Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a good one and that all are enjoying the holiday season! Ian and I have been enjoying a fun week up in Syracuse with my family – one of my favorite time’s of the year!


We got a white Christmas which was great, but one of my not-so-favorite things about this time of year is the cold. Now I can handle running in the D.C. cold, but up here in Syracuse has been a whole different ball game. Being the first week of training for the Shamrock Half though, the elliptical in the warmth of my parent’s basement wasn’t an option. Instead I’ve hit the streets in temps from about 30 all the way down to under 10 degrees. Burr.


Running into the wind with snow blowing into your face brings a whole new meaning to running in a headwind! While I don’t envy people who have to run through these conditions all winter, I have found that having the right gear makes a big difference. Layers is the most important thing. For my chilliest run I wore fleece-lined pants, calf sleeves and wool socks. On top I layered up with a sports bra tank, my Oiselle flyte tank, the flyte long sleeve and a new under armor long sleeve meant for ultra cold weather that Ian got me for Christmas.


I topped it off with a hat, gloves and a neck gaiter I could pull over my nose and mouth during the first few minutes when the air felt too cold to breathe in. Keeping my head and hands warm is the biggest thing for me and makes running in the cold much more tolerable.

Another cold weather running tip that has really helped me is that you should dress for 20 degrees warmer than the temperature outside. Your body will quickly warm up and feel comfortable once you’re moving. On top of helping me know how to dress better for the cold, I use this as a mental trick to get out the door on the coldest days. If I can convince myself it’ll really feel 20 degrees warmer, then it doesn’t seem that bad.

Do you run outdoors during the cold? What are your tips and tricks for battling the weather?

Things I’m Thankful For Today

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a whole lot of things to be thankful for in my life, but here are a few things I’m especially luck to have…

Getting welcomed with open arms to spend the holiday weekend with the family I get to marry into next year.

gallaghersKnowing I get to celebrate another awesome wedding next year with these two. My big brother, he’s OK :-p haha, and his fiancée who I’ll get to call my sister soon, but am already lucky enough to call my friend.


Having amazing parents who helped me become who I am today and are always supporting my crazy endeavors even if it means trekking around D.C. in the cold to watch me run a race. Here I am with them at the finish line of my first marathon in San Diego – yes, they flew across the country that time to watch me run.

San Diego Rock N Roll Finish LIne Party

San Diego Rock N Roll Finish LIne Party

And, especially having this guy in my life and getting to spend everyday with him.


Hope everyone has a great Turkey day!

What are you thankful for today?


Weekend Fun In Alex Bay

Ian and I headed north last weekend to celebrate his brother’s wedding in Alexandria Bay. It’s about 90 miles north of Syracuse and just south of Canada. His family has a camp nearby so I’ve been there a few times over the past couple years and it’s an incredibly beautiful area.

View from Ian's Camp

View from Ian’s Camp

The fun kicked off Friday night with a cocktail hour and delicious dinner at the Clipper Inn in Clayton for the bridal party and out of town guests. Colin, the groom and Ian’s younger brother, is a naval architect and a reserve officer in the U.S. Navy so the weekend was themed in a nautical fashion. I particularly loved the place-cards for our seats at dinner that night.


Name cards at our seats for the rehearsal dinner – yellow flags indicated the meal we chose and I thought the life savers were a great touch!

The party continued back at the Riveredge Resort with another cocktail reception for the rest of the wedding guests that had gotten into town already. This was pretty convenient since we were also staying there. It was a nice hotel right on the water. The cocktail reception was a blast. The wedding ceremony took place at Boldt Castle and was a beautiful ceremony!

Brittany, the bride, walked down a tower out of a fairy tale and the ceremony was underway.


When asking Ian for the rings – his one official best man duty – the officiant jokingly asked him if he’d remembered the rings. I had to hold in a laugh because this could have turned out very differently. Shortly after Ian left the hotel to board the ferry over to the island for the ceremony, I stumbled upon two blue ring boxes still in our hotel room. These can’t possibly still have the rings in them I thought, but yes, there they were. I called Ian in a panic but didn’t catch him before he’d left. Fortunately I was able to get there well ahead of the start of the ceremony to hand the rings off to Ian! Assist to me! As Ian keeps saying – they weren’t lost, they were in an unexpected location.

The reception at the Opera House back in Clayton was another great night of dinner, drinks and dancing. It was such a great weekend and so much fun to get to spend time with both of our families throughout the weekend!



Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day might be just a Hallmark holiday, but why not get excited about a holiday that lets you shower love on your significant other, family and friends. I have a lot of pretty amazing people in my life, and while this blog is usually about my love of running, this post is about showing those that support me and my running obsession a little love. I couldn’t be more thankful for all the support I get from my friends and family.

My boyfriend, Ian, and I have been dating for close to two and a half years, but we’ve been friends since college when we landed the same summer job up in Syracuse at Green Lakes State Park. There was a really fun group of people that worked in the park office, although I’m not sure how much you can call what we did “work” as many hours were spent watching DVDs or playing cards. We worked together for three summers before going off our separate ways. He was in school in Staten Island before moving to Minneapolis and I came down to D.C. for grad school, but we always kept in touch over the years.


Despite being half a country away we decided to give a relationship a try and I couldn’t have dreamed of falling in love with a better guy. So corny, I know, but also true. He gave up some really good coaching jobs in Minneapolis and moved in with me just after Christmas. Aside from constantly reminding him that he really shouldn’t call me his roommate, it’s been absolutely perfect. He’s tells me he loves me, makes me laugh and finds ways to make my day easier every single day.

He is also incredibly supportive of my crazy running habit. Not a runner, he probably now knows more about running than he could ever have imagined. He lets me babble on about my training plans, tempo runs, track workouts, race strategies and more. He drives me to all of my races, cheers me on and holds my stuff when there isn’t a bag drop – even when it’s a big purple backpack filled to capacity. He tells me every race time I get is amazing, even when it’s not. Every day I get to spend with him is a good day.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my Mom & Dad in this post – the first loves in my life. Married for more than 30 years, they have been the perfect example of unselfish love. Talk about supporting my crazy running habit, they’ve been there since I first fell in love with sports playing three sports starting in the first grade. For most of high school I continued with the three sports playing on ten different teams a year. They were always there. My Dad even coached a lot of my baseball and softball teams over the years. They sat through some freezing cold soccer games, drove all over town for basketball games and still let me in the car after softball games despite my ability to always finish games and practices as the muddiest player.

San Diego Rock N Roll Finish Line Party

San Diego Rock N Roll Finish LIne Party

They might have thought they were done after I gave up school sports midway through college, but then I went and signed myself up to run a marathon in San Diego. I could not have picked a U.S. city much further from Syracuse. I didn’t ask them to come, but of course they did – and even gave me hugs at the finish line after nearly five hours of running. (Eww.) They also put up with a lot of talk about my training. Even after years of running and tons of races, they still travel to many of them and cheer me on along the way. At my most recent marathon up in Canada that was much smaller than most races I’ve done, they teamed up with Ian to act as my support crew. Read more about their efforts there in my recap post on the race. You don’t get to pick your parents, but I sure got lucky.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Be sure to tell those that support your love for running how much it means to you and that you love them!