Is this thing on?

By | February 5, 2023

beating the sun to the beach

moody skies, but the sun pushing through

pure magic

winter skies

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

One of my unwritten 2023 goals was more self care. Sometimes the tool to accomplish that is a screen break. I was grateful too to be able to spend some time outdoors, which is always medicinal. While I worked from Mom & Bob’s one day, it was also wonderful to take a true vacation.

Linking up with Kim and Deborah to talk about January in running and reading.

say cheese!

And what else comes with Florida? Blogger meetups. It was so fun to finally meet Jenny after our schedules were out of alignment on prior visits.

As with everywhere else in the US this “winter”, Florida weather was all over the map. I had days where 8am was too late to run, and others where I could have run forever under overcast skies. Overall, half marathon training/the Team Wilpers program is going really well. It’s hard to trust the program especially with regard to easy pace and cutback weeks, but I’m excited to see where it takes me. I’m also grateful to it for getting me out the door when I really don’t want to – like yesterday’s 12 degree wind chill at 4Pm when I finally went out. It was -11 earlier in the day. While I prefer winter over summer any day, I don’t love the extremes of either. Living in a world of 20-80 (with cooler temps in the morning for runs) would be just fine.

fast braids in training!

One thing I’ve always loved about races is “fast braids” and I’m excited to report that my hair is long enough for a messy french braid! Maybe my hair is in training too. It won’t be long enough for the NYC Half, but there’s hope!

I’m moving runs around, which is helpful to make sure I get them in on work days. I got spoiled with vacation but this is my first full week since early December (eek!) and I think I have a good plan that takes in both not running on office days, and a long run even though I’m doing a 4M race next weekend. No goals, just fun. NYRR just updated best pace and I have no idea my corral anymore.

83 is my monthly running goal to hit 1,000 on the year and while I came in just under at 73.96, I’m not worried.  The volume of long runs will pick up in February and I always run more in spring and fall than I do in winter and summer. Most importantly, it’s been relatively pain free. After the IT Band bothering me more than I talked about in fall and winter, this is such a relief.


On the strength training front, Matty’s enCORE challenge makes it easier to do a daily strength class. And funnily enough, the first time I did it was also in tandem with a break. This time of year is hard.  Sometimes it’s time to listen to your mind as well as your body. Speaking of minds… in 2006 I was living in Japan and spotted an Air Canada fare sale. I could go home for under $300. Round trip. The available dates happened to coincide with Dad’s birthday and with my brother as airport chauffeur (and photographer!) I surprised mom and dad when I rang the bell.  Turned out to be Dad’s last birthday. Listen to your gut. Love your people.

A ten day vacation means good reading time. An interesting mix of books. I read more non fiction than I normally do on vacation. The Lost Ticket was really sweet. I enjoyed Feral because I’m a National Park nerd – and Deb you may too!

Vacation drinks

and the morning kind

I don’t drink enough to bother with Dry January, plus Bob is a great cocktail maker. I’m a sucker for butterscotch and while this didn’t’ really work with almond milk which is too thin, it was delicious. I also admire the survival skills of that one piece of spinach that was not going to be sucked into the blender blades. While Delray has a great farmers’ market, the veggies didn’t come from there but there was still something easier about eating lots of greens in smoothies and lunch salads.

Here’s to a strong February!

16 thoughts on “Is this thing on?

  1. Jenny

    Oh, hello there! I’m glad you weren’t here this week- it was super hot and then got really rainy over the weekend. We had a nice day for our walk!
    Yes, here’s to a strong February, with no IT band pain and lots of running : )

  2. Chocolaterunsjudy

    I hope you do, indeed, have a strong February! Self care is SO important.

    I didn’t really like Feral, and I had high hopes. She came off as so incredibly whiny, and it seemed like she was just rushing through parks to tick them off. just my opinion, obviously, but I’ve read other kinda similar year-in-the national parks books that I just liked better.

    First reads have been kinda a bomb for me lately!

  3. Jessie

    What a nice surprise you were able to do- $300 from Japan- cheap! What a deal. My mom’s birthday is coming up in March, which I know will be hard- my dad will be here in London a week later and I haven’t seen him since the funeral. I am excited to see him; I think the anniversary of her death will be harder, but who knows, it’s all a first for me.

    Anyways, on a brighter note, glad you had a nice visit in Florida and connected with Jenny!

  4. Wendy

    I am so glad you had such a great week–and how fun that you got to meet Jenny. I’ve been doing the ‘trail braids’ but it really keeps my hair from tangling and overall seems to be a fun way to keep my hair tamed.

    Those anniversaries can be really hard but wow, aren’t you so glad you surprised your dad with the trip home? What a great memory and that has to make you feel good every time you think about it.

    I’m right with you on the training mileage and as you said, I know it will increase as we move into spring. I was so close to 1000 miles last year–ridiculously close–and I hope to hit it this year.

  5. Susanne

    Those two top images from the beach are fantastic. I hope February will give you good running conditions and pain-free runs too. How nice to meet Jenny IRL!

  6. Darlene Cardillo

    So happy to hear that you got away… You can never predict the weather and definitely not in Fla.

    Who knows what it will be like when I go.

    And up here it was soooo cold. Warmer today but still windy and cold. I did not enjoy my run one bit.

    I hope we both have a pain-free and strong Feb…

    Looking forward to seeing you in March.

  7. Coco

    Those beach photos are stunning! It sounds like you had a nice break. Last week sort of felt like a break for me. There was work but it wasn’t stressful. With my real vacation coming up next week I hope to keep the stress at bay!

    Yay on meeting up with Jenny!

    I am not good at spur-of-the-moment trips, but I will take your advice to heart. <3

  8. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures

    How fun you got to meet up with Jenny! Sounds like a great vacation. The beach looks wonderful! The only mixed drinks we make at our house are margaritas. We need to branch out this summer and try some yummy new treats!

  9. Deborah Brooks

    It is always great to getaway. The weather in Florida is so annoying. It was so sunny and hot on Friday and then rained the entire weekend. So annoying! I was close to 100m last year but the summer heat did me in. It is hard to trust to the training sometimes but I am trying too

  10. Kimberly Hatting

    Welcome to the braid club! I’ve been doing braids for years (more so in the winter when there’s a messy stocking hat involved). Ponytails get too tangled, and I can’t stand the bouncing (and hate how low ponytails look on me). So yeah. Anyways, looks like your January played out nicely!

  11. Jenn

    Rain, wind and cold on tap for the weekend LOL!

    No dry January for me. Like you, I don’t drink quite enough to make it a thing, and I have too many events going on where I want to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail.

    I love that “surprise” photo. So cute.

  12. Debbie

    Awww, I love that picture of you surprising your parents with a visit home! “Listen to your gut. Love your people.” Those are words of wisdom!

    Thanks for the tip on Feral. I just ordered it!

  13. Michelle

    So glad you got some time away! And yay for connecting with Jenny 🙂

    Also good to hear your IT band is behaving.

    “Listen to your gut. Love your people” – no wiser words than those!

  14. Teresa

    You have nice pictures from Florida. I so miss the sunshine. I have to move my runs around to work with my work schedule quite often too. I am on call every 3rd weekend so if I get called in my running plans go to crap. I always plan on being called in now because I get less cranky that way.

  15. Shathiso

    Wow – that story about surprising your dad for what would be his last birthday really touched me. It’s funny how our gut is so often right about things our minds or even hearts don’t quite understand at the time.

    So happy to hear you’ve had some relatively pain-free runs too! My Half Marathon training is going well – I’m enjoying the process and feeling stronger each week. On Saturday, I did a 12km run where I felt so powerful. I’ve missed that feeling. I should remember that when I do my speed work tomorrow – funny how speedwork always gets me so nervous! Like exam-kind-of-nervous!

  16. Liz Dexter

    You need to move to the UK, don’t you!! I did those two french plaits once when I had long hair and it felt like I was giving myself a facelift – ouch! I did used to do two normal low plaits a lot though. I miss them, but not the upkeep! Glad you had the vacation time and love that surprise picture, marvellous! Caught just at the right moment in more ways than one.


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