2015 – A Year in Review

I wanted to take some time and look back at the last year and all of the things that happened in life.  While this year may not have been a banner year for running for me, it was such a huge year of change and growth.


January was relatively uneventful.  I continued working out, failed at committing to a training schedule for Shamrock, and started to write Stitch Fix reviews.


February was the month of snow.  I missed so many workouts due to bad weather and being snowed in or the gym being closed.  I also decided to defer Shamrock.


In March I got the cold from hell.  I also ran Shamrock 8k instead of the Dolphin Challenge.


In April, we moved Michael’s stuff into my townhouse, got diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, started PT, went to Florida for work, saw Jewel in concert, creeped on Wanda Sykes at an airport, got sick again, and turned 28!


In May, I got sick again, got a corneal abrasion from my contacts, did ALL the wedding stuff, had a wedding shower at work, cheated on my PT, had my bachelorette party, and did more wedding stuff!


In June, Michael and I got married!


Also in June: Danny and Nicole decided to leave the gym, I changed my name, my cousin got married,  I watched Danny and Nicole(my trainers) get ENGAGED, I got to meet my nephew 🙂


I finally made it back to yoga in July, started doing protein shakes, and we went to Nags Head with my family.


In August I went to a casino for the first time, we visited my brother, and I started playing Fantasy football.



I started really loving yoga, went to more casinos, started going to ODU football games and enjoyed the fall.


My church celebrated its 9 year anniversary, my husband ruined a pot, Crawlin Crab 5k was cancelled and rescheduled due to a hurricane, I took a training class and got a certification, I went on a work conference and took a fall vacation. I also did the Wicked 10k.


We bought a new car, we did some early Christmas shopping, I ran the Harbor Lights 5k, saw the new Hunger Games movie, enjoyed Thanksgiving with family, and went Black Friday shopping.


I got pampered at the Red Door Spa, cleaned out my closet, ran the Surf-N-Santa 5 miler, and celebrated Christmas with my family.

 How was 2015 for you? What are you looking forward to in 2016?

Weekly Update – 12/21/15 – MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I love Christmas time! Its my favorite time of the year, and this week was my favorite of the year (well…other than the week Michael and I got married!)



Every year, my mom hosts a Ornament and Cookie exchange.  Most people do not do the cookie exchange part, but the best is the ornament exchange.  We do it Dirty Santa style, where you all draw numbers, and you either pick a wrapped ornament out of the pile, or steal one that has already been opened.  Its a cutthroat game.

I got a lovely ornament that matches my teal, silver and white tree.


Tuesday night was the Chesson Family Dinner (my stepdad’s family). We fit 28 of us in my mom’s house.  We do a traditional Christmas dinner, then play Dirty Santa with random $10-$15 gifts. This year I walked away with a calendar, and Michael got a Christmas mug with a $10 iTunes gift card in it.

Its always great to see all my extended family, even if they are a bit crazy. And I got to take selfies with my nephew, and lets be honest, that’s my favorite part.


How can you not love those fat cheeks!?



Wednesday was our celebration of Christmas with Dad and family. We left work a little early and headed straight over there.  We had a great time and everyone gave each other very thoughtful and sometimes really silly/fun gifts.   We then spent the rest of the night watching people on youtube do the cinnamon challenge (why…I’ll never know).


Christmas Eve! Michael and I took a vacation day.  We spent most of the day cleaning and preparing to have everyone over on Christmas.


Merry Christmas!  My mom had this tradition of making chocolate chip pancakes on Christmas morning, so guess what Michael and I had….


Michael and I had a lovely morning at home and we spoiled each other rotten.



“It’s so preeeeettttttyyyyyy”




Had to have an Eagles jersey with my new last name….


Someone is excited about his Fit Bit!


A dear friend made this for us…it has the lyrics of our first dance song on it! So sweet!


In the afternoon, we had everyone over for some ham and other goodies. Michael also took the opportunity to teach everyone blackjack.


Michael, blackjack dealer extraordinaire. And Santa.



Saturday was a chill day.  Michael spent some time with his brother, while I stayed home and got some laundry and cleaning done.


Sunday was another pretty chill day.  We had responsibilities at church, but after that, we came home and relaxed most of the day.

How was your Christmas? What do you have special to eat on Christmas day?

December Stitch Fix Review (Stitch Fix #13)


I say this every time: I know this is outside of my normal fitness/running blogging, but hey – its my blog, and I want to blog about my awesome clothes!  I actually managed to take semi real pictures this time! You should be proud!

Here’s how it works: You set up a style profile and you receive a box with 5 items in it.  You can choose the frequency with which you set up the box …once a month, every other month, etc.  You pay $20 to receive a box.  If you keep anything, that $20 goes toward your purchase.  If you keep all 5 items, you get a discount!  They send you anything from jewelry, to clothes to handbags. If you don’t want to keep an item, they have an envelope to send them back.

What I love about this is that I get a stylist that looks at my style profile and picks out items just for ME.  You can even link to a pinterest board so they can get inspiration and a better look into what you like.

Item Number 1 – Look by M Chloe Houndstooth Infinity Scarf ($28)


This is the second time I’ve asked my stylist for an infinity scarf.  I liked it, it was incredibly warm, but I just didn’t love it. I couldn’t justify $28 for a scarf I didn’t love, when I have a closet stuffed full of scarves.

Verdict:  Return

Item Number 2 – Romolo Branson Metal Fringe Necklace ($34)


I asked my stylist for a versatile necklace that was neutral in color so that I could wear it with many different items.  This necklace did fit the bill, but it was a bit too modern for me.

Verdict: Return

Item Number 3 – Skies are Blue Lasalle Cross Front Blouse ($48)


I love the color of this shirt and was super impressed with this pick from my stylist.  However, something about the fit was just a bit “off.”  It was tight in the upper arms (something I usually don’t have an issue with).  I liked it, but couldn’t justify keeping something that didn’t fit.

Verdict: Return

Item Number 4 – Ezra Eleanor Mixed Material Knit Top ($38)


I had to show a picture of the back of this top.  Its beautiful. This was a bit of a surprise to me.  Its not something I typically gravitate toward, but I really liked it. Its hard to tell in the picture, but the shirt is navy. Navy is not a normal color for me…all the more reason to get it!

Verdict: Keep

Item Number 5 – RD Style Maureen Twisted Seam Elbow Patch Sweater ($64)


I pinned many sweaters like this on my pinterest board, and my stylist took note.  I love it! The husband didn’t get why this is so cool, but I just love the leather elbow patch.  The sweater is super comfy and I couldn’t resist!

Verdict: Keep

Overall Impression

I liked most everything in this box.  I appreciated my stylist finding items she thought I’d enjoy. I didn’t end up keeping the two things that I pointedly had requested, but I love that she really made an effort to find items I’d love.  I love the surprise of the sweater from my pinterest boards.

Despite the fact that I don’t keep everything, I really do like my stylist and most everything she sends me! The sizing has gotten much better, and almost everything fits now!


If you are interested in getting your very own Stitch Fix box, click here.

*Note: This post is not sponsored.  I love Stitch Fix and purchase it with my own money and desire to share my love of it with you all fine people!  If you do chose to use the above link to sign up, I do receive credit toward my next purchase! (So click away!!!) If you sign up for Stitch Fix, you will also get a referral link for you to share with friends and loved ones!*

Race Recap – Surf-N-Santa 5 Miler 2015

All I’ve done this year are J&A Races.  I think I have a bit of a problem.  I think anyone that has done one knows how incredibly organized they are!!!

Packet Pickup and Expo

Since the race started at 4:30pm, I opted to do race day pickup.  We arrived at 3pm and I picked up my packet.  I realized that the bib had my maiden name on it, instead of my married name.  I didn’t think it was a big deal so I just let it go.

As Michael and I were sitting around, I realized it did matter! Since I did the Wicked 10k, Harbor Lights 5k, and now Surf-N-Santa 5 miler, I was eligible for the “Triple Jog Dare” which earned me a special medal.  I realized by looking around that those eligible people had a special bib.  So I went back into the expo, explained the situation, and they gave me a special sticker to put on my bib so that I would get my medal at the end.

Crisis averted!

Race Day Conditions/Attire

Although it has been extremely unseasonable warm in VA this fall/early winter, we had a cold snap this weekend.  Highs were only in the 40s, and the temperature was sure to drop as the sun went down.  Also the boardwalk is known for being particularly windy, so I was prepared.

I opted for long leggings, a long sleeved shirt and a vest.  I also wore a headband that covered my ears, but that came off after the first half mile…



After packet pickup, Michael and I hung around and did a lot of people watching.  Lots of good costumes!

I headed to my corral about 15 minutes before the race started.  Then they delayed for 5 minutes.  I think they kicked off all the Team Hoyt participants at 4:30 instead of 5 minutes early.  They seemed to space the corrals out pretty well.

Race Time

My corral started…and then we immediately ran into walkers from the corral before us.  I respect all levels of fitness, but I just want people to be true to their corral! If I know I’m running slower than the corral I’m assigned…I start back a corral.  But I digress.

I ran the first mile, then started alternating run/walk every quarter mile. Mile 1 flew by, and the first water stop and first turn around appeared very quickly.  Miles 2-3 were pretty fast too (with the wind at our backs!), as we were on the boardwalk and taking in all the lights.  I managed to snap a few pictures:



Mile 4 was actually a really great mile for me.  I felt fantastic and felt as if I had a ton of energy.  Unfortunately, the turnaround brought on the wind, so I started getting much colder.

Mile 5 was rough as it was the most boring part of the race in terms of scenery, and it was dark, so most of my time was spent concentrating on not tripping.  I knew I was set to be under 1:15:00, so I pushed on and finished strong into the convention center at 1:13:21.

After Party

I was able to get my medal and my Triple Jog Dare medal – which is awesome!!!!



They gave out beanie hats as a finisher item, which is pretty cool.   I scarfed down my granola bar and my water and headed for the beer.  They had Sam Adams – so I enjoyed a nice winter lager.  They had a potato and sausage soup.  It was good, but after a few bites, I was done with it.

The band was wonderful (as they always are), and I thoroughly enjoyed an inside party. All in all, a good race.

Do you do any Christmas races? Have you ever earned extra medals for doing a race series?

Weekly Update – 12/14/15


Monday was a TERRIBLE day at work.  Just one of those bad days.  If I didn’t have plans, yoga would have been so beneficial to go to!

Instead, we went to my high school’s Christmas Chorus concert.  I was in chorus in high school and I always love going back and revisiting! I may be biased, but they sounded amazing.  There is nothing more amazing to me than a good chamber choir singing a capella. At the end of the concert, they invite any alumni up to sing “Joy to the World.” Its an arrangement that’s been done at the school since the 70s.


I ran into my yoga friend Debbie, and we hit the ellipticals and chatted.  I did about 2.5 miles.  Not my hardest workout, but certainly fun 🙂


Yoga was particularly tough for me.  I was having a really bad day with my balance, so I ended up taking modifications.  I haven’t had a really off day in yoga for awhile, so mentally that was a little rough for me.


I was bad and skipped the gym on Thursday.  I had to run some errands after work and stop by my mom’s house.  She ended up cooking me dinner and I spent some time with her.  Tis the season, right?


I had Friday off.  I know, I’m spoiled rotten saving my vacation days like that.  I slept in some, watched a Hallmark movie, then had lunch with my dad.  We got some Christmas shopping done afterward, which was nice.  It was the first cold day in awhile…finally felt like Christmastime!  I was able to spend some time with my good friends and grab some coffee at Starbucks.


Slept in on Saturday and had a lazy morning. We left about 2pm to head out to Virginia Beach since  Saturday was the Surf-N-Santa 5-miler! Always a favorite. More on that in another post, but it was a good (COLD) time! We came home and warmed up on the couch with some TV.


After church on Sunday, we went to see Michael’s parents and celebrate Christmas with them and his brother! Lots of good food and a fun time with family!

How was your week? Any Christmas runs?


Weekly Update – 12/7/15

This week was a pretty decent one.  I had TWO vacation days, a spa day, and did lots of Christmas stuff.  I love this time of year!


I took Monday off. I tend to hoard my vacation time until the end of the year, then I have to use it all up before I lose it! (We can’t carry over till next year).  Mom and I did some decorating at her house, made some cookies, made chili and got a few errands done.  I went home and was pretty darn lazy until Michael came home from work.

Yoga with Jaye was pretty good.  I enjoyed the workout and felt pretty strong.


Its always hard going back to work after a vacation day.

I’ll probably write another post on this later, but I’ve been trying to do more conditioning and keeping my heart rate under 150.  My heart rate tends to race up close to my max (even when my effort is not at max), so I’m trying to condition it down.

Warmup: 1 mile on the elliptical, heart rate under 150

Workout (5 rounds):

  1. 200 meter row, under 1 minute
  2. Rest period until heart rate recovers under 125

I’ve found that I have been able to increase my speed on the elliptical and still keep my heart rate down.  Seems like it is working!


My brother was unexpectedly in town….as in he knew he’d be in town, but didn’t tell me until the day before.  We had dinner at my mom’s.  Michael had a vendor dinner, so he couldn’t join us, but it was good to see my brother and his fiancé.


I took it easy (and more honestly, lazy) and did 2 miles on the elliptical, keeping my heart rate under 150.


I had another vacation day on Friday (I told you, I hoard my days) and got a decent amount accomplished.  I got rid of an entire GIANT trash bag’s worth of clothing.  I reorganized all my drawers and my closet.  Its amazing how everything is so organized now!

I also took mom to get her car inspected – thankfully it passed (its 15 years old).  We also had a nice lunch out at Panera.

I did a little bit of cleaning and also made a dip for a party were going to.  It was a Christmas/housewarming party for our friend Shawn (he was in our wedding) and his wife.  Their new house is beautiful.  We also spent some time with some of his old coworkers that Shawn still works with.


On Saturday, the photographer that did our wedding hosted a spa day….on her!  We had to travel up to Short Pump in Richmond to the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa.  I got a mani/pedi and it was delightful.  I decided to get some nice red nails for Christmas (so NOT my normal style).

Michael got some Christmas shopping done while I was there.  On the way back, we made a few more pit stops and got even more shopping done.  We relaxed the rest of the day and watched 2 Christmas movies on Netflix.

The first was called Pete’s Christmas.  It was like Groundhog Day, but for a 14 year old boy’s Christmas Day.  It was cheesy, but very cute.

The second was called Silver Bells.  It was about a man who fought with a ref at his son’s basketball game and ended up having to do community service with the Salvation Army.  I really enjoyed it.  It might become a new holiday favorite!


We wrapped up almost all of our Christmas shopping…I can count on one hand what I have left to get! We did all of our grocery shopping and food prep for the week, then we went to hang out with my mom and stepdad.

How was your week?  When was the last time you went through your closet? What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?

Weekly Update – 11/30/15

This is a day late, but that’s how it goes sometimes!  I had a pretty decent week overall, and did lots of Christmas fun this past weekend!


Yoga with Jaye.  She said at the beginning of class that it was going to be more restorative.  I beg to differ.  Class was good though.  My chaturangas are getting better, which make me happy.


Warmup: Foam Roll

Conditioning: 1 mile on the elliptical, keeping heart rate under 150

Three Rounds:

  1. 10 KB High Pulls
  2. 20 Walking Lunges


I’m already sore from Tuesday night’s workout.  Yoga was actually restorative this time! We did a lot of work with blocks and straps.


Major DOMS from Tuesday’s workout.  I decided to not push my already mad muscles, and I did a nice 2 miles on the elliptical, keeping my heart rate under 150.


Its been a tough week at work.  Michael and I got some takeout (or takeaway, as the british say), and we watched a movie.


I had to work Saturday morning for a few hours, then I headed to the craft show at the local high school with my mom.  Its one of my favorite parts of the holiday season because I get to see MomLOLZ.

I only purchased a few things.  Mom and I ran some other errands and even had lunch at JoJacks!  I got some wrapping done when I got home.  Michael and I had another nice night in with a movie.


I had worship team at church on Sunday, which meant an early day.  After church, we headed home for me to do chores and Michael to do the grocery shopping and cooking.

How was your week?  What is one of your favorite relaxing things to do on a Friday night?