Looking back at 2017

And looking for those silver linings

When I picked my word for 2017, I wrote about having the patience to see my training bear fruit (read about that here, and my word for 2018 here). Little did I know, that patience would be rewarded; in spades!

January
Rachel @ Runningonhappy offered a free month of coaching. Yes, please! And so started a year of a beautiful relationship.

I also started the year with my normal New Year’s Day “race”. What I didn’t do? Record it! And apparently it’s not even in the records of the running group’s Website (unless I dig deeper). Garminconnect had it though — no, I did not start the year off with a PR!

Otherwise, there was just a lot of base building. It was also the start of my driving to my parents every weekend to work on emptying out their house (it’s a 90 minute drive each way).

February
Nothing much going on in February. Lots of lonely running. The good news was that it was a relatively mild winter and most, but not all, runs were done outside.

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Beating the heat in NOLA

March
More of the same in March. I began to slightly overdress for runs, both inside and out, in preparation for what I knew would be a hot race in NOLA. Little did I know just how hot! I had hoped spring in NOLA would be kind to me, but it turned out to be a hot and muggy day for The Best Damn Race NOLA (read about that here), and yet I still managed to snag another PR — flat courses, I love you.

I also for the first time in my running career wore a new-to-me-top (from Skirtsports, of course) in the race. I’d run in it once; never done a long run in it — it would go on to be my go-to for many long runs that summer.

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Lots of great eats in NOLA

I also got to meet up very briefly with Tricia @ Misssippipiddlin.com, MB, and Jodi @ My Kind of Fit. Not to mention we had a marvelous time eating our way through NOLA (read about that here) — I definitely think putting the vacation portion before the race allowed me to somewhat acclimate to the weather.

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Dorky throwaway gloves I never threw away

April
Back home and time to turn my attention to the trails, since my next half was my first trail half marathon. I figured if I was going to visit the MIL & SIL, I might as well find a race, right? Truthfully, when I read about the Mud & Chocolate Half in Runner’s World I just badgered Mr. Judy until he agreed.

I ran on trails twice a week, including my long run (more lonely running, no trail running buddies). It was actually quite hot for some of those long runs and I worried about the 4 hour time limit.

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Run all the miles, eat all the chocolate!

The race lived up to its name, including sucking the sole off of one of my trail shoes towards the end, but the chocolate at the finish line made up for it. My slowest half ever (read about it here). I also got to meet up with a couple of Skirtsports sisters.

May
No rest for the weary. It was time to train for the next half, Utah Valley Half Marathon. More lonely running up and down Blatnick Hill (for the locals) in preparation for a race that was net downhill. That was tough!

I also signed up again for USAFit Albany with my friends, so some group runs began at the end of the month.

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Bloggers do Utah

June
After all that up and down, it was time to see how it all worked. I didn’t have lofty aspirations for a race at elevation, but it was time to meet up with Holly @ Hohoruns, MB, Marcia @ Marciashealthyslice, Teresa @ Findingfabulousatfifty, Zenaida @ Zenaida Arroyo, and Kristy @ Runawaybridalplanner for the Utah Valley Half Marathon.

We enjoyed a vacation hiking through Zion And Bryce National Parks before the race (and very little running) and I was surprised by another PR (read about it here). My love of shorter day hikes (actually, I wouldn’t mind tackling longer ones) was rekindled and we continued to hike when we could throughout the relatively mild summer.

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Always a good time with friends at the Firecracker

July
I started off July with the Firecracker 4 race on the fourth. Nope, no PRs at this one, but the best time I had ever done at the race on a hot day.

My next big goal race wasn’t until October, so it was mostly a month of maintaining my base again.

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Hope to add more of these in 2018!

August
August was mostly maintaining my base with a little speedwork/tempo runs mixed in. At the end of the month, on a whim, because the weather was nice, I decided to run a trail 5k (read about it here) the day after my long run and also volunteered after my race, since they also offered a 10k, 15k, half, and more.

September
September was the buildup to the race Rachel & I had targeted as my goal half for the year: Wineglass. I also ran Maddie’s Mark 5k with my neighbor, as we have for the last few years. It was a hot day and I decided to treat it like a training run — and actually succeeded with that.

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We all made it!

October
At the end of 2016 I convinced some running friends to sign up for Wineglass with me — making Mr. Judy happy that I finally snagged NY, my home state. They invited a few friends, who invited a few friends . . . before I knew it, it was a 10 women girls’ weekend. And I ran my last half of 2017 at Wineglass, added a fourth state for the year, and snagged a PR all at once.

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Then walked around Watkins Glen the next day after Wineglass
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It was hilly but I conquered a lot of hills this year!

But I didn’t stop there; I snagged another PR at the Great Pumpkin Challenge, a 10k, even though I just barely made it to the start on time — this was a new-to-me race that I’m pretty sure I’ll do again if I’m in town on that weekend.

November
I continued to set PRs at Stockadeathon and the Cohoes Tureky Trot this year; these races have been very kind to me — both challenging, hilly races, but always enjoyable.

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Getting festive

December
Time to run for fun again, if running in snow, insane winds, and extreme cold can ever be fun. Well, sometimes, with friends. I laughed my way with my running buddies through Albany Last Run to a PW and opened my home to them afterwards for some hot soup.

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Turning into snow women

We had some awesome trips in 2017; I added 4 new states to bring me up to 16 states and 4 half PRs (if you count my slowest half, aka my first trail half, as a PR); we added in hiking when and where we could.

Yes, 2017 was kind to me when it came to running. I tackled a lot of challenges (read about that here). On the personal front it was often lonely, exhausting, the sale of my parents’ home fell through, and they are just not happy campers, Bandit drove me nuts going on hunger strikes over the summer, but is thankfully back to eating normal.

Life is never all good, never all bad, and you have to always look for those silver linings. And keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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What were your silver linings in 2017?

Favorite race/s?

Favorite experience/s?

Fabulous Last Minute Shopping

 From Fabletics

While you know how much I love my Skirtsports, I understand: not everyone can afford them (although you should totally check them out during a sale, and I will try to alert you when there are sales!).

I joined Fabletics many years ago. And for a while, I was pretty obsessed, I’ll admit. Each month you have the chance to skip the month within the first five days, but if you forget, you’re charged $49.95 (which you can apply to an order). You accrue reward points for your orders and for reviewing your orders, and that can be applied to free stuff; in fact, I bought the Augustina Tank with reward points.

Over time, though, I rarely ordered anymore. Most months I remember to skip (they actually do send you a reminder email), but occasionally I got caught and had to order something.

I checked them out on Cyber Monday and they were running a really good sale. I ordered all the items below then, and I must say, that they have really upped their game. Unfortunately, they have upped their prices, as well, but they are still cheaper than many activewear lines and usually a good value for the price.

I always read the comments, though, because fit can really vary and you only have a short window to return items. One other quibble: the damn tags. They’re really, really long and always bothersome. I cut them out. I kept the photos large on this post because let’s face it, I may love fashion but I’m not the greatest fashion photographer and I wanted you to be able to see the clothes.

If you’re still shopping for that hard-to-shop-for fitness enthusiast, you might consider a subscription (or gift certificate) to Fabletics (or Skirtsports, just sayin’).


Colleen Tregging & Zaylee Pullover
The Colleen Tregging is a nice weight for cold days — I wore it on a day when the temps barely reached 20F, and that was without factoring in the wind chill. It has two deep side pockets and two smaller zipper pockets, too.

I’m not a super fan of light colors, and I kind of felt like I ought to be sitting on a horse in them, but they’re very comfortable and I love the pockets. They also come in black. Black doesn’t fare well in this house with the furkids.

The Zaylee Pullover is also a heavier weight, and as you can see, it features thumbholes. Love me some thumbholes! The mock neck is a bit awkward on a petite person like me — too short to fold, almost comes up over my mouth standing up, but most of you aren’t 5’1″, either. It’s got a kangaroo pocket and a zippered pocket. It will be great for walking the dogs.


Augustina Tank
I’m trying to show you the side pockets on the leggings above. While I won’t be wearing the Augustina Tank anytime soon, I love the fact that it will be great to workout in and can be worn when not working out. It doesn’t have a shelf bra but does have double layering at the top.


High Waisted Mesh Powerhold Legging & Liane Pullover
These leggings aren’t quite as heavy a material as the Colleen Treggings, but they’re not lightweight, either. They have mesh on the sides to cool you off as you heat up. They also have a pocket on each leg that’s quite deep.

The Liane Pullover is velour, has thumbholes, and also sports a kangaroo pocket. It will also be a great item to throw on after a workout so I don’t get chilled. Love the below hip length on both this pullover and the Zaylee Pullover. Unfortunately it seems the Liane top has sold out — I’d really love to see this in other colors (umm, teal? Pretty please?).


Ciara Tank
This is another super cute tank that I won’t be wearing for many months. There’s no shelf bra or double layering (as you might notice). On a side note, my belly looks flatter due to the higher waist of the leggings! It will be interesting to see how this stands up in the wash. One downside is that the opening for your head is very small, and I have a small head!

It’s been a long time since I loved my Fabletics order
This much, anyway. I pretty much live in activewear, since I don’t work. Especially in the winter! If I have to change clothes to work out, it probably won’t happen. But if I’ve already got leggings and a tank on, and all I have to do is take off a sweatshirt or sweater, I’ll get it done.

And with Fabletics, I’ll look cute getting it done, too.

I make nothing from Fabletics and I do not represent them. Just a happy customer and thought someone out there might still be looking for gift ideas.

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Have you ordered from Fabletics recently? What did you think?

Favorite less expensive activewear line?

Do you look for pockets as much as I do?

Reflections from a Long Run

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When you run 10 miles on your own, you have plenty of time to think about things. I can’t even imagine what it would be like on a 20 mile run!

Mile 1: I’m so glad I got out here relatively early. And this is a great place to run (other than the fact that it’s on an incline coming back) — so nice and shady.

Mile 2: OMG, the gnats! Bug spray, an insect repellant buff, and they’re still swarming all over me! What a horrible place to run! How could I forget the gnats? And I can’t find my little tube with my saltstick chews. Thank God I put some in a ziploc just in case I couldn’t get them out.

Mile 3: Thank God it was only that mile. I don’t remember how far the path goes — will I have to run the gnat swarm more than once? Please, God, no! But oh, there is that tube with the chews! I put it in that pocket last night. D’oh!

Mile 4: This really is such a nice place to run. So nice and shady. No river like Corning, but the shade!

Mile 5: This path is almost as bad as Corning with all the bumps and ridges just waiting to take me down. It’s as bad as a trail but not as interesting!

Mile 6: Was 40 ounces enough water? Am I going to run out? What about after the run — will I have any left?

Ewww!

Mile 7: How did I miss that chair by the side of the path on the way out? Did somebody throw it out? Why would you lug it to a path? Did somebody put it there for when they got tired?

Mile 8: No gnats! Hallelujah! I probably should have run the other way first; maybe I would have missed them altogether. Do I have any water left in the bladder?

Mile 9: Okay, those rice crispy like things I made with the pretzels — just no. They get all kind of sticky and melty and they are not doing it for me. Good thing I fed most of them to Mr. Judy for breakfasts. I ran past Forrest Gump! Seriously, I ran past someone! That doesn’t happen all that often for me, not when running by the “serious” runners, anyway (no idea if this guy is a serious runner or not but hey, I ran past him and he never caught up with me!).

Mile 10: I don’t know why I ran that one mile so slowly. And it was downhill, too. Why does it seem there’s always one mile that’s super slow for no particular reason. Hey, I made it through ten miles without taping my knees and everything feels okay. Have I ever done that before? I’m done! I get to eat my pie bite now!

 

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescornerTalk to me:

What do you think about on solo long runs?

Are you tickled when you run by someone on a long run or is that just me?

Are you obsessed by food and hydration while running?

 

Busy with life: 8/14-20 Weekly Wrap

There was a lot of solo running this week, including my first double digit run in a while. Next week looks to be much more sociable. I hope the forecast is right — there’s a trail festival on Sunday and I’m hoping to do the 5k as a recovery run. Right now the forecast looks perfect, but it could change dozens of times before next week!

We visited my parents yesterday, which is an all day affair, and I was too pooped to finish up this post when we got home — then had to get out early to meet up with a friend, run some errands . . . just busy with life.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and today’s guest host to let you know how training is going and take a peek at your training, too.

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, 4 miles on the trails, PB Dumbell Workout
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, 6 miles (3 x mile repeats), Pilates
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Pahla B Arms, 25 minute swim
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, 3 miles easy
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Pahla B Abs & Glutes
  • Saturday: 10 mile LSD
  • Sunday: Pilates, visit parents & multiple short dogwalks

Mileage: 23 (+ 2 )

JY = Jasyoga
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 updates 

At least the trails are runnable now. Some of them.

Monday


I was going to meet up with a friend but we couldn’t make it happen, which left me free to see if the trails were still so overgrown — and actually, at least some of them were more groomed. And with all the rain, some of the sand was more packed down.

4 slow miles — but extremely consistent! A little buggy in places, but it’s a nice change of pace.

Lots of rain . . . lots of flowers

Tuesday


Lola refused to eat her breakfast this morning. Apparently Bandit is a bad influence. This dog is always happy to eat! And no, she wasn’t sick, she was happy to take treats and go for her walk but I wasted time trying to persuade her to eat, I’d overslept a bit, and all in all, didn’t get out there until 9 am. When the cloud cover started to disappear. And it was a pretty soupy day.

I still wasn’t able to hit the paces, but with the humidity, I really wasn’t surprised. Next week will be harder, there’s no walk break between tempo miles . . . but harder runs make us better runners!

How cute are the new prints from Skirtsports?


Thursday


Another speedy easy run before dinner. Apparently running for my dinner makes me faster. Had to try out the new Skirtsports prints (code FWC20 for 20% off of most items).

Getting off the path to see the views

Saturday


Mr. Judy had something to go to, but later than me, so while I didn’t get out as early as I would’ve liked to it was the earliest run of the week. It was also my longest run since my last half — didn’t particularly bother me since it was just one more mile than last week.

Although our small group was meeting up, they were getting out later and after three weeks battling the road closures due to construction, I just wanted to stay closer to home. My pace was all over the place, and on the slower side, but again, a humid day. Luckily where I was running has plenty of shade.

I saw Forrest Gump again for the first time this year. Well, the guy who reminds me of Forrest Gump. And I chicked him. At the end of my run. Of course, for all I know he’d already run 20 miles (unlikely, but you never know).

I actually didn’t tape for this run, and usually I do when I get into double digits, but I carried some strips with me just in case. I didn’t need them.

Favorites of the week
It was a frustrating week for many reasons. Nothing major, just a buildup of frustrations. Probably my most favorite thing (aside from refueling with sushi later on in the day after my long run) was the small pill dispenser that came with my last order of Saltstick fastchews.

I’ve been looking for something like that forever. I don’t have a photo yet, but it worked pretty good until you got to the last chew, which was stuck in the bottom. The reality is I need two of them, although they’re small, so pretty easy to carry.

 

And that’s a wrap 

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This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Do you run by something for months & then one day decide to look closer? 

What’s your favorite way to carry chews on the run? 

What do you think about the new Skirtsports prints? 

The Summer of the Shelf Bra

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I never liked shelf bra tops. The bra never seemed to fit right or the top was too tight showing every roll. So I shied away from ordering any of the Skirtsports shelf bra tops. Big mistake. Huge!

With the spring line, I ordered a couple of the newer tops with shelf bras. And I fell in love. Mind you, I don’t have much on top. If you’re big busted, I can’t speak to how these tops will fit you.

I love the comfort and ease of all these tops. I especially love not having to wear a top and a bra! Not to mention that it cut down on the amount of laundry I had to do — and I never ran out of bras (because I seriously don’t have enough running bras).

One cool day when I wore a tee instead of a tank I was disgruntled about having to wear a bra, too, but it’s about the only day all summer I ended up wearing one! To run in, that is. I greatly expanded my collection with the Skirtsports summer, sale, too, so let me give you a little run down on them.

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Did Wonder Girl help me snag a PR?
Wonder Girl
It’s the tank that started it all. The one I wore for the first time in NOLA, and liked it so much, I wore it for my race (read about that here) even though I’d never worn it on a long run. And it totally rocked.

It has a cleavage alley pocket, which I used for my room key, a credit card, and a little cash. The fabric was also light enough so that I didn’t have a melt-down in a very muggy race.

Buy your Wonder Girl tank here (new colors! I’ll be ordering Flyaway)

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Racecation helped me power through a hot July 4th race
Racecation
Racecation was actually the first shelf bra tank I wore in NOLA. It’s slightly lighter than the Wonder Girl, but also has a higher neckline, and therefore no cleavage pocket. It’s also a bit more “flowy” than Wonder Girl (which helps to hide anything in the muffin top area).

It’s so cute that it works well when you’re not running, too, and I’ve also worn it for a lot of hikes.

Buy your Racecation tank here

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It may say C/D, but this B cup girl likes it too!
Kelly C/D Support
While Kelly should work for you more well endowed ladies (I am not), it actually works just fine for me, too. No unaboob here either, as the shelf bra actually has two separate cups. Because of the separate cups, again, there is no pocket.

The back straps are adjustable — you can shorten them, as need be, and wear them straight or crosssed.

The material is a little heavier than the previous tanks I mention, but the back is quite open and I’ve found it very comfortable for summer running.

Buy your Kelly C/D Support tank here

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Cute, comfy, and functional!
Exhale
Because I didn’t like shelf bras, I didn’t order them for a long time. And boy, was I missing the boat! I just love this tank. It’s got the pocket, there’s an actual bra with the tank attached, it’s nice and flowy over those areas that some of us like to camoflauge.

I’m seriously considering buying a couple more because yes, it’s on sale too and I love it so much I could just live in it in the summer.

Buy your Exhale tank here

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Super Girl — it was my uniform all summer long for long runs!
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I’ve saved the best for last (at least in my opinion). Super Girl must have given me super powers in Utah (read about that race here), and it’s been my go to for my “shorter” long runs (up to about 8 miles).

Why, you might ask? Because it is made like a cycling jersey and has three back pockets. Three! And the cleavage alley pocket, too! I put a water bottle in two of the pockets, and my keys and some fuel in the third. No handlheld. No vest. No problem!

The material is again on the thicker side, but it kept me comfortable in UT from start (around 50 — I was wearing a throwaway sweatshirt) to finish (around 70).

Buy your Super Girl tank  here

I’m not super fond of putting my keys in the cleavage pocket, but here’s a little tip: they’re great for doggy poop bags! Seriously, I’ve been using them for that all summer long. It’s definitely a generous sized pocket — for runs, I will sometimes put a small tube of lube in there . . . just in case.

Disclaimer: I am a Skirtsports Ambassador, but I don’t make any money if you buy if you buy any Skirtsports clothing. I’m just sharing the love. And speaking of the love, don’t forget to use code FWC20 for 20% off most items — and most of these tanks are on sale right now (although sizes are somewhat limited for some of them).

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescornerTalk to me:

Do you wear shelf bra tanks?

What would you put in a cleavage alley pocket?

Which tank do you want to buy?

 

I love a conversion!: 7/31-8/6 Weekly Wrap

I was still feeling run down this week. In fact, more so than last week. Not actively sick, mind you, but like I could go over my tipping point if I don’t take it easy. So I did. I even skipped a run. And missed some speed work. And abandoned Pahla B for the week. And you know I hate missing workouts!

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and today’s guest host to share how I’m staying active this summer.

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, resting again because feeling run down again 😦
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, Yoga
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, 4 easy miles, Pilates
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, 4 easy miles on the treadmill
  • Friday: Dogwalk, Pilates
  • Saturday: 8 mile LSD
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, Pilates

Mileage: 16 (-3)

JY = Jasyoga
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 updates 

Seems wrong to have to wear a wrap on a hot & humid day!

Wednesday


Unfortunately I was feeling run down the beginning of the week again. RHR shot way up. Only this time, it was still up on Tuesday. It had come down to fairly normal today, but I didn’t get out there until almost 9 am. Which is far too late on a hot and humid day.

Still, I was surprised that the run ended up being on the upper end of my pace range for easy runs — and actually felt somewhat easy, until mile 3, when the sun and humidity had sucked the life out of me and I just wanted it to be over!

 

Post run foam rolling

Thursday


I guess I just need to rename Thursday to Treadmill Thursday. Any day with a “feels like 90” — or really 90, for that fact — has me hunkering down inside. Although Thursday was actually a nice-ish day, I just can’t get my run on until the afternoon.

 

Wish the whole run had these falls!

Saturday


The good news is the predicted thunderstorms never appeared. The bad news is the predicted thunderstorms never appeared. Seriously, of course I didn’t want a thunderstorm, but on a super humid day . . . a little rain would’ve been nice (not the torrential rain we had later in the day).

A solo run in the group. This would have been a great run if it hadn’t been so darn humid!

Nabbed another one!

Favorites of the week
I converted another sole sister and she loves her Happy Girl skirt! You can use code save 20% on most Skirtsports with the code FWC20 — and new skirts and prints are rolling in, too.

I managed to capture Lola in a still moment

The storm yesterday blew in great weathe for a hike, but I knew it was not in my best interest. However, the dogs still need to be walked, and I needed a few things at the close by pet store, so we took them to the park for a nice walk and a little doggy socialization.

Lola was not quite that well behaved around the cows — she was lunging and dancing and growling for all she was worth. She’s always been that way around cows. I imagine she’s thinking “dinner! I can take them!”.

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Do your furkids react to certain other animals? 

If you run in a skirt, what’s your favorite thing about it? 

What has been your most fun “activity” this summer so far?

5 Things I’m Loving Lately #3

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What does it say about me when most of the things I’m loving lately are food? I could probably fill post after post about all the foods I love!

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to share five things I’m loving lately.

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Look closely and you can see the cleavage pocket!

Skirtsports Super Girl Tank
The first run I had in this tank was so awesome I knew I needed to test it out on my long run that week — it just might be “the one” for my half. There are three open pockets in the back — I stashed my arm warmer in one after it got too warm for it.

I’m not sure I’d put my phone in one of the pockets, but I know SkirtSports Ambassadors who say they have with no problems.

There’s a shelf bra (with a cleavage pocket) — perfect for us smaller chested gals, although I imagine you fuller figured gals will want a bra underneath. It’s a slightly heavier material, which makes it perfect when it’s still cool in the morning.

Alas, I did have some chafing on the long run. I suspect it might have had to do with my hydration pack, though — I wore a SkirtSports tank in my half in NOLA, which was steamy, with zero chafing. Then again, chafing tends to be totally random for me.

You can buy your Super Girl Tank here.

Don’t forget to use code SPRINGCPT20 for 20% off most items.

PB&J
It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote about how I never had PB&Js growing up — my mom is not a breakfast person and doesn’t like peanut butter — yes, feel free to speculate about just where the heck I came from!

So I decided to make one using just one piece of bread — I just spread the almond butter & jam on one half and folded it over. It helped that I found a brand of bread I really love from Whole Foods: Silver Hills. I haven’t given it to Mr. Judy yet, but I suspect he’d like it. It’s bread using sprouted grains (easier to digest), but it’s soft like regular bread and a slice is a decent size. Plus there’s a fair amount of protein in it!

And now I’m hooked. They make a great post run snack or lunch!

There you go, two loves for the price of one

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A Filling yogurt bowl

Yogurt Bowls
Quite some time ago, the idea to copy a fro-yo bowl with just Greek yogurt came to me — and it was a good idea, let me tell you!

I mix Greek yogurt with some vanilla protein powder (I’m partial to Hammer Nutrition Recoverite). I put that over sliced bananas. Then I top it with some granola and chocolate chips (of course). Sometimes I add some almond butter. Sometimes I crumble a cookie or a protein cookie or a brownie over it. Basically, any of those toppings you’d use in a fro yo place can just go on top of the yogurt-protein powder mixture.

It’s really filling and it feels like you’re eating something decadent, but it’s really pretty healthy and great for recovery!

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I think Bandit’s afraid I’ll make him drink it!

Pickle Juice Shots
I am not yet sure that I love Pickle Juice Shots, as I’ve only tried it once as of this writing. I have been struggling with cramps for several years. It doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it happens when I’m running — more often it happens after I run. Sometimes hours after I run. I move in a certain way and then I can’t move at all it’s so painful.

There are many different theories on why we cramp up, but what I really need is a solution. I’ve always taken electrolytes in hot weather, on long runs — I’ve tried different ways, too — the most recent way I’ve been doing is Saltstick Fastchews — that seems to work while I’m running, but afterwards I’m still prone to cramping.

One of the solutions I’ve read is good old Pickle Juice. I even have recipes for making it myself; I don’t have pickles around all that often. But that’s cumbersome when you’re traveling.

So I saw something about the Pickle Juice shots and decided to give it a go on my last long run before I left. There were no cramps during or after. I drank half a shot before the run. I meant to take it with me on the run, just in case, but I forgot it. I drank the rest of it when I finished.

And yes, it really does taste like pickle juice!

You can buy Pickle Juice shots from Amazon (Affiliate link) here.

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Asian sweet potatos — they’re in the cookies!

Asian Sweet Potatos
Those orangey yams in the stores they call sweet potatoes? I’ve never understand the attraction. They just don’t do it for me. It wasn’t until I tried Asian sweet potatoes that I fell in love with the sweet potato.

I get mine in Whole Foods. If you have an Asian market near you, you can look there, too. They actually look a lot like white potatoes on the inside, but they’re much sweeter tasting than regular sweet potatoes to my mind.

Sometimes I eat them for breakfast topped with a banana and some almond butter — oats aren’t the only way to get in some carbs! They went into both the Morning Frittatas and the Sweet Potato Breakfast cookies from Run Fast, Eat Slow (Amazon Affiliate link).

So let me know in the comments:

What are you loving lately?

What would you top your yogurt bowl with?

Any tried and true cramp solutions?

Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for both Skirtsports and Honeystinger. I make no money from the links in this post, and I was not provided any items for free. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

5 Reasons I’m Stylish

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I consider myself a fashionista. In real life and in my running life. I may be a Skirtsports Ambassador, but I wore them before I became an ambassador and even if they didn’t continue to choose me as an ambassador, no doubt I’d continue to work as an unofficial ambassador.

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy and sharing five reasons I think stylish running clothes are important — way beyond just looking good. Some of my points are obvious; and some might just get you thinking — in which case, I’ve done my job.

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Looking cute on the run: why not?

Why Not?
There are cute workout clothes at pretty much every price point. So why shouldn’t you look good when you work out? If money is an issue, hit up Kohls (even if I really don’t like that store for reasons I’m not going to go into right now) or Target.

Generally people with poor self esteem are the ones in the men’s shorts and baggy tops — which doesn’t make them invisible like they hope it will. Of course it’s true there’s some people who simply don’t care, but keep reading my next point.

If you look good, you feel good
It’s true. I truly did not feel like a runner when I first started running. Which is not unusual. Dressing in cute clothes helped me with the old “fake it til you make it” mentality.

But it runs deeper than that. Cute clothes can boost your confidence — they truly can. They can make you feel powerful. Fast. Gazelle-like. Even if you really aren’t!

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If you saw me running in that outfit, would you remember me? Or notice me? It could save your life!

I worked hard for this body
And I still work hard for it. Not that working hard will ever make me a Cameron Diaz, but still, I lost a lot of weight and I’ve kept it off (so far, knock on wood). So why would I cover up with baggy, black, unflattering workout clothes?

You don’t have to follow me long to realize that I don’t. And there’s another benefit of stylish running clothes, a serious one: I get ribbed a lot — by friends, by my husband, by people in my running group — that they can see me coming from a mile away.

Good, I say! That’s important. Maybe that driver will see you, too. Or maybe those people will remember your colorful outfit if, God forbid, anything ever happens to you on the run.

Stylish clothes are usually well made
I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for. It doesn’t always follow that more expensive clothes are better made, but most of the time, that’s the truth. Not only are they better made, but they’ll last for years, too.

I have very few running clothes that have worn out. Which is why my drawers are bursting with running clothes!

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Pockets on the shorties, pockets on my top, thumbholes

Function first
My holy grail — in workout clothes and shoes — is functional. If it’s not comfortable, if it doesn’t offer the pockets I need (no matter how many I have, it seems like I’m always running out of space to stash stuff!), then I don’t care how cute it is (maybe).

The good news is that when a company takes the time to make workout clothes cute, they often put a lot of thought into making them functional, too. Pockets in all the right places. Ports for headphones. Shorts that don’t ride up. Just enough compression to support your muscles.

I hope I’ve convinced you that looking good on the run is about so much more than just looking cute. That it can help your self esteem and confidence, make runs easier, and might even just save your life.

So let me know in the comments:

All black or all the colors?

Did you ever think your running clothes could save you?

Do you have to match (ever worn mismatched socks — I haven’t!)?

Disclaimer: All the pictured outfits are from Skirtsports; I am an ambassador, but I don’t make money if you buy from them. And you can save 20% on most things with the code SPRINGCPT20

5 Spring Things I’m Loving 2017

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We seem to have skipped spring and gone right to summer — which is not unusual for the northeast. We moved into this house in April — it was hotter that day than it was back home in TX (which is obviously no longer home).

I’m not quite sure I can really say that spring has sprung here yet — the bulbs aren’t blooming in our neighborhood yet and there’s no leaves on the trees, either. But between a few warm days here and there and my vacation in NOLA (read about that here and here), I’ve already tried out some of the new Skirtsports spring/summer line. And they’ve seriously knocked it out of the park this year!

Don’t forget to use code SPRINGCPT20 for 20% off most items.

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to talk about 5 spring things I’m loving.

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Need my pockets!

Pocketopia Capris
Three pockets on my capris? Yes please! One on each leg and a zippered pocket in the back. I need all the pockets. They’re just compressive enough while being extremely comfortable at the same time.

You can buy your Pocketopia Capris here.

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Touring NOLA looking chic in Sorceress

Sorceress Skirt
I did not run in this skirt, but I walked all over NOLA in it and it was extremely comfortable — and cute! It really felt as though it would be comfortable enough to run in, too.

There are the normal Skirtsports pockets on both legs and two small, open pockets on the front waistband (although I never did use them — they weren’t big enough for a room key, but I imagine car keys would fit in there).

Inside those pockets are drawstrings. And you can use those drawstrings to shorten the front of the skirt, making it easier to run it. It’s the ultimate skirt to “run” errands in and it looks chic, too. I only wish it came in more colors!

You can buy your Sorceress Skirt here.

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Wonder Girl Tank
I wore this tank for my short, easy run in NOLA and it was so comfortable that I went ahead and wore it for my half, too, even though I had never worn it on a long run. And it was so comfortable — with no chafing, although of course I used anti chafing cream, too.

The tank dries quickly — as evidenced by my rinsing it out one day and wearing it a couple of days later. It’s slightly form fitted without making you feel like a sausage.

Speaking of pockets, it sports Skirtsports’ genious cleavage alley pocket — that’s right, there’s a pocket right there between the girls. I used it for my room key and a credit card and a little cash on that short run. Perfectly comfortable, but remember, I’m not well endowed.

There’s a shelf bra, but no padding — it’s probably roomy enough for a bra underneath for a small chested gal like me, but the beauty of it to me was that I didn’t have to wear a bra, too. So sorry about the headlights.

Get your Wonder Girl Tank here

Again, this needs to happen in more colors!

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Racecation Tank
With its higher neckline but light material, side slits, and loose fit, the Racecation Tank is perfect for touring around town and on the run. It also has a shelf bra, again with no padding. What you can’t see in the photo is the curved back straps that make it so cute.

Alas, the Racecation Tank also only comes in two colors: the light blue pictured and a black one with white on top. I ordered the black one when I came home — it will go with anything and really be versatile on a vacation.

You can buy your Racecation Tank here.

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Fueling my runs

And a shoutout to Honeystinger, too!
I am a member of the Hive now, but as I’ve mentioned, Honeystinger actually saved my very first half — when I started to get somewhat light headed around mile 10 (it was also my first night race), a Honeystinger waffle (buy them here) came to my rescue.

I’ve been eating them ever since. Not usually during a race, because I don’t like sweet things during a race, but I often have them as a snack before a race if it’s been too long between breakfast and the race. There are some new flavors I’m dying to try — like the Gluten Free Chocolate Mint (sadly out of stock right now). I usually just go with the Gluten Free Cinnamon Waffle, but they’re all good.

I have also gone back to using the Honeystinger chews on a pretty regular basis, too. They have been fueling a lot of my runs lately, and will be a real Godsend this weekend when I can’t rely on my normal baked goods due to Passover.

I often bring a mixture of my own baked goods and some chews on a long run anyway. I use the caffeinated energy chews (buy them here), as I respond well to caffeine.

So let me know in the comments:

What are you loving this spring?

Do you care about the headlights?

What was your favorite racecation?

Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for both Skirtsports and Honeystinger. I make no money from the links in this post, and I was not provided any items for free. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

I broke the rules: Runfessions March 2017

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We are a quarter through the year already — seriously, how does that happen? Join me, Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice and other bloggers to see what we’re runfessing as we close the book on winter (sort of, there’s a little matter of some potential April Fool’s snow here on Friday/Saturday) and look forward to the longer spring days.

I runfess . . .
I get a little paranoid when it gets close to a race. Don’t even think about coming near me with your germs.

And even though I missed running with Darlene, I do runfess I was just a little bit glad that I didn’t have to be exposed to whatever virus she succumbed to. Although I did run with her shortly before I left for NOLA.

And the day Mr. Judy came home complaining of not feeling well and tried to hand me my mail? I didn’t even want to touch it!

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Hey, those handrails are there for a reason, right?

I runfess . . .
I may or may not have held onto the hand rails a few times in some of the more challenging tempo runs I did on my treadmill.

The good news is I was also did a few tempos outside, where there are no handrails to lean on.

I runfess . . .
I have been almost completely living in athleisure this winter. I don’t have a whole lot of tights from Skirtsports, so while I may live in a lot of skirts in the summer, during the winter, it’s mostly been Athleta. I feel they have really upped their game this last couple of years.

I runfess . . .
That I felt really badly the day I did a 7 mile easy run at the park, on a beautiful day, and there were dogs everywhere. I did walk the dogs before I left, but it was a very brief walk.

I runfess . . .
I ate a picky bar for lunch, with buttered popcorn for dessert after my 12 mile long run a couple of weeks ago. And it was so cold that day I didn’t do any warm up at all.

But I did foam roll when I got home. A girl’s gotta have priorities!

I runfess . . .
That I totally broke the rule about not doing anything new on race day. I had meant to try eating some crystalized ginger on a long run before my race, but that plan only came to me before my last long run . . . and I totally forgot to bring any on that run.

I still ate some during my half. The theory is that it is supposed to revive your appetite. Mine tends to get suppressed when I run long — and if you read my NOLA & Food post here, you’ll know that that is the only time I don’t have the appetite of a 6 foot amazon (and I’m 5’1″). Well, obviously it didn’t hurt me. Did it help me? No idea. But I enjoyed it.

Skirtsports Wonder Girl Tank — I highly recommend it!

On top of that, I wore a new top! One that I had only worn on a 4 mile run. In fact, I wore it for the first time just days before my race. Yes, I did rinse it out. It was just so dang comfortable, and I liked the idea of not having to wear a bra (since it had a shelf bra). I’m sure it wouldn’t work well for you if you’re large chested, but I’m not, and it totally worked for me — and no chafing at all on a very hot and humid day!

Have you ever worn new clothes during a race? How’d it work for you?

Lastly, I runfess that I know this is more than five runfessions . . .

Wouldn’t you like to get some runfessions off your mind? Come join us

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I am also linking up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy today.

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