Thursday Things

1. Man, I swear, one of these days I’ll actually get around to posting twice in one week. I keep having such good intentions about getting up a Tuesday post, but then I have days like Monday where I have a whopping one hour between the time I get home from work/post-work activities and the time I go to bed, so obviously a Tuesday post didn’t happen. Maybe next week…

2. My holiday festivities continued this past weekend with a particularly Christmasy day on Saturday, with a party and a trip to the Christkindlmarket.

christkindlmarket2016-2

I’ve been to the Christkindlmarket a handful of times over the four Decembers I’ve spent in Chicago, but this was the first time I actually got any food or drinks. I don’t drink that much, period, and I particularly don’t drink wine since I don’t enjoy it all that much, but I finally decided to get into the Christkindlmarket spirit this year with a souvenier baby stein of mulled wine. Not the same as a boot, of course, but it’ll do. I also had bratwurst, some potato soup, AND bienenstich (which translates to “bee sting cake” – honey, custard, almonds: yes please). Needless to say, I left with a very full (but happy) tummy.

christkindlmarket2016-1

In case I didn’t have enough to eat at the Christkindlmarket, Saturday’s party went above and beyond to make sure I didn’t go to bed hungry, with a huge, amazing home cooked meal featuring mashed potatoes, ham, pot pies, green bean casserole, bacon wrapped dates (and non-bacon wrapped dates for the vegetarians in the group), mac & cheese bites, and salad, plus a huge assortment of cookies. We did a white elephant gift exchange and I walked away with a chocolate gift basket, which may go down as the best white elephant gift I’ve ever received. If I had been thinking, I would’ve taken a picture of it, but for now you’ll just have to believe me when I say it is awesome.

3. I’ve made it to the end of my return to run program AND almost to the end of my stint in PT! Exactly what I wanted for Christmas 🙂 I haven’t had any real foot or ankle pain since I started running (just some hamstring issues, but that happened before I even got out of the boot, and some [nearly tear-inducing] active release therapy from my PT on Monday cleared that up nicely). I ran continuously for the first time since the Chicago Marathon on Saturday, two months and one day after the race. I’m now allowed to run as usual, following all the standard best practices (10% mileage increase per week, no running if pain lingers for days, etc.). I have a race this Saturday (assuming the weather is okay – they emailed us yesterday saying it could be cancelled if there are subzero temps/a blizzard), so the timing worked out quite nicely.

After Saturday, though, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what I want to do. Right now, my 2017 racing calendar primarily features half marathons, so for once in my life I’ll probably actually have decent weekly mileage (and by “decent” I mean “more than 10, on average.” Haha.). While I’m confident I can run a half marathon on eight weeks of training, given the injury situation, I’d rather take training slow, so I plan to find a beginner’s half marathon training program that ideally lasts 12 weeks and use that to get ready for my first half (the other ones will all be close enough to/during marathon season that I don’t anticipate needing to train for them specifically). Twelve weeks out from my first half of 2017 will be the beginning of February, and though I plan to maintain a base between Saturday and then, I don’t expect running to be my primary form of exercise during that time, which means I need to find something else to occupy my time. The NTC app is always available, but I’m really not enthusiastic about following a training plan right now, and quite honestly I’ve found very few workouts since the app updated over the summer that I really love. I’ve thought about diving into classes at my gym, but the times rarely work for my schedule/lifestyle. I’ve also thought about getting a 10-pack or unlimited month at a fitness studio, but not only do those schedules often conflict with mine, they’re also CRAZY expensive. So I’m not really sure what to do. Basically, I want someone to organize a workout for me that isn’t the same every single day, rarely involves long stints on the treadmill, is completely flexible to my schedule, including the times where I don’t have access to the gym (when I’m home for Christmas, for example) or just don’t want to go to the gym, and doesn’t cost more than, like, $50. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m ALL ears.

Oh, and while we’re (kind of) on the topic of half marathons, Rock ‘n’ Roll has an insane deal today, with prices on most of their halves as low as $50, including the Chicago one (!!). And Vegas is only $99, which, compared to the $175ish I paid to for this year’s race when I registered in August, is a pretty nice steal. The deal only runs until 11:59 p.m. Pacific time tonight, though (that’s 2 a.m. Friday morning Chicago time), so don’t wait around!

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