Monday, December 21, 2015

And Unto Certain Shepherd Brought Tidings of the Same

I am going to have a busy week and next week I have family in and I'm off work so I doubt I'll be posting anything. Figure today is as good of a day as any to post my 2016 goals.

But, first, a recap!

Here were my goals for this year:
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.

Let's see how I did:

1. Fell short of my Walk/run goal. I am currently sitting at 765.35 miles. It would be impossible for me to get 1000 miles this year. But, I did move more than I did last year so that's a bonus.
2. I did not lose fifteen pounds, but I did lose ten pounds and the scale is still heading downwards so I will call that one a win.
3. My Jawbone died on me about mid-November and I said, eff it and didn't bother replacing it. 10K steps is a lot!
4. I ran a race every month except August. A couple of months I ran TWO races. I call this one a success.
5. Shit, no race outside of Michigan. Although I did run the Monroe Half Marathon which is almost in Ohio.
6. My current PR for the half is 2:43. I say game on to you 2:30. I'm coming for you next year!

 2016 you are going to be my year! I've got high hopes. Here are my goals for 2016:
1. Run six half marathons
 *Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon: March 20, 2016
*Let's Move Festival of Races Half Marathon: April 30, 2016
*Charlevoix Half Marathon: June 25, 2016
*Chicago Half Marathon: September 25, 2016
The other two are TBD
2. PR all my race distances
3.  Meet some of my Lovely Ladies
4. Run a half marathon outside of Michigan
5. Run 1000 miles  (Seriously, I am going to do this damnit!)

There you have it. I would also like to keep up my monthly races, but this time I am going to look for races with distances for the boys. They love racing!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and very happy New Year!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Run, Run Rudolph

 On Saturday, the boys and I ran the Santa Hat Hustle in Hazel Park. It was supposed to be in Royal Oak, but the company couldn't get permits and had to switch locations at the last minute. I was a little nervous about that because in the article in our local paper Royal Oak seemed quite happy to not host the race, complaining about the company. Uh-oh.

I picked up our bibs that morning. There was a wait, but it wasn't bad. Then C. decided he had to go potty. Packet pick-up was in a high school and thankfully we were able to use a real bathroom. I am not looking forward to porta-potty duty with the Guys!

We made it to the start about a minute before the race started. It was close, something I hate to do. I wasn't really running this for time. The main reason I signed up for this race was so the boys could run the 1/4 mile Kids Dash which was held after the 5K.

For about the first two miles the boys did great. Then C. kept asking when he could get out and run. I promised him when we saw the finish line I would let him out. We turned the corner and there was Hubs and his parents. I let the boys out and C. took off. He hugged his dad, then kept running. Kid was on a mission.
A. was happy to run along holding my hand.

It was in the high 40's for most of the race which was great for the boys. I was worried they would be too cold while I ran.

After the 5K the kids lined up for the 1/4 Mile dash. C. almost didn't make it because of another potty run, but the race director held the start for him. Again, C. took off super fast and A. hung back with me. As we got close to the finish line the announcer asked for A.'s name. It was sweet to hear it get announced as he ran over the finish line. Against his will, mind you,  he really wanted me to carry him.

I have to post this last one. Santa was at the race, I think he even ran. You can tell the boys are less than impressed with him, they kept their distance.
It was a great final race of the year. Now to start thinking about race goals for 2016!

How was your weekend?



Friday, December 11, 2015

That's When Those Blue Memories Start Calling

Tomorrow I will run my last race, OK possible last race I am looking at running the same New Year's Eve race I ran last year, of 2015. And my sons will run their second fun run, a 1/4 mile Kid's Dash. Here is hoping they have as much fun with this one that they did at the last one.

Of course, right now, weather predictions are AM drizzle. Blergh. Eh, the boys have run in worse with me. It's supposed to be almost 60, so we can handle a little drizzle.

After that run I will have run four times this week which is a non-training record for me. Meaning I am not in training for anything and ran that much. In case that doesn't make sense to anyone. My brain is weird. I want to end 2015 on a high note so I am really busting butt this month. Hopefully that will bleed into 2016. I've been challenging myself to run 1000 miles in a year pretty much since I started running and you guys 2016 as God as my witness IS GOING TO BE MY YEAR!


Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jingle Bells, Jing-Jing-Jing Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way

I missed my morning run because my two guys woke up extra early yesterday. All day long that missed run hung out in the back of my mind until finally, once the boys were asleep for the night, I said screw it and went for a run.

To get myself to go I came up with a plan. This whole not being in training for anything can make it tough to actually run. Last night I put on a Christmas music station on Pandora and decided to just run through my neighborhood and go down the streets with the best Christmas lights.

Pre-run pic in front of the tree
 I didn't set my intervals, I just ran at an easy pace so I didn't have to worry about tripping on anything and I could look up and around at the lights instead of down at the sidewalk.
Side story, I saw Michael Buble in Forever Swing in 2000 with a group of co-workers. He was completely unknown in the U.S. at the time. I bought his cd from merchandising and as we were leaving one of the ushers told us if we wanted we could wait to meet him and get his autograph. We hung out because we were young, had nothing better to do, and he was cute and could sing. He came out in track pants and a white t-shirt, I can picture this so clearly, carrying an Adidas gym bag. There were four of us in total and he signed our cds, talked to us, took pictures, and hung out for about twenty minutes. It was such a wonderful experience that I think of every time I see super famous Michael Buble and his Christmas show.

I thought of it last night because a lot of the songs on this particular station were his songs.

Enough of that.

I ended up running three miles total. Like I said, easier pace. I felt good the whole time and enjoyed some lights. Pictures of Christmas lights NEVER turn out that well, but I have to post this one.
You can't really tell but all of the little lights on the house were created by some sort of LED spotlight with a filter and are not, in fact, individual little lights. I saw a bunch of houses with this set up and thought it looked really neat.
I am going to make headlamp selfies a thing!

I will definitely be doing this again this week. It was such a peaceful  run. Like I said, no training plan makes it hard to get out and run. But, running for the pure pleasure of getting out and looking at lights, now that is worth it.

Monday, December 7, 2015

One Seems to Hear Words of Good Cheer From Everywhere Filling the Air

 We packed a whole bunch into our weekend. Boys had breakfast with Santa on Saturday, then we made Christmas cookies for my cookie exchange on Sunday, then I went to a euchre tournament. If you don't know how to play euchre, I will teach you it is fun!
We used ALL the cookie cutters in the house, hence the Christmas Triangles!

On Sunday, Hubs took the boys to his parents house so I could sleep in and get stuff done around the house in the morning without a toddler attached to my leg. It was great, although I did miss my stinkers. I did laundry, cleaned up in prep for the cookie exchange, then went for a run, also in prep for the cookie exchange. I had a great run. Man, it is no joke about the first mile being the worst. Before I was done with the first mile I was talking myself out of my three mile planned run into a two miles run. Then by the time mile two finished I said, screw it, and went for four. Crazy how the body and brain work.

Cookie exchange ended up getting sorta cancelled. Really, a bunch of people backed out. Now I have way too many cookies at my house that are going into the freezer because I just don't need them around. I don't even LIKE cookies that much but I know I will eat them if they are available. Stupid cookies.

This week my goal is three days with running and two days of walking. I have stuff planned for this weekend including a 5K for me and a 1/4 mile dash for the boys so that's a day of running right there. I think I'll aim for Tuesday and Thursday. We'll see how that goes.

How was your weekend? What's your plan for the week?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Love In My Tummy

There are so many thoughts running through my head right now. This blog has never been a political thing so I won't go there, but just know I am not posting this in light, I am posting a blog about a recipe today because I just don't have the words for anything else.

I got this recipe from a friend and tried it out last night. I have linked to the original recipe creator. Now, I am by no means a vegan. But, I also don't love meat so this is a good option for me. Unfortunately, my husband wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole so I made this for myself and he got a carryout. And pie. My husband got pie and I am dieting. Anyone else want to help me beat him up?

Vegan Oven-Baked Mexican Quinoa Casserol via Vegangela
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp chili powder (more if you like things spicy)
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 19 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 11 oz can corn kernels, with liquid
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • Toppings of choice: vegan sour cream, avocado, cilantro, vegan cheese, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium frying pan (or stove-top-safe 2.8 liter/3 quart casserole dish). Add onion and garlic, and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; and transfer to oven-safe casserole dish if not already using one.
  3. Add quinoa, deced tomatoes (with juice), water, nutritional yeast, tomato paste (or ketchup), and spices. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. COVER and place in oven and set timer for 30 minutes.
  5. Caferfully remove casserole from oven and stir in drained beans and corn (with liquid). If the mixture looks dry, add a half cup of water.
  6. Return to oven WITH LID and set timer for another 30 minutes.
  7. Caferfully remove casserole from oven and stir in spinach. It will wilt from the heat.
  8. Top with sour cream, diced avocado and/or cilantro and serve.
  9. IF FREEZING: Make full recipe but leave-out the spinach and toppings. Let cool and freeze in airtight container(s). To serve: defrost fully, lightly reheat (in microwave or on stovetop), stir in spinach and add toppings of choice.
I didn't use the ingredients in the italics because I didn't feel like chopping an onion. After thirty minutes I added the beans and corn and a little bit of water since I was using frozen corn and not canned corn. Put it back in the oven for thirty minutes and it turned out perfectly. If you aren't vegan you could try using chicken stock instead of the water or even add some browned sausage.

I also only used half the beans and half the corn because I didn't want that many carbs in it and it was still great.

I topped mine with some sliced avocado. Final result, not too shabby. I would definitely make it again and I will be having it for lunch for the next few days.
If you aren't sure about quinoa, I would say this is a great starter recipe. The mexican flavors really come through and the consistancy is more rice-like than anything.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2015

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Well, that long weekend flew by!

On Thanksgiving I hosted my first annual virtual Turkey Trot. I invited people over Facebook and oh man, the response was awesome. It needs it's own post so I will tell you all about it maybe tomorrow.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing awesome family stuff.

On Friday we took the Guys to their first movie. We saw The Good Dinosaur, which was adorable with only slight bits of peril that hopefully did not scar my children for life.
Oh yeah, we got the fancy seats that reclined

A sat on my lap for most of the movie. Thank goodness for big, comfy seats!
I did some online shopping then took C. shopping with me while A. napped. We ended up getting a Christmas tree for my mom. We brought it over to her house to decorate on Saturday.
C. put the ornaments on and took them off about five times. He loved it!
On Sunday, the awesome Runs to Get Waisted ran a half marathon. I can't wait to read her race report, it sounds like she did an awesome job. Our Lovely Ladies group joined together to run with her. For my part of it, I was supposed to run two miles. It was a chilly, yet sunny, afternoon and the Guys wanted some fresh air. I bundled them up and off we went.

I love running with these two!

We ended up with three miles and I realized between my running on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday I was probably my most active since I stopped half marathon training. I need a new goal race or I am going to be sedentary all winter long!

Finally, we picked out our Christmas tree. C. was so exhausted from all that running and shopping he fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep when we brought him inside. The tree isn't decorated yet, we'll do that tonight when both kids are awake.

And now it's almost December. Goodbye November. Yikes!

I am going to break a certain weight loss mark by the end of this year, so help me. It'll mean seriously buckling down and avoiding the treats, but I know I have it in me. I can do it! And I will start January at an awesome point.

Part of my plan is going low refined carbs. Any awesome recipes you can share will be great! I'm going to try pizza cauliflower crusts this week and subbing out sweet potatoes for potatoes in some of my recipes. May the force be with me, right?

Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend and are super pumped for December!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Speaking Words of Wisdom, Let It Be

With the upcoming holiday and because my brain just doesn't want to cooperate with me lately here is a list, in no particular order, of things I am thankful for.


1. My wonderful family. Even when my boys are up at the asscrack of dawn and poking each other and fighting and crying because I gave them the wrong milk cups, even when I am exhausted because I was up four times in the night, and even when I want to nutpunch my husband who when I asked if he could wash the sheets, as in wash our bedding, actually washed JUST THE TOP SHEET AND FITTED SHEET not the pillowcases or blankets (take a deep breath Meg!), oh man do I ever love those guys.

2. The ability to run and walk and workout. I often get pissed off at my body for not being faster or get pissed off at myself for eating too much and for being fat, etc. But, really, I have a body that works. I can bend down and touch my toes and pull my shoes on. I can lift weights. I don't have a debilitating disease and I'm not sick.

3. My Lovely Ladies Losing It Group. It's been over a year and what started out as a fitness group to inspire each other to make it through October without eating any candy turned into a group of fantastic women who just get me. They are silly and funny and kind and caring and brave and just awesome. The internet can be a really shitty place, but it brought together a group of women from all over the country and for that I am thankful!

Bonus, I am also thankful for Alan Rickman:

4. My job. Yeah, going to work sucks. And if I could live a life of leisure trust me, I would. But, I have a job which pays our bills. My job provides health insurance for my whole family. I have a pension and an annuity. I am lucky!

5. Pub trivia. What, you think my whole thankful list is going to be serious? Have we just met? I love my trivia team. It's a chance for me to hang out with my fellow nerds and show off our mad nerd skills. Don't be jealous!

6.The library. I read bedtime stories to the boys every night, two or three books. Before I used to read the same books over and over and over and they would get bored and it sucked. Now I go to the library twice a week, load up on a bagful of what we call special books, and we have new books every night. The boys love it! On top of that, I LOVE the library. I am a reader and there is no way I could afford to buy all the books I like to read. If you don't go to your library you should because I am sure it is awesome and FREE BOOKS!!!

7. The DVR. Oh hello Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. Oh yes, I DVR the crap out of them and then watch them while I work out. I can spend over an hour lifting weights because I get into the movie and want to see what happens.


8. My mom and my in-laws. Hubs' parents watch the boys two days a week when he is working. And if he is busy all week, my mom picks up the extra day. They go to school on Monday and Friday so those days are covered. We are so lucky we have them in our lives. The boys love playing with them and we don't have to worry about getting the boys out of the house and to daycare five days a week. Trust me when I tell you that is a daunting task! On top of that, before the boys were in daycare my mom used to watch them five days a week! It sucked going back to work after they were born but it was an easier transition knowing they were home with my mom.

9. David Tennant. I haven't watched Jessica Jones yet. Not only is it supposed to be a super pro-woman badass superhero show, but it also has Tennant in it. Tennant!!!

10. Being able to blog. Sure, most days I am rambling about how much I hated a run or speedwork. Maybe I include a story about my boys. No matter what, most days it is a joy just to share with the handful of people that read this. You are awesome and I am thankful for you!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful holiday. What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I'm A Genie In A Bottle

Before I turned 30, all those years ago, OK, maybe not ALL those years ago, but enough years ago, I think I was around 28, I came up with a list of things I wanted to do before I turned the big 3-0. I honestly don't remember what they were, aside from a handful of them I actually accomplished.

During my30th year, some of these things didn't happen BEFORE I turned thirty, I ran a marathon
Sure I stopped running for almost two years after that, but I did it! And maybe someday I will do it again.

Got engaged
On a hiking vacation in Colorado

And jumped out of a plane:


I like to think that last picture I was laughing so much because I was alive!

I had other things on the list one, which has always floated around, was write a novel. It sounds dumb, but I've started what seems like at least a hundred novels. I have written short stories, which I try to go further with but every time I end up giving up, not even halfway through.  I think my problem has always been I've written what I like to call SERIOUS books, and honestly, I'm not a SERIOUS books kind of person. I like easy reading.

Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month? If you haven't, November is National Novel Writing month. The whole idea is from November 1-30 you need to write a novel with at least 50,000 words. That's it. Get to the 50,000 words and you're done!

I have attempted NaNoWriMo three separate times. I've never completed it.

Until yesterday. Yesterday I finished my novel with 50,605 words.

I finished writing a novel. And trust me, it's a really shitty novel. It's pretty much me going, what would I want to read? How about a story about a normal woman who falls in love with an actor and he loves her back and they all live happily after the end. There's some sorta sexy bits in it, although even those are edited since I do most of my writing on my down time at work and it is damn near impossible for me to write sexy things while working. Nope, not darn near, it IS impossible for me. At one point I just typed FINISH THIS LATER at the end of scene so I could add more details when I was at home.

It just means I need to go back and edit and add more and take shit out. It sounds dumb, but I don't want to describe things incorrectly and someday if I somehow magically self publish on Amazon or whatever, have some reader check it out and grumbled, "There is no donut shop like that in San Diego." You know what I mean.

It might have taken me a little longer than my 30th birthday, but I am living proof you're never too old to go after something you once thought was out of your reach.

p.s. If anyone wants to read a really shitty romance novel and help with constructive criticism let me know and I'll send you a terrible one!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Another Postcard With Chimpanzees

I had my first post-half marathon run this morning. It was also my first morning run in a very long time. Funny thing, I turned my alarm off this morning and was going to say eff it to the run but then one of the Guys woke up and instead of laying in his room with him while he tried to sleep I figured we both might as well get up. I bundled him up and away we went. It was a great morning for a run, forty degrees with no wind. I was fine in pants and a long-sleeve tech shirt, in fact maybe a little too warm, but it was a short run so I was ok. And A. was fine bundled up in his winter coat, hat, with a blanket tucked around him and flashlight to entertain him.

Thirty minutes of running later, and my body was all, oh hey, I remember this, let's do this more.

You're right, body, let's do it!

And now I am in that awkward I'm Not Training For a Race Now What? time. I have a friend who is going to run the Chicago half marathon next fall for her first ever half. I'm planning on running it with her, so I'll register for that next week just to make sure I get in before it sells out. But, that race isn't until the end of September so what on earth do I do with myself until then?!?

I think getting out for a morning run is a good start. A treadmill isn't in our budget this winter, which will suck come inclement weather time. But, our local community center has a fitness center that lets you sign up month by month for only $30. I think I might sign up for a month of it come December just to have a place to run indoors if I need to. Their hours suck, not open early and closed by eight, but that will work in a pinch.

What about you? Any big plans for 2016?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monroe Half Marathon Race Recap

My last half marathon of the year in pictures!

All pictures courtesy of the fantastic Stephanie who ran the race with me at my pace, kept me company, kept me going, made me laugh, pointed out historical sights, told me stories, showed me the funny signs (Top two signs: That's Not Clapping, It's Your Thighs Cheering You On and If Trump Can Run So Can You!), and whom I confused the hell out of with my Galloway running. Thank you from the bottom of my heart my friend!

And now the recap.
Race day was beautiful, sunny and cold enough to wear long sleeves but not so cold I felt like my fingers and toes would fall off. There was a nice size crowd of people at the start
but just like I assumed would happen, the crowd thinned out pretty quickly and Stephanie and I were at the back of the pack for the rest of the race. While it was a beautiful day and a beautiful course, as you will see, I honestly don't think I would have enjoyed myself as much without my running partner.
The first half of the race flew by. I felt pretty good but I could tell my legs weren't going to be happy with me for the second half. And they weren't.

Steph told me her plan was to keep me company and take pictures for me and she did such a wonderful job. When she sent me all of these pictures I swear to you I never would have thought they were taken with an iPhone while running. That woman has talent!
It was an out and back course with a couple of turns here and there. We ran along these train tracks for a while and then cut through neighborhoods. It was an open course, so traffic was coming through, but people drove slowly, police officers stopped cars at major intersections, and a lot of it was on slower streets so I was never really worried we were going to get run over.
 
Here are some lovely pictures of the neighborhoods. 


You can see the police officer at the intersection in the background
And a little bit of the cute downtown:
At that point I was a place where I kinda didn't want to run anymore. I kept at it, but just from looking at my Garmin I could tell we were dropping from a 12 minute per mile pace to over a 14 minute per mile pace. I would say not good, but you know what, who cares? Let's enjoy some more lovely scenery.

One of my favorite pictures from the race, going over the River Raisin ("It's the River Raisin not the Raisin River. It's a French thing"-Stephanie).
The swinging ponytail makes me look speedy!
And then we were back on the same stretch of road along the railroad tracks. We passed one last water station but they didn't have any cups. Just more incentive to get to the finish line, I suppose.

For the last bit, Stephanie ran ahead so she could get finish line photos of me. Seriously, just the best running partner!
Cool thing, instead of plastic water bottles at the finish everyone got a real water bottle full of water. Helping the environment and the runners all at the same time.

Did I get a PR? No. Was I even close? No. Did I run a good race? Not really, I slowed waaaay down for the second half. Did I have fun? ABSOLUTELY! Would I do it again? Sure thing, it was a lovely course, well run, and pretty. And hopefully next year my running won't be as sidelined by LIFE and I'll have a better time.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Yes I Paid the Price But Look How Much I Gained

A couple of weeks ago the wonderful Christina at Love Yourself Healthy (seriously, go read her blog she is awesome) had a contest in honor of her 100th post. The winner could choose any item from the Circles of Change website.

Lucky me, I ended up winning. I picked out this awesome tank top Christina herself owns because it is just that cool but unfortunately they were out of stock. I went with this tote instead:
I love tote bags and I love this wonderful tote bag with it's positive message.

When I perused the website after my win I came across an awesome bracelet. I don't wear jewelry when I run. Well, I don't normally wear much jewelry aside from my wedding ring and this awesome mother's ring my husband got for me last Mother's Day.
Shout out to all my curved index finger ladies!
When I am doing something that takes a lot of guts, usually auditioning for something or getting ready for a performance I like to touch my mother's ring. It centers me and reminds me that yes whatever I am about to do may be scary or intimidating but holy hell I have and am STILL conquering one of the craziest things I have ever done...motherhood...so this, whatever THIS is, can't be all that bad.

Sorry, I digressed there.

On the Circles of Change website there is a bracelet:
courtesy of Circles of Change
I really want that bracelet. I have decided I am going to get it for myself. At first, I said, oh no Meg wait until you've earned it, like say made it into Onederland. And then I realized doing that defeats the entire idea behind Circles of Change. Why should I have to "earn" that bracelet. I AM a warrior. Why shouldn't I get an awesome bracelet to represent that?

I'm ordering it today. And I plan on wearing it during my races. And when the going gets tough I'll reach down and touch it and be reminded of my fierceness.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Oh Food Magical Food Wonderful Food

You are cordially invited to my...

Screw the Turkey Trot I Hate Crowds Virtual Thanksgiving Day 5K/10K

Yep.

If we are friends on Facebook and I didn't invite you, feel free to let me know and I will add you to the list. This is all very, very informal. The plan is to run or walk or bike or swim or elliptical (is that a verb?) a 5K or 10K or whatever kind of K you have in ya.

I have run the Detroit Turkey Trot for the last few years but let me tell you, the turkey trot is a cluster F-U-C-...well, you know where I am going with that. In 2012 there were 21,000 finishers between the 5K and the 10K. And oh yeah, if you are a slower 10Ker it is very likely you are going to get lapped by the speedy 5Kers and that sucks. Nothing like a crowd of scantily glad speeding gazelles coming at you at full speed to get the juices flowing. No joke, it's a bit like the wildebeest scene in The Lion King minus the conniving brother.

Plus, there's the time it takes to get downtown, to run the race, to get back home. We aren't doing dinner until later but it doesn't mean I want to spend half my day running a race I don't particularly like.

Which is why I came up with the above race.

Here is our motto:
And some details that don't really matter because this is super casual and you can really run it whenever you want:

Start time: 8:00AM EST (Which is when I will be running it because I don't want to get up super early) but you can run it whenever you want.

Run/walk/ride as far and as long as you want. And afterwards I'll come up with a fun post and we can all share our bad-ass post workout selfies. Oh yes, it doesn't count if you don't take a picture! Well, it counts, but how else will you brag to everyone that you are bad-ass and awesome and ran on Thanksgiving BRING ME THE MASHED POTATOES I EARNED THOSE PUPPIES without a picture?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Won't You Get Hip to This Timely Tip And Take That California Trip?

My half marathon is in three days and thirteen hours.

Yep.

I am not exactly feeling undertrained but I am feeling nervous. Which is dumb, right? It's not like it's my first half marathon. It's just I'm not familiar with the course. And I won't know anyone there. And I'm working on a lovely cold. And...well, I could keep going but I won't bore you with every little detail running through my mind.

One thing, which I absolutely can't control, the weather, is actually working in my favor. It's supposed to be 52 and sunny on Sunday. When the half starts at 9AM weather should be PERFECT for running. In fact, I need to go get new running sunglasses (thank you Wreck-It Ralph (aka one of my sons) for breaking them). I got them at Target for less than ten bucks, I should be able to replace them. I also need a new running hat since my has disappeared into the ether. Of course once I buy my new hat odds are the old one will show up.

I am just rambling here because I am nervous.

I am starting to regret this half marathon. Race is capped at 1000 participants which means it's a small one. Last year less than 400 people ran the race. If I ran my slowest pace of the year I would finish at the bottom, with basically 10 or so people behind me. At least according to last year's results.  I am looking at a lot of lonely miles.

Yep, whoa is me. Whine, whine, whine. (Ha I first spelled that "wine wine wine" and couldn't figure out why it looked weird)

Alright, Debbie Downer, let it go.

Let it go, let it go, can't hold it back anymore.

You're welcome for that ear worm.

2016 is fast approaching. I am passing on the marathon next year and instead focusing on some fun half marathon runs. I've put the word out to my Facebook friends but figure I will do it here, as well. Looking for some recommendations for non-Michigan half marathons. I am looking for a somewhat cheaper one, so maybe not the Nike Women's Half or a Rock and Roll race series (hey 100 bucks for a half and that's registering EARLY). If you know of one near you that you love or everyone in your town loves and it's a fun course, let me know!

And now I carb load. Nervous eating counts as carb loading, right?

I kid. A little bit.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Slow Down You Move Too Fast. You Got to Make the Moment Last

Instead of running yesterday I listened to my knee and went for an after dinner walk. It was already dark by the time I left the house and headed up to the library.

I was thinking of Anna on my walk. Usually when I run I see things and think "oh neat I should take a picture of that" but then I am usually on a running interval and not a walking interval or a good song is on and I don't want to stop and I end up missing a photo op.

Not this time.

With two little boys who love all things construction, I am always on the lookout for construction sites. Our city is slowly going through and updating terribly outdated sewer lines. It's a long process that involves lots of work. We live in a small enough city we've been able to walk the boys over to the various spots. Finally, they are working on a street just a few blocks from us. I made note of the equipment so I could let Grandma and Grandpa know about it. At first I was surprised they were working so late. Then I realized it was only seven.
I was using a flashlight and on my way to the library I noticed how pretty the snail trails looked sparkling on the sidewalk. Weird, right? Funny story, my mom lives in a very old house, built in 1902 old. The basement is weird, not quite a root cellar but not quite an actual basement. On one of our first nights there we noticed a couple of gigantic snails appear on the landing leading to the basement. It was so neat! Snails don't freak me out and they only showed up at night, like they were just popping by for a visit. When I saw the trails on the sidewalk I had to stop and look for the snails.

Pretty small compared to the our "pets" but still cool.
After my walk I ended up working out in the basement. I am super, super into The Great British Bake Off. I watched that while I worked out. It's such a good show, with zero drama. I mean there's baking drama, but zero "I hate that contestant" or "I'm sleeping with their husband" or whatever kind of drama. Plus, it's British so they call baked goods different names and they all sound very fancy and I love it.

And finally, with the upcoming holidays my Lovely Ladies Losing It group has come up with a 24 Hours of Fitness Holiday Challenge. The goal is to each individually get 24 hours total of fitness by 12/25. We started yesterday, which gives me 54 days to get in 24 hours total (1440 minutes). If I work out for 30 minutes, I need to do that for at least 48 days. It means we have a little bit of leeway on that, but also, if I work out for longer than 30 minutes I am just banking time. I made a fancy (for me) spreadsheet to help us all keep track. We're also going to do a Virtual Thanksgiving 5K which I will make a separate blog post about. I'll invite all of you to join, too. I'm thinking prizes!

Monday, November 2, 2015

And It's Hard to Hold a Candle in the Cold November Rain

In less than a week I will run my third half marathon of the year. I am hoping for nice weather. That's not asking a lot is it? So far weather is looking like 50's and sunny which is spectacular for a November race. Fingers and toes crossed!

I have had some slight knee issues since Saturday. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I actually tweaked my knee chasing after one of the guys while we were trick or treating. Yep, I'm a runner.

I didn't get my six mile run in this weekend. I planned on doing it Sunday but my knee was tender to the touch and I winced when I bent it so rest it was. It's better today, but still touchy. I'll see how it feels tomorrow morning, then do my planned three miles.

We had October goals over at my Lovely Ladies Losing It group. I did alright with them, totally crushed my plan of eating a ton of vegetables. Funny thing, I am just now getting into 30 Rock (YESSSS NETFLIX!) and there was an episode where Liz leads a life of luxury while on paid leave and she says something like, "Working out, eating right, bm-ing like a rock star!". I had to laugh at that because it is so true! Yay veggies!

And now it's November, oh hi there November. We are supposed to have a mild winter here in Michigan which means my running should hopefully not suffer too much. I have my eye on some spring races. I'd like to join Half Fanatics. I'd like to run a half marathon out of state. I'd like to meet up with some online friends in real life. Yep, I think 2016 is going to be a pretty awesome year!
Getting ready for some trick or treating!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Whatever Happened to My Transylvania Twist?

Just like that October is over. What the hell?

We are spending the weekend doing a variety of fun Halloween activities. Hopefully my dinosaurs have a good time. We've done a couple of trick or treating activities already and they seemed to enjoy them. Here's hoping the weather isn't completely crappy. Apparently, light rain and chilly is the prediction for now. Boo to that.

At some point on Saturday I plan on getting my six mile run in. I could save it for Sunday, but that's no fun. Might as well run on a day when a mini Snickers or two might find their way into my hands.

Plus, there's the whole Daylight Savings Time ending on Sunday morning. You know what that means? That means my kids won't be sleeping in! I love all the people without kids or with older kids who say "YAY FALL BACK SLEEP IN TIME!" and I think "YAY FALL BACK...wait...". No rest for the wicked, I suppose. We can only hope a busy Halloween will exhaust them.

To keep with the Halloween spirit, here's a picture from last weekend. Hubs and I went as Bob and Linda Belcher from Bob's Burgers. Because we are huge nerds awesome.

Hope you have a wonderful Halloween full of tricks and treats!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I Am Giving Up On Greener Grasses/Weigh-In Wednesday

Well, I gave it a shot. After three months I have come to the realization that Weight Watchers is not for me. I haven't been losing weight. I mean, I have, but in the total time I joined I lost eight pounds. That sucks. I think I am also using it as a bit of a crutch. So, I cancelled my membership and it's back to My Fitness Pal for me.

Maybe MFP is the new mindset I need? I don't know what it is, but man have I been down in the dumps about weight loss and working out. it helped to update MFP and realize I am seven pounds lighter than I was when I quit it.

Of course, that also means I lost seven pounds in almost four months. And that sucks.

The weather is a doing a number on my mindset and my sinuses so don't mind me over here acting like Eeyore. Whoa is me, etc, etc.

That's all I got for Weigh In Wednesday. Hopefully other people are more positive and have had better results this week.

I need a nap.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Girls Chase Boys Chase Girls

The plague has lovingly made it's way through my two boys (green boogers, pink eye, ear infections, you name it, they had it) and then my husband and now me. Thankfully I have some time before my half marathon, two weeks from yesterday to be exact. Still, getting sick is no fun. At least we aren't all sick at the same time. Boys are on the upswing.

My husband, however, good lord, you would think he was dying with the amount of laying around and barely surviving he's doing up in these parts.

I have not patience for that.

Part of it stems from, well, shoot, who has time to lay around? And the other part, I am one of six kids, so my mom had not time for that. We had to be SICK sick to go to the doctor, or missing a limb. Hubs is an only child so when he was sick, well, it's pretty much like he is now except, see above. Mama has ZERO time for that.

I decided to fore go running with my plague zombies on Saturday. Weather was crap anyway so it was a good excuse to hold of until Sunday.

On Sunday the weather was much nicer, but the zombies were also feeling better. We spent the day doing running around, entertaining zombies who might have been feeling better but were cranky butts because of their lack of sleep (stuff noses + toddlers = crap sleep), and just getting stuff done. By the time I managed to get in any time to run it was four in the afternoon. I had dinner in the crockpot so I had about an hour and a half to get in as much running as I could.

the good news, I run much faster without the jogging stroller. The bad news, I only ended up going 7.5 miles. I was supposed to go 11.

Hey did you see that? That was my training plan and speed goals flying out the window right there!

Yes, I know, I don't run to be super fast. I run because I genuinely love it. But, man, I had such high hopes for this training cycle.

I will shake it off and focus on my next one.

Speaking of my next one...I have been pondering a full marathon. Yes, I know I am nuts. And yes I know a full requires so much more TIME for training. But, I have been thinking if I get up earlier on the weekend for my long run I can potentially fit in some major mileage and only miss a little bit of the morning with the boys. Like I said, this is just pondering. We'll see how I feel after taking the winter off from training. I plan on running still, but not sure I will go with a training plan.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

R E S P E C T Find Out What It Means to Me

My days of running with the jogging stroller are numbered. I had a 10 mile run planned for Saturday. Figured I would run with the boys to the community center, let them play in the Kid's Room for an hour, then run them home. That would have been roughly nine miles, then I planned on finishing the run on my own.

I ended up with 8.5 miles. And after those 8.5 miles I was D-O-N-E done. Oh man, the boys starting fighting like two caged hyenas about a quarter of a mile into my run and did not stop until we got to the community center. On the way home they were fine for maybe a mile, then the fighting began. C. finally fell asleep with about two miles to go, but A. was still up and refusing to wear his hat. Since it was about forty degrees out and windy, I kept putting it back on his head. At one point I was running and holding the hat on his head at the same time. Then I realized I was acting like a crazy person and said eff it and let him go without the damn hat. Of course, about five minutes of having cold air whip at his head made A. change his tune and he asked for his hat. Toddlers...my god.

Then there was the slight problem of me not bringing anything to eat, no chews, no Gus, nothing. Big mistake. Huge. About a half mile from home I started seeing spots on the side of my vision. Not good, Meg. I slowed to walk, said fuck it (that time I actually swore), and walked home. Even if I ate something the second I walked in the door I knew that last 1.5 would have beaten my ass so I opted out. Hey, 8.5 is better than 0.0.

I do have a complaint about the Jawbone. Because it monitors activity by the movement of my arm, it totally screws me over when I am running with the stroller. I used my Garmin so I knew my mileage was pretty damn accurate. Well, Jawbone had me running about three miles less than what I ran. Screw you, Jawbone. I think I earned extra miles just for wrangling toddlers.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful, thank god. After that run, I needed things to go a little smoother.

This week is insanely busy for me. I got a second job and training is in the evening on Monday and Wednesday. Yesterday I had a sick kiddo with a fever so I stayed home with him, then went to my training when Hubs got home. Tonight I get a break from training, but then the rest of the week is going to smack me in the face. Oh man, being busy and staying up late is just something I am not used to!

Friday, October 16, 2015

But When You're Born to Run It's So Hard to Just Slow Down

This weekend is the calm before the storm. Next week I have things going on every night except for Tuesday. It's going to be insane and I know I'm going to need to juggle some stuff around to make sure I can get my speed work in. This is when I really, really wish I had a treadmill. It would be a lot easier to run four mils on a treadmill at nine at night than to attempt to run outside.

Ah well.

This morning I realized I washed both pairs of the jeans I actually like to wear and then forgot to put them in the dryer. I knew they wouldn't be dry by the time I left for work. I grabbed a pair of jeans that don't really fit me and threw them on. The good news, they fit me WAY better than they used to. It's the cut of the jeans more than anything, they are a little low rise and I HATE low rise because I like my pants to come up to my belly button because I am an old person I feel more comfortable like that. I was able to button them and while some stuff does leak out over the top of the jeans I don't think they look the worst ever. And I can sit down in them without cutting off blood flow to my internal organs.

What I'm saying is yay NSV!

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

And If Your Well Is Empty Not a Thing Will Prevent Me

I spent twenty minutes searching my house looking for my wireless headphones before my run yesterday evening. Eventually, I gave up and ran without music. I used to run without music all the time, especially on shorter runs. But, for speed work I've needed the extra boost of some good tunes. Ah well.

My stomach was off yesterday, probably from the pizza I had, which meant my speed sucked. It didn't suck, but it wasn't as fast as I would've liked it. I told myself it was dark, which automatically slows me down, plus the stomach thing so I am not mad at my times.

I saw lots of Halloween decorations which made me think of Anna. Sure, we throw up a couple of strands of lights, but there were houses with orange and purple lights, decorating each bush and tree, like it was Christmas. Seems like a lot of work to me!

I got home and it turns out Hubs had my wireless headphones, he took them to work. He said, "Well why didn't you just ask me?" And I forced myself to not kick him in the shins because why would I think to ask him when he doesn't normally take my headphones to work? Never mess with a runner's headphones, son!

Less than a month until my half marathon. I don't know if I should be worried or not. I figure I am just going to run it for all I am worth and hope for the best. I'm feeling slightly defeated by my speed work, but got some good advice and boosts from my Lovely Ladies group last week. Speed work sucks, but I'm running on tired legs, I'm not tapered, and shoot I am going to do well on this race. It's just a matter of HOW well, right? 

Speaking of that group, if you get a chance head over to A Little More Each Day, she is running a half marathon this weekend and is going to crush it. But, I'm sure some encouragement won't hurt!

Monday, October 12, 2015

'Cause I'm Broken When I'm Lonesome

It started as "Ok I am just going to run three miles, at least get a run in". Then turned into "Ok, maybe I can run four miles." and ended with "Eff it, I'm just going to run my scheduled six miles".

Funny how my brain works.

I like to run in the morning on the weekends but it was a bit too chilly to wrangle the guys in the stroller for over an hour. Then I had to wait for Hubs to grocery shop and run errands. Thankfully, unlike last week, we didn't have a time deadline which meant I could get my six miles in without any restrictions. Aside from my brain. My brain was against me, see above.

I ended up leaving the house just after three and getting home by four thirty. Got my six miles in and then Hubs and I went out for a date night to see Evil Dead The Musical. Seriously, if it's playing in your town and you are into campy musicals with lots of fake blood then this one is for you. There is swearing and fake blood and demons, but it's worth it if that's your thing.

We were running late for the show and had to rush through dinner. After my run I showered and got ready to go out and didn't drink any water. My plan was to drink a bunch with dinner. Then dinner was delayed, we were rushed, I had my alcoholic drink, and no water. I had another drink during the show and again no water. Now that's all I had, two drinks, and they weren't anything crazy like long island iced teas or anything. But because of my genius planning with the ZERO post-run H2O I ended up waking up Sunday morning with a massive headache. It was pretty much a red wine headache without the joys of drinking the red wine the night before. It was awful. Seriously, I felt hungover but knew I had only had TWO DRINKS!

I chugged water, took Tylenol, and somehow survived the day. Note to self: Never, ever drink on the night of a long run unless you have had as hit ton of water to drink.

The End.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fast As Fast Can Be You'll Never Catch Me

Words cannot properly express how much I hate speed work.

Next time I say I want to go faster feel free to drive or fly or jump on a boat to Michigan, knock on my door, and smack me in the face. Because in order to go faster one has to do speedwork, and go home, speed work, you're drunk.

I suffered through a 3.5 mile interval run yesterday. It ended up being four miles but that's only because I thought I was closer to the house than I was and in order to get home I figured running was faster than walking. Clearly I am terrible at calculating where I am in my neighborhood after doing intervals.

During my two miles of interval running, all I could think about was how much it sucked to run fast. I was sucking wind. I was hurting. I wanted to quit. I forget where I read this, I think it was Hungry Runner Girl, but please feel free to correct me in the comments if I am wrong. One of the blogs I follow the author said something along the lines of how she starts to think about the good stuff about a run instead of the negative stuff, especially when a run starts getting super tough. When I was really down in the dumps about my speed work I started the following mental mantras:

*There are people out in this world who cannot run. They cannot physically run. And here you are running pretty damn fast.

*There will come a day when YOU can't run, when you are injured or sick, but today is not that day. Today you can and will run.

*When you are finishing your half marathon faster than you ever have before you will be thankful for this speed work.

*You have an awesome husband who is at home with the kids so you can be out here running your ass off.

*You have two adorable little boys who think running is awesome because of you. In fact, just the other day C. said, "Look mama, a runner. Mama's a runner!".

*You are almost done.

I'm not going to say the mantras worked miracles. But, they certainly helped me feel better.

Monday, October 5, 2015

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

On Sunday we had our first family race. After the 5K I ran back in September and let the boys run across the finish line, I've been keeping my eye out for any race with Kid's Run. There have been a few but most of them are a mile, which I know would be hard for my guys. My mother-in-law found one for us without even realizing it. She noticed a run in the paper, clipped out the article for me since I am always looking for a race for myself. I read the article and saw there was a 1/2 Mile Kid's Dash and figured, what the hell, let's make it a family thing.

Trick or Feet had the option of a 5K or 10K. The course was at a state park, on their paved trail, so we didn't have to worry about traffic at all which was nice. I signed up for the 5K since I ran 5.25 on Saturday (should have been nine, but we had a busy day) and my legs were somewhat tired.

It was a very small race which was great. My only issue is as a small race the start wasn't super organized. It was a walk/run race, very inclusive of runners and walkers, but no one made any announcement telling the walkers to head to the back of the starting line. I ended up in what I thought was a good spot, behind runners but in front of walkers. HA!

As you can see from this picture Hubs took just as I got over the starting line the walkers did not get the memo to start at the back.
I had to weave in and out of the crowd for most of the first half mile. At one point, I just gave up and walked since it was easier. Hey, people who are walking or running with friends, as much as I am sure you want to walk right next to your best buds it is super rude to walk four in a row across a narrow trail and block people trying to pass you!

It was a little chilly at the start, but the course was in the trees for a lot of it, so it actually got kinda warm. I had to take off my jacket at one point since I was getting so warm.

After the first mile, the path opened up and the crowd thinned out and the race was a lot more fun. The boys did great, aside from the occasional wrestling with their brother because "he's touching me!". Hubs was waiting in the car but realized he could see part of the course so he headed over that way and took some pictures.
He figured he had time to make it to the finish and kinda strolled over there. What he didn't know was the path to the finish line was pretty much downhill. My option at that point was to sprint to the finish or let the stroller go and let the boys finish on their own. HA!. There was also a man running with a single jogging stroller ahead of me. I was feeling the finish and thought, well there is no way I'm gonna let this guy beat me. I kicked up the pace, and smoked him. Double jogging stroller for the win!

My pace ended up being really good. I finished in 36:12, only about two minutes slower than my fastest, non-jogging stroller 5K. I figure I would have been even faster if not for the crappy start, but what can you do?

After that, we had about forty-five minutes to kill before the boys had their Kid's Dash. There was a lot to do, they painted pumpkins, buried things in the dirt, ate chocolate. We put their dinosaur costumes on, it was a Halloween themed run, and got them all ready to go.
Hubs ran with C. and I ran with A. for the first part, then we switched.
Moving so fast he's just a blur!
A. ran the whole race carrying his truck
My little running dinosaurs
A good amount of people hung out at the finish line to cheer the little ones on. My two guys finished last, but had so much fun running it I have a feeling this is the first of many races for them. Someday they're going to be way faster than me so I will enjoy the races where we hold hands for as long as I can.
With their first medals!
It was a great race, very family friendly. If they do it next year we will be there! What a great way to end our weekend.