5 Running Movies to Inspire You

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Tis the season — to curl up in front of a fire (if only I had a fireplace!), eating buttered popcorn and watching a good movie. When I have the time, I love watching an inspiring movie before a race. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a movie about running.

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to share the five movies about running and life that will inspire you. I’d love it if you’d leave your favorite inspirational movies in the comments — you can never have too many of them!

McFarland, USA
On the face of it, this movie is about running and building champions. But it’s about so much more.

  • Not judging by looks
  • Talent isn’t everything; heart is
  • Being willing to work hard for your dreams
  • The strength of family — blood and the ones who become your family

And if none of that grabs you, Kevin Costner.

Unbroken
Louis Zamperini went from juvenile delinquent all the way to the Olympics. That in and of itself might be worthy of a movie . . . but he also served in World War II, where his plane was shot down and he survived — that might be enough for a movie.

He was captured by the Japanese and interned in a prisoner of war camp, where he endured unthinkable cruelties, yet his spirit remained, indeed, unbroken.

Spirit of the Marathon
I watched this movie before my first half marathon — and even though it is about the Chicago Marathon, half marathoners will find plenty to inspire them, too. I have watched it over and over again and never get tired of it.

From elites (Deena Kastor) to older runners to first time runners — no doubt you will find yourself in this film. And you will definitely feel good after watching it.

Run for Your Life
It’s doubtful that I will ever run the NYC Marathon. Because, you know, I’d have to run a marathon. But I found this documentary about Fred Lebow, the father of the NYC Marathon, so to speak, fascinating. Think Spirit of the Marathon without quite as much polish.

I had heard of him before I watched this, but I really didn’t know anything about him. To say he was a character seems like an understatement. I actually found many similarities between him and my grandmother, who also left her home at the tender age of fourteen, who came to this country on her own, and who also worked in the garment industry.

That’s where the similarities end . . . my grandmother certainly wasn’t a runner. Yet I see a little bit of my grandmother in Fred Lebow; they were forged in the same time under similar circumstances.

Anyone who has ever run, or wanted to run, the NYC marathon should watch this documentary.

Secretariat
Yes, this movie is about running. Horses running. But I challenge you to watch it and not feel inspired. It’s all about belief — believing in yourself, in your trainers, in your training.

Favorite quote:

Because you never know how far you can go until you run

More to explore:

  • Race
  • Spirit of the Marathon II
  • The Rookie (not about running, but about chasing your dreams at any age)
  • October Sky (also not about running, but incredibly inspiring)
  • Cliffy (the Aussie Rocky — only based on a true story)

So let me know in the comments:

What’s your favorite inspirational movie (doesn’t have to be about running)?

What’s your favorite running movie?

Do you see something of your family in any famous runners, even if your family doesn’t run?

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Stockcadeathon Race Recap 11/12/17

Stockadeathon was my last big race of 2017. I didn’t ask Rachel @ Runningonhappy for a plan, although I did think about it, because yes, I was gunning for a PR again. And while Darlene was running 13.1 in Vegas with other blogger friends, I still had some friends to hang out with and bumped into a few other friends, as well.

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup is always easy. I signed up very late, so no tshirt — they did suggest you might be able to get a relay tshirt. This is the first year they offered the option to run the race as a relay team — and as far as I could tell, while it seemed to be well organized, I don’t think many people chose to do it.

I went early, as I had several errands to run and also had a haircut later in the day and had to drop the dogs off at the pet sitter before that. While I could have definitely used a rest, it was a very busy day.

The reason I had to drop the dogs off? Mr. Judy was out of town. There’s just no way I could feed them before I had to leave, at least without making race morning stressful, and on top of that, there’s also no way they could spend that many hours at home without a potty break.

Well, maybe they could, but I didn’t want to find out or be stressed out about that, either. In addition, it was Bandit’s first overnight with our local pet sitter — a test run for a weekend away coming up.

I love this part of the course — but it’s a very small part of it

My Race Plan
Much like the Great Pumpkin Challenge (read about that here), I didn’t look up my previous results, but guesstimated what would be a PR and formulated a plan based on that. And it was a simple plan: try to hold about an 11:15 pace the first 10k, then try to chip away at that pace the last 5k.

I ran a half at almost that pace, after all, and this was about 3.5 miles less (the race runs a bit long).

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 11:02. You start on a downhill. I do love a downhill, and yeah, I took it a little too fast — but I wasn’t even aware of it; I missed that mile notification.
  2. Mile 2: 11:27. Most of mile 2 is a long, gradual hill. I chose not to reread my recap this time.
  3. Mile 3: 11:25. You’re still going up.
  4. Mile 4: 11:26. I won’t lie; I was getting just a little discouraged here being that far off my “plan”. I just reminded myself that what comes up (you’re still climbing in mile 4), must come down — because there’s an awesome downhill finish.
  5. Mile 5: 11:01. Relatively flat.
  6. Mile 6: 11:19. Running around the lake in Central Park. Still relatively flat. I always enjoy the scenery in the park. I’d watched “McFarland, USA” the night before, and much like the scene in the state championships, while you’re running flat you can see the faster runners climbing . . . and climbing . . . and climbing.
  7. Mile 7: 11:15. A decent hill at mile 7.5. Interestingly, it’s not as steep as the hill in mile 3, but at mile 7, it feels steeper.
  8. Mile 8: 11:20. Through the cemetery and mostly downhill.
  9. Mile 9: 10:59. Finally reaping the reward of all those uphills — downhill for the win!
  10. Last .43: 9:25. Yes, this race runs long. This is the only split that I didn’t beat last year’s pace.

2015: 1:51:32 (an automatic PR — new distance)
2016: 1:49:31 (a most surprising 2 minute PR)
2017: 1:45:09 (crushed it for another PR!)

New this year — or at least I don’t remember seeing it before — results for each 5k segment:

1st 5K: 35:43
2nd 5k: 35:16
3rd 5k: 34:11 (gotta love a downhill finish)

Yes, I have an uncanny ability to run negative splits. Even when I’m not trying to. Not that I always do, but often even on easy runs, I do. Ask me to run steady? Almost never happens. And yes, still BOTP — 1343 out of 1482 runners.

Skirtsisters (did I mention she did NYC the week before?)

The weather & dressing
Even colder than last year’s race and I dressed warmer. At the beginning I thought I’d overdressed, but it worked out perfectly for me.

Better shot of the ensemble

I wore my North Face Thermoball (allows me to regulate my temperature by zipping and unzipping as necessary. I also wore my Skirtsports Wonder Wool Tee and Wonder Wool Skirt, which is great for that in-between weather when it’s cold, but not super cold.

Was the race well run?
A resounding yes. I have only one complaint about this race: 3 water stops for a 15k is not enough. I wore my hydration vest, so it wasn’t a problem for me, but I know if I’d relied on the water stops my race would have been a different story. Not to mention, the water that sloshed out at the stops was literally freezing on the road, which was a first for me for this race, and I was able to avoid that by carrying my own water.

There is quite a variety of food post race, too: bagels, bananas, cider donuts, soup, pizza, candy, cookies. And plenty for the BOTPers like me. This year they moved the after party from Proctors to the Y, where the gear check is (and I used it this year), and I think that was a really good move.

What I learned
An egg bagel the size of my head with cream cheese and lox makes a perfectly good race morning breakfast. Breakfast of champions?

I’m really glad I chose to carry my own water. Obviously I know I didn’t need to, having done the race twice before with just a little extra water, but it’s actually nice to avoid the water stations (especially this year with the water freezing on the road!) and to be able to drink a little bit each mile.

With my Garmin around my Thermoball I couldn’t feel the vibration for my intervals as well. I actually ended up running a lot more than usual — did that help or hinder? Would I have been faster with my normal walking breaks, or did more running net me my PR? We’ll never know.

Positives:

  1. Extremely well organized race.
  2. Hot food inside post race, and enough for all.
  3. Real bathrooms, but very long lines, which means you really need to get there early.
  4. Although a hilly course, most (but not all) of the hills are frontloaded into the first half of the race.
  5. A nice downhill finish.
  6. New this year was a station to check your results — but again, long lines.
  7. Running with friends. Running into friends you haven’t seen in a while.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. The course runs a little long.
  2. Challenging course (some might view that as a positive).
  3. Not enough water stops.
  4. Although parts of the course are very pretty, much of it just isn’t that interesting to me.
  5. I actually had a hard time figuring out which side of the street was the finisher’s chute. I don’t remember that happening in previous years. I probably lost just a few seconds kind of going back and forth between the two sides of the street.

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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Angry Running: 11/6-12 Weekly Wrap

Man, Winter blew in with a vengeance this week; even a little white stuff fell from the sky as the temps plummeted . . . just in time for my 15k..

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin to show how I get it done even when it’s frigid!

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: YFPR Hips, Dogwalk, 5 miles easy, DM Pilates
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, DM Abs & Arms
    Wednesday: 4 miles easy with 6 x ???? strides, Dogwalk, YFPR Hips
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, DM Abs
  • Friday:  3 Miles easy with 3 x 20ish strides, DM ST, 30 minutes swim (4 laps with kickboard)
  • Saturday: Dogwalk + a busy day of errands
  • Sunday: JY Hip, Calf & Hamstring reset, Stockadeathon (15k)

Mileage: 21.4ish (+5.4)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

Still some color at the park

Monday


I ignored the weather forecasts, went to the park, and was rewarded with no rain (that came later in the day).

About mile 4 there were 3 ladies walking abreast on the narrow paths. They moved aside for the guy walking towards them, then spread out . . . right in front of me.

Did you know anger makes you speedy?

Love Skirtsport’s limited edition Charmed print

Wednesday


So now it’s really cold. Like winter cold. 30s. It clouded over, but by the time I’d warmed up 1.5 miles with Bandit, the sun had come out.

The new Charmed print from Skirtsports is thinner and less compressive than their normal tights, so perfect for those in between weather days (and of course there’s three pockets).

I may be standing on the mill, but I got it done outside

Friday


Seriously, what’s up with the wind? The Wind Chill? And that white stuff falling from the sky (not much, thankfully). I probably would have stayed inside except there were strides on the plan and strides are pretty much impossible on the mill. With the right gear, it was fine.

What wasn’t fine? Bandit. I really don’t think it was the cold; I think it was the jacket. But you know those crazy crossfitters pulling all those crazy things? Try dragging a 20 lb dog who really doesn’t want to run, just sayin’.

Oh, and I was supposed to do 10 x 20 second strides. Oopsie.

Another pretty but pretty frigid morning

Sunday


Someday I’m going to have a great rest day before a race. Yesterday was not that day. And despite the cold, I nailed my outfit and the race. More to come on Tuesday, probably.

Sometimes change is a good thing

Favorites of the week
I decided I needed a bagel and lox instead of my normal overnight oats for my race breakfast today. I don’t have an iffy stomach and even though I’d never had a bagel and lox before a race or a long run, I was pretty sure it would be just fine and it was.

Trying out the Tribest

My new personal blender finally arrived. So far, so good. Unfortunately I didn’t get as much baking done as I wanted to this busy weekend, I did prepare the filling for the fig bars, which will now be fig cranberry bars since I didn’t have enough dried figs as it turned out. Hey, that’s Thanksgiving-y, right?

New name: Houdini

Not so much a favorite, but I had to share. Look way in the back of Bandit. Notice that sweater peaking out from under the covers? Yeah, that was on Bandit when we went to bed. Another one bites the dust. Darn dog is super hard to find sweaters/jackets for.

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Do you find you run faster when your angry?

Or how about when it’s cold?

If you have a dog & you live someplace cold, does your dog have sweaters/jackets? 

5 Reasons you should be eating pumpkin everything

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I probably don’t have to give you any excuses to eat #pumpkineverything at this time of year, but did you know that you’re actually doing something really good for your runner’s body? If you look beyond the lattes and the sweets, that is.

And if you’re not on the pumpkin bandwagon, maybe you should be!

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Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to share the five reasons you should be adding more pumpkin to your diet.

And in case you don’t really care about the healthy benefits of pumpkin, and just want to get to some recipes, I created a Pumpkin Recipes for Runners board on Pinterest here.

Don’t throw out those seeds!
There seems to be endless benefits to pumpkin seeds:

  • They’re rich in protein (so great for vegetarians)
  • They’re rich in iron (again, great for vegetarians)
  • They’re a good source of omega 3 fatty acids  (again, great for vegetarians!)
  • They contain over half your RDA of magnesium, which might help you feel more energetic
  • They’re rich in trytophan, which can help you sleep better

All of the above means that they can help bolster your immune system, which can take a hit when you run long and/or hard.

More potassium than a banana
So why should you care? Like bananas, pumpkin may help reduce and/or eliminate muscle cramping. Potassium also helps to balance the fluid and electrolyte balance in your body.

Protect your vision
Especially your night vision. Like any orange vegetable, pumpkin is full of beta carotene, which can help protect your vision and also help your eyes adjust well in the dark. Running at o’dark thirty? Pumpkin might help.

Looking to drop a few pounds?
Isn’t it ironic that the same flavor that is behind so many holiday treats, when combined with healthy whole foods, might actually help you lose weight? It’s true.

Pumpkins are full of fiber, which can help you to feel fuller and are also relatively low in calorie. Much like potatoes, it’s all in how you prepare it.

May help you regulate
Because of its high fiber content, pumpkin might just help you be more regular. Now we all know the runners who simply can’t tolerate a lot of fiber before a run and/or race; for them it can lead to GI distress. Common wisdom says don’t eat something full of fiber before a race — and that can mean a lot of veggies.

Runner, know yourself. I still need my greens, even before a race. I just don’t feel right if I’m not getting in my veggies.

But if your problem is on the other end of the spectrum? Let’s just say that pumpkin might just help you go a little more often.

So let me know in the comments:

Have you fallen prey to the pumpkin craze?

Any healthy ways you enjoy pumpkin?

Have you ever actually roasted your own pumpkins? (I used to make bread pudding in pumpkins many years ago — delish!)

Love is all you need

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This blog is not about current events, but sometimes you need to talk about the elephant in the room. I wanted to reach out to anyone that reads this blog, and let them know they matter. They are loved.  Whether you have many friends or none, a big family or no living relatives, a significant other or not, you matter. You are unique. You bring something to this world that no one else does.

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Don’t listen to the news 24/7. Whenever there is bad news, you will learn about it. When you’re feeling sad and depressed, I challenge you to run and not feel better afterwards, no matter how heavy your heart is. Feel the sun on your face, listen to the birds singing in the trees, smell the crisp fall air — and see if you don’t feel better.

Even when you feel all alone and hopeless, getting out and moving your body and being in nature will give you hope. It may not solve the world’s problems, and it won’t erase your problems, but it will calm you down and give you a new perspective.

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It’s tempting to turn inward. To want to stay in your “safe” home. To not interact with other people. One of the best ways to feel better is to give to others. Volunteer at a race, or just show up at the finish line and cheer everyone in.

Hug your loved ones. Take time out of your busy day to really listen. Throw that ball or toy for your furkids. Say “I love you” just because. Pay for a stranger’s coffee. Compliment someone’s smile, hair, clothes.

 

 

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This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

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I just have one question today:

How will you give and receive love today?

 

Turkey Talk: 10/30-11/5 Weekly Wrap

With the exception of Monday, it was nice running this week, even if it was all over the place. Weather whiplash indeed, from running in a skirt & tee one day to tights and a jacket a couple of days later.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin to get started talking Turkey.

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: 5 easy treadmill miles, DM , JY Calf & Foot Reset
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, 5 miles easy
    Wednesday: YFR Foundation & Hamstrings, Dogwalk, DM Abs & Arms, Swim 30 minutes (2 laps with kickboard)
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, 4 miles easy with 3 x Hill Repeats
  • Friday:  Dogwalk, DM Glutes & Abs
  • Saturday: 8 Mile LSD, DM Abs
  • Sunday: JY Hip & Hamstring reset, Dogwalk

Mileage: 22 (+6)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

Monday


A cool, dreary, windy day — yes, I could’ve run outside, but chose the treadmill instead.

The park still has some color

Tuesday


Still cold, but not as windy and sunny for the win! I went to the park and some of the surrounding neighborhood. I had every intention of taking a photo of some of the cute decorations, and then ran right past them. Oops.

Nothing spooky about this Halloween run other than the fact that I seem to be pretty good at negative splits — even when I’m not watching my pace.

Love how Skirtsports old & new go together

Thursday


Crazy weather — I was able to run in the afternoon in a tee and skirt (and probably could’ve gone to a tank). I threw in some hill repeats because my 15k next weekend is hilly.

Always ready for a run

Picked up Bandit on the cooldown for his first run in a while.

Great running weather for a long run

Saturday


We had Wineglass weather for our run today — except it was sunny. Perfect running weather IMHO. I dressed perfectly for me. And while I did my own thing and some ran together, it was a speedy run (for me — I always struggle saying that because for the average runner it would be really slow!).

I was very surprised that the last mile was the fastest. Like, almost a minute faster than any other mile. I had no idea!

Favorites of the week
Sweet potato protein cookies. You’ll find the recipe on my protein bars/cookies board on Pinterest here. I also made the energy balls from The Plant Power Way by Richard Roll (Amazon Affiliate link) — picked that up on sale a week or so ago — so much chocolaty goodness using only dates for sweetness!

I’d been eyeing those pancakes all summer; still want to try some of the awesome looking baked goods, too!

I’ve got to be pretty careful with those sweets for the next few weeks, although that didn’t stop me from ordering the chocolate chocolate chip pancakes after my long run on Saturday. I’ve been wanting to try them all summer . . . not sure 8 miles was enough, but they sure hit the spot — and I only ate half of them.

Still loving my Alexa Dot Echo. I called my mother with it (apparently it’s free? we’re still not sure). We have an Internet phone at home, so real receivers, but I just told Alexa to dial the number and talked to my mom — she said it sounded better.

I’ve begun Thanksgiving prep. Soup is made; will let it sit a couple of days in the fridge to let the flavors marry, then freeze it. Made the base for cranberry bars and stuck those in the freezer, too (they just need to be iced with cream cheese frosting a bit before the holiday. Mr. Judy does the stuffing, and I just have to make up my mind about sides and bake a few more desserts.

And clean, of course. Lots of cleaning to be done. How I wish that could be done ahead of time!

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Any leaves left on trees in your neck of the woods?

Did you watch the NYC Marathon today?  (I didn’t)

What’s your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? 

Another one bites the dust: Spilling over tea/coffee November 2017

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You’ll have to keep reading to see what I killed this time. No, it wasn’t a furkid or Mr. Judy, although there have definitely been a few times when all of them have tempted me . . .

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Gizmo’s very sweet; he can also be super annoying!
Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that while Bandit was a pain during our anniversary getaway, he’s been doing fairly well at home (except for the whole food boycott thing) and we have started to let him sleep in the bed.

Now we’re just trying to figure out logistics: as in, sometimes Mr. Judy lets him out of the bedroom, but not outside, while I’m making my breakfast — and can’t really let him out right then. Or that he doesn’t seem to be able to go as long overnight as Lola can, which is odd, considering she’s almost half his size. What is it about boy dogs?

And are booking another getaway to hopefully make up for the very unsatisfactory anniversary getaway. This time without the dogs. Although the weekend before Thanksgiving. Which is, of course, at my house. I see a lot of baking during the week in my future.

 

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I still have pretty much no clue what halfs/states I’m doing in 2018. I mean, I get it: it’s November of 2017, for crying out loud. But I feel sort of at loose ends without a goal race on the horizon.

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I’ve enjoyed running, walking, and hiking all over the country in 2017

On the other hand, it’s also nice to not have to run. To get in more yoga, more cross training. I’d like to say more hiking, too, but with the shorter, colder days, I suspect my hiking days have just about come to a close for 2017. I am grateful that my trip to Utah rekindled my love affair with hiking!

You never know the places running will take you, literally and figuratively.

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Ended my halfs on a high note

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d say that I want to say a big thank you to Coach Rachel @ Runningonhappy. Would I have had as great a running year without her? We’ll never know, of course, but I’m so glad that I decided to work with her. Here’s to an even better 2018.

Who knew I could take another 4 minutes off my half marathon PR — when that PR was an 8 minute PR? I’m pretty sure Coach Rachel did, but I sure didn’t.

Although seriously, when it comes to running, this was truly the best year of my running career, and some of the races that are in the “running” for 2018 will be challenging and unlikely to be PRs. But I’m always up for a challenge — well, sort of.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I killed another one, as the title says. Magic Bullet-type blender, that is. There was the original Magic Bullet, which died, and then several years later came back, only to die in another year or so.

Luckily I happened to have a different one waiting in the wings. It was a final sale, so not returnable. Only I never really liked that particular one. I made sure to not work it too hard, because the little ones aren’t quite as strong as my Vitamix, but my Vitamix doesn’t always do a great job on small amounts — so I use both the Vitamix and a personal blender all the time.

Except that this one died, too. I have a new one coming . . . we’ll see how long it takes me to kill this one.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I try not to be a Debbie Downer, but sometimes I feel as though I am. So when I sat down to write this post I tried to think of positive stuff.

I’m sticking in one rant though: I’m so tired of people who just seem to target my little Honda Civic. It’s like I’m not even there. Like the guy sitting in the right turn only lane that literally tried to drive right through my car because he decided he didn’t want to turn right after all and obviously I could read his mind and was just going to let him go in front of me (or through me, as he seemed to want to do).

How hard is it to turn around, guys?

Ok, that’s off my chest . . . for now.

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

Don’t you hate town driving (which is what I mostly do)?

Do you have a personal blender you love? That isn’t easy to kill?

Are you satisfied with 2017 or look for redemption in 2018?

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Today I am also  joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy.