Monday, December 31, 2012

551!!

Remember when I said I wanted to hit '550 miles ran' this year? Well, I nailed 6 this morning in 58:06 and beat my goal by a mile! AND after tomorrow I will have successfully completed the Runner's World running streak, running at least 1 mile from Thanksgiving to New Year's day!! Since 11/22 I've run 96 miles! That's 96 miles in 40 days. I can't wait to see what my total mileage from all activities was this year on Daily Mile. That will include walking, rowing, and the elliptical and arc trainer. It's enjoyable to see those tallies!

Yesterday was Christmas 3.0 with my family. Just a small get together of 28 people. That was without my younger brother's family of 4, mind you. The family keeps growing since the nieces and nephews are growing up and starting families of their own. Mind boggling. When did I get that old? I ate really well yesterday, but that was pretty easy considering that there wasn't half the food we usually have at a get together. I guess everyone is starting to realize we overdo it just a bit. The dessert tables, however, were overflowing. My weakness...

You can't see it, but on the left-hand side of the picture I made the saltine cracker English toffee. I made it twice this holiday season, and it is amazing! Thank you Pinterest!

So, for Christmas I got several Kohl's gift cards, an Ulta gift card, and my niece, who picked my name, got me an iPod arm pocket and an iTunes gift card. I'll be christening the arm band on Friday in Miami! I'm still in denial that it's only 3 days away. I still have so much to do. Anyway, I finally downloaded some more Bruno Mars, my favorite hottie of the moment. Did you happen to see him perform at the Victoria's Secret fashion show? I watched it because I saw the models on several talk shows and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It was actually a very entertaining show, especially with Bruno's performance of 'Locked Out Of Heaven.' He just had a mesmerizing smile and some moves! (This is his performance at the Grammy's. )


I can't wait to be running my 8 mile leg when this song comes on! Maybe I'll James Brown it a bit on the course. NOT!!

With my Kohl's cards I got a few shirts, socks and some new sneakers! I broke them in with my 6 mile run this morning. Charlie had to throw his two cents in and say he thought it was a bad idea to be running in new sneakers for the race. Thanks for jinxing me, hon. They felt absolutely fine, except for the nice bleeding blister that was caused by the friction on the back of my ankle. I just need to wear socks that actually cover my ankle, NOT the no-see'um ones! They're my first pair of black running shoes (which thankfully hid the blood from my ankle nicely!).



I love the neon green on the soles. They'll look nice a lot longer than white shoes! Have I told you I can not believe that we leave for Miami on Thursday, only 2 days from now???

We're keeping it low key for New Year's Eve tonight. My sister invited us over, and she's only a 1 minute drive from my house, but I feel like being a home body tonight. If we weren't going away in a couple of days I would have had no problem being out and celebrating with the rest of the family, but since we are going to be away, I feel like we should spend time with the kids and enjoy the rest of their vacation. Tomorrow we're going to see 'The Hobbit' and I'm so excited!! We are HUGE 'Lord of The Rings' fans in this house. I wonder if Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom weren't in the movies if I would enjoy them as much...? No, the story lines have me hooked, and I can watch the movies every time they are on.

Wednesday I'll probably be running around like a chicken with its head cut off, doing laundry, packing, grocery shopping... getting all my ducks in a row. We'll be at the airport before 5 am for our 6:15 am flight. If all goes according to plan, we'll be touching down in Miami at 12:50 pm and our team dinner will be a few hours later. After that it will be a fitful night of little to no sleep and the Ragnar start line at 7 am!!! I won't be blogging from the road, but I'll definitely have a tremendous amount to share with you come next Tuesday! It's going to be a whirlwind trip, but there will be memories made to last a lifetime. I couldn't think of a better way to start off a new year but with such an adventure!

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful new year. It's going to be the best year yet.

Friday, December 28, 2012

For Some Of Us Struggling- "Throw A Wrench In It!"

Holly, a beautiful and inspirational writer/blogger, single mother and friend, from 300 Pounds Down just posted another thought-provoking, compelling entry about the way some of us may just throw in the towel when it comes to sticking to the lifestyle changes that keep us on our healthy tract. A Christmas cookie here, a piece of fudge there, and we spiral out of control, subscribing to the old "It's the holidays. I might as well wait until New Year's to get back in the swing of things" mentality.

Holly's brother, who has lost an astounding 270 pounds, reminded Holly, and now us, that there are SEVEN whole days between Christmas and New Year's. Seven days to do a lot of damage, or seven days to do great things for ourselves. We don't have to let that mentality take over us, yet again. We can throw a wrench in it and stop that runaway train right in its tracks. Here's what Holly suggests:



Thankfully, the Runner's World running streak challenge and my impending Ragnar Relay has kept me active, so I'm running at least a mile a day and getting in some other form of aerobics to fill at least an hour, but the sweets in the house are what's throwing me for a loop. I wish I had the resolve that Holly has when it comes to sugar. She has recognized that, to her system and her mentality, sugar is poison that will take over her and quite possibly derail her health journey completely. After losing over 200 pounds, she's not willing to chance anything. For her, she really views eating candy and crap as a choice between life and death. I wish I had just a smidge of that resolve! Even now, I'm still a work in progress.

So, you may not have committed to running a mile a day from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day, but you can do something. At 417 pounds, Holly could only commit to 30 seconds of walking, just to her mailbox and back. It was a true challenge for her. She had to start somewhere. What activity can you commit to doing the next 4 days? You wouldn't believe where that 30 seconds could take you. Holly walked 5 miles on Christmas Day. She only planned on being out for 10 minutes, but she felt so good she kept going. It's hard to believe she ever found walking to her mailbox difficult. It's hard to believe I struggled with running 1/8th of a mile. But we all start somewhere. Whatever you do, make today the start line. You'll be surprised at what you CAN do and where YOU'LL be in a week, a month, a year...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

So Much To Do And So Little Time!

ONE WEEK!! That's all the time we have left before we leave for Miami on the 3rd! I can NOT believe that we only have 7 days until we meet and then run the relay the next day. This team has been waiting since January to get this done! In fact, looking back at that first e-mail from Katie inviting me to join the team, it's exactly 11 months today! The waiting is killing us!

So I have a week to get the house in order, catch up on laundry, get the kids prepared for our absence and pack for me and Charlie! Well, I was figuring on taking down the tree and putting all of the decorations away, and yesterday the tree stand broke, so I already got a jump on that task! Crap. I should keep my eye out for a tree stand on clearance in the next week, huh?

Technically I don't have 7 days since we're celebrating my family's Christmas on Sunday and I'll be cooking and baking the day before. Now I'm down to 5 days. Charlie starts his vacation on Sunday and we want to go see 'The Hobbit' which will eat up the better part of another day... 4 days. Geez Louise, I really need to get my ass in gear! The sad thing? We've been awaiting this day for 11 months and it will be over in the blink of an eye. Thankfully we're making a movie so we'll have a lasting memory of the adventure we were on.

Since it is 8 days until the race, Rik's been counting down the runners on the From Fat To Finish Line Facebook page and today, as Runner #8, my story is featured. It's still hard to see my starting weight plastered on the page for the world to see, but it's the truth. It actually isn't the highest weight I've been. I was 234 pounds when I got married. I managed to gain weight for my wedding while having intentions of losing! Who does that? I hate my wedding pictures. A day you should look back on as one of the best days of your life, and I can't get over the fact of how huge I look. It makes me sad, but I found a great quote posted by Spark People the other day, and I'll share it with you:



I can NOT change my past. I can think about the mistakes I've made and always try to make better choices, but I need to focus on today and tomorrow, where I have the power to create balance in my life, eating better, moving more and enjoying an active life, full of new opportunities and adventures. I'm looking forward to our trip to Miami and Key West, since it's our first trip without the kids since 2005. The relay is going to be an amazing experience that will help set the tone for a FABULOUS 2013. After the Relay is done and we're all back home, we'll be sitting in eager anticipation of the finished product, From Fat to Finish Line- The Documentary!! What a way to begin the new year!

What are you all looking forward to in 2013? Please, forgive yourself for the past, whatever it is you feel you  may have fallen short on, and start the new year with a positive attitude. Change the way you think about things. Start with two words, never spoken better than by Matt Long:



Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

So it's 12:28 pm, Christmas eve, and I have a list a mile long of things to do for tonight and tomorrow, but I'm taking a break and writing while 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' is playing on ABC Family. I know I always overdo things. We're going to my father-in-law's girlfriend's house tonight, so I'm bringing beer batter bread, hot spinach-artichoke dip, Christmas cookies and monkey bread. That is all done. I still have to wrap a few presents for tonight. Thankfully we aren't leaving the house until 4 pm, so I have a bit of time to play with.

Now tomorrow is a whole other story. My parents, one sister, my f-i-l and b-i-l are coming for dinner. So on top of the many things I am making, like pigs in a blanket, shrimp cocktail, crescent-wrapped garlic-stuffed green olives for appetizers, roast pork and rice and beans for dinner and no bake chocolate eclair cake for dessert, I also have to clean the dang house! I didn't even bother making a list for that. I'm going to make sure the bathroom is spotless, the living room is vacuumed, the kitchen counters are clean, the tablecloth is steam-pressed and the floors are swept. Sounds like I should be getting up off my ass, no? Ah, the holidays...such a joyous time... for the GUESTS!!

As usual, we'll be listening to 'A Christmas Story' playing while opening gifts tomorrow. Oh, yeah, but before that I have to run a mile to continue that running streak!! Only 20 miles left in 6 days to meet my 550 mile goal! It's definitely going to happen. Any traditions for your family?



Ok, so I've fooled around long enough... Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Running For A Cause

Today I ran 2.7 miles to honor the memory of each person who had their life tragically cut short in Connecticut on Friday, December 14th. The virtual run was to be 2.6 miles to honor the 20 children and 6 adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, but I can't ignore Nancy Lanza, the mother of the murderer. I know she didn't die at the same location, but she was Ryan Lanza's mom, she was some one's daughter, sister, friend... Her life was taken away that day, too, and she deserves the same respect. I can only say that if I were in that same position, I would hope for death myself, because I would never want to live with the shame and horror of having raised a child that was capable of such heinous acts.



This year I ran for many causes. I ran for veterans, a community center, our local literacy project, the Lions Club and in support of victims of Hurricane Sandy. I hope my little contribution helped. I love that I can do something good for myself while also helping others.

527 miles. I have run 527 miles, so far, this year. That just boggles my mind. In March of 2010 I could barely eek out an 1/8th of a mile without feeling like I would wretch. Fast forward almost 3 years, and on Tuesday I ran 6 miles in the morning, 4 miles at 8:00 that night and then 3 miles the following morning, all in preparation for the Ragnar Relay, now less than two weeks away. If you had told me that first day on the track that I would be doing this, that I would be this person, I would've said you were off your frickin' rocker! But, like it says on that race bib, one foot in front of the other, and it can be done. All I can say is I'm proud of myself.

So can I manage to get in another 23 miles in the next 9 days to make my grand total of miles run in 2012 a nice even 550? You bet your sweet ass I can, and I WILL.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Cookie Extravaganza

I couldn't tell you just how many years my four sisters and I have gotten together with our kids to make and decorate Christmas cookies. A couple of years we had to cancel due to crappy snow storms, and last year we had a hard time coordinating our schedules, so we just decorated cookies at our parents' house one Sunday afternoon. Not everyone was accounted for yesterday, still, but we made the most of it and had a good time.

Since we weren't going to my parents after church, I had Sunday coffee and rolls at my house before the chaos commenced. It was a nice relaxing time to sit and chat with my sisters. It was one of the only times I had a chance to sit for hours after that. We cleaned up and I started by mixing the spritz cookie dough, this way they would be baking while the kids decorated the sugar cookies I had already baked the day before. We love spritz cookies since they remind us of our grandma and the baking marathon she would do every year, keeping my grandfather up until sometimes 4 in the morning, waiting for her to be finished.

Chelsea and my nephew decorating a tray of Christmas trees

Then it was time to make the royal icing for the sugar cookies. For years we made decorated cookies with canned frosting and icing gels and they were impossible to take home. They never dried and would ruin all of the other cookies, until I found the royal icing recipe that changed everything! All it is is powdered sugar, an egg white and lemon juice! I then add food coloring to it, put it in little decorator's bottles and they're off! Eureka!

Charlie and Chelsea hard at work.

My sister also brought brownie pops to decorate. They had fun decorating and then eating them. I wasn't quick enough to take a picture of that! I was in the kitchen working on the chocolate chip cookies. That was it for the kids. Their attention span had waned and there were no more cookies to decorate, so it was perfect timing! We ended the baking mini-marathon with peppermint sugar cookies. There was so much more to bake, but the women had hit the wall as well. There's still a week until Christmas. We'll be able to bake on our own.

Only half of the aftermath of cookie baking day...

Pinterest is just an awful, evil invention. I have TOO many things I want to accomplish in the next week! Time to drag out the pen and paper and make a list of everything I need for Christmas Eve at my f-i-l's girlfriend's house, Christmas day at my house (which means appetizers, dinner, dessert and drinks for 9), and  my family Christmas on the 30th. The kids LOVE it. Every year they get to celebrate (Read: open presents) Christmas THREE times! For me it's about 12 trips to the grocery, liquor and dollar store!! Happy days!

I will say this, though, even with all of the work and stress this season brings, I don't need to be reminded of how very blessed my entire family is to be happy and healthy and together to celebrate. We'll be thinking of all of the people that have been struck with tragedy these past few months- those who are still displaced due to Hurricane Sandy, either attempting to rebuild or left with nothing and needing to start over completely, and those 27 families in CT who are grieving the loss of their child or family member. We can only hope and pray that they are able to make it through the toughest times they'll ever experience so their loved one's light will shine on, even if snuffed out too soon.

Honoring Sandy Hook




On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. 

Money is also being raised that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services.

Here is the official description of the support service:

"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic
and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their
highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support
groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.

ANY DONATIONS MADE TO NEWTOWN YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES WILL BE DONATED DIRECTLY TO THOSE EFFECTED BY THE SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHOOTING."


Please visit THIS PAGE to make your donation.

No one can imagine how an entire town must be feeling, but especially all of the moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas that are saying goodbye to their babies. Please spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Help make a difference and use blogging in a positive way.

Thank you in advance for participating.


Thank you to Drazil for originally posting this.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Survey


Gigi at Running On Candy shared this fun survey from another blogger. I just copied and pasted it and removed Gigi's answers!


1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? I'll drink eggnog, but I prefer a nice rich cup of hot cocoa.

2. Colored lights on tree/house or white? We have multi-colored lights on the tree and white icicle lights hanging in the street-facing windows of the house.

3. Do you hang mistletoe? We used to have some mistletoe, and then it wound up getting all chewed up at the bottom of the box, so I tossed it. I really don't ever want to get caught under it with my b-i-l or something like that!

4. When do you hang your decorations up? We try for the first weekend in December. I'm not one of those people that need the decorations done for when I pull into the driveway Thanksgiving night.

 5. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Hmmm.... it would have to be my dad's Spanish stuffing that was my grandfather's recipe. He was from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the recipe has to be 80 years old, at least. It's not something that most people would find appetizing, (I posted pictures of it last year), and, in fact, my husband refuses to try it, after being in the family for almost 22 years!

6. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Waking up with my sister at 4 am (after my poor parents probably JUST went to sleep) and opening gifts by the snow on the television!

7. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, with my husband's family.
 
8. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We use multi-colored lights and all of the special ornaments we've collected over the years, like the kids' First Christmas ornaments, several Precious Moments ornaments (I used to collect them), and homemade ornaments that I've cross-stitched and the ones the kids have made in school. 

last year's stash



9. Snow? Love it or dread it? When the snowfall occurs on my husband's day off, and it's not more than 3", I LOVE snow. Other than that, Long Island has seen enough of it to last me a  lifetime!

10. Real tree or fake treeI've NEVER had a real tree! *GASP*

11. What is your favorite holiday dessert? I think you know dessert is a problem for me. I have been making these no-bake peanut butter bars for years, and everyone loves them. We also make great cookies on our family cookie baking day. The BEST ones are made with devil's food cake mix with chocolate chips and M&M's stirred in!

there's the no bake pb bars in front on the white plate


12. What is your favorite tradition? I guess that would be the family cookie baking/decorating extravaganza. Looking forward to this Sunday!

This was 5 years ago! Chelsea was so little!


13. What tops your tree? When we had an Odd Job in our neighborhood, I found a beautiful porcelain angel dressed in white with wispy feather wings.  Before her it was an ugly multi-colored star with gold tinsel on it. Hideous.

14. Do you prefer giving or receiving? I love giving when I know the recipient is going to love what I found. Lately I've been giving photo gifts and they've been a hit. This year Pinterest has helped me go over the top!

15. What is your favorite Christmas song? All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carey, maybe?

 16. Candy canes? I'm not into sugary candy, but I'll eat a Hershey chocolate mint one now and then.

17. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story



18. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition? We open gifts with the kids and I have to make Big Sunday Breakfast, even though it's not always Sunday. Oh, and A Christmas Story is playing in the background.

19. Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall? I haven't been to the mall in years. I think the last time was 7 years ago. It's a 40 minute drive to the nearest mall. I did a lot of shopping on-line this year, mainly to earn points on My Points, but also because several of the things my kids wanted could only be found on-line. I still have a lot of shopping to do for other family members and I plan on going to the outlets, which are conveniently located 20 minutes away!

20. What is on your Christmas wish list? The adults in my family pick names, and I asked my niece for either an iPod arm pocket or Joy Mangano's Huggable Hangers that I have seen and coveted on HSN for years. I actually bought them for my mom this year because my parents are supposedly down-sizing to an apartment eventually. 

Answer some of these questions, or link back to your blog, if you already have!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stranded

The Pick 12 Challenge on 12-12-12. 7.45 miles in 1 hour, 20 minutes. 10:45 pace. In my defense, I went over the bridge to investigate the damage done to Smith point Park by Hurricane Sandy. Most of the paths to the boardwalk, or what was left of the boardwalk, were covered in sand dunes, so I had to walk. Walking on sand brought me to a crawl.

It was fuh-fuh-freezing out. I headed out at 11:45 am. I thought I'd start at 12:12 pm, but I'm glad I didn't wait any longer than I had. It wasn't just cold (44*) but windy, too. The run started out fine. Thankfully I always bring a towel with me. It was doing double duty today, mopping up sweat and snot. I really understand the snot rocket phenomenon now. I was getting so tired of trying to keep up with my runny nose! Anyway, I just HAD to be nosey. I was curious and I wanted to see the devastation first hand. I should have remembered the time I decided to ride down to Mastic Beach after a Nor'easter and got my car stuck in the side of the road in the marsh. I had to be towed out.

From where I started to the base of the bridge is about 3.75 miles. I could have just turned around and hit my 7.45 miles just a block or two from home. Running over the bridge, thinking the hill would be a good thing (when are hills a good thing?), brought me to 4.1 miles. But I figured I went this far, I might as well go see the beach. Running along the road and over to the Beach Hut promenade and back to the bridge added another mile and change. Only the promenade is open. The rest of the boardwalk is destroyed. The sand that supported the cement was washed away. Actually it was washed through the tunnels connecting the parking lot to the beach. There was still sand in the lot. The wooden staircases from the boardwalk to the beach are gone. I don't see how the work will be done by Memorial Day weekend. It seems like such a daunting task, and yet our beach suffered minuscule damage as compared to other seaside communities.

I would've taken my own pictures, but I didn't want a camera weighing me down!

stairs to nowhere

So my inquisitiveness did a number on me. 1). I ran that bridge going and coming, and you've seen pictures before. Not the biggest hill, but sufficient enough. 2). It was freezing (in case you forgot I mentioned that). 3). That stupid ass side trip had me finish my run nearly 2 miles away from home!! I thought, "Well, I'll just run 8." I didn't have anything left. So now I'm covered in sweat (sport tank, long-sleeved Cuddle top, and t-shirt on) and I'm moving at a snail's pace, in the wind. I took out my cell phone. It's Charlie's early day and he gets home at about 1:20 pm. I held that cell phone as I walked. Then I thought I'd have him meet me at the Dunkin' Donuts, which was still about a half mile away, but then I checked the time and I knew my kids would be getting home. They have keys, but it's nice to have someone home for them. I just trudged along, counting down the houses between me and my sanctuary.

That last two miles took me 45 frickin' minutes. I was shivering. I was sending out telepathic vibes to my husband "~~~~Come look for me~~~~," "~~~~Call my cell phone~~~~~." Nothing. I would have jumped in some body's car if anyone I knew passed me. No one.

I'm just counting my lucky stars that these date thingies don't happen all that often. The next one will be two years away, 12-13-14. I'll be resting until then.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Streaks and Challenges

Yesterday was just such a crappy day. It poured from Sunday night through last night. We have a damn leak in the living room roof, again. We've had it re-shingled once or twice already. I think the water is coming in from the doghouse window that's in our bedroom above the extension that is the living room. Just another one of those things to add to the never-ending to-do list that sucks the life out of you and dwindles the savings.

The funk that the weather (and the leak) put me in turned into a horrible day of eating. Then I didn't get to the gym because I spent a couple of hours on some Christmas projects and talking on the phone (my parents are back from their two week vacation in FL!). Then I had to go pick up my niece at after care for my sister since she was stuck at work. It was an all-around shitty day, but my running streak was not going to be broken, no matter what was going on. Chelsea had dance at 7:30 pm, and when she was done, I dropped her off and went straight to the gym. In and out in 20 minutes to get that mile done. I didn't fail and let the streak die. Twenty days strong.



Today was a good day. Still crappy weather, but I got myself to the gym early, spent 30 minutes on the arc trainer, ran for 15 minutes, then did another 30 minutes on the arc trainer. I'm avoiding the rowing machine because I think that's how I tweaked my back. It's not even the usual culprit, the dreaded lower back pain. It's more mid-back and it just feels like no matter how much I twist and turn it won't crack. Oh, yeah. I crack everything- fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, hips, ankles.... I should be REAL attractive as an old lady. Add the curse of an Italian woman's chin hair and receding hairline and I should scare ALL the small children at Halloween.

Anyway, I haven't rowed since Friday or Saturday and I feel better right now. Hope that was it. We'll see how I feel after tomorrow's long run. Gigi at Running on Candy mentioned another blogger's (Jess at Run With Jess) Pick 12 Challenge. It's to celebrate 12-12-12, so you pick between a 12 mile run or bike ride, or a 12k run or bike ride. Since I need to run 8 miles, I chose the 12k, which is 7.45 miles. She suggested starting at 12:12 pm, if possible. I think I can swing that. It'll be fun to think of all the other people who will be doing the same exact thing all over the country.

Anyone else, other than Gigi and Jess, celebrating 12-12-12 with a physical challenge?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Day Late

*This was supposed to post yesterday, but I fell asleep before I could find the picture I wanted!*

16 days running at least a mile a day. Didn't think I would make it this far. Of course I'm wondering when I'm going to get that run in on Christmas day, but if I just commit to one mile, that's not even ten minutes. With a warm up and cool down, that's a whopping 20 minutes. I think I can squeeze that in between the kids opening their gifts, making a big Christmas morning breakfast and prepping for my guests for dinner, right? Planning is the key! I bet I can get out of the house, run and get back home before they even wake up! They're not three and five anymore.

Today I ran 1.7 miles in 15 minutes. That's 6.8 mph! I love the treadmill again. With the tap of a button I HAVE to run faster, and I'm realizing that I have it in me to run more than a minute at 7.5 mph. It may take me breaking down every minute I run at a very uncomfortable speed into 5 second increments, playing math games in my mind, to endure the interval. 5 seconds... 1/12th... 10 seconds...1/6th... 30 seconds...1/2... Before I know it, I've run the minute, and then I'll assess how I feel. I'll say to myself  "I can go another minute," and that usually translates into "I can handle this pace for an entire quarter mile."

I have to admit, it also helps having all of those people around me in the gym! It REALLY helps when there's somebody running on one of the treadmills with me. I do try not to get on a treadmill on top of someone else, but sometimes there's no choice- the tv doesn't work on this one, there's ruts in the bed on that one... I kind of like the competition. It keeps me motivated.



27 days until we run the Ragnar Relay! This running streak is certainly helping me prepare. Yesterday I ran 4 miles in 37:30. I'm finally getting more miles in. I still can't believe it's FOUR weeks away. This entire year has been consumed with planning and thinking about this momentous event in our lives. We've spent countless hours on Facebook getting to know each other and rooting each other on, celebrating all of our running accomplishments these past months, as well as life's major events. Katie ran her first and second marathon. Lealah ran her first marathon and Carly ran her first half. Then Mary had the best news ever when she announced she was unable to remain on the team since she is expecting her first little "nugget!" It's amazing where this little plan of Katie's and Rik's has taken us (although we had nothing to do with Nugget!)!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's The Final Countdown!

I'm still in a state of shock that the Ragnar Relay is exactly one month from today! That's 30 days until I get to meet the 11 incredible people that make up our team. 30 days until the trip and experience of a lifetime. 30 days until I get a much needed mini-vacation alone with my husband! We haven't been away on our own since our trip to the Poconos for our 10th anniversary in July '05! Seven years is a long time. I know some people that go away every year. Not us. One, we couldn't afford it, and two, I'd feel so guilty going away without my kids. I don't even like going out to eat without them. It's a problem of mine.

Since it's ONLY a month away, I broke out the pen and paper and started to make some lists. I have the "pack" list and the "to-do" list. I have to make sure I have at least three running outfits with extra socks and underwear, clothes for the finish line party, our Sunday adventures and to return home in. I also pack for Charlie, but he won't be as difficult since he's not running. Then there's the "getting-all-of-my-ducks-in-a-row-at-home" list; the sweep and mop the kitchen floor, buy bagels, chips and pizza rolls kind of list. I always leave a clean house so I come home to a relatively clean house. My niece is staying with the kids so there's an adult around, just in case. I made the lists, but I really can't execute any of it until about the week before! Oh well, I got the ball rolling.

Not much else going on in this neck of the woods. My running streak is still going strong. Today was Day 13. I don't think I've ever set a challenge for myself like this. It's surprising to me how easy it has been to stick to. Of course, there's no work getting in the way. That could have thrown a wrench in things, but let's not dwell on the fact that I'm still not making any money.

On Sunday I ran 6 miles in 1:01. It was about 54*, so I was OBLIGATED to run outside!  The run was tough, but I think I did okay. I'm going for 8 miles next weekend, and then I have to go for it and take a day to run my 3 legs, 8 in the morning, 6 as late in the day as I can and then 2 as early as I can drag myself out of bed the following morning (as per our captain, Rik). Unfortunately, that's not when I'll actually be running in January, but I think I'll save my 2 am run cherry for Miami! On the days I'm not running a certain distance, I've been doing 1 or 1 1/2 miles. I break up my workouts into 15 minute segments, so I'll just run for 15 minutes, usually after doing 15 minutes on the rower and arc trainer. Today I ran 3.2 miles in 30 minutes, a 9:20 pace. I think my quick miles are helping with my speed.

the birthday girl

Yesterday was Molly's 7th birthday. I made her some peanut butter cookies in the toaster oven to celebrate. I finally called someone to come fix my oven, because after 3 small fires in the toaster oven and the noxious fumes it emitted after the cookies, I had to toss it! There's not much else to report. Thankfully life has been uneventful the last few days. (I shouldn't have said that!)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I've Got To Keep On Movin'

Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride... I've run every day, at least 1 mile, for 10 DAYS! I think it's helping me enjoy running more since most days I only have to run a mile. I've actually been doing that machine mixer workout with 15 minute intervals on the rower, the arc trainer and the treadmill, so I've been running about 1.5 miles in that 15 minutes. I've also been playing with my speed and pushing myself. Today I ran a minute at an 8:00 mile. I haven't done that in a long time. Between all of my activity, I've logged over 30 miles on Daily Mile so far this week. I plan on doing a 6 mile run tomorrow since it's supposed to be a good day, so my week isn't over yet!

Yesterday I got another surprise in the mail! Love those little packages stuffed inside the mailbox!! It came from Tina from For The Love Of The Run. I think I'll pack it for our van during the relay!





It's called pStyle and it gives women the ability to pee standing! It states on the package that it's "easy to use while clothed, eliminates the need for t.p., reusable and simple to clean and compact and easy to carry." These people have never seen me try to pee in a cup! No need for t.p.? I'll probably need at least a hand towel! Well, it is compact and won't take up much space in my backpack for the race. It'll at least be a good conversation piece!

Yesterday I went to AC Moore for some craft supplies and t-shirts. We settled on wearing bright pink, yellow and orange for the three legs of the Ragnar Relay. My RR t-shirt is neon pink, so I was covered for the first leg. I was so excited to see the store had their t-shirts 5/$10 AND they had bright orange and yellow! I picked up a few extra so I could make some t-shirt scarves I saw on Pinterest. Can't go wrong with a pretty scarf for $2! I bought some iron on numbers to put "- 75" for my weight lost on the back of one of the shirts. I also bought some ModPodge because I'm making photo coasters with ceramic tiles for some of my family members for Christmas. Have I told you all how much I love Pinterest??? Now I just have to stop pinning and get off the damn computer and start working on all of these projects!