Monday, December 31, 2007

So ends the year...

Year-end summary:

In 2007, I ran 427 miles. I cycled for 1296 miles. I swam 58,225 (meters/yards?). I did strength work in the gym 36 times.

I completed two 5K, two 10K, two sprint tri, two oly tri, two half-marathons and one oddball race.

I wasted a little $$ on a few races. There were two 5Ks that I didn't run. I also forwarded the race registration on one sprint triathlon to the next year.

Thoughts about 2007:

A lot of my 2007 was good. I established exercise as an integral part of my everyday life. I completed races in new distances, 10k, oly tri, half-marathon, and gained more self-confidence. I met some really neat people blogging and in 'real-life' and have new friends and know more people at races. I commuted to work by bike twice a week during the summer and early fall. I bought a comfy new carbon bike. Husband bought his first ever road bike. I discovered how fun it is to ride with Husband. Husband joined me on almost all of the running races and even ran at my side at both half-marys. I discovered running skirts. I never took anything too seriously and had loads of fun.

Some parts of 2007 were not so good. It has been incredibly difficult to balance everything while working full time and working around the kids schedules. I had open water anxiety issues to work through. I am slow as molasses and not getting any faster. I had a motivation set back in December; it's scary how easy it is to get back into the coach potato life. I still feel like an athlete poser.

Thoughts for 2008:

Not quite sure what I want to do this year, so I don't have big goals laid out yet. I think I want to do three or four half-marathons and try to break 2:30:00. I might like to do the MS150 in August or some similar long distance cycling event. I want to improve my oly distance performance.

I also want to make a life change that has a positive impact on the environment and possibly motivates others to do the same. Watch this space.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

re-framing at its finest

shattered glass ornaments = reason to explore after Christmas sales

below freezing mornings = opportunity to spend more time at the gym

two extra apples-to-apples games = $60 giftcard at Borders

crazed teenagers stuck at home for two weeks = family time

upcoming freezing cold New Years morning = trail run with husband

holiday food temptations = weight challenge reward seems all the more sweet...

nine on the ninth = just what I needed

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's Wednesday already?!?

I truly hope that everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The Day Before:

Don't know about the rest of you, but I've always enjoyed Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day itself. This Christmas Eve was nearly perfect. We had our traditional New Mexican meal, went to the candlelight service, and spent time afterwards as a family paying games while listening to Christmas music. Good times. :)

The Day Of:

On Christmas morning, we discovered that Santa, family, & friends were very kind to us again this year. I appreciate all the thoughtful gifts, but I must tell you that this will forever be remembered as the year of Apples-to-Apples.

The first one got a response of "Oooh! It's Apples-to-Apples. That's a fun game."

The second one "Oh my gosh, it's another Apples-to-Apples. I told you that it's fun."


Don't get me wrong, it's a great game, and we had a blast playing it yesterday afternoon, but I'm not quite sure what we'll do with the extra two.

On a more serious note, Son offered to say grace before our Christmas meal. It was touching to hear a heart-filled thanks for the day in his own words.

The Day After:

I avoided it on Monday, but hopped on the scale this morning to see what kind of damage has been done in the past week.

I'm reminded now that cookies and cheese and pastries and mashed potatoes and stuffing and holiday food in general are NOT going to help me reach my weight goal by my birthday in Feb.

I am now only -2 of the desired -8. Boys and girls, it's time to get serious...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Chocolate Peppermint Goodness

This afternoon, I made some chocolate peppermint spoons to be used in warm milk, hot chocolate, or coffee. They turned out cute, wrapped simply with some saran wrap and tied with ribbon. And they are super easy. Thought I'd share. :)

1 cup chocolate chips
1 candy cane - crushed
12 plastic spoons

Melt the chocolate chips on low. Using a metal spoon, coat both sides of the the plastic spoon with chocolate. Place on aluminum foil or wax paper. Sprinkle crushed peppermint on top. Harden in the refrigerator.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Follies

Haven't been very active this week. Did my two strength workouts this weekend and that's about it.

I had a Wii party at the house for my colleagues on Tuesday afternoon. I came home early to put some food out only to find our Christmas tree laying on the floor amidst a pile of shattered glass ornaments. :(

I wouldn't have bothered to post at all, but I have been tagged by Cindy, so I'll give it a go. I'm not tagging anyone 'cuz I don't want any of you to get my icky cold virus germs. I am to post five random things about me that you may or may not know. I've chosen to stick to a theme of Christmas Eve traditions.

1) Honey Nut Cheerios is the reindeer food of choice that my family puts out for Santa's flying friends.

2) Our kids get to open one gift on Christmas Eve. It always turns out to be new pyjamas.

3) We put out luminarias and also enjoy driving around other neighborhoods looking at them.

4) At the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church, we sing "Silent Night, Holy Night" while lighting candles. It always makes me cry.

5) I make the traditional New Mexico posole and tamales meal for Christmas Eve, but I don't care for either.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Not running, but...

No running today, still coughing. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

After about 20 tries, I successfully got a photo of Son and Daughter that they liked enough to let me print them up and send them out in our Christmas cards this year. Thanks to the magic of digital photography, I can share it with you all as well.

Sigh. They are growing up too fast.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Follies

I only made it through half a day at work on both Tue and Wed. Nobody in the office seemed to want me there anyway... something about keeping my germs away from the healthy people.

I started feeling better Thursday and felt even better today especially after my appointment at the salon for a sassy new haircut. :)

I believe Im on the mend. The weekend seems promising for some quality exercise.

Have a good weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thoughts from the Nightstand

I wonder... if I take half a dose of nyquil at 1am, will it help with cold symptoms and let me get to sleep without oversleeping?

Oh.My.Gosh, I just realized that my 8 on the 8th time turns out to be 88mins. What a strange coincidence.

That's almost a full min per mile faster than my half mary time. I think I want to work on maintaining that pace for a half mary. Could I do it?

Is that a cold sore forming on my lip. Wonderful. I feel like crud and now I'm going to look like crud.

I wonder what is making those vertical shadows on the wall. It doesn't make any sense

I wish it would snow just a little bit. Enough with the rain already.

Why do viruses make us cough and get congested. I don't think anyone has ever explained what do they do to the body that causes those reactions.

I hope I feel better in the morning.

I'm so tired. I just want to get back to sleep...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ah yes, it's a Monday....

Stepped on the scale this morning. For a moment, it seemed to want to tell me that I was down another half pound, but it changed it's mind and decided to render a verdict of "no change from last week". I stepped off. I stepped back on. Still no change. Stepped off. Stepped back on. Stepped off. Stepped back on. Same result. Sigh.

This morning I attempted to run on the treadmill before work at the fitness center. What a miserable experience. In addition to my normal despise of the treadmill, I found that it was simply too freaking hot in there. After 1.5 miles, I stepped off and walked outsideo to try to cool off. I probably looked like a crazy women standing outside in a running skirt and sleeveless shirt in thirty-something degree weather. After a few minutes, I went back in, found a fan, aimed it at the treadmill, and managed another 1.25 miles before I felt like I was going to collapse from a combination of overheating and boredom.

It rained again today. Tomorrow we're expecting rain and snow. Oh joy.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

How not to pace yourself

aka "Jingle Bell 10K Race Report"

aka "Virtual 8 on the 8th Race Report"

aka "You seriously expect me to run in THIS?!?!?"

It's been a while since I've posted on my blog. I've had a busy week and I'm not feeling up to par. Wednesday, I came down with a headcold. Thursday, son had a Christmas concert. Friday, Bandit had oral surgery to remove a broken tooth (and a dental cleaning while he was under). And today is pegged for 8 on the 8th.

Let's start with the weather forcast that I woke up to: High of 51, winds 20-30mph, chance of rain 40% .

Husband & I were scheduled to run the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis 10K this morning. We arrived at the race site about an hour ahead of the start time so that we could pick up our packets, get our chips, etc.

We spent most of the pre-race time in the car trying to stay warm. I asked him if he thought it would rain. He looked up at the grey skies and said "nahhh"

This race is at Balloon Fiesta park with two loops scheduled for the 10K. There is a long low grade hill for most of miles 1 and 4. There are other hills, not as significant. This is the 2nd year that we've run this race (last year just one loop for the 5K) so we knew what to expect.

Before I get to the detailed race report, I want to say that I am disappointed in the race this year. We run this because it raises money for the Arthritis Foundation, but I'm not sure I'll run it again next year. There was not a single aid station on the course....NONE...NADA...ZIP. There was confusion when we arrived about our race numbers (the numbers on the list didn't match the numbers on the bags with our names). And when we got home, we realized that while my bag had a shirt (a nice one, I might add), Husband's bag did not contain a shirt. What's up with that? As I type this, he is headed back over to the venue in hopes that someone is still there so he can get his shirt.

At about 7minutes before the scheduled start time, there was an announcement for all 10K runners to assemble at the start line because the race was going to start on time. We got out of the car and went over to the assembly area, only to be led through a pre-race macarena warm-up. Ugggh. It's cold and windy. Let's just start running, people!!

When that was over, we walked to the start line, and the race finally began with the sound of a horn. Between miles 1 and 2, I wondered, hmmm, do I feel rain? By mile 3, there was no question. It was rain.

Folks, I've lived in the desert for 17yrs. When it rains, we stay inside. We certainly don't run in it. I mean, something bad could happen. You might slip and fall. You could get a raindrop in your eye and be blinded or something. I dunno, just something bad might happen.

But then again, on a course with no aid stations, I guess it gives you a way to stay hydrated.

BTW, I carried my hydration belt with two little 8 oz bottles of accelerade and shoved a gel in my skirt pocket. I felt a little silly wearing a hydration belt at a 10K race, but once I realized that there wasn't anything for us out on the course, I suddenly felt brilliant!!

I won't bore you with the details of the run. I ran, and it rained, and I got wet. That pretty much sums it up. On the car ride on the way home, I started shivering and realized that my clothes were soaking wet. There's no way you're convincing me otherwise, running in the rain is something to be avoided.

On with the numbers. You will notice that my pace was all over the map. Hence the title of the post.

10K finish time 01:09:20 per my Garmin.
Pace 11:03

Mile 1: 10:50
Mile 2: 9:50
Mile 3: 10:59
Mile 4: 12:20*
Mile 5: 11:06
Mile 6: 11:06
Mile 6.26: 2:41 (9:58 pace)

1.75 add on: 18:40 (10:41 pace)**

8 on the 8th Finish time: 1:28:00 (did I add wrong?? It turned out completely even, weird.)
pace: 11:00 (does that seem right?)

* I ended up walking a bit on mile 4. I decided to take off my sweatshirt and also took a gel and some accelerade

** I want to be honest and put myself out there for a possible DQ for 8 on the 8th because my add-on miles actually happened on the 7th; I had planned on doing it today after the race, but there's no way I'm heading back out in today's blustery wet weather. It's your call, virtual race officials.

Monday, December 3, 2007

What's your Carrot?

All month, I assumed that I must be lacking motivation, because I haven't seemed to get myself to do much mid-week running or speed-work. This was particularly concerning in the past week since my knees and hip have been feeling much better for the past week or so. I also haven't been to the pool for months and I actually really enjoy swimming

All year long, I was pursuing a goal of "going farther". With that carrot out in front of me, I was motivated to do train in a way that allowed me to increaseddistance from 5K to 10K to half-marathon and from sprint to olympic. It got me out on my bike, into the pool, into the lake, and steadily increasing my running distance week after week.

Guess what? I actually don't think I'm un-motivated. I simply have a new carrot out in front of me. It probably won't last for more than a few months, but my carrot for the off season is to lose those pesky 8 pounds.

This carrot makes me do different things than the previous carrot. It motivates me to do strength training at the gym. It motivates me to schedule and enjoy long slow distance runs without increasing distance. It motivates me to think about what and how much I'm eating. It doesn't seem to care about swimming.

Some of you might have more than one carrot at a time, but this is the only one that I'm actively pursuing at the moment, and that's fine by me. Today I am down another 0.5 lbs bringing me to -3 of my goal of -8.

So...What's your carrot?