Is it ever too cold for running?

Some people will tell you that as long as you have the right gear, it’s never too cold to run. There is a kernel of truth to that statement, but there are truly dangerous conditions when you should either reschedule or take it to the treadmill — or do some other type of inside cardio instead: stationary bike, rowing, rebounding are all good choices if you have the equipment.

If you don’t have any indoor cardio options, all you have to do is turn to the numerous apps available online.

When can it be too dangerous to run?

Blizzard conditions
You may not mind running in the snow — maybe even in deep snow — but you have two choices outside:

  1. Drive to a (hopefully) cleared path
  2. Run in your neighborhood

Both choices are dangerous in a blizzard. Running in your neighborhood might be an option, but then you have to hope that cars don’t go off the run and hit you. Driving somewhere to run (some gyms even have indoor tracks) might work, but then you have to worry about yourself skidding off the road, or getting into an accident.

Not to mention the chance of a fall and injury.

It’s not worth it!

It’s not just the temp, it’s the conditions
Hypothermia can set in even if the temperature is well above freezing — especially if it’s wet and windy. If you can’t stay dry, it’s very cold, and it’s windy — it may be time to reschedule that run. Especially if you’re running solo, because you’re unlikely to realize you’re becoming hypothermic.

Protect the digits . . .
. . . and the feet, nose, and ears. Those are all likely spots for frostbite. You may have your hands and feet covered, probably your ears, too. Your nose can be covered by a mask or well fitting gaiter — but just remember, that frostbite can occur with just half an hour exposure in temps below 0F/-18C.

Ice is definitely the most dangerous condition to run in | Photo by Nadine Wuchenauer on Pexels.com

Icy conditions
There are ways to get better traction in the ice:

  • Trail Shoes (bonus points for waterproof)
  • Screw shoes (read the instructions here)
  • Yaktrax or Nanospikes

I have used all of the above. They will definitely help, but none of the options available can 100% protect you from slipping and injuring yourself. You still have to weigh the danger from drivers whether you stay in your neighborhood or drive somewhere.

Final Thoughts
Yes, you can, with the proper gear, run in almost any weather, but sometimes you have to ask yourself is it really worth it? What am I risking if I reschedule my run? What am I risking if I fall and injure myself?

Runners are a stubborn lot, and yes, I’ve run in some pretty bad weather conditions. Definitely some I shouldn’t have run in. Just know before you go and weigh the risk vs reward for you. Don’t be swayed by your running friends if your gut is just telling you it’s not the right day for you.

How low will YOU go?
Have you ever had frostbite? I’m happy to say I haven’t!
What’s your favorite gear for staying upright in slippery conditions?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Slowing Expanding: 1/10 – 16 WRD

I am determined to respect my body and give it the rest it wants — while trying to move gently, too. I seemed to find a good balance this week. What I didn’t find? Myself, outside, as much as usual. The ice stuck around for days because of the the mostly cold temps — I went food shopping one morning and getting back up the very icy driveway (we live on top of a small hill) was definitely tricky.

The subject also refers to our slowly expanding daylight!

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and moving and resting in equal-ish measures.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (30 min) AM, Yoga Midday (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (40 min), 2 TM miles, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga AM (40 min), Yoga Afternoon (20 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (30 minutes), 2 miles easy, Dogwalk
  • Friday: Yoga (45 min), PB Walking with Weights (25 min), Walking around Olana
  • Saturday: Yoga (35 min), PB Cardio Toning (25 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (20 min), 2 TM miles, PB ST (25 min)

Running Mileage: 6  (+2) 


PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike

Running Update

This photo wasn’t actually taken on this day, but it’s our bathroom window. Yeah, it’s been a very cold most of the week.

Tuesday Intention: take it easy
It was cold and windy, and if I were feeling normal maybe I’d run outside. Still fatigued but wanted to run so it was a treadmill run. Did the Rent run — but failed to notice that it was only 20 minutes & an outdoor workout as well, so also had to tack on some cool down. A rock musical is a good soundtrack to run to. Felt good after, seemed to feel okay the next day. #sorrynotsorryiranonthemill

No, I didn’t have the gaiter over my nose while running. Notice the ice on the side of the road. That’s what my entire driveway looked like, and probably will look like again after tomorrow’s storm.

Thursday Intention: still easy
After days of cold, wind, ice — or all three at once! — I finally got outside to run. I had to gingerly walk down the driveway because the ice hadn’t yet melted, although it was gone when we walked later in the day. It was slow, I felt tired, but it was definitely nice to be outside.

Sunday Intention: a slight push
I did the Peloton ABBA run today, so there were some surges and some hills. I also tacked on some strength training post run. Tomorrow I’ll probably be doing some shoveling. I can remember long ago watching Mama Mia while running on the treadmill (it was still negative temps when I ran) — it’s another great soundtrack to run to! Even though it was going to be very cold today, the wind was absent and the sun wasn’t, but I didn’t want to wait until later in the day when we actually had some degrees.

There will probably be a lot of photos from Olana this winter

Favorites of the week
Hard to believe it had been almost three weeks since I’d visited my mom. It wasn’t much of a visit, really, as I had some important stuff I needed to take care of for her which had me in the business office for much of the visit. I got it done, but no doubt the insurance company will come back with more requests. Truly hoping I’m building up some good karma so someone’s gonna help me out with this stuff when I’m her age!

I am very grateful that the treadmill is an option again. Even though I’m not training for anything, I still want to run, and super cold weather and lots of ice has made that difficult lately.

I have also observed the longer daylight and that makes me happy too! It’s not getting dark until almost 5 pm now. Don’t laugh, for us in December it’s full on dark by 4:30 pm, so this is a welcome sign of the warmer, longer days ahead. This week I’ve slowly been feeling better, and I’m sure the slowly expanding daylight is also partially responsible for that.

Probably a lot of bored Bandit in the coming weeks too. Although I do try to play with him more since it’s mostly been too cold to walk!

ICYMI: It’s all about the hips & glutes this week guys — I might even sing. Just a tiny bit. I go a little bit deeper into what Satya is in this week’s vlog.

Yin Yoga for Hips & Glutes click here * Satya vlog click here

Coming up on Tuesday & Friday: Tuesday: is it ever too cold to run outside? I started to write this post before all the cold descended on us! Friday: will strength training make you a faster runner?

5 Ways to Connect Body & Mind on the Run

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Why do you run?

Maybe it’s to get out of your head. I think a lot — so sometimes it’s nice to just not think so much. Not thinking as much while running can be a form of meditation — which is just one reason that running can leave us feeling so darn good.

Maybe you are chasing that runner’s high (again, trying to feel better than when you started). 

An even better goal is to get into the flow state. You know the flow state — when everything just seems to flow easily. It’s not just for athletes, either! Performers, crafters — anything you enjoy doing that makes you lose track of time is basically the flow state (sometimes referred to as in the zone).

Overthinking things keeps the flow state away. Concentrating only on how your body feels might also keep it away — you start thinking that this feels hard, or you distract yourself with thoughts of what you’re going to eat after your run. 

Connecting your body and mind allows you to stay present. Thinking about the future can feel pleasant, but in the end, you’re not there. You’re losing the pleasure you could get in this moment.

Right here, right now

Ruminating about the past — that fight you had with your friend or kids, the things you didn’t get done — that’s also going to rob your from the pleasure you could get, right here, right now.

bfitfivefriday

I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 ways you can use running to connect your body and mind and hopefully find joy on the run.

1: Notice your breath
This is probably the easiest way to connect mind and body. When you bring your attention to your breath, your breathing will naturally slow down — although maybe not so much on the run! When your breathing is slower, your thoughts will also slow down. You can even try to take your attention to where you feel your breath in your body (nose, chest, belly?).

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2: Yoga Warmup
Taking the time to practice some Yoga before you start your run will not only help you warm up your body, it will also help connect your body to your mind.

3: Practice a Body Scan
Start at your feet and work your way all the way up to your head. Where can you relax, even just 10%? Muscle tension means you’re using up some of your precious energy that would be better spent propelling your run.

4: Sigh
I read an article about how sighing can help you to connect body and mind, and unfortunately I didn’t save it and haven’t been able to find it again. However I came across an interesting post (click here to read it) that talks about the mental and physical effects of sighing.

Sighing allows an extra burst of oxygen to enter our lungs, which leads to improved blood flow, feelings of relaxation, and lowered levels of stress.

Feeling stressed out by your run? Try a sigh and just let it all go!

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5: Run outside and look around!
It’s so easy to develop tunnel vision while running, especially if it’s a hard workout. When you spend some time noticing the sky, trees, flowers, other people out there, animals — you are taking some of the effort out of your run. While you’re at it, why not concentrate on the rest of your senses:

  • What do you smell?
  • What do you taste?
  • What do you feel touching your body?
  • What do you hear?

Final Thoughts
You probably do use running as a moving meditation sometimes, without ever calling it that. It’s okay to get lost in our thoughts, maybe even better sometimes to turn our mind off completely (well, maybe not completely so you get lost!), but I think you’ll reap even more benefits from your runs when your mind and body are connected.

Connecting body and mind is a skill, and like any skill, it becomes easier with practice. Remember, it’s not about how often you fail, it’s about how often you try again!

Do you use running to tune out or tune in?

Do you ever think about your mind body connection?

What makes a run great for you?

Move More, Exercise Less

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Yes, I totally stole the subject “move more, exercise less” from a Peloton instructor. No, I don’t know which one. I embraced it in 2021, too. Which meant that while it was one of my lowest mileage years in running miles — although not the lowest — I still kept busy moving.

Pacing
I pace around while my tea is brewing (3 minutes for green, 5 for herbal) and I drink a lot of tea. You’d be surprised how many steps you can get in by doing that! Most of the time I will pace while talking on the phone, too. Some days I get in roughly half my steps just by pacing.

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Walking/Hiking
We walk Bandit almost every day. When it was warmer we actually tried to walk him twice a day. It’s not long or fast, but a short run and a Dogwalk will always put me over my steps goal for the day.

I don’t do crazy long hikes because I just don’t have the time (or I’m with Bandit and the hubs). Even just a 2 or 3 mile hike can rack up a lot of steps, though.

Strength Training
Strength Training generally doesn’t get me a lot of steps, although I do enjoy walking with lighter weights with Pahla B (good to do at my moms when the weather is bad, too — see her YouTube channel here). It isn’t about the steps, but it is about movement — as well as trying to retain as much muscle as I can.

Yoga
Yoga most certainly isn’t about steps, but it is about movement. I am on my mat daily, sometimes a few times a day, almost 365 days a year.

underwater photography of swimmer
It won’t get you steps, but it will work your heart & the rest of your body | Photo by Heart Rules on Pexels.com

Swimming
Swimming was a victim of the loss of a community center and the pandemic, although thanks to a friend I did get to swim quite a few times this Summer and it felt so good (thank you Running Buddy J!). I hope someday when we move there is a place for me to swim.

Final Thoughts
Would you believe that I’ve never run 1000 miles in a year? It’s true. I’ve come close. My walking + running this year did put me just over 1000 miles (combined).

I don’t really care, either. If it motivates you, that’s great, as long as you stay healthy and uninjured.

There are so many different ways to move — I’ve barely scratched the surface! The beauty of concentrating more on movement, less on exercise, is that if you can’t do one form of exercises, there’s always a way to move.

Recently I read an article in the NY Times about how 10k steps is a really random number and most of us don’t really need that daily. My base is 8k. Most of the time I’m over, occasionally I’m under — there was a time when that bothered me, but I’ve come to realize that for me, anyway, it’s much more about moving to counteract the sitting.

I think I’m a happier person because I don’t really care so much about my steps — I still track them — I’ve just come to realize that pushing myself to some arbitrary goal isn’t always the best thing for me. YMMV (your mileage may vary), as the saying goes.

Are you an exerciser or are you a mover?
How do you get more movement into your day?
Is your yearly mileage important to you?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Decluttering & Organizing: 1/3 – 9 WRD

I didn’t feel great in the beginning of the week (left over from last week), rested but did stuff (more on that in the Favorites of the Week), felt better, got more active — and then had to rest some more. I still learned a lot this week and accomplished a lot while moving (some) and some major rest, too.

bwrd

I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and organizing for a new year.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (30 min) AM, Yoga Midday (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (40 min), Dogwalk
  • Wednesday: Yoga (40 min), 3 TM miles easy, Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (40 minutes), 1 mile recovery run, Dogwalk, PB Weights (25 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (45 min), Dogwalk
  • Saturday: Yoga (20 min), Dogwalk, Moved Treadmill — that was a workout!
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), perhaps a walking workout inside later, we’ll see how I feel

Running Mileage: 4  (-4) 

Not off to a great start, but hoping I will get in a few more miles next week.


PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike

Running Update

It was another blustery, cold day. Treadmill came at right about the right time!

Wednesday Intention: take it easy
It was cold and blustery, and as I was finally feeling a bit better, I wanted to stay nice and warm inside. I did a couple of the Taylor Swift runs (one run, one cooldown run) and I enjoyed both. I took it very easy and am glad to report I felt no worse for wear the next day — okay, maybe some slight muscle protest at being used again, LOL!

It was pretty cold today, too, but far less windy. Roads were okay & I got myself out to a park I hadn’t been to in a while.

Thursday Intention: recover
After quite a few days at home, except for walking Bandit, it was time to bust out of the house! I decided to take a short walk around a local park and take photos, and then do my recovery run there. We’d had a dusting of snow overnight which allowed me to try out my new hiking boots and I used screw shoes for the run, just in case.

I doubled up on jackets while walking around, and I was fine — except for my hands! I’d chosen my medium weight convertible gloves and my hands were so cold. I ditched the overcoat & grabbed my heavier gloves — and of course you can do anything for a mile. On the faster side for a recovery run but it was nice to walk around and look for photos.

Despite the smile this was quite the project!

Favorites of the week
Although I wasn’t filling great in the beginning of the week and rested a lot, I also got a lot of stuff done: decluttering digitally and in the house., and worked on the Spring Yoga Challenge I hope to offer.

I had also signed up for a iphone photography course, and I did a lot of that when I was relaxing, too. I was trying out some of the stuff I learned during the week. I learned a lot but I’m not quite sure my photos improved! I had fun taking photos though.

Here are a few of my photos this week (as seen on FB here too):

We had some really stunning sunrises & sunsets this week. I climbed all over Mr. Judy to take these photos.
So nothing truly amazing but I did learn a lot & am still absorbing it. You have to take a lot of photos to get one really good one; I don’t think I got a really good one this week but I did take a lot of photos, LOL!

ICYMI: If you want to wind and calm down so you can sleep deeply, I’ve got the perfect practice for you! The holidays are over and it’s time to go inside, destress, and practice a little self care. I also have another very short vlog with the two questions you must ask yourself each morning. This is quick, folks!

Deep Sleep Restorative Yoga click here * 2 Must Do Morning Questions vlog click here

Coming up on Tuesday & Friday: Tuesday: do you really need to exercise so much? Friday I’m sharing five ways you can connect body and mind while you run — and why that’s a good idea!

Culinary/Garden musings: Tea/coffee Date January 2022

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Ultimate-Coffee-Date-1-300x300

Welcome to 2022! I know that this will be another hard year for me due to my mom’s failing health, but even so, there’s always something hopeful about the start of a new year.. Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, for hosting us — I’m ready to get together over hot drinks and let you know what’s been going on in my neck of the woods.

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Christmas Cactus, beautiful sunset, don’t mind the crystals “charging”

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you my Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years Cactus has brought me much joy this year. Yes, it’s been blooming through all those holidays. I also found it was like the Fall: there was just a few blooms at first, then different clusters over the next couple of months, rather than most of the flowers blooming at the same time.

What we couldn’t save? Our raised planters! We noticed that the side of one was slowly sliding down. Then the bottom completely fell out of the other one one day. Finally the bottom fell out of the second one, too.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that I had totally forgotten about the Rosemary plant we had on the deck, through one or two freezes. I finally brought it inside, and it seems to be surviving. It’s even blooming. 

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that we got some Parsley in one of our veggie boxes in the Fall. I stuck it in some water in the fridge, with plans to make Pesto with it, and there it sat . . . and sat . . . and sat — until it totally dried out. I can use dried Parsley, though, it’s just a pain stripping it off its stems — I’ve done some of it, but about half is still sitting in its mason jar on the counter.

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If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d show you this is how my body reacted to my COVID booster. I found it amusing because all I did all day was rest!

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At least it’s getting used

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that undated planner from 2021? It’s hosting my packing lists as I go back and forth to my mom in recent months. Hey, at least it’s getting some use!

Are you making big plans and dreams for 2022 or just waiting to see what happens? 

Do you have any indoor plants bringing you joy right now? 

How did you ring in New Years Eve? 

Also linking up with:

bfitfivefriday

10 Most Viewed Posts in 2021

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I started to work on a “top 10 videos of 2021” video for my YouTube channel, so decided it would be fun to have a look at the top 10 posts on this blog. Only it’s a personal blog, with no plugins, so not so easy to see the most viewed posts from just 2021. Feel free to let me know if you know a way — I searched a bit but didn’t really want to devote that much time to it. Remember, personal site not business site.

You can, look at your Stats and that will give you a list of your most viewed posts this year. It just so happens that many of my most viewed posts (but not all) on that list are quite old!

10: 5 Simple Tips to Sail Through the Holidays
There actually was another Weekly Rundown Post here — and my home page is not surprisingly my most viewed page — this was the runner up for #10. Which surprised me a little considering it’s a recent post. Read the post here.

9:  How I Defeated Achilles Tendonitis
I suppose this should read how I mostly defeated Achilles Tendonitis. It still aches (like a 1 on a scale of 10) once in a while. I noted it didn’t ache at all last week when I mostly didn’t run — although it felt okay after I ran my long-er run after not running for a week. I’ve had a lot of aches like that over the years, and usually at some point they do just disappear completely. Read the post here.

8:  What to Say to a Slow Runner . . .
This post was written in 2018, but I got a very nice comment on it this year! Yes, speed is relative, but things can be different in the BOTP. Read the post here.

7:  Waterfall Chasing
It seems slightly odd that a Weekly Run Down post ended up in my top 10 viewed list this year, but there ya go. Maybe everyone just loves a waterfall! Read the post here.

6:  Brash: Ok or Not Ok?
Another blast from the past that oddly got more views this year than it did when first published in 2018. Read the post here.

5:  5 Tips to Sail Through Your First Colonscopy
We’re all different ages here, but apparently this ended up being a popular post. You’re welcome. Read the post here.

4:  Fearless: A Good Thing or a Bad Thing?
This post goes all the way back to 2016! It was gaining momentum through 2019, and now the views are dropping, but still enough to land it midway in my most viewed posts of 2021 (not sure what that says about my writing in 2021!). Read the post here.

3:  About Me
I haven’t looked at that page since I first wrote it — I guess it’s really time for an update. I waffled a bit whether or not to include non running posts, but I just decided to go with it. Read my About Page here.

2:  Danette May 30 Day Challenge
Another golden oldie (from 2017) that probably also needs an update, has something to do with fitness but not so much running, but because of the large Danette May group perennially gets a lot of views. I still love Danette May, by the way! Read this post here.

Drumroll, my most viewed post of 2021 was:

1:  I Tried It: Peloton Road to 5k
Thanks, Peloton peeps. This post was written in December of 2020, but it’s been gaining momentum all of 2021.  Read this post here.

Final Thoughts
Interesting to see that roughly half the most popular posts are relatively old, while one that’s very recent made the list! It’s a mixed bag, to be sure, but kind of fun to see what people are looking at.

Have you ever looked to see what your most popular post are?
Do you ever compile a list of your favorite posts from the last year?
Are you still looking back at 2021 or forward to 2022?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Getting What I Need: 12/27 – 1/2 WRD

Pretty sure I’ve used that title before! I was supposed to be at my moms for New Years. Then a couple of days before there were several cases of COVID in the workers, the day before more and cases in the residents as well. It was a difficult decision, but I decided to stay home. The upside to that was I was already feeling very run down, so I have been able to rest a lot.

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I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and trying to welcome a new year — cautiously.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (40 min), 1 mile recovery run, Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min) <== Treadmill Arrives!
  • Tuesday: Yoga (40 min), Dogwalk
  • Wednesday: Yoga (40 min), 5 miles easy, (20 min), Dogwalk
  • Thursday: Yoga (40 minutes), 2 mile treadmill recovery run, Dogwalk
  • Friday: Yoga (40 min), Dogwalk
  • Saturday: Yoga (60 min), Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), probably more Yoga later & hopefully it stays dry enough for our Dogwalk

Running Mileage: 8  (+3) 


PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike

Running Update

Because we all need more joy

Monday Intention: Recover
It was a cold one with no sun, but also very little wind. I was tempted to go more than one mile, knowing this week would still be iffy weather-wise and travel-wise, but I felt that after a week of little running better to be cautious rather than push it.

Snow had melted by the time I finished

Wednesday Intention: go long-er
I again missed the gently falling snow of earlier in the day. I wore trail shoes, just in case, and there were some snowy patches going out, which were almost all melted by the time I came back. Took exactly as long as last week’s snowy, slightly slippery in spots run. Slow but upright.

Who doesn’t have two treadmills in their family room? I still manage to practice yoga in there too!

Thursday Intention: recover & treadmill test
Yup, I have a functioning treadmill again. It goes up and down, too (the old one stopped doing that years ago). Man, this slow run on it still felt hard! But quieter. I actually used the incline with the Peloton recovery run I did. I even made it 2 miles because there still wasn’t a whole lot of running this week.

No, we didn’t go to an actual theater | Photo on Pexels.com

Favorites of the week
We did watch some of the new movies released to streaming this week. Mostly hits, with one big miss: Don’t Look Up (Netflix). Well, if you enjoy dumb humor and a boring movie — seriously, I didn’t even want to finish watching it. And it was a long movie. Such a waste of talent!

We enjoyed Unforgiveable (Netflix). We also enjoyed Being the Ricardos (Amazon Prime) — Javier Bardem totally nailed Desi Arnez.

There was also the annual viewing of Love Actually last week, and I also watched Sleepless in Seattle too.

Having a functioning treadmill again is definitely a favorite!

ICYMI: I got talkative this week! Above is the thumbnail from post-run where I’m talking about what you can do instead of resolutions (although resolutions are fine too). I also counted down my top ten most viewed videos in 2021, with a few surprises — to me, anyway. Another short talk about how to battle the loneliness of the season, and yet another one about how to do a quick morning routine.

Top 10 videos click here * What will you resolve vlog click here
Feeling Lonely vlog click here * Quick Morning Routine click here

Coming up on Tuesday & Friday: Tuesday borrowed from my Channel video countdown and am sharing my most viewed blog posts in 2021. Friday of course I’m grabbing some hot chocolate to catch up with y’all!

Always something to learn: Runfessions December 2021

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I may not be running a lot but that doesn’t mean I can’t come up with things to runfess.

I shoppingfess . . .
My Black Friday purchases were Nuun and running shoes. On Cyber Monday it was hiking poles. You know you’re a runner when . . . 

I runfess . . .
On one particularly brutally cold and windy run there was no dynamic warmup. There was barely a cooldown — because seriously, I was already cold! I definitely did not stick around to do any post run stretches, either. 

I runfess . . .
The day before Thanksgiving I chose to run in the neighborhood, rather than driving somewhere to run, because the leggings I chose to wear had no pockets. I didn’t have enough pockets to stow my keys. I do have plenty of leggings with pockets, but these very old leggings were just the right amount of warmth without being too hot. Cold weather dressing is a constant challenge!

I runfess . . .
A couple of weeks ago, the week I got my booster, I knew I probably had to get my runs in during the week. I had planned out T, W, and F. Then I saw that Thursday was supposed to be unseasonably warm, so I changed the plan to T, Tr, F.

I further runfess that I really wanted to get the booster on Friday so that by the next Monday I would feel good enough to run. I needed to go down to my mom for several days on Tuesday, leaving me little time to run at all the following week — but I just couldn’t get an appointment close to home on Friday. Instead I got to drive in a snowstorm on Saturday. Good thing I didn’t take the appointments that were further away.

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So that’s what they’re for!

I runfess . . .
I casually mentioned to Mr. Judy one day that I wondered what the metal thing in the middle of the bike paths were for. They were usually up, but sometimes down. Of course he knew. They can be put down to let the maintenance vehicles get through — I presume they are usually up so that no one actually tries to drive on the path. D’oh! I had no idea and always wondered about that.

What have you learned about running recently?

What do you have to runfess from December? Come join us

Runfessions

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Clearly wrapping up 2021

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Every New Year’s for the last few years, I think to myself, this year will be better. Every year seems worse than the one before that! I started detailing all the stuff that’s happened in the last five years, but truly, it just sounded whiny to me. It’s never been all bad, and I absolutely try to focus on the good.

You have to feel your feelings, too, though. Yes, I have friends who have gone through things much worse than me, but a wise friend once told me it’s your stress, and she was right.

Truthfully I don’t think this pattern will change in 2022. I knew in my heart — and told my spouse, siblings and some friends — early in 2021 that I didn’t think my mom had much time left, long before she broke her hip. She may stabilize with Hospice care — or not — but I just want to see her made as comfortable as possible for as long as possible and be able to stay in her apartment and enjoy the activities she still loves.

So 2021 brought no races, not in real life, and not virtually. I didn’t need that stress, and frankly, I also prefer to wait until life is a bit more normal. I have, as I have many times in the last three years, spent half a year going back and forth, doing my best to help my mom, and even with the vaccines, that wasn’t easy and I couldn’t be there as much for her as I’d like to be, with visitation at hospitals and rehabs still often restricted.

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A few scenes from our trips to Long Island, Maine, Lake Minnewaska— and the hike right before we canceled a vacation due to mom’s surgery.

Of course there were also many bright spots in 2021 — you always have to look for the silver linings! We took our first couple of short trips in more than two years. We have managed to remain healthy. We have a roof over our heads, and plenty to eat. I took a foam rolling course and earned my level one Coach’s certificate from RRCA. A new treadmill is on its way. We continued to do daytrips, too, discovering some new lovely places.

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A few of the many lakes & waterfalls of our day trips

In fact, I scrolled through my photos from 2021 recently — so many new places visited, and of course old favorites revisited.

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Olana through all four seasons

Mileage has been low, but I keep on moving. There are benefits to that lower mileage — some of the annoying aches I had disappeared. Some quickly, some took their sweet time, some seem to like to revisit but for the most part my body is in better shape with less pounding (although maybe a few extra pounds).

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Scenes from the most recent solo hikes

Although none of us know how much time we have, there is time for me to race in the future, but the time for being with my mom is dwindling.

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Yoga . . . everywhere

My daily (sometimes twice a day) Yoga practice is a habit now. It was almost a streak, although I didn’t keep track. I missed a few days here and there, but I can count them on one hand. I didn’t really set out to have a daily practice last year, but I’m grateful that I established that. My body appreciates it — and my mind too. Just like running, I feel so much better after I practice Yoga.

December Goals:

  • Run 3 x week. YMostly. there was one week I only ran 2 times. It was the best I could do that week.
  • ST 3 x week. Y/N.  ST was kind of hit or miss this month. I did better than November — I managed at least 2 x week, falling short of my 3 x week one week, I think.
  • Continue to work on Spring Challenge. N. I’ll be bringing this one back in December! 
  • At least one hike. Y. Actually this wasn’t a goal — but I did it! I explored new places on my own on the way to or back from my mom. I did not get lost.
  • At least one real rest day a week. Y. I need them, I really do. Often something just crops up, usually something to do with my mom, and it ends up being far more stressful than restful.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. Y. Weight is better. Still room for improvement, to be sure, but feeling more comfortable in my clothes. 

Which leads me to January Goals:

  • Run 3 x week. There could be a little running break sometimes in the future, but I’m trying to hold out until it’s really necessary. It’s not like I’m running a whole lot anyway.
  • ST 3 x week. I will settle for 2 x week if necessary. 
  • Continue to work on a new Spring challenge. There was a lot of time spent at my mom, but while I don’t expect that to change, I’m hoping at some point I’ll have time to work on stuff for me.
  • At least one real rest day a week. In normal times this isn’t at all difficult for me — I enjoy rest days! For the foreseeable future this may be difficult, but it’s so important.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. I was in a happier place with my weight in November & December. Winter can be a challenge but what’s life without a challenge, right?

Looking Forward
Sometimes you have to look back to look forward. I gave five reasons why clear was my word for 2021. How did I do?

2021:

  • Clear my mind regularly. Y. I’ve been meditating a long time, and yes, it’s a mostly daily habit. Sometimes twice a day. It makes such a difference! For instance I get white coat syndrome and my blood pressure tends to go up at the doctor. I get there early, I meditate, and lately my BP at the doctor reflects what it normally is for me at home.
  • Clear away the clutter. Y/N.  Despite efforts to tackle the clutter again, it crept back in. Half of this year I was frequently away from home for days at a time. On the other hand, I did bag up and donate a lot of clothes — of course I bought new clothes at the end of the year. Those end of the year sales always seem to get me! I think the scales are tipping more to the clear away side, though.
  • Clear away what is not serving me. Y/N. I think I did clear away some thoughts (but not all) that aren’t serving me. 
  • Be clear on my goals. Y. This blog definitely helps me to be clear and accountable for my goals!
  • Cue Yoga classes clearly. Y/N. Cueing comes naturally to some people; me, not so much. I haven’t had the opportunity to teach as much as I’d like. I’ve even tried to teach Mr. Judy, just for practice. Let’s say that lasted about a day.

I detailed my goals for my 2022 word (compassion) in this post here. I’m not really big into goal getting at the moment, life continues to be uncertain for the forseeable future. Things crop up I have no control over. Sometimes go with the flow is the more compassionate thing to do.

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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