Year of Running – 2018

Year of running - 2018 | happyfitmama.com

As much as I can’t believe it, it’s that time of year again.

Time to look back and reflect on the past 12 months that were 2018.

I know there’s still 19 days left in the year but I have zero running plans other than to have fun and enjoy the miles.  Ironically, I’m taking a little bit of time off from running this week since my Achilles decided to swell up on me after my run on Sunday.  I had my PT friend look at it and he seemed to think it was normal until he felt my left Achilles.  He wasn’t too alarmed…but of course I was.  He told me to take a few days off, follow the usual RICE protocol and he’d check it again later this week.  It seems less puffy already so I’m taking that as a good sign.  An even better sign is that it never hurt.  The last thing I want is an angry Achilles.  I’ve had it before and it’s not easy to get rid of!

Anywho, let’s get back to my year of running 2018.

Best race experience

After being disappointed with not getting into Mount Washington this year, I shifted my focus to two other mountain races, Cranmore and Loon Mountain.  Last year was my first time running Loon.  I loved it and could not wait to go back this year.  It was even more special this year because it was the U.S. Mountain Championship.  That meant the men and women started at different times.  This year I trudged up the mountain surrounded by nothing but badass ladies.  It was super rad to be racing and commiserating together. The final count was nearly 50% female participants, which is HUGE for trail and mountain running. There were tons of whoops, “lookin’ strong ladies”, and “great job, girl” throughout the race. Women supporting women – the way it should be.

Besides being really run, I felt strong for the duration of the race.  Climbing is my strength. I had zero expectations for the race other than to have a good time.  I did that and was shocked to see that I knocked off 11 minutes off my finishing time from 2017 and over 2 minutes off my Upper Walking Boss climb at the end.

It was just what I needed for a confidence boost after the shitty year of 2017!

I’ll be back in 2019 for sure!

Year of Running 2018 | happyfitmama.com

Best run

Earlier this year I started running with Kyle.  Our kids go to the same school but we had never met until she reached out to me over Instagram.  We run at least once a week together and have become great friends even outside of running.  I’m very fortunate to have found a running buddy who runs a similar pace and is up for running no matter what the weather brings.  I’d have to say our early morning runs have been some of my best of the year.

Year of Running | happyfitmama.com

Best new piece of running gear

I just got these tights from Athleta but I am in L.O.V.E!  They are so cute and fit like a glove. I wish they had more colors. And Goodr sunglasses.  Why did it take me so long to get a pair…or five?

Year of Running | happyfitmama.com

Best running advice you’ve received this year

You’ll never know unless you try. It’s the same advice I got last year but it still rings true for this year. A lot of time I push ideas and dreams to the back burner because I think it’s too far fetched or I’ll end up injured again.  Or I compare myself to where I was in previous years. Maybe I will.  Maybe I won’t.  I will never know unless I try.

Year of running | happyfitmama.com

Most inspirational runner

I still get chills watching Desi cross the finish line of Boston this year.  And it was so inspiring to see Courtney Dauwalter crush the year in Ultras. She’s super rad by doing her own thing.

Favorite picture from a run or race this year

As someone who takes A LOT of photos from every run, this is a hard one. But this one makes me laugh every time I see it.  It’s like we are a gang of misfit superhero runners.  I want to photo shop an explosion behind us. And my hang time is pretty awesome too. 🙂

Year of Running | happyfitmama.com

Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat

Loon Mountain for sure. Give me all the ups.

Year of Running | happyfitmama.comFinishing a race on top of the world and hanging with friends?  Worth all the climbing!

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?

Fun. Steady. Solid. Confidence building.

Year of RUnning | happyfitmama.com

Linking up with Coaches Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday.

How was your year of running in 2018?

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Another week of workouts is done.  It’s hard to believe that the year is winding down.  I’m in the in between season and having fun, doing what I want. My only complaint?  Why does December feel like February?  I’m so cold ALL.THE.TIME!  At least the rain has stopped.  Can we get some snow again? PLEASE?

Last week’s workouts

Monday

3 mile run, 8:54 avg pace

Strength training:

cable hi to lo chop

back squat bench taps

single leg hip thrust

banded pull ups

eccentric pull ups

DB bench press

Cable row w/ squat

pulley seated rows

bear crawl plank DB pull thru

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

I did not plan on running today but after lifting at the gym, I felt an urge.  I could’ve run at the gym on the treadmill but I had an urge to run outside.  I didn’t have cold weather running gear with me so I went home, grabbed a jacket, gloves and a hat and hit the pavement for 3 miles.

It wasn’t the most time efficient thing to do but I still made it to work on time.  High 5 to me!

Tuesday

5 mile run, 8:51 avg/pace

I had a boat load of things to do today so another early morning run was on the books.  Thankfully, Kyle was able to join me.  Conversational pace is a great way to start a Tuesday.

Morning Flow Yoga @ BBY

Wednesday

20 minutes Elliptical w/ 30 sec sprints, 60 sec recovery x 8

20 minutes Stepmill

strength training:

bench press

split squats

single leg running woman w/ row

eccentric pull ups

banded pull ups

KB plank rows

KB swings

single leg KB deadlift

goblet squat

KB ’round the world

Thursday

6 mile run, 8:37 avg/pace

About 7 years ago, I had an Exercise Physiologist intern at work, Erika.  We ran together a few times before she got married and moved away.  Recently, she moved back with her husband and new baby.  Her husband, Charles, reached out to me through Instagram about running groups that meet in the early morning.  Hmmmm…I think I know of some crazies! Today he joined Kyle and I for our zero dark thirty run. I had only met him briefly at their wedding reception 6.5 years ago…who knew we’d be meeting up to run in the dark years later?  It’s a small world!

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Friday

Rest day!

Saturday

5 mile trail run, 11:11 pace (good luck!)

It had been quite awhile since I’d done a trail run.  I missed it so!  I procrastinated quite awhile before heading out to the trailhead.  It was another cold morning (teens). I wasn’t sure what the conditions would be like but was happy to find mostly frozen dirt with patches of frozen puddles.  Thankfully, my feet stayed dry when I went through the ice in some spots.  FYI – My trail shoes (Saucony Peregrine ICE+  -> affiliate link) aren’t water proof but water resistant.  I can’t recommend them enough! If I had a choice, I’d be running on dirt everyday.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

Sunday

6.5 mile run, 8:43 avg pace

Mini Band Glute Workout:

Lying hip flexor

Bridge with abductor

Clamshell

Fire hydrant

Donkey kick

Plank with toe tap

This run felt cold. Maybe even colder than Saturday’s?  I was so thankful to have company with Kyle.  Otherwise I would have procrastinated until it felt a little warmer.

I had a big moment for me prior to to this run.  It was the first time I’ve worn the Boston Marathon jacket I bought in 2015.  I swore I’d never wear it since I DNF the race.  After 3.5 years, I changed my mind.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with Hoho and Wendy for the weekly workout wrap up.

Pretzel Peppermint Bark

Pretzel Peppermint Bark | happyfitmama.com

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Barlean’s.

I’ve always associated peppermint with Christmas. It makes me think of when it’s a cold December day and you take a deep breath outside. It takes your breath away but it feels refreshing at the same time.

I probably think of peppermint and Christmas because of Candy Canes. You can’t have Christmas without Candy Canes. Do you know they make Oreo Candy Canes? Blech! Call me a traditionalist but I like the plain peppermint candy canes best. Why ruin Oreos by putting it in candy cane form?

Years ago, a friend of mine, tried to get me to like adding a pump or two of peppermint to my iced coffee. I thought it was disgusting. Why would she ruin peppermint for me like that? But then that same friend introduced me to one of my all time favorite indulgent drinks, Peppermint Mocha. There’s just something about the flavor of chocolate and peppermint that gets me every time.

A peppermint mocha is what inspired this delicious concoction of salty pretzels, cooling peppermint candy and dark and dreamy chocolate.  Always a winning combo, right?

If you are short on time and want a holiday inspired treat, this Pretzel Peppermint Bark is it!

Pretzel Peppermint Bark | happyfitmama.com

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pretzel Peppermint Bark
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (12 oz) bag of dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp Barlean's Seriously Delicious Essential Woman Chocolate Mint (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped pretzels
  • ¼ cup crushed peppermint candies
Instructions
  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Melt dark chocolate chips in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring until chips are smooth.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of Barlean's Seriously Delicious Essential Woman Chocolate Mint to chocolate and stir.
  4. Pour chocolate on sheet tray and spread into an even layer.
  5. Top with pretzels and candy canes then refrigerate until hardened (about 30 minutes).
  6. Once hardened, break into pieces and enjoy!

 

I added an extra bit of goodness to the Pretzel Peppermint Bark with a dose of Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Essential Woman Chocolate Mint.  You may be familiar with Barlean’s Omega Swirls.  It’s the exact same formula just a new name. They believe their Omega-3 supplements are both serious and delicious which is why they’ve changed the name.

Pretzel Peppermint Bark | happyfitmama.com

A serving of Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3’s is made with Flaxseed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Special Plant Phytonutrients which supplies Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid).  It’s made with no artificial flavors or colors and made with real chocolate. As always, the Seriously Delicious Omega-3’s are vegan, Gluten-Free, and non-GMO.

It’s easy to get a dose of Omega-3’s by the spoonful or adding it to smoothies, drizzled on oatmeal or stirred into your favorite Pretzel Peppermint Bark.

What’s your favorite holiday treat?

Have you tried Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3’s?