Sunday, December 31, 2006
Hope everyone has a happy, safe NYE! Looking forward to the upcoming year's blogging and running.
Speaking of next year, is anyone interested in getting together for an early pasta dinner on Saturday before the big race? I have a couple of folks interested and I know there are some out of town bloggers here that day who also might be interested. Let me know what ya think!
Saturday, December 30, 2006
We made our way from the park to Dunlavy and continued until the dead end at Bissonnett. Then, we did the reverse route back to the park. I never mind this route, because we don't do it often and it's a nice change of scenery. Plus, we have an opportunity to wave "hi" to firefighters twice. :-)
I experienced pretty much the same thing as last week...fatigue. Bummer. I swear I was dying before we even made it to Shepherd and that's barely 2 miles from the park. I don't think the 100% humidity helped at all! And, my left shin was aching a bit...grrr. Luckily, I managed to engage in interesting conversations along the way which definitely helped make those 5 minute runs go faster. We talked about everything from our favorite TV shows, holidays and all the crap we ate, marathons (I want to do the Big Sur relay now), music (some fellow prodigy fans out there) and lots of other interesting topics. I did take an extra 30 second walk break about the time I made it to the Starbucks again. Then, I decided to just run dammit....I had to tell myself that the more I run, the faster I get back to my car! So, I finished and was happy to be done. Jeeze, and just a month ago 10 miles seemed so damn easy. Did I really run the 1st half of the marathon at an 11-minute pace? It seems so long ago!
After the run, I rushed home. My car had an appointment with the folks at NTB. Much to my dismay, I found that I need 2 new tires. My Mom must have felt bad that I just shelled out almost $500, because she took and the kiddo to Fuddruckers for lunch. I indulged in a burger...hey, 10 miles = 11 WW points....a burger at Fudd's = 10 points...it's all good! So that and a trip to the grocery store and to Spec's for a bottle of Sauza for tomorrow's festivities and I called it a day.
Now, it's time for me to grab a glass of Pinot Grigio and watch the rest of Ultimate Fighting with the hubby....well, he'll be watching and I'll be reading. :-)
Conditions - 59 w/ high humidity
Total run time - 1:57:30
Total distance - 10 miles
Pace - 11:45 (grrr....)
Friday, December 29, 2006
- Had some great quality time with my family (travelling and just hanging out)
- Created our family's budget and stuck to it (well, until Christmas hit)
- Studied for and took the GMAT
- Studied for and passed the Professional in Human Resources exam (PHR)
- Got accepted to grad school
- Successfully completed my 1st semester of grad school (only 5 more to go!)
- Ran 3 of my 6 marathons - Houston, Austin & Chicago
- PRed in Chicago!
- Ran more races this year than ever before, which helped me maintain double-digit mileage year-round (rather than slacking after marathon season and becoming a couch potato!)
- Started my blog and made some great blogging buddies
- Joined the Striders for 2007!
For me, the hardest part of the year was working around the hubby's new schedule and my new school schedule in order to continue training. I either had to meet the Houston Fit-ers somewhere along their LR route and make up the missed mileage later, or spend the night with my parents and leave 20 minutes earlier to drive to the park from Spring. Once school started, I did a lot of long runs solo. Quite frankly, that sucked! :-) But, I do have to thank my Mom for always offering to watch the kiddo so I can get in my long runs. She knows how much all the training means to me and is my biggest supporter. THANKS MOM!!!
I haven't decided on all of the goals for 2007 just yet. I am sure they will be similar to this year's, but will probably be more focused on school instead of running. I'll keep ya posted.
As for training, yesterday I planned to run 3 miles on the dreadmill. However, by 8 pm is was very apparent that the kiddo was wide awake and not going to sleep anytime soon. So, I decided the do a core workout instead. The kiddo gets excited when I pull out the mats and pulled out one for her as well. She kept saying, "Exercises, yes!" and ran to get her little wooden blocks that she uses as hand weights. Naturally, just like any other 2 year old, she got bored with the routine in only a few minutes. So, she sat on her mat and played with her new tea set while I did my crunches, lunges, squats and lifts. Oh, and the tea set is actually for coffee according to her...she's gone to Starbucks with Mommy a few too many times! At least she's not serving martini's or margarita's!!!
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
With the light, holiday-week traffic, I managed to make it to the park within about 25 minutes. After some light stretching, I was off. Something about being outside running in the cooler temps made me want to run faster. I made it all the way around the loop with only 2 quick walk breaks - once to take off my long sleeve shirt and tie it around my waist and once to get a quick sip of water at about 2 1/4 miles. Now that I think of it, I walked for a second when I made it all the way around the loop, but I decided to keep going and add on one more mile.
I ran a total of 4 miles, but I have no idea of my time. I forgot my watch, so I am guessing I ran between 45 & 50 minutes. What I do know is that it was one of the most enjoyable runs I've had in a long time.
Conditions - 5:45 pm, Memorial Park, 61 degrees w/low humidity
Total run time - 44-50 minutes?
Totals distance - 4 miles
Pace - ???
Tonight, I am heading to Memorial Park to enjoy this awesome weather. I am planning to run for 35 minutes, but forgot my watch. I guess I'll just guesstimate my time. I can't wait to run outside again!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I have to say that this has been my best Christmas in a long time! Christmas Eve day, the kiddo and I made chocolate chunk cookies for Santa. We started celebrating Christmas that evening with my in-laws. The kiddo was so cute in her Christmas dress! She had a blast with her cousins and learned from her cousin Anthony how to beg for Christmas presents. Literally... they were on their hands and knees begging to open presents. The hubby surprised me with the silver 2006 Chicago Marathon charm from Tiffany & Co. engraved with my finish time on the back and an awesome book about my favorite actress, Audrey Hepburn. The kiddo hit the jackpot with all kinds of toys, books and dvds. Later that night, we set out cookies and milk for Santa and a few carrots for the reindeer.
On Christmas Day, I woke up super early to run and make a bake a few yummy dishes for later. I was surprised to find the hubby lying on the couch. Apparently, something he ate the night before didn't agree with him and he wanted to be closer to the bathroom. Luckily, he was beginning to feel better. I managed to get in a 3 mile run before the kiddo woke up. At that point, it was time for the the kiddo to discover her gifts from Santa. (While the hubby watched from the couch.) It was a blast to see her eyes light up when she realized she had a new playhouse in the backyard. It was so fun creating that Christmas magic for her! Next, we went to my parent's house for breakfast and to open gifts with my cousins and uncle. The kiddo hit the jackpot there too with a toddler-sized keyboard/microphone set, an awesome train set and a Dora the Explorer backpack.
Finally, we headed to my cousin's house in LaMarque for Christmas lunch. As a kid, my Dad's side of the family always got together for a huge Christmas celebration. I'm talking anywhere from 50-75 people - cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. It was great! But, over the last 10 years our gatherings have been much smaller since many folks moved farther away. But this year, it was just like old times. Almost the entire family was together again - including my cousin Ron who just arrived home from Iraq. I saw cousins that I hadn't seen in over a decade. It was awesome!
Today, I managed to catch a story about Team Hoyt on the Today show. Talk about inspirational...I cannot watch a story about them without turning on the waterworks. Next, I took the kiddo to the Children's Museum. Then, we met a friend for lunch at Chuy's and made a quick trip to the bookstore for The Dark Tower by Stephen King. It's a book that was on my Christmas list, but didn't get and I am hoping to finish it before school starts up again. Now, the kiddo is napping and I plan to spend the rest of the day relaxing and hanging out with her. Tomorrow, my holiday is officially over and it's back to the real world! Sigh...
30-minute core workout
Monday - Running Stats
Conditions - Treadmill
Running Time - 34:01
Distance - 3 miles
Pace - 11:20
30-minute core workout
RIP James Brown - 1933 - 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
I ran 8 miles with the Houston Fit 5/1 Red Group. The weather was perfect!!! It felt good to be out there with my peeps again. While I felt pretty strong most of the way, I did feel like I was running a bit slower than normal. We ran the River Oaks/Rose Garden run. All was well until somewhere between mile 5 & 6 when I started feeling tired and my ITB started up. I was beginning to get disgusted with myself and my lack of training over the past 3 weeks...it was showing and I was starting to fall back from the group. By the time we made it to the Starbucks on Memorial, I suddenly got my 2nd wind. There was a grey headed lady that passed me up...I swear she was probably twice my age. I decided then, that I was not going to let her beat me back to the park...it was time to suck it up and run faster! I don't know where that came from, but I joked later with Kay that her competitive spirit must have rubbed off on me. :-)
I ran the remainder of the run feeling strong. I am surprised how quickly my level of fitness has decreased since Chicago. It makes me wonder how strong my 1/2 marathon will be next month. I am just going to really need to stick to the training schedule over the next few weeks to at least maintain where I am now. Next week, I'll be running 10 miles with Houston Fit, so I'll have a better idea of where I stand after that.
Conditions - 45 degrees
Total run time - 1:38? (Forgot my watch, this was someone else's time)
Total Distance - 8 miles
Pace - 12:15 (yikes, slow!)
Friday, December 22, 2006
So, all this rambling to tell you that I didn't run yesterday. In fact, I didn't work out at all yesterday. My 2-a-days turned into no-a-days. Actually, my hammys were a tad bit sore for some reason. I have been taking the stairs at work, so maybe it's that. I seriously doubt it was the Pilates I did on Wednesday morning. Tomorrow, the Houston Fit group is running 8 miles. I am thinking of getting there early and jogging a loop before to get in 11 miles. I missed the big 13 miler the 1/2 marathon group was doing last week, so this will be my last LR before the 1/2 in January. Jeeze, now I am really glad that I registered for the 1/2! I am having trouble getting in training runs for it and that distance is probably going to be more of a challenge than I thought. I could not imagine trying to squeeze in a 21-miler with the crazy schedule I've had lately. I guess overall, everything worked out just as it should!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Why am I telling you all of this???? Because, it left no time for my run. And, since I didn't finish all these tasks until 1:05 am, I did NOT get up early to work out this morning either. I think I picked a bad week to start my 2-a-day routine. Honestly, as much as I love Christmas (especially the time off from work!), I am really ready for it to be over! So, depending on what time the in-laws make it into town, I may try to squeeze in a short treadmill run after work. We'll see....but sometimes, life happens!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
This morning, I woke up early in my new two-a-day fashion and decided to try my new pilates dvd. Okay, so it's not exactly new, I bought it from a $1 bin at Target about a year ago and never opened it. It's a beginner workout, so most of the video was an explanation of the stretches and how to breathe. I think it is going to take me a few trys....who would have thought it would be so stinkin' hard to breathe while holding stretches?
Tonight, I'll try the running thing again. Today at work, I am armed with grapes, an apple and an orange at my desk....I will not go near the lunchroom, I will not go near the lunchroom, I will not go near the lunchroom....
Conditions - treadmill run
Running Time - 31 minutes
Distance - 2.5 miles
Pace - 12:24 (OMG!)
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
By the way, here's a pic of 5 members of the "Scandalous Six" at our Saturday night end of semester celebration. This is the group I worked with on our presentation/case study. Yes, I was the grandma of the group, but honestly I think these folks were some of the hardest workers in the class!
After my run, I headed off to my nail appointment. It's been forever since I've had a mani & pedi, so I thoroughly enjoyed the pampering. Next, I met my friend Jennifer for lunch (with a margarita of course) and a movie. We saw "The Holiday" and I loved it! If you love sappy romantic comedies with happy endings, then this is a movie for you. It was a tad bit long, but super cute. Of course, having beautiful Jude Law to look at for 2+ hours would be easy in any movie. ;-) It was a great weekend for pretty boy watching...1st Justin Timberlake on SNL (which was freaking hilarious) and then Jude.
Later, after the kiddo was in bed, I did a 20-minute core workout. I decided a week or two ago that I would begin a two-a-day schedule while on winter break...all part of my effort to get back to my goal weight by my birthday next month. Unfortunately, I've already blown it. The hubby actually had to work this morning, which meant I had to wake up extra early to take the kiddo to my parent's house. Since I was a bit burnt out on waking up at 4 & 4:30 am to study, I decided to forego the morning workout just this once!
Conditions - Treadmill
Distance - 3 miles
Run Time - 33:40 minutes
Pace - 11:13
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Last night, my OB presentation group got together for dinner to celebrate. I was fortunate to be able to work with a group of great folks - not only did everyone pull their weight on our project, they were really fun to hang out with!
Today was a bit hectic. The hubby is out of town hunting. The kiddo and I met a group of friends from my old job for brunch, then we headed to Minute Maid Park for my friend's graduation from UH (woohoo, congrats Jennifer!) and we ended the day with a birthday party for one of the kiddo's friends from our playgroup. Whew, just typing all that makes me tired. Finally, after the kiddo was in bed, I typed my Christmas card address list, so I can get my cards out tomorrow!
Tomorrow, I have the day off. I am going sleep in as long as the kiddo will allow and then take her to my parent's house for the day, so I can have a bit of time for myself. First, I am going to the park to run. Next, I am heading to a spa for a mani & pedi. Then, I am going to meet my friend Jennifer for lunch and a movie. Last, I may or may not make it to the mall for a bit of kiddo-free holiday shopping. Not that I mind shopping with the kiddo, but I can get much more done kiddo-free....anyone with a toddler can completely understand! :-)
Now that school is over, I hope to have a lot more running to blog about. Until then, have a great week!
Friday, December 15, 2006
The weather is 100% better than it was last year, so that's great news!
Last year's 21-miler will forever be etched in my memory. It was 39/40 degrees with drizzling rain the entire time. I wore what I thought was a waterproof jacket, which turned out to only be water resistant - BIG DIFFERENCE PEOPLE! I wore shorts instead of tights and I did not bring a plastic bag. It was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. But also an experience that I am most proud of - I finished! There were so many opportunities to throw in the towel, and trust me, I really wanted to. In fact, I think more than 1/2 our group did call it quits at some point that morning. We were soaked and the mud did not make for optimal running conditions. When we made it back to the park, one of the Houston Fit coaches put little plastic toy medals around our necks to congratulate us. I still have that little medal. It sits proudly among all my real marathon medals. I have to admit, it's the one I am most proud of! When I returned home that morning, my hubby just looked at me in awe when I told him I had finished. He said that he just knew I would be back home within an hour of leaving. He also said, "Wow! You could be a Navy Seal!"...in the hubby's mind, that was a HUGE complement. :-) He had been watching shows the week before about Navy Seal training and the toughest obstacle for some was braving the elements. While I don't think that run was Seal worthy, it was a sweet thing to say. By the way, I keep a plastic $1 store rain poncho in my truck at all times now...just in case!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
When I first walked outside, I noticed that the ground was damp. Since I hadn't had a chance to watch the news in a couple of days, I had no idea it was supposed to rain. As I made my way to the park, it began to drizzle. I decided to keep going, because you know Houston weather...it could be pouring and flooding in one area and bright and sunny in another. Luckily, when I arrived at the park, it was not raining at all.
I stretched a bit, making sure to concentrate on the back/butt area that was hurting earlier in the week. When I started running, I felt that familiar pain again everytime I took a step with my right foot. It started to slowly recede around 1 1/2 miles into the run. I felt really rusty, creaky and stiff for most of the entire 1st loop. Partly because of the pain and partly because it's been a couple of weeks since I've run more than 3 miles. About 1/2 way through my 1st loop, I began to feel another familiar pain...the good ol' feeling of being stabbed in the knee...a.k.a. ITB pain. I think this happened because I was trying to overcompensate for the back/butt pain and altered my gait.
ITB pain sucks. Big time.
As I was completing my 2nd loop, the pain would come and go. I was feeling a bit tired about 1/2 way around loop 2, which was probably due to my pace - it lingered between 10:30 & 10:45, which is faster than normal for me. Then, somewhere between the 2 1/2 and 2 3/4 mile marker, the pain made me walk...and walk slowly. I hobbled over to a bench and did a bit of stretching. That seemed to help, but only for a couple of minutes. I ran a bit more and then walked the rest of the loop. Under the circumstances, I thought trying to complete the 3rd loop would not be a good idea.
I have not had severe ITB pain in a couple of years. I've had a twinge here and there, but then it would be gone...but, this is definintely worse than a twinge. In fact, the pain grew worse as the day went on. Any other time, I would have my ITB band thingy with me and would wrap it around my leg and things would be better. I've had it wrapped around my fuel belt for 2 years...just in case I needed it. Today, since I was staying in the park, I didn't bring fuel belt.
So that was my run...good pace, bad pain. Afterwards, I took the kiddo to play group, then dropped her off at my Sister-in-Law's so she could play with my nephews while I headed to the library for an accounting cram session. Afterwards, we went home and hung out...which included coloring, reading books and playing with the kiddo's toy house. So, the day started out bad, but definitely got better!
Friday, December 08, 2006
Added at 10:30 am - After checking the web, seems my pain could possibly either Sciatica or Piriformis syndrome. I found some stretches to try, so I'll start there.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
To be honest, I have always been content as a low maintenance runner. I like to have my trusty ironman watch, but that's about it. However, I have to admit that the features on a Garmin do sound great. I'd love to know my pace at each mile among other things. So, high tech folks please tell me:
- What do you like/dislike about your Garmin? Or, do you use something other than a Garmin?
- Which model do you have? 201? 205? 305?
- Do you really use the heart rate monitor?
- Do you spend a lot of time playing with your Garmin? (Hey, time is a very limited resource for me these days!)
Thanks in advance!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I've never thought I came close to holding that title, but thank you to Vic who referred to me as one yesterday. :-) I will say that I felt like a supermom this morning as I woke at 4:30 am. All in the name of higher education...Managerial Accounting and Organizational Behavior to be exact. My alarm clock was set for 4am to allow for the snooze button factor.
Before I hit the books, I whipped up a batch of strawberry muffins. Don't get too excited, I only had to whip up the Betty Crocker mix and a 1/2 cup of milk. (Muffins are the kiddo's latest breakfast obsession). I managed to review a couple of chapters before also throwing a yummy pasta bake into the oven. Again, nothing to get excited about...just the Banquet box dinner that only requires you to mix the pre-prepared meatball sauce with the pasta. While it was baking, I managed to empty the dishwasher and get ready for work. Now I'm just hoping that getting up extra early doesn't mean that I'll be ready for bed by 7 pm!
Just a side note: If I were really a supermom, I would have cooked all that from scratch and made a side of green beans for a healthier dinner.
Probably no running today, but I am going to try to get in a mini core workout. Only 12 more days of school....which means only 12 more days until I can sleep in. Sad when sleeping until 6 am is "sleeping in"! Now, if I could just convince the kiddo that green beans are just as yummy as the muffins....
Monday, December 04, 2006
Conditions - treadmill (no incline)
Total distance - 3 miles
Total run time - 34:24
Sunday, December 03, 2006
So, I opted for the Houston and Austin 1/2 marathons. Houston is looking good...school will still be out for winter break and I registered in plenty of time. I was excited that Austin fell on a weekend when I didn't have classes. However, I just found out that my cousin is getting married in Alabama the weekend of Austin. So...I guess I will need to cancel my hotel reservations there too!
I am hoping that things might work out to do the 1/2 at Lucky Trails or Surfside...we'll see!
Congrats to all my Houston Fit buddies that ran their 30k today! It was a great weekend for it. If I remember correctly, last year the 30k fell on Thanksgiving weekend. It was around 70 and pouring down rain. Lucky for me I was busy preparing for the kiddo's 1st birthday bash that day!