Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Festivus 5k for the Rest of Us! and other feats of strength...

Photo credits go to Shannon Larkin Sempsrott
The weekend was quite the success for us!  We had a wonderful Saturday morning waiting for us for our 2nd Annual Festivus 5k for the Rest of Us!  It was around 46 degrees by the start of the race which was nice compared to last years 19 degrees and luckily the storm waited until that night to blow in.  There we about 240 participants quite a few of which were running their first 5k, in costume, part of other running groups, or under the age of 15 (part of the running 505 group).  There were some strollers, some dogs and plenty of fun!  There was a Festivus pole at the finish for photo ops and a backdrop of the beautiful Sandia mountains with blue skies as a back drop for the finish line photos.  It was so exciting seeing everyone have fun.  On top of all that we are going to be able to donate a nice little chunk of change to the UNM Cancer Center!  Directing a race, even a small one, can be nerve racking and thrilling all at the same time.  When I got home my mom was surprised by my great mood!  She kept saying "You seem so happy!  I haven't seen you like this in a while!"  Well the stress of everything going on had culminated with this race.  To see that it all came together in the end made me so happy!  I'm so thankful for my partner in crime who put this race on with me (we balance each other out just right), for my parents (my dad participated and my mom watched my son while I was MIA), and for friends and the running community who supported us with such enthusiasm, not to mention some fabulous sponsors.  We had wonderful volunteers that helped us with the photography and finish.  And don't you love the glass we gave with each entry?

What do like getting with your race entry?  The tried and true race shirt?  A mug, hat, socks, gloves, none of the above?

On a personal note last week I logged 21 miles of just running.  I can't remember the last time, actually I don't think I have ever, had a week where all I did was run, no swim or bike or class just run (ok I got 2 weight lifting sessions in there as well) and now I know how people build higher run mileage, all they do is run.  It's quite simple actually, I just have always had a love/hate relationship with running as it is my weakest of the 3 sports.  But maybe this whole being forced to sit out of triathlon season for a while is going to be good for my running!  This Run every day in December challenge is just what I needed.  The change up also made me lose just a little bit of weight.  Now let's hope when I'm off for work for the week and 1/2 over the holiday I maintain this running streak.

Happy Training!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Challenge(s)

Get some hot coco and settle in as this is going to be a long one.  Or just run away now!!! :-) 

It's that time of year, no not the holidays, but apparently the time of year I go crazy and decide to try and make a ton of commitments and some how try to stick to them.  Why would I do this to myself you ask?  I have no idea.  I'm not very good at saying no is one major reason.  I try to give up a commitment and I get asked if I would reconsider a week later and I give in!!! ;-)  I'm afraid of completely losing myself into "mommy" and "work" world so I try to maintain contact with the groups that I feel I identify with and keep a little part of who I really am but then realize work and life demands don't always allow for that (especially when hubs needs all of my free time to watch the little guy so he can study).

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day.  I was at one of my favorite relays that my local running club puts on and I've written about it on here many times before because I have so much fun at these handicap runs my dad did this one with me which was awesome!  I mentioned that I had signed up for the Run Every Day in December Challenge on FB.  She said "Oh yeah I did that last year but decided not to do it this year.  I found that I used it as an excuse to only run 1 mile since that was the minimum so I ran every day but fewer miles."  I hadn't thought about it that way before.  I on the other hand signed up and it has been a great choice since I am so competitive with myself way more than with others and when I make a commitment to myself and on top of that vow to post about it online every day with this group I get this sense of urgency with the goal!  So for me the hardest part is usually getting my foot out the door.  The effect this has on me is well I promised myself so I better get out there and do one mile.  Then as soon as I'm out there I'm like I made it happen I'm out here I might as well take advantage of it.  So I end up running more miles than I normally would have because I force myself to make time for it so I build on that.  Now I'm like wow I can do this running every day thing now let's see if I can add to my running miles from last week.  See as a triathlete and a not very fast runner I never understood how some people get such high running mileage in.  Now I know how, all you do is run, if you don't do any other sport then the miles tend to add up faster and you can't hide behind the bike or under water.  All in all this challenge has been a good decision for me and my dog approves with two huge paws up!  It's gotten me out there on cold nights after 8pm and for a quick lunch run when I'm feeling overwhelmed at work.  This December Challenge I have been very thankful for.

My friend and I are also putting on what has turned out to be a very fun 5k for a second year in a row the Festivus 5k for the Rest of Us which this year not only are we having the theme and costume contest but also get to benefit the UNM Cancer Center and get some of the Running505 kids out there running too.  Each year we hope to grow it just a  little bit so that we hopefully don't experience growing pains.  That has been a lot of work for both of us but we are super excited to see the benefits and results and have as much fun with it as possible.  That culminates this Saturday with hopefully a much warmer day than last year.

Work has been insane as I was covering my work along with my assistants due to her being out after a bike accident but she is back and I am very thankful that she is doing a lot better and we are slowly starting to catch back up and my over time has dwindled thankfully!  I hope to wrap up all the lose ends before we are out for the Holidays and start the new year fresh and refreshed!!  With an expansion and build out in the near future we'll need to be prepared for lots of new hires and everything that comes along with that.

On the home front there has been hubs going through finals and we are truly living separate lives right now and are definitely not the example of positive and productive communication.  We will grin and bare it until some how we hit smoother waters, maybe in about 4 years once he's out of school?  In the meantime we've been making time for our son and letting him enjoy all the wanders of the season since last year he was barely able to hold his head up let alone enjoy lights and festivities.  He's such an amazing little human and brings me joy every day.  I'm also not ever allowed to go into a toy store because I found out I will want to buy everything for him and I get way too excited!  I some how ended up with 2 pretend cameras when I got home apparently he had grabbed one and I had too and didn't notice it at check out.  Toys for Tots will benefit from that one!  Thanks to friends and family helping I've been able to still fit in a few fun runs and take the stroller out for some shorter stuff around the house whenever I can't find any coverage.  Now if this weather would just cooperate and I could try to get a ski day or two in this season that would be awesome I haven't been in 2 years!!!  I guess the "Winter Welcome" and the "Let it snow" signs I have up at our house wasn't enough of a hint for mother nature.  Still not sure if the in-laws will make it for Christmas but I'm sure the house will clean itself right?  I'm not even going to try to think about coordinating Christmas dinner yet, maybe everyone else will do the coordinating? ;-)  I'm cursed with being a planner.

I'm trying to get a running group up and running, pun intended or maybe not, but it has been a slow start mainly due to scheduling conflicts but I really am excited to hopefully give it more attention in the new year.  Hubs has a nonprofit he has also decided to get up and running at the same time so again living separate lives and spending time elsewhere.  Apparently this is why he is constantly on the phone and FB so we will both patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) wait to reconnect.

I have temporarily given up on my return to triathlons as I know I don't have time to train for all three sports.  Although I did hear that Toughman is bringing a 70.3 race to NM which is huge news for our triathlon world and very tempting to want to check it out! But that course will not be something to be laughed at and I will need to start out smaller once I do venture back.  I have to figure out how the heck to make time for the bike and pool time!!!  Running when I'm in charge of Aiden is doable with the jogging stroller pool and bike not so much.  I have been trying to stick to my healthier eating habits and at least to consistent running and weight training and I think my work pants are finally starting to fit comfortably again! WooHoo.  I haven't lost any additional weight (I have been back at my pre pregnancy weight) which means the extra ab work I've been doing might finally be paying off.  I will not give up!

Ok I warned you this was going to be a long one.  I think that's almost all of what has been going on.  Things should start to ease up a little here soon.  But if you don't hear from me before then Happy Holidays!! and Happy Training!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Doggie Dash Weekend

This was the weekend of the pup!  Dear Lexi, we did not forget about you and we do still remember that you were our first baby!!  Please forgive us if we miss a walk every once in a while because we are busy cleaning up baby poop from the inside of a bath tub or from your mouth!  Know that when "A" grabs you by the jowls and yells directly in your face a bunch of none sense it's him telling you how much he loves you.  If we yell "Out" at you so many times that it is one of his first words that he now says to you while flailing his little finger while pointing at your doggie door we are sorry.  But we just can't have you always licking his mouth in search of food or hanging out under his high chair waiting for scraps because he loves you so much that if he sees you there he'd gladly throw his entire dinner on the floor for you.  You have been there for me through some tough times and helped me celebrate other exciting times.  You kept me company while hubs was deployed for a year and run with me through rain or shine!  You race "A" to the door to greet me and I appreciate every wag of your tail.  You sit by me at night as I read him his bed time story waiting to say good night before I put him down and you sit by the bathroom in the mornings as I get ready for work.  You may be a hyper dog, bark at nothing, chase your own tail, air hump the cushion on the couch, act like a psycho in the car, and pull relentlessly on runs but we LOVE YOU!!!

She got a bath on Saturday so she could look her best and impress at the doggie dash while she proudly wore her "Adopted at Animal Humane" bandanna.  At least this time as we drove there instead of smelling the nasty scared dog smell we got a whiff of the shampoo from the day before.  She gave me a turbo boost on the run in a couple of spots and helped me run it faster than last year.  May not be a PR but it's a post pregnancy PR! :-)  We ran the 5k in 25 mins this year!  Although I have to admit she was a lot more distracted this year maybe because we had to leave "A" behind she kept looking for him.  She usually is pulling me hard throughout the whole race but this year I had to keep cheering her on to get her to stop looking back and falling behind.  I also had to stop 2 x to untangle her from the leash!  There were 2 kids that fell and ate asphalt in front of me poor kiddos I asked if they were ok and they said yes as the kept running but I could see the pain in their face. All in all everyone survived and we didn't step in any dog poo!  At the home stretch she kicked it in to show off for the crowd and to try to jump in the stroller and give our kiddo a kiss!

She got lots of treats and toys from all the vendors and slept the rest of the day.  Thankfully we didn't let the rain scare us off.  I'm so glad hubs went with me and took the little guy because he enjoyed it just as much.  And they got to try the agility park.  Even though the results were messed up at first other than that the race was great.  I just didn't know spectators had to pay $5 to get in.  If it wasn't for such a good cause that might have been a little annoying. Now I don't have any races on the horizon so I have to figure out what the heck I'm going to do all winter!  Need to stay motivated!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reasons I'm not hip...

1.  Running on campus, minding my own business, then all of a sudden a flurry of pink bandannas engulfed me and I was caught in the middle of some kind of chase or game.  I'm obviously not hip enough to know what this was about so instead of joining I made my way out of the catapulting bodies and kept going on my merry way to the gym.

2.  Guy wearing a hat that looked like a bear head and holding nunchucks (didn't even know how to spell this before today).  Wasn't sure if this was a pre Halloween costume or if this guys actually incorporated this into his gym workout.

3.  About 5-6 food trucks parked on campus all still running so there was a visible cloud of exhaust surrounding them as people stood around reading menus trying to decide which one to buy from.  I must not be hip enough for this because my first thought was get me out of this hell hole!

4.  I got "mam'd" at the gym the other day.  Excuse me but if you are asking to use the same machine as me with the same weights I don't think I should be mam'd :-)  but again more proof I'm not hip.

5.  I have no desire to get on Instagram, am barely ever on Twitter, only use FB to post pictures of my son now and don't even ask me about all the new sites and apps that are popping up every day, how am I blogging you ask?  That's a good question, but I don't have many followers so this is basically an online journal for myself, see not hip!

6.  I have been known to run in an old pair of boxers I bought at a ski area back in the 90s and yes I still run in cotton shirts and it doesn't bother me.  The only "hip" exercise clothes I might own is because the lululemon people see how I'm dressed at local races and feel so sorry for me they give me a coupon for a free article of exercise clothing, yes this has happened to me more than once. 

I can accept this and embrace it and am so happy that I don't give a @#*!*@ what people think about me, who says it's not great getting old! :-)

On a little more serious note the person who works for me has been in a bike accident.  I feel so bad for her she broke both elbows and will have to get surgery next week!  In a moment of panic trying to avoid something she slammed on her brakes and went over the front of her handle bars.  I hope she has a speedy recovery and doesn't worry about the work she is leaving me with.  I can handle it I just have to prioritize and know some things will have to sit on the back burner until late December when she will be back.  In the meantime I'm trying to multi task so that I can still get some workouts in even with a heavy workload.  So I had to take some stuff around campus and figured might as well do this in running shoes get a run in at the same time and avoid getting parking tickets!

Happy Training and Stay Safe!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pacers, Pumpkins, and Cancellations

Yes I tried to come up with another P word but I'm just not clever enough and you'd think with all the practice I get on Lumosity and my word bubbles game I could!   I've been keeping busy lately and my kiddo has been keeping up with me so that is exciting!

We volunteered for a local race that was the marathon I did over 10 years ago.  I helped coordinate the bag drop booth and the pacers.  Man this wasn't a big assignment and it took so much coordination I can't imagine those volunteer coordinators that do even more!  Thanks to everyone and anyone who has ever volunteered to make a race happen it's a lot of work and we appreciate it!!  All I had to do on race day was find parking and shuttle the pacers to the half way point and the others back.  All Aiden had to do was look cute and not have a melt down which he did perfectly!  The pacers were right on with their times and it was awesome!  My little guy kept trying to run with the rest of them and I had to catch him by the hood of his jacket because he's getting too fast for me!  I use to make fun of the parents with the kid leashes backpacks but I may be starting to see the value in them... JUST KIDDING my kid would freak out with one of those.  I can barely keep him in a stroller or carrier any more.  It was a brisk morning and a great day to race and spectate.  The turn around point was near what I believe is a cereal factory, I heard one of the runners ask why it smelled like cookies, oh the cruelty!!

We went to a Maiz Maze which turned out to really be hay not corn so not sure why they called it that and saw pumpkins which my son decided the best thing to do with a pumpkin is attack it.  That's his new thing now to beat on everything, including my face.  That may be slightly my fault since I bought him a drum and keep teaching him to hit it.  He did not appreciate the prickliness of the hay and I have picture that captures it perfectly.  He did try to make friends however.

Now that I had my two half marathons in the bag I was planning on finishing my season with a Nutcracker Sprint Triathlon and was so looking forward to it and my "secret" plan that I had but I just found out they cancelled the tri and decided to only have the 5k run this year!! Boooooooooooo!!!!  So I had done this tri 2 years ago not knowing I was pregnant and I placed 1st in my age group, granted mainly because it was a small race and I was all trained up from my IM I had just done, but to my surprise it qualified me for Nationals.  I wanted to go so bad but then found out I was indeed pregnant.  My secret plan this year was to go again and qualify and then tell hubs well now I just have to train for triathlons because I can't pass up an awesome opportunity like that twice right!??  Now that the possibility is not even there I find myself at a loss with what I want to do.  Do I keep training for other runs, do I try to do some off season stuff like lifting weights, do I plan out a triathlon season for next year even if I don't think I have enough time to train for 3 sports with a little guy?  My motivation has left me without my super secret plan and I need to re-energize myself with a new plan! Help!