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?

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? 

 

 

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?

Hi and Happy Monday!

I’ve been thinking more about my goals for 2017 and in addition to wanting to run with friends for that “conversational pace” at least once a month I also want to PR in the 5k. The reason behind this one is that I really want to be able to run just one time with Mr. SOTSS during a race. He agreed to slow down to a 9 minute pace for me if I can speed up to it. My current PR is 9:12 average pace so I just need to shave 12 seconds per mile from that.

This past weekend we ran the Big Chill 5k and while I wasn’t trying to run hard I ended up feeling good and finished in 30:11 (a 9:39 average pace per mile). img_7833

I love the long sleeve shirts they give. I now have 3 and use them for pajamas

I love the long sleeve shirts they give. I now have 3 and use them for pajamas

img_7839This was my 3rd time running the race and about the 8th time for Mr. SOTSS. It’s an awesome charity event. The “entry fee” is an unwrapped toy valued at $15 or more.

entry fee toys

entry fee toys

In 2014 I had to walk it because I had a sprained ankle. And last year I ran about a minute faster than this year finishing in 29 minutes. The entire morning was great except that Jane and her hubby weren’t there this year. But I did see my friend Amy quickly before and after.

The gymnasium at Rutgers University was packed with runners checking in. The back wall is all the toys donated

The gymnasium at Rutgers University was packed with runners checking in. The back wall is all the toys donated

I ran behind some elves

I ran behind some elves

After the race we went for breakfast and I was so happy for a cup of coffee because the cup I made before leaving the house in the morning had to get tossed thanks to some curdled cream….boo!

coffee...YES!

coffee…YES!

 

Other than the race Mr. SOTSS watched me put up my tree this weekend.

Keeping me company while I decorate my tree

Keeping me company while I decorate my tree

My newest ornament from my trip to Banff in September :)

My newest ornament from my trip to Banff in September :)

All done!

My tree is up!

We took the dogs for a few great walks in the park.

happy Chester

happy Chester

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me and my shadow....and my love and his shadow

me and my shadow….and my love and his shadow

I wonder if I look as happy as him when I run

I wonder if I look as happy as him when I run

We also went to a convention in Atlantic City for business but but enjoyed a nice meal and time away for a quick overnight. And I won $100 on the slots in the casino! Woot woot!

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pub food…yum!

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$100 payout in the casino and an overnight away with my sweets…. #winning

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How was your weekend?