Major Frequent Flyer Miles Forthcoming

I’m pre-packing two bags today for a complicated trip I’m taking this week.

Airplane against blue sky, low angle view

After work on Tuesday, I’m heading to Dubai for a conference.

With multiple time zone changes and a brief layover in Europe, I don’t arrive until nearly midnight on Wednesday, which leaves me just enough time to sleep before the conference starts Thursday A.M.

Friday brings more of the conference and an 11 P.M. outbound flight, where I then head to Orlando via Atlanta, with a plan to arrive in Florida at noon, meet spouse at the Swan Hotel and hopefully make it to pick up our Wine and Dine Race Packets and run the half marathon that starts at 10 P.M. and ends in EPCOT, finishing with an after party that goes until 4 A.M.

The rest of Sunday is scheduled for absolute crashing and the two of us will head home Monday.

Miles tally = nearly 25k when it’s all said and done.

Since there are two distinct parts of the trip, I’m planning to carry-on only for the Dubai leg and (politely) ask Spouse to share a bag that he will bring to Florida.

For the conference in Dubai, I’ll pack M.M. LaFleur dresses (this one and this one), my two trusty pairs of heels, and blazers to go with the dresses since the environment is formal. My time there is so limited that I’ll bring one extra outfit for dinner or an excursion but that’s about it beyond basics like PJs and my toothbrush.

Florida’s a different story. I feel like I need a few options for the race (last year was reportedly freezing cold and rainy – please don’t let that happen again! – and many runners didn’t plan for those conditions), plus something to wear to the after party.

Research about the party shows that almost everyone brings a spare outfit in their checked race bag, since partying in soggy, stinky race gear is just unpleasant.

Like most races, Run Disney ones are very specific in that you must use the clear bag they give you at packet pick up as your check bag.

Advice from past participants suggests tucking a small backpack into that bag for later use, since the check bags are pretty flimsy.

Other recommended items were:

  • A plastic zip-lock gallon bag for sweaty clothes
  • Baby wipes (no showers there, ugh)
  • Flip flops or other comfortable shoes
  • A hat
  • Hoodie or light jacket

I spied this sporty 1/4 zip hoodie at Title Nine and thought it would be fun for the after party:

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 7.40.54 AM

I also specifically booked a hotel in the EPCOT area so we can leave the party via the (secret) International Gateway and walk the half mile or so back to the hotel after the party without too much hassle to get some needed ZZZZZs.

Yes, this is a complicated trip with a lot of pieces that need to fall into place, but I’m hopeful that they will.




Happy Halloween!

Ok, I am officially declaring this A Thing. 

And a brilliant one, at that.


We’re all set for trick-or-treaters, with lots of candy for the kids and shots of Fireball for the grown-ups.

Spouse gets all the credit for this one, but really, why didn’t I think of it before?

Who wouldn’t want a little warm up while you’re out with the kids, slogging from door to door on a night that is going to prove to be cold and windy?

Happy Halloween, Folks! Please stop by.

Fair Isle Made Modern

Fair Isle patterns really aren’t my thing.

They just harken memories of bad 1980s sweaters like these:


All 80s sweaters via liketotally80s

fair-isle-sweaters-4 fair-isle-sweaters-6

And yet … they’re suddenly everywhere. 

Over the weekend, I saw a cute outfit in a magazine pairing a Fair Isle sweater with an icy blue skirt. Specifically, this Fair Isle sweater from Old Navy:


This rings in at less than $40.

And then I opened up the latest Boden catalog to see this:


I like the neon pink color pop.

Here’s another option from J. Crew Factory:


If you’re not ready to commit to the trend, these accessories are a start:


Splendid scarf

And even though this Boden Hat & Mittens set with a matching Scarf are technically for tweens, I could still see them being cheery and fun for adults:

15XAUT_69008_OAT 15XAUT_69009_OAT

Are you wearing Fair Isle this fall?

Cheap Thrill: Kids’ Bath Edition


Trixie (6) and MGM (8) saw these Crayola Color Bath Dropz at Target a few weeks ago, and since it was in the middle of one of our frantic weekly trips where we race through the store, sweating and randomly tossing things into the cart, I didn’t see them among our purchases until we made it home.


We tried them out that night, and they were were a hit!

The Bath Dropz come in red (looks purple in the container, but they’re red), yellow and blue.

One will tint the water (and not the tub or kids, a very important point), but two or more really makes for a fun kid bath.

Our favorite combos:

  • 2 yellows + 1 red = bright orange
  • 2 blues + 1 red = deep purple
  • 2 yellows + 1 blue = grass green
  • 2 blues + 1 yellow = a gorgeous turquoise, similar to Caribbean water

At around $4 for 60 tablets, these were a cheap thrill. 

An Incredible Tap Performance for the Weekend

My jaw dropped when I saw Michelle Dorrance’s tap performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this week.

I would say that this has to be seen to be believed, but it’s really the sound that makes this special.

Winner of a 2015 MacArthur “Genius Grant,” dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance is described as “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today” by the New Yorker. 

I couldn’t believe my good fortune when I discovered that she will be performing near me next month. I snapped up two tickets, one for me and one for Trixie (6).

I hope she is inspired to try tap! Maybe I’ll give it a whirl, too.

Have a great weekend!

On Injury

I recently had a very humbling experience.

Ok, this was really just one of many humbling experiences life seems to throw my way, but this one was specifically related to running.

[It is also moderately painful to admit I need to categorize, sub-classify and then create my own Dewey Decimal System for the myriad humbling/humiliating/mortifying events that surround me].

I was planning a fairly easy Friday night run a little over a month ago. Thirty minutes in to what should have been a comfortable six miler, I felt something pop or snap in the back of my right leg.

runner injury2

Image via

The pain was immediate, and all I could think of what that something really, really bad had happened.

Initially I couldn’t even bear weight on the leg and worried how I’d get home.

After about 40 minutes of sitting down, I was able to take a few s-l-o-w steps at a time and made it to my car, where I called my friend D. – a genius physical therapist – for some emergency advice.

D. agreed to meet me at my house that night and put my knee/leg through a series of tests to determine the source. At the time, it fortunately did not seem to be a serious knee injury; rather it was more consistent with a hamstring pull.

She was even able to nail down the tender spot to one specific site and – great friend that she is, seriously D. is the best! – she came over four times over that weekend to manually dig into that spot and work on the strained area.

By Monday morning, with the help of D., ibuprofen and copious icing, I felt about 90% better.

But I knew that this was a warning sign.

Unfortunately, 25+ years of running has not necessarily made me a better runner. I have bad habits. 

  1. I rarely stretch or foam roll.
  2. I run to the detriment of everything else. When time is tight, which it always is, I choose running. If I have 45 minutes, I run for 45 minutes, not 30 with 15 minutes of conditioning, etc.
  3. I rarely strength train.
  4. I often take a weekend warrior approach and run taxing, big miles on the weekends and much shorter distances during the week.
  5. I don’t monitor my form.

The list could go on for a long time.

With my wake-up call, I did the following:

  • Went to PT. This has been extremely helpful. At my first appointment, the physical therapist politely asked if, perhaps, I thought I had weak glutes and a weak core? My resounding laughter affirmed his inquiry. He gave me a series of exercises, a strengthening band and I’ve been following up with him once a week for a total of five sessions.
  • Was treated with the Graston Technique. This was new to me, but it really seemed to help. Stainless steel instruments are used to comb the affected area and identify any muscle disruptions, which are then worked on with deep tissue release techniques. The person I was working with said that he could feel the torn area in my semimembranosus muscle.
  • Did a video taped running analysis. Actually, I did this twice. Once was at a sports performance assessment with a PhD Physical Therapist and running expert, and the second time was at a store when I bought new running shoes. I was warned before watching the video that the angles were not that flattering, but essentially I was filmed on a treadmill with four cameras watching me run. After painfully getting past the jiggling, I could see what they saw: I slouch, I pronate and I don’t engage my glutes well so my hips drop with every step. Over time, that adds up to injury.
  • Bought new shoes. My old ones were examined by a few different people and determined to still have life in them, but it was recommended to consider a pair with better foot guidance to avoid pronation. Ok. Check.
  • Watched a lot of YouTube videos on proper running form. Like this one.
  • Tried to clean up my diet and lose some weight, which is undeniably helpful on the joints. (Notice I say “tried” since I fell off the wagon this week).
  • Concentrated a lot on my form. When running, I worked on keeping my feet underneath my center of gravity to avoid overstriding, leaning forward from the ankles and engaging my core, and taking shorter, quicker steps to increase my overall cadence. It’s hard to remember to do all of this simultaneously, though.

So, here’s what happened: things seemed to get better within about three weeks. Both the physical therapist I have been seeing and I were wondering why I was even in PT. I wanted to test my leg out, and I was very, very nervous about getting behind on my training schedule for the January marathon I have on deck.

After a few gingerly-executed runs, I went out an did an 11 miler two Saturdays ago. I felt great! My form seemed better, it was a beautiful day, and I was optimistically thinking that I would come back better than before.

And then on Sunday, my right knee blew up like a balloon.

It did not look good.

Not only did it hurt, there was also a crunchy spot I could feel when I bent it.


I really started to fear a meniscal injury, since new pain was now present at what I thought might be the joint line.

I took five days off running and did three miles last Friday. The knee hurt more.

Last Saturday, I was supposed to run 12 miles. I did zero.

This week, things seem cautiously, slightly better. I ran twenty minutes on Thursday night with some walking intervals mixed in. I felt very deconditioned. That was humbling, but I made it through without aggravating the knee more and it doesn’t feel bad today.

Being sidelined as a runner doesn’t feel good, but overall I’m still trying to remember my mantra “I run because I get to,” and be grateful for any (healthy) steps I take.

This meme summed it up well:


Fingers crossed for recovery!