Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The best taper ever

I have no idea what a great taper looks like, but I'm 100% sure that I didn't have it. ;-) Since I'm done with my half & currently not running, I thought I would recap.

The Taper
Let's see, I got sick a couple of weeks ago. It started out as a cold, so I ran a little but took it easy. Then my older son got sick. Then my husband. Then Michael left for Dallas for a week, & my younger son got pneumonia. Meanwhile, I'm still sick. So, to sum up the last few weeks of my training plan, I barely ran, stayed home with sick kids (and my sick self), ate goldfish crackers on the sofa, & watched Criminal Minds. Except, watching Criminal Minds when I'm at home by myself freaks me out. And, I probably shouldn't have bought ten bags of goldfish crackers when they were on sale last week. Because, those cupcake flavored ones are too good. I possibly ate an entire bag at work yesterday. Maybe?

Adding to the fun, our offices were moving, & I had to pack. Even though I was at home with my little sickie. I took him to the office bright & early, & he joined me for my ugly bathroom picture.

I'm wearing Gap skinny jeans + a top from the Loft. Nick is wearing Children's Place, & his favorite orange skeleton hoodie. He's trendy, yo. ;-) Actually, a secret about Nick is that he has a St. Patrick's Day birthday, so he legit believes that all things St. Patrick's Day are really in honor of him. And, he wears green or St. Patrick's Day shirts basically every day. For real. I had to buy more, because laundry was becoming a bit of a problem.

Ugly Bathroom Photos
Meanwhile, our new office has no full-length mirror in the bathroom!!! The horror! How will I survive without my ugly bathroom photos? For Monday, you just get a half shot.

Skirt is BCBG. Note the new addition of a Lego Scuba diver sticker on my phone. And, my crazy bad hair & strange smile.

I would not be foiled by the missing mirror, so for the last two days, I've conned Michael into taking my picture before work.

Do you like our star charts on the wall? We use those to reward the boys for good behavior. Nothing wrong with a little well-placed bribe. ;-) Also of note, yesterday I was coughing a lot. And, I possibly coughed so hard that I peed myself. In a skirt. Yeah, it was all kinds of glamorous. This bronchitis thing can suck it!

Lately I feel like I've made very little progress with my weight. It's hard for me to notice small improvements. But, as I was uploading today's photo, I noticed that I've worn the purple sweater before (about a year ago) & blogged the picture.

Not only is my hair slightly improved (WTH is going on in that first picture?!), but I feel like I'm trimmer overall. Yeah for progress!!!

What's Next?
I don't think I'm going to be running the Seattle R&R (they wouldn't allow me to transfer my race registration from Portland to Seattle), and that weekend happens to be one of the only times we can head to the beach this summer. So, I'm currently planning my next race. For local ladies, totally open to suggestions! I'm considering the Tacoma Narrows Half on August 4th. I may try to add in a few shorter races as well (5K, 10K, 15K, whatever). Anything but a full marathon. ;-)

I'd also love to lose the last five lingering pounds. I'm headed to San Diego for Memorial Day with Michael next weekend to visit friends, so I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing a bikini. Maybe it's time to stop eating a bag of goldfish at a time? Perhaps. I also have my annual girls Las Vegas trip coming up in July, and we all know that Las Vegas is the quintessential tiny dress & bikini destination. YEAH!!! Can't wait.

And now you! Tell me about your best/worst tapers. Do you love goldfish crackers? What's your snack kryptonite? What's your next race?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kirkland Half Marathon Race Recap

First things first:


I woke up yesterday, & did not feel very amazing. I was nervous, & super congested. I've had a cold for a couple of weeks, but told myself that I've been training for this day for months, & nothing was going to stop me.

I got up at 5:00, had my favorite long run breakfast of oatmeal with peanut butter & coffee. The Kirkland Half Marathon started at 7:30, but luckily, we only live a few miles away. So, Michael & the boys were able to drop me off at the start line around 6:45. I warmed up a bit, stretched, did the traditional porta potty visit, & soon enough, it was time to line up. I chose the slowest corral, but that ended up being a mistake. For the first mile, my pace was crazy slow because I couldn't get around people. Lesson learned that although I'm slow, I should be realistic about my pace & not freak out & move to the back.

The fun started in the first three miles, most of which were uphill. My lungs were not feeling good, & I was definitely coughing & wheezing. Had I been feeling this way the day before, I doubt I would have run. After mile three, things evened out a bit (the entire course is crazy hilly - I wish I knew how to upload my Garmin info?) & I got into a good rhythm. I also had foolishly taken a Dayquil in the morning, thinking that would help my congestion. It did help my congestion, but it made me crazy dehydrated. I was taking three waters at every stop, & still wishing I had my fuel belt. Once we hit the half way point, I knew I was going to finish, & I was getting pretty excited. At mile 8, we joined my normal long run route (the waterfront area in Kirkland) & I was feeling pretty great. Still a bit wheezy & congested, but nothing I couldn't handle.

I started tearing up around mile 11, as we did our last uphill & I knew I had enough juice to finish under 2:30. On a great day, I think I could have finished in 2:15, but I was so happy I was going to hit my second goal.

Meanwhile, at the finish line, Michael was trying to keep these cuties in check.

They kept asking why it was taking me so long. ;-)

At mile 12, you head into a park & can see the area where you'll be finishing. I was listening to my music & just enjoying myself. I rounded the corner, & I saw my boys waiting for me! They darted out of Michael's grip while he had the camera, & came onto the course. Luckily, the race was small & I was near the end, and people were cheering for us. It was an amazing, amazing experience.

ETA: Just got back from the doctor, & I have bronchitis. Guess that explains the wheezing. Sadly, no Portland R&R for me. :-(

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I did it!

My first half marathon is complete! Full details & pictures to come, but I finished. I'm so happy & excited right now. Finish time = 2:23. I know I can do better when I'm fully recovered from my cold, because I was wheezing going up some of the hills. But, I brought my own personal best for today, & I did it!!

Michael booked me a surprise afternoon at the spa (and had cupcakes for me) & today is shaping up to be the best day ever. :-)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Running is my therapy

I haven't posted in a week or so, because, while I'm sure it would have been thrilling for you to read about how I was sick (Monday), then still sick (Tuesday), then freaking out because I was still sick & not feeling like running (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday), I think I just summed up last week relatively well. :-)

Do you know what I was reminded of during my spell of non-running last week? Running is my therapy. No, it really is. It's my time to think through challenges, brainstorm ideas, zone out, & somehow just the act of running keeps my stress under control. Every person in my family is aware when I'm able to run, because I'm just a happier, saner, more balanced person. And, the opposite when I'm not running. ;-)

Life in general is stressful with the daily challenges of managing the household, work, the kids, Michael's schedule, & all that goes with it. Adding to that, lately my older son has been struggling at school, & we don't have a great handle on what's going on. Two things I've learned from that. 1) Nothing is as frustrating as wanting to help your child and not knowing how. 2) Nothing makes me more upset or stressed out than knowing that my child is feeling unsuccessful & hurting & not knowing what to do. We'll be doing additional testing to find out best methods to help him succeed, but right now, every day I cross my fingers & say a little prayer on my drive to school that he's had a good day. This parenting thing is a lot harder than they let on.

Deep thoughts aside, here are a few ugly bathroom pictures.

Yesterday - I ended up putting this skirt in the recycle pile at the end of the day, because it hits my hips in an unflattering way. So, this ugly bathroom picture was the last hurrah. Most comfortable wedge sandals ever - Jeffrey Campbell.

Today, wearing an old American Eagle tank top, with my new Babeau (courtesy of Ross) sweater, Nordstrom Brass Plum jeans, & black wedge sandals.

Also, since I had all this free time on my hands this weekend (taper + being sick), I finally got a hair cut!

I do believe that, 18 months after I started growing out my color, it's almost gone! Pardon the crazy eyes. ;-)
And, in minor running-related news, I'm running my first half on Sunday! Boom! Can't wait. Happy Mother's Day to me.

Give it to me straight -do you run for the stress management benefits? Other reasons? I love the way it makes me feel, & the tight(er) butt is nothing to sniff at, but oh, the stress management.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Estimating finish times, and my last long run

I ran twelve miles on Saturday & it was great. Finished in 2:13, so I'm definitely feeling ready for my half marathon in a couple of weeks. I'm fighting off a nasty cold, so things have been pretty quiet on the fitness front the last few days.

I did manage to make it to the gym last night for some light elliptical + strength, & I felt like an Olympian for pulling that off with a runny nose/head cold. ;-)

I'm focusing on trying to lose five pounds in May, so I'm working hard on cleaning up my eating (the occasional treat, rather than having it be an every day thing) & tracking my calories a bit more closely. Lately I've been just guesstimating.

And, I went shopping! Ugly bathroom photos return!

My new blue "slouchy" sweater (Ann Taylor)

Here's today's outfit. Featuring the $10 polka dot top that my sister talked me into. :-)

In running-related news, I just discovered that I put myself down for a 3 hour finish in the Portland R&R. Judging by my time of 2:13 in my twelve miler on Saturday, I'm assuming I'm going to be done way before that. Oops. How do you estimate your finish time? Do you take your best long run & add time (since I'm comparing 12 miles to just over 13, I'm assuming that it will be more like 2:30). . . does that sound reasonable?