Tuesday, January 31, 2012

11 Random Things

Okay, so I was recently tagged by Kathy over at Got to Keep on Running Long. And, one of the requirements of this game is that I have to tag 11 other people.  I apologize in advance, but hey, it's fun learning about our fellow bloggers, so be a good sport and play along.  Okay?  Kathy also recently posted her Houston Marathon Race Re-Cap…go check it out!

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 your tagger's post.
  4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blogs 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!

So here we go...11 RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME...

 
1. What is your ‘must have’ song on your playlist?

Although I think he’s a major D.B., I hafta hear Kanye’s “Stronger” during every workout. Something about the “Harder Better Faster Stronger” gets me going every time. I’ve also added David Guetta and Will.I.Am’s “I Wanna Go Crazy” and Mercy Me’s “Move” to my playlist. Excellent songs for getting the body moving!


2. Name one song on your playlist that you are embarrassed to admit is there.

Hmmm, there are probably several…the worst has to be “Good Life” from Miley Cyrus. My daughter started getting into Hannah Montana not long after the movie was released and right before the show ended. For some reason this song seemed fun at the time….now I can’t stand it, but have yet to delete it. Thank God that phase with my daughter was short lived. Not that it’s gotten better…she now loves Justin Bieber.


 
3. Given the choice would you have a housekeeper or personal chef at your beck and call?

Housekeeper. I don’t like to cook, but I hate cleaning even more!

 
4. Favorite childhood cartoon and why ... ??

I used to love, love, love Scooby Doo. I have no idea why. Maybe because "those meddling kids" solved fun  mysteries and it was slightly scary, which was exciting to the 5-year old me. It’s funny, because my kids watch it now and love it!


5. If you could pick any historical figure as your running buddy who would it be and why? (Anything goes ... Cleopatra, Napoleon, Freddy Mercury, Fred Lebow, Kurt Cobain... whatever)

Hmmmm, this one is hard for me.  I think I'd like to have coffee or tea with Audrey Hepburn.  She looks too dainty for running.  So for running, I'd probably choose Walt Disney.  He was an amazing visionary and businessman, I'd love to hear how he came up with some of his ideas and how he was brave enough to take chances when others scoffed.


6. What is your favorite board game? Are you a good sport ... or like me?

Right now, we play board games with our kids and it’s stuff like Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Candyland and Chutes & Ladders. If I had to choose a grown up game, it would be Scrabble. I used to be really good at it, but I am a bad sport...I hate to lose!  And, I have trouble sitting down long enough to play!

 
7. What is your bucket list race/tri?

Bucket list race – It would have to be a marathon with cool views like Avenue of the Giants or Big Sur. Bucket list tri – maybe an Ironman in a cool destination like New Zealand or Austria.

 
8. If you could pick one dessert to be calorie free what would it be?

Chocolate chip cookies. I was going to say chocolate cake with buttercream icing, but it’s easier to dip chocolate chip cookies in milk!


9. What was worse for you in PE class? Running laps or climbing the rope?

Climbing the rope. In my PE days, I wasn’t a runner, but I had zero upper body strength and climbing the rope was a nightmare. However, when I started learning the uneven bars in gymnastics, that quickly changed.

 
10. What is your favorite book to read over and over?

Any of the Little House on the Prairie books. I loved the series as a kid, then I re-read them as a teen. I hope my kids love them as much as I did. It was a close race between Little House and the Dark Tower Series from Stephen King.




 
11. Who was your first childhood celebrity crush? How do you feel about him/her now?

John Travolta. My parents let me see Grease when I was six and I thought he was just too cute. I still like him, but more because he’s so charismatic on screen.


So now I get to tag 11 people....please be a good sport and play along! :-)

1.  Lisa at Trying to find my Running Mojo Again
2.  Robin at Dashing Diva Fitness
3.  Tina at Gotta Run Now
4.  Duckie at Runs Like a Duck
5.  Donna at Go Mommy Go!
6.  Anne at Run DMZ
7.  Cindy at Foodie at the Finish Line
8.  Denee' at Gluten Free Girl Running
9.  NY Wolve at Never Quit Never Stop
10. Jill at Run with Jill
11. Carrie at Luminosity

And, here are your 11 questions...
  1. Where is the most unique place you've gone running?
  2. What is your favorite pre-race meal and why?
  3. If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  4. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  5. Did you become what you wanted to be as a kid?  What do you do?
  6. What is the scariest thing you've ever done?
  7. If you won the lottery, what would be the 1st thing you would buy?
  8. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
  9. Fill in the blank - I am a closet _______________ fan.
  10. Favorite place that you've traveled to? Why?
  11. What celebrity would you like to hang out with and why?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekly re-cap and mishaps

Monday, 1/23 - Aqua Jog - 30 minutes
Mishap #1 - OMG, I tried the shallow water version of Aqua Jogging where you are actually touching the bottom of the pool as you go back and forth in a lane.  The bottom surface of the pool looks nice and smooth, but ouch!  The bottom of my feet both had blisters on them by the time I was done and I could barely walk!

Tuesday, 1/24 - Spin/Ride - 1 hour
Mishap #2 - I headed over to the gym at work during my lunch break for spin class.  Much to my surprise, spin class had been replaced my Zumba!  Nothing against Zumba, but there is no Zumba in triathlon!  Determined to get my workout in, so that I could spend time with the family that evening, I used the stationary bike for an hour.  Not quite the same, but whatever.

Wednesday, 1/25 - Swim - 2200
Mishap #3 - Yeah, I did something wrong here because I actually ended up with 2800 yds done.  And, I had the worst leg cramp ever toward the end of the workout.  Seriously. Worst. Ever.  It started in my calf, but then moved to my shin all the way up to my knee.  I barely finished my workout.

Thursday, 1/25 - Endurance workout - 1 hour
Mishap #4 - For this workout, Coach said to try any cardio that would not hurt my hip.  I really wanted to do aqua jogging for this workout, but knew I had plans after work and would not make it to the pool. I decided to do the elliptical instead. For some reason this workout seemed harder than the one I did on the elliptical last week. When warming up, my HR was around 128. After that, my HR quickly rose into the high 130s - 140s. If I wasn't careful, it would go into the low 150's, but I kept checking to ensure it didn't get higher. During the workout, my hip felt fine, but I noticed that my feet seemed to be slipping to the front of my shoes, causing my toes to feel numb. I thought both the HR thing and the thing with my toes was weird, because I had never experienced it on the elliptical before. I also noticed that it took me 15 minutes to complete a mile, which is not the case on the elliptical. After I finished my workout, I noticed that my calves felt really tight. (Something else I've never experienced.) When I stopped to stretch, I found out from one of the trainers that I was actually using an Arc Trainer, not a regular elliptical. And, I noticed another issue - it feels like I've pulled my groin muscle on my good leg! It felt tight yesterday, so I stretched it, but after this workout it felt achy! WTH??? I just took some Aleve. I'm sticking to aqua jogging from now on!

Friday, 1/26 - Swim - 2500
Finally!  A mishap-free workout!  No issues here, just lots of swimming!  I am still using the pull buoy though, because too much kicking causes the hip to hurt.

Saturday, 1/27 - Bike - 2 hours
I met up with one of my friends who is training for the MS150 for a ride.  It's always great to have someone to commiserate with talk to when runs and rides get to the 2 hour mark and longer! 

Me and riding Peep, R...I cannot seem to take a picture of the both of us, lol! I ended up with my big head taking up most of the frame and cutting R out of the pic!

The fact that I survived 2 hours on the bike pain free gave me a little bit of confidence.  That is, until I looked at my overall pace.  ~14 mph.  Okay, so it was windy.  Gusts of 20-30 mph.  But still.  I have not been this slow since my 1st year of triathlons. But, that's what happens when you haven't been on your bike outdoors for more than 1 hour 15 minutes in months.  I had started to build up a good base after NYC, but it seems like I am starting from scratch. 

It may have been a crappy ride, but at least it was a gorgeous day!


Sunday, 1/28 - Aqua Jog - 45 minutes
This time I went to the pool equipped with aqua jogging gear thanks to one of my running peeps. 

Looks ridiculous + gets you nowhere fast = aqua jogging

It's certainly not sexy, but it kept me afloat so that I could "run" with no impact.  Yes, I am sure I looked utterly ridiculous, but I was running dammit!  And, I found that my Garmin 305 HR monitor does not work in the pool.  I had the actual watch in a ziploc bag, then slipped the bag under one of my swimsuit straps and the HR strap thingy on, but the HR would not register.  Bummer.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Q & A - all about me!

I think this is my fist time doing one of these Q&A type posts.  I was tagged by June, so I figured what the heck!

Favorite time of the day?
Usually early morning. I usually dread waking up at 4:15 – 4:30 to run, but then thoroughly enjoy the peace and quiet as I run through my neighborhood with just me and the stars.

What is your favorite meal to make?
Make? As in cooking?  I don’t enjoy cooking, so I’ll have to say anything that can be made in the crockpot – usually stew, chili and sometimes chicken.

Glass 1/2 full or glass 1/2 empty?
Depends on what’s going on. I am definitely a glass ½ full kinda girl a majority of the time.  But, I'll admit that I sometimes get in a funk and the positivity goes out the window.

Last picture taken on your phone?
I used my crappy cell phone to take this pic.  It's the view right outside my office.  It was such a pretty day today, but the phone didn't really capture that.


If money was no issue how many races would you try to do in a year?
12..one per month all in different parts of the world…and I’d vary the distances - I’d do some 5ks, 10ks, a couple of ½ marathons and a marathon on two.

Car, Truck, Van, or SUV?
SUV..I purchased my 1st American made car after my 1st kiddo was born in 2004. It’s a Chevy and while I am happy it’s continuing to get me where I need to go, I will not buy American again. Too many issues.

Do you take part in any water sports ?
I swim (sort of), but that’s about it. I used to surf in my college and before kids, but heading to the coast seems to get harder between work, training and kids activities.  I haven't been on a long board in probably 7 or 8 years. I’ve water skied a few times, but that was in high school. I love to snorkel and would love to take scuba lessons at some point.

If you're walking down the street and find a $100.00 bill what do you do with it?
First, I’d see if anyone around me dropped it and then I might hang out for a bit to see if anyone came back looking for it. If no one claimed it, I might just have to get a cute new running skirt or go to DSW!

Favorite non sports related thing to do?
Hang out with the Hubby & kids or go to the movies.  I am a movie junkie, but rarely have time to go anymore!

Have Pets? What kind?
No pets at the moment. We lost our fur baby, Jake, in October. He was with us for almost 14 years. We will be getting a German Shorthair puppy in just a couple of months though.

Last movie you went to a theater to see?
Kids movie – Beauty and the Beast (in 3D)...this is my favorite princess movie, so I didn't mind seeing it again.
Grown-up movie – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I loved the movie! I was a bit skeptical, because I enjoyed the book and really loved the Swedish version of the movie. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved the American version. I think the casting of Noomi Rapace was awesome in the original, but I have to say I think Rooney Mara was spot on in the role! She look and acted more like what I pictured in my head as I was reading the series.

Now....I would like to see anyone who has not posted a Q&A in the past week or so to  answer the above questions.  And, I am tagging a couple of my fellow Texas runners to do this as well - Tara (Texas Runner Girl), Stephanie (Running with Lumpy), and Laura (Mommy, Run Fast!).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hodge Podge O' Crap

So today, I thought we'd take a little photo journey...

Yesterday, I went to the pool after work.  I swear I need a friggin' Sherpa, because here's the stuff I have to pack in the car in the mornings when I head to the pool...


My bags...I have to put them where I can see them, otherwise I forget them!

The main set of my swim workout...I had to ask the Hubby to translate it for me.  Notice it says "3 times thru", I was trying to pretend I didn't see that. :-)

The bags above do not include each of the kid's backpacks and lunchboxes.  And heaven forbid that it's a swim/bike day, because that means I need an additional bag to take to work, so that I can go to lunchtime spin class!  Anyone wanting to volunteer for Sherpa duty, please let me know!


And, I am sure you were wondering what in the hell I was doing when I was not able to workout.  Don't worry, I was staying busy...kids do that to you.  Kids can be quite a time suck. :-)

We played board games...here's the Kiddo getting ready for a competitive game of Monopoly Jr.

We colored...a lot.

We played outside...a lot.  The kids both received new scooters from Santa, so we took advantage of the great weather!

We went to the movies...here we're getting ready to see the latest Chipmunk movie.  We also saw Beauty and the Beast in 3D.  Jealous?

We tried some new arts and crafts....here you see the product of the new Spin Art toy.  We also used clay to make jewelry...you should see my new earrings that the Kiddo insisted I wear to work.  Super cute!

I organized my medals...in chronological order.  Yes, I'm type A like that.  Thanks to the Hubby for the awesome new medal hanger.  Finally, my medals are no longer in a box at the back of the closet!


We went to see Phineas and Ferb's Best Live Show Ever!  Even the Hubby and I had a great time at the show.  Our family loves Phineas and Ferb!

We played with trains...as you can see here, we have the entire island of Sodor in our living room.  Look!  There's Thomas...HELLO THOMAS!!!

My parents took us out to celebrate my birthday.  Yes, I always wear a huge sombrero when having dinner.  And yes, that is Tres Leches.  I shared.

The hubby threw me a big party to celebrate the big 4-0!  (more on that later)

So as you can see, I've stayed busy during my time away from running.  And, of course I've been stretching.  A lot.  I didn't think you wanted to see pictures of that, though! While I have thoroughly enjoyed the extra time with the family, I am happy to be back in training mode...even if that training includes aqua jogging instead of running. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My 1st Love


Yes, I made the jump into the world of triathlon 3 years ago. Okay, maybe jump is too strong of a word. I couldn’t swim at all 3 years ago, so how about this – I waded into the world of triathlon. I now enjoy swimming more than I thought possible (except for that pesky hyperventilating thing in the open water). I really, really like to bike (except for the fear of bad roads and crazy-ass drivers). But, I must confess…

RUNNING IS MY 1ST LOVE.

Now, as I am sure you’ve gathered, I am not a naturally gifted runner. I’ve had to work hard to even run a 5k with a sub-10 minute pace. But, I love it anyway. In fact, maybe that’s why I love to run. You work hard – you get results.

Measurable results.

Quantitative data. I love it. It must be the type-A in me. What I don’t love is that sometimes, no matter how good of shape you’re in and how hard you’ve trained, your body doesn’t always cooperate. This is the case with my stupid hip.

How did this love of running begin?

A little over 10 years ago I was about 6 months away from my 30th birthday. I had a list titled, “Things to do before you turn 30!” The list contained lots of goals – many were very attainable, but some were not. For example, I had bungee jumped, gone sky diving and lost 30 pounds. Attainable. I had not yet travelled to Giza or Kenya, and I had not taken flying lessons. Not unattainable, but given my salary at the time and the amount of debt I had still lingering from college, I might as well have written “travel to the moon and back.” However, there was one other goal I had written the previous year after walking a 5k race with a friend. That friend had been a runner, but had to stop due to knee issues. She talked me into jogging a bit of that 5k here and there. That evening, I added something new to my list – “Run a 5k” and then added, “without stopping or puking.”

I had a treadmill at home that I used faithfully for walking. In June of 2001, I began running on it. I was not fast and the progression was slow. But each week, I added a little more distance and was pleased with my improvement. I’ll never forget calling my husband at work around 9 pm just to tell him that I had run 2 miles without stopping for the first time ever! I never ran a 5k that year…instead, I kept going. I made it to 3 miles on the treadmill and thought, “Hey, why not try for 4?” Then, I made it to 4 and thought, “Wow, it’d be really cool to say I could run 5 miles without stopping!” Then, about the time that I made it to 6 miles, my friend MH, who was training for her 2nd marathon, told me that Houston would be hosting a ½ marathon for the first time and that I ought to consider training for it. Let’s be honest here….before I met MH, I didn’t even know Houston had a marathon. I was one of those people who asked, “How many miles is that marathon? What about that one?”

That was around September. I seriously considered the ½ marathon. Finally, I decided that I was going to go for it! I searched on-line and studied all the different training programs. I ultimately decided on the Hal Higdon beginner ½ marathon training program. I will never forget spending Thanksgiving Day with my family with the Hubby proudly telling everyone how I had run 9 miles the day before. Me! A runner! Who would have thunk it?

Not me. That’s for sure.

Let's back up a bit...growing up, I was a dancer – ballet, tap and jazz. I also enjoyed gymnastics – beam and floor exercise were my favorites. I wasn't especially gifted at either, but I was passionate about both, I worked hard and they consumed all my spare time.  But running? Hell to the no. However, there was one summer before my freshman year in high school when I had a goofy idea. I had decided that that summer that I was going to work up to running 1 mile. I knew I’d be taking the big physical fitness test that fall and I didn’t want to be the loser walking the 1.5 mile run. My street was a dead end and ¼ of a mile long…over the course of the summer, I worked my way up to running 4 laps back and forth. Success! After the physical fitness test, I quickly stopped running. I wanted to go back to the activities I could do in the comfort of the air conditioner.

So anyway, by race day I was pretty much ready for the Houston ½ marathon. Except my longest run had only been another 9-miler. And, I knew nothing about nutrition. And, on race day I was wearing Nike soccer shorts, cotton socks, a cotton shirt and outlet mall Nike running shoes. But, I was super excited to be doing the race.  And, I had an awesome experience! My parents and Hubby came out to cheer. Two of my friends even came out to support me. At mile 9, I gave my Hubby a kiss and told him that I felt great. The final 1 ½ miles were a little rough, but once I crossed the finish line, I felt like a superstar! I felt invincible. I felt like I could kick Chuck Norris’ butt! To make things even more exciting, I was able to see the winners of the Marathon pass as I approached Downtown Houston and the finish line.  It was amazing!

My very 1st medal!  I was so thrilled to finish the race, only to find out that they had run out of medals.  Not to fear, they mailed it to me the following week.

Before I knew it, I was joining MH’s running group to train for the 2003 Houston Marathon. And, as they say, the rest is history. I became a running addict.

Why?

Running keeps me sane. It is my therapy. I know there are t-shirts that say this, but for me it really is true. It’s my quiet time, my thinking time, my sanctuary. It’s my social time, my get the stress out time, my become one with nature time. Running has been a loyal friend. It’s gotten me through tough times at work, grad school, a new house, two pregnancies and so much more. Hot, cold, raining, freezing – I have had both awesome and bad runs in all these conditions. It’s easy – throw on some shoes and head out the door. It’s hard – injuries, dehydration, and crappy runs. But still, nothing stops me from wanting to do it again. Without running, life is just not quite complete.

I *heart* my dear friend running. Even though I sometimes cheat on running with bikes and swimming pools, I always come back to it.

Thank you my dear friend running for being my 1st love.

A few pics from my early running days...

Me at the end of my 1st 21-miler while training for the 2003 Houston Marathon...I was feeling awesome (And I was doing that flappy thing with my left hand way back then, too)!
 
A couple of pics from my 1st NYC Marathon in 2003...Left - me, near the finish.  I am not sure why I stopped...I am so close to the freaking finish!  Right - Me and my Houston Fit peeps (including MH) after the race.
 


How did you get started in running?  Is it your first love, or is there something else you're passionate about?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekly Re-Cap

Hooray, I finally have a summary! I guess I could have done this for the past 3 weeks, but the only thing I’d have to report would be my stretching and strengthening exercises from the doctor. Not exactly riveting reading.

Monday, 1/16 through Wednesday, 1/18 – Stretching / Strengthening (as ordered by the Dr)

Thursday, 1/19 – Elliptical – 30 minutes
I headed over to the gym during my lunch break at work and grabbed the last available elliptical machine. I felt a little pull in my hip a couple of times when I first got going on the machine, but after that the hip seemed a-okay. For some reason, my quad on the injured side was really sore the next day…not sure what that’s about, but it was fine by Saturday.

Friday, 1/20 – P90X – Shoulders and Arms
I only had time for the 1st 35 minutes of the DVD, but I still feel like I got in a fairly good workout.

Saturday, 1/21 – Swim (1800) and Aqua Jog (10 minutes)
Per Coach and Dr’s orders, I swam with the pull buoy the entire time (no kicking!). Obviously, this is not ideal, but at least I was able to focus on my stroke. And, I just thought I would try the aqua jogging  thing for a bit to see how it felt on the hip. I used the shallow water version of aqua jogging. It was completely awkward at first and I am sure I looked ridiculous jogging back and forth with my swim cap on and my goggles on my head, but to be honest, it just felt great to be moving both legs in a running motion. Inside my head, I was thinking, "Hooray, I can run!  Pain free, too!" and then "I am sure this looks ridiculous!" and finally, "Who cares, I'm running!!! Yippee!"  The aqua jogging seems to feel a bit better than using the elliptical, so I will probably be spending even more time in the pool. I was planning to swim another 500 yds after the aqua jogging, but I didn’t realize there was an AquaFit class about to start. Doh! I got kicked out of the pool…so instead, I spent a few minutes sweating relaxing in the sauna.

Sunday, 1/22 – Bike, 1 hour
This was another test on the bike to see how the hip would do. Last week, clipping out hurt the heck outta my hip, so this time I wore my running shoes. Not cute or sleek looking, but it worked. The hip only bothered me once when I switched gears and my foot slipped forward off the pedal. Other than that, the ride was a success! Next weekend, I will see if I can handle more time on the bike…I am getting nervous that I am waaaaayyyyy behind where I should be on the bike.  Hell, I am waaaayyyyy behind on everything!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lawdy, I'm 4-0!

Well, yesterday was the big day - the day I began a new decade and the day I entered a new age group!  (Well technically, in the triathlon world, I entered that age group on January 1!)


My hubby made a birthday dinner, including this awesome quinoa! 

My birthday cupcakes...again, thank you to the Hubby.  I ate 1/2 of the one on the lower right.  Yum!

I thought I was going to take 40 by storm...first, with the Houston Marathon and next with the Texas 70.3.  So things are not quite going as planned. And yes, it sorta sucks. I am experiencing both sadness and anger over this stupid hip injury.  To me, age is just a number - I've never worried about getting older.  I am more fit than I was in my 20s (thanks to too much fun in college and post marriage weight gain), I am stronger both physically and mentally than I was at 30 and I have some big huge goals for my 40s.  But, injuries tend to...well...make me feel my age.  Especially when the Orthopedic gave me a prescription for Celebrex.  An ARTHRITIS medication (thank you to the Hubby for pointing that out).  Yeah, I tried the samples and they did nothing.  I threw away the Rx.

So the hip thing has to heal on it's own.  I can help it along by doing my exercises from Dr. Chiro and not doing anything too crazy (like running a marathon).  However, today is the day my focus is shifting.  The Houston Marathon is behind me now and Galveston is getting closer and closer.  In fact, there are only 73 days until the race!

Holy shiznit people, how did that happen????

ONLY 73 DAYS UNTIL RACE DAY!

I e-mailed Dr. Chiro late yesterday to get his opinion on the various activities he thinks I should/should not do.  Then, I e-mailed Coach to get her thoughts.  She is not worried.  That's fine, because I am worried enough for the both of us!

So here's the plan - I will try the elliptical.  If it irritates the hip, I will try aqua jogging.  This should hopefully only be needed for a few weeks, but let's be honest here - I don't have time to spare.  I need to get the cardio going again asap.  I am also going to try some swimming, but will use the pull buoy to avoid bothering the hip.  And then there's the bike - I attempted a 30 minute ride on Sunday.  The good news - it felt great to be on the bike again!  The bad news - it hurt my hip when I unclipped my right foot (which is the one I always unclip 1st) and it hurt a little when I first started peddling.  More good news - once I got going, the hip felt okay. This seemed like a good start - the hubby is going to switch out the peddles to my old ones, so I don't have to clip in/out for another week or two.  The goal here is to do enough to keep my fitness level and gradually build, but not enough to keep the hip from healing.  (fingers crossed)

I am not sure if I can pull this off...I know that 4 weeks ago, I was riding 1 1/2 hours at a time on the bike and was swimming 2,000 and running...well, running 18 miles.  But, for the past 3 weeks I have not done much more than my stretching and strengthening exercises for the hip.

Yesterday, I began my journey into my 40s.  Today, I begin my journey to that 70.3.

Oh holy hell, this is going to be interesting.

Have you had to use the elliptical as an alternative to running?  How about aqua jogging?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Race Weekend Re-Cap

I wasn’t sure what to call this post, since I didn’t really race. But oh well, it was still race weekend, so there.  This is a long post, so bear with me!

Friday
I started the day out with a visit to the Orthopedic. Not that I don’t trust the Chiropractor, but I wanted another opinion. I wanted to be sure that running 26.2 miles on my bum hip wasn’t going to make matters worse. The Ortho did an x-ray, which confirmed there was no noticeable fracture. He twisted and turned my leg, then pretty much gave me the same diagnosis as the Chiropractor – ligament strain. He also confirmed that running the marathon should not cause a major setback. The only thing bothering me is that during one of my stretches the day before, I tweaked my hip a little. I had been so excited earlier in the week that it no longer hurt to pick up my leg to put on my pants…well, that was no longer the case after this tweaking. I tried not to think about that though. I could still walk pretty much pain free, so I hope the same would be true when I attempted to run.

After the doctor’s appointment, I met up with June at the Expo. I love a good Expo! We picked up our packets and t-shirts, we shopped, we ate chocolate, we stalked Joan Benoit Samuelson and even got her autograph! It was a lot of fun and June is an excellent shopping buddy!  The best part – my hip wasn’t hurting at all! I was getting psyched up about the race. After the Expo, as I was walking back to my car, I stopped to gawk look at the Olympic Trials finish line one last time and stepped off the curb funny and tweaked the hip again. Klutz!

Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers

My bib with Joan's autograph!  I figured if I had Joan running with me, I could survive!

The cute stuff I bought at the Expo!

Saturday
Saturday was amazing! We woke up early, bundled up the kids and headed downtown. As if it were that easy…it doesn’t get all that cold here often, but the temps were in the 30s. It took me about 10 minutes to even locate the kid’s real winter gear and probably another 15 minutes getting it on their squirmy little bodies! And before we even made it to the race, we managed to lose the Munchkin’s gloves. But we finally arrived and managed to get a spot on the curb where we would be able to see the runners 3x. And, we were close to the playground, so that between the runner’s laps we could let the kiddos play (i.e. not get bored and drive us crazy!).


It was an awesome day for a race...temps in the 30s, low humidity!

Our view while we waited

Here's the women...so inspiring!
 
Here's my little Angry Bird while he's still happy...after 2 hours, he was done and had a major meltdown!

My little princess...she was a great sport the entire morning.  "Yeah Mom, the runners are neat...can we go to the playground now????"

The men on their 2nd lap - Ryan Hall was in the lead at this point

The women - the leaders have pulled away from the rest of the pack.  Here's Desi, Deena, Shalane, Amy and Kara.

On the final lap, Deena had fallen behind. :-(

The race was amazing! I loved being up close to the action where you could see the intense look of focus on the runner’s faces. And, it was cool seeing so many awesome runners…you know, the ones who are the cover of Runner’s World like Desi, Deena, Shalane, Kara, Meb, Ryan, etc. A-MAZ-ING! It was also cool to see the slower fast runners. There was a group of 3 women toward the back of the pack who did lots of fist-pumping (a la Ryan Hall) to get the crowd going every time they came around. They knew they weren’t going to the Olympics, they were proud to be at the trials and they were enjoying their moment dammit! After about 2 hours, the kids had had enough and we started packing up. We ended up leaving right after the women passed us for the final time ad right as the men were coming in for the finish. I had to check Facebook constantly on the way home to find out who won.

After the trials, I headed to the Chiro’s office to get all taped up with RockTape. I’ve never used tape before, so I had no idea what to expect. The tape was flexible and lightweight, so I didn’t even notice it. After the taping, I went home and decided to try my scheduled 2-miler.

This is where things went downhill.

So, I walked to the end of my driveway. This is when I usually start running. I was afraid. My last run on the previous Saturday was painful. I was afraid of the pain. I walked to the end of my street and finally started running. It was awkward. I wondered if it was possible to forget how to run, because that’s what it felt like.

And it was painful.

Every step hurt and there was pain every time I lifted my foot off the ground. And the pain was exactly in the spot that hurt when I tweaked my leg in the days before. I went around the block once (~.5) half running and half walking. I may or may not have said a few choice, rated-R words out loud. I was in pain and I was pissed. I decided to try going around the block again. This time I focused on getting my gait back to normal, because up until this point, I had been overcompensating with the other leg. My gait slowly started to feel more normal, but the stupid pain was still there. I made it around one more time and then stopped. When I came inside the Hubby asked how it went…I told him I needed a miracle.

I went on with business as usual for the next few hours – I colored with the kids and did the grocery shopping. I realized halfway through my trip to the grocery store that I was limping. When I arrived back at home, I must have sat in the car a little too long because the Hubby came outside and asked me if I was okay. I was okay, but I was sitting there rationalizing things in my head…

Just try to run tomorrow


Shit, I can’t even go to the grocery store without limping


It’s not that bad, you’ll be okay once you warm up

The doctors said it would be okay

After putting the groceries away, I started to get everything ready for the race – SpiBelt, nutrition, handheld bottle, check-in bag, etc. – and I laid out my clothes. I tried not to think of that run.  The thing that sealed the deal – my hammies felt tight, so I bent over forward to stretch them and I almost didn’t make it up. Something in my hip just wouldn’t let me move. That was certainly I’ve never experienced before. Around 7:30 pm, the Hubs was getting ready to leave for a friend's birthday party when I announced my final decision, “I am not running tomorrow”. I decided this was stupid – I ran a little over a mile and had been limping all afternoon. I realized that I had nothing to prove. I realized that I may not even be able to make 13.1, much less 26.2. I needed to go with my gut, and my gut had been telling me this for the past few days, but I refused to listen.  And yes, nothing like springing this on your husband as he’s about to walk out the door! LOL, he looked a little mortified. I assured him that I was okay and that he needed to go to the party.

And yes, I cried a little. I had a small pity party. Once the kids were in bed, I took a nice, long bubble bath and drank 2 glasses of wine (yes, wine with my whine). I sulked a little more while I watched TV. And then I decided – this is it, after tonight there will be no more sulking. Move on. Get over it.

Sunday
The next morning, I limped out to the course and met up with a friend to cheer for the runners.  Honestly, I had an awesome time.  This was MUCH better than sitting around sulking while watching the race coverage on TV.  I met some fun people, saw some of my friends run by and yelled until I had no voice left.  The only time I got a little sad was when I saw my Woodlands Fit peeps run by…they were the people I should have been running with that day.  But I screamed and cheered for them and sent them some “AWESOME RACING” vibes! 

Ready to cheer!!!

Once the race crowd started to thin out, I headed home.  I was home by 10:15 am and the kids were thrilled to see me.  The Kiddo, who sometimes knows exactly what to say, gave me a hug and said that she was sorry I couldn’t run the marathon.  She quickly followed that with a “But, now you can spend more time with us!”  So, we played board games and went out for pizza.  We followed that up with the Texans game and an early birthday dinner with my folks.  It wasn’t a bad weekend at all! 

The hip will eventually heal.  There will be other races.  I will survive and be stronger.

Early birthday celebration...Ole'!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Courage to Start

The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.
~ John "The Penguin" Bingham

I love this quote, it's one of my favorites.  Today I had to muster up a different kind of courage...the courage to realize when it's smarter to not start at all.  The courage to throw in the towel.  Cry uncle. Surrender.



On Saturday, around 7:15 pm, I decided not to run the Houston Marathon.  More on the details leading up to that decision later.  For  now, I just wanted to give everyone a heads up.  Sorry for not posting this earlier, but even without the marathon, it was difficult to get to my computer to post (that happens with 2 kiddos, lol)!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Houston Marathon: Almost here!


So happy for everyone running the Houston Marathon this weekend (which I am hoping will include me)!  It looks like after a warm, humid, drizzly race last year, we will have awesome weather this year!  Okay, so a little warm for the high there, but no complaints from me.

Hip update:  Yesterday was awesome.  Today, I was a bit sore when I woke up, but once I got moving everything felt better.  There are still some times when I step funny or move my hip in a way that causes a bit of pain, but it is much, much, much better than before. Just this morning, I could actually lift my leg to put on pants with only a little pain!  That doesn't sound like much, but considering last week I had to sit down and carefully maneuver my pants and socks on, I am ridiculously happy!  I am still walking a bit funny, but I think that's my way of being very, very careful.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hip Update: Internal conflict and another Dr's appt

I know I've mentioned this before, but I am the world’s worst when it comes to making personal decisions. I analyze, re-analyze and over analyze. Trying to decide whether or not to run Houston is the perfect example of this. One moment I have my mind made up that I am just not doing it. The next, I am definitely doing it.

Here’s an example of my internal ramblings…

Statement: Ugh, I really shouldn’t run this stupid race, I could make my injury worse
Response: Yeah, but I really want to do this. I’ve been training dammit…think of all those Saturday mornings since NYCM when I could have slept in…

Statement: Why did I just have to get that 4-miler done? I didn’t have to run that evening. I could have waited until the next morning…maybe this wouldn’t have happened.
Response: Stop that, it’s like a little ticking time bomb…if it was gonna happen, it would have happened the next time I ran! Besides, it was a busy week! I was trying to get in a run before the week got even crazier.

Statement: Wait, my hip is feeling better today! Woohoo!
Response: Alright then, let’s do this!!! Bring it, baby!

Statement: (After Saturday’s run and Coach's e-mail) Well, that sucked. There’s no freaking way.
Response: Okay, I’m not going to do it. WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Too bad the last day to defer was YESTERDAY. Stupid, I should have run on Friday!

Statement: It’s just one marathon. There will be plenty of others.
Response: Yes, but this is the 40th anniversary of the race! I ran the 35th anniversary (1/2)! And, it’s just a few days before my 40th birthday, too! What a way to bring in my 40th year!

Statement: Yes, but I don’t want to spend my 40th year on crutches or being out the rest of the year because I could make things worse!
Response: But look at that medal. That AWESOME medal! I still have the commemorative chip from the 35th…this is way cooler!

My precious........

Statement: Okay, I won’t do it.
Response: Good, glad a decision has finally been made.

Statement: (Today) Holy crap, my hip feels pretty damn awesome today! I think I can at least try to do this.
Response: Don’t be stupid, it’s temporary…I bet it’ll hurt if I run. Besides, running a marathon is hard with a healthy body..think how hard it's gonna be with an injury!  Then again, I can always stop, or I can turn around at mile 8/9 with the people running the ½. And then there’s the Kinesio tape…the Doc said that would help. 

Statement: No, really! It feels a little uncomfortable here and there, but there’s no pain! Yippee!!!
Response: Okay, let’s do this shiznit!!! (Maybe)

Statement:  Wait!  I haven't run in 3 weeks!  It's been 2 weeks since my last elliptical workout...what if I can't do this?
Response:  Okay, so aside from not PRing, you can totally do this.  Take it slow and listen to your body.

See what I mean? Indecisive in the worst way!

As far as my Dr’s appointment, I saw the doc yesterday afternoon. He said that his goal is to get me to the race on Sunday. He did more adjusting and seemed to focus a bit more on my hip alignment (I’ve had issues with this in the past). He also showed me additional exercises to try and tested my range of motion. Most of the pain is in my glute, but there is still some pain here and there in the front of my hip. Once again, after all the torture adjusting, the hip felt quite a bit better. At the end of our session, the Doc said, “Okay, let’s talk about this weekend.”

Ummm, hello? You can bet I was all ears.

He told me that he had another doctor coming in on Saturday who was going to be helping him tape up some patients.  get your mind out of the gutter...he was talking about kinesio tape!  Well, a stronger version of the kinesio tape (Tex tape, maybe?). I asked him specifically about his thoughts on whether or not I should even attempt a marathon at this point.

Bottom line:
Based on his assessment of the location of the pain and my range of motion, he does not think there is any larger underlying cause (i.e. stress fracture). He feels that what I am experiencing is ligament pain.  No more.  Of course, he did say that he could not be 100% sure without a scan, but didn’t feel that was necessary due to his assessment and the improvement I've shown. He also said that he does have patients running on Sunday, even though he has advised them not to run (these are some of the people coming in for taping on Saturday). In other words, he would tell me if he thought I should not run. I also asked if running on Sunday would make things worse. He said that my hip would probably bother me at some point during the race (I kinda figured), but did not feel I would make matters worse. However, if the race did not go well due to pain, that I should see him next week to address more hip stability exercises. If I have the normal residual soreness post race, I should just continue with the exercises already prescribed.

Yes, I had several questions typed out and ready to go, including one about his thoughts on the kinesio tape. He addressed most of my questions before I even got to them. Basically, he said that I should let the pain be my guide. If the run goes like my last couple of longer runs and the pain eases up after the hip is warmed up, I should be a-okay. But, if the pain is sharp, if it persists or gets worse I should stop or turn around with the ½ marathoners. Easier said than done.

So all of this to say - I haven’t made up my mind yet. I will say this – my hip feels pretty awesome today. If this continues, I will attempt an easy, short run on Thursday. If that goes well, I’m going for it. If not, well…I am sure I will go through the entire conversation above in my head again before throwing in the towel. Why is it so damn hard to throw in the towel, anyway?

Have you tried Kinesio tape? Please, share your experiences with it!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

:-(

Well Blogger friends, today I was hoping to report back with awesomely wonderful news about this morning's run.  Unfortunately, the news is not as good as I had hoped.

It's not horrible either, but I am beginning to lose hope.  I ran 4 miles at a pretty easy pace.  Cardio-wise, I felt pretty good....it felt good to be getting the heart rate going and to just be out there running!  However, the hip hurt the entire 4 miles. Not a horrendous "I can't take another step" sort of way....but as in "let me adjust my gait, so that it hurts as little as possible" kind of way.  I was envious of the people I saw enjoying their morning run. This was not enjoyable.  This was "Oh sh*t, how am I supposed to run 26.2 miles in a week???".  I will say that toward the end of my 4-miler, the hip did start to feel a bit better.  Maybe because it had finally warmed up?  I was tempted to run a little more just to test this theory, but then decided I should go ahead and stop.  Why risk it?

The rest of the group was running 6, so I had time to do my stretches before meeting  up with everyone for coffee.  To be honest, after that, the hip didn't feel awful.  However, it has bothered me off and on all afternoon.  One minute it feels okay, then I step funny and it hurts again.  And to make matters worse, I let my emotions get the best of me - I drowned my frustration in a slice of pizza and 3 cookies at a football party today.  Stupid. 

As for the marathon, Friday was the final day to switch races or defer, so that's no longer an option.  Coach feels that if I am looking at the big picture, I should not run the marathon next weekend for fear of making things worse and having to take more time off after the race.  This might jeopardize my plans for the 70.3.  Not running at all didn't really cross my mind (much) until that e-mail from Coach.  I am struggling with what to do.  I've never DNSed, never DNFed, never been this injured.

Sigh.  I see the Dr again on Monday, so I'll see how that goes.  I may attempt a short run again on Tuesday or Wednesday before I make my final decision.

There's not much more to say, except that this kinda sucks. :-(

On a happier note, the Texans won today!!!!!  It was an amazing game and I loved every minute of it.  Finally, we have a great team again.  Wooohooo!!!

GO TEXANS!!!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Houston Marathon: Getting Excited (and nervous)!

Just an update...I checked my paperwork from the doctor and my official diagnosis is Capsulitis of the Hip.  Nice to know, right?

One week from today and I’ll be joining the masses at the George R Brown Convention Center (also known by Houstonians as the “GRB”). We’ll be picking up packets, browsing the booths, listening to motivational talks, meeting our pace team leaders, etc. Yipppeeee, I can’t wait!

I received my confirmation yesterday - I am bib #7168 and in the “open” corral (meaning: with the other slow people). No offense to any walkers out there, but I do aim to line up in front of you, so that I am not continually dodging you in the 1st 8 miles!

I have to admit that I am a bit nervous about this race with this hip injury looming. What if I get out there and it starts to really hurt at mile 10 or 15? What if I’ve lost fitness in my two-week long hiatus and I totally and completely suck? What if, what if, what if… So many uncertainties - I’m not sure how hard to push. I am not sure how my hip will feel on the hills of Elysian, Montrose, Newcastle and Allen Parkway – especially the down hill segments. I usually love those, but and stepping down really hurts right now. Should I try to maintain my “best case scenario for a PR pace”? Should I take it easy?

But then again, even with a healthy body ANYTHING can happen on race day. I went into my very 1st marathon feeling confident and ready. I had completed a great 15, 18 and 21 miler with no problems other than the usual fatigue. However, around mile 4 or 5 of my marathon, I felt an odd pull in my hip. By mile 9, this odd sensation was moving to my knee. By mile 16, it felt as if someone was stabbing me in the knee with an ice pick. Then, by mile 19, all my muscles were cramping and I was nauseous (as if the knee pain wasn’t enough!). By mile 20, I was falling behind the rest of my group. All of the symptoms I was experiencing were things I never experienced before race day. I had no idea what the hell was going on. I caught up with one of our coaches around mile 20 and she said the knee issues sounded like ITBS and the cramping/nausea sounded like I needed salt. She kindly shared her pumpkin seeds, showed me a couple of ITB stretches and gave me a pep talk. My group finished the race about 7 minutes before me…I was just happy to finish at all.

Moral of the story – the marathon is a long race. (Okay, not as long as an Ironman, but still long!) Anything can happen. We deal with it. Most of the time we finish, sometimes we don’t. But, we have to try. So I may be slower that I want to be next weekend, I may be walking more than I had planned, or I may be hobbling to the finish. If I feel great after the 1st few miles (and those stupid Elysian hills), then I will go all out. If not, well, I switch to plan B – just finish. I won’t know until I try…and try I will!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Stupid Hip: Update

As you can imagine, waiting to see the doctor has been difficult.  Seriously - longest.wait.ever.  I am not a patient person at all.  So, imagine my anxiety surprise when I received a confirmation e-mail from the dr's office on Monday stating that my appointment was scheduled for 7:00 am on Friday, January 6, rather than Tuesday, January 3.

Yes, this was me after reading that e-mail on Monday!

I did what anyone would do - I called the Dr's office and calmly explained that I scheduled my appointment on-line and was sure I scheduled it for Tuesday not Friday.  Unfortunately, they had me in their system for Friday.  But, they did have an appointment on Wednesday at 5:15 pm.  Ack!  Deep breaths, deep breaths...okay, Wednesday was better than Friday.  Whatever. This particular Dr is known among the running and tri community, and I personally know a few people who have recovered quickly from various injuries after being treated by him.  I figured he was worth the wait.

I went in yesterday expecting nothing short of a miracle.  Silly and unrealistic of me, I know.  But, dammit, I have a marathon in less than two weeks!  And, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.  No, I am not totally and completely cured, but I do feel better. Much, much better.  As in, I still have some pain, but I can walk without wincing better!

So what was wrong? The terms Glutius Minimus, Glutius Medius and Piriformis were used, as well as
capsular impingement, tendonitis and another -itis.  In normal people terms - the issue has little to do with my actual hip joint at all.  It's more closely linked to the fact that distance running can fatigue the hip abductors, causing the pelvis to become unstable and force the other muscles to over compensate. This causes the ligaments around the hip to hurt when you move your legs and apply weight to your hip.

So what did the Dr do?  First, he asked me to move my legs in different ways - sit and put the ankle of my right leg on the knee of my left leg, stand and lift my leg, etc.  Then, manipulated my leg in all kinds of different positions and asked me to tell him when I felt pain.  He did a lot of this.  For treatment, he used muscle stimulation and added heat to the area.  Next, the torture treatment included him pressing (hard) on the different muscles and tendons near the hip capsule and glutes...yes, that shiznit hurt!  I was holding onto the table, sweating and cursing in my head.  OUCH!  But, when he asked me to get up and walk (and I wasn't sure I could walk after all that), my hip felt soooo much better!  He also did some alignment work on my spine and showed me the stretches that he wanted me to do at home.  I explained that I had been stretching like a madwoman, but he explained how the stretches I need to do for this particular area needed to be mostly dynamic stretches.  And yes, I confessed - before this injury, I rarely stretched at all.  He wasn't surprised and told me that most people do not stretch as well as they should (if they even stretch at all).


The Glutes - gotta stretch'em!

Apparently, the hip can be pretty freaking complicated.  Who woulda thunk it?

What's next?  The Dr warned me that I would be sore the next day (and I am) and told me to rest for the next 36 - 48 hours (except for the prescribed stretches).  On Saturday, I get to run!  Only a few miles, but hey, it's running.  I will see how I feel after that and I will go back to his office on Monday for more torture treatment.  (He said it could take 3-4 of these sessions to get me all better.)  And, if I am feeling good next week, there is still hope that I can run the marathon!  Fortunately for me, this is my taper time...although, this is not exactly the kind of taper I had in mind.  But I have hope!

A glimmer of hope!  Really, that's what I wanted.

Have you suffered from this?  How is your stretching - do you do it religiously, not at all, sometimes?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New Year, New Goals

What can I say about 2011? It was a year mixed with both good and bad, that’s for sure. But, the good definitely outweighed the bad, so I give 2011 two thumbs up fo’ sho’!

THE GOOD

Family trip to Disney! This was such a fun trip. The Hubs and I really loved seeing how our kids reacted to the magic that is Disney…they were in awe of the characters and rides, and they told us daily how much fun they were having. Heck, the Hubs and I were having an awesome time, too!


Us with two of our favorite Disney characters!

Races! Despite the warm, muggy, sprinkly day, I managed to PR my Houston ½ Marathon time. It wasn’t quite as good as I had hoped for, but a PR is a PR. Next up was the Austin 1/2 Marathon.  While I didn’t have the best race at the Austin ½ Marathon, I ran an entire race with the Hubby for the 1st time. This was his 1st big race and celebrating such an awesome accomplishment was a lot of fun. Then came tri-season...I PRed my CB&I time, and even PRed my 5k time on this race! I ended the summer with Bridgeland, where my times weren’t stellar, but I had my best open water swim ever and finally conquered that stupid anxiety in the water! And, the hubby also finished two triathlons this year – cheering for him with the kids at his final race of the season was definitely a high point of the year. Finally, the NYC Marathon lived up to the expectations – it was AMAZING. I had a 23-minute marathon PR and had an awesome time racing through the Burroughs.


Ah yes, all done and still smiling!

Trip to NYC! Yes, we travelled to NYC for the marathon, but we had an amazing time playing in the city, too! We had so much fun with my Sister-in-Law and her hubby, plus I finally got to meet one of my long-time on-line friends and see parts of NY that I’ve never seen before. It was phenomenal.


Brooklyn, before walking back to Manhattan

Family! For the 1st time, I took off multiple days from work during both Spring Break and Christmas Break. Even though we stayed close to home, I had an awesome time doing fun stuff around the city with the kids. I am definitely doing this again in the coming years.


These guys are my life!

THE BAD
Injuries. The infamous broken toe was something I’d like to forget. Yep, just one week after a great race at CB&I in May, I managed to kick the door in the middle of the night. Stupid. Then there was the odd back/neck/should issues in September. Not sure WTF that was about, but I’m glad I haven’t had a recurrence! And finally, there’s the hip issues…not the way I wanted to end 2011 and enter 2012, but what can you do?

Sickies. Yes, the woman who almost never gets sick managed to get Strep not once, but twice this year. Not a big deal, but after delaying my NYC marathon training for over a month because of a broken toe, missing training because of step really pissed me off.

Jake. We lost our family dog in 2011 and still miss him today.

Family drama. I can’t go into this one, but let’s just say it’s almost Jerry Springer worthy. Sigh.

Work. Our company announced in October that it was being sold and that the section I work in is going to be sold to a 3rd party. We don’t know who the buyer will be, so there’s still hope that everything works out well for everyone involved. If things don't work out well, then I will use this as an opportunity to spend more time with my family and re-evaluate my career goals.  I am trying to be an optimist on this one!

2012

So what’s new for 2012? I’m not one to make “resolutions” really, but I do try to set goals each year. Without having something to work toward, I find that I grow bored and lose motivation. So here are some goals, although I know there will be more along the way…

Races. Unless the hip thing gets worse, I fully intend to run the Houston Marathon. Before the hip issue (and after that awesome 18-miler), I had every intention of attempting another PR. But now, the goal may only be to finish. Bummer. I also have the Texas 70.3 on schedule for 2012. Again, unless the hip issues prevent me from training for this, I will train my arse off and finish my first 70.3. This is sort of a scary goal for me, which is exactly why I want to do it!

Workouts.  I had a lot of fun in 2010 and early 2011 when I mixed it up with my workouts.  I did an entire cycle of P90X and Insanity and loved the challenge of both.  After the 70.3, I'd like to do more of both workouts or maybe even try P90X2.   And, I'd like to add either Pilates or Yoga to my workout routine for at least one day per week...in fact, the gym at work offers both each week, so there's no excuse for not fitting these in.  (Except that Pilates is offered on Friday...not so sure this is a good thing for the Saturday morning workout!)  Since I stopped the strength training, I have started to feel...well, soft.  I want my muscles back!  I also vow to continue the core workouts (a/k/a Ab Ripper X) at least 2x per week!

Fun. To be honest, after the 70.3 I am not sure what I will be doing. Maybe CB&I, since it’s a great race and practically in my backyard. I do know that I want to have fun. I want to do whatever races I feel like doing and just have fun with them. I do want to continue to work on my speed at shorter distances, but I have been so focused on the PRs for the past couple of years, that I just want to race for fun, for bling and not have to worry about overdoing it before my “A” race. I know, not terribly ambitious.  The Hubs and I are considering the Goofy Challenge in 2013, but again, we would be racing more for fun than for time (which I hear is best for these races). But, shhhhh, don't tell Coach!

Family. From now until the Texas 70.3 on April 1st I will be uber busy trying to juggle training with work and family. But, my goal is to never make my family feel like they come 2nd to my training…which is why I wake up at stupid-thirty to workout. I believe with us working running/triathlon moms, it’s sometimes about quality over quantity when it comes to our families. I want the time I spend with the kiddos to be quality time - to give them my full attention, even if it’s only for an hour in the evening before bedtime.

Nutrition. Before NYC, I had a great start on eating cleaner and had lowered my sugar intake considerably. However, since returning from that trip, I really haven’t eaten as well as I should. In fact, this is the 1st holiday season in 3 years where I’ve seen a gain on the scale instead of a loss. I haven’t eaten that poorly, but with the kids at home with me over the last week, let’s just say I could have done much better. But, not to worry, I have my focus back and have already started working on this again. I love the way I look and feel when I eat well, so that in itself keeps me motivated to get back on track and stay there.

Other. I have other goals regarding my personal life, the family and work, but I won’t bore you with those. It will be an interesting year ahead and I am ready to tackle it!

Do you make resolutions each year?  Set goals?  What are some of your goals?