Preview: 2010 Christmas Card

Have you taken your Christmas card photo yet?

This always stresses me out for three reasons. One, there’s the matter of how many chins will I have in the photos. Then, I either have to A) pay a bunch of money to have all three of us photographed, or B) lure a friend to my house and then awkwardly force him/her to take or picture.

But this year things were different. First, my chins have significantly reduced in number since I began running and losing weight. And then my awesome sister-in-law, M, took our pics for us at Pensacola Beach. We just had to buy three plane tickets to Florida! (Ms. M is a great photographer and is starting a side business. Contact me if you need a photog in the Pensacola area!)

I don’t want to reveal which picture we chose, yet, but here a couple other photos I love, taken by Ms. M:

So, with the photo already taken, now all I have to do is chose a card. And, this year, I’m going to use Shutterfly. In the past, I’ve used other sites and I felt like the photo card designs I had to chose from were extremely limited. But I saw Shutterfly’s blogger special (go here), so I went and checked out their selection, and then signed up immediately!

Dude. They have a ton of designs. I think I like the Christmas photo cards here best. The design I’m thinking of is the Stamped and Sealed one. It’s definitely a contender! They also have the traditional style folding cards (here) so you can write a personal message inside. That’s not enough space for me — as you probably know. Yeah, I need both sides of an 8-1/2-by-11 piece of paper…

I actually just used Shutterfly for the first time to create a photo book. It was fun — picking the designs and placing the photos. I can’t wait to get it in the mail! This is probably as close as I’ll ever get to publishing a book (yeah, NaNoWriMo didn’t go as planned).

I’m even thinking of doing some more personalized gifts at their site, too. They have photo calendars (here) that look really cool. Maybe a race photo calendar? That would be awesome!

Just remember, you got that idea from me.

How to Run in the Cold and Snow

If you haven’t heard already, we are having some unusually cold and snowy conditions here in the Seattle area. I assume this is what led a runner in my area to ask me on Twitter the other day: “How do you dress for snow and ice runs?” I responded: “Long pants and sleeves, gloves, hat that covers your ears. Some use YakTrax for icy runs. Mostly, I go to the gym.”

But Tuesday afternoon I went out. It was 25 degrees and sunny with 5 inches of snow on the ground.

I dressed warmly, of course. Took my own advice. Long pants, which I pegged (hey, it’s coming back in style and if you don’t believe me buy any fashion magazine) and tucked them into my wool ski socks, long-sleeved shirt with thumb holes, a light shell jacket and two pairs of gloves. Oh, and a hat that covered my ears, of course, and sunglasses. I looked like a total dork.

See?

Anyway, I didn’t care. I set out on the trail, which looked magical all covered in snow. I learned a couple of things out there:

1. Running in the snow is fun because you have to watch your foot placement. In that way, it’s a lot like trail running.

2. Running in the snow is slow because you have to watch your foot placement. In that way, it’s a lot like trail running.

So, if you like to run trails, you probably would like running in the snow. As I went slowly along, watching for icy patches, I smiled because I was having so much fun! I also thought about how I would organize this very blog post.

Soon, I spotted two women runners coming at me in the opposite direction. As they passed me, I realized they were high schoolers. Probably cross country runners. They were hauling ass. Left me in their snow dust.

I kept running, but started rewriting this blog post in my head. So, you don’t have to run slow after all.

And then I saw her. It was as if someone plucked this woman out of an ad exclaiming “Visit Florida!” (which happens to be where we just got back from), and dropped her here — a winter wonderland. She was fixing her iPod, but that’s not the first thing I noticed. Nope.

I noticed her legs because she was wearing shorts. Not just any shorts, but short shorts that went up on the sides like the way they wore them in 1980s workout videos. And her legs! They were so tan they were almost red. Her hair was the same color as her goldenrod hoodie.

Once again, I rewrote this blog post. You want to know how to run in the cold and snow?

Any way you want to.

My Last Post

…just for a while…a couple months or so*. Why?

1. I have been running on the treadmill a lot because it is dark and rainy here. The ‘mill doesn’t make for very exciting blog posts.

2. I started NaNoWriMo. Again. But I took some time to actually plan my novel this time, and I really want to finish this year (although, it’s only Day 2 and I admit to changing my idea a little already). If you want, you can follow my progress HERE. (Or if you are participating, be my buddy!)

3. I will be changing the focus of this blog a bit and I need some time to plan.

4. I am always super busy during the holidays and don’t want to be stressed *ahem* wishful thinking *ahem*.

5. We are going to be traveling to Florida (panhandle) and New Orleans! Who dat?

Meantime, marathon training for Seattle Rock ‘N’ Roll (June 26) begins at the end of this month. I am using Jeff Galloway’s “finish” plan that is 32 weeks long. I know it seems like a super long time, but I think this will help me stay injury-free. I’ll still be checking in at DailyMile HERE. And I’m sure I’ll still be lurking around your blogs leaving random comments. And we’ll always have Twitter HERE.

*Okay, so there’ll probably be a few sporadic updates, especially when I receive new Jeff Galloway videos.

Zoe, LB and Me: One Year Later

Eleven months ago, Zoë (Run, Zoë, Run) and I met for our first bloggy meet-up run on the Cedar River Trail for 11 miles. It was the last long run for our first half marathon coming up at the end of November.

LB (Muddy Runner) happened to be in Seattle on a work-related trip and was knocking out his first 18-miler ever in preparation of his first full marathon.

Guess who Zoë and I ran into that day?

It was pouring rain. I had elbow puddles. Zoë had sudsy knees. LB was…tired.

Yesterday was a little different. First of all, it wasn’t raining. Second, we planned the meet-up: no running, just breakfast. T Junior tagged along. And then there’s Goober, who is due any day now.

Also, let’s not forget to mention that, combined, we’ve completed eight half marathons and two fulls (those are both LB’s, of course). Wow, not bad for a year.