I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.  ~ John Burroughs

I know you're all too busy to read my bantering for the next 2 weeks (Really, I'm far too busy eating cookies, wrapping gifts and hiding in the bathroom from my over-excited, Santa-crazed children to write), so I've requested a leave of absence.

In full disclosure, I was told I won't be getting paid for this time off. Though, I haven't received a payment for past blogs. Those must be delayed in the mail :) 

I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate this holiday season! It has been so much fun sharing my running stories with all of you, and I can't wait to start a new year and new adventures right here on T2M2R! 

If you didn't see my previous blog, check it out. I'm challenging everyone to do 100 miles in January. You don't have to run all of them, you can combine cross-training, too! Encourage friends and family to join you in the challenge. Let's start 2012 off on the right foot, or left, whichever you're more comfortable with, and become healthier than ever!

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run for You,


“Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility, and commitment.” ~ Ross Perot
I'm feeling bipolar about running lately. One day I embrace the fact that I don't have a training schedule weighing on my mind. The next day I'm kicking myself in the rear for being unmotivated and not getting out there like I should. So far I have really let myself down. I planned on averaging around 20 to 25 miles before marathon training starts again at the end of January. Last week I ran 7 miles and the week before 13. That's not even close to meeting my goal and I'm beating myself up about it.

On one hand, I know I have plenty of miles to look forward to. Marathon training is somewhat of a full-time job, especially near the half-way point and leading up to the race. I will be clocking around 40 miles per week during most of my training and that will include MANY early mornings. So, when my alarm goes off in the morning and I'm fighting with myself to get out of bed, I simply say "Eh, give yourself a break, you have plenty of these early days coming." The alarm is turned off and my state of becoming a sloth increases.

Even my husband has been letting me slack. I planned on getting up early a few Saturday's ago to get in a long run and he let me sleep in. When I told him I was supposed to get up he said "Don't worry about it. You have plenty of Saturday runs to come." While I love him for this, he's not doing me any favors! I'm really nervous about having a hard time getting back into marathon shape if I let myself slack too much. I pride myself on being able to run 6 + miles pretty easily. I promised myself I would not let that slip over the winter months. So why do I keep allowing myself to slack?

I can't decide - Do I want a schedule right now? Do I not want a schedule? Should I just enjoy running when I feel like it or should I stick to the promise I made with myself and get those 20 - 25 miles in per week? I'm sure if I had a trainer he would be saying very nasty things to me right now for skipping important running days. After all, I do need to maintain my health before the nitty gritty training starts. So, here's the deal... I've decided to give myself a challenge (a challenge is so much better than a goal, right?) and I'd like for all of you to join me. The challenge is '100 Miles in January.'

Yes, '100 Miles in January!' It may sound scary, but it's not! Running 25 miles per week is absolutely doable and when you're held accountable by others, you won't want to fail. So, who's in? I need to ditch the bipolar state of mind, get back to feeling good about my routine and quit my whining and excuses. January won't know what hit it with all of us out there keeping the asphalt warm!

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run for You,
I don't love broccoli, and I don't love the treadmill, but I love the way I feel when I’m healthy and strong. It empowers me in all facets of my life. So remember, that although something may not be fun in the moment, remind yourself of the ultimate reward, and allow that to motivate you through the tough times ~ Jillian Michaels
This morning I had one of what will become many early workouts of the winter. I begrudgingly rolled out of bed at 5:45, after a 10 minute battle with my brain about why I shouldn't stay in bed and how awesome I will feel once I get to the dreadmill, er treadmill. I got myself dressed in partial darkness, grabbed my water bottle and banana and headed outside, in the dark. I'm not a fan of being up when it's dark outside, unless it's nighttime and I have a glass of wine in my hand. Mornings and darkness, no thanks.

I traveled the 4 minutes to the gym, trying to pep myself up with some pop music blaring through the speakers of my mom mobile. Once I pulled into the gym parking lot I noticed there were a mere 5 other cars there. Well, that was not motivating to say the least. I trudged into the gym and gave a half smile to the man working behind the counter. He made a comment about my name being festive and asked if I was born in December. I'm pretty sure I shot him with a laser out of my left eye.

Once I got myself onto the treadmill and started moving (ie: waking up) I decided that if I were going to make morning workouts a part of my winter routine, I was going to need to get a better attitude about being confined to the hamster wheel at 6 o'clock in the morning. Sure, I could spend Tuesday and Thursday mornings being miserable and snarking the over-caffeinated gym attendant, or I could find the positive. So, since I had nothing better to do, I started to make a list of all of the things I love about running - indoors versus outdoors.

1) Music - Since 99% of my outdoor runs are done sans music, I am excited to befriend my iPod again. I get to channel my inner punk rocker, teenybopper and hip hopper without a single person complaining about my choice in songs. Also, I like to sing while I run - not out loud, I'm not a total nut job.

2) Warmth - Indoor running allows me to wear my favorite running attire; tank tops and shorts! Also, I sweat buckets and that makes me feel like I really accomplished something during my workout. There is something about icicles hanging from the bottom of my hair that doesn't give me the same feeling. Also, numb toes and frost bitten fingers are not a joy.

3) Lack of Road Kill - I don't care how far the road kill is from me, nothing can ever prepare me for when I run past the carcass of an animal. It takes me a good 20 minutes to recover, get my heart back where it belongs and my stomach to stop churning. Hopefully I won't encounter anything dead while working out at the gym. I pray.

4) No Litter - Nothing infuriates me more when I'm out enjoying a run then the piles of trash that I pass, especially empty cigarette packs. Come on people, (not you people, the litter bugs that probably don't read running blogs) it's the year 2011 and we're still littering? There are trash receptacles and recycling bins ALL.OVER.THE.PLACE. If you're ashamed of your choice in smoking, or the McDonald's that you just ate - throw it away INTO A CAN or *gasp* RECYCLE! Don't muddle up my beautiful, scenic run with your crap! There are some roads I feel like I'm running through a dump. Not cool.

5) Safety - While I've been known to *almost* fall off of a treadmill a time or two, they are safer than running in the dark. I dodge enough cars in the daylight, and I'd rather not chance becoming a part of the road kill that I discussed up there in #3.

6) No Fireplace Smoke/Exhaust - OK, really I know it isn't the fault of the homeowners who are keeping their homes toasty warm when it's cold outside. But, there is nothing worse than sucking air when it is laden with smoke. The same goes for car exhaust. Blech. I'm trying to get healthy and have strong lungs. It seems counterproductive when the air I'm breathing is full of fumes!

7) No Sticks! - This may just seem silly but I hate sticks. More-so, I hate sticks that disguise themselves as snakes, or vice verse. I have passed 4 snakes that I am aware of, and they have all looked like sticks from far away. Once I got close enough to realize what it was I found myself screaming and high jumping into the air. It may be funny to my fellow runners but for me it is traumatizing. I will run indoors all day long knowing I won't encounter any slithering serpents.

8) Consistent Weather - This is a little repetitive of # 2, but I just love that I don't have to worry about battling the elements when I'm at the gym. I don't have to compete with the wind, dodge the puddles, or skate on sheets of black ice. I do, however, have to avoid the man who bathes in cologne and always, always picks the treadmill next to mine.

9) Secret Races - There is almost always someone else running on a treadmill at the gym that I can pretend I'm running against. That always makes time go by faster and I love that they have no idea they have entered my little game.

10) No Hills - This is more of a con than a pro because hills are our friends. However, it is nice that if I want to have a nice easy run, I can accomplish that on the treadmill. I almost always run on an incline because it's a better overall workout and supposedly helps to prevent injury, but some days the flat surface is so welcoming.

So there it is - my ten reasons why running indoors isn't as terrible as I always think it is. While I'd take running outdoors over the treadmill on any given day, there are definitely circumstances where I feel blessed to have the option to hoof it over to the gym. This is my "no excuses" list for the winter to get me up and at 'em on the mornings I'd much rather stay snuggled under the covers. Feel free to message me on Facebook on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to see if I phoned it in or made it to the gym. Just be prepared for me to ask you the same!

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run For You,