Thursday, December 26, 2013

Catching up and the spirit of aloha

I hope everyone has been enjoying their holidays! I've got a lot to catch up on from the past few weeks.

Holiday Party Pic
I had mentioned here that I would post a group picture from the Chicago Running Bloggers Holiday Party once I got a copy. Voila!

From L to R: Kim, Anne, Katie Eric, Erin, Emily, Kelsey, Lauren, LindsayEricaBethany, me, MaggieZenaida
What a great gathering of bloggers! I truly wish we could all get together much more often. Maybe at least once a quarter?

A New Winner
The holiday headband giveaway prize has gone unclaimed. Therefore, I have selected another recipient. Congratulations to ArmyAmy!!!

ArmyAmy, please email me at by Friday, January 3, 2014, and we'll get you set up with your new headband!

Aloha 'Oe
I had a really great time in Maui. Lots of beach time and water activities intermingled with the classic Maui tourist haunts like the road to Hana, Haleakala National Park, whale watching, and a luau. (I did not end up doing the Purple Christmas Fun Run in Kahului.)

I've said for years that I wished I could BE Hawaiian and this trip was no exception. Every time I go to Hawaii I am reminded how much I love the way of life there, the friendliness of the people, the Polynesian culture, the spiritual respect for the land and the ocean, and of course the stunning scenery and perfect weather. The islands are enchanting and truly magical.

The view from my daily runs

It was extremely difficult to return to Chicago afterwards. I've never thought so seriously about not coming back. Ever. Adam and I were half-joking that the Hawaii airports should have counselors available at all departure gates for travelers suffering post-Hawaii travel depression (of which there appeared to be many). 

It didn't help that upon return, I came across a show on HGTV called Hawaii Life and got sucked into watching a few episodes. I learned that real estate prices in Hawaii, while high, are not as outrageous as originally anticipated. Who knew that it was potentially so doable to live in Hawaii? Sigh...

In any event, I am already trying to figure out when I can go back.

Celebrating Adam's birthday with an alfresco dinner at Morimoto Maui.

Not surprisingly, the 2014 Honolulu Marathon is looking more and more appealing. It's a good thing that the Honolulu Marathon is in December and has no registration limits. This means that I have plenty of time to think about it and build up my motivation!

Other Notes:

  • I finally signed up for my first road race in 2014: the Esprit de She 5K/10K on July 24. This was one of my favorite races in 2013. It was like a night out on the town with a few hundred of my closest running friends (read my recap here). I am super excited to run it again. Ladies, if you have a chance to attend this or any of the events from this race series, they are a blast. Highly recommended.
  • I am still going strong on my Runners World daily run streak! I'm up to 40 days as of yesterday and still feeling really good. I was concerned that the run streak would exacerbate my niggling running ailments, but my legs actually feel as solid as they ever have. Cheers to that! 
  • Unfortunately, since running the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in mid-November, I've only done two runs longer than 5 miles. I'm pretty sure I've lost much of my long-run endurance by this point, and I am daunted by the prospects of having to build it back up. UGH.
  • Speaking of being daunted, I am becoming more and more of a cold-weather running wimp. These days I'm reluctant to run outside if the weather dips below about 25 degrees. Now I am becoming more and more content to slug my runs out on the climate-controlled comfort of the treadmill. What's happened to me?
Two feet of snow. Literally.
  • I had read about how switching running shoes every so often helps strengthen your foot mechanics by diversification, thereby reducing the risk of injury. I've been focusing nearly all of my runs on a single pair of shoes these past few weeks, particularly while I was on vacation. Then, I finally switched things up when I got home. I realized that I did indeed have certain pronating tendencies in the one pair of shoes that I didn't experience in other pairs. How's that for justifying multiple pairs of running shoes?
  • And even with this added justification, I will not be buying any more running shoes for awhile. I SWEAR. But - that doesn't mean that I can't identify what my next planned purchase will be. I've been hearing absolutely rave reviews about the Brooks Pure Flows and I am very eager to try them out. My targeted purchase time, based on estimated current running shoe retirement rate, is next summer.
The Brooks Pure Flow collection. Such great colors to pick from!

Once again, happy holidays! I'm working to get back on track with all of your blogs!


  1. Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka! So glad you had a great time! That's exactly how I felt when we left Hawaii. Just heartbroken to have to go home. And like you, we flew back to less than tropical weather - it was SNOWING in April! Blah. Hope we can catch up sometime soon so I can hear more about your trip!

    Running out in the cold is really hard sometimes, but I hate the treadmill so much, I've been making myself do it. My threshold last year was 15 degrees, but I made it out in 5 degree weather this week, so I think I've officially conquered cold-weather running! Hope you can get back out there too!

    1. Thanks, Anne! Heartbroken doesn't even begin to describe the feeling - you totally understand! I hope we can catch up again sometime soon as well! One of these days I need to make it out to the famed WRCE Pint Nights. =)

      Oh my goodness, you went out for a run in 5-degree weather!?!?!? You are hard-core!!! I am so impressed! If I had to run in those conditions, I would dress in so many layers that I would look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. =D

    2. We should probably just plan a big group trip to Hawaii :)

      And I was in SO many layers for the 5 degree run! Double pants, double shirts, double socks, gloves, hats.... But with enough gear, it's bearable!

    3. A big group trip to Hawaii? SAY NO MORE!!! I AM IN!!! There are SO many great race options in Hawaii, too! =D =D =D

      Double socks and double (or even triple!) shirts are a must in cold weather! When you wore double pants, did you do two sets of tights or a set of tights and a different type of pants on top?

    4. Fleece-lined tights with pants over them. Erin recommended capris under tights for less bulk (since the bottoms of my flare-legged pants collect slush!), so that's another option.

      I'd love to do a race in Hawaii someday, so definitely count me in! I loved running in Maui, so I'd be more than happy with that :)

  2. Maybe we have an upcoming CRB trip! I'd be in...

    1. I AM TOTALLY IN!!! Honolulu Marathon? Maui Half Marathon? Or really any excuse to go to Hawaii? DONE!!!!!!! =D

  3. I would like to add that Emily has the full support of her husband should she deem it necessary that we spend more time in Hawaii !!!

    1. Thank you sweetie! You are such a kind, generous, giving, and supportive husband for offering to spend more time in Hawaii!!! =) =) =)

  4. Mmmmmm Maui! I haven't been back since 2005 and NEED to! My only reservation with racing long there would be the heat. But I'm a great cheerleader/spectator!
    My mileage is way down now too. It slips away so easily when I'm not training for anything. Sigh.

    1. I think we all absolutely need to visit Hawaii at least once a year if possible!!! It just does something for the spirit, right? I am still thinking about how you surprised your husband with the Maui Half Marathon for his birthday. WOW, are you an amazing wife!!! =D

  5. Oh gawd, your Hawaii photos are making me want to get the heck out of frigid Chicago!!!!

    And im more motivated to run outside with friends, so we can start making run dates to traverse the lakefront when the temps are chilly. I find the worst part is getting out the door. Within 10 minutes of running- I'm usually "warm." Just let me know when :)

    Can't wait to catch up with you and the man!!!!

    1. This winter in Chicago has been especially bad this year. It would be one thing if it was a stable winter, but I seriously can't remember another stretch where it has been this rollercoasterish, ever. Negative 50 one day, then 40 degrees the next. Craziness!!!

      And yes to run dates!!! I have an irrational fear of going out on the lakefront path during the winter because I always think it's going to be even windier (i.e. a higher wind-chill factor) out there. But everything is easier when you've got a friend there to keep you company!!!

  6. Love the photo of the Brooks shoes. Definitely get a pair.

    I am getting bored with the Running Streak. Is it almost over yet? I hate running in the cold weather. It isn't so much the cold weather but the number of layers I have to put on. I'd rather run in shorts and a shirt and that is why I LOVE the treadmill.

    And as for Hawaii, I cannot wait to go.

    1. Yay for Brooks shoes! I am so excited to give them a go, especially with such rave reviews from you and so many others! Counting down to when I can try them out. Hey, that is more motivation to log those miles when you know that the more you run, the more quickly you can replace your shoes, right?

      Yeah, I was in no rush to keep the run streak going after January 1. It was definitely nice to keep some running momentum going with the streak during the holiday season, but running did start getting kind of monotonous when done for that purpose, no? I don't know if I'll do another run streak again next year or not.