Hi everyone,

Happy Monday. I haven’t felt the urge to write much lately. Not really sure why. I’ll just blame the heat. I am one of the rare ones who doesn’t love summer heat.

I still managed to get out and walk for a bit a few days last week on my lunch break. Even when it rained.

Just walking at lunch in a drizzle

Just walking at lunch in a drizzle

Anyhoo, I didn’t run at all for an entire week but yesterday I decided to give it a go.

Getting ready for my first run in a week. 87 degrees out.

Getting ready for my first run in a week. 87 degrees out.

I had some various running injuries…a.k.a. “runjuries” that I hoped would ease up in the week I didn’t run and happy to report that I definitely had some improvement.

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My left hip had been sore for a few weeks. I don’t really know the cause although my theory revolves around the fact that it started over the 2 months that I was driving to and from work for 40-60 minutes each way and being quite sedentary during the day at the office, and also running mostly in the late evenings where I basically was sedentary right afterward. I think the hip got stiff.

My right foot arch had been sore for about a week. My theory for that is that my dress sandals that I’ve been wearing a whole lot over the last 2 months (due to the dress code at work) were a bit big on me and I was scrunching my foot unconsciously to keep the shoe from falling off.

I’m happy to report both of those sore spots were completely gone when I ran yesterday which makes me so happy.

woo hoo!

woo hoo!

The knee, (which was a huge issue last year) was much better and I’ll continue to foam roll and try not to run on any sloped roads and I’m sure in another week or so I’ll be able to up my mileage if I want.

For those of you that read here regularly you know I took the full time job a few months ago in addition to retaining my freelance graphic design business. Well, I decided the full time job wasn’t a good fit for me. I knew in my heart within the first week but gave it time just to be sure. So I wrapped up last week and now I’m happily back to my freelance life. Ironically the one thing I worried about wasn’t really an issue at all. I worried I wouldn’t be able to get my runs in, but I totally managed to get in 3-4 runs a week the entire 10 weeks including many awesome runs on those Friday evenings along the tow path by the office. But the job ended up not matching the description that I was under the impression it would be. I wasn’t being utilized fully. My skill set and senior level expertise weren’t being tapped into and I really wasn’t feeling very fulfilled. I’m really glad I gave it a whirl though. I learned a lot, especially how to work on a PC after only working on a Mac for the last over 20 years :)

Bye bye office building....hello again home office

Bye bye office building….hello again home office

I spent the weekend with Mr. SOTSS. We saw the Secret Life of Pets on Friday night and I was so disappointed. After the cute first 10 minutes or so it got a little too violent for me. I’m too sensitive to see animals getting hurt. Even animated ones. But the popcorn didn’t let me down. So there’s the silver lining.

Why is movie popcorn so good?

Why is movie popcorn so good?

On Saturday Mr. SOTSS and I took a drive down to the Jersey Shore. I wanted to just walk along the beach and maybe put my toes in the water. We didn’t look at the weather forecast and as soon as we arrived the sky got dark and severe thunderstorms came through. We ducked into a restaurant for a quick bite and then resigned ourselves to the fact that the rain was only getting heavier so we ran as fast as we could the 1/4 mile back to the car and left.

IMG_4350I read online later that 2 people actually got struck by lightening not too far away from where we were.

I love Mr. SOTSS’ backyard. When you sit out on the deck you really feel like you’re in a remote part of the world on vacation. We started our day yesterday with our morning coffee outside.

pooches at our feet

pooches at our feet

Morning coffee

Morning coffee

Then, we dined alfresco as well for dinner. We made some delicious fish tacos and paired some frozen margaritas with them.

All the fixings ready to assemble

All the fixings ready to assemble

I made the sauce. mayo, sour cream, chipotle, hot sauce, cilantro, lime, oregano, salt and pepper

I made the sauce. mayo, sour cream, chipotle, hot sauce, cilantro, lime, oregano, salt and pepper

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

Cheers to full bellies and full hearts

Cheers to full bellies and full hearts

It’s going to be in the mid 90s today so Duncan and I will be staying indoors for most of the day.

Do you like the heat?

Do you like fish tacos?

Happy Monday!

This week and weekend flew! Let me tell you the highlights (and low lights)…

I returned to the office Wednesday after my Block Island weekend and boy was it busy! Thursday was another crazy busy day but in the evening my friend Lisa met me and Duncan at the boardwalk so we could get in a nice long walk. We covered approximately 4 miles and enjoyed the amazing cotton candy sky sunset with lovely views of the Verrazano Bridge. 12 weeks until the NYC Marathon!!!

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walkin’

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pretty in pink

Friday I had plans to go to my parents house for dinner. I received a text from my friend Tara the day before telling me her dad had passed away and the wake was going to be Friday evening evening so I let my folks know i’d be late for dinner. Tara is not only a loyal reader of Sweat Out The Small Stuff but she is a longtime friend who I met in the 3rd grade. We spent a lot of time together when we were younger and through high school and college. As a matter of fact I made it my business to be at her house on Friday evenings because her family ordered pizza for dinner! Some things really never change because I still make it my business to be where the pizza is. =) Not only was the funeral home the same as where my husband’s funeral was but Tara’s dad was in the same exact room that my husband had been laid out in 16 years ago. This time though, I was not fragile. This time I was not scared. I walked right in there and gave her mom a big hug and then reminisced for a bit with Tara and her mom and some neighbors from their block. I’m so very sad for Tara and the loss of her dad way too soon (he was only 66). When moments in life like this happens it brings to the surface so much emotion, so much, history, so many memories. I ended up getting to my folks’ about 9 for dinner and I stayed for close to 2 hours so that we could catch up. Seeing them right on the heels of leaving the funeral home was a reminder of how important it is to share time with our family even when life is busy. You never know how much time you’ve got with them. I’ll be keeping Tara and especially her mom in my thoughts. I know how hard it is to have that quiet after the storm when someone who has been sick passes. It’s like being fired from your job of full-time caregiver and not yet lining up a new “gig”. I have always loved this saying “When one door closes another opens but it’s a bitch in the hallway”. The thing about that quote is that it relates to so much.

6 hours later I was driving into Brooklyn to meet my running friends. My training schedule called for 9 miles. I ended up at about 8.75 but I have this thing called the “ish-factor” which basically means I can round things up or down by a 1/4 mile or 15 minutes. So that 8.75 is really 9 with the ish-factor. And if I say I’ll be at your house at 7:30 then that means 7:45 with the ish-factor.

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a new perspective on a view of 42nd street from Grand Central

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I realized today why I love this bridge so much. It's the first bridge I ever crossed. I was 2 days old when my parents brought me home from the hospital from Brooklyn to Staten Island over the Verrazano. =)

I realized today why I love this bridge so much. It’s the first bridge I ever crossed. I was 2 days old when my parents brought me home from the hospital from Brooklyn to Staten Island over the Verrazano. =)

Headed over the Brooklyn Bridge

Headed over the Brooklyn Bridge

Headed over the Brooklyn Bridge

Headed over the Brooklyn Bridge

The miles were tough and my knee and hammy were both hurting but my Brooklyn running peeps kept me going. To backtrack, I met Lisa and Mike yesterday morning in Brooklyn at 7am and we ran over the Brooklyn Bridge and into Manhattan to run up Park Avenue. This weekend is one of the weekends of Summer Streets a program that they run every year where they close the street off to cars until 1pm so people can bike, run, walk and stop along the way to play games and get freebies. I ran during Summer Streets twice in 2013. You can read about it here and here.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon at a family get together with MR. SOTSS.

So happy to get to see him this weekend. Originally I thought I'd have to wait until Tuesday so this was such a wonderful surprise. =)

So happy to get to see him this weekend. Originally I thought I’d have to wait until Tuesday so this was such a wonderful surprise. =)

And here it is time to go back to work. LeSigh!

I’m tired this morning. How about you? 

 

First let me just give a big shout out to my dog and wish him a happy 6th birthday! Y’all know how much Duncan means to me. He’s truly my best friend. (Well, except when he is misbehaving lol).

sock monkey

Sock monkey destruction

labradoodle gifts

Proud of his gifts but tolerating the hat

labradoodle birthday

Waiting patiently for me to give him the ok to eat his cookies

labradoodle

I’m 6 which means in dog years I’m older than my mom

Yesterday I kicked off my 2 week vacation with a relaxing morning with 2 of my favorites.

Two great mugs!

Two great mugs!

And then, late morning I decided to go for a run. I covered just over 5 miles.

thinking about running in place inside to avoid the cold and cloudy outside

thinking about running in place inside to avoid the cold and cloudy outside

OK so here’s the boring novel I’m about to share about “runjuries”. Feel free to skip if you want and go directly to the Luna Bar Giveaway instruction below =)

I was pretty banged up when I got home. My right piriformis (butt cheek muscle) has been a bit spazzy the last couple of days. My chronic tight left hamstring was SOOO tight and I could feel the tightness behind my knee and down the side of my calf. And the right knee! The annoying, frustrating mystery knee pain that started at the beginning of October decided to be a punk for the last 2 miles. Interestingly I really had no issue at all during our holiday windows run this past Saturday. While we covered between 6 and 7 miles we stopped frequently to admire the store windows and tree and also walked a lot too so I’m guessing the impact was much less than a normal run of that distance.

These “runjuries” are really disheartening. If I can’t make it through an easy 5 miler without lingering pain, how will I start marathon training in a few weeks? My first long run is usually 7 or 8 miles. That just isn’t going to happen the way I’m feeling lately. Not to mention, i feel like my usual mental health benefits of running aren’t happening because I’m to fixated on the physical stuff during the run that I can’t clear the cobwebs in my head like I’m used to.

So here’s my short term plan:

• Start icing knee 2X a day.
• Take ibuprofen for a few days straight
• Foam roll legs (especially quads, hamstrings and glutes)
• Strengthen core, hips, glutes, hamstrings and quads using exercise from PT and online
• Keep exercise low impact for 2 weeks. Try not to run but if i must run then only 1-3 miles on soft, flat paths.

Long term I’d like to get my running form/gait evaluated and probably get a new primary care doc who will be happy to send me to a PT who specializes in running mechanics and injuries. I’m also prepared to start my marathon training a few weeks later than normal and/or fall back to the half if i have to. The New Jersey Marathon is April 26th and a 16 week cycle would have me start on 1/4. So realistically if I can be healed by 1/18 I’ll still get 14 weeks of training in. And if I struggle at all, I can drop back to half training 10 weeks out starting mid February to give myself an extra month to heal. I’m saying all this like a mature adult. But I can tell you that if I am not healed or have to drop back to the half I’ll probably cry and feel sad and go through all those emotions. =)

Luna Bar Giveaway!

Gift from Luna

Gift from Luna

So about a week ago, Luna sent me a box of their newest, and now gluten free, bars. I have had 2 of them so far. The chocolate dipped coconut one was my absolute favorite. They are now gluten free! And Luna has offered to send a box of bars to one of my readers.

To enter just leave me a comment below about anything you want. (make sure you’ve added an email address when posting so I can contact you if you’ve won.). I’ll select one reader at random on Friday afternoon 12/26 so leave your comment before 9am (EST) on that day. This giveaway is only available to my U.S. readers as the bars can only be mailed to a U.S. postal address.

That’s it! I’m off to start baking now for Christmas Day. I’m bringing homemade brownies (yes! from scratch, not a mix) and my grandmother’s famous rum cake. It’s basically a doctored up yellow cake mix cake with rum in the batter baked in a bundt pan but the glaze has lots of rum and sugar and walnuts. OH SO YUMMY!

I won’t be reunited with my laptop until after the holiday so if I don’t post again beforehand have a very merry one!

2014xmascard