Friday, November 21, 2014


What I Wore {post 58}

Hooray for Friday!  Hooray for marathon weekend! Hooray for the last weekend before Thanksgiving! Hooray for an Ironman Lake Placid Camp happy hours where I get to see my camp friends and coaches over many beers and treats!  Look at me getting all baby deer on you.  Here are a few recent outfits to celebrate cooler temps and fun weekend plans.  

* Flannel Shirt, Black Sweater, Skinny Jeans *

I wore this to work on a casual Friday.  The flannel is just a regular flannel shirt from LL Bean.  I hated the fit, but I loved the print, so I bought it and took it to a tailor who made it much more fitted and flattering and not lumberjack.  I wore it with a fitted black sweater, my skinny jeans and riding boots.  Oh and a fun statement necklace.  I liked this outfit a lot.

* Mustard Dress, Navy Cardigan, Fuchsia Tights *

This outfit was a bit of a risk and I ultimately loved it.  I wore my mustard knit Anthropologie dress from a few years ago.  I regret not buying this a size down. It's a small and I am most certainly an extra-small in it.  I make do by layering.  This time, I wore my navy blue cardigan (the $5 steal from the Gap outlet) with a brown belt and fuchsia tights and my brown riding boots.  A very fun Fall outfit.

* Red Wrap Dress *

I am pretty sure I've shared this on the blog in the past, but t's a favorite.  And so easy and simple.  I just wore my red wrap dress with my nude patent heels and a long chunky gold necklace.

Done!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  

See you swoon,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Running Through

Another Wednesday; another non-project, non-house-related post.  I haven't been very projecty lately. But lucky for you and for the internet, I'll share some musings.  I've been thinking a lot over the past few, well, years about the intersection of running and life. Recently, I was talking with a friend who is going through a break-up and I said that what got me through my own was my family, my friends, my kids and running. Oh, and beer.  :) 

I thought more about that.  What got me through was people and running.  People who love me and support me and were there for me without judgment or question or hesitation.  Friends who, when I said "I need you" asked where rather than why.  Family who said "we only want to see you happy".  My kids, whose hugs and kisses at the end of the day made everything - no matter how bleak - seem OK.  And ... running.  Running was just an activity, right?  Just something I did?  Or was it?  

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that running wasn't just something I did.  It was who I am.  And who I am yet to become.  And it was the process of grieving the end of my marriage and the absolute terror of starting over. 

I am not one who is ever at a loss for words.  Words is what I do and words is what I love - in my real  life and in my real job and here on the blog.  One of the things I love most about writing is my ability to take, and my love of taking, my thoughts and putting them all to words in a way that people want to read, and in a way that people can somehow relate to.  I've been told that I have a way with words.  And for me, having the blog is fun and also therapeutic.  It's sharing a bit of me with the world.  But I have been at a loss for words and unable to explain the direct tie that running has to my peace of mind and my life for the past couple of years.  Don't get me wrong: I've always run.  It's always been important to me.  But it took on a new meaning a few years ago.  I fielded a bunch of similar questions that ultimately asked this: "what are you running away from?"  And I would protest that it's not running away ... running centers me ... running helps.  But my words always fell short.

Until last weekend.  Last weekend, Amy, Bill and I watched the recap of the Ironman World Championships in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.  What's funny is we did the same thing a year prior - it was the day before the Philly Marathon, and we all watched, we had all signed up to do Ironman Lake Placid, we were just about to start working with our coach, and I think we all realized that a year from that moment, we would be Ironmen.  So watching the coverage took on a whole new meaning this year.  The feelings of excitement, nervousness, tension, anxiety, joy ... they were palpable this year because we had gone though it just a few months ago ourselves.  We watched the recap with rapt attention, especially since we had watched the live coverage on race day.  

Ironman always profiles a handful of "personal interest stories" as part of this coverage.  And this year, one athlete was Lisa Hallett.  Hallett started a running-based organization after her husband, a soldier in Afghanistan, died in combat.  Her story was, of course, inspiring.  But her words were even more so.  She shared her story, and I cried.  I cried because it was moving and it was sad and it was inspiring, but I cried because she was able to articulate why running has helped me through my own divorce in a way that I have not been able to.  And I say this recognizing that her loss - the loss of her husband and the father of her three children - cannot in any way be compared to my divorce.  I don't mean to minimize or trivialize her loss at all.  I simply found that her words resonated in my own life.  She gave words to something that, until that point, I was not able to do.  Here is what she said about how running helped her in her grief:

I remember going out for my first run  . . . in my first few steps I was finally able to find the quiet and the space I needed to connect to my grief.  . . . In those first few months, I was trying to run from the heartbreak and tragedy that life had given me.  But I realized in this journey that I wasn't actually running away, but running through it.  

Yes.  Those first few runs when I moved out on my own were like this.  I am pretty sure I burst into tears after a few steps.  All that strong facade that I put up on a daily basis fell to the side and it was just me and my footfalls.  And I was afraid.  And worried.  And yet ... empowered.  I found that when I was running, I was simultaneously my most fragile and my most powerful all at the same time.  I didn't know how to process this, but I knew when I finished my run, I felt good.  I felt like me.  I felt ready to go on with my day.  I wanted to bottle up that feeling of strength, hope, vulnerability, invincibility and make it last.  So I kept on running.  Some runs were just normal runs where I listened to my stupidly horribly music and had a good time. Some runs were just horrible and I felt like a fraud and a failure and the Sesame Street piano player I'LL NEVER GET IT NEVER!!!

Some runs were those joyful, euphoric runs where everything was perfect and I felt amazing the whole time.  And then there were the therapeutic runs -- the ones to which Lisa Hallett referred.  The runs where I worked through my grief and my fears.  Sure, losing a marriage to divorce isn't like losing a husband to death.  But a divorce is, in a way, a death.  It's the death of a marriage, of a life together, of a dream, and of hope.  No one enters a marriage thinking that divorce is a possibility and no one leaves a marriage without a hell of a lot of heartache.  All this is to say: running connected me, in a tangible way, to the grief that I was feeling, but could not articulate, as my marriage fell apart.  Running was, and continues to be, the common thread that makes me feel strong.  Four to six days per week, you will find me running. Running when happy, when sad, when stressed, when angry, when terrified, when normal.  Running is what grounds me.  And, like Lisa Hallett, I find myself running through this journey called life, and not away from it.   I will never run away from anything (OK, except maybe clowns. or mascots).   And I don't necessarily think that I'm running toward anything either, because for the first time in my life, I am trying to be focused on the present rather than being plagued by the future and what will happen.

So for now (and likely forever), I run through.  I let myself feel whatever I feel and deal.  I run through.  I accept things I cannot change and look back on mistakes I made and learn from them. I run through.  I look a bit to the future in the joyful, yet very grounded and realistic, hope of what may possibly be. I run through.  I thank God, every single day, for the incredible blessings in my life: my family, my friends, my children, my health, my job, this blog.  I run through.  

I run through it all.  And through it all, I keep running.  

See you swoon

Monday, November 17, 2014


Training Recap: Nov. 10-Nov. 16, 2014

Hello and happy Monday! I hope you had a good weekend.  Mine was busy but a lot of fun.

This is it!  Marathon week! I can't believe it's here.  I've been in maintain-maintain-maintain mode lately, which is fine by me.  This week was a bit of a down week for me in terms of both volume and intensity.  But I just signed up to work with my coach again starting December 1, so I am gathering my rosebuds whilst I may.  I'll run this week, hopefully swim on Saturday, do the marathon on Sunday and then enjoy Thanksgiving week on my own until ramping back up again.  

My focus once that happens will be on running.  I'll still do a handful of tris, but they will be short and they will not be my primary concern.  I want 2015 to be a running-focused year and I really want to get a lot faster and stronger.  

For now, though, my focus is the Philly Marathon with my friend Heather! She's ready.  This is so exciting. 

Nov. 10-Nov. 16:  3:08:15 hours

Ran: 3:08:15 hours (21 miles)

Monday:  4 mile run
Tuesday: rest day
Wednesday:  3 mile run
Thursday:  3 mile run
Friday:  Taper long run - 8 miles
Saturday:  rest day
Sunday: 3 mile run

Nothing really notable about this week.  As you can see, it was all running.  And it was all endurance pace.  The weather was crazy.  My Wednesday run was hot - as in I wore short sleeves and shorts and was sweating.  By Friday, I was in my long sleeves again.

I missed not swimming this week, but I couldn't fit it in between the craziness of work and the craziness of my weekend plans.  

So a week from today, I should be back with a recap of the Philly Marathon!  I'm hoping to bring my phone so I can snap some pictures along the way.

Have a great week! 

See you swoon,

Friday, November 14, 2014


What I Wore {post 57}

FRIDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.  All caps.  bold.  italics and underline.  It is that kind of Friday.  It has been that kind of week.  This weekend is allllll about fun - lots of time with the kiddos, the kids' last soccer games, my dear sweet college friend's baby shower, watching IM Kona with Amy and Bill, an easy 8 mile taper run, and probably some pizza and beer.  

Oh and look at these photos!  Yes, they are still iPhone photos but they are clear and crisp and not blurry.  I love my iPhone 6.  

* Blush blouse & Tan Pants *

This top was a recent pick up when I shopped with Jamie.  It's from H&M and I love it.  It's more of a tunic, but I tucked it into my favorite tan pants.  I have some ideas on how to style it in a totally different way in the future.  

* White & Black Halter & Black Pants *

I rarely buy clothes at full price.  If not already obvious on the blog, I love me a good bargain and I find that if I buy clothes at full price, they inevitably go on sale pretty quickly.  If I find something that I adore, I will not hesitate to pay full price though.  And that's what happened with the halter.  I was at The Limited (same shopping trip with Jamie) and this is part of the store's "Scandal" collection (the TV show).  I loved the way it fit and looked and it was so versatile that I knew I had to have it.  I wore it to work (with a cardigan, not pictured) and black pants.  This will look great with jeans for a night out, with a suit for court, with pants, with a pencil skirt ... it is a great piece.

* Sheer Printed Blouse & Black and White Skirt *

All of these pieces are old old old.  The blouse is a clearance buy from Old Navy from last year.  The skirt is a clearance buy from TJ Maxx.  The belt is from Target.  I was pretty happy with the way this looked.  Also, it's time for a haircut.

Have a great weekend! I'll be back here on Monday with another training recap.  You will be waiting with breath that is bated.  

See you swoon,

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


5 More Things About Me

Happy Wednesday!  Wednesdays are usually house project day here on Swoon, but I've been working on the weekends, so there is no post today.  I thought it might be fun to share some things about me.  Even though I am, for better or for worse, pretty much myself here on the blog, I figure there are always little hidden nuggets that you might not know about me.  I've done this before in this post and this post (so that's an additional 15 things).  Here are 5 more things you always wanted to know about me and more. 

1. I played the piano for over 10 years.

I did.  I started taking lessons when I was in second grade, and age 7, and stopped lessons at around age 16 but continued to play often until I left for college.  I played the usuals - Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, but my piano teachers also allowed me to choose my choice and pick my own music.  And you know that was good stuff.  "Open Arms" by Journey, "Just You and I" by Eddie Rabbit and Crystal Gayle, "Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera ... yeah.  But ironically enough, my favorite song to play, and the most difficult piece of music I ever mastered, was "Send in the Clowns"  from A Little Night Music.  I wish I could remember how to play it.  Even if there is some relation to clowns.  


2. I am afraid of dogs.  But I love baby animals.

And I blame Da-Bee-Blah-Daaooog and Barkley.  Let me explain.  

Da-Bee-Blah-Daaooog was, well, a big black dog that lived in my neighborhood when I was a kid.  I don't think he was bad, but he was big and he terrified the 2 year old me (hence "Da-Bee-Blah-Daaooog" instead of "big black dog").  If I ever saw him, I would freeze and scream Da-Bee-Blah-Daaooog Da-Bee-Blah-Daaooog Da-Bee-Blah-Daaooog!!!!!   

And Barkley was this mean mean mean golden retriever (honestly, did you even know that Goldens could be mean? because it seems to go against their nature) who lived up the street from me growing up.  He was so mean and so bad.  One day, Barkley came down to my house and attacked my dog Pepper (a grey Miniature Schnauzer) and my uncle's dog Pepper (a black cockapoo) at the same time.  I watched Barkely attack the respective Peppers and it was traumatizing.   From that moment on, my fear began.   

But I really love baby animals.  Like ... I love them more than a thirty-[redacted] year old woman should.  If I am on a run and see a baby rabbit or a kitten or a baby deer, I will totally geek out and scream.  I mean look at this.  Do you know how many times I bit my cheeks and tried to attack my computer screen when I found this picture?  It is a baby deer and a baby kitten. 

silent screams a baby deer and a baby kitten!!!!!!!!!

3. I bought a Fendi bag once.

A real Fendi bag.  This was in 2002.  I was in the mall and in Bloomingdales and was walking around the beautiful designer purses when I stopped in my tracks at the sight of an amazingly gorgeous, deep claret leather Fendi purse.  It was so beautiful.  It was so me.  It was so expensive.  But it was on sale.  Even with the sale, it was a lot more than I ever wanted to spend on a purse.  I had the sales lady take it out of the case and I petted it for a bit and talked myself out of the purse.  I left the mall.  As I got half way home, it was as though an unstoppable rebel force intervened and turned my car around.  I literally did a U-turn in the road and went back to the mall and bought that bag.  I have never once, not for a second, regretted it. 

4. I love Cheez-Its.  I do. 

I probably should be a little ashamed to admit this, but I am not.  I really love Cheez-Its.  They are amazing and delicious and you can always find at least one (but probably more than one) box of Cheez-Its in my house.  I think I've tried every flavor (and there are a lot).  My favorites are Mozzerella, White Cheddar, Pepper Jack and I like the new grooves ranch flavor.  Behold - Cheeze-It heaven:

5.  I love the King of Rock n' Roll: Elvis Presley. 

I really love Elvis.  I do I do I do.  I think it was the early influences of my friend Heather's mom, but I have loved Elvis for as long as I can remember ... especially old Elvis.  Vegas Elvis.  Suspicious Minds Elvis.  If you happen to find me at a karaoke bar, there is a very good change that I will sing Suspicious Minds at least once.  It's a mainstay on my running playlists.  One of my favorite things about Sunday mornings is the "Elvis and Friends" show on the local oldies station.  Oh Elvis ... we're caught in a trap ... I can't walk out ... because I love you too much baby."  

And there you go.  5 more things.  Consider your otherwise mundane Wednesday made.  You're welcome.  

See you swoon,

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