Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in review and a few goals for 2013

It's hard to believe that in a couple of hours this year will be over. This was a great running year for me and I was able to accomplish a few of the goals I set during the beginning of the year.

1. Complete a half marathon. Check! Race the Runways in April and Kennebec River Rail Trail in June
    a. Finish in under two hours. Check! PR of 1:52:03
2. Complete a marathon. Check! Maine Marathon in September. Automatic PR of 4:24:00
3. Run a sub-50 10K. Nope. I only ran two 10Ks, the L.L. Bean on the 4th of July when I was horribly sick the night before and the Beach to Beacon in August in 1,000,000 degree heat. 
4. Run a sub-23 5K. Nope. I only ran two 5Ks, one in May with no speed training and the other... see #5.
5. Run a race with my husband. Check! Sea Dogs Father's Day 5k pushing the boys in a double stroller, one of my favorites of the year.
6. Rediscover my abs. Kind-of. I started planking last month, but haven't made it a habit. I am the smallest I've been in 10 years, though.
7. Cross-train/weight lift on a regular basis. Huge fail. I think I used the row machine once.
8. Eat better. Another fail. I still love cheese, beer and sweets.
9. Sleep more. A little better than the previous year, but I've got to get myself to bed earlier.
10. Be better organized. Moving to a new house is like having a blank slate. I'm getting there.

I usually do not set mileage goals as it's hard to know what the year will bring. I did run a total of 730.1 miles, up from 423 in 2011. I'd like this year to be somewhere between 750 and 1000 miles. I stayed relatively injury-free with the exception of dealing with plantar fasciitis, though it wasn't debilitating. 

Since I've now run 13.1 and 26.2, I hope to improve on those times. I'd love to go sub-1:50 in the half and go sub-4 in the full. Taking it easy the last quarter of the year has left me recharged and ready to get back into it. While I'd like to meet my 5K and 10K goals, I think I'll be focusing on the longer distances (which totally surprises me). If I happen to bust out some super fast times, that would be great, but I don't even have any on the schedule. My main focus this month is building my mileage back up because training for the Sugarloaf Marathon starts the end of January, though I'm still not 100% on a training plan. I'm starting out on the right foot and meeting up with Jen tomorrow morning for a six-miler.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year! See you in 2013!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I had a nice long run with the girls on the Rail Trail yesterday morning. It was quite cold and the wind made it feel even colder. I had originally planned on wearing my base-layer long sleeve, a tech tee and my Brooks vest, but after checking the temps in Gardiner (9 Fahrenheit with the windchill) I opted to wear my cold-weather Brooks jacket. I was glad for my choice in the beginning, but was pretty hot mid-way reason I can only wear it on the coldest of runs. I did pick up some super cute holiday socks at Target and knowing that this would probably be my last run before Christmas, I had to wear them.

The run overall was good (the best part was the company, of course), but again my lack of mileage these last few weeks made it a lot harder. My left calf was a tight ball of knots the entire run and it probably didn't help that I was wearing my zero-drop Mizuno EVO Cursoris for my first double-digit run in three weeks. I stunned them all when I was the one to suggest we walk up the hill out of Hallowell. I just didn't want to push it since I feel like I'm starting out from square one. *sigh* 

Anyway, no more excuses. Fellow Rail Trail regular, Mizuno fanatic, and running junkie, Seth Hasty, recently wrote a post about making excuses. You can read that here. I feel like he could have written it for me. I have mostly been fine with the fact that I haven't been running much and why. Any time during the day when I would usually be able to jump on the treadmill, I've been working on the new house. Instead of going to bed early to be able to get up and run before everyone wakes up, I've been spending that time with my husband. I feel that this was the right choice for me and for my family during the crazy end of the year whirlwind we've been in. 

This afternoon we're baking cookies for Santa and getting ready to spend our first night in the new house. The boys are super excited! 

I hope everyone has a safe, happy, and very merry Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lost My Fitness . . . But My Life Is Full

Yesterday my oldest son, Zeke, turned five. It seems like just yesterday he was an itty-bitty baby.

The car ride home from the hospital
And now he is this big, happy, smart, handsome boy full of love and smiles. 

I better not blink because he will be be all grown up.

We had his party on Sunday at the new house with family. Given the lack of time to do a time-consuming cake, I asked Zeke (an expert baker, I might add), if he'd like to help with his cake this year. This is what we created.

White cake with rainbow sprinkles for the Autobot side and Devil's Food cake for the Decepticons

I loved the look on his face as he opened his gifts. Such joy and excitement.

It's always a great time when cousins come to visit.

Getting all gangsta in here . . . while Finn stuffs his face.

I wanted to run five miles for his first five years of life, but what do you know, we had our first major snow of the year. (Note: it has snowed on Zeke's birthday 5 out of the last 6 years, including the day of his birth when we had a huge Nor'easter come through in 2007.) I got dressed in my running clothes, determined to venture out in the new city. I didn't even get 100 meters down the road before slipping and sliding in the mess of snow. About half a mile done and I decided there was no way I was going to make it up and down the hills on my route and at that very instant, I went down. Not hard and I caught myself and luckily there was no one around to see my acrobatic trick. But I looped back around, calculated my distance - a measly .92 miles. Ugh...and I was breathing like I was running a 7:30 pace when it actuality it came to a 9:30-something. That was tough. I did another 4.08 when we got back to the old house (we still are sleeping there), to make 5 miles for 5 years. was tough. One, it was seven at night and I had recently eaten Pad Thai and one or two beers. Oh, and the fact that it's been over two weeks since I ran and over three since I did a long run. I just had to remind myself that it wasn't as tough as the workout I did when Zeke was born (almost 22 hours of labor with zero drugs). 

My brother-in-law also got married on Saturday and I got to dress the boys up in matching outfits that they picked out. Other than Zeke's weird face, there might not be a cuter picture.

We also set up the tree and Zeke was very excited to hang up the stockings on the (non-working) fireplace.

Life is good.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Where I've Been.

Sorry about dropping of the face of the bloggy earth, but I've taken a mini-hiatus from running. Not necessarily by choice, but I've been busy (that is an understatement). Yes, we are all busy this time of year, but have you also bought a house during the holiday season and have a son with a birthday the week before Christmas? Wait, what? Yes, (after what seemed like months of waiting), we finally closed on a house. I've been keeping it top secret so I wouldn't jinx the deal. Here she is...

We got a super sweet deal on it...really quite a steal for this amount of house. It's not huge by any means, but still. Anyway, that also means it needs some work. Of course, it was in pretty much move in condition...operative word "was." Just picture orange shag rug throughout and faux wood paneling on every.single.wall. The most beautiful interior you have ever seen. (Note the sarcasm?) Within ten minutes of walking through the door after signing the papers, I ripped up the carpet on the stairs. 

Not finished yet, but a definite improvement.
And we figured it would be easier to at least get the bedrooms renovated before moving in full time, so I've spent every minute that I haven't been at work or sleeping working on the time to run. Of course there is time, though. I just need to start getting back in the swing of waking up before the crack of dawn to get some running in. It's still not too late to reach my goal of 750 miles by the end of the year! And we hope to be in here by the end of the year. I really could use at least another four hours in the day.

I have been creating a home improvement blog where I'll be sharing our house renovations since this is my running blog. Once I get it up and running I'll share the link with you in case your interested in checking it out.