My Red Belt…and the Most Amazing Snowman Ever

So since this week was basically swallowed up by all of the New York City Marathon excitement, I never got to tell you guys some other pretty big news. (Well, at least for me).

Last Friday night was my Taekwondo graduation…


…and I was FINALLY promoted to red belt! Which officially makes me an “advanced” student. And it means that my new combinations and forms have lots of jumping kicks and all kinds of other cool stuff that will probably make me pull my back out or something. But it LOOKS pretty awesome!


Since we got walloped with another several inches of snow during yet another storm yesterday (UGH), I also thought it was an appropriate time to share our adventures from last weekend’s long run of 12 miles. You know, one one of the OTHER days this week that it snowed…and snowed…and snowed.

We took our run to the streets of Cranford since we were in the area to have dinner with my family. It was my old hood before I moved in with Todd, and sometimes I miss running there terribly…there are lots of parks and always other runners out and a cute little downtown area. And, frankly, it’s nice to not have to worry about getting lost…which is something that STILL happens to me on a fairly regular basis since I moved, haha.

But, of course, it just HAD to start snowing literally the second we started running (it wasn’t supposed to start until the afternoon, so we should have had plenty of time)!

What began only as some light flurries pretty much transformed into a full-on snow storm by the time we were done with mile 6, so we fought our way through the rapidly-accumulating snow. In my mind, we were already halfway done, so there was no way I was packing it in and turning around at that point!

Plus, I still was enjoying running in my old neighborhood, and the parks looked pretty spectacular blanketed in all of the snow. Honestly, I didn’t so much mind the cold…but it’s not always fun to have icy water whipping you in the face or your eyelashes getting stuck together. It definitely kept things interesting!


I was excited because I was keeping a pretty solid 9:45/mile pace for the majority of the run — and I felt GOOD — so it was a little frustrating to have to slow down as the road conditions became icier and more slippery.

But we did it!0301151409a

And some of us looked like this afterwards. LOL. Gotta love frozen eyebrows and eyelashes.


I was happy that we still managed to keep up a pace of about 10:15-10:30 in the last couple of miles as the snow started piling up. Not only did I feel my feet slipping everywhere, but trying to actually RUN through even just a few inches of snow accumulation is pretty freakin’ tough on the legs! We finished with right around 2 hours on the Garmin, which was what I was hoping for.


And we got to visit with the little Nelson family snow dog, who was very anxious to come outside and greet us upon our return. :)


Anyway, I knew you guys would appreciate the fact that Cranford also happens to be home to the most AMAZING SNOWMAN EVER. I’ve seen it driving by, but still hadn’t gotten a chance to take a really close look. So what better time to check it out than in the middle of a long run?

There’s this local guy who makes these gargantuan snow sculptures every time it snows (which means he’s been pretty busy lately!), and needless to say, his latest creation has been getting a lot of attention. Like, in the form of people stopping their cars and holding up traffic on the busy road in front of his house, or families walking up with their kids to pose for photos with it.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen…it’s a GIANT OLAF!20150301_132727

I knew you all would appreciate this as much as I did. I am OBSESSED with this snowman! And, yes, the first time we ran by and wanted to take a picture, there was actually a LINE of people waiting…but when we came back later (somewhere in mile 10), I guess all the snow scared the people away, so we finally got to take our turn.

20150301_132745I’m always looking for distractions during a long run, and I think it’s safe to say we got it! We have 14 miles on the calendar for this Sunday, but thankfully it’s supposed to warm up this weekend. You know, to, like, 35 degrees. :)

Do you want to build a snowman?

(Haha, okay, I’m corny)…here are your REAL questions:

Have you ever/do you ever run in the snow?

What’s the coolest/most unusual thing you’ve ever seen on a long run?


  1. First of all, congrats on earning your red belt! That is a huge achievement that shows just how dedicated you are.

    Second of all, I wanna take pictures with the giant, real-life Olaf!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much, Stacie! And, yes, I had been DYING to get a picture with it! Haha. It’s warming up here, so it’s going to be soooo sad to watch Olaf melt away. :(

  2. Wow, that snow Olaf is amazing. I wish I could come visit in person! By the way a huge congrats on achieving your red belt. It sounds like you have some fun adventures ahead of you in the advanced class. And your time for 12 miles in te snow was fantastic. You will definitely get that sub 2 soon!

    • Jennifer says:

      It’s even better in person!

      Aw, thanks so much! I’m looking forward to learning some of the more “advanced” stuff.

      Here’s hoping you’re right! I’d be thrilled with anything under 2:10 in my half this month!

  3. congrats on your red belt!! and I LOVE the huge Olaf!! As for snow, I have run during a flurry but never snow-i think i would be too scared I would fall

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Juliana! It definitely makes for an interesting running experience, to say the least, haha.

  4. congratulations on your red belt! so many exciting things happening for you lately :) if there was a chance of running in to a huge Olaf on a run, I may try running outside. But since there isn’t, I’m avoiding the snow and sticking to the treadmill.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Brittney! Haha, yeah, I wish there would ALWAYS be these kinds of distractions on my long runs…especially in this kind of weather!

  5. Love that Olaf!!! I don’t think I’ve seen anything that awesome on a run before! Congrats on your red belt!

  6. Congrats on earning your red belt! I had to look twice at the Olaf to see if it was really real! That is AMAZING! I wonder how long it took him to make that?

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Meranda! I know, right — I can assure you it’s very real, and I can’t even imagine how long it must take. But this guy is awesome; I’ve seen all kinds of his insane snow sculptures over the years!

  7. Did you give him a warm hug?

  8. Oh my goodness I’m in LOVE!! Olaf is so cute, he did a great job! Congrats on the run…way to keep an awesome pace despite the slippery conditions! Run in snow? I’d pretty much fall flat on my face! Hehe! I can honestly say I’ve never run in snow (and I’ve only seen it twice in my lifetime). :)

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Karen! LOL, I wish I could say the same…I’ve honestly forgotten what grass and trees look like after this crazy winter.

  9. This is AMAZING! Olaf is fabulous. I can’t stop looking at him lol .

  10. Wow, the guy who built Olaf is so talented! Incredible!

    CONGRATS on your red belt!! Way to go!! And congrats on meeting your goal pace even with all the snow and ice! :)

    • Jennifer says:

      Right?! It’s crazy good.

      Aw, thanks! Slowed me down a bit, but there was no way I was giving up halfway through a long run, lol.

  11. Congrats on your red belt!

    And OMG.. That snowman! So awesome and huge! The closest thing we have to that in my neighborhood is giant dirty piles of snow to run by. :(

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Jessica! Haha, don’t worry, we’ve got PLENTY of those dirty snow piles, too. WHERE IS SPRING?!

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