Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
a rather lengthy blog that recapped the highlights of my
First. The winners. Yeah there were two.
That's the thing about hidden giveaways the rules are a little vague. I didn't have anyone e-mail me the correct pair of socks but I had two people say the striped penguins were mine. The actual first responder said two different socks so there is a consolation prize headed to Mel at Tall Mom on the Run.
The grand prize winner is Jill at Run with Jill. A package of goodies is headed your way.
Congratulations to you both for winning and for being such loyal supporters of my little story of life!
I don't want to spoil the surprise so we will all have to wait and see the goodies from the
winner's blogs once they are received!!
Some exciting news!
An official giveaway graciously sponsored by the wonderful people at
One More Mile
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all;
Additionally, a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great, without regard to the race, creed, color, religious, or sexual preferences of the wishes.
(Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.)
Remain Thoughtful, Vigilant, and True!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
December 14th - Monday
Back to work. Aggh! But glad to have a good job to go to! So I eagerly got up for a quick out and back of 3.5 miles in the refreshingly cool morning air. 27:31 (7:51) A bit faster than I wanted but I wasn't watching my time as much as I was enjoying being outside.
December 16th - Wednesday
After yesterday's morning run, I skipped running this morning. My legs were not happy and I did think giving my foot a break (which I define as any period of 12 elapsed hours when I don't run).
I chose instead to wait until the evening and then was forced onto the treadmill. I hope the weather settles down so I can get some evening runs to see all the Christmas lights! I did 10 miles 1:10:51 (7:05) I really did try to slow down but I was watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and I was just sucked in! I will pay for the speediness via sore legs.
December 17th - Thursday
With middle one off to school, I got out for my out and back of 3.5 miles (27:31). The littlest slept through the night AND stayed in bed until after my run! It was great. I hope that this schedule is a sign of things to come. An uninterrupted night of sleep that's what I am grateful for! FYI - my foot was silent running this morning. Yeah.
In un-running related news, we did get our tree up finally.
Most of our decorations are things the kiddos
have made over the years.
and an ornament that twirls from the heat of the lights.
It was my Daddy's favorite.
Our lovely angel my middle one made
Middle one with her favorite ornament; Hello Kitty.
If you made it all the way here you deserve to know what is up with the Brown Paper Bag. It is a good thing you don't lose HBBC points for eating 'bad' things because I just eat an entire cinnamon roll from Panera Bread...from a brown paper bag. That made it seem even more sinful but...Yuuuuummy!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
After the wonderful fun of Thursday, bullet holes and all, I wanted Friday to be a more peaceful day. I got up early while hubbs was out hunting (yes, I let him have his rifle. I live dangerously) and squeezed in a quick 3.5 miles on the treadmill (26:32). It was a nice start to my final work day of the week.
The kids, hubbs and I all met for dinner before hubbs had to head out of town for work. 11 days this stretch. For anyone who has small children, the change in routine is not always met with good behavior so after attempting to eat while littlest crawled over me as if I were a jungle gym I was eager to get home and do...nothing.
That is what I did. Bad for me. I just had more stress than I can handle through the week and instead of getting a short energy boasting run, I lofted. So counter productive.
December 12th - Saturday
Par of the course loafing Friday night did not make me want to go run outside in the cold windy weather early in the morning. I worked around the house trying to work my way through my giant chore list while tending to the little kiddos. The afternoon brought a burst of energy and motivation so outside I went for my favorite run - 6.5 (50:22). After being on the treadmill for a couple days my legs felt like lead. I don't know why I feel like I have to run so fast on the treadmill! It always exhausts me. But I constantly push that button...faster....faster...faster. Hard or not it was great to be outside!
We finished our evening with putting up the Christmas tree and lighting it. Only to find half of the light do not work. Ekk. My oldest and I watched the latest Harry Potter movie. He is a big fan.
December 13 - Sunday
We woke up to freezing rain this morning so we didn't go to Sunday school or church. We stayed hidden in the house. I jumped on the treadmill for 10 (1:08:22) and had to stop at that. I want to get in 5 more today but I am hoping the weather clears up so I can go outside. My legs felt like jello on the treadmill. I just have to get over wanting to be DONE when I am on that thing.
Next on the agenda today is:
- Lunch for the kiddos
- finish the Christmas tree
- a mountain of laundry
- getting my bloggie exchange stuff ready to mail
- scanning thing for hubbs
- baking the brownies I promised my middle one last weekend
- and finishing my run this evening
That should keep me busy for the rest of the day. It has been a great weekend. Christmas is going so quickly! I hope I can be ready in time.
Before I go I forgot to show you all the goodie I got from the give away I WON!! Thanks for all the goodies!! My oldest is already trying to steal them!!
With all this fuel no wonder I am running fast!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
December 7th - Monday
Got up in the morning for a wonderful all be it short run outside. 3.5miles (27:47/7:55) It was warm in comparison to the past two days. I am remembering it fondly as I type this. I think it was about 30 degrees that morning. Ahhh.
Following that run I had a normal day of sitter drop off of littlest, crazy busy day of work and then retrieval of kiddos at sitter and home again.
I got to run that evening (my favorite kind of day; double run! SCORE) BUT it was my first date with treadmill. No he doesn't have a name. He doesn't need one. It's not a friendly relationship. I am a total user. I don't give him anything. I just give him a pounding and walk away. He just takes all the sweat I can pour out and wants MORE! However, I HAD to start our relationship back up because there was a black bear in my yard you may recall. I love nature. I like being out here and experiencing it. It's all good. For some reason I just couldn't shake the thought that I was going to run into that black bear during my favorite run - in the dark - all alone and he...was...going...to...eat...ME. Now this may be because I watched a show called I am Alive on Sunday night in which a man was attacked by a black bear. Maybe not but I found myself at the end of my driveway fully dressed to run looking down the road and thinking, 'yep, this is about where that bear ran across. Yep. I wonder how fast bears run?' and back inside I went.
So treadmill got an unexpected date. 6.5 miles (50:43/7:48) I stuck with my distance and ran on an incline to simulate my hills.
December 8th - Tuesday
Another morning that I got up and did it! Yeah me. 3.5 miles (27:44/7:55) One second slower than Monday that's great consistency for me.
The elementary school had it Holiday workshop where the kids get to buy presents for their families so I went into the school to help with that for a while than off to work.
Tuesday is gymnastics but with the big ice storm we were to get, we cancelled, ran errands and headed home. With my extra time at home I got to cross train (finally - one day!). I did some P90x weights, stretching, abs for over 2 hours. Sweat city. But HBBC points for something besides my running and fruits and veggies another finally!
December 9th - Wednesday
Ice/snow storm over night made for rough start to the day. No outside running. Bummer. And I did a giant FAIL by going back to bed when I got the 2 hour delay call. ????? That was 2 hours I could have _________. You go ahead and fill in the blank. Sure, chose several things I could have done. I'll wait. Of course you can yell at me for wasting those 2 hours when I really could have use them productively.
Okay, so the a.m. wasn't great but I did have a date with treadmill after hubbs got home that evening. 6.5miles (47:49/7:21) I have a tendency to run really fast on the treadmill. I think it is the desire to be off of it. Plus the forced steady pace helps keep this un-Garmined girl moving more quickly.
December 10th - Thursday
With hubbs home and the extreme wind chills in the negatives, I did not get out of bed and run. I got up and made the kiddos and hubbs breakfast then went to work early to try and get some extra work done.
This evening. Another date. He is going to think I like him. I don't. He squeaks. Hubbs ordered me a new belt (Merry Christmas to me). I hope that fixes the problem. Squeak or not I watched Star Trek while I ran 6.5 (45:54/7:04). I was watching the end of the movie tonight. I think the excitement got me really running fast. The movie was great! I loved Star Trek the series so I was eager to see the movie. I had to be quick tonight since hubbs and my oldest wanted to go hang out and watch the Steelers (hopefully win) play the Browns tonight.
Before leaving you tonight I have to share one final thing. (Hubbs, sorry) I know hubbs will not want me to tell this story but I simply need to tell you. There is a lot of lessons to be learned from it.
I have been having a difficult time at work the past month. Things are extremely busy. Stressful. Hubbs knows this and understands. So he tries to not add to my burden this time of year when work gets crazy. Today however, he was not successful.
The scene. My (I don't call him my boss, he does not do anything. Really. Nothing.) office-mate/administrator and I get into an argument. A verbal disagreement. Heated! This is nothing completely new. It happens once or twice a year. It may seem strange but it is due to our working conditions and situations I can not begin to explain fully.
Suffice it to say that my hubbs phone call couldn't have come at a worse time. But he calls. He asks if I can talk. I tell him yes to simply defuse the discussion "boss" and I are having. Hubbs repeatedly tells me that I am going to be mad at him. I start thinking about what he could have done at home today that would make me mad at him.
"hummm, he was working on treadmill. OH no. He totally broke him! I won't be able to run!" Seriously. That is what I was thinking.
Hubbs continues. He tells me he was ....loading his rifle ON OUR BED!! (yes, that would be INSIDE our home. Breaking a house rule. No loaded guns in the house!)
AND...he shot the gun.
The bullet. You know that one that never should have been inside the gun inside our home, that one, it went through my wonderful tigger (okay I'm a kid inside) fleece blanket, through MY pillow (hidden agenda here???), through the head board and OUT the bedroom wall!
No one was hurt. Our dogs, who were outside, were not hurt. We live in the boonies so we don't really have neighbors the way many of you probably have neighbors, so they were not hurt.
Why did this happen. Hubbs was rushing. My hubbs has been in a foreign country where you carry really big guns to dinner with you. He was there for about 2 years. So he knows a bit about guns and gun handling. This could be a different story had one of the kids been home. I thank God that He chose to protect hubbs from himself in his carelessness. So for those reading who hunt or have hubbs who hunt, please gently remind them that you want them to take their time and be safe.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
While hubbs took care of littlest I went through the per-race drill; potty, shower, getting dressed and fueled. It was a bit different for me because we had a drive of a hour and twentyish minutes I am used to either staying over night in the vicinity or participating in a somewhat local races.
Familiar or not the morning went smoothly and quickly until we got to the end of my google map directions. LESSON #1 NEVER trust a google map. LESSON #2 or SUB-LESSON of #1 ALWAYS call the race director (of smallish race anyway).
As it turns out no one on the street in State College actually lives there and is familiar with where Beaver Stadium actually is. At least not the first 35 people we asked. That wonderful 36th person a lovely dark-hair young lady with EXCELLENT local geography and direction giving skills!! Thanks wonderful girl!! Because we were getting there none too early...that could be because first you HAVE to drive around a bit before you ask for direction, right? It's a law, right? My hubbs tells me it is. It must be so.
We arrive. Hubbs drops me at the door and I go in to pick up my chip and lovely long sleeve shirt. Cute logo It reads, " Nittany Valley 26th Annual Half Marathon. If you haven't ran it...you don't know the half of it!"...more on that later.
The building is crowded with runners! Ekkkk! There are a LOT of people here. I do not love lots of people. There are hundreds more out side. Ekkk!
With the late arrival, there is only a potty visit an a quick mile warm up jog. Hubbs and I pose for a snap shot thanks to a nice lady who is in the crowd of runners gathering outside. Having heard announcements earlier I assume that there will be an announcement that the runners should gather at the starting line (which was where?). LESSON #3 Pay attention to the race...not so much the pictures.
My hubbs is the one who realizes that we are in the back of the pack of runners and the front appears to have started. Ekk! I don't want to start at the back of the pack! Too late. Oh well, I have a chip so that should be okay. I am hoping.
The race starts with 2 laps of a mile each around a mostly gravel ...road...path. It was narrow. It was snow covered. It was ICE! Remembering all my bloggie friends and everything I already know about racing I think that I will just use those 2 miles to start out slow. Not go out too fast. Well, ice is not starting out slowly. Ice makes the hundreds of runner in front of me run like snails. And some of them fall down. (don't worry. No injuries. And I helped a lady who was running near me up when she fell.) After a little more than 2 miles I was at 9:48. A MILE. I was freaking out. As soon as I hit the dry-ish paved road I started to run! I spent the next 4 - 5 miles weaving through people to try and find a way back to a decent pace while remembering all the warnings about the second half of this half marathon being SO hilly.
With the hills and warning is mind I tried to tell myself that I wanted to enjoy this race, the scenery (it had just snowed the day before and it still hung on everything), the other runners, the whole experience. So I did. As I passed other runners I chatted briefly or ran with them for a little while. I looked around and took in all the mountain and fields. I was having a great time!
The miles were not marked very well. In fact after the first two miles, I only saw the 6, 8 and 10 mile markers. At the six mile I had made up a little time and knew I still had lots of energy and felt like I could run a full marathon so I picked up the pace for 2 miles. During that time I fell into running with a younger girl dressed in black head to toe. She is one of those runners who just look effortless. We chatted a bit. Then I made the mistake of running her pace. LESSON #4 NEVER run with someone when you have a goal time WITHOUT asking theirs. (Of course, if I had borrowed my hubbs Garmin this would not have happened so I apologize to all those out there who use Garmins for being...thick headed/stubborn enough to not just use it.)
I had been told that after about mile 7 the grade/hills really amped up. The graph on the website had also confirmed this. LESSON #5 I do NOT know how to accurately read an elevation graph. (This my hubbs had tried to tell me was true prior to the race. Sorry honey for not listening to you) BECAUSE. The.hills.in.this.half.are.NOT.bad.at.all! Maybe if you are a flat-lander and train on flat land this half would hurt but I absolutely save way too much for the hills that never came.
By the time I saw mile 10, that last marker I would see, I keep thinking, "okay maybe the next hill will be bad so don't push too hard and then have to walk." I was still out pacing my young girl making-it-look-easy runner friend so I held the pace. But the next hill was just a hill. "Okay the final mile or so has been advertised as 'making you see God,'" I told myself so again I didn't push. Until I saw the final stretch. This was not anything that I don't run every day. Often twice a day. My favorite 6.5 loop has hills (both ways) just like this (with the exception of a 6% down hill at mile 7ish which was great to fly down!). I was very upset when I realized I was going to finish this half way slower than I was easily capable of.
I only allowed my pitty party to last a couple of strides. Reminding myself that I had (would soon) finish this half marathon in less than great conditions (27 degrees on ice and snow) and I was going to finish feeling GREAT and I would have an okay pace 1:53 (8:42 non-chip time) . Yeah that last one really does upset me but I learned many lessons at this race or was reminded of things I forgot that I should already know. And next year if life brings me back I will look forward to running this race smarter.
So as I neared the finish line I was all smiles knowing that with the knowledge I had about the course I had run a very smart race.
Feeling so good I went for another 2 miles to even out my day (HBBC points!) hoping to see the age group tallies. We didn't get to stay that long so I will have to wait and see how I did against the pack we needed to head home to get our wonderful kiddos (aka rescue the oldest from the younger two).
After crossing the finish line. All smiles!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
I will put in one more run before the half on Sunday. I am filled with so much nervousness and excitement you would like it’s my first and that it was a full marathon.
Race organizers should not tell us so much about the race. I mean really! Do I really know to know in graph, street view and topological map styles that their course is going to try and kill my legs? NNNNNOOOOOOOOO! No. I do not. Did I really NEED to see this?
Maybe they could just give us a quick glance over of the course, a general feel of the race might suffice. Who is to say that I would not run better if I did not have this battle going on inside my head knowing that I am going to run 13.1 miles (if the course is accurate!) of some of the steepest and longest grades I will have ever run in a race. Did I really need to know that before hand? Again. No.
I keep trying to visualize a successful run. An enjoyable run. However, this picture keeps popping into my head. Information, Ugh! I only need to know one thing; how far do I have to run. That is enough!
Okay, my rant (attempt at humorously ranting) is over. I wanted to show Tara (http://diylibrarian.org/) what I will probably look like at the race. She is volunteering since she recently ran a marathon. Thanks! She has offered to cheer for me. Thanks again! I may be running this completely alone. (Don’t cry for me. I have run full marathon all by myself too. It’s my unfortunate situation.) Hubbs may stay home with the kids. The details are not worked out. Anyway, here I am:
I thought this picture was funny since I have gotten really overtly long hair right now. I thought I’d share it to amuse you. My son caught me turning into the driveway after my run. I got out this morning for a short 3.5 (28:08/8:02). My dogs were excited. They had just chased a black bear across the property and into the fields behind me; hopefully he was headed to the mountain in the background. I was an exciting morning. What will the day hold in store?
Good Luck to all the runners this busy weekend!
Leave me a comment with your mileage over the weekend. Let’s see what kind of a total we can come up with (race or training). It might make for a great competition to see just how many miles we can do!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
A double run day (3.5 in the a.m. oUtSiDe!! 28:40/8:11 and then 6.5 on the t.r.e.a.d.m.i.l.l. 52:43/8:07) 11 HBBC points for the day AND I won. Natalie's Thanksgiving Giveaway!
Another amazing day. I am super happy.
Thanks Natalie for hosting the giveaway.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Kitty update. Our cat is still missing. No sightings. No kitty found along the road. Nada. I don't know if that is a good sign or a bad one. She could come back on her own or she may have fallen in love with being wild. Time will tell so we will wait.
Monday on the workout front, I unintentionally took the day off. I know I am supposed to be tapering but I just love to run. A N D the HBBC http://runtothefinish.blogspot.com/2009/11/holiday-bootie-buster-challenge.html is still going on so there are points to consider! And for Monday I got a big fat 1. Sorry team mates!
December 1st - Tuesday
Today was a great day. I got an early morning run. Okay, yes regular readers you know I did my favorite 6.5 mile loop (52:47/8:07). I did wear my new Nathan's High Visibility Vest. I didn't want the hunters to shoot me! So far so good!
After a great energizing morning run I had the normal daily routine of sitter, work and kiddos pickup.
On Tuesdays my middle one has gymnastics so I squeeze in errands before her class starts. Today one of those errands was a return trip to the eye doctor. Drum roll. I know you all have been just dieing to know which glasses I chose. So wait no longer...Number #2 !
Okay not a great picture but an 8 year old took it and she is already upset since she did not pick those glasses!
After ordering my glasses, we grabbed a bite to eat (yes more fruits and veggies for me!) and then dropped off the middle one for class. A quick drive home and hand off of the littlest to my oldest for round 2 of my favorite loop 50:31/7:46 A little fast but I didn't have a lot of time. You know I think I could run a sub 3:30 marathon - easy - if I could run it in the moon light! I just LOVE to run at night. It is amazing! Tonight I didn't even need my headlamp at all. It was so amazing. Okay I already said that.
After all the running fun, I still had homework to enjoy with my middle one and baths and diaper rash (my littlest does not tolerate dairy and the sitter still gives him ice cream from time to time...grrrrr!). Whew! It's been a full and fulfilling day. If they all could be like this.
Lastly, 5 days to the Half Marathon. I am excited. I am hopeful for good weather. But mostly, I am getting more and more convinced that I will train to do the Tussey Mountain Back 50 mile Ultra http://www.tusseymountainback.com/ on October 16, 2010.