Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 by the numbers

So this is our last post of 2016. I actually had to look back on the blog to see what we wrote about  for the past couple of years and it turns out that our last post of the year has been our Race Scrapbook but since we already posted that earlier this month I had to think of another way to end the year.



So what all has 2016 brought........

1. Running - I haven't officially added up all my miles ( I always do that on New Years Eve), but as far as races go I ran 10 Races! That is less than year's past but more than I anticipated since I decided to give up those race "Challenges". I ran my second marathon in January and that seems like SO long ago. Will I be ready for another one soon?

2. Vacations- 2 trips to Disney World, a weekend trip to Atlantic City, a Cruise with my mom, a week at the Lake house with the family.

3. New Places I've visited this year- The PA Grand Canyon, Bushkill Falls, Rickett's Glen, and Trough Creek State Park.

4. Professional Accomplishments- I finally completed the professional courses I've been taking for over year and can now add another certification to my teaching certificate. I also continue to write my column for the newspaper and have found a great writing group to be a part of.

5. Books- Since starting the blog I hadn't really had time to read any books just for pleasure. This year I changed all that and read a whopping 4 books ( That's good for me)! The books were, Me Before You, The Friends We Keep, The Secret Lives of Fortunate Wives, and Gingerbread Girl.

Oh, and totally off topic but I want to thank all of you who Pin Race Recaps to the Race Recap Pinterest board but would like to remind you that it is only for Race Recaps. If you have other stuff related to running, please feel free to pin it to our Run for Fun board that is also a group board.

Also, I've been trying to "clean up" the boards a little so there are not 20 of the same exact pins on the board (I'm not exaggerating either).

And that wraps up 2016! -M




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Holiday Recap

I enjoy reading post where folks share how they celebrate the holidays. It's always fun to read about traditions that other families have. After reading quite a few posts this week, I figured I'd document how I spent the holiday. If nothing else, it will serve as a nice reminder in years to come.



Friday December 23, One of my students called this day Christmas Adam. When I asked her why, she told me "Because Adam comes before Eve".  Pretty clever, eh? So now I will always call the day before Christmas Eve, Christmas Adam.

I only had to work in the morning, so I was excited to get to the gym early and then meet my sister for a short run where I started to get more pictures for the #RunChatHunt Scavenger hunt. I've been slacking on that lately.


Later that evening, my best girl and I took a trip to the pet store for a few Holiday treats and then walked next door to Starbucks for a Gingerbread Latte. I forgot that I had wanted to get the Gingerbread in a Chai tea but the Latte wasn't that bad.  Baylee wore her antlers and everyone thought she was so cute!

When we got home, I was hoping that we could find some good Christmas movies, but nothing. I ended up watching a show called "Vanished" which is hosted by Natalie Halloway's mom. The episode I saw was about a girl that went missing on a cruise ship. I always find those stories intriguing!


Christmas Eve, Saturday December 24- We started off our Christmas Eve morning with a run/walk at our favorite island. The weather was quite different than last year's Christmas eve run when I could wear shorts and a t-shirt. I guess if we would have waited till later in the day it wouldn't have been so bad.

I spent the rest of the morning/afternoon cooking. I made Cranberry Salad and Candy Cane brownies for Christmas Eve and Christmas.

That evening we met my entire family for Candlelight Service at our church. We have a pretty large family and we sit together every Sunday and every Holiday so it's necessary that we get there a bit early. This year will be remembered as the year that my dad almost caught my sister's scarf on fire with his holy candle. He just gets so excited!

After church just my immediate family met up at our Nana's house for dinner and to exchange gifts. It was a really nice time and I wish I would have got a picture.


On our way home we took Baylee to look at Christmas lights. I love how interested she seems!

Christmas Day, Sunday December 25- This was such a busy day which I am sure it is for most people.  Scott, Baylee, and I spent the morning at our own home. I had bought all this food to make breakfast for us, but we ended up skipping it.

 I guess we were having so much fun exchanging gifts and playing with Baylee. We got Baylee this raft for the pool this year. I think she loves it!

By 11:00 am we were at my parents house. Belle and Baylee were so excited to see each other.  We had to keep them from unwrapping gifts until it was time. They are SO funny.

Belle got a lion Mane for Christmas. It was a big hit! We hope to share some fun things we received in a later post.

Later that afternoon we went to my Pappy's house with my entire family.  This Christmas was extra special because the Steelers were playing and that's my Pap's team!


It was even a happier day because they won! Once again I should have got a picture of my family but I didn't. We really need to cherish these times!

So even though I don't have a lot of pictures to share, it was a wonderful Holiday weekend! -M

Do you have off the rest of the week?
Have you ever watched "Vanished"?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Running year in review 2016

We are both so pleased with the way our year has ended up in regards to running. This year was about staying injury free and running New to us races, and a few smaller races just for the experiences! I know this is a long post so we don't mind if you don't read it all but it serves as a nice reminder for us of the races we've done in 2016 and what we thought about them. 

January- The year started with Disney World Marathon. I have sworn of all those race challenges this year, so Yes, I was ONLY running the marathon!  I was on Target to crush all my goals for this race but I totally zonked out the last 10K.  I still PR-ed so I will call it a success! -M

Goofy Challenge- This was the second time for completing the Goofy Challenge and my third Disney Marathon. I ran the half marathon on my own and the full I ran with my sister. We had great weather and were fortunate to have VIP after both races.  -L

March-Rock n Roll Dallas- Having never been to Dallas I was really looking forward to this race and to get out of the cold. It ended up not being any warmer there then up north that weekend. The race was fairly flat with a few hills and pretty windy. A friend paced me and I was able to pull out a new half PR to date -L

April- April Fools Race in Atlantic City. This is a race I look forward to every year. I love running on the boardwalk. This particular year it rained. This was my first time running a full race in the rain. I had a slight pain in my foot for this race because of a pair of dress shoes I wore a few weeks earlier. I’ve never worn those shoes again, in fact, I got rid of them! -M

 April Fools Race Atlantic City- I ran the 11k in the pouring rain but still managed to place 2nd in my age group. -L

May- I was a running Buddy for Girls on the Run for the very first time and ran the 5k with two students of mine. It felt amazing to run a race were it wasn’t about me or my time. -M

Cinco de Mayo 5k- Norfolk, VA- This was an inaugural race and I think it would have been a great one had it not rained the whole time because that put a damper on the festivities that were planned for after the race. I was able to place third in my age group.  -L

June – I ran my first relay for life 5K.  I loved the course and the atmosphere and will be a race I will do again! -M

July- I ran my first hot and steamy (and very HILLY) 4th of July 5k with a friend of mine. Had I known about the hills I would have never signed up. However, I did have a great time and the atmosphere and company were great so I will sign up next year! (I already bought a new red, white, and blue, running outfit).-M

August- I ran the Love Run 5k with a friend. This was another first time race for me. It was a trail run and it was tough but I pulled out a 2nd place age group finish which I was really excited about.

September- I ran the annual Harvest Festival 5k race with my family. I’ve been running this race for several years and every year I am the only one in my family that does not place. This year I was really hoping to. I got 2nd in my age group! That’s good enough for me!-M

Rock n Roll VA Beach- This is always one of my favorite races but it is always so darn hot. This year we lucked out and it was overcast and breezy from the storm that passed through earlier that weekend. My running buddy paced me and I finished with a new PR!  -L

October – I really wanted to do a Halloween race but this is when I had my calf injury so thought it would be better to sit out and heal up for Wine n dine in November. -M

Wicked 10k-VA Beach- This is always a fun run. This year my friend and I dressed up and enjoyed the run, but the after party much more. 

Chicago Marathon-My big race of the year. Everything just came together during this race, from the weather, the flat course, my pace, and the energy from the crowd. Not only did I PR in the marathon distance, but I Boston Qualified and I could not have been happier. -L

November-  I ran Mickey’s Holiday 5K, a Christmas themed race at Disney, with a friend for her first race! Later that weekend I ran the Wine and Dine Half marathon. Honestly, I was secretly going to use this as a goal race since it would be the first Disney half marathon I wasn’t injured for, but because I hurt my calf a few weeks before, it quickly shot that idea down.  I’m still pleased with my finish time though and will call that race a success! -M

Disney Wine & Dine Lumiere’s Challenge- I placed 1st in my age group during the 10k. That was probably the most exciting thing, because the course itself was boring. I ran the half with my sister the following morning. And I think we would have both enjoyed it more if it was still a night race.  -L

December- Running of the Elves- I’ve been tossing up this race for a while now but have always passed on it because I thought it would be too cold. Turns out the weather was just fine. There was a huge hill but the atmosphere was fun so I might return next year.

Honolulu Marathon- This was a tough race for me since my legs hurt during the whole time. The race started very early so you were running half of it in the dark. When the sun came out, it got too hot, and there were too many walkers. I say go for the vacation, skip the marathon.  -L

Did you run any of these races in 2016? 



                                                 We are linking up with the gals from TOTR.









Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Cheer


Yay, for the weekend finally getting here! I'm ready to just relax with friends and family and enjoy a glorious 10 days off!  I think it really takes this last week for it to really feel like Christmas. We have all our gifts bought and wrapped, we went to look at Christmas lights, saw Santa's reindeer, and started sending and receiving some really fun mail!

This Friday five is gonna be random things about holiday cheer!  



1. I decorated my room at work. Yes, those puppies are my background for the holidays, would you think it would be anything different?


2. The holiday gifts and cards have been rolling in and that has been super fun and makes us realize how blessed we are to have great friends in our lives.


3. Speaking of cards, did you participate in our blogger card swap? if so, THANK YOU so much. It was a lot of fun.  I got my card in the mail this week and I got this amazing gift from Tricia from MisssippiPiddlin. It's one of those wrist wallets. I don't have one of these so I think it will really come in handy!

Lacey's secret blogger was Sun from Run Eat Style. She received a fun magnet from where Sun lives in Lake Michigan and a Starbucks gift card which will come in handy!  Thanks again ladies!


My Secret blogger was Kim from Black Dog Runs Disney and I had sent her card and gift out a few weeks ago and I got this cute Thank you card back from here. Black dog Calypso is so handsome that I just had to share!


4. I surprisingly DID receive my lab pillow this week. I think it looks great. I was worried about the quality of it but it's just fine.

5. Lastly, my plan was to post a few pictures of the holiday decor around my house but I never got around to taking any good photos but I will leave you with this picture of this dog we bought last year.


I'm gonna guess it was suppose to be an outside ornament but it never made it outside last year and we kept it inside again this year. I think he's cute but he looks like a hostage with that bone over his mouth. I want to rip the bone off but I am afraid I will tear all his fur off since he's made of a fuzzy material. He lights up but I got a better picture of it not lit.


Happy Holiday folks! Who's going to a holiday party tonight?


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Honolulu Marathon Race Recap





Last weekend I ran the Honolulu Marathon.  Although I had a great time, who wouldn’t in Hawaii? I wouldn’t say this is a bucket list race to run.


The start reminded me of Disney because it started very early at 5 am.  It was fairly close to our hotel so we were able to walk to the start which was great.  We headed right to the porta potties and I noticed they were designated as men or women.   This is the only race that I have seen that differentiated between sexes.  By the time we made it to the start the fireworks had already started.

We tried to make our way as close as we could to the beginning because we were told that a lot of people walk this race, because there is no time limit. We thought the race was going to start after the fireworks were done, but the race started while they were going off.  So right from the beginning we were set up for failure because there were already people in front of us walking or stopping to take pictures of the fireworks.  There were so much weaving in and out between people the first few miles that we ended up losing each other right from the beginning. It wasn’t until mile 4 where both sides of the street opened up so we were able to spread out a bit more.


There was not much entertainment throughout the course and very little crowd support. I knew there were some hills in this race that were going to be a challenge. Mile 7 was running up Diamond Head, and it was still completely dark out during this time.  It was a gradual climb for a mile or so. Needless to say, I was over this race.  I was listening to a podcast the other week and they were saying about not putting your headphones in until you absolutely had to.  I made it to about mile 10, and then I absolutely had to. My quads were screaming the whole time, which is rare for me to feel this type of pain. With every stride it got worse. I felt like I was carrying another 20 lbs on this 5 foot frame of mine…ouch! Finally the sun came out so I thought now that I can see maybe I will be able to pick up my pace a bit more, no not so much. The sun did not make things better, if anything it made it worse. It got way too hot, too quick! There were many times in the race I thought about stopping to walk, but I thought if I did, I wouldn’t want to start running again. So I forced myself to keep running.


I knew there was going to be another hill on the other side of Diamond Head around mile 22-23 then it was a downhill finish. Luckily this side was not as bad as the one in the beginning. After coming down the mountain I looked at my watch and I was making better time than I thought. I finally saw the finish line so I began to run as fast as I could. That sign is deceiving. It looked like it was a lot closer than what it really was. I could not get there fast enough.


 After crossing the finish line my friends were there to congratulate me on the other side for a job well done. We waited for my running buddy to finish then it was off for a celebratory brunch!




Even though I was sore the whole time while running, it ended up being my second fastest time, which I was very surprised to find out.  I just do not understand how I could BQ the other month in Chicago (that almost felt effortless, in a sense that I was not sore during the race), to struggling during the whole time in my next marathon. Oh and the next day, I felt completely fine, go figure!


Final Thoughts: This was a great experience and I am happy to have done it, but I have no desire to do this race again.  Too early, too dark for so much of the course, little to see during the course(mostly running in residential areas or highway), lack of entertainment and spectators, and too many walkers. Hawaii is definitely a bucket list vacation, not so much the race.  -L

Monday, December 19, 2016

Our Race Scrapbook for 2016



Each year we do a race scrapbook of the races we have done in that year. The hope is to print each of these pictures out in a 4x6 format and slip them into a photo album. Truth be told, I still have a few from previous years to print out. Why is actually printing pictures such a chore these days?

In  any case 2016 was suppose to be a cutback year for me as I worked on enjoying running as a non-injured runner. It turns out,we each end up doing more races than expected.  Enjoy reliving our year of running in pictures.












   


If you enjoy looking at race pictures and want to look at more, you may enjoy these previous race scrapbook.

2015 Races
2014 Races
2013 and previous races

All our race recaps can be found HERE.





We will be linking this post up with the gals from TOTR

Friday, December 16, 2016

READ THIS ONE: The Perfect Gift For Anyone!

 Hey guys! I'm not quite sure why my Friday Five post with the link up are not showing up. I had this same problem last week. It appears to be something with the code at the end. I'll try to figure it out this weekend but until then, you'll have to link up on the previous post and read this one. Thanks.

Tis the season, and whether or not I want to admit it, I am running short on time. Because of that reason I decided to run a re-run (no pun intended)

I don't know about you, but I LOVE home made gifts that show thought AND are useful. I'm sharing one such gift that I made for my sister a few years back. Some of you might remember this.   Here is a little back story of why I made this.   Because of the profession my sister is in, she has to do a lot of her eating "on the run" ( I'm getting good at these puns), so she is always carrying snack bags with her.

A few Christmases ago I started to look into different types of snack boxes geared towards runners. I couldn't quite find one that I was 100% happy with and didn't want to get something in which I knew she would only enjoy 2 or 3 of the items in the box.

So with that, my own version of the Runner snack box was born.


Here's what I did:

1. Get a big box and wrap the box part and the lid part separately. I believe I used a copy paper box.

2. I use 6 extra large ziplock bags and several small ones. Putting the snacks in ziplock bags makes it easy to grab on the run.


3. I then filled the bags with a variety of running fuels and snacks that I knew she would enjoy.

4. In addition to the snacks, I put a small trinket in each bag. Some of the trinkets included a a chap stick, a race magnet ( actually there were several race magnets), a sweat band, and some other fun items.  Each week Lacey would take a new bag of snacks to work with  her and she told me it was like Christmas all over again each time she opened a new bag.


5. The last step of course was to put the bags inside the box and put the lid on.  I did happen to do a little more decorating to that box then what is seen in the picture.

You could of course theme your box if you wanted, but mine was just a mix of running fuel and fun snacks ( some healthy, some not).

As we get older, we tend to like more practical gifts. Running fuels and healthy snacks aren't always that cheap so I know she appreciates this.  I've made  my sister a variation of this snack box for the last couple of years and it seems to always be a Holiday Favorite and something I get asked to do again and again.

I've also made Personal Care item gift boxes too.

Do you like practical gifts like consumables? ~M

                  

The Best Home Made Gift For Anyone



Tis the season, and whether or not I want to admit it, I am running short on time. Because of that reason I decided to run a re-run (no pun intended)

I don't know about you, but I LOVE home made gifts that show thought AND are useful. I'm sharing one such gift that I made for my sister a few years back. Some of you might remember this.   Here is a little back story of why I made this.   Because of the profession my sister is in, she has to do a lot of her eating "on the run" ( I'm getting good at these puns), so she is always carrying snack bags with her.

A few Christmases ago I started to look into different types of snack boxes geared towards runners. I couldn't quite find one that I was 100% happy with and didn't want to get something in which I knew she would only enjoy 2 or 3 of the items in the box.

So with that, my own version of the Runner snack box was born.


Here's what I did:

1. Get a big box and wrap the box part and the lid part separately. I believe I used a copy paper box.

2. I use 6 extra large ziplock bags and several small ones. Putting the snacks in ziplock bags makes it easy to grab on the run.


3. I then filled the bags with a variety of running fuels and snacks that I knew she would enjoy.

4. In addition to the snacks, I put a small trinket in each bag. Some of the trinkets included a a chap stick, a race magnet ( actually there were several race magnets), a sweat band, and some other fun items.  Each week Lacey would take a new bag of snacks to work with  her and she told me it was like Christmas all over again each time she opened a new bag.


5. The last step of course was to put the bags inside the box and put the lid on.  I did happen to do a little more decorating to that box then what is seen in the picture.

You could of course theme your box if you wanted, but mine was just a mix of running fuel and fun snacks ( some healthy, some not).

As we get older, we tend to like more practical gifts. Running fuels and healthy snacks aren't always that cheap so I know she appreciates this.  I've made  my sister a variation of this snack box for the last couple of years and it seems to always be a Holiday Favorite and something I get asked to do again and again. 

I've also made Personal Care item gift boxes too.

Do you like practical gifts like consumables? ~M

                  







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