Monday, January 30, 2012

Not such a good run

1. Sunday's run was terrible.  There is no other word for it. And I think I know why.  It was 11 miles which is my longest run in quite some time.  I didn't eat before it but I seldom eat before runs.  Generally though 10 miles or longer is my rule of thumb for when to eat before a run.  But I have had several 10 mile runs without eating which were just lovely runs!  Well, the 11 yesterday - not so much.  The last few miles were tough and when I got home I immediately collapsed on the couch.  Once up I really felt pretty lousy the rest of the day.  Today I was my old self again so I do think it was the not eating or drinking much thing and trying to make my body move forward for 11 miles. I need to remember that 10 mile rule.

Heading up a hill before I died.  This is a hill I only get to 
when I am going more than 10.  Vermont isn't very
pretty this winter is it?

Today I had my annual physical. As I have said before I love my doctor.  I was with her for over an hour. She doesn't just examine my body she also talks to me a lot about my family, my exercise passions, possible stresses.  She truly wants to know what's going well in my life and what I am worried about.  She has lots of practical suggestions and will research on your behalf if she doesn't know.  She lets me brag about both of my children and seems genuinely impressed with what I tell her.  She wanted to know about my triathlon goal and always makes me feel like a fitness goddess.  I think if she was to make a poster for aging well she would put me on it.  She said my cholesterol and blood pressure were "fabulous."  She told me my weight/BMI were good.  She did have a couple of small concerns and is looking into those but overall - the report was "I am doing GREAT."  

Thanks to those of you who answered my swimming questions in this post.  Please still weigh in if you haven't on long sleeve or sleeveless wetsuits. I don't think I am going to rent as I want to try swimming in one beforehand. Do you have good websites for buying (less expensive please) wetsuits or particular brands you like?  I won't be shopping for one for quite awhile but I am doing some planning now. I'm sure I will have LOTS more questions so please bear with me and thanks for your input!

I just realized tonight it is about time to get new shoes.  This fitness stuff does cost money but it's for a good reason, right!

I have to leave with at least a couple of pictures of Jax from Saturday.  And I did take Jameson out to lunch without Jax before I left so I wasn't ignoring my son completely!  

Jax sitting between my legs and below in his kennel
by HIS choice sleeping on the toy
his Aunt Emily gave him for Christmas.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

11 Things

Bet you haven't seen that title before!  Ha!  It is certainly making it's way around Blog Land.  I have been tagged five times by:
Tonia at Racing With Babes
Lisa at Chasin' Bunnies
Kandi at Kandi Land
Tales of an Ambitious Slacker
Christa from Living a Little Life

So I better get busy and do it.
Here are the rules.

Here are the rules:

1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

 I am not going to tell you 11 random things though and then answer 55 questions from all these blogs. Believe me I am not that interesting and no one would finish the post.  So how about some questions from each of these posts (and I get to pick the questions) and we'll pretend it is 11 answers and not however many I do.  That's the first rule I am going to break.  There may be others.  My apologies if you have read all this random stuff before.

1.  I live 4 miles from where I grew up and teach in the town I grew up in (and in the same school.)
2. My mother also taught in the school.  I had her for English.
3. My husband also went to this school. He had my mother for a teacher and claims he was her favorite student.
4. I can remember my husband (when he was my brother's older friend) telling my mother that he hated winter and I thought Ewww.  Weirdo.
5.  My parents died young and one thing I love is that my husband knew my parents and they knew him even if not as my future husband.
6.  I always wanted to be  a teacher and even though I have bad days I have never regretted that I became one.
7. I love planning lessons as much as I love teaching them.
8. Teaching is many things but it is never boring. No two days (or hours) are the same.
9. I love 8, 9 and 10 year olds. They are the best!
10.  I love that those 8, 9 and 10 year olds think I am a super racer.
11. Sharing favorite books with those same kids rocks.
Hey those were all about teaching, not running.  Sorry but I got into a flow.

Racing with Babe's Questions:
1.  Birthdays. Love them or hate them. Why? I love them!  Always have, always will.  First they beat the heck out of the alternative which is not having a birthday.  I love being queen for a day and do exactly what I want.  I always do something I want to do. It generally involves running or biking.  And lots of eating......some of that unhealthy food.  Plus I love presents!  
2. You get one wish. No restrictions. What is it? I would want my family to be healthy with no serious illnesses throughout our natural lives.
3.Cake or Pie? Easy - cake.  With lots of frosting. Favorite kind - chocolate with white frosting - lots of it.  Do you think I have a sweet tooth?
4.   Biggest pet peeve? I have a lot of pet peeves but I'll talk about the most recent one.  I can't stand it when people don't park in parking spaces at a convenience store.  They pull up and park near the gas pumps because it is near the door.  It doesn't matter that now no one can use the gas pumps because they took so much room parking near the door. They are maybe saving 10 steps. Really?  You're that important that you can create your own parking space to the inconvenience of everyone else?  For whatever reason, this one really annoys me.

Onto Chasin' Bunnies questions:
5.  Coffee or Tea? I don't just prefer coffee to tea. I love coffee.   It is one of the best parts of my day.  I particularly love Green Mountain Coffee - flavored please.
6.   Spring or Fall? I love fall. I love the coolness of the air and the perfect temps for running outside. I love the beautiful fall colors we get in Vermont. I love the thought of winter approaching. I love my regular routine of heading back to school and a new year.  I love getting out my cozy cold weather clothes.  
7. Breakfast or Dinner? Breakfast anytime of the day but it has to include dessert.
8.  Glass half-full or half-empty? I truly think my glass is half full at least a good deal of the time.  I try not to sweat the small stuff and bury my head in the sand if something is going to bother me.  But having said that I do tend to worry about my children and I don't always see the glass as half full then.

Kandi's questions:
9.Do you prefer dogs, cats, or some other pet? I prefer yellow cats except for Jax!
10.  If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ireland
11.  If you were invited to a wedding reception but not the ceremony, would you be offended? It depends. If the ceremony was very private and small - family only etc. I would be fine. But if many people were invited to the wedding and I wasn't I would be offended.  
12. What is the last thing you took a picture of? The above mentioned Jax.

Tortuga Runner's Questions:
13. What is your favorite TV show? Right now it is NCIS.  But really - The Good Wife or Gray's Anatomy.
14. FroYo or Ice Cream? Fro Yo
15. What is your worst chaffing area on a long distance run? Above my breasts - always
16. Now for the fun stuff, forget what you are doing now, if salary wasn't an issue what would your dream job be? I like this question but I need to think about it.  I am thinking working on bike tours all over the world.  

Christa's questions:
17. Do you prefer sweet or salty? Sweet, I have a major sweet tooth. 
18. Do you make your bed everyday? Absolutely. I could not get into it. I would make it if it wasn't made before I got in.
19.  Do you think talking on the phone in the grocery store is rude?  I do and I don't do it.  
20. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?  Would you stay where you are? In reality I would stay where I am but let me dream a little of where I would go if I didn't stay here.  I love love love Washington DC and might go there.  I would also love to live in Maine but only on the ocean where it was fairly private.  Money couldn't be an issue.  There are many places I could live for awhile but I would want to return to Vermont at some point.  

 Here are my 11 questions.  Is there anyone left to tag?

1. What tv series do you recommend?
2. What is a book you couldn't put down?
3. Serious movies or chick flicks?
4. What is a race you would recommend hands down?
5. What grade did your favorite teacher ever teach?
6. If you could live anywhere where would you live?
7.  What was one of the best days of your life aside from marriage and childbirth?
8. What food could you never give up?
9. What is a place you would NEVER want to live?
10. What famous person do you admire?

Now I need to try and tag 11 people. If you have been tagged I apologize.  If you don't want to do it and I tag you, no worries.  Those of you who tagged me answer some of my questions in the comments please!  


Swimming questions - help please

I have been trying to decide if I am going to need a wet suit for my first tri. I was thinking not because of the expense yet it helps with buoyancy and swimming and man do I need help.  So I am leaning toward getting one.

What do you think?  Do I need a wetsuit?

Does it need to be a triathlon wetsuit or can it just be a wetsuit?

Check out these at L.L. Bean.  They are not tri wet suits but I like dealing with L L Bean. They are so easy to return to if something isn't right.  The reviews are good.

Should it be a full wet suit?  Sleeveless?  Short sleeves and legs like the one above?

Okay now.........probably a dumb question.  Today at my swim lesson I started breathing every fourth stroke instead of every other.  Each arm counts as one.  This felt good but was hard.  Should I keep working on it?  Is it going to speed me up?

My fear is I am going to do all this work and retreat back to my prior form in the heat of the race.

Today the coach told me twice that my kick was looking better and stronger.  I am not sure he is not throwing me a bone but I think he was sincere. He told me a couple  more things to work on. I am doing my own thing as the others do what sounds like Greek to me. I don't even know what he is talking about.  Today at first as usual I questioned my wisdom in going but as the lesson went on I felt better.  The hour did drag though.  I couldn't believe each time I looked at the clock how little it had moved.

I did follow up with  visit to Jax, seems to be my reward for working hard.

Next week I won't be going ( a race) so I may hit my local pool twice this week. I am getting a bit addicted to that post swim feeling.

This week I had "bad" dreams a couple of nights. One night it was about snakes - we had been doing math problems about snakes in school.  We had moved to a house where there were lots of snakes near by (we used to live there) but my biggest concern was I didn't have my nice run route anymore.

Then last night I was trying to practice an open water swim in the middle of the winter!  It's like spring here but it's not that warm!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday Eating, running, swimming

1. I wish I was as a dedicated healthy eater as I am an exerciser. Nothing gets in the way of my getting my workout in.  I just do it. No excuses.

 But as far as eating goes I can find many reasons to be less than good.  Part of my problem is I am either great or terrible without a lot of middle ground.  "I had a piece of cake so I might as well eat  a lot of other stuff I don't usually eat for the rest of the day."  Now I am a fairly intelligent person so I can see why this is a bad idea on so many levels but truthfully it is how I operate.  Right now I am in a totally eat what I should frame of mind.  I generally count points (WW).  Here are a few examples of my "goodness."

 Monday lunch was provided at school for teachers. I brought my own from home.
Snacks being shared and passed around at meetings - no thanks not even a bite.
We went to a party where there were many good things to eat. I only had veggies.

Part of the reason I do this is because I know once I go "off" it's all over for a little while. Stupid stupid stupid!  But when I am in this frame of my mind I have a great time sticking to eating well and enjoying how my clothes feel.  Mind you I am not wearing many of my pants yet but the ones I am wearing are comfortable again!  I just need to keep it up.  And if I have a piece of cake, oh well, don't blow the day!

2.  Can I say that once again I am having some great treadmill workouts? Wed. night I ran 6 + miles on the treadmill increasing the speed with each song farther "up" than usual.  Monday night I had an awesome speed workout on the treadmill.  And tonight another awesome run on the TM.  My TM runs are much faster than my runs outside, mainly because I set them that way.  I have a race in a week and a half and I need to see if I can actually get up a little speed in the great outdoors!

The only thing that almost interfered with a great TM run was the last two days when I went to work out someone was on MY treadmill!  Fortunately each day the other person got off within 3 minutes. Was it the scowl on my face?  The tears running down my cheeks?  It doesn't matter.......I could use MY treadmill after all.

3. Tuesday I swam a mile.  I wasn't fast and I'm sure it didn't look good but I had a blast.  There was one other guy there and myself and then he was gone.  Once I was done and showered there were about 8 people in the pool so I was thrilled I had timed it so well.  I'm relaxing a little (for now) about my swim in the tri but I'm sure my anxiety will heat back up.  I know I can swim it though. The next question to resolve is whether I need to try and get a wet suit.

I am thinking I am going to have a snow day tomorrow!  I brought home things I need to work on over the weekend in case. It is a pretty lousy forecast and not changing.  Fingers crossed and pajamas will be inside out!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

I was tagged by Jesse at Journey Thru Life and Amy at Juice Boxes and Crayolas with The Versatile Blogger Award.  The rules are to share 7 things about yourself.  Then to tag 15 people.  If you have been following me for awhile you may know the 7 things I am sharing but here goes.

1. I love to read.  I always have and always will find time for reading.  I must admit following, reading and commenting on blogs has cut into this time. I like to read fiction mostly although I also like biographies especially sports ones.  I love reading to kids at school and right now I am reading my all time favorite book to the kids. (Kavik the Wolf Dog by Walt Morey)

2. I am a rather shy person. I don't make small talk easily at all whereas my husband lives to make small talk with strangers.  I prefer to be around people I know for my comfort level but I do like meeting people.  I have had to come out of my shell as a teacher dealing with parents and various situations.

3.  I get upset when people complain about their parents as I feel they are lucky to still have them.

4.  Riding in a hot air balloon and bungee jumping are on my bucket list.

5.  The two places I most want to visit are Ireland and Alaska.

6.  I prefer northern climates to southern any time and have no desire to go on a tropical cruise. If I was on a cruise ship it would be headed to Alaska.

7.  Am I on 7 already?  This was easy.  I think part of the reason I like blogging is because I love to get mail.  Comments are like mail right?  I write letters every week to a few elderly people who I figure also love to get mail. When I was a young teen my father gave me a key to our mailbox at the post office and it was one of the best presents I ever got. For awhile I checked the box several times a day. One thing I liked about the present was how well my father knew me.

As far as tagging 15 people I am going to tag Darlene at My First 5K because she isn't running and it can be hard to know what to blog about when you aren't running.  But anyone else who hasn't done this an wants to, please do!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What he said and didn't say

Today's Swim Lesson

This is what I posted on Facebook before I left this morning.  

‎"If I had worried about looking fat and jiggly or old and slow every time I went out for a walk or a jog OR SWIM I would never have done it. If you're doing something you like, that's good for your body and mind, then how you look when you're doing it is the absolute least important thing in the world." 
from Slow Fat Triathlete

I get there - early because that is what I do but not as embarrassingly early as last week. Soon the swim coach appears.

"Hi Andrea did you get a chance to practice those kicks this week?"  I hope she spent her time 24/7 in the pool or this lady is going to sink to the bottom of the pool.

"Did you say you were getting ready for a triathlon?"  She must be getting ready for a triathlon as no one who swims this poorly would be here  for any other reason.

(While using the kick board)  "Your kick looks better, I like where your feet are."  My God does she realize the swimmer next to her has been up and down the lane 4 times to her one time.  Is she even moving?  

"Did you get that?"  There is no way she got that. I better tell her again.  Maybe she is hard of hearing.

Okay I need to be clear. This coach is a very nice person but I project my thoughts on him all the time.  I swear the swimmer next to me had flippers on when we were using the kick boards.  In fact the whole time. I pay no attention to the number of laps he tells us to do because I know I won't even come close!  I just do what I can and stop when every one is at the end waiting for me.  (Remember that Facebook quote, Andrea) He had us work on our stroke also which I liked though I suspect I wasn't even close. I do think I am going to need to go the private route but I will try this a couple more times.  I'll go next week and then I have a race the following weekend.  The coach did tell me that I would be need to be careful and save energy for the bike and run. Good advice as the swim tires me out. I had already moderated my kick effort some as I knew there was no way I could do what I was doing last week. Resting at the end of every length is not going to get me ready.  I suspect I will do a combo of free and breast in the race.  I did have a little tri talk with a guy who was there for the first week.  My first tri talk with a racer as a possible triathlete myself!  

Good news.........I did wear one of my new swim suits which fit much better than a couple weeks ago!  

Then once again swim lessons were followed with a visit to see Jaxon (and of course Jameson.)  My I love that dog!

Look at the joy this dog brings my son. I would 
love him for that alone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

TTT Including why eggs at the dump are okay

1. I had lots of questions about getting eggs at the dump.  Reasonable questions for sure.  I have gotten fresh eggs from a few different places this year.  A girl in my class brings me some at times. :)  I have bought them from a teacher at school. I have bought them from a man at the recycling center/dump who has chickens and sells them.  Jeesh. Did you think they were lying on the ground and I picked them up and took them home?  I am one of the most germ phobic people I know when it comes to food. Wouldn't happen! And they are definitely the best of various fresh eggs I have gotten.  Cooked some just last night and I added broccoli, peppers, mushrooms and had veggie sausages to go with them.  Delicious!  Am I a food blogger now?

2.  I did go swimming this morning and had quite a good time.  No one there to tell me what I was doing wrong. I am not faulting the swim coach - that is why I go to lessons - but I couldn't take it every time I swim.  I tried to practice some of the stuff - probably only somewhat successfully. I was also remembering that yes I want to get better but I can go the distance. I did a test to see if my breast stroke  was as fast as my free style because then I was going to concentrate on my breast stroke. But nope!  Even though my free style is slow, it is faster than my breast stroke.

3. Alisa wanted me to post a picture of the dress I got at Athleta.  Here goes.  This is the color I got as it was on sale - in this color!

True confessions. Yes, I sent back the sweatshirt I didn't like as I mentioned in my last post.
But I also got this tunic/tee (but in blue) and leggings.  The leggings are incredibly comfortable! And yes that is me modeling the leggings.  I didn't eat lots of cake balls and pie and cheese and bread and cookies and all of that at Christmas time.  I look just great!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Random Random Random

  • Three days in a row at the gym on the old treadmill. Two of the workouts great including a run of 6 miles and one today that was a luke warm workout.  
  • I haven't been swimming since my lesson last Saturday.  I usually go on Tuesday but this week it worked out better to go tomorrow morning. I am dreading it in some ways when I usually look forward to it. I need to concentrate on what Kate said, I need to just now drown, the rest is gravy.  That is definitely my mantra right now.
  • Looking forward..........Saturday we have a party to go to that a lot of fun people will be at.
  • But first I have to go to another lesson.
  • I have been doing a lot of post Christmas shopping.  Today I wore a new dress my husband saw ina catalogue (Athleta)  and liked. It went on sale and I got it. Super comfy!  I also got a tunic and new leggings which are also super comfy. I sent back a sweatshirt I was less than thrilled with. That is my rule for on line shopping. I have to take the time to send it back if I don't like it.  I also have gotten two swimsuits - huge sale. Although I first got them in petite elephant size and had to exchange them for full grown elephant size.  Those I needed as my other swim suit was waaaaaaaaaay too thin from many wearings.  I also got one more season of NCIS and two triathlon books. 
  • No snow here because it just rained but the cold has settled in. Today at school the kids had indoor recess because it was too icy on the playground.  I hope hope hope they can go out tomorrow but I don't see the conditions changing.
  • Two more days and it is the weekend.  I do love weekends.
  • I love that being active is such a big part of my life. It has also made me a braver person. I go to races alone.  I go to races alone that are not very close.  I have done marathons. I am going to do a triathlon.  
  • Someone called me an athlete recently and I am still amazed (but oh so pleased) by that description.
  • I wish I could eat anything I want and be healthy and thin.  (I am in my "good" eating phase right now - getting rid of those holiday pounds - or at least some of them.)
  • I got eggs last week at the recycling center (dump) and they are the best eggs I have ever had.
  • Now the New Year "Resolutioners" are coming out - the gym has been packed.
  • That's it.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Last week I may have called myself a wimp for using the treadmill during the week but on the weekend I am anything but.  T and I got out there today in very cold weather. The thermometer said - 3 degrees shortly before she arrived.  We were both layered up and headed out to run 10 miles with no thought of changing the distance.  It was manageable for the first 5 miles. We did lots of chatting with just a few mentions of cold toes or fingers.  The picture below was taken just before the half way point.

Once we ran around the corner at the halfway point we were both complaining a good deal more.  You will see below I have my face covered and I pulled my hood up over my hat. I was trying to use the finger things that come down over your hands as well as my mittens.  I never removed any of this  and pretty much froze the rest of the way.  The last two miles were brutal as it was when the "tireds I want this to be done" hit.  Once home it took forever to warm up.  I am still rather tired and just a bit lame from my swimming yesterday.

Speaking of swimming thanks to all of you who gave me sympathy and suggestions on yesterday's whiny post.  I am still discouraged although I am trying not to be. I won't get in the pool again until Thursday because of some meetings I have this week.  I plan to practice what I was told and concentrate on my legs. And I will try to find some patience.  In the meantime I will remember what Kate, who is much smarter than I,  said in her comment: .you just have to be able to not drown for your tri...anything more is gravy. :)   Because that is a quote I suspect I will refer to frequently it is now the quote in my header.  Of course I would like to be faster and more efficient. I don't plan to stop swimming anytime soon because I love it, at least I used to before yesterday, so I want to be a better swimmer whether I am training for a tri or just enjoying a good workout.  But as Kate said as far as the tri goes, the big picture is I just have to be able to not drown!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Just Don't Get It

"Yes, keep my body up especially my legs."

Lock your knees and kick near the top of the water.

Put your legs closer together and kick near the top of the water.

Use your legs to power down the lane.

Your legs are your strength in swimming.

Try practicing with the kick board.

Kick hard powering with those legs.

Sounds easy but..........!  Shouldn't I have some strength in my legs from all the running I do?  It doesn't seem to be transferring to the pool.  I was ready to quit 10 minutes into my lesson.  He had us doing this streamline thing kicking down the lane and not using our arms.  Really?  You want  a drowning today?  I COULD NOT DO IT.  I had to use my arms some and even then I sucked!  I had to pause - okay stop - and rest after every length.  The instructor quickly saw the "writing on the wall" and had me doing different things than everyone else. I was so tired after each and every lap. I had to stop and regroup every time.  I was having a hard time getting to the end of the  lane each and every time.  Will this seriously get easier?  I thought I was doing better but man I am not. Now I question my ability to complete the distance - at least using the free style.

My son talked me down off the cliff. I called him as soon as I was in my car.  He really berated me for being so discouraged so quickly.  He told me I need to give it more time. I had already decided I would give it four times.  Then I would go the private lesson route.  I may do that anyway. I will see.  I think I was most discouraged by two things. I can't keep my damn legs up and I was so tired.  The instructor told me he could see some improvement and my pace was faster.  Really?  I felt like the kiddos in my class who at times just don't get it.  I can explain something in several ways and nothing brings the concept home.  It is actually good for me to experience this and get an inkling of how they feel.  And just like with them it isn't for lack of effort.

But I did visit Jameson and have some Jax snuggle time so that was very positive!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  I read a book I loved about the Ironman.  "You Are An Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Triathlon by Jacques Steinberg.  It followed six people training for and completing Ironman Arizona.  I found it particularly interesting having followed Emily in the Lake Placid Ironman as she trained and then completed it. I liked being part of the Ironman crowd in the days before the race, attending the athlete's dinner and watching the race itself.  It was a fast paced book that was hard to put down. I would recommend it for anyone who has completed an Ironman, is interested in an Ironman or has been a spectator at an Ironman.  Watching Ironman Lake Placid was  a great experience that made me want to volunteer some year.  This book was an inspiring read of what ordinary people can accomplish.

2. I registered for my second February race the Polar Cap 4 Miler. I have raced in this for several years now. It is usually unbelievably cold.  Last year Darlene was there but unfortunately she won't be this year! But I have the friend who ran the Great Island 5K with me doing it and maybe - I think - Christa is going to also!  I'll race no matter what but friends racing with you just improve the experience immensely!

3. Loved the four day work week I had last week.  This week 5 days is hard!  And next week most of the country has a four day week. But not here in Vermont schools. We don't have MLK Day off.  That feels rather disrespectful to me that sends a message: We are not very diverse in Vermont so it's not an important holiday for us.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How Do You Make The Treadmill Bearable?

Out of my last five workouts the best one was tonight on the treadmill.  That has been the case often lately and I am not sure why.  My two outdoor workouts this weekend were fine - one was  a 10 miler which is always an accomplishment and the other was 6. It wasn't too cold and they were good runs just not special.  Monday's treadmill workout was a bit harder. Tuesday's swim was one of those where I doubted my ability to do a triathlon and wondered who I am trying to kid. I am really counting on my swimming lessons beginning this Saturday to help. Although I am also worried because if I come away not thinking they are, then what?

But today's treadmill run - pure awesomeness all the way!

What makes it work when it is really an incredibly boring activity for this runner who bases so much around finding scenic spots to run (and bike?)  First the music.  My playlist today was a good one - one of Genius's selection with Give A Little More - Maroon Five being the starting song.  Another thing that makes the difference in a good workout is my energy level.  I can generally tell almost immediately if it is going to be a high energy day or one to get through.  Today's started out great and never changed.  I generally just run 4 miles on the treadmill.  That's enough for me.  But I won't be running this Saturday (swimming lesson and I don't want to be worrying about fitting anything else in) so I wanted to do one longer run on the treadmill if I could.  I was planning to go for five.............but................with no great effort I went 6.  Another thing that works for me is to start at a lowish pace and increase the pace with every song. I go up for seven songs and then start coming back down.  Monday when the energy was less I allowed myself to start back down after 4 songs.  I don't do this often but I like having the "out."  Usually 10 songs is about what I need for 4 miles.  I can't look at the distance covered until I have gone at least 7 songs. Tonight I didn't look until I had gone 13 songs at which point I had gone 5 miles and knew I would keep going for 6.  Do I sound anal?  Yeah, I know I do but that's me and IT WORKS!  I do let myself have walk breaks sometimes (not today).  I can do that after 7 songs but have to finish the next tenth and one more tenth before I take the walk break for two tenths.  Anal anal anal but it gets me through those miles.

Why do I run outside in any temperatures - truly - on the weekend but go to the gym during the week?  There are really two reasons - I don't like to run in the dark and pretty much don't.  I don't mind the cold very much first thing in the morning. I just get up and go outside and run without thinking about it.  But as the day goes on my mind wraps itself around how cold it is and it just seems horrible horrible outdoors. Weird I know.

But as long as I am getting my workouts in in a way that works for is good.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Winter - I Love It

What I love about winter

  • I love running in cooler temperatures.
  • I love the look of everything after a snow storm.
  • I love to turn the light on when it is dark and watch it snow outside. Magical.
  • I love snow days when I stay home from work.
  • I love the excuse of sitting next to the wood fire to be warm reading a book.
  • I love the slower pace of weekend days.
  • I love the chance to wear all my fleece and running half zips.
  • I love running when it is snowing.
  • I love running when no one else is outside and the roads are empty of cars and people.

Trouble is this year.......I'm mostly waiting for winter to happen. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

What's That Smell?

There are many smells one doesn't want associated with oneself and I'm sure I could come up with many. But the smell that I have had several people remark on around me is particularly bad for an elementary school teacher. When your children come home from school and you ask them how their day went, I bet you aren't hoping to hear, " I had a good day.  And did you know my teacher smells like beer?"  Yup, that is what I keep hearing.

The first time was a couple of months ago at a meeting.  We were in a small room and a few people remarked that it smelled like beer.  I didn't think much of it, I certainly didn't think of myself as the smellee. We all had a good laugh thinking of stories as to why the room smelled like stale beer.  The idea of drinking a beer in this building is not one I ever entertain.

Then one day walking down the hall with my class a student remarked that it smelled like beer. I jumped on that pretty quickly and said they were probably just smelling my lotion, it certainly wasn't beer.  (At the time I didn't really think it was my lotion. I was just trying to preempt any home conversations.)

Time passes.........then yesterday a teacher I work with mentioned that she smelled beer and I was the only person around. I said maybe it really was my lotion.  (Body  Shop - cranberry body butter)  Today a different teacher mentioned it in a different room when I was standing next to her.  Enough already.  Last I visited my son after school and he wondered why it smelled so much like beer in the room. He said it multiple times.  When I told him I was beginning to think it was my lotion he told me he would get rid of it if he was me.  He also told me it has really smelled like beer in my car before  but he didn't want to say anything.  Now I am wondering if parents who stopped in the classroom before school - today for instance - thought the same thing! Horrors! Seriously!  Huge horrors!

So....... I came home and looked to see how much of this lotion I have.  I am too cheap to throw it out. I have moved it downstairs next to the rocking chair where I am apt to put lotion on my feet at night.  Yeah, exciting evening adventure right? 

Hopefully I have nailed it - it is this lotion and I can stop using it in public.  Maybe Jamoosh and MCM Mama would want to smell like beer but this 3/4 teacher wants to keep her job and needs this odor to disappear pronto!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

TTT Plus One

1. I have become a Shutterfly addict. Really.  First I made my husband a Vermont Life calendar for Christmas.  He has complained in recent years about the real one so I took photos all year and made him his own which featured a lot of our land, our town, our state.  Then I made Emily a Lake Placid Ironman book.  It featured photos of the days leading up to Ironman in Lake Placid and each part of the Ironman. Jameson took a lot of great action shots which made the book easier to make.  A lot of love went into  both of those projects.   I made Jameson a mug which featured his oh so cute puppy as well as a writing pad for work.
Then I decided to make myself a Racing 2011 photo book. It came today and I LOVE it!  I have already started one for 2012.  I am tempted to make myself a biking photo book but I deleted pictures and didn't document well where I took them or when. So that is next summer's project.  Then everything at Shutterfly went on sale even more after Christmas so I spent part of my vacation being Shutterfly obsessed and made myself (I love things like this so why not make them for me?) a photo book of all my trips to DC.  I just ordered that one. Then I decided to also make myself a calendar that featured running and biking photos. I kept it simple and just did 1 for each month.  I am done for now other than working on a 2012 racing book in a timely fashion.

2.  I just registered for Half at the Hamptons!  It was filling up and I am not sure why I was waiting but thankfully I didn't miss it. It is expected to be full in the next few days.  Yay for half marathons on the ocean in February!

3. It is cold.  Very cold.  The thrill of my day was wearing my mitten/gloves and flipping the top down several times without having to remove my gloves!  Love them!

4. New Years has come and gone.  The gym was very uncrowded tonight. But  the pool yesterday at 6 in the morning was crazy crowded!  Go to the gym people, go to the gym.  I share better at the gym.  Believe me no one wants to be sharing a pool lane with me!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Here I Come!

2012 Here I Come!

Once again I have a lot of goals. I can't seem to help myself.  It makes working out more fun for me. I am a huge list person and I love to be able to keep track of things on a chart that I make for the year.  Yeah, huge geek here which I'm sure has been long apparent.  I have some very different goals which I find rather scary but you have to keep growing in life right?!

New Goals

1. I want to race in a triathlon.  My goal will be to finish it before all the volunteers have gone home.  I want to do at least part of the swim doing free style.  I would like to do at least two triathlons before the  season is over.

2. I want to ride a new bike route out of my biking books at least four times.

3.  I want need to learn to change a flat tire.

4. I want to learn to ride with clipless pedals.

5.  I want to ride a century.  This past summer I reached a new distance of 62 miles.  Next summer I want to get all the way to 100.

6. I want to take swimming lessons to help my "technique" if it could even be called that.

7. I want to race in Central Park (hopefully with Darlene.) Though Darlene has had a huge recent setback. :(

Repeating but want to keep them goals

8.  I want to work on my speed by improving my times as the year progresses.

9. I want to race in at least 4 new races.

10.  I want to compete in at least 4 half marathons.

11.  I want to place in my age group.

12. I want to be in the top half of the field.

13.  I want to do a race a month.

14. I want to meet more bloggy friends.

15.  I want to race with my family.

16. I want to race near the ocean.

17.  I want to do scenic races.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

First Run/Christmas Blog Exchange

We started out 2012 with a 5K. This is one of the only races my husband ever runs with me. In fact it is the only time he runs period and he beat me!  How fair is that?  Oh well. The weather was perfect, I am used to FREEZING at this race.  There were 970 people there which I have to think is a record.  Lots of people dressed up in some great costumes although I was not one of them.

 I ran it in 28:06 with a pace of 9:06 which is pretty much what I did a lot of last year. I was happy with this.  My mile paces were: 9:31, 9:36, 8:33 last .1 8:04.  Can you tell which parts were uphill and which were downhill?  I did try to get under 28 as I approached the finish but it didn't happen.  The finish was a bit of a bottleneck and I wasn't sure exactly where the finish was.

I loved racing with my husband and my son and his dog came to cheer!  I won a random prize of $40 at a Green Life Store. I don't know what that is but I will find out. I LOVE how this race does random prizes. They draw them all while you are racing, post them on the wall with the winning bib numbers and you pick them up after the race. No long wait. No lots of drawing of numbers of people who aren't there!  

After the race we headed over to Jameson's to visit Jax and of course Jameson too.  After a lot of horsing around Jax because sleepy and wanted to snuggle! I had a very hard time leaving!

In non racing news:  I got my Christmas gift from Jill's bloggy exchange and it was perfect for me. I got a gift certificate to Dunkin Doughnuts so I can get lots and lots of coffee. I am saving it for when I get back to work.  Thanks to Jen from Miles, Muscles and Mommyhood.

I have found swimming lessons to begin in two Saturdays.  Bad part is they are about an hour away but the good part is they are cheap and you just drop in. They are targeted to adults who want more endurance or to improve for tris.  If they don't work I will try private or semi but I am hopeful it will be what I need.  This Friday I went for a second swim even though it was an off day for me.  I do truly enjoy it even though I felt more inept than usual that day.  I ran into someone today at the race who knew I was doing the tri.  I can't back out, so I better keep moving forward.