Thursday, December 12, 2013

A New Addiction :)

It all started one afternoon, no different from many other afternoons - I was catching up on a few blogs I like to read, doing a little online shopping and checking my email - I love tabs & I rarely have less than 2 open at all times....

I was admiring the super cute outfits of one particular runner/blogger, thinking the usual 'Holy cow! I couldn't spend that much on one piece of running clothing! (I have TERRIBLE buyers remorse over EVERYTHING!) And she mentioned finding a few of her pieces on Ebay.... duhn, duhn, duuuuuuhhhnnnn....


Naturally, I opened a new tab and began browsing..... skeptical at first, but then.... I stumbled across a ton of stuff that was new, I mean, never been used, brand new! Of course, I bid, super low, because I really didn't know what I was doing.... and then..... low and behold.... last Saturday, and here's the great part, AFTER my PR race, WHILE Christmas tree shopping, BEFORE going to the parade.... I won something!!!!!!

Yes, you're probably thinking it, Saturday was the best. day. ever! :) (kind of kidding, kind of serious.... it was a ton of fun that's for sure!!!!)

I immediately paid with Paypal and discovered a downside....well, it's not really a downside, more of just a downer... the wait! I have been trying to stalk my package, but I haven't been able to/taken the time to figure out how to get it to work from the email Ebay sent, so I've just been waiting....

.....and waiting......and waiting.....


Today is THE day! My brand new Nike running pants at 1/3 the retail cost (YESSS!!! Now, if Fl weather would cooperate so I could actually wear them.....) should be in my PO Box TODAY!!! :)

Honestly, and realistically, running gear can get pretty expensive (although that bumper sticker is still true - I'm sure it's cheaper than therapy!) and I have to pick and choose where I spend my money. Currently, (starting after this most recent purchase of course!) I am saving up for a GPS watch. I have the Nike Sportband, but it isn't GPS and I really feel like I need the accuracy of a GPS watch.... now I just have to control my spending and not waste money on impulse buys that I don't actually need...

What do you track your runs with? 

Have you ever bought anything off of Ebay? What was it? Was it a positive experience?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

5k Yay!

I got to do two of my favorite things on Saturday - I ran a 5k & I went to our local Christmas parade! :)
(ps - I really hate taking pictures, but I just had to capture this moment!)
   I came in 1st in my age group & got a PR!! :) Even though I just ran a half less than a week earlier, I was feeling pretty good about being able to race. My only concern was that my training had been very focused on adding distance and working on my 1/2 goals. I really wanted to place, but I just wasn't sure if my legs were going to be able to move fast enough!
   I got one speed workout in at the track, 2x800, 2x1200, 2x800 with 200's between to recover. I was shooting for a 7:30 pace, but I ended up doing 8:15-8:30, which was still faster than my previous 5k PR pace (9:10).
   Here's the thing: I managed an 8:30 pace in the 5k, which got me a PR and 1st place in my age group, BUT.... that's the pace I need to be able to run 26.2 miles for a BQ - whaaaaaa? Well, gotta start somewhere - at least I'm hitting it in my 5k, now I just have to work on hitting it for my half.... that's my next goal... just takin' it one goal at a time... :)

.....and now for the Christmas Parade and my Loves.....
This picture really captures they way they felt about the whole thing... Cam was super excited and Josh was a little hesitant about the whole thing. Cameron went for the candy, Josh sat in my lap clutching his two favorite pieces of candy.

I love lOvE LOVE watching the Christmas parade! The lights, the music, the candy - I just wish it wasn't 80 degrees! (Confession: I'm a total parade geek - I ALWAYS watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade every year!!)

Do you race with goal times in mind or just to have fun?

Do you like parades? I love 'em! I also love the race sign that says "Worst parade ever" ha! I bet it's actually pretty entertaining to watch a bunch of runners galloping by!

Friday, December 6, 2013

My First Half Marathon!!!!!

OK - I've got a TON of ground to cover!
1) Headbands of awesomeness - The folks at Hippie Runner did an awesome job getting my shipment out quickly so that my headbands got here before I even packed for my race! I absolutely LOVE their headbands - I wore the 1st ones I bought for 2 years! I love that they are wide AND stay put for my entire run.

2) OMG - My 1st half marathon was last Sunday! For some reason, I chose the Space Coast to be my first - it's only about 3 hours away.... so I got a hotel and dragged my loving family along and... IT. WAS. AMAZING!!! Oh I so can't wait to go back next year! Maybe then I'll do the full...
+ it was a pretty big race, (3000 doing the half, 2000 doing the full - no nyc, but to me 5000 people is a lot!) But there was enough space (haha space - get it?) so that we were able to spread out and I didn't have to walk or weave at the beginning.
+ beautiful view along the run - coastline on one side and awesome neighborhood people on the other cheering everyone on!
+ plenty of water stations & amazing volunteers (even though I carried my own water - they were very positive & encouraging)
+ So thankful for the shuttle bus from the hotel to the starting line so that I didn't have to stress out about parking on race day.

I had an 'A' goal of under a 10 min pace since my training had a set back this summer & I had a 'B' goal of finishing in under 2:30. I ended up with a 9'50ish pace! So happy!!! Now, I need to figure out how I'm going to train for my next half in March ;) Yes, I am totally hooked!

How do you set your goal race pace?

(This is from my NEW Galaxy S4,  so I think the pics are stuck at the bottom.  They are both if me pre-race, in the non - pot - a - potties at the start line. I wanted a little privacy for my picture taking! Ha! I'm just a big ole' chicken when it comes to taking pictures in public. )
Check out that bathroom floor! Ha!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Package Tracking = Stalking

Does anyone else do that?? I ordered several super awesome headbands that I desperately want to arrive before I leave for my race.... so naturally, ever-since (is that a word? I just had a really hard time trying to figure out how to write that phrase...every since? ever since?) I got the email saying 'Your package has been shipped!' I have been clicking on that little blue...okay LONG blue number.... probably at least once every hour. I think it worked :) I just checked and they've already left Tampa this morning - about 2 hours away! Please USPS, please bring them tomorrow before noon-ish...

I ABSOLUTELY love Hippie Runner headbands - I bought 2 back when I did the Disney Princess 5k b/c they were at the Expo - and I use those headbands for pretty much every run and they work! They stay in place, they keep my hair out of my face and help keep my flood of sweat in check. 2 yrs later, I'm still using them, but one has a giant coffee stain and the other has red capri-sun juice stains, so I decided (last minute of course) that if I was going to wear a headband in my race on Sunday that I needed new ones. I was disappointed that they weren't going to be at the Space Coast Expo, but they said they would try to rush my order through for me :) (*imagine me squealing & doing a little dance when I read their email*)

I will include more details later - now I've gotta go brave the Walmart lines to try to get a new phone..... we'll see how this goes! eek!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thankful for...Over-eating??

     Yes. I over-ate yesterday. And, Yes. I'm glad I did. Whaaaaaat? You may be thinking..... but here's why....(it still may not make sense after I explain.....)
     I felt absolutely terrible when I woke up this morning!! I'm so glad I got that fit of gluttony out of the way AND had enough consequences that hopefully I'll remember how I feel right now and NOT be too indulgent on Thursday.
    Normally I'm not too terribly conscious of what/how much of anything I consume (I do really need to get better in that department), but this week is crucial because....Sunday, December 1st - yes, that's right, the Sunday after Thanksgiving - I run my first half marathon!!! :)
   I've worked really hard, overcoming injury, balancing home, work and running so that I could do this, so now....let's do this!! :) It isn't going to be at my original goal pace, due to injury set-backs mid-summer, but I am going to do it.
   My 'A' Goal is under a 10 minute/mile pace. M 'B' goal is a 2:30 finish time.

(((Psst...hey... you wanna know why I over-ate yesterday?? We had a Thanksgiving Feast at our church, followed by a birthday party for one of my four-year-old son's friends where there was home-made Indian food!!! Yum!! and also a HUGE part of why my over-eating felt a little more painful than your average 'oh I ate too much last night' feeling)))

Also - another major goal get a new camera b/c mine bit the dust - just in time for the holiday season! Boooo!

How do you manage your eating during the holidays?

What's your favorite holiday food? Mine is sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top....mmmm...definitely had 2 servings yesterday at the church 'feast' & when our 5th graders had a feast at school last week...I did the same thing - 2 servings please & thank you! :) (Hopefully I've gotten it out of my system so that I can eat like a normal, rational person for the rest of the week... ok, maybe normal and rational was a little too far.... eat like a carb-loading runner... not sugar-fiend!)

Friday, November 8, 2013

One Week 'Off'

I haven't been at work since LAST Thursday.... Whoa! CraaAazY!! I have always been a bit of a workaholic, but I think that has been leading me down a very dangerous, burn-out-early road, so I'm trying to back off a bit. Plus, my 4 year old had chicken pox, which then spread to my 7 year old... so this was not a voluntary hiatus....

I have realized that my current daily routine/schedule has almost completely eliminated my chance at...having a life!
Sample Day:
4:45 - Finally get up after hitting snooze since 4:15
4:45-5:30 - Breakfast, Read, Pray (not enough time for all of those things!)
5:30-5:45 - Try to get ready before I wake up the boys (again, not enough time to get that done!)
5:45-6:30 - Finish getting ready, dress both boys, make lunch for Cameron (7) and try to get out the door (again, not enough time.... see a pattern emerging??)
6:50-7:00 - Get to Josh's daycare and get him unloaded
7:10 - Finally get to my/Cameron's school
7:15 - Finally get to my classroom
7:25-1:55 - Teach my heart out (with a million-mile long state-mandated list of everything we're supposed to be doing)
1:55-2:05 - dismissal duty
2:05-4:00 - Grade papers, enter grades, work on lesson plans, prepare room for the next day, copy papers for upcoming activities (Our official day is supposed to end at 3:00 - but I can rarely ever get everything done in that amount of time & on some days, we have staff meetings from 2:10-3:00)
4:00 - Pick up J from the daycare (Yes, that means 9 hours at daycare!!!!!!)
4:15-5:30ish - Running at the local Y (which means Cameron & Joshua are hanging out in 'Child Watch')
5:30 - Hopefully heading home (or to Walmart if we need something)
6:00 - FINALLY get home........The boys' bedtime is 8:30 - so we have a whole 2.5 hrs of 'family time' - which really is more like a crazy mess of trying to cook dinner, get everyone showered and try to put the house back together before we all crash

Something has GOT to give!! The only time that I feel like I can do something about, is that 2:00-4:00 window. If I can figure out how to get out of the school at 3:00, I can pick up Josh and hang out with the boys between 3:00-4:00 and feel better about the world.

Balance is something that has always been very important to me, maybe because it has always been so elusive!
Please share - how do you stay balanced?!?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Oh. My. Goodness!

I watched the NYC Marathon this morning. It was...... AWESOME!!! I think I'm going to plan ALL of our future family vacations around races....Boston....Big Sur..... Chicago... sounds like a fantastic idea - don't you think?

I'm also super-excited b/c I'm going to be volunteering at a 1/2 in nearby (ok, like, an hour away) Lakeland on Saturday. :) I was really torn between running it for 'practice' and just volunteering since I'm technically NOT up to 13.1 miles in my training yet.... I kind of liked the idea of my trip to Cocoa not being my first ever half, but at the same time, Lakeland is really hilly AND my training run for next weekend is only supposed to be 12 miles....but what's an extra 1.1 miles right? ....That was the inner-conversation conflict I'd been having all week.
This was part of the course description:
"The southern portion of the course offers rolling hills through some of Lakeland’s scenic neighborhoods."

The hills are what finally made the decision for me. I wouldn't have been so concerned about throwing an extra 1.1 miles onto my training plan if it hadn't been for the fact that those HILLS! I am NOT in the mood for 'rolling hills' - if you've ever been through this part of Lakeland, these hills are everywhere!! The 'southern portion' would be the majority of the race!

I think I made the smarter choice since I've invested a lot of time, pain, and $ into the race in Cocoa. I've already dealt with injuries that delayed my training and changed my plan for the race as it is. I definitely don't want to risk making it worse!!!!!
This is the race I'm running December 1st!
So, I'm volunteering at a race for the first time ever! :) I won't be handing out water - I'll be working at the results table. I'm very, VERY glad I won't be having the responsibility of passing out water/gatorade!

Now, I think I need to find a second job to support my running habit......
This is how ridiculously happy the thought of running these races makes me! I can't wait!
Have you run any of these races?
Do you have any PLANS to run any of these races?
How do you support your running habit? :)