Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Saturday, December 29, 2012

And just like that……

I’ve reached 1400 miles for the year!!

Thanks friends for all your encouragement through the year!  I wish you all a great wrap up to your 2012 year of running!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cutting it close

So it’s December 27th and I haven’t run since December 23rd.  That generally wouldn’t make a blog post because I usually don’t fret over an extra couple days rest – especially around the holidays.  But if you read my blog post around my 2012 mileage quest, you know that I’m hoping to finish off 2012 at 1400 miles.  It all seemed very feasible when I wrote that post.  And then I became one of the cool kids and picked up “the cold”.

After over a year with no colds or flu or any other ailment, I awoke on Christmas morning to the sore throat, sniffles, chest congestion, ear ache, fever, and general malaise.  Groovy.
Who invited them to Christmas??

What I find ironic is that I remained super healthy throughout the past year of the hardest training ever, my longest training runs, 4 marathons +, and of course, my longest race to date.  And now that I’m in more “relaxed” mode, BAM, I become a germ target.  So I guess I just need to find another 50 miler to train for.  Clearly, relaxing is my kryptonite. 

OK, I’m not really going to sign up for another 50 miler (right now), but I am still gunning for my 1400 miles!  11 miles to go…wish me luck J

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best gifts ever

2 beautiful handmade gifts by Mom –

Cool mosaic tile art runner dude and a beautiful winter wonderland quilt
Close up of mosaic runner - check out the sweat drops!!  Does Mom know her son-in-law or what!
Can’t beat gifts handmade with love.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sticker Shock

I notice stickers of all kinds on the back of cars.  13.1, 26.2, 70.3, 140.6.....  While driving home from work the other day, I noticed a sticker on the car in front of me that confused me.  As I got closer, I saw the sticker read 104.9.  I started doing the math.  I don't do math in my head very well, so started to chalk up my inability to equate 104.9 to some athletic distance to my own mathematical challenge.

As I got even closer to the vehicle (don't worry, I wasn't THAT driver), I realized the sticker’s small print referred to 104.9.....the local radio station.

Talk about a one track mind!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


This week, I took a trip to my VT workplace.  It’s been too long since I’ve made the trip and, other than missing my Scott & Bella terribly, I enjoy seeing my coworkers again.  This trip was not the most productive one, but that’s only if you define productive as strictly “getting work done”.  To alleviate a little bit of stress over not getting work done, I chose to define productive as strengthening the relationships with my coworkers and celebrating some holiday cheer as well.

I did a little pre-work for this trip.  Along with the usual packing for a few days in VT, I grabbed my Rubbermaid drop box I used for Stone Cat and turned it into a Christmas Cookie Container.  Yep, 42 of these gems jumped aboard for the long drive.  Special delivery folks!!

42 bags was the result of a full weekend of baking….lots and lots of baking.  I felt like one of Santa’s helpers as I handed out the little snack bags to the people I’ve worked with over the past 11 months.  And it made me smile.  The baking, the packaging, and the delivery all made me smile.   The recipients seemed to really enjoy them, which again, made me smile.

Another thing that made me smile was helping the Salvation Army with their Christmas gift distribution effort.  Dressed in layers, a group of us coworkers arrived at the Salvation Army warehouse and got right to work.  Some of us organized toys and clothes that just arrived and others took on the role of “shopper”, armed with family lists and bags/carriages.  Shoppers walked around the age category labeled tables and shelves and tried to find each item listed for each family member on each list.  We QC’d the boxes of gifts, compared the contents against the lists, and marked them as “done”.  We noticed some age groups were lighter than others in the toy department and also that clothing was scarce.

Some of the toys made us screech with “OMG, remember this?” or “Wow, I used to love this toy!”  Other times, conversations became more somber, as we realized just how sad it was that some families were in such need.  We witnessed one man who entered the warehouse with his young daughter (maybe 7 yrs old), explained to her that some kids don’t have what she has, etc. and then quietly left.  Big life lesson unfolded right in front of us.

At the end of this trip, I’m tired but satisfied.  I’m also energized and in much more of the Christmas spirit than I was before I headed north.  I love having created my little cookie gifts and giving them out, I loved the look of surprise when they realized I thought of them, and I loved volunteering at Salvation Army and doing something that wasn’t at all about me.

So what if my emails are behind and many to-do’s aren’t even started!  Productivity this week came in a very different form – relationships, holidays, and humility.  Emails and spreadsheets will still be there tomorrow.  They always are....


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I’m the first person to say “it’s not all about the number”, but I’m human and competitive with myself.  I’ve scratched and crawled my way to try to reach 1000 miles in a calendar year.  I’ve also had a handful of years where I had very few miles to celebrate, while focused on other things.  Not that I place a lot of energy on that goal, but of course, by around mid-December of any given year, it suddenly taunts me.  This year is quite different in my goal and expectation.  With three marathons and one 50 miler under my belt for 2012 (and all the training miles that supported those endeavors), I’m flirting with my first 1400 mile year!

Gulp.  I’m humbled.  I really am.

Every year – every day – is different.  2012 has been phenomenal for me in that it provided a new palate for me to dabble with all sorts of new colors in the form of ultra training.  I ventured into miles never even dreamt of prior to this past summer.  And I didn’t break!  I embraced a combination of faster shorter distances married with longer (31 miles long enough??) slower distances.  Even with such a solid training cycle, I never lost respect for this new distance I was contemplating. 

I’m excited for the New Year – in fact, it’s my most favorite holiday of the year.  No, seriously, it is!  I love it more than any other holiday during the year.  I love wiping the board clean, I love reflecting over the past year (good or bad), and I love pondering over what the new year might bring.  I don’t really get into “New Year Resolutions”, but I do love this time of renewal.

Whether I make 1400 miles for the year or I end at 1398, it’s all good.  Although I won’t hurt myself trying to cram in the miles over the next couple of weeks, I will continue to run and ask my body to cooperate as it has been doing.  And maybe a little more.

Cheers to a great 2012, a running mileage milestone, a marathon PR, a distance PR.  And cheers to all of you for following along so far.  Stay tuned to see if the DailyMile turns to 1400 anytime soon!

And soon, it will be time to begin again J

Friday, December 7, 2012


Recently, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been losing traction.  Not just from a running perspective, but from a life perspective in general.  Last Saturday, we had an almost all day snow that, although only amounted to a trace amount on the ground, created havoc on the roads.  While out running errands of my own, I came across two bad accidents, with one closing the road completely. 

I had headed out earlier for a run to find this in our driveway –
Gotta love friends who run by our house and leave their mark!
Running was tough that morning.  I felt like I couldn’t get my footing.  I’m anxious to get back into my normal stride again, my normal speed, and my normal natural running “feel”, but found it frustrating because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get any traction.  It would probably have been easier with a foot of snow instead of an inch.

Work is another area of my life that has recently found me losing traction.  Our team has been down a person since October, there are a ton of projects competing for attention…thus explaining the feeling that every step forward means two back.

And of course, there’s Christmas.  Christmas has a way of taking something that should be special (whether one is religious or not) and turning it into a crazy, chaotic spending spree.  I don’t consider myself a Scrooge - I love certain things (i.e. music, family, baking) about Christmas, but in general, I’ve had a hard time gaining traction in that area for a number of years now.

Wednesday felt like the icing on the chaotic cake I’ve been stuffing my face with.  I had a company meeting in the city next to my office.  It should’ve taken approximately 10 minutes to get there.  It took a little over 45 minutes, with 3 lanes of traffic trying to merge off of the busy highway onto an exit ramp that was snarled by an accident.  Super.  Later, I left the meeting only to rejoin more chaos and additional accidents.  On a good note, I was not part of any of the accidents I crawled by.  Glass half full folks.

So what is one to do? 

How do we go from this –
To this –
During that ride home, I started to relax as I realized I do have control over many of the slippery slopes in my life.  Traction is gained in different ways.  Sometimes, it’s about getting better shoes or better tires.  For me, most times it's about slowing down to speed up.

This week, I chose “slowing down to speed up” by doing this –

Which included some much needed “fixing” of the hair –
Fun to go "straight" for a day!  Don't worry, the curls are already back in force!
Chased with some of this –
 While watching/listening to this –

I think it's working!!  Aaahh....

How do you gain/regain your traction?