Friday, December 30, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

I don't know the exact number of miles I ran. Or biked. Or how many meters I swam.

But I do know, that I had probably the best year of racing.


The first few months of the year, I ran for fun. I was on a first marathon post-race high, and I didn't race until March, in a really fun run, the Tipp Hill Shamrock Run 4 miler.  Where I managed a 1 minute PR.

I braved the cold morning temps of spring, and met my friends for training runs in hilly, downtown Syracuse, prepping for the Mountain Goat 10 miler.  I gave that goat a smack down with an 8 minute PR.

Ah, injury.  While walking Frank, I rolled my foot off a path, and twisted my foot. My podiatrist felt I needed custom inserts, and new running shoes.  I had to take over a month's rest, and was unable to run in one of my favorite races, the Boilermaker #15k. The lovely race director let me defer my registration to 2012, so I was happy.

One I was healed, it was go time for the Irongirl Triathlon.  My biggest fear was the swim, but I ended up really enjoying it, and a few times at the pool, people complimented me on my stroke.  I must have been doing something right, because in the swim, I placed 192 out of over a 1,000 finishers.

Then it was time for marathon training, and fundraising. I'm thankful and appreciative to all who donated, I raised over $2,800 for The Children's Tumor Foundation.

I learned the name for a muscle that I didn't know I had, the pes anerus, which I now call Pez.  I pulled that sucker pretty well, so much so that I had to alter my marathon training. My last training run was capped at 18 miles, so I wasn't sure how I was going to do in the race.

But I traveled down to the area I grew up, and one of my life goals came true.  

Oh yeah, and I pulled off an 18 minute PR.

While I was at the expo, I met up with two fabulous bloggers, Miss Zippy, and Lisa.

I finished 2011 with a Turkey Trot 10k, I felt fabulous the entire race, and finished just under an hour.

Throughout the year I ran with this speedster:

spent time with this guy:

and goofed around with these two knuckleheads:

So what's on tap for 2012?

My race schedule has a few things on it, but I want to try something new.

I'd love to do a Ragnar Relay, or a Tough Mudder.

I'm contemplating the Philadelphia Marathon.

One of my resolutions is to do speed work, I know I can get faster, I just have to suck it up and go for it.

Other than that, the year is wide open, waiting to be filled with new adventures.

Happy New Year!

I wish you much joy, health, and peace. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

That isn't coal, it's chocolate

I'm a happy girl today, after a weekend of Christmas Cheer.

I kicked off the weekend with lunch with two of my favorite running buddies, my sis in law Jeannine, and friend Norine.  We were the last people in the restaurant when we finally left, we usually get all that chatting done while running, but this time we did it over panini's and a glass of vino.

Later that day, I did an annual exchange with our Jewish neighbor, he gave us a plate of his fabulous latkes, and I gave him a plate of Christmas cookies, the best of both worlds.  We then headed to a party down the street.  It's nice to be able to walk to a party.  But it's not so good to be able to walk to a party.  Our street was very quiet the next morning, I think there were a lot of hangovers to be had.  

We went to my sister in law's for Christmas Eve, for the Feast of Fishes.  I had 5 of the 7, a bit of haddock, shrimp, a scallop, crab legs, and a bit of pasta in anchovy sauce.  There was a really good green salad, and stretch bread for dipping in tomato oil. I could have made a meal just of the bread, seriously.  

We really felt the absence of Mike's Dad, we visited him on Christmas Eve, and Mike went again on Christmas Day, but it didn't feel the same without him.  My Mother in Law has been staying with us, so I think it was nice for her to see the kids open their gifts on Christmas morning. 

The kids have been a bit naughty lately, and there was much talk about how Santa might be leaving coal in their stockings instead of presents.  After the kids were asleep, Mike made a trail of chocolate coal up the stairs.  

Luke knew it was candy the second he saw it. 

He was absolutely thrilled with his Lego Alien Conquest set.  

Eliza was happy to see that she got the cupcake robe she requested.

Surprisingly, my two favorite gifts weren't running related, Mike gave me a Keurig coffee maker, and a set of Marty Moose Mugs.  

You know you're jealous.

But at 1:05 on Christmas Day, my sister in law gave us the best present you could ask for, a new baby niece, Mia Maureen!! They live on Long Island, so we haven't seen her, but I can't wait! 

We had dinner at home, Mike made prime rib, and I did something different with the potatoes this year, I roasted them by following this recipe from Ina Garten.  They were gooood. 

And now what am I going to do with my Day After Christmas?  The toys need to be organized, and the house put back together, and I'm going to go for a long run.  I've been hitting the treadmill, but I need to get outside and just GO.  

Let's see what kind of power those potatoes will give me. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

13 for Tuesday

1. Sometimes I feel like I sweat more while I'm Christmas shopping, than when I'm running.

2. Everything I bought yesterday was on sale, or I made it be on sale by using a coupon.

3. I went to the dermatologist recently. Apparently I have acne, wrinkles, rosacea, and eczema.  All at once.

4. Black Ice is back. This morning Luke wiped out right onto his rear end while walking to the bus.  That hurts.

5. We're going to Disney in just a couple of weeks. I've barely had a chance to plan for it, but I'm heading to Barnes & Noble today to get a much needed guidebook.

6. I did a third round of Christmas baking on Saturday.  I have one more round to do on Wednesday, then I should be good.

7. Two of my BFF's want to run their first half marathon in 2012, I'm so excited to do it with them!

8. I've had a great year race wise.  I PR'd in every race I ran, including an 18 minute PR in NYC, and an 8 minute PR in a wicked hilly 10 mile race.  I raced in my first sprint Triathlon, IronGirl Syracuse.

9. Why are race photos so expensive? I've never bought one, but I'm breaking out the credit card for the NYC photos.

10. The chocolate coconut Vega Sport Protein Bar is ridiculously good.

11. I don't have any New Years Resolutions.  I'm turning 40 in January, that's enough to deal with.

12. I finished the Hunger Games Trilogy, Luke is already asking me about it. We're still on the first Harry Potter, I told him he has a long wait for HG.

13. The Countdown to Christmas is officially ON.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I think Puppy should skip school

I was looking at Luke's homework agenda for the week, and read that he has to bring something in on Friday, to share with the class.  I figured he would bring in some kind of Lego creation, but no, he wants to bring in his stuffed Puppy dog, that he sleeps with every night.

I bought Puppy at FAO Schwartz, when I was pregnant with Luke. It was the only thing I bought before having him, and it turned out to be his favorite animal.  Luke loves to hear me tell the story of how I went shopping that day, very excited to be having a baby, and how much we loved the baby already, and wanted to buy a special gift for it.

But I'm not too keen on him bringing Puppy to school though, and here's why.

Last year we were getting ready for school, it was cold and snowy, and we couldn't find his gloves.  I was afraid we were going to miss the bus, so I grabbed a pair of lavender colored mittens, put them on his hands, and off he went.

When he came home that afternoon, he got off the bus, with his head hanging down, and a sad look on his face. I asked him what was wrong, he said "The big kids made fun of my purple mittens."


I felt like the worse Mom ever, I basically fed him straight to the bullies mouths.

There are always going to be those kids who make fun of others, I get it.  I was called a "Carpenters Dream" in seventh grade, since I was "flat as a board and needed a screw."  Fun times.  But you can see why I'm putting my foot down about Puppy not going to school.  I don't want any other seven year old's to make fun of having a stuffed animal, or making him feeling bad about something he loves.  I told Luke that since Puppy is so special, we don't want to risk him losing him on the bus or at school.  So he's going to choose something else.

And I'll make sure to keep Puppy away from Frank, the Stuffed Animal Eating Dog.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

21 Random Things

I was tagged by Morning Runner J, to tell 21 things about myself, I've mentioned some of these before, but here goes....

1. I believe in everything in moderation, including moderation.
2. I'm an excellent multi-tasker.
3. One time at a work party, I knocked into Rupert Murdoch so hard he almost fell over.
4. I have 27 first cousins.
5. Both times I gave birth, the epidural only worked on my right side,
6. I could eat pizza every day.
7. I grew up in a haunted house, and I’ve seen the ghost. So has Luke and my sisters.
8. I used to travel the world before I had kids.
9. The majority of my clothing is either black or chocolate brown.
10. I was a fan of vampire books and movies way before the Twilight madness, and I think I saw one in New Orleans.
11. I have a great group of friends, although they’re all scattered across the state/country.
12. My birthday is usually on or around, the Superbowl.
13. I enjoy cooking and baking, I make a mean casserole.
14. I love finding a bargain, I never pay full price.
15. I’m not a big clothes shopper, but could do some serious damage in Barnes and Noble.
16. I love movies, I worked in a video store (what's that???) in high school, talk about dream job!
17. I used to be a beer kind of girl, but now I’m a wine kind of girl.
18. I’m a pretty happy person, and thankful for all I have.
19. I'm clumsy, and I've sprained ankles, broken my ankle twice, broken toes, had an operation on my toe.
20. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to retire down South, I love all the seasons too much.
21. I met Mike in college, while waiting on line at the movies.  We dated for 9 years before getting married, and we celebrated 12 years of marriage last September.  So we know each other pretty well : )

I'm supposed to tag other bloggers to share their randomness, so if you commented on my last post, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Friday Five

1. Is it just me, or is December flying by?  Actually, this whole year has flown by, but I'm starting to feel the crunch.  For those of you who have asked, my father in law is now out of the ICU, he was transferred this week to a rehab facility.  He has a long road ahead of him, and we're still taking things day by day, but we're hopeful for his recovery.

2.That said, we got some good news this week, our trip to Disney is back on!

I'm so excited to take the kids to Disney, we're not going to tell about the trip until we're in the car going to the airport. Eliza is going to lose her mind, I want to take her to one of those "Breakfast with the Princess" type things.

3.  I have so much shopping to do.  I know what I need to get, it's just that the list is loooong, and I have to get a few more things for the kids.  Luke could use a new bedspread, his bed is like a nest, he sleeps with about four extra blankets because he gets cold easily. I was looking at childrens duvet covers, Santa might have to bring him a nice new one.

4. There is a new race on the Syracuse calendar for 2012, the Lake Effect Half Marathon, on February 25th, it's put on by the club I used to run with.  I'm considering it, but February in Syracuse means snow and cold, I'm okay with running four miles in weather like that, not sure about 13 miles though.

5.  Thanks to everyone who entered the Collagen Sport Giveaway, I used to choose the winner, and it is Penny, the Pink Hat Runner.....congrats!

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

If you asked me how I got here, this is what I'd say.

I've always been active, I grew up riding my bike, swimming, playing wiffle ball.  In high school I played field hockey, was a cheerleader, and loved to play tennis.  Like most people I caught the running bug during an effort to lose weight. I was out of college, living on my own, homesick, worried about being in the real world. I was really not taking care of myself, I ate too much of the wrong things, and spent the weekends at happy hours and parties.

Finally one New Years Eve I decided to make a change, bought some diet and exercise books, and joined a gym. I started slowly on the treadmill, I wouldn't look at myself in the mirror or talk to others. But I went back every day, and did a bit more each day. I would bargain with myself and challenge myself, by running farther each day, or faster. All through the winter I did it, and by early summer, I lost 12 pounds. It was time for a new challenge, running outside. I did the loop around the neighborhood that I used to walk.

I still remember the day I ran a whole six miles around my neighborhood. I couldn't believe it! I started running six miles a day. I still couldn't believe it! I decided to test myself some more and signed up for a Turkey Trot 10k.  Then a 15k, half marathon, marathon, and triathlon.  This past fall I ran my dream race, the New York City Marathon.

Once of the great things about being a FitFluential Ambassador is, you get to pay it forward, and share what you know about healthy living with others.  

What tips would I share with someone about to start their healthy journey?  

To start I would say.... 

1. Get some comfy work out gear! If you're wearing something too tight that gives you a wedgie, you're not going to be happy.  Find a good sports bra, and wear something you feel confident, as well as comfortable in.

2. Just do it. There are days where I procrastinate before going for a run, then I finally go.  The thing is, I never regret a workout. But I do regret not doing a workout. 

3. Educate yourself. If you're changing your eating habits, make sure you know how many calories you require in a day, how much protein you should be taking in, and realize how much salt and sugar are in so many foods, and make sure not to go over those limits. 

4. Keep a list of what you need to take in each day, the number of fruits and vegetables, and glasses of water, and check them off as you have them.

5. Make food swaps.  For instance, choose salsa over sugar laden ketchup. I have been known to go through a jar of salsa every few days, it's so low in calories, and it's good.

6. Mix it up. Run one day, bike another, swim another, do yoga another....if you keep challenging yourself in different ways, you'll keep boredom at bay, and get the benefits of cross training at the same time. 

7. Keep it in perspective.  My brother once lost 5 pounds, and he felt like that was a low number. I told him to go and pick up a 5 pound bag of flour.  When you look at weight loss that way, you can actually see what you're no longer lugging around.

If you're interested in learning more about FitFluential, or about becoming an Ambassador, check them out here!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's never just three for Thursday

The day after Thanksgiving I was walking Frank at night, and I came to my neighbor's driveway.  They're an older couple, and don't have any kids.  There were three young guys I've never seen before standing there,  loading things into the back of their car.  One of them said "It's a Pioneer!"  So Miss Neighborhood Watch assumed they were robbing them of stereo equipment, so I ran home and told Mike to call over there.  My neighbor answered the phone laughing, it was her nephew visiting for the Holiday, but she appreciated my watchfulness.

The next day we headed up to Mike's parent's place, to pick up some things for his Mom.  Eliza was excited to go up for the night, so she packed her little suitcase with everything she needs to go to sleep: a teddy pillow, her Teddy Bunny, a little purple blanket, and her Tangled nightgown.  She also put in her clothes.  We packed up, made the two hour drive, and settled in.  Until Eliza asked where her suitcase was.  I thought Mike packed it. He thought I packed it. We didn't pack it.  I've never seen a 5 year old so mad, she balled up her little fists, stamped her foot and said "I am just so MAD at you!"  Poor kid cried until I lent her a shirt that I won in a giveaway at Angie's blog, and a pair of my socks, and her cousin lent her a stuffed bunny.  Luckily it was just for one night, but now she wants to wear the shirt and socks to school.

I took Frank for a three mile run yesterday, I'm not sure how he's going to handle running in the snow once it hits.  You know that feeling you get, when you want to run Every Single Day? I have that right now, but I'm going to force myself not to, and alternate cross training and running.  I need to dust off my kettle bells, fire up a Jillian Michael's workout, and start doing planks again.

It's December First, and I've started on my shopping list for Christmas presents.  I'm not a Black Friday shopper, more of a Cyber Monday shopper.  The other day Mike and I went to Toy's R Us after visiting his Dad in the hospital.  We never get a chance to shop together because of the kids, but they were at school so we took advantage of the time.  I get anxious when shopping for toys, I give other shoppers the once over, and figure out where they're headed, hoping they're not looking for the same thing that I am. The only toy that Eliza has asked for is a Lalaoopsy Silly Hair Doll.  Nothing else, just that doll.  Of course it was sold out of Toy's R Us, as well as Walmart.  I went online once we got home, it was sold out at Sears, Toy's R Us, Walmart, Target, and K Mart.  I found it on Amazon, with about a 80% mark up.   But then at the bottom of that page, I saw a sponsored link for Little Tikes, and lo and behold, they had the doll.  SCORE!  Now I can relax, and E is going to be a happy girl on Christmas morning.

Did you see my Collagen Sport Giveaway???  Enter here!