Monday, December 30, 2013

Reflections of 2013

What a year! 2013 was the year I finally took control of my running and overcame my injuries!  It's been such an amazing year and I have gained strength, speed, and so much more...

(right I was typing...I spilled a full cup of coffee on my computer and it died. no. joke.) 

Ok, so...I was in the middle of this yesterday when it happened. My son was able to save what was on my hard drive but the graphics card and mother board have to be replaced, so I'm on my daughter's computer with my for-now-working hard drive.  By the way, I cannot survive without my computer!  I don't even know all my passwords to sites, my computer saves them all. I was in a panic yesterday.  

But, there's always a silver lining and while Dylan was working on my computer (and I was unsure if I would have any photos from my training this year other than what is saved here) I made this on my phone:

My Year In Running - 2013

This year has been so amazing!  I'm struggling to find the words (not the best blogger. LOL) but I will try with photos, because that's how I best express myself anyway! 

Favorite race: Glow Run
My favorite race had to be the one that was the most FUN!  I went to KS to meet up with an old friend who was running her first 5K.  We had such a blast!

Most challenging race: Heart to Heart 10K
This was my first 10K and I wanted a good time to submit to Disney for proof of time.  It was the first time I really felt like a runner and with the hills, it was challenging!  Dallas ran it with me, which made it even more special.  

 2013 PR: 5K
My 5K PR was unbelievably in the heat of summer and on a crazy-hilly-course.  I had to double-check a number of times to make sure they didn't do something wrong.  AND I did it in a tutu.  ;)  

2013 PR: 10K

On my raceversary, I ran the Bonehead 10K (the previous year the Bonehead 5K was my first official race) and got a 4 minute PR from the Heart to Heart 10K earlier in the year!  I was pleased to be able to send even better proof of time into Disney. More than that, I was really strong this race.  I had worried that I would lose some time being out for a couple months during the summer with my heel bursitis injury, but I felt great! AND, there was free beer...AND I placed 2nd in my age division!


I'm sorry, this is getting long again.  I can't seem to make shorty blog posts!  

I will finish up with my three favorite blog posts of 2013.  Running has given me so much this year, I feel like it's this amazing gift, not just for my health, but for my heart and soul.  Going back to read these was a good reminder of how much I have gained this year on this journey!

I Can't Be Tamed! 

Running Is Changing Me

Getting Personal 

Bring on 2014!!!  It will be the year I run my first half marathon!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up with my longest run so far!

Sorry I have been letting the blog slide a bit, this is a really busy time of year for petsitting and with Rey home, family stuff, and fitting my runs get the picture.  I still need to do my 2013 year of running post too. The New Year is upon us!

So, I ran 9 miles today!! I ran 5 Monday on the TM, 4 outside the day after Christmas, and my long run today. I saved it for the best weather day of the week.  It was 57 degrees and sunny.  Perfect!

 Christmas Eve we went out looking at lights.  We sign cards from Santa & The Elves, telling people we liked their holiday decorations and leave them in mailboxes.   I love this tradition.  Not the best picture, but this pic makes me laugh because it's so US.  

Christmas was great, everyone had a nice day, even the pups.  They were far too excited with their stockings and then decided that EVERY gift opened must be something for them! 

Anyway, back to my run...

We had a great Christmas but as soon as it was over I started stressing over my 9 miler.  Poor Rey, I think I took it out on him.  I have just been crabby and worried.  I had a plan though.  Dallas met me after the first 6 miles to run the last 3 with me!  It was a fantastic idea because that last three I really needed the support. 

(this is where I whined and lamented about my run, pain, and chafing... and then deleted it!)

Dallas was a trooper and saw that I was struggling that last half mile and started holding up how many tenths of a mile we had left! Just the encouragement from him meant so much. It kept me going and really gave me a boost. I got in my head far too much after my run but this morning woke up feeling determined, so I deleted all the whining and excessive worrying!  I ran 9 miles!  I did it and I feel fantastic, and only a little sore this morning. 

In other exciting news this week, I paid off our trip for the half!  It feels so good to have that out of the way and now just able to focus on training and not worry about the money part of the trip.  Worry.  That seems to be a theme for me lately.  I gotta stop that!  I found this on pinterest this morning, it seems fitting...
Did you worry you couldn't do it?  What helped you push through these negative thoughts?  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Getting out of my head & a big milestone!

Lately I have really been in my head.  I started this blog post a few days ago and then walked away from it.  It's funny how a few days can change my whole outlook.  I'm glad I sat on it a while!

Ready for one of my rambles?  You should enjoy it, I suspect this will be the last rambly post of 2013 for me!  Rey comes home tonight and then my calendar is full of work, family, and holiday fun.  One of my busiest times of the year for petsitting, other than Thanksgiving.  In any case...

I had a hard week for running. I don't know if it was the mileage going up or just winter, I tend to get seasonal issues when winter sets in.   My 8 mile run was pushed from Friday to Monday because of ice and when Monday arrived, it was still not melted, so I was forced to run on the treadmill.  It was HARD.  I realized that outside I regulate my speed depending on what I need, but on the TM I just keep going and going at the same pace.  It hurt.  I started to feel the beginning of a blister (which I've never gotten, btw) on my little toe and my knees were screaming at me.  Afterwards I was glad to have it done, but did not feel as good as I normally do after a long run.  An hour later a headache started that really lasted about 2 days, and it left me feeling so defeated.  

Wednesday arrived and warm weather with it!  That perked me up!  I was so excited to run outside and headed out to do my normal 4 mile loop.  It was near 50 but windy and everything was sore.  I was in my head the.whole.time.  I snapped picture, trying to cheer myself up about how nice it was out and instead the shot came out LIKE I FELT:

I tried to get out of my head but then ended up beating myself up about being in my head!  You know how it goes, right?  "this hurts, this is so hard, how can I run 13 miles if I'm at 2 and want to walk already?  I can't do this.  Yes you can, why are you being so negative?  Being negative is making this worse.  Why am I so negative?"...and on and on... At one point I was near tears b/c the wind was head-on and I felt like I was running through mud.  I got it done, but again, it was a struggle and I started to worry about this half marathon looming.  Everything felt so heavy.

Yesterday was a rest day and such a fantastic one. It really pulled me out of my head and into the here and now.  We went to the city to see the Nutcracker, it's something we do every year.  A day with an awesome show, holiday fun, Starbucks, and gabbing with my BFF while Savannah & her friends ran around the mall, shopping. 

It really helped me just let go and move on.  I know that there are bad runs, they just happen, just like bad days.   If I'm nothing else, I'm persistent.  I think I've been described as that more than anything else.  LOL

So naturally, this morning I went out to run!  This morning was special, I knew that I was going to hit a milestone during my run and wanted to enjoy every second of it.  I went out slow and headed for that same 4 mile loop, this time with an open heart and clear head.  One mile in, I hit my milestone.  These feet, at the moment I took this pic, put in 500 miles in 2013!  That was with an injury that had me out all of August and most of September.

I just soaked it all up.  I stopped to take a couple pics and reflect on how far I've come.   The sun was coming up and I was in the graveyard.  I know I've mentioned it before, that I run through a graveyard.  It's not just that it works well for my 4 mile loop, but it's a fantastic place to reflect and be grateful.  So many have come before me and I CAN run right now.  There will be a day that I can't, but today is not that day!  
(If you are a LOTR geek, you're feelin' me here.LOL) 
 I even took a geeky selfie.  Not only did I not take off my makeup from yesterday, so my eyeliner is all smeared, my glasses were fogged up too!  Classic...but I have run 500 miles! 
The rest of my run was gorgeous.  I enjoyed every moment, didn't think about pace or time and just ran.  I thought about how far I have come this year and that I've run more miles this week than I did the whole month of January.  I thought about how 3 miles used to be the longest I could manage and now 4 is my standard "short run".  I thought about how strong I have gotten and health gains I have reaped from running. (even if I've not lost a single pound...but that's a post for another day)  I thought about how I'm going to crush that half marathon in 65 days.  I realized that if I remember WHY I run and stay out of my head, I can keep going and I can push through and I can do what I previously thought impossible. 

I know there will be more hard runs but this week gave me more strength and courage to push through those days and keep going.  There's no point in stopping, especially when you are in the thick of it, right?  I choose to keep moving, keep going, and I know that they can't all be bad, at some point I'll get through it and be back on top of the world.  

 Oh and I am headed to respond to your comments from the last couple posts as well, sorry I got backed up on that!  Confession:  I don't follow bloggers that don't respond to their replies. I want to interact with my readers, not just have them read my stuff and never want anyone to feel ignored!

Aaaaand (I know, this is the longest blog post ever!) for your geeky viewing pleasure, my BFF posted this to me, I had to add it here.  Perfect! 

Have you ever gotten in your head so badly it made you have a bad run?  Do you have any techniques to snap yourself out of it or do you just muddle through until it gets better? 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Walkin' (should be runnin') in a Winter Wonderland...

My week is pretty much wrapped up, and that would be with a snow-covered holiday bow.  I usually love snow, but it's totally stressing me out this year.  Training for a half marathon in the snow wasn't really my plan, but probably something I could handle, but with the cold temps, the snow just melts during the day into ICE and the streets/sidewalks are covered.  I know, I know, my last post I was lamenting over the icy conditions as well.  I'm a broken record.  

(I seriously keep coming back to watch this and laugh...this is exactly how I feel today! LOL)

This week I was scheduled for my long run of 8 miles on Friday.  We had freezing rain and ice so I opted to push it off to Monday.  I can easily do this since my long runs are every other week.  The forecast is calling for 44 degrees on Monday, but this morning I woke up to THIS: 


We never have this much snow/ice on the ground in December!  I figured if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!  I went out and took some snowy shots since it is really beautiful.  At least my house looks like it has Christmas spirit.  I planned that when I picked the siding and painted the door, btw. 

 The snow is sticking so well to the trees like that b/c we had freezing rain first and then wet snow.  Should make for nice running conditions. not.

I nearly decided to just throw caution to the wind and run this morning to get it done.  The snow is covering the ice and really crunchy/not slippery. I know once it starts to melt and refreeze it will get worse.  I ran 4 miles yesterday though and I know it's not the smart thing to do, so I'm going to hold out until Monday.  I WILL get that 8 miles done on Monday though, I don't care what I have to do!  The ice and snow has me feeling a bit droopy and weighed down, like this:

It's funny that this all seems to be intertwined with my mental block for 8 miles.  It's not that I don't think I can do it.  I've done it before.  I know where I want to run it, I have a 4 mile loop I do, so doing it twice is perfect...BUT... I also know I'm stressing b/c this is the mileage that injured me this past summer and I think deep down I'm scared.  I just want to GET IT DONE but I feel like the weather is playing with my mind and making something I already fear even worse. I know I'll feel much better after I get it done.

Today is also 69 days until we leave for Florida!  I'm ready to have this view:

but for now I'll have to muddle through this first:

Oh and since this is supposed to be my weekly wrap-up (I should just call it the weekly whine-up. LOL) I did all three runs on my training schedule this week on the TM but did 4 instead of 8 on Friday since I am doing that Monday.  

EDITED TO ADD:  Ok folks.  I just HAD to prove to myself that I could run in snow, so I went out for a short run.  I can safely say that I will not be running in the snow again and certainly not 8 miles.  I ran 2.69 miles, VERY slowly.  It was beautiful and I can see how someone would like it for a "fun run" but I nearly broke my ankle and fell on my face.  I had to run in uncleared snow because anywhere that was cleared was very slippery.  It wasn't slippery in the uncleared areas, but I also could not see what was under the snow (i.e. potholes, etc).  So...I'm no less grumpy about the weather but I am at least a little less stressed about my long run Monday.  It will get done, but on the treadmill.  I'm sure I will find time in the next 10 weeks to do some runs outside on days when it has melted. Right?!?!?!  Just for fun, a couple shots from my snowy run:

  Shew!  That made my post superlong!  Thanks for reading if you got through the whole thing!

Tell me about your mental blocks.  How do you deal with them?  I normally just push through, I'm stubborn that way, but get really crabby when I can't push through it right away!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Wide-angle Wednesday!  

Just two weeks from today, folks!  

 I hope it warms up some, I have an 8 mile long run Friday that I need to do outside and I'm stressing on running in the cold/snow/ice.  I think I will be fine if this snow and ice would melt.  I'm worried about the cold but more about slipping.

Do you run when there is snow/ice on the ground?  In the cold?  Best tips for cold weather running?  AND, can you believe it's just two weeks to Christmas?!?!? 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I'm so excited & I just can't hide it!

Ok, so that was super geeky of me.  I didn't even like that song.

This should be my weekly wrap-up, but I really just want gush about how excited I am for my first meetup!  Training went well this week, got in my long run (7 miles) at the beginning of the week before the cold/snow hit and finished up the rest of my runs on the Treadmill.  Now onto the fun stuff... 

A few days ago, Meg from Runaway Royalty posted that she is doing a meetup for the Princess Half Marathon/Glass Slipper Challenge, with Kristy from Kristy Runs Kato!  I was super excited when I saw it, and even more excited when I realized I would be able to fit it in our schedule.  We arrive on Friday the 21st and will have just enough time to check-in, have lunch, hit the expo, and then head to the Polynesian for the meetup. 

My first ever meetup!! I am so very excited to meet some of the runners that I have been following for months and months.  They are my inspiration and some of them I feel like I've known forever even though we have never met in person. I was a little down because I knew I was not even going to attempt to get into the official RunDisney meetup.  I just could make it fit in our plans.  Savannah & her friend, who has never been to WDW, will be with me and I just didn't feel comfortable leaving them or taking the time out of our touring.  This meetup is perfect, however, great timing on arrival day and the girls can come with me!

and, uh...hello? Meeting at the Poly pool?  I'm so there.  

I may or may not end up with one of these babies.

I mean, it will be Friday afternoon, surely I can have one drink when the race isn't until Sunday morning, right???   I have to mention that the last time I had a Lapu Lapu, I sucked it down, ordered another and proceeded to suck that one down too, in record time.  Yes, I could walk after that...  barely.  ;) 

The running community is really special to me and even though I am normally shy meeting new people, I know I will love meeting these runners.  Besides, the Lapu Lapu will help if I'm too April & Meg, this does not mean you have permission to get me drunk!  LOL.  There is something really special about the camaraderie between runners.  I think it's b/c we know that these people understand the joy and pain of training.  They get how much of ourselves we pour into it, and even when there are no words to describe it, we know that these people have experienced what we have.  So, I'm crazyexcited, if you could not tell!

Will you be able to be at this meetup?  Have you ever done a meetup before?  What was it like?  Did you enjoy it? 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Snow and positive splits?

Yep, positive.  I'm almost certain that positive splits isn't an actual term because no runner in their right mind wants to run positive splits...yet here I am.  

Let's back up a bit, shall we?  At the beginning of the week we had unseasonably warm and lovely weather.  It was in the 60s, which is rare for December in Missouri.  Naturally this meant we were in for horrible weather.  I looked at the forecast and sure enough, we were due for frigid temps and a snow storm by Friday.  Friday was supposed to be my scheduled long run of 7 miles, so I did the only logical thing and ran it Monday instead when it was 60 degrees!

It was perfect weather and I ran my normal 4 mile route, ran by the house for a GU and a drink of water and then ran 1.5 and back to finish up.  It was a great run for the most part.  I hadn't run 7 miles since last spring before my injury.  When I got to 5, I was feeling pretty good, I ONLY have 2 miles left...gah...a long long 2 miles.  I think I thought I might trip and fall on my face the last mile.  I was sore and my legs felt like lead.  

I finished though and I get home and the Nike app was telling me I ran some sort of bizarre splits.  I cannot for the life of me find what it was showing me on Monday, it just give me the splits below, which shows how all over the place I was.  The original thing it showed me was saying at one point I was running 7:47 at one point and 17:00 at another??? What???  Maybe it was just a Nike app/GPS issue,  I have a hard time believing I was running that fast OR that slow at any point. 

 Regardless, you can see how inconsistent my miles are.  Fast, slow, fast, slow, fast, slow, slower...

Is this normal??  Gah!!! To make matters even more confusing, the Nike app says I'm a bit faster than my Garmin.  I can't even figure out what my beginning pace should be.  I try to just run comfortably, but obviously I'm too eager when I start.  What can I say?  I love to run, I get excited that first mile.  These reoccurring positive splits is going to be a problem the more my miles go up, however, so I don't feel like I can ignore it anymore.  The longer my miles go, the more I wear down at the speed I'm comfortable at.  I did try on the treadmill today and still struggled with wanting to slow down around mile 3 when I was doing 5.  Any suggestions? 

Aaaaand, speaking of my treadmill run.  I was pretty sore and very busy the rest of the week after my long run, so I didn't do my 30 minutes on Wednesday.  My brain decided that since I skipped a run, I should do more than 4 on the treadmill, even though that is what was scheduled.  So I did 5.  The treadmill was necessary since the storm they predicted did arrive and it was FREEZING out and snowing.  I'm all for running in the snow, but not really 10 degrees.  It was nice to watch the snow coming down, made the miles fly by, even on the treadmill. 

I love snow, as long as I don't have to leave the house!...which I always do.  LOL

Sooooo, what do I do?  Slow it down, like 11:00 for the first couple miles?  This is easier said than done for me, I have come to realize that I really do compete with myself to be just a little better each time and better=faster in my brain somehow.  It also doesn't really FEEL right when I go slower.  It feels unnatural.  When I run with Dallas, we run around 11:06 because that is comfortable to him, and I feel like I'm shuffling along, just dragging.  It's not enjoyable to constantly be self-talking myself to slow down all the time.  I just want to run how it feels comfy.  

I have my first 8 mile run since my injury next week and want to make sure I do it well.  The last 8 mile I ran was the only 8 miles I ran and then I was out injured for 2 months!  I don't want to push and then injure myself again and I want to be able to up my mileage and do negative splits, not positive!  

So, help me out!  How did you learn to run negative splits?  How do you gauge how slow you have to go to be able to go the distance at a balanced pace? 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WAW ~ Cookieday!

 Just squeaking in tonight with wide-angle Wednesday!  It was a super fun day, I'm just sitting down finally.  Every year my sister and my mom come out to make cookies.  My sister makes a ton of cookies to give as Christmas gifts, but this one kind, she prefers I help with because I'm a master at rolling out the dough without it sticking.  So, she makes the dough and drives 100 miles to my house so I can roll them all out.  In return, I get some cookies.  Works for me! We make a day of it as there are hundreds of cookies.  She brought 8 batches and it took about 5 hours to roll and bake them.  I have my special rolling pin and my Minnie Mouse apron, naturally.  I'm covered in flour after five minutes.  What can I say, I'm messy, but I get the job done!

My mom is 81 years old, I really cherish this day each year.  Don't mind me looking all disheveled, I had just made hundreds of cookies and pulled my ponytail out. 

Tomorrow is even more cookie fun because these things all need to get decorated!  I have a PLAN though, people.  I've invited all of Savannah's friends over to ice & decorate the cookies and then spend the night.  Genius, I know.  

Since this is a running blog, I guess I should mention that I didn't have time to run today with petsitting and cookies, but I'll get my run in tomorrow while the girls are all decorating the cookies!  For now, I'm off to enjoy this... 

Do you have special traditions this time of year that you do with family or friends?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving, and work, and Birthday's, oh my!

You've had those weeks, right?  It's really a big blur and I'm struggling to get back to normal here.  We went to Catching Fire on Wednesday, LOVED IT naturally!  Thanksgiving was very very busy with petsitting, I tried to take on too much and got stressed.  Friday Savannah got sick and I followed soon after.  It was a functional cold/sick at least, so I could luckily still work!  

Yesterday was Rey's birthday!  We didn't get to do a lot with my work schedule, but we had time in between my petsits to watch some movies, which Rey loves to do, so that was nice.  This man seriously is a gem, I can't even begin to put into words how lucky I am to have him.  He just seems to get better with age.  He's my biggest fan and my best friend. 

I got all three of my training runs in for the week, although my longest run scheduled was 4 miles because I knew I would be busy.  I'm feeling a little nervous as the days tick down and the miles go up!  I have a seven mile run at the end of this week, it's been a while since I've run 7, but I'm not terribly nervous about it since I've done it before.  Come back when I go for 8 or 9 in the coming weeks and that may be a different story! 

When I ran Saturday morning, I realized how much I depend on running to keep me centered and stress-free now.  I was so tired and stressed, but as soon as I got out there, it all melted away.  So...crazy busy week, but sometimes busy isn't so awful.  Unfortunately, Rey has to head back out, and he won't be back until Christmas.  Luckily he'll be home for a bit over Christmas/New Years because I feel like I barely saw him this weekend! 

I put up our tree as well during this craziness!  I'll have to take pics for WAW.  I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend.  I know some of my runner friends had races, I'm enjoying the recaps already!  Congrats to my twinkie, April, for a PR on her half!  (although in this aspect, not so much twinkies!  Those negative splits look speedy!)

How did your holiday weekend go?? Did you race?  Do you put up your tree?  Shop?  Travel? 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekly wrap-up a bit late?!

I'm a terrible blogger and I suspect it's only going to get worse as the holiday season amps up.  I'm pretty busy this time of year as I'm a petsitter and my clients all go out of town for the holidays.  I was not actually working a ton last week, but preparing for the work I'll be doing this week!  

I also ran 17 miles.  I got in a 4 day streak of running thanks to some not-so-cold weather and my new treadmill.  Then I forced myself to break a day before putting in my 6 mile long run on Friday.  

The run went great, but that afternoon I was pretty sore and worried I might have pushed myself too much for the week.  I'm better today after a weekend of rest.  I ran my three miles this morning and feel great. Rey comes home tomorrow and we have family things going on as well as me running in and out to work.  I think I'll say now Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, just in case I don't make it back on Wednesday for WAW!  

I don't even have any photos to share!  GASP.  I'm unsure what the world is coming to, but I'm sure I'll make up for it next time I post.  

Do you have special plans for Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I don't have a lot going on this week, so my mind travels to my favorite place, naturally!  I thought for Wide-angle Wednesday, I would post a couple shots from Savannah's favorite place to be at Disney.  She says it's "home" and never wants to stay anywhere else.  This may have to do with the fact that she never has stayed anywhere else and this was her first experience with Disney World.  We will be staying here in February for the Princess as well!

 Do you have a favorite resort at WDW??  Truth be told, Pop is not MY favorite, it's Savannah's.  My fav is Animal Kingdom Lodge! Oh and I forgot to mention as well that a wonderful friend of mine gave us 2 nights DVC at Beach Club Villas for the Princess trip as well and I'm SOOOOOOOO excited to get photos!!