Here comes the snow…oh so peaceful and white.

For those of you new to running, don’t let the cold and snow frighten you. You may discover how much you really like it. The animals make their way over the fallen branches and snow drifts. The stillness in the air is calming and it’s fun to listen to the crunching snow under foot. I actually find it much easier to run in the cold than the heat. I enjoy it more. The trick is getting out the door!

All it takes is a little planning, primarily with clothing. I find layering works best. A technical shirt, under a fleece, then topped off with a wind proof lighter weight jacket. Wear a hat as much of your body heat escapes through your head. Try a neck warmer that pulls up over your nose so you don’t have to breathe in extremely cold air.

This year, I started to wear glasses (same as I wear for biking) to keep my eyes from watering so badly. The area around my eyes wold actually get chapped from constantly rubbing the tears away. At first, I thought the glasses would bother me but they work great!

Of course, wear protection on your hands. I found that looser fitting mittens keep my hands warmer than gloves. Although when the temps drop down to single digits, I wear both!

As for legs and feet, I wear a heavier lined running tights with zipper bottom. Then I wear a higher ankle sock tucked under the zippered pants. The thicker running socks keep my feet warm enough.

I hope this helps. All the new technical fabrics are amazing. They block wind and moisture and breathe at the same time. Even though some items can be a bit pricey, if you care for them properly, they will last you a long time.

Now get out there and enjoy the winter wonderland!

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. 
Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. 
-Andrew Wyeth

What is appropriate work attire for women? What you wear can impact your career. Apparently, the boss IS watching.

According to Office team, a staffing agency, 93 percent of managers said your work attire  influences your chance of a promotion. And one-third said what you wear significantly impacts your chances of advancement.

Knowing what to where at work can be challenging. If dressed too conservatively, you’re called “uptight”, too casual and you’re frumpy and pricey clothing says you place too much importance on your clothes.

Women are under the radar much more than men. I suppose it’s partly because men tend to have less wardrobe choices than women. Men either wear the basic dark suit or dress down with khaki’s and a polo shirt. Women tend to wear something that’s trendy and flattering on them but too much “sex appeal” undermines women’s authority. When men are noticing a woman’s form fitting outfit, they are only hearing 25 percent of what they’re are saying.

The bottom line is to err on the conservative side during an interview and adjust your wardrobe accordingly (more trendy) after you’re part of the team and know the company culture.

See full article by Eve Tahmincioglu  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39232800/ns/business-careers/

Career Obstacles

I came across this quote today and found it worthy to discuss-

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you
run into a wall, don’t turn around and
give up. Figure out how to climb it,
go through it, or work around it.”
– Michael Jordan

Well said, Michael. I have to agree with you. We will face many obstacles in our life both personally and professionally. And they don’t have to stop you. It may seem impossible to overcome whatever it is you’re experiencing, but there’s always a way around it.

I try to recognize what others are going through and how they must be feeling. Most of the time, I consider myself lucky. Some people have children to support and college tuition to pay for or hefty medical bills. Sure, it’s taking me longer than I’d like to find a permanent full-time position, but I have learned much along the way. When a door closes or I don’t get that job I interviewed for, I realize that it wasn’t meant to be for either of us. If possible, I do try to find out the reason. But, I don’t give up. A funny thing usually happens afterward – I usually meet someone else with another lead.

Networking is key when it comes to your job search. There are ways to get past the “gatekeeper” (obstacle) at a company. Even when applying online, you can get the HR manager’s name through LinkedIn or another source to contact them directly. Research who your friends or associates may know at that company and get introduced through them. It may not get you the job, but it may get you in the door. I have used this strategy many times.

My field has changed quite a bit over the past few years so I am forced to reinvent myself and apply my skill set to different industries. Yes, it has been challenging but not impossible. When one avenue doesn’t work, I try something else. I have learned better what I don’t like to do, as well. An added plus has been the new friends and contacts I constantly meet. My network base keeps evolving into an interesting circle of wonderful people.

As for personal obstacles, I rely on a little help from my friends. It’s important to remember that friends and family love you and are there for you. They want you to succeed and be happy just as you want the same thing for them. Ask for advice. They may offer some new insight about your problem (obstacle) and ways to get around, through or over that bump in the road. It’s okay – You don’t have to face everything on your own.

If we let a few little road blocks stop us from achieving our goal, we’ll never succeed at anything in life.
And it makes us better problem solvers. Go ahead…UP and OVER that wall.

My girlfriend from my running group told me about this site http://www.skirtsports.com/ She has purchased many items and swears by their comfort and fit. Another friend just ordered one of the dresses and says it is absolutely adorable! I can’t wait to see it.

It’s so difficult to find different  and fun running apparel for women. Anyway, just wanted to pass this along and would love to hear if you have any favorites to share.

Happy running girls!

Yes, breaking up can be “heart breaking” to say the least. Whether it’s breaking up with a romantic partner, friend, career or habit, it is always tough to do. Sometimes, it is for personal growth or purely out of necessity. The important thing to remember is that life goes on and what ever happens is usually for the better. The journey will be worth it.

In terms of breaking up with your career, think of it as a journey toward new experiences, a road to learning new skills, an adventure toward new relationships and stretching your abilities to their fullest. It is so easy to go with what you know but it doesn’t always work. In these times of a challenging economy, we have to think outside the box and find new venues to explore.

For example, maybe it is time for a career change altogether. If you dig deep, there are probably similar industries where your skills may be applicable. So, take time to think about what really makes you happy -something you enjoy doing as a hobby. Maybe it’s gardening, maybe it’s sports or cooking. If you are a marketing professional, plenty of companies can use your skills. When you have passion for a particular product or service, you will be successful because you already know it, are excited about it and love to share your knowledge with others.

My point is -break up with your current mind-set. Go out on a limb – change the way you think about your life and career. Break out of old habits and explore new ideas. You may be surprised at what you find and happier in the end. I am working on this myself right now and pretty excited about it!

Something must die in order to grow – your old habits, your old self-image, your old thinking, your old life –
must be weeded out for the seeds of success to grow.
– Doug Firebaugh

Happy July 4th. Today was the 36th Bay Days 5 mile race. It was a hot one today…but a fun race. I met 2 of my girlfriends there for a little patriotic fun run in the sun at 8:30 am. Last year was my first time running this race and this year I just wanted to better my time.

My official finish time was 43:32.3 with pace of 8:42/M. WOW a personal best for me finishing 3 minutes faster than last year. My one friend’s son finished in 33 (a 13-year-old) and he finished 2nd. in his age group.I could never have kept that pace without my friend’s help.

One thing I have learned is that it is so much more fun running with your friends. They help motivate you, push you, support you and congratulate you at the finish. We hang afterward for our water and snacks and discuss what we will do next. We’re running another race this coming Saturday!

The heat was a bit intense for me…the last mile was really rough. But then I thought, it’s the last mile and I can do it. No big deal. We’ll all finish together. Then say our thanks for a great race, our personal achievement, our freedom to do so, and for our friendships.

So I say Thank You Girlfriends! May me continue to inspire each other and have fun doing it.

“The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.”
– Abraham Lincoln

First let me say that these are just my suggestions from personal experience. I am not a doctor, a sports trainer, or world-class runner. I’m just a normal girl who enjoys running and have asked a lot of questions of other runners, did my own research, and learned some things through trial and error.

First, get the proper running shoes – not cross-trainers, hiking, biking, or tennis shoes you wear to mow the lawn. Go to a reputable running store and one of their experts will look at your feet, how you stand, walk and run and will suggest the correct type of shoe for you. This could take quite a few fittings so be patient. And the socks you wear are important, as well. (one of my trial and error findings) And ladies, a well-fitted supportive sports bra with moisture wicking material will also prove necessary.

Next important matter. Commit yourself to making the time to do it. Start out with 3 days a week -20 minutes each day. Set aside the time like you would any other appointment. I carry my running gear to work with me, change at the office and stop by the park on my way home from work. It’s part of my regular routine.

Start out slowly! And it is okay to take walk breaks if you feel pain at first. Even if you feel great, don’t overdo it in the beginning. Keep to a regular schedule. If you hurt yourself, you may never want to go back to it. And when you hurt yourself, you have to take time to heal and then start over! (This I also learned the hard way)

It’s much easier to stay motivated if you have a running buddy. Or there are many running groups out there you can join. I always have a more enjoyable time when I run with someone. It’s nice to chat, keep pace with one another and it helps the time pass, especially if/when you get into longer runs.

My friends talked me into entering a race. In March 2009, I ran my first 10k. This happened to be one of  THE biggest 10k races in the country – 35,000 participants – big stuff! I knew if I registered, I wouldn’t back out.

So, I joined a training team sponsored by the YMCA. They gave us a 8-week training schedule to follow. We met every Saturday to run with the group and then you could run on your own or with friends during the week. Best thing I ever did! I finished the race – beat my estimated time and have continued running ever since.

There are great sources on the internet to find training schedules, nutritional advice, running shoes and clothing reviews and motivation and support. Check out running links on my blog for some of these sources.

Here are some articles I found for beginner runners, as well. I hope this helps you get started! Now you can search out your own ideas, dreams and life’s meaning while you run.