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 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


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.


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!