not only did she complete the race but she was totally in control. She didn’t whine or cry or make a big deal about how hard it was to run in the heat and humidity. She didn’t just decide to walk the rest. She never gave up. She chose what part of the remaining course she’d walk and what part she’d run using signs as markers and making note of the hills. And she sprinted to the finish with all the confidence in the world. (Side note: she also chose to pour water over her head at some of the water stops and we giggled together. I’m sure it felt good and someday I might just have to try that too.)
IMG_5479

She has great form too!

We can feel peace when we feel purpose. 
Both girls did wonderfully and after joining them and their dad for a little post race lunch at their aunt’s house I said goodbye. My original purpose was just to help Mr. SOTSS out and escort one girl so that each girl could run their own race and he didn’t have to try and stay as a group. But it became more than that for me and hopefully for his daughter too.
And I learned a little something from the girls, too. Running is just a part of life. Afterward, drawing contests and selfies with dad and Chester the dog were just as important as the 3.1 mile run they participated in earlier. I want to take that mindset and apply it to my training for the NYC marathon. I want to remind myself that while I will be running a lot for 16 weeks of training, it is just a part of my life. And hopefully I’ll get to be part of those drawing contests and silly selfies too. We can’t take life too seriously or we’ll forget to have fun.
I couldn’t complete this post without a special dedication for an 11-year old who was tragically killed yesterday. Abigail Zukowski was the youngest daughter of a high school friend of mine. While I haven’t seen him in years we had reconnected on Facebook a few years back and today I learned of this unfortunate news. She was crossing the street in the crosswalk and struck by a car. I’m so very saddened for him and his family including their two other daughters.
Do you have kids?
Do you teach or coach?
What makes you feel at peace?
What give you purpose?

I mentioned the other day that since I’m trying to get all these (running related) kinks to finally disappear before I go full speed ahead into marathon training this January that I was going to keep my mileage light through the end of the year. So I just keep opting for 3 mile runs. And guess what? I really like this distance. Maybe I should abandon distance running and just run 5ks? OK I’m being dramatic. But seriously, I can run 3 miles any day of the week.

This morning, at 6am, it was freezing and windy. I think my weather app said Real Feel: 12°. It was still dark and I wasn’t feeling too hot so I opted to snooze and decided to just pack a gym bag. I’d hit up the dread-mill on my lunch break. Well, that’s exactly what I did and I’m so happy with that decision:

New York Sports Club Tuesday 5k

New York Sports Club Tuesday 5k

I rocked sub 9 minute miles! Did I mention I’m loving these 3 mile runs?!!!! I especially love that my knee doesn’t bother me at all for these short runs.

I’ve been enjoying some pretty colors of the Empire State Building the last few nights while I freeze my butt off at the bus stop.

Purple for the March of Dimes

Purple for the March of Dimes

Turquoise for the Alzheimer's Foundation

Turquoise for the Alzheimer’s Foundation

And speaking of pretty colors, I got a mani/pedi on Sunday and opted for this pale pinkish, lavenderish, silverish, nudish color.

twinkle toes and fingers and paws

twinkle toes and fingers and paws

I’m going to make it a point to try not to get all Bah Humbug on everyone this year as the holidays (and the tourists) arrive in NYC. The department store windows will start being revealed in the next week and then there’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which I’m actually going to participate in this year. My office building is along the route so we have the option to get passes into the building to watch the parade from our suite which is on the 8th floor (EYE LEVEL with the balloons!). And then the Rockafeller Center tree gets lit and traffic snarls will become a daily nightmare. Oops, I did say I was going to try NOT to get all Bah Humbug. I am so lucky to live in New York City…..but sometimes I just wish I wasn’t here. 8 million people…

Well, enough of that tangent. It’s late and I’ve got unglamorous things to do like laundry and packing my lunch for tomorrow.

So tell me. Is it cold where you are? Do you like the holidays or do you want to just hit the fast forward button and get to January 2nd?