Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Song and Dance

It's that time of year again and I'm ready to set some new goals.  I decided to take a look at the goals I set for myself last year at about this time and was surprised to see how few (ha!) I actually accomplished.  Here are last year's goals:
  1. Run a 5k in less than 24 minutes. Current PR is 25:47.  (FAIL! But did manage to get a new PR of 25:27! I'll be trying this one again this year.)
  2. Start running longer distances (5+ miles) at least once a week. (Check!)
  3. Play in a local mixed doubles tennis tournament with Will. (FAIL! This one is the one I'm most afraid of! I'm just so scared to lose that I won't even try. I'm sure this has something to do with my terrible high school tennis team experience, or lack thereof.  I'm still adding this one to this year's goals. I really need to get over it already.)
  4. Learn how to swim, like really swim- backstroke, breaststroke, etc. (FAIL! I thought I might want to do a triathlon but I'm not even remotely interested anymore. I'll leave the swimming to the fish...and the old people at the gym.)
  5. Save at least $500/month. (FAIL! Not even close. Ha!)
  6. Lose 10 lbs (or more) and keep it off! (I lost it but didn't keep it off. This one's a wash.)
  7. Refinish the 2 old dressers that are collecting dust in the garage. (Is it possible it's been over a year since I got those old dressers?! Geesh! Well, didn't refinish them but I did clean them up and they are being used so this one's a wash, too.)
  8. Reorganize and redecorate the loft upstairs. (Um, fail.)
  9. Spend more time working with Coleman on reading and helping Cooper with his speech. (Check! At least I have my priorities in line.)
  10. Read more books. Not to the boys. I read plenty of those. I mean actual grown-up best-seller list books. Then maybe I won't feel like I'm getting dumber with each passing year. (Check! In fact, I've read 3 books in the last 3 weeks!)
So, that's like 3 out of 10. Not very good. Heck, half of these goals I forgot I had even set!  I'm going to have to print out a copy of this year's goals and put them where I'll see them.  Will says he doesn't set goals at the beginning of the year. He just sets goals throughout the year as things come up that he wants to work on.  Not a bad idea. Then you never come back to a list like this and think, "What was I thinking?!" But me being me, I like to wax introspective at least once a year and come up with some things that seem goal-worthy. So, without further adieu-

My Goals for 2010
  • Running goals: first marathon (1/9/10!), 5k in less than 24 min, 10k in less than 50 min, and a half-marathon in less than 1hr55min.  All will require some work but all are totally attainable.
  • Be at church on time at least 90% of the time. This one will be difficult since church starts at 9:00am this year and I made it to church on time, oh, about 5% of the time when church started at 1:00pm.  Now's a great time to figure out a new Sunday morning regimen that will help us to be more prompt.
  •  Read my scriptures everyday. My reading has been inconsistent and I need to make sure that I read, even if just a little, everyday.
  •  Do something nice for someone everyday. Make cookies, write a letter, pay a compliment- be creative and be personal.  Surprise people with a nice gesture. Love this one and I'm thinking I'll get the whole family involved.
  • Play in a mixed doubles tennis tournament with hubster.  This year, I'm not letting this one beat me. There is a local tournament every year in June and this year I'll be the first to sign up!
  • Lastly, I wasn't even sure that I'd add this one this year, but I do need to lose a few pounds. To be totally honest, marathon training has led me down a path of, well, over-carbing and I'd like to be back to feeling like myself by spring. So, my last goal is to lose, hmm, let's say 10 pounds and get back to weight-training and feeling light and spry again.   
I'm liking this year's list! Makes me happy to have some goals written out.  Funny how last year I made absolutely no mention of running a marathon. It wasn't even on my radar back then.  Just goes to show that sometimes we just have to go where life seems to be pushing us. I'm certainly all for adjusting my goals as I see fit throughout the year. Heck, by the time 6 months go by, I may need to adjust my goal to getting to church on time to 50%. (Nards! Giving up before I even start trying!)

Really looking forward to twenty-ten!  Good luck to all you goal-setting fools and Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What I got for Christmas

I must be a runner because it's apparently the first thing people think of when trying to come up with a gift idea. Yay for me! My dad bought me Under Armour ColdGear Liner Gloves and these Thorlo socks. I tried them out on my 10 mile run today and I love them both. The gloves kept my hands nice and warm and there is even fleece on the index finger and thumb. You'll never guess why!  Okay, maybe you will but I didn't know that gloves had built-in nose wipes. Gross but necessary, I guess. Especially when the weather is SO cold. But just for the record- I did NOT use this feature but was completely fascinated by it.  The socks were like little pillows for my feet.  Part of me worried that socks that thick couldn't possibly be moisture-wicking even though they claimed to be but they did a great job keeping my feet warm, dry and happy!

My husband bought me 2 running books (The Runner's Rule Book and Running with Angels) and renewed my subscription to Runner's World.  The Runner's Rule Book was one that I had asked for.  It looked entertaining and it has proven to be just that. Funny, quirky and informative.  And definitely a book that only a runner could appreciate. I'm already about halfway through that one.  It's a super easy read.  The 2nd book hubby found while poking around in a running store. It was written by a local woman who ran off over 100 lbs and it talks of her journey.  I'm really excited to read it because I just love those kind of inspirational stories. It seems like every runner has a story to tell. The cover of this book is really cool, too.  It shows a woman running by a lake and then, in the lake, you see her reflection plus the reflection of two children chasing behind her.  The cover just moves me because part of the reason I started running (and continue to run) is for my kids- to be a good example and to live a long and happy life with them at the center of it. I know all the mothers and mothers-to-be can really relate to that sentiment. If a cover of a book can move me this much than I better have some tissues handy when I actually start reading it. Anyway, some thoughtful gifts from the hubster.  (I've been kickin' around the idea of making up a blog name for him. Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one.)

So, happy running Christmas for me.  Oh, and I ran about 5 miles on Christmas day and 10 miles today (the day after) so I'm feeling pretty good.  2 weeks to marathon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thank you, Dorothy!

Just a quick post to thank Dorothy (of Mile Posts fame) for the fun swag she sent me from the "Why You Run Contest" giveaway.  Look at all this fun stuff!  I never win anything so this is super exciting for me. ;)
A Brooks bag, Brooks visor, a cute, peachy tank (that fits!), 2 accel gels, sports beans, a moving comfort toiletry case and even a pack of Brooks pens! Now even when I'm just writing out my grocery list I can feel like a runner. Love it!!

Sorry about the headless pic.  I was just trying to keep the camera out of the picture and it ended up looking kinda creepy. Ha ha! Oh, and try and ignore the messy shelves behind me. 

So thank you, thank you, thank you, Dorothy! You just made my day!  If you haven't checked out her blog go look!  I just love it. I'm telling you- this girl knows everything about running! And she's super fast so you know she knows what she's talking about.  And she's a mom- so she's so easy to relate to.

Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Pinnacle!

This past Saturday was our 20 mile run- the longest run in our training schedule.  It's funny to think back to 2 months ago when I was like "OMGosh, that 20 mile run is going to be a killer! I must be crazy!" But now that I've done it, I don't feel crazy- just crazy good!!  What an accomplishment! This time last year, I hadn't even run a 10k nor did I really have a desire to run further than 3-5 miles.  Just goes to show you how quickly things can change.

As for the run itself.  I felt pretty good. My wind was good, my legs were strong, and I was in good spirits the whole run.  The only issue that started to creep up was a bit of a pull in the arch of my right foot and a small pain in my left ankle but nothing that was begging me to walk.  I told the hubster that I wanted to finish the run strong so our last mile was our fastest by 24 seconds.  Now that felt good!

Here's the stats from the Garmin:
distance- 20 miles
time- 3:20:13
pace- 10:00 min/mile pace dead on
total ascent and descent- 1987 ft. (out and back course)

We've been purposely running a bit of a hilly course because our marathon will be hilly.  We wanted to be prepared for everything. The true test to me on how a run goes it how you feel after you've stopped running and surprisingly, I felt less sore after this run than 14, 16, or 18.  I even decided to skip the ice bath this time because I was cold enough as it was.  (Did I mention this run was in below freezing temps?) The marathon should be warmer, probably in the high 40s, low 50s.  That will feel like summer compared to how cold it's been here lately.

I've noticed that I'm beginning to develop some long run day habits. I always eat the same thing pre-run- a waffle with PB- and I'm getting kind of superstitious about my eating out on the run.  I've got to have my GU Brew (blueberry pomegranate), this flavor has 2X the sodium which is important for me since I'm a very salty sweater.  And I'm also partial to the Key Lime Accel Gel and the Strawberry Clif Shot Bloks because they are about all I can stomach when I'm digging deep in the later miles.  I used to like the Raspberry Hammer Gel but for some reason they make me cringe now. Not sure what happened.  I never take anything with caffeine, mostly because my cardiologist told me not to (low BP issues) and maybe 5% because I feel like it's a little bit like cheating.  I want to know what my body can do without any "performance enhancers," you know?  To each his own, though. I certainly don't judge. Anyway, I guess I better make sure that I pack up all my sure things and take them with me for the race. Guess my "superstitions" aren't really too out there. When I start talking to my shoes before a race and not washing my favorite shirt for months- then I've got problems! :)

Less than 3 weeks to the big day!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday and since I don't really have any running stuff to talk about I thought I'd just post a link to my birthday blog! It was a great day!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

4 Weeks to Marathon!

Crazy long run last Saturday. We ran in sub-freezing temps with the wind in our face over half the time.  Our original plan was to stay on the river trail the whole time but we ended up on the trail only 2/3 of the time because the wind was so strong. We were literally pushing through the strong winds and I couldn't help but think, "As if 18 miles isn't going to be hard enough! Geesh!"  So, we went 6 miles out and 6 miles back (the wind at our backs was heavenly) and then went a 6 mile loop that circles our house.  That was my brilliant idea. It wasn't until mile 15 that we figured that the last 3 miles were going to be incredibly windy.  The river trail funnels wind in a terrible way but this was even worse!  We probably would've been better off on the trail the whole way but by the end of this run we were just glad to be done. No coulda', shoulda', woulda'.  We did 18 miles! It was ugly but it was done!

As much as I love running outside, I am beginning to have a new appreciation for the treadmill. You don't have to wear 4 layers of clothing. No running with water in hand or hydration belt flopping along with you. No chapped lips or frozen face. (I seriously couldn't feel my face after that run. I talked like I had just had dental surgery for the first 10 min. after I got home.)  No checking my pace.  A TV perched right up on the wall to keep my brain occupied. Sometimes a treadmill can be a girl's best friend! We do need to get ours fixed, though. I can run on it fine but it slips when I'm walking. Or if you're my husband, all 215 manly pounds of him, you slip every time you get on. It just can't handle him anymore.  Poor, tired treadmill. You really need a tune-up.

Anyway, this week is an easy one. Just 3 runs. Yesterday, I ran 6 miles-moderate pace. Tomorrow, I'll do my tempo run and then a long (8-mile) run on Saturday. I've pretty much nixed my cross-training lately because of all the holiday stuff I'm trying to get caught up on.  Why is it that shopping when you "have to" instead of when you "want to" just sucks all the fun out of it?!