Back From the Brink

HELLO READERS!!!!! I hope you all had Happy Chanukahs, Merry Christmases, and are looking forward to very festive New Year’s next week.

I somehow survived finals week with my eyeballs and my sanity barely intact and managed to get into the holiday spirit in just a few days so I could enjoy Christmas in the City with JB. How did I do it? I made cookies, of course.

I was careful not to make too many since we'd be the only ones eating them!

I was careful not to make too many since we’d be the only ones eating them!

We had a seriously awesome Christmas here in NYC, just the two of us. We saw the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the world-famous Radio City Rockettes.

AKA starring one of my bestest friends in the wide-world, who also happens to be the most talented Radio City Rockette!

AKA starring one of my bestest friends in the wide-world, who also happens to be the most talented Radio City Rockette!

We were out for dinner on Christmas Eve after the show when it started to snow here in the city. How magical! Snow on Christmas Eve! We ran (of course) on Christmas Day, ate our favorite goodies, had a delicious (mostly) homemade dinner, watched A Muppet’s Christmas Carol, and opened presents like little kids on Christmas morning.

Presents under the tree!

Presents under the tree!

That giant brown box was my present and I can say for certain that I didn’t mind JB getting me just one present at all…

Nope. Not one bit. Oh, hey there, Miss Piggy.

Nope. Not one bit. Oh, hey there, Miss Piggy.

Since we watch The Muppets on Christmas morning (and listen to John Denver & The Muppets Christmas Eve), JB thought it fitting that we have a special guest star make an appearance.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fabulous Miss Piggy!

Ladies and gentlemen, the fabulous Miss Piggy!

It was an honor to have such a starlet in our home.

So, yeah. We had a great little NYC Christmas. And finals, stressful though they were, ended up fine in the end. Grades are good, blah, blah, blah.

I missed you guys! Every day I was in class or studying and I had a blog idea I got a little sad because I knew I’d never have time to sit down and write it. And, of course, they all flew right out of my head because I can’t remember a single one. What I did manage to do during finals week was work out every day. I even ran a race!

My socks told me to run fast, so I did. Well, I ran fast for me, anyway. 10K @ 7:34min/mile.

My socks told me to run fast, so I did. Well, I ran fast for me, anyway. Hot Chocolate 10K @ 7:34min/mile. 5th place AG! I didn’t WIN the race like SOME people I know…(ahem, @Manz811)

What the…?!?! How did I manage that? I didn’t even realize I’d done it until last Friday when finals were finally done and I was out for a little run with my rehab running buddy. As crazed as I was during finals, I found solace and peace in my daily workouts. I ran a lot (even a track workout here and there!), hit up Flywheel with Steven A LOT, and ran some more to clear my head of the day’s studies so as to make room for the next day’s exam.

I’m not saying it was pretty. But it certainly made me a little less of a monster during an extremely trying time of the school year.

Frizzy hair + glasses = must be finals week!

Crazy frizzy hair + glasses = FINALS WEEK MONSTER!

Working out is how I survived and made it to all sorts of finish lines this year.

Working out AND cookies.

Working out AND cookies. Oscar the Grouch will never win a race with that attitude.

How do YOU handle crazy-stressful times in your life? Even the planned ones that you know are coming for months and months seem to sneak up on you, don’t they? What do you do when you can’t catch your breath? Maybe the holidays are like that for you. Do you run more or less? Do you eat more or less? How do YOU cope?

Tell me all about it and how were YOUR holidays???? Did Santa bring you all the running gear you ever wanted? I saw lots of cool presents on Twitter! What was your favorite one?

Now go out and run!

Winter Running

This time of year is probably my 2nd favorite time of year to run. First place is always Fall. 50°. Shorts. Long sleeve shirt. Love.

Fall in New York is just the best.

Winter running is awesome because I don’t sweat like a beast and I can run in the middle of the afternoon instead of the crack of dawn. Yay!

If you’re not dressed to run in the Winter, it can be a miserable experience.

 

Cold days + wrong gear = treadmill

For my 34° (feels like 29°) run in Central Park this morning, I was a tad overdressed but here’s what I wore:

LONG TIGHTS! It’s getting cold out there.

I’m wearing: Saucony tights (they don’t make them anymore, but these are close) and everything else is lululemon. Why? I have yet to fall in love with a pair of lululemon winter running tights. Don’t worry. They’re working on it.

My jacket is not available now, but the Run: Nuthin’ But Run Jacket and I threw the Run: Swiftly 1/2 Zip Long Sleeve on underneath.

 

I love a 1/2 zip anything. I get hot when I run but reserve the right to get chilled by a brisk wind all of the sudden. The half-zip keeps me running through all seasons. Love this.

I have a secret. I always wear a tank top underneath. Why? Isn’t that too much? Here’s the hard, fast truth.

The Cool Racerback is long enough to cover my lower back and upper butt and that is my key to staying warm. One good gust blowing up my back or down my bottom and I’m getting in a cab.

CRBs 4-eva!

So, yeah. I like to be cozy. This morning, I could have replaced the long-sleeve 1/2 zip with a short sleeve and been plenty comfortable.

My favorite gloves (until that cold air starts blowing down from Canada) are the Brisk: Run Gloves:

Easy access to my iPod or iPhone. Me likey.

And then the Brisk: Run Headband, which is the best way to display a pop of fun color on your run, especially if you’re running in the dark!

As the weather gets colder, I don’t necessarily add layers, but I change them. Always a moisture-wicking first layer, but I may opt for one of the new fancy-schmancy jackets lulu has right now. Stay tuned for that review! More is not always better, sometimes you just need a warmer single layer.

Dear Santa,
I want this.
xoxo
Abby

So, there you have it. Now you’re dressed and ready to go out in the cold and run your butts off. Hey, who will I see at the NYC Runs Hot Chocolate 5K/10K on December 16th? I’ll probably try to wear my brightest lulu so my husband can spot me (he misses me pretty regularly, I have no idea how).

Congratulations to the HUNDREDS of you who PR’d this weekend in Philly. Can’t wait to read all the roundups.

What are your go-to cold weather pieces? Am I missing something awesome? Tell me!

Now go out and run!

Comeback Setback

No, the hurricane wasn’t the setback. I actually went running through my beloved city quite a few times post-hurricane to get an idea of what downtown looked like. It wasn’t pretty.

What a mess.

No matter the setback specifics, it just sucks. This last surgery and the following ridiculousness has set me way back in my getting-back-to-me journey.

Oh, back to the surgical floor again? Terrific.

I want to run and lift and spin and flow and get back to racing. It just seems that every time I turn the corner, there’s a wall. Mentally and emotionally, it’s exhausting and depressing.

Have you ever tried and tried and just not been able to get a freaking break? That’s what it feels like now.

I guess this is just where I am.

It’s not easy to feel like my body is fighting me at every turn. It sucks. Yeah, I’m pretty positive most of the time and I feel positive most of the time. But how do I get myself going again? Dammit.

I signed up for a 10K. There’s hot chocolate at the end of it and it’s in 6 weeks. That’s a challenge for me since 3 miles gets me going right now. I don’t anticipate any great speed, but I’ll give it a go.

Mmmm…chocolate.

I also am planning on logging a few miles with a fellow recovering gimp. It will be fun since we’ve never actually met except for virtually through an old friend. Fun!

When I’m all healed up, I’m going to let this man kick my butt.

Ladies & gents, if you want to kick your a** get to Steven’s class. Game changer.   (Image courtesy of Flywheel Sports)

 

I don’t want pity. I’m just saying that sometimes even the most positive, internally motivated people get the blues. Instead of wallowing, I’m fighting back.

I’m signing up for races even though I’m not ready to race, per se. That is, not in tip-top shape. But it’ll be FUN! I’m signing up for spin classes not because my numbers are gonna be awesome but because I know I’ll feel better when I leave class. I’m planning my spring running adventures and making sure I tell people so that they *secretly* hold me accountable.

Do what you know you need to do. Get out there. Go workout with a friend (or in my case, a stranger), force those workouts back into your schedule.

That’s what I’m doing. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Now go out and run!