Friday, December 30, 2011

What? 2011 is almost over?

But I'm just getting started!!

Even though this year whizzed by me soooo fast... and plenty of things didn't get done, I did get a few things accomplished fitness-wise.

* Improved my 5K time to under 24 minutes.  In June at the Meet Me Downtown 5K, I did just that.  23:47.  I course, I thought I would die during it... but it showed me that you can do anything for 24 minutes, including run as fast as you can in 100 degree weather.

* Ran a half marathon.  I hadn't done one in 3.5 years... and I'd only done that one.  This one was more challenging because it had that mountain in the middle.  And I still finished in less than 2 hours.  This just proved to me that training works.  I did the work and the mountain wasn't a problem. It also showed me that with a little planning, I can get more running in.  It also reminded me how much I love running long distances.

* I ran a lot.  Not the 1000 miles I envisioned.  But, when I tell my friends that I ran 760 miles this year (I'm estimating here for the runs I will do today and tomorrow), they seem pretty darn impressed.  (And think I'm crazy as a loon, but what am I going to do about that?)  That is the same number miles from my house to my friend in Salt Lake City's house.  And, I did run much more than last year.  I will be setting myself up to do a 1000 miles in 2012.  I think I can learn from my mistakes of 2011 in order to accomplish this goal.  Like not to think I can make up miles that I missed the month before.  Tracking it all month by month gave me a pretty accurate picture of where I messed up.  I'm not complaining.  Just saying.

* I ran in six events this year.  Three 5ks, a 10K, an 8 miler, and a half marathon.  I think that is the most events I've ever done in one year.  And though two events were pretty small, I did win my age group for them.  Note to self, continue to enter small, local events so I can take home things like t-shirts and Christmas ornaments that the general entrants didn't get.

* I'm eating a lot less processed junk.  It's a process and like anything, it takes some time.  I know I can't rip the ice cream out from My Cute Husband's hands without major complaint.  And the kids think cold cereal is just the cat's pajamas.  But we are working on it.  It also helps that a Penzey's spice store opened here in the spring and I am cooking like mad so I can justify another trip to that store.  My kids are quite sure they sell some sort of "mom heroin" there!

How did 2011 end up for you? 

Next up... goals for 2012!

Fitness Friday bloggers - welcome!! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Long overdue Christmas update

Funny how when I am off from work, not having to get up and get going everyday, it's OK to stay in my pjs until 10am and very hard to get motivated to do much more than sit on the couch with a good book.  Of course, it could be because my house seems colder on the inside this time of year than the outside (thank you 1959 construction!). Or, that I haven't read a book cover to cover since, well, the summer which was the last time I was off for more than just a couple of days.  It also could be that I have been adding to my winter fat storage by consuming as many holiday goodies as possible (coughTraderJoesdarkchocolatepeppermint JoJoscough), thus not able to move further than the couch or fit into anything other than my pjs.

I'm not beating myself up.  Really.

Today I managed to waddle over to the computer to give you all the blog updates you have been waiting for...

I entered a blog contest over with Beth at Running Around My Kitchen.  I won this really cool pair of socks.  Not only was she nice enough to give me a few choices of socks to pick from, she also let me pick white ones, which wasn't in the original rules.  I like white socks much more than black.  Not sure why seeing as they don't stay that way long if I wear them at all.  I guess I just like the look of fresh socks.

Yes, there is a wire tree under that, just too many awesome cards came to hang on it!
I also did the runner Christmas card exchange over at Just Trying is for Little Girls.  I signed up on a whim, and then was wondering if I was crazy or what since I barely had enough time to do things for people in my real life, but once I sent my cards and got some really cool cards back from people with awesome blogs as well, it was totally worth it.  Did I mention the fact that I love Christmas cards more than anything else at Christmas time anyway?  Take away all the presents, goodies, lights, and trees, but don't take away my Christmas cards!  It doesn't look great, but I love this wire tree I have to display them on as well.    Go read their fun blogs...

Hit the Road Jane
Running to Health
All At Sea
S Club 4
Carpenter's Corner

LOVED them all!

A few running related goodies did hit my stocking this year...

Arm sleeves from Running Skirts!  I wanted to wear them so badly the day after Christmas for my run, and it seemed cool enough to, but, a mile in, I was carrying them.  Moral of the story, you don't need to wear these on a 55ºF sunny day.  I honestly knew better.  At least I didn't wear the Running Skirts compression socks I received.  I had just slightly more self control than the six year old that wants to wear all her new clothes at once.

My mom must be channeling me somehow.  I never have mentioned to her my fascination and admiration for Nuun, but somehow a tube ended up in one of my gift boxes from her.  I asked her how she knew and she said she was in REI and saw it, thought it looked like something I might like, so she bought it.  Now I need to plan a long run so I will have a reason to use it!

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas!  (Details!  I want Details of the runs you did or the running related goodies you got!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jingle Bell 5K Race Report

This is one of those races that's fun to do - think jingle bells and Santa hats -  but about 40 minutes on the freeway from my house, so I am always on the fence as to whether or not to do it.  My son said he wanted to... so that was what pushed me over the edge and we signed up!

It was windy.  Not just a little breezy, but what felt like gale force winds.  The weather was forecast as rainy in the afternoon, so I'm sure this wind was just bringing in the clouds, but it sure made for a yucky day.  They also handed out jingle bells to tie to your shoes.  I did.  Son was way too cool to.

We did this race for the first time last year.  It's at a high school and run on their cross country course.  I almost got lost last year.  It sounds dumb, but it's true.  I heard other people have the same complaint.  This year, the course was so well marked that you would have had to run with your eyes closed to have gotten off course.  What was odd this year is that the mile markers were missing.  Finally at one point I thought to myself that surely I had gone more than a mile!  I had.  I was almost to the finish line!  That will teach me to forget my watch at home.

Hey - when did he get so tall?
In the end, Son did great - he came in 4th in his age group and 13th overall.  I came in 30th overall and 1st in my age group.  My time wasn't stellar, but, considering I haven't run much in the last couple of weeks (dumb cough), I was fairly pleased.

I took home an ornament made by a class at the school.  I now have two.  Maybe I should get a tree and dedicate it to running ornaments?

Do you do any Holiday related races - just for the fun of it?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Taking Time to Slow Down

I could be really frustrated with myself right now. 

I've been sick on and off for two weeks.  Thankfully, I'm on the mend - I finally went to CVS Minute Clinic the other night to find out I had an ear infection AND a sinus infection.  Ahhh - the joys of sitting right by the nurse's office at an elementary school!

My job is super crazy right now.  There is an open position in my office right now... and kind of has been all year... interviews are being conducted, but it still boils down to me doing the work of two.  I come home and just want to sit there and stare at the wall.  Not kidding either because sometimes that's what I do.

Which in turn means my house is not the neatest it's ever been.  The kids are wondering why Christmas decorations haven't made it out of the boxes.  I'm wondering if Christmas will happen since shopping isn't going on!

And, poor Cute Husband.  He works at UPS, which, as you can imagine is all he is doing right now.  Working or sleeping.

It's no wonder why I've only run 3.1 miles in the last week!

I'm trying to look at the broader picture.

I won't be sick forever.  They will hire someone else to work with me.  The house will get cleaned up.  And, Christmas will happen. 

I may not be earning my points to winning the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, but I have decided to try and enjoy what's going on anyway.

I am looking forward to this:

And I'm really super enjoying watching my kids in various concerts and shows they are doing for the school holiday season.  Last night was a JV Soccer game followed by a orchestra concert.  Even though I really really really really really really really wanted to go home and I had no idea what dinner was going to be, I enjoyed hearing all the Christmas music they were playing.  I hadn't heard much up until last night.  I am so blessed!
Blond kid in the front of the second row.  Yes, I will claim him for now!

Are there seasons of your life that you'd love to be running but it just isn't possible?  How do you deal with it?

Thanks to Jill for hosting Fitness Friday!  I can't wait to go read your blog!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hope Endures Virtual 5K

I finally started feeling better from my horrible cold.  Yay.  Perfect timing for Courtney's Hope Endures Virtual 5K.  A 5K was the perfect distance for me since I wasn't quite perfect from being sick.  I took a picture of me while I was doing this, but, for whatever reason, my phone deleted all of my photos.  Yes all of them.  Even the non running ones of my kiddos and odd objects I thought were cool.  I have no idea why.  Yes I am upset.  So, you'll just have to imagine me shivering in front of my house trying to take a picture of myself at about 4:40am.  I think it was about 32 degrees that morning.  Your mental photo of me is probably lots better than what I really looked like anyway!

As I ran that morning, I thought a lot about Courtney and her daughter Ashlyn.  She is a great example of how people can make it through the hard times in life and come out stronger.  I am thankful that she gave me this opportunity to "run" for her.  It really was a great way to start the week.  Thanks Courtney for sharing!

Race Invitation

In my previous post I announced a race my cute husband and I put on every year that I thought my blog readers might enjoy. A good friend pointed out that maybe I shouldn't have posted about how sick I've been in the same post about the race.  OK - hopefully this is the redeeming post with all the pertinent info!

The details:

* Race 2.5K on Dec 31st and 2.5K on Jan 1.  You don't have to run... any non motorized form of transport is OK.  If skiing is your thing, feel free.

* We plan on doing our races consecutively.  Like as in 11:45pm Dec31 to 12:15am Jan 1.  You don't have to.  Anytime on either day is fine.

* We have chosen to donate money in the form of Payless Shoes gift cards to the Family Resource Center at the school where I work at.  We picked it because it's something I know will be used in a honest manner.  Unfortunately, in the past not all of the charities we have picked have been winners (yes, I am talking about how disappointed I am in the 3 Cups of Tea guy.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google it).  If you would like to contribute, please send gift cards to:
Walter Douglas Elementary
attn: Tamara McAllister
3302 N Flowing Wells Rd
Tucson, AZ 85705
I know that the kids that go here have a huge need.  I also know that the gift cards will be used wisely and shoes given to those kids who truly need it... like those kids that have shoes that are falling off of their feet and their parents have no means of getting them a new pair.  I see stuff like this.  All the time.

* We are working on finishing prizes for all.  Lara at Rainbow Signs (a local business) has generously offered to donate time and materials.  I am still working on some other sponsors.

* If you feel so inclined, blog about it or send me a photo.  I'd love to feature you as a finisher.

* If you live here locally, feel free to join us as we do it.  I can't promise how awake I will be when we start, but I am thinking of hot chocolate when we are done.  Mostly because I remember how cold I've been in the past.  And, yes, I'm the lame one who has had to set an alarm to get up to do this race.  I'm guessing this means I'm officially old.

Have fun!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not Thrilled and Two 2.5K Race Invitations...

I am not thrilled because I have had a cold since Wednesday and have run a total for 8 miles this week, eaten a few extra veggies, and, that's about it.  My HBBC points this week are pitiful.  And that's being nice.  I honestly have felt like taking a nap every five minutes this week.  My house and family definitely look like it.  Christmas has not started.  Crossing my fingers that this next week is better.  I've got to NOT sit on the couch watching romantic comedies off of Netflix all week.  That probably counts towards negative HBBC points I'm quite sure!

Anyway.... moving on!

My cute husband and I sponsor a race among friends every year.  It's something anyone can do and do at any time.  The whole point is to do the 1st half of the 5K on New Year's Eve and the 2nd half of the 5K on New Year's Day.  So 2.5K on New Year's Eve and 2.5K on New Year's Day.  We just like to do ours back to back from about 11:45pm to 12:15am through our neighborhood.  You don't have to run it.  You can snowshoe, skate, crawl... I don't care!  This year I wanted to open it up to my blog readers as well.

We try to pick a good cause every year to donate to.  After a couple of charities in the past have done some questionable things with donations (aka the Three Cups of Tea guy), we decided to pick something that we know.  That's why this year we picked getting shoes for needy kids at the school I work at.  This school has a very high rate of poverty.  Ninety to ninety five percent of the kids who go here are on federal free & reduced lunch status.  I see kids all the time who have old, barely usable shoes or kids that have shoes three sizes too small.  The lady who is in charge of coordinating the needy kids with resources has a great relationship with Payless Shoes and is always able to get more for the money involved.  If you would like to make a donation of a Payless Shoes gift card,  please send it to:
Walter Douglas Elementary
attn: Tamara McAllister
3302 N Flowing Wells Rd
Tucson, AZ 85705

The great thing is that we will have finishing prizes for all.  We are also working on some other prizes that I will be announcing as soon as the details are ready to go.  I just wanted you to have time to plan ahead for your New Year's  Eve and New Year's Day!

If you are local, we would love to have you join us.  Contact me for details as to where we are going to meet and get ready for a great time!

Make sure to blog about this and come back and share the link when you are done so I can post photos at the end. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Trader Joes has gotten out their holiday items.  This could be very very good.  Or very very bad.  If you have eaten most of a box of these since last night at 5pm when you arrived home from Trader Joes... it probably is bad.
Coupled with having a bad cold and not running because of it, I haven't racked up too many HBBC points in the last 24 hours. 

On the good side, I have found a super yummy recipe to counteract all of this!  (*Can* you counteract millions of dark chocolate minty calories??)  I think this is one of the best winter squash recipes I've found.  And I was thrilled to figure out that it made enough for me to have for lunch for several days.  Lots of servings of veggies here.  I might rack up a HBBC point or two more after all.

Hopefully I'll quit coughing soon.  Or at least lose the headache and be back to not lying on the couch surfing the internet. 

And stay out of Trader Joes until the holidays are over!