The One That Almost Didn’t Happen!: Tea/coffee Date October 2021



Thanks,  Coco and Deborah, I’m sitting here with my hot chocolate, and now the weather is appropriate for it! The subject doesn’t refer to races; I’m talking about this post.

Seriously how cheerful is this mug?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I collect mugs. I use them, too. I got one from most of the states I ran a half marathon in. I already have one from ME. This should be a runfession, but I have to tell you I bought another ME mug while we were there (at an outside crafts fair). I need it like I need a hole in the head, yet it makes me smile every time I use it.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you we still do see Albie (the albino squirrel) from time to time. I was worried, once, because I saw regular squirrels chasing him through our yard. Then another time there were a couple of regular squirrels and Albie back there peacefully coexisting. Last time we saw him he was way towards the back of our neighbor’s yard — so easy to spot due to his color.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you speaking of critters, the other day I spotted a really big one making its way quickly across the backyard and literally said WTF is that? Then it dawned on me it was the groundhog that lives under our neighbor’s shed — I hadn’t seen them at all this year but apparently they’re still there.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you normally I start this post well before it’s published, and I thought I had — until I sat down to “finish” it yesterday and realized that I hadn’t even started it! Another runfession!

It’s not all about how I look, it’s more about a healthy lifestyle & feeling good

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you the reason I keep a closer eye on my weight than some is that I’ve looked like the above photo much of my adult life. In addition, my family tree is riddled with cancer, heart problems, blood pressure problems, diabetes, and dementia. All things that maintaining a healthy weight is one part of the puzzle of prevention.

Do short days (less sunlight) make you more forgetful? 

What critters are you seeing around your home now? 

What is your go-to Fall beverage?

Also linking up with:


Where’s my Spring?: Spilling over tea/coffee March 2019


The groundhog said it would be an early Spring. Tell that to the wind, cold, and snow we’re having lately. What does a large furry rodent know, anyway?

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date, cause I have lots to share with you and want to hear what you have to say, too.

February 2018. How long ago that seems. Always in my heart, Giz.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
Almost all of the cat stuff (and there was lots) has been sucked out of our house (well, into the garage/storage). The house is so much more open. Life is easier. I can wear clothes without worrying too much that they’ll be shredded.

Life is also a lot emptier and sadder. There’s just a huge cat-sized hole in my life. For a variety of reasons it’s not a good time for us to be adopting a new cat/s.

Still, when we went to pick up the bag that Mr. Judy had left at the pet store, there were cats waiting for fostering/adoption. I may have said we could foster, after all the room had been set up for a cat for months (but of course now all signs of cat has been removed).

Then as we were walking the dogs this beautiful Maine Coon came stalking towards us. I may have said that obviously the cat wanted to come home with us. He was also walking towards us the next day, too. He is not a stray; I know where he lives.

Yes, I’m very comfy, thank you. It’s MY couch.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that Lola has begun to act super clingy (which was happening before Gizmo “disappeared”, and we had Lola & Bandit sniff his body anyway). She just seems to be somewhat reverting to the super anxious dog we adopted (although thankfully not that bad).

She used to love to lay on the bed, but now she’s rarely found there. In fact, she’s driving me bonkers because I get into bed, turn off the lights, and suddenly she wants to go downstairs (where Mr. Judy is — Chester also started hanging out with Mr. Judy at night as he got older, and he was my little shadow). I thought maybe it was the diffuser which is somewhat new, but I’ve tried leaving it off and she still does this (unless she doesn’t, but that’s rare).

She stays on the bed when Mr. Judy comes to bed later. I am now making sure she goes downstairs before I get into bed so I don’t have to get up.

In addition, she is picking up bad habits from Bandit. She now drags the dogbed on the couch from its corner to the other end of the couch. She never did this before Bandit arrived in our lives. Why can’t they pick up good behaviors from each other?

This was just one dessert on race day. I never did take pic of the Chocolate PB Cupcake. 

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that I enjoyed every decadent, rich, fried, chocolate bite I had in Savannah.  I’m also glad that essentially we only ate there four days. As it was I felt as though you had to roll me home (although thankfully the scale wasn’t too bad — and again, lucky it was only four days!).

Originally I’d planned for it to be a week’s vacation. I had visions of visiting Tybee Island, too, and staying there a couple of days. I feel like we barely scratched the surface of Savannah, but there are still so many places to see in this country — it is actually part of why I am trying to run a half in every state.

Doesn’t that scream beach to you? Well it does to me!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that the mug I finally settled on is a winner. I’m extremely picky about my mugs, I have a whole set of criteria I am aiming for when I pick one (see my post about choosing mugs here).

As if my criteria didn’t make it hard enough, there’s also just the whole feel of the mug, and much like running shoes, you really don’t know if it’s right until you drink from it (or run several miles for running shoes).

No dribbling.

I was afraid I would have trouble with tea spilling from the lip, as I’ve found lips like that have a tendency to dribble, but the first drink was a success. I have found when the mug goes in like that, even if it’s larger, it tends to keep the tea warmer longer. And I just love the design — it reminds me of the beach (even if we never went to the beach in Savannah!).

I further runfess that some of my walking-too-much the day before the race (read about it here) may have been in search of the perfect mug, but at least I was successful.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
This should have been a runfession, but of course I already had plenty of those to share last Friday here. It occurred to me one day that it’s not so much that I hate running in the cold — even if I’m not very fond of getting started — who is?

No, the problem is that I’ve always been a heavy sweater. It doesn’t matter how little clothes I wear; I sweat. It’s the getting sweaty, and then getting super chilled afterwards as the sweat dries (because after all that’s the job of sweat), that I just have trouble facing.

I am chilled for hours after a cold run. Even when we have a mild winter, there are usually a lot of cold runs here. I get tired of being that uncomfortable!

Do your furkids pick up the bad habits from each other?

Have you worn something new on race day that was a problem?

How long do you think people can really improve with running?

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.


A Tale of 5 Mugs

I try to collect a mug from every state I visit — I started this tradition before I became a runner, but it has become even more important to me since I started to try to run a half in each state. I’ve talked about this a few times on the blog, including another Friday Five about how I choose my mugs

These mugs remind me of the good races, the bad races, the weather, the training, and how hard I fought to finish a race.

So for this free Friday with the Friday Five  from Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run,  I’m talking about five races, their mugs, and what they mean to me.

I am working on recapping all my half marathons to date, and you can look for the next one on Tuesday. I’m still not even halfway through my halfs!

“Glowing” with happiness to finish my first half

Vegas, Baby!
Your first half probably will always have a special place in your heart. It was also the first (but not last) time I met my friend Natalie in real life.

I probably should have tried to photograph it somehow to show off the fact that the medal glows in the dark. I already owned this mug, by the way, having visited Vegas many times.

A PR along the ocean

Another half that will always have a special place in my heart: because it was my comeback from an awful half, because you come in running along the ocean, and because of the lobster roll at the end.

This mug reminds me that we can overcome our challenges.

One of my favorite mugs & medals

Heartbreak Hill
Much like Lola, I felt called to do the one and only Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half. I’d always assumed my MA half would be on the Cape, but when this race was announced, I knew it was my only chance to run up the infamous Heartbreak Hill, because I’m not fast enough to qualify for Boston.

Not to mention there’s the whole pesky I’ve never run a full marathon thing.

Like so many of my spring halfs, unfortunately it was an unusual heatwave. In fact, until I did ZOOMA Annapolis, this was my hottest half. So my finish time wasn’t what I wanted it to be, and I ended up walking up Heartbreak Hill after training so hard for it.

It was the first time I tried taping my knees, and I have never felt better after a race (except for some horrible cramps due to the heat and not getting in salt immediately after finishing).

I love this mug because it was made in Hopkinton (where the Boston Marathon starts). We also visited the Boston Marathon finish line after the race.

Love the mug; the medal is meh, but the race was good

Green Mountain Half
It’s a simple mug, just like it was a simple, no thrills race. Unless you call that wind thrilling (not)!

But notice the paw print.

It was a hard fought PR for me and I use this mug on days when I know I have tough workouts ahead of me.

Too bad I don’t drink beer, eh?

Shipyard Maine Half Marathon
Another spring race, another heatwave, another race where they ran out of water 3/4 of the way through the race at one of the aid stations.

So yes, this was a disappointing half marathon. Again! But I use this mug on days that I need to remind myself that the most important thing is to just keep running.

Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:

What do you use to motivate yourself to train?

Do you collect anything race related? What is it?

Do you keep reminders of the bad races?

* Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link. I make a very small commission if you buy this product from Amazon after clicking through my link.

5 Race Mug Criteria

When it comes to mugs, I have my standards. I’m trying to collect a mug from every state, in addition to running a race in ever state. Actually, I collect mugs from almost every where I travel — I have one from Montreal, from Paris, from Prague, from Dresden. I’ve missed a few countries and a few states, but considering the size of my kitchen, maybe that’s a good thing.

It all started with a trip to NYC and a hotel room with no mugs. No flimsy paper cups for me, thank you very much. Since then I’ve acquired a travel tea mug, but on that trip I bought myself a mug. And an obsession was born.

Mug from Austin, minus the handle (thanks, Simba!)

The mugs are put to good use, too; I drink multiple cups of tea a day, all year long. Hot day? I’ll use the mug from Paris (the trip was a cool & foggy). Bitterly cold day? I’ll use the mug from Austin, which was actually bought long before I raced there and my cat Simba decided I didn’t really need that handle. Hard run? I’ll use the mug from MA — if I’d bought a mug when I did ZOOMA Annapolis, I might have been tempted to use that, but the trip was too short and I didn’t have enough time to find a mug I truly loved.

Yes, I love symbolism and visualization.

It’s free Friday this week’s Friday Five  from Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run — I think I can safely say I’ll be the only blogger writing about mugs.

I must love the design
No kitschy mugs for me — I must truly love the design.

Small in size
This one is often tough, as mugs are as oversized as everything else in the US these days. I find that hot liquids cool off quicker in large mugs.

Microwave and dishwasher safe
I have not yet bought a mug that couldn’t go in the microwave or dishwasher. I’m not going to wash my mugs by hand every day. I don’t often put my mugs in the microwave, so I suppose that really shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but I do make my mug cakes (been a while, though) in the microwave sometimes.

Made in the US

MA Mug made in — wait for it — Hopkinton (start of Boston Marathon, my Hearbreak Hill Half)

This is also not so easy to find these days. I don’t think I’ve bought any mugs made in China.

VT Mug, reminder of fighting hard for my latest half PR

Preferably made in the state I’m in
This one is really tough, and if I really like the mug, I’ve been known to bend the rule.

My mugs are a reminder of my races.

Do you collect something, besides tees & medals, that reminds you of your races?

Or if you just collect something, what is it?