Monday, January 21, 2019

Snowflakes That Stay on My Nose and Eyelashes

Yesterday, I had my first long run of this training schedule. Technically, my first long run was my 10K while at Disney, but that doesn't really count.

We had snow and ice and freezing temps so I did this run at the gym on the treadmill. My plan was most of it on the treadmill and then if it looked like I was hogging it (if all the treadmills filled up) then I would finish on the indoor track.

I was able to do the full eight miles on the treadmill. I had to restart after an hour for the second half, but that's fine. We have new treadmills at the gym. You log into the treadmill with your Netflix or Hulu account and you can watch it on a nice screen with the treadmill information displayed on top. I watched Solo and ran. I really enjoyed the movie, it was fun and it distracted me perfectly.

Training had me run the last four miles of the run with a strong finish. I increased my pace for the last 3.4 (I ran 4.6 in the first hour) and it felt great. Unfortunately, there's no way to get splits on my run, just an average pace so I'm not sure how much faster I ran the last miles. Maybe I'll start tracking my splits on my phone, especially since I won't need it to watch a show.
My average pace for long runs should be between a 12:42 and a 13:53 per mile. I'm happy with the stats and happy I got through an eight mile run on the treadmill. Here's to warmer temps for the next runs!

My legs are a little sore today, but that good "I worked out" kind of sore, nothing scary. I do need new shoes, and I want to get a nice running jacket since my current one is about five years old and isn't a windbreaker or anything fancy. At least it has pockets! Hopefully I can get to the running store this week so I'll be ready if the weather is runnable!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Come Along and Sing a Song and Join the Jamboree Minnie Mouse 10K Recap

We spent a week at Disney World and boy oh boy did we have fun. Some forced family fun, most of it just plain old fun. Neither my husband or I are very into Disney, etc, so this is probably going to the first and last time the boys go, at least for this long. They had fun, my in laws had fun, all in all an excellent time.

Our visit just happened to coincide with the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. What fun! I checked it out and since, hey, I'm probably never going to get the chance, I signed up for the 10K. The half was tempting, but I'm not trained for it, I'm in the middle of half training, and I wanted to be able to walk around the parks after.

Most of the parts of the race were fantastic. Packet pick-up was easy. I didn't go through the expo other than the get my shirt and a headband since silly me thought it would be warm so I brought nothing to cover my ears. Getting to the race was easy, too. We were at a Disney resort, so I just took a shuttle bus over. Again, easy peasy.
The starting line when I FINALLY made it there
Now, here's where it gets to be a pain. I registered with an expected pace of a 13 minute mile. I didn't want to over-exert myself, I just wanted to have fun. This put me in Corral F, the last corral. Each corral was separated in four groups for a wave start. Corral A started at 5:30AM. Those of us at the back of Corral F started at 6:20AM. Yep, almost an hour to start. Now, I expected it to be busy, so wasn't THAT upset about it. It was cold, and I wish I had something to keep me warm during that part, but I'm from Michigan so it wasn't the coldest I have ever been at a race start. We started and all of a sudden, I figured out what the deal was.

Not sure if you are familiar with Disney races, but they have women called the Balloon Ladies. Balloon Ladies are the last people to cross the starting line. They run a 16 minute mile pace and if they pass you, you get swept from the course. After all, the parks need to open and some of the run is through the parks.

As soon as we started, I realized my error. I put my estimated race pace because that's what I knew it would be. What I didn't know was people put their estimated pace as much faster than what they planned on running because then they would have a head start on the Balloon Ladies. If you start at the back of Corral F, you have to run a 16 minute mile, otherwise you're swept. If you start in, say, Corral C, a good thirty minutes ahead of the Balloon Ladies, they are less likely to catch up with you, even if you aren't running the required pace. See what I'm saying here?

This photo is the perfect example. My results are on top. As you can see, the person below ran pretty close to my pace for the 5K split. However, they started thirty-three minutes before me, my guess would be at the back of B or middle of C. And then, they finished with a ten minute slower time than me. Who knows, they might have had a terrible race, but my guess, from my experience, is that they said they were much faster than they actually were to get a better spot at the start. I mean, I placed 2850 out of over 7000 women yet I started in the LAST corral. Can you tell I'm bitter about this?
In hindsight, I should have said my pace was faster so I could have started and been done earlier. Because as soon as we started, I flew past people. Everyone around me was walking.
This was Mary Poppins on one of the overpasses





For the most part, I was able to work my way around the walkers. There were a couple of bottle necked moments where the trail narrowed. I only took a few pictures and I didn't wait in line for any characters. I just wanted to get done, get back to the hotel, shower and change for the day.

It wasn't my fastest 10K ever, but it was certainly faster than I expected to be. I think passing all those people, as lame as it sounds, put an extra pep in my step. It felt great to FEEL fast. I finished, grabbed my snack box, and headed to the shuttle bus. Good news, I made it back in time to shower AND eat something before we left for the parks, so it worked out.
Photo courtesy of one of my boys. His little blurry finger was too cute to crop!

Odds are I will never do another Run Disney race again. I'm glad I got to do one and it worked out so well with our trip. But, if you do want to do one, then I recommend fudging your pace. I didn't have to submit any results for the 10K, but I think you might for the longer distances.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Heart to Heart, Eye to Eye, Cheek to Cheek

I didn't end my December with a bang.
Green is activity, red is none
I started logging what days I worked out back in November and this was what December looked like. That big week of red wasn't just because of the holidays. Nope, my face got infected.

Yeah, I'm not kidding. The short story is, I had a quarter size very pale pink patch of what I thought was dry skin or eczema on my cheek. Over the week before Christmas it got worse. I went to the doctor on the 21st and got a cream. Then my face swelled up. So, on the 23rd I saw a different doctor and got a different cream and an antibiotic. The patch isn't gross or anything, but if stuff like that weirds you out, look away.
Newest to older from left to right
Thankfully, I am on the mend. It's still there, but no where near as obvious. The last picture on the left is about four days old. No one knows what caused it. Especially since they still aren't quite sure what it was. I got super paranoid it was something from the gym which was part of the reason why I didn't go for so long. When I finally did go back, I used hand sanitizer between every machine, brought my own towel from home, and wiped down my water bottle with a bleach wipe. But, I went to the gym so that's cool.

I ended 2018 with my 5K. It was miserable. The temps were in the mid-30's and it rained the entire time. We were soaked at the end and slogged through forty-five minutes of that crap. Blegh. But, I finished the year strong and had a good time with my friend.

Then, the next day, I started my half marathon training. I am using this plan adjusted for a 2:41 finish time. I had to adjust the paces and I'm still not quite sure I did it right, but we shall see. I need to wear my Garmin more so I can track my pace better. My goal pace for an easy run is 12:41 to 13:27. Here are my stats:

My average pace was good, but I need to remember to stick to my training plan and paces. I have my first tempo run on Thursday. I'm excited about that. Will probably use the treadmill for it just to make my life easier.

All in all, not a bad end to one year and start to another.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 31, 2018

That's All, Folks!

And 2018 ends.

It's been a year.

My mileage for this year was 652 miles. That's up from my 2017 mileage of 610 miles. I think after my marathon in 2017 I stopped running for a significant amount of time so it would make sense that my numbers were lower. Oh wait, I'm running a 5K this afternoon. Should even my numbers out to 655. Not bad.

One thing I did this year that was different from others was keep track of books I read. I created a spreadsheet and logged author and title, if it was part of a series, and notes on how I liked it. I have been known to love a book then forget all about the series, then come back and there are four books I could've read. This log helped that a lot and I will definitely keep a log for next year.

According to my log, I read a grand total of 94 books. That's not including the many times I re-read books I had on my Kindle app or ones I forgot to log. I got better about it toward the end of the year, but slacked a little at the start.

The good news, in doing this and keeping track, I found some new authors. I am very into Regency era romances and I would recommend Tessa Dare and Maya Rodale if you also like that type of book. I read Jasmine Guillory's two books. She's a modern romance author and I don't find many of those I don't actively hate. Long story, but I feel like Fifty Shades ruined modern romances. And I'm not a prude!

On top of the reading and the running, I wrote two one acts for local community theatre productions and both will be or were performed. I spent time with my awesome boys. My husband and I celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary.

It's been a great year for us.

And now onto 2019. I'd like to run more miles than 2018. I've got a 10K in January and a half-marathon at the end of March.  I want to get stronger and faster. The older I get, the more comfortable in my skin I get. I'd like to keep working on that.

I want to spend time with my family and friends. Be present. And read more. To my boys and on my own. Because books are awesome.

Happy New Year!!!

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." -- C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Sweat, Sweat. Let the Music Take Control

I like to start my gym workout with some cardio, then hit the weights. This means, even with a cool down, I am sweating when I do my weights. And by sweating, I mean, leaving behind visible evidence of said sweat.

My knee-jerk reaction used to be, "Oh crap, cover that up. No one needs to know I sweat!" Seriously, I would dash to the paper towel dispenser and wipe that up as fast as possible as if my sweat was somehow offensive.

Oh, Meg.

You know what sweat is? Evidence of my hard work.

Let the butt sweat be free, y'all!
I wonder if this isn't some ingrained part of me that thinks women shouldn't sweat? Because, while I have not asked, I can assume most of the men I workout with aren't ashamed of their sweat. Interesting...

***

Vegan December rolls on!

I bought some nutritional yeast to add to soups, pasta, etc for that added oomph. Yesterday, I had lentil soup for dinner with some nutritional yeast.
I don't think a professional food photographer could make this look pretty. But, here it is anyway. It was quite tasty and I liked the added flavor from the nutritional yeast.

How is it almost Christmas? And why do I feel so unprepared? It doesn't help that my husband, who normally does the shopping, etc, has been busy with work. I just feel like we aren't ready for it, even though I am pretty sure we are. Anyone else feeling that way? We can do it!

Monday, December 17, 2018

And the Money Kept Rolling in From Every Side

Alright, the weight loss train moves on.
It's moving very, very slowly. But, still moving!

I had my usual gyms days, and even managed a run outside on Sunday. I see the sun, I'm running.
The sun might have been out but there was still frost on the ground. It was fine for most of my run, but I noticed a couple of slick spots.

And the vegan train keeps rolling on. I truly enjoy eliminating certain things from my diet, but I have to tell you, life just makes it really, really hard to maintain. I think after December, I'll stick with my dairy-free coffee and lunches, and just deal with what I have to with the family.
We had date night on Saturday. These are the vegan tacos from a local restaurant. Two of the three, I already ate one of them by the time I thought to take a picture.

And then last night, I made pizza dough! It needed a little something more for flavor, but I made it and I kneaded it and it was pretty good. I'll add some garlic to it next time. That's my husband's side with the cheese. Mine was olives and mushrooms and onions. Yum!
And December quickly draws to a close. Why is it that time just drags and drags and then suddenly BAM, it's Christmas? Where did the month go? We've got the presents mostly done, but I need to wrap and then get all the stuff together for our Christmas brunch. Whew. Nothing major, we'll be fine. She says to keep herself from panicking!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

I Cant' Change What Already Happened, I Can Only Control How I React

Vegan December rolls on. Last night was mushroom French dips and tator tots for dinner. So good! Today's lunch--since it is Wednesday and I need a reason to get out of the office--is Blaze Pizza. I like to get it without cheese and it is SO YUMMY! Their salad is also delicious. I just load both the pizza and salad up with all the veggies.

I went to the gym last night to do my run because it was COLD out. Not so much cold, but windy and cold and that's no bueno.

After my run, I did this workout:
I remembered posting one of these before (I don't save this list on my phone, I just update it) so I wanted to see how far I've come. This was my workout post from back in the end of October, I believe.
Well, lookie here. Some of these I have increased, which YAY! I've been nervous to increase the inner thigh weights, mostly because I don't want to pull a groin muscle so I'm taking my time with those. But, look at my arms. Boom!

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves not all changes are reflected on the scale.

Happy Wednesday! Halfway through the week is always a good place to be!