Sunday, January 31, 2010

-1 degree (A Veritable Heat Wave)

Today T and I headed out for our second weekend run. We wore almost the same clothes as yesterday although I traded one styling face mask for a balaclava. I wasn't going to take any pictures today but just to help those who may want warmth advice for cold runs I took one. Believe me it is not fashion advice but when it is below zero fashion is the last thing on your mind. I wore the balaclava over my turtle fur and under my hat and it was VERY warm! Just the ticket. Both T and I thought the whole run was warmer and we only went 6 instead of 11 so the whole run was great! For those of you who are running in cold temps do you have any advice for skin protection?
I ran 31.1 this week and 129.4 for the month of January. :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

-9.6 degrees

(This is before the run as I am contemplating our sanity.)

And the thermometer keeps dropping on the weekend. Today my friend T and I ran in our coldest temperature yet. It was -9.6 but at least there was very little wind. The plan was to run 11 but we had discussed making it shorter and saving the longer run for Sunday if we needed to. She ran yesterday with a bitter cold wind and was a little tentative about today. Her husband shook his head in amazement when she left home to meet me (I don't think it was in admiration as he told her "No heroics.") T ususally wears much less than I do but today she was still reacting to her run on Friday. She began the run with 5 - yes 5 layers on top. She did remove a coat not too far into our run. I wore my usual 3 layers for colder temps. We both wore two layers on the bottom. I got out the hand and feet warmers that I can count on one hand the times I have resorted to. I also got out my face mask (see the pics, lovely isn't it, quite the fashion statement!) for the first time this year.
We headed out and decided it was bearable with very little wind and would do the whole route! The best part of my 11 mile route is there is a loop in the middle. If I am running less than 10 at home it is an out and back and while it is a pretty route I do enjoy a loop. The bad part about this loop is it is very hilly. I need to do hills though so I guess that was a plus. As we were headed up the biggest hill we met another runner. I was thinking we weren't the only crazy ones out for a run which is exactly what she said as she ran by!

I felt like I weighed a great deal more than I do. My muscles were stiff and I felt very sluggish. It is a bit demoralizing to run when you feel that stiff. Both T and I began to feel tired around the 7th mile. I tried not to think about it and to keep my spirits up. I know so much of this is mental.

When we finally got back to my house we found that we had not gone the ENTIRE 11 miles! So we headed down the road to complete the 11! I am sure that as ESH at Sweat Once a Day reads this she will groan, roll her eyes and think, "Oh, Mom, you are so anal!" Yes, I am. I know it. I admit it! A plan is a plan and needs to be followed. Yes, I know listen to your body, use common sense.............! I will get there some day.
But we completed it and felt good about our fortitude. It was a quick walk to the bathroom and a long rewarding HOT shower! Let's hope tomorrow is warmer as well as next weekend. The thermometer needs to move in the other direction on Saturdays!

We made it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three Things Thursday

I love Thursday and the idea of writing three quick things.

1. Tonight I went to a fitness club my son works at to hear a free talk on training for a marathon given by a p.t. It was good. I knew a lot of the stuff but it good to hear it again and cement it more into my brain. I am NOT good about refueling after a workout or building my core soooo hopefully I will change that. I am good about increasing in increments of about 10% as I build up to a longer race.

2. I had 3 great workouts at the gym on the TREADMILL this week. Each workout I challenged myself a little more and met the challenge! I felt quite invigorated after both yesterday's and today's workouts. Why can't it always go so smoothly?

3. This week's question challenge from Christina at Lazy Bones Running is If you could inspire someone to run, who would it be and why? Well, I feel like there are a lot of people I would like to inspire, the more the better because then I would have more people to run and race with. Oh where oh where can I find some friends that like to race? Okay seriously, I would inspire my two colleagues/bffs that don't exercise in any shape or form. I feel their lives would be much richer, healthier, happier if they exercised and I know running has certainly done it for me. It would help remove some of the stress of our jobs and take away some of those calories of all those yummy treats we like to eat together. I would be thrilled to help them start with a modest plan and build up as it worked for them. At this point I am just leading by example. I know I have quietly inspired some other friends to become more fit, maybe eventually I can do the same for them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Warm Wood Stove Etc.

I wasn't able to run today because of meetings :( (They won't go on my happy list!). Yesterday I had another good workout on the treadmill but not too much to say about it so it is a good thing that.........................

Anne at Asthma and the Gift of Running tagged me to list 10 things that make me happy! Be sure to stop by her blog if you haven't already.

1. Always my family!
2. Sitting by the warm wood stove on a cold winter day!
3. Sitting by the warm wood stove blogging to my new running friends!
4. Sitting by the warm wood stove reading a good book!
Okay I'll get past the warm wood stove.
5. Anticipation - of a good time with friends, of seeing family, of a race, of a weekend.....
6. Running in a light snowstorm when it is not too cold is the BEST!
7. Having the lights on at night watching the snow drifting down.
8. My name in the paper from an age group award in a race on the SPORTS PAGE!
9. When someone tells me I look thin!
10. Fitting comfortably into pants that haven't fit me for awhile.

If you haven't blogged about 10 happy things and you are reading this post, consider yourself tagged!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

In Spite of VERY Cold Temps this weekend registering for races including winter half marathon!

Saturday's run was cold. The temperature was -2 which wasn't quite the coldest temp I have run in lately but both T and I agreed it was the coldest we have felt. My toes were quickly numb but my face in particular was just frozen. I had T check me for frostbite but I seemed to be okay. We went 9 miles so by the time we turned around it def. felt better.

I spent the afternoon near the wood stove and registered for 3 half marathons. I am signed up to do the Half at the Hamptons and the Middlebury Maple Run, the sweetest half. I think I like half marathons the best so this should be a fun spring. The last two years I ran the Big Lake Half Marathon but am prob. not going to this year. Although when I just went to find the link it said back in the hands of....... It was a bit disappointing last year compared to the previous year. Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought so. I also registered for the VCM two person relay but that will depend on getting my team drawn from the lottery. Let's hope!
Here is a web description of the post party for the Half at the Hamptons.
Winter Adventure, flat fast course. After Race party including Hot soup, Lindt Chocolate and BEER.. in the classy Ashworth Hotel Ballroom.

Awesome right! I know some of you will hone in on the beer, but the Lindt Chocolate speaks to me.

Sunday when T showed up she told me the tip of her ear got frostbitten yesterday. Ouch! With memories of yesterday's freezing temperatures fresh in our minds, we both way over dressed for our 6 mile run today. It was cold but about 20 degrees warmer than Saturday! I picked up the pace a little from yesterday but it is harder to be motivated to run faster when you are feeling very bulky from lots of layers. So with today's run I am at 29.8 for the week! I'm happy with that but had I known I probably would have run .2 more to reach 30! As if it makes a difference!

Hope you all had good running/exercise experiences this weekend! Enjoy the rest of it!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

I was the recipient of the Beautiful Blogger award from Michelle at Let's Roll Mama. Thanks, Michelle. I loved being tagged.

I'm supposed to tell you 7 random things about myself and then tag 7 people. Here goes.

1. I lived for a year in Northern Quebec in a town called Chibougamau. At that time the closest town was 150 miles south and I got isolation pay added to my salary. I LOVED it there.
2. When I was born I weighed 3 pounds and that was way more shocking when I was a baby. Since then I have had no trouble putting on weight!
3. I am teaching in the same school my mother taught in, I attended and my husband attended although we were not there at the same time. But he did have my mother as a teacher! This actually means a lot to me because my mother died long before I got married yet she knew (and liked) my husband.
4. I love desserts especially sweet frosting heaped on cakes!
5. I have never gone a day in my life as an adult without reading for pleasure.
6. I had to have my gall bladder out when I was in my early 40s and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. (began exercising and losing weight - major life change)
7. I love the ocean. Even though I don't live in a state that borders the ocean I can get there in less than 4 hours. Running by the ocean trumps all other runs for me.

Well, that was rather fun to do. Now I will send this on to 7 other beautiful bloggers. Sorry if I tag you and you have already done this post! Have a great weekend and happy running.

I will send this on to:

Manderez at Road to a New Life.
Alicia at Alicia Runs.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Wow! Today was a looooong day! Glad I am home in my pjs relaxing, blogging and watching Greys - the one tv show I make it a point to watch!

1. I had 3 decent workouts this week, two on the treadmill and one outside. Probably the best one was actually one on the treadmill. I pushed myself increasing the speed even though I wanted to just ease back. I never love the treadmill but I can feel damn good when I am done. Very satisfied with the intensity of my workout. Can't wait for the weekend and more time to run.

2. The economy has been hard on my family and jobs. Both my kids have gotten good jobs lately that best of all they LOVE! It has made my state of happiness increase many fold! Two down, one to go. I wish the same for any of you in the same situation.

3. Today (Friday - I couldn't even finish this short post on Thursday) is a school day with no kids because it is inservice. It is nice to have a "different" day and I hope to learn some new things. The students are all thrilled to have a 3 day weekend.

Welcome to new followers. Leave me a comment and I will visit your blogs.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Favorite Running Moments

I was wondering what to blog about when I got to Lazy Bones Running post for today where she suggests a question to answer on your blog. She is going to do this for 12 weeks! I love it!

The question this week was What is your favorite running moment? This is going to take some thinking about. I think my favorite running moment(s) were in the Vermont City Marathon last spring when I ran with both my kids. I did the relay with my son and my daughter ran the whole thing. The moments began with meeting up with my son at the start; getting our picture taken, sharing those pre race rituals and nervousness. He took off to take pictures of the race before he needed to begin. I rounded the first corner and less than a quarter of a mile away he was on the porch roof of his house taking pictures! (I am in the pink hat and shirt.)
He got lots of calls from the crowd and some fun pics.

The moments continued as my daughter and I ran alongside one another for a short time. Someone heard us talking and commented on our matching pink.(unplanned). I met my daughter several times - what a blast - and then it was time to pass the relay bracelet to my son. He took a quick picture, gave me a hug and was off. It was a spectacular moment! Both kids finished strong and happy!

I loved sharing my love of running and racing with my kids as we all shared this wonderful adventure and lifestyle! I really can't describe my joy adequately.

ALSO ....on another note. Wow! It takes a lot of time to follow blogs and I am not following as many as lots of you. I am enjoying reading so many blogs and keep seeing others I would like to follow (and I love it when new people follow mine) but where does the time come from? And what is the deal with the giveaways? Do people who do this have sponsors or are some just being generous?
Just wondering!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Excellent Sunday Run and Shopping

Today was the best run I've had since I ran with my faithful running buddy and our two children. I felt like I had been slogging along lately when I run outside. (The treadmill keeps me honest indoors.) So I wanted to run a brisker pace today. Mission accomplished! We ran 6 miles which brought me to slightly over 30 for the week at a decent pace. My fourth and fifth miles were the fastest with a slow down in the 6th. We do end up on a hill just before my house but I am going to make it a goal to keep that last mile at the same pace as the previous mile!

I'm going to share a few running pieces I picked up at TJMaxx. I have to be in the right mood to go to TJMaxx but our "local" one tends to have good sports gear especially Nike.

A New Balance shirt for a super cheap price!

A Nike Dry Fit running jacket, very comfy! More teal than blue as it looks here.

And my best score - Cloudveil - Run Don't Walk Hoodie. Very comfortable with sleeves that extend with the hole plus they fold under very easily (notice one sleeve is extended the other isn't.) Both look good with prominent stitching.

It is a beautiful day outside and I'm going to get off the computer. I want to get a spinach lasagna made for supper so it is all set and then maybe I can get my hubby to go to the movies. I know I know that is not being outside but the drive there is right and I was outside this morning for my run!

I love weekends!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Indecision- what races to choose!

It was MUCH warmer today - in the 30s and just perfect for this time of year. I ran 10 miles which is farther than I have gone in awhile. I took my usual route along the river for most of the distance. I try to appreciate my route and not take it for granted as it is quite pretty.

I am contemplating doing Half at the Hamptons in the latter part of February. I need to make up my mind as it is filling up. I am running my longer runs as if I was doing it but I am not doing any speed work, pace or tempo. So I am half heartedly preparing for the Half. It is at the beginning of my Feb. break and I would combine it with a short jaunt to Maine with friends for eating and shopping.

I am going to take some time this weekend to look at various races I want to do. Too much indecision and I hate to lose the money if I change my mind or something comes up. I have another half I am looking at in April which I will prepare for more thoroughly. I need to find a partner to sign up with me for the VCM two person relay in May. I have approached a couple of possibile relay partners. It is a lottery so there is no guarantee to get in. I also need to think about a fall marathon. I would like to do the Mt. Desert Island (although the annoying music when you open the website might deter me from it) one but would like to see my school calendar for next year first. That isn't likely to come out anytime soon so I may have to just make an uninformed decision as that is another race that is filling up particularly since it was touted in Runner's World.

Decisions decisons.....!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday

I am copying some ideas from all of you. So here goes my first three things Thursday.

1. As I sit here and write this Grey's Anatomy is finally showing a new episode. Any Greys fans out there?

2. I received a book in the mail today, not just any book but a very special book. Two years ago my daughter was at a fund raising auction and she bid on the chance to get your name in a book as a character. She had the highest bid AND..........she gave them my name as Christmas present! It was a pretty exciting gift for a book lover like myself. It is part of an ongoing series that I have read all of. I just started the book and can't wait to see what happens to me! (I think it is a very minor role to the tune of a few pages but who cares?)

3. It is Thursday night which means tomorrow is FRIDAY! I had a decent workout at the gym, 4.8 miles on the treadmill, which were easier than usual! Life is good.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday's 10 Happy Things

I wasn't going to post today but I got tagged by Suzy at Running on My Time. I need to list 10 things that make me happy and pass it on to 10 people. I LOVE lists of all kinds so this works for me!

1. Easy - my family. My husband, daughter and son mean the world to me.
2. Running and racing - what did I used to do to get the rush I get from racing?
3. Reading - I have been a voracious reader all of my life. People ask me how I find the time to read. My question is how can you not?
4. Coffee - Bring on the flavored coffee and make sure it is piping hot!
5. A job I like as a third grade teacher. No plans to retire anytime soon.
6. The four seasons - I love living in a state with 4 seasons. I love them all and enjoy the changes - more of a chance to shop and own more clothes!
7. Which brings me to shopping - yes I love to shop!
8. My cats - I have 3 yellow kitties - all of whom are lap cats and just adorable!
9. Traveling - even if it is a short road trip with family or friends.
10. Can I say my family again? None of it means anything without them!

11. I must add EATING! As I stopped to go get a snack I wondered how I missed this the first time around! Vanilla and pumpkin are current favorite flavors..........chocolate always!

Now I need to pass this on to 10 people. I am just getting started with blogging and I don't know if I can do this. Let's give it a try though. I very well may tag someone who has already done this. Sorry if I do!

Christina at Lazy Bones Running.
Jess at 21 Days.
Jill at Run With Jill.
Darlene at My First 5K blog.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Working out and work!

Colleagues assume going to the gym and working out on a regular basis is easy for me because I regularly do it. NOOOOOOO! I would happily stay later at work, get more done and head straight home to relax and unwind. The days I go to the gym I do NOT look forward to running on a treadmill. I ALWAYS feel better when I am done and yes, I am glad I did it but it is not easy nor is it something I look forward to! Suggestions will be taken if you do manage to have a more positive outlook. I guess that is why I run outside on the weekends in any kind of weather. The best friend of a treadmill runner is an IPod so thank you Apple! It would be much harder without music!

Today at work I met with a parent who gave me the best compliment. Her child is new to our school but came home all excited yesterday to tell her 3 things she loved about me and how happy I made her. Yeah! The parent didn't share the 3 things (I was wishing she would, I needed a boost) but it still made my day!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Goals 2010

Okay I'm a little late with these. I guess I better put them out there!
  • Improve 5K/10K time - I will improve on my 5K and 10K times for this calendar year.
  • Run in some new races- try out some races I have never done. I LOVED a lot of the new races I did in 2009. I plan to go back to many of them.
  • Run in a marathon and PR - I will run in one marathon and I hope to PR. I was disappointed with my marathon last year and want to feel better about it this year.
  • Race in a new state - The only NE state I haven't raced in is Rhode Island. Maybe I can get there.
  • Get name in Burlington Free Press or New England Runner - This is always a thrill for me. As a non athlete for many years I still think of myself that way and to see my name on the sports page is huge!
  • Race with family members- I did a lot this in 2009 and LOVED it. It will lessen as my main race partner has moved many miles away.
  • Place in age group- always a thrill!
  • Keep a race blog - This is a new one but it is going well right now.
  • PR in a half marathon- I did 3 half marathons last year but did not PR. I want to break the 2 hour mark.
  • Have one overall PR at any distance for the year - I go for new PRs each year to keep my interest in this up but would like to have one overall lifetime PR. Last year it was at 4 miles.
  • Be in top half of field - This is always a goal and one I feel good about when I meet as I am usually one of the older racers. One of my favorite things to do is to watch younger, fit looking racers finish after me. It is a good self esteem builder.
  • Race once a month at least - This is great for trying those new races.
  • Race in 22 races overall - Last year I raced in 21. I will top it if I can.
  • Pick up my speed while training
** This is it for now but I may update it as I hear of other goals that I like and would like to emulate.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

4 degrees above yesterday, 4 degrees below today

The thermometer is moving in the WRONG direction! I'm glad we did the longer distance yesterday. Today we only did a quick five. Trish remarked about my frozen eyelashes and tried to get a picture but the picture doesn't really do the "frozen face" justice. It wasn't as bad as it sounds as there was NO WIND! This week I will be back inside on the treadmill after work.
I'm including a picture of one of our 3 yellow cats. We are very partial to yellow cats although we had a very sweet gray tiger a few years ago. The cats are appreciating the warm wood stove (as am I!) Today is going to be dedicated to getting done many mundane tasks around the house. I would rather be running, reading, blogging.........any number of things!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Four Degrees and Running Friends

Four degrees above zero. That was the temperature when we started our morning run. When we returned it was a balmy 18 above. The main trouble with my regular route is the first half is "fine" and then we turn around all sweaty into a cold north wind for the return home. Today I actually felt warm and ready to remove a layer (although I NEVER do). But once we turned around I was thrilled I had made the clothing choices I had. When I get up and look at the thermometer in the morning it is not to think about whether I will run but what I will wear. My running buddy, Trish, and I head out no matter what. Today we ran 9 miles!
Trish is a great running partner. She is willing to go the distance I want as she hates to race and is rarely training for anything specifically. I wish she would race more even though she is much faster than I am and would always move me down a place in our age group! We talk about everything on our runs and "solve" all our problems. We talk about anything and everything knowing it will go no farther. Our kids are the same ages and good friends. Here is a link to my daughter's blog where she blogged about a recent run the two older "kids" took with us.
Last night I was reading my most recent Runner's World and I loved the article by Marc Parent about running with his family especially the part about his 6 year old running a mile with him. The last paragraph of the article talks about how no runner is an island. We are being watched by neighbors, co-workers....drivers passing us by. We may not realize it but we are inspiring many people who see us out there day after day, year after year. What a great thought!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An Early Morning Run

Today I got up early to go for a run but first I had to wait for it to get light. There are two reasons I needed to wait. #1 - I live in the country where there are no streetlights and it is just plain too dark and I am not a brave person. #2 - It was cold out and for some reason I feel MUCH colder in the dark. As soon as it was light I headed out. All of my outdoor runs lately have required yak trax and I thought I could get by without them. I was toasty warm as I WALKED down my driveway which should have been a huge sign to me that I was way overdressed. So two mistakes right off - no Yak Trax (it was rather slippery with a dusting of snow on the road) and too many clothes. I only went four miles as I was off work to go to a funeral. I enjoy running early in the day though so that was a real bonus. But on the way back I caught my toe and fell. The good news is I had so many clothes on I bounced right back up, not hurt at all! Next time I will dress lighter and put on the darn Yak Trax.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bliss in Vermont

Another snowy day, another fun run. It wasn't very long. I only went 4 miles and actually ran the same two twice. My friends and family worry about me on the main road so due to their worries and the snow covered roads I stayed on the "back roads." My Yak Trax allowed me to proceed slowly. My daughter wanted to know how I could possibly like running in snow storms so much when the going is so slow. She has a point, it is like running in soft sand on the beach.

Perhaps it is my second favorite type of weather to run in with crisp fall days (and easy footing) being my favorite!

I was not at my most energetic for this run regardless as I had gotten up at 3:00 to take EMily to the airport. We drove over an hour through a major snowstorm on unplowed roads. Visibility was nil but no one was on the road so we could go right down the middle. I fully expected the flight to be cancelled by the time we got there but it was not. It was the ONLY flight that left the airport. Emily was back in DC before I got home. It would have been 3 days before she could get another flight so thank you US Air!

But I had to run alone and will miss running with Emily. She pushes me and encourages me and I already miss my vacation running partner. :(

Saturday, January 2, 2010

One more run with my daughter

Another snowy day in Lincoln, another run with the YakTrax and Emily! I waited for her to finish her two hour spin class before we set out. By that time the snow was falling pretty steadily. It was a decent temperature out, better than my usual early morning jaunts. We ran the same route as Christmas Day, through Lincoln to the bottom of Page Hill and back. Emily wondered if I got sick of my route but changes involve major hills so no I don't get sick of my route. She also worried about me running on the main road. (This from the girl who lives and runs in DC). I enjoyed our run and will miss her company when she returns (hopefully tomorrow) to DC.

Friday, January 1, 2010

First Run - It's All About the Prizes!

Great day for First Run! It wasn't too slippery like two years ago or too cold like last year. I started fairly near the beginning of the racers, admiring the many costumed racers. Running is hard enough without adding to it so I was just in my regular running gear. I never did see the Mile 1 marker so I didn't know what my pace was until I got to mile 2. I found out it was a v-e-r-y slow pace so I picked it up for the last 1.1. Of course the fact that I was going downhill helped! I beat my race time from yesterday by about 20 seconds. This is now my 5K time to beat for the year. I don't know how I did overall as no results have been posted. Run Vermont tends to be rather slow getting results up. The post race food was outstanding. There was lots of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and excellent soup!

Before we left we found out that Steve had won a random prize which turned out to be several random prizes. He won two Dunkin Donut coffee mugs, a DD clock, a DD suitcase/duffle bag with wheels (which George Clooney would be proud to haul around the country) and a supply of DD coffee. As of yet, we do not know what constitutes a supply.

Certainly it is worth far more than the 2 for $20 entry fee we paid.