Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Half-Marathon #1 ... in the books!

I did it! I didn't know if I could or how I would do or what ... but I did it!

Training recap - basically next to nothing. I mean, we ran (Matt and I) and we tried to get out 3-4 times a week but we only did 3 miles each time during the week and would try to do 4 or 5 (one time, 6!) miles on the weekend. Long runs though? No, didn't happen. I tried to use the training schedule set up for the Kentucky Derby Festival Half-Marathon and let's just say that I was a little more motivated than Matt was to get out there and get those miles in. He's a good guy though - he humored me most days. It helped that I ran a 10k up in Indianapolis about a month before and even though I walked more than I had planned, I PR'd by about 2 minutes (from the Rodes City Run in March).

Race recap - rocked it! And I don't think I could have done it without Johanna - a friend from high school who was one of three who helped me become interested in running in the first place. That day was cold. It was windy. It was windy cold. And of course, we didn't know what we needed to wear to stay warm while running. I wore running leggings, a long sleeve tech shirt, a running jacket, ear warmers/headband and cheap-o gloves that didn't match. I figured what I couldn't wear any longer would just get thrown to the side and then picked up after the race for the homeless community. I kept my hood up for the first half too. It really wasn't that bad and once we started moving, the adrenaline kicked in and I was enjoying myself too much to be cold. Right before the race started (we were pretty far back since we weren't racing to place, just trying to finish), Matt had to stop by the porta-potties again but I knew he'd pass us by later on.

The race atmosphere was just awesome - I love my hometown of Indianapolis! Running through the streets and seeing the architecture again -- amazing! I'm glad we started back where we did because it didn't seem like we had to dodge many walkers. The past two years Matt and I ran the 5k and it seemed like it's pretty much 75% walkers or schoolkids who are running on their school teams and all over the roads. I don't remember seeing any younger than teenage kids running the half ... but then again, they were probably all in front of me. :)

When they say it's a flat course, they aren't joking. I loved it because I was able to keep going and only walk the water stops for the first 5 miles. We stopped at the 5-mile marker to use the portable facilities ... and ended up standing in line for about 3 minutes. I paused my RunKeeper at that time, thank goodness! Matt also passed us at this point and he looked like he was having fun! We continued on but I knew I would need to be on the lookout for Gatorade stops instead of water -- I found out my fingers/hands swell when running for longer than 5 miles so I made a point to shake them out periodically.

Johanna was the perfect person to run with me -- she could run a half without stopping but she said she just wanted to cross the finish line and so would walk with me whenever I needed to. That, of course, made me not want to walk as much I normally would have. Besides the water stops, I don't think I stopped to walk until around mile 8! Unreal!! But I was truly feeling pretty good. We ran when we could and walked only periodically. I think we caught up with Matt at around mile 8 or 9 and kept going when he had to walk a little. He still looked pretty good but was getting tired.

At around mile 10, the marathon route merged back with the half-marathon route and wouldn't you know there were guys from the marathon sprinting past us? Also at this point, there was a snack stop and someone was standing there with a huge box of glazed donuts. I didn't even try it as I'm sure my stomach would have rebelled. Fun tidbit - I happened to look up and see the 24 mile marker and thought to myself (and said out loud) "Crap - it's been 24 miles??" Then a moment of realizing that it was for the marathon runners and our 11 mile marker was a little up the road from that. But it was also a small motivator -- I feel this good after running 24 miles? I'm sure I can finish this then! :) Johanna thought I was crazy, I'm sure.

It was so cool to see Monument Circle coming up, even though we weren't going to run on it at this point (that was earlier in the race). I wanted to run but didn't want to get tired out before getting to the finish line. It didn't help that I couldn't picture in my head what the remaining route looked like so we walked a bit more than I needed. When we finally got to the last 1/2 mile (I think), I couldn't believe I was actually going to finish. I hadn't checked my pace or my time on RunKeeper so I didn't know how I was doing -- only that we crossed the start line at around 7:30 after the race started.

My original goal when we signed up was to finish within 3 hours. Then later I bumped it to 2:45. Then I was thinking 2:45 for the goal but if I finish in 2:30, I'd sign up for a marathon next. As we got closer to race day though, I did not feel prepared enough and changed it again to just 2:45 for the goal but I'd like to finish before the female winner of the full marathon (2013's record was 2:39). My official finish time? 2:36:34!! My RunKeeper time (which excludes the time spent waiting on the porta-potties at mile 5) - 2:32!! Like I said, rocked it! :)

Matt and I signed up for runner tracking so we were to each get a text when the other one crossed the finish line, as well as get a text when they crossed the 10k mark with an estimated finish time. I got the 10k text for him but hadn't gotten the finish text so we were looking for him. And looking for him. And waiting and looking and worrying. I finally got the text and looked up and could tell he was hurting -- his calves were cramping up the last 2 miles so he had to walk most of that time. I think he enjoyed himself overall though and hope he'll keep running with me! He has to, actually, because the night before, we signed up for the Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon in April 2015! :)

The spectators were great -- I decided that if there is a race going on that we aren't going to run, I want to show up and be a spectator with crazy signs or something. It really does help motivate the runners!

Next on the list is Fast Freddie's Festive Five Mile Foot Feast on Thanksgiving morning!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Half Marathon Training - Day 1

Bit of a letdown, actually. I mean, Matt and I are used to doing at least 2.5 miles when we run the neighborhood loop. Today called for "only" 2 miles ... but since we both need to be going for at least 30 minutes for it to count for our Pact app, we included the walking part (warm up and cool down).

Taking the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon/Marathon training program and plugging it into our calendar, and with today as the start date, we're able to run through the whole program TWICE with the 2nd end date being on November 1st - date of the Indianapolis Monumental Half/Full Marathon. No more 5k races for me! Actually, I'll continue to run 5k races but only for a good reason (beat my time from last year, encourage the kids to participate, a fundraiser, etc.).

As of Jan 1st, this running thing and tracking my food (mostly honest and accurate) on MyFitnessPal has helped me lose close to 10 pounds. 8 pounds actually, but I like to round up when it comes to losing weight. Clothes are fitting better (skirt I wore on Easter Sunday was a bit too loose and I had to keep pulling it up - oopsie!) and I just feel better overall. Looking forward to my next appointment with Dr. Fisher. :)

Still not sure how to add photos and links and GIFs on this here bloggy thing  ...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Now I'm mad ...

Maybe this is what it takes but I'm seriously ticked off at myself. Everything was going well today -- woke up early to go for a run w/ Matt. He said he was too tired so instead of resetting my alarm clock, I got dressed and hit the treadmill for 2 miles. Made an awesome spinach and strawberry salad to take for lunch at work, had my usual breakfast smoothie with Visalus shake mix, coffee, coffee ice cubes, chia seeds, and ground flax meal. I'm hitting my stride, I'm feeling good, it's going to be a great day!

On the way out the door, I think "ooh, I think I should get a little chocolate as a treat today!" -- see the last box of Thin Mints (do you see where this is going?) and instead of grabbing only 4 (a serving size, mind you), I grab a whole tube ... which is 7 servings. And still think to myself that I will space these out over the rest of the week at work. Right .... I just ate the whole tube and am seriously mad at myself. Honestly? Normally or usually, I would still only put down on my food log that I ate 4 ... if I listed it at all. I'm going to leave that sucker up there. Over 1000 calories in that "snack" and I'm in the red on fat, sugar, carbs, and who knows what all else. Mad, angry, disgusted, and frustrated with myself!

The only thing that could redeem myself is to try to work it all off today -- so I just came back from a 2 mile walk around the downtown area at work. It makes my numbers look slightly better but if I want to eat something for supper, I'm going to have to do something else this afternoon. As it is, with my lovely healthy spinach salad that would have filled me up without a dessert ... I have 40 calories left for the day.

Freaking girl scout cookies. I hate them because they make me hate myself. I don't, really. But I'm mad. And maybe this is what it takes to get that motivation back. Before today, I was down 7 pounds from the beginning of the year. Wouldn't be surprised if I gained it all back today. Stupid.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why 10 miles is "nothing"

True story -- I ran 10 miles this weekend. "Ran", as in ran/walked in intervals of no consistent lengths. I ran till I couldn't anymore, walked for a bit (sometimes too long), then ran some more. I'd run when spectators were close by and were cheering everyone on. I'd keep running to get to a certain point along the road (OK, to the stop light. OK, to the overpass. OK, to the other side of the overpass. OK, stop now -- no, not right in front of the spectators. Go to the other side of them. OK, to the speed limit sign. etc.)

So after a 5k on Feb. 22, a 10k on Mar. 8, and now a 10-miler on Mar 22 (where I finished 1/2 hour FASTER than my goal time, yeah, I'm braggin' on myself), I know I can do it. And it bugs me that had I gone another 5k, it would have been a half-marathon. It would have taken me another 45 minutes, probably ... but the point is ... if I have a goal of 3 hours to do a half, I totally could have done it without any official training.

So do I wait until November 1st to run those 13.1 miles? Or do I find a race before then to sign up and do? Or do I just hijack Matt and go for a run 6.5 miles from the house and then turn around to run home? What to do ... what to do ...

But 10 miles? Yep, it's in the bag. :)

Homemade Laundry Detergent

This is a super easy recipe that makes about 3 1/2 gallons of laundry detergent ... which then gives me enough for about 50 loads of laundry ... for mere pennies! I mean, it literally costs me pennies to make vs. paying $19.99 for the ginormous (but enormously popular) "Wave" brand. Yes, I miss the scent that goes with fresh laundry but that can be easily remedied by adding a fabric softener or some essential oils on a woolen dryer ball in the dryer (or did "DRYER BALL" give that away?).

Items needed:
1 bar laundry soap - I use Fels-Naptha
Borax powder - I use 20 Mule Team brand
Washing Soda (not baking soda ... because we're WASHING, not BAKING) - Arm and Hammer, all the way
a crockpot (enough to hold 8 cups)
a 5 gallon bucket with lid (can get at Home Depot or Lowe's but we got ours from a local restaurant that was selling them for $1/each to raise funds for an orphanage.)

Unwrap the bar of soap and put in crockpot with 8 cups of water.
'Cook' on low heat for approximately 8 hours -- about how long it takes to melt the soap. Stir the soap soup occasionally to help the soap melt quicker.
Once all melted, add 1 cup Borax and 1 cup Washing Soda to the 5 gallon bucket. Add the 8 cups of soap soup (careful, it's still hot!) and then 3 gallons of warm water. Stir it all up really well to dissolve the Borax and Washing Soda.
Put lid on the bucket and set aside overnight.
In the morning, the detergent will have gelled and you will likely wonder how on earth it will work with your laundry. Stir it up really well again, breaking up as much of the gelled pieces as well as you can. We use a funnel and an old "Wave" container to store our detergent in next to the washer. Any container is fine but you'll have to shake it up or stir the detergent a little before using. Use 1 cup per load.

Now, I still pre-treat stains, if needed. And will add Oxy-Clean or white distilled vinegar to uber-stinky loads.

We keep an eye open for when these items go on sale and then stock up -- a box of each of the Borax and Washing Soda will last for about 5 batches of soap and the Fels-Naptha can be found on sale for about $1/bar at various places throughout the year. Our go-to places are Rural King and Kroger but sometimes even Big Lots will have it.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Band memories

At the ISSMA band contest with Will today while Matt and Allie do their thing. Brings back a lot of memories of playing flute from 5th to 10th grade and also bassoon in 9th and 10th. 

I'm ok with it if Will wants to drop band .. which he has mentioned on numerous occasions. As long as he does something else to get him out and about with his peers. 

** In other news, I loaded the Blogger app so maybe I'll do more posting. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Race List

So, just for kicks ... here are the races I've completed since I started this journey:

Indianapolis Monumental 5k - 11/3/12 -
The last day I was 40. The plan earlier that year was to run the half-marathon with friends from high school. Due to no training, I convinced Matt to run the 5k with me and we'd still get to hang out with my friends later that day. Still no training (even for a 5k), as in no running or jogging or anything whatsoever beforehand ... hence the lovely time for my first ever PR.

Fast Freddy's Festive Five-Mile Foot Feast - 11/22/12
Painful, but finished. I think my time was 1:10 but will update when I can. There were hills, it was cold, and we were hosting Thanksgiving Lunch at our house immediately following. It worked out well because we cooked the bird the night before and everyone else was bringing everything else.

no race - but I started the Couch to 5k running app - 1/2/13
Stayed with it pretty consistently 3-4 days/week -- even with the treadmill incident of 4/3/13.

Run Like a Mother virtual 5k - 5/11/13
Signed up and encouraged Matt to run it with me. We found a 5k route through surrounding neighborhoods and now we try to run that loop periodically.

Develop New Albany 5k Water Run - 7/4/13
Ran this one with the kids -- it was supposed to be a water run, meaning hoses spraying everyone, a fire truck having its hose arcing a 'waterfall' at the finish line ... Well, it was cool, rainy, no water hoses, Allie wore Chuck Taylor basketball shoes to run in so her feet hurt from the get-go and she preferred to walk, William had to go to the bathroom the entire time and so didn't want to run. Fun.

Run for Relay 5k - 8/18/13
It was supposed to be a 5k but per Runkeeper, it was only 3 miles. Allie had hurt her leg walking a neighbor's dog so she didn't want to run but didn't want to not do it either. William didn't want her to walk by herself so he walked with her. I didn't run very well because I kept slowing down to check on them. Matt finished first and came back for me. When I finished, we both went to the kids so that William could run the rest of the way with Matt and I kept walking with Allie who was determined to finish. She was utterly embarrassed when she crossed the finish line and everyone was there applauding her determination.

Greenway 5k and 1 mile fun run - 9/28/13
Did the 1 mile fun run w/ Matt and Allie. It was fun but next year, I'm signing up for the 5k ...

Indianapolis Monumental 5k - 11/2/13
Beat my time by something like 8 minutes ... new PR! And now that I've done several 5k races, I've convinced Matt to sign up for the HALF-MARATHON with me for 2014! Woot woot!

Fast Freddy's Five Miler - 11/28/13
Beat my time by about 4 minutes ... another PR! And would have done better had I not gotten stuck behind some walkers and slow joggers who were hogging the sidewalk by going side-by-side. Next year, I'm running out into the street, if need be.

Santa/Elf Run in Sellersburg - 12/14/13
Dress like Santa or an Elf and run a 5k (Matt and William) or dress like two elves and walk the 2 mile loop alternative (Allie and me). It was fun though ... too bad it was damp and rainy though. Would have been better with snow.

Anthem 5k - 2/22/14 (part of Triple Crown)
Poor logistics, poor planning, awful course, too many walkers up with the runners, potholes in the road, traffic/semis right next to the route ... something like 38 minutes so no PR for a 5k but definitely for that race since it the first time I ran it.

Rodes City 10k run - 3/8/14 (part of Triple Crown)
Opposite of the Anthem 5k -- great course, easy to get to and the furthest I've ever run. 1:10 (almost exactly)

Papa John's 10-miler - 3/22/14 (last of Triple Crown)
... ?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The one where I insert a photo ...

or maybe not.

My monthly goal was supposed to be an AVERAGE of 66.67 miles ... per month ... running. And what have I done by the almost-end of the first month? 17. So that's not looking good but I'm not changing the goal. I have several races lined up that will at least get me some mileage throughout the year PLUS that half-marathon I'm supposed to be training for in November. I'm not too worried. Yet.

GymPact is now Pact and I'm rolling in the dough now! Not really ... but they started out where you could get paid by making a PACT with yourself to go to the GYM at least 3x/week. And if you miss and only go 2x/week? Boom - that's gonna cost you $5. Get sick and only go 1x that week? Boom-Boom - that just cost you $10. So the extra motivation is there to not lose any money. Making money is another story -- you really only get about 40 cents or so per visit within your pact but it adds up. Since Jan 1st, they added a Food Log pact and a Fruit/Veggie pact -- again, it will cost $5 for each you miss out on and you only make about 20 cents on those (per log or fruit/veggie within your pact). I went from making about $1.40/week with just the GymPact to about $3.50/week with the other two pacts added in there.

  1. I like making money
  2. I don't like losing or wasting money
  3. It encourages me to eat more fruits/veggies but I have to remember to take photos of them before eating
  4. I don't like how brutally honest that food log is. Calories add up so quickly! And then you HAVE to eat a minimum of 1200 calories. I can understand that -- they don't want people starving themselves. But if I want to have a really good day and drink two Visalus shakes (about 250 calories each w/ the milk) and then a salad for supper, that's not nearly enough calories so it doesn't count. Boom - there's $5 if I don't make up for it with another log that week.
I wanted to add a photo of my pretty new shoes from Pacers and Racers so that will be a later post.

Church - we are starting a church-wide Bible study (misnomer since it's really just a sermon series that we're discussing on Wednesday nights). Looks interesting and will hopefully be good conversation topics to act on.

Little Miss Introvert here is the new Events Coordinator for Payroll Professionals of Kentuckiana. Should be interesting.

That is all. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Random thoughts -
With the crazy Midwest weather we've been having, we had a -40 wind chill a week ago and Matt and I were able to get out and run this morning at 45 degrees. Really? No wonder so many people get sick around here. There isn't a gradual decline in temperatures and then a slow awakening as spring arrives. 

Running - my goal is still 800 miles for the year and I'm now at 11 miles ran (that's 1%, according to RunKeeper) and a total of 22.5 miles ran/walked for the month. Boom. Kinda nice getting new shoes at Pacers and Racers (Saucony, because that's what the cool girls wear -- and they weren't purple like my last pair, which were also Saucony). New Balega running socks too. On fire!

Reading the Bible -- I'm so far behind, it's not funny. I need to bring the One Year Bible (actual book) in to work with me so I can read the next day on rainy day lunch hours. I *hope* that it's the same schedule as what I have in my Bible app. Must check.

Kids -- At some point, they were little kids. Gosh. I mean, I know it's cliche and I know I missed a lot of their growing up by working away from home but I blinked and Will is nearly as tall as I am now and Allie's becoming a young lady. 

Very thankful that the chickens survived the POLAR VORTEX and that we didn't have to resort to making/buying chicken diapers to move them inside. Really, I think we're a little more civilized than that.

Had a really great chat with my dearest friend on Saturday a.m. -- sure wish we lived closer together.

That is all for now. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

One of my goals for 2014 is to run 800 miles. I'm sure I can do it -- just need to remember to update my RunKeeper when I do runs at the Y or the treadmill. Not really sure why I picked 800 ... that comes to (math in my head ... ) (never mind, can't do it ... ) 66+ miles/month? Wait ... really??

Wow. OK. So .. that seems a lofty goal but I would like to go on record and say yes, I accept that challenge.

So with that in mind ... I have run/walk (because I'm counting the walking if it's part of a running workout) 2.5 miles thus far in 2014 and 797.5 more to go. Yep.

However, with a 5k in February, a 10k and 10 miler in March, a virtual 5k and virtual 5 miler in May, a 5k in July, a virtual 5 miler in September, a HALF-marathon and a 5 miler in November, and another 5k in December ... with all those, that's gotta come close to some number. And then the training for all that? Even better! Holy moley ... the races are only 56 miles. OK. Well, let's do this then. (insert freaked out scared face)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 is here

Hello World ... and welcome to 2014! (one day late is better than never, right?)

I hate this time of year because there are so many things I want to make a New Year's Resolution about that I simply get overwhelmed, quit on all of them, go back to self-pity at not being able to change anything ... until the next Jan. 1. Maybe that's why I'm writing this on Jan. 2nd ... to avoid the hoopla that goes with anything promised or attempted on Jan. 1. 

What to do ... what to do ... 

I want to do more and be more present. I want to better myself while also spend more time with Matt and the kids. I want more than 24 hours in a day and still be able to sleep 7-8 hours/night. I want the impossible but I want to be able to do it all.

What I need is a bit different. I need to be more in tune with God, my family, nature, myself. I need to remember that it's not all about me. I need to remember. Period. And also be flexible with whatever comes my way.

So what I'm going to actually DO is ... (or attempt to do in this year) ... 

Get more of God's word in my life -- there isn't a Bible study that works with my schedule that I know of so I need to make this work for me. I have two Bible plans downloaded -- one is to read through the Bible in a year (note to self, read the entries for Jan. 2nd) and also a daily devotional/Bible verse that the youth group is doing (note to self, read the entry for Jan. 2nd). 

Spend more couple time with Matt -- he's a great guy and I want to spend more time with him. Shouldn't have to explain that one.

Spend more time one-on-one with each of the kids. Even if I have to drag them away from a book or a computer game, I need to make a point of connecting with them on a daily basis. (Already doing that but want to be more aware of doing it. As they get older, they might not want me or Matt around as much so I want to cherish our time that we have NOW.)

Run more or at least move more -- no more sitting around at home (unless reading or crocheting/knitting). If I have time to watch TV, I have time to accomplish another yarn-craft so they don't pile up and never get done. Running - I actually started the Couch-to-5k running plan on Jan. 2, 2013. We ran a few 5ks and set a new PR for my Indianapolis Monumental 5k and for the Fast Freddie Five Mile Foot Feast, compared to my 2012 records. This year ... we are registered for 4 races thus far and will have more on the books as registrations open up. I'd like to do 14 races in 2014 -- real and virtual. We'll see how that goes ... even if I have to run a virtual 5k the last 10 days of the year, it's gonna happen.

Read more -- not really sure how I can increase that since I read fairly regularly now anyway. I think I'd like to track my reading more. There's a lot of stuff about the Empty Shelf challenge -- whereby you have an Empty Shelf at the beginning of the year and fill it with the books you have read throughout the year. Nice, in theory ... but as I borrow many books from the library and/or read the occasional e-book, I'll just track that on Goodreads or some such site.

Write more -- already committing myself to writing in this blog at least 3x/week, so there's that. Would also like to get back to the nitty-gritty of writing (yes, HANDwritten) letters this year. Maybe start at the beginning of the address book and just write to people throughout the year. 

And ... learn more? Sure - let's learn something new this year. Not sure what but hopefully by the end of the year, I'll have a new skill or hobby. Darn-it, I want to learn how to do that other stitch in knitting so even if that's the only new thing I learn, I'll be happy on 12/31/14. 

So there you go. Even if no one else reads this but me, I'm happy with the list.