Friday, December 31, 2010

100 day challenge

I swear, I wrote the below goal to "move" every day for 30 minutes before I read this: It's like John Bingham can read my mind...

Here's to 2010 - pretty awesome year.

2010 is going to go down in history as a pretty awesome year.

First, and most importantly, I married my best friend in 2010. The wedding was perfect. We are blissfully happy. So that definitely wins "best of" 2010.

Some other notable things:
  • Obviously, running. Half-way through 2010 I started running, and I never stopped. Ran 4 races that I never would have even considered doing until this year.

  • Spent a weekend in Toogoodoo with my most favorite girls for my bachelorette party. *sigh* such a great place.

  • Honeymoon in Savannah - obv. perfect.

  • Conquered a lot of my emotional eating issues thanks to a good therapist and ultra-supportive husband. She has moved to Florida, but I'm all good. There's a half-empty box of joe joes that has been there for 2 weeks untouched. So much awesome.

  • Tried to sell the house and buy a new one - total and utter failure, but we learned a lot. And then bought a couch. (upon which I lounge right now)

  • Found out O'Malley was sick in March, and had to put her to sleep Dec. 20. The good news is that we got a lot of snuggle time in between.

  • Met some fabulous new friends and reconnected with some old ones due to running.

  • Succeeded at work - doing quite well in the fundraising world, and really starting to enjoy it.

  • Did I mentioned I get to spend my whole life with my best friend?
Overall, it was a fabulous year. And, until the cat fiasco, nearly perfect.

So in 2011, I want to set some goals. Not resolutions, not pledges, just something to shoot for.
  1. I want to "move" every day. Preferably, 30 minutes. I'll still be doing my running, so that leaves 3-4 days where I need to walk, or bike, or do yoga, or do Wii fit, or something.

  2. Run a half-marathon. Yup. I'm convinced. I'm shooting for one on May 14th.

  3. Run a race every month.

  4. Stay on the WW.

  5. Compete in a sprint triathalon.

  6. Travel! To Utah to see my family (I will run at altitude!) and to New York because Preston has never been.
  7. Shoot for a sub-30 5k. This is a lofty goal, but I think it's possible.
  8. Volunteer for the Women's Beginner Running Club that meant so much to me.

That's all I can think of. 2010 is going to be hard to top. Happy New Year! Hope everyone has a safe and fun evening!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm baaack!

Hi! Long time, no type. Obv., Christmas excelled in the Awesome department. I got running gear. Also, a sewing machine. And I lost 3 lbs. So. Woot to that!

I haven't been running too much - a Christmas Day run, then we've been mostly shut in by snow. The greenways are still wicked icy, but things are looking up. I did hit the gym for an indoor triathalon (25 min. each of eliptical, bike, and treadmill - not a bad way to mix it up, and earn a nice Kanki dinner...)

My latest running dilemma is whether to sign up for a half-marathon and if so, when, and which one. I'm being a total weenie about this. I'm not sure why. 13 seems waaaay intimidating right now, even though we're running 5.5 - 6 pretty regularly. I know it's not a far off goal, but I just can't bring myself to register! I look online at the map. I brood over the time. I debate over the hill and temperature possibilities.

Maybe I'm just a 5k, 10k kinda girl. I am definitely going to do the half next february with Regan, and the one here in Raleigh in November, but do I need to do one this spring? Running folks who have been here before, what do you think? Ideas? Advice? Should I just bite the bullet and register? Wait a little while and see how the training goes? Not worry so much about the race and just get the miles in?

Blurg. I am conflicted!

Hope you all had a fab Christmas season and have delightful new years plans. We are walking to our neighborhood bowling alley with all of our friends and drinking many pitchers of cheap beer. Then everyone is coming to our house to crash. I'm super-pumped.

More on 2011 goals next time... I'm still thinking them through.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Hooray for Christmas Eve!

I love Christmas! And with my best friend in town, and a few days out from the cat fiasco, I'm finally feeling in the Christmas spirit.

I got my AWESOME bloggy buddy present yesterday - it made my day!!! It was from Robin at Running Circles Around Turtles. I LOVE her blog. Here, let me show you what came in the mail...

First, Body Glide. Which, epic. It's mostly epic because I've been debating whether to get some or not, and I couldn't decide. But now, I get to try it and feel like it was recommended by someone who knows for reals! Awesome!

Next, yummy peppermint lip balm, which I used today on my run. Very moisturizing! And tasty!

And finally, my FAVORITE...

A new shoe wallet! There is NO way Robin could have known this, but I hated my current shoe wallet. It is from Nike, and I got it because that's what they had and I hated it. It is tiny and my key barely fits and it flops around and I am so freaked out that I'm going to lose my key.

But, NOW, I have this awesome, brand new, much bigger, much less floppier one! Thank you!

So, bloggy exchange was a blast. Thank you Jill for setting it all up.

My buddy was Cynthea over at I love having new friends all over the place! She gets to run in some seriously beautiful Colorado territory. I love seeing all of her snowy pictures! We're supposed to get a little flurry tomorrow, but nothing like the mounds of fluffy snow she gets!

Also, on the running front, Regan and I pounded out about five and a half today on a new trail. A little hilly, but nice. If you had told me I would be going for a 5+ mile run on Christmas Eve 6 months ago, I would have looked at you like you had a third eye. I'm proud of us!

And, PS, I love being a part of this community of runners. Thanks for the good vibes this week from all over. It was a tough week, but for the best.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thanks Turtle Runner!!!



I will share details later but am heading to hockey game with my BFF and U-S Husband.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I got served - oh, I mean tagged.

Jeff tagged Lee, then Lee ( tagged me! Fun! So, here are a few tidbits for your Tuesday reading pleasure...

1) What are you most fond of accomplishing in 2010?
- Marrying my best friend!
- Learning how to run and sticking with it.
- Snuggling with my kitty! (I have to throw that in because we had to put her to sleep yesterday. It was awful and I won’t be talking about it, but you might want to get caught up.)

2) What are your running goals for 2011?
- Cooper River Bridge Run
- Half Marathon (yikes!)
- Sprint triathalon
- Dare I shoot for a 10 minute Magnificent Mile?

3) What is your favorite race?
Wow. That’s like picking a favorite child. I have enjoyed all 4 for various reasons.
Women’s Distance Festival – 1st race, near and dear to my heart
Monster Dash – Got to play dress up! Also, best tshirt.
Charleston Turkey Trot – made it in under 40 minutes!
Reindeer Romp – New trail with a great new friend that I met because of running. Plus, it supported girls on the run. Also, cute tshirt.

4) What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?
All sweet things, but I think the best is either the pretzel/jello salad we have on Christmas or the birthday cake we have because it’s my little sister’s birthday on the 25th!

Oh. And Candy Cane Joe Joes. Duh.

5) What was your most embarrassing running moment?
My pants fell down on my second group run. I ran with my undies hanging out for like half a mile. FINALLY someone behind me spoke up. It took forever for someone to say something!
Drawstring FAIL.

So now it's my turn... and I choose...
Regan. Obv.
B, my most fav. running cousin. Usually she writes about mommy stuff, but she's a runner too!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

A 10k before breakfast.

Oh, you read that right. Regan and I had our longest run ever - 6.2 miles. We started out committed to 5, but willing to try for more. We passed Jean, one of the volunteers from our running group, and we made the decision right then and there - we had to do 6.

And do it, we did! It was pretty cold out, but we took our time, took extra walk time when we needed it (which, truly, we didn't need a lot, but it was nice to take an extra thirty seconds or so every so often.)

I figure our time was still pretty good - around 8o-81 minutes by my watch. I'll be interested to see the breakdown from Regan's Garmin, but if I'm right, our average was right at a 13 minute mile.

It did take me a long time to warm up when I got home - a shower helped, but I was still pretty chilled when I got in. The air was very damp - I think it just lingered. Also, we need to go ahead and get hydration belts. We were pretty thirsty when we got to our cars. Time to bite the bullet on that one.

We are making so much progress it's scary! Earned 16 activity points on the WW - going to spend them eating out at lunch and on a beer at the hockey game tonight. Rock!

Cat update: Her health is deteriorating every day. It is a major, major bummer. Since running is a mood enhancer, I shutter to think what a blubbering mess I'd be if I didn't get the miles in this morning. Ultra-supportive husband has been a champ (as always). Also nice to have great friends who understand that O'Malley is really part of our family.

*sigh* We talk to the vet on Monday. I told Regan to be prepared for 2-3 weepy miles that night.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Running for stress relief

One of the biggest things that running has done for me is to help me manage my stress. Before, when I was anxious about something, I ate. And ate.

Now, I run.

Great example: Yesterday we had to give my cat an enema. If you want stress, do that. Actually, she did great, it was more the lead up and aftermath that was stressful. O'Malley has Chronic Renal Failure (she's only 6, so she's pretty young for this fatal condition), so she is really dehydrated all of the time - hense the uh, treatment. She's been in a major funk ever since, making me worry that her overall health is starting to decline. So, stress. And very little sleep. And a lot of worrying.

So, this morning, instead of making myself a healthy stack of Candy Cane Joe Joes, I got my butt over to the gym during my lunch hour. I work at home on Wednesdays, so I've got some flexibilty. And you know what? I feel a lot better. Something about sweating out all of the bad stuff and getting that blood flowing. Plus the endorphins.

I came home to O'Malley sleeping peacefully in her favorite chair. Here's hoping she's back to her old, cranky, snuggly self tomorrow.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Sarah and Regan, and the blustery day

We did it! We went running in the cold!

I bought a new jacket (just from Target - nothing too fancy) and some tights. And it is a good thing, too, because it was super duper windy. We figure it was about 32 degrees, with a wind chill closer to 25.

We did about 3.2 miles (we usually do 4 on Mondays, but I say again, it was COLD).

I'm proud of us. Last week we bailed. I think we were inspired by Saturday's race and our fellow runners who have been out and about all season. My father-in-law has been running in the mountains of Utah in the snow, so I think we should be able to make it a few miles when it's just below freezing.

Not every day, mind you. I'm sure I'll be spending plenty of time on the old hamster wheel. But it feels good to know I can do it.


Weight Watchers

I joined the online Weight Watchers today. I have mixed feelings, but Regan shared with me their new stuff, and it's a little less, well, scary, than it was before. Part of the reason I want to drop a few pounds is that I think it will make running easier. For the first time in my life it's not to look better, but it's to run better. Hysterical. Who is this girl?

I did WW in college my senior year. I lost like 30 pounds and I was a size 8. Seriously. But I was hungry ALL the time, ate lots of processed "cheater" food (companies added tons of fiber and it balanced their "points" formula - new system doesn't work that way) and when we went on a graduation cruise, it was all back. They mean it when they say you have to stick with it.

I spent this morning going over our regular favorite recipies. Good news - nothing we can't continue eating on WW. (woot!) We need to be more aware of portion sizes, and I need to stop munching between meals. But mostly, it shouldn't be a huge change.

Also, a 4 mile run gets us back about 12 points. That is: 4 glasses of wine, 6 Peppermint Joe Joes, or Chick Fil A sandwich. Ok, that is so not how you're supposed to look at it, but still! It's nice to know that if I keep doing the running I'm doing I won't feel like I'm missing out on going out to eat or having a grown up beverage or the occasional yummy cookie.

You may ask, "Why in the HECK would you start this during the holidays?"

Why, dear reader, because if you can make it through the holidays on WW, you can do ANYTHING. Same concept with learning how to run in 105 degree heat. We did that - so everything else is a piece of cake.

I'm too shy to tell you my weight, but I will keep you posted on the success of the program. I'm going to be careful to eat enough to fuel my running, so don't worry.

Zombie food bonus: smaller me means less nutritive snack for zombies, thereby potentially less of a target.



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Romping in the style of "Reindeer."

Regan and I finished our fourth race today! Yay! That's 4 races I never in my life thought I would do. So, woot to that.

This race was benefitting Girls on the Run, and it was the race they had all been training for. So basically, it was us and a whole slew of little girls. Cute!

You may remember that I was a tad whiny this morning due to the cold, but we realized really quickly that we were overdressed. Half a mile in, we were shedding our jackets. By the end, we were wishing for short sleeves.

The course was a new experience - hilly, and several kinds of terrain. We ran through fields, on gravel, plain 'ol dirt, parking lot, sidewalk - at least it wasn't boring!

We did prove, once again, that intervals are always the way to go for us. We ran through the first mile - slowly. (Ok, to be fair, this could be due to the extreme bottleneck of people in the beginning) All in all, we weren't as far off of our normal pace as we thought we would be - about a 42 minute race. Not a PR, but the hills gave us a nice challenge, and we know what we need to work on.

My favorite part was hearing the little girls encourage each other. It reminded me a lot of our training program. How great that they are learning to run when it's much easier instead of waiting until their late twenties to try to get it started.

I'm still feeling pretty great about running. I'm loving my collection of race t-shirts, and it's pretty great to be a part of the running community.


PS - fun give away of SUPER CUTE headbands (you don't know this but I'm a SUCKER for a good headband) Here it is!


It's 30 degrees and drizzly. Time to go run in the woods for the reindeer romp...


(it's a dern good thing the Tshirt was cute.)


Monday, December 6, 2010

Reflections on running in place

It's been a while since we saw low temps in the Old North State. Usually it gets chilly around Novmber, but this year, we've had nice, 60 and 70 degree temps.

Until this weekend.

We had an inch of snow on Saturday. Sunday and today - 35 and windy.

I'm OK with running in 50 degrees. 40? Fine. Really, even 30. But, 30 and windy? Nope. Sorry. I just don't think I have the proper clothing yet. (it's expensive - I've been holding out 'til Christmas)

So, today, I rejoined the gym. Just Planet Fitness. Nothing fancy. $10/month. Can't beat that.

At least I'll have a "dreadmill" option. Some pros and cons about the treadmill...

Pro - something to do when it's really cold, dark, windy, snowy, etc.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I should just repost what Regan wrote... haha

So, my running partner Regan said it all in her blog this week. We are consistent in our inconsistency. Basically, our pace is not the same, except that we always slow down for a mile at the halfway point. Then, we pick it back up. And we do that almost every time. I'm not sure what that is, or what it means, but it is.

The good news is - we've shaved a full minute and a half off of our per mile average!!! We went from about 14.5 to right at 13 minute mile! That's amazing, isn't it? Aren't you impressed? I am!

On a side note, I had an awesome soak in the tub when I got home - Burts Bees makes the best bath salts - supposedly very good for recovery. Whether it's placebo or not, I feel great. Plus, it made the bathroom smell super-great.

Back to wine and peppermint joe joes...


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

If you go down, you've got to come back up...

Or, "How I earned my Candy Cane Joe Joes."

My usual Oak Park route is about 2 miles. The first and last half miles are mostly flat, but the middle part, is a steep hill course. Up and down about 4 hills.

I started out today running that route. I don't know if it was the Katy Perry or the guilt from eating waaay too many Joe Joes last night, but I decided to keep running down one of those hills instead of cutting across. I ran all the way down to the greenway.

I was worried about going back up, but I am never going to get better at hills if I don't practice them! So, up I went. And I didn't even cheat on the running or walk any extra! It's a long hill. About half a mile, straight up. Great place to train for the Cooper River Bridge run in April!

I finished in about 36 minutes - about a 13.5 minute average. Not too much slower than my normal pace! I am starting to see major improvement in my stamina, cardio, and pace.