Sunday, February 4, 2018

JANUARY RECAP

First of all....

Wow...I feel like a lot DID NOT happen in January.

I did the 5K on January 1st (check that out HERE) and that was it! I didn't do any other organized races the entire month. Granted there isn't much to chose from here in the Midwest during the Winter.

I am happy to report that my Run Streak is still intact. There were some days that it took everything I had to get on the treadmill for just ONE MILE. It almost feels like it is becoming a job so - while I still hope I can make it all year - I'm proud that I completed a month of running every day.

The weather in Indiana has been spastic! We've had some crappy cold & snowy days and then we've had some fantastic days where running outside has been glorious. I'll be glad when winter is over. It's so much easier to take a late lunch and knock out a run before I get home but that has been very weather dependent this month.

I haven't been the most successful at attending boot camp. 4:00 AM is so darn early in the morning to make it to a 5:15 AM class. This week is the last week before the next class starts on February 20th. I plan on signing up again and hope to be better at attending. I really need to do this for cross training.

Things continue to be up and down with my Mom which is why I'm not doing much traveling for races right now. But I was able to get registered for the Marine Corps Historic Half so my husband and I will be traveling to Virginia in May. I have a few other races that might involve a 3 day weekend but I think we're going to try to take several extra days in Virginia and do some sightseeing and a quick half-day trip to DC.

At least my dog set a new PR. This is our littlest dog Gipper and he loves to try and pick up as many stuffed animals (stuffies) as he can. Up until January 20th, his record had been 5 which we think is pretty impressive. But.....he picked up SIX.

1) Killer Whale, 
2) Orangutan, 
3) Purple Dinosaur, 
4) Monkey 
5) his brother Wrigley's blue bone that we call the Woobie and 
6) Sea Turtle.
I hope that at some point I can get another PR. 

February is my birthday month and I've got four organized races that I'm signed up for. 

Here's hoping for a good month!



Saturday, January 20, 2018

Checking In

First of all, I'm happy to report that I am still on track with with my Run Streak goal. 20 days in a row. On some of those days I completed just one mile - such as my colonoscopy prep day (one mile before I started all the concoctions) and then the day of my procedure (waited until very late in the day) - but one mile is the minimum that I set for this goal.

On Wednesday, I went to the Strength and Mobility for Healthy Running clinic that Athletic Annex (a local running store) and St. Vincent Sports Performance were putting on at the new St. Vincent facility downtown.
It was very informative. You can click HERE and watch the clinic or go to the Athletic Annex Facebook page. I now need to go get a Lacrosse ball to help massage my Piriformis! 
On Thursday, I started Boot Camp classes! I learned about it via our County's Visitor Center Blog and although I had missed the first 3 classes, the instructor said it wouldn't matter. 
I took a Boot Camp class many years ago and LOVED it so I was really looking forward to trying it again. And although I'd have to get up really early, the time frame would allow me to still make it back home in time to get ready for work. 
I was not surprised that I couldn't start with heavier weights. I'm hoping that I'll get back there eventually but I've been having some shoulder issues lately as well. I'm not going to try to be a hero and do more than I should and end up getting injured. Classes take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:15 AM to 6:15 AM. I've totally neglected cross training so I'm hoping this will help with both my running and overall health. 

Now...I've got to get back on doing more stretching as well!



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2017 Year End Count (Medals and Miles)

This should have been my very first - or at least second - blog post of 2018 but alas here we are on January 10th.


At the end of every year, I take a picture of my medal wall and then update the totals of my "race mileage" from that year. There are no training miles included in the numbers below only RACE miles.


Here is that recap:


Obviously my medal wall is not fancy. It is merely an unfinished wall down in the basement. My husband secured chain from the cross beams and then I'm using dowel rods to hang the medals on. This display has gone through a couple of different iterations but this one is great especially if I need to remove a medal for some reason. And think of the added expense if I bought a fancy medal hanger each time?!?!  Yes I know that I could just get those "extender" bars but I think that makes them scrunched up.

However upon completion of the most recent Space Coast series, I did splurge on the medal hanger. These are now hanging in our office/library at home.
So here's to more miles - and medal collecting - in 2018.
Cause it "don't mean a thing if it ain't got that BLING!"







Friday, January 5, 2018

WE'RE GOING STREAKING!


I know I'm not original with this one but when you think of doing a "streak" of some kind, you pretty much yell it just like Will Ferrell did in Old School.  Its not just me, right?


Anyway, I've never done a running streak. I've thought about it a couple of times, especially when Runners Worlds starts theirs but never participated. Well 2018 is all about trying/doing new things. So I'm going to try to run at least 1 mile every day.


Four days into this thing and I'm nailing it! 
You've got to make it to Day 4 before you can make it to Day 365, right?
This is how it has played out so far:


Day 1 (01.01.18) = Resolution Run Indy 5K - you can read about that HERE
Day 2 (01.02.18) = 1 mile on the treadmill
Day 3 (01.03.18) = Late Lunch 5K - see below
Day 4 (01.04.18) = 2 miles on the treadmill


Late Lunch 5K: beginning the week between Christmas and New Year the weather in Indianapolis has not been fantastic. Factoring in the wind chill it has been double digit NEGATIVE numbers almost every day. But it looked like we'd have a break in the action on Wednesday so I packed my running bag and took it to work with me. I ate my food at my desk then at 2:30 started changing into my running clothes. It takes so much longer to get ready in the winter since you have to put on so many layers!


Normally I would walk over to our canal area but decided to drive so I could be warmer once I was done. Thankfully there were plenty of parking spaces available on the road. That is usually not the case any other time of year. And I was happy to see that the sidewalks (if that is what they are referred to) were 98% clean. There was a slick spots here and there - which occasionally my heal would catch and cause me to panic - but otherwise it was clear to run on.
Two other reasons why its best for me to try to knock something like this out during a late lunch:
  1. I am NOT dedicated enough to get out of bed early to run just because I need to run. Unless I'm registered for an event, I'll choose staying in bed and sleeping any day. This could also be a factor as to why I'm a crappy runner.
  2. I wanted to work on taking some of our Christmas stuff down once I got home. But if I went home and ran first I wouldn't have gotten started until 8:00 PM or so on the decorations. Well....guess what I didn't end up working on after all once I got home? Yep, Christmas stuff is still up even as I type this. I got home, took my shower and put on my pajamas. Sure it was only 6:30 PM but no shame here. And then realized that Amazing Race was premiering. I don't watch much TV but that is one show that I enjoy so my husband and I sat down and watched it together.
Yesterday (01.04.18): Thursday here at work we had some firefighters in the stadium doing some rope training. They were belaying from the catwalks. Ummm...I want  to do that! So I touched base with the contact here internally and he said he'd help me out.
Finally around 3:45 PM I got the call that they were ready for me.

As I said, 2018 needs to be about trying/doing new things
This was so much fun!!!

 Couple of shots from a different coworker:

This will definitely go down as one of the highlight while working here.


Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 - Let's try this again!

First of all...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I failed miserably at trying to recap everything I didn't post in 2017. Maybe little by little I'll still try to get some of the highlights out here.

This morning I drove downtown to do the Resolution Run Indy 5K. 

At 8:00 AM this was the temperature:
I'll admit that the thought of just staying it bed sounded like a great idea. But I had set out all my clothes the night before and the race didn't start until 11:00 AM. Plus I wasn't about to start the new year with a DNS. I had several of those last year and I'm not proud of that.

I got to PanAm Plaza around 10:30. Everything was inside; packet pickup, REAL restrooms and everyone stayed in there until 5 minutes before the start. Because of the extreme cold, race created a 1/2 way point (also where the one and only water station was) and people had the option to make that the turn-around. So I guess instead of doing a 5K, it would be a 2.5K 😃 However, if you didn't do the "full" 5K, you weren't eligible for any of the prizes. They also changed the course to an out-and-back. Unless I felt like the wheels were falling off, I was going to do the 5K!

I feel like I was dressed properly; I maybe shouldn't have had a sweatshirt on as a 3rd layer with a windbreaker as the 4th. But I was worried that only 3 layers might not be enough. And I'd never run in a full face mask. I'm not sure it was technically a running mask but it did the job. The only problem I encountered was that my breath was fogging up my glasses.
I'm not sure if I looked like I was going to run a race or commit a crime! So I didn't actually put this on until it was time to walk to the start line.

I also put duct tape on my shoes. This is a tip my friend Allison told me about and she does it all the time. I meant to wear 2 pairs of socks but forgot to put the 2nd pair on. My feet never got cold so I guess I'll say this tip works. Plus if your feet get too hot, you just take the tape off. I took the entire roll into PanAm Plaza and let several other people use it as well.
Not too much to say about the race. I finished in the average (SLOW) 5K time I usually do. They were serving hot chocolate - with marshmallows - back inside of PanAm Plaza so I helped myself to a cup and waited around for the results to be posted. I didn't have my reading glasses with me but I could't find anything on the list that even looked like my name so I pointed that out to the timing people. Turns out that I was given the wrong bib number when I got there! Sadly I didn't age group place but I'm proud of getting out there today and doing the entire 5K course.

There obviously was a New Year's Eve party in PanAm Plaza the night before and it looks like it would have been fun! I knew all of that confetti was going to make a great backdrop for a post race picture.
It warmed up considerably by the time I got back to my car to drive home!  LOL 😏

So with the start of a new year - along with almost everyone else in the world - I will make some resolutions/goals/intentions. 
Here's what I hope to accomplish:
1) I really need to drop these 10-15 pounds that I've put on. Going through perimenopause has kicked my butt. I know that's part of the reason that my finishing times have slowed so much.
2) Do a better job at sending cards to friends on birthdays, anniversaries and just when someone needs to know you are thinking of them.
3) I'd like to do 23 half marathons. That will put my year-to-date total at 150. I like the sound of that. Initially I was going to try to at least cross one more state off the list but since I am still helping care for my Mother, I feel like I need always be close to home.
4) I'd like to run at least one mile every day. I've never done a run streak so.....
5) And I need to do a better job of keeping up with this blog!

Whatever your hopes and dreams and goals are for 2018, I wish you the very best at being YOUR best.

Until next time,
~ Susan






Friday, December 15, 2017

Finding (Making) Time to Blog - January 2017 Recap

I technically started this post in September of this year!!! It is one of 12 drafts I have sitting out here waiting to be completed. Most of them are race recaps but there is one - from 2015 nonetheless - about our amazing trip to Paris. Le Sigh. Maybe I can conquer a recap of that on a Throwback Thursday one of these days. But I wouldn't hold your breath. 
My last blog post was the recap of the Nebraska Half Marathon which took place on October of 2016!!!! And prior to that it was a post about finishing my 100th lifetime half at the end of September in 2016.
Goodness gracious...I just don't even know where to start now. But I guess from now until the end of the year I'll try to briefly recap some of the things that happened in 2017.

January 2017: Looks like I only did ONE race in January which isn't that surprising since I live in Indiana and the weather is usually crappy. It was a 5K on New Year's Day. It was a new to me event and I wore some very sparkly pants for it.
We were fostering a dog and had every intention of adopting him. He'd been with us for over a week and everyone (he and our other two dogs) had been getting along fine. We started leaving them out for short periods of time while we were gone and there was nothing to report. One day my husband left them out together for three hours and all was well. But then, we left one night to grab some dinner, stopped and bought a new dog bed for our soon to be family member and came home to a bloody mess. We'll never know for sure what happened but sadly, we had to quickly find a new foster home for him. It broke my heart to give him back but we couldn't put our current family in jeopardy. Our poor guy Wrigley took the brunt of the battle. 😭
This won't stop us from fostering again - although we have been taking a break from it. You don't always know the background story of a rescue dog but often it isn't a good one. And now that our dogs are older (both of which were rescue dogs) and set in their ways, it has definitely been more difficult bringing in a foster. Next time we'll foster a much younger dog; maybe 6 months old or less so that they haven't had as much time to acquire baggage.

I signed up for a 5K at the end of the month but took a DNS on that one. Sadly this would become a little bit of a trend for me in 2017.

Not much else happened in January. Or at least nothing that I can remember nearly 12 months later (eye roll!). My job is still going really well and I still like it. I don't have the hardest job in the world and it isn't very "brain stimulating" I suppose but I've been there / done that with a career that was super demanding. It is refreshing that I can leave each night and nothing needs my attention after 5:00 PM. I don't have to keep checking my email while I'm at home. My evenings and weekends are free 99.5% of the time.

What has been taking my time - and every other weekend - is my Mom. Her health has continued to decline since she broke her hip back in October of 2016. She always needs her Rollator and struggles getting up and down from a seated position. My brother and I have been taking turns going to her apartment each weekend to do laundry, clean and go to the grocery store. This makes it difficult to plan much when it is "my" weekend and I've certainly been neglecting everything at my house as well. But we continue to press on and just make it work.








Friday, October 28, 2016

(10.16.2016) Race Recap - Nebraska Marathon / Half Marathon

All three distances (Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K) were scheduled to start at the same time. Which was originally 7:30.

That meant I didn't have to get up until 6:15 and really I probably could have even slept in until 6:30 but I like to stick to my regular routine even when I'm out of town

It was a pretty foggy morning but warm. I did not need the throw away that I'd packed. 
I was super excited to see the two wonderful ladies (Jennifer & Joanna) that I had met at packet pickup on Friday & Saturday. They were at the announcer's platform so I went up to say hello. 

After milling around for a few minutes and taking some pictures, they announced that the start would be delayed until 7:55 AM. So we went back into the hotel so my husband could get something to eat. 
 
Back out to the start line at 7:50 AM and were told that now the start would be at 8:15 AM. Some of this was still because of the fog but we also learned that over night some hooligans had set a few of the porta-potties on fire down by the finish line.  Oh my!

Prior to the start, the National Anthem was sung by a beautiful young lady who is a Pediatric Cancer survivor. She did a great job! This race benefits the Pediatric Cancer Action Network. Two young soldiers were also introduced who would be completing the race in their fatigues and carrying their rucksack. 

Finally we are off! 
It was still pretty foggy but since we had driven a lot of this area yesterday, I was mostly familiar with it. I was NOT ready to run on the cobblestones in the Old Market area. I've encountered these at one other race in Indiana. They are a pain in the butt.  Mad props to the Tour de France guys that ride their bikes on them!

Here are some pictures from along the course:
 
Pictures of the Gene Leahy Mall - it reminded me a little of our canal area in Indianapolis.
Then we went past the Pioneer Courage display that my husband and I checked out on Saturday.
Next we went past Creighton University. I was surprised to see banners that said Big East because back when I was at Indiana State University they were Missouri Valley.  Guess I missed that change!  As you can see...it is still foggy.
Past the TD Ameritech Park - home of the NCAA Men's College World Series.
After running on Abbott  Drive which was lined with some beautiful trees full of yellow leaves, we then turned on to Riverfront Drive. In the distance I could see a guy sitting in a lawn chair with what looked like a giant fist. Naturally this was going to be a photo opportunity. As I got closer to him, he thought I was texting and heckled me a little bit. But I told him I need a picture of us Fist Bumping.  So fun!
We ran south down Riverfront Drive, traveling past the west side of the Heartland of America Park. and then into the ConAgra complex. Don't tell my husband but I think I saw a quarter on the road and didn't stop to pick it up.  "Always pick up the silver."

I did not realize that the World Headquarters for ConAgra was located in Omaha. This was a very pretty campus.
I saw this sign on my way in. I've seen a lot of signs during my 104 half marathons but this was a new one. 
And I saw the military guys coming in and I was leaving.
Back toward the river and the Lewis & Clark Landing area which is were I would eventually be crossing the finish line. But first we had to go back up Riverfront Drive, on to Abbott for a bit more, then near the Gallup offices (Poll it!) and Freedom Park Drive which is where you would go to take an excursion on the River City Star.
 Finally, I was about to approach Mile 10 and cross the bridge!  
I'm not sure why but it didn't really dawn on me at the time that Miles 11 & 12 were actually in Iowa!

We zigzagged a little through the Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park and I saw this cool bicycle art.
We crossed underneath I-480 and I could see the Nebraska state line sign above.

At approximately the 11 1/2 mile maker was the turn around for those doing the half while the full marathoners would continue on past Harrah's Hotel & Casino.

During this stretch - on our way back to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, I had a couple of people in my sites that I thought I could pass.  If I remember correctly, I passed at least 5 people from this point to the finish line.

Let me tell you something, going back over that bridge from Iowa to Nebraska was a chore. You've already completed 12 miles and now you are making a steady climb. But you find things to occupy your mind. For example...this kid with one shoe. I wondered what his story was. Did he do the entire race with just one shoe? Or did he lose it along the way?
Of course, I had to stop at the line and take a picture again!  I'm such a serious competitor out here.  Hahahahahaha
As I made the final descent of the bridge, I quickly texted my husband to let him know I had less than a half mile to go.

He was waiting for me a the finish line and got video of it.

And then....my new friends Jennifer and Joanna came over to congratulate me.  That meant the world to me.  I just met these ladies on Saturday but they were interested in my story and wanted to make sure they saw me finish #104.  That pretty much sums up the awesomeness of this event.  From the very beginning when I emailed to double check that we weren't JUST getting a finishers tree to my finish, I encountered wonderful customer service.

We couldn't dilly dally too much because - although I had secured a later checkout - with the delay of the start and me being slow there wasn't much time left.

I really wanted the bridge in my medal photo but with the fog still lingering it was probably not the best option.