Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Family Dinner!

Last night was our friends Christmas dinner at Montgomery Inn. Everyone was there, which is very rare for us especially with some of our closest friends living in California. But even they are in town for the holidays so we got to hang out with them.

Kristy laid a surprise on us when she walked in though. No one has seen her since the summer and she was - surprise! - 20 weeks pregnant. It was very exciting to see her and Jim and hear their exciting news! They found out just last week that they are expecting a girl! That meant we had LOTS of pregnant girls at dinner last night. What Paige said on facebook afterward is definitely proving to be accurate. Your 20s are for weddings and your 30s are for babies. Our friends are doing a pretty good job of showing all of us that.

Leah asked Phil to use her iphone and take our picture with it. Oh silly Phil - this is what happened.
Jerky boys.

But we ended up with a nice one.
If I don't post over the weekend, have a wonderful one!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Starting to Feel Better

I was starting to feel a little better when I got home from work last night, so I hopped on the treadmill. Because feeling wiped out is a regular occurrence it seems, right now, I have to take advantage of those times that are NOT so exhausted.

I decided that since it had been a long day up to that point, I was still going to take it easy though, and for the first mile, I kept the treadmill at 6.4. On mile 2 I kicked it up to 6.5 and 6.6 for mile 3. On my 4th mile, I took it back down to 6.5 and ran it off.

Yesterday's post run instagram (regardless of whether the updated terms interpretations are true or not - I have heard both! - I will continue to use instagram. Its the only thing that makes me look like I can photograph anything) showing my ProCompression lime green socks, my asics, my moving comfort shorts, and an under armor hoodie.

When the alarm went off this morning, I was feeling pretty good. So I got up and got into my tights and my neon. I knew that it was pretty chilly, and so I wanted to be prepared for the cold. I had planned (in my head) 5 miles.
From my map my run app.

And here are my splits.
It really was dark, which is why I wore my neon fleece. I did ask for a vest and headlamp for Christmas, but obviously that is not until next week!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Just Beat Today

I have not been feeling well for a few days now. I am just wiped out. I am still getting in my regularly scheduled workouts, because that is what I do, but other than that, it has been slacker city. I go home and fall asleep on the couch most nights. I know that I have been spending some time trying to be productive, but on most days, it does not really work out all that well for me. Luckily, I am nearly done with all of my holiday projects, so it is ok at this point that I am so wiped out. I still have a little bit of wrapping to do, but other than that, things are going well.

I am always hopeful that by lunchtime I will begin to feel better, so I always bring my running stuff to work on the days when I sleep in, like a slacker. Today might be one of those days, and so we will see how it goes. Right now I am still not feeling well.

J is working late tonight as well though, so the evening could work as well. We'll see...

Sorry for the super lame post, but that is kind of what is going on.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Being Productive on Sunday

I started out my Sunday on a ridiculously productive note. I was up at 7:30 after already handling the dogs, getting dressed, and headed to the grocery store. I had done all of my meal planning during the week last week, so I already knew what we would be having for all of our meals this week (including planned nights out with friends since it is so close to Christmas). Planning my meals makes me very efficient when I go to the grocery store.

So I had my grocery list all set up along with what we were going to eat for the week so I felt really good about it. I was only there for a few minutes this time. I was able to check everything off the list. I had coupons for several things, which definitely made me feel pretty good about my shopping, and I spent right within what I had hoped to spend for the week.

On the way home I stopped at Starbucks to get a coffee for both J and I, and then came home and cooked brunch. It was definitely NOT a healthy brunch, but it was pretty delicious. I took Pillsbury crescent rolls, sausage, scrambled eggs and cheese and made a stuffed bread. It was so yummy.

After brunch, we went for a walk with our dogs. We took Teek and Zeus for around 1.7 miles (I had my "map my run" app open so I could track it). I think they really enjoyed themselves. I did as well. I am not sure that J had tons of fun, but I am still glad that he came with us.

Right now I am in the middle of doing a little bit of cooking for the week. I just finished up a butternut squash casserole.
Onions, butternut squash, breadcrumbs, sage, bleu cheese...  This is likely going to be really delicious. At least, I hope so. I found the recipe randomly online and decided that since the squash is in season right now, it might be a good side dish to make. I cannot remember how many it is supposed to serve (since that will help me determine when I can bring it to work for lunch as well), but I can just look it up again. 6. It is supposed to serve 6. That gives me 4 lunches, plus the one dinner that I have it planned for.

Right now, I have a large bone-in chicken breast roasting in the oven. It is HUGE and should last me MANY lunches, plus the dinner I have it planned for. J and I had some coupons for the chicken, so we bought it with plans of using it for this chicken enchilada casserole as well as shredding up the rest for whatever else we might need it for.

Were you productive today?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday "Long" Run

This morning I got up to meet with the group for our usual Saturday morning jaunt. We are officially starting training for the Flying Pig next weekend, which seems crazy, but I am looking forward to it. I will not be running the full again this year, I am considering the half, or potentially the 3-Way Challenge. That is up in the air as of right now as well.

But I got up at 6:30 am, like I usually do on Saturdays before the group. I took care of the dogs and let them out, made myself a cup of coffee and sat on the couch to finish getting ready. I am working on becoming known in my group for my socks, and decided my new lime ProCompression socks would be good ones for this weekend. It was not supposed to be as cold today as it has been, so I went with crops.
So the socks + the crops? Definitely a fashion no-no, but I liked the outfit and it definitely made me stand out a bit, just like I like it!

We had about 10 people at group this morning. Some of the long time regulars (Andrew, John, Randy, and myself) some of the people who had been running with us since our run group meeting, and then a few people that I saw at the meeting and have not seen again since then. But today, they were there, so that was great. Brett and Karen were not there because Brett had a 30 mile run on his Goofy training plan. Karen was planning on meeting him pretty close to my house and joining him for several miles. They actually met right along one of my normal routes. She was with him for 5 super speedy miles, and then turned around and went back to her car getting in a total of 10 miles.

So it seems as though the Buckeye group is growing and changing and developing into the real group that we have always wanted it to be. We had 8 miles on our schedule today, and so we decided to run the same 8 mile route that we ran about three weeks ago. I think it was the week before I was in Vegas that we ran this one the last time. I mostly wound up running by myself. My goal was to run sub-9 minute miles for the whole time. I started out in the very back of the pack. The couple that I was least familiar with was in front of me, cruising along at about 8:15/miles. At least for the first mile. They must have started out way too fast though, because as I was crossing mile 2, I caught up with them.

I considered sticking with them, but realized that they were still slowing down. So I passed them and tried to keep with my goal pace. I was pretty successful. I ended up finishing the 8 miles in 1:09:45 for an 8:43/mile average pace. I was definitely pleased with this pace, and I felt easy and comfortable for the entire run. I am always super pleased when I can run at that pace it it feels effortless.

Did you have a long run today?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Workouts and 2013 plans

Running was a little tough yesterday. I am not sure why it was so difficult, but I was definitely struggling with my breathing while I was on the treadmill. I set the incline at 1.0 and just played with the speed to keep things interesting. But I only lasted 3 miles.
Finishing up my workout on the elliptical made me feel a little bit more accomplished than just a three mile run, so I was glad that I did that. Plus I had skimped out on crosstraining on Monday due to the exhaustion, so it was definitely a good thing to get done!

The afternoon workout was an old one (from April!) on that crossfit blog that I follow. It was a tricky one and it had my abs burning at the end. I searched on you tube to figure out which variation of "leg lifts" they likely meant for this workout, and I ended up with the lay on your back and raise and lower your legs until they are almost touching the ground to work your lower abs.
There's my results from the workout. I was pleased with the time overall, and doing these little workouts definitely makes me feel strong, as silly as that may seem. I know that even though I am just doing these little workouts, I am definitely doing more strength training than I did for most of 2012. All of the marathon training/running took the strength right out of me!

I have started looking at my race calendar for next year. Nothing is definite as of right now, but I am definitely getting there and coming up with some ideas. I noticed that ZOOMA Annapolis happens to be when J will be in Washington DC for work, so that is becoming a possibility for me, which I thought a ZOOMA race would be WAY in the future if ever. I am definitely hoping to do more shorter races. I have a 10K PR that definitely needs some busting. I just hammered out a new 5K PR, so it would be nice to get that once shattered again as well, but I also know it is not that likely because that was REALLY tough for me.

What races are on your calendar next year?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Feeling Strong and Solid

So the last few days I have been eating what I might consider to be a very bizarre breakfast. However, I am enjoying it, it tastes good, and it is getting me to lunch, so that is a win in my book! I have been toasting an English muffin (Thomas, whole wheat) and topping it with cream cheese. No idea why I am digging this combination lately, but I am, so I am just going to enjoy it.

Yesterday, I was back on track. Up early and off to the gym. I knocked out 5 easy miles (8:58 pace) on the treadmill. I am really starting to get quite proud of myself that 9 min/miles is becoming an easy pace for me. I THINK this means when I am ready to train for another full marathon (not sure YET when this is coming) that my 4 hour or bust goal will be knocked out! At least, I am very hopeful.

Yesterday was a pretty normal day at work. We took Ryan (our co-op) out to lunch for his last day (it is not actually until the 28th-ish, but everyone's schedule is so busy between now and then that this is what worked). We went to Sammy's, which is a burger place that we can walk to from the office. It is a favorite of our team in general, so we all knew that Ryan would choose that. It was yummy, as usual, and it is always nice to get a company sponsored lunch out of the deal!

After work, I came home and did the following no equipment needed Crossfit workout.
It was a good quick one. And my arms felt strong so I was able to do full push-ups from my toes for all 50, which I was extra proud of.

What have you accomplished recently that you are particularly happy about? For me, it is my push-ups!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Back to Sorts

Monday and Tuesday morning were pretty much dead days for me. The title is kind of because I was feeling out of sorts for several days early this week, and I am finally starting to feel more like myself again, thank goodness. I was completely wiped out and could not drag my butt out of bed to workout, which is something that I am kind of accustomed to. However, I had every intention of getting out there and getting some mileage in yesterday, so I brought all of my running clothes into the office.

By lunchtime I was starting to feel better and a little bit more awake so I got into my tights and headed out. I ran one of my favorite 6 mile routes, or at least that was the plan. About a mile and a half in, I decided that I was going to veer off the normal course and see where I ended up. There was a nature preserve and I could see a gravel path leading into the woods. And trail running has recently been on my "to-do" list for running, so why not, I decided?

It was not long before the path turned from gravel to matted down leaves. Luckily they looked like that had been walked or run all over, so you could  still make out the path even though there was no visible one anymore. I definitely slowed down for the mile (Mile 1.5-2.5) that I was down here. There were tons of hills, water, roots, and tree trunks. I hurdled some and just stepped over/climbed over others. I lost my way a few times and actually had to slow way down to try and find the path again to get out after a mile.
As you can see, my time took a little hit on mile 2 and a larger one on mile 3 due to the slowing down on the trails. But I managed to pull it back together after that and end up with a 9:25 average pace for the 6 miles, which I was proud of.
It was definitely cold out there and I had my hood and everything on while I was out.

So today all Rock-n-Roll marathons and half marathons are $20 off. I would LOVE to run two of them next year, but the problem is that I have no idea which ones could work for me right now. My schedule just feels way too up in the air right now to really plan anything.

Are you registering for RnR Races today?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Rest Day (lame) and my TREE!

I took ANOTHER rest day yesterday. I know, I know, pretty lame. I felt lame as soon as I got up with the dogs, knowing that I was going to be getting ready for work instead of hitting the road or the elliptical. But I have been working hard to listen to my body more instead of forcing it out just to hit some random number goal for the year/week/month... I think that is probably important, considering how hard I have worked over the last year. I mean, trained for 2 marathons (ran one, ugh), ran 5 half marathons, a relay, etc. There has been an awful lot of running this year.

But this morning I am feeling better and I am ready to get back on the horse. I brought all of my cold weather running gear so I can hit the road at lunch time! I don't have a planned mileage for the day, but I am excited to get out there! I have my music, my garmin, and all of it ready to go!

When I got home last night I cooked our dinner right away. We were both already hungry. I had a Dream Dinners in the fridge, so that was the best/easiest thing.

This is penne with chicken and peanut sauce, which definitely gave the meal a Thai flavor. It was really delicious though, and one that I would definitely order again. Plus all I had to do was toss all of the ingredients in a pan and heat them up! J really liked it as well. And I think I could potentially mock up that sauce at home as well to use in my own dishes.

We decorated the tree last night. I mean, I had already done all of the lights and the garland on Sunday, but since J was around last night, we did the ornaments. I have SO MANY ornaments!
Hanging one on! (and yes, I definitely foresee myself LIVING in this neon fleece)
My beautiful completed tree! I am so proud of this silly thing. I am not even sure that you can tell much difference between this picture, where there are ornaments ON the tree, and the one that I posted yesterday (with NO ornaments) but trust me, this tree is STUFFED with ornaments.

Do you have a tree? Is it decorated?

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Really Busy Weekend

Sorry for the lack of blogging over the weekend. It was pretty much a non-stop, go go go weekend. I hate ones like that because I feel like I have not gotten any time for myself, but I suppose I accomplished a lot. So here is an update from the weekend.

On Saturday, I got up early as usual, and headed out for run group. We had just 6 miles on the agenda, and it was nice to be back from my "long run" in just 50 minutes. Only one week left until we officially start training for the Pig as a group. I guess I am looking forward to it, even though I have not yet decided if I am running in the pig. It always is pretty nice to have a real plan even when your plan is different.

After the group run, I showered and hung out with J for a few hours before we went over to his sister's house. There was a birthday party there for her oldest. We hung out there for a while and ate some pizza for dinner. I know that it is technically probably pretty crappy pizza, but I really enjoy Little Caesars. And their crazy bread is just delicious. So I always have to eat some of that. It ended up pretty much being my dinner even though it was late afternoon.

After that I went over to Bryan's house to frost cookies and make Buckeyes with he and Leah. Originally J was planning on coming with us, but he decided to stay home and work.
(Thanks Instagram for making my pictures look "art-y")

I threw the dough for those together on Friday morning and baked them on Friday evening. They turned out really delicious, even though it is the same recipe that I have always used. I am not sure what makes them so extra popular this year. The only difference was the recipe calls for 2.5 cups of flour. When I am baking something like this that others are going to enjoy, I do not try and healthy it up. I only had 2 cups of white flour though, so I used 1/2 cup whole wheat! Maybe that made the difference?

Sunday was even busier. J had plans with his cousin Chris. They were driving up to Cleveland for the Chiefs v. Browns game. (Spoiler: Chiefs lost - we were sad). I got up at 6 am when he did to take care of the dogs and get to work. I had big plans for the day and wanted to make sure that I got everything done that I needed to with J gone all day. I started by hauling the box with the lights for the tree out of the basement. I came upstairs then and worked on finishing our Christmas cards (I ran out, and I think I might have forgotten two people - oops!) And then I got the lights on the tree.

After that, I headed out to Mimi's Cafe to meet Stephanie and Karen for our Christmas brunch. We had planned a $15 gift exchange.
Super bright fleece from Steph
Runner girl tervis tumbler (my name is on the other side) from Karen.

After brunch, Karen and I headed up to the outlets. I was DETERMINED to finish my Christmas shopping. And I did. Yes!!!

When I finally got home (about 4 pm) I wrapped the purchases I had made plus a few other things, ate some dinner, and finished getting the garland on the tree. We are doing ornaments tonight.
It looks beautiful so far, but even better is what I accomplished yesterday!

Friday, December 7, 2012

RnRLV Half Marathon: Race Recap

Okay, I have all of the photos from the race now, so I am going to get to my race recap. I am sure there is a chance that you have already read a recap or two from this race, although I have seen more from CIM than Vegas this year.

So, it was an afternoon race, everyone already knows that part. J and I spent Sunday doing nothing differently than we would normally spend a Sunday in Vegas. We got up early (since the noon football games are on at 9 am!) and headed to the Sports book at the hotel to place our NFL bets. Once again, even after losing on college football on Saturday, I trusted J's selections as a general rule, and made one suggestion of my own. Then we headed over to one of the hotel bars to hang out and watch football. At least the first game, probably staying for at least the beginning of the second game and then I could go get ready for the race.

I tested my stomach. Haha. I honestly felt comfortable eating at around 11 for my 4 pm race. I knew that as long as I had enough water and enough time to use the bathroom, I was going to be just fine. So I didn't worry about what I ate. We ate some wings, fries and pulled pork. It was delicious. Around 2 I headed up to the room to get ready for the race.
This was also the first half that I wore the Newtons for. I was initially a little nervous, but then I realized there was really no reason for that. I followed all the rules when getting used to wearing them, and I had not had any pain or anything in a really long time in my calves.
I was ready to race! I was wearing my procompression socks - neon yellow for high visibility at night, my Oiselle bum wrap running skirt (it was my first time wearing this, and I freaking LOVED it!), and I chose to represent Toledo on top with my GCM shirt (glass city marathon). As far as warmth, etc, I made a good choice. I ended up feeling really great.

Over to the starting line!

Corral 7 was where I was placed. When I registered I put in 1:55 as an estimated finish time. I knew that I could go under two hours, without needing to really push super hard, so I could still have a really enjoyable race. I was not planning on going for a PR, so I just had that simple goal.

It only took me 3.5 minutes to cross the starting line. I guess there are a few perks of being in corral number 7!
I don't have too many splits from the race at this point. I have not even looked at them. So here are some course pictures.

I finished the race in 1:59:18, so exactly what I wanted to do. I felt great and the temperature was perfect. The hardest part about the race was the fact that the wind was blowing HARD. There is honestly know way that I could have run harder than I did even if I had wanted to PR. It hurt.

But it was a wonderful race, and I would definitely run it again!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Some REAL weightlifting?

I have been back on the workout train since arriving home from Vegas. More pictures and a race recap are still on the way. The pictures were actually good enough from this race that I paid a ridiculous amount for them, so I am waiting for my race recap until then!

I ran on Monday after the half, just to shakeout my legs. My first mile felt slow as molasses that day, but eventually my legs started working again and I ended up running three miles at a 9:30 pace. Contrast that to yesterday where I ran 6 miles at 8:58 pace. I guess sometimes you just need to take a little break or get your legs back to working!
This morning, I got up and hit the gym. I wasn't sure how much I felt like running, but I planned to do a little and lift as well. I feel like even though I have been doing at home CrossFit workouts like a champ, I am not doing enough.

So when I got to the gym, I hopped on the treadmill to warm up. I did a mile and a half in 13:52. Then I headed over to the Hoist machines. If you don't recall me talking about them before, they are the weight machines where you lift regular plates, as well as yourself! You get extra weight from your own bodyweight! Because I do not know the conversion based on my own body weight, I simply tracked the level I used it on.

Here is the workout!
With some beautiful holiday decorations... :)

I am seeing the TSO concert tonight with my dad. I think this is year... 8?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

First Night in Vegas - Pre-race

Sorry for the complete lack of updates while we were in Vegas. I did not bring a laptop with me, nor did I even read any blogs while I was gone. I was just enjoying my time away.

I obviously owe you a race recap from #stripatnight. It should be a good one. My race photos came out pretty awesome, which NEVER happens, so I might actually pay the ridiculous price for them.

J and I arrived in Vegas at a decent time on Friday night. Usually we don't get there until around 9, so there is very little going on - at least for non-clubbers like us - so we eat and hang out for a few hours, and then go to bed. But since we were there earlier this year, we had some time to actually GO somewhere for dinner and see what was going on.

This trip we were staying at the Excalibur, which is a new-to-me place. At least for staying, since we have spent every trip ever staying at Hooters. We stopped by there, checked in and dropped our stuff off in a flash, and were back out on the streets headed out for dinner.

We decided to hit up Diablo's Cantina.
I figured Mexican would be ok 2 days before the race. It should be out of my system by then. :) Walking down the strip was different than it normally was. Runners were in full force, testing out the night time running, I guess. I immediately felt a little bit jealous of them, all out there testing out their legs, etc. But I had planned to hang with the hubby.

We ordered some chips and salsa to start (don't ya hate fancy mexican places where they don't just GIVE you salsa?) while we perused the menu. We decided to each order something that looked good to us, but make sure to order different things so we could try different items. I ordered steak street tacos and J got a quesadilla. I thought both things were really delicious.
Me at dinner. I LIVE to be classy.

After dinner we decided to walk a little further down to the Flamingo. That was where J's mom was staying (she came to see his sister and I in the race!). He didn't even call her or anything. He was certain that we would find her at the Let it Ride table in her hotel. And what do ya know? He was correct! She was sitting there playing poker, and apparently had been for a really long time. I guess that is what she does when she goes to Vegas. That game. That's it.

So we hung out with her for a few minutes and made plans for Saturday to see each other for a while and then J and I walked back. Other than the wind, it was a beautiful night, so we decided to mostly walk outside on our way back to our end of the strip.
I could watch those fountains all day and night. I was really glad we caught them as we walked by. I hadn't seen them in 2 years, since J and I got engaged there and ate dinner in the Eiffel Tower restaurant, facing them. Nothing else all that special occurred on the way home, although we almost were blown away a few times, I think! Because we are super lame, we just headed to our room. We had only been in Vegas for three hours when this happened:
He is OUT!