Dog Park Picnic

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It is such a lovely day outside,  I simply had to take the fur-kids to the dog park (any excuse to escape my office!).


 Megan joined me, and we each brought a brown-bagged lunch.  I brought a plate for my lunch.  🙂


I had a whole wheat pita stuffed with mixed greens and Israeli Cous Cous (we have a huge tub of this to consume!):


Sugar snap peas


And melon


I got a fair amount of studying done, too.  I have a huge exam in Anatomy tomorrow night, and I feel very unprepared.  It’s on arteries + veins.


Maggie and James enjoyed hanging out at the park.  It is so nice and breezy outside.  Normally, they are melting after 20 minutes!  We hung out for about 2 hours.



And look what I spotted… a wiener in a wheelchair!  His name is Fry and he’s 4 years old.  He lost the use of his back legs, but man — this little dog can run pretty FAST in his all-terrain wheelchair!


Winter Workout Gear?


My mom is trying to maintain the healthy habits she picked up over the summer — each morning, she walks/jogs about 1.0-mile around her neighborhood.  However, it’s getting really chilly in Tennessee, and she has no idea what kind of cold-weather workout gear she should buy.  Obviously, I’m no help!


In particular, she’s worried about cold feet — what do you wear on your feet when you run outside in the cold?  She already has waterproof shoes.  Suggestions are appreciated!



  • Sara September 30, 2009, 10:47 am

    Wool socks! 🙂

  • Rachel September 30, 2009, 10:49 am

    Personally, I’d go with Smartwool, but that’s just me. Any sock meant for outdoor activities (hiking/camping/rock climing/etc.) is going to help keep the toesies warm.

  • Jess September 30, 2009, 10:49 am

    I live in Colorado and am used to running in the snow. I’d say it’s most important to wear sweat wicking socks to keep the moisture away from her feet. If she’s only doing a mile or two she should be just fine, cotton and wool are a big no no, they’ll cause blisters galor. Other gear wise, I usually wear non-cotton pants, an Under Armor t-shirt and a windbreaker when it’s 30-40 degrees outside. Add a hat and gloves when it’s any colder.

  • Jessica September 30, 2009, 10:50 am

    Growing up in Upstate NY, I know a thing or two about cold weather! In the past I’ve purchased shoes a size larger to accommodate thick wool socks that keep my feet from freezing off. I wear spandex leggings/under armour under sweatpants, a warm hat and gloves. Go Caitlin’s Mom!

  • Sarah September 30, 2009, 10:50 am

    I live in Kansas so know a thing or two about cold (the Great Plains have very extreme weather). To be honest though, I don’t do anything extra to keep my feet warm. They seem to generate enough of their own heat in a good pair of running socks. I do:

    -wear gloves and a thermal headband over my ears (FYI, just heard about a line of gloves with the end of the thumb and pointer finger chopped off for Ipod purposes!)
    -wear athletic tights under my pants if necessary
    -wear two layers on top, plus a puffy vest in extreme cold (a warm torso goes a long way)
    -generally refrain from running when the temperature or wind chill is below 32 degress, as this can be dangerous for the lungs.

    Running on a snowy trail is a really beautiful experience. The air feels so clean, and afterward you feel like you have conquered the cold. Good for your mom!

  • Brooke September 30, 2009, 10:50 am

    I LIVED IN TENNESSEE and did pre-track in the winter! We would have to do long distances (4-7 miles) and shorts distances/track workouts in the 15 degree weather! eeeek! We would wear thick leggings, shorts, thick tall socks, a warm long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, gloves, and ear warmers! Gloves are key though!!!

  • Stephanie September 30, 2009, 10:50 am

    That dog is SOOOO cute oh my gosh! Sounds like you are having great weather there, we have cooled down a bit in VA as well, highs in the 70s today too!

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life September 30, 2009, 10:52 am

    awwww that doggie is soo cute!!! hmm.. I wear thicker socks in the winter when I workout! I also wear under-armor leggings and under my shirt to keep warm..

  • kristen September 30, 2009, 10:54 am

    The Wright sock “silver elite” and “cold running” socks work well for me and I have to run in some very cold temperatures…so I’m sure they’ll stand up to the Tennessee winters. I don’t have waterproof shoes and have found that even if I’ve stepped in a cold, cold puddle of slush, the “cold running” socks have wicked that cold water away in a matter of minutes and my feet don’t suffer.

  • Leah @ L4L September 30, 2009, 10:55 am

    Cute pups!

  • Matt September 30, 2009, 10:56 am

    I wear thicker socks during the winter, but nothing too special. Once I start running, I warm up pretty quick. The essentials are gloves, a light jacket, a hat, and maybe some tights if it is really cold.

  • haya September 30, 2009, 10:58 am

    i echo smartwool!
    breathable layers. a tech fabric headband (for the ears) or hat. neckwarmer. thin liner or fleece gloves (ones that have open fingers and a mitten like flap on top are extra awesome). a wind proof jacket that has underarm zippers are great.
    nothing cotton!!!
    i have trained outside in -20 weather + snow on the ground + snow falling. this has worked.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is September 30, 2009, 10:59 am

    Youre getting those veggies in! Yay!

  • Amanda September 30, 2009, 11:00 am

    Hi Caitlin, I’m from PA and often run before work in the colder months. I honestly don’t do anything special for my feet (although now I’m wondering why not .. ), but they never were too cold. I wear running tights/spandex, a long sleeved under armour top and often a puffy vest, and gloves and a headband are key!!

  • Runeatrepeat September 30, 2009, 11:04 am

    Make sure your head, ears and hands are covered!
    For the feet I’d say wool socks too.

  • julia September 30, 2009, 11:06 am

    I live in Boston, and surprisingly, my feet rarely get cold in the winter. I just wear the same socks I wear year round. If it’s extra cold and I’ll be out for a long run, I’ll wear mittens over my gloves because my hands always get super cold. I also really like running in a vest rather than a full jacket. It keeps me warm, but not hot. When it’s really cold I’ll wear it with a Under Armour cold running turtleneck but if it’s not that cold (and by not that cold, I mean above 35!) I’ll just wear the vest with a regular long sleeve wicking shirt. Sometimes I’ll wear a lightweight shell if it’s super windy or raining or snowing, but the vest is really my favorite. Oh, and ear warmers!

  • Paige September 30, 2009, 11:07 am

    Aww looks like such a fun afternoon! How great you’re able to do this now:)

    As for your mom, tell her to look for Smart Wool socks. Here in Illinois it gets pretty damn cold, too.

  • Allison September 30, 2009, 11:10 am

    What a fantastic afternoon!
    For the most part I agree with what everyone else has said. I live in WI and run outside through the winter. I’ve found that moisture wicking socks and a good base layer are my best friends. My # 1 rule of thumb is NO COTTON! Strapping a pair of Yak Tracks (sp?) on the bottom of her shoes will be helpful on any frosty/icy mornings too. Tell your mom KUDOS for not letting the weather stop her from her new active lifestyle! Love the blog. Keep up the great work! : )

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair September 30, 2009, 11:26 am

    Oh my goodness, I can’t believe that doggy wheelchair! How cool!!

    My advice for your mom would be LAYERS – when I run in the winter I always put on lots of layers and then depending on how I’m feeling/length of run I take some off and tie them around my waist etc.

    Also a toque and mitts are essential for once it gets really cold!! I just wear my regular shoes in the winter but you can buy special socks that are supposed to keep your feet warm!!

    Looks like a great afternoon, I LOVE studying outside!

  • Melissa September 30, 2009, 11:27 am

    I don’t have any great footwear suggestions.

    But I know from experience that the Under Armour Cold Gear works awesome. When I was cheerleading at Boston College last season, I used to wear the long sleeve cold gear shirt and pants under my warmups. It made SUCH a different during games when it was bitter cold outside.

  • Sarah September 30, 2009, 11:42 am

    I highly recommend Smart Wool socks, or any thicker sock that is a non-cotton blend (so it wicks moisture away from the feet and holds heat in). I also have started layering gloves in the winter, I have a pair of fleece gloves that fit really close to my hand and then will slip and extra pair of fleece gloves over the top on super cold days that are a little roomier – to hold in the warmth 🙂

  • Jo September 30, 2009, 11:55 am

    I run in coooold weather all winter. My biggest recommendations are a breathable, but warm hat. It will keep your Mom so much warmer. Also, definitely thick, thick socks. I do not do wool to run, but to walk I would. I also do lots of layering, long underwear is key!! My Mom took up morning walks a few years ago and feels, and looks GREAT now!!

  • kate September 30, 2009, 11:56 am

    Hi! I am from upstate NY, and now live right outside of Boston and am an avid runner…also chronically cold :(. this past winter I invested in under armour gear with the help of Santa Claus…and it really made a difference. I would highly reccomend the leggings and jacket. I honestly can run outdoors in the dead of winter and come back sweaty! totally worth the price if she is going to be using it daily!

  • Ali September 30, 2009, 11:58 am

    Oh that wiener in the wheel chair made me a little sad, but he is so cute!

    Good question I look forward to reading people suggestions. I don’t want to freeze here is Boston this winter.

  • Nicole September 30, 2009, 11:59 am

    I run in Germany in the winter which gets cold!! I usually run in athletic running tights, a long sleeve shirt with a running jacket with gloves. I don’t wear anything special except for wool running socks. My feel get pretty hot when I run so I don’t really have to worry about them. I agree that gloves are key along with ear warmers!! Ear warmer headbands are wonderful!!!

  • Liesl September 30, 2009, 12:04 pm

    I have spent a few winters running in Wisconsin, so I know a thing or to about running in the cold as well, and seriously the right gear is a make or break for a good winter run.
    The feet I would recommend moisture wicking socks, or if she can doubling up on socks, thin pair underneath a thicker pair as long as it is comfortable for her.

    Then layers, layers, layers. So important. Usually when it is 30 or below, I will wear Nike insolated running tights (AMAZING!) underneath another pair of running pants. Then on top a sports bra, running tank, long sleeve running shirt (moisture wicking) and then a thinner fleece or wind breaker over top. Thin running gloves are a MUST, and a hat is also great for ear coverage. Or if she doesn’t like hats she could try these… They mold right to your ear and work great!! However, if it gets below 20 I usually use the earbags underneath a hat!!

    Hope this helps!

  • Evan Thomas September 30, 2009, 12:08 pm

    Ooo I wish it was that nice here. I need to put on a sweater, darn I miss Summer

  • greenbean September 30, 2009, 12:11 pm

    Mama needs some Under Armour! Good stuff right there. Keeps you warm, wicks away the moisture. It’s pricey but worth the investment. She only needs to get a few pieces.

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama September 30, 2009, 12:12 pm

    What a great lunch! And the wiener dog is adorable!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance September 30, 2009, 12:47 pm

    Oh, I so wish I could of went out at lunch today…….I have been stuck in my office ALL DAY, and have no windows to open! =( Can’t wait for my run tonight though…..=) Laura

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance September 30, 2009, 12:48 pm

    Hmmmmmm, my last comment did not go through! I will try again!

    I was saying how I wish I could of gotten out like you today, with this great weather in in Orlando but I am stuck in a office with no windows that open…..counting the minutes until my evening run! =) Laura

  • kay (eating machine) September 30, 2009, 1:05 pm

    my mama goes walking every day, and in the winter she has a headband/ear warmer thing that she says is key to not freezin’

  • Mary September 30, 2009, 1:07 pm

    I wear wool socks over nylon, it REALLY does the trick, but I am running in the MN tundra. My shoes are so lightweight that the air burns right through them and even with the wool, sometimes they freeze up. I buy Burton snowboard socks too!! They are really thick, but work! Here is my best pair:
    Good luck!

  • Rebs September 30, 2009, 1:12 pm

    Another Wisconsin runner here, and I will put in another recommendation for smartwool socks. Also, her feet may not get as cold as she thinks…If I am doing anything but running, my feet FREEZE so badly that I usually have to wear very thick wool socks and packs of those chemical toe-warmers. But when I run or run-walk, even if it’s -30 outside, my feet never get cold–maybe all the pounding keeps them warm? I wear light- to medium-weight smartwool socks for running all winter.

  • Anne Marie@ New Weigh of Life September 30, 2009, 1:22 pm

    That little dog is adorable!

  • Niki September 30, 2009, 1:33 pm

    What a cute doggie in a wheel chair! Good luck on your test! If you have any questions ask away! I am an Anatomy queen! Haha, not really but have taken undergrad anatomy and am currently in a grad level anatomy class plus I’m a nurse:)

  • Courtney September 30, 2009, 1:33 pm

    Killing me with that dog!!!!!!!!! I love weiner dogs so much and want one sooooo bad but my hubs said we can’t be outnumbered! (we have 2 dogs already) I argue a weiner dog doesn’t count as a full dog because it is small. This argument doesn’t work. :
    Adventures in Tri-ing

    • Caitlin September 30, 2009, 1:34 pm

      hahah i agree. a weiner is like a 1/2 doggie because they are little and sweet. i want another one!

  • Jessica September 30, 2009, 2:00 pm

    Smartwool wool socks, for sure! Sometimes, if it’s really cold out, I double bag my feet with two pairs :).

    And sometimes you just have to deal with a little numbness. It goes with the territory of the cold temps!

  • Niki September 30, 2009, 2:13 pm

    I LOVE the picture of the dog with the doggie-walker. Actually, I really want to take a course on rehabbing animals like that. I don’t know if I could ever actually turn it into a practice, but I think it would be awesome just to learn more about it.

    Also, thanks for posting the question about warm running gear. I am in the UP of Michigan and have NO CLUE how to dress appropriately for the cold weather, and it’s already getting into the 30s at night here! Brrrrrr…

  • Jenn September 30, 2009, 2:27 pm

    Good luck with the anatomy test! I just had one today on cranial nerves/the head in general. I also felt very unprepared so i just went with my gut for each answer. We’ve had 7 exams in the last 21 days!! But anyway good luck im sure you’ll do great! And yes the weather has been nice. I think it only reached 85 today.

  • Amy September 30, 2009, 2:54 pm

    I heart Fry.

  • Joy September 30, 2009, 3:01 pm

    Thank you Jessica and everyone for the good suggestions for Winter walking/jogging wear. I appreciate the good suggestions for Armour wear, special winter socks,larger shoes, etc. My toes go numb if it is 50 or below and it’s not comfortable when that happens. I’ve finally reached the “Healthy Tipping Point” and don’t want cold weather to set me back! Thanks again for the great suggestions. Caitlin’s Mom, Joy

  • tami September 30, 2009, 3:32 pm

    i didn’t read what others wrote but here is my ideas
    i live in New Hampshire so I have some experience running in 9* weather!

    i did a blog post about my winter gear, you can check it out here, the products are sold out, but she can read about the items still

    i prefer my hooded shirt vs a hat, the cold air hits you on your neck and always made me feel cold even though i was sweating. i also like that that shirt has a piece of fabric that i can wrap around my hands so i don’t need gloves. my hands get sweaty fast so i am able to leave my thumb out and it seems to cool me off

    i don’t wear anything different on my feet, just my normal running sneakers, think wicking socks will help, i like smart wool

    many layers of thin items helps as well. sometimes i will wear tight shorts and then my running pants

    teh biggest difference with my winter exercising is that i typically like to get up early and go out and run and during the winter it’s best to wait awhile so the sun comes up and warms the air a little bit. i don’t like running on the treadmill so i often run around 11am or 1pm when the sun has warmed up

  • Jenna September 30, 2009, 3:49 pm

    what a nice day in the park!
    i would buy some extra warm socks 😉

  • Jolene ( September 30, 2009, 4:10 pm

    Oh that is too precious – a dog in a wheel chair! Poor little guy … I am glad he is managing okay!

  • Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now September 30, 2009, 5:34 pm

    Fry looks so cute. He must have a great spirit!

  • Cara September 30, 2009, 5:58 pm

    I definitely double up the socks. I love “SmartWool” brand, it wicks the sweat away from you and keeps your toes toasty. I find that after a few minutes of running, my feet are hot anyway!

  • Tammy (Defining Wellness) September 30, 2009, 6:59 pm

    Under Armour is the best for the cold! My dad bought me some because I’m always freezing, and it keeps me toasty warm! I wear an Under Armour long sleeved shirt and an Under Armour sweat shirt . . . I’ll be reading the tips for feet, though . . . haven’t figured that one out myself.

  • Jennie {in Wonderland} October 1, 2009, 3:46 am

    OMG the puppy in the wheelchair. I love that. I love pet owners who care enough to look after their animals even when they’re not ‘perfect’. Sigh. Makes me so happy.

    The sugarsnap peas look delectable. I’m not a huge veggie person, and usually get mine in liquid form, but sugarsnap peas are the exception.

    As for staying warm… I think anything that wicks sweat away would have to help. Can you get lined sneakers? haha. Extra thick socks that also absorb sweat would be great. My big suggestion though is a hat… I learned in elementary school that most of our body heat leaves through our head during the winter, so it’s essential to have it covered. I’ve never forgotten that!!! Good luck to your Mom!!

    • caitlin October 1, 2009, 3:54 am

      i agree re: the doggie in the wheelchair!! he was so happy and didnt even seem to care or notice he didn’t have working legs. and he was only four! it warmed my heart 😉

Healthy Tipping Point