Thursday, January 31, 2013

January in Review

An amazing hill repeat session on my basement treadmill brought my January training to a close.  I am actually following a training plan that I created to see what kind of results I am capable of for the Rock 'N Roll USA 1/2 in DC in March so I am very excited to see how I finished out January.
My mantra on the treadmill this afternoon!
The January Details
January 2013 stats
100.31-- running miles
19-- jump rope fitness workouts
1--  core fitness workout
100.31--  total miles

Current 2013 stats
100.31--running miles
19-- jump rope fitness workouts
1--  core fitness workout
100.31--  total miles

2013 "to do list" check-in

2013 Running Goals
1. First and foremost 26.2 under 4 hours--enough said
-As of January 31, 2013 I have been looking at marathons to determine where I would like to attempt this goal.
2. Achieve a second sub 1:50 so I can remove the asterick from my current sub 1:50 PR
-I fell short of this goal at the Rock 'N Roll Arizona 1/2 when my knee had other plans.  I am hoping to achieve this goal while running in DC in March.

2013 Mini Running Challenges
1. Run 100 miles per month
-100.31 miles run in January
2. Run 1300 miles for the year
- 1,199.69 miles to go to complete this challenge

2013 Non-Running Mini Challenges
1. Cross-train at least twice a week
-I was doing really well with this one up until I had to give up my daily jump rope workout.  I plan to correct this in the coming months.  In fact I am stepping way out of my comfort zone and taking a Pure Barre class tomorrow.  I am both excited and nervous.
2. Complete a jump rope workout every day
-19 jump rope workouts completed.  I had to make the decision to bail on this challenge due to extreme knee pain after my 1/2 in Arizona.  I plan to alter this and try and get in a few jump rope workouts per month while making sure my knee isn't compromised.
3. Drink 50 ounces of water per day (based on my current weight, this is my daily water intake need)
-I'm happy to say I have been able to do this one with relatively little effort.
4. Take my vitamins daily
-Vitamin taken every single day in January
5. Continue to choose and cook healthier foods
-11 meals made in January. I plan to keep up with this and utilize my crockpot more.  It's so nice to come home and have a meal waiting for you.
6. Learn to swim...better luck this year
-We all know this one is a thorn in my side.  I have done extensive research in regards to swim lessons.  I just need to figure out what will fit my schedule and make the commitment.

Overall I am very pleased with my January training.  I got to spend some time in Arizona with my best friend where the weather and the company were perfect.  This brings me to tomorrow, according to the calendar, tomorrow is February 1.  If you follow my blog you know I did a 30 day challenge last February where I gave up chips and sweets and did some type of fitness workout each day.  One of my staff members participated in it with me last year.  She came to me this week and asked if we could do the February challenge again.  So it looks like no chips or sweets for me starting tomorrow.  Anyone else want to join us?

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rock 'N' Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon Recap

I was up at 4:30 AM to finish getting everything ready for my 6:50 AM flight to Arizona.  The early flight had seemed like a much better idea when I booked it than when my alarm was going off on Friday morning.  Since my flight was so early, I decided that it would make the most sense for me to drive myself to the airport which would allow me to have my car there upon my return on Monday.  I am not sure how I ended up in the parking garage and not an outdoor lot, but in hindsight I am very happy that I did because I didn't have to worry about leaving the building or scraping my car on Monday night when my flight landed.  Definitely a win-win situation in my book.  I was quite surprised to see a long security line before 6:00 AM.  It may have had something to do with the fact that a lot of schools had both Friday and Monday off and I saw many families at the airport.  I somehow made a wrong turn and ended up at the complete opposite end of the airport from my gate.  Once I got myself turned around I realized my plane was boarding so I went on a nice job through the airport and made it in plenty of time.  The early flight was made even more painful when a group of girls next to me on the plane talked very loudly for the duration of the flight.  There was no sleep to be had on the first leg.  I was quite happy to make it to Nashville so I could get away from their chatter!    While waiting for my connecting flight I grabbed some water and a few snacks for the flight to Phoenix.  After boarding the plane and finding a seat, the nice couple next to me asked what I was traveling to Phoenix for and I told them about the race.  At this point, a young mother started talking to me as she was training for her first half marathon.  Sadly, she was headed to Phoenix for a funeral.  Her first half will take place in Tennessee.  We talked a lot about cross training and how we fit our workouts in around our children's schedules.  It was a very nice conversation.  I did manage to grab a bit of a nap on this flight which was great.  Once we landed in Phoenix, I checked on the status of Deb's flight.  I saw that it had been delayed so I tried to call her phone but it went straight to voicemail so I figured she was on the plane.  After this I texted her husband who had the same results I did when he tried to call her.  A short while later Deb called and told me she had to talk fast because they were getting ready to leave.  She had graciously called the hotel to see if I could check in under my name so I wouldn't have to wait at the airport.  I asked her if I should cancel our facial appointments but she felt she would arrive in Phoenix by 4:00.  After I was done talking to Deb I called my inlaws, who are in Phoenix for the winter, to see if they happened to be available to pick me up at the airport and take me to my hotel.  When there was no answer, I went ahead and grabbed a cab to the hotel.  During my ride to the hotel, Deb texted and said that there was a hydraulics problem so they were getting off the plane.  A few minutes later Deb called to let me know what was going on.  She decided she was going to call and reschedule her facial for Saturday.  She encouraged me to keep my appointment since I was there and would be waiting for her to arrive.  At this point, we weren't sure when Deb would get into town but  she was certain she would make it Friday night and not have to wait until Saturday morning to fly out.  Of course the cab took the long way to my hotel and my total fare reflected that.  Oh well, it was better than sitting at an airport for several hours.  I got to my destination, checked in and headed to my room.  I took a few pictures along the way.

Path to our room
We were staying at the Firesky Resort in Scottsdale and it was very welcoming and gorgeous!  Once I was in my room, I went ahead and got my dailly jump rope workout in.  At this point I was quite hungry so I headed down to the hotel bar to order some food.  When I was ordering, I got a text message from Deb letting me know that she was finally getting on a plane and expected to arrive at the hotel around 7:00 PM.  I told her I was having a drink for her and suggested after her long day at the airport she may want to have a drink on the plane!  I was eventually joined at the bar by an older gentleman, who resembled and had the voice of Bob Barker, and his friend.  We made small talk and they learned of Deb's airplane issues and our reason for being in Arizona for the weekend.  After a short while they were joined by another friend.  The third friend had just quit his job to travel the 50 United States.  I found his story to be quite intereseting.  Eventually, a fourth friend came and they all headed off to the car auction but not before buying my drinks which was very nice of them and certainly not necessary.  I went back up to the room for a short while and then headed to the spa for my facial.  I had never had a facial before so I was looking forward to it.  It was an absolutely amazing hour of pampering and I am so glad I kept the appointment.  After this it was back up to the room to freshen up for dinner as Deb had finally made it to Phoenix and she was on her way to the hotel.  Deb arrived and we dropped her things off in the room and then headed to Grand Lux Cafe for dinner where Deb finally got her drink.  After dinner we took a little tour through downtown to see what there was to offer and then headed back to the hotel for some rest.

The first time I woke up Saturday morning was 5:30 AM.  I am sure it was a result of the time change.  I told myself that I needed to go back to sleep which I was able to do until 9:45 AM which was much better.  I slowly got up and got dressed to get in a short run.  I asked Deb if she wanted to join me but she was good so off I went for a short trip around the canal near our hotel.  It was pretty warm but the scenery was worth it.  After I got back, I did my daily jump rope workout and then got ready so we could grab lunch before our scheduled pedicures.  We decided to have lunch at the restaurant in our hotel.  The portions were the perfect size and we were left with room for dessert.
Can you say delicious??
The extra room was worth every single bite.  While we were eating lunch, Deb got to meet three of the four people I had met the previous afternoon.  They asked if we would be at the bar later and we said that we would most likely end our night there so we would see them later and then we headed off for our pedicures.  The pedicures were very enjoyable and we had a great time catching up and chatting away.  Deb was scheduled for her facial shortly after this and she was kind enough to let me use her Mini Ipad to sit outside and read in the Arizona sunshine.  After her appointment we met back up and headed to the expo to pick up our race packets.  There is something to be said for going to the expo towards the end.  It wasn't overly crowded and we didn't have to wait in any lines.  With packets in hand we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.  This time we chose to go to Olive and Ivy.  When we were ordering drinks, Deb ordered me a white sangria because as she says I always order beer.  Okay, she's right, I do.  I actually enjoyed the change in drinks.  The food was great at this restaurant as well.  Our dinner conversation mostly revolved around future 1/2's in the states we hadn't conquered yet as well as our plan for race morning.  There was a store of sorts in the restaurant so we were able to buy water and breakfast for race morning before we left.   Once back at the hotel we headed down to the bar.  We stopped to talk to our new found friends as they were sitting outside eating dinner.  They offered us a chair but we decided to go inside to sit since they were eating and we had just finished dinner.  Funny thing is that it was so hot inside that we ended up going back outside and sitting at the table next to them.  Eventually we moved to the same table as our new friends so we could talk some more.  They graciously purchased our drinks which of course they certainly didn't have to do.  In fact, I tried to pay my bill but "Bob Barker" wouldn't let me.  We talked until midnight or so and then we headed upstairs to get some shut eye.  I was a bit worried about it being so late but Deb pointed out that often times we go to bed at 10:00 and have to be up at 4:30.  We were going to be able to sleep until 6:15 so we would be fine.

The alarm went off at 6:15 AM and of course I pressed snooze even though I had slept reallly well.   We got everything ready and then headed out to the race start in Tempe.  There were a lot of closed roads so it took us a lot longer than we had planned to get to the race.  It wasn't that big of a deal as the racce was chip timed so it didn't really matter when we started.  By the time we parked, the race had already started.  I obviously wasn't concerned when I took the time to stop and use a port-a-potty that had no lines whatsoever.  We eventually made it to the start line and jumped in with corral 11.  I was supposed to start in corral 3 but it wasn't a big deal at all.  I was able to manuever around people and get to my desired pace relativey quickly.  Everything was going great and I happened upon Dan Evans from the Biggest Loser around the 2.5 mile mark.  I said hello and continued on my way.  I was feeling good and happy to be maintaining my pace.  In fact I was even happier to  hit mile 6 with a slight cushion on my intended pace.  However around mile 7 the gradual inclines and speed took their toll on my left knee which I had fallen on back in December when I hit ice. I had to make a decision at that point. Should I push it and go for it or should I back off in order to be able to run another day soon. I took option B and I'm okay with that.  My PR goal quickly switched to a just finish it goal.  I achieved that goal when I crossed the line in 1:55:11.  I started having a slight asthma attack due to the difference in the air.  I quickly got it under control with the help of a volunteer.  She then took me to medical so I could have my knee looked at.  I still have a bruise on my knee from the fall so medical did ask me if I had fallen on the course.  Once I confirmed that I had not gone down on the course they wrapped my knee with ice and I was on my way.
After sitting for a few minutes I texted Kim from (Just) Trying is for Little Girls to let her know I was at the finish line so we could meet up for a quick picture.  I spotted her quite easily.  We talked for a few minutes and then her husband was kind enough to take our picture.
Kim and I.  The matching wasn't even planned
After the photos, we said our goodbyes and I waited to hear from Deb.  She texted me when she was at mile 10.  In the meantime I made a few phone calls to see how my friend Darlene was doing as she was running the full marathon.  When I talked to her husband it sounded like she was doing well.  Soon after Deb joined me, we had a quick picture taken, and then we started our journey back to the car. 
11 states officiallly conquered
We probably walked a good three miles because neither one of us could quite figure out exactly where the car was.  While we were walking, I took the time to check in for my Monday flight home.  There's nothing wrong with multitasking now is there?!?!  We eventually made it back to our hotel.  I decided that I would have to end my daily jump rope workout streak as I don't think my knee would have been very happy with me so I went ahead a showered instead.  Deb had a pretty bad headache so she took some advil and tried to rest a bit.  After Deb was showered and feeling a little better we headed downstairs to grab a bit to eat.  After eating we sat by the pool for a little while and then decided to go upstairs and rest.  We pretty much slept until 7:00 when we got up and decided we should really go get some dinner.  We went back to the Grand Lux Cafe and grabbed some dinner.  Upon our return to the hotel we stopped at the front desk to take care of a few things, including getting my boarding pass printed.  We packed our things and called it a night. 

Once again I woke up at 5:30 AM.  What is with that?  I managed to get back to sleep until a little after 9:00 though.  We gathered everything up, checked out, and headed to the airport.  Believe me when I tell you neither one of us wanted to return to our respective cities when we saw the weather report....COLD!!!!  Since we flew on different airlines we said our goodbyes at the rental car drop off and headed our separate ways.  My first flight took me to Chicago.  I was welcomed to Chicago by the pilot.  "Welcome to the windy city, it's a balmy 8 degrees, bundle up."  Of course I didn't have my sweater out yet so I just walked off the plane very quickly.  I grabbed some dinner at the airport and then headed to my gate for my flight to Cleveland.  When we landed in Cleveland I was once again welcomed by the pilot.  "Welcome to Cleveland where it's 14 degrees."  Oh boy, a heat wave compared to Chicago!  HAHA!  I was reminded how happy I was to have accidentally parked in the garage because I never had to leave the building and there wasn't any snow on my car!  The roads by the airport were terrible but things cleared up by the time I got close to home so that was a welcomed surprise.

So what's next?  Well, we are officiallly signed up for the Indy 500 1/2 marathon in May which will be state #12 but in the meantime we are talking about running the Rock 'N' Roll USA DC 1/2 in March.  We figure we have to run in the Capital of the United States as well.  I think we will have a final decision on this one today or tomorrow at the latest.

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What Would You Do?

One week from tomorrow I will be flying to Phoenix to run the Rock 'N Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon.  If you have been reading for awhile, you know that I went to Phoenix last January with Nikki.  I am going back this year so my best friend, Deb, can cross Arizona off her list of the 50 states.    If you remember, Deb had to have surgery last January and wasn't able to make the trip with us hence the return in 2013.  After Phoenix, Deb, Nikki, and I will all be on the same number of states completed in our quest to run a 1/2 marathon in all 50 states.  You may also remember that Phoenix was my first 1/2 marathon in 2012.  It was the starting line, so to speak, of my 12 half marathons in 12 months in 2012.  With all of this being said, it will be quite fitting that Phoenix is my last 13.1 in my 14 month half marathon streak (I ran a 1/2 in December of 2011 as well as a half every month last year).  I guess we could said I did a 360 as I finish where I started on Sunday, January 20 in Phoneix.  I am looking forward to a nice long weekend with my best friend.  The 13.1 miles thrown in is just an added bonus.

So, the question is, where do I go from Phoenix?  I am signed up for the Indy 500 half marathon in May but other than that I don't have a specific race/training schedule.   What I do know is that I want to run a fall marathon and shoot for that coveted sub 4:00.  With that, I also know that marathon training doesn't start until June.  This brings me to my dilemma. I'm not sure what to do in the meantime.  I have a goal of running 100 miles per month so I can definitely work on that but I generally do better with some type of training plan.  Perhaps I will just follow a training plan that keeps me half marathon ready at any given moment.  I guess I am just not sure and looking for advice. 

Okay my amazing running friends, help me out here.

Do you always follow a training plan?
What would you do if you were in my shoes?

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Photo Flashback of 2012 and the " To Do List for 2013"

January 2012
Rock and Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon

Morning run beauty in Phoenix

February 2012
Gave up sweets and chips for 30 days and did a fitness workout for 30 days

Last Chance for Boston 1/2 Marathon
March 2012
Ab Challenge
Rock CF 1/2 Marathon
 April 2012
Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon 1/2

Great restaurants in Louisville

May 2012
Rite Aid Cleveland 1/2 Marathon

Ready to Run
June 2012
Lula 5K
NCN Park2Park 1/2 Marathon

July 2012
Presque Isle 1/2 Marathon

Miss you Uncle Joe

August 2012
Fun times in Minnesota

Minnesota 1/2 Marathon

September 2012
Carb loading at Peppers

River Run 1/2 Marathon

October 2012
Columbus 1/2 Marathon

November 2012
Rock 'N Roll Savannah 1/2 Marathon


December 2012
Reindeer Run 5K

Santa Hustle Cedar Point 1/2 Marathon

12 in 2012

2012 was a great year overall.  It was very sad to say goodbye to my best friend, Deb and her family as they moved to Chicago.  I am happy that we still get to see them often.  In fact, they are coming into town later this week and I can't wait!!

With a wrap on 2012, I give you my "to do list" for 2013

2013 Running Goals
1.  First and foremost 26.2 under 4 hours--enough said
2.  Achieve a second sub 1:50 so I can remove the asterick from my current sub 1:50 PR

2013 Mini Running Challenges
1.  Run 100 miles per month
2.  Run 1300 miles for the year

2013 Non-Running Mini Challenges
1.  Cross-train at least twice a week
2.  Complete a jump rope workout every day
3.  Drink 50 ounces of water per day (based on my current weight, this is my daily water intake need)
4.  Take my vitamins daily
5.  Continue to choose and cook healthier foods
6.  Learn to swim...better luck this year

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!