Jan 04

The Rundown – Fresh Start in 2016

Well hello and Happy New Year! It’s great to be back…well, it’s sort of ok to be back because being off was amazing. I had a fabulous two weeks filled with family, food and fitness. Of course there was also sickness, whining and stress so I’m glad that part is over.

Cheers to a fresh start in 2016!

cheers to a fresh start 2016

I have an overflow of information for The Rundown and will highlight the best of the last two weeks for your reading and viewing pleasure.



The weather was ridiculously warm here in the Northeast…right up until the sleet storm on 12/29. We like to start winter with a bang. Prior to that mess, I enjoyed so many long runs in shorts. In December. Unheard of!


Christmas Eve run. I'm pretty sure this is the first one I've ever done in shorts and a t-shirt. Festive socks were a must!

Christmas Eve run. I’m pretty sure this is the first one I’ve ever done in shorts and a t-shirt. Festive socks were a must!

Since running the NYC Marathon on November 1, I have been enjoying some much needed down time. I’ve been running, biking and swimming at my leisure (guess which one I’m doing the most of 🙂 with a focus on strength training at least twice a week.

All of that came to an abrupt halt on January 1st when I woke up with dry mouth and my first weeks worth of workouts from Coach Rocket Science. My first race goal of the year is The Columbia Triathlon in Maryland on May 15. Here we go…


I’ve been doing quite a bit of riding…in my basement. It’s actually good that I still don’t own a treadmill (something I’m hoping to change very soon) because if I did, I’m pretty sure I would not be on my trainer nearly as much as I was these past two weeks.

Because of the holidays and school schedule, I was up at 5am and sweating by 5:10. I usually came to around 5:15 and wondered how I got there and why my butt hurt.

I coupled each ride with some favorites from the IronStrength workout and huffed and puffed until the boys woke up.

I loved it.

IMG_7627 IMG_7643


In addition to the basement workouts, I spent more time in my garage doing hill repeats in between strength sessions. These workouts were more focused on the weights and body weight exercises and I threw in 4-6 runs up and down the mountain I live on, just for good measure. Well, that and I have a very hilly half-marathon I’m running at the end of February.

The problem with training in my garage is I look around at the mess in there and devise a clean-up plan post-workout. I have problems.

My wall of bibs and bling is also in my garage which supplies me with motivation…and gave me the motivation to finally hang up my NYC Marathon bib and medal along with all of the Runner’s World ones from way back in October!

It’s good to be Type A.



There is a hometown half my friends and I love to hate – the Colchester Half-Marathon on February 27. It’s hilly as hell, costs only $12 to race (it was $5 when I first ran it 10 years ago!) and is put on by one amazing man who cheers on the participants as he’s running his own course! There’s nothing quite like it and I’ve missed it the past two years.

I will be back for my 6th time running it this year and, just to put into perspective how hilly the course is, my “normal” half marathon PR is 1:28. My PR on this course is 1:38. Yes folks, that is a 10 minute gap. The race is also held no matter the weather. There have been years when parts of the course are completely covered in snow. It makes for a very interesting race.

The following graphic is very up to date (1998) and shows the technical topography (in black and white) of the course. We like to keep it high end in Colchester…

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 6.49.20 AM

Notice the long, grueling climb to the finish. My legs are burning just thinking about it.


It would be easier to list what I haven’t eaten, baked, cooked or food processed in the past two weeks. I’ll try to be brief but that’s not my forte.

I hosted Christmas Eve and it was fantastic! Thank you to Carly at Fine, Fit Day for giving me this super easy (which is key for me) and delicious (less important) cranberry salsa recipe. It was a huge hit!

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 6.54.48 AM

I also made meatballs, a baked brie, everyone’s favorite chicken and a bunch of other appetizers. I seriously cannot believe I pulled it all off. It was a great night and Christmas Day was even better!

It was so warm, everyone was in short sleeves for Christmas Eve!

It was so warm, everyone was in short sleeves for Christmas Eve!

It doesn't seem possible that we have spent 13 Christmases together!

It doesn’t seem possible that we have spent 13 Christmases together!


As per usual, my husband doesn’t listen to me when I explain what I want for Christmas. He also doesn’t look in the magazine where I circled actual pictures of what I want, nor does he remember the correct snowboarding jacket I tried on, right in front of him, when he “secretly” goes back to purchase it.

I love him but he is a terrible shopper/gift giver. I have to get to return pretty much everything he bought me. Well, except for the gift card. I already spent that. #NiceTry #IStillLoveYou


Finally getting the chance to tie this guy up!


My dad and stepmom bought the boys desks for Christmas and we needed to figure out how to get them assembled and keep them hidden until Christmas morning. So I came up with this plan.

My dad and stepmom took the boys for a few hours on Christmas Eve while my husband and I set up the desks and duct taped “Johnny” Elf to the door.

The boys LOVED it…but they also wanted to free Johnny and storm into the room. Obviously not the desired effect. Once we convinced them to stay out, and that Johnny was just fine, they showed everyone who came to Christmas Eve dinner.

It made for one of the best Christmas memories to date.



Sorry, but that is the best way I can explain why, at Bright Nights in Springfield, MA the “Peace On Earth” portion of the yearly festival of lights was sponsored by Smith and Wesson. In case you don’t know, Smith and Wesson manufacture firearms. Seriously? I cannot believe they had the balls to do it and it makes me want to take back the $21 I spent to drive through the light display. Shame on you.

You cannot sell assault rifles and sponsor the “peace on earth” display. Just stop.

Peace on Earth with NO THANKS to Smith and Wesson.

Peace on Earth with NO THANKS to Smith and Wesson.


Quickly changing gears to a motivational speaker you may have seen and heard on TED talks, Amy Cuddy’s talk on how Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are has been viewed by more then 30 million people! It’s that good. She has now authored a book on the topic titled Presence and I highly recommend reading it.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 7.22.50 AM

After watching the TED talk, don’t be surprised if you find yourself posing like a superhero before your next race…or job interview, or parent/teacher conference. Basically, any situation which calls for super powers.


I’m not happy to report that I have used this far too often in the past two weeks.

For the Packer/Cardinal game

For my kids behavior

For some adult behavior

For Bright Nights

The list goes on…


Originally we booked flights to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve because I wanted to see the Ronda Rousey fight, which was scheduled to be held on New Year’s Eve at MGM. Once we booked our tickets, they moved the fight to Nov 14 in Australia. Naturally.

We decided to still go because NYE and Las Vegas go well together but, slowly the plan started to unravel and it finally fell completely apart about two weeks ago. I was actually relieved when it happened and we were able to postpone our flights.

Instead, we settled on our little Las Vegas in Uncasville, CT in the form of the Mohegan Sun Casino.

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It did not suck and I’m so happy I’m home and not still in Vegas. Did I mention it’s like 30 degrees there? #DodgedThatBullet


“It’s January 1st whether you like it or not!” – Kathy Lee Gifford on the Today Show, first thing in the morning on Jan 1st. Yep, that’s pretty much how I feel about it…


Who or what would you ring the shame bell for?

Have you made a fresh start in 2016? Any resolutions?

How did you ring in the new year?


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  1. Why am I the first commenter? Because it is 2:15 am Los Angeles time and I am simultaneously suffering from insomnia and excitement over the end of the holiday period. Love the wall of bibs! Thank you for calling out the stupid firearms people sponsoring a peace on earth lights show….and I saw all those pics of you in your white fluffy fur vest….so cute.
    My goals for 2016, only a couple of them and you’ll likely read about them this week, but I’m making a mental note to add-in take advantage of #afterburn when I’m done with my runs!
    Paria@momontherunsanity.com recently posted…RenegotiationMy Profile

    1. YES to the after burn 🙂 and thank you!!
      I hope you’re curled up and sleeping somewhere at this point! Insomnia is the worst. At least you have a creative outlet… Cannot wait to read your new post!

    but I demand demand demand a full body shot as well.
    you look so feathery and fluffy it makes me think I NEEED THAT TOP.
    (see how I dodged the NYE query so well? not at great one here :))
    CARLA recently posted…4 reasons I advocate nighttime snacking.My Profile

    1. And you shall have it!! It’s actually a vest and I have sequin shorts on 🙂
      THANK YOU!! And nice dodge…

  3. I’ve missed your Rundown reports!!! So much to comment on but I’ll leave it to LOVE the Johnny the Elf idea. That’s genius!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Goals for 2016My Profile

    1. Why thank you, I certainly thought so…plus it got the boys out of my hair on Christmas Eve. Win/win!

  4. I chuckled to myself thinking about working out in our garage. My husband is a carpenter and our garage is full of crap, I mean souvenirs, leftovers from jobs that he’s been on. There are also tools and his home brewing equipment. He threatens to throw out my bike (which is now in the house on the trainer) and my kayak. As if they take up so much room…LOL!!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…It’s a wrap!My Profile

    1. That is too funny!! It drives me nuts that my husband never pulls his car into the garage because he has his heavy bag in the middle of his side! I have a rack on wheels for my multiple bikes – haha – and the kayaks are hung underneath our deck outside, and there is STILL clutter!!

  5. Happy new year sissy!! You guys had sleet on 12/29? I totally missed that one!! I love your Vegas pics, you look so pretty!! I just heard that the concert tickets I had for Janet Jackson were postponed in February. #nothappy. I can’t believe the irony of a gun manufacturer putting on a peace on earth display….really?! They deserve all the side eye emojis. I watched that Ted talk a while ago, I need to watch again!! I am super aware of my body language–sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing things!
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…PAGER – Have a Doctor in Your Home Within 2 Hours + A Freebie!My Profile

    1. Right back at you!!
      We didn’t make it to Vegas but were at a local casino. It was WILD in there on NYE!
      Total side eye emojis all the way for Smith and Wesson. Ridiculous.
      I’m also guilty of unintentional body language which is why I’m reading the book – yikes!!!

  6. Yeah we had some crazy weather too on 12.29. I love all your photos and it sounds like you had a productive few days during the Holidays. Congrats!

    I’m glad to see you back and happy 2016. For me, personally, I ate enough cookies/cake/whatever to ring the bell of shame LOL.
    Hollie recently posted…Training: An Unexpected 2.5 Year PRMy Profile

    1. No shame in your game girl!!! Congrats on your PR!!! Loved seeing all your fun pics over the break.

  7. I love all the photos and I love hearing about your training work out. I don’t really have such an organized work out plan for when I am training for a run. I guess that is why you have a much better PR than I do. Good luck on your race in February. That cranberry salsa looks awesome.

    1. HAHAHA!! It’s nice to also NOT have a plan 🙂
      Try the salsa – it’s so easy and so amazing. It was also suggested to me that I use in on a grilled cheese sandwich. YUM!

  8. Ummm, how about the Packers-Vikings game last night? SHAME.

    Welcome back friend! I’ve missed your Monday rundowns but it sounds like you had a great holiday and New Years! Let’s not even talk gifts. It’s impossible in our house. And I have Amy Cuddy’s book on my desk waiting for me to read. Totally fascinated by her work and good to hear you liked the book.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out Christine! Of course I was sleeping by the end of the game so I didn’t add it in but yes, SHAME!! At least we go to Washington next week and NOT Seattle since clearly they cannot handle the Seahawks right now!!!

      Of course you have Amy’s book. We are soul sisters. Can’t wait to compare notes 🙂 Assuming super girl position for the next few months!

  9. Wow- how exciting (and crazy) that you’re jumping back into training! I’m on easy mode for another month before official half training starts, but I’ll live through you. 🙂

    Sounds like a great break! And way to go pulling off that Christmas eve party!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Do your action steps match your goals?My Profile

    1. It’s actually great to be back on a grueling schedule. I’m so glad I really took it easy after NYC because now I’m raring to go. Enjoy your downtime now as a month will fly right by!!

  10. Happy New Year! We were so lame and watched Homeland on the couch drinking champagne. At least there were a bunch of fireworks at midnight we could see from our apartment!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…2016 Fitness & Wellness TrendsMy Profile

    1. That is not lame at all and the usual around here on NYE. We were actually saying how we haven’t truly partied on NYE since before the boys were born! I think I need to ring the shame bell for that 🙂

  11. Welcome back to blogville! Glad you loved that salsa, it is soooo good. You’re running the Colchester half on my birthday! 🙂

    Now – are you freaking kidding me with the gun manufacturer sponsoring a ‘Peace on earth ‘ display? That’s outrageous and I’m actually just as disgusted with the organizers for accepting their money.

    AND I think you should do some serious research and see if you can get a treadmill company to sponsor you (in the form of a treadmill)!
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted…What Went On in December (plus a recipe for Spumoni ice cream cake!)My Profile

    1. Thank you!! It’s good to be back – although, as you know I did not totally leave the social media world as that is just too much unconnectedness!

      I was thinking about that along the lines of a treadmill so I MAY see what I can pull off. I don’t know if I don’t ask, right?? Thanks mama!!

  12. Happy New Year! It sounds like you had a great Christmas and New Year!
    I just finished a hill repeat workout and just that elevation map for the Colchester half is making me want to cry a bit. That makes the hills of Seattle look tame!
    The weather seemed to go crazy every after Christmas. Our New Year was spent in St. Louis with no plans because floods delayed our flight home by two days.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Mile Markers: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Training Week 3My Profile

    1. Hills are hills so good work!!
      So sorry you had travel issues. Those can be so ugly, especially during the holidays!

  13. Whoo hoo for Moehgan Sun! So much fun! I spent my NYE at the hosptial, probably the only way to guarantee I would still be up at midnight….and OMG. You need some cheerleaders at your triathalon in MD don’t you? I think my hubby is out of town, but….my kids and I love to cheer on! We’d love to go if you’d have us!! Happy New Year!!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Weekly wrap: strict no running orders and getting ready to reset!My Profile

    1. I cannot tell you how excited I am at the prospect of meeting up at the triathlon!!! We are so overdue for a meeting. Fingers crossed at all goes well and that this is our year!

  14. Fresh start in 2016? I plan to get off my ass in terms of making the things I want really happen. Those dreams are being planned to make them realities in 2016. One of those dreams possibly being an East Coast trip in April. We’ll have to see!

    May your 2016 be an amazing one!

    PS – I love the feathery vest!
    Melissa Burton recently posted…How I Created A Guiding Word for 2016My Profile

    1. HAHAHA!! You should absolutely get off your ass and come to the east coast!

    • Ana on January 5, 2016 at 1:46 PM
    • Reply

    ha ha !! Husbands / fiancé’s are the worst at gift buying! I sent my fiancé a link for exactly what I wanted, and told him to not even bother to get anything else.

    1. I wish mine would let me do that!! He says he wants me to be surprised…well, mission accomplished! 🙂

  15. I just sent you a FB message about the Columbia race – it’s in my backyard! Well, almost.

    My hubby is not a great gift giver either, so I just buy what I want and tell him about it. Glad you had a great few weeks off from blogging, but it’s good to see you back here!
    Dana recently posted…Let’s get this year startedMy Profile

    1. SO exciting!!! I will message you back…

      I TRY to tell mine exactly what I want but that’s not working either. I’ll just keep getting things for myself. It’s so much easier that way 🙂

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