Sunday, December 29, 2013

I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours

OR What fun things did you get for Christmas?
Below is the "crystal meth" my husband got! Do you watch Breaking Bad?

I got some fun arm sleeves from Spandits.  Love them!

You will see more than one Ninkasi picture.  Jameson
was very pleased to get some tricerahops.

This is a beer the governor of Oklahoma collaborated
with Ninkasi to make. It was suggested to just keep 
it, not drink it.  

Fun shades.

Sky diving stuff except the poor girl didn't have as good a 
landing as I did and her arm fell off. Love the little Lego guy.

A bunch of Oregon stuff - all fun.

A bicycle print from Etsy and if you look below you will
see it is a map - of places I have cycled.  Very sweet.

The governor's signature.

Always always like to get books.

A very comfortable Ninkasi shirt.  Hides my muffin top too.

GREAT colors - a Nike hoodie.  

Oiselle flyte shirt which I have been coveting.

A couple of fun running t shirts although Jameson
tells me this is a cross fit one. I hope the cross fit
police don't come arrest me as a faker when I wear it.

A comfy sweatshirt.

Love this - a really nice hoodie from L L Bean.

Lots of fun things. I got a really nice horny toad dress too. I hope you all had a great Christmas.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Goal Review 2013

I set a lot of goals in 2013.  I like goals and if I have a lot I'm bound to meet some. So let's see how I did.

Goals I didn't meet:
I did not learn to change a flat. Two years of failing on this goal.
Improve 5K time for the year - only once.  I have gotten slower and need to work on this.

Goals I met:
I want to continue to cross train. Totally did this!  I spent many months riding, biking and swimming. Great job with this and I loved it.
July 4 5K in South Hero - fun race but so hot

I wanted to race with family. I did 5 races with family members.  Love this!
Jameson was taking this picture as Emily was cheering me 
on the phone as I ran past.  Loved it! 

Compete in 4 triathlons - I did 6 triathlons and 1 duathlon.  Loved meeting this goal.
The hottest race ever but I might give it a try
again, just not in 2014.

Run New Races - I ran 5 new races, again not a hardship as I love doing this. The best new race was Pumpkin Man Triathlon for sure.
Place in Age Group - Aging up to 60s for the whole year of tris and latter part of running races rocked for sure. I placed 9 times.  There's not always a lot of us but I'll take it.
A cold wet day, riding in NH in April but I only
smile when I think about the ride.

Four New Bike Routes - I did do this.  This means longer mapped out bike routes.  I did one on the New Hampshire coast in the rain which was still quite fun. I did one that involved two ferries and was in both New York and Vermont. One was more to the middle of my state and I won't repeat it but I liked trying it and the other one was over the mountain (and through the woods) and I loved it and have already gone a few times.
Run 4 Half Marathons - I did 5. Plan to cut back for various reasons next year. Yet I love them so will I really?
Be in Top Half of Field - four times, nothing great but I did it a little.
Race a Month - I always like this goal as it gets me doing new races. I did not do this but I'm calling it a success because the only month I didn't race was March when I was recovering from a sprained ankle and that was a wise decision. I raced 21 times.  Apparently I like racing.

Goal I am Most Proud of:

I did not meet this goal in 2012 but this summer I rode a century!!! It was a sponsored ride but I rode it alone.  It was a great ride. I was very proud and hope to do it again next summer.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How was 2013?

I am jumping on board and finally doing Miss Zippy's best of 2013.

Best race experience:
Pumpkin Man Triathlon.  All the races I considered were tris.  This is truly where my heart is. This particular tri was new to me in 2013 and the biggest tri I have done.  It was a blast. I swam in a weedy pond and didn't freak out, I actually beat 86 people! The bike was very fun. I was farther up in the field because of the way they did the heats so there were lots of people to pass.  I beat 194 people!  Fun, fun, fun. I did fine in the run. It was a fairly easy course and it was fun to have my friend there with me.  It was the first time - ever - I got to stand on a podium.  It was in Maine where I spent the weekend, another huge plus. I'll go back to this one.

Best run:
This is a trickier run. I have had a lot of trouble with runs this year, mostly due to GI issues. I always like my vacation runs like the ones along the coast in Oregon and the very scenic running path.  I'll go with those two as they were places completely new to me and I was running with my daughter.

Best New Piece of Gear:
Nothing comes quickly to mind.  I'm going to cheat a little and say my Hokas. I believe they play a part in keeping the nasty PF away. I did get a new pair this year, slightly different than my old ones, so yes, my Hokas!

Best Piece of Running Advice You Recieved:
Enjoy the run for what it is.  Don't worry that every run is the best one. If I am able to run and I'm not injured, it's a good run.

Most Inspirational Runner:
I still am very inspired by both of the runners I put last year, Super Kate and Christa.  Kate continues to seek new challenges and races such incredibly long and challenging races.  Christa continues to fight cancer with all of her heart. She isn't able to run but she still races through walking.  Many people would just quit but not Christa.  She is truly inspirational on many fronts.

I will add Emily this year. She inspires me with the distances she runs, the terrain she covers, the pace she pushes and all that she gives to running.  When I am struggling on a run I try to channel her and pick up the pace. She is becoming a smarter runner as she learns when to push and when to pull back.  She is new to ultra running and trails but her enthusiasm is great to see.  She did an amazing job at the JFK 50 Miler.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?
Triathlons are so much fun I still can't believe it. Wish I had started them sooner!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sock Exchange

I participated in the Christmas Sock Exchange hosted by Three Times  A Charm Runner.  I have not participated in it before. You were to buy Christmas socks and fill them with some fun goodies.  I have to say I could not find Christmas socks that easily. Say what??? Well, not the ones I wanted. The ones I found were small as far as stuffing goes and my things were just inside the package. I included a combo of Vermont and running stuff.

I got my box and did my usual taking my time opening it because that is how I roll.  I like the anticipation and I like to have all my stuff done when I do so I can relax and enjoy it.  Today I opened the box as as far as the stuffed sock and then went for an 8 mile run with my daughter.

Yay to running with Emily.
Yay to running 8 miles. It is the farthest I have been in awhile.
Boo to the rain and the freezing ice that is now coming (not when I was running.)

Then I came home and did all kinds of stuff before I opened my package to fun and needed stuff. Lots of great stuff to take care of my weary feet!  How did she know?  There is some cinnamon hand lotion that smells divine. I thought I already had every hand lotion out there but not this one!  It is from Lisa at Confessions of an Empty Nester.  I need to spend some time on her blog as that sounds like part of my life.

Have you done any blog Christmas exchanges?  Or others?  I also participated in a Christmas card swap. I love everything about Christmas cards!  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kind of an Off Season

Now that I'm not getting ready for tris my workouts have lessened considerably.

 I didn't set up my trainer.  Too much work. Too boring.  Didn't use it the whole year last year due to sprained ankle.  And on and on.  Poor excuses but they're my excuses.  So three bike workouts each week. GONE.

Just like last year I have cut back my swimming time and days for a bit. I am only going once a week and I am only swimming 1000 yards.  I will begin to do more yards in January and will soon add back that other day.  I'm just keeping my feet wet.

Running.  This has the least change.  I am still running 4 days a week.  I am beginning to add miles back on although they are still not long.  Somehow I have changed for a bit so three of my days are at the gym.  I think this mindset is leftover from keeping one weekend day free for a long bike ride.  For now I am liking the change but realized I don't run as far on the TM as outside for both weekend days. So the last two weeks I have made one TM day longer. My typical run is 4+ miles on it but each of the last two weeks found me running 6+.  I know there are many who run far more than that on the TM but this is a big deal for me.  I have to go in with the mindset that that is what I am doing and that is that. If I left it to whether I felt like it it would NEVER happen.  My weekend day is my "long" day.

Last Sunday I got to run in a bit of a snowstorm.  Not the blizzards I love but still......  I had forgotten how tiring it is to run in the soft snow.  I did manage to fall once too - not good at all!  I got in 7 and I won't tell you how long it took.  But I did it even with all the Christmas craziness right now.

And work..........OMG.  Teaching 9 and 10 year olds as the holidays approach is not an easy task. Each day this week has been worth a week itself. I cannot believe it is only Tuesday!  Yikes.  I wouldn't make it through the day without friends like this guy.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


First - thanks for all the nice comments about Simba.  We do miss him and so many of you get it.

I have been a little dry on thoughts for posting.  I saw this on Christy's blog and decided to copy it.  


Reading: I just started a new one by an author I recently discovered.  Dark Tide by Elizabeth Haynes.  It's a bit of a thriller. I would highly recommend Necessary Lies which I wrote about last Wednesday.  I read a Luanne Rice book in between - nothing special.

Drinking: I'm drinking both iced and hot coffee.  I thought I would have stopped the iced coffee by now but some days it just hits the spot.  There is not a Christmas holiday coffee I like as much as pumpkin spice.

Watching: My husband and I are watching Breaking Bad. We're in Season 5. I can't tell you the trouble I've been going to to find blue rock candy so Walt and Jesse can give my husband a present for Christmas. Today my son sent me a recipe for it. Really?  He's been my son for how long and he thinks I can make candy?  I am also watching Grey's Anatomy Season 9.  I am loving it. I especially loved the Cristina/Dr. Thomas story  line.  Loved it!

Missing: The control I had at one time over not eating so much junk!  Where has my will power gone?  And of course we are missing Simba.  A lot.  He is supposed to be on the steps waiting to come in when I drive in the yard.

Anticipating: Christmas. Emily being home. Jameson home at Christmas. Vacation!

Wishing For: A snow day in the next 7 days preferably this Friday. Why does Vermont not have the snow everyone else is getting?  I need a day off to get stuff done.

Loving: My colleagues.  I continue to think I have the best team ever.  We had a craft night last Friday night that involved no crafts. Just food and adult beverages and lots of laughing.  My kind of craft night.

Listening To: Lots of podcasts including Pop Culture Happy Hour which is my current favorite.  I also love Slate's Political Gabfest.  My playlist today at the gym began with Somebody That I Used to Know.  Not sure why I'm loving that song right now. I'm also listening to The Civil Wars.

I've been envious of those doing the RW running streak and considering doing one of my own. Yet I love my day off so why are my thoughts headed that way? I am trying to think of goals for 13/14.

What's on your 'Currently' list?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Hard Tuesday

Tuesday we lost one of our three yellow kitties.  He was the oldest one, although he was only 8.  He had a physical not long ago that he passed with flying colors - other than the whole sit in the sink thing.

In this picture he's daring me to try and give him another of those horrible pills all the cats had to get.  I didn't dare, he won. Then I took him to the vets and it took two of them to give him the pill.  He hid in the sink while he was waiting for his appointment.  

Doesn't he look happy? Well Simba was a pretty dynamic cat. He was our mountain lion, long sleek and strong.  But Tuesday morning, early, he started yowling and went down cellar when he became paralyzed.  Just like that. He was so distressed and kept throwing himself around trying to move.  He was yowling and in such distress.  We called the 24 hour vet and my husband took him.  I expected a large vet bill and a fix.  Instead the vet advised us to put him down (I always thought they had many expensive things to try so if they were suggesting this it was serious.)  Recovery would be very painful and this would be apt to happen again sooner rather than later.  So yes we had him put down. I found all this out as I was arriving at school, not the best of times.  I made it through the day although I can't say it was my best teaching day ever. I went home at my break. My husband had made a box and dug a hole in our flower garden so we buried Simba, near Molly, another cat we had who died.  I got to see him again and have a little closure from the bizarre experience of having a very healthy cat to one who was no longer alive.  Before the day ended I did tell my students about it but it was hard.  One thing 9 and 10 year olds are though is very sympathetic to the loss of a pet.  


This collage shows Simba as a kitten, comforting Jameson when he 
had his wisdom teeth out, being the king of all the cats, and greeting me after
a bike ride.

Our house is a bit empty even with two cats still here.  They seem to be looking around and wondering where their friend is. So am I.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Still Finding Time to Read

I read this book this week and loved it. I hated for it to end.  It takes place on an island in Maine which enhanced my love for the story a great deal.  I so would love to live on an island although my husband finds that very hard to believe as he  says I "am always on the go."  It also is about a cookbook. I seem to like books about cooking and sewing for no good reason as neither are a great love of mine.  

Now I am reading:

I almost stopped reading it as it took me awhile to get into it. It is actually based on some pretty terrible history of eugenics in North Carolina.  I find it hard to believe this happened so easily.  I have a ways to go yet but it has captured me as the story is told with two points of view. One is a social worker who doesn't fit the mold of a doctor's wife and a poor uneducated girl with epilepsy who can be sterilized without her knowledge for that reason alone.

The Eugenics Board of North Carolina (EBNC) was a State Board of the state of North Carolina formed in July 1933 by the North Carolina State Legislature by the passage of House Bill 1013, entitled 'An Act to Amend Chapter 34 of the Public Laws of 1929 of North Carolina Relating to the Sterilization of Persons Mentally Defective'.[1] This Bill formally repealed a 1929 law,[2] which had been ruled as unconstitutional by the North Carolina Supreme Court earlier in the year.
Over time, the scope of the Board's work broadened from a focus on pure eugenics to considering sterilization as a tool to combat poverty and welfare costs. Its original purpose was to oversee the practice of sterilization as it pertained to inmates or patients of public-funded institutions that were judged to be 'mentally defective or feeble-minded' by authorities. In contrast to other eugenics programs across the United States, the North Carolina Board enabled county departments of public welfare to petition for the sterilization of their clients.[3] The Board remained in operation until 1977. During its existence thousands of individuals were sterilized. In 1977 the N.C. General Assembly repealed the laws authorizing its existence,[4]though it would not be until 2003 that the involuntary sterilization laws that underpinned the Board's operations were repealed.[5]
Today the Board's work is repudiated by people across the political, scientific and private spectrum.[citation needed] North Carolina is currently considering compensation for those sterilized under the Board's jurisdiction.[6]

I did not finish reading After Her from last week.  It never captured me and there are too many good books out there to finish one that just isn't.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Santa 5K

Another year, another Santa 5K. This is a very fun race.  Once again
I did not make a big effort to get co workers to sign up. I need to do that! 
Miscommunication with my son meant I ran it alone.  It was still a hoot.  There is just something
about seeing all those Santas in one place - RUNNING!  There were 1700 of us out there.

Church Street is packed before the start.  I do need to get a new suit next year.
You pay less if you are using an old suit but mine looks like Santa
vomited on it last year.  It's cheap to begin with so I think I have to say 3 years is enough.

This picture is from the pub that sponsors the race, kind of a cool shot.

I always run slow slow slow in this race and this year was no
exception.  Above is the steepest hill.  Santas thin out but
of course you are still surrounded.

I loved this little Santa.  His father was just pushing him along.
At one point they were pulled over while the little guy had 
a bit of a meltdown but I saw them finish so all was good.

Back at the finish and there is just a lovely picture of me below.
I was way overdressed, the opposite of last Sunday.  I visited Jameson
and Jaxon after which is always a good way to end a race.