By the Light of the Moon

August 8, 2013

So today was my second day of waking for my 5am run before work. Aaaand the second day it didn’t happen.  Why?  Well, yesterday I will admit to hitting snooze and rolling back over for another 30 minutes of sleep, but this morning I was up and ready to roll.  There was just one little thing standing between me and my workout.

It was DARK.

When we lived in the city I would run at night or in the early morning and not think anything of it.  The city lights cast a yellow glow over all of Baltimore and if I stuck to major streets (which I was apt to do for safety) there was plenty of light from the streetlamps.  Call me silly for not earlier considering the possibility, but this is not so in the suburbs!  When my alarm went off at 5am, I hoped out of bed, looked out then window, and…

It was DARK.  Like, REAL dark.

I peered down the end of our cul-de-sac toward the main road that twists through our neighborhood and saw nothing.  No street lights, no glow from the city, hardly even a porch light.  I couldn’t even make out my driveway.

So I went back to bed.

I fired up my Kindle and Googled “night gear for running”.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about Nathan’s vests so that’s where I started.  I found this lightweight vest that looks comfortable and a nice clip-on strobe for added visibility.

running vest nightgear

running strobe  nightgearAnd then I saw their headlamp section and realized I would probably need one of those too.running headlamp nightgear

This was suddenly getting a little expensive. Guess my morning runs won’t start for a while longer.  While I mulled these potential purchases over, I packed my gym bag and made plans for a lunchtime run.

No excuses.

Welcome to Suburbia

August 3, 2013

I mentioned previously that my husband and I had purchased a new home across town. We moved in last weekend and this morning was my first run through the community. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Our new neighborhood is pretty densely treed, with very little traffic. It’s beautiful and I still can’t believe I’m able to step out my front door and run though this lovely place whenever I want to.

I packed Logan into his stroller with snacks and drinks, and grabbed a street map printed from Google maps which I plan to keep in the stroller until I get my bearings. We set off on a planned 3 mile run, but I cut it a bit short. Holy cow, I thought my last neighborhood was hilly? This place is nuts! Especially when pushing 65lbs of stroller/baby weight. I think I’m going to leave him at home for my next few runs–I need to get in shape to conquer these hills on my own before I can take that stroller back out!

We had a good time though. I showed Logan where his elementary school is (who cares if that’s 4 years away and he has no concept of what school is?) and enjoyed the wildlife. There are a lot of deer, fox, and rabbits cohabitating with us in this new space (who cares if Logan calls them all dogs for now?) and I love that we can introduce him to that. It’s a far cry from the condoms and crack spoons we used to encounter on our runs in the city!

Now That’s Motivation

July 23, 2013

In my last post I mentioned that I started running again two weeks after I gave birth to my son.  That may seem shockingly early to many of you, but I was ready both physically and emotionally (what can I say?  I’m a quick healer).  Moreover, I was itching to get outside after so much time cooped up “resting” with a wailing newborn.  …Ok, he wasn’t always wailing.


Our first day home.

As I can imagine is true for many athletes–or any woman really–one of my big concerns when I got pregnant was that my body would never be the same.  During pregnancy and childbirth things get stretched, engorged and… well, let’s be honest… flabby.  After the first couple months I didn’t recognize my own body in the mirror and, after several more, the image reflected back was downright shocking.  As my body changed to accommodate this amazing creature growing inside it took on a new shape that was beautiful, empowering…and undeniably permanent in many ways.  Of course I wanted to run and shed that extra weight.  Who wouldn’t?

Same Shirt Series

Still running at 36 weeks!

I stated with slow 3 mile loops around the neighborhood 2-3 times a week (Started? Who am I kidding? It never progressed much more that that!).  After 2 months I was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes and after 4 I was actually a couple pounds below below my pre-pregnancy weight (to put this in perspective I gained 50lb during my pregnancy and only lost 9lb in the days after giving birth).

I attribute some of my weight loss (and all of my fitness) to running but, as the extra lbs fell away my motivation to run followed suit.  These days my running has been reduced to no more than 15 miles a month and so I think it’s safe to say that breastfeeding/pumping had more to do with my weight loss than anything.

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Our bottle army. I’ll spare you a photo of my boob.

Which brings me to today, 14 months postpartum.  You see, my son nursed for the last time this past week.  It was a slow process wherein he dropped a feeding one at a time over the last 3 months.  It was important to me that I let him take the lead; never pressuring him, never denying him.  While I never anticipated nursing past a year (heck, I wasn’t even sure I would last a week at the beginning!), I wanted him to make this decision on his own and to be comfortable with it.

And that’s exactly what he did–one day he woke up and simply didn’t ask to nurse.  Two days later he crawled onto my lap, patted my breast twice and then got down and ran off to something more captivating.  It was if he came to say a final goodbye and thank you.

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My little guy, all grown up.

So, why is all this relevant to fitness and to this blog?  First and foremost since I’m no longer nursing I no longer have the calorie deficit I’ve come to rely on!  Breastfeeding helped me burn about 550 calories a day (approximately 20 calories an ounce) for the first year when I was nursing and pumping exclusively.  When I introduced whole milk at a year, and only nursed mornings and evenings, I’d guess I was still burning about an extra 200.  That’s still the equivalent of a 2 mile run every day–which granted isn’t much compared to my marathon training days, but it’s kept my waistline fairly trim nonetheless.


Long story short, now that our nursing days are done, I guess it’s time to get back to the grindstone and pick up my training again.  I’ve become a casual runner lately–lacing up my shoes only when the skies are clear, the breezes are blowing and I’d be crazy not to run. It’s been great, actually.  Yes, I felt guilty at first, but after a couple months of letting my runs go in deference to spending time with my family I realized that, simply put, my priorities had changed.  Once I accepted that, the guilt slid away and I could actually enjoy spending Saturday mornings with my two favorite guys.

Becoming a mom changes everything.  For the past year, this tiny person that came to reside in our house has been all consuming.  I have given everything to my child and I’ve enjoyed it more than I ever could have anticipated. But he’s not a baby anymore; he’s a running, dancing, chattering little boy that doesn’t need his mommy for every little thing (like breakfast!) as he once did.  And now that Daddy’s on duty, I plan on celebrating my newfound freedom with a new 5am morning run schedule.

See you out there!

Hello There, Stranger

July 16, 2013

Two and a half years ago (has it really been that long?!) I left you all high and dry and abandoned this blog without a word.  Initially this was because I was dealing with a situation that left me craving a little privacy.  Suddenly putting my daily struggles and triumphs out there for all of the interweb to interpret didn’t seem as therapeutic as it once had.  For those of you that checked in during that time, thank you. I appreciated your concern, and knowing that I was missed gave me a good case of the warm-fuzzies.

You might have even convinced me to come back had it not been for one tiny hiccup:

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I became a mom.  This little guy now rules the roost and as you can imagine, my life has changed in every possible way.  Blogging came in second to snuggles and tickles … and, who am I kidding?  It came in second to showers and sleep, too.

You guys probably have a lot of questions so let me see if I can’t anticipate a few.

Did you run through your pregnancy?  Yes! Logan completed his first race–a half marathon–when I was 4 months pregnant.  I continued to run up until I was 36 weeks along.

Are you still running?  Yes!  Just not as full-throttle as I once was.  A few folks from my office started a small running club. We’ll tackle a few hilly miles 2-3 times a week during our lunch break.  In May we completed the Warrior Dash and this October we’ll be running the Baltimore Marathon Relay together.  We ran it as a group last fall too, so I’m counting on a good time.

Do you run with the baby?  Yes! My first stroller run was when Logan was a month old (I started running solo two weeks post-partum).  Back then he used to sleep through our runs–now, not so much!  I’ve yet to complete a race pushing the stroller though.

What type of jogging stroller do you use?  We have the Baby Trend Expedition.  I love it.

Are you back for good?  To be honest, I’m not sure. A baby isn’t the only thing that turned my life upside-down recently.  My husband and I also rented out our house and purchased a new one.  Our new place is a mid-century modern fixer-upper (we’re smack dab in one of those buy-the-worst-house-in-the-best-neighborhood scenarios) and it’s going to demand a lot of attention over the next few months years.  In fact, I started another blog called MCModern(ization) with my husband to document our trials in home repair/renovation.  We thought it might provide a nice creative outlet for us when the thought of picking up another paintbrush makes us want to scream.

Anyway, posting on our other site has made me miss this blog and the friends I made here and so I wanted to stop in and say hello.  I never stopped reading your posts and I must say, wow, some of you are doing amazing things!  You are as much of an inspiration as you’ve always been.

Feel free to visit us at MCModern(ization) if you’re into that kind of thing!

I’m A Sellout. And I’m OK With That.

January 14, 2011

Now, don’t get me wrong,  I’m all about supporting my local running store, but there are just some things that the internet can do for me that my pals at Falls Road Running Store can’t.  And that’s sell me my beloved Brooks for a whopping 76.2% off.

So Pretty….

I’ve been wearing Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10s for almost two years now.  I’m a little in love.  The one time I tried a different shoe, I ended up with shin splints that kept me sidelined for the better part of a month.  Needless to say, I’m pretty loyal to my brand these days. 

I’m loyal to my LRS too, it’s just that they want to charge me $105 every 4-5 months for my prized kicks and my wallet just can’t handle that.  So what would any budget-respecting child of the Information Age do?  Turn to Google.

The first time I Googled my Adrenalines I found them for $79 + shipping and saved myself almost 20 bucks.  Sa-weeet!  I nearly cried when yesterday I went back to that same website and they were gone.  Back at square one I hit up my trusty Google Shopping search engine a second time and, lo and behold, it turned up an even better deal.  I almost didn’t believe it.  Sixty…Five…Dollars.  

So, of course, I bought two…but not before Googling a coupon code that saved me $6 on shipping at checkout. 

Final damage?  Two pairs of Brooks Adrenalines  (size 10.5–you try finding those in a running store!) for $130 even.  I basically bought the second pair for $25 and saved myself $80! 

Sorry, FRRS.  I still love you…just maybe not as much as I’m loving Google right now.   Don’t worry though, I’m sure I’ll make it up to you in April when the spring lines come out.  XOXO!

Blissful Bumper Stickers!

January 13, 2011

Christmas is a great time to be a runner.  Maybe not for the frigid temps or the icy sidewalks, but definitely for the presents!  I’ll do a run down of all my new gear in an upcoming post, but first I wanted to share with you  the most surprising gift of all.  Blissful Runner bumper stickers!

It all began with an offer of free promotional items from a generous reader.   Megan works at and  contacted me to see if I would be interested in some custom merchandise to promote the blog.  Of course I immediately jumped gleefully around the room said yes, and eagerly checked out BuildASign’s website to see what they had to offer.  There were a lot of products to choose from, but finally I decided to create a bumper sticker for the site and share with all of you. 

Now, Megan didn’t ask for anything in return other than a link back to her company’s website, but I have to tell you guys, if you’re ever looking for promotional materials has a huge selection.   Whether your looking for your business or for personal items, they have tons of products and services.  For the DIYer they have countless vinyl decalsart prints, and magnets (wouldn’t those make great Save the Date cards for a wedding?!) to make it easy.  For the workplace they offer banners, posters and even car wraps (I’m loving the pink Barbie Hummer!  Think she lets Ken drive?) to help keep your brand visible.

Best of all, they have an amazingly easy-to-use platform for you to create your own designs.  Thier default colors and fonts were great and I didn’t even bother to change them.  I was able to upload my own image in seconds and see a fill size proof of my design before sending it to the presses.  Despite the fact I’m the most indecisive person on the planet and always second guessing myself,  I whipped these babies up in about 5 minutes. 

Want one?  All you have to do is email me and I’d be happy send one your way.  Catch me at

Fellas, sorry it’s pink, but I’m a pink kind of girl!  I do stop a little short of a pink car wrap though…


January 2, 2011

As 2010 comes to a close and the new year begins, there are a few things I’d like to share with all of you.   A purging of guilt…a clean slate if you will.   

1)  I ate a lot of Christmas cookies this holiday season.  And by a lot, I mean enough to give Cookie Monster a sugar high like no high he’s ever experienced before.   Macadamia white chocolate chip, chewy chocolate gingerbread, coconut macaroons, almond (my favorite!), chocolate chunk, peanut butter…mmmm.  Chewy cookies are my greatest weakness.  They’re like crack to me, no exaggeration. 

Well, maybe a little exaggeration…

2) When I left for work on Tuesday, I stepped out onto my porch and realized I hadn’t been outside in over two full days.  I’m pretty sure that if you look closely at my couch cushions you’ll find a permanent impression of my posterior.  An occasional weekend governed by a Lifetime movie marathon can be a wonderful thing.

3) I skipped two runs over Christmas weekend and Coach Bob yelled at me.  I believe his exact words were: “I don’t know why you’re laughing – this isn’t a funny matter!”  See?  I told you he’d keep me accountable.  In fact, I made up all my missed mileage on Tuesday just to get back into his good graces.

What, like you wouldn’t be intimidated?

4) I gained 10lbs in the second half of December.  In my defence, I sat down to 6 full-blown holiday feasts in less than 2 days and it’s only polite to try a bit of everything … right? 

5) I lost all 10lbs in four days.  This is a good thing, but I feel a little guilty about it considering everyone around me is still suffering in their fat jeans.  Sorry … can’t explain it.  Especially because…

6) The kitchen table in my office is still chock full of these bad boys:

If you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting these delicious morsels, let me introduce you.  These almond and pignoli cookies from Vaccaro’s Bakery are phenomenal, though the almond (on the right) are far superior in my opinion.  They’re made with this amazing almond paste that leaves them especially chewy and positively melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious.  Kirk and I ordered several dozen to be served at our wedding and we will gladly make the drive down to Little Italy just for a few of these treats.  Nom, nom nom…

So, what was I talking about again?  …Oh  yes, sin.  Well, I’m sure they’ll be plenty more of that in 2011, too.  

Happy New Year to all!


Winter Willpower

December 24, 2010

In the wake of my 2nd marathon, I took a whole ten days off.  I mean totally off.  I didn’t cross train, I didn’t ride my bike to the grocery store when we ran out of milk, and I didn’t do a single sit-up.  It felt fabulous.  Perhaps best of all, I didn’t really gain any weight like I had anticipated.  All throughout marathon training I’d heard runners complain about packing on the pounds during intense training, and while I was pleasantly pleased to find this was not the case with me, I was fully prepared for the return of the bulge once my activity level came back down. 

As I said, that first week I fared pretty well, but then the Christmas cookies started arriving at the office.   And the cookies were quickly followed by Christmas truffles, and since my policy is to never say no to sweets, it was soon time to say so long to sedentary life!  That second week I hit the gym with full intentions to get back into the swing of things.  I left that first day feeling great and talking about how much I’d missed working out, but somehow that didn’t translate into me returning to the gym that week.  Whoops. 

A full seven days later I hit the treadmill again, only this time I had a plan.  Without races lined up to keep me excited and enthusiastic about the gym I, like most folks I’d assume, tend to slack off a bit.  Ok, more than a bit.  Step one of my plan was to come up with a workout schedule much like I would use during training.  There are modifications of course:  no weekly mileage higher than 23, and no significant distances or distance increases since I’m not planning on running another distance race until May.  This plan* is all about maintenance.  Well, not ALL about maintenance.  You’ve got to have a goal to strive for or there’s really no point, right?  My new goal for this winter is speed.  You see, a few weeks ago on The Biggest Loser, Ada ran a mile in 7:34.  Kirk looked at me with his eyebrows raised as if to say, “Dude, she’s got 65lbs on you.  Why can’t you run a mile in 7:34?”.   Well, I showed him!  I went out the next day and ran a mile in 7:30!  But you can’t stop there right?  So, I set up my winter training plan with speed intervals, tempo runs and decidedly faster paces overall.  Hopefully, come spring, I’ll have morphed from the Energizer bunny and into a jack rabbit.     

Step two of my plan involved accountability.  Without the fear of not being able to finish or set a PR at a race, I needed something external to keep me on track.   Enter Coach Coworker.   Actually, I call him Coach Bob, but to all of you Coach Coworker probably makes more sense.  I picked Bob because it’s not in his nature let me slide on anything–especially running, and he actually used to run marathons before a bum hip decided that wasn’t in his future anymore.  So, Coach now has my training plan tacked on the wall in his office down the hall, and each morning he stops me and inquires as to whether I did my workout–usually in front of everyone.  And, as I’m not about to lose face in front of all of my work peeps (how could I? I can’t even stand losing to Ada who doesn’t know me from Adam?), I’m pretty confident that I’ll  be able to stick to it.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

What are your tactics to stay on track this winter? 

*You can find my plan for this winter posted to my Training page, or click here: Winter Training 2010


December 19, 2010

You might have gathered from the past month of silence that my experience at the NCRT Marathon wasn’t the greatest.  In fact, as I told a friend this past week, those 26.2 miles completely wrecked me.  All things considered, I think I’ve rebounded pretty well–I didn’t stop running, I just ceased wanting to talk, think or blog about it.  I guess I just needed some time to get my head around everything I put my body (and mind) through.  It’s been three weeks and I’m feeling much better about the whole business … perhaps even well enough to tell you a bit about it.


First of all, the organization of the race itself was amazing.  There were only 400 marathoners so we were all able to met up at Sparks Elementary School to wait in the heated school cafeteria prior to the race.  I’d picked up my race packet at Charm City Run a couple of days before (where I’d been handed my bib and a pretty sweet NCRTM sweatshirt as my race premium), but the day of we still needed to get our race chips and secure the timers to our laces.  There was also coffee and bagels, and easily accessible bathrooms which I took advantage of twice.


I was flying solo at this race.  The course made it difficult for families to catch participants along the course as the trail only crossed the main roads a few times and parking was limited.  In hindsight, it would have been pretty easy for Kirk to drive to one of those points and park, but we anticipated those spots to be pretty crowded and more of a headache than it was worth.  Ultimately, he dropped me off at the school and then headed out to knock out some Christmas shopping before swinging back to pick me up in 5 hours.

I was a little disappointed in this arrangement, but once I started running I realized that if I was going to finish this race, it was best that he wasn’t there.  Why?  I was cold.  Miserably cold.  Four miles in I began to lose feeling in my fingers. By eight miles, I felt like I’d been running for eight hours.  By the time I reached the half-way point I was fighting tears.  And by mile 14 I was having to ask volunteers to open my Gu packets because my fingers were so frozen that I couldn’t grasp the packets.

I picked this race because it follows my favorite trail.  The lush, green, Disney-like forest is usually bustling with wildlife and provides endless visual stimulation on long runs.  In November, however, any remaining leaves are brown and brittle and the forest gives way to ugly twigs and knotted branches.   The deer were hiding from our stamping feet and the other woodland creatures were likely warm in their dens – much like the place I would have preferred to be. 

NCR Mile 2 
From this…

ncrt winter
… to this. 

Each time I passed a main road I hoped that Kirk wasn’t there.   I knew that if I saw him, the tears would come and I would beg for him to take me home.  I think he would have done it too, as he’s not one to enjoy another person in such misery, even if he knew that I would regret it later.  And I would have, which I why I silently prayed he hadn’t come.

By mile 16 I knew that I had to get feeling back into my hands or risk serious health concerns.  I had worn running gloves, and within the first hour hand drawn my fingers out of the glove tips and into fists to retain more warmth.  This obviously hadn’t made much of a noticeable difference, if any at all, and I wasn’t sure what else to try.  First I tried rubbing my hands together, then clapping – neither of which are easy feats to accomplish for any duration while running.  What finally seemed to bring some sensation back was slapping my hands against my hips as I ran, but the tingling sensation soon became a burning one, and before I knew it the fire in my hands was overwhelming.  For  the next hour, my hands oscillated between freezing and an excruciating, burning thaw. 

I watched the clock.  In every other race I’ve run, and in every jog around the neighborhood, there’s always been a period where I’ve mentally checked out and gone on auto pilot.  Not this time.  I was fully aware of every step I took, every second that went by, every mile marker I passed and every one I had yet to meet.  I’m fairly certain that Dante erred in overlooking this particular circle of hell.

By mile 20 the 9:40/mi pace that I’d carried for the first half had slowed.  The crowd I’d been running with for hours began to pull ahead and I couldn’t keep up.  The course was amazingly flat and my hip flexors were screaming in opposition.  I began to look forward to the few inclines I knew were ahead–no matter how small–as I knew they would be an immense reprieve to the single muscle group I’d been working on those flat stretches. 

My goal for this race had been to finish faster than the Baltimore Marathon I’d run 6 weeks prior in 4:27:40.  Almost immediately, I began to lower my expectations.  I did not however, lower my effort.  I passed the mid-point right at under 2:10, right where I wanted to be.  Still, I knew that if I finished in under 4:30 it would be incredible.  Somehow I just knew that there was no way I was going to be able to keep it going.

With less than 5 miles to go I began to see my 4:27 goal slipping and I began to rework my splits to allow for a 4:30.  With three miles to go, I ceased to care about a goal time at all.  My hands were finally warm, but the rest of me was shutting down.  The snowflakes were falling faster than I was moving and all I remember thinking was that I could cry when it was over.


With a half a mile to go, I saw our car, and just beyond that I saw my husband.  Seeing him gave me the pick-me-up I needed to get to that finish line and I passed a couple of runners in that final stretch.  Kirk grinned at me as I passed him and told me I looked awesome before turning and cutting across a field to catch me at the finish. Thirty seconds later and I turned the last corner and passed under the arch.  My final time was 4:31:10.  


As I crossed the last timing mat I was surrounded by volunteers. They snipped the timing chip off my shoe, and draped a medal around my neck.  My husband stood by anxiously for his turn, and I know he wanted nothing more than to toss them aside to get to me.  And when he did, I fell apart.  I buried my face in his chest and bawled.  It was over.

Will I run another marathon?  I don’t know.  I can tell you that right now I have absolutely no desire to pursue another one.  I am glad to have my first marathon experience though–just 6 weeks earlier I’d had a far different impression.  That race was hard, but it was  wonderful.  I had been so happy when it was over–proud of my accomplishment and glad I’d endured the effort.  I’m not happy at the thought of ending marathoning on a negative note, but if it means I don’t have to do another one right now, I think I’m ok with that.

Distance running still intrigues me, but there’s something about those last 6.2 miles that can really take the fun out of it and I’m not sure that it’s worth it.  I think for now, I’m going to stick to half marathons.  I can even see getting excited about a 20 miler, but 26.2?  I won’t say never, but the bumper sticker on my car, just might have it right.     

26.2 crooped26.2 … Been there, Run  That.

Speaking of, stay tuned for my next post.  Blissful Runner bumper stickers are in the making and one could be yours!

From Tapers to Tornados

November 20, 2010

I won’t delude myself into thinking that more than a handful of readers even noticed my two-week hiatus, but to those of you who inquired as to my absence–thanks, it’s nice to be missed!

The unread blogs on my Google Reader may be encroaching on a thousand in number, and the overtime on my paycheck may have had me doing a happy dance in my kitchen this evening, but I assure you–my time these past few weeks hasn’t been entirely spent away from running.  I’ve been keeping to my back-to-back marathon plan, running work-sponsored 5ks, and even setting new PRs.

The 5k was an annual run/walk put on by Tuerk House.  My company sponsors me in it every year, so long as I go and shake hands with the program director and tout our company for their upcoming projects.  Last year’s race took place right after a bit of a health scare that ended in surgery and I ended up having to walk the last part of the course.  My time this year not only took almost 10 full minutes of my previous course record, but an unexpected 27 seconds off my 5k PR!  The funny part is that I actually ran the course once before the race in an effort to stay warm (it was 42 degrees out that morning), even though I knew that by doing so I was essentially saying goodbye to a shot at a competitive time.  Apparently not, though — I didn’t wear my Garmin so you can imagine how shocked I was when I crossed the finish line and saw the clock read 26:03.  Crazy!  Maybe I should race all 5ks going forward after running a 3 mile warm up?

While I missed my last long run last weekend, I made it up with a 20 miler on the treadmill after work on Monday.  I didn’t get home until after 10pm, but it wasn’t nearly as awful as it sounds.  In fact, thanks to my new work phone I spent most of the 3.5+ hours killing time on Facebook. Posting status updates every few miles really helps pass the time, and the kudos in the comments were great motivators!  Not that I recommend epic long runs on treadmills, but I’ve determined that not only is it a decent alternative to the trail when daytime runs aren’t an option, but it’s perfectly doable.

This week begins my taper for the NCR Trail Marathon on the 27th.  I’m not sure how I feel about stuffing myself full of turkey and pecan pie on Thanksgiving and not being able to run it off for three days, but I’m sure I’ll survive.  I’m excited for the race, but I’m also excited for the race to be over. I’ve been actively training for the past 6 1/2 months and my body is tired.  My brain is tired, too, and both can really use the reprieve.  I plan to keep running through the winter, but intend to drop my weekly mileage from 35-40 to about 15-20.  And, if Wednesday’s tornado (that hit just blocks from my house!) is any indication that this winter’s weather systems will be on par with last year’s Snowmageddon, I’m sure it won’t be too hard!