Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Happy Chanukah from my fur family to yours!

Happy Chanukah from my fur family to yours!

Good morning and  Happy Holidays! My favorite day of the year is here and to make it even more special it is also Chanukah! Last night was the first night of Chanukah but due to all of us cooking (my parents, my older sister, and me) we are actually celebrating big on Friday.

Today I will start my day off with a run. I have been running in the rain and wind the last two days and decided this morning I’ll head to the gym and run on the treadmill. I’m not sure what I’ll really do or how far I’ll go, but I’m sure it will be some type of intervals due to the fact I can’t run one pace on the treadmill for more than a few minutes!

After my morning run, my bf put together a group to head down south (only 30 minutes) to volunteer at a Church for a couple hours. Once we are done there, I’ll have a few hours to just relax and then it’s off to his family’s for a couple hours. Finally last stop will be my parents house! The very last Thanksgiving in my childhood home. The plus side to them moving is the fact they will be three miles away from me and 6 from my older sister (eventually my little sister will move back down this way); I will just have to run there often for dinner!

I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving! Even though we should be thankful for every day we are here on this planet and getting the chance to live. Make today extra special by recognizing how LUCKY we all truly are to be here!

Have a GREAT holiday!

Have a GREAT holiday!

Do you have special plans today?

Do you cook any special meals?

My signature items are the sweet potato casserole (my mom used to make it amazing and I took over), chunky chocolate chip banana bread, and chocolate chip banana bread. My house smelled like a sweet shop last night!

10 Lessons Running Teaches You About Life

Good morning everyone! Only two more days until Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday EVER (I don’t celebrate celebrate Christmas) because it is BIG in our family. My parents have been hosting it since forever and this year will be the LAST year in basically my childhood home; I lived there from 3 to 23. so.sad. Of course my parents will still host it in there new and closer home to myself and my sister’s family (they live around the block from me). Anyway, more Thanksgiving talk later in the week!

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 – Buffet Style

As far as my running right now I have no plan. I am pretty sure the 5 miler on Saturday ended racing season until March. I want to focus on a strong half for the 2014 year. I ran times I knew I was capable of but was so excited to execute this season. I am looking forward to running even faster in 2014 and for right now it’s just going to be easy low key runs and days off when I feel like it (well, I’ll see what coach has planned for me).

I recently read this article 10 Lessons Running Teaches You About Life. They are all so dead on. I tried picking my absolute favorite but the reality is they are all so true. One that really stood out is number 6. Many people think I am crazy, insane, or just don’t have a life because I fit my run in either at 4:30 am or at the end of a work day. Truth is, I make time to run. It’s something I love and enjoy doing so I make it a priority.

6.  You do have time– you just have to make it.

If something is important to you, you’ll make time for it.  If not, you’ll make excuses.

I found number 10 to just be inspirational.

10. There is peace even in the most chaotic times.

No matter now grueling, stressful, sorrowful, or painful your situation is, there is always a silver lining and something positive to be found.  Seek it out, learn from it, and keep moving on.

What lessons has running taught you?

Running has been my therapy. Through all my years it has been my time to go out there and leave it out there. 

Can you relate to any of the 10 lessons?

A PR and Group Run

Where did the weekend go?

Saturday I ran a local 5 mile Turkey Trot. Prior to the race I had a few goals in my mind. My first goal was to run under 32, around 32, 31:40, or just come in the top 5. I picked under and around 32:00 because my best is a 32:38 (I think); then I chose a 31:40 because I figured it’s 5, 6:20 paced miles, I can do that. It was a nice late start which allowed me to eat my normal breakfast, relax a bit, and then head over to the race. It was a coooooold windy morning.

I got to the race around 9:45, went to the bathroom a few times, and then did my warm up. Around 10:40,  I went to use the bathroom again (I think this was my fourth time while at the race) and the line was ridiculous. I jogged around looking for Port-A-Potties (there are bunch around people’s houses right now because of the rebuilding from the hurricane), but they were all locked up! Finally I ran up onto the boardwalk near the start and found the bathroom but of course the women’s bathroom was locked! We all just decided to let the men use the urinals and we would use the stalls.

After I used the bathroom, again, I ran down to the start. It was insanely crowded and I pushed and dodged my way to the front. I took off some of my throw-a-way clothes and left on one long sleeve. Right at 11:00 we were off. One of the runners there I have yet to beat; we see each other at a lot of local races and she usually just beats me. About half a mile in I thought oh wow, do I feel my half marathon from a two weeks ago! I didn’t know how the rest of the race would go. I just made sure to keep this girl within my reach and do what I know I can (one girl was way out in front).  Around mile 2.5, I made my move and passed my friendly rival (I tried taking her with me) and I just kept telling myself to push the pace. I did just that and I felt pretty good. I don’t wear a garmin when I run; I wear a $5 Walmart watch so I have no idea what my individual miles were but I passed the clocks around these times (someone said they think mile 2 – 3 was off or was it 3 – 4…I don’t remember).

Mile 1 : 6:09, Miles 2: 12:34, Mile 3: 19:01, Mile 4: 25:24 (I think, to be honest, I don’t even remember if I looked at their clock or at my watch after passing the 4th mile), and Mile 5: 31:39/31:40 (I’m not sure which one it is, they have me at 31:39, but I think I might have been 31:40).

Whether it’s 31:39 or 31:40, it is still a PR after an awesome racing season. I came in 2nd female overall. Unfortunately, I missed the award ceremony because I thought it was back at the bar it started at and not the finish line. I’ll survive! I’ll take a PR over any award, prize, etc any day!

Sunday morning was the first cold cold windy windy run of the season. Saturday was cold and windy as in the low 40s with 15mph winds. Sunday OMG it was low 20s and 30mph winds (no joke on those winds). Sunday night one of my pots that made it through Hurricane Sandy outside my house fell and shattered every where. Lets just say if it weren’t for the group run Sunday I don’t know if I would have gotten out of my warm bed to run in that weather. Once we got going, it was still that cold. I had no run distance on my schedule; I was able to talk a few people into running 12 with me which was nice. Final run 12.2, 1:34:17. done.and.done!

After the run, it was one of our fellow runners birthdays. We went inside to the fireplace and celebrated before we all headed home for Sunday football.

Sunday Group Run Crew

Sunday Group Run Crew

(They always throw me into the middle so I’m hunched over in that pose; it’s become a let’s all make fun of Meagan!)

How was your weekend?

Do you run with a group? Does it help you stay motivated in the winter months?

Compression Sleeves…

Good evening everyone and HAPPY FRIDAY! Today was absolutely insane and I didn’t even have time on my lunch break to blog (sorry to all my readers — family 😉 )!

i love minions :)

i love minions 🙂

Yesterday after work I came home, changed and went out for a quick 50 minute run + 6 striders. The weather was perfect for running and it was just one of those enjoyable runs! After my run, I took my pup for a quick walk and then I had to get his stuff together to send him on his way for the week (I know custody of a dog…weird!).

On the upside of last night, I got to visit one of my best friends and her beautiful son. It was so nice to catch up and see his handsome face! He is only 17 months old and he’s going to be a big brother in February! I can’t wait to meet her little lady! so.exciting!

Tonight will be a relaxing night! The bf is coming over right from work and I am cooking him dinner (or so I tricked him into thinking so.). Neither one of us can make decisions about what to eat and so I told him I would make grilled chicken, portobello mushroom, roasted red peppers, and fresh mozz on a wrap (I ordered it from a local pizza place). I hope he likes it!

Tomorrow we are both running a local Manasquan Turkey Trot. A bunch of his friends do it every year as a big group. Last year it was cancelled due to the hurricane. A lot of local speedy runners will be there so I am looking forward to racing!

My last thoughts…

Recently I came across this article titled Why I Will Not Sell Calf Compression Sleeves; the Risk of DVT in Runners. I found it to be very interesting and informative. I’ve never ran in sleeves, I use the compression socks.

What are your thoughts about compression sleeves?

Love them/Hate them?

If you’ve never tried them, would you try them now after reading this article?

Finally! My inflexibility….

Good morning and Happy Thursday!! 🙂

cute_happy_thursday_week_greeting_text_expression_poster-rcd3458246ba74a4d8e6fb3e77df9427a_feovf_8byvr_512

Yesterday I talked about how I was a bit stressed. I had a ton of stuff going on and my mind was rushing all over the place. Like I said I just knew I had to let go and well that’s what I did. I went home did what I had to do. Went on my nice hour (and two minute) run, ate a grapefruit (I know random and I forgot how delicious they are with truvia sprinkled on top), leashed up my dog, and took him on the afternoon adventures. He was very good running around and hanging out in the car while I ran my errands and did my desk shift at the yoga studio. The night ended relaxing with the pup, boy, and some good laughs!

Apparently my inflexibility isn’t a bad thing. I have been doing yoga for about three years! Yes, three years and I am still so inflexible it pains me to watch people touch their toes (I can do all the strength stuff and inversions but anything that has to do with flexibility…not.so.much)! I have been at this yoga studio for two years and working the desk for 1.5 years; I take all different classes and try to go at least two times a week (this week…fail). Even the instructors come over and help me out because it is that bad! One of my favorite classes (which I actually haven’t been to in a while and that will change Monday night), he would come over and literally hold me in position.

So anyway, back to this inflexibility stuff. I was on my Facebook yesterday and on my news feed I saw an article from Competitor Magazine that was posted saying… Study: Better Runners Are…Inflexible? After reading this article I felt a little better about my can’t touch my toes situation! I go to yoga to get a good stretch and sometimes I go to yoga for an awesome workout (it depends on the class I take); I know yoga is beneficial and I know I am “stretching” and it’s ok for me to not be flexible. As long as I am doing the right things for my body, I don’t have to feel bad that I am so not flexible!

Today is a regular/easy run day and I am excited because it’s supposed to be fifty degrees (I know for some of you that is freezing, but for us Jersey people it’s shorts and t-shirt/long sleeve t-shirt running).

Enjoy your day!

Let it Go…

Good morning and happy hump day! It’s all ready been a pretty crazy and stressful morning to say the least. As soon as I start feeling a little bit stressed, I take a step back and remind myself that everything will be ok; I just have to go with the flow and I can only do so much. Here are two quotes that helped me let go this morning.

truth!

truth!

exactly

exactly

After getting to work and unloading some of the stress to my colleague, I felt a little better. I also asked to take my lunch at the end of the day so I can rush out to take care of the things that need to be taken care of ASAP. I am a teacher, but I don’t have a classroom anymore if that makes sense to anyone. (side note: I am a data instructional coach which is now high in demand by districts because everything is data data data. I just finished my supervisor certification and I knew this position would help me move up in the field of education. I do miss seeing my students every day though, they got me through some of the toughest times last year.)

As I said yesterday, yesterday was my first “workout” since the half marathon. It wasn’t really a workout workout directed by my coach because he told me to just do distance this week. I figured I had a race this Saturday and wanted to see how my hamstring would hold up so I decided to through some race pace sprints in there. I did 8×1 minute hard with a 1 minute run between. The hard pace ranged from 6:00 – 5:52 and the 1 minute run in between was a 7:53 pace. My hamstring held up and I wanted to do more but I knew I shouldn’t push it. I just wanted to make sure I could feel fast without passing out before Saturday. A lot of great speedy local runners do this race!

Just remember… Unknown

How do you turn your day around if you’re feeling down?