Friday, December 25, 2015

Friday Five VIII

More Friday Five Action!

1. Merry Christmas! I just wanted to swing through here today and say that, because I hardly posted this week. Being out of the office a lot did not lead to me spending more time posting. In fact, I hardly had time to write this week.

2. We are in Toledo at my mom's house, and she pulled out all of my yearbooks and things that she had in the attic. I found the senior pictures of some of my high school friends, which was fabulous and funny. I enjoyed looking at them, and I am looking forward to showing my coworkers one in particular, as I have been talking about it recently.

3. Speaking of Toledo, I have really been missing it a lot lately. Like a way lot...  Not sure what that means or where to go with that.

4. I am hoping to knock out 10 miles on Saturday morning. I am especially hoping to do them at Wildwood. Cross your fingers for no rain here.

5. My soul searching has not been going well. I need to regain focus.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Training Recap: Week of December 14

Another week has had the box checked going toward achieving my future running goals. I am really working hard through all of this base building stuff that we are in the middle of right now. I am feeling good and ready to start ramping things up and really focusing on my goal race when I get through the holidays.
So let's look at the workouts that I completed this past week.

Monday: 40 minutes of elliptical, 45 minutes strength training
Tuesday: 5 miles and 4x30s striders
Wednesday: 4 miles @ 8:46 pace
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: off
Saturday: 8 miles, treadmill, 8:22 pace
Sunday: off and the first Christmas celebration of the year!

22.5 total miles.

Now I am off to get some last minute Christmas stuff done that I did not get done on Friday (BOO!)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Five VII

Happy Friday! Welcome to another edition of the Friday Five!
1. I am off work today. Plans include wrapping gifts, baking cookies, going for a long run (ok, 8 miles as it is a cutback week), making a Christmas present that I need to finish up ASAP, working on getting a few posts scheduled for next week, and probably (unfortunately) a bit of work.

2. I have been adjusting my training these weeks when I have days off. Instead of running on Mondays, I hit the gym for XT and strength, since they typically take well over an hour (1.5 hours on a light XT day). So on Tuesday I head out for my first run of the week. This week I was a little bit fired up about something by mile 2 (these things happen when I don't have music and I get to thinking!) and fired off the 5 miles and strides at a 7:45 average. Whoops. It was supposed to be convo pace.

3. I have been spending a lot of time lost in thought recently, I am not entirely sure what is going on, but I am feeling the need to do a lot of soul searching to figure it out.

4. I am really thinking that I need to get into a meditation practice, My Ragnar/Oiselle teammate Leana mentioned that she was using the "headspace" app recently. I downloaded it, figuring I would try the 10 day challenge. If it turns out that it is something that I can do, I may get a paid version. We will see...

5. This week was my first experience with a little kid Christmas program. Addie was definitely the little hippie kid standing in the back, twirling around and looking at the ceiling. She definitely has outfield dandelion crowns in her future.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Scenes of the Holiday

So it is only 10 days away from Christmas. 10 DAYS.

Rather than writing a super involved post, here are some scenes from Christmas at our house.

Some homemade peppermint bark, requested by J. It was the first time I had made this, and it was a big success!
 Spritz cookies, made with my cookie press. I think I NAILED it this year.
 The Roo saw Santa up at the clubhouse. She was VERY nervous, but she did great!

Our tree. It is a BIG one this year.

How are your holiday preparations going?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Last Friday - a long run

Last Friday, I was off work. I had a 12 mile run on the schedule for the weekend, so I decided to do it on Friday when time was a little bit more wide open. Although with Addison ending up sick, it was not quite what I expected.

When she went down for her nap and J settled in on the couch to get work done, I headed out. I had 12 with the last 4 at perceived half marathon effort. Again with the "perceived" pace... I had 7:35-7:40 in mind for these miles when I set out.

It was a rough run. I was in my neighborhood this time, and headed over to the back 9 side to start. I covered approximately 7 miles over there. I ran down a winding, hilly road around the backside of my neighborhood, and once I entered another subdivision (Turnberry), I started cranking up the pace.

As soon as I started running faster, I started to struggle. I stopped to pee, I stopped to catch my breath, I stopped to stretch... It was rough. And of course, as is typical of me, I didn't just slow down and finish the run, I just paused my watch, caught my breath, and then started running fast again. There was coughing, dry heaving, all kinds of lovely side effects.

But I finished. My splits for the last 4 miles were as follows:
So even though I had a rough go of it, I would say things still turned out pretty darn will. I finished the 12 miles in an 8:00/mile pace.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A sick kiddo

So as I mentioned in yesterday's post, I had a sick kiddo over the weekend. It all started Thursday...

I had 7 miles on the schedule with the final three at perceived 10K pace. My hope was to run 4 and then settle in at 7:15-7:20 pace, which is a little slower than what I would HOPE to run a 10K in, but I felt like that would be a good effort in a hillier region. And who knows, I could end up a little faster or slower, that is what "effort" based running is all about, right?

So I headed out for my run around 11:30. I stopped to tie my shoes two miles in and then my phone rang. It was Addie's daycare saying that she had a fever. My run was cut off right then. I had to get back to the office, so I ran the two miles back before I packed up all of my things and headed to get Addison. By the time I got there her fever had gone up 2* to be at 102, and so I was glad that I had called the doctor. I took her right there.

By the time she was being seen her fever was up to 103.5, and naturally that made me even more worried.
This is her sitting on the table at the doctor's office.

They gave her a flu test, strep test, and checked her ears for any sign of infection. Nothing. Just a high fever and nasty cough. So they told me that I should keep an eye on her, give her motrin for the fever, and come back if she still had it on Saturday.

So I took her home, got her settled onto the couch with water (gotta keep the sickie hydrated), and put on Tangled. Currently, Rapunzel is our favorite Princess.
This is what you look like when you are two, don't feel good, and like to wear your socks as "Elsa hands".

She still was having a fever on Saturday, so as soon as the doctor opened, I was calling to get her in for an appointment. I took her in for a lunchtime-ish appointment (11:30 am) and they found that whatever virus she had that was causing the cough had migrated into her ear, and it was VERY newly infected. Her fever was down though, controlled by the motrin. So with some antibiotics, we were on our way.

Sunday she seemed to be MUCH better, with no instances of fever, and back to her cheerful and somewhat rebellious ways.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Training Recap: Week of December 7

Like I said the other day, my biggest focus for December is not to lose sight. Not to lose motivation. I just pulled up my December training recap for last year...  I ran only 38 miles. 38! I have already hit 20 more miles than that this year. So while I am not calling the month a success just yet, I am calling it "better than last year."

So let's take a peek at how last week shook out, and keep me on task for this week.

Monday: Strength training
Tuesday: 7.56 miles total including 4x30s strides
Wednesday: 6 miles, easy pace. 8:46 average
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: 12 miles with the last 4 at perceived half marathon pace. I averaged 8:00/mile for all 12. (I will go into details on this run later.
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: OFF

The weekend was not perfect, but I was dealing with a sick kiddo (again, another entry), and so I just took those days off and tried to enjoy it. But although I cut off my Thursday run, and had a rough run on Friday, I still think that I had a good week overall. I am trying to focus on doing my strength stuff every week. I have decided that is more important to me than xt, so if there is only time for one, that is what I am going to do.

I have started to work on all of my plans for next year, training and racing, and hopefully will be able to post about them soon. But for now...  I baked!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Five VI

And here we are for another edition of the Friday Five!

It was time to make a little badge, I think.

1. I am off work today. Also Monday. It is awesome. December is the best month because I am trying to get in all of my vacation before the end of the year and I lose it. Today will be a long run. Monday will be a 2 hour gym day.

2. My little Roo is not feeling well. So she is also off today.
This was her at the doctor's office yesterday afternoon. She told me that she wanted to go home, watch Rapunzel and eat Picky Bars. I am in. She just has a rough cold and a fever. They tested her for flu, strep, croup, and the normal ear infection things...

3. I STILL have not registered for my race. But I have been entering a few giveaways for entries to this race. (C'mon, I am SURE you can guess it at this point)

4. I am planning on getting my Christmas baking done this weekend. Well, at least getting a bunch of batters/doughs together this weekend, and then spend Sunday and Monday baking and frosting. I text my baked goods loving boss for requests. He came back with about 6 things.

5. How is it two weeks from Christmas? SO MUCH TO DO!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Easy 6

Somehow it is mid-December, and as I was texting with a friend last night I realized what a long year I have had, even though it went by in what felt like the blink of an eye. I am not quite ready to write a year in review post yet though, so let's save that one for another day.

Yesterday I had a 6 mile easy paced run on the schedule. I am starting to base build already for the next training cycle, and my biggest goal of December was to not just fall completely off the wagon like I did last year. I ended up last year being about 3 miles short of my annual mileage goal mostly because something happened to my motivation. Even now, I am not sure what happened, although I have a hunch that it had to do with putting pressure on myself to run a marathon again right away. I was already registered for the Glass City full marathon at this point, right after a big PR that I had to fight hard for in Columbus.

So even though I have already gotten through my mileage goal for the year, I wanted to be able to keep at it. And so far, so good. I ended November in the high 80s for the month, and I should crack 100 this month. So, I am likely going to set some bigger goals mileage wise for 2016, although I am not sure exactly what that means yet.

So back to yesterday's easy 6.

I had an easy 6 on the schedule, it was the day after another run, and I felt like I needed it. My easy pace has gotten a little bit quicker over the last 6 months, so when I used to ease into 9s, I know that now I kind of stay more around 8:50s and feel comfortable. Yesterday when I left work at lunch to run my favorite 6 mile route, I felt like I was dragging.
As you can see, I wasn't really dragging, I was just tired. And I ran my easy pace just how I am supposed to. I might need the easy 6 rundies for this day...
What is your go-to easy day distance?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A long to-do

Today is likely going to be a busy day, and I am planning on trying to get through a pretty large to-do list. I want to start the day laying out all of the items that are on my list to do in order to make sure that I don't skip out on anything. I know that it has the potential to be crazy, but I am going to really try and nail out everything that is super important today.

So let's take a quick look here at what my day will look like:

  1. Lots-o-coffee
  2. Finish writing this blog post
  3. Start writing a new post
  4. Fold laundry
  5. Mail my Oiselle Secret Santa gift
  6. review 4Q tax estimates
  7. email the coach
  8. Complete SEVERAL reconciliation
  9. Review tax notice
  10. Pull together valuation information
  11. run an easy 6
  12. review data sent to me from Sean.
  13. Complete a few journal entries.
I mean, that is not too much stuff. But obviously since I cannot go into full details regarding work items on the blog, I am a little bit more general on some of those items. But, it is time to move on and get to work.

So here is a picture of a cute kid who went to see Santa last weekend.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Last friday night

Yep, every now and again, even I can use a catchy pop song as my post title and not feel incredibly weird about it. This past Friday was one of those times. After a night out with my coworkers on Thursday night (which was also fantastic - holiday party downtown at the Casino which turned into me hanging out with my favorite coworkers at the steakhouse drinking good bourbon rather than hanging out upstairs with the rest of our coworkers drinking less than awesome bourbon), I headed to Toledo for the night to hang out with my dad.

Almost no one was in the office on Friday because of the party the night before (open bar will do that to a person), but I was in bright and early at 7:15 am as usual. I got in around a half day of work before heading out to drive up to Toledo. The drive was uneventful, which is always appreciated, and I arrived in Toledo just before 4 pm. I let myself into my dad's house (yay for having a key!) and headed up to his living area (downstairs he has a garage, laundry, etc). He was up there just hanging out on the couch with his giant dog, Kelso, and they were watching TV.

As soon as I got there, he was texting a few of his friends, and we agreed to meet up with them for a drink at their go-to bar. We got food while we were there, and then went to a different bar for a drink before the show. My dad had received tickets to Dirty Dancing the Musical as a gift from a client or vendor (or something) and he wanted to take me. After a drink (Blanton's) at Barr's Public, we headed to the Stranahan for the show.
Theater selfie!

And yes...  Dirty dancing. Now, I have seen a LOT of theater in my time. Good, bad, high school, professional, and even, children's...  But Dirty dancing was something else. It was a terrible show. Not that the cast was bad or untalented or anything... in fact, they were very good. The show itself was just AWFUL. Do not call your show a musical if  you are not going to be singing. Heck, they are playing a recording of "Hungry Eyes" when they are getting frisky. Ridiculous.

So, because this was the worst show EVER we left at intermission. I have never ever done that before. I was texting with my friend Kirsten, who I ran into in the restroom, and she had also left at intermission. She said that she was at a nearby bar, so my dad and I headed there first to grab a drink and say hi. I hope that they were not too upset that we crashed their party. It was a nice talk and we had a good time anyway...

Following that, we went back to Barr's where we ran into lots of folks my dad knew, including one of his clients and his secretary from a long time ago. A high school classmate of mind was playing live music, and we danced, sang, and drank for a few hours before making it home at around 1 am.

And holy shit. I felt it on Saturday...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Training Recap: Week of November 30

So, another week of running has come and gone, it was not a perfect week, but it was not a bad week either. I got my runs done, I got my strength training/cross training done, so I suppose I must call it happiness?

Sometimes even when runs are not perfect, you call the week a success, right?

So let's look at a rundown of the week.

Monday: 50 minutes elliptical, full body strength training
Tuesday: 7 miles and 4x30s strides
Wednesday: 6 miles easy (8:46 average pace)
Thursday: 6 miles with 5x45s surges, 4x30s strides
Friday: OFF
Saturday: hung over (whoops, that is an entry for another day)
Sunday: 11 miles. 8:15 average pace

I am about 95% committed to my Spring race at this point. I am not quite ready to reveal, as I have not yet registered, but soon, I promise.

I ran all the miles this week that I was supposed to. I did my strength training and cross training like I was supposed to, so that is a win. So I am going to email coach Jenn this morning, give her the results of the week, and plug on, just like I always have been. I am determined to get even stronger, mentally and physically, this cycle.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Five V

Hooray for Friday Five! This is the post that I get to write every week that allows me just to get a few things out in the open that happened in a given week.

1. The first holiday of the season has come and gone and I am now ready to move forward and beyond Thanksgiving. I mean, it is the most involved holiday for me, because we hosted this year. Granted, J and my dad handled most things, but it is definitely difficult sometimes to have people at your house. Especially for me. So now let's move on to my favorite time of year, Christmas!

2. "Chippey" is visiting Addie. She named him Chippey after not being able to pick a name and then seeing the "Elf on a Shelf" movie. Last night, Chippey had a visit from Elsa.
Elsa froze him!

3. Last night was the holiday party at work. We had an 80s prom. I mostly hung out with my most favorite coworkers at the steakhouse downstairs (the party was in a banquet room at the casino) drinking bourbon and laughing VERY loudly. We had a pretty fun time.

4. I busted out the Wazzie and the Gilman vest for a run this week.
It was freaking COLD!

5. I am headed to Toledo tonight solo, just for the evening. I am seeing a show at the theater with my dad. We are seeing Dirty Dancing.
I am looking forward to it, but at the same time, I do not feel like traveling 3+ hours tonight and another 3+ tomorrow morning, but #family? What about MY family. Here. In Cincinnati?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

My Runner's Christmas List

So, with all of the other runner gift lists that are out there, why should you read mine? Well, obviously, it is so you know what I am asking for this Christmas. In all honesty, I don't want anything that isn't running related, family related, or home related.

So, may I present to you, my running wish list, 2016.

Honey Stingers
$26.69 for a box of 24 at RoadRunner Sports. My current energy gel of choice. They go down WAY easier that gu (for me) and I like the vanilla flavor a lot!

Oiselle Power Stretch Mittens
$32 at Oiselle. I am officially over gloves already this winter, and I went out looking for a decent and warm running mitten that would not be a ski mitten. When I had zero success at a sporting goods store, I put these on my list.

Oiselle Go Joggings
$84 at Oiselle. These are Oiselle's most versatile (I believe) running tights. They are warm enough for long winter runs, but they are stylish and simple enough to pass as leggings when paired with boots and a tunic. I have the charcoal ones already, and they see a lot of time in my office.

Oiselle Trials Hoodie
$78 at Oiselle. So this was the first hoodie I bought from Oiselle years ago, and I paid full price for it then. Every time I see it come up in sale or in the factory, I think about buying it, and I haven't, I have no idea why. I have serious regrets about that though, because I LIVE in it.

Woodway Treadmill
USED for $7,795 from Fitness Blowout. Yeah, this one won't ever happen, but a girl can dream, right?

Jaybird Bluetooth Headphones
$179.95 from Jaybird Sports. Slightly more reasonable as a gift request. But I decided wireless headphones were necessary after the Indianapolis Marathon when my wire got all tangled up and stuff when I was trying to race. So I am definitely asking for these.

What is on your runner wish list?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

1/3 Life Crisis?

So I have been giving this some thought recently... I am thinking that a little bit of this FOMO problem that I mentioned previously is maybe something to do with my mortality.

It is possible that I am having a breakdown about the fact that I am getting older. Here are some examples:

1. I need to figure out if I am going to have another baby or not RIGHT NOW because I am already 32. I am not getting any younger and with all of the bad things I have done to my body over time, it is only going to get harder from here.
2. I need to BQ RIGHT NOW (not to mention RUN ALL THE RACES!) because I am only getting older, which means I am going to get slower.
3. I have already gotten to do all of the "cool growing up milestones". I am married. I own a house and a car. I have had a baby. I have a job. Now what?

Yeah. I know that these are all unrealistic things. All of them. Nothing about that is rational at this point. But I cannot help the way that I feel.

I mentioned this to Charlie, and he made a very good point.

She has milestones now. Those milestones of hers become mine. Her first steps. First day of school. First lost tooth. First broken heart. Graduation... All of it.

I think it is going to take some work to get there. To come to some realization about what my goals are and how to best achieve them. But I think that realizing that I am freaking out about that fact that I am getting older, that I am over thirty (by a few years now), and that it does not mean that my life is over will help. At least, I hope it will help?

So I am going to try. I am going to figure this out.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Race recap: Thanksgiving day race

On Thursday, I ran the 106th annual Thanksgiving Day Race, sponsored by Western Southern Financial Group.
This is a race that I run every other year, I plan it around our holiday travel (and we are in Toledo for Thanksgiving every other year). This is a 10K race. Originally when Chicago was my goal marathon, I was planning on running hard for a few weeks after recovering, and then going for a sub-45 for the 10K.

As you all know, Chicago was not my reality, and so I had to adjust. Because I only had about a week and a half of running, I adjusted my goal, and decided to just go for a PR. Now, let me be clear on this. I have a VERY out of date 10K PR. It was from the Flying Pig marathon 10K and I earned it one week after running a PR in the Glass City marathon half. So basically, I was not in shape for that and I am SO MUCH faster now.

So I went downtown to meet up with Charlie. We were planning on getting a work team photo (of the three of us that were running) before the race. The race started at 9 am, so I left home just a little bit after 7 with plans to meet them at 8:30. Charlie and I were texting so I went right over to his car, which was in a great place. When Greg arrived, we got our photo.
We were missing Alex, who was the 4th for our Flying Pig Relay team. But I was glad to get a picture with these two, they have been especially busy over the last few weeks.

We lined up together between the 8 and 9 minute pace groups. We knew that it would be a rough start (it always is), but we just wanted to be able to run comfortable. Greg's goal was just to finish (he has not been running as much as the rest of us). Charlie and I are both off of recent goal races, so we knew it might take a minute to warm up and get rolling. This is a pretty BIG race (approximately 17,000 runners) and there is no official seeding unless you are elite, so it ALWAYS takes a few minutes to cross the starting line. A lot of starting and stopping.

The race starts uphill going up Vine St all the way through downtown. It goes up to Over-the-Rhine before turning right onto Liberty for another hill. You then cruise downhill (and are reminded that your quads exist) past the casino and down back toward the river to head over the bridge into KY. We then headed over the Taylor Southgate bridge to Newport, over the Licking River into Covington, and then back across the Clyde Wade Bailey bridge to head toward the finish line.

I finished the race in 48:35, which is a PR for me. I would say my biggest hurdle to not finishing faster was all of the dodging and weaving that I had to do to in the first mile (which clocked in around 8:30, much slower than EVERY mile afterward. Like 1 min/mile slower for some!) So that will be key for 2 years from now when I try that race again. Get closer to the front so there is less dodging. Although you always run into the issue of having some folks that are walking the whole race seeding themselves toward the front (annoying, and certainly not because they are walking, just because there are some folks that ARE racing).

But I enjoyed the race, and I always enjoy getting a solid run in on Thanksgiving day. I plan to ALWAYS race on Thanksgiving.

In addition, pictures for this race were free, so look for them on a later entry!