Well hello there. I’m dusting off the old blogwebs for NYC Marathon Weekend 🙂

Yikes! Two and a half months have passed since I’ve blogged and Summer has turned into Fall.

The leaves have changed colors and are now falling at a rapid pace and I’ve finally dusted off the old blogwebs to post today.

I’m just so giddy and excited that Sunday is the NYC Marathon. Nope, I’m not running it this year (and most likely I might never get the opportunity again) but the energy is palpable and I want to share my enthusiasm for the race with people I know have interest in running.

I’ve been lucky enough to run it 3 times—2011, 2013 and 2015.

NYC Marathon medals

Recap Central:

Here’s a post that has a an overall recap of my all my experiences from 2011-2016 including a link to this post about my 2011 race (reflecting back 3 years later), my 2013 race recap here and 2015 here

You can also read recaps from when I spectated in 2014 and 2016.

I can remember so vividy my emotions at the finish of each race and I know that those experiences are so integral to who I am. I’m never happier than when I can share those experiences with others. And hey, it was the 2011 NYC Marathon that officially made me a marathoner.

My days of running marathons might have ended but my love of running is still strong as ever. I can’t wait to tune in to the race from my sofa on Sunday morning and feel all the feels.

In other news I turned 46 exactly one week ago. Mr SOTSS and I celebrated with a fun little weekend getaway to the North Fork and South Fork of Long Island and Shelter Island. We started on the South Fork driving through the Hamptons and walking along the beach after having a delicious warm 6 ounce chocolate chip cookie from Levain Bakery.

Happy 46th Birthday to MEEEEEEEE!!!!!

chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain Bakery

If you know me at all, you know I love sweets but this was extra special because Mr. SOTSS and I have been dieting since Labor Day and were looking forward to splurging all weekend. (I’m down 10 pounds and he’s down about 15 pounds). AND it was my actual birthday so basically it was perfection.

So grateful to have been born in late October. It was a picture perfect fall day and the beach was all ours

Beaches in the off-season are the best

The North Fork is known for its wineries. We went to a couple of them but my favorite one was an all sparkling wine winery called Sparkling Pointe.

Sparkling Red!

More tripod/remote fun

The views of the vineyard were just stunning. Speaking of views, this was our view from the bed and breakfast we stayed at on Shelter Island…

The best part was the gift Mr. SOTSS gave me. A new tripod for my iPhone and a remote that controls the camera shutter on it. We had fun trying it out (ok, technically I had fun and he tolerated the shenanigans).

The remote even does burst mode!!!!

Happy with my gift. And the tripod too 🙂

Earlier this month I got to run the Staten Island Half Marathon and more importantly see some of my running friends…

Running friends are like mychicken soup for the soul.

And there was a celebratory pizza slice on the train ride back to my car.

And the next day I kayaked wearing my finisher’s shirt.

Kayaking in the Fall might be even better than kayaking in the Summer…

We had this bookcase that was being neglected for years and last month Mr. SOTTS and I renovated and re-decorated and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. We tried to make the air conditioner unit not stick out like a sore thumb anymore. Here’s a before and after:



I’m still commuting into the city twice a week for a consulting job and as the days get shorter I’ve had some stunner sunset views…

Pretty in Pink

NYC Skyline

Speaking of stunning views, I’ve even caught a few locally. There was a sunrise just a few weeks ago while walking Duncan at the lake…

And this sunset in early September…

Sunset from our backyard

Will you be watching the NYC Marathon on Sunday?

How has your Fall been?

Duncan says hello…

OK, so I didn’t really forget i had a blog but I forget to make the time to write posts. But just the other day I received an email from someone at KT Tape letting me know that Sweat Out the Small Stuff made their 2019 list of helpful blogs for runners!

So that was kinda cool.

Now let’s get you filled in on how I’ve been Sweating Out the Small Stuff the last 6 weeks.

After enjoying renting a kayak at the lake across from where we live Mr. SOTSS and I decided buy our very own kayak and I’m so in love!

As close to serene as I can conjour up

Just me and the lake to myself most weekdays.

I see lots of turtles but they jump in the water as soon as I get close enough to photograph them. So enjoy this pink lily pad flower

I have been going at least twice a week and while my arms definitely get a workout, I love stopping for a few minutes here and there and just sitting and thinking.

I registered for the Staten Island Half Marathon and just got underway with my training.

Staten Island Half

It’s going to be the most basic plan ever and I’m totally ok with that. Who knew I’d ever be able to run as far as a half again after my 2 year injury roller coaster? But here in 2019, I’ve already got one under my belt and now, hopefully I’ll get to complete 2. Truly grateful.

Today I ran 5 miles which is the longest I’ve run since the 2019 Love Run back in March.

I can tell you that a dew point of 73 is really uncomfortable. My mantra today was inspired by those yellow flowers… “Suck it up buttercup”.

I’m still commuting into Manhattan twice a week for a consulting job and have been enjoying taking the Staten Island Ferry.

Birds ride free too

Lady Liberty

Staten Island Ferry

two ships passing in the night rush hour

It’s so ironic that I moved out of Staten Island last year only to be traveling back now because it just happens to be the most consistent and cheapest way to commute from where I am in New Jersey.

Mr. SOTSS and I went to the Balloon Festival again this year and while the weather was cooperating, we don’t think as many balloons took flight.

balloon festival

I guess with tradition comes the risk of some years being a bit more “less than”. We go apple picking every year and some years there are too many Rome apples and not enough Honeycrisp. LOL!

Duncan and Chester are still living their best life. I truly envy their responsibility-free life. I literally watch them on the doggie cam when I’m in the city and they are almost always just sleeping.

couch nap in between floor nap and crate nap

Deck nap

Chester “at ease” while the humans are at work (and Duncan sitting on the top of the back couch half napping)

more napping

Last night was AWESOME! I dragged the whole family to see one of my favorite bands, Train. And the Goo Goo Dolls opened up for them which was pretty cool too.

Giddy to see Train

We had lawn seats that were the equivalent of “nose bleed” seats….far far away from the stage.

Snapchatting their way through the concert…. #teenagers

It’s been so hot and humid here and I can’t wait for the Fall to arrive. It’s always the last few weeks of every season that I’m ready to move on to the next. Well, except Fall. I wish it was Fall for 8 months of the year. A little hot and a little cold on either end. Yep. That would be just perfect.

So while I’m pining for Fall weather to arrive, tell me what your Fall season plans are? Anyone running anything exciting? Vacations? Birthdays?

My intentions have been to post once a month but will you look at that?…It’s been 2 months since my last post. And so it goes. I hereby declare I’m going to post when I feel like it to free myself of guilt!

Unfortunately, summer hasn’t started out so well for us….Mr. SOTSS’ dad passed away over the weekend from a rare and rapid illness called CJD and we’re really all just in shock. His dad was just shy of 72 but was quite strong and healthy up until 2 months ago when he started to show symptoms. He was still running a business and doing all the things. Neither of us ever expected this. We’re now navigating through unchartered territory with the loss of a parent (and me trying to to support someone who’s lost a parent). I’m grateful to have had a few years to get to know him and experience some memorable family sailing trips as well as two special trips to Block Island (off the coast of Rhode Island)—first, for his wedding in 2015, and then two years later to celebrate his 70th birthday. I have to say that his passing has left me feeling that sense of urgency once again. Stop waiting and start doing….wait, isn’t that the tagline for The Home Depot? But really….we need to just tell our loved ones we love them as much as we can and go do what makes us happy on the regular.

Our captain at the helm.

Mr. SOTSS and his dad in Block Island celebrating his dad’s 70th birthday

My first kayaking experience was when we were in Block Island

Sunrise over the pond behind the house we stayed in on Block Island

On a brighter note there have been many awesome moments since my last post too.

Mr. SOTSS’s birthday was a quiet one this year but we celebrated with ice cream which is always a great way to celebrate 🙂

Yes, I brought a candle to the ice cream shop and sang Happy Birthday to him right there on the sidewalk. 🙂

His youngest daughter just graduated from middle school and his oldest daughter just turned Sweet 16.

My lame attempt at decorating. But hey, I used 16 cupcakes total so A for effort!

I have also discovered that our yard has some lovely flowers growing. We had peonies a few weeks ago and now we’ve got hydrangeas.

Freshly cut Peony bouquet

More »

Hi there.

Hope Spring is treating y’all well. Here in New Jersey we’ve been “welcomed” with ticks! YUCK, I hate them. Apparently there will be a big surge of the buggers this season thanks to our milder and wetter Winter.

But we’ve been enjoying the outdoors with the pups anyway.

He looks pretty happy. 🙂

I love this shot!

Hanging at the beach

Dock smile

I also got a little Spring decorating bug. After we repainted the sunroom floor the month before I figured we should do a bit more to make the space more defined. So we got a nice area rug, a cute throw pillow and a cubby shelf thingy to sort of form a “mud room”. Little nautical touches finish off the look (rope handles on the cubby bins, the white stripe on the rug and I stacked some old boating books and compass that Mr. SOTSS had to finish off the look (plus one nature book of mine). We are both really happy with how it all looks and love that it actually feels more like 2 spaces now.

Mud room cubbys…one for each of us (yes the dogs each have their own along with the adults and the human teenagers 🙂

The cutest denim blue pillow ever IMO

Nautical accents

Modeling the new rug

In work related news I’ve started working in the city 2 days a week for some on-site design consulting. It’s actually be really nice to break up the week working at home 3 days and in the city 2 days. Duncan misses me but I feel better knowing he can hang with Chester until I return.

Oh and I designed my first food truck vehicle wrap for Mr. SOTSS’s business. This was fun…customer wanted something that would stand out. I think lime green does the trick!


Ok now on to my recap…

It’s been 3 weeks since I ran the 2019 Philly Love Run half marathon.

First of all I just want to say I’m SOOO happy that I finally got to run a half marathon after more than 2 years of injury, loss of fitness and other life events. I was training for the 2017 Philly Love Run when I injured my toe just a few weeks before. And last year I wasn’t fully recovered. This year almost didn’t happen when some very mild posterior tibial tendonitis became a bit more severe forcing me to stop my training with a long run of only 7.5 miles. But I slogged through to finish in one of my slower times of 2:38.

The back of the finisher shirts modeled by the girls in front of me at the start. I use mine for pajamas because it is very soft and not tech-fabricky.

A little sunrise peeking through at the start

This will be more of a highlights recap and not super detailed. Bottom line is I really have nothing negative to say and would definitely recommend it.

smiles = early on in the race. Actually this was around mile 5.

  1. The course: I love how this course is broken up. You start at Eakins Oval right by the art museum with the famous Rocky steps and the first 4 ish miles are in the city center. I swear these miles felt all downhill to me but maybe it was just the rush of running a race. I felt GREAT for the city miles! Right around mile 5 you pass Eakins Oval again and head out to run a whole lot of out and back miles along the Schuylkill river which is a nice change of pace in contrast to the city. It also allows you to watch some of the faster runners on their way back into the city for that finish line. There’s not much in the way of running through neighborhoods on this course but there are still lots of spectators who come out to cheer (especially when you pass the start/finish area. And there are a few miles inside of Fairmount Park which are hilly and definitely challenging as they come around miles 8-9.

    Running past this cottage (Boelson Cottage) and the beautiful daffodils made me smile. I had to look it up after the race to learn how old it was. Um, this cottage was built in the late 1600s!

  2. Weather: It was way warmer than the other times I ran this race. You can read about how I PR’d in the pouring rain at the race’s inaugural event back in 2014 here. You can also read my recap of the 2015 race here and the 2016 race here. It did rain this year but not enough to be uncomfortable. The heaviest downpours happened while I was driving home about a half hour after the race. There were heat sheets provided at the finish this year which I used to quickly protect my phone from the rain because #priorities.

    last few miles….rain had started….struggle bus in full swing

  3. Fueling/water along the course: I sort of felt that there could have been more water stops along the course but there were enough. They had Nuun and water and I think some type of gel was offered around mile 7 or 8. Personally, I was just so happy to be running I spaced on fueling at all for this race. They didn’t have Gatorade at all and I kinda missed that. Nuun is ok but I don’t think it has the sugar like Gatorade.
  4. Start/Finish area: They had a very organized wave start. I was a few waves back from the front and started about 20 minutes after the first wave. And my very favorite part of the finish is that they had soft pretzels in addition to plenty of other tasty post-race food items. I’m just a sucker for a soft pretzel. 🙂 They make it start/finish area feel very much like a festival and there’s even a section to go for a post-run beer (I think one beer is included with the bib).

    Whew! Finished in one piece

  5. Bling/Swag: I love their medals! They also provide a nice mug and shirt.

This is what the front of the shirt looked like

Oh happy day!

I definitely want to run this race again next year. Hopefully I’ll be better trained and maybe no rain? Who wants to run with me??

What does your Spring running look like? Is it too late to start talking about Fall?