Fighting Stronger: December 2020


No races for me in December, virtual or otherwise. I did have a pretty well rounded fitness routine for most of December, including shoveling!

This month’s song selection: who doesn’t love Rachel Patton? I probably already used her, but I think it’s totally appropriate for going into 2021, because the COVID vaccines allow us to take back our power and fight back — along with giving us hope for a better new normal. We’re all weary of fighting, but we just have to stay the course and believe:

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Running inside, outside, seeing new “friends”

Getting in scheduled runs
We finally got the really big storm we almost always get in December. That makes running more difficult — there are few places to get in more than a few miles, and often the streets are slippery due to snowmelt that refreezes. Not to mention shoveling all that snow is tiring & a multiday affair! Then there’s juggling my trips to my mom, which I do twice a month (if it’s open). I may not be running #allthemiles but I’m still running, outside & in.

Grade Earned:  A+

I started using my planner again. But not for runs.

Recording my runs
I record them here. Someday I’ll get back to journaling!

Grade Earned: Incomplete (due to pandemic)

Dynamic Warmup
Still going strong with warmups. Generally I do the dynamic warmup inside, unless I go somewhere, and then walk a bit before I start my run. Mainly because we live on a dead end and it’s usually not cleared great and still pretty slushy/icy for a while.

Grade Earned: A+

Foam Rolling
I continue to make foam rolling (or some form of myofascial release) an almost daily occurrence.

Grade Earned: A+

Nutrition has been okay. Not great, not terrible. I definitely suffer from SAD (seasonal affective order) — or maybe it’s my low vitamin D levels — but too often I just don’t want to cook. Or maybe the reality is I just don’t want to clean up! Still maintaining, though, so not terrible.

Grade Earned: B+


  • Massage? Nope. We all know why.
  • Chiropractor Appointment? See massage.
  • Do I need a hair appointment? I need to schedule that appointment. We are in a very good situation with COVID right now, but I could see that changing with more time spent indoors and school restarting.

Grade Earned: I

Cross Training
I’m doing pretty good with cross training. Still walking — not as much as I was, but still out there most days (in addition to pacing in my house when my Garmin says I need to move). Some indoor cycling. Strength training. Still on my AM Yoga streak. I think it’s over 2 months now.

Grade Earned: A+

December 2020  gets  . . . 
. . . an A. Except for a few extra pounds and chafing at a restricted life due to COVID and Winter, in general things are good.

December Goals:

  • Continue to run 3 x week + 1 cycle class. Y. I do struggle with getting in that cycling. Mainly because I feel like it should be a recovery workout, and somehow I am still struggling with how that fits in my week.
  • Choose a word for 2021. Y/N.  I have not yet chosen my word, but it’s definitely something I’ve been thinking about. Stay tuned!
  • More strength training! Y. This has been a goal for a while. I feel as though I should be doing more, but I am proud to say I’ve been doing two Pahla B strength workouts a week; they’re usually about 30 minutes. 
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up.. Y. I’m maintaining. A little higher than I’d like to, but it’s not terrible. Doing my best to make peace with that. Having a partner who truly doesn’t care about his own nutrition/fitness — it makes it more difficult. I know some of you feel me on that. Ultimately we’re in charge of what we put into our bodies.

Which leads me to January Goals:

  • Continue to run 3 x week + 1 cycle class. I’m ok with running 3 x week, but I do feel my body could benefit from something other than walking & hiking, and both walking and hiking are harder to get in during Winter.
  • Focus on endurance. This began in December. With no races anywhere in sight for me in the beginning of the year, it’s time to feel strong. In my body and my runs. Let’s hope Winter doesn’t make me endure the wrong things! Doesn’t mean there can’t be a little speed here and there.
  • Continue to strength train 2 x week. It’s important for women of a certain age (ok, all women!) to fight against muscle loss.
  • Continue to try to eat intuitively — unless the weight starts to creep up. There was some holiday creep. Not initially, a few days afterward. Weird. Anyway, gotta keep those clothes fitting.. 


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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


What goes around comes around: 12/21 – 27 WRD

The subject refers to the snow! It warmed up on Thursday and Friday, rained, and the snow was almost all washed away. Then the temps took a dive, it immediately snowed just a bit Friday night — so much for clear places to run.


But first I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and coasting towards the New Year.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (50 min),  Dogwalk, PB ST (25 min), Walk with a Friend
  • Tuesday: Yoga (30 min), 6 mile LSD, Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (40 min), Walking around Olana, visit to mom
  • Thursday: Yoga (60 min), Dogwalk (rest day!)
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), 3 TM miles, Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday:  Yoga (40 min), PB ST (30 min)
  • Sunday: Yoga (60 min), 4 miles easy, Core? (probably not, but maybe since I put it here), Yoga (20 min)

Running Mileage: 13 (+1)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

Finally found some real snowmen

Tuesday intention: go the distance but keep it EASY
Good thing my long runs are not very long. Because I did a long run on Sunday, and another one today. I knew Thursday and Friday would be a washout. It was going to turn very cold again on the weekend. A 6 mile run is totally doable midweek, so better to get it out of the way. I didn’t quite count on the longer walk with my friend the day before, but she’d lost her second (and last cat) so I knew she needed some support. This run was actually a couple of minutes faster than Sunday’s — I chalk that up to not having to worry about slipping on ice.

Friday intention: building up endurance
I thought I would be working on endurance again today, but when I saw a Beatles run on Peloton, I knew I had to do it! I was a bit afraid I’d be disappointed like I was with the Whitney Houston run, but I definitely enjoyed this run and I think the Beatles are great to run to. It was a 45 minute run, but it was speedwork, which I definitely hadn’t planned on. So I just used the last five minutes to walk for my cool down, since I hadn’t planned on doing a harder run today! Some random underarm chafing (not too bad thankfully).

Did Santa have a bit too much fun?

Sunday intention: now work on endurance
Cold, but no wind and sunny — a great day to run. I mostly ran without walk breaks. I walked a bit to sip some water each mile, and in the last mile, I did do a few walk breaks. Mostly positive splits, although sort of bell curve (faster, slow down, fast) — well, none of it was really fast but I was pleasantly surprised by my paces. I thought I was running a lot slower and it felt hard.

Exploring Olana in the snow. The next day the rain took care of the snow.

Favorites of the week
Glad I got in another visit to my mom, because there’s been another case so they’ll be closing visitationuntil everyone is tested again. Although they allowed visits on Christmas anyway, which seemed odd, although I get it, too. My sister and her daughter visited my mom on Christmas day, and we did a video chat with everyone using our Echos. I have not seen them in person since my birthday (February).

There’s a slight reprieve in that department: my sister was actually ready to back out of the sale of her house, but the buyer really wants their house and will wait until the summer. My sister realized that she didn’t want to travel right now, and they need to go and look at condos at some point.

Do you enjoy your holiday if you celebrate?

Any live races coming up?

Any plans for NYE? The normal for us: stay in, probably a movie. We watched several movies over Christmas. Movies that are favorites. Action movies. Christmas action movies: Die Hard, Lethal Weapon. And of course Love Actually (not action obviously, but a tradition!)

GWY Sleep Course 4

ICYMI: Today I’m releasing the final short Yin Yoga flow to help you wind down for bed. You’ll find it here. It’s paired with a Savasana video — so simple, but great to do along with some guided relaxation like I’ve got for you in this video (it’s linked up at the end of the video above). There’s one more video in the series to be released next week. I hope they’ve helped you if you’ve tried them!

Coming up on Tuesday: I’m wrapping up the last month of 2020. I’m ready to embrace 2021! On Friday say hello to 2021 and join the blogger coffee date here.

Finally Coming Clean: Runfessions December 2020

I come clean about something that’s been bothering me a long time. Then there’s tech issues (because when isn’t there?). Then finally there’s some animal shenanigans — because isn’t there always when you live with furkids?

I runfess . . .
I’ll open with a whopper: my achilles tendon started acting up about mid Summer. It went back and forth for a while — sometimes it would painful enough that I would limp after a run (it would be fine after just a few hours), other times I’d feel nothing wrong with it at all.

I’m not 100% sure what caused it, in the end, although I suspect it may just have been shoes with too many miles on them. There were those downhill races — but I’ve run down mountains and not been bothered it at all. There was one particular virtual race where it was very painful the next day and I was limping for a while. That’s when I decided to drop my mileage, and it’s taken me until now to feel almost normal again.

I’m also not quite sure what I did to fix it — like many aches/pains, I did a variety of things. Even now sometimes it’s a case of one thing is not like the other (it’s only on the left leg, which is the leg susceptible to all those sorts of thing) but most of the time it feels just fine. Hopefully this runfession is now firmly in the rearview mirror!

I runfess . . .
I’m okay with the treadmill — up to a certain point. I don’t want to do long runs on it (although I have). I don’t want to do every run on it, either. I’m very happy that it keeps ticking along. The Peloton app definitely helps me feel more comfortable on it, as you can see from my review of the Peloton Road to 5K Program here.

No treadmill for Bandit. He’ll just drive us crazy wanting to go out every 5 minutes. Don’t let that sweet face fool you!

I runfess . . .
Speaking of the treadmill, we got the idea to try to train Bandit on that. Let that sink in a minute. I started it on the slowest speed, with me also standing on it. I forgot, though, that because of its age and multiple repairs, it starts out way faster than what it’s set to and then slows down — so now imagine poor Bandit sliding off the back of the treadmill . . . yes, he’s just fine.

We actually tried it again with it already running, but although he got up on it again, we still didn’t have success. Okay, buddy, you can just suffer with cabin fever — and he is, because the cold + the Nor’easter means he wasn’t walked for days last week. We did spend more time playing with him & doing some training, which he loved. It didn’t make him any calmer in the “long run” though.

I runfess . . .
My Vivoactive 3 suddenly stopped syncing with the Garmin Connect app not too long ago. I updated the app. I deleted the app and then reinstalled the app. I checked to see if there was a software update for the watch but there wasn’t. Nothing seemed to be working. The watch isn’t that old.

Then I turned the watch off and back on — the standard fix — and voila! I never turn it off because it’s also my fitness tracker. The updated app now breaks down my sleep into light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep, and awake. For some reason I find that kind of fascinating. Skimming through it, looks like my patterns seem relatively normal (now, wasn’t always the case). I found this interesting post on sleep, its stages, how much you should get in each stage here.

Then I had to turn it on and off to get it to sync again this week. I hope this doesn’t continue!

I would’ve never seen these muskrats(?) if I ran indoors, although right now I assume those paths are buried under snow & it’s hard to find places to run outside! ETA: with the warm weather and rain the past couple of days, most of the snow is gone. For now.

I runfess . . .
It felt good to run outside more after I finished up the Peloton 5k training program, but I also runfess I’m still perfectly happy to run on the treadmill on bad weather days (like today). And by bad weather I mean too cold, too hot, too windy, too wet, too slippery, or anytime I don’t have too much time, LOL!

Have you ever had your dog run on a treadmill? 

Any tech problems lately?

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

All kidding aside, despite the trials and tribulations of 2020, I have much to be grateful for, not the least is  a healthy family so far, knock on wood. I know for many, myself included, Thanksgiving wasn’t what we expected or wanted, but I hope you found it in your heart to be grateful for what you have. Ditto with Hannukah/Christmas/whatever you celebrate at this time of year.

GWY Sleep Course 3

ICYMI: my gift to you — the third short Yin Yoga flow + meditation (if you choose) to help you sleep better tonight. Give yourself the gift of relaxation! Practice with me here.


I am also linking up with:

I Tried It: Peloton Road to the 5k

Straight from the Peloton Website:

Run a 5k you’re proud of with this six-week training program designed for first-time racers or those getting back into racing. 

So did I?


The Program
It’s a six week course, with usually five workouts per week — although some weeks have an extra workout.

  1. Week 1: Runs ranging from 10 – 30 minutes. 1 run also had core work.
  2. Week 2: Runs ranging from 10 – 30 minutes, 1 run had legs & glutes work.
  3. Week 3: Runs ranging from 30 – 45 minutes, 1 bodyweight session.
  4. Week 4: Runs ranging from 20 – 45 minutes, 1 run had hill work & 1 run had core work.
  5. Week 5: Runs ranging from 10 – 45 minutes, 1 bodyweight session.
  6. Week 6: 3 20 minute runs — because it’s race week!

Some of the runs do repeat (hello, run + core), but mostly there’s quite a variety, including fun runs, recovery runs, HIIT runs, even run/walk in the beginning.

I didn’t follow the program to the letter. Not even close. Because I’m only running 3 x week at present. I jumped in at week 2, in fact, and skipped week 6 entirely. Usually I only ran two workouts from each week, because I didn’t want to do all my runs (including a longer run on the weekend) on the treadmill. Sometimes only one run from the program.

I was “training” for a virtual 5k at the time, and I enjoyed not having to think much about my training, the variety of the workouts, and the variety of instructors — there were videos from 5 different instructors.

What I didn’t like was that it very explicitly says it’s a program for your first 5k, yet there are several intermediate runs and even one advanced. The one fun run I took wasn’t at all what I would have considered a fun run — it was intervals and it was not easy.

I realize that Peloton is trying to appeal to a wide audience, and I realize how difficult that can be. It would be great if they put out a program that is truly aimed at beginners. The instructors often give suggested paces, too, and as a slower runner — yup, that can be off-putting.

It’s not really that bad for me, I know where I should be. As a new runner though? I might have believed their suggestions, and I could very well have ended up injured. It’s hard to say what they should do, though; plenty of beginners can run those paces. Maybe a better thing to do would be to talk about how you know you’re running too fast (talk test, feeling lousy after the run, etc.).

This program got me to the “start line” feeling strong

Final Thoughts
I do think this is a nice program for the more experienced runner. I’m still not convinced that it’s really right for beginner runners. I didn’t PR, not even close, but I wasn’t trying to or training as if I was trying to. I felt as though I got to the “start line” feeling strong and ready to push through my 5k.

The real question always is: would I do this program again? The answer is yes, I may very well may revisit for the next 5k.

GWY Sleep Course 2
ICYMI: The second short video Yin Yoga practice designer to stretch you out — or help you sleep — is being released today and you’ll find it here. Don’t skip that meditation that’s linked up at the end if you’re using it for sleep, either. Interested in joining a private Facebook group to talk about Yoga, running, general fitness and healthy living? You can join here.

Have you ever used an online course to train for a 5k other than C25K?

Have you tried this Peloton program? Thoughts? 

Do you have some sort of holiday 5k on tap? 


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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


How Lucky We Are: 12/14 – 20 WRD

I spent some quality time with my treadmill this week. As I type this, there were two treadmill runs. Will there be a third? You’ll have to read on to find out.


But first I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and coasting towards the New Year.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (30 min),  Dogwalk/short hike through the woods
  • Tuesday: Yoga (30 min), 3 TM miles, Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (40 min), PB ST (25 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (60 min), 3 TM miles, Shoveling roughly 60 min, Yoga (20 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), Dogless Dogwalk (too cold & wet for Bandit), PB ST (25 min)
  • Saturday:  Yoga (40 min), Dogless Dogwalk (still — I’m pretty sure Bandit would’ve balked at 19F with some snow still on the road; we have been playing/training with him to help him from missing his walks too much)
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), 6 miles easy, Short, Snowy Dogwalk (Bandit says Yay!), Yoga (20 min)

Running Mileage: 12 (+1)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

Tuesday intention: keep it steady
I did think about running outside, despite the crazy wind giving it a real feel of teens. In the end I chose the mill and Peloton Whitney Houston run + warmup due to time. So much faster not having to get into and out of all the layers.

As much as I love Whitney, I wasn’t in love with running to her. The playlist was good, but I don’t think I’d do this run again. I kept it relatively slow and steady, doing my own thing mainly because I knew that’s what I needed today. Arm still a little sore but almost back to normal.

Thursday intention: building up endurance
I thought I might do the Peloton Bon Jovi run today, but I settled on an endurance run — proud to say I ran about 35 minutes straight, no walking breaks. This was the second run I’ve done on Peloton that used only instrumental music, and I find I really like that. I took it nice and easy — as the snow was really coming down,  I knew I’d need to save something for the shoveling later in the day.

Never know what you’ll see outside

Sunday intention: stay upright
It actually wasn’t that hard to stay upright. I wore screw shoes, but they really weren’t needed. Better safe than sorry. It still felt really hard. Because . . . Winter and all the layers and heavy clothes. Pace was on the slow side and all over the place, but not terrible in the end. I found about halfway the chorus from several Hamilton songs, “How lucky I am to be alive right now” popped into my head and I felt better.

One last walk through the woods before they were buried in snow

Favorites of the week
We took Bandit to one of the nearby preserves for a quick walk through the woods — because winter is coming (and come it did).

Saved the last carrots before the snow

I pulled the last of the carrots before the snow, too. They needed a little more time but I wouldn’t be wading through two feet of snow to pull them. As Mr. Judy was dumping the soil from the grow bags, he discovered I had 2 other small potatoes growing. I have since learned that if I cooked them before they thawed, they would have been okay. I guess they’re compost now.

And cooked up the garden’s potatoes — they were tasty!

I could have had more if I’d known I could use my little frozen potatoes, but oh well, live and learn.

I’m going to have to research if you can get it to bloom at other times of the year; they really are lovely — and low maintenance. My kind of plant.

Our Christmas cactus — which we thought was a Thanksgiving cactus due to the shape of its leaves — is beginning to put on its show.

Any recent garden fails/saves?

Looking forward to the COVID vaccine?

What are you most looking forward to this week? Just a normal week for me!

GWY sleep 1

ICYMI: Last week it was all about short practices to change your energy (you can see them all at this playlist here); this week it’s all about better sleep! Today is the first two videos in a whole series of short practices to help you wind down for bed. You’ll find it here. The good news is that these Yin Yoga practices will also help quickly stretch you out after a run/workout. There are four short Yin Yoga practices, three meditations, a Savasana video, and a longer, deep relaxation video — yes, I’ve been working on this for a while! Keep an eye out on my Facebook page to see when new videos are released (or subscribe here to my YouTube channel).

Coming up on Tuesday: My opinion on the Peloton Beginner 5k Course. Friday it’s time for the last Runfessional of 2020 here! I’m sure we’ve all got something to get off our chest before 2021. If I don’t see you there, for everyone celebrating, I hope you have a great holiday.

5 Things I’m Loving/Not Loving

End of Year Edition


It’s been a while since I’ve shared some things I love — and some things I don’t. 

Fairytales and Fitness

One: Loving
. . . My new Brooks sneakers. It was time!

Not exciting but my feet needed these

Not Loving
. . . the uninspired colors. Of course they were on sale — about half what I’d normally pay for running shoes — so I can’t really complain.

Two: Loving
. . . Finding the single sock that had disappeared months ago. I’ve no idea where it was, but it suddenly just appeared in some laundry. Actually, this is the second missing sock I’ve actually found this year.

Not Loving
. . . how dirty the sock was (just like that first one I finally found) — even after washing it. I’m not sure either will ever get clean enough to wear again! 

Finally a sale!

Three: Loving
. . . my new Smartwool socks. It seems like they never go on sale, but I finally got a discount! Yes, these aren’t running socks.

Not Loving
. . . I need to rearrange my (multiple) sock drawers/boxes.

So much easier with just Bandit, even if he didn’t quite understand walking a labyrinth

Four: Loving
. . . Walking one dog. It’s so much easier. I felt the same way after Chester passed and Lola was our only dog.

Not Loving
. . . the reason we’re only walking one dog.

Five: Loving
. . . that I can now go in my mom’s apartment. Having a bathroom to use . . . it’s priceless when you’ll be away from home pretty much all day!

Not Loving
. . . the big announcement: my sister sold her house and plans to move somewhere down south. I am happy for her, and in many ways she has done more than her fair share with my parents. However, she lived about 40 minutes away from my mom as opposed to my almost 2 hours away. Not only that, if my mom ends up in the hospital at some point — unless I can stay at my mom’s apartment (which obviously is about 40 minutes away from the hospital), I have nowhere to stay without having to get a hotel room.

I am happy for my sister. She is 65, and the time is right for her. Although they have sold their house & have no idea where they’re actually going to move/live.

Sucks for me and my mom, though.

What are you loving/not loving lately?

Review: Clever Fox Planner


I am methodical and love to plan. Small wonder that I also love a planner. I’ve been searching for the right one. The Clever Fox Planner (Amazon Affiliate link here) checked a lot of boxes for me. But would I buy it again? Will it work for you?

I started this post in March. Well, we all know what happened back then & I basically abandoned the planner altogether (which is not like me). I have been focusing on marketing for the last few weeks, and I’ve started to use it again. It’s just amazing what a little planning can do for you!

I know this post is a stretch for a running linkup, but the reason I started to use this planner was to combine my running journal with a planner, because I didn’t really like using two journals.

You have to put in the dates — but if you skip month/s nothing wasted.

No dates
Clever Fox is an undated planner. Which means you will have to write in dates for every month, every week, every day. Not a deal breaker for me.

The monthly calendar has room for this month’s goals, this month’s wins, and how you’ll improve going forward. In addition, it has spots for:

  • Habits to Adopt
  • Skills to Learn
  • Things to Avoid
  • Places to Go
  • People to See

So far so good.

Prioritize your week

Weekly Plan
Before you get into the meat of your week, it’s time to set yourself up for success with:

  • This week’s main goal
  • This week’s priorities
  • Work to-do list
  • Personal to-do list
  • Habits/Skills list with a checkbox for each day of the week
  • Spaces to write out what you want to do in: healthy & sports, family & friends, romance & relationships, fun & recreation, personal development, and spiritual

I love being able to tick off the habits/skills I want to work on — and pretty much everything else, if I’m honest.

Now on to planning your day
Each day there is a place for:

  • Today’s main goal
  • Today’s priorities
  • Schedule (broken down hourly from 6-9)
  • To-do list
  • Rate your productivity
  • How I’ll improve

When I kept this with me, I found myself really focused on the things I needed to do. There is a page for each day of the week. You will need to write in the day and date.

Since going back to using this journal, I have discovered the schedule portion really isn’t necessary for me. I use it take notes, LOL! It takes up most of the page, though, which is a lot of space for something I don’t really need — you might need it, though.

What went right? What didn’t? What will you change next week?

Review your week
There is a blank page after all the days of the week for weekly notes. I used this for blog ideas, ideas for my YouTube channel, meal planning & meal prep.

Next to the Notes page is the Weekly Review, which includes fields for:

  • A checkbox for this week’s main goal
  • This week’s wins

Then there’s a series of questions for you to answer:

  • What didn’t get done & why?
  • What habits were not completed & why?
  • What did you learn this week?
  • How do you feel about your progress this week?
  • How will you improve next week?

There is actually a lot more in the planner, including spaces for a vision board, a mind map, goals in various areas of your life, and even more.

Final Thoughts
Would I buy this planner again? No. It is too darn thick, and it’s only for 6 months! The 6 month thing wasn’t a deal breaker for me. The thickness is. I like to travel with my planner. I will take notes on what we did, where we ate, etc. I’ll track my runs and write notes on my race (because travel is almost always for a race for me!).

ETA: Yes, I wrote the above in March. I haven’t changed my mind; The Clever Fox is an awesome planner, but it’s not the right planner for me. The thickness is a big reason. The wasted space on an hourly schedule is another. I wish there was just blank space for actual journaling in the daily pages — I could use that for tracking runs (which I’m not doing anyway right now as we all know) or just journaling in general. I’ve been looking at the Simple Elephant Planner (Amazon Affiliate link here) and the Panda Planner (Amazon Affiliate link here)– not sure why I’m drawn to animal journals but of course I do love animals.

Writing down priorities keeps me focused, but I didn’t need the schedule space — you can see I used that space for notes on runs.

I found I didn’t really need all that daily space devoted broken down by time. A blank space, probably smaller, would have served me just fine.

I did learn that picking a main priority for each day, then several other (but not too many) to-dos was a real game changer for me. Of course I didn’t always do everything on my list, and some days I did other things that were just as important.

In the end choosing a priority and the other things that were truly important to me each day kept me much more focused and productive, and that is a great takeaway for me and something I’ll continue to do no matter what planner I decide on next.

ETA: Now that I’m back to using the planner, the above is still very true! I actually get more done if I think about the next day’s priorities the night before.

Do you need to be more organized?

Do you use a planner? Electronic or Digital or both?

Any recommendations for me?


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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


Muskrat Love: 12/7 – 13 WRD

I spent two of my runs this week at a local preserve. Each time I went I saw different wildlife. Once I saw what I thought were baby beavers, but Mr. Judy thinks they were muskrats — I didn’t share the photo because all you see are two little lumps in the water. Whatever they were, they were cute!


But first I’m joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and coasting towards the New Year.

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (30 min),  3 miles, 2 mile nature walk, Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Yoga (40 min), Dogwalk, PB ST (30 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Wednesday: Yoga (40 min), Snowy rest day/dr. appt./ tetanus shot, PB ST (20 min)
  • Thursday: Yoga (30 min), 3+ TM (Peloton Shakira + Alicia Keys), Yoga (20 min)
  • Friday: Yoga (30 min), 4 mile hike, Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday:  Yoga (30 min), complete post tetanus-booster rest day
  • Sunday: Yoga (30 min), 5 miles easy, Yoga (20 min)

Running Mileage: 11 (-1.5)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

A very chilly yet pretty day

Monday intention: take on the trails
I was going to run/hike where I’ve been going, but then I thought about the park I visited a few months back with the dogs. They’re nice, flat, unpaved trails. I was a little sad, thinking about how much Lola enjoyed going there, but despite the cold and wind, I enjoyed my run and nature walk. I also got to see two muskrats? Beavers? The photos I took are just specs, but it was cool watching them swim around.

Thursday intention: a little speed
I really wanted to stack 2 Peloton artist series runs today, but I couldn’t find two 20 minute runs I wanted to do. So I did the Shakira run (30 min) and then the Alicia Keys (20 min). As I was running the second run, which was going to give me more miles than I wanted — or felt this particular day — it dawned on me I could just walk the last 10 minutes for a cool down. Which worked perfectly.

All those times I’ve run under that bridge. Who knew all I had to do was ha ha right I to this preserve?

Sunday intention: take it easy
This run almost didn’t happen. I got a tetanus booster on Wednesday, and while the injection site was quite sore the next few days, it wasn’t too bad. Then Saturday night my armpit started to hurt — WTF? — and I had body aches and slept really poorly. I determined that the armpit was probably the booster getting into the lymph nodes there (which aren’t swollen), and that none of this was out of the ordinary, but it was weird it happened two days after the shot. To me, anyway.

I was very tired on Saturday and the armpit was bothering me; I’d never intended to run Saturady anyway, not after a run Thursday and a hike/visit to my mom Friday. Thankfully today I woke up feeling much better (although the armpit is still somewhat sore, but less so) so I headed out back to the same preserve as Monday. I got tired easier than normal, so I decided to cut the run just a little short, but all in all glad I got out there (even if I got rained on for about a mile).

So glad I took the scarf! The day warmed up but it was in the 30s while I was hiking.

Favorites of the week
Got in a nice hike at Olana before visiting my mom Friday. Which worked out well, as they were having a Hannukah celebration, and I got to be there for most of that.

I wish I’d started running at this preserve (which I ran at twice this week) a while back — we’re expecting a decent snowstorm this week so its days as a running venue are probably numbered.

I am way behind on comments since I was gone all day Friday and needed that rest day yesterday. Hope to catch up in the coming week.

Anything you wish you’d done sooner this year?

Like my froggy friend? I was surprised he didn’t move as I crept closer & closer!

How are you celebrating with your family for the holidays? 

GWY 1 Minute Energizer

ICYMI: Beginner friendly and quick, today is the first video in a series of six short videos you can do anytime you feel you need a burst of energy ; you’ll find it here. A new video will be released every day through Friday next week!

Coming up on Tuesday: What to try on Peloton. It’s just my personal opinion — you know several bloggers have tried way more than me! Friday I’m sharing the things I’m loving/not loving recently. Haven’t done that sort of post in a while!

Celebrate Life

My title is the actual name of a race not too far away that celebrates and raises funds for those going through cancer, as well as the survivors. I did it as part of a relay several years ago.

Fairytales and Fitness

Why do the good die?
With the loss of Mr. Judy’s aunt not long ago, I found myself pondering this question. I know so many good people who have died so young. It seems so unfair. I believe in God, but it’s always a struggle to understand why a benevolent God would do such a thing.

Of course we need hardships in life to grow. Why make good people suffer? What’s the point? Why take people from their loved ones far too young? Children, even infants?


I don’t know why
It’s probably something I will never understand. I’ve been lucky in my life for the most part. All the grandparents I knew had long lives. Several of my uncles died around my current age, but we knew why: smoking. Obviously my parents have/had long lives, far longer than they ever thought they would live. I’m lucky to have my siblings, knock on wood.

I don’t think anyone can really come to grips with why people die before their time, especially when they suffer a great deal.


I do think we must celebrate the lives of the ones we have lost, especially the ones taken from us too soon. Celebrating their lives is a way to say they were here. They made a difference. The difference they made, by my celebration, will live on.

I believe that things happen for a reason. Often we don’t know until much later why such a hard thing happened to us; sometimes we never know. Believing in life, in purpose — and celebrating it; that’s what helps me through the hard times. — Chocolaterunsjudy


Final Thoughts
People suffering, people dying young . . . it seems so senseless. It is so senseless. Oddly it makes me believe in God, that there must be some sort of plan, but we’re never going to know what that plan is. I know for many people it’s proof that there is no God, because why would a benevolent God make children suffer? I always say which thought do you find most comforting?

I am celebrating my Dad’s life — his love of family, theater, dance, music, learning. I am celebrating Lola’s life — her boundless energy, her love of zoomies, her love of snuggling up between her humans at night, her “performances” for treats. I didn’t know Linda, Mr. Judy’s aunt well, but I am celebrating her life, too — she loved Mr. Judy’s uncle and cousins well, she was creative, and she was always happy to see us and welcoming.

Who are you celebrating?

What’s a recipe for injury?


Most people love their recovery runs. Most coaches seem to like to assign them. Me? Not a fan. I’ll tell you why. Of course, I am not a running coach, a physical therapist, yadda yadda, so on and so forth. This is just my opinion.

Too much repetitive motion
No matter how much you love running, there’s no denying a simple truth: it’s hard on the body. It’s even harder on the body as we get older and older. What, you say you can still run every day no problem? Maybe you can. Maybe you always have. Maybe some day you’ll find out the hard way that you can’t any more — or maybe not. If recovery runs are your jam, and I know some bloggers who love them, I hope that they always work for you.

A lot of runners end up on the injured list — and who wants to be there? — because all they do is run. Any repetitive motion is not good for our bodies. I got carpal tunnel syndrome (before it was a thing) from playing the flute as a kid. No joke. It was really painful, too!


Of course you should recover!
You should move the day after a hard effort. No one should be a slug! I prefer a hike, walking, cycling, Yoga, or swimming. Swimming is one of my favorite recovery activities, it’s just unfortunate I no longer have anywhere to swim. The fact that there’s no pounding of your joints is a huge plus for swimming.

Cycling is also great — it may still be a forward motion, like running, but it does use different muscles and it’s also low impact.

Walking is another thing I do all the time. If you’ve ever walked a longer race rather than run it, you know that your muscles are used differently than if you had run the race. You’ll probably be surprised to be sore — but in different ways than you may feel sore after running a race. Most likely because you didn’t train to walk a race.


Yoga is next up for me, but I’m doing Yoga daily anyway. I always love a Yin Yoga session the evening after a long run. My body thanks me when I wake up the next day.

Hiking can work, too, as it’s much slower (and therefore less impact) than running — but climbing mountains is probably not the best thing to do after a hard run. A gentle hike with a little up & down might just be the ticket, though.

I know a lot of runners love their recovery run. It seems to work just fine for many runners. I wonder what all that repetitive motion is really doing to their bodies, though. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Final Thoughts
I believe in active recovery. I just don’t believe in doing the same thing, day in and day out. Variety is the spice of life and all that.

ICYMI: The second short video in the Yin Yoga FAQ is who Yin Yoga is good for, which you’ll here. You might be surprised (or maybe not). The first one explains the 3 principles of Yin Yoga here. If you have a question, drop it in the comments and I’ll cover it — eventually!

What’s your favorite non running way to recover from a long run?

What do you do the day after a long run? 

Do you thinking hiking can be used to recover from a hard workout? 


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

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