Saturday, May 31, 2008

2008 Half Results

So, here is the chart of my results from the Love the Half challenge I did this spring. The races are in order I completed them, from left to right. Cowtown was definitely the best performance of the spring, with the early Texas Half coming a close second. Kinda bums me out that I didn't get faster as the spring wore on, but I know the reasons for that.

Looking at the results, you can see that there was a huge jump in Austin, where I lost about eight minutes waiting for a bathroom break. What's interesting to me is that Big D and Heels and Hills were so close in time, even though Heels felt like a much tougher race. And adjusting for the 8-minute pit stop, Austin would have ended up at about 2:22, which would have been right in the middle of those last two races. Bearathon was definitely the toughest, with the hills that kept on coming through the midst of the course, although it may have been the best organized one. I am a little heartened that I improved my times from the Bearathon through the end of the spring, although I wish I could have had that trendline starting after Cowtown. But at least I am able to say that, yes, I do love the Half! And if nothing else, I have a benchmark for my performances this spring, and something to shoot for in terms of improvement for next year.

I'm doing well at keeping up with running and walking 5 times a week, for a minimum of 45 minutes a day, and then doing a long walk or run each weekend. Pretty much the only days I don't work out are travel days. I'm still doing core work, pushups and upper body weight work three times a week. I'm as conscious as ever about what I put in my mouth. But there is something still off with the equation, because I continue to put on about half a pound every couple of weeks, and it is adding up. My clothes don't fit properly and it's frustrating to continue to work so hard and still see not only no results, but actually be sliding in the wrong direction. When I was at the gym today, I made an appointment with the trainer to finish up the last of my sessions that I put on hold back in the winter, and I have to continue tracking the calories in as well as the calories burned on the bodybugg. I need more guidance and I need something to help me carry through with all the pieces.

Well, I didn't mean to run on for this long. I need to be up fairly early for a 10-miler tomorrow and I still need to take a shower after tennis this evening. I have a TON of photos to upload into flickr and link here, and a ton of updates about the house, but for now, I'll have to call it a night. Peace out, folks!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

One the one hand...

waking up at 3:45 Eastern to catch a 6:00 am flight out of Newark is pretty much a sucky way to start the day (yeah, do the math for Texas time -- sheesh). On the other hand, getting upgraded to first class for the first time ever on this route is pretty nice. Unless I sleep through it, which is entirely possible, given that I woke up at 3:45 EASTERN time. After being out way too late last night with a bunch of friends celebrating a friend's birthday (and that's because I bailed after Benihana and didn't even think about going down to Chelsea to the bar with the rest of the crew)!

Gotta go -- they're calling us to board now. First Class -- SUH-WEET!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I forgot how nice

hotels can be. After all that time living in the apartment in the city (the "posh Manhattan apartment, like Carrie and her friends," according to Hub -- whatevah!), I'd forgotten how nice the hotel room can be. Like when you're at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. And they put a full-size candy bar on your pillow. This could be bad, very, very bad. But, they also have the most awesomest hotel gym ever, so the chocolate is balanced out. Kinda. Sorta. Ok, not really. Sigh.

Gotta run, it's late, and I should be in the very large, very soft bed. g'night!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

so, what's been going on with you? We've had a busy last couple of days, and it's actually really nice to be home for more than 2.75 days at a time. I went for an hour and a half bike ride with the boy yesterday morning, then followed that up with a run/walk of about three miles. Except that it was in the middle of the day, and it was a leetle hotter than I expected. 'cause I forgot that I'm home now, and in Texas, we have summer in May. None of that 45 degrees crap they have up in NYC. Sheesh. anyhoo, we had a good ride and a good run (OK, walk. More walk than run, but still, I ran some of it).

Then we saw Indy. Loud, fairly clever, and lots of fun. And monkeys -- there were monkeys! It was cool. Would we pay to see it again in the theater? meh. But I'm glad we went, and I'm sure it will play well on heavy rotation on the DVD once it's released.

This morning, I ran for 2.5 miles straight, which is the longest I've run without a walk break in about six months. I've been training with walk breaks, and I did all the halves this spring with walk breaks, and I got to thinking that I couldn't really run longer than 10 minutes without a walk break. I even make my running buddy in the city walk a few minutes every mile/mile and a half (and, bless his heart, he does it with me, even though he runs a 1:45 half-marathon). So, this morning, when it wasn't as hot yet as it would get, I ran for 2.5 miles, then walked another half mile to the park. Then I did the parcourse around the perimeter of the park, sprinting between the parcourse exercises. So that technically counts as another mile of running. I am pleased to report that I was able to perform better on the parcourse than I did the last time I ran it, so I must be doing something right.

Tomorrow, we will go on another ride, then I will probably hit the gym in the afternoon for about a six-miler. It's too blasted hot to walk outside, plus if I'm in the gym I can watch trashy VH1 shows without feeling guilty. Monday, my walking buddy and I will try to do 8 or 9. She's only done a long walk of 6 miles, so we can't go too far this week, but I will see if I can do another mile or two after that to hit at least 10 for the day. Then just hanging out for Memorial Day before I hit the friendly skies again on Tuesday. Hopefully, the vacation day wont' throw things off too badly and make the week hellishly painful at the office.

Anyhoo, gotta run. The boys are home from hockey and it's time to serve up the pasta dinner. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Peace out!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Boy

We interrupt this (unintentional) hiatus from blogging to bring you a little post about the Elder Child.

We've been through so much with him in the last two years, with school and having trouble with bullies and him not interacting with his peers and lack of initiative and not living up to his potential. We had so many nights of fighting over homework and over him being a complete slacker, something that is so opposite of what we knew he was capable of being. There were days back in 5th and 6th grade when, although we have always loved him with every fiber of our being, we didn't really like him very much. The struggles of him asserting his independence and becoming his own soul with his determination to do what he wanted to do were tearing our family apart, and causing strain in our marriage and with his baby brother. There was a lot of shouting and slamming of doors and hands thrown up in sheer frustration. There were a lot of days when the gleam in his eye was missing, when the clever, engaging child he had once been seemed to be gone for good. He was sullen and if not unhappy, certainly not the carefree spirit he used to be when he was younger.

But in the past year, he has blossomed again. He has found a group of good true friends in his hockey pals, friends that we think he'll keep for years to come, if not for his entire life. He has discovered new talents and new interests (one of which is riding his bicycle with his mom, which of course delights the heck outta me!) and has started to assert his personality in a more positive way, and to approach things in a slightly more mature manner. Is he still a total goof sometimes, as adolescent boys are prone to be? Absolutely. But he is happy again, and he is finding that a job well done at school, on the ice or at home is its own reward.

My baby boy turned 13 this week. We celebrated all weekend, with a dinner out with the family (fondue -- yummy!) Sunday night and then he got to go to Game 6 of the NHL Western Conference Finals Monday evening with Dad. Stars lost, but he still enjoyed the night out and the playoff atmosphere. And to top off the landmark week, he was inducted into his school's chapter of the National Junior Honor Society this evening. How far we've come. I know the teen years are supposed to be the hardest after the Terrible Twos, but I feel like we're on the upswing here. We shall see, but it looks like we're on the right path again after wandering around for a couple of years there.

Happy Birthday, Baby Angel. I love you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

the Geez-I'm-sorry-I-didn't-mean-to-go-this-long-without-posting Post

And because time is at a premium, we're limiting to one liners on everything, just so I can make sure I get it in:

  • Mother's Day was awesome and included 90 minute bike ride, brunch, nap and dinner out!
  • Walking now 5X week instead of running -- easier on the knees, harder on the back
  • Long walk of 8 miles takes WAY longer than long run of same distance
  • Fundraising for AvonWalk is coming along at 33% of goal
  • Garage sale will happen next weekend -- I'm tired of parking my car in the driveway
  • Kinda hoping I don't lose ALL running endurance in case I get into NYC Marathon
  • Hoping I don't get into NYC Marathon so I can train for Tris the rest of the summer
  • If I train for Tris the rest of the summer instead of NYC, I get a new BICYCLE!!
  • Can do 30 girlie-style pushups now
  • went to Scarborough Faire with TDP DinoBoy yesterday -- way too much fun (photos later)
  • Stars WIN, Stars WIN!! Elder Child gets to go to Game 6 tomorrow night on his BIRTHDAY!!
  • yeah, I'll have a 13-year-old this time tomorrow
  • Re-committed to BodyBugg program -- intake tracking as well as calorie expenditure tracking
  • Still flying American't Airlines to NYC weekly, but hoping for a change in assignment soon
  • Still lots of traffic on the house, but no offers yet -- official freaking out starts in three weeks
  • New house has roof, shingles, windows and sheathing -- see above on freaking out
  • Baby Cat got fixed this weekend, so she has bare tummy and it feels fuzzy to pet her there
Wow. that's a lot. And if I didn't have tons of stuff to do (like the omnipresent Sunday laundry pile and snuggling with the boy on the couch), I could probably post a novel on each bullet. But suffice to say, I have tons of stuff to do. So, happy Sunday and see you in a bit!!

Friday, May 09, 2008

I'm supposed to be

getting ready for my garage sale tomorrow right now (all proceeds to benefit the AvonWalk Foundation, btw), but I have a couple of more hours of work to do here before I can go out to the garage. I'm most excited about being able to park my car in the garage once we clear out all the schtuff that's been in there. Anything that doesn't sell by 2:00 PM gets loaded into the truck and taken over to the local shelter.

I have to work today since my flight from Newark last night was cancelled. No particular reason, as far as I know, just that Ameri-can't Airlines decided it wasn't going to make that run (that, or wind, I can't say for sure). In any case, I luckily got notified early enough that I could make an alternate flight out of LaGuardia, but I had to boogie from the office a couple of hours early. So here I am, on a GORGEOUS Friday morning, working inside of out enjoying it. Bah!

I did do about 4.5 miles around the park yesterday morning with my buddy. We got drizzled on toward the end, but it was that nice refreshing drizzle with a bit of a breeze, not a torrential downpour that makes it icky to run (that came later, while we were on our to the office!!). It was the first time that I'd run since Sunday, although I did make it out for a 4-mile walk Wednesday evening. I just found that recovering from the half and the ride afterward was tougher than I expected. But, anyhoo, I was glad that we did it.

Gotta run -- I'm on the clock now!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

where are they?

so for months now, I've passed about a bajillion vendors on the streets of NYC selling knock-offs of designer handbags and such. Of course, after seeing a coworker get a really cute wallet from one of these guys, I decide that the knock-off wallet would make a pretty good Mother's Day gift for not only my mom, but my mother-in-law, my hubby's grandma, and even my sister (whose birthday is coming up next week). So I figure that I'll do some bargaining and try to strike a deal with them since I'm buying four, right? Except that we didn't see a single vendor from west 57th all the way down to Radio City Music Hall, and then even back up to Broadway. WTF? Dang it!!

Of course, we did find a Chipotle closer to the apartment than the one we usually go to, so SCORE on that. ahem.

I haven't run since Sunday, mostly since I was still sore as all get-out last night and even this morning I was still feeling the effects of a half-marathon followed by a bike ride. And tonight, I had about three week's worth of expenses to catch up on. But, I should be back out to the park tomorrow, if all goes to plan. Gotta boogie -- 5:00 AM comes way too soon most days!!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

um, so it's May...

wow, how the heck does that happen? eeep. Lots going on around here, let me tell you. No offers on the house yet, but the showings continue (and we have procured a helpful Saint to bury, just in case -- yes, I know we have to have actual faith in it for it to work).

We drove by the new house Saturday morning on the way to breakfast, and it has a foundation now, with pipes sticking out of it in all the proper places. The house two doors down has full walls and sheathing, so I'm imagining they'll move on to our house next. The building manager tells us the project plan calls for 130 days, but he's been finishing in less than 100. Eeeep!

We've started training for the AvonWalk in earnest. We did 4 miles walking last Saturday, and 5.5 on Saturday morning. We're doing the scheduled walking during the week on our own, except that I've been running until now, since I had one more half-marathon to complete the Love the Half challenge. Now that I'm done with that (more below), I'll switch to plain walking until July to make sure I work the proper muscles and get used to the different gait required for walking 39 miles in two days.

I've been working on upper body strength, with a focus on high reps and lower weights for bicep curls, tricep curls, lateral arm raises, boxing punches with weights, and chest raises. I've also been working on my (wait for it...) PUSH-UPS!!! I've worked up to 20 girly-style, and this week is when I start mixing in a few real ones (just a few!!). I'm also working on abs at least three times a week, with 50 crunches, 50 bicycle crunches, 50 reverse crunches, and now 20 full sit-ups. I know -- I'm freaking myself out here. And, we found a veggie/fruit stand guy about three blocks from the office, so we've been having fruit smoothies (fruit and protein mix and nothing else) for lunch. This week, I'm going to try the -- GULP -- veggie juice mixes. One of my friends has been having them and hasn't died yet, so I figured it's a good way to get a nice dose of veg into my diet. Of course, my reward scale-wise for this is (wait for it...) MAINTAINING. Sigh. Whatever. I'm going to keep at it and keep tweaking and I know results will be around the corner.

The boy has enjoyed his bicycle tremendously. He's asked for bicycle shorts and shirts for his birthday, and made me go out on a short ride (12 miles in an hour) this afternoon even though I had just finished a half marathon. And I'm glad he did, because we had a great time. He had a convincing argument, too -- he'd done 4.5 hours between hockey skills camp and team practice yesterday, so he said he needed a recovery ride. He said it would keep my legs from locking up, too. And I think he was right. I've been right as rain all afternoon since we got back. We'll see how I fare tomorrow, though!!

OK, so now on to the splits for posterity. SW Episode III is on Spike right now, and TDP DinoBoy is waiting for me to come sit with him, so it will be quick. The race was the Heels 'n' Hills Women's Half, and it was overall a pretty good race. Water stops were a bit too spaced out for my taste, and there were a hella lot more hills than I expected (Note to Self: Read the NAME of the race next time, smarty-pants). But, I finished in 2:21, so it wasn't my fastest, nor was it my slowest, and it was a nice way to wrap up the spring season.

I do want to give a big shout-out to my new friends Marianne and Amy, though. I was doing 10/1 intervals when I noticed I kept leapfrogging the same two folks, as is usual. But they were doing 3/1s, and seemed to be having a much better time than I was. And they were going at the same pace, ultimately, as I was. So I asked them if I could tag along after about mile 5 or 6. They were great company, and the race just flew by in these little short increments. We kept a good pace throughout, but then Amy had to drop back for a bit about mile 10. She insisted Mariane and I kept going, since she'd just been battling a cough and was having trouble breathing so she was walking way more than she was running, and she didn't want to hold us back. Marianne and I kept the same intervals throughout, chatting when we could and just keeping moving together when we couldn't. It was a good way to run the race, with a little company vs. just pounding out the miles on my own.

So, here's the splits:
Mile 1 - 9:38
Mile 2 - 10:24
Mile 3 - 10:23
Mile 4 - 10:23
Mile 5 - 10:23 (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!!)
Mile 6 - 10:44
Mile 7 - 10:53
Mile 8 - 10:47
Mile 9 - 10:39
Mile 10 - 13:02 (I hit this one late, and this was when we said good-bye to Amy)
Mile 11 - 10:12 (less than a full mile, sine it had some of Mile 10 in it)
Mile 12 - 11:33 (last big hill/overpass before the finish)
Mile 13 - 11:16
Mile .1 - 1:27

So there you go. Is that pacing on the early miles freaky, or what?! I was cracking myself up when I reviewed it in the car. I'm wondering if i would have been able to maintain it if I hadn't met up with Mariane and Amy, but I doubt it. I was already starting to fade by that time.

Gotta run. I pinky promise I will update more often, if I can. And comment more. Peace out!!