Happy National Running Day!

With no hesitation at all, I will admit that I’m a crazy runner.

When I found out that today was National Running Day I actually got a little giddy inside. I’m a weirdo, I know. I decided to celebrate by strapping on my best running shoes,

my favorite running t-shirt (sensing a color scheme here),

my new Garmin (it locates satellites super quick, btw),

and hitting the pavement for a glorious 4 mile stroll. Running = endorphins = happiness.

Today on RunningDay.org, there was a featured section on 10 Way to Celebrate National Running Day. I think they’re fun, so I figured I’d share!

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I’m working on a few of these:

#1- I love running because it’s my “me” time. It’s the 1 (or 5) hours a day that I have to gain clarity and remove myself from everything else going on in life. That being said, I run races solely for the beer at the end. True story!

#2- Race t-shirt. Check!

#5- I decided to run through Rock Creek Park today instead of my usual route down 16th street. Parks > Busy streets! Parks also = sketchy, so I don’t know how often I’ll be doing that.

#8- Today seems like a pretty good day to get my running goals in order for the Marine Corps Marathon coming up in October. Training schedule – Check!

#9- I hate the treadmill. So this is nothing new.

#10- Any ideas on how to treat yourself like a champion? I’m having shrimp pasta for dinner with my family. Yum!

Annnnnd since I work for Discovery and my friend posted this on my facebook wall, here are some do’s and don’ts of running via the Discovery website! Thanks Colin. 😉 [edited to add: Upon reading these closer, I’m not sure if I agree with all of them. Especially the ones about landing on your heel and the running shoes. Different discussion for a different day.]

How are you celebrating National Running Day?

Fast Friday Update

I’ve been neglecting my little piece of the internet this week, which is very uncharacteristic. I just haven’t had much to write about.

So here are a few things that have been going on this week.

I bought a Garmin Forerunner 410

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Remember how the other week I was inquiring about race watches? Well, the very next day there was a Groupon deal for $100 off the Garmin Forerunner 410. I took it as a sign and bought it on impulse. It should be here within the next few days; I am ridiculously excited to try out my new toy.

I signed up for another half marathon

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I’m running the Rock ‘n Roll in VA Beach for the third time this September. This race is fun, although it can get a little crowded on the course. The only reason I’m really signing up is because Train is the headliner this year for the concert. I ❤ their music!

RunDisney unveiled the new marathon course for the 20th Anniversary Disney World Marathon

Words cannot express how excited I am about this course. I loved running the marathon in 2011, although, admittedly the course got slightly boring because you spend a lot of time running between the parks on back roads. Disney does a great job filling the lulls with entertainment, but it seems like this new course has even more attraction time! I did slightly groan at the idea of running around a race track (they are on a slight sideways incline which can be painful on your legs), I am dying to know what the surprise at mile 20 is! I really want to try to do the Goofy Challenge this year (ie. run the half on Saturday and the full on Sunday). No, I’m not a crazy runner, not at all.

I booked a BEACH trip!!

Finally taking my first vacation days of the year…I can’t believe it took me until June! I’m heading down to (hopefully) sunny South Carolina in a few weeks. I’m so ready for the beach, beer, mini golf, food, and relaxation time.  Myrtle Beach, here I come!

My heel is giving me problems

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This isn’t as positive as everything else on the list, but my heel has been acting up this week. Every time I run, I have sharp pains in my heel and sometimes they last for an entire day after. I’ve taken it easy with the running this week, but it still hasn’t gone away. My brother (in PT school, so I trust him) says it looks like early signs of plantar fasciitis. I sure hope not because that will put a serious damper on #1-3 on this list!

Happy Friday! Any big weekend plans?

Time Yourself

For the past few weeks, I’ve been debating back and forth about whether or not to invest in a Garmin (or other brand, doesn’t matter) running watch. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and I’m still at a stalemate, so I thought I’d see what you guys think.

I’ve never been one of those runners who cares much about time. I’ve always been a pretty average/moderately fast runner, but I never worked hard at making myself quicker. I always ran just to…run. Recently though, I’ve had dreams of increasing my speed. It all started a few weeks ago when I PRed at the Shamrock Half Marathon. I liked setting a goal (albeit a very loose goal, but still a goal nonetheless) and achieving it. I realize that if I do interval training and apply myself, I can (hopefully) make myself faster. My marathon times have been pretty mediocre thus far: close to 5 hours for both, and I’d like to improve GREATLY upon that time for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. If I can run a 1:55 half, I’m thinking that I should be able to run a 4:30 marathon. Easier said than done, of course. It’s going to take some tough interval training and I will have to start paying attention to time during long runs. Which is why I’m thinking about buying a Garmin watch.

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Pros of buying a Garmin:

  • Can finally time myself and figure out what my average pace is/should be.
  • Improve on my speed for the marathon.
  • Be more accurate in my distances. Right now I use google maps, and perhaps this isn’t the best judge of running distance.
  • With that, I can try some new running trails since I won’t have to map them out beforehand. This would be great in marathon training since I tend to get bored of the one I do everyday.
  • Be more of a “real” runner. Don’t all the real runners have these things?

Cons of buying a Garmin:

  • It’s expensive! Ahhhhh!!!
  • Will I become one of those people who is constantly looking at my wrist during races? And the anxiety that comes with that.
  • Clunky, extra weight.
  • Waiting for satellites, I’ve heard fun stories about this.
  • Will it take the fun out of running?

The big con that I’m worried about is that last one on the list. Will it take the fun out of my favorite sport? Thoughts? Should I get the watch or not?

I’ve got some time to figure out if this is a smart investment for me. No better place to contemplate such things than here, which may or may not have happened this weekend:

Happy (belated) Cinco de Mayo!

Race Recap: Shamrock Half

Guess who got a PR on Sunday? If you guessed ME, then you got it!!

This past weekend, I ran my favorite race in the entire world: The Shamrock Half Marathon.

The weekend started out like it normally does, with me driving.

This race took place in Virginia Beach, which is about 4 hours from where I live in DC. Thankfully, my brother lives in the area, so I was able to hangout and stay with him. He also ran the race with me!

Once I made it to VB, we headed over to the race expo to pick up our bib numbers and t-shirt swag.

My brother commented on how many of the vendors/apparel were geared towards woman. It wasn’t until he pointed it out that I took notice, but most of the merchandise for sale was definitely for women. I wonder why that is: do women dominate the sport or are we just more likely to buy things?

Speaking of buying things, I bought this obnoxiously bright shirt at the expo to run in:

I really didn’t have any rationale in buying it other than I had a “huge urge to buy something extremely bright”. I sort of love it!

The expo took place at the Virginia Beach Convention Center which is just a few blocks away from the beach. Afterwards, we naturally headed that way. Unfortunately, it was chilly and looked like a storm was about to roll in. That didn’t stop me from heading down and sticking my toes in the ocean!

Yucky cold.

We headed back to my brother’s apartment for a Gatorade Party (that’s what we called it anyway) which included 2 liter bottles of Gatorade (we only drank half) and a pasta dinner.

He loves Gatorade!

Really, the only thing I don’t like about the Shamrock Half is how early the race is. This race has a 7am start time which just kills me every year because I am SO not a morning person. This is the 3rd year in a row I’ve done this race and every year I have been late for the start. Two years ago we made it just in time to hop in with the last corral and I had to weave in and out of walkers, which was annoying. Last year we made it into the corral during the national anthem, which left us no time to warm up. So this year, we were dead-set on making it on time. Luckily, my brother’s girlfriend, Jackie was nice enough to wake up at 5:15(!!) and drive us to the start line. This was the first year I made it with time to spare. Constantly improving!

Typically, I have some intense jitters on race morning. I’m not sure why, but this year for this race, I didn’t have any at all. I just jumped into my corral and when the gun sounded and we all took off, I just ran. It was the first time I think I’ve zoned out like that during a race.

I felt really, really strong during miles 1-6. I got to start out in the first corral and had to constantly remind myself not to worry about people passing me. When I saw the 1:45 pacing group pass, I decided to try to keep up with them for a bit even though I knew there was no way I could keep that pace the whole race (my half marathon PR was 1:57). I surprised myself when I was able to keep them in sight for just about 3 miles. I must have been really cruising!

When I passed the Mile 5 marker, I noticed the time read: 41:00 and I thought to myself, “If I can keep up this pace, I can PR easily!” Now I didn’t really share this with my blog readers, but I was secretly (and seriously) gunning for a half marathon PR in this race. I haven’t PR-ed…ever, since my first race was my fastest.

I really hit a strong stride through miles 6-9. My legs felt amazing and I was passing people who had passed me a few miles back in the shuffle. It felt awesome!

But then mile 10 happened. I could feel a huge blister form on my right big toe. I also realized that I had forgotten to apply anti-chafing gel in the morning, and I could feel it on my legs and on one specific spot on my left hip. Rookie mistake! I kept pushing through, right until mile 11. That’s when my arms felt tingly and then started to feel numb. I decided that I had run fast enough in the beginning that I could slow my pace down a bit. Miles 10-12 were extremely difficult and there were times where I thought about slowing down and just walking the rest.

That’s when I saw the clock at Mile 12. It read: 1:42:00. If I just ran that last 1.1 miles in less than 15 minutes, I had a PR! Easier said than done, of course. My legs hurt, my blister had popped right through my sock, and my arms felt like they were going to go numb and fall off my body.

When I rounded the corner onto the boardwalk and saw the ocean, I knew the end was near. I just kept pushing through and crossed the finish line with the clock reading 1:55:18! I had my PR!!

HORRAY!!

After the race, I found my brother (who also PRed in 1:25:44 — SAY WHAT!!!) and Jackie and we all headed into the beer tent for the after party.

Honestly, the after party is probably the reason that this race is my favorite! First of all, when you finish, they give you a finisher’s hat, a sweatshirt, and lots of food. There is a huge after party in a tent with awesome live entertainment. And since the race is sponsored by Yuengling, they bring in hundreds of kegs and all participants can get up to 4 beers…which, trust me, is all you need after running 13 miles!

I even had some energy left over to do the Cupid Shuffle!

It’s so nice being able to go out and chill on the beach with your beer in hand and live music playing.

Post-race meal courtesy of Red Robin (yuuuum!)

Yes, we ate everything on that table.

What a fun weekend! I can’t wait to do this race again next year, and maybe even PR again!

Alternatives to Running

If you’re anything like me, when you hear the word “exercise” the first thing you do is think about running. And the second thing you do is groan. Running is definitely my most common form of exercise, but let’s be real here, it isn’t always fun.

Now that the weather is heating up, the sun is shining, and spring has sprung I’m all about finding alternative ways to exercise. There are so many outdoor activities that will get your heart rate up and provide a solid cardio workout without your body even realizing that it’s working!

I thought I’d share some of my favorite non-running exercise ideas in case anyone needs some extra motivation to get moving:

Hiking

I went hiking for the first time in a loooooong time the other weekend and my legs were killing me for DAYS! I consider myself to be in pretty good shape, so I was surprised at how tired my legs felt after the 6 hour hike and at how sore they were for the next three days. I could barely even walk! That’s when I realized how great of a workout hiking is: I climbed, crawled, and sometimes even jumped off rocks; my body didn’t even realize it was working that hard…I was just trying not to fall!

Sports

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Duh, organized sports are a good workout. That’s a no-brainer right? But they can be somewhat of a time commitment that many adults are not willing to make. You don’t have to join a team to get a good workout though. You can easily work up a sweat by just kicking around with some of your buddies. If you are all particularly as bad as I am, you will get plenty of running in as you’re chasing missed shots that soared 100 feet past the goal!

Swimming

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I am so, so excited for the pool at my apartment building to open. Okay, okay, mostly I just like to lounge around outside and tan, but occasionally, I’ll do a few laps in the pool. Did you know that swimming is actually a great aerobic activity? And for the most part, you don’t even feel that fatigued because the pool is wiping all that sweat right off your forehead. Awesome!

Dancing

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Have you ever come back from a night out on the town with your feet aching and your legs burning from dancing so much? I definitely have. Now, I’m not the most coordinated dancer in the world, but I’ve been told that after 2-3 drinks I turn into Chris Brown…or maybe that’s just in my head. Either way, I love to dance and it’s actually a great cardio workout too. Double win!

Golf

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When I polled my male friends about what they thought a good non-running exercise was, golf was a popular answer. I can’t really speak to this since I’ve never been golfing in my life…unless we’re counting frisbee golf, which I’m told we aren’t. I have been told that you can walk 10+ miles (maybe an exaggeration), while carry a 30lb bag, and stopping every five minutes to swing a club. I’d imagine that’s hard work. I’m sure most of those calories burnt are offset by the exponential amount of beers that are also consumed. But hey, who’s really counting?

What are your favorite non-running exercises?

March is for…RACES!

Legs, meet sun. Sun, meet legs. It has been far too long since you two have been acquainted, as is judged by my pasty-whiteness (beach trip, anyone?).

Welcome back spring, please never leave again. It had been far too long since I woke up to the sound of birds chirping out my open window, but this morning delivered just that. By this afternoon it was a perfect 65 degrees and sunny as could be and I was able to bust out the shorts for the first time since winter. It almost made my afternoon run pleasurable. Yeah, almost.

March is starting out on quite the right foot if you ask me. I’m hoping that this trend continues because I have races galore planned for this month! Okay, well just two actually, but that’s still quite a few for a single month. Let’s do a quick overview.

The Shamrock Half – March 17

Okay people, get pumped, because this is my favorite race of ALL TIME! Yes, that is quite a bold statement, but I mean it. This race has it all: it’s flat, on the beach, there’s beer (lots of it) and live music at the end, and they give you a ton of swag (finishers t-shirt AND hat? Yes, please!). What more could you possibly ask for? This year will mark the 3rd year in a row that I’ve run the Shamrock Half. I will be running with my little bro, who I’m sure will most likely beat me by well over an hour.

Last year I ran this race in 2:02:and-some-change with very minimal training. So, I’m hoping to run right around the same time [or beat it] this year. Although between you and me, my half marathon PR (which I set in 2008 during the VA Beach Rock ‘N Roll Half) is 1:58:17, so I’m honestly gunning for that, but not optimistic. I’m excited for this race though, regardless of the time I get, since it’s my first back since the marathon!

Monument Ave 10k – March 31

I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I did a 10k. Actually, that’s a lie. It can tell you. It was exactly 3 years ago in 2009, the last time I ran this race! I got suckered into running it with a friend of mine who then bailed at the very last minute (you know who you are)!

Yay for new running friends!

Just two weeks after I run the Shamrock Half, I will be heading to Richmond to run this year’s Monument Ave 10k. I’ve been itching to do some “shorter” distance races lately. I like the concept of training for a marathon, but in practice, it’s extremely time consuming and intense. Just as long as I have a race to train for (it doesn’t have to be a marathon), I’m completely content with running 4-5 miles a day. That’s why, when my friend Meredith informed me that she was running, I jumped at the chance to tag along!

Last time I ran this race I was dealing with some personal stuff and became a running FIEND, so I freak-of-nature PR’ed with a time of 0:50:18. I’ve done plenty of 6 mile training runs since and most of them haven’t even come close to beating that time. So, for this year’s race, I’m setting a more realistic goal of trying to keep my time under 1 hour.

What I remember about this 10k is that it was a pleasant 6 miles through the heart of downtown Richmond. A lot of college students (read: hipsters) come out of their apartments, drink, and cheer on runners. It’s a fun atmosphere and relatively close to home, both are wins in my opinion! Plus, I can’t wait to reunite with these two lovely ladies:

Aside from running my favorite races, my March calendar is beginning to fill up. Here’s are some fun things I already have on the docket:

  • St. Patrick’s Day, obviously!
  • My first Brazilian Steakhouse Experience
  • Joining a Body Challenge for work (what’s up, weight-loss goals?)
  • My first haircut in over a year. Ahhh! Haircuts give me anxiety.
  • And some exciting family news that I can’t wait to share when the time is right!!

Are any of you running races this month? What are your other fun plans for March?

The [Unseen] Benefits of Running

We all know the benefits of running, right? To be fit, to look good, and to feel good. But, what about those little/lesser known benefits that are so often overlooked?

Since I started my quest to lose weight nearly a month ago, I’ve increased the amount of times that I’ve been exercising per week. My favorite form of exercise should come as no surprise by now: running. After I began to run more, I noticed not only how much better I felt, but other things like my hair being shiner and my face being clearer. Now, I’m not sure if these things have a direct correlation to the increase in exercise or if they have more to do with my exponential increase in showers. I decided to investigate further.

I couldn’t find any websites on exercise and shiny hair, but I did stumble across some interesting findings. So, I thought I’d share some of them.

1) Physical Stamina- This is kind of a no-brainer, right? Duh, running will increase physical stamina. We all know that. But what good is that really? Well it’s good for many, many important reasons such as: BEAR ATTACKS. That’s right, bear attacks. I’m just saying, if I get chased down by a bear in the woods, I might have a strong chance of surviving unless that bear can run 26.2 miles. Sometimes, to take my mind off marathon training, I change the language of the activity to “bear attack training”. It gets me moving every time.

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2) Runners are happier- It’s true. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. And in the infamous words of Elle Woods “Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands”. I kid, I kid. But seriously, have you ever noticed how much happier you are after you finish an awesome work out? That’s because those endorphines have kicked in. I’ve noticed that I’ve actually been generally more chipper lately at work and outside of work, I attribute at least some of that to my afternoon runs!

3) Better nights sleep- This is an interesting one which I never really thought about. But when I eat greasy food and sit on my butt all day, my sleep is typically interrupted two to three times a night. Since I’ve started exercising more, I usually only wake up once (I’m a really light sleeper) and sometimes not at all!!!

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4) Higher sex drive- That whole physical stamina thing isn’t just good for evading bears. Eh, eh, you know what I’m sayin’? 😉 No use beating around the bush on this one, running increases your cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, strength, and flexibility. Both exercise and sex have also been proven to decrease stress, and who doesn’t want to live a stress-free life?

5) Better eyesight- Well this is news to me. But, apparently two different studies from the U.S. Department of Energy have discovered that running reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. My only question would be: then why is my eyesight SO TERRIBLE?

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Information sources: here, here, and here

Do you notice any changes when you start exercising more? Anything unique or different from what I’ve mentioned?

Things I’m Digging: January Edition

It’s hard to believe that January is coming to a close. It feels like just the other day we were all ringing in 2012 and now we’re almost 1/12 done with it! I know I say it all the time, but seriously, time flies!

I haven’t done one of these since October, so I think we’re due for another now that the winter months are here. Here are some things I’m totally into this month:

Afternoon Runs

As part of my quest to “get fit”, I’ve inducted the daily afternoon run into my lifestyle. And I totally love it! I get an hour lunch break, so instead of stuffing my face with Chipotle (like I usually do), I’ve started to go on runs. Reasons why I love the afternoon run:

  • It’s light outside and I hate running in the dark
  • It’s the perfect temperature. Not too hot (obviously, it’s January) and not too cold yet either
  • Prevents me from going out to eat for lunch everyday
  • Gives me SOOO much more energy to make it through the rest of the afternoon

Those are just a few reasons. I’m hoping to continue this trend well through the spring. Summer may get questionable as I don’t want to return to work a sweaty mess, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

The Weather

January, hey January, where the heck are you? It feels more like spring out there and I am seriously digging it! I am loving the sun and the 50-something degree temperatures lately. Especially during my afternoon runs. In fact, I would be totally fine if winter decided to skip the DC area completely. Snow = a pain. Ah, I probably just jinxed it by posting this!

Kindle Fire

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I got myself a Kindle Fire. Why? Because I wanted it! Since I had accumulated some Amazon gift cards recently, I didn’t even have to pay a cent of my own money. Worth it! While I don’t think it’s as cool as the iPad in terms of functionality, I do think it’s worth the price for what I will use it for. I can access the internet, download apps, watch Netflix, and best of all…READ BOOKS! I’m really trying to read more lately. I just finished The Help with the help (hah, pun unintended) of my Kindle and I’m loving it. I’ve put a few more books on there that I’ve been wanting to read, so I should be set for awhile. Next up, The Hunger Games!

Pizza

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I know I said I was going to make a conscious effort to cut down on my pizza intake. And honestly, I have! I only had pizza one time in the month of January. And that one time was last night. And yep, I still dig it!

Daydreaming

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It’s right around this time every year that my mind starts to wander to sunny places and warmer temperatures. I’ve already posted about having the travel bug again, but I haven’t made any big plans for vacations yet. My most recent daydreams have taken me to Florida. For some reason, I am having these huge urges to hit up Disney World, the beach, and Harry Potter World. I still haven’t been to the new Harry Potter World and it’s on my list of things to see. Maybe, possibly this year? At least I can always escape there in my mind!

What are you digging lately?

Christmas Traditions

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is learning about other family’s traditions. It’s fascinating that so many families celebrate the same holiday in such different ways. As a kid, I was so stuck in my own traditions. It hasn’t been until recently that I realized that not everyone celebrates Christmas exactly like my family does.

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My family traditions are very special. Most of my family resides in Pennsylvania, so we all head up to my grandma’s house. My parents met in high school, so both of their families were born and raised in the same area. That makes it easy to see both sides of the family during the holidays.

Every year, on Christmas Eve, we head over to my Aunt Linda’s house to celebrate with my Dad’s side of the family with a true Italian Seven Fishes Dinner.

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Obviously most of our time is spent eating, but we also find time to open presents, and drink fuzzy navels.

This year, on Christmas morning, my brother and I completed our 5th Annual Chrismas Morning Run.

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I got the chance to try out my new Under Amour gear!

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Compression pants = baller. It was a pretty rough run. We only did 3.2 miles, but my lungs were burning after the first mile. After that, my body started to remember what it was doing and I felt better. I really need to start running again.

After that, my mom’s side of the family started showing up at my Grammy’s house for a 2pm Christmas feast.

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Now, you are all well aware of my picky nature. Typically, for Christmas, my grandparents buy me cheese bread and I fight with my younger cousins about who gets more. This year, I went above and beyond and ate ham, corn, mashed potatoes, and scalloped potatoes…along with a slice of cheese bread (some traditions just can’t be broken).

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It was all so good that some of us (aka my cousin Eric) had to lick the plate!

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Then we all gathered around and opened gifts. Every year, all the grand kids take a picture with the grandparents.

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I ❤ my family.

Christmas was my Pappy's favorite holiday. He was such a grouch, but he absolutely adored Christmas. He loved the little holiday toys that played music and danced. So, every year around this time, it's impossible not to think of him. One year, my Aunt Renee, found a black Christmas hat that said "Bah Humbug", she wrapped it up with some coal and gave it to him on Christmas day. We all got a huge laugh about the hat and agreed that it fit his personality to a tee. The hat became a Christmas day tradition.

Last year, the hat stayed in storage. But this year, the tradition was passed down to the next lovable, grumpiest in the family…ME!

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I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to carry on this family tradition.

We all ate cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. Oh and fudge. Lots and lots of fudge.

And drank frosty navels. Lots and lots of frosty navels.

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And got to spend lots of time catching up with my awesome family.

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Oh, and my Pandora bracelet is almost complete!

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What a wonderful holiday! I love celebrating with family and friends who I just don’t get to see enough of.

What are your holiday traditions?

The Post-Marathon Slump

What is the post-marathon slump, do you ask? My fellow runners can most likely relate to me on this. The post-marathon slump is a period after any race (it doesn’t necessarily need to be a marathon) where you take a physical and mental break from all things running. It’s like, “Hey, I just ran 26.2 miles, so I probably don’t really need to run again for another month or so, right?”

Wrong.

Yet this thinking prevails. At least it does for me. Ever since my marathon I’ve been struggling with finding motivation to run. I don’t have anything to strive for, so what’s the point? Since my big race, I’ve only run once and it was painful. It’s crazy how quickly I get out of shape! The 4 miles I did on Saturday morning hurt worse than the 26.2 I did last month. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point. There is a huge difference between my fitness level now and when I completed my marathon 3 weeks ago. All of my hard work is going down the drain. It’s kind of sad.

You want to know the worst part? It’s that despite everything, I have zero motivation to get out there and change. I know that I should. I read so many other blogs written by such motivated runners and I know that I should lead by example. But I’d much rather go to BDubs with my friends or catch up on episodes of How I Met Your Mother (best show EVER, for the record).

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For me, exercise is an absolute necessity. It really isn’t an option. Thanks to my luck (or lack thereof) in the genetic lottery, I failed to inherit any kind of metabolism. It’s not that I think weight loss/gain has everything to do with metabolism, but how can you explain the fact that my male roommate (who doesn’t exercise) can eat the same exact thing that I do and stays super skinny while I blow up like a balloon? It’s just not fair. If I stop exercising completely, I gain weight pretty quickly. I may or may not do a longer, more detailed post about my (and my family’s) battle with weight and genetics, but I have yet to summon up the courage. This blog is supposed to be me exposed, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to be that honest with you (and myself) yet. Soon. Maybe.

I digress. What I really need are motivators for getting back into running. How do I kick-start this exercise routine again? Now that it’s dark and dreary out by 5pm, how do I muster up the energy after a long day’s work to go for a run?

I’ve already decided to sign up for another race. I’m going to run the Shamrock Half Marathon in March. But I’m worried that a half still won’t be motivation enough for me to brave the cold, and I’m not ready to run another full just yet. It’s a Catch 22 at its finest.

Have you ever experienced the post-marathon (or any race) slump? Any tips for overcoming it?