Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Happenings & Ramblings

Well, things hit the fan is quite an unexpected way.  Which left me not much time to sit down and actually blog. Of course I have thought about what to blog and I have been on the computer here and there, but not as much as usual.  I've had opportunities to, but it was always at the time that I chose to spend with the hubby & kids making holiday memories.  Or chatting with a friend in Alabama at 1 a.m.  Or just plain sleeping so I don't turn into a cranky zombie.

I know you all understand.  We've all been there at one time or another.  I'm sure you are all amidst your own holiday craziness, whatever that means for you.  I know that even though I went MIA and will continue to take a break after I post this, you'll be back.  I'm pretty sure you don't follow me or my blog because I'm so faithful in posting each and every day.  Or even because I'm just the best blog out there, because we all know I'm not.  I don't mean that as a put down to my blogging.  I know if you are here, you are here because of ME!  I appreciate that and am glad you are here!

Even though I have SO MUCH to tell you all.  I just wanted to hop on and wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!  May you all have a very blessed holiday tomorrow and the many other days that you may have already celebrated or will continue to celebrate with family & friends.

I'll be back after the holidays and will be ready to tackle 2013.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Giveaway winner announced

I didn't plan to be absent from blogging the last 2 days.  To say they have been crazy is an understatement.  And I don't really have time now to step away from said craziness to get a real blog post up and going.  Perhaps later.  I had promised a winner first thing asap for my Tough Chik military hat giveaway.

And the winner is.......

Yo Momma Runs

Thank you to everyone who participated!  I wish I had several hats, so many of you are worthy of winning one!!!!  A big thank you to Tough Chik for sponsoring this great giveaway!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday's Tunes - Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Snow...typically you either love or hate it.  I'm fairly neutral.  Or maybe call it love-hate.  I don't mind it, in fact, I often welcome it.  I'm not sure though that I would say the more the merrier.  Several other factors must be taken into consideration before I decide my mood on the subject. 

Maybe it's from our very mild winter last year, but for the time being, I've been craving snow!  I dreamt the other night that I was out running in a fresh snowfall while the snow was still coming down.   I even remember laying there with a big grin on my face, still half asleep & not wanting to let go of that dream or of the feeling of running in snow.  It makes me feel all excited and warm just thinking about it!

I was talking to my running partner, Angela, this morning and was telling her about my dream.  I think I might have even squealed a little bit when I talked about it.  We're planning to run on Thursday morning and we are keeping our fingers crossed that a fresh blanket of snow will be coming down when we head out.  That would be AWWWWWWSOME!

Although according to the most recent weather forecast, I'm not sure if the snow will stick around for very long.  Look at what's predicted for Friday:

Well, might as well enjoy it while it lasts...*giggle*

This morning's run was a nice quiet 4 miler.  I can tell I'm getting more acclimated to the weather and colder temps.  As I set out it was 32 degrees with a slight wind.  I wasn't cold at all.  I thought it felt rather nice, a tad balmy, if anything.  Here are the tunes I enjoyed on my run:

Always - Atlantic Star
Miss Independent - Kelly Clarkson
Shout to the North - Delirious
Everlasting God - Lincoln Brewster
Every Breath You Take - The Police
That's How You Know - Enchanted Soundtrack
Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus - BBC Brass Quartet
Weekend in New England - Barry Manilow (my favorite Barry song!!)
Family Ties Theme Song - TV Tunes
Beverly Hills 90210 Theme Song - TV Tunes
Love in Any Language - Sandi Patti 
The Motions - Matthew West

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tough Chik GIVEAWAY!

I've blogged and bragged about the awesome Team Tough Chik that I belong to.  It is such a great community of remarkable women that regardless of each others lives, interests, strengths & weaknesses, they come together in support of one another and celebrating what makes each woman tough.

Even if you don't belong to the team (sorry, registration is close for the upcoming 2013 season.....I DID tell you about joining when you had the chance) you can still enjoy many of the great & high quality Tough Chik products.   Yes, I am pretty much drooling over and wanting one of everything they have available.

I'm typically not a huge hat person, but if I had to pick a particular style the military cap would be my number one choice.  So you can imagine my excitement when Tough Chik introduced a military cap of their own.  When I was contacted about having one to sample and giveaway I didn't even look at the picture I just said YES!  I was even more excited when the package arrived and pulled it out to find it in black (the cap) and red (the Tough Chik wording).  Ahhhhhh, my favorite colors!!!!  I've worn the hat a lot the last few days.  It's very comfortable and fashionable to wear with many of my outfits.  With an adjustable back it was super easy to fit my smaller head.  If you are indeed blessed with a larger cranium, don't worry there is plenty of room.  Regardless I'm sure it will look fabulous on any tough chik head!

The wonderful peeps at Tough Chik have provided an addition hat for me to GIVEAWAY!  Yaaaaaay!  In addition, I have added a few extra fun gifts of my own to give to one luck winner.
(Tough Chik military hat, 3 TC tatoos, green apple Chap Stick & a pair of wonderful holiday socks!)

You will see from the rafflecopter below you have MANY opportunities to sign up and have a chance to win this hat.  First and MOST important you must "like" Tough Chik on facebook.  They are *this close* to having 2,000 likes/followers on their facebook page.   Wouldn't it be awesome if YOU were responsible for helping them go over that 2,000 mark.  Either by liking them yourself or helping spread the word about this great company and pointing other people to the Tough Chik facebook page.  No matter what it is a win/win situation!

DUDES!.....Yes, you manly men who read & follow my blog and/or Tough Chik.  Just because this product doesn't (gender) specifically apply to you I'm sure there are MANY tough chiks in your own life.  Mom?  Wife?  Girlfriend?  Daughter?  Sister?  Hot chik down the street you want to score some points with?  Basically Tough Chiks are EVERYWHERE!  So you can't wear this hat yourself, think of someone that you can win it for and/or tell them about it so they can enter too!!

Come on, help spread the Tough Chik love!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway start NOW and ends at midnight on Friday, December 21.  When I wake up on Friday I will draw for a winner and post it first thing in the morning.  I have everything all packaged up & ready to go.  As soon as the winner contacts me, I will get the prize mailed right away.

Tough Chik provided me a hat to sample and a hat to giveaway free of charge.  All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Heavy Heart

I stayed off the computer most of the morning.  I was aiming to be ahead of the game in terms of getting the house cleaned, laundry done and a good start to my weekend.  I was looking forward to blogging today, especially since an unexpected stop at the store yielded SEVERAL new pairs of socks for  $0.88.  Then a package came in the mail for my next GIVEAWAY!  Yes....I was SO EXCITED to sit down and be bubbly excited about my post today.

Sometimes no matter how hard I try to put on my blinders, be in my own little world and shut out all the dark & evil that ruins so many lives it still smacks me hard in the face.  Within seconds of getting on the computer I felt like I had been punched in the gut and tears were streaming down my face.  Scrolling through facebook and twitter don't help matters at all.  The heartache of what's happened in Newton, Connecticut this morning is plastered everywhere.  My whole put on my blinders aspect is not out of lack of compassion, but I can't handle such heart ache.  9-11 ripped me to shreds and I don't personally know a single soul that was even there.  I'm feeling the same hurt right now and I don't think I know a single person that even lives in Connecticut.  Yet I feel so affected by the events of what has happened.

Suddenly any anger or frustration I felt with my kids this morning no longer matters.  How lucky am I that I get to pick them up from school soon and love on them and hug them very tight.  It's certainly a reality check for everyone of us to realize what is/isn't important.

I decided to put on hold what I had planned to tell you about today.  My socks will still be here, my giveaway will start soon enough.  Those precious children and other innocent people involved are worth the wait.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Mothers, Daughters & 12 mile runs

1.  I got a note & package from my mom the other day.  The note was slightly puzzling as she "lectured" me about being careful what I put on the internet & social media.  I need to be more responsible and she's not always going to be there to bail me out of my mouth getting me in trouble.  Ummm.....ok????  I will be the first to admit I'm a pretty open person with my life.  But even I know somethings are not meant to ever be posted for the world to see.  However when I full opened the package, this is what I found:
Ha, ha!  Good joke Mom!  She had me going, but only for a second.  My mom has always been one of my #1 fans in life and is always listening & paying attention to what I (or others) say to know just how to bless them.  Hmmmmm, sounds an awful lot like me!  Yes, in many ways....I AM JUST LIKE MY MOTHER!  In more ways than one, in good ways & in bad.  Thanks Mom for the socks, I love them!!  *Mwah*

2. Well,I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree around here either.  Like mother, like daughter.  Yada....yada....  Yesterday about mid morning (baby) Carmen came to me while I was working on the computer, thrust the camera into my hands and announced "I made a video".  I did noticed that she had disappeared upstairs for awhile and was awfully quiet.  Not too unusual for her.  She's the baby and gets away with murder loves messing with electronics.  She works my phone & ipod better than I can sometimes.  For some reason her announcement had a special hint to it so I watched it right away.  She stood there with the biggest grin and said "just like you momma!"   Awwwww, melt my little heart, it's my daughter's first vlog:

You might need to listen a few times to catch everything she says and disregard her mumble jumble handling of the camera.  Unlike her momma she kept it really short & to the point.  Otherwise, I see potential and a future for her ; )

3. So?  Did you do anything special to "celebrate" 12-12-12?  It almost didn't happen, but I did get in a 12.12 mile run.  Let me tell you, it was NO rainbow & unicorn run where I easily glided along at a fast pace.  I'd say at least 50% of the time it really sucked.  I knew by mile 3 that it wasn't going to be pretty.  I considered calling my daughter to come pick me up.  This was right at the point where I was heading out into the country portion of my run.  I just wasn't "feeling it" and my legs kind of ached.  Not quite hurt, but something funky was going on with my legs & I'm pretty sure I heard them yell "STOP!  Just stop and go home!"  I'm not very good at listening to this voice and I kept going even though there was hills and wind coming at me with good force.  Ugggggh!  There seems to be some switch that once it's on I can't seem to turn off.  When I say I'm going to run, I run.  When I have a course in my mind that I'm going to complete I do it.  Never mind the negative thoughts or how hard it is to keep going on.  I just go.

On the plus side, I did get a nice chunk of my next audio book started.  I've started listening to Les Miserables. I am a HUGE fan of the musical (even though I've never seen it in person) and I'm even more excited about the movie that is coming out.  I get all excited and slightly out of controll when the topic comes up.....I CAN'T WAIT!  (more on that in another post).  I do remember trying to read the book in Jr. High, but it was overwhelming and I didn't get very far.  Anyway, my run sucked, but I got it done!  Yaaaay!

Tell me:
How are you like your mother?  
Do you have a daughter that is just like you?
What did you do (running related or not) on 12-12-12?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday's Tunes - Baby It's "Cold" Outside

Lately I've been deferring most of my runs until the afternoon.  Mostly so I can get some city streets ran (in neighborhoods I will only take to in the daylight), but also because the sun is bright & warm and it makes the run just easier to tackle.  Temperature might also have played a role.  Although I'm not one to shy away from temps, more specifically cold ones, as it is that time of year for such conditions.  I tend to live by two mottos:

I realize that everyone is different and we each have our personal limit on what we'll endure in terms of weather, temperature and other conditions of that nature.  I seem to have no limits or very limited ones.  Day, night, hot, cold, rain, name it and I'm not afraid to venture out in it.  Mind you, I'm not going to do anything really stupid with some conditions (so quit waggin' your finger and save the lecture).  There is a time and place for a treadmill, although for me that is rare and far in between.  So when the too cold weather topic comes up I want to yell SUCK IT UP YOU WEENIE!  Wear proper clothing and get moving so your body warms's not that cold!  Cold is just a state of mind!  But...ok, each their own. (ya, big baby).

Moving on.....I have not done a Tuesday's Tunes in awhile.  Primarily because I have been running in the afternoon  & I will allow myself to use headphones.  With that I am enjoying the aspect of listening to audio books.  If I have to choose between sitting and reading all afternoon or going out for a know the run will win!  So I've nixed the tunes for the last month or so.  However today for you all, my millions thousands hundreds handful of loyal fans, I got up for a 5 a.m run, while it was 16 (but felt like 12) degrees outside and ran while listening (sans headphones) to music.

Toy Solider - Martika 
Fly On the Wall - Miley Cyrus 
Bye Bye Bye - N'Sync 
Wildfire - Michael Martin Muphey 
The Tide is High - Atomic Kitten 
Rise and Sing - Fee 
Love is a Right Place - Bryan White 
Reign In Us - Starfield 
Can't We Try - Dan Hill & Vonda Shepard 
Lose My Soul - Toby Mac 
Dumb Dog - Annie Soundtrack 
I Get Weak - Belinda Carlisle 

What is your running cold temperature limit?  Someone please tell me I'm not alone.
Do you like to listen to anything while you run?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday's Motivation

I'm sort of lacking motivation today.  I did get through most of my usual Monday workout.  Woke up at 5 a.m. & hit the Y when it opened.  Biked for 40 minutes, then ran 1 mile.  (I've been making Sunday a long run day so I can take a rest run day on Monday).  Did lots of stretching (that needs a post of it's own) and other toning exercises (ie plank).  Home for breakfast then get the kids out the door & to school.  Back to Y.  I had committed to taking the Spartacus class, but they needed me to sub hi/lo aerobics.  So I did that instead which in addition to 40 minutes of cardio I worked my abs & arms.  Next I hit the pool.  I was suppose to swim .5 mile, but that is where I lost any/all motivation.  I was feeling very funky and was pretty sure I looked like a fish out of water trying to swim.  So I gave up and only swam 1/2 of the laps I needed to do.  Now, I'd like to crawl in bed for a nice nap.  But guess what....yep, just like every day of my life, I have SO MUCH to do.  Ugh!  But I came across this nice motivation and decided to take it to heart:

Hmmmm, how true.  And usually I'm my own worst critic.  I have a never ending list of what I want to do/get done.  Even right now I'm feeling like I just didn't do enough exercise today.  I should have done more.  I know, I know, I should get my head examined.  I'm also such a people pleaser and a do-er....meaning I love to do things for other people.  I can clean my house all day (which benefits me & my family) and it will feel like it's not enough.  I'm very guilty of looking at what I didn't do and not focusing on what I did do.

The most important person I need to have this little pep talk with is myself.  Especially on days like today where I'm faced with SO MUCH to do and get done.  It's a little after lunch and I already feel like a complete failure today.  It's only Monday and I already feel like my week is doomed because I haven't gotten enough done to start off my week.  However, I'm going to take a step back, finish here & go make a list while sipping a cup of hot cocoa to get a grip on what I would like to get done with the rest of my day/week.  I probably won't get through my whole list, but I'll work at it and do what I can.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Three Things Thursday: recap, chilly challenge & King's Brass

1.  I never did a recap for November.  The end of the month just fell on a busy day and by time the next week rolled around there never seemed like a good time to get it done.  So without further ado here are my stats for the month:

Miles ran: 128.55  31 of those miles were my 50k I raced.  So in terms of running for the sake of running/training I still managed to get almost 100 miles in.  Not bad since I "rested" (aka 1 mile only days) 1 week before that 50k and gave myself a little slack the week after as well.

That brings my year to date running total up to: 997.1 miles.  And not to jump ahead of the game, but with what I have ran so far this month I know I went over my 1,000 mile mark.  And I didn't even realize it at the time either.  I use Nike+ to track my runs, miles & stats and I'm certainly a fanatic about it,but to some degree I don't pay too much attention.  Otherwise I might have given extra thought to that milestone.  I'll just have to wait until the end of the year to give one big whoop and celebrate.

My running streak is now at 187 days (as of the end of November) and of my yearly mileage 725.5 miles have been since my streak.  I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but it's fair to say I'm having the best running year of my life right now.  Let's hope it continues on forever and ever!

2.  I came across a blog of another fellow Tough Chik team mate.  She has developed the chilly challenge with another friend of hers and I decided to join in on the fun.  No one loves a little competition more than I do.  And best of all, she has swag available to go with the fun.  No need to talk me into it, I'm in!  She also turned me onto another website for some gear called Lunatik Althletiks.  Take one look at their products....can you say awesome!   I'll just take one of each RIGHT NOW!  Siiiigh, I wish.  It's really fun and amazing the people I meet and products I find all from the click of a button.  This challenge should be fun.  If you want to join, visit her page and sign up! 

3.  In non running aspects of my life (yes, that is possible....ha ha) I went and saw Tim Zimmerman & The King's Brass.  I have loved their music since I was in high school many years ago.  For the first time I saw them in concert last summer.  Come to find out they come to Galesburg frequently.  I was SO EXCITED when I saw they would be here in December.  Except when I went to add it to my calendar I saw that my daughter had a band concert that same night.  Noooooooooo!  Yes, I did consider going to see the King's Brass and skipping the high school concert.  She'd forgive me, right?  Well, even though I thought about it I did do the mommy thing (as I should 99.99999% of the time) and sat through enjoyed her concert.  As soon as she was done though I shot out of there & raced across town to see the rest of the King's Brass concert.  I still enjoyed 45 minutes of them performing.  They are so amazing, I could listen to them all the live long day!

3 trumpets, 3 trombones & a tuba, plus piano/organ & percussion

If you are not familiar with the group you can check out some of their clips on youtube here and here.  It's pretty fair to say I'm a band geek (said in the most affection way possible) and brass is my favorite group to listen to.  I'm glad to that I got to enjoy at least part of the King's Brass concert and my daughters concert really was enjoyable as well.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sock It To Me

For many years I have only worn one kind of sock when I work out.  A plain white ankle sock.  B-ooooor-ring!  Actually I never gave much thought to my work out attire, least of all my socks.  In the last year or so I've been changing that up a little.....ok, A LOT!  It all started with my switching to workout skirts, then I started moving away from cotton shirts (although I do still have a few) and finally I started adding in the socks.  I blogged about my fashion movement here.  It's not about looking cute, because that is not what I want.  I have found that it doesn't matter how I want to look anyway I'm a sweaty hot mess anytime I'm working out.

Anyway, as I noted in my fashion post, I have ALWAYS been a lover of socks and especially knee highs.  It goes way back to my teen years.  Coming into adulthood I felt I had to hide this aspect of me.  There is actually a lot that I tried to hide, always afraid to be the real me.  Slowly, but surely, that has changed.  I've always had the socks, I would only wear them under my jeans.  Not ever really for anyone but myself to see.  Now, I don't believe in going to extreme lengths just to "show off" my socks.  But if I have a pair to wear and it matches what I'm wearing then I don't care what anyone thinks I'm going to wear it.

I have no aversion to plain white ankle socks.  There is actually a time and place for them and sometimes that is what looks best with what I'm wearing.  As you can see here I, for the most part, like a lot of color and patterns.
Some are ankle socks, but a majority of them are knee highs.  Some are plain/solid colored, but most are patterned.  And yet, I often feel like I don't have enough socks.  Or at least enough variety, because I can go, oh a month and never wear the same sock twice.  So quantity is not the issue, but quality.  Don't tell my husband though, almost every time we go to the store he finds me veering off into the sock aisle because I'm always on the lookout for more, new, different, holiday, etc. socks.  There is also the issue of wear and tear. Some of my socks I've had for years, some are poorly made and don't last as long.  I make every wear count and wear them until they are pitched into the trash for good.
Time for the trash?  If you look closely they are in the above picture too.  I really loved this pair & am having a hard time saying good bye.

Of course a good & fun alternative to me having to buy so many new/different pairs would be, ah-ahem, to receive a pair (or several) as a present.  Have I mentioned before that I love getting presents? Hmmmmm....

Well, I've found a partial solution to this addiction problem of not enough variety in my sock drawer.  Thanks to a post by Blue Grass Tri Chick I came across a holiday sock swap/exchange being held by Third Time's a Charm Runner.  If you want to participate you can find all the details here.  If you just want to shower me with love via a new pair of extremely cool socks, just ask, I'll tell you my address :)

What do you like to wear for socks?  Either for your workouts or everyday socks?