December 18, 2014

Obsessed with Christmas and other holiday ramblings

Everyone has a busy schedule when November rolls around, but December seems like the busiest month of the year.  Taking time to get in your exercise and healthy eating sometimes does not happen and you know what, it's okay.  This month, we have had the pain pleasure of moving from one house to another and thankfully after four days of nonstop work, it is coming together.  Now for the fun of getting company meals organized.

Moving in Saturday left a challenge for decorating the house for Christmas after getting all the boxes unpacked.  I am sure we looked like Energizer bunnies as we blitzed through the house and got most everything unpacked in speed mode.  And then this happened:

I get carried away with Christmas!

Tuesday night was the start of Hanukkah and several of our friends will be celebrating.  Last night, Sami, my running coach texted me this photo and who would have known that Disney makes a Menorah? It's adorable and of course she is a little Disney obsessed too!

Yesterday I was visited by not one, but three neighbors who brought wonderful gifts welcoming us to the new neighborhood.  This tray of cookies looks amazing and it has taken every once of my being to keep from eating them.   My company will appreciate that when they arrive next Tuesday! And what a surprise to find out that the neighbor across the street is in my running group.  So excited to have someone to carpool with on Tuesday nights.  Now I can attend twice a week practice due to my new home location!

I will finally be back with my running group on Friday morning and I can't wait.  My foot had quite a workout during the move, but it seems that the injury is gone and the residual is the usual arthritis that I deal with from time to time.  Boston training starts soon and getting my new training plan will make the whole thing real.

Do you go crazy with decorations and preparations for the holidays?

December 17, 2014

How to survive being in a relationship with a blogging runner

So after sitting on the sidelines of the blogging world for the entirety of our relationship Christine asked me to do a guest post about dating a blogging runner.  Over the course of our relationship Ive accumulated the following advice for my fellow man who has chosen to be in relationship with the wonderful woman that is a blogging runner. 

1. You gotta love carbs. 
I dont like pasta, period.  Ive never been a fan and I probably never will be.  I find that personally pasta has no flavor.  However I can now report that I now know the difference between orecchiette and orzo (those are pasta types for the uninformed) and how to properly cook pasta al dente” (the proper Italian way to cook pasta).  Just learn how to do these things and you will be ok.

2. Get used to early bed times and early wake-ups.
She is going to want to go to bed at 9pm on Fridays when you're saying to yourself, Im just getting warmed up.”  Just suck it up and go to bed, trust me in about 8 hours the alarm will be going off and you will willingly or unwillingly be supporting her on a long run. Im telling you from personal experience it goes easier if you are well rested so just suck it up and go to bed at 9pm.   

3. Learn how to quickly locate the nearest coffee shop.
See #2,  you're going to be waking up early on weekends when you would rather be doing a close investigation of the inside of your eyes lids (Read: Sleeping).  Youre going to need coffee.

4. Learn the keys of race day wardrobe planning.
Shes going to plan her race day wardrobe.  You're not going to care.  Do yourself a favor while you have the chance to influence her thoughts on this all so important topic.  Suggest that she wear bright colors, it will make identifying her amongst the race day masses easier, and something low cut, trust me youll thank me later on this part. 

5. Your Saturday mornings are already planned.
You're supporting her on a long training Saturday morning, this is non-negotiable, this is a fact, this is what you will be doing, period.

6. The 0.0 joke is only funny to you.
She has a 13.1 or 26.2 sticker on her car.  Putting a 0.0 sticker on your car is only funny to you.  

7. You're going to get to do at least one holiday race.
Turkey Trot, Santa Shuffle, whatever the name, you're probably knowingly or unknowingly already signed up for one because it will be fun.”  Personally I find eating turkey like a fat kid or opening presents while wearing only a pair of boxers and a t-shirt to be fun but this is her idea of fun so just be thankful you get to be involved.  On a side note, based on personal experience this year, this will go much easier for this dose of fun” if you train for it, my body is still in recovery from my dose of fun” at Thanksgiving.

8. You get to learn about the latest and great in the world of fuel.
Im not talking about fuel for your car (Dream car is an Audi S4 2.0 with navigation, cold weather package and enhanced audio).  Im talking about talking about the glucose, jelly-like packets that she refers to as fuel.”  Shes going to crave them on long runs and during races so take note when she says she likes a certain flavor, youll get a lot of brownie points with her if you can pull them out when shes on mile 18 of a 20 mile training run.  On a side note, they all taste like nothing if you were wondering.

9. Youll know the latest and greatest gossip in the blogging world.
Ive never met them, nor have any idea what they look like but I can tell you the number of children, current race PRs (Personal Record, for you newbies), and what race they are currently training to run on half the running blogger community.  I dont say this to boast, this is just a fact. 

10. There usually is free beer at the finish line
Need I say more?  She just ran a race and is probably not going to want to drink it, this is where you come in.  It's probably not going to be the worlds greatest beer but hey, its free.

I have a bet going with Christine that I can get more likesor thumbs up things on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram than her articles so please do whatever you do on those things to approve of this article.  If I win I get to sleep in next Saturday, so if nothing else help out a tired guy. 

Finally, my weekly round up has been some 12 ounce lifts so if nothing in this post makes sense please blame it on that fact.

December 16, 2014

Is it a date or a race?

Last night while I was at the gym, I realized that I have a race this week. It's not often that I'm not in tune with my race schedule, but these days I'm totally ok with it! That's right, on Saturday night, I'll be pinning on a race bib and running 5 miles through the Virginia Beach oceanfront area with A at my side. We're sort of approaching this a bit as an atypical holiday date night. It's a Saturday night in December, so it's somewhat self explanatory. And unlike the last race we ran together (the Trots for Tots 5k on Thanksgiving Day), I plan to cross the finish line with him.

While we won't be donning any crazing holiday race outfits, I think this will be a pretty fun night. I hope to see some of my local running buddies at the race and share some holiday cheer. And I'm pretty psyched to get this medal!
Source: Surf-n-Santa Facebook Page
This is a low pressure race. It will be a fun experience for us and I'm really looking forward to a new event, particularly one that's holiday themed. We'll be dashing through the lights and then enjoying some post-race revelries in the warmth of the Virginia Beach Convention Center. To be exact, we'll be enjoying chicken corn chowder in a bread bowl and Sam Adams beer. What could be better?

Here's all the info to get ready for the Surf-n-Santa 5 miler if you're running too!
* Check out the virtual goodie bag here.
* Get your race number here.
* Frequently Asked Questions

Any tips for making our first "race date" a good one?

December 14, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!

Last year, I surprised Mom for her milestone Birthday. It's hard to believe it's been a year since she topped the podium at the Jingle Bell 5k (on her Birthday no less) and celebrated with a fabulous dinner at quaint European bistro in downtown Wilmington. It's been a pretty incredible year for Mom...from new races in faraway lands to big races to accomplishing big dreams. She's pretty awesome and I'm proud to call her my Mom!

The Dream Come True: A BQ!

The Amazing Race: Completed Dopey Challenge AND nailed a (then) marathon PR in the final race.

Journeyed to Far Away Lands: Spent a week in Ireland for a half marathon and family vacation time

Tried Something New: We headed back to Orlando this fall for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler, which turned out to be one of our favorite races.

I couldn't imagine sharing my running journey with anyone else and cannot wait to see what the next year brings her on her running adventures. I'll try to keep up! Happy Birthday, Mom!!


December 12, 2014

Favorite Holiday Activities - Giving Back

The lovely DC girls, Mar, Cynthia and Courtney have Favorite Winter Activities as their topic today and I am going to do a slightly different twist on this one. It's the holidays and this time of year, there are lots of people that have little to celebrate whether they are unemployed, recently lost a close family member or have some other unsettling life issue. This year, while in the midst of moving, I came up with the idea of doing something special each week between Thanksgiving and Christmas to help bring cheer to someone else.  Here are some of the ideas I came up with and I hope you will chime in below in the comments section with some suggestions of your own.

1.  Salvation Army Angel Tree:  Choosing gifts for a needy child is such an easy thing to do and there are plenty of names on the tree this year.  Head to your local mall or get in touch with Salvation Army and they can get you the name of a child and their wish list.

I used runDisney bags for our angels last year!

2.  Food Bank Donation:  This time of year we are all so busy taking care of our own families that the food banks have a drop in donations.  Be sure to throw an extra couple things in your grocery cart and drop them off at the appropriate spot. Most churches have collection boxes too.

3.  Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, or whatever coffee shop you frequent:  Buy a drink for the person behind you in the drive through line.  It will make you feel wonderful and surprisingly, it may start a chain reaction. Or buy a doughnut or a box to share!

4.  Bring a holiday treat to the office:  Everyone loves a Christmas cookie, cupcake or even a salty treat, like Chex party mix!  Be sure to bring enough for everyone and spreading a little holiday cheer with food is always well received!

5. Visit a holiday light display or Santa and pay for tickets for the next family in line.  We enjoyed the little display in Portsmouth, Virginia over the Thanksgiving holiday and even took a few funny photos!

6.  Spend time with an elderly neighbor watching a Christmas program, or offer to babysit for your neighbor who does not have the money to hire a sitter.

Thanks to the DC ladies for the Friday linkup.  Be sure to check out their blogs too!  What is your favorite way to give back during the holiday season?  We would love some great ideas!

December 11, 2014

Holiday Happenings

As I mentioned previously, I’m really focused on enjoying the holiday season this year. I’ve been doing my best to soak in the fun and festive aspects of the season…and what might that be you’re asking (or maybe not!)? Let’s see what I’ve been up to…

Baking: I love holiday treats. I have recipes that I make every year and I usually try to make at least one new treat each year. My go to’s are peanut butter cups, spice cookies, and mocha mint cookies. This year, I also added in Christmas cookie bars, which came to work with me for a coworkers birthday, and Chex Party Mix. I know, I know…you’re shocked that I’ve never made this delicious snack. In full disclosure, I’ve never made it because Mom has always made it and I was afraid to mess up something with fond memories/thoughts for me.  But my first batch was a great success and is rapidly disappearing.

Decorations: I don’t do anything too crazy around the house but decorating is another thing that I love. I have a small home and I usually try to switch up what I do each year. This year, I elected to overhaul my mantle d├ęcor and go a little simpler than usual. And I love the results! I have Clark Griswold aspirations for the exterior but sadly, I have a ways to go.

My 2014 runDisney Christmas tree
Parties: This upcoming weekend is partypalooza for me. Friday evening is an outing to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. Saturday is the Army-Navy game and being that A is a West Point grad, I’ll be donning the black and gold and loudly rooting for Army. I’m also learning the traditions for this game like corn chowder…I’m still not sure I get it but as any good girlfriend does, I’m making it and hopping on the bandwagon for Saturday. On Saturday evening, a friend is hosting a cocktail party. And then Sunday, I’ll round out the weekend with an ornament exchange that a friend (with whom I swam in high school) is hosting. It should be awesome and I look forward to spending time with my favorites during this time of the season.

Gifts: I am proud to say that my Christmas shopping is D-O-N-E! I have purchased approximately 75% of my gifts online this year which has made life infinitely more simple. And I kind of love the stack of boxes at home each evening. I’m pretty sure the UPS man could navigate to my house in his sleep at this point!
Stepping Back: With all the pressure and hustle bustle, I'm making a concerted effort to step back. My new tradition is sitting on the couch and enjoying the soft glow of the Christmas tree...sometimes with a glass of wine and sometimes with my favorite nuun flavor. It's a nice way to unwind each day and take in the spirit of the season.

What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

December 10, 2014

It's my turn!

Kass at the Lone Runner tagged me to play this litte game, "I moustache you some questions". So here I go with my answers: 

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:
1.  my real name is Pamela and no one calls me that
2.  Mrs. Keenan, yea I'm old and sales people sometimes call me this!
3.  sweetie
4.  P

Four jobs I have had:
1.  maid at hotel - worst job ever 
2.  proofreader at Squibb Pharmaceutical
3.  accounts receivable at a linen company
4.  seasonal assistant manager at Brookstone (Christine could not believe her mother had a management position!)

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1. My Cousin Vinny
2. Pretty Woman
3. Love Actually
4. Christmas Vacation

Four books I’d recommend:
1.  The Lone Survivor
2.  Unbroken
3.  Fall of Giants
4.  Running Within

Four places I have lived:
1.  Wellesley, Massachusetts (more years there than any place else)
2.  Virginia Beach, Virginia
3.  Yarm, England
4.  Houston, Texas

Four places I have been:
1.  Antarctica
2.  China
3.  Easter Island
4.  French Polynesia, most beautiful place in the world
I actually wanted to add a bunch more. Travel is a passion of ours and we have completed a visit to every continent. Now it is time to run all the world majors! 

Four things I don’t eat:
1. beans
2. peas
3. lamb
4. liver

Four of my favorite foods:
1. ice cream, always ice cream
2. salmon
3. chocolate
4. popcorn

Four TV shows that I watch:
1. Homeland
2. Mad Men
3. Downton Abbey
4. House of Cards

Four things I am looking forward to next year:
1. Boston Marathon
2. Caribbean cruise in January
3. NYC marathon
4. getting settled in my new neighborhood

Four things I’m always saying:
1.  I've got to go to the gym
2.  Did you get the mail yet?
3.  When is your next race?
4.  Does Lulu need to go out?

Five people I’m tagging:
1.  Karen, at Just me and my running shoes
2.  Jenny at Run, Jenny run
3.  Abby at Back at Square Zero
4.  Kimberley at Black dog runs Disney
5.  Amy at Tiny Terror

Please answer one of the questions in the comments section so we can learn something about you too!