Thursday, December 29, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  I love how automatic it is for me to get my work out in. I never wonder if but when.  I have very high standards when it comes to finding the time.  I give myself almost no excuses.  I am afraid that if I start it will be a slippery slope and I will do little exercising.  Now in reality I know that that won't happen but there is this little part of my mind that fears it so exercise I always do.  Now if only I could be as automatic with healthy eating.

2.  I super love how I seem to be discovering new ways to work out. I always knew I liked to bike but in the last two years I have grown to absolutely LOVE IT!  And now I feel the same way about swimming.  How did that happen?  I guess I am proof that you can suck at something and enjoy it regardless.  Who knows what else is out there waiting for me to discover with great joy? Skydiving?  Yoga? Tennis? Scuba diving (not a chance)?

3. This morning when I ran it was negative 4 degrees but it didn't feel it.  There was sun with no wind and it was gorgeous out after yesterday's storm.  This was a strange storm. I have friends about 10 miles away who still have green grass and we got more than 12 inches!  I took my camera with me this morning so I'll end with  a few pictures - what a surprise right?  I loved my run in the snow today - when it comes to winter I say - Bring It On!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Random Vacation Thoughts

I love love love being on vacation!  Time to be lazy and enjoy life.

I seem to be a little addicted to NCIS right now. Just finished Season 1 and immediately began Season 2.  I was headed to the big city today but there is a giant snowstorm so I turned around. My husband will be so proud that I made a sensible decision.
This is  a road I only get on when I go 10 or more....
same river - different spot.  Looking up the 
road below.

This morning when I finally got  a 10 MILE RUN in there was rain and snow. For awhile it was snowing heavily and I had to be careful where I put my feet. When I got home I was SOAKED!  The 10 miles were slow but fine.  It is so nice to  be able to get a long run in in the middle of the week!  I have a race on the weekend so didn't want to do it then.

I went swimming yesterday morning and tried some of my new swimming toys.  I don't think I used the swim buoy right but I gave it a shot.  It was nice to have the time and not worry about being done to get to school on time.  I kind of question the time I am putting into this sprint tri already with lots more to come but really I am loving the swimming and would like to be a better swimmer no matter what. I don't see me not swimming on a regular basis even without a tri to train for.


I am also thinking about picking out a half to two.  How do I train for a half and a tri?  In the past I was running 5 or 6 days a week but now it is 4. Is that enough?  If I am following a training plan that calls for 5 days of running do I just pick the one day I think can be left out and call it good?

Jax came back!  Two days after Christmas it is my husband's birthday so Jameson and Jax came back for a birthday supper. I made stuffed manicotti and homemade rolls and it was delicious. We have so many desserts around from Christmas that I didn't do anything new.  Of course the cats were thrilled Jax was back.  They have completely different personalities around him.  The "brave" one hides and the "timid" one - pictured above - stands his ground and hisses.

Before Emily left on Monday we went to my gym and worked out. I actually had a very good run and it was nice to be there with Em.  It was as PACKED as if it was Jan. 1! I couldn't even use "my" treadmill.

We are getting our first real snowstorm.  My husband measured awhile ago (it is still snowing) and we are up to 12 inches. It is beautiful.  I am thankful today is not the day Em is driving back to Washington. That makes me nervous enough without adding a snowstorm into the mix.

I was going to do a "quick" 4 miles in the morning but I guess I'll have to find my Yak Trax first!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Fitness Christmas

I got some great new fitness items. Some years are like that and this seems to be one of them.  Could be that triathlon that is in my future.  I asked for swim goggles and a new cap and got all kinds of swim stuff I didn't even know existed.

Cap and goggles - Emily says they are her
favorite goggles.

Hand paddles I think

Speed laces???

A Swim buoy

Triathlon shorts!!!!! 

A swim bag...... I love bags!

Lulu shorts for running

Some really fun laces!

And look at all the stuff my hubby got me
at the bike shop to help me with changing a tire. Again, I don't 
know what so much of it even is!

Not fitness but isn't  this great.  Jameson had one made for
each of us - all different. I got the cats!

A beautiful cutting board also from Jameson.
He also got me a KINDLE which I have downloaded
a book about the Ironman onto. So could that
also be called a fitness present?  Plus he got
a bike rack for me for the barn. 

And so much more........a wonderful wonderful
Christmas with my family.  

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Weekend - The Exercise Edition

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas. It has been a busy few days and wonderful. In spite of the hectic pace I did get my workouts in.

This is the pool I swim in.  It is pretty old but it is in
the only high school in the state that has a pool
and it is nearby so I won't complain.


I went swimming with Emily.  I had already gone once this week but couldn't resist the chance to swim with her.  She gave me some drills to do right away.  There are reasons - many of them - I am not going fast.  I must say these new drills messed up my breathing again but I need to fix some things as  and I quote "I have a lot going on." Okay, I'm not surprised and I have a lot of time left.
These two bathing beauties are me.  I cannot believe I am 
posting them but I have no shame I guess.

My plan was to take swimming lessons in the new year to help my stroke so onward with that thought!  I got some great swim stuff for Christmas (more on that in a later post) that will help me with it.


A sunrise run...

Our cute cute visitor.....

The cat is not as sure as the rest of us of the puppy's cuteness.

These don't look like much but man they taste good. 
The ones below look a little better.  Next time I will experiment
with more kinds.

I got up and went for a run when it was 8 degrees.  I need to get over this running in the early morning mindset.  It was cold!  I went 8 miles and decided once again that that was plenty. I had lots to do when I got home including trying to make cake balls. I am not a cook!  I was quite discouraged with my first batch (although they taste good) but later ones came out better.  They are much bigger than they are supposed to be but that meant I was done sooner. Worked for me!  Also later Friday the cutest dog ever came to our house for Christmas!

Sunday - Christmas!

I had a great late day 4 mile run!  I felt a little faster than I have lately. I let Emily use my Garmin so I have nothing to prove that but it felt great!  Now we are watching Crazy Stupid Love for the second time tonight.  A little extra time with Ryan Gosling is  a fine way to end the day.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

He Was Robbed!

My son had a door decorating contest at work.

They decorated their door with a present on enough to hold Jax, his puppy.

When it was time for judging they put Jax into the box.

And they didn't win!   

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Baker's Dozen Random Thoughts

1. I lost a follower on the day of the breaking elephants post.  It certainly wasn't about running but was it that bad?

2.  Sunday I ran on our coldest day yet. It was 4 degrees and my face was mighty cold. I'm just not used to it yet and I was happy to do only "8" miles rather than the maybe 10 I had in my head.

3. I had told my students about the first broken elephant last week.  I updated them on Monday and I'm sure they were impressed with my coordination and brains.  They probably went home and told the story and there are parents calling the principal as I write this to switch their children to another classroom.

4. I have a very sweet foster grandmother (from the foster grandparent program) who volunteers in my classroom 3 times a week. I could hear her laughing heartedly as I was telling the story.  Perhaps she isn't so sweet.

5. Okay, I'm moving on past the elephants.

6. I registered for a race on January 1 to start out 2012 the right way!

7. I stayed home sick one day this week.  Hate feeling lousy especially now when I have so much to do.

8.  These days the series I am watching is NCIS.  It's a good one.

9. I'm rereading Jodi Picoult's Vanishing Acts. Also good.

10.  The day I was home sick I played a lot of Words with Friends.  I responded almost immediately each time my phone binged.  Today I'm already way behind again.

11.  Tomorrow (Thursday) is the last day of work before vacation.  All teachers should get triple pay on the last day of work before vacation even though it is a fair thing to say there won't be a whole lot of learning going on.

12.  I swam today since I missed it Tuesday.  I didn't feel great but if I can get to work I can do something I enjoy too.  So I went swimming and I went to my staff party.  In fact I was one of the last to leave my staff party.

13.  Enjoy these last days before Christmas and have a great holiday!

Goals # 11 - 15 And That's a Wrap!

Yes I had tons of goals in 2011. The way I look at it is lots of goals means lots of success.  I repeat a lot of them like racing with my family as that is just the best thing ever. It takes no special skill on my part but I still list it as a goal perhaps to keep track of it.  I am sure I will have similar number of goals for 2012.  I am usually a rather succinct person both in writing and talking but NOT apparently when it comes to thinking about my passions in fitness.

11. Be in top half of field.  Success in 9 races - I'll take it!

St. Patrick's Day 8K - 1199/3176
BAA 5K 1855/4187
Sunshine Run 33/250+
Lincoln Magic Mountain 4(woman)/ ? 20 or so
Zoe's Race - 53/145
Adirondack Distance Run - 208/498
Great Island 5K 500/1186
Let Them Play 15/31
A Time to Give 30/144
Goofing off at the Great Island 5K

12. Have one overall PR in any distance. Mostly Fail
I had a PR at an 8K and a 10 miler because they were  new distances.  

13. Race near the ocean. Success
This is one of my favorite goals.  I raced near the ocean 3 times, twice in New Hampshire along that tiny strip of ocean and once in Rhode Island.

Yes, you wish you were racing by the ocean in 
February in New England too!

14. Race with some bloggy buddies, old and new! Success - not as many as last year but that's okay. I got to race with Darlene twice who doesn't really live close but in my world she does (about 2 1/2 hours away.)  She is also a racing nut like I am. I also got to meet "Dash"  (and Liz) when I went to DC and I won't be surprised if I run into her again.  Love her posts and she is one fast racer!

15. Secret goal- find a duathlon and race in it! Tell no one as when they see you show up on a mountain bike looking not one bit like a bike racer they may not let you enter! Be prepared to come in last. Yes Yes Yes!  I did this and was quite proud of it. I thought I would come in last but I beat several people even though most everyone had a road bike.  I'll be back next year hopefully with a road bike of my own!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Goals 2011 Review # 6 - #10

Goal # 6  - 2011 -  Run/race in a new state. Success!
I ran a race in Rhode Island in July which gave this goal a big fat check. Plus it was my last state in New England to race!  I liked the race but even if I lived there it wouldn't be one to add to a must do list.  There we were by the gorgeous ocean and we barely saw it.  The neighborhoods we ran through were fine.  But I had a great trip there and am glad I did it.

Goal # 7 - Race in a marathon. Fail

Since I started running I thought I would do one marathon a year.  Last year I trained for one but didn't get there because of injury. This year I didn't run one because I didn't want to. I wanted more time for what I hoped would be some more duathlons but I never found any more.  But I also wanted more time for biking and that was a huge success. I don't see this being added back in for 2012.  I plan (gulp) to try and tri or two or three and I want A LOT more time for biking!  

8.  Run in at least two half marathons. Huge Success!

I ran in not two or three or four but five!  I love half marathons!  I ran Half at the Hamptons in Feb. for the second year.  This is a race I LOVE in spite of the freezing temps.  I raced in the Unplugged Half and got my PR for the year.  I ran in the Middlebury Maple Run for the second year and do like it but man is it hilly!  You can't keep me away from the VCM 2 person relay. ( I had brief thoughts of doing this marathon this year but nope!Then I took a break until this fall when I ran the Adirondack Distance Festival which was gorgeous, hilly, well organized and a blast and I will go back!

9. Race with family members. A huge success!
Right off the bat I raced at the Albany Winter Series with Jameson on a  VERY cold day! Thanks a ton Jameson for going with me!  Then I raced in DC with Emily in the St. Patrick's Day 8K!  Next I raced in the BAA 5K with both my children!  What could be better?  VCM found all of us racing again. Jameson was a huge support to both Emily and me.  Then Jameson went along with me this summer to a race in Isle La Motte which was gorgeous but instead of a cold January race it was an extremely hot July race!  Jameson was involved in helping run Zoe's Race and I ran in it so I am counting that one too!  And I would have raced with my husband on New Year's if I hadn't been sick.  We are going to try again this year.  

10. Place in age group. A Success!
Believe it or not even with my slower paces this year I did this a few times.  It helps being older and as you know.... Age Groups Rock.  I placed at the Polar Cap 4 Miler (2/5), Isle La Motte (2/3), Kingdom Run (2 out of maybe 2?), and Adirondack Distance Festival (Half marathon - 2/19!).  The last one is the one I had no clue I would place and left for home without getting my maple syrup!  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

If it's breakable don't drop it.......

I was trying to get my son a decorative elephant for his new house for Christmas (his request).  Last Sunday I found a ceramic elephant I liked that wasn't expensive and brought it home.  I was getting my bags out of the car when I dropped them on the ground and the elephant broke into a few pieces.  I was furious with myself as it was a stupid thing to do but my husband thought he could repair it by gluing it back together.
Here is the elephant. Cute little guy - doesn't look too
bad, does it?  This is the "good" side.

The chip!

It actually worked quite well and there is just one small chip missing. I didn't feel really good about giving a chipped elephant as a present though so I asked a friend to pick me up another.  She went to the store and there appeared to be none there.  But they went "out back" and got her another one.  I saw her Friday night at a party, got the elephant, brought it home and put it on the counter.  Before I went for my run on Saturday I decided to clean up a bit and took a few things down cellar, the elephant being one of them. It was still packed in the box it came in.  When I got there the top of the box came open (I was holding it sideways) and the elephant slid out at rocket speed and SMASHED on the concrete floor.  I started screaming and aimed a few choice words at my brilliance once again.  My husband got home a few minutes later and I think he thought I had broken the water pump or something serious before he saw all the pieces. He once again told me he thought he could fix it but I mumbled something sweet like, "Don't be ridiculous."

I was going shopping and thought I would pick up yet another one.  When I got to the store they had 3 more but I COULD NOT bring myself to purchase one.  I had no faith whatsoever that I would not break yet another one.

I went from store to store having a good time browsing when I found a cute inexpensive elephant hook.  It could be used to hold keys or some other small thing.   I got it. And guess what?  It is made of metal and I would have a pretty hard time breaking it.
Here's the elephant hook - much better than another broken
ceramic elephant!

 I was  still shopping going in some stores I don't usually frequent when I hit the mother lode of elephant stores.  It was where I should have started.  I couldn't resist one more small one - also made of metal and seemingly unbreakable.

When I got home my husband had brought the smashed one upstairs and had the glue warming up to room temperature. I told him to hold off. I am wrapping all four and Jameson will have to hear the story and open them in the proper sequence.  If he wants his father to try to repair it that's fine but I thought we could have a little fun out of this debacle on Christmas Day.  What person doesn't love to open a present that has shattered into several pieces?
The elephant from the "elephant store."  I could
drop him a few times and he'd look just fine!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Seven Things About Emily

Jamoosh tagged me to tell 7 things about Emily.  I think this is going to be hard.  What can I tell that she or I haven't already told that she won't shoot me for?

Not only are we racing together here - we won the mother/daughter division!

1.  Emily started racing because she had no money and I had no one to race with.  One year for my birthday she gave me several coupons to cash in for races with her.  She did it as she was poor and I was always whining about no one to race with.  Well as you probably know before the year was out......she was hooked.

2. Emily gives great presents.  (See above)  She does an outstanding job on stockings.  One year for Christmas she gave me the gift of being a character in a book.  She had been at a charity auction and this was one of the prizes.  You got to be in a book and she bid on it to give it to me.  The author was a Vermont author that  I read so I was beyond excited!

3. She was a vegetarian for a few years.  It began after we were in Maine a couple of times eating dinner on a deck while watching a tuna being sliced, diced and chopped every which way.  She is no longer a vegetarian but I still don't think she eats tuna.

4.  Em was good at many things.  When she joined the swim team it was something she did not excel at  like everything else she had tried.   But she didn't give up. She had a great coach and now all those years of swimming on a team make her quite a good swimmer in the tri world where many people seem intimidated by the swim.

5. Emily loves clothes especially if they come from Lululemon.  Somehow she got me loving their stuff too even though I think the prices are ridiculous.

6.  Emily ran track in her junior year of high school. She did the longer distances and made it to States.  She was going to go out for cross country in the fall but stayed on the swim team instead.  I wonder if she ever wishes she had raced more in high school.

7. Emily hates hates hates snakes. I am afraid I may have had something to do with this.  But she must be braver than I because she has moved "south" where there are more of the critters and less cold to keep them away.

And the really good # 7 is that in about 7 more days she will be here for Christmas!