There was a certain calmness to my first week in December. I’m still high on memories from a great Thanksgiving holiday, my workouts are on my terms with no race goal in the near future, the weather has yet to turn brutally cold and school for the kids is lulling in between fun activities and early dismissals.

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This sweatshirt reads PRAY FOR SNOW on the back. So far, no one has thrown anything at me for wearing it. What? I want to go snowboarding!

I’m savoring this week because the shit will most certainly hit the fan in the two weeks before Christmas, and then life will move at the speed of light into a new year. Before I know it I will be in the depths of Christmas clean-up, a new year hangover (in every sense) and staring down a huge fitness goal.

For now, I will relax into the last weeks of 2015 and be ok with the calm.

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 30, 2015

RUNNING

My runs have been amazing! There’s really something to all this resting business. I feel like I have new legs, or at least fresh ones, and each run has been better then the last. I feel like I’m falling in love with running all over again, probably due in no small part to knowing I will be dedicating 2016 to triathlon and will be backing off my usual huge mileage.

Two big thumbs way up...even in the cold rain.

Checking my watch once I make it back to my driveway. Huge smile and two big thumbs way up…even in the cold rain.

For now, I have been running blissfully outside, no matter the weather and have very purposefully not been looking at my watch. The result?

Monday: 6.55 miles | 7:45 pace

Tuesday: 8 miles | 7:47 pace

Wednesday: 5 miles (before Barre class) | 7:42 pace

Friday: hill repeats and boot camp | 8:00 average x 4 grueling, colossal hill repeats

Saturday: 8 miles with a friend but still averaged 7:55 pace

Total consistency. Gotta love that!

Total mileage: 31.55

SWIMMING

In all honesty, my swimming has been hit or miss. In the three times I swam in the past 10 days I had one good swim where I felt strong though out. Not sure what is going on but I am spending a lot of time in my head thinking “I need to swim a mile in open water!” Which is probably not the best mantra since it’s in a scary, child like voice.

The good news is I got a great deal on a ROKA wetsuit which should greatly improve my swim efficiency!

Total swim: 4600 meters | 2.8 miles

BARRE/STRENGTH TRAINING

Wednesdays have officially become my favorite of the week. Yes, hump day and I are friends since I get to run, take Barre class, then run some more. Barre has become more challenging lately and I can definitely feel the difference in my legs from my pre-class run and then post-class run. Ouch!

Since the post-Thanksgiving garage boot camp with hill repeats worked out so well, I decided to make it a weekly thing. This mountain I live on never gets easier to run up, but then I wouldn’t get stronger, right? That’s what I keep telling myself as I trudge up it!

Stretching it out afterward with peace and love.

Stretching it out afterward with peace and love.

FUEL

I saw this while grocery shopping, because I am always grocery shopping, and couldn’t believe I haven’t seen it before:

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Of course I had to get it because duh it’s ice cream and I have twins! In case you’re wondering, my “third twin” is my husband. He will agree. He will also eat most of this before I can.

I’m also loving this super easy and delicious protein pancake recipe I spied on Greatist via TastyKitchen.com. I love when I see a recipe and already have all the ingredients! I also love that it’s a serving for one, since I’m the only one in my house who would eat these.

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RACING

I’ve been searching for a 5K I can do before the end of the year and I finally found one that fits my schedule and isn’t too far away. Bonus – the entry fee is a new, unwrapped toy to be given to a kid who will truly appreciate it this year.

I also bought these because I feel like you have to wear something festive for a Holiday Toy Dash and you know I’m not wearing a costume. Not happening.

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GEAR

Besides the socks I have been up to my eyeballs in new gear…

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These amazing wind-breaking, cold smashing, covers of warmth are called balaclavas and this piece of winter running gear is from my good friends at TrailHeads. Luckily it hasn’t truly been cold enough for me to test it out, but just putting it on made me feel all warm and fuzzy…because the inside is lined with the warmest, fuzziest fleece ever! #HoldMe

You may have seen this next beauty on Instagram, because you’re stalking me. It’s ok. Stalk away.

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I wore this ponytail headband (minus the ponytail) on a rainy, cold, miserable day and it kept my ears warm, my beats dry and washed well afterward. What more can you ask of your headbands? If it made my lunch I would marry it. Sorry dear. Despite it’s lack of cooking skills, it works well when not running too. I know, shocking. This is one of those non-runner gifts to get for everyone on your list. Well, every female at least…

My SIL demos this much nicer with her long locks.

My SIL demos this much nicer with her long locks. Too bad we don’t exchange gifts. #SorryNotSorry

[Tweet “Winter running gear? Get it here! @TrailHeadsCT #ponytailheadband #balaclavas”]

THINGS I LOVE

Having The Yankee Candle flagship store basically all to ourselves. What the hell is a Yankee Candle flagship store you ask? I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

I highly recommend going on a rainy Wednesday when your kids get out early from school. Otherwise, it's a madhouse this time of year.

I highly recommend going on a rainy Wednesday when your kids get out early from school. Otherwise, it’s a madhouse this time of year.

Yes, it actually "snows" every four minutes. Guess how long we stood there?

Yes, it actually “snows” every four minutes. Guess how long we stood there?

They were SO excited about making their own candles! It was pretty cool.

They were SO excited about making their own candles! It was pretty cool.

No candle store is complete without a giant pastel colored ship in the middle of a candy store, right? WTH?

No candle store is complete without a giant pastel colored ship in the middle of a candy store, right? WTH?

THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH

Surprise chaffing! After that 8 miler on Saturday with a friend of mine, I unzipped my fleece to find this on whatever you call those bones that stick out from under your neck…

So ladylike and attractive.

So ladylike and attractive.

Super attractive and just in time for my husband’s company holiday party later that night. #IHadSomeExplainingToDo

READING

So I told you all about the two books I absolutely hated this year, and one I loved to hate, so let’s get to the good one:

The Good Girl | Mary Kubica – I love the way this suspenseful kidnapping story is set up. Each chapter is from the perspective of one of the main characters either “before” or “after” the main event. In similar style to Gone Girl there is an intense back and forth that leaves you reeling and never truly trusting your instinct on what exactly happened. And, unlike Gone Girl I actually like these characters…even the bad guy. I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds.

TELEVISION

I haven’t had much to talk about on this front, until now! I recently discovered (via ESPNW) a Netflix female superhero show – Jessica Jones. I know what you’re thinking – superhero shoes are for nerds. Well, yes, you are correct and I usually ignore them completely but, this one is amazing.

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The lead is played by Krysten Ritter (she was Pinkman’s girlfriend in Breaking Bad) who has super strength but she doesn’t hit you over the head with it. Get it? Ok, so I will never be a writer for the show but, let me tell you, this show has it all – intrigue, sex, women kicking ass and complete and utter shocking scenes with a story line that will leave your mouth hanging open.

Sold? There is no calm in this storm.

RANDOM QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 “In training, you listen to your body. In competition, you tell your body to shut up.”

– Rich Froning Jr., four-time CrossFit Games champion

How was your week?

Did you go anywhere exciting?

What new gear do you love or are you gifting this year?