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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fit Fab Fuel Christmas Exchange

I signed up for a Christmas Exchange this year hosted by a couple of other awesome blogs I follow.  You can check those blogs out at:
Today is the day for the big present reveal & blog link up!  If you know me in real life, you know that I actually like waiting to open my presents, so even though my package got here Friday, I didn't open it until this morning.  I was paired with Lesley, from Kansas.  She's a fellow dog-lover, and as I discovered when I opened my package this morning she's also a fellow tea-drinker!


For the winter fuel portion of the swap, she sent me several packages of Celestial Seasonings tea, including a couple of flavors I haven't tried yet, so I'm looking forward to those.  She also recommends touring their factory near Boulder if you're ever in the area.  Kevin & I like that sort of thing, so I hope we get the chance. 

In addition to the tea, Lesley sent me some granola bars and some Lara Bars.  I have never tried Lara Bars, but I hear lots of good things about them, so there's another treat I'm looking forward to.  Side note: as I was checking out the Lara Bar website to link here, I noticed they have Gingerbread as a seasonal flavor.  If I like these as much as my friends do, I will have to look for that one in the stores.

Finally, for the fabulous ornament portion of the swap, just check out this handcrafted ornament a friend of Lesley's made!  Pages from a hymnal, a champagne cork...  It's almost like she knows me - this is perfect & I love it!

This swap was a lot of fun.  If it sounds fun to you too, be sure & check out the host blogs as they plan to do it again next year. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Gobble Gallop 2014 Recap

Swag + Door Prize
Running a race on Thanksgiving has become a tradition for a lot of people in the U.S.  The big one here in Indianapolis is the Drumstick Dash, which raises money for Wheeler Missions.  Thousands of people run or walk in that race.  Many of the suburbs and neighborhoods have begun to host their own Thanksgiving races, to offer alternatives that are less crowded and closer to home.  The Hendricks Regional YMCA in Avon has hosted the Gobble Gallop for three years now.  I ran it last year (see that recap here) and really enjoyed it.  Last year's shirt is still one of my favorites.

This year's shirt is pretty cute too, and we got some other good swag as well.  Headphones, chewing gum, chapstick, and waived registration fees for joining the Y are all pretty great freebies.  This race doesn't offer finisher's medals, but race fees are really low so it's still a great deal.  One improvement the Y made over last year was holding the pre-race announcements in the gym.  Last year they did the announcements while we were lined up outside, where it was hard to hear, plus that left us out in the cold a lot longer.  And it was even colder this year, so we were glad to be inside while we waited.

It's only cold when you're standing still
I was happy to spot my friend Jana before the race, and we went through our lunge matrix together before we headed outside to the start line.  Did I mention it was cold?  27, with a wind chill making it feel like 16, and flurrying.  I know my WNC family & friends actually had snow on the ground for their run, so I shouldn't complain too much.  I was properly layered with Cuddl Duds under Nike Therma-Fit plus a down vest, so I was fine once we started running.

People paid a little more attention to the pacing signs when they lined up this year, so there were not as many walkers to dodge on the narrow trail.  I felt really great, even with the cold weather.  I would say last year's winter training has really benefited me, as I no longer struggle breathing and running when it's cold.  My finish time of 34:59 was not a new PR, but it was 53 seconds faster than last year's time, plus I just felt better for the entire run.  Jana took this pic of me smiling as I approached the finish line.

Pic by Jana Gearries
Afterwards we went back into the gym where we were handed tickets for door prize drawings.  We also saw our friend Merit, who took 2nd in her age group and took home a pumpkin pie.  Congrats Merit!  Lots of people left before all the prizes were drawn, which was pretty crazy since the big prize was a $150 gift certificate to Runners Forum.  There were some other really nice prizes as well, and sometimes 3 or 4 tickets were drawn before someone was there to claim it.  I went home with a $20 gift certificate to Runners Forum, so I'm pretty happy with that.  I want to get more Smart Wool socks - those are the best!  I'm also planning to get some trail running shoes, so if anyone has any recommendations let me know.

I definitely recommend this race if you are looking for one on Thanksgiving in the Indy area next year.  And be sure to stick around for the door prize drawings!  See also my review on BibRave.

Don't forget: use discount code TERHAZELIN for the Santa Hustle in Indy and save $5!