Daily Chatter

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Giveaway, Giveaway Giveaway...And Happy New Year

Don't forget to check out my post entitled You Might Remember
to enter a great giveaway for new running gear from One More Mile. 

Start your New Year with new gear!!

Free Stuff, Squeaks and Race Swag

Free Stuff.  aka A Giveaway!

Did that not catch your attention?  For just a few brief moments of your time you could be entered to win some great things from One More Mile.  Just click over to You Might Remember to get the details and grab your chance at some great merchandise.  What might you win?  You can win your choice of something like this...

or this....

or this...

The best part...the winner will get to choose one great item from One More Mile's website!
So click over my post entitled You Might Remember to get your entry in by January 6th, 2010!!


So I was running on my treadmill tonight squeezing in 12 miles.  You know treadmill, I've mentioned him before.  No, he does not have a name.  Well, if he does I never caught it.  Because our relationship is not a cordial one.  We are not friends.  It is somewhat of a working relationship.  I don't really spend time with him outside of my work(outs).  I mean it's not like we hangout together.  And since he does not read my blog, it's not like I really like him all that much.
Don't get me wrong I do know I know am lucky to have him here, in the house, for me to jump on and run when the weather is bad or the kiddos don't want Mommy to go joggy again BUT (you knew it was coming, didn't you?).  BUT.  Treadmill is either tired of us not talking and is attempting communication or he has got a serious problem.  Because he squeaks.  Now Hubbs had tried lubricating whatever little bits are to be lubricated and he has purchased me a new belt (which is still not on yet) but for now treadmill squeaks.  I have been attempting to decipher his language on the odd chance that it is an attempt at real communication.  (My luck, he is probably just yelling at me to get my big butt off of him!)  But I have had little success.  So for now I on treadmill with headphone because I am watching movies to help the distance pass.
Tonight I watched Valkyrie.  There will be more on that later.

Race Swag.

Don't be jealous of my Winter Misery One Miler Swag. 

Thanks to RunningLaur for hosting a great virtual race!

Now remember to click over to my post entitled You Might Remember
Don't miss out on your chance at some FREE sweet running gear!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You Might Remember...

a rather lengthy blog that recapped the highlights of my
Christmas Holiday.
Hidden within that blog - for those brave enough to read it all - was a little hidden give away!

My introduction to a couple of months of aMaZiNg GiVeAwAyS!

Not everyone remembered to wear cool slipper socks!

Can you guess which ones are mine??

Be a follower who is first to e-mail me with the correct answer and you could win a price.

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

You might recall the awesome shirt my oldest got for me this Christmas!

(Yes that is littlest trying to grab my new shirt!)

And my awesome magnet!

Those are just a sample of some of the great things you will find at One More Mile.

Now for the rules.  To enter please complete the following:

1.  Be or become a follower of this blog.  Leave me a comment.

2.  Be or become a fan of One More Mile on Face Book.  Leave me a comment.

3.  Go to One More Mile's Website and let me know what one item you
would want to win.  Leave me a comment.

4.  Give this blog a link on your next blog.  Leave me a comment.

4.  Tell me the best, worst, most creative or most embarrassing running outfit
you have ever seen during one of your races or one you have worn yourself.  Leave me a comment.

That's it and you could win some awesome merchandise from
One More Mile!
Winner will be selected are random.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Totally Terrific Tuesday

My littlest decided that he loved his bath so much he wanted bath # Two...with his clothes on and sister in the tub! 
It's days like this that make running seem so necessary! 
Here's hoping I get my miles in tonight to keep my sanity...but those eyes sure do help a lot too!

Have a Happy Day!

Check out the Great giveaway...$100 gift card at CSN stores!  Sweet!
Just click over to Running Just as Fast as I can!

As we get closer to Valentine's Day Look forward to a great suprise that will Lift Your Sole!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What I Did on my Christmas Vacation

My holiday really began with a great dinner at a local restaurant, The Jean Bonnet Tavern to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  No photos, sorry.  I wish I had taken some.  The food was beautiful and pentiful.  In fact, hubbs and I did a little shopping after our meal to "walk off" some of our over eating!  Since I had to work until 5:00 that day we didn't get much else done after our dinner.  That was December 23rd.

Can you believe it?  I had to work a half day on Christmas Eve!  The kiddos went with their Auntie for the annual Christmas Eve Big Breakfast.  Which I missed out on a kiddo free house because I was at work.  Although, I did get quite a bit of work done however, the phone did not ring and I did not have a single customer walk through the door.  I could have worked from home!  Grrrrr.  On the upside, I did get out with my running sherpa for an awesome 9.5 miles.  It was so great to be outside. 

We had two biking running sherpas with my oldest and I.  My oldest is still preparing for his January joining the Army plan for life.  He is excited for everything except the running.  He...oh my, how can I break this to you all?  It is almost painful to type.  I know you won't understand but we have to be kind to those you just don't get it when it comes to running...and running a lot!  He, he...he hAtEs running!  There.  There I said it.  What is wrong with him? 
(full disclosure:  we don't say that word.  The 'h' one.  Yeah, I know I'm strict.  But I don't believe anyone really every "h"s anyone so I refuse to let my kids use that word towards anything....you see how well they listen to me, don't you?!?!?)

Love the running/biking or not a good time was has by all except for my little sherpa needed a seat adjustment that she waited waaaay too long to have me do.   That resulted in her getting very sore quads!  Sorry, sherpa!
After an awesome run, we all clean up and went to my mother's for dinner before candle light service at our church.  (no pictures)  After service we all head back to mommy's, put on our pjs and exchange gifts!

Not everyone remember to wear cool slipper socks!
Can you guess which ones are mine?? 
Be a follower who is first to e-mail me with the correct answer and you could win a price.

My oldest sis had ME this year and got my this!
It is from Lift Your SoleIt could be my favorite Christmas present.  She works at a store Elaines Wearable Art.  She got me a great chain and two sparkly spacers to spice up my glimmering proclamation of love for running.
Thanks sis!
We got home a bit late and I had mountains of wrapping to get done.  The guys went downstairs and play video games while I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped.  That was Christmas Eve.

Until 3 a.m.  Then my littlest was up and down and up and down again.  Oh by then, the middle one was awake and ready to rip open presents!  So we opened and opened and videoed and took pictures and opened and drank coffee and had a great time. 

Santa was VeRy nICe to me!  I got loads of new running outfits.  Maybe my hubbs was trying to tell me that I have stinky running gear?!?!  Naaaah.  That can't be it.  Can you believe all that stuff?!?
My oldest got me this sweet tee from One More Mile

Hubbs got me some Steeler gear.  Live in PA.  You are required to love the Steelers.  It's in the contract.  The shorts however are soo short I doubt I will ever be allowed to wear them outside of the house.

This came with my great necklace!

This was with mycool  Kick Assphalt running shirt!

And that is not the half of my loot!  I must have been very very good.  Or else, someone wants something from me?  Hummmm.  Our littlest slept in and got to enjoy opening his gifts with everyone's attention.  At 16 months, he loved the "all eyes on me".  After all the gifts, we enjoy breakfast together.
That afternoon we indulged in another big meal.  Yummy!  We played two new games, "Whoonu" and "The Game of Things" and one we often play at get togethers, "Blokus".  We had a great evening.  That was Christmas Day.

We went to the in-laws the next day after a great long run of 10 miles!  Yeah!  I wanted it to be longer but was getting angry eyes from the hubbs who wanted to leave earlier...but no one woke up very early after so little sleep the night before.  Sorry, hubbs but I love my run. 
We had a nice visit (no pictures.  Actually, I took them but don't have the ok to post them).  We did not get home until late (again!  I am getting tired and I need a double run day sooooon!)  That was December 26th.

Today.  If there is actually anyone still reading this terribly long post.  Thank you.  I am grateful for all those you read and share their comments.  With this post you deserve a little extra gratitude, you've come a long way to get way down here.  Thanks!
Back to today, I got outside this morning for my favorite 6.5 loop.  My oldest went along for the first mile.  He was so happy to be doing it, too.  (read: yeah, right!)  I needed some more miles so I hit the treadmill later for 10 more while hubbs (watching the Steeler game) and the oldest (at his friend only going away party) were out of the house.  I joined the game watching for the last quarter...just in time to see them win! and wear my new jersey!   

That's what I did on my Christmas Vacation.   What did you do?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I just HAD to share this...

I have to admit that the following greeting is not from my mind but from the often funny frequently odd mind of a friend of my hubbs.  His name is Allen and this is how he wished us a "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."  prepare to laugh

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.)


Be Happy!

Remain Thoughtful, Vigilant, and True!

Winter Misery One Miler Report

Monday morning I was up early.  I could tell that it wasn't just any day.  No.  It was race day!  I knew the competition would be tough so I would need to bring my A game.  Outside the temperatures were in the 20s  no one was happy about that. 
After properly layering, I headed to the start line (read mailbox at the end of my driveway) and went toe-to-toe with some of the best in the sport of running (okay, they were totaly there in my mind!).  The gun went off (I started my watch) and flew down the course leaving everyone else in my dust (er, slush).
The course was 3.5 miles, I only needed one great mile.
As I easily ran away with the victory (because no one else was there) I was happy with my fastest at 7:19. 
Please, please.  Hold your applause.
I am just happy I got to participate in this wonderful event.

Remember to go to Katie's Christmas Giveaway!! and check it out!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

So we got a little snow

So you might have heard.  We got a lot of snow.  It...is..AWESOME!!  It is like Christmas when I was a kid.  We got between a 18 and 22" depending where we measured.  The kids were out sledding and tubing nearly the whole day yesterday.  We are to get another storm on Christmas Eve.  I hope we do!

This is what we do it the boonies for transporation when it snows...a lot!

On the running front I didn't get any running in yesterday.  Too much playing going on for any silly running.  Seriously, I had planned to get on the treadmill but there was a major sugar cookie emergency and I felt I had to respond.  Oh the sacrifices we have to make for others. 
I did get out today after church however I was on the treadmill since our roads are still ice and snow covered (and my family thinks I will break my leg running outside).  I did 10 miles (1:12:31 /7:15).  I felt much better about my form today.  I am taking some advise from Katie and attempting to watch my form.  Hopefully, with time I will be able to make some strides in being able to properly maintain a faster pace.

I hope everyone enjoyed their wonderful weekend and made the most of the last weekend before Christmas.  Are you ready?  This week will be filled with many traditions, the Christmas Eve breakfast for the little cousins with my youngest sister, my hubbs and I celebrate our anniversary kiddo free for a morning, candle light service at church, opening presents at my mom's late into the night on Christmas Eve, gathering at my older sister's for an amazing meal.  Does your family any traditions?  Or are you a new family starting your own tradtions?  What great things do you do to bring your family together.

We play in the snow.  Nothing like getting frozen to bring a family closer!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Find a Pace Already

I have been running up a storm this week. 61 miles and there is still Saturday. I just wish more of those miles had been outside. I am still failing at slowing down and watching my form on that treadmill. Thurdsday evening I ran 8.5 58:24/6:52.
This morning I got outside for a great run. Not as cold as yesterday morning. I enjoyed breathing some fresh air! 3.5 miles 28:31/8:09 I felt relaxed and aware of my pasture. My foot didn't hurt. My breathing was controlled. I'd like to get my treadmill pace to stick around 7:30-7:45 since a 8 minute mile is a comfortable pace and I'd like to push myself on the treadmill while still using proper form. After all these years of running, I really don't understand why this is such a challenge for me. Some times I do worry far more about simply getting to run vs. caring if I am doing it correctly (read safely). As I get older I need to remind myself that I have to worry about being able to do this thing I love for years to come! So I'd better make sure I am doing it correctly. (Come on Shelly, get it together!)
Looking forward we are in store for was interesting weather over the weekend. I might just get a nice snowy run tomorrow morning. I am excited about that. The kiddos are hoping for some sled riding opportunities. Which would be great! Since we may be stuck in the house I will be trying to secretly get some wrapping done so I can see what I actually have for the kiddos and what I still need to get.
My middle one likes that she has graced the last few blogs via photograph. (She thinks it should become a tradition. Can we say, attention wanting drama queen?) To that end, I will leave you with an interesting photo of my middle one and some interesting things I see everyday on my way to the office.
There is beauty everywhere in everything if only we will take the time to see it.

To all those lucky enough to be racing this weekend, Run Strong!
Only 6 more day to Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Brown Paper Bag

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.

A quick shower and then nursing the littlest before we were off to work. Another wonderfully busy day at work. I love how the time flies when I am that busy! Then it was off to pick up the kiddos and head home.

Round #2 of running was (agggh) on the treadmill. However, I was watching a movie that had my attention so the time flew by. 10 miles 1:13:33 (7:21). I know, I should check my pace more...and stop increasing it because too many miles like that are going to injury me! I know that my form suffers when I run that fast. Honestly, I know I can not run the pace correctly so I don't run that pace when I am racing. Well, in marathons I often do what I know is potential wrong because I put in 6 to 7 miles at a 7ish minute mile pace to bank time but that is only when I have trained to run the race that way. Do you do that? Run races with different plans depending on your training or the distance or the course?

December 15th - Tuesday

Tuesday are often my offish day of the week during the winter since my daughter has gymnastics and I do not belong to the gym where is takes her lessons. Due to the lack of time I would have I knew in the morning I had to get out for a run. When littlest woke up a 6 for the school bus routine along with my middle one I decided WE were going to go for a run after the bus. It was fairly mild so I bundled littlest up snugly and out we went for the out and back of 3.5 miles. 30:32 (8:43) What a difference a baby and a jogging stroller can make on your pace and effort!

I did notice something during this run. I hesitate to mention it because I know it is nothing! AND I know that it is because I am running too fast on that wonderful (read boring) treadmill. I noticed the bottom of my foot. Now I have never been injured in all the years I have been running so I think thus far I have been really good at listening to my body and I believe that I will continue to do listen well. This noticing. This irritation is just that. An irritation from the improper foot strike on the treadmill due to the ridiculous pace I keep setting. I know that it is my fault and I am really trying to slow it down. Really.

Back to that little run. It was great to be out with littlest who LOVES being outside regardless of the weather. He had a smile plastered on his little face the entire time....and a tv remote clutched in his hands. (He has lo-jack on all cell phones, unattended computers and carelessly laid remote controls within out home or car. Seriously! He can go into a dark room and come out with anything with buttons and lights that he should not have!)

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.

This is ornaments that my middle made

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

The Rest of My Week

December 11th -Friday

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

Catch up and Bullet Holes

It has been a super hectic week between work, school activities, hubbs getting home mid-week for hunting and dealing with the ugh weather; I have had little time for keeping bloggy world updated on my highly exciting life. I know you are all on pins and needles to see what I have been doing. So here is a little recap until I can carve out some bigger time.

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.
No. Wrong.
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

NIttany Valley Half Marthon Race Report and the Lessons I've Learned

My day started last night when I got up the first time at 12:30 with littlest and then at 2:34 and then at 4:26 and then at 6:31 hubbs got up with him. I do not know why he decided to pretend to not understand the concept of sleep on a night before a race but honestly I don't think it matter very much.

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

The weather I'll be running in...

...and the reason I won't care.

Have a speedy weekend everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2009

One More Run...

....and then what will I do?

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

I won!


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

November 30th - Monday

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.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 27th - Friday

After my long run Thursday I took Friday off and got some things done around the house. Finally. We have a pellet stove so hubbs and my brother-in-law picked up 2 ton of pellets for over this winter which I know will eventually arrive. Hubbs had to head back to work in the afternoon. He wasn't home nearly long enough!

After hubbs left I realized that our cat, Perc hadn't come to eat that evening. Our cat never leaves the house. She is naive to the wild outside world. She sits and terrorizes the birds outside our windows knowing that she is really a terrifying predator, if only she could get out. I search the house. No kitty. I search outside. No kitty. I panic. The weather is to really get cold over night. I send out an email and post on Facebook. I call my neighbors to be on the look out. I sit out her food to try and tempt her. No sign of her all night.

November 28th - Saturday

We planned to go see a movie in the afternoon so I go out for my favorite run early in the day. 6.5 miles 52:11/8:02 It was not an enjoyable run. It was cold and windy. Have I ever mentioned. I.do.not.like.wind.

Middle daughter, littlest and I go see A Christmas Carol. I will clarify. My middle one saw the movie. Littlest and I saw the previews, the hall way, the bathrooms, the vending machines, the movie, the hallway, the other movie theaters, the hallway, the movie, the vending machines...you get the idea. It was still an enjoyable evening.

November 29th - Sunday

Today I was eager to enjoy what turned out to be an amazing weather day. 60 degrees!! Okay there was w.i.n.d. but not as strong as on Saturday. So I ran 13 miles. 1:40:41/7:45 I so wish I could run the race (Nittany Valley Half Marathon) this coming weekend at the pace. I hold no delusions regarding the difficulty of the course so I will temper my goals based in reality. 1:40 would be great but won't be my first tier goal.

I got a package in the mail. After I open the lovely plastic wrapper I found this nicely tied package inside.

I ordered from a website, www.onemoremile.net I ordered2 tees and a visor (no photo of my visor, sorry - it's white and reads 'Running is cheaper than therapy') The shirts are super comfy. This time of year I am usually running with an Under Armor base layer and a shirt over so these will be great. I like making a statement with my shirts. In a race it's usually good for an extra photo or two.

What a great long weekend. Ugh! I have to go to work tomorrow a.m. Glad to have a job but it's hard to go back after the long weekend. Tomorrow morning is the first day of deer season so I may not be able to go for a run safely. I will have to wait and see what the morning holds. Maybe the treadmill. Hopefully a short extra early run.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday - November 25th

With no school this morning I thought I would get out early for my run and start my day off on a high note - FAIL. I will blame that one on all the extra activities yesterday. I did however keep the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge in mind and got in my 7 servings of fruits and veggies (easy for me I can live on veggies and fruit!!). After picking the kiddos up I got out for my run, in the darkish.

I was super great. Slightly moonlit and I LOVE that! I did my favorite 6.5 loop and could have done it twice if I would have had the time. 49:38/7:38

Thursday - November 26th Thanksgiving Day

Hubbs got home for the holiday. It is our first Thanksgiving together in 3 years. So I lingered in bed instead of hitting the road early. After a formal breakfast for the family, I got out for my long run to prepare for the Nittany Valley Half Marathon next Sunday. I had my nephew riding his bike with me so the mile passed rather quickly. 13miles 1:38:/7:34 I am happy with my pace but I realize that my route is not as challenging as the Nittany Half will be. I am still hopeful for one more long run on my trail half that does have similar grades as the race course will have. Either way, I know that I will finish the half and that is what I am looking for in this race. First time on the course I'll set realistic goals.

After the run, I did some cooking for our evening Thanksgiving meal at my sister's home. We were joined with about 25 extended family members. After an extra filling meal and, of course multiple desserts we played some board games, Clue and Blokus. So fun! We all get a bit competitive.

It was a wonderful day. I hope everyone was enjoying their Thanksgiving with friends and family close.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Great day, new glasses, naturalist running and shoes to fill

Today was just a great day! So I am grateful for today. I am not sure what made it so wonderful, maybe just getting through it all was great.

After the early a.m. bus routine with my middle one, I quickly got out the door for my morning run of 6.5 (50:31/7:46) which always starts my day out great. It was a nice run too. Cool and foggy. I love to run in the fog. It's just so peaceful.

Following the run, I was able to get cleaned up, tend to the littlest and get us both where we needed to be for the day relatively on time. Which was a good thing considering I would be leaving work early for dentist appointments for the middle one and myself.

Another great thing for the day was the great checkups at the dentist! No cavities! Yipee! We were both in and out in less than an hour. That even included chatting with my little sister who works at the dentist office. AND chatting with a friend who also loves running, Lisa. She was bringing her daughter to a dentist appointment. It was fate. I had wanted to find someone to run the Nittany Valley Half Marathon with me since I am some what intimadated by the grades in the race and would love not allowing myself to get caught up in the pace/speed issues that I struggle with focusing on during races. So I ask her is she'd consider it. Yes! She has to double check with her hubbs but she is pretty sure she a Go for the half! Yipee. It's a great day. THEN I just blurt out that I was thinking this fall I would like to attempt the Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50 mile Ultra, would she be interested in doing it with me? (She runs Ultras - she's done a 100miler twice) She is smiling as she says she thinks she might be interested in that too! Score! Could my day get any better. I think NOT!! I am on cloud 9..no cloud 10!

Middle one and I go pick up the littlest and grab a bite to eat since the next appointment isn't for a hour. It was nice to not have to rush (very much). After eating (including another serving of fruit and a vegetable for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge! Thanks to Amanda at http://runtothefinish.blogspot.com/2009/11/kc-vegas-miami.html ) I took middle one to her gymnastics class while littlest and I went to my eye doctor appointment. It's been 7 years since I had contacts and if you've been following for very long you might remember the "getting lost during the 5k because I had given someone my glasses and couldn't see" incident. I also have three sets of frames that I'd just love your opinions on. My middle one took the pictures so they are not the greatest.

# 1 the hardly see #2 the sorta notice
them glasses them glasses

#3 only notice
them glasses

I am notoriously bad a picking glasses (odd because I have wore them for the majority of my life!!) So chime in with your vote!!

After the eye appointment littlest and I go the gym to get the middle one. We run a quick errand, chat with hubbs on the phone (yeah, I know I shouldn't talk on the phone while driving but it was hands-free) and finally arrive back at home!

As I said earlier, could my day get any better? Yes. I checked my e-mail and our own wonderful bloggie friend Mel http://tallmomontherun.blogspot.com/ has sent me a link to another site that has the hand-held she reviewed that was sold out and I wanted to try to the half!!! SCORE!!! Thanks Mel! Soon I will join the ranks of runners with STUFF. Formerly I was just running around naked. I mean fuel belt, no. Gu, no. Water bottle, no. Body glide, no. Garmin,no...okay I had one briefly but it was too much bother. I have been missing out on all this good stuff. No more my friends. I am going to try it all. Well, I still think I will end up being a bit of the naturalist and will like keeping my running as simple as possible but anything that will make it possible to run farther and stronger is worth a try, right?

And as if that were not enough. I had a pile of mail on the kitchen table (courtesy of the oldest son). There was a package from Kelly. http://www.runfastmommy.com/ It was the awesome t-shirt she sent me to wear when I ran for her sister Cathy. Check it out. Sweet! I will have to wear it in another race since I couldn't get it in time for my last 5k. Thanks Kelly!!

So you can see I had just the greatest day! Tomorrow has some really big shoes to fill that's all I've got to say. But I think the tomorrow is up for the challenge and Thanksgiving is looking amazing if this keeps up!

I am grateful for days like this one.
I am grateful for new glasses.
I am grateful for foggy mornings.
I am grateful for packages in the mail.
I am grateful for new things to try.