Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Running Skirt!!

Yes, it is Jan 31st and I live in MICHIGAN, but I got the chance to run outside in my new running skirt and a tank top!!  Can you even believe it??

Our running group met at a different location to knock out some killer hill repeats.  The loop was a really steep multi-level hill (up, turn left, up, turn right, up, up, up) then a low-key recovery run down a gradual slope and do it all again.  The hill was KILLER.  The steepest one I've ever done repeats on.  The entire loop was less than a half mile, so we did about 8 of them. 

The part that was so awesome was the weather.  It was 55 today at lunchtime and 52 at 6pm when our run started.  I was in my brand new skirt with a tank and long sleeve and after the first hill, I was way too hot!  Lost a layer and ran in a skirt and tank in January! 

This is the best I could get of a pic of the new skirt :)  hahaha, I'm clearly not a photographer
Say hi to Dexter's butt

This is insane but I LOVED it!  I can't wait to get some more miles in on Thursday, meet Rebecca on Friday, and rock out 8-10 miles on Saturday with the group. 

Oh yeah, and kill it at the Super 5K Sunday morning :)  Sounds like a fun week!!
 And I finally registered for this half marathon in April:
It's in my hometown and I'm looking forward to a half marathon PR this year :)

ps. is the white font difficult to read?

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I don't typically post on much other than running, but here goes...

I spent my Sunday morning at Sam's Club picking up a month's supply of snack for my after school program.  Now, I've been doing this once a month for almost 5 years, but NEVER on a Sunday - now I know why!!

It was busy, and by busy I mean barely any room to move my cart - yes, I did get the huge flat cart, but still.  I went in with a good attitude, lots of patience and just after running 4 miles.  So, I was a little sweaty and in spandex pants :) 
It took me 15 mins to cruise the store and load the cart, 15 mins for the cashier to check me out (as in ring up my items, definitely NOT me) and transfer the stuff to another flat bed cart and then finally the worst 15 mins of all: loading the car. 

Actually, the worst part of each month is simply getting the cart to the car.  There's so many potholes and bumps in the parking lot that could mess up the entire thing and knock it all over.  Me, I'm a packer and a damn good one - I got that from my dad - so everything fits on the cart perfectly when I load it up. 

The cashier, not so much.  Shit was wobbly everywhere.  I just about made it to the car when this happened:
Oh well, at least it was in front of the car and not in the middle of the parking lot.  Could be worse.  I already had bundle-ups from the run, so I just got to work packing it all in.  Doing this every month has made me realize just exactly how to fit everything in perfectly (either that or my OCDness).  I've never had to come back for a second trip. 

In the 15 mins it took me to load the car - in the snow, picking up almost half my order from the ground - NOT ONE person even acknowledged what had happened or offered to help.  Granted, I wouldn't have accepted their offer, but still.  It would have been comforting to know another kind person exists. 
It all fit in!
While this sounds bitter, I swear I'm not mad about it (I certainly could have been, but I went in with a really good attitude today), I'm just thoroughly surprised that not one soul made eye contact with me, offered to pick something up, or even said some smart remark about how much that has to suck.  And believe me, being a Sunday afternoon at Sam's, a million people passed me. 

I swear I would have helped someone if I found them in the same predicament I was in this morning.  I'm not just saying that so you'll like me, I swear it's the truth. 

So, from one nice person to another, let's all be aware of what is going on around us and be KIND to a stranger or a person in need.  You have no idea how far it will go :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lots of Stress & Lots of Running

So my huge work project is five days away from the deadline and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  In reality, the hard stuff is done and now it's just tweaking, cleaning up, and anal-perfectionism, that's all :)

That, in combination with regular work stuff and some upcoming family events, has me pretty stressed.  The good news is that I've been keeping up with all my running.  I'm fairly certain that is what is keeping me sane this week. 

Last Saturday we ran 8.5 snowy miles.

Sunday we ran 3.5 recovery miles in the morning...

then I played racquetball with my husband an hour later...

Thirty minutes after that, I met a new friend (of a friend) for another 3.5 miles. 

The new friend has run off and on and wants to get together with a group to keep her on a schedule.  I was so excited; I couldn't turn her down for a first-meeting, blind-date run.  Who cares if I already had my miles in for the day AND kicked my husband's butt in racquetball (actually, he kicked mine 2/3 games...)

Anyway, she was AWESOME and I can't wait for her to meet the gang. 

Tuesday night was a speed-workout at the track with Amanda and after getting home and plugging in the garmin, I realized we maxed out at an 8:15 pace!  That is AWESOME for us!!!  It felt really good.  Plus after sitting in front of a computer every day starting at 7am and staying up way too late working, I really needed a balls-to-the-wall workout.

This morning was 5 miles with Rebecca.  I felt like I was struggling like crazy and she was just floating, but her smooth stride and confidence really pushed me to keep going.  I was just glad she was taking over the conversation as I was a huffin' and puffin'!! 

So there's 17 miles for the week already, even without my long run on Saturday! 

I am just so glad I've kept my running a priority as I can really tell how much my body AND BRAIN needed it!!

Ok, back to the grind... 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hair is about to be pulled out...

Yes, that's how stressed I currently am.  January is the busiest month for me at work - and I mean paperwork, spending an insane amount of time on the computer, data entry, design & layout, lots of details.  That is, outside of my normal 10a-6p job.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job and what I do, but every year I have this time crunch and I'm just about to pull my hair out.

I took a break to run 8.5 miles with my group this morning.  Yes, I'm totally counting that .5 cause I worked SO HARD for it.  It finally snowed in MI this weekend and we sloshed through the snow/slush all morning.  It was totally worth it though - just what I needed before getting back to the computer.

In 10 days the stress will be over, as all my data goes 'live' Feb 1st, so it must be done by then, but in the meantime, I'll be a bit MIA.  I am keeping my run-dates cause I certainly need them to decompress, but that's about it for fun-time. 

Today, one of my 'work-breaks' was cleaning the bathroom.  I HATE cleaning the bathroom.  More than anything in the world.  I'll scrub the kitchen floor on my hands and knees before I touch the shower.  I've even hired a cleaning lady before just for the bathrooms.  Insane, I know.  (It didn't last long - we couldn't afford it, but that is totally something I want when I hit the lottery!)

So, here I go for my last break of the evening - to eat dinner... hmm should I have eggs over-easy or waffles?  I love breakfast for dinner when my hubby isn't home. 

I'll be back to my normal blogging and reading come Feb 1st, but until then I'll be gouging my eyes out and getting this thing PERFECT!!  and I'm meeting a new running partner tomorrow afternoon... so I hope it goes well :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bullet List

I've been very busy and incredibly crabby today, so here's the latest in bullets.

  • Saturday was an awesome virtual half marathon for nike.  It is an incredibly empowering feeling when I can wake up and run a half marathon like it's no big deal :)   Yes, we've been running ~20 miles a week, but not following any formal training plan.  I don't lay my outfit out the night before or freak out anymore, it's amazing!  The half went well with three loops to make the course, a small snow cover and 4 good friends :)  Coach even made us some medals.  It was just as awesome as the pancake breakfast we went out for afterward.
    • The five of us then decided to meet again on Sunday morning for 4 recovery miles.  It was way more fun getting those miles in with friends.  We met and ended at Starbucks which helped me use up 2 of my 5 gift cards that I wouldn't have touched anyway :)  Not that I don't appreciate the gifts from some families at school, I just don't drink coffee, so it takes me over a year to drink that much hot chocolate and eat lemon loaf :)

    • After an hour or laundry, work paperwork, dishes, and picking up the house, my husband woke up and we had one hell of a racquetball game.  Last week, he kicked my ass all 3 games.  This week, it was the exact opposite.  I was on top of the world and ran him all over the court!  I think it was the fact that I wore my new fun blue running shoes :)  (yes, I haven't worn them outside yet cause I don't want them to get dirty) 

    • I have still been eating less and it feels great!  I've been running more and have plans to keep it going, so I'm really happy on this front!
    • Finally, I have a huge project at work this week with a quickly looming deadline which means I've been spending a crazy amount of time on the computer stressing out like crazy.  How do I decompress late at night when I'm still staring at the screen?  By registering for races and ordering a running skirt online, duh! 

    • I got this for $40 last night, using a paypal balance I've had for a few months :)  I ran my first marathon in a running skirt and loved it and have been eyeing this one for awhile.  I was still happy with the purchase this morning and even more so when I realized it's back to $68 this morning. 
    • And I'll definitely be running this 10K in March:
    So there's the verbal diarrhea from my brain :)

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Half Marathon Weekend

    One week back at school after two weeks off and I'm exhausted!  I went to bed before 8pm just about every night this week.

    The good news is that I'm sticking to my "Run More, Eat Less" and it's not that difficult.  I'm setting up run dates with friends and not eating everything in sight and it's been going really well.  I feel better and have even lost a few pounds this week :)

    Tomorrow our running group is participating in Nike's Virtual Half Marathon and it should be a lot of fun.  I can't believe I'm not worried running a half in the morning and didn't follow a training plan.  A year ago I had run/walked my first half marathon and still wasn't confident with the distance and now I've run two 13.1 fun runs since my first marathon in October.

    If you're interested in participating, you can do it anywhere, just check out the website: Nike +

    Then we should get together for a Sunday recovery run.  I LOVE THE WEEKEND :)

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    New Plan

    Run More, Eat Less

    It's as simple as that.  Those are the two things I need to work on this year.  Call it a resolution if you'd like; it's just what I need to work on.  

    The good news is that I have a plan in mind :)  My running group still meets Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings.  A handful of us from our pace group would like to run on Sundays as well, so there's three days a week right there, no problem.

    Once you add in my hopefully at least one week-day run with my fun friend Rebecca, I'll be rockin-and-a-rollin!  Four days set with friends is awesome, just think if I add in any extra days in myself :)

    Eating less will be more difficult for me since I love food, but I've been able to cut back before and can definitely do it now.  After having two weeks off work, I just need a schedule to go by.  I'm really good about making good choices and drinking a lot of water, but it's my portions that are a bit out of control.  Oh, and the fact that I love to eat handfuls of chocolate chips from the baking cupboard.  That's going to take some self control...

    So, here it is - out in the public: I'm going to Run More & Eat Less!

    Saturday, January 7, 2012

    Fun Cross Training & New Gear!!

    Having this week off has been so much fun!  My husband and I have been hanging out a lot which is awesome since he works nights and we typically don't get that much time together.  Two days ago we went ice skating which was a blast!  If forgot how much work it is; man, I was sweating!  I'm not that great of a skater but I can stay upright and not hit the little kids :)
    Today we went to play racquetball once I got home from my 8 mile run with the group.  I had about an hour of down time between the activities, but wow, my legs feel it now!  I love playing racquetball, but I get frustrated since I used to play tennis in HS and I'm still adjusting to the shorter swing and subtle differences in the game.  And my husband beats me 99% of the time :(

    When we got home from racquetball, I found these on my front porch:
    LOVE THEM!  Yes, I splurged and got the $100 pair of shoes cause I liked the color.  I can justify the purchase since a) I never splurge on things for myself, b) I LOVE the shoes and will DEFINITELY wear them, and c) I got a pretty nice bonus from work this year, so I really didn't spend any of 'my money'.  The only problem is that I don't want to wear them outside yet; I don't want them to get dirty :)
    I also picked up this beauty for less than $20 today - gotta love TJ Maxx.  I swear more than half of my wardrobe comes from that place or Marshall's.  I really needed another long sleeve top layer for winter and this one seems perfect :)  Can't wait to get out to try the new gear this week :)
    Now all I have to do tonight is watch the 

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Crappy first run of 2012

    I'm not too broken up about my first run of 2012 being a disaster, but it sure was brutal!  After having my sister's kids for five days, I was ready to get out the door yesterday morning and log some miles.  I had visions of double-digit miles as I hit the road.

    I quickly found that not to be in the cards as my right calf was so TIGHT.  We had done Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD for the past three days and the jumping jacks and jump roping pushed my calf to extreme tightness, just shy of a charley horse.  I thought after wearing compression socks for 24 hours, an easy long run would loosen it right up. 

    I couldn't have been more wrong!  It was pretty tight the first mile and then the pain faded into the background while my stomach revolted against me - all of this before the 2 mile marker!  I told myself I could do 7 miles and still be happy with it, but my body had other plans. 

    I turned around just after the 2 miler marker and then took a shorter way home.  At this point, I was miserable - overdressed, hot, tight calf, upset stomach...  it was brutal.  I had to take walk breaks to calm my stomach down.  Then I'd start running again to get home faster and feel horrible again. 

    I made it home for 3.8 miles just in time and felt like garbage the rest of the day.  So much for starting 2012 off with a great long run!  Oh well, I don't think it's doomed me forever.  The good news with running is that I can just try again today :)  I'm not upset about it; in fact I have learned to appreciate these crappy runs since I have them so rarely - they really let me know how lucky I am to have as many good runs as I do.

    I'll  be resting my still tight calf today - possibly playing racquetball later this afternoon - and head back out for a run tomorrow morning :)  Can't wait to redeem myself!

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    It's been so much fun having my nieces and nephew over for the week.  After five days, I've memorized all the characters and their physical attributes from Guess Who?, managed to lose Connect 4 more times that I can count and have finally mastered the art of Mickey Mouse pancakes!
    I'm proud of the fact that I've been able to tone down my type-A personality and allow there to be toys all over the house as well as the fact that I've turned the kids onto cooking and baking from scratch!  Like chicken noodle soup starting with an actual chicken!!  Here's my chopper:
    No, we don't get out of our pjs and only occasionally brush our hair :)
    The kids wondered how we could make cookies if they didn't come from the freezer or frosting from a can!  Duh, homemade with love :)

    It's been so much fun but now that they're home, I'm ready to sleep as long as I want, nap if I feel like it, and lace up and run when I want to!

    We were able to do Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred dvd each day, but I only got one run in the five days.  I don't know how you moms out there do it!

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    New Shoe Dilemma

    I purchased Saucony's ProGrid Ride 4 last month and LOVE THEM.  I have this crazy desire to have multiple pairs of them to rotate through and maybe even keep one as an 'inside' pair for inside dvd workouts and the occasion treadmill run.  However, they're $100 since they're a new model. 

    I've always run through a pair of shoes and then ~6/7 months later frantically searched for a new pair.  Granted, I'm lucky that I haven't had any issues with pain, but still I don't like that crazy period when I'm at the disadvantage price-wise since I need them right away.  

    So, since I love these Ride 4s, I was trying to find some more online.  I have a rather large balance on Paypal from selling some useless junk before Christmas, that frankly I'm surprised I still have :)  So, that's great news.

    Here are the new shoes I have, plain with a tiny bit of pink:
    And here I've found them online in blue:
    These are on sale for $77 with free shipping AND accept Paypal.

    BUT then I found these beauties:
    These are full retail $100 and DON'T accept Paypal, BUT are so awesome in this all-over color!!

    My logical brain says go for the lame blue ones (still better than my current white/black/pink ones) since they're a new model, on almost 25% sale, and I won't even feel the financial hit since it's coming from Paypal.

    BUT my super fun brain is sick of the boring white running shoes and wants something FUN!  Yes, I can move the money from Paypal to my bank acct and use that to pay off the CC I'll have to charge the fun shoes on = annoying.  BUT, is it worth it?

    I've been thinking about it for almost 2 hours now, which is insane.  My husband could care less about it, so he's no help and in reality, I could live without either one for awhile since I only have <100 miles on my new shoes.  

    However, I really think I can be more of a 'real runner' if I have a rotation of shoes :)  See how crazy I am??!!!  I really should be thankful that this is my only dilemma in life currently :)

    Any advice to sway me either way would be incredibly helpful!