My Ankles Are So PO’d At Me Right Now

My husband is just the best. Not only did research my Pinterest boards to find me the coziest, prettiest sweater for Christmas, but he also got me some spikes. Running spikes. True runner love!

We’ve had just a tad of snow lately here in the northeast, so I thought I’d try them out on one of the local rail trails. Our town plows the roads fairly well, so they are clear-ish enough to run without spike assistance. But I had a new toy! I must play with my new running toy!!

They are call NanoSpikes, made by Kahtoola. They fit over your regular running shoes and give you some grip on slushy/slippery surfaces.

snow running spikes nanospikes

As you can see, they fit great, without hitting of the squeezy parts of my toes (aka, the places where I poked holes in my Hokas to accomodate my gnarly-shaped feet).

Wearing my special new running jacket, I walked to the head of the trail, and slipped them on. The first 200 feet of the trail leads to a power station, and the snow had been compacted by the utility trucks. Perfect! Awesome! I’m running on snow! The cold doesn’t bother me anyway!

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Then, after the power station, the snow was not compacted, merely “pressed down” a bit by some cross-country skiis, hikers/walkers, dogs, etc. I though maybe there would have been some renegade ATV or fat bike tracks to compact it more, but nope.

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I took 5 steps into the deeper, fluffier snow, and on the sixth step, hit a divot, proceded to turn my left ankle. YEOW. THIS IS WHY I DON’T TRAIL RUN.

Haters gonna hate. Divots gonna sprain.

Shake it off, sh-sh sh-shake it off.

I proceded. With each step down into 12″ of snow, it became abundantly clear that I didn’t need spikes — I needed snowshoes. I felt like a big dummy.

I wish I could say I rallied, found My Zone, and the rest of the run went well, but alas, I cannot. I had to hyper-focus on every single step. The effort of pushing out from the snow was not sustainable, especially as the second half of the trail is one long, continual uphill for 2 miles.

Way before my planned turnaround point, I blurted out to no one: F____ this s____! Which really means, “I have a feeling of anger and annoyance of this current activity, which is equivalent to poop.”

I turned around and headed back to the top of the trail, mostly running; some shuffling. Went home, iced my ankles. They are so pissed at me right now.

They’ll get over it. I’ve got a 5k in 2 weeks.

I do like the spikes. They did not impede my running at all. I did that to myself thinking I could snow-fairy my way through an un-groomed trail. I will try them again soon in an appropriate place.

For now I need to go show my ankles some TLC.

 

 

 

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My Insanely Elaborate Blister Prevention System

I have something to celebrate: I came out of the TCS NYC Marathon with all of my toenails! Not only that, but NOT ONE BLISTER!

blister bitch bubbles

After last year’s Philly Marathon, my tootsies looked like someone had taken a hammer to them:

black toenails plantar plate tear toe drift

Martyr left 2nd toenail barely hanging on, 2nd right toe “drifting” toward big toe, blisters on the side of each big toe, unexpected and totally rando black toenail on 4th toe.

This year, I could be a foot model. Haha, just kidding. But I was shocked…shocked! to find zero damage after I peeled off my compression socks post-marathon this year.

To partake in my blister-free bliss, I’m going to share with you my Insanely Elaborate Blister Prevention System, because believe me, this blister-free life doesn’t come easy.

Disclaimer: Only guaranteed up to 26.2 miles. Anything over that, I cannot be held responsible. Really, I cannot be held responsible for any blisters you get, ever. Because you’re probably a runner and I’m a runner and runners do stupid things to their feet. Also, only guaranteed if you have my exact same foot shape, bunions and bunionettes, Morton’s Toe, a formerly damaged plantar plate tear, former plantar fasciitis, and callouses on the side of your big toes that never go away no matter how much the nail tech scrapes, scrubs, and grunts (true story). Basically, only if you have feet that are as anatomically messed-up as mine.

Start my making sure you have some grown-out nail polish that is halfway covering your hideous blackened toenails that you got from forgetting that when you run in the afternoons during the first week of school, your feet turn into balloons and you have to go up a 1/2 size.

marathon blister prevention

It’s not blurry. It’s soft-focus.

Next get out your arsenal.

marathon blister prevention

Not seen: Cheap nylon footies.

As a precautionary measure, I still tape down my cranky toe with waterproof tape on my right foot. I find that the generic tape doesn’t stick as well. Buy the J&J stuff.

marathon blister prevention

The taping holds my toe’s ligament in place. Also, who knew a big-toe callus could reflect so much light?

Now the blister prevention can begin.

First, I apply Body Glide stick to my usual hot spot areas – the insides of my feet.  The Body Glide “For Her” was the only thing in stock at the store at the time. It’s for when you want to feel more feminine while you lube up your bunions.

marathon blister prevention

Lube those puppies.

Then, I apply Mission 5-hour Anti-Chafe ON TOP of the Body Glide. Why? Two different viscosities = double protection. If one fails, there’s a backup. I also put some Mission on the tips of my toes and my heels out of an abundance of caution.

Next, I ready my footies. Nylon footie socks are KEY. Yes, the kind you can buy at Target, CVS, Walgreens, etc.

marathon blister prevention

The key to ending your misery.

Blisters form when 2 things (in this case your skin and your shoe) rub against each other. If you wear footies UNDER your running socks, your skin will not have direct contact with the part of your shoe that’s rubbing — it will rub against your sock instead, which is way more forgiving.

Before I put the footies on, I sprinkle in 2Tom’s Blister Prevention Powder, you know, because IT CAN’T HURT.

marathon blister prevention

I might as well throw a pinch of it over my shoulder, too.

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Once the footies are on, I put on my regular socks (for short runs) or compression socks (longer than 2 hour runs) over them. The easiest way to put on compression socks is to roll them down and out before you put them on, then, instead of having to slide them up (which is impossible), you just roll them up. Who am I kidding? They’re still a pain in the patootie to get on. But here’s my regular, mid-weight, wicking socks.

marathon blister prevention

My new favorite, from Wrightsocks.

Now you’re ready for shoes. In theory, if you have good fitting shoes, you won’t get blisters. However, if you’ve got gnarly feet like mine, you might have to make some modifications. Since my bout two years ago with plantar fasciitis, I had custom orthotics made, and they all but cured it. Since my toe injury one year ago, I added a metatarsal pad on the right side. I can’t say enough about what a godsend these things are.

marathon blister prevention

Worth it.

I have bunions on both the inside and the outside of my feet. The outside ones are more problematic for running. One day out of desperation, I grabbed a pair of scissors, took a deep breath, and poked 4 holes in my $160 Hokas; one on each side. It was the best thing I ever did. My feet were ecstatic!

marathon blister prevention

Oh yes I did poke a hole in my Hokas! This was the second pair I’ve hacked.

And there you have it. My Insanely Elaborate Blister Prevention System. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Do you get blisters? What do you use to prevent them? Do you have gnarly feet and just need to vent? Do so in the comments below!

 

 

So Much Better Than a Chain Letter

I won something! Well, not really, but I was nominated for a Leibster Award, which means that someone other than friends or family reads my blog. I don’t know who Liebster is but I’ll take it. WHODATHUNKIT?

Thank you Darilyn at Time To Just Get Moving for nominating me. Now what? Darilyn asked me 10 questions about my running & fitness, and I answered them below. I then nominated 10 more bloggers that I love, to do the same. It’s like a CHAIN LETTER, but you don’t have to buy stamps.

What is really does is bring bloggers, who have small-ish followings, into your life. Who knows, you may pick up a great running tip, a yummy recipe to try, or a pants-peeing laugh. (You might want to go to the bathroom before reading them, just in case.)

Here are the questions that Darilyn asked me:

1.  Favorite piece of fitness/exercise gear and why?

This is actually a very hard question. I love ALL THE THINGS. Right now, I’m totally in love with my foam roller and The Stick. They should be required for any athlete over 40, because we need just that much more lovin’ on our sore muscles. And, I’m sitting on a baseball right now, wiggling it over a tight upper hamstring. You’re welcome.

foam roller, The Stick, muscles

My BFF’s


2.  Do you like to workout in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening? 

I prefer the morning, but most mornings my husband gets dibs on the exercise time, otherwise he’d never see the kids due to his work schedule. So most of the time I end up doing it right after work (but before kid pickup at aftercare) or after my husband gets home at around 6:45 PM. Never at lunch, as I teach 1st grade and I need every spare second of my lunch hour to prep. Plus, 1st graders are just unsensored enough to be like, “Ew, you stink Mrs. B.”


3.  What is the goal that you want to reach by the end of 2014?

I’m hoping to get a PR in the long-awaited New York Marathon in November, and I’d like to complete my first Olympic distance triathlon this summer.


4.  What is your go-to post-workout snack?

I will stuff my face with fig newtons from Nature’s Bakery like it’s my job. If I have some chocolate soy milk to go with that I’m in heaven.


5.  What has been your hardest training moment so far?

Fitting in a Ragnar Relay race about 7 weeks before my second marathon was way harder than I ever thought. It was so hot and quite challenging. Oh, and there’s the complete and utter lack of sleep for 36 hours. When I was done, I felt like I had run a marathon, and I had to recover accordingly, instead of jumping back into the marathon training schedule. Also, the open-water panic attack was a glorious moment in my training history.


6.  How do you find time to fit in training?

I don’t find the time, I have to MAKE the time, or else it won’t happen. I look ahead each week, see what are work and family commitments are, then schedule around it. I still can’t believe I’ve pulled off marathon training twice. I also just accept that something’s got to fall off the priority list. For me, it’s usually housekeeping. My house is a pit during peak training weeks.


7.  How do you train in extreme weather (cold, heat, rain, wind, etc)?

I dress appropriately, and then I think, “Suck it up, Buttercup. You GET to run today.”


8.  How do you respond to people who ask you “Why” (i.e. why on earth would you sign up for that event?!)?

I give them a genuine smile, mention how much I love [said event], and ask them if they want to come run with me. They may not say yes right away, but there’ve been a few people, months later, who mention to me, “I just signed up for a 5k!”


9.  What are you top 3 workout songs?

Oh, this is a Very Serious Question. I have so many favorites, it would be like picking a child – next to impossible. This answer would change with any given training cycle, but here are 3 songs of which I never tire:

  • Run by Vampire Weekend
  • All These Things That I’ve Done by the Killers
  • Keep the Car Running by Arcade Fire


10. What has been your favorite event so far?

That Ragnar Relay DC race I mentioned was effing awesome. Totally worth the heat exhaustion.

(Followed a close second by the Philadelphia Marathon and the New York Mini 10K)

Here are the 10 blogs I nominate for this award. Please do check them out:

See? Best Chain Letter Ever. 

Here are my questions for you, bloggers:

  1. What is a fitness item you’ve splurged on, and was it worth it?
  2. What do you think about when you run/workout?
  3. What is your cool-down routine?
  4. What has been your favorite race to date?
  5. What are you looking forward to, fitness-wise, in 2014?
  6. What is your favorite sports bra?
  7. How do you fuel before a race?
  8. What is your biggest fitness worry?
  9. Top 3 workout songs? (Note that I will totally judge you by your answer…jk.)
  10. What is your proudest fitness accomplishment?

Here are the rules for getting a Leibster Award:

1.  You must link back to the person who nominated you.
2.  You must answer the 10 questions posed to you by the person who nominated you.
3.  You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award who have a small following.
4.  You must create 10 questions for your nominees.
5.  You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees.

 

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Clip Out, Don’t Flip Out

Do you know what clipless pedals are?

What they are is SCARY AS HELL.

I recently decided, in a moment of madness, that if I’m going to get better at biking, I needed to upgrade the pedals on my bike to “clipless pedals,” like all the big kids have. Clipless pedals is a confusing term. Before they existed, bikers used “toe clips”, which were (and are still) those cages that sit on top of the pedal that you slide your feet into. You actually aren’t clipped into anything, so it’s kind of silly name. But these new pedals actually come into two parts: a cleat attached to the bottom of your shoe…

clipless pedals, triathlon, biking

The cleats are recessed into the sole of the shoe. (In my case, I have a hybrid mountain bike/commuter bike shoe, even though I neither mountain bike nor commute on bike. Long story.)

…and a mechanism in the pedal that the cleat “clips” into that locks it into place.

biking, clipless pedals, triathlon

Looks fairly harmless…if you’re already in the Tour de France.

No need for a “toe clip” (aka toe cage), hence the name clipless pedal.  Even though using them is called “clipping in” and “clipping out.” That makes TOTAL SENSE.

What do they do? Basically, your feet are stuck to the pedals while you’re moving. It’s supposed to help with better power transfer. You get continual contact with the power train of your bike through the whole rotation. It keeps your feet from shifting laterally and helps sustain good form. Oh, and did I mention? YOUR FEET ARE STUCK TO THE PEDALS.

I’ve “clipped in” and “clipped out” of the pedals for a while on the stationary bike at spinning, so I was familiar with the basic mechanics. To get clipped in, you kind of aim the bottom of your foot where you think it needs to go, wiggle it a little, and it should click into place. To get yourself out, you turn your ankle away from the bike in a slight twisting motion, and it should pop out.

That means, on a real bike with moving wheels, if you stop, you have to clip out at least one foot before you stop.

biking, triathlon, clipless pedals

This moment was a success. One out, one in.

And to get going again, you start with one foot already clipped in, start pedaling, then feel furiously for that other pedal, and hope that you don’t crash while glancing down trying to get that magical “click” sound.  If you aren’t going the right speed when you clip in/clip out, you’re in danger of the dreaded LOW SPEED TIP OVER.

I know of no other was to put it. It’s exactly as it sounds.

No one wants to fall on a bike. Especially in front of people. At 1 m.p.h.

I knew I had to practice in a place that didn’t have motorized vehicles. A couple of weeks ago, we had an anomaly of a gorgeous spring day, the kids’ sports hadn’t started up yet, and the whole family found ourselves with a spare afternoon. (Treasure those like gold, people.) We threw all four bikes in the car and headed over the border to the Putnam County Rail Trail. Because we had the kids with us, we kept it a short out-and-back of 9 miles total. Here I am getting into the pedals, and I’m not tipping over!

biking, triathlon, clipless pedals

Left foot is frantically struggling to CLIP IN.

biking, clipless pedals, triathlon

Hubs and The Bot. The Trail-A-Bike is up there as one of the Best Inventions Ever.

triathlon, biking, clipless pedals

Mighty Bub, prepping for his kids’ tri in May.

cycling, triathlon, clipless pedals, triathlon

Squishy-family selfie

A couple of places on the trail had stop signs to cross over roads. Yes, it was pretty scary. I almost had a couple of Low Speed Tip Overs, but I gracefully recovered and YANKED my foot out and SLAMMED it on the ground before I tipped. Luckily, my family still wanted to be seen with me.

But, like any other new athletic adventure for me (like marathon training, road-biking, and open-water swimming) the more I did it, the more the fear dissipated. It’s not gone away completely, as I have yet to try the pedals on the open road with impatient drivers, but deep in my brain if I just keep going, I know I’ll get there.

biking, clipless pedals, cycling, triathlon

We made it!

CLIP OUT, DON’T FLIP OUT will be my new mantra this spring. I’ll keep you posted.

What new fear you are conquering this year? A new distance? A triathlon? Low Speed Tip Overs? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

The Taming Of the Shoe(s)

I have amassed quite a shoe collection. No, not Jimmy Choo’s. Those are for people who hate their feet. I luuuurve my feet, in all of their ugly splendor. They run all the miles! Not at the moment. But soon…

I have 10 pairs of running shoes. TEN! Oh snap, I’m closer to Imedla Marcos than I thought. They all sit in a corner of the guest room, under a rack holding hats, medals, headphones, and assorted running sundry.

running shoes, injury

Just one little tremor, and it’s all going down. That’s an overflowing box of teacher books holding it up.

Here’s the kicker, none of those shoes I use for RUNNING…anymore. Oh god, it’s less Imelda and more Hoarders. Many of my early worn-out running shoes I DID giveaway to charities & what not. I think they were Asics? Maybe Brooks? Lordy, I can’t even remember. Definitely DSW clearance specials. I can explain the rest of these sins with a good annotated photo. Let’s have it:

running shoes, injury

That’s what I have left.

Some I clearly need to part with, others I just can’t bear too. I was really digging the Brooks Launch, until they decided to discontinue it in 2011. I switched to Brooks PureFlows, and ran successfully through a couple of pairs (see purple lawn-mowing shoes above). I was doing just fine, until my toe problem (which I didn’t realize was a toe problem at the time) popped up last summer, and around the same time, the ole’ plantar fascitiis roared back. I got some orthotics to deal with the PF, but started thinking about other kinds of shoes, I don’t know why. A shoe version of wanderlust? I think maybe I was concerned about running long marathon miles in the PureFlows, I just didn’t think they were hefty enough (CUE FORESHADOWING MUSIC), but I didn’t know what I needed.

The Ons, BTW, were fine for my first marathon in 2012, and even though the marathon itself kinda sucked, it wasn’t because of the shoes. They were cushioned, but they just didn’t envelop and caress my feet like I want them to be enveloped and caressed. The second pair of Ons (the orange ones) are basically a pair of racing flats (super lightweight next-to-nothing shoes) made for track, mostly. What I was thinking, I’ll never know.

I received the pair of Sauconys as part of winning an entry in Another Mother Runner’s Ragnar Relay team, and I really liked them…for a while. By the fall, my feet were swelling from the long runs, and they were just not wide enough. But they’re pretty, so they stay. They might become ‘Round Town shoes #2.

Trying to buy ahead when things are on sale lead to the unused black PureCadances, and a Ragnar friend gave me the white and purple barely-used PureFlows because at the time I thought I would use them. Into the collection they went!

In a hail-mary purchase about a month before the Philly Marathon last November, I bought a pair of Brooks Ghosts, wanting to up the cushioning. They got me through, and now I use them for Crossfit. But they’re weren’t perfect, and now they’re too bendy for my current needs. And boy, are my feet needy right now.

Now that I understand my injury, here’s what I’m hoping to find in a shoe:

1. Squishy cushiony springy goodness, especially in the forefoot. I’m a midfoot striker, and my (mostly) healed inury is on the ball of the foot. It needs to cradled and coddled. In the words of my podiatrist, “Some people need less cushioning so they can feel the road. You don’t need that. Your feet shouldn’t feel a darn thing.” Luckily, the current trend in endurance running shoes is toward super-cushioned “maximalist” shoes. I’m so on-trend right now!

2. I need a stiff, rigid, inflexible sole. Think Dansko clogs, but for running. This will help ward off the dreaded plantar fasciitis.

3. I need a wide width, or at least a wide toe box. Often, shoes that meet requirements for (1) and (2) don’t come in wide widths. Le Sigh.

Is there such a thing as a perfect shoe? Could I fall in love with a shoe only to have it betray me later? Or will it be suitable for a long-term commitment? Thank god shoes are not people. If I had 10 old boyfriends hanging around my house, some more useful than not…now that would be something.

Still, there is risk. Running shoes are not cheap.

I think I have found a shoe that meets 2 1/2 of those requirements. Friends, meet the newest addition to my shoe pile:

running shoes maximalist shoes, hoka

They’re like the moon boots of running shoes.

The Hoka One-One Stinson Trail.

Just look at them in all of their clown-shoe glory. It doesn’t help that I had to get a size 9.5 (!) There are people 6 inches taller than me who wear a smaller shoe size, and what’s up with that? Anyway, they are the nerds of the running shoe world. They may not be typically pretty, but they are a real possibility for a long-term commitment.  They meet almost all of my requirements: super cushiony (check!), stiff (check!), and wide enough, I think (time will tell).

running shoes cushioned hoka

Bahahahahahahaha

They even have a “rocker bottom” like clogs do, allowing a rolling pushoff that propels you forward without putting more pressure on the ball of your foot. They accomodate my orthotics nicely. They come with a cool, no-tie shoelace system (and real laces too, if you prefer). I’ve run about 10 miles in the first week and so far the first dates have been satisfying, and no one cried at the end.

But, (and there’s always “but”), the Hokas are gold-diggers. Committing to this shoe required I cough up $170. Yep. That’s the price I pay to keep my feet comfortable and happy.

I’m such a sucka.

running shoes hokas

Just me with happy feet, and the fragmites

How many pairs of running shoes do you own? Have you found the perfect shoe? Have your shoes lasted longer than relationships? Leave a comment while I go tame my shoe collection.

Compression Socks – On the Cheap

They say accessories make the outfit. Running accessories will make you broke.

Confession: I wore $7 compression socks from CVS during last week’s run, and they were fab.

Why would I even need compression socks on a run, you ask? During last year’s marathon training, I discovered that at upon running somewhere over 12 miles, my feet start to blow up like helium balloons, with detrimental effects. Here’s a little cause-and-effect lesson for you, because you can never have enough marathoner foot drama in your day. You’re welcome.

  • Long runs (13+ miles) ———> Feet swelling
  • Feet swelling ———> Toes get pummeled
  • Toes get pummeled ———> Black toenails
  • Black toenails ———-> Pedicure colors are limited to the darks.

When this started happening last year, my Badass Running Coach Erin suggested wearing compression socks or calf sleeves for long runs, to stave off the swelling. I had only worn them after runs for recovery, prior to that. So I gave it a shot, and while my toenails were beyond help, they did significantly reduce the swelling.

The problem is, that most compression socks for running are not cheap. I have bought a couple of pairs from online discounters and I wash them on the super-delicate cycle and guard them like gold. In a particularly desperate moment when my toenails were about ready to fall off, I bought a pair of calf sleeves that have pockets for ice packs. Srsly. They were crazy-expensive (they even came with a cooler bag that you put the ice packs into while you’re racing). Running is the cheapest sport in which you spend a ton of money, and that buy proved it. Not that I don’t use them, I do use them often, and they are nice, but they are kind of ridiculous, they way that $40 balsamic vinegar is quite enjoyable but quite ridiculous, amIright?

Anyway, on a recent trip to the Jersey Shore, I forgot to pack a pair of compression socks for my 9-mile long run, the first long run of this training cycle. I thought it unfair to my poor little tootsies to pummel them right of the bat. (Let’s save that for the 20 milers, shall we?)

While I was at CVS picking up more sunscreen, I thought I’d see what they had in the sock section. In with the cheap pantyhose and cotton crew socks, were those dark, stretchy compression socks, that always seem to have a picture of a business travelers on the front.

compression socks marathon training

This is not the brand I got, but you get the idea.

They felt okay, so I spent the $6.39 and gave it a try. (Worst case, I thought I’d wear them under pants while I’m teaching. There are days where I often do not sit, even to pee, for 6+ hours. Hello, swollen, bulbous clodhoppers.)

I am happy to say that they were AWESOME.

compression socks marathon training long runs

Shhhh, ancient Chinese secret…

They were actually pretty soft, and just thick enough that I didn’t feel like I needed another pair of socks over them. The material breathed nicely (it was a fairly hot run) and I hardly noticed I was wearing them. Being they were unisex, they were a little long, but I just folded the top down a couple of inches. The best part? NO SWOLLEN FEET.

So if you’re willing to wear compression socks with no fancy logos (unlike when I was in 7th grade and had to wear generic Calvin Klein jeans – yes I’m still traumatized by it) and want to save some serious dough, get thyself to a Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, or your drugstore of choice and check out their assortment of compression socks pronto.

Your toes will thank you, and so will I for not having to look at your nasty black toenails. Paint over those things, already, will ya?

What I Did When I Wasn’t Running

Running in November (after the marathon) and most of December pretty much went down the tubes. But there were some bright points:

I got my picture on a Wheaties Box.  My friend and former neighbor Peggy, who has the highly enviable skill of being able to do open-water swimming with ease, sent this awesome gift to me after the marathon. On a related note, I once collected a Wheaties box that had Mary Lou Retton on it. Full circle.

Yes, I ate my Wheaties.

Yes, I ate my Wheaties.

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I gave these shoes their once-a-year wearing (to the LitWorld Holiday party).

Wearing these for 3 hours = worse than running 26.2 miles. Why did I torture myself?

Wearing these for 3 hours = worse than running 26.2 miles. Why did I torture myself?

I took several spinning classes at a private studio in the woods of CT. Mary introduced me to it. While it’s actually quite inexpensive it feels a little like a cross between a yoga studio and a country club, so I can feel little snobbish-slash-not worthy when I go.

Schwanky.

Schwanky.

While not a “bright point” per se, I had strange asthma flare-ups that lead to a change in medication and a future trip to the pulmonologist. (Apparently “adult acquired asthma” is a thing.)

Mama bear, papa bear, baby bear.

Mama bear, papa bear, baby bear.

I got this nifty running hat from my friend Jade. It’s got a nice high tech wicking fabric, but it’s in a military style design, which all the cool kids are wearing. She also sent me a running mix CD of totally inappropriate rap songs. Jade makes me feel like I’m 13 again and we’re biking to the convenience store (strangely enough called “Convenience”) to buy Fun Dip.

Phat hat.

Phat hat. (Yes, I’m wearing pajamas and a fleece hoodie. So very stylin’.)

While visiting my parents, I ran on their treadmill. Your eyes are not deceiving you. There are 3 TV’s within viewing distance. I’m not even going to attempt to answer the question of why this scenario exists. So of course, I didn’t watch any of them and ran with my ipod music instead.

The view from the treadmill. Look closely, and you might find a fourth TV that I haven't heard about yet.

Look closely, and you might find a fourth TV that I haven’t heard about yet.

While in my hometown, I ran 3 icy miles with my friend Dave, then I ate donuts, as one does when one runs with Dave.

Yum yum in my tum.

Yum yum in my tum.

My husband got me this sweet road bike for Christmas. It still needs a name. I was thinking it’s a “she”, but now I’m thinking it’s a “he”, so it will sound vaguely sexual when I announce I’m going for a ride. “Time to get on Marty McFly and do a 20!”

Rides like buttah.

Rides like buttah.

I signed up for my first triathlon, in June. Now if I could only get over my giant fear of open-water swimming (Note to self: Be Like Peggy – see above) with 100 other people, I’ll be good to go.

This is my husband's medal from last year. Will this be mine, all mine??

This is my husband’s medal from last year. Will this be mine, all mine??

I got into the NYC Half Marathon on March 17th (lottery luck!). As for training…guess I’d better get on that. I was kind of enjoying all the free time and the sleep and whatnot. But I’d gained back the pounds I’d lost from marathon training. I was becoming a big cranky-pants. Time to find the runlove again.

I started the New Year with a run with my bud, Mary. (I’m looking like a bandit due to the blasted asthma.).

I look like I'm on the run. Get it? HA!

I look like I’m on the run. Get it? HA!

It was a chilly, hilly 3.5-miler to start off January 1st. I’m glad I started back. My foot is still bothering me a bit, but wow, that felt good to run like that again.

So, what have you been up to lately? Have you done a triathlon? Do you spin? Do your parents have 3 televisions in the same room? I want to know! Leave a message in the comments.

Happy New Year!