Sunday, January 30, 2011

Long Run/Unsuccessful Pace Run

Heading up the hill that is a bit of
a challenge especially last fall
on my bike!  First time I have run up
it in a long time!
This weekend was not as cold as last weekend.  Saturday - in my world was downright balmy!  Two layers on top and a headband and gloves.  We (T is back - yeah!) went 11+ miles.  There was snow on the backroads but overall the footing was fine.  We talked and talked and talked some more as we hadn't run together for a few weeks. We had lots of catching up to do and the miles flew by!  Our pace was not fast but it was fine.  I did find out I was colder than I thought as I felt chilled for a great deal of the day. Plus this run just plain tired me out. I was useless for the rest of the day. I did NOTHING productive!  I did my stretches, read, ditzed around on line, and repeated the last two several times, staying in the rocking chair right next to the woodstove!  I ended up going to bed rather early for a weekend.
T heads up!

Today we were scheduled to do a 3 mile pace run, the first one in the half marathon training plan.  I say WE very happily.  T has never run a half marathon but has signed up for this one!  She has run all 5Ks except for one 10K I talked her into a few years ago.  She isn't easy to convince so I am thrilled she will finally toe the line at a half marathon.  It is a small local half but there will be some real speedsters at it.  That's okay.  I just want to have my own good race! Back to the pace run.  Well, running 11 yesterday instead of in the other order wasn't going to help us meet our pace.  The fact that I don't have all my stamina back wasn't going to help me meet my pace.  But forget those two, the fact that both of us decided not to wear Yak Trax really met we weren't going to meet our pace!  It was slippery - not just on the back roads either. It had snowed a few inches and the paved road was snow covered and slushy!  When you had to be on the side because of traffic the slant of the road sent you sliding into the guardrails!  When I saw my first mile pace - 9:48 - I thought CRAP!  Well, my friends it only got worse. The next mile's pace was 10:05 and the  third mile's was 10:15.  I was going for 9:30 so nope, I didn't meet my pace.  Oh well, it was faster than I have been running under some pretty lousy conditions.  I'm not going to beat myself up other than the poor decision regarding the Yak Trax!  But then I would have no excuse for not meeting the pace!
Heading home - a welcome

The best news of the day is that I am wearing some jeans I haven't worn in a very long time!  I have had a great January in the "Lose that holiday weight department!" so I am quite happy!

I also have my credit card out and seem to be registering for races. At this point I have 3 half marathons. I should also find out in the next few days if I got into the Vermont City Marathon Relay. I will be crushed if I didn't!  I have other races I am contemplating but those are my big ones for the spring.
Just because she is so darned cute!
(All of our cats love to sleep in
boxes and Torres chews them!)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

I got tagged from Jen at Setting you Free, MCM Mama, and a similar award from Motivating Me.  They gave me, the very unfashionable lady from Vermont,  the Stylish Blogger Award.

Here is how the Award works:
  • Make a post + Link back to the person who awarded you this award. CHECK
  • Share 7 things about yourself Check
  • Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers so we can share the love Consider yourself tagged if you want to do this and haven't! Check
  • Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won See above - check
Here goes with my 7 things.  

1. I love winter. I keep reading about people who hate the snow and the cold. That is not me at all.  I love it and hate that states south of Vermont are getting so much more snow.  Today I read in the paper about the anti cruise that goes to Norway, the Arctic get the picture. That is a cruise that appeals to me, not so much the tropical ones.

2. I hate snakes.  Hate them! Despise them!  Feel they have no use on Earth.  (Yeah I know they do but I don't care.)  So living in Vermont where we don't have snakes a good deal of the year is only a good thing.  Those big giant poisonous ones - don't have those either!  Bring on the cold!

3. I love to read. I don't get it when people say they don't have time to read. I have always had time to read.  I reread my favorite books. Amazon is one of my favorite sites and I don't mind buying books second hand at all.  At this point I have no desire for a Kindle but that could change!  

4. Am I only on 4? What else can I tell?  I love racing and would not want to run if I couldn't race. I don't get nervous before races and if I could stay injury free I would race a ton more. When I retire there will be some destination races in my future! Starting in Ireland.  Why am I not bloggy friends with anyone from Ireland?

5. I'm a teacher and have been for many many years. I have taught in 3 schools.  The first one was far  North in Canada and I loved it there. (see #1)  The next two have been in Vermont. I actually now teach in the school I attended and that my mother taught at. I love it.  My mother died many years ago and it is a nice connection with her life.  Someone at work just emailed me a class picture she was in the other day when they were looking through old pics.  It made my day.

6. I eat most of my calories for the day in the evening.  (This is fascinating stuff isn't it?)  It keeps me from eating too much if I know there is MORE coming!

7. I love the ocean. I feel fortunate that I live close enough that I can get there a few times  a year. But having said that I love my mountains more.  I feel like I live in the perfect place so perhaps I should have just said: I love Vermont!  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Three Things Thursday - How Original of Me

1.  Today I had my annual physical.  I have said this before but not on here. I LOVE MY DOCTOR!  I have been going to her for about 15 years.  She tends to be late but you don't mind because once it is your turn she spends a lot of time with you.  She listens and remembers and cares about you as a person as well as a patient. Today she asked about my kids and my husband.  She let me know how much she likes my husband's doctor and explained his "condition" in real terms to me.  She always always compliments me on my running  and fitness. She thinks I am a rock star. She happens to live in the same town I do so she sees me running a lot. She did say she wanted to stop her car and mother me (she is much younger than I) when she saw me out running in - 10 degree weather.  But she resisted the urge!  She first knew me 50 pounds ago and is impressed with the fact that I lost the weight, became fit and have kept the weight off and keep improving on the health scale!  I told her about my PF and she took off her socks to show me some more things I could do to improve it!  50 minutes later my appointment was over and I left a very satisfied patient.

2.  Since I had my physical scheduled I was only working half a day. So yesterday I called the "body guy" and also had my car mishap estimated.  I felt so great to get two major things done that I was in a great mood the rest of the day. Nothing could phase me, not all those constant noises my third graders make, the drama they bring in from recess or the lack of time I had to get done all I needed to get done.  I think my students were wondering, "Who is this woman and what did she do with our regular teacher?"

3. Monday our thermometer kept dropping!  It eventually reached -25 and then quit working.  My doctor told me today it got to -33 at her house. When I walked from my car to school I got an instant headache! It was NOT a day I would have run.  I went to the gym the first three days this week.  My first two days I had great workouts including a tempo run in preparation for another half marathon, 13.1 Unplugged,  I just signed up for.  It is the one I am going to train for! Woo Hoo!  Then yesterday I was on the old treadmill again and it was hard.  I had no energy and it didn't come. Sometimes I feel that way to begin with but once I get going it is all good.  Yesterday - not so much.  It never happened but I slogged through and finished it.  Yeah me.  Back to the really cold day. I did not run but I had an obligation that kept me standing outside for 35 minutes pretty much in a stationary position.  Believe me I had a bajillion layers on, far more than I run in!

Bonus 4 + 5

Reading - The House on Oyster Creek by Heidi Jon Schmidt.  I would not recommend this although I am fascinated by the oystering process.

Watching - I have finished The Good Wife and am watching the first season of Lost. I have seen it more than once but still enjoying it. I own all the seasons but I have only seen the first three.  I plan to watch them all now although I may take breaks in between seasons!

Happy Running this weekend!  Or biking! Or swimming!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

First Race Post Injury - A Success

Before the race  - warm inside the PE 

First race post injury - A SUCCESS!  No pain!  Next time I'll try a slightly longer distance!  I'm thinking of the Polar Dash in Lake George which is 4 miles!  It can't be any colder than today was.  (Well, maybe it could be.  Last year it was absolutely freezing during this race especially as the winds whipped off the lake.)  Back to today.  The temperature during the race was 8 degrees.  I spent a lot of time wondering what I should wear.  I ended up with 3 layers on top (one too many about a half mile in) and just tights on the bottom.  That was fine.  I wore a headband with a hood pulled over it, a turtle fur and thick mittens.  I had not planned on snow covered ground and did not bring my Yak Trax.  It was snowing as we were racing and there was a surprising amount of snow on a lot of the course.  This definitely slowed me down. But no one else had Yak Trax around me so we were all on equal footing (pun intended).  I only caught my time at mile 1 and my pace was 9:30 at that point.  Yup!  I don't have my "speed" back.  I ended up doing 3 miles in 27:57 for a pace of 9:19.  That's okay.  It was slippery.  I'll get there.  Overall I was 45 out of 87 and 5/15 in my age group.  Jameson was 13th overall. What amazed me was the number of people doing a 15 K and a 30 K in that bitter weather!  Wow!  Impressive? Nuts? I don't know but I was thrilled we were doing the 3 miler!  This was a very low key race.  They give you your time at the finish, hand you a popsicle stick with your place and you go in and fill out the information on a card.  Low key but efficient!  We changed our clothes (oh what a feeling) and headed out for  a little shopping!
Finished -  I don't look quite as warm now!

I should have switched cards with 
Jameson so I could have the 13!

We went to L L Bean first as I had some coupons burning a hole in my pocket. I got two great items for 4 dollars!
I got the shirt for Christmas
and bought the skirt today.  LOVE IT!

Love these capris - already have a pair

Then we went to Target.  They are redoing the store and it was hard to find stuff.  I managed to find a few things including new tights. I had new tights a week ago and went to wear them but couldn't rip the thing holding them together off. So brilliantly I used scissors!  Well, so much for that great thought. I could get to the tights but now they had a huge hole!
I  need  want another quarter zip so I 
got this at Target! Love 
the color.

Jameson wanted to stop at Reebok. While there I bought two t shirts. If there is anything I don't need it is t shirts but these were on sale and I could not resist them!
Fun t shirts from Reebok

Emily called to see how our race went and Jameson promptly informed her that he is now my favorite child!  I tried to shout son but  he kept informing her I was saying my favorite one!  And they are how old?

All in all a great day!  I had tons of fun with Jameson, lots of time to chat plus I got a race in!  Life is very good!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  First and most importantly of course I am going to race with Jameson this weekend!  I can't wait on so many levels except for the cold temps are predicted for Sunday. Those I am NOT looking forward to.

2. Going to the gym is NOT HEALTHY for ................ your car!  Two weeks ago I came out of the gym an saw something on my windshield. Even though I was parked legally my mind instantly went to a ticket. Nope.  Someone had backed up and hit my car.  No damage was done that I could see so I thought no more about it.  Unfortunately.  This week I came out of the gym and saw something on my windshield.  My mind instantly went to a ticket.  (I am a slow learner.) Well, nope!  Again, someone had backed up and hit my car. Did I mention that I was parked in almost the same place?  Did I mention that the road isn't as wide due to the snow?  Well, like I said I am a slow learner so I didn't change my parking spot.  This time there was damage.  The good news is the person (a different one) was honest and left all the necessary info.  But now I am playing phone tag with her insurance agent and will have to go through all the inconvenience of getting it fixed.  But may I say................. my learning curve has increased and I am now parking in a different place! (This was written on Wednesday.)

3.  It is now Thursday.  I went to the gym again today and had a fairly decent workout.  I came out, got in my car and drove off when I noticed..............yes...........another note on my windshield. I immediately pulled over, hopped out and went around my car to get it!  I couldn't believe it! Did someone bump their door into mine? There was no way someone backed into it!  So I start reading the note which is addressed to me.  Huh?  Did the person who hit me find out who I was and come back to write a personal note?  I keep reading only to discover one of my friends had been parked next to me. When she noticed my car she couldn't resist leaving me a note since she had read about my previous episodes on FB!  Well, it is funny now but man it so wasn't funny for a short time there!  I am all done with anything on my windshield.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

To Race or Not To Race......

I'm planning to drive a long ways this weekend for a very low key race. Should I do it?

The positives:
1.  My son, Jameson, is going with me.

2. It is a long ways so we will spend a lot of time together.

3. Jameson is getting into racing and it is so awesome that he is willing to do this with me.

4. Maybe I will see some of the upper New York state bloggers??? Darlene?? Suzy??? Anyone?

5. There is an L.L. Bean in Albany.

6. There is a Target in Albany. (Vermont is the only state without one.  Sometimes you just need a department store.)

7. I have not raced since August.

8.  This race will be my January race.

9.  My son, Jameson, is going with me.

The negatives:
1. It is a long ways.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

10 miles! Yes 10 Miles! Giveaway winner number 3

10 miles is the farthest I have run since all the heel nonsense!  It went great!    I did not run fast - AT ALL - but I did the whole 10 miles.  Part of the reason I didn't run fast was all the clothes I had on for the cold. When I left home it was in the negative numbers (barely) and when I got home it was above zero (barely).  I would tell you I didn't mind the cold that much and I didn't while I was running but I have been chilled the rest of the day in spite of a hot shower and being in warm places.  I enjoyed my time in the car the most where I could really crank up the heat!  Thankfully my husband was chilled too!  I wore 3 layers on top and just 1 on bottom. Probably should have done two, may tomorrow.  I used feet and hand warmers and they worked great as my hands and feet were not cold at all.  I only get them out for the really cold days.  I also got out my lovely face mask and it was a good call!

 I needed it. I took off my glasses after half a mile as they were so fogged up I was running blind!
Notice the steam coming off the river!

It was a very clear sunny day and in spite of the cold I took pictures here and there. Because I ran further I got at least some pictures in different spots than all the usual ones I have been taking lately.
This is taken from a  different bridge at the "top"
of the loop on my 10 mile run.

Same bridge, other side.

On the bridge looking toward the
way I will be continuing.

I have signed up for a half marathon in February.  It is on the ocean :) and I ran in it last year. It was one of my favorite races of the year.  For various reasons I wasn't sure if I would do it and was wavering. I finally heeded the message on the website that it was filling up and registered.  The next day it closed!  I will not be "racing" it but "running" it. I am trying to get long runs in to be ready but distance and endurance at this point not speed.  I am also going to try and sign up for a half in April and are going to start training for that one Monday.  That training should help with this half but I am really just running it to enjoy the course and start my vacation off on the right "feet."  Ha Ha

I am still getting my stretching in - as I watch my DVDs.  I am currently watching season 1 of The Good Wife!  I LOVE IT!  I wish season 2 was out so I could immediately go to that when I finish. But I think season 2 is on tv right now.

I have been reading as always.  I recently read Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt.  Liked it and would recommend it. Then I read Casting Off by Nicole Dickson.  Liked it okay.  Expected a little more.  Now I am reading an old book by Catherine Cookson. At one time she was one of my favorite authors. I think she has been dead for awhile now and has no new books but sometimes an old book by her is just the ticket.

For the final time random.ajh picked a winner.  The third and final winner of the lovely Cabot socks is
Lee from Lee On the Run- Pushing 50! (yrs. not k!).  
Couldn't  quite see the top of the mountain.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day/Giveaway Winner #2/An Awesome Couple

I knew there was a storm predicted for the Northeast but we weren't supposed to get really hit.  So this morning when the phone rang I expected it to be my husband. Well I was shocked when it was our automatic system for canceling school.  Half the fun of a snow day is the anticipation, the chatter, the excitement, wearing your pjs backward so it will happen!  But this one..........who knew? I have to say I didn't really want a snow day. My plans are all made - now they need to be redone, Wednesday is my easy day, I had some meetings I didn't want to miss (and others - well Woot Woot over missing those) and of course when we have snow days the year goes longer!  But no one asked me and yes the roads did get bad so I decided to just relax and enjoy it.

And I have done just that!

First it was a chance to go back to bed with the paper and a cup of coffee.  Read the paper, talk on the phone, go on line, snuggle with the cats.  All good things.  Then I got dressed and headed out for one of those snowy runs that I LOVE!  It was 13 degrees and snowing fairly hard.  I traded the usual headband for a hat, wore 3 layers on top and wore my new Lulu pants I got for Christmas from Emily.  I knew I liked these pants but now I am completely in love.  They were all I needed.  They are warm and super cozy!  Love them!
Had to use the Yak Trax on my run
this is when I was just starting.

This is the road I ran on - visibility wasn't great.

The snow was like running on soft sand.  It wasn't plowed for the most part.  I can't even begin to tell you how long this run took me.  I took my camera to take some pictures. Eventually I stopped turning off the timer as it was too much of a pain. I would get out of the way of "traffic" too.  It wasn't too cold or windy so that helped.  I didn't see anyone else on foot.

Darlene has chosen the socks she wants from my giveaway so today I repeated the same process as last time and selected winner number two.  It is Jamie from Running and Some Sauce on Top.

Last I want to link this awesome video.  This is an older couple who races a lot in my area.  They are very inspiring and if you watch the video you will see they are ever so sweet together. Enjoy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A great early morning workout/First giveaway winner

This picture is actually from Sunday's run - another
great run with T!

Monday morning I had an appointment so I took full advantage of a varied schedule.  I planned the extra time right to the minute.  I got up and did my stretches and as it began to get light I headed out.  It might have made more sense to run and then stretch but I was avoiding the dark as much as possible.
This is the closest I have gotten to running
in the dark! 

 It was the coldest I have run in yet this year - 13 degrees but I dressed for it so it was fine.  I stayed on the back road (you probably think all the roads I run on are back roads but some are more "back road" than others.)  The road I ran on is dirt and not a major route out of town.  I had to do a little doubling back to get my four miles in.  There was a decent amount of snow so I wore the Yak Trax and enjoyed the beauty of the morning.  When I got home I ate, changed my shirt and headed to the doctors.  After my appointment I headed back home to shower before heading to work.  Hmmm shouldn't I have showered before the doctors?  No time.  This is the only way I could get my run in so my apologies to the doctor.  Then the rest of the day I felt great. I felt energized from the early workout and I also felt glad that I was done with my workout!  I could get some needed things done after work and get home and actually cook some dinner!  (Somebody laughed at me - in a nice way of course - for calling it supper so I have upgraded my vocab.!)

Now onto the first drawing for my giveaway!  The numbers were chosen using random.ajh
All the numbers are stuffed
into a cup

I dump them onto the counter
so they will be more mixed up.

They are stuffed back into the cup.

Dumped again!

Random.ajh selects a number.  Eyes are closed!

And the winner is Darlene from My First 5K Blog.  She is
currently about to   run her first half marathon though!
I had the good fortune to meet Darlene last summer.
Darlene, contact me and let me know your top two
pair and send me an email with your address!  

Remember there are still two more winners to come! Don't despair!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K Virtual Race

Thanks to Adam for sponsoring this. It was my first race since August!  

T and I headed out for an 8 mile run - my longest run since coming back from my injury. I decided to do the 5K on the way back, starting as we turned around at the halfway point.  
Do I look ready or what?  These feet are anxious
to hit the course!

She picked me up and it was 21.6 degrees so we had the freeze your thorns off part covered.  It actually didn't feel bad at all.  I had only one layer of pants ( a brand new Christmas pair from Emily - from LuLu - very cozy hard core winter pants) and two layers plus a vest on top. I wore my usual turtle fur - CAN NOT STAND a cold neck, a headband instead of a hat plus mittens.  The whole time I felt perfectly dressed. It was lightly snowing but  I decided not to wear my Yak Trax as the whole road was not covered.  T and I didn't run together last weekend because of my praying to the porcelain god so we had a lot of catching up to do. We ran the first 4 miles very slowly with both of us mentioning as we approached the half way point that we didn't really feel like speeding up.  But if I say I am going to race I race.  Sooo.  We turned around, took some pics and off we went.  
At the race start fighting
my way to the beginning of the 

Looking down the ravine I would
be heading into.

Not really. The race was on a normal

I have been running 11 - 12 minute miles outside so I was shooting for below 10.  I started out and T was quickly ahead of me.  I did keep her about the same distance ahead the whole race so that alone felt like an accomplishment.  It felt like a long 3 miles and I can see I need to build my racing endurance back up.  But I was glad to be doing this as without it I would have been running my usual 11 minute miles. I absolutely pushed myself to keep going blisteringly fast faster than a snail's pace.
Triumphant at the finish!  

  My overall pace was 9:33 with all my miles being fairly even.  My final time was 29:36. I'll take it.  We finished off the last .9 talking about how tired we were.  There is some work to be done that is for sure!  Thanks to Adam once again for sponsoring this!  It's amazing how much fun a virtual race can be!  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Three or Perhaps Five Things Thursday

1. Ohhh!  This is my friend's daughter's new baby! Isn't he precious!  Emily and I went to visit them before she went back to D.C.  He was a healthy 8 pounds when he was born and is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen.  Of course he doesn't begin to compare to the cuteness of Emily and Jameson 
when they were babies but who could do that?

Emily and I on an early morning run before visiting 
the cute cute baby above!

2. Racing/running - I have found a race to do in January plus I am going to do Adam's virtual race this Saturday. So January should be covered!  I have been going to the gym this week and it hasn't all been bad.  I am amazed at the miles that some of you crank out on the treadmill.  Five seems to be about my limit.   Give me the cold weather over the treadmill any day. So why do I use the gym?  Well, I have this odd thing where I don't mind the cold at all first thing in the morning (before I am awake?  before I have thought about it?  who knows?) but I don't like it later in the day when I have thought about and experienced how cold it is!  Plus I am a big don't run in the dark wuss and this time of year that is a problem after work!  

Don't you love snow covered mountains (even
the small ones and a blue sky!)
3. I love winter. Today when I was teaching I stopped mid lesson to exclaim over the beauty of the falling snow with the sun peeking through! It was just gorgeous!  There is nothing as pretty as falling snow!  Nothing!

4.  One of my students let me know that his mother's friend has studded tires on her bike and is STILL commuting to work. I asked him how far and he thought 10 miles one way. I told him she had my deepest admiration.  I think I have dropped down as the fitness queen in this student's eyes!  

5. Don't forget my giveaway!  If you ever come visit me in the winter to see the beautiful falling snow you will need some warm socks!

Monday, January 3, 2011

200th Post and a few more - The Big Giveaway!!!

My 200th post has come and gone. My intention is to celebrate it with a giveaway. I figure I told you enough random info about myself during my thankful days in November. So it is going to be a short and sweet giveaway. I am giving away 4 pairs of socks from the Cabot sale because who doesn't want great socks in the winter? There will be three winners. The first winner picks two pairs, the second winner  picks one pair and the last winner gets a pair. There are five pairs so everyone gets some kind of a choice. (I teach third graders. I know how important choices are.)
a casual sock just for fun

To enter the giveaway you get one entry for each of the following:

***Being a follower or becoming a follower.

***Agegroupsrock is in your blog roll.

*** You post the giveaway on your blog.

***I like extra entries for comments. I am going to say you get an extra entry if you commented on the post about VCM being one of my favorite races. Here is the link to see if you did!

This giveaway ends Monday, January 10.

good biking/hiking/athletic socks

a bit thinner and dressier

(These are knee socks)

My favorites for running