Holiday Wishes

The holidays are upon us, and I wanted to make sure to send a very special wish for peace this season to all of you.

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No matter what you believe in or what religion you practice, take the time to enjoy the season with your friends and family and remember what is important to you in life.

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If you happen to have been good this year, you may have a present or two under the tree.  The runner in us all hopes you get some new shoes, shorts or tech shirts.  Some new socks, a Garmin, maybe a race entry.

I hope the New Year brings you a shiny new PR!

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Happy Holidays from our house to yours, wherever you may be on the map.  See you on the road!

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December Update -Health? Wealth? Wise?

Just a quick update today, as today is my last day off until Christmas.  So little time left before the big day, and so much to do.

I actually just wrapped the first gift, of the many I have in the pile to do today.  That alone is an accomplishment just days before Christmas.  I am no a big preparer for the holiday, and never have things like shopping and wrapping done early.  I always have good intentions, but it never happens.

December is a time to celebrate our blessings, but let me tell you, This December has also been filled with curses for me.  I started to get sick two weeks ago yesterday, and remain ill.  Finally getting better, but it has indeed been a huge struggle.  I thought I was on the mend about a week into my illness, but then it took a terrible turn for the worse which put me in Urgent Care this week.  I finally got a diagnosis of pneumonia, and sinus infection coupled with bronchitis.  Don’t you know I have felt great over the past two weeks?  Yep, not really.  It has been one of the worst sicknesses I have ever had, and during the month of December when work is at it’s peak in physical demands, it has been really hard.

Obviously it has impacted my December running goals, and have only been out on the pavement seven times.  Racking up about 30 miles doesn’t really cut it when it comes to trying to regain my fitness and move toward that first marathon on 2015 in Feveuary.  I remain confident though in my ability to bounce back, and definitely have experience on my side when it comes to training.

So, it has been a rough month health wise.  Wealthy and wise?  I am surely not wealthy, but have had the opportunity to fine tune some creative skills this past month.  No judgements here please, but I am going to share a few photos with you of some of my creations.  I work in an environment where a multitude of skills are required at times.  Being in management, if someone on my team is out of commission, I need to step up to the plate and get his or her job done.  Look at some of the things I had to create over the past few weeks.

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Floral arrangements are not my forte.  Again, these were created out of necessity for customer orders.  All of the work is my own, and it made me proud to have completely satisfied customers.  Being able to show a creative side at work has been a huge plus on the wealth side this month.  Not monetarily, but self satisfaction.

As far as being wise?  As we head into a new year, I can say that yes, I have grown.  I have become more wise at work, dealing with staff and customers.  I have become a better friend, manager, brother, father and son.  I am better at maintaining relationships, through all life lessons learned.  I reflect more, and give myself time to think before reacting.  A lot of this I have learned through running.  I have learned these lessons about running, and during my runs.  Running gives me a lot of time to reflect, to contemplate, to relax.  It is a soothing activity for my soul, and I believe that I am a better person all around because of it.  My passion for running has certainly had amazing positive impacts on my life that go way beyond the medal placed around my neck at the finish line.  For this I am forever grateful and wiser for.

Drink Up! A Runner’s Guide to the Holiday Indulgence

As an athlete I am always mindful of hydration and what I put into my body.  I will be the first to admit that I am NOT the healthiest person to walk this Earth.  I do, however, try to watch what I eat for the most part, and also what I drink.  As the season of cheer is upon us, and more than likely us runner folk will be attending numerous holiday parties and family gatherings, I ask this question.

How will you “hydrate” this season?  Will you uncork a few bottles of bubbly?

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It’s true, champagne does have less calories than your regular old bottle of vino.  Plus, the added benefit of your average champagne glass being smaller than a wine glass means less of a pour (unless you drink several glasses, then this negates the positives).  They say that both wine and champagne have benefits increasing heart health.  Sure, that’s not new news, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it.  Champagne contains antioxidants that can lower bold pressure, too.

Maybe you are the type to reach into the fridge, and pull out and crack open a can of beer.  Hopefully only having a few, and not the whole six pack.

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Many runners believe that beer is a great form of hydration post race.  As long as you don’t drink and drive, beer does have benefits if consumed in safe quantities.  There are reports that brewskis can be heart smart.  Here’s an interesting tidbit.  I read recently that the compounds in hops (used to make beer) may slow the release of calcium in our bones, which for men can be a good thing when related to kidney stones.  I’ve never had a kidney stone, nor am I a beer drinker, so you have to test that theory on your own.  Beer also contains B Vitamins and Fiber.  Yeah for being regular!

Who doesn’t love a nice smooth glass of wine?  Are you a white, red or rose drinker?

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Wine has a ton of benefits, ask any housewife.  Lol….  She’ll tell you it has pleasant calming effects that makes putting up with the children a whole lot easier.  It may also make putting out a whole lot easier, too.  You’ll have to ask the husbands that question.  Maybe it doesn’t.  Seriously though, wine can reduce the risk of many health related issues from Type 2 Diabetes to Stroke and Colon Cancer.  Some say it also makes you smarter, longer.

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Step up to the bar, it’s time for a cocktail.  Is there a difference in clear versus darker alcohol?  Sure is.  As research has shown in wine consumption, alcohol can have positive impacts on heart health.  The key here, is to drink a responsible amount.  It can also have great impact either positive or negative on the brain depending on how much is consumed.  Again, be careful, as weight gain, and potential damage to liver function and the likelihood of higher blood pressure compounds as casual drinker turns into habitual drinker.  Some say that alcohol consumption leads to creativity.  Being uninhibited helps the creative juices flow, but too much can lead to pregnancy, STD’s or an overnight stay in a local jail cell.

Moderation folks, moderation….

Probably the best form of hydration for any runner out there is H2O.  Drink plenty of it!  Even when you don’t feel like you need it, because it’s colder outside, you do.  Develop a hydration plan and stick to it, even during the holidays.

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Coconut water, chocolate milk and electrolytes are your friends.  They won’t land you on the sofa either for saying something wrong to the spouse.  They are generally great for hydration both before and after a run.

Do you have a holiday hydration plan in place?  What will you be drinking to celebrate the season?

My Runner’s Christmas List

Funny that I’ve heard the calliope music of ice cream trucks the last two days, because isn’t this the cold season?  Isn’t this the time to bundle up on the couch in a nice warm house, watching the snowfall outside?  Maybe your in a place on the map like me, where it doesn’t snow that often, or at all.  Maybe you can get outside all year, and run to your hearts content.  I know I do.

As the Chsitmas season comes on full force, I am forced to come up with a list, because after all, you-know-who will be checking that list, not once but twice.  Santa Claus!  What could a junkie runner want that’s worthy of jotting down on a wish list for Santa?  A few things come to mind…..

1.  Another new pair of running shoes.  Asics Cumulus size 9.5 please.

2.  I dreadfully need new running shorts, because all the vinegar in the world can’t take the stink out of the ones I currently own.  And not just one pair of 5-7 inch inseam running shorts, how about 5 or 6 pairs Santa?

3.  Entry fees into a Half dozen marathons for 2015.  A can name quite a few off hand, and if you need websites, Santa, just let me know.

4.  A check to cover my travel expenses to places like Colorado, Chicago, NYC, etc., for my mini racecations next year.

5.  A new Garmin…. One with all the bells and whistles…. One that will work consistently for more than a year, please.

And finally…. The big one Santa!  The one I really want more than any other gift this Christmas.  If you must forego on #’s 1-5 due to the expense, I understand, but if you do, you must bring me #6.

6.  Please, please, please……..

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Christmas Quiz

Image Time for a quiz….. A holiday Christmas poll. As I get ready to put up my artificial flocked Christmas Tree, I figured I would post about the decorating details of this holiday.  I am going greener and minimalist this year.  I purchased, to the tune of $70-$100 per year, a freshly cut Christmas Tree for years, but over the past five years, have gone with artificial.  I had a white tree for three years, and then bought a flocked tree last year.  I use ornaments from years of collecting, sort of a tradition my mother started when we were growing up.  I buy five ornaments every year to add into the mix, so my tree has a different look every year.  Sometimes just blue lights, other years white lights.  I haven’t used multi-colored lights in a long time. So, here goes….. 1.  The tree.  Fresh or artificial?  Green or white? ImageImageImage 2.  How about ornaments?  Do you go with a theme, or use a mix of eclectic baubles? Image 3.  How about the presents.  Do you go maximum pageantry or go minimal?  Ribbons, bows?

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4.  How about indoor decorating?  Is every room decorated to the hilt?  Is it tacky and overdone, or smart chic.

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  And finally….. 5.  How about the outdoors?  I am not decorating outside at all.  Do you go simple or go all Clark Griswold?

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