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.

LAST TWO WEEKS OF DECEMBER 2015

RUNNING

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…

CYCLING

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.

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STRENGTH TRAINING

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.

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RACING

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…

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

FUEL

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!

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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!

GEAR

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

THINGS I LOVE

Finally getting the chance to tie this guy up!

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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.

THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH

Bullshit.

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.

READING

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.

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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.

MUSIC RINGTONE

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…

NEW YEAR’S EVE FESTIVITIES

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

RANDOM QUOTE OF THE WEEK(S)

“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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