Posts Tagged by holiday

Holiday Cross Training

Somehow, between my self-proclaimed month of rest and coming down with some sort of sickness after visiting my family for Thanksgiving, 9 full days passed without me running one single step.

Christmas Wreaths

The crazy thing about this – I hardly even noticed.

It’s funny how when you’re injured, or tapering, or resting for any other reason than “I just don’t feel like running” those days until you can run again seem to drag by. I feel every single non-running day pass, counting them down in hopes that I would be that much closer to lacing up my shoes again and hitting the pavement.

But when I just don’t want to run, the non-running days add up without me even noticing. For those 9 days, I didn’t even miss running. Not in the slightest.

Plus, not running gave me plenty of time to focus on other cross training activities.

On Saturday, I got in some good “strength training” in the form of chopping down and carrying our first official Christmas tree.

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In past years, Evan and I have gone out to get a little tree for my apartment. Even though both of us spent the holiday with our families, it was nice to have a little bit of festivity for those weeks leading up to it. This year we will be heading to PA to celebrate Christmas, but it’s our first year in a house. Our first official tree together. So the choosing of that tree is something we obviously took very seriously.

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I just need to pause and say that we tried this Christmas tree farm on a whim (having never had a Christmas here in VT and not really knowing the best spots in the area) and I was blown away from the second we got out of the car. Big red barn, petting zoo, a warm fire, free hot cocoa, Santa for the kids, and wagon rides out into the seemingly endless fields surrounded by mountains.

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And to top it all off – it was snowing. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

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After some precise measuring to make sure that the large tree we selected would actually fit in our living room, we got to work chopping it down.

christmas tree measuring

Hours later, the tree was set up, and our house started looking just a little more festive. Have I mentioned that I love this time of year so much??

christmas tree…only slightly lopsided…

Then on Sunday, I got a great full body workout on the slopes.

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I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t more than a little nervous about how we would survive our first Vermont winter. I’ve lived in New England for most of my adult life, but have spent most of my time in areas close enough to the ocean that we never got truly pelted by snow. This will be my first in a noncoastal New England state. So Evan and I decided that if we were going to be here for endless months of cold and snow, we might as well make the most of it.

Despite the fact that neither of us has skied in at least 4 – 5 years, we bought each other season passes (Stratton has an amazing deal for people under 30 if anyone is interested). Sunday was the first time in our entire relationship that Evan and I skied together. It was warm, the little snow that was on the mountain was slushy, and by mid-afternoon it had started raining.

But we had a blast. Somewhere along the line, I had kind of forgotten how fun skiing was. By the end of the day, my whole body hurt. I could barely walk. And I had decided that I was officially trading in my running shoes this winter for a pair of skis. Forget running through the snow and cold. I would be spending the rest of the winter perfecting my new sport.

This proclamation lasted precisely 24 hours. Because yesterday, a package showed up. And all thoughts about quitting running for the rest of the winter went out the window as soon as I saw what was inside:

Saucony Kinvara TR and Mirage 3

The Saucony Kinvara TR (a pair of trail shoes I’ve been coveting for awhile now) AND the brand new, not yet released Mirage 3. I have professed my love for the Mirage 2 many times on this blog and I’m pretty sure this next version is going to win my heart just as quickly….even if they aren’t green. They look very different from their predecessor, and I’m excited to see how these changes feel on the run.

Speaking of which…I need to get running. My days on the couch have officially ended.

Full review to come!

Staying Off-Track {Embracing Rest}

This isn’t a post about getting back on track after a weekend of holiday indulgence.

It’s not about cleaning up my diet, giving up the sweets, eating more vegetables, and abstaining from alcohol until 2013.

It’s not about ramping up my mileage, getting slim and trim, or how to lose weight during the holiday season.

This post is, in fact, about the exact opposite. (I’m pretty sure we’ve all read enough of those other posts to last us the rest of the year, anyway…)

Rest. Relaxation. Not training.

I know I’ve talked about this before, but I really (reallyreally) love the breaks between training seasons. Rest isn’t just an important part of physical recovery, it’s also essential mentally. Even though I didn’t run the most competitive training cycle ever, my mind has still been craving the “off” season. When there’s no pressure to hit mileage goals. No pressure to run fast. …no pressure to run at all, really.

I usually take a one-week-no-activity break after marathons. This has been a non-negotiable part of my training regimen since high school (just replace “marathon” with “cross country/track season.”) But since I raced Ragnar Vegas right after MCM, this year was a little different. Strangely enough, I felt better after the relay than I did after the marathon, so I didn’t take a full week off then either. I was too fired up and excited about running to take more than a couple days of complete rest.

Luckily, logic soon caught up to me and I realized I wasn’t doing myself any favors by continuing to hit the pavement. Although I think my body is pretty much recovered from my back-to-back race weekends, mentally I’m not quite there yet. I need time to breathe. Time to think about things other than running. Time to take a step back and come up with my game plan for 2013.

marathon readingOff-season reading

I have big goals for next year – the elusive marathon PR being one of them (which I’m officially naming Operation #goodbye318). In a few weeks, I’m going to start working very hard toward that goal. But before I can do that, I need to make sure my body and my mind are ready. I need time to get excited about training again. To crave mileage and speed work and hill workouts and all that other painful stuff that you need to do in order to get faster.

Eventually I’ll get to the point where not running stops feeling great and starts making me feel like the biggest sloth in the entire world. The point where if I don’t run right this second I’ll certainly go crazy. But I’m not there yet. The couch is still calling to me. And long walks with the dog and my husband sound way more appealing than long runs alone.

So for the next two weeks, my “no-plan” plan is to run when I feel like it, slowly start lifting again (because every single muscle besides my quads is seriously out of shape), and work in more cross training.

But mostly, my plan is to rest. To eat what I want. Spend time decorating for Christmas and watching holiday movies instead of working out. To see family as much as possible and to really enjoy this time of year.

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Right now I have one more race on the schedule for 2012, but it’s a fun one…not a PR effort. Evan and I are signed up for the It’s a Wonderful Run 5K in Seneca Falls, NY on December 8th. It’s a Wonderful Life is my all-time favorite Christmas movie, and this run is set up to be a celebration of that movie – including a start on the Bridge Street Bridge, which is supposedly the inspiration for the bridge scenes in the movie. Plus, Janie and Zuzu are going to be there! I seriously can’t wait.

Other than that, I’ll be over here truly embracing rest. The only PRs I expect to set from now until the end of the year are in cookie-eating. It’s going to be a good month.

 

On Not {Turkey} Trotting

I have a confession to make.

Not once in my 28 years of life have I ever done a Turkey Trot.

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{Source}

Okay, okay. This doesn’t really qualify as a confession. It’s not like it’s some deep dark secret I’m ashamed of. Plus, I’m pretty sure I admitted this to you all last year anyway (stupid blog archives calling me out on my lies…).

But whatever. For the sake of this post, I thought it was important to get that out there. Especially during this time when it seems like everyone and their dog has signed up for one.

And then you have me. Proudly keeping the No Turkey Trot Streak alive and well over here.

I never actually gave these races much thought until I started a running blog and joined Twitter. Suddenly, it seemed like every single person around me was spending Thanksgiving morning “trotting.”

Everyone besides me, that is…

I get the concept. I actually think it’s a great one. People should exercise on a regular basis anyway, so on a day when you plan to stuff your face for hours, it’s probably safe to say that exercise is even more important. I mean, I’m no personal trainer or nutritionist, but I think it has something to do with the fact that Thanksgiving calories-in >>>> {official symbol for are way greater than} calories-out. Anything that gets people up and moving is great in my book.

Well in theory, anyway. Seeing as I’ve never actually taken the initiative to sign up for one, you should probably take that endorsement with a grain of salt.

It’s not like I don’t run on Thanksgiving. In fact, I’d say that I’ve probably run on the majority of Thanksgiving mornings for most of my adult life. Sometimes other people have joined me, sometimes I head out solo. When I was younger, my mom, sister and I had a little tradition of running a few miles together in the morning around my grandfather’s neighborhood. But then one year we got a little lost. And that 2.5 mile jog kept getting longer and longer. While I saw it as a hilarious adventure, my sister did not. And so that was the end of that tradition.

Then last year I dragged Evan out of the house with me for our first “official” Thanksgiving Day run. Per his request, we ran exactly 3.1 miles – the precise run length we’d need to burn off the number of calories consumed later (…divided by 5).

I briefly thought about breaking The Streak this year. I even went so far as to look up potential local races. And then Evan and I talked it over. …or really, I should say… I brought the idea up to Evan once and we had a 5 second conversation that went something like this:

Me:  Hey! Did you get that email I sent you with the link to the local Turkey Trot? (because obviously I couldn’t wait the extra 2 hours until he came home to show him the race).

Evan: Oh…yeah…

Me: What do you think? You want to do it?

Evan: {long pause} Well… {another pause} You could sign up if you want. I don’t want to be the reason you don’t run!

Me: But you don’t want to do it?

Evan:  Ummm…not this year.

Me: Okay. Forget it.

Evan: No really! You should sign up if you want. I’ll come watch. I just don’t want to run.

Me: Meh.

And that basically sums up my level of excitement for Turkey Trots.

Don’t get me wrong — I get the appeal. Maybe if there was one right in my town, I’d go run it. But we’re traveling tomorrow to Evan’s family and then traveling again this weekend to go see mine, and frankly, I’m just too lazy to travel again for a race that I wasn’t really all that excited about doing in the first place.

Yep. Lazy.

Plus, I’ve got a streak to keep alive.

I will probably still run tomorrow morning. Slowly. And, although he doesn’t know it yet, I have every intention of dragging Evan along with me. I’m sure he’ll thank me for it later. (wife of the year)

pond_reflectionCompletely irrelevant fall photo to show you where I’ll run tomorrow (except it doesn’t really look like this anymore)

For those of you who are trotting tomorrow – good luck! I truly hope you have a blast and burn lots of calories.

But this post is for the non-trotters. Those who either don’t have a Turkey Trot nearby or who just don’t feel like signing up for one.

I raise my glass of eggnog and my plate of Tofurky and pie to you.

ThanksgivingtofurkyMmmm mmm…doesn’t that just make your mouth water…? {via yumsugar}

28 years and the “No Turkey Trot” streak is still going strong!

…and yes, I like to make up ridiculous streaks around pointless things. Such as the Great Running Tight Boycott of 2011 (which still happens to be one of my more popular posts. A fact that I find sort of hilarious). It’s the {ontherun}way!


Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Okay but really – I’m not really advocating for laziness tomorrow. And if you have 30 minutes to work out, you should probably do it. Small sacrifice for spending the other 23.5 hours of the day eating. Your arteries will thank you later. And that’s my PSA for the day…

 

 

Holiday Hiatus

Well hello there! Happy 2012! I’ve been neglecting this blog of mine for far too long now. As much as I love blogging, it’s funny how easy it is to stop updating once I fall out of the habit.

Ever since my Christmas vacation started unexpectedly early, I’ve been enjoying a nice long stretch of holiday celebrations. Which have included lots of eating, movie watching, and sister time. And did not include email checking, blog reading, or internet browsing (…for anything besides wedding related stuff, anyway…).

But it’s a new year and that means it’s time to get back into my regular routines – which includes regular blogging. And yes, I realize I’m about four days late on that declaration, but better late than never right?

You already know about my big announcement, but here are a few of the other things I’ve been up to over the past two weeks.

I celebrated Christmas with the entire {ontherun} family, including my sister’s new husband. It was the first time we have had an in-law with us for Christmas and I think he survived unscathed.

DSC_0319.JPGNew Christmas Pajamas…and Koli

Santa gave me a nice new set of hand weights, so I no longer need to do my at-home workouts with containers of laundry detergent and bleach. I’m sure my shoulders will thank me.

I chickened out on one of my very last days of the Running Tight Boycott <hangs head in shame>. I never actually wore tights, but it was so cold and windy outside that I did opt to run on the treadmill instead. Yes, I know, a boycott is a lot less hardcore when you always have the option to run inside. But when you declare the boycott, you get to make the rules. And I didn’t run in tights for the entire month of December, so there’s that.

The Great Running Tight Boycott

I actually still haven’t run in tights. But that’s also because I haven’t really run. I know in my last post I said that Boston training has begun, but things got really busy at the end of last week and I sort of faltered on that “jump right back into marathon training” thing. I chalked it all up to embracing my last few days of vacation and figured the new year would mean a new chance to start fresh.

Because of my whole “it’s my vacation, I’ll run when I want to” mentality over the holidays and my Mom’s fabulous cooking, I’m left feeling like my body is taking up more than its fair share of space on the earth these days. Which I guess is a little extra motivation to hit training hard over the next couple of weeks.

I found my wedding dress!! At the first place I went to! This is huge for me. I’m not a person who likes to make snap decisions. Instead I prefer to hem and haw for hours/days over something, and then painstakingly analyze each potential outcome. But I knew I wanted to go dress shopping with my mom and sisters, and I knew last Thursday might be my only chance. So…even though we have yet to pick a venue or a date, I do have a dress to wear.

DSC_0443.jpgThis is NOT my dress…but it was really beautiful

I got lost driving to the airport to pick EC up for New Year’s…even though On Star was directing me. Note to readers: if you ever want to get to an unknown destination on time, don’t have me drive. Also, there are two addresses for the Pittsburgh airport. Contrary to what Google Maps says, it is not located in the middle of nowhere.

DSC_0507.JPGMy entire little family…reunited again

On New Year’s Eve, I road tripped out to Ohio to help my sister pick out a new furball of her very own (she and EC drove). The latest addition to the {ontherun} family is easily the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. He’s lucky he has the face of an Ewok, since he spent the next several nights barking and crying all night long.

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…and after all that, I got back to Rhode Island feeling sad that the holidays had ended. Luckily, talks of weddings and future {comeback} race plans with two of my favorite runners helped me get through that first painful day back at work.

flowers, venue, dress=overrated. The most important decision for the @ wedding has been made. #cheesewedding cc @

2012 really is going to be an amazing year.

I hope everyone had a great holiday! Next up: talk of 2012 goals and training plans…as soon as I actually finish making it, that is.

 

An Extra Special Christmas

This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind. I didn’t really plan to take a week long hiatus from social media, but right before Christmas, something completely unexpected and incredibly exciting happened.

On December 21st, EC took me up to a small town in Vermont that we both love and asked me to marry him.

LB&EC Engagement

The proposal was so perfect in every way. And the fact that it happened right before Christmas, my absolute favorite time of the year, made it even more special. I still get tears in my eyes when I think about it (yes, I’m a cheeseball). I was able to celebrate with EC for a day before making the long trek out to PA and celebrate with my entire family – who hasn’t been all together since my sister got married last June.

So this year, I’m feeling especially cheesy and excited about all the greatness that is to come in 2012. I am thankful for the many blessings in my life, and looking forward the new adventures of next year.

I know I don’t share a lot of my life details with all of you, and so for those of you that read Health on the Run to follow my rambles about training – don’t worry. This isn’t going to become a wedding blog. I may be chronicling some of the planning elsewhere, but we’ll see. The fact of the matter is that I can talk about running all day long to anyone who will listen. I can look at every day for the next 4 months and know exactly what I need to do to make sure that when I toe the line in Boston, I am ready to run my heart out.

But when it comes to planning a wedding? I’m clueless! I’m not one of those girls that has dreamed about her perfect wedding since she was 5 years old. I don’t even really know where to begin. All I know is that I want to spend my life with EC – beyond that, the rest is just details.

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I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. Thank you for being such a huge part of my life this past year. I am thankful for each one of you who reads this blog, and excited to share the adventures of 2012 with you all.

Regular running chatter will resume soon. Boston training has begun!!

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