Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best of 2009

I reviewed my 2009 goals today and was pleasantly surprised to see that I did pretty well. The rundown:

Goal 1: Run a sub 54:00 10K. So close. But just couldn't quite eek it out.

Goal 2: Run a 4:30-ish marathon. Done.

Goal 3: Run sub-2:05 half marathon. Done. Although as the year went on, my goal morphed into a sub-2:00 half. That one will have to stay on the list for next year!

Goal 4: Get a Mora Classic medal. I'm 3/4 of the way there. The final event is in February (the cross country ski). Guess I best dust off those skis and get my butt in gear.

Goal 5: 2009 miles in 2009. Um, big fat fail. I'm not even going to hit 1000 for 2009 - more like 930. On the positive side, that's more miles than I ran in 2008.
Although I've had a lot of running highs in the past year (and a couple of lows), there are three memories that really stand out as my favorites. The first: the Madison Mini Marathon in August. I didn't set a PR, but the race was so much fun and really restored my love for running after a tough couple of summer races.
My second favorite running moment of 2009 was running with Sophie in her very first race at the Grantsburg 5K in June. Sophie ran the distance of a football field and got her first race medal. I'm happy to report that running seems to be in her blood - she can now make it a whole lap around the track (and today, when she saw me in running clothes, asked if we were going for a run at the running track).
But my absolute favorite running moment of 2009 was running the lap around Lambeau field at the finish of the Green Bay Marathon. It wasn't just the thrill of running on the field (although that certainly was a part of it). Everything just came together - all of the hard work put in through what I considered my best training cycle ever, all of the times I kept pushing during the race, and all of the emotions of being close to the finish and knowing I had smashed my marathon PR. Definitely a runner's high if there ever was one.
Aside from the running highlights, I am also proud of how I incorporated cross training in the past year. I added biking this summer (and have stuck with it this winter using my trainer), I fell in love with kettlebells two months ago and have been going strong, and I've been regularly submitting myself to Jillian Michaels' various forms of torture.
It's been a great year and being part of this runner blogging community has really enhanced the joy I find in running. Thanks for following along with all my adventures and for sharing yours with me!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Proof that I Was Good This Year

Alternate title: Santa Loves Runners.

I got the running motherlode for Christmas this year. Two running tops, two pairs of arm warmers, a Running Room gift card, and enough gu to get me through two marathon training cycles. I also got a new camera, which should help with all the race pictures.

All the new running stuff has me extra motivated to get training. Good thing, because I stepped on the scale this morning and yikes. Time to channel my inner Marlene and become a lean, mean running machine.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

3 out of 5

Last week, I made it out for an early morning, pre-work run three mornings. Tuesday and Wednesday were just too cold (windchills in the double digits below zero? No thank you.).

I'm going for 3 out of 5 again this week, although it will be more like 3 out of 3 (perfect!) because I am not working Thursday or Friday. I am loving getting back into the routine of early morning runs. Much better way to start my day than pushing snooze 18 times and rushing around to get ready.

It was tough to get up early this morning. I was on the run from Friday after work until 10:00 last night and was so tired. But I had a great weekend of Christmas party, shopping, Christmas concert at church, and cookie baking. Santa brought me an early Christmas present - a continuance of a jury trial that was supposed to start today. Whew. I do not want to try a case in front of a bunch of jurors who are pissed about being on a jury four days before Christmas!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Boost from my Personal Cheerleader

First, Merry Christmas! Please consider this your bloggy Christmas card. This is the picture we used on our cards this year, as my child refuses to pose for a picture and this is the best I could do.

Last night as I was getting ready to leave for kettlebells, I gave Sophie and hug and kiss goodbye. Because I was dressed in running clothes, she asked, "Mommy go for a run?" I said "Yep, Mommy's going to run and exercise." Her response? "Go, Mommy, go!" So well trained.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Desert and Dessert

First, the desert. My skin. One of the downfalls of winter running is the dry skin. It's bad enough anyhow in the winter, but after running outside in the blustery wind this weekend and this morning, my face and hands are so dry. Yeck. I put on so much lotion before I went to bed last night, I almost slipped out from under my sheets.

And now, the dessert. Much more exciting topic. I'm in charge of dessert for Christmas Eve (I think my mom puts me in charge of this because she knows we can always get pies from Baker's Square if I screw up). I'm trying to decide between: oreo cheesecake (Cheesecake Factory recipe), boston creme pie, candy cane pie, and this double chocolatey cheesecake thing. Any suggestions? I think I should probably make two given the number of people we have.

I ran three miles this morning. We got a few inches of snow overnight and it was still snowing, so it was like a little winter wonderland. I felt less lovey about the snow when I was slipping and sliding while trying to run up a steep hill. Might be time to break out the yak trax.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Return of the AM Runs

For the past four years, my running partner Jim and I have run early every morning before work - an easy 3 miler just to get moving. I do my long runs, tempo runs and speedwork on the weekend or evenings after work. But since last spring, the morning runs haven't happened. My child does not really believe in sleep. During the spring and summer, she took this to a whole new level - up several times a night, and then awake for the day at about 5:30 in the morning. But lately, she's been sleeping better. I hate to even say it, but for the last week, she has slept all night long and I have had to wake her up at 7:45 to get ready for daycare.

On Tuesday, I saw Jim at the courthouse. We had the following conversation:

Me: "I need to start running the mornings again. I feel all twitchy. Sophie's sleeping better. Let's start up again tomorrow."

Jim: "Okay that sounds great. But you know it's supposed to be kind of cold tomorrow."

Me: "I don't care if there's eight feet of snow and it's 20 below, we're running in the morning."

Jim: "Um, okay."

Wednesday morning, I was up bright and early and piled on all the layers. I looked at the temps: 3 below with 15 below windshill. Jim and I sort of have a rule - below zero, not so fun to run in the dark. At this point I knew the run probably wasn't going to happen. But I stood there in my hat, mittens and orange traffic vest for about 15 minutes waiting. I could have gone out to run by myself but running in my middle of nowhere neighborhood in the dark is a bad idea.

This morning was even colder. I hear that it's supposed to warm up tomorrow. Hopefully the true return to morning running will happen then.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Running? Blog? What?

Can I still refer to myself as a runner if I haven't run at all the whole month of December? My running log looks so white and clean, it makes me sick. The combination of sicky coughness and then busy weekend and then nasty guardianship trial has contributed to the ugly whiteness of my running log.

Here's why I think I can still say I'm a runner: I have read the new Runner's World. That counts, right? Also, I am so pumped to start training for a spring marathon. I can't wait to get back on a schedule and have a purpose for each run. I've been working on my training plan and looking at possible races for early 2010. I'll post about all this fascinating stuff sometime soon, I'm sure. Until then, I need to put on my twenty layers of clothes, get out there and run!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Cougher's Guide to Exercise

My cold has morphed into a lovely hacking cough. Lay down? Cough all night long (thank God for Nyquil Cough). Try to run (as in take in deep breaths of cold air)? Someone get me to a hospital.

A brief hiatus from running thanks to the cough. But don't worry, I'm fitting in other exercise. Kettlebells was okay, and only left me lying on the floor gasping for breath six times. The scheduled for the rest of the week:

1) Tonight, I'll bowl without drinking beer. That means I'll maybe actually burn a couple of calories. Unfortunately, without the beer, my bowling will probably suck even more so than it usually does.

2) Friday, I'll try to get on my trainer for a little bit and then let Jillian bitch slap me around for a while. My massive bruise from my mishap in getting off my trainer on Sunday is almost healed, so I think I'm ready for another go.

3) Saturday, I'm headed to Mall of America for some Christmas shopping. That's at least a couple of miles of walking, while carrying heavy bags. Let's just ignore the fact that I'll probably be drinking wine with lunch and dinner that day.

Hopefully by Sunday the cough will be gone and I can get back outside for a run. At this rate, December may be an even lower mileage month than November.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This Rest Day Brought to You By . . .

Sore throat. Fever. Stuffy head. Take your pick. I started feeling sick Sunday evening, but thought it was allergies from the dust storm created during my Christmas decorating efforts. By 9:00 Sunday night, it was clear that it was not an allergy attack. Thanks to the wonder that is Tylenol PM, I got a great night's sleep Sunday night and woke up feeling like crap Monday morning. Yesterday was actually the rest day. I'm feeling better already today and am planning on going to kettlebells tonight. The thought of working out in a warm gym is more appealing than taking my sore throat and stuffed up head out to the cold outdoors for a run.

In other news, what the hell happened to the month of November? I checked out the running log last night for my monthly stats and the running numbers were a bit disappointing. Plus side: three races (a 10 miler and two 5K's). The mileage was low, but not terrible considering I took an 8 day hiatus to get Sophie over the piggy flu. The big news from the month of November? 16 cross training sessions. That's got to be some sort of world record, right?