{Christmas Winter Wonderland Run}

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Visiting family across the state or country is the perfect opportunity to explore new territory, run new routes, and enjoy nature’s wonder in a new way. So I did just that on Christmas morning. It was one of those perfect winter mornings…freshly falling snow, temperatures in the twenties, no wind. I was all prepped to rock out to my holiday music mix on my iPod shuffle from 2006. Of course I also had to show my holiday spirit by donning my holiday Pro Compression socks.

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This would also be the first time I got to try out my Christmas gift from the husband. It was really all I wanted from him as a gift and he delivered! I’d have loved the Garmin 620, but just couldn’t justify spending $450 on a watch. The 220 has the important features I’ll use the most and didn’t totally break the bank, so it was the one I requested. Plus purple is awesome; you’ll be hearing more about my thoughts on this watch as I become an expert on its features.

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We headed out for our run and passed by this festive street seeing more snowblowers than vehicles.

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Then it we headed towards Lake Michigan for some scenic winter views.

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This run was just so beautiful. The trees heavy with fresh, glistening snow. The crunch of untouched snow underfoot. Holiday tunes playing in the earbuds. The changing landscape so in contrast to the warm weather sights.

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There is always something I’ve loved about winter that is hard to put into words. The world is blanketed in snow, yet so desolate, exposed, and vulnerable. It’s the perfect time to take comfort in small things that make you cozy, toasty, and warm.

You can hear winter’s song on these winter runs or at night with the moon reflecting off sparkling snow. There is a certain sound to it only heard in the winter months. These are the winter runs I love so much.

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Winter runs also go perfect with a warm cup of Starbucks or mug of hot chocolate.

Get out and enjoys winter’s song.

{Happy Holidays}

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In the blink of an eye the holidays are gone. This year they’ve come too fast. The days leading up to Christmas are often some of my favorites of the year. I feel like I didn’t get to enjoy some of the traditions I normally have because I was overwhelmed with other obligations. Not okay! So join me in my wish for you and myself.
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My wish for you and yours over the next few days is to slow down and enjoy the season. Savor those moments with your family and friends. Enjoy the great treats, the glow of holiday lights, and the sounds of the season. Linger with your loved ones snuggled on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and a holiday movie. Get every last minute you can out of the holidays. Squeeze in that last tradition. Simply enjoy the magic this time of year brings.

Back of our holiday card.

Back of our holiday card.


Happy Holidays!

{Ugly Sweater 5k-Updated!}

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Sunday was the Ugly Sweater 5k held in La Crosse each year.  In past years the race has been referred to as the Rotary Lights 5k.  This year they changed things up a bit adding some festive fun with ugly sweaters. Let’s just say my sweater was UG-ly!

Since it was cold outside with a windchill of -8 degrees, we put on our warm layers including my super warm base layer from Target that I bought that very day.  Once again, I have not put laundry away in a while and I could not find a lot of my layers.  This shirt stays in place, is fleecy warm on the inside, wind resistant, and so cozy all for $19.99.  Keep in mind it is snug and tight like a base layer should be.  I did go up a size and could have went up two sizes for a bit of a looser fit.  You can find it online here.

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After some quick photos at my mom and stepdad’s house we were off to the race.  We got to packet pick up, picked up our race numbers, and waited inside the warm lobby of the Radisson.  With the race start just steps out the door, we enjoyed the warmth until we absolutely had to head outdoors.

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The sun was setting and we were jumping up and down like most runners were doing our best to stay warm.  Lucky for us ugly sweaters are surprisingly warm.  Garland, too.  My holiday Pro Compression socks offered some added warmth and fun to the outfit.   I love these socks, and if you are hoping to also make sure to use coupon code BLG13 to get 40% off and free shipping on your order.

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Santa started the race-gun and all.  Sort of a disturbing sight to see Santa shooting a gun in the air, but I get he isn’t the real Santa.  The real Santa is obviously far too busy to be at the starting line of the Ugly Sweater 5k.

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The gun went off and we were off.  The race started in Riverside Park, took us onto the pathway along the frozen Mississippi, and then lead us onto the La Crosse River Trails.  We clicked off our first mile on the snow covered sidewalks and trails in 8:06.  At the halfway turn around we ran around a North Pole sign with the sounds of holiday music nearby.  We kept up the pace and ran back along the trails finishing under the Rotary Lights lighted canopy.  Then it was time to enjoy the lights and our new Ugly Sweater mugs.

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Race perks included a mug with free hot chocolate after the race and a chip for a free Pearl Street Brewery beer later at your choice of local bars.  Love me some Down Town Brown-Double yum!!  Can’t wait to drink out of my festive mug this holiday season!

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Ugly Sweater 5k
Time-24:38
Pace-7:55
Overall-52/412
Gender-19/293
Age Group-9/112

Festive Running to All and to All a Good Night!

{Friday Fab 5-taco chicken chili, ugly sweater 5k, pay it forward…}

{#1-Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Chili}

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Friends liked this chili at our Friendsgiving get together that proved interesting!

{#2-Holiday Flowers}

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Seeing these flowers on our island every time I walk through the kitchen makes me smile. I love the textures, colors, and smells. Such an easy holiday decoration.

{#3-Gingerbread Beer}

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Leave it up to Blue Moon to brew up this hint of spice brew. Delicious!

{#4-Ugly Sweater 5k this weekend}

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You can register even right before the race. Plus, with highs in the 20’s in our area it will nearly be a heat wave this weekend!

{#5-Kits for the Homeless}

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For pay it forward day in the #elf4health challenge, one of the things I did was create these bags for future homeless Ryan and I drive by. We are each keeping two in our car to be ready at any given time.

Happy Weekend!

{Motivation Monday-Holiday Running Mix}

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My RunKeeper was acting weird last night, AND I know I DID NOT run or swim across the lake last night!

I love the holidays-the lights, the movies, the music, the everything! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to run to Christmas music while enjoying the lights in people’s yards, the festive parks, and to de-stress from the holidays. The first snow usually occurs during the holiday season and provides a change in scenery for the same routes.

To brighten your next run, I’ve created a holiday run mix to put some festive energy into your upcoming miles. The first and last couple of songs are just a bit slower beat than the others to let your properly warm up and cool down between the main part of your run. If you are participating in Runner’s World run streak (Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day), then this mix will likely help you complete a run everyday between now and New Year’s Day. If you hate holiday music, then bah humbug to you! Remember even a mile a day can help relieve holiday stress and put some extra spirit in your holiday cheer!
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Happy Monday!

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{Black Friday-Running Gifts}

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Need a gift for a runner? Any runner would love these ten things!
1. Pro Compression Socks-One of my favorite brands to run in. ($50-usually can find coupon codes online for 30-40% off)
2. Randies by Oiselle-These look so fun! ($48)
3. Stainless Steele Water Bottle-Great way to encourage and remind you to drink enough water. ($18)
4. Sweaty Bands-My go to running headbands ($18)
5. GU-My only fueling strategy for long runs (Box of 8/$11.60 or Box of 24/$31.50-again look for deals on certain sites)
6. Running iPhone Case-So cute, love! ($25)
7. Garmin 220-Seriously want! Why doesn’t Ryan read this blog. ($250)
8. Brooks Winter Running Jacket-Best way to get winter runs in is have the right clothes. You get what you pay for. ($150)
9. Yak Traks-A must for winter running in the midwest. ($30-40)
10. Nuun-Best way to rehydrate on runs. ($20 for 4 pack)

Happy Running and Shopping!