Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vacation Update

I don't have a lot of time to post this.  We are having a relaxing day, sleeping in and taking our time to head to the beach.  We were set to leave then hubby realized that the two front tires on the van were bald with wires sticking out.  How we safely made it down here is beyond him, surely only explained by God's protection.

I have to resist telling you all about my vacation, which has been great so far!  Perfect, surely not, but as great as we can expect.  I wanted to do a quick end of the month update.

I have continued to run everyday while on vacation.  It hasn't been easy.  The first day or two we were up and out the door by 7:30 a.m. to get to the Disney parks when they opened.  That meant I had to run before we left.  Yes, I could have deferred to the evening, but I wasn't as sure that it would get done.  I didn't want to chance messing up my 250ish day run streak because I was too lazy to get my butt up early and out the door for 2 miles.  When it comes to running in dark, it'd rather do morning dark then night time dark.  No clue why, but it just feels safer in the morning.  However being in an unfamiliar place it still has me a little uneasy (or did the first day or two, now I don't mind as much).  I have stuck close to the house, looping within the subdivision that our house is at that we are renting.

My running miles for the month of January is 143.11  That would also be my total for 2013.  I would have like to see that a little bit higher, but because of vacation I really scaled things back this last week.  I'm totally ok with that though.  It's not every month that I will be on vacation.  I've fallen behind a little bit with Run This Year (to be on track I needed to have logged 160 miles by today), but my numbers are not that far off that that I won't be able to catch up.  I've also been able to contribute those miles to the Chilly Challenge that I was participating in with Team Giraffe.  The challenge doesn't officially end until midnight, but so far team giraffe is ahead.  Stay tuned for that final update!!

I'll leave you with a few pictures from vacation thus far.  We still have a few days left to go and I've already taken over 450 pictures.  Once I get back I'll be sure to take a few posts to tell you all about my adventures here on vacation.  There have been a lot and so many more to come!!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Vacation Mode

Big happy family!

I haven't talked about it too much, but we leave tomorrow for vacation.  We are heading south & stopping in Alabama to visit my dear friend Susan and her family.  Yes, it's slightly out of the way.  Yes, she/they are totally worth it!  I've never even been to Alabama before.  Yay!  I was thinking I should get out of the car in each state and run a mile or so.  Just for fun.  Cause that's how I roll.  Then we are heading over and down to Orlando, Florida.  Jim & I took our honeymoon there 18 years ago & we've never been back since then.  That means none of our kids have ever been to Florida either.

We used to take a big vacation every single year.  Back when the kids were little and not in so many activities.  We went all over the United States.  Always driving.  Without intending it we stopped and haven't had a big trip in 5 years.  Mind you, we do go to IRBC every summer and that is a vacation as well, but it's a completely different kind of vacation.

We have 2 reasons for this trip.  First, it's our last big sha'bang before our oldest turns 18 later in the year.  We don't expect her to take off and go anywhere right away.  As she ventures into adulthood, we don't know what life will bring her.  There are never any guarantees.  Before she can escape the clutches of her parents spread her wings and go we want one last big family vacation.  We are also going down because that same daughter (along with her high school squad) is competing at the National Dance Championship being held at Disney and broadcast on ESPN 2.  It's a pretty big deal.

We are all beyond excited to be going on this trip!  I still plan to run every single day.  I plan to scale back the miles.  We'll see when we get there though.  I'm not gonna lie, running in much warmer temps is going to feel awesome!!  I don't plan to blog per say, but that's not to say I won't jump on here and give you all an update.  We do plan to have some down time.  Much needed down time and quality family time making such lasting memories.  I'll be sure to update when I get back!

That's more like it!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's official: Hawkeye 50k

Note:  I started this post this morning and it started as a typical Three Things Thursday.  I never got any further than my first point and I just need to hit publish and go!

I am so excited that I am officially signed up for my next ultra race the Hawkeye 50k on March 2.  This race has been on my radar for quite some time.  I signed up to get the updates, etc. and planned to register after the beginning of the year when the kids went back to school.  When another running friend also posted about doing this race I was even more excited until she told me that it has sold it.  Literally within a few hours it filled up.  Previous updates mentioned a waiting list, but the race director also indicated that it was highly unlikely that the race itself would fill up too quickly.  Well, people brought it on like Donkey Kong and within a wink of an eye my chance to register vanished.  Ahhhhh, so bummed!  I acted quickly though, contacted the race director and took the necessary steps to get on the official waiting list.  Fast forward a few weeks and I am the first person to come off the wait list and be registeredWoot! Woot! Now I can't wait to bring it on!  First though is vacation.  I've only mentioned it briefly, but will give you the down low tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday's Tunes

Hmmmm, trying to come up with some great clever title.  Sometimes those come easily, sometimes not.  Off the top of my head:  Distraction.  Showtime.  Brrrrrrr. (over done?)  Baby It's Cold Outside (cheesy AND over done).  Change of Plans.  Puker.  The list can go on.  The all have things to do with what I will tell you in this post, so let's see where we go with this.

I've been wanting to created a musical/showtunes playlist.  I already have plenty of this genre on my running playlist.  I'm kind of a musical theater junkie, more especially when it comes to the musicality portion of it.  What can I say:  I LOVE to sing!!!!  I was prompted to do a specific playlist due to this post on Salty Running (great website I was told about recently, check it out, it's great!).  So it took me a few weeks and I got it done and listened to it this morning.

I Can't Help Falling In Love - All Shook Up
Hold On - The Secret Garden
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things - Sound of Music
Castle On a Cloud - Les Miserables
You're the One that I Want - Grease
Luck Be a Lady Tonight - Guys and Dolls
I Just Can't Wait to Be King - Lion King
Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats - Cats
How Beautifully Blue the Sky - Pirates of Penzance* (start at :40)
The Kid Inside - Is There Life After Highschool?
You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smily - Annie 
When the Foreman Bares the Steel - Pirates of Penzance

*why, yes that is ME you can see in these clips!

Now all of these songs are great & I love them, but I was awfully distracted this morning on my run.  Most of them I barely even heard.  Not literally, but figuratively.  I've been consistently running outside and it's right smack in the middle of winter here in the Midwest.  That means we are getting a lot of coooooold weather, meaning single digits and/or sub zero temps if you factor in the windchill.  The snow and ice haven't been too much of an issue this year.  But man, it's getting COLD!  Now perspective is always helpful.  I suppose compared to Siberia, Antarctica, Alaska, Canada and the like these temps are normal on a good day.  And it really gives me great appreciation for those days that it really warms up to 32F or we have a heat wave of mid 40F temps.  Either way, it's cold (today was -9F, Sunday was -5F) and it requires a lot more preparation, layers, gear, etc.  It's also requiring a lot more mental preparation & paying more attention to proper form, etc.  No matter how you look at it, it's wearing me down.....quickly.

(After today's run)

Believe it or not, I'm not actually cold when I run outside.  I feel the cold, but I am not cold.  In fact, I'm still a boiling hot sweaty mess when I'm done. All of it combined is leaving me slightly frustrated.  Oh, I thoroughly enjoy the run and feel awesome when I'm done, but it's all too much for me.  I could keep going, but I'm likely to snap.  As much as I hate to, I will likely move some of my runs indoors on the ever lovely dreadmill.  These extremely cold temps are good every once in awhile, but more than a day or two of them and it's not good for me.

So my playlist was a bit useless on today's run, but played/heard none the less.  I have a lot more on my mind too that is distracting me.  I had a kid up puking in the middle of the night.  Luckily it was a teenager who knows to grab a bucket.  I didn't even get out of bed the first time, just offered verbal instruction about what to do.  The second time was literally 2 seconds before I walked out the door for my run.  It seems very contained, we actually think it's more of something that didn't agree with her, rather then the big F word going around right now.  (FLU!!!!)  I had to keep said puking child home from school even though she feel just fine now.  And, of course, my biggest distraction....Florida!  3 days and 17 hours until we pull out and head south.  Not that I'm counting or anything.

I hope you have a great Tuesday!  Tell me about your cold weather running.  What are your limits?  I'll leave you with this funny youtube clip from last week that my friend ME posted.  I'm sure you'll find it amusing, unless you live in California or somewhere south.  It's still funny :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Less (but more) and Rest

Anyone know where my motivation is today?  It's hiding somewhere.  So far today I've talked myself out of my early morning workout and after sleeping in for an extra 2.5 hours I've managed to make it from my bed to the computer with a slight pit stop at the coffee maker.  I really, REALLY like the idea of not leaving my house at all today.  That won't happen though.  Baby girl has swim lessons in an hour and that is when I will sneak in my run.

Monday is my easy run or rest day, as I call it, where I only run 2 miles and it's indoors on a treadmill.  I also bike 10 miles, take a Spartacus class and swim 1/2 miles.  It's only a rest/easy day in terms of running, not anything else.  The last few weeks I've stuck to this idea just because mentally it's what I've planned on.  Less run doesn't mean I need to "slack" in fitness all together.  I need to make up for that run somewhere else.  I still need to push.  Today though I think I really do need to cut back, give myself some well earned slack.  I have been pushing rather hard since the beginning of the year.  That shows in my mileage.  As of yesterday I've logged 105 miles for 2013.  It's not unusual that I've hit the 100 mile mark, but not this early in the month.  I still have 11 days left!!

Yesterday I was really beginning to feel the aches and pains of my push.  Yes, it's not unusual that I have these on a regular basis.  I noticed on Saturday that I was moving a lot slower.  Someone even asked if I was hurt because while climbing out of my friends SUV I was moving so slow and stepping so gingerly.   That was Saturday, then I woke up early on Sunday and went out into a -5 windchill and ran 8 miles.  Most of that run was hard and when I was done things definitely were aching.  Not just a little, a lot and no matter how much I stretched and massaged it it kept aching.  I knew that if not taken care of I was heading for an injury.  It took a lot of ibuprofen, several hours of massaging (I have a machine that I use) and being in bed since 7 p.m. last night and I woke up with my legs feeling so much better.  It would have been ok for me to get up early and go to Y for my regular workout, I would have survived.  But I talked myself into more rest than usual and went back to sleep and deciding on a real rest day (2 mile only run).  I'll be honest, I have an ulterior motive.  I want to run and push hard the rest of this week before we leave on vacation.  I would not be able to do that if I don't take these extra steps of rest & recovery now.

I realize I probably sound coo coo for cocoa puffs by saying things like "real rest day" then proceeding to tell you that I will run 2 miles.  For me that IS really resting.  Once I hit that treadmill, I guarantee you that I will want to do more.  My run will get going and I'll start to feel great.  I've already been thinking that I should bike too.  That is so different from running, what's it going to hurt?!?!  Since I've slept in, sat here too long on the computer I've already sealed the deal though.  Doing much more than 2 miles will take away from my family and my productivity for the day. So it's like I sabotaged my workout, but it is really the best thing for me.  For today.  Tomorrow....nope, back at it!  In the mean time I have Baby Girl to get to swim lessons and then a day full of getting ready for Flordia!!!!

I hope your Monday is great!  Take some rest if you really, REALLY need and/or want it.  We all need it from time to time.  It looks different for everyone.  Take a moment to evaluate yourself.  It's still early in the year.  The idea to keep pushing and going hard for those yearly goals is strong, but take stock and do what you need to!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday's Motivation: Be Confident

I'm not going to pretend that this is easy or that I completely master it.  For the time being, I'm not even going to get into how or why this means so much to me.  Just take my word for it that I have a come a loooong way from being the exact opposite of this mentality.

Have a great Monday everyone!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Three Things Thursday: warm, hot & chilly

1.  As promised & talked about in yesterday's vlog here are some details about making fleece neck warmers.  When I made my first one (the orange one) I know I laid the green one down on the fabric, cut around it and sewed it up.  As you will see in the picture the two do not match up in width at all.  I have no good reason to explain this other than I'm a complete free lance sewer.  I don't follow patterns to a T, if I even do at all.  I just kind of wing it & make it all happen. Sometimes this ends in disaster, but often it all works out in the end.  Here is a picture showing the width of the neck/face warmers.

The green one (Bondi Band Neck Gator) measures 9 1/4 inches.  My fleece ones measure 10 1/2 inches.  Even though I didn't picture it, the purple Buff one that I also showed in yesterday's video measured at slightly under 10 inches.

To clarify, I L-O-V-E Bondi Band, I just did not prefer the neck gator for running.  My son wears it all the time to play outside.  I also liked Buff, again, just not thrilled with it for my winter running needs.  For fun, I should try and figure out all 12 ways to wear the Buff.  Anyone know how to pronounce some of those words?!?!

Here is a picture showing the length of the neck/face warmers:
The longer ones are 18 inches, the shorter ones about 10 3/4 inches.  Pick and choose your length.  Here are two fabulous pictures showing me modeling them:
Ok, enough of the neck/face warmers.  You either like it or you don't.  Some people don't use them, others swear by them.  If you are not sure, it doesn't hurt to try.  I've done my job of yapping enough on my point of view on the subject.

2.  In my video yesterday I mentioned about how I sweat so much and get so hot when I run.  This caused me to do some reflecting.  When my friend Dane commented on my post he mentioned how he warms up enough on his own.  It got me thinking about maybe I'm over dressing for my runs?  This has been a tricky area for me.  When it's dark & cold how can one not bundle up.  Just walking out the door is half the battle and I don't want to be discouraged before I even get moving.  I have also had past experiences when I've under-dressed and suffered miserably in that fashion.  I'd personally rather be too hot than too cold.  

Still, it can be tricky when you run several miles & loop in different directions because depending on what way you are going you do/don't need those extra layers.  On Tuesday's morning run (temp of 27, feels like 21) I put on 4 layers, one of those being a breath thermo jacket that warms up as you run.  At many points I was roasting, then at others (when I turned and the wind was cutting right into me) I was so thankful for those extra layers.  I do conclude that I did have on one layer too many. 

Yesterday, when I ran it was mid-40's.  That's close to tropical for us here deep in the mid-west winter.  I had to purposely only allow myself 1 long sleeve shirt and a vest.  It was woooooonderful!  This morning it was "only" 32 degrees and I again made myself scale back on the layers.  I'm a big girl, right (?)....I'm tough....  While it was nice to not feel so heavy loaded with layers and not roasting hot at some points I still became very warm and was a very hot sweaty mess when I was done.  Guess, I can't help it....I'm just HOT STUFF :)

3.  I am participating in The Chilly Challenge hosted by The Purple GiraffeRunning Escapades.

It's a fun virtual way to participate in a challenge as we start off the new year and work to get/keep ourselves in gear for 2013.  You pretty much do your own work, unless you have someone on your team that is local, but as with a lot of these things there is a great sense of community within the challenge and definitely within your own team.  Once I was introduced to this idea I fell in love with Janine, who is head of Team Giraffe.  So I joined that team to work toward and log my miles on for the month of January.   It is not too late to join this challenge.  You can join at any time this month and retroactively add your miles back to Jan 1st.  Obviously we want you on Team Giraffe, it has a lot of fun, crazy & overly competitive people.  Yeah, that would be ME!  Even if you are not one of those, we'll over compensate for you and we'll happily take your miles that you log for our team & the challenge.  How about.....join Team Giraffe!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vloggin' Wednesday - Face Coverings

A busy day today so I planned ahead to get this done & posted.

I will post measurements tomorrow.  I also mention a previous video I made on this subject, you can see that here.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday's Tunes: Easy Day

Getting back into a routine is tough!  I went to bed exhausted last night, but then had a hard time getting to sleep.  Ugh!  When my alarm went off this morning, I was really feeling it.  My thoughts drifted to this afternoon.  I started to reason that I can go run then.  I clicked my alarm back to catch another hour of sleep and crawled back in bed.  I was almost asleep, getting all warm, trying not to think too much.  Then the thought occurred to me that I can't blog until I run.  I thought some more, about wanting to push harder and work harder during these weeks leading up to Disney.  By then I was awake, wide awake and I got up and going and out the door for a 5.5 mile run.

It was cold.  27 degrees out with a feels like 21 factor.  In theory, that is not too bad.  For me, below 20 is the starting point for pretty cold.  I'm still waiting for the single and/or sub zero digits.  I haven't had those in almost 2 years.  Yes, I will still run in those temps, but that is when I say it's REALLY cold!  I think the big difference right now is getting used to the early morning runs again.  For almost a month I did nothing but late morning/afternoon runs where it was broad daylight and often with a big full sunshine.  It can be the same temperature, but just feel warmer some how.  I got my run done and now I'm actually glad that I did.  Having my workout (I also taught a 45 minutes pilate class) done, being showered and dressed by 7 a.m. feels so nice!  This is what I call an easy day :)

Here are the tunes I listened to as I ran:

I've Got a Dream - Tangled Soundtrack
Sister Christian/Just Like Paradise/Nothin' but a Good Time - Rock of Ages Soundtrack
Written in Red - Janet Paschal
Love Addict - Family Force Five
7 Things - Miley Cyrus
One - A Chorus Line
Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
American Pie - Don Mclean
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
Honey Honey - Mamma Mia
One Way Jesus - Hillsong United
Crush - David Archuleta

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday's Motivation

GOOD MORNING!   Or rather.....GOOD AFTERNOON!  Even though I started this post this morning, I'm just now sitting back down to finish it.  I still greet you with great enthusiasm as I kick off this week and year.  Yes, I know 2013 started last week, but with all 6 kids out of school it was hard to get back into a routine  Now that school is back in session (glory! hallelujah!) I am raring & ready to go.

I started off my morning getting back on schedule with what I want and/or need.  I almost....for a split second, turned off my alarm & told myself to ease back into full workout mode.  It was a close call and honestly, my version of easing back in still make many people cringe.  I pushed forward with what I had planned and am fully capable of, starting with a 4:30 a.m. wake up call.  I was planning to run outside, 2 miles (my new daily minimum this year), but the thought of layering on 3 layers of clothes was not appealing to me.  So I decided to sweat it out on the dreadmill and used the extra time to do some cleaning & planning for my day.  I walked into the Y as soon as the doors opened at 5:30 a.m., biked 10 miles, ran 2 and did some stretching.  Back home to yada, yada, complete morning routine getting kids to school.  Back to the Y to take a Spartacus class and swim .5 mile. 

I was actually a little surprised how well I jumped back into this full routine.  I haven't done it in almost a month.  Maybe taking that month off of all the extras is what I needed.  So I'm back & in full force.  At least for now.  I haven't mentioned it yet, but we are taking the kids on a big trip of a lifetime vacation to Disney in less than 3 weeks.  While I still plan to keep running while on vacation, all those extras will stop.  Might as well push forward while I can and work with the flow of life as it comes.

Today's motivation is based on your body, but could easily be re-worded to gear toward what I was mentioning above.  Focus on what your life can do, not how (you think) it (should) looks.  Or something like that; I'm not good at words of wisdom.  Work with your life and what it is going through.  Yes, we all need to push sometimes or need someone to push us.  But I know many of you are going through real tough times or circumstances.  I had a friend crying this morning about her extra weight & being frazzled, etc.  Yeah....she just had a baby 5 months ago.  That is just one example, which could also easily be turned around to fit the statement as it is worded.  Focus on what your body can do, not how it looks.  I don't know about you, but I firmly believe my body is pretty freaking amazing.  It can do some amazing things!  But (just to name a few things) it's also filled with stretch marks and yes, I do weigh more than I should.  While I won't hurt me to work at changing some of that (ie loose a few pounds, do more crunches to get a firmer mid section, etc.), I am perfectly happy with what my body can do.  And that matters more to me!

What are your thoughts on your body and what it can do or how it looks?  If it looks freaking amazing, that is great too.  I'm not knocking it one way or the other.

Friday, January 4, 2013

This and That, Odds and Ends

I have a few items to blog about to wrap up 2012 & begin 2013.  Next week I plan to get back to my regular blogging schedule.  Monday's Motivation, Tuesday's Tunes, Vloggin' Wednesday, Three Things Thursday (TTT) & Friday's Funnies.  I do change that up from time to time, but the general schedule helps keep me in order.

*Sock Update:   I have mentioned before about my sock addiction.  In search of some great holiday socks for 3xacharmrunner's sock exchange I came across these great socks at KMart:
I picked up the above stash on the first of many trips to load up on socks.  What drew me to the bin to begin with is that they were on sale.  Normally $3 a pair, they were only .88 cents.  Hot diggity dog, I was in sock heaven.  So I grabbed the above stash, came home & then came up with the elaborate plan to buy EVERYONE socks for Christmas this year.  I went back to the store and found not only the sale bin, but a whole entire wall of holiday socks, all on sale.  I seriously think the clouds parted, a heavenly light shone down and I heard angels singing glory hallelujah.  Eventually Target had their holiday socks on sale and I'm pretty sure I ended up with a dozen or so new pairs of socks for myself.  Hi, my name is Carmen & I am addicted to socks......

In the sock exchange that I participated in blogger that I was assigned & shipped to was not the same who had me.  You can see what I sent her here.  Bluegrass Tri Chick is who shipped to me.  I was SO EXCITED when my package arrived and I ripped it open like a kid on Christmas morning!

I feel spoiled for all that she sent me.  I need a good pair of white ankle socks and all the extra treats are so handy & yummy!  Thank you Bluegrass Tri Chick so much for everything you sent me & thank you 3xacharmrunner for hosting the sock exchange.  I can't wait until next year!

*Run This Town:  I am happy to report that I completed my Run This Town project.  I ran down every single street in the city of Galesburg, IL where I live.

I started on Memorial Day, May 29 (it coinsided with the start of my running streak) and finished on December 27.  Now, I will say it's slighty tricky in that most of my runs (as seen on the map) are within the city limits of town, but some are outside city limits.  Still considered Galesburg, either way.  I found this confusing when I went to calculate my miles in this project.  I recorded each run and the miles accumlated on that run.  Some of my runs were both, in that I started in town, looped out into the country and then came back.  Also on some of my runs I ran part of a city street twice (or more) to reach other streets I had to get to.  So my total run milage number is not necessarily reflective of what it takes to run down each street in town, just what I accumulated while accomplishing this project.  I ran 341.72 miles.

It certainly was a very interesting project and gave me plenty of motivation to get out the door and cover a specific course.  I've lived here for 18 years and some streets I never knew existed or had ever been down.  It's a very nice way to see my town.  We have some very neat houses that I wish I had time to know the history behind the house.  We even seem to have a lot of hidden treasures tucked down many streets in every neighborhood that I ran in.  I've gone beyond my goal of just the city streets and continue to run on the roads that surround the city.  I need to get a county map so I can continue to fill in all the lines in my area.  I'm a teeny bit leery about running in exteme rural areas and right now the snow & ice covered areas make it hard to venture out.  All in all, I am so glad I did this project.  And now I can say....I RUN THIS TOWN!

*Run This Year:  I mentioned this yesterday and wanted to give credit to where I found out about this challenge.
I will say that I don't think I found out about this challenge from this source, but it seems to be the source of where it started.  You can check out the details from Pavement Runner or Running Hutch.  Here are some other ways you can partake in the fun:


If you are not doing this challenge this year, you can still follow along and track my progress and that of others.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Being the beginning of a new year my mind has been in review of the past and what I had learned and what I am looking forward to...yada yada yada.  I had a few goals, ideas, dreams jump out at me, but I kept them quiet.  My absence of blogging helped me keep it in check.  Then all of a sudden a few things really spoke to me, kind of slapping me in the face and got my attention.  Here are a few things that I think will really impact my year:

*JUST RUN:  I mentioned yesterday that this is often my approach to running.  I fully realize that this is not for everyone.  I'm in no way saying this is *the* right way.  But it really works for me and I encourage others to take a look at it.  It might be what you need, maybe if not all the time, then some of the time.  A personal frustration is when I hear people really analyze and break down running only to find excuses in why they can/can't run.  I want to yell "SHUT UP!  JUST RUN!"  Stop making it so complicated.  Now, I can talk running all the live long day and I'm a big fan of keeping track of running stats and information.  None of that needs to have anything to do with you getting your rear out the door and running.  Anyone knows that if something is really important to them they will find no excuses and will get it done.  This principle can be applied to many things in life.  Since this is mostly a running blog though....get running :)
I do find that people who truly embrace this are rare.  That is neither a good or bad thing.  I just don't find many people who are *just like me*.  I never follow a race plan, I never train for a race.  I don't follow any specific nutrition plan or "diet".  If there is food, I eat.  Plain and simple. In terms of all of the "rules" that surround running, I'm just not too good at following them.  I keep them in mind & apply them from time to time when it works well with what I am trying to accomplish.  I am open to plenty of thoughts, ideas, etc.  It certainly wouldn't hurt me to try a bit more in some areas.   Bottom line though, none of it is keeping me from running and in my own little world I'm doing pretty good.  I'm not perfect.  I'm no Olympian.  I'm not fast.  I'm not skinny.  I just want to run!

*DREAM OUT LOUD:  I didn't realize until I wrote yesterday's post that I have been lacking in this area.  I can only think of one or two times where I set a goal or stated a dream that I had last year and went after it.  I know my dreams and goals don't define me and what I can/can't accomplish.  That doesn't mean that I should be afraid to proclaim them.  Yes, bottom line, I just want to run, but that doesn't mean I can't dream and inspire others to dream and to go after it.  Another word that comes to mind is INSPIRE.  Not meaning to toot my horn, but many people do tell me that I inspire them.   I'm not really meaning to. I'm just in my own little running world.  It kind of goes into deep psychological reasons as to why I don't think I can dream big or dream out loud  and inspire others.  Slowly, but surely though I'm beginning to realize WHY NOT?  Why can't I dream big.  Why can't I dream out loud?  Why can't I inspire others?  I apparently already do.  It's time to embrace that and bring anyone else along for the ride that wants to get on!!!!

*GOALS:  For now, the only goal to keeps speaking to me is RUN THE YEAR.  As in running 2,013 miles in 2013.  (I don't take any credit for coming up with this idea, I found it on the internet).  I've been mulling over that for weeks.  Until yesterday I wasn't even going to verbalize that goal.  I was going to keep it quiet and if it happened, it happened and I would reveal it later in the year that I had met this goal.  So I'm putting it out there.  It won't be the end of the world if I don't accomplish it, but it's not going to hurt to try.  It's a big goal and it will require me to double the mileage I put out last year.  Completely doable!  I also have goals to run 50 & 100 mile races.  I'm not 100% sure if that will happen this year.  Only because of my family and life in general.  I have a lot on my plate of everyday life.  My oldest will enter adulthood this year *gulp*, my youngest will start kindergarten.  For the first time ever all 6 kids will be in school all day.  Oh dear, I might have just teared up a little....siiiigh.  Anyway, my God and my family DO come first.  All of these running goals, hopes, dreams, etc. come after them & not before!  That doesn't mean that I can't handle both.  It's a little give and take on both ends.  The only other goal I want to verbalize is that if I run Howl at the Moon, my 8 hour ultra, I want to run 50 miles.  In years past I've ran 32 miles, then 38 and last year I hit 46 miles.  I can do 50, I just know I can!  I'm going for it!

Ok, that's a lot to get the year started.  I'm moving forward.  In my running I'm dreaming big, I'm doing big and I'm going to tell you all about it.  And I'm going to do it by just running....

~How do you characterize your running?  There is no right or wrong answer, just what works for you!
~Do you need to dream out loud?  I would love to hear about it!

~What goals have you set for 2013?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

December & 2012 Recap

I'm a little behind in the blogosphere.  Everyone else seems to have done their month and/or end of the year recaps.  Many have also set their goals and/or resolutions for 2013.  I (obviously) have done neither and I'm perfectly ok with that since the reason is because I purposely took a break from blogging.  I did continue to read/follow my usual spread of blogs, I just didn't log onto mine and worry about getting a post done.  Sure things have been a little busy crazy with the holidays, but even when the computer sat unoccupied and I had things I could have blogged about....I just didn't do it.  Now, I'm ready to jump back in with full force and will begin with catching up and finishing out 2012.

In December I continued with my running streak and logged 111 miles.  For the last several months I seem to be consistently and easily breaking the 100 mile mark, even with plenty of "rest days" built in there.  I don't purposely aim or plan for that many miles I just get there.  I don't follow any plan or calculate and run certain miles to meet that goal, I just run.  JUST RUN....that has been the best thing (for me) to keep me going and to keep it real with my life.

I did run one race this month.  I ran the Run Your Ice Off Hardcore 5k on December 31.  I have run this race for the past 4 years. It has become a staple on my racing calender.  It's a well run event that is fun and draws a nice crowd.  I realized last year that I ran wearing a single layer of clothes that needed nothing more than capris, a long sleeve shirt and a light vest.  Compared to this year I had on 3 layers and even then the wind was a little rough in many places and I was COLD!  I ran ok, not my best time, but not my worst.  I fiddle farted around that morning at home kind of not even in the mood to get moving, then when I finally did I had to hurry and arrived at the race later than I had wanted and was short on time to prep and be ready to go.  Completely my own fault.  The race still went very well and I was glad to have gone and gotten it done.  I placed 2nd in my age group and for the first time LOVE the sweatshirt design.

Looking back on 2012 I am very pleased with my running and racing.  I went back to look at what great goals and aspirations I had set in January and was surprised to find pretty much nothing as seen in this post..  In fact, I surprised how down and non hopeful I was.  Maybe I was just down playing it all having come off a less than stellar year.  Maybe I was afraid to speak out loud my goal of running 1,000 miles.  Aside from searching through my whole blog I don't remember declaring that to be my goal.  I remember thinking it, but was skeptical that things would go so perfectly well.  I was afraid to openly hope and dream.

While a good majority of 2012 went well I had many roadblocks and set backs.  Yes, I was injured and even took an entire month off of running completely.  I would say I needed those downfalls to lunge me forward to the second half of the year where my running streak (218 days and counting) took off and never looked back.  In 2012 I ran 1,107 miles within 321 runs (not days, many days I ran more than once).  This is a huge change in any running I have done in years past.  Mind you, I have only tracked my run miles for the last 3.5 years, but even compared to that (324 miles in '09, 530 in '10, 654 in '11) my running is at an all time best.  In fact, I see a steady increase in numbers all along the way.  So, what could possibly be next for 2013.  That you will have to wait for in tomorrow's post.  Remember this post is about 2012!!  Ahhhh, the suspense might kill you.  Or not.  It's just a blog ; )

In addition to my everyday running there is my racing from 2012 to look back over.  Even though it seems like I don't race "that much" I did toe the line 16 times.  I completed 1-marathon, 2-half marathons, 2-triathlons, 1-8 hour ultra, 1-10k, 1-2 mile and 8-5ks.  Of course, the big picture is about running, but racing is a favorite thing of mine to do as well.  The people, the places....let's be honest....the SWAG!  2012 is also a year of the most I've ever raced.  Hmmm, wonder if 2013 will include more?!??!

It's really hard to sum up 365 days in one post so I may linger with a few more thoughts and reflections over 2012.  I think it's fair to say that last year was a great success!  I am beyond excited and not afraid to openly hope & dream this year.  I hope you'll stay along for the ride!!