Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year in Review

Ugh, I hate this. Especially since I know I haven't done particularly well against these goals I set for last year. Here we go (the first section is from last year's goal post:

Run two spring halves and a full. Not for time. Just for the base that it will give me going into the summer. I'm rehabbing my creaky knee and putting a lot of focus on getting my fundamentals right. Right now, the schedule calls for Austin in February and Heels n Hills in May. In between, I will travel to OKC for the marathon there the last week of April.
Well, I ended up running the equivalent distance, spread out over the halves that I did to complete the Love the Half challenge. Six half-marathons, none a PR, but they did well to build the base going into the summer running-wise. Stay tuned for info about Oklahoma City, too...

Finish five sprint tris throughout the summer and early fall.
At least two of the races will be open water. Danskin is on the docket for sure, but the others will be small local races, with pool swims. The only goals will be to finish and improve performance and confidence from one race to the next.
Um, yeah, I didn't even swim much this year (Fridays at the kid's pool don't really count), and I found it hard to get on the bike at all, except for a few Sunday morning rides with the Elder Child. Nowhere near ready for the next step in triathlon at all. Will have to carry this one over to 2009.

Run another fall marathon. NYC is on dock again, but if I don't get in, then I will find another the week after our birthdays. I may or may not do White Rock again. If I do, it will totally depend on what I feel like at the time. There will be no pressure to do White Rock.
GRADE: Incomplete
Didn't get into NYC. Had no pressure to get into White Rock at all. Really I felt like I couldn't justify being gone for 3-5 hours on weekend mornings when I was gone so much during the week. I just didn't want to take the time away from the family. It became less important to me as the year went on to do a fall race. Obviously, I've re-discovered my motivation, so it drove me to sign up for Cowtown, but for 2008, a full marathon wasn't in the cards for me.

Lose the weight, for once and for good.
The bodybugg will help me get there, but in the end, it's all about the calorie balance. And moving my body. And eating the right amounts of the right things. I can get there. I will get there.
Didn't gain weight (that would have been an F), and considering all that we had going on with the house that wasn't, I think it's alright. Am I happy about it? No, not at all. Did I keep up with the BodyBugg after April or so? No, not really. Hard to keep going with something when you're not seeing any results. I'm still not sure what the missing element is.

Do what it takes to stay healthy and uninjured.
This means making the time for weights, stretching, yoga, icing, heat packs, rehab. massage, and regular chiro visits. My body will only perform as well as it can if I take care of it properly. I guess that goes for nutrition, too.
The legs have improved, and I'm doing more stretching, foam roller therapy, and taking rest days. I'm sporadically working on upper-body strength. I am up to a 13-mile long run without any aches and pains, so it's going so good so far. Still working on the nutrition, but I think I've got it working for the long runs and recovery afterward; it's just the day-to-day nutrition that I need to work on.

Never let the training get in the way of my life. This is the biggest one. I know what needs to be done to be ready to meet the goals 1-4 above. But at the end of the day, my family comes first and while they are more than ready to stand by me and help me meet my goals, they also are deserving of my time when I can make it available. So while I will be sure to meet the weekly goals and meet the schedule and training plans, they are all subject to re-evaluation when the family needs conflict.
I do not feel that my family has ever come second to my training. Between the kids being older now and better able to hang out at the house by themselves for a few minutes while I run, to doing my weekday runs while traveling, and to coordinating the longer runs with their activities, I feel like i was finally able to make this work. Is it easy? Hell no. Is it fun to sometimes find creative ways to get all our activities covered at the same time (like running to pick up the boy from the gym, or doing laps around the tennis courts while they practice, or meeting the group at the ice rink after the group run for a family breakfast)? Yeah, sometimes, and it makes for an energetic, fun, family dynamic. So many people that interact with us in our daily lives comment all the time how active we are, and how big a part sports and athletics plays in our family. That is critical to me, not just for me, but for the boys and my husband as well. And, so when i hear that, I feel like this was one really successful goal this year that I will definitely continue into 2009.

What else can I say about 2008? Well, for one, I feel pretty good about raising $2000 for breast cancer research and walking nearly 40 miles through San Francisco with my best friend. Can't beat that with a stick, and wouldn't trade that experience. Not to mention the great chocolate we got at See's during that trip!

Another thing that has to be taken into account for the year that without a doubt affected all my goals was the whole house-that-wasn't situation. It was so physically draining to get the house ready for sale, and to have the constant showing and open houses interrupting our time at home. It was emotionally crushing to have gone through the let-down of not being able to move, and to realize that we were going to have to give up what really was a dream house for us. That certainly caused a big psychological blues period there for a while in mid-fall; it was a big blow, no matter how many times we tried to placate ourselves with the reality that we still had our home and are in a fortunate position to have a good home. It sent us all into a funk, and it affected my running for sure. Would I have completed the five tris without the house being on the market? Who knows for sure, but I know that with all the upheaval we went through with the house, it wasn't in the cards for this year. It just wasn't. And that has to be OK.

So, there you go. Some failures, some successes. Somehow, I think it all comes out in the wash, and what I'll remember from this year is not the training and the races and the runs I didn't go on. I'll remember the vacations and day trips, running with my sister-in-law in Phoenix, running on a gorgeous mountain path in Aspen in August, a last evening jog through Central Park before leaving NYC, discovering the footpaths in Boulder in October, having three months at home with the kids during the summer and early fall, and being with my family. And I don't feel like I've missed much at all!


So, many many moons ago (back in October 2007!, according to the history, although I apparently didn't blog about it until November) my Garmin Forerunner 201 has come back to life. I've been using a combination of my Suunto HR monitor (meh, not really impressed with most of the functions, but I paid $40, so what do you expect) and my Timex IronMan with the iPod link. But neither of them had the auto lap feature or the GPS functioning that I really crave as an OCD runner. And I spent a lot of time mapping my runs on GMaps Pedometer or Map My Runs so I'd have an idea of how far I went, and how fast. I made do, but I missed my Garmin something bad. The day the display wouldn't even come on was a sad day for me indeed.

anyhood, I was filtering through the junk drawer, looking for the charger for my phone (and having to go through chargers for phones long since gone from the house, pluse random plugs from who knows what -- admit it, you have that drawer, too) and came across both the Garmin and the charger. Although Cost-Too-Much has had the 305 model (with the HR built in, sigh) for $149 lately, I just can't justify that cost right now, not when we're trying to save money to move (for real, hopefully) by this summer. So I was contemplating calling Garmin customer service and seeing if I could get it serviced or something instead of just chunking it. But I thought I'd have to recharge it so that I could tell them that, yes, it's fully charged, and no, it still doesn't work. Now what? Instead, imagine my delight this morning when I look at it and the display says "Fully Charged." Wahoo! I took it outside and let it find the satellites, which took a while, as it does when you go from one location to another, or when you have to reset it. After a few minutes, it found the GPS and was sitting there ready for a run! Yippee-ki-ay! I am so pumped! I love it and can't wait to run with it tonight. So thrilled that 2008 is ending on a high, no matter how insignificant! Love it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

back in the groove

so after being a total slug for most of the week (at least since Christmas it seems) I tried to run on Friday afternoon. I should have gone out in the morning, but it somehow was more important to sleep in. So I tried about 2:00 pm, so I could get in six and be back by the time Hub had to leave for the ice rink with Elder Child. But it was not to be -- for one thing, it was about 80 degrees outside, and humid beyond belief. I got about halfway to the park and just couldn't catch my breath, nor could I get any groove going with my legs. After about 9 minutes I just turned around and walked home. I think I went a total of about 1.25 miles that day, and was exhausted for the effort. I think my body was just trying to tell me to take a break already. So I did.

There was no scheduled run on Saturday with the group because of the holidays, and we'd already talked about meeting up on Sunday to do a shorter long run. But the hockey tournament had the boy's team playing at 8:00 am. TDP DinoBoy spent the night at Grandma's helping her undecorate, and was supposed to be home by 9:00, so that meant that I had to be out and back by then. So I instead did 8.5 miles around the neighborhood, with a brief stop at my mother-in-law's to make sure they were up, dump off my jacket and get some water. It was nice and brisk out when I left the house, right about 30 degrees, so it was a much more tolerable weather condition than we'd had. It's hot here again (ok, mid-50's not really hot, but warmer), so I'm glad I went out when I did. Total time was 90 minutes, for a distance of 8.5 miles, so I ended up at just about a 10:25 pace, or some such. A little fast, but I had to be home after all.

Now I'm just hanging out on the couch, surfing and watching the boy play Wii. He's not too good with the boxing, so I think I'm going to have to show him how it's done!! Later!

Friday, December 26, 2008

ugh, ugh, ugh

OK, I am never allowed to complain about the cold weather again! I will gladly take the cold weather, especially in December, over this craziness! It is 77 degrees outside (at 9:00 pm no less!) and about 75% humidity. I tried to run outside this afternoon and made it about 3/4 of a mile before I just had to give up. It was just too muggy and unbearable. Ick. Plus, I am just thinking that I need a cutback week after nearly 8 weeks of marathon training. I've hit at least 95% of my training mileage each week so far, and between that and the travel, my body is really feeling it. I need to rest, or at least that's what my body is telling me, so I'm listening. I have about 8 weeks to go before Cowtown, and I intend to get there strong and in one piece, so I've got to make sure that I recharge. Having 5 days off from work (and travel) is a rare occurrence, so I'm taking full advantage.

In other news, um, OK, so there is really nothing else going on! How awesome is that? No news means no drama! Just lots of time at home with the kiddoes and the hub, so really, what else can I ask for? Peace out, folks!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas_Eve 015, originally uploaded by ccervant_99.

From our home to yours (actually, the photo is from Grandma's house, but you get the idea!)! We wish you all the best of the season!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

yep, so I'm home for a while, and gearing up for the holidays. Have a few more hours of work to do today, then I am officially OFF for the next five days -- wahoo!! There's lots of wrapping and baking to do tomorrow, and just a couple of last-minute gifts, but otherwise, we're pretty well set. We're most excited around here about our family trip next week to the mountains for some skiing (not I, said the cat), sledding, skating and general winter fun.

Until then, I've been keeping up the running (although I do need to get out in the wet today, that or hit the TM in the other room) and training with the FW group. We're up to a long run of 13ish (there was some controversy over the distance of the last run...) and are on track for Cowtown in just over 2 months. For now, I leave you this:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Note to the dude at the gym

sorry I got to the gym two minutes before you. sorry when I jumped off after 20 minutes that I just needed water and wasn't really done with my run yet. sorry that you felt you had to make faces and then leave with a harumph because I was on the good treadmill and you weren't. Last I checked, I was running between 5.5 and 6.0 mph and you were strolling at 3.5 -- the small treadmill is plenty fine for that. If you'd bothered to ask, I might have told you that I only had one more mile (10 minutes) before I was done. But since you were being a pr!ck, I guess cutting your workout short is what you get.

Y'know there are plenty of times that I get the crappy treadmill and guys strolling at 2.5 mph are using the big one. You know what I do when that happens? I smile at them, finish my workout on the wobbly thumping treadmill, then come upstairs and bitch about them on my blog. But I try really hard not to be a beyotch. Whatever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

waiting in Toledo

yep, I'm in the airport in Toledo, waiting for a plane. We should have started boarding 10 minutes ago. Granted, it's the smallest plane ever, one of those where you get a window and an aisle in the same seat, but still. I have a pretty tight connection in Chicago, and really want to be on time, or it will screw up my whole week. Like my week wasn't already screwed by being in Toledo... (no offense -- it actually seems like a very nice, friendly, little hometown-ey place.. it just threw off my week to be here).

in running news, we did a nice 11-mile run on Saturday with the group, and yet again, I was able to beat the hill. I was slow going up it, but I made it all the way up without walking. Love when that happens. This week we're going off the trail and onto a street route that uses some of the marathon route, so that should be fun. I'm more used to banging away on the pavement anyway. It's tough to fit in the weekday runs on schedule; I'd been doing a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday weekday run, but that kind of bit me in the butt last week -- my legs were just dead after about nine miles from doing 4 Friday morning. I need to follow the schedule and be sure to have Friday as a rest day before the long run.

they're calling me now to board, so gotta go! peace out!