It’s Merry Day!

Last August I shared the story of Willie dog. He’s now a five-year-old gentlemen who we often refer to as the OG d-o-g.

This little lady joined our family last December 21st. I have always loved the idea of opening a box full of puppy Christmas morning, and her adoption experience was pretty darn close.

When Willie turned 3, I started getting puppy fever. This conversation happened a lot.

Me: I want another dog.
Mr. Neon: We don’t need another dog.
Me: Willie needs a friend.
Mr. Neon: Willie has you. He doesn’t need a friend.
Me: But I want another dog.
Mr. Neon: We are not getting another dog.
Me: Please…
Mr. Neon: NO! Now stop showing me pictures of cute dogs on the humane society website.

This went on for over a year. And then the gut hunch kicked in HARD. And Mr. Neon knew. I texted him her picture. He told me to call NOW and put her on hold. It was Christmas time and she was too cute. I called and paid my $30 hold fee over the phone. I asked my boss if I could leave work early to go adopt a puppy for Christmas. She didn’t hesitate in approving that request!

When we got to the humane society, we told them we were there for Mary, a petite six-month-old terrier mix. They took us into the smallest visitation room. The volunteer brought her into the room and set her down on the floor. She made a sniff at Runner Boy and then made a quick beeline for Mr. Neon’s lap. And that’s where she has remained.

I wanted another dog. I didn’t get one. But Mr. Neon did.

In the spirit of the season, we changed her name to Merry, and she fits it beautifully. She’s our Merry girl. You can’t look at her without smiling, and she’s always there, waiting to be scooped up for a cuddle.

Stay neon!

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I have big news.

Never say never strikes again! I never thought I would hire a coach. Oops. I shouldn’t have said that. Because…

I have a coach!

We’ve toyed with the idea of getting Runner Boy a coach for a little over a year now. We’ve kind of reached the end of what we can do for him training plan wise outside of the regular coaching from his XC team. He really wants to place at Nationals and continue chipping away at his mile PR. So…we got him a coach. And then that coach heard about my busted attempt at a sub-2 half and made some suggestions which turned in a full on plan which also includes a pretty big 10K goal too.

He’s a friend of a friend and has quite a list of Boston-qualifiers to his credit. But the best thing about him…I might have finally found someone who loves running more than me.

So…Coach Brad…welcome to the Neon Runner family! The plan he has written for me starts the 31st. Bring it on!

It’s that time of year again.

It’s that time of year again. Time to bust out the training log books.

Over Thanksgiving week, I signed up for two half marathons. Bill Snyder Highway Half in May and Prairie Fire Half in October. I have yet to PR a half marathon in the spring, but we’ll see what happens at Bill Snyder. It’s the half that Mr. Neon broke 2 hours for the first time. It’s a mostly downhill race, and it’s in our favorite town. The town where the Neon Runner family was created.

I’ve thought about going back to 80/20 running, but I had to most success with Train Like a Mother, so I’m sticking with it. The plan right now is to follow the Own It version in the spring and the fall. I won’t need to start half marathon training until the middle of February. I’ll probably write myself a maintenance plan for the first 7 weeks of the year using the IronFit book, which I will also use in the summer, in between half marathon training plans.

I’m ready for 2018. Like all previous years, 2017 saw another list of goals bite the dust. I haven’t gone back and actually looked at them, but I’m pretty sure I fell short on nearly all of them. A 1000 mile year was once again an enigma. It wasn’t an official goal, but it’s always there, taunting me.

And yet progress has been made. I’m looking forward to December 31st, when I can sit down and analyze my Garmin data from the last four years of running. FOUR years. When did that happen? I can still remember those first months when running felt impossible and glorious. It still sometimes feels impossible and glorious. And I’m still head over heels in love with it.

Today is a double run day. I got up and did my speedwork this morning. 3 x 5 minutes @ 8:34 pace. It feel comfortably hard, just like maintenance training should feel. Tonight’s run is a Christmas light run with our tri club.

Stay neon!