Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chapter 2 page 507–TR 183 HUZZAH with photos

After procrastinating until 1:00 p.m. (SIGH!) and reading blog comments and getting a text of encouragement from Healthy Strides I left my house to drive to a nearby nature trail where I had planned to do 5.5 miles and maybe if everything went well maybe 6.5 to push me OVER the 600 mark.

Unlike the run I did on Thursday where I had nothing but an ipod, today I had EVERTHING!  I had my watch, my interval timer, my ipod, AND my beagle (Pacer). 


We set out on a 5.3 mile nature trail and knew that it would be MUDDY given ALL the rain we’ve had and the unseasonably warm temps (43*).  Remember the HUFF from 2 weeks ago?  Well it wasn’t THAT severe, but it was muddy and wet!  Enjoy the pictures. . .




At this park there is a bison enclosure.  Left is a picture of the new fence, but the incredible mud that I had to run through.  Next up are some photos of the bison . . . and Pacer’s less than happy reaction toward them!



Can you see the hair standing straight up along her spine?  She snorted and I feared she would bark and then I wasn’t sure what the bison would do (the bison was only about 3’ away from us).


It wasn’t all muddy (well, yes it was), there were some beautiful spots  as well . . .


In the end, Pacer and I went 6.5 miles in about 1:40 and had a BLAST! 

We were both VERY MUDDY!



When we got home, it was baths for both of us (separately, of course).  We started with Pacer  . . . she LOVES baths! 


I showed my husband the pictures from the path and he said, “You went through that?!?!”  I said “yes” and he replied, “You’re becoming a hard core trail runner!”  YES.I.AM. . . and I’m loving it! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Chapter 2 page 506– 2011 photo rewind

I love reading Flying Kites blog (it’s a family blog not a running blog – but her family is adorable and she is super sweet . . . she’s a bloggy I’ve met in real life).  She recently posted 12 pics for 2011 and invited everyone to do the same.  Because her post seemed like a GREAT way to remember 2011, I thought I would do it as well.  You can check it out HERE.  Thanks Sarah for the awesome post idea!

January 2011:


The saddest part of my year.  We had to put my beagle, Hoosier, to sleep.  I had her for almost 14 years. 



February 2011:


The most hectic part of my year . . . we adopted a rescue beagle and named her Pacer (my husband is a HUGE Pacer’s NBA fan!).  Don’t let her adorableness fool you . . . she gets into ENDLESS mischief. 



March 2011:

 I ran a new-to-me race with MGA (my girl Ashley).  It was a 5 mile race called the Nutri-Run.  We got smoothies (YUM) and a loaf of Panera bread after the race (odd, but delicious).  It was brutally cold and windy, but so fun to do it with MGA (check out her blog HERE)



April 2011:

April-June featured LOTS of physical therapy scraping on my heel to help fix my Plantar Fasciitis once and for all.   As painful as it was, 11 years was long enough to suffer from the daily pain!  So glad I went through this and am PF free now!!!!



May 2011:


“C”, “C’s” sister, and I along with Lisa (check out her blog HERE) and her 2 friends ran the Geist Half.  “L” came along for the party and was THE BEST cheerleader EVER!!!!



June 2011:

One of my proudest moments . . . a “final exam” of sorts for the Spring Into Training group.  Many of the participants participated in this cross country 5K or the Diva Dash the next morning.  FUN!  So proud of them!



July 2011:

July was one of my best months ever (as far as racing goes).  I ran 98 miles this month (most ever!).  I SMASHED my 3 mile PR at the Runner’s on Parade race.  Then, 2 weeks later, I CRUSHED my 5K PR (by almost 3 minutes) at the Swiss Days 5K (which I did alone so that’s all the more impressive!)


August 2011:


June – September I took a half marathon class.  In addition to learning sooo much, I met some great people whom now I call friends!!!! 




September 2011:

100_1528The BEST thing that happened in September was the Fort 4 Fitness Half Marathon.  This was my goal race for the year and I had a PR SMACK DOWN. This race was special also because so many of the Spring Into Training graduates did either the 4 miler, 10K, or half marathon.  So proud of them!



October 2011:



October was such a whirlwind of awesomeness!!!!  3 weeks after my September half, we did 2 halfs 7 days a part in 2 different states.  On the left, we did the Columbus half and met one of the sweetest people EVER, Zaneta from Runner’s Luck (check out her blog HERE).  Then a 5 days later, we headed on a road trip to STL for the RnR half (right).  We met up with MOA and CHIN and had a fun-filled girls’ weekend away (oh yeah, and did a HARD HILLY HALF). 


November 2011:


Even though I went to California and ran Big Sur in November (which was a race of a lifetime), the best of November 2011 was the WOOF trail relay.  Team Victorious Secret came out on top (thanks to Kimberly – check out her blog HERE), but more than that, the half mary class reunited for some super fun!!!!!


December 2011:



The HUFF 50K Relay – overcoming so much and having such great friends to do it with!  Incredible and life changing!



Your turn . . . show us your year in photos!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chapter 2 page 505– TR 182 oh yeah!

Don’t ask me why, but I seem to struggle to remember something SOOO simple and something that is said SOOO often on running blogs . . .


I honestly can’t understand why that lesson is not screaming in my head at least as loudly as ALL the excuses I can easily and quickly come up with to skip a particular run. 

But today, in an attempt to achieve one more running thing in 2011, get to 600 miles for the year, I went for a run although I REALLY wanted to just go home and put on my PJs.  I had 100 excuses to not run, but I convinced myself (after reading all of your awesome comments on my last post) that I would do 3 miles.  (I probably wasn’t really quite THAT excited about doing this run, but I am “kinda” excited about getting to 600 miles). 

12.29 run pix

. . . .DRUM ROLL PLEASE . . . .

total distance run:  4.67 MILES

It only took me ONE hour!

. . . .HIGH 5’s PLEASE . . . .

With only a handful of training runs completed since October (other than races) and a respiratory virus that just won’t stop making me cough (and sound like a phone sex worker . . . not that I would actually know what one sounds like).  I feel pretty amazing about this run!!!!

I didn’t have a watch nor an interval timer but know I can’t just “run” – I have to do intervals (at least for now – hopefully some day I won’t have to).  After a 3 song walking warm up (I figured that was pretty close to about 10 minutes), I ran a song then walked a song for the entire time.  Why is that amazing – well . . . since September, I haven’t run more than 1 minute at a time (with the exception of THIS run a couple of weeks ago).  It was challenging but kind of fun – a nice change from my normal intervals. 

Chapter 2 page 504–12 miles to go

I noticed on my Daily Mile that I’ve run/walked 588 miles this year.  With only 3 days left in 2011 surely I can do 12 more miles and make that an even 600. 

A 6 miler, a 4 miler, and a 2 miler?

Perhaps three 4 milers?

Or two 6 milers?

A 5 miler, a 4 miler, and a 3 miler?

How about a 10 miler and a 2 miler (not likely)?

I guess it could even be one long run of 12 miles (seriously not likely).

What do you think?  Can I get 12 miles in before the end of the year?  Should I even care?

What are you trying to accomplish before the end of the year?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chapter 2 page 503–Office boot camp photo edition

As you all know, I participated in a 3 week boot camp class that ended right before Christmas.  Although I found it very challenging, I LOVED the progress I made, the strength I gained, and the success I experienced.  I’m not really a good DVD exerciser or dedicated home exerciser – I’m awesome with group exercise classes (shocking to learn I’m all about socializing, huh! ha!).  So what’s a girl to do . . .

Well, I opted to continue to do some of the exercises . . . at work, in my office, during my break time.  Today was my first “session”.  I tried VERY hard to take pictures – any idea how hard it is to take a self-photo while doing a plank???  Or a layout crunch???  Well, good news for you I took some crazy pix for your amusement. 

For starters, here is the little space I did the planks (that’s a piece of paper to give you a size reference):


I started my first mini break-time office boot camp session with planks (in that little space above).  I held the first plank for 60 seconds (go me, before boot camp I might have lasted 20 seconds WITH shaking arms!), then I rested for 30 seconds (was that too long of a rest?) and held the plank for 45 seconds, then 30 seconds rest, then held the plank for 30 seconds, another 30 second rest, and finished up with holding plank for 15 seconds but this time I did hip dips (that’s what I’m calling it – who knows what it’s really called – it’s where you rotate your pelvis from side to side super core engaging).  All in all – felt awesome!  Here’s some LOVELY photos of the plank-ing Smile 



That’s a picture taken with my blackberry on the floor looking up toward my planked body (that’s the ceiling above my head).




Cute, huh!  That’s my attempt at holding plank with one arm while taking this lovely head-on photo.  Hee hee!  Yeah, I had a sweater and a scarf on while planking.


After the planks I returned to work and an hour later I opted for some pretty “fun” crunches that we did during boot camp.  I did these in the space between my computer table and desk (I kept my chair in the picture to give you a size reference).


The crunches are kind of difficult to describe, but I’ll try:

3 normal crunches then on the 4th crunch reach for your knees, then on the 5th crunch do a full body lay out by pointing your toes and extending your arms straight over your head (you look super cool like a gymnast or diver), then on the 6th crunch point your legs to the ceiling, then the 7th crunch reach to the ceiling to “touch your toes” since your legs are still perpendicular to the floor, then the 8th crunch is a reverse lower ab (butt up) crunch, then completely down and repeat the process.  I did 5 of these (that’s like 40 crunches – not amazing, but still pretty intense).

Want some crazy pictures of these crunches?  Alright since you asked so nicely Smile 



Here’s the regular crunch – yeah, I look a LOT happier in this photo – it was the first rep – ha!





Not sexy, I know, but it’s a photo of the lay out portion of the crunch sequence.  Yep, still wearing my sweater and scarf and pants with a belt (there’s a reason work out pants don’t have belts – crunches + belts = ouch).




Thinking this is another view of the layout portion of the crunch sequence.  Close up of those highlights.  Nice!



There you have it – 2 mini work break office boot camp sessions.  I like it – I’ll keep adding these to my work day . . . as time permits! 

Do you do exercises at work? 

Where’s the oddest place you’ve done exercises?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chapter 2 page 502–2011 Recap

What a great year I’ve had.  I’ve been so blessed this year that a recap seems impossible to write in order to convey all the great things that happened in 2011. 

If you have a minute, please click HERE to read an open letter to running I wrote in looking ahead to 2011.  When you read that letter you really see how incredibly far I’ve come!  Pretty awesome to think about. 

Let’s start by looking at the goals I set for 2011:

1.  Find “the perfect running shoe” – I’m calling that a success although I think there is still room for improvement.  After running in dozens of shoes over the past 2 years and having had an array of injuries and pains, I found Nike Air Pegasus and except for left quad pain, they’ve been very good to me.  Yay!

100_15282.  Run 2 half marathons– UMMM YES ACCOMPLISHED!  I actually ran 6 half marathons in 2011:  Geist (May), Chicago RnR (August), Fort 4 Fitness (September), Columbus Half (October), St. Louis RnR (October), and Big Sur Half (November).  I feel so lucky and blessed to have had the opportunity to do these races.  I had a sub-goal of setting a PR at 2:59:99 – CRUSHED . . . I got my PR at the F4F race in September 2:53:51!

100_02933.  Complete 10 5K’s – ACCOMPLISHED!  This might have been the most challenging goal – just arranging my schedule to get those in.  I had a blast doing most of them.   I had a sub-goal of setting a PR at 39:00 – CRUSHED . . . I got my PR at the Swiss Days 5K in July 37:47 (3:29 faster than previous PR – smokin’). 

DSC014744.   Complete 2 10 mile races – ACCOMPLISHED!  I had originally set the goal to complete a 10 mile race in April and in September.  I wasn’t able to do the April race, but instead I did the HUFF in December so it wall worked out.  I even set a PR at the Parlor City 10 Miler in September at a 2:12: 50.


5.  Complete 1 10K (Rat Race) and set a PR at 1:21:30.  I wasn’t able to accomplish this goal.  I wasn’t able to run the Rat Race because I ended up doing the STL RnR race which was on the same day.  

100_21576.  Complete 1 trail race – ACCOMPLISHED!  I actually did 2 trail races (WOOF in November, and HUFF in December).  These were definitely some of my FAV (and most challenging) races of the year!!!  Go Team Victorious Secret!