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?

Well hello September!

I can’t believe it’s already September 6th! (and will probably will be 7th by time this post goes up!)

Thanks everyone who commented on the poll in my last post.

I ended up super busy with work last Thursday and Friday but of course I couldn’t ignore Duncan’s sad face stare and took him both days for walks at the park. Yep, he’s spoiled. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I'm busy working and he's busy er, dreaming

I’m busy working and he’s busy er, dreaming

too much squirrel chasing on a hot day means napping on the drive home

too much squirrel chasing on a hot day means napping the entire drive home. I took this pic right after I pulled into my driveway.

walkin....as we do

walkin….as we do

I love when I snap a mid-lip-licking pic. (that was hard to type!)

I love when I snap a mid-lip-licking pic. (that was hard to type!)

Another trip to the park

Another trip to the park

I also got a run in on Thursday evening. I waited for dusk hoping I wouldn’t struggle as much in the heat. I love the way my car looks at dusk. It’s really a charcoal gray color but it looks purplish when the sun sets.

Always reminded of how to live my life by my doormat

Always reminded of how to live my life by my doormat

Friday night I packed up and drove over to Mr. SOTSS’ house for the 3-day holiday (Labor Day) weekend. We had a list of things to accomplish and managed to get them all done! One of the things on the list was a long run along the course of the Staten Island Half Marathon that we’ll both be running next month. On October 9th I’ll be running it for the 10th consecutive year! It was my very first half marathon back in 2007 and I am excited to continue the streak. But I know from last year that the course now includes a fairly large hill at mile 9 and I thought it’d be a good idea for us to run it in training. Mr. SOTSS ran 8 miles with the hill being the last 1/2 mile of it and I ran 7. Close to where we’ll actually be running it on race day.

mr-sotss-hill

That’s Mr. SOTSS making his way up the hill! He’s faster than me but I ran a mile less so we finished our runs pretty much at the same time :)

vz-bridge-2 vz-bridge-hill long-run-7

Sunday morning I made us some pancakes. Mr. SOTSS had to work much of the day and I had some work to do as well so our day was spent mostly at our computers. pancakes

Sunday night we drove to Pier Village in Long Branch, NJ along the “Jersey Shore” to get a fix of the sounds of the ocean and watch the sun set. With Tropical Storm Hermine in the vicinity the waves were larger than usual. While we were there we strolled up and down the promenade a bit and then grabbed a bite for dinner. It’s the little things. I just love the sounds of the ocean.

long-branch-hermine

I always feel the compulsion to write in the sand.

I always feel the compulsion to write in the sand.

I love this! One of the restaurants along the promenade has a "dog bar". Tee hee!

I love this! One of the restaurants along the promenade has a “dog bar”. Tee hee!

And then yesterday we each went for a run in the morning and then took the dogs on a little hike.

more miles

more miles

monday-hike monday-hike-doodle hike-selfie

And I made sangria to go along with dinner to bring the weekend to a close.

Cheers to September!

Cheers to September!

How was your weekend?

Do you like running hills?

Do you like the ocean? Live near one?

Happy Hump Day!

How goes it? We’re having AMAZING weather here in NYC this week. Today it was 62 degrees at sunrise. Um, hello? It’s August! But I’m not complaining. This is my kind of weather! And it’s also Duncan’s favorite weather. At first I thought I’d take him out to run the doodle mile once or twice with me. But then I decided he deserved to have a nice off leash “sniff-like-there’s-no-tomorrow” walk in the park.

off to sniff out the squirrels

off to sniff out the squirrels

What a treat when I found some honeysuckles still out. They usually only last through June.

so fragrant!

so fragrant!

We had such a nice walk that after work I took him back for another walk before sunset.

photo 3

I REALLY needed both walks….probably more than the doodle (ok maybe it was a tie). I’ve been struggling lately with a whole boatload of “small stuff”. Well really, it’s more than small stuff. It’s more like big decisions I need to make when it comes to life/work balance. We all know I am quite runner-centric but walks are really just as important to me.

Training Tweakage: So I took a look at my calendar and noticed i’ve got a very busy second half of August. Next Thursday I’ll be headed to the Adirondacks for a few days. So I shuffled around some of my runs. Instead of doing my long run on Saturday, I’ll move it until Sunday when I’m home. That leaves me with a 6 miler that would normally be on Thursday morning but i’m starting my road trip at 6am and I don’t really want to run at 4am. So, since my Saturday run is moving to Sunday i figured that i could move Thursday’s run to Friday. Now the only snag is that I like to join my friend Donna (who I will be staying with) for long walks in the morning. Usually 4 miles. And it’s my favorite part of going there (well second favorite…..making S’mores is my favorite=). We talk and enjoy the beautiful vista of mountains and meadows. This pic was from last year’s trip….

Westport NY in the Adirondacks

Westport NY in the Adirondacks

So My 6 miler might end up being a 3 or 4 mile run either before or after our 4 mile walk =)

It’s always good to make a plan. Don’t ever let your training schedule surprise you. Re-arrange proactively and you’ll feel calmer and more in control.

Tomorrow i’ve got a 6 miler to bang out. I’m so excited that the weather will be a repeat of today.

Question: Any tips for how to fit in your exercise/training schedule and not letting life get in the way? 

Sweat Out the Small Stuff