Boston Marathon One Week Countdown

I’ll be at the starting line of my first Boston Marathon in exactly one week.


One week.


26 years of running. And now one week.


I’ll be there with hope and positive thoughts to get me through. They say the first 20 miles are what you train for, and the last six miles are mental. This time I’m not leaning on my training for any of it really.


But I’ll also be there with the love and support of so many of you that have reached out with your encouragement on this crazy journey. Thank you.


So I’ll be at the starting line of Boston Marathon in one week without my typical marathon training. There has been no taper as there’s no time. There’s nothing to taper from.


By now I should’ve been training for 14 weeks, had some 50 miles weeks. at least three 20+ mile runs, speed work, track workouts, tempo runs, hills repeats…


Instead I’ve been only back on my feet for seven weeks after four months of rest from a stress fracture and tendonitis…that still bothers me. In those seven weeks I’ve run only 2x week, had one long run of 16 miles and instead focused on strength, core and cross-training.


And right now I have no idea what that means over 26 miles. But as with any marathon, I have to trust in my training..and this was all I could do.


A year ago my goal without an injury was to earn another BQ to bring me back to Boston in 2017, but now I just want to be there to enjoy the party and reach the finish line…somehow.


My ankle is telling me that this might be a 5:15 marathon(never had a “5” in front of that before…).


My head is telling me that I can pull a 4:15 safely.


And my heart is telling that 3:51 is totally possible. My heart is ever the optimist and yet it’s been broken a few times before.


I’m not sure which will be right next Monday, but what I do know is I’m going to enjoy every single step of those 26 miles as this young girl qualified for THE BOSTON MARATHON and dammit I’m going to own this journey all the way to getting that unicorn medal at the finish. And I’ll be grateful to just see another beautiful Monday and have the ability to take even one step.


See you there, Boston.


Boston Marathon Training

I ran twice this week. I ran a full mile on Tuesday, and then a whole mile and a half on Thursday. Tomorrow, Saturday, I plan to run another mile or so.


These are my first miles since December. But it’s been since mid-September and my injury since I’ve done big miles. And big miles to me these days mean anything over five. Whereas a year ago I was doing 20 on any given Saturday without a thought of it being a big deal.


Now this mile hurts. Later in the afternoon on Tuesday I felt aches in my shins and the back of my thighs. My ankles felt weak. And it’s not like I’ve been sitting around binge watching Netflix and getting out of shape. (Okay, I have binge watched Netflix – OMG Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul and Friday Night Lights...). But I’ve been doing most of my binge watching while riding the bike and putting in about 150 miles a week to keep my cardio up. I also spend a good 30 minutes each day on core and strength to be ready to increase my running mileage. But running is different. And these short miles don’t feel natural.


After 24 years of running, I’m a beginner again.


And Boston Marathon is 8.5 weeks away. After returning to marathon training two years ago, I qualified for Boston….and now…I ran a mile on Tuesday.


I know I can run that first mile of the race. And damn that last .2 is MINE…but the 25 in between. I’m not feeling sure.


And I go through my options..

  1. Skip it. Cry a lot about skipping Boston Marathon. How does one skip BOSTON??? But take another year or so to really get better. I mean I had a torn tendon and stress fracture…do I really need to do this. And then maybe I’ll qualify again in two years and THAT will be my chance to do Boston. But what if I’m never in Marathon shape again. What if my ankle and foot are done. If that’s the case…
  2. ..then I’m going to Boston this year. It might just be my slowest marathon ever. But even finishing in five and a half hours gives me a Boston finish and a medal. Screw it all. I’m going – come what may. Even if it means walking half of it.

I’m scared. No matter how determined I am and ready to embrace the suck I am…I still am scared to mess with an injury.


So how’s that Boston Marathon Training going? Well I will run three miles this week. And maybe five next week..and seven the week after..and we will just see how things go. That’s where I am right now….scared, confused, mad, frustrated, hopeful, hungry, ready, yet no matter…

….I’m still a runner.



High Five Friday

Five Things To Read This Week.

I’ve been writing. I swear to you I’ve been writing like I promised to last month. But I’ve been writing with a pen and paper just like Julie asked me to do. So maybe those words will end up on here. Or maybe not. Maybe they will show up somewhere else, or maybe they will stay in the notebook for my kids to find 60 years from now when they are cleaning up my cat lady house after I die.


Speaking of Julie…her novel Letters For Scarlet launches in April and I just finished my preview copy. You MUST buy and read her book. A full review is coming soon…..


My friend Christine always inspires me. Like I wake up most mornings thinking about her and seeking out her writing and photographs because she is pure joy, inspiration, talent, and beauty. She had a few articles go crazy viral over the past week, but I love her article on The Washington Post.


I adore Jennie – her faith, family and her writing. I needed to read and nodded through this post about Forgiveness. I think you will see your human self in it too.


Love, Surfing, and Marriage – yes yes and yes..all of it from my dear friend Michelle.


Five Instagram Photos This Week


I do most of my writing these days on Instagram. So if you are looking for me – find and follow me over there..


  1. New neighbors moved in over the weekend so we made and delivered cookies! Hopefully they will be some new “clients” for Eloise’s babysitting business.
  2. Fernie the Bernie…(WE GOT A DOG…more later)…with her sweet sister in the van.
  3. Yoga #poseoftheday – I’ve been doing core work and daily stretches and yoga as I continue to get stronger as I recover from my running injury.
  4. Snow Day! We had 12″ of snow this week and had a blast in the snow.
  5. Matilda Jane launch week! Our new Spring line is available so I spent the week working my tail off. I’ve been a Trunk Keeper for almost nine years and love my job still every single day.

Linking up with Angela at Happy Fit Mama!


Have a great weekend


Five For Friday

I’m just sharing five Instagrams for this Friday. I thought I would have more time to write today, but instead we were crazy busy and this is the first time I’ve even opened my laptop.


I hope you all enjoyed time with family and friends yesterday and today.


  1. We celebrated the last day of school before break with a big coffee! She likes coffee. I like that she likes coffee. Maybe she will never grow because of the coffee. Maybe she’ll be my baby forever.
  2. A little yoga after my run on Wednesday morning. Seriously perfect sunrise. I was nice to run when it wasn’t pitch black.
  3. Thanksgiving family selfie. Beautiful snowy day!
  4. My first run this year with icy roads. I love and hate the snow and ice. It’s beautiful but makes for a difficult run.
  5. We went to the MOA for Black Friday. Eloise turns 13 in 5 days so she got to pick out a few things for her birthday. We had such a blast. I am NEVER a Black Friday shopper – but this was worth it. Just me and Eloise and her friend. We laughed for hours.

Happy Friday Friends. xoxoxo



Five For Friday

I’m linking up with Angela again this Friday!


Five Instagrams For A Friday:


  1. #prayforparis I took this shot of The Eiffel Tower on Valentine’s Day 1999
  2. We took a family hike on Sunday. It was 60 degrees in November in Minnesota – CRAZY!!
  3. Mad for Plaid! LOVING all of the Fall offerings from Aventura this season! Love being an ambassador for them. I have coupon codes too – so now is the time to shop!
  4. Physical Training is going well and I’m getting stronger and faster! LOVE my wrap from Momentum Jewelry – 26.2 #boston2016 here I come!
  5. The holiday line from Matilda Jane Clothing is just dreamy – and these girls aren’t too shabby either! And cooperating for Holiday pictures no less!

Follow me on Instagram!

Five Posts For A Friday:

A lot has changed and happened since I posted last Friday. The world weeps as extremists terrorize the innocent. We need to weep along with them, yet let them know that we are not afraid. And we must continue to help the innocent.


The world is suffering the worst refugee crises in decades. One mother writes here about why we must all help and why.


Angela wrote one of my favorite things this week – nighttime running safety. I’ve written how I am one of those who actually prefers not to be seen as I’m more afraid of being attacked than of being hit by a car – and run knowing that I yield and give vehicles the right of way. Now that we’ve moved out of the city though – it’s DARK out here and I’m running like a Glow-Worm to see and be seen. Love her tips.


My dear friend Jennie lives just outside of Paris. Her family is safe and I love what she wrote this week. We continue to send love to her, her family, and her friends.


My friend Arnebya is a true gem, a brilliant writer, and just all around kick-ass person. What she wrote here about searching for love as a young girl hit hard and close to home…and now as a parent..whew.


And the best news all week – drinking coffee makes you live longer! So I believe I will live to be 526.


Happy Friday!




Physical Therapy For A Running Injury

Not much is more humbling than physical therapy. I’ve been in PT for six weeks now. Injured for eight weeks – but it took me almost two weeks to even get to the doctor as I was in complete denial that something was wrong. Even though my ankle hurt like hell. And I couldn’t walk. Or run. Or really talk without extreme pain. But instead I used meditation and prayer and acupuncture and denial. None of those really worked, so eventually I succumbed to modern medicine as I really really wanted to run again.


Has it been mentioned that runners are incredibly stubborn?


I laughed the first few times I went to PT as the exercises seemed so small and silly. But I did them as instructed. And each time she added more strength exercises – and stretching exercises – and we’ve worked on my form and my cadence. And now I pretty much just want to go to PT every single day as she knows so much. And I’ve truly found out that I know so little.


You see I’ve done this running thing on my own for 20+ years  – without ever having a coach, a running group, a running friend, or even an online running community. Through my injury I’m meeting more and more people who all work together to lift up and support this community – through cheering, education, fun, and fitness.


However – with the good comes the bad…before PT I was just obsessed with running. Now I’m obsessed with EVERYTHING that has to do with good running…so how am I suppose to do anything but work on running better, running stronger, running faster, running more social. ALLTHERUNNING!!!


Has it been mentioned before that runners are crazy?


I’m 5 weeks out from the official start of Boston 2016 Marathon training -and I feel like I’m on a good path to make this training cycle good and healthy and injury free. Just don’t expect me to do anything but eat sleep and breathe running. Also, don’t let my PT person break-up with me.



Why I’m Glad I Had A Running Injury

I didn’t run the Twin Cities Marathon this year. Mentally, it was so hard not to be at the starting line, yet I know it was the right decision. I ended up with peroneal tendonitis two weeks before the race and couldn’t walk without pain, let alone think about running 26.2 miles.


It was my first running injury and I guess I am lucky that I have been running for decades injury free. I know this now as I’ve spent the past six weeks talking with doctors, physical therapists, and other runners, and it turns out that almost every runner has an injury at some point.


And as frustrating as this injury has been(and how hard I was to live with for the few weeks immediately afterwards), I now actually see it as a blessing in disguise.


What I’m Glad I Had A Running Injury…


1.  It made me realize the importance of cross-training. I’m a “one sport pony” and really only run. And run. And run some more. I’ve ignored the need to work on other muscle groups and give my running “parts” a rest by really focusing on a cross-training plan. I’ve rediscovered yoga, discovered Cross Fit and Pilates, and have enjoyed some bike rides with my family.

2.  I’ve started stretching more. Before I was injured, I stretched because I felt I was suppose to – and I’m sure I never stretched what I was suppose to stretch. Now I’ve learned some amazing stretches for before and after my runs to really work on my body, to work on flexibility and mobility, and warming up before I run. After determining what probably caused this injury – overuse, my gait, some weakness on my left side – it’s given me the opportunity to focus on specific exercises that I can do to improve my running overall.


3. I found out that core strength is really the key to everything to be a better and healthier runner – and also knowing how to fire different muscles for running running distances. I’ve become more immersed in the science of running and this will help me continue to run for years and years to come. Before my injury all I did was run. Sure, I did a little bit of core work – some planks and light weights and ab work – but it was never regular or probably even working like it should. Now I’m taking time to work on my core almost every day with specific exercises to really focus on my running strength. I’ve incorporated strength training into my weekly training plans to increase my endurance, strength, speed and hopefully to keep me injury free. And I’ve fallen in love with Cross Fit and now do some great hip and glut strength work that I’ve learned at PT.


4. I’ve become social and realize that I need people, and that’s okay. I joined a gym for the first time in my life(I KNOW, RIGHT?), and after feeling really shy and silly and uncertain at first, I LOVE working out with other people! Everyone is so supportive and kind and really works together to keep everyone focused on their goals. Seriously, the love is crazy amazing. I have always been someone who runs alone and works out alone and now I’m actually considering joining a local running club. Also, I’ve been given the gift of a village – from fellow runners to my PT – I have a support network beyond my family. Don’t ever feel alone.


5. I’ve taken the time away from running to focus on other priorities. I made a last minute decision to go to Haiti for a week again(more on that later), which really gave me time to rest and focus on others. I’ve also spent more time finding recipes and cooking for my family, and honestly I’ve enjoyed taking a bit of a break from running to get my mojo back before I start training for Boston Marathon 2016.


Now I don’t recommend getting injured, but I’m six weeks out and pain free and feeling stronger, smarter and faster than ever. So, it’s totally not weird to say with certainty that I’m glad this happened.


What has your running injury experience been?



Top 5 Running Moments

On of my favorite fitness bloggers – heck, one of my favorite people of all time – Christine, wrote a post detailing her Top 5 Running Moments. Her post made me smile as it made me look back at my 22+ years of running and some of my favorite moments.  And since Grandma’s Marathon is about 48 hours away and I’m freaking out about my taper and having all of my doubts – this was fun to keep my mind busy and to go back and look at the happy times of actually finishing some races and smiling. It helped me remember that the race is the party and just to chill the heck out right now.


1. Running my first race ever. I ran a Corporate Challenge 5K in 1993. I had been running for about six months and had never even thought about running in a race – but my company found out that I at least could run(also I was about 25 years old and could do just about anything), and so I became our running representative that morning. I showed up in my white Reebok tennis shoes, cotton t-shirt and khaki pleated shorts(NOT EVEN KIDDING!). As someone who had just taken up running I had no idea what running gear was or even the proper shoes that I needed. But I still came in third out of the 60ish competitors. The next day I went out and bought some actual running shoes, a tank top and sport shorts. I was hooked.


2. My first marathon. Fast forward two years from my first race and the next thing I know I’m training for a marathon. I ran the Twin Cities Marathon in 1995(wow – 20 years ago!). My gun time finish was 4:03 – there were no chip times back then. I crossed the starting line though about six minutes after the gun – so I was crazy proud to finish my first marathon in under four hours. However, I’m not sure why I tucked in my running shirt. I guess that was the style in 1995? Also, I still own and run in that shirt!


3. Running the Edmund Fitzgerald 100k Ultra relay in 1995. This was probably the most amazing experience ever- and why I would LOVE to do a Ragnar sometime. Me and four guys from my work(old guys – like late 30s and early 40s…) took to the North Shore of Minnesota well before sunrise to have some fun. And when I say “have some fun” I mean run…not frolic on the rocky beaches with a six pack of beer. Although, I’ve done that too. I think they asked me to join as they wanted to have a coed team – but I ended up picking up an extra leg of the race for us and we really kicked some butt and had so much fun.(Wish I had pictures).

4. Running with my daughter during her first 5k. We had run some “fun runs” as a family – Color Runs and runs for charity where much of the run we would walk just for the finish. But last Thanksgiving, my daughter and I ran the Turkey Trot 5K as a run where she really pushed herself for a good finish time. It was so much fun running together and that experience gave her the confidence to sign-up for the school track team this Spring where she had many first place finishes in her 400 and 200m runs!  I love watching her grow in her own running career and chasing her own goals. Proud running mama here.


5. My #5 has to be achieving my #BQ(Boston Marathon) qualifying time last October at the Twin Cities Marathon. I trained hard last summer and everything just came together to make this huge goal of mine a priority. Sometimes I joke that I knew if I just maintained my speed that eventually the Boston qualifying time for my age would intersect with my training – but I won’t diminish the work I put into that race last Fall. I cannot wait to run Boston in 2016 because I worked my butt off to get there!


What is your own favorite running moment?




So How’s That Marathon Training Going?

Funny that I haven’t written about running since I wrote about qualifying for Boston. That was last October. Forever ago in raising kid years. And yet running is such a huge part of what I do and honestly who I am. I feel like I’m becoming 12 years old again. Do tweens blog? Not really. Do they instead do YouTube, text, Instagram, and SnapChat? Um, yeah. They write and watch and read and see in short snippets of time. Ain’t nobody got time to read a blog post. Unless it’s in list form of course.  So my running is being documented on Instagram mostly. With a few Facebook posts thrown in because that’s what old people do. I can take a few pictures, write a few lines, tag a few hashtags and move on with my day.




Because only a year ago I wrote about running a lot. My journey of running marathons again – first just to finish, then to improve, and finally to qualify for Boston.


But then what?


That’s why I’ve taken to Instagram instead of my blog to talk about my training.


But with another marathon less than three weeks away, I needed to put more words to it. Also, it’s taper time so my head is a mess. Also my shoulders are wrinkly.


Marathon training for Grandma’s(again) is both great and weird and tiring and normal and what I do now. Only two years ago I was rediscovering the 20 mile training run – with my music plan, my routes, my hydration, my fuel, my time. Now I know all of that stuff. This time around it’s more how can I run faster, further, and get stronger. How do I keep myself from injury. How do I manage my run and still get my daughters to dance and gymnastics on time?  How does training feel as I continue to age(dammit) and how much harder do I have to work to maintain or gain speed. And why don’t my toned legs make my face a little less wrinkly.


So this time around – this training cycle is good. My long runs are faster than ever. My short runs are even better. My daughter has made me run some speed work(I’ve never done speed work before) with her since she ran track this Spring. Our new neighborhood is ALL HILLS so I think that is adding to my overall strength and fitness. Now all I need is some favorable weather in Duluth – and I think a PR to beat my 3:48 is clearly doable. I’d love to run a sub-3:40 marathon – and maybe the sun and moon and stars will align that day so I can do just that.


22 years ago when I first started running I never thought I’d have this kind of speed. I’ve always been more tortoise than hare. But at 46 years old I’ve learned that the human body is an amazing thing. But the work is hard and it’s a good thing that I love it. And damn, if Harriette can still run marathons at 92 years old – well I figure my marathon training career is really just beginning.


I have two more marathons on the books for the next calendar year – Twin Cities again in October and Boston in April. I never know what will come after that or in-between – but I do know that I plan to run until I can no longer run. There’s something hard-to-explain sweet that continues to happen between me and the quiet, empty roads in the pre-dawn hours that I never want to end.


So don’t think I’m not running because I don’t post about here. Just know that I’m sharing my thoughts quickly like the tweens do so I can save my time for more important matters like binge watching Game Of Thrones or obsessing over a new pair of running shoes.


(No, I didn’t burn that many calories – I just can’t figure out how to change my weight from 325….)

OH and one more thing to share – Jed and the girls bought me an actual, live(okay not live) GPS fancy Garmin watch as they do believe I am the only person who runs marathons and trains without one. So now I can really see my splits and “stuff” and all the fancy stuff that GPS watches do. I was so excited about it until I tried it out for the first time and could not see the fancy splits and “stuff” because I don’t run with my readers on. Damn you 46 – sometimes you are a real pain.





Keeping Them Safe

At about 7:45am I wondered if I had done the right thing. We had planned this race for weeks – a fun 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning – just me, Eloise, and her bestie. But then we checked the weather. The forecast was for temps around zero and windchills down to -20. For me – for taking a run on my own – not a big deal. I have the gear and can make it happen and feel safe and warm.


But for the kids….


And hey, we live in Minnesota and these temps are nothing – they don’t stop us from skating or skiing or hiking or sledding ever.




We wear full snow gear and boots when doing those activities – thick socks, snowpants, and the like..


You can’t really run in UGGs and snowpants.


So I asked Eloise is maybe she wanted to not run on Thanksgiving morning. Stay home and safe and warm.


“No, I want to run, Mom. I’ve looked forward to it for weeks!”


So we spent time the night before tearing through my running clothes stash – and found wicking and warmth and wind layers that fit her. We found wool socks that fit in her shoes, and found my extra face mask and then dug out her ski gloves. All together she had about 5-6 layers on, as did it.


We were ready to race.


But what I didn’t anticipate was just how cold we would get standing in the corral for 25 minutes. Thankfully our bodies were warm as we had prepared – but our toes were freezing. Freezing to the point of pain. All of us. And no amount of cuddling and doing the emperor penguin dance with our fellow runners was going to warm up our toes. And I almost told the girls that we were just going to quit. Because I didn’t want anyone to lose a toe over a fun 5K race.


But we did lots of dancing and hopping and running in place and FINALLY the gun(the gobbler) went off and we starting running. And as I predicted and promised them – within a few minutes our toes started to thaw.


We had so much fun running with about 4000 other crazy people on Thanksgiving. And it was so nice not to worry about time or the finish. I just ran behind the girls and watched them chat and have fun. We laughed at and loved the costumes, smiled at the families, and would pet the dogs that ran by and survived the brutal cold too.


This is what I wanted my daughter to enjoy about this race – not worrying about finishing or finishing with a PR – but the joy of the journey.


After the race- we walked about a half mile to a coffee shop to meet Jed. But the coffee shop was closed and Jed wasn’t expected for another 20 minutes. I was worried as we were getting cold again – now our fingers and our toes. My best laid plans foiled. And my phone battery had died in the extreme cold so I could not call Jed to come get us early. We were cold, stuck, and had nowhere to get shelter while we waited. I was getting worried.


So I did the only thing I could do to make sure we could get warm and safe – And I taught my kids that sometimes you have to approach strangers and ask for help. Because we needed help.


There was a gold minivan that just picked up two runners in the block just ahead of us. They had just closed the door and were pulling away when I waved them down. She put down her window and I asked if I could use her phone to call my husband as we couldn’t find shelter, my phone was dead, and my husband wasn’t expected for awhile.


And not knowing us -but seeing that we had obviously just run the race, and not knowing them – but knowing that they just picked up two runners – they invited us to get into their van and they called Jed for me.
And yes, telling my kids to get into a stranger’s van seemed a bit weird – but so right.


So thank you – kind family from Burnsville – for letting us sit in your warm van for 20 minutes – delaying your Thanksgiving day plans – so we could have a safe and warm place to be.


Relying on the kindness of strangers sure made for the perfect Thanksgiving.


Hope everyone had an amazing day.


Tips For Running In Cold Weather

Earlier this year I wrote a survival guide for Cold Weather Running.


I’m getting hits on it again because baby it’s cold outside…again. And early. It seems so strange to have below zero temps in November.


I don’t own a treadmill nor have access to one, so I still run daily outside no matter the weather. I will say though that I’m frustrated. Now that I’m running more marathons again, I want to run faster and longer. And when it’s cold and icy – well that’s impossible to do outside.


With below zero temps – you can’t stay out as long, and with icy roads – you have to really slow down. And another thing – there’s no way to stay hydrated on a long training run because your water freezes. Yeah. That.


So here I am itching to train – and outside running isn’t going to cut it. So I’m considering a treadmill. WHO AM I? But unless I don’t want to train from November until March – I really don’t have a choice.


I’m reposting my Winter running tips here – but I also want to give a shout-out to my new favorite winter running pants. I have a few pairs of fleece tights – but these Polartec tights from Athleta are AMAZING! Worth the price. You need these!



The most important thing you can do is have the right gear for the cold. I am NOT a gear-junkie – in fact much of my cold weather running clothing is pushing 20 years old. See that’s the thing – there is an investment for good, warm, quality gear – but it’s not like you are going to replace it every year – unless you have an obsessive personality and need to look good and have the latest and greatest gear. I run at 5am – so I don’t care what I look like. And during the coldest days I’d rather not wear my light performance running gloves – instead I’d rather trade them in for my husband’s beat-up choppers and trade fashion for warmth!


When gearing up before your run – and remember it might take you awhile to get geared up – because LAYERS – it’s best to remember the importance of ‘W’s’ when layering….



-Wind and/or wet


Wicking – You need to keep your body dry and core warm and make sure all moisture is wicked away from your skin. So a thin long-underwear type layer is essential. And it cannot be the old cotton long-undies of your grandpa’s. No red union suits here people. Get some good performance wicking stuff.  I like a light under-layer – so I LOVE the Capilene series from Patagonia and prefer the silkweight. However – they also have midweight and expedition weight base layers for you to choose from. I cannot brag about Patagonia’s base layers enough. (And yes ladies of course you still have your jog bra under your wicking layer. I love mine from Brooks.)


Warmth –  Over your wicking layer you need something warm – so get a good fleece. I have 3 different fleeces based upon the temperature outside. I admit that my fleece tops and bottoms are also pretty old. You can find amazing fleece leggings that I wear for fashion also when the temps dip low.  Again – I love the fleece selection from Patagonia as they make a fleece for all weather and temps. (If the temps fall below -20 I also add another layer between my wicking and fleece).


Wind – You need an outer layer to stop the wind and keep you dry in case of snow. This layer is critical but I typically don’t find I need this layer until the temps have reached down to 10 above or if the snow or rain is heavy. I have this one from Brooks and love it. It’s breathable, wind and water resistant and has reflective attributes also. I also have wind-proof pants and I LOVE my Swix pants that I bought in 1998(gulp) as I can use them for both running and cross-country skiing. In fact I use a lot of my skiing and/or running gear interchangeably which makes any investment in winter running gear totally worth it! OR just grab and wear a large heavy-duty garbage bag if you don’t plan on investing in a jacket. It works! (Cut a head-hole though….).


Now that your core is warm(so so so key) – let’s talk about the other important parts of your body that risk exposure.


Head – You need a hat. I am cheap and easy(ha) and actually just run in my ski hat – but there are tons of great fleece hats out there. Just keep your ears covered and wear something comfortable.


Face – I wear a mask (awesome one from REI) when the windchill falls below about -15. Some people like to use them at higher temperatures but I feel like I get too warm. It’s good to have though as it filters the cold that you breath also and reduces the amount of skin that is exposed to possible frostbite. Still expect some awesome icicles to form on your eyelashes and frost on your hair!


Trust me – THIS…

cold-weather-running-tips sexier than frostbite. I’ve had this mask since 1993 and LOVE it as it’s neoprene with a soft fleece wrap. In a pinch I’ve also used my kids’ balaclavas. (Not to be confused with baklava, the Greek pastry).


Hands – I wear gloves when it falls below about 35 and then switch to mittens at about 10 above. Mittens will allow more warmth sharing and you can invest in technical gloves or just wear something warm and insulated that you would play in the snow wearing.


Feet – Typically I just wear normal running socks and my regular shoes. But when temps dip below about -25 I put neoprene socks on with a wicking inner layer for warmth. You don’t want frozen toes. Typically your feet won’t get too cold as they are moving – but they could get wet because of the snow and if you are going any longer than six miles I would suggest a cold blocker like neoprene if you can wear them comfortably. Don’t want to invest in neoprene – wear a plastic bread bag on your feet over your socks. Totally not kidding.


A few more things regarding safety to think about if you are cool enough and brave enough to run in the cold:


1. Make sure you wear reflective clothing and/or vests so you can easily be seen. If the roads are bad with snow and ice – typically drivers are focused on the road and not on you – SO BE SEEN!


2. It WILL most likely be icy. I do not run with spikes or cleats in the winter – but I find I do have to change my stride on icy days and run with more care. I have fallen a few times in my 20 years of winter running – so it can happen. Just run with a little more care and maybe on the extra icy days – jump on that treadmill.


3. Getting cold. I typically dress for about 20 degrees warmer than it is so I do feel cold when I step outside – and know I will warm up quickly once I start moving.  I also limit my time outside when the weather is well below zero. Instead of a 10 miler I will just do 3-5 and make up my miles if I need to when the weather warms up a bit. I’d rather stay safe and have fun then risk being out in the elements too long.


Do you like running in the cold? Hopefully these tips will keep you motivated and running outside well through this cold weekend!! Have fun and enjoy the sweet reward of a little hot cocoa by a fire when you get back from you run.




Marathon Preparation – 5 Tips To Survive The Taper

It’s officially two weeks until the Twin Cities Marathon. Do you think it should be said with a “The?” Or just as two weeks until Twin Cities Marathon? Does the “The” make me sound too Californian and how they talk about their roads? I giggled every time I said “The 405” for those few years I lived in LA. Said like it was a living entity. Which I guess – TRUTH – in LA that freeway has a life of its own. But let’s talk less about freeways and more about marathon preparation and surviving the taper.


I was feeling a little unsure about hitting my goal race pace two weeks ago when I last wrote about my marathon training. But then I had a great 13 mile run and an AMAZING 22 mile run – and then BOOM I felt ready to set a PR and that my last 15 weeks of training, as well as last year and half of increased running finally paid off. All of the stars had aligned – I was injury free, I had trained well, and finally the summer heat broke and gave me a morning of running in sub-40 temps.

marathon taper tips

But then the heat came back and the humidity hit nearly 100% yesterday and my 13 miles did not go well. I decided to take it easy and just try to hit under a 9 min mile pace and be happy to be hitting my taper feeling fine and ready. However, to say I wasn’t disappointed would be a lie. And then those damn doubts started hitting again.


But deep down I think I know I’ve got this. And hopefully the weather will stay cool for me. Who wishes away summer? Distance runners do, that’s who!

marathon training

So now I have two weeks until the race and if you’ve trained for marathons before, you know these two weeks of the taper can be more difficult than even your two weeks of your traning start or the two weeks of your peak mileage.


As they say “The hay is in the barn.” Your big training is done and you are prepared – so why do you feel so crazy-anxious.


Here are five tips that have helped me and I hope will make your two week taper manageable and successful:

1. Keep running. A taper doesn’t mean you stop or even barely run. You are still running A LOT – only about 30% less each week. So don’t make this a running vacation – just a running taper. And you want to run. Keep running. Just less miles. But not zero miles. Running will keep you sane.


2. Now is not the time to set a new PR. Take your runs at a training pace or even some shorter tempo runs. But don’t decide to set a new 5K PR and possibly get injured.


3. If you are thinking of buying new shoes or gear or clothes, this is your deadline. I bought new shoes last week so I could take my last “long-ish” run in them. I wouldn’t plan to run the marathon in new shoes without getting 2-3 weeks of mileage on them. Same goes for gear or clothing. Make sure you try those new shoes or shirt or socks or bra out. You don’t want to find out it’s crazy uncomfortable on mile 6 on race day.


4. Carbing-up doesn’t start now. It’s probable that we will all put on a few pounds over the two week taper as we are running less – but this isn’t the time to have a free-for-all in the eating department. Continue to focus on eating healthy, and it’s not the time to try new foods a few days before the race.


5. Relax and find some distractions. I’m guilty of thinking WAY to much about my next race and stressing out way too much. I also try to stay away from all running articles and chat boards as I will start to question my training decisions. So find some fun distractions – getting together with friends, heading to see some movies, binge watching a new show on Netflix, trying to figure out your daughter’s Algebra homework, get a pet!…you get the idea. I’m actually heading to Costa Rica for six days during my taper. It will be a fun distraction to run in a new spot for a few days. Enjoy life and don’t think just about the marathon.


What tips do you have to survive the two week taper before a marathon?



Family Running Fun And Color Vibe Run Giveaway by Tum-E Yummies!

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Tum-E Yummies(Tum-E Yummies are a fruit flavored drink, a great treat for kids!) Our favorite flavor is Greentastic Apple by the way…) – but all words and opinions are mine)


I’ve been running as exercise for about 23 years(I was 2 when I started obviously) – and during that time I’ve had years of running just for exercise, years of running and training for races, years of running while pregnant(10 miles the day I gave birth to my oldest), and a little time off here and there for recovery and injury.


But I am a runner. I own that.


And if you were to ask my kids what their mom does – or something about their mom – they would most likely say “My mom is a runner.”


Which is probably why – after stops and starts and tries with all three kids in different sports – baseball, soccer, and the like…they all have taken an interest in running. And I’m glad that my first baby gear purchase was  jogging stroller.


I love that running is an easy family activity -here are some tips on how and why you can get your family involved in running together!


1. Start immediately – buy that jogging stroller! You can buy new -but there are MANY to be found used online or at consignment shops. I bought a Kelty when our oldest was born and loved it. I started her in the stroller when she was about six months old and we ran happily until she started preschool. My next jogger was a B.O.B – which I adored and used with my youngest for about four years until I just sold it to my neighbor. Best investment ever!


2. Kids make the best spectators. Get their interest in running peaked by watching races together(even the races that you are not running) – watching the elite runners go by is nothing but mind-blowing and inspiring – and also cheering on those near the back of the pack – watching their will to finish is tear-jerking awesome. Who doesn’t want to run after watching a race. It’s pure emotion, adrenaline, and love for the human spirit.


3. Get those running shoes ready! Invest in good shoes for those little kid feet just like you do for yours! Take them shopping with you for running shoes and get them fitted too. Sure, shoes are not cheap – but compared to other sports – when pretty much shoes are your only ‘gear’ purchase – um – it’s a huge cost savings! My kids love to go running shoes shopping with me!


4. Make time to run with your kids. I mean sure – you need to get those eight miles of hills in, or that tempo run, or that 20 miler on a Saturday – and yes, you just want that time to be ALONE sometimes. So still do that! And then head back out on another run with your kids. I started doing this a few years ago with my oldest daughter – I’d wake her up after my run and we’d head out again together.


5. Explain the benefits are being healthy and moving your body and being strong. Running isn’t about weight – it’s about a healthy and strong lifestyle. Running as a family gives your kids the foundation of exercise and health they need to promote a lifelong healthy lifestyle. Make running and all exercise part of a just normal daily lifestyle!


6. Make the runs fun – or make a game out of it! “Hey, race you to the tree!” Or give them little fun goals or prizes – or even set-up a scavenger hunt during your run. Maybe treat them to a night run with glow sticks and flashlights one evening! Run trails in the woods instead of taking a hike. Change up your routes. Explore a new city! Running is fun!


7. Enter the kids in fun run or local kid events. Many marathons have family fun runs the day before the marathon. Go as a family and cheer them on!


8. Enter a race together! Some of the best races these days are races that involve COLOR! These races not only are fun to run – BUT are fun to prepare for. Have you heard of the Color Vibe Race? The Color VibeTM race brings you the ultimate experience in colorful family fun! The Color VibeTM is a color blast 5K that is all about having fun and getting covered from top to bottom with splashes of color as you race your way to the finish line.  The kids not only love to run an easy and colorful 5K – but they love to get prepared! We’ve purchased neon tutus, boas, headbands and fun laces to match so we are colorful even before we get splashed! I love the creative outfits at the run!


Do you have any other tips to get the whole family running together?


Leave your comment below for a chance to WIN TWO(2) tickets to our area Color Vibe run on September 13th! It’s happening in St. Cloud, MN! So comment to win your tickets(and remember kids 12 and under are free with an adult ticket – so your 2 free will get a family of 4 on the course!)

  • Tum-E Yummies will have a booth set up at the Color Vibe race where participants can try the different Tum-E Yummies flavors and get a free car seat protector to prevent any of the color from the race from transferring to the car. – this is awesome!
  • The winner of the giveaway will receive Tum-E Yummies in addition to the two tickets to the Color Vibe race!!!!

Tum-E Yummies

Come join us in a few weeks!


(Prize will be in the form of a coupon code for registration. Contest closes on 9/6.)


You Can Run A Marathon

“You’re running a marathon with me for your 70th birthday!!!” I said in a volume too loud for the early morning phone call with my mom.


A what?


“A marathon!” I almost yelled again. “I had a dream last night. A very vivid dream that three years from now you and me and Eloise run a marathon together. I could see us at the finish line – hugging with medals around our necks. You were crying…from happiness..and Eloise kept hugging you, jumping up and down and yelling for people to come congratulate you!”


Ha! That’s a funny dream.


“No it’s not. It’s going to happen. In three years we will run a marathon together – all three of us for your 70th, my 50th, and Eloise’s 15th birthday.” My voice quieted a bit as I was surprised at her lack of excitement.


Trace, I’ve never ran a mile. I’m not running a marathon.


“Yes you are. You have three years to train. My dream was real – I felt it. I know it. You can do this.” I pleaded.


She laughed.


You’re crazy.


“Just think about it.” And then added in my best teenager voice – bringing back an era now so long ago. “For me, Mom…pleeaaase.”


Since that phone call, I’ve planted seeds during conversations with family and friends that she’s running a marathon, and sent her articles about this amazing woman who at 91 just set a new best time record for her age group, and she did not even run her first marathon until she was 76.


But my mom remains somewhat resistant to the idea. However, I have hope she will change her mind. All it takes is a first step to start training. And we have three years.


We can all do hard things if we just try.


I keep bringing this challenge I gave my mother to the front of my mind this week because my doubts of finishing my own marathon have started again. After weeks and weeks of marathon training, great long runs, hill training, and feeling even stronger than I did last Fall – I should be confident and ready to run Grandma’s Marathon this weekend. But I’m still scared.


And I keep whispering to myself – trust your training…trust your training…trust your training….


The two week taper is such a mind-game. I am obsessed with checking the weather, figuring out what to wear, analyzing the course map and planning for the hills and my strategy, and counting out gel shots to determine my calorie intake. When I should just be hanging out on the couch and watching the new season of Orange Is The New Black on Netflix while I trusting my own training.


Because we can all do hard things.


We all need to do hard things. We need to do things that are outside of our comfort zone. We need to try new things. We are never too old to start.


So this weekend – I’m going to run another marathon. And I’ll be just fine.


And in three years – for my mom’s 70th, my 50th, and Eloise’s 15th – well we will cross the finish line together.


Seed firmly planted.



Staying Hidden

My husband acted like it was Christmas when he opened the box. He interrupted dinner and everything when the UPS man came with this box. “I have a present for you!” He said. He was smiling and ripping off the tape quickly to give me this gift. They girls stopped eating to help him adding lots of “What is it!” “What did you buy!?”


Jed pulled out a belt-like-strap-thing and said “It’s a reflector for you to wear when you run. It’s super lightweight and easy to wear, and now you can be seen when you run so early in the morning as I worry about you running in the dark.”


But I don’t want to be seen.


I want to be a black shadow in the night.


I want to be hidden.


I want to go unnoticed.


I want to go untouched.


Not from cars – the reason my husband bought the reflector – but from men.


Um, yeah, thank you Jed….but I don’t think I’d wear that as I don’t want to be seen when I run.


You don’t want to be seen? I don’t get that. Aren’t you worried about getting hit?


No, I’m not afraid of cars.


I run in all black because I don’t want to be seen. I take full responsibility for watching out for vehicles and assume they cannot see me – so I give them the right of way – always – all five or so of them that I see. I feel safe from cars.


“I don’t understand. I’d feel better if you wore a reflector.”


It’s because you’re 6’4″ and 220 pounds and a man. You think about getting hit by a car. I think about being attacked by a drunk man coming home from the bars. I think about being raped. I think about it every time I step out of the door to run alone…whether at 3:30am or 3:30pm. So I run in all black and hope that I won’t be seen.




Because I have been seen. The time two teenage boys on a scooter saw me. Thought I was maybe a deer – a shadow – but they circled back to see. By that time I knew they were headed back my way so I left the pavement and started through yards. They followed me through yards – trying to hit me with their scooter. Yelling things they were going do to me when they caught me. They were maybe 17 or 18. Maybe had been drinking. Maybe not. Two white boys in polo shirts and nice looking shorts and expensive tennis shoes – that’s how close they came to me. But when they realized we were now less than a block from the police station and that’s where I was heading – they took off.


Or that time that the two young men in a car did spot me and came around again for another look. Yelling “Hey baby – I’m gonna take a piece of that!” I yelled back “I’m old enough to be your mother!” as I dug out my pepper spray and my phone to call 911. They followed along for one more minute and yelled to me “Yeah, ain’t gonna fuck no mom!” It was too dark to get a picture of their plate before they drove off.


Some people may call me stupid because I run before dawn. That I take too many chances. That I run alone. That I deserve it because I’m purposely putting myself in a potentially bad situation.


I call bullshit.


And I hate that I have to worry – because no woman should have to. I like to run when it’s dark and cool. I like to run before my family gets up so my running doesn’t cut into our busy days.


I should be able to run whenever I want to run and wear a reflector because all I have to worry about are a bunch of cars.


I shouldn’t have to carry the pepper spray that my husband also bought for me.


I shouldn’t have to worry  about a stranger or someone I know attacking me or raping me.


But does it matter what time I go running really? Because a 15 year old was attacked just a few blocks from our house yesterday in the middle of the afternoon.


I hate that I have to tell my daughters over and over and over to stick together. Always have a buddy. Never walk or bike alone. I HATE that I want them to not be seen.


I hate that they have to stay hidden to be safe. Not just from strangers, but boys in their schools and neighborhoods. And no not all boys and men are a threat. But yes all women have to worry.


And I have to explain to them why men can run at 3:30am with reflective gear and water, but women run hidden in black with pepper spray, knives, and 911 on speed dial.


That we have to live with fear every moment.


And what do we need to do to change that reality.


The 20 Mile Marathon Training Run

I’m currently training for another marathon since getting my marathon mojo back last year. I’m running Grandma’s Marathon in just about a month from now and I’ve been posting my long run pictures on Instagram and Facebook and have received some great comments like “You’re crazy!” “Better you than me!” “Did you really start your run at 3:30am?” and “That’s 20 miles more than I will ever run. As in..I don’t run.”


I have to say that the most interesting and most difficult part of marathon training is getting to that 20 mile training run. For many – it’s the height of their mileage and there’s a lovely and enjoyable taper for the next few weeks before the marathon. And for some, the 20 miler is just the first of a few 20 milers that they’ve included in their training plans. There are about four gazillion marathon training plans out there – for the novice, the beginner, the intermediate, the experienced, the professional, the “I want to qualify for Boston” runner, and the “I just want to finish before the sag wagon makes me get in” runner.  Everyone finds a plan and then tweaks it for their personal time, goals, injuries, and condition.


But the 20 mile training run is the ultimate, the goal, the big run, the big kahuna of marathon training(and I’m doing three of them for this training program), and for non-marathon runners – it’s seemingly crazy and impossible.


So what I want to do for you here today is dissect my 20 mile marathon training run for you mile by mile, so you can better understand how this run is so easily accomplished.


I hope this is both informative and helpful to you if you’re embarking on your first marathon training program.

(Please note that this particular 20 mile run may not be the same for everyone. I am an early, early morning runner so my run does not interfere with any family plans that day, and because many times my husband leaves for work by 7:30am, so I want to be home with the kids before he leaves.)


3:15am – The alarm goes off.  Hit snooze and cover head with blankets. Ignore reality. Cat even looks at you like “What the fuck, dude, it’s like the middle of the night?”

3:25m – The alarm goes off again. Slowly rise and wonder why the hell you are doing this. Question sanity. Question humanity. Question the point of marathons. Question why the cat wants to be fed now because it’s really early for that crap.

3:28 – Eat 1/2 a banana. Try to not puke up the banana because no one should eat a banana at 3:30 in the morning. Look at the bagel you set-out and decide there is no way you can eat a bagel right now, so decide to just eat a few tablespoons of peanut butter right from the jar. Close eyes and try to think of something positive because eating at this hour is just not normal, okay, or enjoyable.

3:35 – Pee and grab extra toilet paper to pack in your fuel belt just in case you need to pee, or god forbid poop on your 20 mile run. Consider how ridiculous this whole running a marathon thing is because you are now packing toilet paper in case you have to poop in someone’s yard. Also bring a bag to pack-away poop and paper. OMG WTF are you doing?

3:37 – Get dressed and finish packing fuel belt – water, gel shot things, toilet paper, pepper spray, house keys, iPhone, and ear buds. Turn on playlist and arrange ear bud cord.

3:40 – Walk out of house and into the complete black of night. Question sanity again. Cry a little. It’s so dark, you’re so tired, you can’t believe you’re doing this. Start RunKeeper app.

3:41 – Start running. Reluctantly.

Mile 1 – Legs try to remember what to do. Legs thinking about the bed. And blankies. Head thinks – “Only 3 hours left!”

Mile 2-3 – Car is coming up behind you slowly so you convince yourself that these are bad guys and this is how your life will end. Grip pepper spray and run like a motherfucker. Have best pace/mile yet because you’re running for your life. Eventually car stops and someone gets out and throws a paper on someone’s porch. Turns out it was not an ax murderer driving slowly behind you, it was a paper boy. Decide that’s a really sucky job because it’s super early right now. Also think about how awesome your marathon time would be if bad-guys chased you the whole time. Consider planning a fake bad-guy marathon. Wonder if it’s a brilliant idea.

Miles 4-5 – Find a nice pace now that someone’s not trying to kill you. Start doing training run finish math in your head. “Okay I’m now 1/5 done with my run – or four more of those exact mile groups and I’m done! That’s not so bad, right?” Wrong – the first five miles are much easier than the last five miles. Consider how to do real marathon math as your legs get tired. Start hating math and anyone who does math.

Miles 6-7 – Your child has been fucking with your playlist and “Do you want to build a snowman” comes up on shuffle. “No, no you don’t want to build a snowman!” You yell. You make up your own lyrics. “Do you want to run a marathon, are you crazy and senile? Don’t you know it hurts like hell, you may shit yourself, you try to smile…” Decide you will break the Frozen DVD when you return home.

Mile 8 – Will the sun ever rise? Will it be dark forever? Will you step in a pothole? If people see you running this early in the morning do they A. Think you’re crazy, or B. Think you’ve just robbed a bank? or C. Think you’re the bad-guy.

Mile 9 – Step in a pothole – tumble forward and scrape hands, knees, and elbow on street. Consider tweeting to the City of St. Paul about the atrocious pothole situation and ask them what you’re really getting for the $6,000 property tax bill. Consider how crazy you’ll sound when you say “I fell into a pothole at 4am whilst out running in the dark without a headlamp!”

Mile 10-11 – A police car drives by, turns around and then drives slowly by again with his window down… You then wonder if maybe you DID rob a bank – because you have guilt because you were Catholic once. You also consider that sitting in the back of his squad car and getting a ride home would be kind of awesome because you’re starting to get tired. He just waves and smiles. You wave back and point to fuel belt and running shoes to like show him that you did NOT rob a bank but are just some crazy-lady taking a very early morning run.

Mile 12-15 – Wildlife miles! First a flock? A bunch? A gaggle? A school? Oh, A HERD! of deer is standing in the road in front of you. Just staring at you. Like not moving at all. You slow to a walk and have to move to the side to get around them because they DO NOT MOVE! You tell them that a deer standing in the road is like totally bad news. They continue to stare at you and do not move out of the road even after you warn them. You decide that you no longer like Bambi and cannot be responsible for accidental deer deaths if they can’t even listen to you. Then a crazy raccoon runs right in front of you and evidently you startle him because he gets up on his hind legs and starts making some crazy-ass sounds. So you cross to the other side. It’s like “Dude, I don’t want to be here right now either, but we need to be here together in peace!” But the wildlife story of the morning belongs to the Flock? Group? Gaggle? of turkeys at mile 15. They were all pissed off that you were on their road and spread their feathers out and started running at you while making some crazy, awful noises. Have second best pace running from turkeys as you did running from the paperboy at mile 3. Think about an actual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot race where actual turkeys run after and attack the competitors. Would people sign up for that?

Mile 16 – Encounter another runner for the first time this morning. They look really fresh and blow past you as you yell “I’m on mile 16 of a 20 mile run – so THAT’S why I look and smell the way that I do!!!”

Mile 17 – Tired. Oh so tired. Think about calling someone to rescue you because you’re not sure you have another three miles in you. Eat another goddamned gel block. Think about how much you hate these things now. Think how real food would taste super good. Like a donut. OMG A DONUT. Where are the donuts? And coffee. Why isn’t there coffee delivery.

Mile 18 – Still running. More slowly. But still running. Do you really have to run two more miles? You need a sag wagon? Where’s my sag wagon? You doubt everything in life because your body cannot take you two more miles. Your playlist runs out and now all you have is the sound of silence for company – and the voices in your head telling you to stop for donuts.

Mile 19 – You can do this. Only one mile left. You can run one mile in your sleep. You can run one mile with your arms behind your back. You can run one mile with your legs tied behind my back. You still want a donut – but you can run one mile. Remember this is what it’s like at mile 20 during the actual marathon and you don’t think you can make it those last six miles..but you’ve trained for this. You’ve got this.

Mile 20 – You DID THIS! Three hours and some odd minutes later YOU ARE DONE! It’s light out, your legs have carried you forward, YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU DID THIS, and now you will hobble into your house and drink coffee and eat a donut. BEST RUN EVER! You cannot wait to do this again next weekend. YOU ARE WOMAN HEAR YOU ROAR! Unless you’re a man. Or a deer. Or a turkey. You forget all about the bad guys, the paperboys, the potholes, the turkeys, and the awful gel shots. It’s like childbirth but you get to wear clothing. And shoes.

2pm Take nap. Let kids watch as much TV as they want.

End scene.


Do you love the long runs during marathon training? What do you do to pass the time?



Cold Weather Day Fun

Schools are closed today. Not for snow, but for cold. We had -45 wind chills this morning with actual temps of -22. I went for a four mile run and actually felt a bit overdressed. One layer too many – but it was good to be warm and safe and I take preparation for any cold weather run very seriously.


I also welcome concerned, adult, encouraging, kind and even humorous conversations about crazy cold weather running on social media. But some people like to throw around the word ‘stupid’ instead. Because that’s now how I guess people constructively talk to other people in 2014. Attacking strangers on social media is the new fashion of the season. YAY us!


Which makes me sad for all of humanity.  Also now I feel obligated to contact the internets to make sure I’m dressing my kids appropriately when I let them go outside in this cold. Because we did go outside. I have so much guilt.


So to get over my awesome berating on the twitter this morning, we decided to do a cold winter weather science experiment. We boiled water and threw it into the air to see if it really does just freeze immediately into little ice crystals and vaporize. And it does! So cool! (Please note for all of you worried internet people – I did this experiment before my daughter did it just to make sure it really worked so I did not feel like I was putting her at risk that boiling water would rain down on her panda hat cuteness…so please don’t call me icky internet words).

Then we went to see Disney’s Frozen again and now are even more obsessed with Olaf The Snowman.


Then we had donuts.


Now we are eating popcorn and drinking hot cocoa.


All the good things you are suppose to do when school is called off.


However, now school is also called off for tomorrow. One day off is fun, two days off calls for an emergency plan to keep the kids entertained without donuts and cocoa. Maybe I’ll just go for a long run in the frigid temps and think about some fun things we can do as a family.


So do you love when school is called off? What is your favorite activity for kids on a day off from school?


I’m also honored and crazy excited that my post On Being Vulnerable is syndicated on BlogHer today!