Monday Mentionings: November 28

Good morning and happy Monday! I had the most wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, most of the photos I have to share this week are from Thanksgiving in Hays. Monday and Tuesday, I ran with Amy and with Chris, respectively.  It’s dark before I get off work now, so running is done by the light of our headlamps.

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Kristen, Thayne, Chris, and I loaded up in the car and drove home Wednesday after work.  It was a fun car ride, and it was nice for Kristen and Thayne to get to know Chris a little.  Thursday  morning, Mom, Kristen, Chris and I ran before our Thanksgiving meal. We joked with Chris that he didn’t get the “wear gray and a hat” memo.

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After our run, before dinner, we got snoballs! Mmmm!!!

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Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful. Grandma and Granddad came over, and we ate a beautiful dinner of turkey ham, macaroni corn, dressing, rolls, and apple salad.  There was mashed potatoes and gravy too, but I didn’t partake in that.  Kristen had made 3 delicious pies before we went home Wednesday, so we also had pecan, apple, and sweet potato pies.  It was so great to spend time with everyone, it was such a great day.

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Friday morning, I ran a few miles solo, before running some errands with Kristen, Thayne, and Chris.

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We took Chris to Taco Shop for the first time! We also hung out with Ava a bit and did some shopping.  We didn’t do any big Black Friday shopping, but did check out some local stores in Hays.  Dad scored a great deal on a TV, and the story was pretty funny, listening to them tell how they beat the crowds and cheated some lines was pretty comical.

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Friday afternoon, just as the sun was setting, we went out to Munjor to visit Grandma and Grandpa at the cemetery.  Kristen took this picture, and it was really pretty out there, and so very quiet.

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Saturday, late in the morning, Chris and I headed out for our long run, and Mom joined us for part of it.  At our turnaround point, Chris saw his very first real life tumbleweed.  He said “it’s literally tumbling across the road” and I about lost it laughing.  We had to take a picture, to always remember this monumental event.  I ended up running 8 miles and Chris ran 7.  It was a much nicer run than last week’s long run, which was just a rough run for both of us.

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Saturday night, we went to the Q for burgers, and that’s about all I need to say. So. Good.

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We hung out Saturday night, put up the Christmas tree at home, watched some TV, and Chris played his guitar for everyone.  Earlier Saturday, he also played it for Grandma and Granddad; we spent some time with them before they went to the FHSU basketball game.  I really enjoyed the extra time and being able to spend time with everyone.

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Sunday morning, the 4 of us headed back to KC, for Kristen and Thayne to catch their flight.  I put up a few Christmas decorations at home when we got back, and was able to relax the rest of the evening.

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I really hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends.  It’s so hard to believe that December is this week!

Monday Mentionings: November 9

It’s Vegas week!  I’m looking forward to going to Las Vegas with Mom and Kristen later this week!! We are going to ROCK and ROLL this weekend!

Last Monday evening, I killed two birds with one stone, and ran to Walgreens to pick up my prescription! It was a great idea, until I had to listen to the pills in my buddy pouch, chicka chicka chicka chicka with every step.  Also, Monday was the first time I had to run in the dark at 5:30pm this fall.  Be sure to stay safe in the dark, runners.

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Jasper has taken over the spare bed.  It’s his, now.  I’ve kind of started packing for Vegas, and he’s protesting by trying to lay all over everything.  I hope he’ll forgive me for leaving him for several days.  Poor bear.

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Of course, Tuesday was ROYALS DAY!  I was so happy to be able to partake in the parade, celebrating the Royals win the World Series.  I had a great day with Amy and Mark!

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Saturday morning, Amy and I volunteered the inaugural RBW 5k in Independence.  It was such a perfect morning for a race! We ran into Philip, too… but of course we did, he is in charge of the KC Chapter of RWB!

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After the race, Amy and I met Mark at Shawnee Mission Park for a late morning run.  I can’t even begin to explain how beautiful it is at Shawnee Mission Park, and even more so in the gorgeous fall we are having.  GROUPIES, UNITE!

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Yesterday morning, I ran a solo 5 miles.  Amy has been having some pretty severe back pain, and couldn’t meet to run with the Groupies early, so I slept in (yay!) and ran later.  I have been dealing with some strange knee/hamstring/IT pain, and it really bothered me yesterday.  In better news, my glute pain has been much better – I think my chiropractor has fixed that part of me!

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Jazzy and I had lots of chill time on the balcony after my run.  This November weather, though… insanely beautiful.  Shortly after this picture, he bit me.  Haha, he likes his bubble just as much as I do.

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I’ve also started watching Parenthood, after watching a few episodes in Milwaukee with Kristen and Thayne.  I finished / got caught up with Scandal, and with baseball over, I have to watch something else now!   Have a great week, and I’ll try to post next Monday from Fabulous Las Vegas!

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Tips for Running in the Dark

Running in the dark is probably my least favorite type of running. I do love running in the snow, in the rain, and in the sun, but running when it’s dark, early morning or after the sun sets in the evening, presents lots of unseen obstacles (HAH! See what I did there?).

With winter right around the corner, and with the time change this weekend, I’d like to use today’s Thursday Things to share some tips and tricks for Fall and Winter running, aka running in the dark. The 4 tips below are common sense, but all are tried and true and will help keep you safe while running in the dark.

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1. BE SEEN! When it’s dark, it’s dark. Don’t dress in dark clothing. A good share of my running clothes are black, but when it’s dark out, I try to light myself up like a Christmas tree. Light colored shirts, reflective clothes, blinky lights, anything at all that you can do to be seen is a good thing. Running in the dark is not the time to be a fashionable runner all matchy matchy, it’s a time to make sure you are seen! It doesn’t matter if your clothes match, as long as they are bright and visible. I also have quite the selection of clip on or Velcro blinky lights. I clip lights on my shoes, on the back of my visor, on my shirt… blinking lights tend to catch more attention than steady lights, so keep that in mind as well. Many of my lights have blink or steady options, and I almost always pick the blinky setting. It’s definitely worth the money to get some lights to attach to your body.

Reflective clothing is also one of the best ways to make sure you are seen. Running clothes on the market these days often have reflective material built right in. If you don’t have clothing that already has reflective material, definitely wear light or white colors. If it’s black outside, and you’re wearing black, you won’t be seen! If you’re wearing white, you have a much better chance to be seen by drivers or other runners. If you do a lot of running in the dark, maybe look into buying a reflective vest or reflective tape to tape on your torso.

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2. BE ABLE TO SEE! Being seen by drivers means nothing at all if trip over something and break your leg. If you’re running in the dark, you have to be able to see. Use a headlamp, handheld lights, or run in lit areas to help yourself stay safe. There are so many products on the market to help you see and be seen. I have a headlamp (the Black Diamond headlamp) that is lightweight, easy to use, and rechargeable. It has a few different settings to allow me to see where I am going when it’s dark. The last thing I want to do is trip and fall, or slip on the ice. Without a light, I would be lit up for others to see me, but I wouldn’t be able to see where I’m running, which is just not smart. If you don’t have lights to light yourself up or to be able to see where you are going, be sure to wear your light colored clothing and stick to well-lit areas. If you don’t have a light, it’s not the time to run on the trails; stick to roads with streetlights.

3. DON’T BE STUPID! Follow the proper rules of the road. Run on sidewalks if it’s dark out. If you must run in the street, please PLEASE run against traffic. If a car is driving up in your direction and they don’t see you, you will have a much better chance of not getting hit if you can see the vehicle coming at you and jump off the road if necessary. If you are running with traffic, you will never see that vehicle, and if they don’t see you either, you could get hit or run over. I generally prefer to run in the street, but if it’s a busy road, or if it’s dark out, I will run on the sidewalk, away from cars.

Don’t ever get comfortable and think the drivers will always see you. Always be prepared to take your own life in your own hands and jump out of the way of cars if necessary. I sometimes pick up a couple rocks and hold them if I’m running alone in the dark. I would not hesitate to throw a rock at a windshield if necessary, to keep from being run over. Never assume the driver will see you; be prepared! Running in the dark is also not the time to run an unfamiliar route. Stick to what you know, because you know it! No surprises leads to a safer run.

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4. SAFETY FIRST! If you run alone, and it’s dark, and you are well lit and able to see, but it’s still dark, take your safety into consideration. Maybe don’t listen to music and be shut off from the world. Be alert and listen to what’s around you. If you feel you need to, carry pepper spray, or a personal safety alarm. Tell a friend where you are going, and when you should be back, or even better, take a friend with you or run with a group! If you don’t normally carry your phone while you run, maybe take it on runs where you are alone and in the dark, and think about using an app (like the Road ID app) that allows friends or loved ones to track you, and notifies them if you stop moving for a length of time.

Keeping yourself safe is something that should be in the forefront of your mind, no matter when you are running, but it is extra important when it’s dark out. You never really know what could be lurking around the corner. A pothole? Someone who wants to abduct or hurt you? A stray animal? Be alert, and be aware that things in the darkness can likely see you way before you can see them, especially if you are not paying attention like you should.

Please be safe, friends! What other tips do you have to share for running in the dark?