Monday, October 29, 2012

A few fun facts...

I found this fun little quiz over at found at Running with Attitude.  I always think these are fun, so I decided to answer the questions as well. Feel free to post and answer these if you feel like it...

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

I started as a Gu girl.  Vanilla Bean to be exact.  But, too many and my stomach does not like them.  For NYC, I started training with Honey Bee Stingers.  I love how well my stomach likes these and they are just the right consistency.  I've tried other chews, but some were too gummy and stuck to my teeth. However, I still think gels are the way to go for quick energy - they absorb more quickly.  Plus, let's face it, chews can be a bit bulky to carry...especially for a full marathon.  I was eating a 1/2 pack of chews per hour, which I later found out was not enough calories for me.  I eventually switched to Hammer Gel, which is absorbed quicky, easy to carry, works well with my stomach and give me enough calories.  This was working for me when training for this year's Houston Marathon and I have continued to use them.

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

I love the 1/2 marathon distance!  To me, it's just enough distance to feel challenging, burn calories and earn a yummy treat afterwards.  But, unlike training for a full marathon, the long runs don't leave me as tired and achey.  I would also like to train for a few 5k and 10k distance races, which I think will help in my overall speed.

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?

I am a huge running skirt advocate!  No longer do I have to tug at running shorts that ride up between my thighs...annoying and not so pretty.  However, when the temps dip into the 40s, I trade in my running skirts for my favorite Nike running capris...unfortunately, these capris are now HUGE on me. Time to buy some new ones!

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

I use water and Gatorade/G2 primarily.  However, the Hubby has gotten me to try Nuun, which I think has really come in handy as electrolyte replacement in the hot summer temps.  I don't love the fizziness or flavor, but I've gotten used to both.

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?

Cold!! I hate, hate, hate the heat!  If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I turn into a whining, grumpy mess in the summer!

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brookes, Asics or Other?

Well, I am a flat-footed, over pronator, so I am stuck with motion control or stability shoes.  I have only worn either Brooks (Ariel) or Saucony (Grid Stabil) for years now.  :-/  They fit my feet well (I have a wide foot, but narrow heel).  The problem?  They are fugly!!!  It seems that they never come in any colors other than blue and white.  I have shoe envy when I see my friends wearing their colorful Asics and Newtons.

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?

I used to be an oatmeal girl, then I switched to peanut butter toast (sometimes with honey).  For NYCM, I ate two Pop Tarts....hey, it must have worked, because I had a 23-minute PR.  While working on my nutrition, I've started eating either steel cut oats, or a few egg whites with a side of granola and almond milk.  It seems to be working for me!

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?

1x per week.  I only run 3x per week, but I do strength training 2-3x per week and try to get in a bike ride 1x per week.

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

I typically do not run with music..even on my super-long runs.  My friends joke that I am the "zen runner".  The only exception is if I am stuck on the treadmill or when I used to run on the indoor track at work...both were extremely boring and running without music was mind-numbing!

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or Other?

All of the above!  I started running, because I was in the process of losing weight and I had never run before, so it was a challenge.  After joining a running club, I discovered the social side of running and love that.  But, I also love the solitude of my weekday solo runs and my thinking time.  As a type-A person who gets stressed out daily, I can't beat the stress relief that running brings. Seriously - running IS my therapy.  (It's cheaper, too!)

So how would you answer any of these questions?  Lemme know if you post your answers on your blog!

Last week's workouts

Just a super-quick recap...

Monday, 10/22
Run - 3.9 miles - 40 minutes, 10:34 pace
200 crunches (via Ab Ripper X)

Tuesday, 10/23
Brazil Butt Lift - Bum Bum workout - 40 minutes
Brazil Butt Lift - Bum Bum Rapido workout - 10 minutes
200 crunches

Wednesday, 10/24
Run - 4 miles, 41 minutes, 10:34 pace
No evening crunches due to the late night out at Madonna!!!

Thursday, 10/25
Jillian Michaels 3-day Shred - 20 minutes (Can you believe I only burned a little over 100 calories in this workout? Definitely not getting a ton of points for my team!)
200 crunches

Friday, 10/26
Stretching - 30 minutes
200 crunches

Saturday, 10/27
Run - 7 miles...pace unknown, since I tend to stop and go a lot with my group
200 crunches

Sunday, 10/28
Bike ride was cancelled...too busy running errands, seeing the Blue Angels (pics to come) and finishing our Fitness Challenge for the week (pics to come!) workout, except for chasing the kids!!!

How was your week?  Any races?  How is the weather where you are?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Random Facts Friday - The MDNA Edition

It's been awhile since I've posted a Random Facts Friday, so here we go...warning, this post has nothing to do with running, triathlon or even fitness.

RANDOM FACT #1 - The beginning of an obession
When I was 11 years old, I heard the Madonna single, "Holiday" and loved it.  This was 1983 and about the time music videos had really taken off.  I remember seeing the video for Holiday, then Lucky Star and Borderline were released and I was officially a Madonna fan.  A year or so later, I, like millions of other pre-teen and teen age girls around the world, began sporting those super classy lace headbands and gloves, as well as the rubber bracelets.  I remember getting the Madonna's Madonna cassette tape for my birthday.  I was THRILLED people, THRILLED!

Madonna from the Lucky Star years.  Yes, I had the headband, gloves and sunglasses!
RANDOM FACT #2 - The Controversial Side
The next album, Like a Virgin, came out and all hell broke loose.  Now, Madonna was controversial and my Mom really didn't like the message Madonna portrayed in the song, Like a Virgin.  She felt that it was inappropriate for a young teen to listen to... as the mom of a young girl, I can understand this now.  Back then, not so much. Fortunately, there were some age-appropriate songs on the album and I was allowed to buy the cassette, so that I could Get Into the Groove and become a Material Girl.

Madonna from the Like a Virgin era with the infamous "Boy Toy" belt buckle

RANDOM FACT #3 - The Bad Decision
I was bummed that I had missed "The Virgin Tour" in middle school (again, not age-appropriate!).  To add insult to injury, the Beastie Boys opened for her show...I loved the Beasties.  I still do!  I also missed the "Who's That Girl Tour" a few years later after Madonna released her True Blue album (remember Papa Don't Preach and Open your Heart???).  So, needless to say, I was ecstatic when she announced the "Blonde Ambition Tour" in 1990.  She had released songs like Vogue, Like a Prayer and Express Yourself that were fun songs and huge hits...I was a senior in high school with a part-time job, I was going to splurge and buy myself a ticket!  But, she was coming to Houston on the same day as my senior prom!  What to do, what to do???  And yes, I was one of those very involved dorks who wanted to attend my prom...drill team, Spanish club, etc. Yeah, that was me.

Yep, I chose prom over Madonna. Stupid. My date was a jack ass, and while I had a good time, I think Madonna would have been the better choice!  You know what they say...hindsight is 20/20.

Madonna and the coned bra she made famous in the Blonde Ambition days. 

RANDOM FACT #4 - Finally!!!
Madonna toured again in 1993, but did not come to Texas at all (wassup with that???).  In fact, I think there were only 3 shows in the U.S. for the "Girlie Show" tour.  Eight years later, Madonna announced another tour, the "Drowned World Tour".  By then, I had graduated from college and had a job.  And, I had my friend M (yes the one who got me started in running), who was a big Madonna fan as well.  We decided that we were going to the show!!!

Once again, Madonna completely dissed Texas.  So what's a girl to do??? Go to a cool city like Chicago to see her, of course.  So, M and I traveled to Chicago in 2001 and had one of the best experiences ever!  I have to dig out my pictures from that trip and post them...we went to the concert and then to the concert after party at a local club.  So.Much.Fun.

Madonna dissed  Texas again in her next two tours "Re-Invention Tour" in '04 and "Confessions Tour" in '06...I think M and I were too busy with life to travel someplace for the know, having babies, working and going to grad school.  Important stuff!

RANDOM FACT #5 - Concert #2
Fast forward to 2008...Madonna was coming to Texas with her "Sweet and Sticky Tour".  In fact, she was coming to Houston!  Whoot!  We got our tix, but the show was the same day as the inaugural San Antonio Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  And I was registered to run.  Never fear! I ran the race, rushed back to San Marcos to pick up the Hubs and kids at the in-law's house and then headed back to Houston. Where there's a will, there's a way!  We made it to the show in plenty of time and had sooooo much fun!  M and I also pinky sweared that from now on, when Madonna tours in the US, we will be there!

RANDOM FACT #6 - Concert #3
In May of this year, M and I learned that Madonna was returning to Houston with her "MDNA Tour".  We actually joined the fan club, so we could get pre-sale tix and we were ready! 

We went to her show here on Wednesday night and had a blast!  (There was a show added for Thursday, because her Wednesday show sold out in a hour.)

The MDNA Tour Madonna!

We had been reading reviews of her shows in other cities and although the tickets state that the show starts at 8 pm, Madonna has not taken the stage before 10 pm.  So, we met up for dinner beforehand and just had a nice, leisurely meal.  With wine, of course.  Around 9 pm, we headed over to the stadium.
We're here...squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Here we are...ready to get into the groove!
Once inside the venue, we bought our shirts (yes, we must have shirts) and hit the ladies' room.  DJ Martin Solveig kept the crowd entertained until about 9:45 or so.  He was very good and Madonna's youngest son, David hung out with him while he spun the tunes.

Yes, there were Madonnas of every era represented - these are from the Lucky Star era!

Finally, around 10:45 Madonna took the stage.  Yes, on a normal night I am usually asleep before 10 pm, but I could help getting excited and pumped up!

So yes, our seats were high...this is what $100 gets you!

It wouldn't be a Madonna concert without some controversial / risqué moments.  Not far into the show, Madonna sang her song Gang Bang from her new album, which talks about shooting her lover in the head and not having any regrets.  Each time she pretended to shoot one of the masked dancers, blood splattered on the video screens.  Not a big deal to some, but this does go on for several minutes.  And, Madonna did talk about voting and reminded the audience of the many freedoms we have here, such as democracy.  She reminded everyone to vote and didn't care who you voted for, just vote!  Next,  sang a song and ended it by pulling down her pants to reveal her undies and fishnets.  Shortly after, she removed her top to reveal the word OBAMA on her lower back.  After quite a few boos from the audience (hello, this is TEXAS Y'all! We are a red state!), she said, "What's wrong, you don't like my ass?"  Which led to cheers and the next song.

I hope my ass looks half as good at 54!  Hell, I wish it looked half as good now!

Madonna played a lot of songs from her new album, MDNA, but also played a good mix of tunes from the past - Open Your Heart, Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Holiday, etc.  You could tell the crowd enjoyed the classics, because almost everyone was up and dancing during every one of the old tunes.  I will say that Madonna is not doing herself any favors by starting her shows so late, because toward the end of the show you could tell that people were starting to lose their energy.  And, a few people around us actually left before the show ended.  Hell, it was 1 am...Madonna may need to realize that her fans have grown older and we do have kids and jobs to worry about the next morning, lol!

For me, there were two highlights from the show.  The first was when Madonna sang Express Yourself (with Lady Gaga's Born this Way mixed in) with a marching band and cheerleaders. Some of the marching band members were suspended from the ceiling!  She then went into her newer song Give Me All Your Luvin'.  AMAZEBALLS y'all! 

The next highlight was the final combo of songs - I'm a Sinner (a great dance tune), Like a Prayer (complete with the gospel choir) and Celebration.  The crowd was up dancing, and the visuals and dancing on stage were AWESOME!  And, M and I had a new pinky swear - next time Madonna goes on tour, we are splurging for floor seats.  We can't wait!

L-U-V Madonna, Y-O-U You Wanna?  (borrowed from the Toyota Center FB page)

So tell you have an entertainer you love?  What has been your favorite concert ever?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Stinkin' Thinkin'

This morning, I headed out on my 4-miler with the dog.  It was foggy, warm and other words, kind of icky.  And creepy.  The dog and I went on our way...I have a 4-mile route through the 'hood and was pretty much on auto-pilot. Running early in the morning like this gives me lots of time to think.  This morning, my thoughts turned to my running and how much I've enjoyed it over the past couple of years - especially since I now run almost exclusively outdoors.

I can remember several years ago and how I started to get burnt out.  I remember how at one point, running seemed like such a chore.  Then I think it hit me - I stopped thinking about it and just started doing it.  Kinda like the Nike tagline, "JUST DO IT".  That's what I was doing!  I stopped thinking:

- Stopped thinking about how hot, humid, cold, or rainy it might be.
- Stopped thinking about how nice it would be to stay in bed.
- Stopped thinking about how boring running alone can be.
- Stopped thinking about how sore or tired my legs felt from the strength workout the day before.
- Stopped thinking about how I should be cleaning or organizing something around the house.

I just stopped thinking and started doing.  For some reason, something clicked - maybe it has helped that I've mixed things up with triathlons and strength training via TRX, P90X, etc.  Or maybe I've realized how much of a gift running can be.  (Especially after being out for five months due to a hip injury!!!)  I look forward to my morning runs and the time it gives me to zone out, or to think.  I look forward to my Saturday morning long runs with my awesome group and the chance to get to know the runners better.  I've heard someone say that they've never regretted a workout, only the workouts they missed.  I totally agree!  And instead of saying, "Just Do It", I can say, "Just Did It".

Stop thinking and start doing! :-)

Do you loathe your workouts sometimes?  How do you keep yourself from getting burned out?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Last Week's Workouts

Here's what I was up to last week...In case you are wondering about the crunches, they are a really easy way to get some extra points for the fitness challenge I am doing.  And, I managed to fit in TRX twice last week for some extra strength training.  All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good week!

Monday, 10/15 
4 mile run
200 crunches

Tuesday, 10/16
Insanity workout - 50 minutes
TRX class, 1 hour

Wednesday, 10/17
4 mile run - 41 minutes, 10:16 pace
200 crunches (via P90X Ab Ripper X)

Thursday, 10/18
TRX class, 1 hour
200 crunches

Friday, 10/19
Rest day
200 crunches

Saturday, 10/20
Toughest 10K - run/walk - 1:13, 11:45 pace

Sunday, 10/21
20 mile bike ride, 1:14 minutes, 16.2 mph
200 freaking crunches!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Week in Pictures

A boy and his dog...this is what I found when I went upstairs to see why it was so quiet. 

We had a team building meeting at work and had to draw a picture showing what we thought represented, family, running outdoors with a smile...that pretty much sums it up! 
This is my view while doing 200 crunches for this week's fitness challenge...why is it that when I work out, the dog decides he needs to play?

So serious...not sure why!  I just had a great bike ride and thought I needed to take a picture of my matching shirt and NYCM water bottle, lol!

This year marks the 10th annivesary of my running group, Woodlands Fit!  Sunday, there was a fun party to celebrate this milestone...can you tell we were having a blast?

And finally, this week I saw an amazing sunset and an amazing sunrise (pictured here)...I had to share, although this pic doesn't do it justice.  It's the little things peeps, enjoy it!
Have a great week, y'all!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Toughest 10K Galveston

I think it was the hubby's idea to do this series of races, and when my alarm clock went off at 4:14 am, I questioned my judgement in agreeing to this!  The race is over a hour away (something like 1 1/2 hours), so that meant we had to leave pretty early to be at the race site and parked by 6:30 am.  I told the Hubs that we were only allowed to do local races from now on!  :-)
The race shirt and bib - two thumbs up for both!
We actually arrived and parked by a little after 6 am, so the drive was a little shorter than we expected.  When we left our neck of the woods, the temp was 51 degrees and I had on my arm warmers.  When we arrived in Galveston, the temp was 68...this is due to us being so close to the coast.  Needless to say, the arm warmers were not needed!  The hubs was actually scheduled to run 12 miles on Saturday, so he decided to do a little warm up run before the race.  The traffic and parking was getting pretty congested, because my friend M was stuck in traffic, and had texted me to let me know she was in traffic waiting to park.  Luckily, she made it to the start with plenty of time to visit the porta potties and get all lined up for the race.

Me and the Hubs before the race
We placed ourselves near the back and waited for the start.  The race was about 1 mile of flat roads before we hit the bridge, also known as the "Causeway".  I am not sure why it's called the Causeway, but it's a pretty damn big bridge!  It's not as steep as the bridge at the Kemah 10K, something like a 3.5 grade, but it is much longer.  We ran 5/1 intervals all the way up and over.  The views were amazing!  I think we were only 1/2 way up when we saw the leaders already heading back...sigh, to be that fast.... 

A view from the Causeway - gorgeous!
Once we made it over the bridge, there was a short out and back section before we had to head over the bridge again.  We took some water and Gatorade and kept chugging along.  We took an extra walk break every now and then, which gave us plenty of time to chat and catch up...much like the last 10k, this race was meant to be part of M's comeback to running and an opportunity for us to hang out again.

Me and M with our bling!!!
 Finally, we were off the bridge and had one more mile to the finish! We did it - we conquered race 2 of 3 in the bridge series!  And, we actually finished this race 3 minutes faster than the last 10K, so that was good.  And, we received another awesome medal!! 

Pizza from the world famous Mario's...well okay, it might only be famous in Galveston, but it's awesome!
The post race party was great - there was muscle milk, beer, pizza, icees and cookies. Yummo! Did I mention there was pizza and cookies?
The bling - it doubles as a bottle opener!

 So that was it...another weekend, another fun race.  I will say that for a newer race, it was very well organized.  Even with limited parking, there were no big issues.  So, yes I did complain about the distance we travelled, but I would definitely consider doing this race again in the future!

How was your weekend?  Any good races or training? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Week in Pictures

It was an exciting week in this Runner Mom's house...and I'm not talking about the Ten for Texas.  The Kiddo finally lost a tooth on the top!  She has lost three bottom teeth, but this is the first one that was on top - front and center for all to see.  The tooth had been wiggly for weeks, so we were all excited that it finally decided to come out.  Yes, there was a visit from the tooth fairy!  The going rate for teeth these days?  The first one earned $5, the rest have earned $2.  I've heard there are special bonuses when kids pull them out by themselves and for milestones like the 1st tooth, the 5th tooth, etc.  We'll see!

My little snaggle tooth!
After my race on Saturday, I had to go into work for a special event and the Hubs had to get in a 4-hour bike ride (holy cow, right?), so the kiddos spent some time with their Grandparents.  This was after the TWRC's Juniors t1-miler, of course.

Hanging out at Grandma and Grandpa's house after run club

On Sunday, we had a pleasant surprise...we got "Booed"!  If you aren't familiar with "Booing", you choose two people/houses and give them a little bag of treats (in our case, we received mini Twix bars, Snickers and Milky Way - thank you for the "good" candy!).  You also give them a "Boo" sign to place on their front door and instructions that they must pass along the "Boo" to two other people/houses.  I've started this at work a few times, and it's always a lot of fun!  The kids thought it was awesome!  We didn't waste any time passing on the "Boo" to two houses in our neighborhood...we *think* we chose two fun families who will get a kick out of this and actually pass on the "Boo".  (Fingers crossed!)
A fun surprise!
Later on Sunday, the Hubs, Sister-in-law and I all checked out a local WineFest.  This has become somewhat of a tradition for us.  Unlimited wine...what more could a girl want????  Okay, so maybe some chocolate to go with it.  All of the wines are from Texas wineries, which is cool...I am all for supporting our local businesses. 

Look at all that Texas wine...yummo!
At the fest, you are able to walk from table to table and try different wines. Some are quite interesting! For example, someone had a lime wine that tasted a bit like a margarita. The winery suggested that you put salt on the rim of your wine glass and serve the wine chilled. Crazy, huh?
My awesome Sister-in-Law...we've decided we need a wine fest every week!

A lot of the wines were rather sweet, which is not something the Hubby likes. Fortunately, St. Arnold's was there and had their Christmas ale. I even think I saw the Hubs doing a little happy dance when he found this!

The Hubs found what he was looking for!!!
And finally, I ended the weekend with our Fantasy Fitness League's weekly "Fitness Challenge".  This week, teams were asked to do squats (2x15) in the produce section of our local grocer...while holding a watermelon.  If you were unable to find watermelons, you could perform this challenge using pumpkins.  A photo had to be submitted as you can imagine, the pictures that came out of this challenge were HILARIOUS!

Our group and another group got together for this challenge and we had a blast.  There was a lot of giggling while this happened and we even attracted a small crowd.  Not only did we stage the photo below, we also each grabbed two small pumpkins and did our 2x15 while holding one pumpkin in each hand (they were um, strategically placed).  We also get credit for team outings, so we also went over to Starbucks to get some extra points!  This was a fun challenge with a fun group of women!

Yes, we are doing squats. In the produce section.  For all to see.

Doing planks in the candy section...yeah, we're crazy like that!

How is your weekend?  How is the training going?  Any races this weekend????

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ten for Texas Race Report

Ten for Texas is probably my favorite Fall race...I get to run and hang out with my Woodlands Fit peeps, it's a flat course with great support and they have a great post-race party!  And, this year they are giving out finisher's medals...what more could a girl want from a race???
The race starts at 7:30 am, so I woke up around 5:30 to give myself time for breakfast (scrambled egg whites and granola with almond milk).  Once I was all dressed, it was time to head to the race.  Once I arrived, I ran into our neighbors and their kiddos.  After chatting for a few minutes, I headed over to where my fellow Maverick Fantasy Fitness peeps were hanging out and we took a quick picture.  It was great, because there are a couple of people on my team who I had never met and finally had a chance to introduce myself and say hello.
Fellow Mavs!!!
Next, I headed over to the Woodland's Fit meeting place and had a chance for a photo op with some of the runners in the group I am coaching.  Next, a couple of us headed over to the porta-potties for one last pit stop before the race.  While walking around, I ran into peeps here and was great to see so many familiar faces.  Again, that's why I love this race!
Woodlands Fit 1/2 Marathon Red Group in da house!!!!
When heading the the start, I ran into two of my running BFFs, Katie and Erica.  Before I knew it, the national anthem was being sung and it was time to go! 

Running BFFS - Erica, Katie and me

I moved over between the 10 and 11 minute pace groups and ran into another runner from my group who was running with her husband.  They were kind enough to let me start with them, and I actually ended up running with them the entire way. 

I honestly had no clue what to expect with this race.  Because of the fitness challenge I'm doing, I have been doing two-a-days all a result (I think), my hip has been feeling a bit achy.  I took some ibuprofen before the race just as a precaution.  Much to my surprise, the hip felt great the entire time!  We started at about a 10:45 pace and stayed between there and 11 minutes until mile 6.  At that point, we just kept getting a little faster as we went along.  It was a warm, humid day, so in all honesty, if I didn't have someone to run with, I may have wussed out by walking and whining about the heat. But, having someone to run with was awesome!  We chatted about various races and random topics, which made the miles pass quickly.

Along the way, it was great to see friends who were not running out on the course cheering!  Nothing like seeing a friend to put a little pep in your step!  While the miles ticked off pretty quick, I have to admit that by mile 8, I was soooo ready for the race to be over.  The sun was peeking out from behind the clouds here and there, which made it pretty hot.  I began to question my sanity for wanting to do this running thing to begin with.  I also questioned my sanity in signing up for the LaPorte 1/2 Marathon next month and Houston 1/2 Marathon in January.  Did I really just run NYCM a year ago????   Then, at mile 9, those thoughts were washed away with the realization that I was almost done.  We had a bridge to run over and we would be almost there!  Once we made it into the shopping center where the finish is just a turn and a sprint away, we had picked up the pace a little more and were running it in - I think this is where I hit my max pace of 7:36...yeah, and thank God I didn't have to hold it there for very long.  This also might explain why for a moment I thought I was going to puke at the finish, lol!

At the finish, we were awarded our coveted medals!  I ran into more peeps and took a few minutes to chat it up a bit.

Awesome Woodlands Fit director and fellow Maverick, Rachel!

The BLING...gotta love it!!!

After chatting a bit, another runner peep and I headed over to the food!  Of course, our first stop was the um, grown up beverage tent, to get a refreshing beverage.

One of the best parts of this race...a beverage for the non-beer drinkers!!!

Next, we headed to the food tent where we had lots of options - breakfast tacos, My Fit Foods, fruit, BROWNIES, waffles, etc.  Did I mention there were BROWNIES???
All in all, I am super happy with this race and my running. No, I did not PR...I missed that by 2 1/2 minutes.  But, I did waaaaayyyy better than I thought I would after the great hip blip of 2012!  I only missed my PR by 2 1/2 minutes!  I really thought I would be between a 10:45 and 11 minute pace.
The best part was seeing all the running friends I've made along my running journey!  It was fun to cheer for each other, congratulate each other and just hang out!

Yes, this is why I continue running.  I am blessed!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Last week's workouts

I forgot to post this...starting October out with a BANG!

Monday, 10/1
Run - 4 miles
P90X Plyometrics - 1 hour

Tuesday, 10/2
TRX - 1 hour

Wednesday, 10/3
Run - 4.2 miles

Thursday, 10/4
Brazil Butt Lift - 45 minutes

Friday, 10/5

Saturday, 10/6
Run - 10 miles total

Sunday, 10/7
Bike - 1 hour

The highlight of this week's workouts was my run on Saturday.  I met up with another Woodlands Fit peep for a 3.5 mile run before our official group run.  The 3.5 miles actually ended up being 3.8...oops.  Then, we ran 5 miles with the group.  I felt fantastic at the end of the run...lots left in the tank.  And, my pace was a bit faster than it has been in previous weeks.  After our group run, I headed to the kid's run with TWRC Junior's program and ended up running the entire mile with the Munchkin. 

Side note:  Why is it that when it's just the Hubby with the kids, they run the mile on their own with no complaints?  But, when I'm there, the Munchkin gets clingy and doesn't want to run.  When he finally does run, I have to hold his hand and run with him the entire time?  I am trying to remember that there will be a day when he won't want to be seen in public with me, much less want to hold my hand.  In other words, I am trying to just enjoy it. :-)

When I made it home, I realized I was just shy of running 10 miles, so I went out and ran around the block enough to make it 10.  Yes, I am a dork like that!  This weekend, I have the Ten for Texas!  It's a 10-mile race not far from home.  This is one of my favorite races of the season, because 1) it is close to home, 2) a lot of my running peeps will be running it too, 3) the course is FLAT, 4) they have an AWESOME post race party and 5) this year they are giving medals!  I know that, because of the hip blip, I will not be running my best....but, I also know it will not be my slowest Ten for Texas.  I can't wait!!!

Hope you're having a great week!  Any plans for the upcoming weekend???  Races???

Sunday, October 07, 2012

More pictures and a weekend re-cap

Ah, the weekend!  Yes, I am one of those people who lives for the weekend.  Weekdays are a constant blur of rushing from one place to another - rush to get my morning workout it, rush to get the kids dressed and to school, rush to work, rush from meeting to meeting all day, only to rush home to either get homework done or head to another activity, rush to eat dinner, rush to make lunches and get ready for the next day.  Finally, it's bedtime and then we wake up and do it over and over again.  Sigh.  I keep thinking that one day things will be different, but let's be honest, this is life!  Anyone else feel this way?
Saturday, I started the day with my long run - 2.8 miles with another runner, followed by 5 miles with Woodlands Fit, followed by a mile with the kids at their running club, followed by a run around the block to make it an even 10-miles.  I was pretty darn pleased with my pace during the main part of my run - 10:40 pace overall...a lot slower than where I was before the hip issues, but faster than my post-hip blip runs! 

Clockwise from top left - kids ready for Crazy Sock Day, the Munchkin decided it was more fun to balance along the curb than to actually run, me and the kiddos finishing up the mile together (yes, I am so awesome I can run with my eyes closed!) and after the run (feel the love! I am keeping this pic to show them the next time they are fighting!)
After a shower and some lunch, I headed to the grocery store for the shopping.  Exciting life, right?  Next, it was time for our dog's 6th and final "Beginner Education" class.  While I admit, the dog is smart and catches on quickly, he has a loooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggg way to go before he becomes the obedient dog that we'd like.  So yes, we did sign up for another round of classes!  Wish us luck?

He looks so well-behaved with his graduation cap, doesn't he?  It only took about 30 tries to get him to calm down enough to get this picture.

Also, I am participating in a fitness challenge coordinated by Maverick Athletic Company.  This is the same company that teaches the TRX class I've been attending.  It's sort of like Fantasy Football - teams of 6 are competing against each other and field goals are earned by burning calories, completing various fitness challenges, etc.  So, all week I've been working out and sending pictures of my calorie burn to our team coach.  It's been a fun way to stay motivated!  One thing that I have learned through this is that my Garmin 305 will not tell you calories burned during strength training sessions.  Grrrrr!!!!  This means that I have to "guesstimate" my calories using an on-line tool.  For a type A personality like me, it drives me crazy to not know the exact number of calories I've burned.  Because of this, I just ordered a Polar heart rate monitor.  I can't wait for it to arrive!!!!

The Garmin calorie count after a run, the on-line tool that shows calorie burn

How was your weekend?  Do you live for the weekends or do you love life during the work week, too?

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Week(s) in Pictures

I think I am back to blogging on a regular basis again!
At my old job, I used to utilize my lunch break to blog, but since changing jobs, I have been hesitant use the Internet for personal use.  To make things more complicated, our home desktop computer has been very tempermental! And, the laptop that I bought over 5 years ago for grad school finally died once and for all.  Luckily, I've resolved these issues by buying a new Dell laptop...complete with a pink cover!  So now, I think I have my routine with the new job down and a new computer, so I am good to go!
It's been awhile since I've had my "week in pictures" post, so I thought I would get all caught up!  So here it goes...

First, the kids started the "Juniors" program through The Woodlands Running Club.  Between September and March, the kids will run 25.2 miles.  Then, in March, the kids will run the kid's 1 mile race that is held in conjunction with The Woodlands Marathon and Half Marathon...this will complete their 26.2 mile journey.  Not only will the kids receive a medal for the kid's run, they will receive an official medal from the full marathon!

The first two rows of pictures are from the 1st day of the program.  The bottom two pictures were taken last weekend when it was pouring down rain!  The kids braved the conditions - the Kiddo ran 2 miles and the Munchkin ran 1 mile! 

I am sure you all know that the space shuttle made Endeavour made its final journey a few weeks ago.  As you also know, I am a HUGE space nerd.  Ironic that this space nerd seems to be the only person who DID NOT get to see a flyover of the shuttle.  The picture on the left below is one the Hubby took at work.  After work, I rushed home and we loaded up the kids and headed to Ellington Field to see the shuttle up close.
And so did the rest of the city of Houston!

And everyone in all the surrounding communities!
The picture on the right is a picture of our attempt to see the shuttle.  We made it to our highway exit in less than 45 minutes.  Then, we sat in the car another 45 minutes and only drove about a 1/2 mile.  Sigh.  Honestly, the only reason we even drove a 1/2 mile was because several cars decided not to wait and left the line of traffic.  The Munchkin had to go to the bathroom (to be honest, I did too) and both kids were complaining that they were bored.  After another 15 minutes, we decided to leave.  The Kiddo cried, because she wanted to see the shuttle (to be honest, I wanted to cry too).  We headed to the nearest Chili's and had a nice family dinner before driving home.  Yes, I did have a grown-up beverage as a consolation prize. :-)

We've had a couple of awesome cool fronts come through, so we've been spending more time outdoors trying to enjoy it!  The Halloween costumes have been purchased, the swimsuits have been put away...bring on Fall!!

Clockwise from top left:  The Munchkin trying out his Hawkeye costume, the kids enjoying time in the Munchkin's cool wheels (center), one last trip to the pool, the Kiddo getting ready to practice the violin, the Munchkin feeding a goat at a nearby petting zoo, the Munchkin on a zip line, and the Kiddo ready for "National Walk to School Day"

And what would Fall be without Oktoberfest?  The hubs and I went to an Oktoberfest celebration last weekend at a friend's house. That friend also happens to have his very own microbrewery in his garage, so there was lots of sampling going on through the night. 

Oktoberfest...complete with these very cool aprons!
Fall is my favorite time of the year here in Houston.  It's when all that running in the extreme heat and humidity finally pays off!  It's also a great time for local festivals - Greek Fest,  Old Town Spring Wine Fest, Bayou City Art Fest, etc.  Not to mention Wings over Houston and Halloween!  Good times!

What do you have going on in the Fall?  Have the cooler temps hit your area yet?  Any Fall races?