Wrapping up Black Cat Week 1

The first week of the new year is in the books so it’s a good time to get back to weekly updates. I’m linking up with Holly and new host Wendy for the Weekly Wrap – this a great link up to find support and motivation, so be sure to stop by and check out how everyone spent their first week of 2018.

For me, this week marked the start of my training for the Black Cat 10 miler. While I was all fired up to hit the pavement, Mother Nature had something to say about it.

Monday – New Year’s Day & a rest day

Tuesday – Strength training. While I usually run on Tuesdays, a quick glance at the weather and the snowstorm coming on Thursday had me juggling my schedule so I could keep an every-other-day run schedule.

Wednesday – Bitter temps settled in and with hill repeats on my plan I ran my first miles of the year on the mill.

Thursday – Cross training by way of shoveling 12 inches of snow thanks to the “bomb cyclone”.

Friday – Sub-zero temps and ridiculous winds meant I was heading back to the gym for another run. The highlight was having my son join me!

Saturday – I was feeling very beat up after Friday’s run (happens often to me after mill runs) so I was happy to have a rest day.

Sunday – Yeah it was 1 degree so back to the gym I went. 6 more miles on the mill.

So while I would have preferred to have run outdoors, I’m happy with 13 miles to kick off this training cycle. The forecast shows a warm-up into the 30s this week so I’ll look forward to hitting the road.

So how was your first week of the year? Are you training for anything?

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5 Things for January Coffee

It’s time once again for a little catch up over coffee!

Didn’t we just do this? I swear it sometimes hard to keep track of how fast the days are moving. I’m linking up with Coco and Deborah for the Ultimate Coffee Date, so grab a mug of your fave hot beverage and let’s chat.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the holidays were a little bittersweet for us as my father-in-law passed away peacefully on Christmas Day. He was a true gentleman with a quick smile and kind word for everyone. His passions were his family, skiing, sailing, and painting and I hope to be doing as much as he was when I reach 92! I’m so grateful that we all got to spend time with him over Thanksgiving and my husband got in one more trip just before Christmas Eve.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that thanks to the Bomb Cyclone (really who comes up with this stuff?!) it’s been tough to get back into the swing of a regular routine. The kids started back to school on Tuesday, only to be home Thursday and Friday thanks to blizzard conditions. I love a good “snow day” but I have a sinking feeling Monday morning re-entry is going to be tough!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my husband, brother and I are doing Run the Edge‘s “Run This Year” challenge. While I don’t set annual mileage goals, I think doing this as a team will be fun! My brother’s planning on some Spartan races and my husband J will be doing trail races so I think 2,018 miles collectively is totally doable – and I’m sure there will be some serious trash talking between the 3 of us over who’s logging the most 🙂

A fun medal for 2,108 miles!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that since sharing my running goals, I’ve become a little obsessed with trying to decide which marathon to run this fall. I’m itching to get my race calendar settled but want to select the marathon first and then build around it.

And, speaking of goals, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have no shortage of house projects I want to take on for this year. At the top of the list is purging from top to bottom and clearing out all of the stuff we’re not using. It was clear to me as I was struggling to come up with gift ideas for both J and the kids that we really don’t need any more stuff – and that in fact, we could stand to shed some things. So, starting this month I’m going room by room – and dragging my family along kicking and screaming…wish me luck!

What would you tell me over coffee? Got a marathon suggestion? Did you get hit by the Bomb Cyclone?

I’m also linking up with Meranda, Lacey, and Rachel for the Friday Five.

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One word and 2018 Goals

I love the energy of a new year! Hopes are high and all things are possible!

If you’ve been around here for awhile then you know I’m a big goal setter. 2017 proved to be a challenging year for my fitness and running goals as I spent most of the year in what seemed like a continual cycle of injury and recovery. As a result, my training was derailed and I only ran one race for the whole year! Once I finally took the big step back I needed, stopped trying to train and gave myself all the time I needed to heal I was finally able to turn the corner. I finished the year feeling good and excited for what 2018 will bring!

One word for 2018.

For the past few years, I’ve picked one word as the theme for my year across all areas of my life  – and this year’s word is “Brave.” Personally, professionally, and in my running, I want to stretch beyond my comfort zone.

2018 Running Goals.

  • Run a marathon — This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and have always come up with a reason to talk myself out of it. But this is the year to take on 26.2! I haven’t settled on which one yet – that’s a post for another day. I do know it will be a fall race so I can give myself ample time to get ready.
  • Improve my nutrition —  This is a carryover from last year. I need to identify the right fueling strategy for my runs and do a much better job giving my body what it needs post-run. I’m participating in Laura’s Fit and Fueled Nutrition course for runners which will give me a great start here!
  • Be consistent with strength training and cross training — When I look back on when I’ve had great running years, one thing is clear – I’m not someone who can just run. I need to balance my running with both strength work and cross-training if I’m going to stay injury-free and make it to the starting line.
  • Return to racing — I really missed the whole experience of participating in races last year. Beyond a marathon, I’m looking forward to running other distances, being a part of the Rock ‘n’ Blog team, and hopefully some blogger meet-ups.
Setting goals for 2018 #bebrave #yearofthemarathon #oneword Click To Tweet

Rohn Quote

Have you set your goals for 2018?

I’m linking up with ErikaMarcia, and Patty for Tuesdays on the Run, where the theme today is, of course, goals. I can’t wait to see what others are planning for this year!

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2017 Top Five Posts

I love this week between Christmas and New Year’s Day – there’s always some great time to hang out with the family, time to reflect, and time to plan for the new year.

While I’m still tweaking my goals a bit and will share those soon, today I’m sharing my annual look back at my top 5 posts for the year. It’s always interesting for me to see which posts generated the most interest  – so here are my top 5 for 2017 (according to Google Analytics):

5 Tips for Running on the Track — While the track is my favorite place for speedwork, it surprised me that this post from the summer continues to have the highest page views.

Running with Kids  — This is actually a post from 2014 but makes the list every year. Sharing my love of running with my kids has been a big part of my running journey, and it makes me smile to know that others are looking to share running with their kids too.

Runfessions of an Injured Runner — This was a hard post to write cause I had to admit that I was too injured to train for my fall goal race.

5 Benefits of Planking — Clearly I’m not the only one who believes in the power of planking as this is another post that continues to draw views.

Five Tips to Become an Early Morning Runner — Honestly, I’ve been struggling to get out of bed lately so I may need to re-read this one!

Given that this year’s top 5 were all Friday Five posts it seems only fitting that I’m linking up with and Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

Thanks for sharing in the fun around here this year! 

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Runner Rebuild Week 7 – Time for Training

It was another blur of a week, as evidenced by the fact that I have almost no pictures from the week. Despite the lack of documentation, I’m joining Holly & Tricia for the Weekly Wrap as I wrap-up week 7 of my “runner rebuild”.

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 400-meter repeats.

Wednesday – Finally found my yoga mat again for a much-needed stretch.
Thursday – I had planned to run, but a clash of schedules turned this into an unplanned rest day.
Friday – Strength workout
Saturday – Does cleaning and Christmas prep count as cross-training?
Sunday –  5 more miles

All-in-all a pretty uneventful week. It’s been a l-o-n-g time since I attempted anything that resembled speedwork, but I thought I’d mix it up a little and test the waters as I get ready to start a training plan again.

While I’m still trying to figure out my racing schedule for 2018, I learned this week that the lottery gods were not kind to me and I’ll have to wait another year for a chance at Cherry Blossom 🙁 But, on the other hand, I got a great discount offer on a race I’ve wanted to do for a while so I jumped on it and registered for the Black Cat 10-Miler.

I’ve often mentioned how much I love the 10-mile distance and I’ve wanted to run this one for a while, but the timing has never worked. So with an early March race now set, it’s time for training. Once I get my son’s hockey schedule I may add a couple of races in February too, but Black Cat will be an early goal race – if I can run it well, it will set the stage for half marathons to come.

Have you registered for a 2018 race yet?

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5 tips for planning your 2018 race calendar

So many races and so little time! Does Anyone else feel this way?

With just weeks to go until the new year, have you started mapping out your race schedule? Today I’m sharing a few tips for planning your 2018 race calendar.

Start with your goal race — Do you have one big goal race for the year? Typically, I’ve picked a goal half marathon for the spring and another for the fall. Once you get the key race or races figured out, you can fill in from there, adding tune-up races or other shorter distance events that could line-up nicely with your training plans.

Think about your training preferences — Do you loathe the idea of heavy mileage in the summer heat? Then perhaps an October race is not for you. Not a fan of winter running or having to log long miles on the ‘mill to avoid snow…then maybe you want to pass on those early spring races.

Consider all impact events — Family/friends weddings, major school events for the kids, etc. You’ll want to make sure you don’t pick your goal race for the same weekend as a major family gathering (I’ve already got Columbus Day weekend blocked off for my nephew’s wedding). Or, perhaps you don’t want to be at the peak of marathon training on a weekend you need to be out of town.

Let’s talk budget — We all know race registrations can get pricey so, of course, your budget has to be part of the planning process. Are you hoping to do some traveling next year or are you staying local? Going big or sticking with smaller, more affordable races? Keeping an eye out for race discount codes and great airline and hotel deals can help defray the costs of a racecation, but planning well in advance is key. Early registration will always save you some cash, so the earlier you can commit the better.

Know your body — It can be pretty easy to get caught up in race fever and want to “run all the races” – especially when it feels like everyone you follow on social media is running a particular race. But it is important to know your body and factor in the downtime it needs. Breaks from racing and training are important to keep you from burning out both mentally and physically – so plan accordingly.

Planning tips for your 2018 race calendar #runchat #bibchat #running Click To Tweet

I’m joining Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

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Weekly Wrap – Catching my breath

Another whirlwind week is done! Thanks to juggling work, home, and volunteer commitments I was once again running around like my hair was ablaze. Workouts were whittled down events but did happen in some fashion.

Monday:  A rare Monday run…and at night no less!

Tuesday:  Rest.

Wednesday: 3-mile run

Thursday: Strength work

Friday: Yoga was planned but didn’t happen

Saturday: 4 miles and the first snow run of the season!

I’m relieved to say that J’s work-related travel is done for a while and he was back in time for us to attend his office holiday party Friday night, which was great fun. The weekend was spent trying to catch up on an array of household stuff, including getting our tree, decorating, and wrangling with the Shutterfly site trying to pull together a Christmas card and photo calendar.

This week there is nothing looming large on the schedule, so I’m looking forward to things settling down a bit.

In other running related news, I decided last minute to throw my hat in for the Cherry Blossom lottery…and this happened

After being a part of the RnB team for both 2015 and 2016, I stepped away this year as I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do much travel (and in the end, with my injuries it turned out to be a good choice!). So I’m happy to back and now have a little extra motivation to figure out which races I’m running next year! And I’m looking forward to some blogger meet ups!

I’m linking up with Holly & Tricia for the Weekly Wrap, and with MarciaErika, and Patty for Tuesdays on the Run.

Anyone else join the CB lottery? Will I see you at a Rock ‘n’ Roll race next year?

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November Rewind and December Goals

Before these days start ticking by, I want to quickly wrap-up November and set some goals to close out 2017!

I had 4 goals for November:

  • 30 Days of Movement
  • Complete the #RunNovemberChallenge
  • Strength Train 3x’s/week
  • 150 Minutes of Planking (5 minutes/day)

Thanks to the #RunNovemberChallenge, I hit 27 days of my 30 days of movement goal. As I run-fessed, long days in the car for Thanksgiving travel derailed my “streak”, but I’m still pretty pleased with how this challenge went – it was perfect for this non-run-streaker since I could complete my minimum daily mile with either a run or a walk.

Please don’t ask me how many miles I racked up – I did a terrible job of tracking. Same holds true for my total planking minutes. While there was daily planking and I know I hit my 5-minute goal the majority of the days, there were definitely a couple of days towards the end of the month where I was short.

Strength training 3 days a week proved to be ambitious given some of the crazy busy weeks I had this month between work and the solo parenting duties. In the end, I hit the gym twice a week – which is probably a more realistic commitment, especially once I return to a race training plan.

So while there were a few misses, I’d say overall this was a pretty solid month.

And the plan for December?

Given how busy things can get around the holidays, I’m going to keep these goals pretty simple.

  • Ease back into training – With a couple of races figured out for February, it’s time to hit the register button and then get back to something that resembles a training plan.
  • Continue the focus on strength work – I’m running pain-free and I want to keep it that way. I will continue to meet up with my friend E for weekly gym sessions on Wednesdays and see if I can get her to join me for my Friday sessions.
  • Make sleep a priority – I was running a sleep deficit most of November, which is just no bueno, so time to turn that around.

So how was your November? What are you focusing on this month?

I’m joining Holly & Tricia for the Weekly Wrap.

I’m also joining Marcia, Erika, and Patty for Tuesdays on the Run.

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Last coffee of 2017

Hard to believe it’s time for the last coffee date of 2017! Seriously…how is it December!?! I’m linking up with Coco and Deborah for the Ultimate Coffee Date, so grab a mug of your fave hot beverage, I’m going with a classic French Roast today, and let’s chat.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my tickets for the Nutcracker just arrived in the mail! The Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker is just the best and I’m so looking forward to going. It’s been a family tradition for several years and it makes me happy that my boys still enjoy it.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my plans to start Christmas shopping early haven’t happened. I let both Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll by with nary a gift purchased, mostly because I have no idea what I’m giving family members this year. Usually, I’ve got it all mapped out by now, so I’ve got to kick into gear this weekend!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that doing the whole solo parenting thing is starting to wear me out. J has been traveling for work quite a bit over the last month leaving me with double duty. Honestly, my hats off to single moms who do this 24/7, 365 cause I am t-i-r-e-d! Thankfully, J’s got one more trip this week and then he’ll be done for a bit.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m starting to map out my 2018 race calendar. The challenge, of course, is that after racing so little this year thanks to injury, I’m going to have to resist the urge to sign up for everything! I haven’t hit the register button yet, but I do have my eye on a couple of 10-milers (my fave distance) in February and March, and I’m thinking about trying my luck with the Cherry Blossom 10 mile – the lottery just opened. Perhaps it will be the year of the 10s?

Have you started your holiday shopping? Figured out your plans for 2018?

What would you tell me over coffee?

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2017 Gift Guide for Runners

This week’s Friday Five theme is “Gift Giving” so it seemed like the perfect time to share my annual gift guide for runners!

Sharing some gift ideas for the runners in your life! #runchat #runnersgifts Click To Tweet

Skirt Sports  – Well let’s dive in with one of my favorite apparel companies, Skirt Sports. I love the philosophy of this company and it doesn’t hurt that they make great clothing in such fun patterns. I have to admit I’ve become a little obsessed 🙂 Use code FALL20WIN for 20% off (expires 12/31/17).

a very small sample of my collection

Stride Box –  I’ve mentioned my love of StrideBox many times here. StrideBox offers a great combination of food/fuel options, running gear, and body care. And, at just $15 per month, Stridebox subscriptions make a great gift that can be enjoyed for many months to come! Code RunAttitude10 will save 10% off 3- and 6- month subscriptions (expires 12/24/17).

Knuckle Lights – These were on my personal wish list last year and lucky for me Santa was listening! I love the on-hand design and that these lights are rechargeable. They’re lightweight and slide easily over gloves in winter months.  Perfect for running or walking the dog!

Use code RUNNINGWITHATTITUDE and save 10% (expires 1/31/18).

Trigger Wheel – The RPI Trigger Wheel (affiliate link!) has been a lifesaver for me since I picked one up at last year’s R’n’R Vegas expo. It is perfect for those small muscles that you can’t quite get to easily with a foam roller.

SPIbelt – SPIbelt has been with me since my earliest days of running. I love that it’s lightweight, doesn’t bounce, and holds my phone and other essentials.

And with toggles for clipping on your bib, it’s a must-have when racing! (The Hydration Belt in this pic sees a lot of use during the summer months).

 

Use code michelle2017 to save 15% (expires 12/31/17)

Momentum Wraps – This is one on my wish list! I have a couple and just love the motivating messages they offer. They make a great stocking stuffer!

Yeah ok.. so that was 6 items instead of 5 😉

I’m linking up with Rachel and Lacey & Meranda for the Friday Five link-up!

What’s on your wish list this year?

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