Daily Chatter

Saturday, December 31, 2011

How I spent my last day

I started the day with a celebratory 6.01 mile run to mark the day. 

The family and I went to Monticello to get our hands on some history.

It was a great tour with a guide who really helped historty come alive.

LBM had trouble staying awake

But he quickly got a second wind in the Discovery Area.

Then it was off the C-ville to take in all the activities on the mall.

We rocked out with a lazer light show

...and rang in 2012 a little bit early for pratice.

Crazy hugs and kisses and Happy New Year wishes!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

An unexpected ring

Yesterday was day # 599.
Since I am taking some time off from the Big Girl job the kids and I are in VA while the poor super secret spy has to work.  Well, he had to work today. 

I had big plans for the run today.  The plan was to run a long loop with LBM in the jogger to start pushing my upper body strength a bit.  Then follow that run with a round of Insanity while the kiddos all played and frequently checked on me to make sure I didn't pass out.
I still got out for a run. I still challenged myself during that run.  It just wasn't the "big deal" I had wanted it to be.  And forget doing anything after.  LBM was having no part of being away from me to play or nap. 

So we baked brownies side by side in the kitchen in my running clothes.  S'ghetti girl had a friend over and everyone loved the unexpected treat.  It got me thinking about how I had wanted to make a big deal out of the approaching Day #600 tomorrow.  Joining the Charlottesville Area Trail Runners for a long trail run or run a memorable number of miles or start a serious cross training program to mark the day.  I thought about all those things.  But I will probably be the only person who notes the day to mean anything to me and my running. 

After not clicking publish yesterday on the half written post above.  I stand corrected thanks to the unexpected ringing of my phone today.  I had just gotten back from a 8 and 1/2ish run which was much more challenging than I would have liked such a distance to be.  I was feeling a little defeated and little down about my running, my fitness about what I am trying to do with sharing my silly little running life until that phone call.

The unexpected sharing of a friend's acknowledgement of my day 600 and a reaffirming that I might actually be reaching someone, anyone who happens upon my blog was just the pat on the back I needed.  It never ceases to amaze me that my friend might have thought he was thanking me for helping him get back to running and start his own running streak but his unexpected kind words ended up helping me.   

Thanks to my friend and to everyone who supported and encouraged and followed me down this rabbit hole of running, streaking and ultra running.  No matter how far down you have gone with me, thanks for believing in me and more importantly believing in yourself that you can do these crazy things too!

Who's up for day #601 tomorrow?  I know I am!
How do you plan to use your LAST day of 2011?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ending the year on a high note

Last night I was figuring out my yearly mileage.  I keep my workouts recorded in several places. 

I am old school and still write it on a paper calendar.
I use an spreadsheet based program on my computer.
I also use DailyMile to record and network with other runners.

The numbers didn't add up.
I thought at first the error was due to DMs lovely rounded but I actually forgot to enter a run in June into my computer database.  That is usually where I get my totals.
So this morning I knew I only have to run 7.4 miles to hit 3000 for the year.

I did what any runner would do.  I ran 9.
While the number of miles really doesn't show anything about my running year it was a fun way to not slack as if the HBBC wasn't keeping me going enough!

Now the next milestone will be on the 30th when I hit 600 days on my running streak. 
Always something to look forward to, right?

What are you looking forward to as the year ends?
Or are you just glad to have 2011 over?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Our Holiday

Our holiday started off with a wonderful and all too infrequent night out with the super secret spy.  We celebrated another year of not killing each other wedded bliss.
A lingering meal at Jean Bonnet Tavern and several hours of adult conversation that was priceless.

Saturday morning we shared a big breakfast.  After breakfast the super secret spy took the little kids to see Arthur Christmas so I could finish wrapping presents.  I was bummed that I would miss seeing the movie since I am a big fan of animated kid movies but I'm sure I'll enjoy watching it on DVD while running on the mill in a few months. 

I finished just in time to go to my mom's for our Christmas Eve get together before heading out for evening church services.  Then back to mom's in our pjs for a gift exchange. 

The cousins exchanged names and gave out their gifts first so everyone shared in the excitement of the giving and receiving.

LBM loved his new remote control truck.

And S'ghetti girl was excited with all her goodies as was her little red-headed cousin, Z. 

Biking Sherpa got a gift that fits everyone...a shirt made out of money.
I know she won't return it.

Any guesses on who is who?

Our holiday slipper sock tradition got a bit updated with some really eye catching foot wear!
We had a great evening but it was far from over...

After the Christmas Eve festivities were over and my house was finally all asleep, Santa paid our house a visit.

It was a tiring day.  But I still enjoyed having those midnight hours alone in the house with the tree lit and the gift arranged just so.  It is a nice moment to really give thanks for the original Christmas gift.  
But in no time at all it was time for a frenzy of paper.

We tired to slow down the process...

But soon everyone was opening something.  I think it is kind of expected with younger kids that the morning end with mounds of paper.

Sprinkled amount those days have been my runs.  Which have been reather uneventful, I'm sad to say.  With the rest of the week free of my Big Girl job I am looking forward to running my usual 6.5 mile hilly route with the jogger and hopefully an agreeable LBM.   

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Time to ponder

Even though I was tired and the hour was very late I was still moved at the thought that I was falling short.  Everyone had certainly enjoy the family Christmas eve traditions.  The kids had more toys than they could possibly need.  I sat in the quiet house after Santa had visited and took in the glow of the lights on our tree, I wondered if my family would even take time to remember why the coming day was being celebrated.

Knowing that in hours and a blur the Christmas morning festivities would be over I gave thanks that I can have hope.  I glad thanks that I can know that something far better than any of the wrapped gifts waiting to be opened is in store for me and everyone.

Remembering the true reason for this season and holding in my heart every day, I wish you and your family a moment of calm gratitude for the first Christmas gift.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 23, 2011

Five 4 Friday

Being a numbers girl I was excited after my run last night when I realized that I had run 2936.1 miles in 2011.  That means that if I can average 7.1 miles a day for the rest of the year I could hit 3000.  That could be a lifetime record!  The stumbling block could be the holidays but at least it gives me one final goal to push for. 

Do you have a final year end goals?  Did you meet all your 2011 goals?  What was the one you are most proud of?

Well it seems as though my readers don't like the idea that the word failure can be a positive thing if the response to yesterday's post is any indication.  If you missed it click HERE 

What do you think being a "failure" means?

Today is my wedding anniversary.  I'm not a big romantic.  With kids under foot it is easy to slip into mom and dad roles and neglect the husband/wife roles a bit especially when the super secret spy and I are apart most weeks.  BUT tonight we will be spending an evening without children.  I know there will be eating and adult conversation.  I think there may be more but it's been a while since I was on a date so I might need to glance over the handbook to prepare myself. 

Do you and your sweetheart make time for just each other?  Even after years of marriage?

I think December forgot it was December because we have been enjoying so fantastic weather!  Look at the morning I enjoyed recently.  Getting to run without looking like the Michelin man this time of year is great but I am kinda wishing for a white Christmas.  Sorry I am a four seasons kind of person.

Do you wish for a white Christmas? 

Speaking of Christmas and the holidays no matter what you celebrate or if this time of year is simply the ending of one year and the beginning of the next, I wish you and yours a safe and happy season.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I credit myself a failure

When I was in grade school we did a play.  I think it was called I Want an Elephant for Christmas.  It was turned into a Peanuts play.  Think Charlie Brown.  I was Sally.  I thought it was fate that the teachers had cast Scotty Waugerman as Linus because I LOVED him.  Scotty, not Linus.

Well, my little grade school self thought I loved him. 

So I thought it was sweet that my own little girl recently confided in me that she has a crush on a little boy in her class.  It so happens that little boy was the main snowman in their recent Christmas play. 

Life can be sweet.  All tied up in a pretty little bow. 

As things would have it once in the middle school when boys finally discovered girls (at least in my era), Scotty Waugerman didn't like me like that.  He liked my older sister.  Isn't that always the way.  The bow comes untied.  Life doesn't work out the way we had planned. 

It seems at times I'm a little bit more like Charlie Brown than Sally.  There are more days when the ball gets yanked away.  That might get a person down if it were not for the days when you kick the ball.  Sometimes it's just a little contact with the ball and other days it's a winning field goal kind of connection. 

Maybe you have been having a string of down days.  Days when you are left feeling down and defeated.  Perhaps wondering why you even got up that morning.  Feeling like you are a failure.
You can only credit yourself with being a failure if you have tried!  To be a failure shows you saw the ball, took aim and charged!

There isn't anything beyond your ability.  There are only things you haven't successfully tried yet.  The important thing is to remember that being able to say you failed means at least you had the courage to try.
What will you do today to be able to credit yourself a potential failure? 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Runaway Snowman

Yesterday I took the day off of my Big Girl job to spend the day supporting S'ghetti Girl at the three performances of her 5th grade play, The Runaway Snowman.  It was a cute story about a snowman come to life who teaches the kids about friendship.
I hoped to finish up Christmas shopping, wrap everything and get a long run in before the evening show at 7 o'clock.

The show was wonderful.  I love that her school does these kind of things and it really allows the kids to experience a board array of activities.  S'ghetti girl felt like a Super Star!
Between the morning and the after noon show, I shopped and ran errands like a mad woman.  I didn't even take time to eat.  Opps.  I kinda forgot to do that most of the day.  Not great on pile o'miles weeks.
Between the afternoon and evening show I went home to run but was really pressed for time so I only squeezed in 7 miles thinking that I would finish after the kids were in bed with a drizzly run to see the Christmas lights.

I picked up the kids after a quick shower and let S'ghetti girl celebrate at her choice of dining establishments.
Yeah, she is high society at the Golden Arches.
BUT the kids both liked it.  So again I didn't eat. 
Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I did eat a few french fries.  Which were not hot enough to be good.
After the kids finished it was back to the school for the last showing.

I only took about 70 photos and a 45 minute video so count yourself lucky to only endure these few.  I was very proud of how S'ghetti did and I loved that she was enjoying herself so much!

We mingled with a few friends after the show but everyone was eager to get home.  Once home I of course had to deal with the 70+ photos and the 45 minute video.  That couldn't wait until later!  I wanted the super secret spy, who had been on the west coast and couldn't attend, to see them right away.  

All that lead to me feeling a little like this:
I didn't make it out the door before I feel asleep trying to get LBM to sleep.  I didn't get to run in the drizzle.  I didn't get to see the lights or finish my miles. 
It seemed like the only one how did much running yesterday was the Snowman.

Does your children's school have plays or drama clubs?

Did you ever perform in a play in school?

Do you "skip it" on days when kid activities are heavy?

Monday, December 19, 2011

No Secret

This past week was epic for miles.  Notice I didn't say for running because to be epic my running would have needed to be in the woods or under the stars.  This past week outside miles were few and far between.  I make no secret of the fact that many of my miles are now on the mind numbing treadmill.  The glamorous life of married single parenting with a strong willed mini-human to battle.  But it might be a secret to LBM that he will be back in the jogger snuggled under a heating pad before too long.  Now that will be a different kind of  will power training for me!

Do you see that little pink bar.  I left it there so you all can go over and congratulate Marlene
at Mission to a(nother) Marathon.  Do you see those running, swimming and biking miles.
That girl is hard core!!

Its been no secret that I am drooling over INKnBURN's designs and want to look killer for the 100 and a couple sweet training "races" leading up to it.  But I also know it's the season of giving so I'll share this link again.
It's the final day to enter the INKnBURN giveaway that Heather @ Run Faster Mommy is hosting.  I so want to win this!  Then I could host a giveaway for all your guys.  Because I just know that after my rave review (I of course already know I would love their stuff), they would be dying to give me more free stuff to giveaway to you!

LBM spilled all his secrets to Santa

Friday, December 16, 2011

Five 4 Friday

1.  I have a Christmas Tree up and decorated in my house
and it is only December 16th.
If you understand how BIG of a deal this is, then you really know me.

2. Another big deal is all the extra exercise S'ghetti girl have been enjoying at her basketball practices.

even LBM has gotten in on the fun! 

3.  Look what I got in the mail yesterday!  Thanks to my secret bloggy santa Caratunk Girl I will be toasty while I get my running exercise outside and rewarded after my runs with a little yummy chocolate.  She even sent treats for my dogs!  Thanks for the great surprise!
Another thanks goes out to Jill at Run with Jill for the great blogger secret santa again this year.

4.  Speaking of surprises, Look who is YMX by Yellowman's Fan Of the Day.
although they probably picked me because that cute Biking Sherpa and S'ghetti were in the photo, too.
Now they just need to send me a boat load of amazing gear so I can be stylin' for that 100!

5.  Since I brought up that 100
prepare yourself because the next 5 months will be nauseatingly fill with talk of that 100
I only have 25 peeps ahead of me on the wait list.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dreams of Burning Ink

Women’s Pink Run or Die 2010 Tech Shirt Front
I must have some InknBurn!

I think I need to already start planning my 100 miler outfit because I KNOW that I am going to Massanutten in May.

I love this shirt to many reasons.

Single track mind.  Okay they might mean one thing but I like to think it means single track trails!

Run or Die.  That pretty much sums up my daily life.  I run every day because I don't feel alive if I don't.  And on that fabulous day in May I may feel like it's a Run or Die situation high up on that rocky mountain trail.

The color!  If I fall over from exhaustion, someone is sure to notice me.  Right?!

If you want to help me pick the bottom half of my race day outfit hope over to Ink n Burn and take a look around.  Plus Heather at Run Faster Mommy is hosting a giveaway so you might be able to rock so Ink n Burn! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Let's Talk Lottery

I had the weekend to get over the fact that thanks to the stupid DOW being down on the 8th I did not get into the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100.  This weekend also provided me time and opportunity to lower the boom on the super secret spy and get his approval for my insanity, relief that his doesn't need to get me a Mother's day gift from the kids, support for crewing for potentially 36 hours of running fun!

So let's talk about the lottery system that Virginia Happy Trails Running Club uses to pick those lucky runner who get to know that they are IN for events.

VHTRC is one of two running clubs I belong to.  The other is the MCRRC. 
One day I will actually get to participate in more of the events and work days that these two great clubs put on.

This year all you needed to do to register successful for the MMT 100 was:

Qualifications for Entry: Entrants must be at least 18 years old at the time they apply for entry and have completed, within the official time limit for that event, either:

A 100 mile run at anytime before December 1, 2011
A 50 mile run after January 1, 2010 and before December 1, 2011

That would be an official race not a fat ass event and not an event that you "dropped" down in distance during the event. 
Next year it gets a little harder. 

Qualification Change for 2013 Event: Starting with the 2013 MMT, a qualifying 100 mile run must have been completed within the 36 month period before entry opens. If an applicant does not have a qualifying 100 mile finish, he or she must have two ultra distance event finishes, at least one of which is 50 miles or longer, completed in the 24 months before entry opens. Runners with five or more prior MMT finishes need not have a qualifier. (This paragraph added November 2011)

You will need TWO ultra length events within the prior 36 month period.  Not that this new qualification would have been so hard given my current racing schedule BUT things change and if I waited until 2013 or after to attempt MMT 100, I might not have those 2 events completed. 
So 2012 is going to be the year.

Once you've registered by simply meeting those qualifications they check your race history and filling out their online form, you are given a random number.  Then you simply wait for the closing bell the day after the final day to register.  This year that date was December 8th.  They use the last three digits of the DOW at close to pick the "start" number for entries.  If the DOW was up for the day the number that got "in" go up.  If the DOW was down the numbers go down.  If only it had been up!

Lottery Results: On December 8, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down at 11,997.70. (We confirmed that with the DOW official site.) That makes 770 the beginning number. Lottery numbers 766 down through 269 are eligible to enter. (There is no one on 770.)  At registration I was #194

As you can see in the photo above my worst case scenario wait list ranking is 158.  I don't have seniority by having run this event before.  That would suck.  And would probably mean I would not get in on race day with a field of 205 runners.  However, as January 4th draws near the final day to pay if you got "in" or join the wait list runners will question their once strong bravado and not pay the registration fee and not join the wait list. 
This will move me quickly up the list. 

I am hopeful that I get in and get in early so I know that I need to get serious about my fitness and running.  Get serious and smart.  By smart, I mean the dreaded rest days.  Okay, minimum mile days and cross train days is more honest and accurate.  Because if I were to label myself which I don't I would most accurately be called an ultra running streak runner because running every day is important to me.  But that is another post entirely.

Given the 2013 requirement changes and the race date of May 12 - 13, I feel like THIS is the year to go for 100.  If you are new around here, May 12 - 13 would be Mother's Day weekend.  That will be my second Streak-iversary.  And while I don't love the results of the lottery for this race, I do think it is a great way to even the odds for applicants to get to participate in sought after events.

What do you think?

Have you every participated in an event that used a lottery system?
Did you think it offered a "fair" way to choose participants?
What do you think of lottery systems?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Life is Good

Life is Good.

I'm a celebrity.  I'll be signing autographs and working on my autobiography.

I got this in the mail. 

Yeah, I'm a member of USRSA.
It helps to know that I am not the only one who does this slightly insane amazing thing every single day.
Although currently there a quite a few others who are joining me via Tall Mom through the month of December for a 30 day challenge.
Did you join the challenge?  How are you making that daily run fit in?

My husband did not freak out when I told him about Massanutten Mountain Trails 100.  It may have helped that he had just gotten back from trading in his ATV for a upgraded model unexpectedly AND is taking a trip to the west coast without me to hang with his friends.
Timing IS everything.

Friday, December 9, 2011

E.P.T Moment

Maybe you have experienced the feeling.
You are late.
Not late for a meeting or to get the kids from school but late.

You pray.  You bargain.  You beg.
You promise God everything anything just to let that little stick you are about to pee on to not turn blue.
And then
when it doesn't
you are sad.
Tears running down your face for something you didn't even think you really wanted.

That's how I feel today.
I did not get in to the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100

Yes I registered.
Yes I was ready to pony up the dough.
But I wasn't completely sure I wanted to go through with it.
Until my number wasn't picked.

Now I can't believe I didn't get in.
Now I'm so sad that fate grant me entry.
At least now I know that I really want to do this.
which makes the next step worse.

The Wait List

I won't have priority (previous finishes) to get in
but last year no one was left on the list.

that means I still could make it
and I still should probably tell my husband.

I'm not giving up yet!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Three Things Thursday - Initials Edition




I registered!!!!

Come back tomorrow to see is I got in!
In the meantime, could you start praying?...
oh, not that I make it in but that if I do my husband doesn't kill me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

If you don't laugh...

Today has been a challenge that actually started last night.
My hubbs who lives and works away through the week gave me the clear indication that he wanted me to get the Christmas tree up due to the grumblings of our daughter. 

Thanks daughter for throwing me under the bus with daddy!

After a hectic early morning of cooking, getting kids ready, Sunday School, church, a Christmas party and headband making, I found myself just getting on the treadmill at 6 p.m.  I was running merrily along when I jumped on the side rails crushed by the sudden realization that it was SUNDAY NIGHT!  We had work and school to prepare for.  Where had Saturday gone?

I finished my 10 miles, dealt with the usual road blocks in getting the kids ready for bed all while feeling like I had lost a day's time in which to do it all.  Once we had the next day's preparation done and were in our jammies, we put up the tree.  An ancient artificial tree up and fluffed to be decorated Monday night. 

We was feeling a bit impressed with myself as I tried to get LBM to go to sleep.  He is still sleeping in my bed.  Get off my back about it.  I'm too old to argue with a stubborn 3 year old. After 30 minutes of cuteness, i.e., "mom let me tell you a secret....", "mom I'm going to dream about....", "mom I have to....pee again....get another drink...." and my personal favorite as the hour nears midnight, "mom, sleeping is bbbbooooorrrrrrrrriiiiiinnnnnnggggg!"  I had had it!  I grabbed that little ball of cuteness and tossed him in his room.  Tossed is figurative not literal. Duh!   Of course that didn't work because 1) my PA house is small.  2) sounds carries.  3) I have ears and 4 ) so does my daughter. 

I went back and got him feeling like a meany.  LBM promptly spits up.  Yeah.  He can do it on demand.  Just enough to make a mess and require attention.  Goal accomplished.  After apologizes me to him and a quick bath.  LBM returns to bed with me.  We again say prayers.  We snuggle to sleep.   why couldn't he have done that 2 hours ago.

This morning I just know things will be more smooth.  S'ghetti girl does not recall any of the noise from the night and although she is not excited to have to get up for school, she does so without major problems.  My morning routine goes well, except for a lack of a wake up run and LBM cooperates mostly.

We pull out of the drive way within minutes of our need to time.  That's when I started to seriously wonder about my sanity.

Recall that little light that I saw on Friday.  The one that got cleared thanks to my hubbs.  BUT not because he and my FIL fixed anything.  They simply cleared the code.  The car worked all weekend and I simply was none the wiser.  Until I was about a mile from my house and 10 miles from the sitter and 20 miles from work.

At times I think that all the running and training gets me through the ultras that I do.  But it's days like this one that make me wonder if it's not the ultras that prepare me to get through the days like this one.

I couldn't cry with LBM in the car, so I just had to laugh.