Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Week in Review (January 20 - January 26)

Tuesday - Speed work! warm up, 6 x 400 and cool down. Yes, the picture below was my best effort. HAHAHAHA.

Was feeling pretty sore when I got home, so I did a "new to me" yoga/pilates Fitness Blender video. It was different, and I felt better after doing it.
Wednesday - An hour of hills... max incline 7.5%. Which, let me tell you, IS HARD. This was HARD. But I'm trying to get stronger this year, and I would like running to not feel as...well, hard. HA.



I'm also trying to get back into doing some cross training. I've been slacking over the last year or so and I can tell that it has affected my running. I did another "new to me" video - this one was a chest and shoulders video, which I also liked.
Thursday - 3.3 miles on the treadmill, which were pretty nice.
Friday - So my extended family was in town for my nephew's Bar Mitzvah. I left work early so that I could make it to the service and dinner. It was nice to catch up with everyone, but I ate too much. Again.
Saturday - The goal was to get a decent mid length (I was aiming for about 6 miles) run in before heading back up to Boulder for the Bar Mitzvah. I got up before dawn and headed to Sloans Lake, where I hoped to run two loops around the lake. Right from the beginning I felt "off" - and it didn't get better from there. It was SUPER cold, but there were actually a few people out on the two lane "trail" around the lake. I needed to use the bathroom, but it was so dark I couldn't see where any were. Lets just say that I should have stopped after one loop. Instead, there was an incident. :*(  Sometimes I really hate running.



The after party was at the bowling alley - with an open bar. Another full day of family fun and eating too much. Since it was also my nephew's birthday, we had a huge chocolate cake. Then, we had pizza Saturday. I was awoken about 2 hours after I went to bed because A was puking. So that was fun.
Sunday - A claimed to be recovered from her food poisoning (or whatever had happened), and still wanted to go on our weekly run. I had been hoping to go run on a trail, but with the moisture we have had, many were too muddy and I didn't think she would like that. I was a bit hungover, so we didn't head out onto Big Dry Creek until after the sun was up. It was a bit windy at the start, but then it really warmed up. We did three miles! A is really building up a pretty good base.


Can you believe this is Colorado in January??
We then met up with my cousins and their kids before they had to the airport. We went to Boondocks where the kids were able to play laser tag, go bowling, miniature golfing, go carting and playing arcade games.


The cousins had to head to the airport, and we went to the Southern Sun for beers and dinner.


We clearly hadn't eaten ENOUGH, and had some dessert bread (and I had more beer). And then the newest challenge was born. More details below.
Monday - 4 mostly ok miles on the treadmill and a video - 100 Rep Squat Challenge #2.

Miles Run - 23.6 miles
Minutes of Cross Training - 0
Minutes of Strength Training/Stretching - 73! (Way up from the 0 of weeks past)

Weekly Gain - 3.2 pounds

  • Well, the weigh in was a day earlier, and a direct result of the "NEW CHALLENGE"
  • So L and I have a fascination with shows like "My 600 Pound Life" and "The Biggest Loser." I like watching shows like this. We watched a show on Sunday night about a woman in the United Kingdom that purposely gained 42 pounds (in three months), just to prove that it can be lost in the same amount of time, just by eating everything in moderation and very "moderate" exercise.
  • I have been out of control AGAIN with the food/eating. I know I have food issues, mainly that if I am around different/good things I become unable to STOP. Every meal is like "the last supper." Stupid.
  • So. I am not trying to gain or lose anything in an irrational amount of time, but there were a few things I "liked" about the show. The idea (and TRUTH), that if you don't go overboard, you CAN enjoy all the things you like. Again, my problem is STOPPING. 
  • I've also been out of control with the weekly weigh in and the calorie log in. So another part of the "challenge" is that there is NO weigh in until the end day, and there is NO calorie logging.
  • So what makes this "fun"??? - WELL, L and I roped Heather into joining us. We are still sending each other pictures of our food, and on March 1, we are doing a weigh in and whoever loses the largest percentage wins a $50 gift card, paid for by the two "losers" - we did a picture virtual weigh in Monday morning.
  • Just for the fun of the BLOG, I will do a daily collage of what I ate that day. I KNOW, COULD MY BLOG GET ANY BETTER?
  • So... day 1 of the challenge - this is what I ate:


  • I actually COOKED again this week. A picked an enchilada recipe. It was pretty delicious, although probably not super nutritious.
Everything Else

Still loving the job. I have to share this picture of our fabulous break room!




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week in Review (January 13 - January 19)

Tuesday - HILLS. I think I was a stronger runner when I ran the hill programs on the treadmill. I wasn't very fast, but I knocked out a 5K on a program that maxed out at something ridiculous like 7.5%.


Wednesday - I go to 24 Hour Fitness. They recently absorbed the Bally's Fitness Centers in my area. I decided to check out the one sort of near me that has an indoor track. Apparently, our current membership will not allow us to use that location without paying substantially more a month. However, I know the manager there and he let me try it out for the night. Did you know that you have to do 13 LAPS FOR A MILE?

Thursday - Just about an hour on the treadmill. I don't remember much about it so it must have been fine. Me and A are back to "cooking" and finding new recipes. We found a super simple recipe for mini meatloaves. Unfortunately, by the time we got everything made we ended up not eating dinner until almost 9:00. They were DELICIOUS (and we had leftovers for two more meals).


Friday - SUPER busy day at work. Finished packing for the big office move. I spent a bulk of the afternoon helping to pack up the supply/copy room. #pizzafriday and a quick run around the neighborhood. It was WARM out.
Saturday - Frosty's Frozen Five mile race with A! Afternoon was spent watching TV.
Sunday - In the morning, L and I ran the "Arctic" Prairie Dog Half Marathon.


In the afternoon, I made more bark. (Photo in the food montage). This time, it was milk and white chocolate swirled with Heath toffee bits and topped with caramel filled morsels. And surprise - #pizzasaturday !!!
Monday - I was supposed to have the day off for "Civil Rights Day" (did you know this is what MLK day is called now?) Unfortunately, because of the office move, I had to work and unpack. Good news is that since it was a holiday for everyone else, I got a lot done. 5K on the treadmill after work.

Miles Run - 34.6
Minutes of Cross Training - ZERO
Minutes of Strength/Stretching - ZILCH

Weekly Gain/Loss - 0 pounds (121.8) 

  • So not having a gain was a big surprise. I really didn't eat that great this week. As you can see in the above picture... there was carrot cake, Yogurtland, bark, German chocolate cake. Plus, the new job has snacks - hence the chips...
  • I do, however, think the lack of stress has contributed to less stress gain (and less drinking, so...)
Everything Else
  • What else is there to say about the new job? It is a substantially busier (in a good way) desk than my last job - with a TON more variety. We moved this week and I'm pretty happy to be located right near the break room. Maybe people won't notice how many times I get up for water and snacks.
  • Um.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Arctic (Winter) Prairie Dog Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, January 18
Louisville, CO
Half Marathon #125
Colorado Half #58
Weather - Windy and Sunny


The "Arctic" (Winter) Prairie Dog half marathon is one of the "four seasons" half marathons in the series put on by 3W. As only one of two half marathons offered in Colorado in January, we signed up like 11 months in advance - I think for $35 or something??) L had run it last year and warned me that it was "a confusing and hilly course." Well, that sounds awesome.

We dropped off the kids with my parents at 6:30 and drove up to Louisville. We parked, as instructed, in the parking lot of the now closed Sam's Club. Only to later have to move the car because apparently the Sam's Club is now an unmarked church?

Anyway, we picked up our bags and used the bathroom in Albertson's before the start. Yes, I enjoy looking at kitten calendars when I am in line for the bathroom.


So it is in the mid to upper 40's ALREADY. We are, again, some of the only people in tanks and skirts. A woman behind us in the bathroom line commented that we were going to freeze. DID YOU KNOW THAT IT IS THE SUNNIEST EVER AND I AM GOING TO SLOWLY BOIL WHILE RUNNING?

We headed out to the corral(?) start area, a few minutes before 8. The race started just a minute or so late, and I started probably middle of the pack (honestly, I probably should have started a bit further back).

Immediately, I could see what L was talking about. We did a loop through a neighborhood, then it was one turn after another. Thankfully, the course was very well marked and there were lots of volunteers. The first 3 miles felt EASY. I was running pretty easy and I was wondering where the hills were.


I found out when we got to downtown Louisville (basically where the Turkey Trot A and I ran was). The hills started, fairly gradually. I finally caught up to Ross around mile 4. Then the first big climb of the course. I was super impressed with myself for running up the whole thing.

AND THEN MY LEGS DIED. I walked through the aid station at the top, but my legs were TRASHED. My legs below the knee (through my feet) had gone completely numb. (Does this ever happen to anyone else??) I ended up walking a lot longer than I wanted. We crossed a street, and then ANOTHER CLIMB:


We turned and then ran on dirt up yet another hill for I don't know, FOREVER.


Finally got some relief when we finally got done with the steep climbs around mile 6. I have been trying not to look at my watch, and when my legs were finally ready to go again, I was pleasantly surprised when the mile markers beeped and my pace was substantially faster than I expected.

We were rewarded with some nice downhills, and then we were finally back near the start. Around mile 10-11 we had a gradual downhill for a mile, then crossed under the street to run back miles 11-12 with the gradual uphill.



The last aid station at roughly mile 12 was when my iPod died. That was sad. The last mile was a little rough, but since it was a reverse loop through the first neighborhood we ran through, I knew what to expect. I actually had some kick for the finish. I was really surprised at my "fast" finish (although, my watch measured about .3 short - let's just assume the course was accurate and the GPS just got confused with all the turns).

Bib #1401
Official Time - 2:16:27
Official Pace - 10:25 (FOR THE HILLIEST COURSE EVER?!)
Overall Place - 270/423
Gender Place - 140/256
Division Place - 54/88
Garmin Time - 2:16:29
Garmin Distance - 12.82 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:39
Mile 1 - 10:30
Mile 2 - 10:18
Mile 3 - 10:10
Mile 4 - 10:57
Mile 5 - 12:44 (when I wanted TO DIE)
Mile 6 - 11:18
Mile 7 - 10:32
Mile 8 - 10:43
Mile 9 - 10:08
Mile 10 - 9:23
Mile 11 - 10:26
Mile 12 - 11:16
Mile 13 - 9:50



Thoughts:

  • Early registration made this race very affordable. I don't even think late registration was horribly expensive. There is a 10K option in addition to the half marathon (which starts separately).
  • The bibs are cute and SMALL. I hate the trend of the big giant bibs. I do not, however, like shoe tags. For real, I can't believe races are still using these.
  • The shirt is gender specific, but sort of "cheap" - the shirt I got at the last race was better (I think).
  • The medals and ribbons are nice. However, Peedy (the prairie dog mascot) was given a makeover since last year and I don't like his new, slim appearance. Doesn't he look like a chipmunk?
  • Also, a customized pint glass for all finishers.
  • AWESOME post race food. They had Domino's pizza, Evol burritos, and then regular post race stuff. No beer though :(
  • Aid stations EVERY MILE. This is the best. I liked that they used small cups (like they 4 oz size). I think most of the aid stations also had electrolyte drink (can't remember what it was) and a few also had gels. There were also port-o-potties on course, which is always nice.
  • Overall a nice race. It sold out this year, so not sure you can wait until the last minute to see if the weather will cooperate. I probably would run this race again.

Unrelated to the race. HOLY CRAP WITH THE WEATHER. It had been so warm all week that most of the snow we have gotten had melted. There were a few shaded areas that were icy, but overall, the course was clear. It was sunny, it was warm - NO REALLY, it was near 60 when I finished?? Is this winter? Is this January?? I think "Arctic" was a poor descriptor this year (not that I am complaining).

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Frosty's Frozen Five Mile (Race Recap)

Saturday, January 17
Littleton, CO
Weather - Windy (but not terrible), warm


A has decided that she wants to run with me at least once a week. When I saw how nice the forecast was going to be, I gave A the choice to run a few trail miles with me, or to run the "flat and fast" Frosty's Frozen Five Miles. She chose to run the race since there would be a medal. There is also a ten mile run, which starts an hour and fifteen minutes after the five mile run, so I offered to watch H so L could run the ten miler.

We all headed down to Hudson Gardens in Littleton around 8:00. That would only give us an hour for the drive, parking and packet pick up. The drive took a little longer than expected. We had to park in the further lot and I didn't think we would have enough time to get back to the car before the race start. We got to the pick up about 15 minutes before the start (and still needed to use the bathroom). They were not able to locate A's registration, so we had to go to the "trouble table" to get her a bib. I was attaching shoe tags while in the bathroom line. We had less than 5 minutes to the start before snapping this picture and heading outside.


A has been running more than she did in preparation for her 10K, but we knew she would need to finish in about 70 minutes or less in order for us to grab H before L had to start HER run. We lined up towards the back. LOTS of people out on this gorgeous "winter" day.


The race advertised three aid stations - miles 1.25, the turnaround at mile 2.5 and 3.75 miles. A was keeping a pretty steady pace. Around a mile she said she was starting to get tired, but I convinced her to keep going until the aid station.


Only... there WAS no aid station. She managed to make it almost two miles until she needed to walk. She was thirsty and a bit mad that there was no water as advertised. It was sunnier and warmer than I expected. Other than everything being brown, does it even look like winter?

You can see the fasties on the other side of the river on their way back.
FINALLY, I could see the bridge where we were going to cross over. A was doing great. She was running at a substantially better pace than I expected. However, we still had a ways to go. A was starting to wilt a bit. The walk and Gatorade helped, and we did a "mostly run, walk some" plan for the back half of the course. Seriously, the sunniest sun EVER:


A struggled a bit during mile 3. At least the last aid station was there (which helped). Once we got to mile 4 she kept asking "are we close???" I never really know how to answer her. To ME, a mile is close. To her, it's pretty far. She had a lot of support of the ladies near us who kept telling her how great she was doing. When we finally got near the gardens she got excited. I asked her if she was going to smoke me at the finish (like she usually does - she has a FAST sprint). She said, "probably not, my legs are tired."

LIAR:


A had a goal to run under 80 minutes... and she SMOKED IT:

Official Time - 1:01:29
Overall Place - 537/679
Division Place - 53/82
Garmin Time - 1:01:31
Garmin Distance - 5.05 miles
Garmin Pace - 12:11 (!!!!!!!)
Mile 1 - 11:28
Mile 2 - 11:55
Mile 3 - 12:25
Mile 4 - 13:05
Mile 5 - 12:13
Mile 5.05 sprint - 8:08



Me and the kids hung out at the finish line eating cookies and drinking coffee (for me) and hot chocolate (for them). Then we watched the 10 mile finishers. L, of course, did a super speedy run and got a new 10 mile PR.

Thoughts:
  • A did REALLY great. I think the first aid station not being there really messed with her head though. If we run this course again I'll remember to bring something - it's a psychological thing for her. (Her pace for the 10K was close to 15 minutes, so this was a substantial improvement. Maybe the "training" is not all a myth?)
  • The course is SUPER flat. There were some small rollers, but at A's pace they didn't bother me.
  • Shirts are ok (no picture, like usual).
  • Love the medals - so cute!!
  • Finish line food was great. Loved the cookies (there were also giant muffins) and then the coffee and hot chocolate was nice as well.
  • Weather was PERFECT. Who can believe this was January??

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Week(s) in Review (December 30 - January 12)

Gah. I promise I am finally getting caught up on my blogging and I will get back to doing these once a week. It is way too hard to go back in time to get these done this far back.

Tuesday, December 30 - Still. Driving. To. Texas. I had stopped for the night in Lamar because it was too damn scary driving on a blizzard on a two-lane road with a f*ton of semis zooming past me at 70 miles an hour. Anyway. I got up and left at the crack of dawn. I had about 650 miles to go before arriving in Dallas. It was STILL snowing. And cold. See? FROZEN DOOR.


In fact, it snowed ALL THE WAY TO AMARILLO.


I stopped for breakfast at Denny's - HOPPED UP ON COFFEE after having probably 100 ounces over the morning. It did not stop snowing until about 30 miles south of Amarillo. I made packet pick up for NYD about 30 minutes before they closed, and then I met my ex and A at the hotel I had booked in Dallas. (PS - when you see a Ramada for only $40 a night, THERE IS A REASON FOR IT. Spent the extra money to stay somewhere else). We went to dinner with the ex at a Mexican restaurant before he drove back to Austin and we picked up some last minute things before the our first race.
BELIEVE ME, this was NOT the worst part of the room. O.o
Wednesday, December 31 - New Years Double "Eve" races. 5K with A, then a half marathon solo while A volunteered.


I was FREEZING after we finished. And hungry. We went to IHOP to reload. A got a gigantic hot chocolate with a ton of whipped cream and I had like 4 cups of coffee.


We spent the rest of the afternoon in the hotel room... watching TV. And packing. I was feeling a cold coming on, was tired and sore. We hit up Chili's for dinner (really, I just had a salad), and then a NY Eve celebration:


We were in bed before 10. Old and lame....
Thursday, January 1 - New Years Double "Day" races. I've already relived this enough times. It was cold, horrible, and I feel cold just thinking about it.


Since we had already checked out of the hotel room, there was no way to take a scalding hot shower and dry off. I ended up stripping a Whataburger bathroom (which took a really long time because I was still mostly frozen and soaked). We started the drive back to Denver right after lunch, making it as far as Amarillo. We had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings (another salad), and in bed fairly early (in a MUCH nicer hotel room).
Friday, January 2 - Up early to get on the road. Breakfast at the hotel was entertaining:


And really, other than stopping for coffee and the bathroom, our only stop was at the Colorado/Oklahoma state line:

Yes, A is wearing my shoes. Hers were still saturated after being in the pouring rain and she only had the one pair with her
We got home late in the afternoon. We had to buy some groceries since I hadn't been home in weeks. One mile in the inferno to work out travel kinks.
Saturday, January 3 - L wasn't picking up H until afternoon, so she convinced us to go to her "run club" in the morning. I definitely was getting sick and I was tired, but A wanted to go, so we headed out for a few miles before the snow came in:


A taking a fake photo of the geese :D
Wasn't able to get a "real" run in, so I went to the gym before lunch and ran another 4.6 miles on the treadmill. Must have gone shopping or something in the afternoon. Who knows.
Sunday, January 4 - Don't remember the morning. Had to pack and head to the airport around 3:30 to go to Phoenix for job training. Had a salad and beer for dinner at the airport. By the time I got to the hotel, it was already 9. I did a quick run on the treadmill and then got everything ready for my first day. INCLUDING IRONING (I never do this by the way). My room was really hot because the AC didn't work :(
Monday, January 5 - Up most of the night last night because cold is full blown. So tired. Breakfast at the hotel was awesome (Embassy Suites) - and then I walked over to the office for training. The corporate office is so big they have their own building!


Had a full day of training. I was training with two other women, and it was one piece of information after the other. We were supposed to be done at 5, but training went late and I ended up not getting out until after 5:30, which cut into the daylight I was hoping to have for a nice run. I still managed just about a 1.5 mile before the sun started to set:


I went to the Cheesecake Factory for a celebratory slice of Oreo cheesecake and a beer (and a small sandwich):


Tuesday, January 6 - Poor night's sleep again. This cold is kicking my ass. More training, worked through lunch. Had to leave just after 2:00 to head to the airport. By the time I got back to Denver it was after 7. Quick run in basement inferno before bed. LONG DAY.
Wednesday, January 7 - First day at work in the new office!!! Parking on the 7th floor of my ON SITE parking, PAID FOR MONTHLY BY THE FIRM (yes, I am crazy excited for "free" parking for work):


Busy day. The woman I am replacing is retiring, but our time overlaps by about a week, so I was busy trying to get as much information out of her as possible. Plus, meeting with the attorneys and getting to know their cases, their habits, learning the computer softwares, etc. HEAD EXPLODING WITH INFORMATION. After work I met up with some folks from the old firm for a "going away party" for the Partner that gave me the reference that helped get me my job. 3.5 miles on the treadmill at the gym.
Thursday, January 8 - Another busy day at work. Hard to say after just a few days, but everyone is so nice, and NOT crazy. Liking it a lot so far!! 3.5 mile run on the treadmill after work.
Friday, January 9 - Finally getting to my "real" schedule. 9-5 with a 30 minute break! LOVE coming in later. However... about 10 minutes before it was time to leave, we had an emergency filing for one of our out-of-state locations. I didn't have all the documents I needed and I scanning and uploading took FOREVER. Most of the secretaries use their "extra" time to leave early on Friday's, so I was the only support staff left. Luckily, two attorneys stayed to help me. SO APPRECIATED. I even got a text from one of the Directors thanking me for staying late. Already going for employee of the year :D
Saturday, January 10 - Polar Prowl half marathon! Slower (by a couple minutes) than the last time I ran the course, but the weather was perfect (even though the trails were ICY), I had mostly a good time and felt decent:


Went grocery shopping and... have no idea what else. Had trouble falling asleep AGAIN. So congested. This cold is THE WORST.
Sunday, January 11 - A and I got up early to go to run club at the Runners Roost in Aurora. We ran over 2.5 miles, probably one of A's longest training runs. It was cold (sun never came out), and pretty icy in spots. No complaining, and we had a good run.
They made pancakes afterwords (plain, blueberry or chocolate chip), and A was very helpful in cutting up bananas for toppings and flipping the pancakes. We stuck around chatting and waiting for the raffle drawing. Although we didn't win, the guy who won didn't want the Brooks Pure watch in the bag and gave it to A. She loves it. We went shopping (I need more long sleeve dress shirts), and A got a Minecraft lego kit. TV in the afternoon. I also made a new kind of bark:


Seriously, the inability to lose the 6+ pounds I've put on since October is A MYSTERY. Caught up on reading some blogs and getting mine done.
Monday, January 12 - Not so great 5K on the treadmill after work. Need to get back into the strength and stretching. Incredibly tight calves the last few days.

Miles Run (W/E January 5) - 44.10 
Minutes of Cross Training - None
Minutes of Strength/Stretching - None
Miles Run (W/E January 12) - 28.00
Minutes of Cross Training - None
Minutes of Strength/Stretching - None

Weekly Gain - 0.6 pounds (128.2)
Weekly Loss - 1.0 pounds (121.8)

Everything Else

  • New job is going great, keeping me VERY busy, obviously, during the day. Everyone seems really nice and helpful. Fingers crossed that this is the norm!
  • I won an entry to a race of my choice in the HPRS... I may or may not be considering the 100 mile, although with the way my running has been going lately, not sure it is at all intelligent to be doing that. I have a while to decide...