Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Long Run of 2012

Week 10: Half Marathon Training
The fearless threesome at mile seven.
Goal Total Miles: 23 miles
Actual Total Miles: 24 miles

I'm slowly but surely making up those five miles I missed in Week 8. So far so good with my new Garmin 410. I had a little trouble getting it set up for my first run, but it was total user error and not a problem with the watch itself. While I have no idea what I'm supposed to be watching for when it comes to my heart rate, it is an interesting piece of data to have and a nice way to track how many of those Christmas calories I'm burning.

This week's long run was a threesome for the first seven miles. Faith, my 5k partner in crime, is training for the Princess Half and she is up to seven miles on her long run. It was awesome to have an extra on our route, despite the crazy cold wind that was blowing at 20 mph. Those last three miles with the wind in my face were not fun, but as Andrea often reminds me, "you can't control the weather on race day." Well, I've practiced in the wind now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Ho! Ho! Ho!
I was one of those annoying kids who woke my parents up crazy early every Christmas. I'm sure they hated me.

As an adult without children, I enjoyed sleeping in on Christmas morning and then I treated myself to a quiet run throughout the neighborhood.

I loved seeing all the surprises Santa had delivered while I was catching some extra Zs. In my brief four mile loop I saw a trampoline, an awesome purple bike and a dad and daughter doing a little target practice with a new bow and arrow. I had a number of Christmas surprises in my lifetime. Probably one of the best was when I was four or five and I received my first puppy, in a basket, with a bow - a dachshund that I named Ginger.

This year, Santa brought me a Garmin Forerunner 410 with a heart rate monitor. I'm pretty psyched to upgrade from my MotoActv, which has decided to have an attitude lately and add a heart rate monitor into the mix of data. I think I read hundreds of reviews about the 410 before making a decision. You know, sometimes too much information is a bad thing. Some people love the touch bezel while others thought it was the dumbest thing ever created. I came to the conclusion that the touch bezel wasn't that big of a deal for me and if I hated it, I'd send it back. This review was a huge help for me in choosing the right watch for me.

And while I've not written a movie review recently, we've been seeing films like they are going out of style. I think for the first time we won't be scrambling to see a film when the Oscar nominations come out in January.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Let's Go Pats!

Week 9: Half Marathon Training
Goal Total Miles: 18 miles
Let's Go Pats!
Actual Total Miles: 19 miles

Well, I made up a mile this week on last week's total. I thought I'd be able to make up a few more since this was a scheduled low mileage week, but travel plans and work commitments prevented this. C'est la vie.

I love football. High school football, college football, pro football - I love it all. I love good defense. I love hard hits. I love seeing the QB sacked - well, anyone other than Tom Brady. That's right, we're Patriots fans. The husband is from Boston, so it's expected. 

We took a weekend road trip to see the Pats play the Jacksonville Jaguars. Without actual tickets to the game, we figured we could easily find a couple of great seats by trolling the tailgating area. It took an hour or so, but we managed to find a nice lady trying to get rid of a couple of awesome seats. 

I cheered on handsome Tommy and the poorly performing Patriots defense to a down-to-the-wire victory drinking a couple of fancy liquor drinks out of plastic mason jars. Cute, right? 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's a Long Run, Charlie Brown

It's a Nativity, Charlie Brown
A mid-week long run was necessary this week to get one in the books. It was supposed to be a short mileage week with the longest run being six miles, but I think the long runs are important no matter what that piece of paper says. I'm lucky enough to have a very flexible work schedule, so running for a couple of hours on a Thursday is doable. Andrea and I normally run throughout downtown on Saturday or Sunday -  so we weren't ready for busy traffic throughout the entire route.

My new running friend, Jackie, joined us for the first half of our run and was attempting to tackle her longest run to date - six miles. We see her occasionally on the back half of our route, but this time she started with us and did great. Not only did she kill those six miles, she ran at a faster pace than she ever had.

Jackie's house is right along our normal route, so when we dropped her off we noticed her neighbor had a huge wooden cut out of the nativity with Charlie Brown characters. Absolutely the most unique holiday decorations I've seen all season. Here I am with Charlie as Joseph.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Epic Fail

Week 8: Half Marathon Training
Happy 11th Birthday Ren!
Goal Total: 22 miles
Actual Total: 17 miles

Yep. A whopping five miles short this week. It just goes to show you that having a running partner makes a huge difference.

It was horribly foggy this morning and we just didn't feel like it was safe for us to be out and about on the roads. Safety first - right? So, my long run was shortened to a solo six miler around my neighborhood. Bah humbug.

I did see this cool sign that a family had made to wish their eleven year old a very happy birthday. I don't know if the sign rolled down with the garage door, or if they put it up there to surprise Ren when he/she pulled into the driveway. And how cool is the name Ren, by the way?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Running Rascal

This is Rascal. He lives down the street from me. Rascal likes to run. In fact, he joined me for almost a mile today before flopping down in front of me and demanding a belly rub. Most folks run with a dog. I'm totally on the cutting edge. Rascal the Running Cat Rocks!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Dirty Snowman

Week 7: Half Marathon Training
Goal Total Miles: 21 miles
Andrea and Frankie - two thumbs up!
Actual Total Miles: 21 miles

That makes two weeks in a row meeting goal miles. That has to be a record, right? 

Each run was faster than the plan suggested - well I think it was. My watch screwed up early in my run on Thursday, so I really don't have any idea of what pace I was running. So much for speed work. After I pouted like a five year old, I got over the fact I couldn't track my pace and just focused on getting in the miles for the day. My MotoActv has an attitude - and it needs an adjustment.

This week's holiday photo bomb is of Andrea and Frankie the Dirty Snowman. This lawn ornament was probably white at one point in its existence, but this guys is a long way from white now. I guess you really can't launder these blowup decorations. Frankie teaches us a valuable lesson about being selective when it comes to choosing the right holiday blowup character for your yard. One day, not to far down the road, Frosty won't be white anymore and you'll either have to trash him or continue to drag him out every year and face the embarrassment of a dirty decoration on your lawn. 

I'm guessing next year, that santa bear will be sporting a nice gray hue. At least Frankie won't be alone.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Running

Week 6: Half Marathon Training
Vintage decorations rock!
Goal Total Miles: 20 miles
Actual Total Miles: 20 miles

Right on track. My speed work really helped my 5k time on Saturday - do doubt. I kinda look forward to those mid-week runs on the schedule. However, I really shouldn't make the mistake to run really hard on the day before a long run day. My legs really hated me on Sunday afternoon - and today.

Andrea and I have decided that we are going to take a picture with someone's holiday decorations each week on our long runs. Our first picture is of me in a johnny boat with a snowman circa 1971. What you cannot see is the blue lights they have placed under the boat that represents water when everything is illuminated.

Despite the fact I was sitting next to a snowman, I was sweating like it was July. Where did the winter go?

Reindeer Run Recap

Reindeer Run 5k
December 1, 2012, Macon, GA
25:07, 8th out of 71 in age group

Can we say PR? If anyone was taking pictures at the finish line on Saturday, my smile was a mile wide as I came around the corner and saw the clock, which read 25:20. That would have been 11 seconds faster than my previous best 5k time, but this was a pretty big, chip-timed race and I certainly didn't start near the front of the pack. A quick check of  my watch and it said 25:07 - and my chip agreed with my watch!

The course was anything but flat. In fact, reading Facebook posts of other runners and hearing folks lamenting at the finish about the hills has made me even more psyched about my finish time. I actually really enjoyed the course. Sure, there were plenty of uphill spots, but there were just as many downhill sections. I certainly hate when a course is all one slow incline without any breather. These hills you could see the top of so I like the sense of accomplishment I feel when I know I'm at the top.

This was my last race of 2012 and I'm so excited that it was my best of the year and I head into 2013 feeling like I could run a sub-25 race at some point!