Thursday, December 30, 2010

Geared Up

I had this brilliant idea to take a picture of all my awesome running-biking-swimming related Christmas gifts piled in front of tree and do a great post about how spoiled I am. But on Christmas Eve the memory card in my camara crapped out so I didn't really have a camara. And since Christmas my external hard drive (where I back up all my pictures) seems to have fried itself. And Sophie took off with my zip drives (where I store pictures) and stashed them in one of her hiding places, yet to be discovered.

So you'll have to settle for my much less interesting recitation of all my awesome gifts.

My running partner got me an awesome legit bike helmet that matches my new road bike. I am so excited to get my bike out on the road. Hell, I might even wear the new helmet while I ride my bike on the trainer. Just because it looks so cool. My old helmet was a purple monstrosity from Target that cost $8, was too big, and had my sticker from the Chisago Lakes tri permanently stuck to the side. I can't wait to throw that thing in the garbage.

My running partner also bought my some CEP compression socks - bright pink. I have been wanting compression socks forever, so I was super happy about these. Now I just have to start doing some double digit runs so I feel like I deserve them!

My hubby bought me a new pair of Brooks Adrenaline, about 800 pairs of Under Armour running socks, and a whole stocking full of Gu. You know you are a runner when you get all whipped up about a Christmas stocking full of slimy, questionably flavored, quasi-food products.

My brother bought me the Triathletes Training Bible. Before you go thinking he is so perceptive for knowing I would want such a thing, let me clear that up - I e-mailed him my Borders 50% off coupon and told him to go buy it. But still, I'm looking forward to reading up and hopefully seeing some improvements in my triathlons in 2011.

Finally, the day after Christmas, with my Christmas money from my grandparents, I bought two new Nike winter running tops on the cheap at Sports Authority. I love them because they are a little longer and keep my tummy warm.

I'm all set and ready to run for another year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Review

Now that I've made it through the Christmas holiday intact, it's time to wind down 2010 and get ready for a new year. The end of 2010 - opening my own law office - has been front and center, so it's nice to look back at the goals I set at the beginning of the year and see my progress.

My goals:
Run at least one race every month Yep. Some of them weren't very pretty, but I did do something every single month of the year.
Run a sub-2:00 half marathon. Fail. Came closer, but still about two minutes shy.
Run at least one marathon. Yep. I actually completed two marathon training cycles, had a DNF at the Madison Marathon in May, and then finished Twin Cities in October.
350 minutes of exercise a week. I did really well with this until the stress-fest that was November and the holiday madness of December. I have had a couple of months this summer during which I did some sort of workout every single day. I am working back to that!
Spend less money. I would say I've done this. May husband would say otherwise.
Read at least 50 books. I've finished 56, almost done with #57 - finishing up the year with a running book, Again to Carthage by John L. Parker, Jr.

My best 2010 accomplishment wasn't even on my mind when I set my goals last January - triathlon. But this year I trained for and completed three triathlons. Some triathlon-related goals will definitely be making their way onto the 2011 goal list!

I have felt a little bit down about my athletic side the last couple of months - all the stress of finishing up at my last job and starting the new office sort of took over. But reviewing my goals and recalling some proud running (and swimming and biking) moments from the year have helped me put it into perspective a little bit. I am very excited about turning the fresh page on a new training calendar!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I am in full on winter running mode - which means I never check the temperature, I just throw on my two layers of pants and three layers of tops and head out the door. Imagine my surprise when, at dark o'thirty this morning, I left the house to a balmy 20 degrees. It has been so cold this month that that 20 degrees felt like 60. Which made for one HOT three mile run. Of course, I was working extra hard to run through five inches of fresh snow, so that heated me right on up too.

If this "warm" weather could stick around, I may actually be able to handle winter without rocking back and forth on the floor crying like a crazy person.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Rules of Racing

As I'm putting together my 2011 race calendar, I'm developing some rules of racing. My new #1 rule: Do Not Pay $70 (or more) for a half marathon. I had seen some information for an indoor trail half marathon in New Richmond, Wisconsin in February and thought it would be a good way to get an early test race in for marathon training. I went on the website to register and it was $70. The Monster Half Marathon I ran in October was $70+ as well. Seriously?

Maybe we are spoiled here in Minnesota, but there a lot of good half marathons that are not that expensive. The Earth Day 1/2 in April in St. Cloud has early registration now for $35. And you get a nice medal, super nice shirt, and it is an awesome race. One of my beloved half-marathons, the Madison Mini-Marathon is $50ish and again, you get a nice medal, super nice shirt, awesome course, great race.

So no, I will not be paying $70 for a half marathon. Sorry. For $10 more I can register for the Fargo full tomorrow, and for $15 more I can register for Grandma's full. More mileage for your buck . . .

On a completely unrelated note, I just knocked out some more office floor sit ups and push ups (see yesterday's post). Do I sense the beginning of some sort of streak?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why I Love Being My Own Boss: Reason #852

It's after 2:00. My lunch (and, I admit it, a few Christmas cookies) have put me into a semi-comatose state. No problem. I'll just get down on the floor and do some sit ups and push ups. I'm feeling much more awake, and yep, I think my abs are flatter already.

Now I'm trying to figure out a way to fit my bike & trainer somewhere in the office . . .

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bests and Worsts

Jill, for her Monday Brain Exchange, posted about her best and worst races of 2010. I have been thinking a lot about my WORST races, because my string of 5k failures of the last couple months have probably been my worst. So it is nice to remember the BEST:

I have two - the Chisago Lakes Sprint Tri and Twin Cities Marathon. The tri was great because I had been so sure that I would never learn to swim and never do a triathlon, and I did it. I had a smile on my face the whole race. Twin Cities was another race where I just smiled just about the whole time. Even though it wasn't a PR race, I ran strong and had a good race.

When I started thinking about my worst races, I at first didn't even think about my DNF at the Madison Marathon in May (where I dropped out at mile 11). It only occurred to me as I was writing this post that maybe that should be my worst race. But I don't think so. While that was definitely not a happy experience, going through it helped change my attitude about running and racing in a good way.

Thanks for the topic Jill! It was fun to think back on some great races.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's that sound?

Oh, it's just my quads. Screaming.

Did I mention I took a little break from kettlebells? (Okay, I took a little break from all things sweat-worthy.) But kettlebells. Yeah, I hadn't gone since October. I decided last night should mark my glorious return to the kettlebells gym. I missed it, I wanted to be someplace warm (and the kettlebell gym is STEAMY), and oh yeah, I stepped on the scale Monday. Ouch.

So we started out class with a warm up of eight billion walking lunges. While carrying a kettlebell. And while my shoulders and upper back and arms and ass are all sore from the variety of tortures that followed, it is those damn walking lunges I am feeling today.

Don't worry. I was able to drown out the sound of the screaming and get in a little run after work today. Which means, wait for it, runs three days in a row. Is it safe to say I'm back?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Race Report - Reindeer Run 5K

I have had a string of race-fails lately - the ice out for the Como Park Turkey 5K, and then too cold weather Thanksgiving morning to take Sophie out to my planned 10K - so my running partner signed us up for the Reindeer Run 5K yesterday. He also signed Sophie up for the kid's race. So even though a snowstorm dumped a few inches on the twin cities Friday night and early Saturday morning, we were still determined to get down to Lake Harriet for the race.

On the way down, I called my mom and told her we were still running so she could meet us at the lake to watch Sophie during the 5K. When she called back to say she was stuck in her driveway and was trying to shovel out to get there in time, we probably should have taken it as a sign and turned around. But we didn't.

We got to Lake Harriet to find a bazillion cars snaking through the still mostly un-plowed streets trying to find parking. Finally found a spot - too late for the kid's race. My mom called - she was on the other side of the lake. Decided she would stay where she was and wait for the race to pass her. Which met the first two miles of the race with Sophie. Ever run a 5K with a three year old on your shoulders?

Two miles with Sophie on my shoulders (crying first because she wanted to go home, and then because she had to pee) later, I saw my mom. We then detoured off the race course to deposit Sophie in my mom's car so they could go find a bathroom. And I ran the last mile in. I couldn't find the finish line, so never saw the clock. I think it took close to an hour by the time all was said and done.

So one last big race fail to finish out 2010. Oh well. I'll take it as a positive omen that 2011 is going to be outstanding.