Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Oh the Thinks You Can Think If You're Willing to Try

This will be my last post of 2014. I've got a lot going on on New Year's Eve and doubt I'll have time to post so today will be the day.

I had two goals for 2014:

1. Walk/run 1000 miles.
2. Run a minimum of one race a month for the year.

I didn't make the 1000 mile mark, not by a long shot. I ran and walked a total of 676.04 miles this year. That doesn't include the 5K I am doing tomorrow, so let's just round up for posterity's sake and say I ran 680 miles this year. That is an average of 56 miles a month. In the grand scheme of things, it's not too shabby at all.

With tomorrow's 5K I will have run at least one race a month this year, sometimes two. Here are some pictures and bits and bobs about those races:

*In January of this year my fastest 5K pace was 39:13
It was cold that day. So cold.
*I came in Dead Ass Last for a race.
But really, who would mind a last place finish if they were running with those two cuties?
*I ran a bunch of races by myself.

*My current 5K PR is 36:04, which I got at a race in July.
*I ran two half marathons.
Gotta love layering up before the race!
*I ran two 10K's and PRed my 10K at one of the busiest races in my area, the Detroit Turkey Trot.
*I ran a whole bunch, sometimes when I didn't want to, sometimes when I was really in the mood. I ran! I ran through the snowiest winter in Michigan's history, I ran through rain, I ran through heat. Holy crap, I ran a lot.

And somehow through it all I managed to lose fifteen pounds. I know it's not a lot, but with the ups and downs and not actually trying to lose weight until at least halfway through the year, I am quite proud of those fifteen pounds!

And now for 2015...

Goals for 2015
1. Walk./run 1000 miles.
2. Lose at least fifteen pounds.
3. Walk 10,000 steps a day, everyday.
4. Run a race every month.
5. Run a half marathon outside the state of Michigan.
6. Run a 2:30 half marathon.

There you have it. Nothing too crazy. Now, what are your goals?

Happy New Year! I hope 2014 has been good to you and that 2015 will be even better!

Monday, December 29, 2014

I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I Know Where I've Been

And just like that Christmas is over.

What a mad dash of a week last week was. Thankfully I was off of work so I managed to do all the Christmas shopping I had failed to do during my show. Somehow Hubs and I managed to get the house cleaned and in order for our Christmas brunch. We fit fifteen people and change into our smallish house. Bellies were full, toddlers were given way too many presents, although if you ask them it was the perfect amount. All in all, it was an excellent holiday.
Check out those presents!

We spent Christmas Eve with Hubs' family and because I wanted to be able to enjoy delicious holiday food I went for a rainy run. Honestly, I was crabbing at Hubs because I was getting stressed out about hanging out with his family and he said, "Hey, you know what, why don't you take your angry mood for a run?" So I did.
It didn't start to really come down until the last mile.

Check out that second mile!

I got a Jawbone UP 24 for Christmas as well as wireless headphones. Gotta love a husband who supports my healthy habits. I had to try out the wireless headphones that day so after the boys were settled and in bed I went out for a Christmas night run.

Some people find solace in large groups of people. I am not one of those people. I recharge by being alone. And getting in three miles with nothing but me and my tunes and some sparkly Christmas lights was the perfect way for me to recover from the holiday festivities.

My wireless headphones are awesome. I can even receive calls on them which would be great if more people called me. But the sound is good. I can run with only one ear bud in without worrying about the unused ear bud getting tangled.

I was in the running zone this week.  I don't know if it was the new gear or what, but I ran a whole bunch this week. In fact, I ran four miles with every mile being below 12 min/mile which is FAST for me.
I haven't had splits like that in ages!
I feel like this is bragging, but you know what, screw it I am going to brag. I am down five pounds this month. I gained a bunch in November so I am only two pounds down comparatively, but I am DOWN!
Got the Jawbone Christmas day and have managed over 10,000 steps every single day since then. Woo hoo!
I didn't get up for a run this morning, the Guys had their two year well child visit. Both are in excellent health and growing like weeds. I used the Baby Center height predictor and holy crap, I may end up with two boys over six feet tall. Yeesh. So I will go for a run tonight. I'm taking tomorrow off even though it is my usual run day because I am running my last race of 2014 on New Year's Eve. After I finish that one I will have officially run at least one race every month this year. Look for a recap post on that jazz sometime this week.

2015 is fast approaching. I've got plans and I'm sure you do. I can't wait to read everyone's yearly recap and upcoming goal posts. We've got this!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

And All the Stockings are Hung By the Fireside Waiting for Santa to Arrive

Oh man, it has been a week. The show was fantastic, I had so much fun. Last week I was a stress ball but now that the show is over I can say it was all worth it.


Yesterday was the first day in a week that I logged over 10,000 steps. I took the Guys to the zoo and then played Laser Tag with some friends (I tried to name myself Robin Scherbatsky but the laser packs came pre-programmed). Between the two I ended up with 14,000 steps!

I am barely ready for Christmas but trying not to freak out over it. My game plan is running tomorrow and Christmas day so I can get a nice calorie burn in before two days full of yummy food.

I am off work all this week, what a lovely treat. So I will spend time with my Guys and Hubs.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Baby, All I Want For Christmas Is You

After spending hours and hours in Labor and Deliver (otherwise known as The Land Where Time Ceases to Exist) my little niece was finally born super early on Wednesday morning.

Thankfully I have a fantastic job that allowed me to call in, as it was after four in the morning by the time I got home from the hospital. I tried to sleep in as much as the Guys would let me but ended up waking up at 8:30AM.

Spent the day with the Guys, then back at the hospital hanging out with niece, then off to my first dress rehearsal.

You know, the mind is a crazy thing. I did alright through the rehearsal but flubbed some lines and felt like I really screwed up my song. We had a brief break for intermission and I headed back to the dressing rooms and proceeded to fight back tears with all my might.

You know when you are fighting tears so hard you make weird gasping noises when you breathe? That's what I was doing.

Exhaustion, intense emotions from the day before, stress all caught up to me and I valiantly tried to fight off a breakdown.

Luckily, the music director who is also my friend, noticed this and pulled me back from the ledge.

All in all it has been a crazy two days. I did not run on Tuesday. In fact my sister called me to me her water had broken and she had been in the hospital since 2:30AM just as my alarm for my workout was going off. I also missed out on two solid days of not getting my 10,000 steps, although I think I must've been really close if not over it on Wednesday but I couldn't have me cell phone on me while I was in costume.

 Tonight is our last dress rehearsal and then we open tomorrow night. The holidays will pass. Life will settle back down. And I will be ready to conquer it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa Baby, I Want a Yacht and Really That's Not a Lot

My sister, who was due on January 5th, is currently in the hospital because her water broke. Little Ziggy, as we have been calling the baby (they didn't find out the sex) decided to do the complete opposite of his/her parents and show up early.

She is in the early stages of labor yet so I am at work and will join her, her husband, and my mom at the hospital in a few hours. If you can, think happy delivery thoughts for her!

Monday, December 15, 2014

And When Those Blue Snowflakes Start Falling

I have a knot in my chest, a giant, stressed out about the holidays, stressed out about bills, stressed out about life in general kind of knot.

But, I am in no way interested in eating away my stressed feeling so that is a definite step in the right direction.

Five Positive Things I Did This Weekend
1. Ran four miles with some of my fastest splits in AGES!

2. Kept up with my 10,000 steps a day a goal. My sister graduated with her Masters on Friday so I left work early to go to the ceremony which meant no lunchtime walk. I ended up pacing around my house for an hour while I watched a Christmas movie just to get my steps in, but I did it. And yesterday between my run and my visit to the zoo with the boys this happened:

3. I avoided fast food all weekend even though I really wanted McDonald's. And I mean, REALLY. I drove by it twice with my running around, no wait, make that three times, and didn't stop.

4. We put up our Christmas tree and Christmas lights. Well, Hubs put up them up, but I was there to help. We lost all of our cheaper ornaments when our basement flooded this summer so we don't have any ornaments up and goodness knows I'm not putting up the nice ones when there are toddlers around. The tree only has lights but it is still up and the Guys love it!

5. Made food for my family for the week. It's Tech Week for my play which means I will be gone every evening this week. I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup and a casserole so Hubs and the Guys have yummy food to eat this week.

Hopefully you accomplished something awesome this weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose

I know I seem to be talking about my new phone an awful lot lately, but I can't help it I am in L-O-V-E. I checked the weather just before I left the house for my run, and I mean that I was actually opening the front door and thought, I should check the weather.

Good thing I did.
Why yes, that is a Real Feel temperature of 12 degrees. Brrr. I grabbed an extra pair of pants and threw those on over my tights and off I went. For the most part I was comfortable. There were a couple of spots on my route where I was running into the wind and it got a bit chilly. I really need to invest in a good running jacket. Mine is from Target and it has served me well, but it is not exactly high quality.

Plus, I want a jacket with thumb holes! The bare spots on my wrist where my gloves didn't quite meet my sleeve got chilly so I was constantly pulling at my sleeves.

With the knowledge that today is the first of TWO holiday luncheons at my office I wanted to get a pretty good workout in. I thought three miles, then realized I had enough time so went for 3.5. Then I said, screw it, I can shower super fast and went for four.
My Garmin had me running at negative splits for the whole run, not sure what happened with that third mile here.
It was worth cutting my morning routine short to get that extra mile in. My husband would disagree. We have a routine where whomever gets up first makes the coffee then gets their to go cup all set. The remainder of the pot gets put in a thermos so the second waker upper (yep, I just said that, you're welcome, English Majors) doesn't have to drink cold or burnt coffee. This is normally a great plan unless someone is maybe rushing a bit and off her routine. I grabbed the cream out of the fridge and went to put it in my to go cup but my brain said, "no, put it in the thermos" so I listened to my brain and dumped cream in there. Oops. And my husband drinks his coffee black so I ended up leaving my to go cup, with the black coffee, in it for him when he woke up and putting the creamed coffee in a different to go cup.

Whew. Problem solved.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dashing Through the Rain on a One Horse Open Sleigh

Things that got me out of bed for my run (in no particular order):

-The lunch pizza party we are having at work. Running = pizza!
-The fact that even if I waited for my second alarm I was really only getting forty extra minutes of sleep, or just over three snoozes.
-It's not snowing yet.
-The rain was only a drizzle.
-Getting to play with my Nike + app.
- Getting in more than half my steps for the day before 7:00AM.

I couldn't find my head lamp this morning which kinda sucked. I am spoiled by being able to glance down at my wrist without hitting the button to light up the display on my Garmin. I am also spoiled by being able to run on streets that aren't as well lit. I had to adjust my route a lot because I wanted to stay where I could actually see the sidewalk. People who run on country roads or roads without street lights, I salute you. I somehow manage to trip in broad daylight so I have no idea how you run in the DARK dark.

Quick question for other users of Nike + for Samsung. How do I take a picture with the outline of a map and mileage displayed? I've seen those pop up (anytime I say pop up I automatically think of Paul Rudd's character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall) ("Pop up. Too much. Pop up. Not enough.") on the occasional blog. I would love to take one, I like the idea of posting my route without actually showing off street names, etc.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Star of Wonder, Star of Night

I walked/ran 18.2 miles last week. I am really happy with this since it's the first week in a while where I consistently got up in the morning to go for my runs. I got up on Saturday even earlier than normal. We had family in town and were meeting for breakfast at 8:15AM. Usually the boys get up at that time so I had to plan my run accordingly.

I am also obsessed with really enjoying the step tracker on my phone. I can't wait for my Jawbone so I can track my steps without worrying about grabbing my phone. It's great but a lot of my dress clothes don't have pockets so I have to physically carry it with me while walking around work. I keep getting teased that it looks like I am waiting for an important phone call.

That's another goal I am adding to this month's goals, get in 10,000 steps a day.

 On days when I run I get in at least half of my steps just with my run so that's always nice. I can tell I didn't run OR walk on my lunch (which is what I did on Friday) on Sunday because I just barely hit my 10,000 steps. I was actually pacing in front of the t.v. for awhile just to get that last 1000 steps in.

Who knows if it actually makes a difference. It is nice to have the thought of my steps in my head while I at work. Reminds me to get up and go fill my water or just walk around the office for a minute.


And, I used Nike + for the first time on Saturday's run. It was pretty accurate, I also wore my Garmin, so I had that to compare it to. I am going to start the half marathon training in January. I put in the date of my upcoming half (looking at one in mid-April) and it gave me a training start date and told me to run at least five miles a week until then. Got it! I like the idea of keeping record of my best paces, and fastest miles and stuff. I don't often upload the data from my Garmin, we have an older laptop so it's a pain, so it's nice to see it right there on my phone screen.

I know it is super early in December but I am feeling really good about this month.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thumpety Thump Thump Thumpety Thump Thump Look at Frosty Go

These boots were made for walking. By these boots, I mean the boots I wore yesterday when I clocked in at over 13,000 steps.
Competitive Meg says, "I CAN DO MORE THAN THAT!"
Yes, I got a good chunk of those with my morning run, but I also walked on my lunch and did a little extra walking in my day to day stuff, like parking further away than normal, etc. I've never really tracked my steps before so this made me happy.

I just used the app on my phone. I am getting a Jawbone for Christmas-

Me: Hey honey, would it be OK if I asked for something specific for Christmas?
J: Sure. What do you want?
Me: A Jawbone.
J: OK. Can I ask for a Piranis (local hockey store) gift certificate?
Me: Sure!

Marriage is awesome!

-So I am getting a Jawbone which should be a lot more accurate. Until then I will assume that my steps are closeish! With all the walking around my house and such that I didn't record on my Garmin the app had me traveling .50 miles more than I ran so it's not totally off.

It's Friday! I have a weekend full of family and fun planned. First, we have relatives coming in from out of state, my brother and his family. It'll be wonderful to see them. And then on Sunday, it'll be a friend's daughter's 2nd birthday party. The boys and I will have fun playing with all her new toys.

At some point in there, on Sunday, between parties and rehearsals I plan on getting a run in. I have a feeling I will be getting up early to run, but since it will still be later than I normally get up I am OK with that. I want to try my Nike Plus app! And the weather is supposed to be great, in the high thirties which is my favorite kind of running weather. Cold enough that I don't overheat but warm enough that I don't have to worry about ice.

All in all hopefully it'll be an awesome weekend. What about you? Anything fun and awesome planned? Sleeping in counts as fun and awesome.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Voices Singin' Let's Be Jolly, Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly

There really is nothing like running past houses decorated with Christmas lights. It makes me happy that people leave them on all night so I can see them while I run.

Unfortunately, every time I was passing a cool house I was in the running part of my run/walk so I didn't get any pictures.

Three mile run this morning. I got up a little earlier, but puttered, which made me cut it close when leaving for work. It all worked out and I was just happy to get some mileage in. I added the Nike Plus app to my new phone so I can show off pictures of my impressive route and speed. Of course I forgot to add it until later on in the morning but it's there now.

Also, interesting enough, my phone has a Fitness app that was automatically loaded. I used my phone for Pandora, never turned on the app, but when I got home it had recorded my run. Interesting.

I will walk on my lunch, do my squats, and do my triceps dips. Ab work works best at home when I can lay on a mat and not hurt my butt bone.

I am especially snacky on days when I run in the morning but getting bored with my snacks. Any suggestions? For the record, I do not do protein things like shakes. Ugh, gag me now. I don't know how people do it, all I can taste is the powder. And before you ask me if I have tried this or that...yes, I have. And I can still taste the powder. It needs to be a somewhat portable desk friendly snack. Bring on the tips!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

My word, Lazy Meg is strong. The lazy force is strong in that one. My alarm went off at 5:45AM and I got up and shut it off and got back in bed. And then I spent fifteen minutes debating the merits of a run until finally I just got up and got ready.

Of course because of my laziness debating I had less time than usual so I only got a 2.35 mile run in. And as I type that I realize it's not ONLY, it's HELL YEAH I got a 2.35 mile run in when I could have been sleeping. That makes me feel better.

It was cold enough that I got to try out my new Brooks hat. It's a light blue one with a hole for my ponytail which I appreciate. Man did that ever keep my head warm. I highly recommend this. It's also super lightweight AND not too tight so bonus! It's this one.

I posted the tricep dips challenge we're doing but here is the other one:
Day One went pretty well except doing sit ups makes my butt hurt. Who knew? I think it was because I was doing them in jeans. We'll see if they are any easier today. I did them on the puzzle pad we use for the boys in their corner of the living room. I can't imagine doing sit ups on the hardwood, ouch!

And I am also doing this challenge, which isn't really a challenge, more of a reminder. I printed out this picture and posted it on my fridge.
Like an Advent calendar except with fitness. For each day of intentional exercise I mark the day off on the tree.  Check out the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans for more info on it. I love a clever name so the O'Fitness Tree makes me happy.

So far December is going well. Sure, it's only December 2nd, but it feels like it's going well. I can do this!

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's the Hap Happiest Season of All

I am a super huge fan of Christmas carols and music so be prepared for Christmas themed titles all month long!

Wow, November is over already, huh? That flew by. I had a fantastic super long weekend with Hubs and the Guys. The problem with having a super awesome weekend if they eventually come to an end. I did not want to go to work this morning.

Thanksgiving was perfect. I started the morning out running the Detroit Turkey Trot which was a lot of fun. I ended up with a PR, finished in 1:16:07, four minutes faster than my 10K in October. I'm not going to do a race report on it, I did one last year, and it was pretty much the same. There are TONS of people at this race, supposedly it is the largest Thanksgiving day race in the country. Whew.
With my friend from Chicago
And then we hosted a very mellow Thanksgiving dinner at my house. I didn't go crazy on eating or anything. In fact, when all is said and done I did not lose any weight this month. I also didn't gain any so I will take it.

The rest of the long weekend was just hanging out with the Guys. Took them to the Science Center on Friday which was fun. Then Saturday I did a bit of shopping to support Small Business Saturday. I hit up a local running store and got a new winter running hat, a regular running hat, and some Body Glide. 

I was inspired by my awesome race on Thursday so I went for a run on Sunday. It felt good to get out and moving. Prior to my 10K I hadn't run in over two weeks. Part of it was from taking care of sick toddlers, then being sick myself, part of it was the sudden cold spell we were hit with for a week, and part of it was just plain laziness. I wore my new running hat, the regular one, not the winter one since it was so warm on Sunday. Man, I love that hat. Super lightweight!

And that was my weekend.

Now it's December.

We're doing another challenge over at our fabulous challenge group. We don't have a name yet. In fact, Anna suggested we come up with a group name that works all the time and then just name our monthly challenges which is genius!

This is what November looked like:
Not a bad month but not an awesome one either. I also had three more miles than this picture since I went for a run AFTER I took this.

Here were my Challenge Goals:

Get Your Gobbler in Gear November Challenge Goals
1. Get below 200 pounds.
2. Complete plank and push-up challenge.
3. No bakery treats until Thanksgiving (no pumpkin pie, donuts, cake, etc).

I did really well on number 2 and 3. I'm not a huge sweets person so it wasn't the hardest thing in the world. Man, that pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving was good. And last night I did my last set of push-ups and last planks. Whew.

This month's challenge is going to be tricep dips and an ab/squat challenge. Looking forward to some Buns of Steel!

Here are my December Challenge goals. We don't have a name yet so I'll just call it the December Challenge for now.

December Challenge Goals
1. Complete Tricep Dips and Ab/Squats exercise challenge.
2. Lose three pounds.
3. Lose inches off my waist.
4. Walk/run 75 miles.
5. Workout 1000 minutes.

Lofty goals, perhaps, but December is a tough month. I suffer from mild seasonal depression so I have a rougher time than usual this month. For some reason the end of the year is a trigger for me. Having plans to workout, to get moving, to not be stuck inside my head will make this month easier, I just know it.

I am actually going to measure myself this time and see if I lose any inches. I feel like I did lose some with the planks and push-ups but I have no idea, I didn't do a before and after picture.

At the start of the year I set a lofty goal to run 1000 miles this year. I won't make that goal, not unless I run A LOT this month and by a lot, I mean almost four hundred miles. HA! The funny thing is while I am slightly bummed that I didn't crush my goal I am also damn impressed that after 11 months I have made it to almost 700 miles! If I drove that far I would be over halfway to Disney World!