Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What 2014 Meant For Me

I have missed writing my blog.

It seems that this year my creativity was used up by writing the intro of the newsletter where I work, since it's focused on running, it's a perfect fit for me.  It's hard to believe I've had this blog for six years, but it has served me well.  I started it as a way to find direction while being home with my kids, and morphed into something to keep me on track as a runner and food lover. I made friends with fellow bloggers who I "spoke" with on a daily basis, and counted as true friends.  Then it seemed my blog filled it's purpose as I went about my days, I felt like I didn't have much to say.  In the past there were times when my blog was a forum for sharing my frustrations.   As I read about others who are truly suffering for different reasons, I felt weird complaining about my seemingly mundane issues.

Although I am generally a happy person, I feel like a part of me is missing.  I no longer run the way I used to, running used to be an almost daily occurrence, one that made me feel like I could take on anything.  After I ran the NYC Marathon and my father in law had a debilitating stroke, I still ran, but it was less frequent.  I was very sad, and supporting my husband and family through this time.  I started to put on weight but I still ran, swam, walked, biked, and did races.

Fast forward to today. In 2014 I didn't race much at all, mostly because I work at a running store and it's hard to get a day off for a race.  I can't believe it, but I only ran the Boilermaker, and for the first time in years, didn't run a single Half Marathon, or Marathon for that matter! Then in September I fell and broke my ankle, breaking it for a third time.  After the bone healed, it was determined that I have pretty bad Achilles tendinitis and have started PT.  It's feeling so much better, but I can't tell you how much I want to go for one last run before the New Year!  So back to the bike I go.

This year I have had some lovely highs, and some bumps in the road.  I learned who my true friends are, and who are not. My family supported me but like all families, I got frustrated a couple of times.  I love the area I live in, but realize that there is always going to be something in my house that needs fixing. I'm lucky to have my children, husband, family and friends.

I'm looking at 2015 with optimism.  I have decided to not make resolutions, although I do resolve to focus on being a better person, physically and mentally.  I have decided to look at what makes me happy:

Now I will look forward to 2015, wishing for peace, love, health and happiness, Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What Made Your Dog Great in 2014? Photo Contest and The Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge Sweepstakes!

Frank spent 2014 doing some of his favorite things.


Riding in the car:

Relaxing in the yard:

Dressing up for Halloween:

We feed Frank Purina One Smartblend for Large Dogs, but he's going to give Purina Pro Plan a try.

Each variety targets your dog's exact needs; Sport promotes strength and endurance, Focus offers specialized nutrition for unique needs, Savor has outstanding taste for everyday excellence, while Select is formulated for skin and digestive health.

Purina Pro Plan is currently holding their Incredible Dog Challenge Sweepstakes, where you can win the grand prize:
  • 2 round-trip plane tickets to Huntington Beach, CA for the Incredible Dog Challenge® Western Regionals
  • A 3-day, 2-night hotel stay
  • Ground transportation and spending money
  • Plus a $500 PetSmart® gift card
You can click HERE to enter, there is no purchase necessary!

In the meantime, I'm sharing a giveaway for my fellow dog owners, three winners will receive a Purina Pro Plan coupons valued at $17.99, each (that means a free bag of Purina Pro Plan for each winner).

So what did your dog do in 2014 that made them great?  To enter the giveaway, use the hashtag #GreatDog2014  and share the photo on Twitter (tag me @MollySBaker) or Instagram (tag @sleeperbake262).  I will choose three winners on Tuesday December 23, 2014.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Healthy Holiday Season

Yes, it's that time of year again. A time of lights and snow, cold and crowds, friends and food. All the extra excitement and activities added to an already busy schedule, make me want to grab a blanket, head to my couch and sip eggnog in a Marty Moose glass.


A side effect of all of this celebrating is the dreaded holiday weight gain, but it doesn't have to be a disaster. There are ways to enjoy this time while still being good to yourself, and staying physically sane through the month of December.

Track your activity by wearing a pedometer, especially while you shop. Turn it on after you park your car, then start counting your steps as soon as your feet hit the parking lot. You'll be surprised at how many miles you can cover trekking from one side of the mall to the other. Check it from time to time, when you're close to ticking off another mile, speed walk away from the food court and get it done. Don't forget, hauling around those heavy shopping bags helps to tone the biceps!


I'm particularly sad this year because my next-door neighbors have moved away. In past years, in exchange for their gift of potato latkes, I would send over a plate of Christmas cookies. Over the next few weeks, the treats and special dishes will be coming out in full force. When faced with a buffet, I take a look at all the offerings, focus on a special dish that I don't have very often, then take a pass on the usual fare. I can have mashed potatoes anytime, but green bean casserole comes around just once in a while. At dessert time, I snag a bite of my husband's pie, or a nibble from my son's cookie. Yes, I'm still eating a treat, but it's a sliver, not a slice.

Lastly, like every other activity on the calendar, schedule time to work out. Write down that you're going for a run, and then check it off the list when it's complete. Take advantage of outdoor activities that you can do with family or friends, such as ice skating, skiing, bundling up for a woodsy hike or a walk around the neighborhood and enjoying all of the festive decor.

Move when you can, relax when you get a chance, and just enjoy this time. That way you can welcome 2015 on the best note possible.