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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Run of the Year!

Last night I did my last run for 2014. It was very anti-climatic for a last run, partly because I didn't realize before hand that it would be the last run of the year.

In preparation for my new years goals (which I'll get to later) I set up an alert in my google calendar to have the Hubs pick up the Munchkin on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I can get a run in.

The alert went off at 4 to remind me, and so, dutifully reminded I made sure Hubs was picking up the Munchkin, headed home and hopped on the treadmill, queued up Fringe, and settled in for a nice comfortable 3 mile run.

At the one mile mark, my phone let me know I was averaging around a 12'20" pace, so I bumped up the speed a tiny bit, and settled in to a nice comfortable gait. Around the two mile mark, I realized I wasn't working very hard, so I pumped up the speed a bit again, and went for a while at a faster pace (around 11'50", dropped down to around a 12' pace for a minute to recover after a sprint then bumped it back up to around 11'40" to finish out the milage.

The run felt good, solid. I know I didn't push as hard as I could. It was a comfortable run. It let me know I have more in my legs, which I plan to use on the first run of next year on Thursday.

Now, my goals for next year. They can be summed up almost entirely with: Be more consistent.

I have a lot of great habits, that move me toward my goals, but I do them maybe 60% of the time. And usually not all at once. So breaking my goals down (in no particular order):

  • Run 500 miles in 2015 (since I missed that goal this year)
  • Bring more home made lunches to work (I get too much pre packaged crap for lunches)
  • Eat cleaner (more veggies, less take out)
  • Run another Half Marathon (targeting the same one I ran last year right now, but being flexible about which one I run, so I don't get super stressed about the training)
  • Add cross training at least one day a week
  • Sit still less
I've been working lately on setting myself up for success with these goals. I ordered a fitbit (which should arrive friday) which will help me with the sitting still issue. For Christmas I got the Believe Training Journal which should keep me on track for both running, cross training goals and half marathon goals.

The eating goals should be ok, as long as I make it a priority to meal plan and prep once a week.

The next step will be to break those goals down into mini goals, with weekly and monthly targets. I'll save that for another post.

I still owe the race recap for the reindeer run. Hopefully I'll get some uninterrupted computer time at home New Years day to get that typed up.

Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The wrong tendancies

I'm working on my goals for next year right now, and it's making me take a long hard look at where I am right now.

I don't like it.

I don't like how badly my exercise routine has suffered since summer. I don't like how out of control my eating has gotten. I don't like the fact that I'm pretty sure I gained 10 lbs over the Christmas weekend. I don't like how all of this has become a lower priority as other things have muscled their way to the top of the list.

Yes, some of those things, like sickness, job related stuff, and family time, are often out of my control, I need to start forcing myself to prioritize fitness again.

I need to stop with the "Oh well, today got away from me..."

I think all of my goals for next year will reflect that. Hopefully, all of them are attainable. I plan to break the big ones up into mini goals, shorter term things that I can realistically attain and keep myself motivated.

I owe a race recap for the Reindeer run (which was also my daughters first run.) I'm hoping to find some time tonight to sit down and wright it out, because there is a lot I want to say about it. In the meantime, I'll just post this picture of me and the girls (My daughter is the one in the white vest, who looks like she's about to cry. She was cold!)

Friday, December 19, 2014

I'll be running, till the love runs out

Last nights run was awesome. I felt good for the whole run, I hit my stride early and just kinda cruised. I was only planning on running for half an hour, but I was feeling good so I pushed it and finished out 3 miles instead.

It feels good to be back in the habit again.  Even more, it feels good to want to run again.

I'm working on putting together my goals for next year (I refuse to call them resolutions!) I think I can still manage to get trained up in time for the Half marathon I want to run in April.  I'm going back and forth about signing up for the training group I tried over the summer. It was a good experience, but I think I signed up for the more aggressive program, which lead to me burning out. I think if I sign up for the "Beginners" half training it'll go smoother. On the other hand, I did have a really hard time getting myself to go to the group runs, the weekday ones were either super early in the morning or right after work. I've got about a week and change to decide if I want to do it, or just use the training plan I have by myself.

Either way, I actually feel excited about running again, and that's a very good thing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Getting my Mojo back, and a long overdue Turkey Trot Recap

First, People, I do believe the malaise that I had fallen victim to these weeks gone by has finally lifted. I went for a run last night, and it was good.

It was a treadmill run, sure, but I was able to set my speed and cruse, and even do some faster sprints towards the end. The most important part, though, was that I enjoyed the run. I didn't just tolerate it. It left me looking forward to my next run, and super excited about the 5k this weekend.

Now about the Turkey Trot....

I was super nervous in the morning leading up to this race. First, it started way later than any other race I've run - it had a 10am start time. Second, I would have to take a shuttle bus. This was only the second time I'd had to take a shuttle bus to the start of a race, and the first time I would be doing it alone. Third, it was a 4.4 mile race, and I had not been running a lot, or long distances, for a while. I had done one 4 mile run on the treadmill the week before to make sure I could, but I had not run on pavement in weeks.

I packed myself up and got myself to the shuttle busses early, around 8:45, to make sure I got on a bus and to the start line on time.

This is where I made mistake #1, I left my gloves in the car. (This is foreshadowing. Yes it is.)

Proof that it was snowing!
The shuttle bus ride was quick. Once we got to the "start area" I kinda wandered around, half looking for some friends who were going to be doing the 2.2 mile route. Eventually I settled on tucking myself in at the edge of the "warming tent." I noticed right around this point that it was snowing. I took a photograph for proof, and because I was bored, posted it to Facebook. This would be my first ever race run in falling snow.

Freezing before the race
I was starting to get cold at this point. Really cold. Cold enough that I pulled my brand new buff up over my nose to try to warm up. I was really glad that I bought that thing. About 9:30 I started wishing I had brought my gloves with me.

The crowd before the start
Right around 9:50 people started meandering over to the start line, and I meandered right along with them. Apparently there were two start lines, with the 2.2 mile start line a little up the road from where we were starting. This proved to be problematic as they had to push the start time back a bit as people took their time getting off the road. But eventually we were off.

The race started on a moderate down hill, which made for a very fast start. Unfortunately that down hill was followed by a moderately steep up hill almost immediately. So right off the bat, I had to push hard up a hill, while still at that "OMG I'M RACING" pumped up pace, and no where near warmed up. I could feel the cold in my lungs, and I know it affected the rest of my race. I tried pulling the buff up over my nose a few times, but I was breathing so hard from that uphill that it just got in the way too much, so I settled my pace down a bit and just worked on recovering.

The race was a big loop, and after I settled into my pace, I started having a good time. The snow was falling gently, and it was just a really cool atmosphere. At some point in the race, the two distances merged for a while. Which was kinda cool and also kinda annoying. All of a sudden there were a ton of people, mostly walkers, in the road, and I had to do a lot of rabbeting back and forth to get around them. It was cool though, because most of the people doing the 2.2 were dressed up for the occasion, and were all in very festive moods.

The 4.4ers split off again after a while, and the crowd got thinner again. I spent a good portion of this second "4.4 only" bit leapfrogging a couple, the tall man type person was wearing a t-shirt that read "Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran." I spent a lot of time thinking about how if he could get through that, I could get through 4 measly miles in the cold.

There were also a few firefighters running in full gear. They were from the Webster FD, which, in case anyone doesn't know was the department who lost two firefighters to a crazy ambush in 2012. It's also the department the younger brother of one of Hubs best friends. So I spent a lot of time thinking about that while I ran.

Let me tell you, this run was the perfect one to be doing on Thanksgiving. There were points when I was running that I was so thankful for so many things that I got a little choked up. When the snow was drifting down and i was just kinda cruising along, I thought about my Mom (who has Multiple Sclerosis and is wheelchair bound) and how lucky I am to be able to run.

We joined back up with the 2.2ers for the final leg into the park, where I had a few surprises. First was a big hill. Which was a bad surprise, but I managed to chug my way up it.

Then there was a downhill trail scramble. There were almost 5 thousand runners in this thing, and I was smack in mid pack, so around 2 thousand people had run down this hill before me. It was a muddy mess. I was doing ok, taking short, quick, light steps, when a real giant of a man went down, hard, right in front of me. I actually had to jump over him to avoid crashing down on top of him. I skidded to a stop and took a few steps back up the hill to make sure he was ok. He was, and was already getting up by the time I to up to him, so I turned back around and started down the final grassy stretch to the finish.

The crowd at the finish line was huge and really loud. I was able to kick my legs into a half sprint through the chute, and finish strong, despite the muddy conditions.

The crowds around the finish line
As I walked through the crowd I saw two of the firemen who had raced in full gear. I decided, in my race addled state, to thank them. I must have seemed like a crazy person walking up to them, holding out my hand and saying "I just wanted to say thank you." But it felt important to me that I do it. So yeah, I was that crazy person thanking random strangers.

The hardest part of this run, actually was afterwards, when I had to wait for a shuttle bus back to my car. It was a long, cold wait. I did however meet some really interesting people in line! This guy asked me about my hat, turns out his mom has MS as well. His dad was there running with him, turns out the guy was a Marine (well they both were), who was stationed with my Uncle for a while at Camp Lejeune . Weird small world sometimes!

New shoes officially christened!
Proof of the mud!

Overall it was a great race. Not my fastest, I averaged just over a 12 min/mile, but a solid effort. I was also able to do something I have never done before in a race, I was able to actually start passing people towards the end of the race, and give a final kick at the end. Knowing I wasn't completely spent after the race was a great feeling too. Even after standing in the shuttle bus line, I was able to do Thanksgiving dinner without needing a nap!

Kinda towards the back of the 4.4ers (the 2310), but I know I was ahead of a lot of the 2.2ers ^_~

Monday, December 15, 2014

Getting Motivated Again

After the past couple weeks of sickness, both the munchkin's and mine, I'm staring down the barrel of a 5k I signed up for. I haven't run in two weeks. I know the 5k will be fine, I will most definitely not PR, but I will finish it.

The race will also be the munchkin's first. I signed her up for the 1/2 mile kids race! I'm super excited to get her running, since she is already (at 2 1/2) enamored with running in her own toddler way. She plays "ready set go" with her Daddy, Standing at one end of the driveway and running to him at the other end, and will run in circles around our house telling me she gonna run "two miles!" She also, as I've said here before, is fascinated with watching me run, and also with the very fact that I run. She'll point to my sneakers when I'm lacing up and say "You go running mommy?" I'm hoping to keep that love alive in her as she gets past the energizer bunny stage.

Which is why it's so very important to me that I find that love again myself, and I think I'm starting to. The newest issue of Runners World showed up this weekend, and while idly flipping through the pages I felt that pang. That longing to be running that I haven't felt in a long time.

So this is it. My declaration that I will not give up. That I'm going to get myself moving again, and keep myself moving.

This will be my mantra:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The struggle

I've been having some serious issues with my motivation lately. I've still been able to get it together and force myself to run, but the love? The love is missing.

I still feel great during and after a run, but that totally obsessed, reading everything about running I can get my hands on, dreaming of new gear and new races, LOVE isn't there.

It's resulted in me kinda dropping the ball with the whole blog thing. I still have a turkey trot to recap (and boy was it a doozy of a run.) I've fallen way behind on reading my favorite blogs (which I feel awful about because I honestly enjoy reading them!)

I just...can't get the motivation up to do more than the minimum right now. Which is awful. I had hoped the Turkey Trot would kick me back into gear, and it did, running wise I guess. I've upped my milage during my runs. But I'm having a serious "meh" about the whole thing. It's just this thing I do. And if that Turkey Trot wasn't enough to bring back the love, I'm worried that nothing will. Seriously it was an amazing run.

I'm hoping I'm just tired, the munchkin has been sick just about every other week for the past month and a half. (I say just about because she got sick three weeks in a row in there) Right now it's Croup, which any parent of a kid who's had Croup can tell you, makes for very long nights.

I'll get to that turkey trot write up as soon as I can. Hopefully that'll bring back the love.