Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goals and Resolutions: Looking Forward

It's Wednesday, the last Wednesday of 2016. And once again this week I am linking up with a bunch of bloggers to share our thoughts on the Wednesday Word at Today, very fittingly, we're talking about resolutions.

Deb Runs

Do you have any goals for the new year? Anything you'd like to change? Are any of your goals or resolutions running related?

My resolution has to do with strength. It's been awhile since I've put effort into cross training, and once my run streak is over (plus the New Year's race I signed up for and the Magic Mile I'm trying out for the first time on Saturday) (I really need to stop, no?), I'll be back at the pool. At the gym, too, learning how to use all those machines again.

And I have a change I've been thinking of for a little while: I'm going to take a break from the blog. I started Mom and Dad Track Stars in 2011 when I was training for my first marathon, and now I've determined that 26.2 is a race distance with which I am parting. If there's going to continue to be a Mom and Dad Track Stars, it's going to evolve a little (a revolution, if you will, as opposed to a resolution) and I'm going to figure that out quietly.

There are brilliant people writing, full of advice and building wonderful communities of followers. You can click that Scrabble-looking link to hear from quite a few of them! I plan to be one of those followers. But I am going to take a rest from this biweekly (or so) greeting.

If you've read my blog, I cannot thank you enough! Anyone who has said anything to me about enjoying it, believe me, your kindness has been appreciate more than you know. And listen, keep in touch:

Twitter: @anannereynolds
Instagram: @anannereynolds7
Snapchat: what is that?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Joys of the Season

In this season of joy, I hope that at least a little bit of joy has found you. Let me tell you about a few sources of joy for me this week . . .

My job is a terrific one, and I am glad to have it, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that one of my favorite things about it is that the whole joint shuts down completely for two weeks around Christmas. (Thank you, Governor McAuliffe and George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera for those extra days!)

And those days have been spent well! Exercising after the sun has come up, spending time with the kids, doing last minute Christmas chores, even seeing Star Wars with my sister and nephew yesterday. We head off on a road trip to enJOY family members tomorrow, but these quiet days at home have been a real gift.

There is true joy in having the kids home and under one roof. Once again, it helps me get my husband's mom, and why she is so jazzed to have us all together for her big Christmas shindig (and it IS a stunning shindig).

I hope that wherever Christmas (or the season) finds you this year, that you find some joy there, too.

It's Wednesday Word, linking up with Deb and a bunch of great bloggers at You can click this link to see what they are writing about joy!

Deb Runs

Monday, December 21, 2015

M is for Mission

Did I mention that I am doing the Runner's World Run Streak? Yep, I'm pretty sure I have.

And I'm still counting down to 1100 miles for the year. Just 25.32 to go. That's less than a marathon! (Theoretically) I could knock that out in a day! (And then hate my sore legs for the rest of 2015.)

I have also taken up the Greatist Just Do Anything 30-Day Challenge and I have been doing a lousy job tweeting about it with their #holidayfit hashtag, but it's been a great addition to the December effort to not completely give up on exercise. It is a different activity every day and it's like a little mission each day. For instance, I did not know that I could do 50 lunges on each leg in the course of a day but sure enough, I could.

I really enjoy quite a bit. I know I'm not their target demographic, but I tell every 20-something I know about the site. (That amounts to a couple of people at work, so it's not like I'm driving their analytics.) They have a great mix of lifestyle, fitness, and food articles with a beautiful website. You can learn a lot from 20-somethings.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Seven Bright Miles

Only 31.87 miles to go to get to 1100! In case you're counting down. I am.

A Saturday run means I got to wait for the sun to start coming up. It was chilly out, and all the people I saw were out there because their dogs told them to. Pat and Sandi, Diane, Kristy, and Dom, with Tita, Kunane, Schneller, Diane's cute golden, and Cinnamon, respectively.

And a row of geese flying over as I finished. A fine run.

Friday, December 18, 2015

1100 in Sight (Plus Stress Relief)

It occurred to me this morning that if I run just a wee bit over 3 miles a day for the next 13 days, I will get to 1100 miles for the year. That's do-able, right?

It's on.

I have never run that much in a year. And the thought of having a goal is pretty exciting.

I've run every day since the day before Thanksgiving, when the Runner's World Run Streak kicked in. That's about 72 miles so far. This has been, by far, the most successful streak I've done. I was getting a little down on my running because it's been so slow this year, but as I type this I'm feeling much better.

I missed the Wednesday Word link-up this week. It's very ironic; the word was stressful and with everything else going on (work, getting ready for Christmas, etc.), the thought of writing a post on Wednesday was Simply Too Stressful to contemplate (you can still check out Deb's excellent blog post -- seriously, you have to see her picture and the explanation for it! -- here). I bought myself a journal and started contemplating moving the blog to good old fashioned paper. That may have been just me having a hissy fit, though it's still on the table.

But that run streak, it's been a stress-relief lifesaver. Some days have only been a mile, but they've been good ones.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

So Much to Celebrate

It's Wednesday, so I'm linking up with a bunch of bloggers at for the Wednesday Word.

Which today is


You can see what they are writing by hitting this button right here:

Deb Runs

This is a perfect word for this time of year, because you can find celebrations around every corner.

When I was growing up, our holiday season of celebrations started early with my mom's birthday in October, rolling through Halloween, then my birthday, then Thanksgiving, four weeks of Advent (we had a schedule for lighting the candles and lucky me, I always got to light the pink one), then big ole Christmas, and we would keep the energy going through my dad's birthday on January 10. Whew!

My li'l sis's birthday wasn't until late February, for which we would all regroup.

But this year, world events argue against celebration. Terrorism, poverty, war, refugees, a downright nasty presidential campaign. It almost feels naive to savor the good things that are around us, particularly at this time of year.

That's why I'm going to go ahead and do it.

The beautiful elements of our holiday season are constants. They are there even when we aren't able to see them. When my mom died in the spring of 2004, the cherry blossoms in DC were as glorious as ever. And when we lost my dad in September of 2007, Christmas still came along with all of its lights and presents and eggnog latte. I'll be honest, I don't know if I was feeling those beautiful things at those difficult times, but I do know that they were there.

The turmoil in our world is a constant, too. Our hearts can break for those who are affected, and maybe that pain can motivate us to reach out and help. But it can also remind us to open our eyes to the blessing we have near to us and honor them with a little celebration.

Monday, December 7, 2015

M is for Mindful

Mindful, which is how you need to be when it's Monday afternoon and some of your ideas just got shot down by your boss.

Because M is also for Ms. McSherry, who is the person I work with in another unit who just called me by accident and was polite enough to not just hang up when she realized she'd misdialed, but let the call go through just to say hi.