Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Horse with No Rider/Volunteering/Loser at the gym/Loser at the gym again

I ran 29.9 miles last week.  I guess I should have added it up sooner so I could go one more tenth and change the tens digit!  Sunday I ran 10 after my race on Saturday. I wasn't tired at all. I got up and ran earlier than usual since I was volunteering in a race more than an hour away and needed to be there on time.  As I was running in my third mile I heard a lot of noise and suddenly a horse was running past me. The problem is this horse had no rider.  I am not a horse fan and they scare me a fair amount, especially on their own. But he didn't seem real comforted by me either.  (Full disclosure - it was a pretty small horse, for all I know it was  a large pony but it still startled me.)  The rest of the run was less eventful. I felt good about my pace and the time went by quickly. Once home I barely had time to stretch and shower before I headed off.

It took a long time to get to the race. The location was changed from previous years and even farther away.  I got there on time and helped with registration.  Man do people have bad handwriting.  It was hard to read what they had written to transfer it to the bib!  Then I got to be one of two clickers at the finish.  This was an easy job except it was majorly freezing out.  I had not brought all the warm clothes I might have because I hurried so.  I managed though as I have had volunteers out in some pretty cold temperatures for me!  I also helped to clean up some after but was anxious to get going as my son was home and I wanted to get there!

The birthday shopping I talked about in my last post was for my son's birthday which is Thursday.  Head on over to his blog and wish him a happy birthday if you want!  Become a follower of his blog!  He is my April Fools baby although I wasn't feeling too funny or  playing many jokes the day he was born!

Monday I worked out at the gym. I wasn't looking forward to it.  It was a long day at school, no fun penguin eggs to divert us, and the treadmill is rarely something I look forward to.  I got my clothes changed, grabbed my Ipod and discovered I had not packed my headphones! Can you say "Oh No however did you complete that workout on the treadmill with no Ipod to use in a gym that has no tv???" Well, it wasn't easy and if I wasn't such a goal oriented person I probably would have packed up and just headed for home. But I got the job done.  Even though I didn't have a great workout I ran into a couple people I hadn't talked with in a long time and had a couple of great conversations (kids applying for college, moving away from home, upcoming vacation) so I left in quite a good mood!

Tuesday I worked out again at the gym.  I had my Ipod. I had my headphones.  BUT my Ipod had been on apparently and the battery was gone!!!  Hello??? Again no Ipod???? So I did my tempo run with no music. I worked hard hard hard. I wanted to give up and stop but I didn't!!! Yeah me!

Christina at Lazy Bones Running posed the question about what is the most interesting thing you have seen on a run.  I already wrote about my riderless horse on Sunday.  The question reminded me about a run on the Outer Banks a year ago. I was up early running on a stretch of beach that was pretty deserted. When I looked toward the sand dunes I saw a man doing yoga - naked!  He was pretty hidden except from early morning runners who like to take in all the sights a beach has to offer.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Fling 10K

Wow! It was so much colder than last Saturday when I raced today. When it began I was freezing.  I wore my compression tights and felt like I could have had another layer on over those.  I wore a long sleeve shirt, a vest and my very cozy Run Like the Wind top from Cloudveil.    I wore my new Bondi Band - it's virgin run - and thin gloves.  Once we began I was fine except for my hands.  It took a couple miles for them to warm up.
This race was a 5K and a 10K.  There were slightly more than 100  people there.  We all headed down this somewhat narrow path and it was a little congested at first.  We ran down this path for slightly more than a mile and the 5K people turned around and went back. My first mile was 8:35 which I was very pleased with.  We continued on a loop which went for a very short ways along Lake Champlain.  There were a couple of hills but nothing too terrible.  I thought I had  the second mile when I saw a marking in the road and then was very disappointed when we got to it later.  My second mile was 9:19.  Oops!  I needed to pick up the pace again.  When we got back to the path we did the loop again. I have never been in a race where I had to repeat a section like that.  Of course I have done out and backs but that is not what I mean. I wasn't crazy about it but it was pretty and could have been worse. My third mile was 8:43 so I was back in the game.  I was SURE that I was the last 10K racer. I could see no one behind me.  During the fourth mile I passed a guy and a girl who stayed somewhat behind me. I thought they would pass me back eventually as they were chatting away easily and didn't seem to be working too hard. Then I passed  the Vermont RacingwithBabes with sporty high socks. I had thought I wouldn't be able to even catch up to her as she had been in my site for awhile but I passed her and her friend and stayed well ahead of them the rest of the race so I felt relieved that someone would be behind me. My fourth mile was 9:06 and my fifth was 9:09.  I really made an effort to increase my speed for the last full mile and felt like I was doing it.  Before the end the guy and girl of the easy chatting did pass me.  When I approached the end I heard a yell for me and my son had surprised me by showing up to cheer me in.  I had thought he might race it with me so he did redeem himself by being there!

My last mile was 8:45 and my last .2 was 8:55. According to the race my overall time was 56:04. I was slightly disappointed to be just over 9 as I could have found those 6 seconds somewhere to be under.   Later the race director asked if anyone had a GPS as he thought the course was slightly long!  My GPS said I ran 6.28 and my pace was 8:56!  Yes!  Officially though, a 9:03.

When I got home and saw the race results I was pleased.  I was 1/2 in my age group. I actually thought I might have been the only one!  I was 12/24 for females which really surprised me. Where were all those people?  And I was 26/38 overall.  I'll take that!  The age group prize was pretty lame.

I did make a trip to Dicks where RacingWithBabes says she gets her awesome socks. I decided these socks were just not for me though. I like short barely there socks and I really prefer Reeboks.  I did find some very fun short barely there Reeboks so it was a score!  I also had a fun post race birthday shopping/lunch out with my son!  Yeah!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Warning - Non Running Post

When I got home today my husband asked me how my day was.  I gave one of my three usual replies which range from good to stressful to overwhelming.  I said, "Good." Then I told him that wasn't true it was great!  It isn't often I can say that on a Friday night so what made today so great?  I hope and think it was one of those days students will remember years later with fondness and a smile on their faces as they look back at third grade.  It is an activity I have done for several years now.

We start studying Antarctica in January.  Naturally one aspect we study are the penguins with some emphasis being put on the Emperor penguin.  We talk about how the father penguin is the one who sits on the egg while the mother goes off to the sea to find food.  While the father is sitting on the egg there are many dangers including the cold, other penguins, and the nasty SKUA bird! Last night at home I hard boiled two dozen eggs.  I brought the eggs in and the students are penguin fathers for the day with the responsibility of caring for the egg.  I tell them the day before so they can bring in things to house the egg in and protect it (even though Emperor penguins don't have nests, they house the egg under a flap and on their feet - well we weren't going to walk around all day with eggs on our feet).  Many kids bring in pouches, or boxes.  This year one boy brought in a safe!  The problem is that the adults in the room are the predators or Skua birds!  I warn the students that if they aren't guarding the eggs carefully the skua will swoop in and steal them.  And NO they won't get them back!  (Not everyone takes it well when the skua comes around!)

The students all arrive in a state of high excitement.  I give them about 20 minutes before the skua visits.  The first one stolen is the hardest to take but eventually they really get into it.  I make a big deal of it teasing about whose egg I  will get next and how hungry I am. There is lots of giggling and fun.  I snatched one egg out of one boys hand and he thought it was great fun and loved how I surprised him.  Not everyone has quite that reaction.  Near the end of the day I got an egg from a boy who had been taunting me all day about not getting it and the whole class cheered.  I am sure the class next door wondered what we were doing.  We also played goldfish bingo with Antarctica words and anything that involves eating is always a hit.  But all in all I had a great time teasing the kids and hamming it up most of the day!  All days can't be like this one was with a great deal of time spent fooling around but they surely are great now and then.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Squeezing in a Run!

Sunday when I ran it was back in the 20s and spitting snow.  Saturday I may have worn shorts in my race but on Sunday that was a distant memory.  I went 8 miles and I have to say it was harder to get out the door without T here to run with me!  Running with a friend is so much easier on those cold mornings!  But I did it - slowly - listening to my Ipod instead of chatting with T.  Missed you T!

Monday I ran on the treadmill and did a speed workout. It went well and I felt pleasantly tired.  I am reading a lot of half marathon race reports and feeling envious. I would have loved to have tried the Mercer Island Half - well for the views and the bloggy friends, not for the hills!

Tuesday I had a very long day with my regular work, a dental appt. and an evening meeting. In between the dental appt. and my meeting I squeezed in a run and I do mean squeezed.  I had packed all kinds of stuff not knowing what the weather would be. It was cold and damp - drizzly, probably my least favorite weather to run in especially later in the day. But I changed after my appt. and headed out.  It was actually just fine and I loved running somewhere new.  I have  run before after appts. in this town but when I had more time so I took a loop I didn't have time for today.  It was an out and back but I liked the road/view a lot.  I had to change quickly and try to look presentable for my meeting.  I changed at a gas station, grabbed a cup of coffee and got to my meeting right on time!  This run was hands down the best part of my day.  Probably why I could speak civilly at the meeting.

Wednesday - today-  I was back on the treadmill, mainly so I could use the machines afterwards to strength train.  When I started I didn't think I was going to be able to stand it but I got into a rhythm surprisingly quickly and settled into my run.  Again I have that pleasant tired feeling from a good workout.

Now a couple of rest days and a 10K Spring Fling on Saturday plus I am volunteering at Kaynor's Sap Run on Sunday!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shamrock Shuffle 5K

Just before the race, waiting for the race to start
We had a GORGEOUS day here in the Northeast!  I raced in shorts and I would have worn short sleeves but I didn't have a shirt that was green!  Last year there were 300+ at this race and this year almost 600.  It was a charity race for kids at camp so that was great but the organization suffered due to the large turnout.  It started late, ran short on food and water - nothing too terrible but more on this later.
Just started, in the blue hat, green shirt

We got there in plenty of time.  We - being my husband and myself.  The race was about 90 minutes away and he chose to spend his Saturday coming with me to cheer me on!  I didn't mind waiting as it was a pleasant town center and sooo soooo soooo nice out!  I ran this race last year but really didn't remember much about the course.

We started out and it wasn't long before there was a slight uphill.  Overall there were a few small hills and one fairly large one.  I was surprised at the amount of traffic in what is a relatively small town. There was great traffic control and cones everywhere so it never felt unsafe. The cars parked on the side of the road were more annoying.  I felt like I was going along at a good pace.  I tend to have a "fast' first mile, slow down a lot in the second mile and speed up somewhat in the third when I run a 5K.  My first mile was 8:51 which worried me a little. I am fine with that pace but I like to stay in the 8s and was worried I would slow down and be in the 9s for my overall pace.  My second mile was 8:55!  Yeah!  I really worked on keeping my speed up in that last mile. There was a hill to head up but it was not as bad as I thought it would be when I was going down it.

 I had to laugh (in my imagination, I was really saving all my breath for running) because I came upon an "older" man with no shirt who just didn't look good at all with NO SHIRT ON! :( I had had a discussion on the way to the race with my husband about this and about "some older men who tend to mow their lawns with no shirts on and shouldn't there be a law?  This all started from a discussion about a newspaper article about a woman who gardens in Colorado in a yellow thong and pink gloves.)

Anyways back to the race. I decided to use him to pass so I wouldn't have to look at him. Well, I did pass him but darned if he didn't pass me back, stooped over running style and all and I COULD NOT quite keep up with him! Oh well!  My shirt was weighing me down and keeping me slower I guess!  But my last mile was 8:48!  Woo Hoo! How is that for not only not slowing down but speeding up a bit!  I was thrilled!

Stopped BEFORE the finish!
At the end of the race was when the organization of the race was an issue again. I couldn't quite get TO THE FINISH because they were stopping you to keep track of the order you were coming in.  Yes I get that but let us finish!  It wasn't too bad for me but as I was leaving there was a huge crowd of people stopped way before the finish!  I would not have been happy at all.  I got my shirt and we left rather than wait to see if any random prizes had my name on them. We did a quick stop at the LL Bean store and then ate lunch at Panera Bread which I love but we don't have any in Vermont.  The ride home was fine, the frost heaves were not bad and the back dirt roads could have been oh so much worse!  Spring in Vermont!
Through the finish, waiting in line for placement before waiting in another line for shirt, before waiting in another line for food

My stats were:                                6/24 age group
255/588 overall
8:47 pace

This was my best 5K (only my second) and my best pace of the year out of four races.  I am happy!
The shirt

Friday, March 19, 2010

Battle of the Books Part 2

Today was the final battle which was between the students and the mystery team!  The original battle was on Wednesday.  The mystery team also had it's own cheerleaders!  Apparently my students didn't know who I was in the wig at first but were thrilled at their goofy teacher once they did know!  We looked and acted pretty ridiculous in our wigs and sports outfits.  We ran out to the theme music from Rocky pumping our fists. Of course it didn't mean much to the kids but the adults loved it. (My husband who wasn't working even came to watch.)  We "battled" the students who eventually won! It was a blast because both principals dressed up, many teachers, the librarian etc.  Other adults stepped forward to sit with our classes as we disappeared to change!  All in all it was quite a good time which the kids will associate at least somewhat with reading.
Lovely, aren't I in a 
wig from a Dorothy

The mystery team! My principal has the sparkly pink
wig on! What a trooper!  

Our cheerleaders having just a fantastic time!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Change of Clothes OR Is It Really Spring?

Jacket Long sleeve shirt
Pants Capris
Fleece headband Baseball cap

Today I headed home to run outside rather than at the gym.  It was 57 degrees and gorgeous!  I could have worn short sleeves except for a couple of shady areas but I didn't quite dare to go that far!!!!  What a day!  I set out to run 5 miles but continued on past my turn around to run 6.  People were outside raking lawns, playing with their kids, riding horses and bikes.  I had an easy run as yesterday at the gym I ran a tempo run that I worked hard on.  I never choose to do a tempo or speed workout. But if I am following a training plan I am so anal and such a rule follower that if the plan says do a tempo run, believe me I do a tempo run. That is why training plans are good for me. They make me do things I would never do otherwise.  I also had a good workout on Monday and am still so in love with my foam roller.  Why did it take me so long to discover them?
Really I didn't make this up.

This morning in the paper I read about a jogger on a beach who was killed by a plane!!!! I know we have to be careful and all that but there are some things you can't prepare yourself for!!  What are the chances?  How sad for everyone involved!  I was telling someone I worked with about this and he knew of someone in the Canadian wilderness of the Northwest Territories who had a Russian Satellite fall out of the sky near them.  Bizarre!
Our principal was Darth Reader(complete with the voice) much to the students' delight.

I seem to be blogging about more teaching things lately but many of you are teachers or parents of school age kids, kids who will go to school or kids who have been to school. There I have it covered. Today we had a Battle of the Books. This is really a national competition but we did our own version. It was set up as a game show.  Students had teams that they had been in for months. There were 10 books and the students all chose some to read. (Many chose to read them all.)  They met as teams and made colorful banners. Another time they decorated buffs. (Not being a Survivor watcher I didn't know what a buff was.)  Today the questionaires and timers came in dressed up as wizards and Darth Reader etc.  Students were questioned and earned points in a series of rounds. There were many many snacks which is a hit all by itself!  The kids were juiced for the whole thing and had a great time. Best of all they did a ton of reading. This Friday is the end of our I Love to Read and Write Week which this was a part of and there will be an assembly.  The winners of the Battle will battle the Mystery Team (teachers). We are dressing up and I am not sure about the whole thing but it involves wigs!!!  I am sure the students will beat us and I am also sure that a good time will be had by all. Kids love it when we "let our hair down" and show them another side.  I once won a jumprope contest  that the teachers were doing and I won more street cred for that than any lesson I ever taught believe me!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not Running Related

Today I went on a field trip with my class to see the Peking Acrobats. Can I say WOW!  Amazing! Awesome!  Incredible!  The students loved it but I think the adults in the audience gasped the most. "What!" "OMG"  "No way" We were actually very dignified and did not blurt out but I certainly heard a lot of gasps!  The flexibility and strength of these 10 - 22 year olds was astonishing. They made extremely difficult things look easy.  They are the definition of the word balance. If you get a chance to see this show, DO!

Yesterday I posted a book review on Good Reads.  I don't often post a review but I spent the day reading and really enjoyed my book.  It was  a first novel for the author.  When I got home today I had an email sent via Good Reads that the author had sent me.  He thanked me for a good review, said I had MADE HIS DAY and offered to come to a book discussion group if it worked. Wow!  I figured no one even read those reviews.  It was nice to think the simple thing of taking a short time to write a review had made such a difference to someone!

March Madness!  I need to fill out my bracket.  I know nothing about basketball but a chance to compete and gamble all at once! Can't resist it.  Of course I have to move UVM along even though they are 16 playing against 1. BUT the last time in 2005 - their first time to the Big Dance - they played Syracuse and BEAT THEM!  Good luck filling out those brackets.  I hope you know more about it than I do!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's Lousy Weather and I'm Glad

It's drizzly, cool and very windy.  I could hear the rain and the wind all night and I wasn't looking forward to my run today. But my run is done and the weather hasn't improved yet I don't care.  Why?  I feel like it gives me an excuse to laze around the house, reading, blogging, cooking, watch a movie, doing odd errands yet nothing too taxing.  Which is just what I wanted to do today!  I'm reading a good book that is hard to put down, perfect for a lazy Sunday.  Except for my runs it has been a fairly sedentary weekend!

Yesterday my friend T and I ran 11 miles. It was a great run. We both felt good and the pace was a decent pace the whole way.  The temperature was about 38 degrees and we both remarked several times that it felt pretty much perfect.  The 11 mile run we do has some major hills and this time it had some unexpected dogs. As I took on the dogs with my yelling voice telling them to go home T laughed at my ease with the dogs yet my fear of snakes.  (She is the one afraid of dogs and I was trying to head them home for her sake.  I am careful about dogs but these guys were just making noise.) But there are no harmless snakes which is one of the many reasons I like winter in Vermont!  I have to say I was tired the rest of the day which I wasn't sure if it was from late nights this past week or the run itself.

During the afternoon my husband and I watched UVM beat Boston University to get into the Big Dance.  Yahoo!  My son was there watching it and I joked throughout the game that I could see and hear him.  My husband gave me that look and mentioned the number of people in attendance and that this would not happen! Yet when  he did appear on National TV both my husband and I missed him!  We had various people call and text us to say they saw him rush the court after the win. Did we see this?  No!  But I have stolen a picture from my daughter's blog that he is in (in the yellow and green hat.)

So rain pounded on the roof all night.  Then the electricity went off shortly before it was time to get up.  Now I had thoughts not only of running in the rain, getting drenched, being cold but then coming home not able to take a shower or have hot coffee!  When you live in the country and your water comes from a well, no electricity means no water!!!! I knew T would be coming soon and we would run but I must say I was dreading it.  As she was driving up the driveway the electricity came on!  One problem solved.  I also must admit that it was not raining very hard, it was not very cold BUT it was incredibly windy!  The sound of the wind roaring off the mountain, going along the river bed sounded like a freight train.
Today was my day to run a St. Paddy's Day Virtual 10K from Living in Luling.  We took our usual 6 mile route and simply added .2.  I am not good at being speedy in a non race situation.  Overall I will say it went fine.  The first 3 miles were a bit tricky as the wind was definitely doing it's best to defeat us and send us home.  As we ran through the center of town we had the lovely sound of many many generators as people coped with the no electricity thing. So everyone's was not back on yet!  Once we turned around and headed back there were times when we were on a downhill slope with the wind at our backs. Life was good!  I tried to maintain a good pace but did pretty much lose it the last quarter mile on the hills leading back to my house. Before that the pace was in the 9s all the time. I would not have been happy with my time for a real 10K but I will take it today. Just the fact that we got out there in the miserable weather was worth quite a bit.

The orange electric company truck with the man with the chainsaw wayyy up in the trees is a welcome sight!

After I got home, stretched, took a shower and drank my coffee the electricity went out again.  I looked out the  window as I heard chain saws and there were some major branches down across the road.  Thank you Electric Company for responding so quickly!

I will leave you with a picture that doesn't do justice to the beautiful rainbow that we saw this morning.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Three Things Thursday plus an extra

1. No running today because I didn't have a spare minute.  I taught school all day as usual. Then the kiddies went home.  I came in from bus duty which wasn't too bad because spring is on it's way!!! But once I am inside I barely have time to go to the bathroom before organizing my thoughts as the parents are coming!  It was the first half of parent conferences. It is hard to be at your best after a full day of school but I am sure I wowed all the parents with my insightful comments about their children!  (Not!)  Truly though it could have been worse.  I had many wonderful things to say and no one seemed to be thinking I have ruined their child's life, spoiling his/her chances to get into (insert college of your choice here) at the  age of 9. But perhaps that is going to happen tomorrow when we finish conferences!

2. I'm reading about everyone's races and wishing I had a race THIS weekend!  Good luck and have fun to everyone racing out there. Can't wait to read your race reports!

3. I have to say that I think the foam roller and a tennis ball are the best things going. Before my half marathon I had the beginning of two injuries.  My right hip flexor was very sore and my piriformis was rearing it's ugly head.  First I started using the tennis ball for my piriformis. Talk about a cheap low tech solution. I don't know if it would work for everyone but boy did it work for me.  My injury was the worst it had been since I went regularly to a chiropractor for ART.  A few days with the tennis ball and it's just fine.  I also purchased a foam roller, not cheap but by no means prohibitive. I have been using it for my hip flexor and IT Band.  I didn't realize how tight my IT Band was.  When I first started using the foam roller, OUCH!  I could hardly not really make it to ten.  Now, no problem whatsoever. So I have incorporated both of these into my early morning stretches. Let's hope they help to keep me running injury free!

Extra - Bailey and her new guy are the best thing to happen to Grey's Anatomy in quite awhile!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Signs of Spring - Vermont Style

Two sure signs of spring in Vermont!



Today my plan was to go to the gym after work. I left work late and because it was so late I didn't want to go to the gym. I felt rushed and just dreaded the treadmill.  It would have made more sense daylight wise to keep on heading to the gym but I turned the car left instead of right and drove toward home.  The trouble with going home first is I check the mail, check the fire, feed the cats etc. But eventually I changed my clothes and headed out. I did don my reflective vest as I knew it would be getting dark before I returned.

 I had a great run.  I had a better pace than I have had non race in quite awhile, more than meeting the goal I put in my head. I didn't look at my watch until I got home so I didn't know what my pace was, although I felt I was doing well.  When I looked at my overall pace I cheered! Each mile was in the 9s but the last which was 10:16.  Maybe being stressed and in a hurry helped but I think it was just one of those days!

Muddy, cool, fading light BUT spring is coming so life is good.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Races Races and More Races


Tonight was race registration time. I have had a race in my sidebar that was  coming up that I had not officially registered for. Right now I am registered for 5 races. Yeah! A great feeling!  Here are the races. If you want the links go to my side bar.

I will run the Shamrock Shuffle in Lebanon, N.H. in two weeks. This is a 5K. I did it last year to get in a race in March and I liked it well enough to go back.  I knew no one there last year and even though I have asked many people I suspect I will race it alone again.  I made my mind up a long time ago that if I really wanted to race on a regular basis I had to be ready to....as Nike says...... Just Do It.  

The next week in March I will run the Race Vermont Spring Fling 10K.  According to the website the course will depend on the weather. If it is dry it may be a loop. I have always done it as an out and back and it would be fun to have a change.  

I am (and was) signed up for a half marathon (Middlebury Maple Run, the Sweetest Half)  in April.  It is in Middlebury which is near me. It is only the second year of this race but I heard good things about it last year and I do love half marathons.

I was also signed up for the Vermont City Marathon two person relay in May.  This was a lottery and I was thrilled to get in.  I will probably race at least one other race in May.  I have a couple I am considering. One is another half but I am not sure if I would be overdoing it.  

Last year at the 100 on 100 at  a transition with my sweet daughter 

I am racing the 100 on 100 in August. The date has changed which may be good. Last year this was so hot it was beyond belief. I loved loved loved running an all day relay with friends. We had a blast and the time flew.  A lot of the same runners are coming back.  For those of you who like relays and would like to see Vermont I highly recommend it! 

So there is my current race schedule that I am REGISTERED for!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekend Ramblings

After last week's personal training session I decided I needed to incorporate strength training into my routine again.  AND I DID!  I was horrified when I saw the date when I had last done any at my gym. It was August 19.  Wow! Not good.  But it truly felt good to be back at it and I plan to keep it up.  I tried some of the balancing that I told Top Notch Training Guy  I couldn't do when I was whining and had no problem. Amazing at how quickly I gave up the first time.  So I am telling all of you that I will do ST from now on. Hold me to it please!

Saturday was a GORGEOUS day!  The sky was bright blue and the sun was out in full force. The temperature was in the teens and multiple layers had to be put on once again but it warmed up fairly quickly.  We ran 10 miles at many different speeds. At least I did. T seemed rather consistent and when I was fading in the last two miles she was speeding ahead.  We stopped for a couple pictures and tried to use the self timer again but it wasn't meant to be. I got some terrific shots of my hand as I was trying to balance the camera on the snow without it tilting down.  T tried to make a little cup in the snow that would support the camera but it didn't help at all.  We got a couple shots of the beautiful day and then me with the gorgeous mountain in the background but none together.

I got a call from my daughter who had finished yet another marathon! She was giddy and happy, that wonderful feeling when you are so jazzed up and pleased with a race. I was jealous and happy for her at the same time.  She raced her first trail marathon in under 4 hours. How does she do it?  It's hard to believe that at one time I COULD NOT GET HER TO RACE WITH ME!

Today -Sunday - was just gorgeous. It was slightly warmer than yesterday 20 instead of 14 but it felt fantastic.  (My daughter thinks I am nuts when I tell her these temps are what I am calling warm.) Less clothes, bright blue skies, gorgeous sun once again and my patient friend, T, to run with me.  I know she could sprint ahead and leave me in the dust!  Today we ran 6 which I have to say is a perfect distance. It is not far but just enough.  Our 6 mile run goes to the 3rd bridge on the route, slightly up the Gap Road for a quick turn around and a faster return.  The first 3 miles are slightly uphill although you don't really notice it but boy you appreciate the gradual downhill on the return.  All our miles today were at a great pace and I was thrilled with our time.  We realized between the two of us we have a lot of weekends coming up where we won't be able to run together. :(

Good news in the weight department.  I weighed myself for the first time since my vacation.  Over the mentioned vacation I ate everything in sight and then went elsewhere looking for more. In spite of that  a mere week later I am at my pre vacation weight. I'll take it!

One last thing......a quote from a book I am reading. It mentions the blessed trinity:  Food, clothes, exercise.  How much can I eat while still looking half decent in my clothes?  How much exercise must I do to eat as much as I want?  Well, I could never exercise enough to eat all that I want.  When I was taking a marathon course several years ago the teacher said we were at the point where we could eat whatever we wanted.  Un uh.  Not me, not ever.  But I do like to look a certain way in my clothes.  It takes no time for those favorite pants to become slightly uncomfortable but I would say the same is true in the opposite direction.  Thank goodness I love running and have it to help with the whole equation.
All in all a good weekend all around.  The report cards are done, the son returned home for dinner, a long talk with the daughter on the phone and hubby happily watching basketball.  And it's not over yet!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Three Things Thursday/Running/Report Cards/Reading

I love Three Things Thursday. It means tomorrow is Friday!!!

1.  I had the best unexpected run this week.  I hadn't planned on being able to go outside mid week but I had an appt.  I had just a little time between the time I got out of work and had to be there.  I could have packed better but I didn't know it was going to be such a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the temps were higher than they have been in awhile. I found a place to park my car and went running on a road I have never run on.  Years ago when I biked I used to ride on it frequently because it is very nice but I had never been on foot.  I had my trusty garmin on and had time to go about 4 miles so out I went - turned around at 2.1 and headed back!  I got to my appt. with 4 minutes to spare feeling great!  My dentist knew I had been running a half marathon the weekend before so I got to talk about my race some more!  Life was truly good!

2. But then..... when I was done I headed back to school.  Report cards go home next week and I had done nothing on them.  I stayed late at school several days this week but I am going to have to go in this weekend too.  If I only had report cards to do it would be fine but those darn kids keep coming to school and doing work. So I have to plan, teach, correct, repeat.
Hmmm. I never knew this book existed. I do feel like I keep saying the same thing.  Maybe I need to purchase this.  I mean really!  Do people use this?  

3. I'm almost done Chris Bohjalian's new book, Secret of Eden.  I am a real fan of CB and not just because he frequents my local gym and lives in my town.  I like the way he writes and really delves into a topic.  All of his books are different.  Having said that this is not one of favorites.  He sometimes writes an ending that makes me angry (The Double Bind) but I don't know yet if that is the case with this book. The book keeps switching the narrator.  I think this can be a hard thing to pull off and I can't say I like it in this book.  None of the characters are very likable and I am not rooting for anyone.  My favorite book by him is The Buffalo Soldier.  I also liked Midwives and Law of Similars.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Honest Scrap Award

I got the honest scrap award from Jill at Running to Sanity.  I love her blog. Check out her header. It is a great picture and one of my favorite headers.  I need to answer the following 10 questions to accept the award.

1. Best Meal Ever: This is a tough one (as they all are) as I have eaten a lot of good meals in my lifetime.  I am going to go with a  restaurant meal and unfortunately it is a restaurant that has closed. I am not a big meat eater but I love a good teriyaki steak. Sirloin Saloon had the best along with excellent bread, a salad bar to die for and wonderful wonderful moose pie for dessert. Any favorite meal of mine includes dessert.

2. Best Sleep Ever: The first night my "baby" slept through the night. When they do this you can forgive them anything.

3. Best Cup of Coffee: I love Green Mountain Coffee and not just because I am from the Green Mountain State. They have so many good flavors including Mocha Nut and Caramel Creme. How can you not want those?

4. Best Romantic Moment: Our honeymoon 25 years later.  Actually a 25 year anniversary trip but my husband insisted on calling it our honeymoon!

5. Best Childhood Memory: Dancing on my father's feet as he sang along to the music.

6. Best Moment of Your Life: How about moments: marrying, having children, completing a marathon

7. Best Moment of Revenge: No clue

8. Best Thing Someone Has Done For You: Supported me through new eating and exercising and complete life changes

9. Best Thing You Have Done For Someone Else:  I am not sure about this one.  A little thing I do is send letters and cards to some people who don't get out much.  I like writing letters and I know they like getting mail.

10. Best Life Changing Moment: Having my gall bladder out and knowing it was because of my own choices I had been making. Then turning things around completely. And getting the support I needed from my husband and family  to do this.

If  you haven't done this consider yourself tagged. It is harder than you think!  

Monday, March 1, 2010

Compression Tights Rock

I have only worn my new compression tights on two runs but I may start wearing them:

To work

To buy groceries

To shop

To take out the garbage

You may be wondering why I am going to wear them everywhere.

Is it because they speed recovery of my legs after running?  

Is it because they lightly massage my muscles as I am running? 

 Perhaps it is because my legs don't get as tired when I am running a long distance?

Well any of the above could be true but I have not had them long enough to know the answer to any of those questions. What I do know is that after I posted a picture when I was wearing them I read comments like you look:

"like a lean, fierce running machine"

"look awesome, tough and hardcore"

"cute in compression"

"make you look super fast"

"make your legs look SKINNY" (the caps are my touch)

(plus very flattering comments from my husband and running partner!)

So do I care what they do??? NOT ONE BIT! It's all about the look you present. So what if people were reading my blog when they were tired and their eyes must have been blurry or after that 6th cold brew!
I'm going with the comments posted and LOVING my new tights!