Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So long 2008!

Time to reflect on 2008. What a year it was! From a running perspective I experienced ultimate highs and lows, and I feel like I really grew as a runner throughout 2008. Grab a cup of java, and reminisce with me, if you please!

I ran:
-3 half marathons
-a 30K race
-7 full marathons
-completed first 50K ultra
-ran 1875.9Km or 1172.4 miles
In addition to all of the crazy running I:
-started a blog (and met all of you terrific people)
-became a marathon maniac, then achieved silver maniac status

I have a hard time putting into words all of what I have accomplished in 2008, so I created this slideshow to summarize my year.(Sorry about the cheesy music, there weren't a ton of good options and my ipod is broken right now.)

Thanks so much for reading my blog and welcoming me into your world in 2008. The blogging community is such a warm welcoming community, and I love sharing all of your experiences and sharing success's and disappointments daily with all of you. You all motivate and inspire me, so thanks for that. I look forward to sharing more memories and experiences with you in 2009.

Cheers to 2009... (raise your virtual or not so virtual glasses) May you all have a year full of health, happiness, personal records, laughter, pain, sweat, tears, running highs and lows, but most of all wonderful unique experiences. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Week One - Check!

Today I completed my 13 mile run to finish my 1st week of official training. For those of you who were wondering, I am following a Pete Pfitzinger training plan with some modifications to prepare for the Little Rock Marathon on March 15th. Week one called for 35 miles, and I completed it, and I feel quite good about week 1.

Even though I ended up not running the 10 mile boxing day race, I finally feel somewhat like I am getting back into the groove and that I can run now without coughing up a lung or feeling really tired. My pace is slowly returning, and my legs have that sore yet soothing beat up feeling after the first week. This training program is already kicking my butt and I love it!!

A few points about week 1:
- I decided that in order for my recovery runs to be truly recovery-driven, I am running them without a watch, that way I won't obsess about pace. I did this this week and really enjoyed my 5 mile recovery run.
- I drank 2L of water each day. Yup. No lie.
-I need to charge my Garmin (duh). I didn't discover that my Garmin was KAPUT until I was about to head out the door today for my 13 mile run that my watch was dead. I couldn't procrastinate any more, so I went without a watch, and ran for a little over 2 hours 10 minutes, just to be sure that I covered the distance. Hopefully I ran extra!
-I gained 35 HBB challenge points. My total is now 91. Wow marathon training kicks in nicely to the cause, because before I was sucking in a big way.
-the weeks ahead in the training program both scare and excite me. The idea of running 12 and 11 mile runs mid week is going to eat some major time, so I am thankful I am adjusting for the first two weeks while on holidays. We'll see if I am as chipper in a few weeks...
- Eating has gone well. I am eating leftovers from Christmas dinner, but its all 100% homemade. I love my bread maker, I made the most amazing molasses whole wheat bread. Pair it with turkey breast and you have the yummiest healthiest sandwich.

That's it for now. Hope you all have a Happy New Year! I plan on posting a reflection of 2008 in a few days. Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Boxing Day

I hope everyone had a great Christmas yesterday. I hope to get around to all of your blogs today and play catch up.
Today I was supposed to run a 10 mile boxing day race, but I gave my bib away to my brother in law. I was so tired today from cooking the turkey and enjoying time with my nephews and nieces (5 of them, 3 under the age of 2), I just wasn't up to race mode today. My brother in law and Hubs will have fun running, and my sister will kick my butt later today on a 9 mile steady state run.

Catch up with you all soon. Enjoy your holidays!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Marathon Training: Week One

So I've officially decided that my next marathon will be the Little Rock Arkansas Marathon. Thanks for all of your advice, most of you seemed to think Little Rock would be a good choice. Hilly or not, it looks like a great event and I'll just have to train harder and on some hilly terrain.

Yesterday marked day one of the new marathon training schedule. It was a rest or cross training day. This is my kind of training program! In all reality though, the new training program is really challenging, which I'm both excited and nervous about. Thanks Aron for giving me advice and getting me started on the program.

It's a 12 week program, which I like, since I can't wait the traditional 18-24 weeks between marathons, being a maniac and all. Today is my first run, and I'm a little nervous since I know it will be tough due to punishing conditions. The temperature outside is -8C or 17.6F. Like extreme heat, extreme cold slows you down (not to mention ice-covered roads). Oh well, it will just make me stronger. I have to tweak the plan a bit for the 10 miler race I have this week, it will replace the 9 miler I have planned for Thursday.

I also changed my Garmin from kilometers to miles since the training program is in miles, and the pace is in miles, I just want to keep it simple. I've spent the morning crunching numbers and figuring out my pace in miles/minute compared to kilometers/minute.

Along with my new training plan is a brand new eating "plan". I have decided to cut out as much processed/preservative-free food as possible, so I am good to try the eat clean diet. It's not really a diet, but rather a commitment, to eating whole foods that don't come out a can or a box.

To get things started I went out a bought a bread maker which I am super-excited about. I'll bake my first loaf tonight and report how it goes. I like the thought of fresh bread on hand (although I'll have to watch the quantity of course), and I'll know exactly what I'm eating. I'll try to post my weekly dishes up here so that I comitt to actually doing this.

As for the cold (I've been told its called the 100 day cough! WTF!!??) I still have the dry cough bouts, but I am moving forward. I refuse to let a pesky cough stand in my way. Little Rock, here I come!!

Have a great day and may you get your last minute shopping/cooking/baking/running done! Thanks for reading.

P.S -If anyone knows how to put a countdown ticker on their blog, would you mind letting me know? I tried to add one yesterday but failed miserably.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Catching Up

So I've been MIA the last few days. I have been reading all of your blogs, but I am definitely behind in commenting, so I hope to catch up with you all soon. Part of the reason for my absence is that this silly cold is still hanging on. I was better for awhile but it seems to have resurgences still. Its not as bad as before, but it definitely affects my running.

I am signed up for a 10 miler race next Friday on boxing day and to be 100% honest, I'm not looking forward to it. My original race goal was to try to run the race as though I was running a sub 1:50 half, about 1:24 or 1:25. I don't think this is realistic right now, unfortunately, for a few reasons. My fitness is not there because of my cold. My attempt at tempo run yesterday sent me into a coughing fit. The course has a few major hills, and I never did the hill training I planned to do. It is supposed to be above freezing (although raining) that day. I am thinking about skipping it or perhaps just running a steady pace race. I guess since I've never run a 10 miler, it will be a PR either way. We'll see how it feels closer to race day. Maybe I should just relax and run it for fun. If only I was capable... LOL.

In more positive news, I have narrowed my next marathon down to two choices. Originally I had talked about a family day race, but I want a 12 week training schedule, which starts next week. So I am ready to announce my next marathon plan! Here are the events I am eyeing up (drumroll please...)

1) Little Rock Marathon, Little Rock, Arkansas (March 15th)
-great history
-honking huge medal
-lots of crowd support
-great rating at marathon guide
-have the entire week to relax at my sisters after

-can't really think of much else

2) Shamrock Marathon, Virginia Beach, Virginia (March 22nd)
-flat course
-looks like fun -many leprechauns on the course
-ocean course
-I would have to leave right after to work the next day

The marathon has to be during my March break (March 13th-22nd) and be drivable from my sisters in Nashville. I really want to run both, and I just may. I also looked at the Washington, DC marathon, but I want to run a marathon that counts for 50 states and DC doesn't. Anyway, I welcome your thoughts/opinions on which of these two races to run.

Anyway I hope you are all having a great weekend. I'm off for the next two weeks (woo hoo!)
I also have to tally my BBC points, so look for that in my next post!
Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 15, 2008


When delivering the 50/50 book to the mail for Sonia, a black Chevy Impala was parked eerily off to the side, and proceeded to roll down the window to take my picture as I jogged by.

I thought I should be a good sport and give a little wave...

And again, this weekend when Christy and I were out for a 30K long run. That same black Impala parked off in the distance poised to take our picture as well jogged by.

Can't I even enjoy a run in peace? Geez....

Description of photographer: Brown hair, medium build, does great Mr. Bean impersonations. Goes by the name of Hubs.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weekend Reading

The two running books I ordered arrived in the mail yesterday just in time to do some weekend reading.

This means training plans and marathon plans are coming soon, I just need to put it all together. I started with the Advanced marathoning book last night and I can't put it down. Its packed full of great information.

On the workout front, haven't run much this past week. Still have the tailend of the cold I caught a few weeks back. But I am going to run today, and have a 30K planned for Sunday morning with Christy. Should be fun!

I haven't totalled my HBB challenge points, but I have a feeling its not great but this week will be better, I hope. Oh and have I mentioned I have bought 0 Christmas gifts? I am not worried though, I have a list and as long as I have a few hours sometime in the next week, it will all come together.

Good luck to Laura and D10 tomorrow!

Hope you all have a great weekend! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Running in a Winter WonderLand

Yesterday morning I woke up to discover that we had a fairly major snowfall, everything was covered in a thick white blanket, and huge crystal-like sparkling snowflakes were coming down as I drove into work.

As the day went on, the temperature rose, and the snow turned to rain, making it really slushy and wet out. I came home and by the time I was ready to run, it was dark, but the rain had stopped and it was a mild outside. I decided to venture outside for my first outdoor run since I caught that darn cold.

It was absolutely beautiful out. The moonlight was shining on the snow, and reflecting back to create a warm inviting glow. Running along, I was enjoying the beautiful Christmas lights and the light mist in the air was fresh and wonderful.

Very fairytale like. Much like this picture. Ahhh I thought to myself, I can run forever, maybe instead of 7K I'll go for 12K. Maybe I'll pick up my pace.
My thoughts turned to those smug people (you know you you are) who live in those "warm" climates and how they are just missing out. Silly, silly people, I mused, as I ran downhill, they think we Canadians are crazy for living in such conditions when THEY are the one who are missing out!
I was at a blazing speed by the base of the hill and I as I crossed onto the brigde at the bottom I lost my footing and fell flat on my a$$ (only after flying a few feet in the air first).

The bridge was a freaking ice rink.


So maybe there are benefits to a warm climate.....

Nothing hurt but my pride, I took a shortcut home and opted for a measly 5K. Tonight I opted for an ice-free indoor swim. Gotta love that winter running. Maybe I need to screw my running shoes like Marcy. Anyway, hope you are all having a great week, thanks for reading!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Inspired for a Monday

All of this reading about sucessful marathons has me fired up to start training for my next marathon. Congratulations to Julianne and Aron for amazing PR's and for Dando for running his first marathon. Great job everyone and very inspiring for us all!

I have been researching marathons like mad and I want to train hard for my next one, hopefully in about twelve weeks. I have a bit of a confession. I have never really followed a true plan. Sure I have done 50 mile weeks, done speed work, hills, etc, but I have never really put it all together. This time I plan to follow a plan to a "T" and see how that goes.

I also want to watch my diet. Being 10lbs lighter would definately help me run faster, so I am hereby comitting to watching my diet. I am also participating in the Bootie Buster Challenge. I am curious how it will go if I put it all together!

I feel much better and my voice is returning to normal. I went for a run 10K run yesterday at our indoor track. I had a decent run, although I have lost some of the speed I had before I was sick, but I'm sure it will come back. The almost two weeks I took off was good for me mentally, but I'm ready to go... I really missed running, which is good, I guess.

As for what marathon, I am not telling yet (LOL), but I really want to run them all!! (I have issues, I know). I am eyeing up one in February and two in March.

Today I have not have a workout yet, but I plan to go for a swim in a little while. Hope you all had a great Monday, and thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weekend Update

Well, I'm still sick, but I'm slowly getting better, so Hubs and I went to the gym today to have a little workout, and it felt so good to get moving again.

30 minutes on the recumbnant bike
2.1 miles on the treadmill
40 lunges
40 situps
20 bicep curls
20 shoulder presses
20 triceps curls

long hot tub, shower and sauna

Mexican food

And I'm done like dinner.

My voice is still gone, I hope its back by Monday or I'll won't be able to teach again. Anyone know any remedies. Well that about it for me, hope you are all having a great weekend. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

TIART: My Running Dreams

First off, sorry about my post yesterday, I was just a little bit stir crazy, but I'm better today. Taking the day off to rest my voice certainly has helped, although I still sound like a toad.

So anyway, being at home with little running to speak of, the topic for this weeks Take it and Run Thursday at Runner's Lounge is "Make a wish... Share a Dream". Perfect!

I wish to be able to run as long as I live. Running is so much more than exercise to me, it clears my mind and nourishes my soul. Sorry if this sounds cheesy, but its true. Everything is so much clearer and less stressful after a run. I am just at peace and I can fit into my jeans.

I dream to be able to be able to explore the world by running marathons all over the world. I love going to new cities and running the marathon there. I feel like the runners hold the key to the city as we run down major streets and by monumental and historic sites. There is no better way to tour a city than running a marathon. Of course a dream like this requires lots of moolah, but its free to dream. I inspire to make my dreams a reality.

Lots of races this weekend, so good luck to the following bloggers (please let me know if I missed you!)

Kiawah Island Marathon - Kim (this race looks awesome, please share pics!)
CIM - Aron, Julianne
Vegas - Ali, Vegas Runner, Stacey

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am slowly going crazy 1-2-3-4-5-6 switch!

First off, before I dive in self-absorbed pity party, congratulations to Sonia, she is next in line for the 50/50 book! Sonia, e-mail me soon so I can get the book in the mail to you. Its a great read!

In other non-news, I am still sick. I have a dry cough that has rendered me speechless. Yep, I have no voice right now. As a teacher, I'm pretty much toast around the kidlets. So tomorrow will be a sick day. I am really going stir crazy because I haven't run since the Philadelphia Marathon a week and a half ago! Now I know a break is good, but I didn't want this long of a break! I did go for a swim last night (1.8km), and felt better after, but still spent the night awake coughing. I am so tempted to go for a run now, I can't stand sitting and doing nothing! Arrrgghhh!!! Once again Arrrggghhh!!

Sorry about that, I just needed to get it off my chest! I do have plenty of nonrunning real world junk to catch up on, so I guess nows the time! Anyway, I hope you are all having a better week. Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 1, 2008

50/50 Draw!!

Well its time for me to pass on the 50/50 book to let it travel some more miles. This awesome idea was piloted by Ted, and has a few simple rules:

1. Respond to my post in order to be the next in line to read the book.

2. I will mail the book to you.
3. Read the book.
4. After reading the book, create a post in your blog and find out who wants to be next in line to read the book.
5. Ship the book to the next blogger.
6. You must take a picture of yourself with the book.
7. Write a small comment of what you think of the book in it.
8. Ship the book to the next blogger.
9. Lastly, you must use any form of human power (i.e, walk, run, skateboarding, bike) in order to take the book to the post office. Exception: If you live very far to the Post Office, use car.

I will promise the book will be jogged by yours truly to the my local post office. I must also add that this book is a MUST READ motivator. Here is my picture of the book (taken at the Philadelphia airport after the marathon)

So go on, respond to this post FIRST, and I'll be in touch to mail you the book. Thanks to Ted for this great opportunity!