Monday, December 12, 2016

Jingle Run recap (10k) - no photos, because ... life.

Since my mom can't travel to visit us any longer, I am trying to be more intentional about going to visit her as often as I can. Even though we were all just up there for Thanksgiving and we'll all be up there again for Christmas Eve, I needed a visit where it is just me and I don't have to worry about the rest of the family being bored. A week or so ago, I got an email about a Jingle Run going on the same morning I was going to drive up to Indianapolis ... what's that? A race? Sign me up! And since it's more than a 5k but was a fundraiser anyway, I went ahead and registered for the 10k and just planned to drive straight to the packet pick up that morning, run, then head back to Mom's house ... easy peasy.

And then ... winter.

It was so cold on Saturday. I didn't really know what to wear so I brought extras of everything, just in case. I started out wearing one pair of socks, running tights (capris on a normal-height person, hit above the ankle for me), a long sleeve tech shirt, a long sleeve pullover with thumbholes, and my running jacket that's lined with polar fleece. I also brought an ear-warmer thing to wear and gloves (cheap-o ones).

I get to the parking garage next to Bankers' Life Fieldhouse and check the weather app -- 20 degrees with a windchill of single digits. So I add a pair of socks (toe socks, but they're red/white striped for Christmas and I wore my Balega socks over them), another pair of running tights, and a Santa hat. It has a beard so if I needed the extra windbreak on my face, I could pull out the beard. I left it tucked up inside the hat though for additional head-warmth. Also smeared Aquaphor on my face to protect against windburn.

Packet pickup was that morning so I picked up bib and the t-shirt -- I thought it was going to be a tech shirt but it was a long-sleeve cotton T. Since I thought it would be a tech shirt though, I ordered a Large -- which as a cotton unisex size was way too big for me. I could either take it back out to the car or wear it for more festive colors ... so I was able to wear it OVER my jacket ... for those keeping count, that makes 4 layers up top. And the pros were wearing shorts and singlets. Freaks.

No one was heading outside until it was time for the race to start so there were a lot of people warming up inside -- pretty much everyone had on holiday attire or Santa hats or reindeer headbands. Everyone was given jingle bells to put on their shoes too. Quite fun, actually. There were only about 300 people doing the 10k so we got out there for the start. I brought my interval timer again and had left it on the 5 min/30 sec ... but didn't plan to start it until after running the first mile through.

Gosh, it was cold. Did I mention that? But the race started and it was fun looking at all the costumes people were wearing while we were running. Not many people were out and about in downtown Indianapolis and since this wasn't a big race, no spectators. Or maybe there would have been if it hadn't been so cold. Anyway, I settled into my pace and just wanted to get it over with so I could get to my mom's house.

And then ... toe socks. I've come to the conclusion that toe socks are NOT meant for running. I have worn these things a few times and don't really like them anyway ... I'm a mitten fan for hands and feet. I guess my toes don't like being separated from each other. I don't know ... but doggone it if this wasn't the third holiday race I've worn these things and also the third race where I've worn them AND got killer leg cramps. Before, I blamed going out too fast or not having trained sufficiently. Common denominator has been these socks. Killer leg cramps hit me at about mile 1.5 and I was thinking that I'd end up walking the rest of the 10k. When I finally got through those cramps, I started running the intervals and lived for those 30 second walk breaks.

Remember how cold it was? There was one water station but the route looped back to it so there were basically two water stops at the same table. I don't know when they set up the water but I'm sure it was that morning since the table was in the middle of the road. When I went through for my first water stop, the water was REALLY cold. When I circled back and made it to the 2nd water stop, there was a layer of ice I had to break before I could drink my water!

Also, right around mid-way through the race, I realized that two pairs of pants, 4 layers up top, and a non-breathable hat meant I had too many clothes on. And it was cold ... colder now that I was sweating through everything and the cold air was hitting it. Shazam was it cold. But I was able to finish in a decent time ... 1:10:04 -- not a PR but considering I had to walk about 1/2 mile at the beginning, I was surprised!

And as a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, the race itself was sponsored by Eli Lilly and Meijers so there were loads of goodies at the finish line. I got one of everything and got back to the garage where I promptly forgot which floor I had parked on. Hello, hypothermia.

I really do like having a race to keep me motivated to keep running. Next up is a 10 mile race on New Year's Day. Kind of hoping for a PR there since the other 10 mile races I've done have been the Papa John's which includes Iroquois Mountain. We shall see ...

So I need suggestions on what are good articles of clothing for cold-weather running. Tips?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fast Freddie's Five Mile race - recap

I love this race. It's not even a race for me but it's a chance to do 5 miles with about 1000 of my closest friends (99.9% of them strangers) on Thanksgiving morning to make room for all the food I am about to ingest/inhale. I didn't even think about taking photos so we're just going to stick with the traditional pre-race selfie while I was in the line for the port-a-potty.

This is my 7th year participating and 5th year running. There's also a 2 mile walk option that goes up the hill from the Floyd County fairgrounds, loops around the lake at Community Park, and then back down. It's not timed but is still a great way to get people out and active on Thanksgiving morning.

The course. It is southern Indiana, so even though it's in town, there are a few hills.

After the marathon, I only ran one time and that was on the treadmill again. I'm pretty sick of that thing ... but it does get me moving when I don't feel like heading outside in the dark. That being said, I didn't expect to break any records this year ... but I was hoping to beat my time from last year. I have a post-it note up on the bulletin board at home with my times from previous years. I checked that before heading out the door -- all I could remember was 55:xx so I just wanted to finish within 55 minutes.

We got to the fairgrounds early -- the past couple years, we've gotten there too close for comfort and had to rush to get to the start line. Parking is minimal and for 1000+ runners, walkers, and non-participating spectators, there are two bathrooms inside with 2 stalls each and three port-a-potties outside. It's crazy small. I do remember last year still being in the port-a-potty line when the race started. There is a timing tag on the bib, but the time starts with the gun, not when you cross the start line. And then your time ends when you cross the timing mat -- so if you're wanting to beat your time, it's best to be in the crowd on the street when the gun goes off and not in the port-a-potty line.

For being on a holiday, there is a great turnout for runners and spectators and all the volunteers. The roads are closed for only an hour but there are police at major intersections throughout.

I knew I wouldn't be running with Matt since his goal was to make it on the shirt ... meaning, the top 500 finishers get their names put on the back of the shirt for next year's race. He finished at 495 or 496 in 2015 so we made certain to buy a shirt at registration this year. I did end up starting with him and one of his work buddies, but they took off with their freakishly long legs and I continued my plodding-on.

Even with not having done much running to prepare, I wasn't too worried because I brought my interval timer (changed the intervals to run 5 min, walk 30 sec) and since I knew I'd be able to run at least the first mile non-stop, that's what I did. They have timers at every mile marker and I was shocked to see I did the first mile in just over 10 minutes. Remember: goal was under 55 min so I just needed to do 11 min miles and push it at the end. I started up my interval timer after that and stuck with it through till the end. At each mile marker, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well I was doing and felt very comfortable! I didn't want to push it though because I didn't know how well I'd do towards the end if I was pushing myself in the middle and having not run much (at all) while recovering.

When I got to the final stretch, I decided to skip the last walk interval and run it in. Motivation - I wanted to finish in front of a guy who was wearing a 2016 NYC marathon shirt. Just wanted to get in front of him to say "yeah, I beat an old guy who ran the NYC marathon". Hey - whatever works. Once I did that, I was still a few blocks from the finish and was still feeling pretty good. Finish time: 52:48!!!

So ... after about 30 seconds of jubilation in beating my goal by 3 minutes ... I looked at my RunKeeper and it said this was my 2nd fastest 4-6 mile run. Wait ... what?? So while I'm still trying to catch my breath and find Matt, I'm scrolling through my old RunKeeper runs to find out which one was faster ... and it was my 2015 Fast Freddie result ... that I finished in 52:28. What the what??

Note to self: throw that old post-it note away or UPDATE it with all the times from past races. That 55:xx time I was trying to beat? yeah, that was my 2014 race result ...

So if you set running goals, do you count this as a goal achieved? I missed out on a PR by 20 seconds, but I thought I beat it by 3 minutes. What say you? I'm pretty ticked at myself and I'm determined to run that course on my own in the next 12 months to PROVE I can beat that 52 minutes. Then when 2017's race comes, I will be aiming to beat the mid-year time (assuming I can indeed beat the 52 minutes).

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What's New - December edition

Procrastination is still a top priority and I'm excelling, so there's that. I have a race recap to do and hope to get to before the week's end -- if only for my own benefit in keeping track of what I'm doing.

Just all day? More like all week, month, year ... 

December is here and that's just mind-blowing. I mean, don't blink!

So here's what's new with me, or rather what's on my mind ... (linking up with Kristen at See You in a Porridge)

Birthday - Another year down and I'm still alive. That's good! I must say that 44 was a bad year for me and I sincerely hope that 45 is kinder and gentler.

Yep - this is what the entire year felt like.

November mileage - well, I ran my first marathon (yay!) and did one treadmill trudge a couple weeks later and then a five mile race on Thanksgiving morning ... so I broke 30 miles in November, but barely. We're signing up for a race on New Year's Day to start 2017 off right. Hopefully the weather will be kind to me. If you're looking for something to do, it's the Hangover Classic and has a 5 mile or 10 mile option.

Yeah, so I looked up "winter running" and found "pugs on a sled" instead. Sorry, not sorry.

Job - found out in November that the best boss ever is leaving us. Her husband is being transferred to the US Virgin Islands for 3 years. In this day and age, why we can't figure out how to telecommute with her job (well, mine too, for that matter) I'll never understand. But even then, after the 3 years, they're moving back home to Kansas so it's not like she'll be coming back here. Now there's a bunch of unknowns - who will take her place? will they be as awesome? will they be easy to train? will they bring in their own staff and kick us out? is anyone else hiring so I can have a backup in case that happens?

Great ... 

House - still hate it and get anxiety attacks when I think of all the stuff that needs to be done before we can even think of selling it. We've been in it 13 years and bought it for what we thought our future would be rather than our then-current situation. Of course, our future plans didn't work out and now it's far too big for the four of us and is literally falling down around us so that the to-do list is longer than ever and time options are shorter than ever and everything costs money and and and  .... and there's another anxiety attack coming on.

I so love this movie, but haven't been able to watch it as it feels like real life now. #themoneypit

Books - I'm embarrassed. I checked Goodreads and still hadn't read anything since being on vacation the first week of October. I've pretty much given up on my Reading Challenge for the year ... unless I pick up some picture books to finish up the goal. I have started so many books since then but just never got into them enough to want to keep reading past the 1st chapter, if that long. THEN, I came to the conclusion that I hadn't been sleeping well because instead of reading before bed, I'd just play on my phone (Facebook, mind-numbing games, e-mail, etc.). Decided that needs to change so I'm back to reading and it feels good to go to sleep now and wake up fairly rested (still not sleeping enough but it's better than before).

Yeah, don't worry ... I'm on it!

Photos - I need to take more photos. Of the kids, of life, of anything. But closing out this post with photos from the month ...

I'm in the yellow and pushing toward the finish line of my first marathon! #BeMonumental

We had a Bring Your Dog To Work day and Frannie joined me. I love this girl! Spade would not have done well in an office setting ... 

This is what it takes to keep 2 pugs, 2 cats, and 15 chickens going ... #urbanfarming

This will also be on the race recap, if I get around to it. Fast Freddie's Five Miler on Thanksgiving morning and our traditional pre-race selfie. 

Went with these two to Adrienne's to get donuts while we were tooling around downtown New Albany for #SmallBusinessSaturday.

Gingerbread houses! 

And closing out with last night's photo - met up with Gena and her mom. High school friend who is a serious traveler -- she currently lives in Australia but was visiting the states for the holidays. She's been to something like 80 countries in the past 25 years. I'm a bit envious ... 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I am a Marathoner!

It's taken me a few days to come down off my cloud 26.2 miles in the sky ;) but I thought I should get this out there before I forget anything.

Pre-race -
I had Friday off work for my birthday holiday so I was able to relax that morning (somewhat - I mean, errands and housework are always on the agenda when I'm off work). But Matt also was able to take 1/2 day from work ... so we went to early voting and then loaded up the car to head to Indianapolis.

Hotel -
This is the first time we've stayed at a hotel as opposed to at my parents' house. It was Matt's idea since this would be my first marathon and we wouldn't have to worry about traffic and parking getting to the start line. I made the reservation MONTHS ago and many of the hotels were already sold out ... the closest one I could find that was still downtown was The Columbia Club - very nice and very historic but very weird ... for being sold out that evening, we never saw another guest. We saw "club members" but no one in the hallways and never heard anyone on our floor. Very eerie. But I did like that we could park the car overnight and just walk to the expo then to supper, then to the start line that next morning.

Room with a view - 9th floor overlooking Monument Circle (and what was the start of the Indy Women's Half)

Race Gear and Packet Pick-up -
The bigger races seem to have all switched over to Virtual Swag Bags so the bag basically had just the tech shirt (BLUE for the marathon!) and a few announcements about upcoming races. The expo was nice though. I had hoped we'd have more time to go through all the booths but we were getting hungry and it was getting late. Pretty much the only thing we bought were more Sport Bean packs, since that's what Matt fuels with. I'm glad we bought several because I ended up using them as well. I had done my long training runs with the Carb Boom! Energy gels that would also be provided along the race -- but I had no way to carry them. I seriously needed a backpack for everything I was lugging. My phone - for RunKeeper and text-support (if needed). My interval timer (on a wrist-strap that I wore around my palm instead. My FitBit (just because). And a Nathan belt to hold my gels or beans. It ended up being too small for the 6 gels I planned to take so I had to pack in the beans.

Race morning -
Couldn't sleep well (as usual). Finally got up at 5:30 -- race start was at 8 but we were meeting friends at 7:00 at our regular spot ... the port-a-potties. One mistake I made was not eating breakfast -- the hotel didn't have a breakfast line and I didn't want to order a spread via room-service and then not be able to eat. Ended up eating a PowerBar ... and drinking a big bottle of Gatorade. I guess that was it. And then the dilemma of what to wear when it's 37 degrees at race start but would be 60 degrees by the time I finished. At least it wasn't raining. I decided to go with a long-sleeve tech shirt plus a long-sleeve thin pullover. I probably could have done without the pullover but the wind was persnickety and I was glad to have it when we were still waiting to start.

We've registered for the Monumental with them each year - Ted is a seeded runner for the half (note the green sticker on his bib), Johanna was running the full with me, and Matt was aiming to PR his half. Ted ran with their 12 year old son, who was running his 1st half ... and Jonah ended up CRUSHING it to win 4th in his age group!

According to the Marathoning for Mortals book, it was HIGHLY recommended to go straight to the port-a-potty line as soon as we got to the race, then get back in line as soon as we were done until it was race time. So that's what I did, or planned to do. While I was in line the 1st time, everyone started showing up ... so when we got in line the 2nd time, it was so incredibly long. Because it was so long, I never got to meet up with Katie from Ice Cream to Marathon, but I was sending good vibes to her on her 26th half marathon and race goal!

The Start -
My friend asked if she could run with me -- she runs the entire race though so we were just going to stick together until my first walk break. We tried to line up in the 5:30 corral but somehow ended up in the 6:30 corral, just a few rows in front of the SAG wagon! Actually, I'm glad we were back there because it did wonders for my morale to continually pass other people. Sorry, not sorry. :) And because it was so crowded on the roads the first mile or so, I skipped my first two walk breaks and ran with Johanna for the first 1 1/2 mile. I was feeling pretty good but I knew I still had a LONG way to go and needed to get started with my intervals.

The Route -
It changed just a little bit due to road construction - but that just meant we were on Monument Circle for two quadrants instead of just one, so that was nice. The volunteer support is amazing on this race - and they put your name on the bib so every time I was at a water stop, I'd hear "Way to go, Elizabeth!" All the night before and that morning, I was nervous without knowing why - it was a weird feeling. I knew I was planning to run a marathon but it really hadn't hit me ... until the half/full split at mile 7.5. Half runners go to the left, Full runners straight ahead. I crossed that mark and teared up ... and wanted to turn around so badly. But I powered on through. Got to run through so many parts of the city that I've only driven through (Broad Ripple, Museum of Art, past the Governor's Mansion) or had never been on before. And also recognized a portion from the Indy Women's Half I ran in September. I didn't really think of anything during my run - just put one foot in front of the other. Music would have distracted me, I guess. But I wanted to be in the moment, not in a song - if that makes sense.

Intervals -
Seriously, I love the intervals. I stuck with 5 minute run then 1 minute walk. Around miles 20-24, I started walking after 4:30 minutes with a 1:30 walk and that helped immensely, but when we got back on the Meridian Street straightaway, I went back to the 5 minutes till the end. I was completely surprised at the number of people who were walking - I guess they had hit the wall at that point. I'm not sure but I didn't know if I should be encouraging as I went past or what. I know I hit my wall at mile 20 -- which was why I increased the walking breaks. As I finished one running interval, I heard my name from behind and it was Johanna! Apparently I had passed her but didn't realize it. I had hoped to be able to stop at a port-a-potty during one of the walk breaks ... ended up being stuck in line for almost a full 5 minutes ... and the very next port-a-potty stop had NO ONE in line. Grrr ...

The Finish -
With my phone on my arm, I didn't check the time, my pace, or anything ... though the constant buzzing from texts coming in gave me a boost and I couldn't wait to finish to read them! :) But I knew once I hit Meridian St, I was coming up on the end. Thank goodness I was wearing my sunglasses because I started doing some ugly crying on New York Street -- but was pretty much too tired to do more than a few seconds. Plus, it was between buildings so no sun, therefore no spectators since it was cool/breezy on that street. From New York, we turned back onto Capitol where the start line was and there was Matt and just about three blocks to go. Again, yay for the intervals because after 26 miles, I was still able to speed up towards the end and boom - I am a Marathoner!

After the Finish -
Well, since I really just wanted to finish uninjured (did it!), I didn't want to focus on a time goal for my first time. And since three days later, I'm still feeling really good about the whole experience, it looks like I'm going to register for my second marathon with a time to beat of 5:15:27!

A bottle of chocolate milk later and I made the mistake of sitting down on the curb. FYI - don't run 26.2 miles and then sit down on the curb. Just don't.

Considering we don't buy cow's milk at home, this was a creamy treat after the race. 
And when you find out you know the lady handing out the milk to the finishers and she gives you two bottles? 
The angels were singing ... 

But I made it! I set a goal, I stuck to a plan (mostly), and I did it! yay!

Note to self: need to wash car ... 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What's New with You - linkup

Hey hey - trying to link up this time ... so before I forget, this is a LINK UP with Kristen from See You in a Porridge.

October (as has been the norm) literally flew by. Seriously. It started with vacation, which was then interrupted by a hurricane, and then ended with a lovely Halloween evening.
We have a long driveway so Matt moved the firebowl closer to the street so the trick-or-treaters didn't have to walk so far. According to our neighbors who joined us, we had more visitors this year than ever before ... so Matt and CR are already planning on how to make next year's setup bigger and better!

Marathon training continues. In fact ... IT'S THIS WEEKEND. However, today marks the anniversary of my first race and it was the 5k portion of the race I'm doing this weekend. Some high school friends invited me during the summer of 2012 to join them in the half, but I never got around to registering or even training. 2012 was not a good year for me -- my dad had passed away that March and I was just in a funk with zero motivation to do anything (housecleaning, balancing the checkbook, exercising ... nothing). Finally a few weeks before the race, I convinced Matt to do the 5k with me. And we were hooked! I remember being so stressed about the race -- we both took Ibuprofen before the race because we just knew we'd be sore and unable to walk. Silly kids ... we regularly run 3 miles now ... but it makes me appreciate the beginning. And when I see runners fully loaded with gels and water bottles and trudging along on a 5k race, I know I've been there and understand their struggle.
This was before my first race (5k) at the Indianapolis Monumental, 11/3/12 (I'm far right)

And this was our first pre-race selfie. The start of a tradition! And it was 34 degrees that morning ... 

Books I've read in October, according to my Goodreads profile ... because I can't remember:
  • Me Before You by JoJo Moyes (yes, I'm late to the show)
  • The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
currently reading:
  • Nothing ... hit a reading speedbump after vacation and I've started several but don't really have one that I keep going back to to finish. That needs to change.
on-going and may never finish:
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
I usually have more than one book going at a time anyway - especially if they're library books and I want/need to have them done before they're due. There are a slew of other e-books stored on my Kindle app for when I'm stuck in line somewhere or in traffic. The on-going book - I think I started more than a year ago. I probably only read a few pages a month when I don't have any other book handy but the story has been easy to remember/follow along with.

Things I'm excited about:
As we're still trying to pay down debt, I'm trying to be frugal with expenses. I rarely buy new clothes for me and I will clip coupons like there's no tomorrow. Remembering the coupons is another story. But when Open Enrollment for health insurance started at work, I found out that they were switching to a points-based tier system and everyone had to have bloodwork drawn to find out what tier they were in. After a single drop of blood, I find out I was put in the middle tier which almost doubled my health insurance premiums - uh .. no. So since I had to go to my PCP for an annual checkup anyway, and she sends me to the hospital for DETAILED bloodwork (we're talking VIALS of blood drawn ... only 2 or 3, but still more than a drop! and they use more advanced testing devices than some little handheld device) and I find out I'm back in the lowest tier. Really, it's the little things, but that's money saved, so I'm happy! :)

Also trying to take these two for a walk every evening. It's good for them and good for me. And we're finally using up our excess supply of Kroger bags for poo pickup.

How many books do you normally read at a time?
What do you do when you find out a goal you're working towards doesn't coincide with your life?
Do you get excited about saving money?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The countdown is on ...

Imagine the earworm.

Just a little panic attack as I contemplate that there are now fewer than 10 days till the marathon ...


I've heard so many people complain about the taper period before the race. I have to admit that I'm enjoying it though. Those long runs were getting crazy and our schedule just doesn't have that kind of free time for me to do 3 or 4 hour runs. Heck, this past weekend was going to be so busy that I took a vacation day on Friday to get my 10 miles done in the morning and be able to spend the afternoon with Matt before he went off to job #2.

Also bought an interval timer since I'm worried about my phone dying after 5+ hours. I need it to still have juice in case I want to stop for photo ops or to call 911, whatever. Still holding steady on wanting to finish by 5 1/2 hours ... but I will say that with my pace during the 18 and 20 mile runs, if I pan that out to a 26.2 mile distance, the pace calculator says I'll finish right around 5 hours. Still going to stick with 5 1/2 hours then hope to be pleasantly surprised. 

So I have 8 1/2 days to stop eating junk (after I eat this brownie here - don't judge) and get plenty of sleep plus drink all the water (after my regular two cups of a.m. java - again, don't judge) and plan/pack my running outfit. No time to panic. 

No time to panic.

No time ... 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mid-month update - October

Well ... this month hasn't been going according to plan. And that's OK.

But this was taken October 1st so let's start the month out right, shall we? 

Beach walking, bike-riding, kite-flying ... pretty much heaven, until a hurricane pops in for a visit ...

For the past few years, we've been taking advantage of the fall break in school to go to a friend's condo in South Carolina. We've been so often now that we have our favorite restaurants, favorite thrift stores (unreal what type of items people donate there - brand new, tags still on, clothes, furniture, etc.) and even our favorite grocery store. This year had a bit of a hiccup mid-week, also known as "Hurricane Matthew". Darn him. Nothing like hearing 'mandatory evacuation' to put a damper on vacation. We got out though (leaving with blue skies) and unfortunately, Hilton Head took a direct hit -- so while we actually did think about riding it out, I'm so glad we didn't. Disappointment all around but we know we'll be back next year.

Marathon training ... WAS going well, until vacation week. I even took running clothes because there's hardly a better place to run than on a super-flat island. But when we saw our week would be cut short, getting up early to run as opposed to strolling on the beach with our morning coffee to watch the sunrise ... well ... yeah. Easy choice. But I'm back at it and there's three weeks to go till the race. And for some unknown reason, I chose to do 18 miles last week ... ON THE TREADMILL. Not really my best choice but considering the number of bathroom breaks I took, it's good I was inside. So I survived and made it through multiple episodes on Netflix as well. Intervals are going to be what gets me through this race, I know it. Getting back on schedule this week though and that means 20 miles this weekend before the taper. Note to self - find a 20 mile route to run OUTSIDE. I do have a 5 mile loop that I could just do 4 times so that might be it.

This was me after 18 miles ... 

Books ... also going well BECAUSE of vacation. I whizzed through three books in the 5 days we were gone, but now that I'm back to my regular routine, it's hard to find time to read. Currently reading Inferno by Dan Brown. Kind of getting burned out on it though and I'm in the first 20 pages.

Work ... pays the bills. And I'm thankful that I have a job, really. And had my 15 year anniversary here last week. On a sidenote, my original supervisor who hired me had a horrible tragedy in the family last weekend. One of her twin daughters (who are my age) was killed in an ATV accident. I went out to Corydon to pay my respects and it was just so very sad. She had three kids and they lost their dad a couple years ago. She hadn't remarried so they are orphans -- I just can't even imagine and they've been in my thoughts and prayers all week.

This time of year, I just love how every morning's sunrise is different and breathtaking, even if I'm heading to work ...

So that's mid-month recap and I'm ready for the weekend ...

Oh, Granny ... 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Indy Women's Half Marathon recap

In summary, rain and puddles. But first ... some anxiety. In short, a good race and one I wouldn't mind adding to my annual race calendar. But because I'm wordy, this isn't a short recap.

For the full recap though, I should start with the few days prior. I was already going to be in Indianapolis for a conference for work (with free pens from vendors!) when I saw that the race would be that following Saturday. I could have driven 100 miles home on Thursday night, back up to Indianapolis on Friday night, and then return home again on Saturday -- but as no one wanted to come cheer me on, I opted to take a vacation day from work on Friday and spend some time with my mom and sister. I'm glad I did but it was a busy time.

Thursday night, mom, sis, and I went downtown for supper to the Greek Islands restaurant. Oh my ... appetizer was flaming cheese (saganaki) and my main course was spinach something (spanakotiropita). The place is authentic Greek and my sister enjoys going. Since she offered to pay ... well, OK! It's also nice that we each got a complimentary piece of baklava for dessert. :) I'm surprised I'd never been before and hopefully it's something Matt and the kids would enjoy.

Friday was filled with errand running and packet pickup. I had assumed that by going downtown early in the day (pick-up started at 11:00) that parking would be easier than going in the evening when there were several festivals going on -- wrong. Most of the parking garages were full, I couldn't find any on-street parking anywhere, and finally found a parking garage with openings ... at $6/hour. Yeah, sorry, but I had been planning to walk around downtown pokehunting sightseeing and that wasn't going to happen at that rate. But for a small race (compared to the other races I've done) it was a very nice pickup area with quite a few vendors. I didn't look around much ($6/hour, remember) but got my stuff and made it back to the car with a few minutes to spare.

Then to Barnes & Noble, where I finally purchased the final Harry Potter book (Cursed Child) ... but I'm not going to read it until I'm READY for this to end ... again.

Then to Target, because ... Target. Well, and also Gatorade and coconut water for before/after the race. But also, you know ... it's Super Target and I can never pass up a trip there.

Friday night, I continued my gastronomical tour of Indianapolis and went to the Rathskeller (German restaurant). Actually, it was a book club meeting that Amy told me about. The book was "The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender". I need to update my review on Goodreads but I'll put it here too -- 4 stars. :) Also fun talking with others about their view of the book.

Then to the race ... normal routine of not being able to sleep the night before. I had to tell myself umpteen times that this is NOT a race ... it's a training run so I shouldn't be worried about anything. I dreamt it was pouring down rain, woke up and it really was pouring down rain. Then I dreamt that Matt and I had to circle back to the house to get my jelly beans (fuel) and saw it was 8:30 (race starts at 7:30). I dream-asked him why he was there since it was a women-only race and he said this was the day of my full marathon ... so I woke up in a panic attack "I'm not ready!". Got up and ready and left at 6:30 and then the real anxiety attack started. I literally almost turned around at every corner, every stop light. Then when I got downtown and couldn't find the street I needed to get to Circle Centre Mall for parking, I was done. I mean, all I needed to do was point my car back south and head to my mom's. Somehow, I found the right street and sucked it up as a true buttercup.

Monument Circle was the start-line and it was pretty funny that when the National Anthem began, everyone turned around looking for a flag. The one I was looking at had the IPL building as a backdrop and they had changed the lights to match the Ireland flag for the previous night's Irish Festival.

The crowd was much smaller than any of my other races, but I liked it. I didn't have to worry about stopping a big crowd of people behind me when I stopped to walk an interval. The rain also kept a lot of the spectators away. I didn't see any fueling stations other than water/PowerAde but I brought a packet of my Sport Beans ... unfortunately, it was so rainy that I was sure they'd congealed together into one lump so I didn't use them.

This would also be my first race running with earbuds -- which failed, thanks to the torrential rainfall. Next on my running-gear wishlist is wireless and waterproof earbuds. The only reason I was wearing them was for the interval timer with RunKeeper -- no need to alert everyone to when I had to switch to run or walk. However, around mile 8 the left bud cut out completely and around mile 10 the right side gave up. So I made sure I still had plenty of battery juice left to keep the phone open/app on for the remaining 3 miles. Just had to keep looking down at my phone to find out when the next interval would be ... until my case started fogging up.

Again, with the rain ... and puddles ... and it felt like a steeplechase at times. But when I leapt over one puddle around mile 2, only to land the very next step into another one, I gave up and just ran through the rest of them. Luckily, 13.1 miles with wet socks/shoes and no blisters! Yay for Balega socks!

I had no clue when/where the race would finish -- because of tangents, I knew I wouldn't be running EXACTLY 13.1 miles, so I couldn't go by my app. And I don't remember passing the 11 or 12 mile markers. Finally found the end though and luckily the rain had stopped a few minutes prior. Even the finish line was much nicer than most of my other races -- everyone got a slingbag filled with snacky foods, then also got a water, banana, chips, cookies, CHOCOLATE MILK (this is big for me since we don't drink dairy at home any more -- to get chocolate milk was just divine!) and someone even gave me a can of RedBull ... um, thanks? Took it home for Matt. Also at the end and because it's a women's race, everyone got a red rose.

And I finally got to meet Katie (From Ice Cream to Marathon)! :)

I felt pretty good too so these intervals are a good thing! Official finish time: 2:32:50. I had hoped I'd be able to finish in under 2:30 but if I can keep up with the training, I just might be able to finish that full in 5:00! (yikes!) 5:30 is still my hope though, to finish uninjured is my goal, and a finish in 5:00 or less is a dream.

I didn't take any photos during the race ... again, rain. So here's the few I did take that morning ...

Monument Circle - I love my hometown! Start time was 7:30 and I knew it there would be rain in the forecast ... just didn't expect so much of it. 

One of the reasons I run: chocolate milk
Had to ask the volunteer at the milk table to open it for me though. :)

I saw this when I was going to packet pick-up but didn't get a photo until after the race. 
While I thought it was an outpost of the city's public library system, I found out later that it's a Free Little Library set up and designed by students at Herron Art School. Either way - cool stuff!

This is the Artsgarden. Basically, an awesome glass-enclosed walkway 
over the intersection of Illinois and Washington Streets. 
It was at this point on my way back to the car that I realized I was lost 
and didn't remember exactly where I had parked said car. 
I remember walking under the Artsgarden that morning though ... so I was close. 

So, that was half-marathon #5 for me (by official count). I didn't get a photo of the medal ... it's purple (ugh) and a butterfly (meh), and my actual training regimen was supposed to have been 16 miles that day, so I missed by 2.5 miles and therefore don't feel like I completed that day and shouldn't have 'earned' a medal for it. But it's on my medal hanger now. Plus, I hope to be able to do this one again AND get others to sign up too!

Now entering the final weeks of training where the mileage is ridonkulous ... 

Wondering if anyone has ever done an official race as part of your training (water stops and plenty of crowd support to help along the way) or if you stick with solo or group training runs ... 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Overdue training recap ...

Whoa ... been awhile since I posted an update! Although even though there's not much going on, I don't know where the time has gone. School starting, summer break ending, and this heat ... Dear Lord, the HEAT ...

When walking outside literally takes your breath away ... 

So here goes ...
Marathon Training - still staying on target with the Marathoning for Mortals run/walk training plan. The only hiccup so far came the week after I donated blood. I made sure to get that weekend's run in, but donating always takes more out of me than just a pint of life-saving nectar (gross, but there you go). I'm borderline anemic anyway BUT I also found out that running is good for people like me because in some physiological science-y way, running and heavy exercising helps the body make more red blood cells. There's your science for the day. :) But yeah, rebuilding that lost pint while also trying to run during this heat ... I know I skipped a whole day and then cut the next day's run short and then the long run of 10 miles the following weekend ended up being barely 6 miles and I ran smack into that proverbial wall in the middle of Community Park. It wasn't gradual or anything ... I just stopped, gave up, went back to the car and felt sorry for myself.

This could have been me trying to get back to the car ...

BUT -- I continued on with the next week's runs and haven't had any more problems. I'm a bit nervous about this weekend's run. 14 miles will be the furthest I've ever gone. And the heat ... dear Lord, the HEAT! Well, there's a cool front coming in tonight so that means highs in the mid-80s instead of around 90 ... can't be choosy. I do know I've been doing far too many runs on the treadmill and I'm definitely sick of that.

I had thought I would at least run more in August than I did in July but it was not to be ...

Nutrition - still slack-a-lackin' on the nutrition. Case in point: Matt cooked up some black beans and chicken for a combo quesadilla/taco night. I had one of those and then 'dessert' consisted of a bowl of Fruity Pebbles and almond milk. There will be no further comments.

Not to mention the Toblerone bar I have in my desk at work ... 

Books - I'm a big fan of the Andrew Luck Book Club and always make sure I read both of his selections as soon as he releases the titles. I think we're in the third season now and it's only started this year.
First season selections: Rookies read Maniac McGee; Veterans read The Boys in the Boat
Second season selections: Rookies read Hatchet; Veterans read The Art of Racing in the Rain
Third season selections: Rookies read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe; Veterans read The Martian
And I just realized I never went back to read Maniac McGee so I'll get on that one. But I've read the rest and really enjoyed each one. I don't participate in the Q/A sessions with Mr. Luck though - I guess I just use his book club to give me ideas on what to read next.

So many books from way back when played a part in shaping my identity.
Can't stop - won't stop!

I am actually joining a real live book club in September. We'll be reading The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. I'll be a guest since they meet in Indianapolis and I'm just going to happen to be up there for a conference and then for the Indy Women's Half. The club is made up of several girls I went to high school with so it'll be fun. Just need to make sure that #1 - I read the book and #2 - I don't stay out too late so as to get a good night's sleep before the race.
** Side note: I love having a library card. I found out about the book club meeting and the book selection while standing in line at Old Navy. By the time I got up to the register, I had located the e-book on my library's website, downloaded it to my Kindle app, and am ready to start reading it now. Boom - what??

Races - ... and speaking of races, I have a 16 mile training run coming up in a couple weeks. I knew I was going to be in Indianapolis earlier that week for a payroll conference (yawn ...) so I figured I could combine the business portion with a visit with my mama and also use the race as a training run to see if this interval stuff will hold up with me for that long. I'm looking forward to it but I'm also kind of nervous since this will be the first race I'm going to by myself. My sister might bring my mom to cheer me on but she's going to be in a wheelchair so it depends on the weather and if they can find a spot close to the running route. Whatever I need to run after the race to make up the 16 miles, I can do it in my old neighborhood before I shower and return to southern Indiana.

Kids are in school now - can't believe I have one in high school and one in middle school. One is nearly a head taller than I am - the other is just about at my height. So glad they both are benefiting from Matt's freakishly tall stature (6'2").

Now that it's September, we're all anxiously awaiting the end of the month and our annual vacation to the beach. I'm not even a lay-on-the-beach-and-bake kind of person. I mean, I glow in the dark with my paleness. Just to get away - yes, even from the dogs, the cats, the chickens, the house, the housework, the daily grind ... oh, I can't wait.

Pretty much all of us when we feel that sand on our feet ... 

Any tips on running in the heat or making the treadmill more bearable?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Training Tuesday and general recap of life

Marathon Training -- still holding steady with the run 3/walk 2 intervals. I still think it's rather boring BUT it's getting easier. I'm nearly caught up with Downton Abbey, so that counts for something too. It's been too humid to get out and run like I've been meaning to -- we even planned to finally get a run outside this past weekend ... but it called for 7 miles and I didn't want to re-initiate myself to summer-running with a long run. Haven't found anything much to do with cross-training though ... other than walking ... and that doesn't seem like it should count since I already do that M-F at lunchtime. Yay for finally getting up early to run this morning though! Not sure Matt's a big fan of intervals but he stuck with me ... and what's up with no one watering their lawns in the early morning hours any more??
How I felt this morning after finally getting to run outside in more than a month. 
Didn't even care about the humidity (too much) ... 

Nutrition -- still eating crap but trying to do better about sweets. A cousin started the Whole30 yesterday ... and I'm wondering if this is something I could try/survive. Doubtful but I guess some research is in order.

Mindless eating is my downfall.

Books -- after reading 3 1/2 books in 5 days while on vacation last month, I've hit a speed bump and haven't read much of anything. I still have several books going but not really reading much in the evenings right now. Finishing up a book I borrowed from Will today or tomorrow and then hopefully start on something that will hold my attention. Need some suggestions ... or I could just start knocking out some of the books in my to-read list on Goodreads ...
Yep - me, when I hit that reading speed bump and nothing sounds good.

Immediate Family -- Allie was gone for another week of camp but this was for Mission FUGE and was set near Appalachia. The youth group came home changed -- always inspiring to see the fire in their eyes after camp. Brings back memories of going to church camp myself -- but I never did a mission trip like that, so I'm also envious. School starts in 2 weeks ... say what?? Took Allie to get some school supplies last night ... the girl is addicted to new school supplies. And yes, this is a pot/kettle = same color kind of thing. She takes after me a little bit, I suppose. It was nice to see Will surface out of the basement when Pokemon Go came out. He loaded the app to my phone as well so I could attempt it. I've never understood Pokemon and this app, while neat, confuses the heck out of me. BUT, I do think it'd be great to see other app developers jump on this type of bandwagon and create apps that get people out of the house.

Yeah, well I was GOING to have some coffee at work ... happened to open up the Pokemon Go app and immediately found a Wild Krabby sitting on the pot. I guess I didn't need a cup after all ... 

Extended Family -- took a quick trip up to Indianapolis to see my mom and sister over the holiday weekend. It was nice to get away. Also got to visit with my friend during her lunch break - so that was nice too. My in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past weekend. What looked so much like a train-wreck in the making actually turned out rather nice -- Matt's sister and aunt ran the show and pretty much only told us what was needed when it was needing to be done. I'm all for spontaneity but when people expect me to know what's going on (including the party planners), I'd like to know what's going on. Tempers were short all week so I'm not sure how next year's whole-family-vacation will be. 13 people in a 3 bedroom condo on a crowded beach ... you tell me.
Yes, my thoughts exactly.

And that's what's going on with me.