Hi there

I started questioning this morning whether social media has enhanced my desire to talk about the weather or whether I’d just be rotary dialing my friends and family more often and still talking about the weather. I can’t believe I broke out my down jacket already.img_6967

This morning I ran an easy 3 miles and it was in the 40s and raining.

3 easy miles

3 easy miles

thumbhole shirt

why do we get so excited for thumb holes?

I broke out the thicker long sleeve running shirt with thumbholes! Before you know it I’ll have gloves and a wool or fleece hat too. I’m not complaining just yet. It is so nice to finally be done with 80+ temps and 80% humidity.

It's raining it's pouring....

It’s raining it’s pouring….

I had a lovely birthday that started out with brunch at my sister-in-law’s house. She made french toast casserole and candied bacon.

Candied Bacon and French Toast Casserole

Candied Bacon and French Toast Casserole

It was so delicious. Probably caused my arteries to clog but so worth it. Candied bacon is my new favorite sweet and salty combo. Sharon, my SIL also got me a few gifts including this plush faux fur dark purple throw that Duncan has already approved of.

Real fur on Faux fur

Real fur on Faux fur

Mr. SOTSS had flowers sent to my house and I almost missed the delivery.

Pretty flowers!

Pretty flowers!

I was in the bathroom coloring my hair when the doorbell rang. But I managed to not scare the delivery guy away when I answered the door.

The dogs just hung out right outside the bathroom watching me color my hair

The dogs just hung out right outside the bathroom watching me color my hair

I worked the rest of the afternoon with the dogs hovering.

Oh it's 5:00pm. Someone is letting me know it's dinnertime

Oh it’s 5:00pm. Someone is letting me know it’s dinnertime

In the eve when Mr. SOTSS got back from work we went to the local diner. He said I could pick the restaurant and I just wanted something simple. I’m not a fancy meal kinda gal AT ALL. I was excited to get the dinner special that includes Jello, ice cream or pudding for dessert. I went with the rice pudding…..my fave.

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!

My birthday gift from him was the Train concert tickets last month when we were in at the Washington State Fair but he picked up a few additional things for me including a mirror and headlight for my bicycle and the solar windshield doo-hickey that helps shade the car cabin in the summer when it’s parked so it isn’t a million degrees when you get back to it. YAY!

I’m excited already for my birthday next year because 44 happens to be my lucky number. I don’t know why. It’s just been my lucky number since I was a kid.

So this weekend Duncan needs a costume to wear because we’ll be trick-or-treating. I am a little embarrased to say he has a lot of costumes to choose from.

dog costumes

Dog costumes galore rain,

The groom and line”barker” costumes haven’t been worn yet but I think we’re going simple this year with this goofy hat and tie.

Keepin' it simple

Keepin’ it simple

Although he did look adorable in some of those other costumes…

Argh it's a Pirate Doodle

Argh it’s a Pirate Doodle

The Sherif in Town

The Sherif in Town

Rufferee complete with whistle around his neck

Rufferee complete with whistle around his neck

Turtle

Turtle

Are you into Halloween? Do you dress up? Dress your dog or kids up?

What’s your fave? Sweet and salty, just sweet or just salty?

Staten Island Half Marathon Recap 2016

I ran the Staten Island Half Marathon this past Sunday. It felt more like a Tough Mudder thanks to the mud, rain and wind and enormous puddles. LOL!

A decent (and FREE) race photo!

A decent (and FREE) race photo!

It was the 10th consecutive year I’ve run it. It was my very first half marathon back in 2007 and I haven’t missed a year since. Here’s a link to last year’s recap and my 2014 recap and how my day went in 2013 too!

Staten Island Half Marathon

some years were better than others….2011 was the first time I ran 20 miles (did 7 before the race started) and you can see that reflected on my face!

And now, the Staten Island Half Marathon Recap 2016

Sunday’s race was not exactly the smoothest for a bunch of reasons. But there were still so many good things about the day too.

Let’s start with the day before the race: I was dealing with some stomach issues and barely ate. I was in the bathroom more than usual and didn’t really have a full meal until dinner. Not exactly how you want to feel the day before running a half marathon. Mr. Sweat Out the Small Stuff and I went for a hike with the dogs in the early part of the day but I just felt so crappy that I asked if we could cut it short. I felt like I might pass out.

I found myself struggling to keep up...

I found myself struggling to keep up…

Chester getting his muddy paws wiped

Chester getting his muddy paws wiped

Later in the afternoon he was limping. He said he went out for a short “shakeout” run earlier that morning and rolled his foot on the curb and the hike must have exacerbated the issue. So I forced him to ice it on and off for the rest of the day and take ibuprofen. We were feeling better about running the race by nightfall. His foot was feeling better thanks to the ice and ibuprofen (gold star for me!) and my stomach was feeling better. But then we noticed that the the weather forecast changed. On Friday it had been looking good for race day but now it said rain and wind were to be expected along with temps in the high 50s.WTF?!!!

weather

Race day morning: We were up and out the door at 6:30 a.m. The race starts at 8:30am but we needed to pick up our race numbers an hour before. (New for this year they had us get our shirts after the race). We took the train since I live on Staten Island, and were at the start area (The Staten Island Yankees ball stadium) by 7:15 a.m. Normally you’d get a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline but since it was raining and foggy the views weren’t happening. Getting our race numbers was a breeze. The old New York Road Runners system had you stand in line based on your last name and the volunteer would have to go through a bin of bibs to find yours. The new system requires you to present your QR code on your phone or a printout of email the sent a few days before. That gets scanned and assigns you a number and corral on the spot. It worked out to be much faster. Next up was gear check. We checked bags that had a rain coat and dry clothes for after the race.) We had about 30 minutes before it was time to walk to the start and get in the corrals so we just hung out under the ball stadium.

Staten Island Half Marathon recap 2016

keeping dry with ponchos

My friend Lisa texted me that she and two other of our running friends who had traveled in from Brooklyn would be in the corrals in 30 minutes too. So we met up. Lisa and Mike had run the RockNRoll Brooklyn Half the day before. I did that last year with them but this year I just wasn’t up to the whole back-2-back half weekend thing.

Lisa was the only one brave enough to get her phone wet for a pre-race selfie in the corral

Lisa was the only one brave enough to get her phone wet for a pre-race selfie in the corral

The race itself: This race has become fairly large (over 10,000 runners) and they now have a wave start. Mr. SOTSS was a few waves earlier than me and was planning on staying around a 9 minute per mile pace because he didn’t want to push it with his foot. While the course has changed slightly over the years, I know it, and the area well enough so I had a specific plan based on that knowledge. I knew I wasn’t going to race hard but I wanted to push my pace for the first 7-8 miles which are mostly either flat miles or slight rolling hills. With my comfortable running pace around 11 minutes per mile I pushed to stay about a minute faster and was happy that my first 3 miles were almost exactly 10 minute splits. The rain wasn’t really bothering me at first. I wore my poncho (the same one that I wore back in March of 2014 when I PR’ed at the Love Run in the pouring rain) and by mile 3 I tossed it as I started to get warm. Once I reached mile 4, the course is out and back for the next few miles more or less, so I kept myself distracted looking to my left to try and find Mr. SOTSS. Just at the last minute before I would have missed him, he came rounding the corner and I waved him down with both arms like an air traffic controller. I was SO relieved. He was past the halfway point and looking good so I knew his foot would be ok and that he’d finish the race. And I was also happy to get that smile in return. His smile is better than anything. I zipped through those miles also in the 10 minute per mile range. The wind didn’t appear until we were out by the water. And boy did it appear! Along with the big hills that I knew about around mile 8 1/2 to mile 9. This is where the race became my challenge. But a welcome challenge. I was proud of myself for sticking to my plan and now all I wanted to do was get up the 2 hills without walking and I did it. I kept my steps short and pumped my arms and before I knew it I was done with the hills. I did also take my phone out of the plastic baggie it was in so I could snap a couple of pictures at this point.

the second hill

the second hill

Mile 9 and still smiling

Mile 9 and still smiling

The wind for the last 4 miles was crazy (20 mile sustained but much higher gusts) but mile 11 in particular was just absurd. I literally watched as full cups of Gatorade were blown off the table about 10 feet. They were hitting us like water balloons. I’d feel the cup hit my leg and the liquid spill down. I was actually laughing. The cold rain was being whipped in our faces and everyone was holding their hats. (Maybe even some sleet?) As if this all wasn’t wild enough we came to a spot in the course where the puddles had turned into ponds and there was no way to avoid them. We were all slogging through like a Tough Mudder event. And then, at mile 13 you enter the field of the baseball stadium which was a complete mudfest. There were chunks of sod missing and all I wanted to do was slide into the finish line for a fun photo but was afraid i’d injure myself.

47373089_race_0-7788590994823832-displayI ran the New Jersey half marathon this past May and while it wasn’t raining at the start it started raining mid-run and by the time I finished i was crying and felt absolutely horrible. I was successful this time around to keep my chin up and make the best of the conditions. I really kept that smile on my face and felt so proud of myself for not going own the hole….that is until I realized that there were long lines at the gear check to retrieve your checked baggage. Oh my god. It took 30 minutes (standing in the pouring rain after running for 2 hours and 21 minutes) to get my dry clothes. I kept marching in place to prevent hypothermia. But I saw big burly guys with chattering teeth. One guy looked like he was about to cry.

New York Road Runners posted this the day after the race.nyrr-response

Mr. SOTSS finished in 1:57 right at his predicted time. And I finished in 2:21 which is actually better than I had anticipated. My 2nd fastest of the 10 years. (My fastest was in 2014 at 2:15:39 and my slowest was 2008 at 2:54:55)img_6639

After running 35+ half marathons I am always amazed at the profound moments that stick with me. I spent all of mile 11 thinking about some people I know who are battling ALS. Their bodies are failing them. They can’t run. They can’t even walk. I may have been pelted with rain and Gatorade but I was in control of my body. I ran that race….it didn’t run me. And that is my biggest take away from the day. Running teaches me so much.

Eventually Mr. SOTSS and I were able to get our gear bags and change into dry clothes, take the train home, shower and refuel. The rest of the day was spent on the couch…

I just can't nap like they can. Oh well. I killed an hour sipping coffee and Facebooking

I just can’t nap like they can. Oh well. I killed an hour sipping coffee and Facebooking

ok maybe I can nap afterall

ok maybe I can nap afterall

Despite the inclement weather, mud and long wait for dry clothes, I really liked the course changes for this year, the shirt and medal and the fact that I ran a smart race with a nice balance of effort, mental toughness and appreciation for it all. It was awesome to see my friends Lisa, JD and Mike at the start and to see Mr. SOTSS during the race. And because this is the race where my distance running all began I’ll always have a special fondness of it and will most likely make it 11 years running next year. Of course it usually ends up being on the same day as the Chicago Marathon (which it was this year) so if I ever run Chicago I’ll have to break my Staten Island Half streaking. :)

Anyone run Chicago this weekend?
Anyone run anything else?
Have a local race you run each year?

Happy Thursday y’all!

So two weeks ago I declared my goals for the NJ Half Marathon and then last week I declared I was chickening out. I’m so happy I took the pressure off because now I’m dealing with a different set of circumstances.
So the perfect weather forecast for Sunday’s NJ Half Marathon just changed to the not-so-perfect-weather forecast! I swear when I checked yesterday it said partly cloudy and 49 low with 61 high. No wind and no precipitation. And now…

weather-crap

But the 100% chance of rain is only part of my concern because as i type this I’m alternating between sitting on a heating pad and then an ice pack to try and calm down my sciatic nerve.

I’m just going to have to wait until Sunday morning to see how this all plays out. One thing’s for certain…I’ll be crawling across crossing the finish line with a smile.

What do you do when things start to go haywire the days leading up to a big race?

Hi!

How’s it going in your neck-o-the-woods? I’m doing ok. Some good stuff…some not so good stuff but I just tried this Snickerdoodle Croissant Donut from Dunkin Donuts which falls under the good stuff category.

Snickerdoodle Croissant Donut

Snickerdoodle Croissant Donut

Boy was it sweet! Good thing I’m a fan of sweet =)

Let’s backtrack for a minute. I woke up Monday morning and was so excited to see I was chosen in the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler.

Cherry Blossom 10-Miler here I come!

Cherry Blossom 10-Miler here I come!

We registered as a team. The “we” is me, Jane and Jane’s friend Amy.

That's Jane, Amy and me sandwiched between Jane's hubby Alex and Mr. SOTSS to my right. (Like the smiley face didn't give it away. LOL!)

That’s Jane, Amy and me sandwiched between Jane’s hubby Alex and Mr. SOTSS to my right. (Like the smiley face didn’t give it away. LOL!)

I’m already excited about the trip down to DC for this. First of all I LOVE the Cherry Blossoms. I was so lucky to see them at the height of their peak this past April when Mr. SOTSS and I went for a weekend getaway.

Peaking Cherry Blossoms

Peaking Cherry Blossoms

And I’m thoroughly stoked to run my first offficial 10 miler! I just have a hunch it’s going to be my new favorite distance. Then of course what could make this better? Yup, a running road trip with friends of course!

I discovered a new photo editing app with this cool oil painting filter that works well with Duncan’s fur.

IMG_9860

And while we’re talking about Duncan…

best foot warmer

best foot warmer

Nothing better than a view of my dog and my Christmas tree to make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Add in a fresh cup of coffee and Mr. SOTSS into that view and I call that perfection!

Add in a fresh cup of coffee and Mr. SOTSS into that view and I call that perfection!

I was off today. Well, off from one job but I did about 6 hours of freelance work until about 3pm when I set out for a run.

speedy (for me) miles

speedy (for me) miles

It's just a windbreaker....doesn't repel water in the least bit.

It’s just a windbreaker….doesn’t repel water in the least bit.

Unfortunately it was pouring! I didn’t want to waste the extra time to drive to the gym to use the treadmill and it was fairly mild (in the mid 50s) so I figured I’d just go get soaked. I really don’t mind running in the rain. I just hate the way my clothes get so heavy and stick to me. And I discovered I don’t own a single item of waterproof running gear. I should have just run naked. My skin is waterproof right? Oh wait, that would get me arrested I suppose….#STREAKING

I guess it’s too late to ask Santa for some rain gear for Christmas.

Do you run in the rain? What kind of rain gear do you use?
Do you like sweet things?