Joining the Ranks of “Unmotivated” Runners

FIRST: I want to give frantic spirit fingers toward Jen who is running (floating down?) her first marathon this weekend! In a year of some sort of terrible marathon curse, it looks like some crazy phenomenon called an atmospheric river is supposed to occur right above her race.  All I know is that the Today Show peeps are broadcasting from San Francisco and they look drenched.

Also, remember to enter my sunglasses giveaway! Giuseppe thinks these would look great on you!

Also, The Sunglasses Shop is running a 25% off designer brand sale right now, so if you are looking for a pair of sunglasses for yourself or for a present, this would be a great time to buy! They have all the details on the website.  When you’re buying a $250 pair of sunglasses, 25% off is a significant amount.

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I’ve been noticing around blog land that everyone is severely unmotivated this week.

I’m afraid I’m one of those people. I haven’t felt like running.  And when I have run, I’ve felt really clumsy and awkward like I don’t know how to use my legs, and I haven’t felt fast or energized.

Thing is, this happened to me last year too.  But I thought that because I’m so much more of a “runner” now, I would stay motivated, and since I’m all about accomplishing crazy goals, that I would be completely committed to this training cycle.

But I’m not.  And Aaron really isn’t. So, we’re a lazy bunch between the two of us.  I also haven’t been to the pool since that breakthrough session last week where I kinda was able to put my head underwater for longer than a fast dip.

It has turned into a vicious cycle.  I come home, decide that fried food/cheesy food sounds better than running, gorge, get food coma, fall asleep on the couch, and wake up pretty depressed about the whole thing. We skipped THREE workouts this week.

I’ve decided that it is some biological/instinctual hibernation mode thing, and it has nothing to do with us! Right?!

AT LEAST progress is being made on the Gingerbread House Project! All the baking is done!

Also, sidenote:, the other night we were running around our neighborhood, and two cop cars turned the corner and turned off their lights like they were trying to sneak up on someone.  We were wondering if it was us?

Because we usually run at night and as far as I can tell we’re the only runners within a 3-4 block radius, I wonder if sometimes people see two people sprinting down the street and think we must be burglars.  I mean, no one in their right mind would be outside exercising, especially now that it gets pretty cold once the sun goes down.

I would not be surprised if one of these days we get tackled down in a citizens arrest attempt.

Fun.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

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The Sunglasses Shop Sunglasses Giveaway!

So, a few weeks ago I asked you about sunglasses.  Everyone was thinking, uh, ok, we’ll answer your question, but what the heck does this have to do with anything?

Well, today is the day when all of your questions will be answered!

When The Sunglasses Shop contacted me about (wait for it…) SUNGLASSES, I was excited not only because I LOVE sunglasses, but because I kind of think you all do too! I actually found out about them when Skinny Runner did her review.

My somewhat recent sunglasses history

Typically, I go for less expensive sunglasses.  The one time I bought myself a pair of Prada’s, they got stolen (at a charity luncheon no less), so I tend to look at design and value over brand. The less high profile, the less likely they’ll get lifted off my table.

The Sunglasses Shop is a UK based online retailer that not only carries brands like Oakley, and designers like Prada and Chanel, but also brands lesser known here in the States.  And they have several lines of lower profile frames for people like me who can’t have nice things! And for you UK folks, they have next day free delivery which is pretty unheard of.

The sunglasses I was sent to review are from a brand called North Beach.  According the website (this is best read in a British accent),

“North Beach was born in the surfing waters of New Zealand and Australia and specialises in polarised lenses at a great price. Style and charisma is for North Beach fans; the entire collection consists of stylish and fashionable frames with the beach at their heart. North Beach Sunglasses are all polarised and suitable for high glare situations. This of course includes fishing, and many anglers out there carry a pair of North Beach sunglasses at all times.”

So, even if you are the type who prefers designer eye-wear, these are pretty much made for you to wear on the lake or beach, and if they fall off in the middle of the ocean, at least you haven’t lost your $360 investment.

I received my North Beach Adriatic Black sunglasses and I’ve been wearing them all week to test them out.

THINGS I LOVE:

1) Because North Beach isn’t a known brand in these parts, I feel like I’m a super hipster wearing something that nobody else has discovered yet.

2) The design is really cool! I love big sunglasses, and these are as big as they get without looking grasshopper-esqe.  The Sunglasses Shop offers several models of North Beach frames, so even if you liked something less all-face-consuming, you could get what you’re looking for.  They also offer men’s and women’s styles.

3) Polarized lenses.  I love the glare reduction that polarized sunglasses offer, and I think they make the world look more High Def.

4) THEY DON’T SLIP! Nothing drives me crazier than sunglasses that slip down my nose every few minutes.  These ones stay put.

5) The little knot detail on the side (see picture above).  Just a little something extra to add to their aesthetic.

These sunglasses retail for about $40 USD, which is a pretty good deal.  But,  I will admit when I first received them and looked at them before trying them on, my first thought was that they really looked like $40 sunglasses.  I don’t know if it was the quality of the plastic or what, but if you are going for super high end sunglasses, you’ll probably be less interested in these sunglasses for every day use because they don’t look expensive.  This doesn’t seem to affect construction or functionality though, and I don’t think they look cheap on.  I would say they rank high above something you could buy at H&M or Urban Outfitters as far as quality is concerned.

The Sunglasses Shop offers easy returns and they pride themselves on customer service. I know I’ve had a great experience working with their blogger liaison.

So, the best thing about all of this is that somebody is going to win a pair of the North Beach sunglasses of their choice! 

(You can check out all the models HERE)

(So, I set up this whole raffle copter system only to find out that WordPress doesn’t support the code.  BUMMER.  So, we’ll have to go about things manually instead.)

Here’s what you need to do:

MANDATORY entry:

1) Go to The Sunglasses Shop on facebook HERE and “like” them (as a fan, I can tell you that they are not in any way an annoying page to follow).

2) Once you’ve liked them, write them a comment on their timeline saying that “Amy @ Lavender Parking sent you from here http://wp.me/p1qo6Y-15A” or some version of that including the link to the post.

3) Leave me a comment letting me know that you’ve done this.

OPTIONAL entries:

1) Tweet about the giveaway linking back to this post and mentioning @lavenderparking (me) and @sunglassshop (them) and then leave me a comment letting me know.

2) Leave a comment here telling me what your favorite Christmas (or Hanukkah) movie is.  This is a really really really hard choice, but I’d have to say mine is It’s a Wonderful Life.

The contest will run until Tuesday night at which point a winner will be chosen.

I’m excited for my first giveaway, and I’m hoping that the winner enjoys their new sunglasses and their The Sunglasses Shop experience as much as I have!

*DISCLAIMER: I received this pair of sunglasses courtesy of The Sunglasses Shop.  The opinions expressed are obviously my own (otherwise I wouldn’t have agreed to do this).

Now, enter away! And have a great Thursday!

 

The Leather Anniversary

I realized the other day that I refer to my wedding day less and less.  I’ve even been looking at our wedding pictures that I plastered all over the house and I’ve been considering replacing some of them with more recent photos that show a more accurate representation of our life.

Don’t get me wrong.  I loved my wedding (though, thanks to Pinterest, I would probably do it a thousand different ways now if I had the chance), and we will never be able to recreate having that wonderful group of our favorite people in one room celebrating the day with us ever again.

But the longer we’re married the more I realize that our wedding was really just one short day among the many in our life together.  A day that didn’t include memories of vacations, crossing our first marathon finish line, adopting our sweet puppy, surviving job loss, attending funerals, being sick, picking out Christmas trees, hosting parties, meeting extended families, and learning about all the weird quirks we have separately and together.

I didn’t know that I would be such a different (and better) person three years ago because of this man. And wow have we had a crazy and spectacularly fun time since then!

Today, while we are celebrating the anniversary of our wedding, we have much more to celebrate over the last three years of our marriage than one short day.

(You can see a few more photos from our actual wedding HERE)

Rain forest outside of Seattle 2008: pre engagement

Disneyland 2009

Hawaiian Honeymoon 2009

Dirty Franks in Columbus, OH 2010

Frankenmuth, somewhere in Michigan 2010

Oktoberfest, Denver 2011

Duke City after my first Half Marathon, 2011

ABQ Brews and Blues 2011

Jamaica 2011

San Francisco, 2011

Top of the Sandia Mountains, 2012

  Santa Fe Oktoberfest 2012

Chicago 2012

Galveston, TX 2012

Giuseppe’s first 5-K 2012

Wedding photos courtesy of Dry Heat Photography.

Chicago Photo courtesy of Willow Lane Photography.

(Half) Marathon Reflection Monday & Other Stuff

WELCOME TO CHRISTMAS TIME!

I will be the first to admit that for me, Christmas time started right after Halloween.  I’ve been watching those high quality holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel, listening to Christmas music, and plotting ways to make this year’s holiday season the best ever.

Aaron has very politely indulged me, even giving up his Saturday nights to watch Eloise at Christmastime and not getting mad when I switch his Pandora station to Christmas music.

But now, my Christmas cheer is completely socially acceptable.  Thanksgiving is over, so I can prance around in Christmas happiness without fear that some Bah Humbug will squash my dreams.  However, I still haven’t put up a tree unlike everyone on Instagram/facebook.  We’re real tree people, so we always wait until December to make sure it doesn’t look dead by Christmas. I’d like to think this makes me slightly less crazy.

Meanwhile, on the running/half marathon training front, things have been going ok.

On Thursday my whole family (aside from my mom who was busy on Operation Thanksgiving Dinner duty) ran our Turkey Trot 5-K.   A few weeks ago I was thinking I was going to use this race as my attempt at a sub 21.  But I got out on that course, fell into a solid 7:00-7:15 pace, and was feeling really good.  I remember what it felt like for me the one time I did hit 21:05, and I decided I didn’t really want to get that awful sick feeling again.  So, I didn’t.  Maybe not the most competitive thing I could have done, but I’m ok with it.  I dread 5-K’s more than anything, and I don’t want to anymore.  I came in at 22:18 (7:10 average pace).  Still better than my last few 5-K times, and definitely a confidence booster than I can run 13.1 miles at a 7:15 pace in a couple of months.  Plus, I think this is my first ever 5-K that didn’t make me want to hurl.

To celebrate the amazing weather we’ve been having (still in the low 60’s during the day) we decided to get one more climb up our mountain on the La Luz Trail.  Typically the top is snow covered and dangerous by late November.  It is a little sad that our weather is so dry that we don’t have any snow on our mountain but it made for perfect hiking conditions. This hike is about 8 miles up a 3,600 elevation gain.  My dad and sister made their way up for the first time!

Yesterday’s long run was a little harder than it should have been after the climb up a mountain.  We had 8 miles on the schedule, so we headed to the most flat course we could find, and knocked them out.  I had an average pace of about 8:38, so I was going a just bit faster than last week.  And definitely minutes faster than I was running a year ago.  I felt pretty fatigued, my face got sunburn, and after we finished, my calves tightened up to a point suggesting I’d run much harder/faster than I really did.  I spent the morning doing some intense rehabbing just to get myself back to walking like a normal person.  But definitely on track with where I want to be right now.

On the non-running front, I’m pretty sure I did something very close to swimming last week! I’m working on a breathing rhythm, and after a few failed attempts (and lots of inhaled water through the nose…very yucky feeling), I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’m hoping that with a few more lessons, I’ll at least be able to not look like a drowning abomination on Indoor Tri Day!

Otherwise, our Thanksgiving week was pretty normal:  I baked! (gluten free pumpkin snicker-doodles), two dinners with two families, late night Black Friday shopping, football watching (GO GIANTS!!!), and planning my annual gingerbread house (you can see last year’s HERE).

We’ll take some of that turkey, please!

Muppet Christmas Carol is a Thanksgiving tradition.

Aaron is obviously adopted

Macy’s at about 1:00 am. 

Hope everyone is having a minimally painful Monday!

P.S….there *may* be a giveaway coming later this week! (And by may, I mean I’ve already agreed to do one in exchange for free stuff, so…)

Randomness: Turkey Brained Edition

The frazzled randomness that is currently going through my turkey brained head:

1) Is it politically correct to dress as a Native American for a Turkey Trot?  I know Rachel pulled it off without getting lectured, but Albuquerque is a super PC type of place.  Is it more PC to go as a turkey? I don’t even know why I’m asking since we all know I’m going to just wear my Chicago Marathon shirt to make myself feel better when all those 8 year-olds pull off 19 minute 5-K’s.  How is that even fair?

2) I am so excited that all of  you (well, aside from the people who live in other countries) are doing Turkey Trots! I feel a giant virtual running hug on Thursday morning coming on.  How often do we all have races on the same day?  So cool! Remember to visualize being a turkey and maybe you’ll run faster!

3) Today is Hug a Runner Day.  I’m all for holidays, but I don’t get this one.  Based on the number of RT’s I got this morning, it looks like a lot of runners are more appreciative of cupcakes than hugs.  I mean, who REALLY wants to hug a sweaty runner anyway? I know I don’t.

4) All of you lovely people keep posting these amazing looking recipes for Thanksgiving, and I’m starting to get kitchen envy.  I don’t cook.  I AM considering making some gluten free desserts to take along with us (both our families live here so we do 2 Thanksgivings!).  If I ever come over for dinner I will feel bad because nothing I can do will ever compare to the amazing Martha Stewart type stuff y’all are coming up with.

This looks like a nice, easy project! 

5) My little sister is bringing home a boy for Thanksgiving.  I have the overwhelming urge to be a brat.  Even though my family was pretty cool when Aaron came over for his first Thanksgiving 4 years ago (truthful statement…if my family had to choose between Aaron and  me, they would likely choose him).  I’ve already said that he had to run the Turkey Trot with us AND HE IS!!! I need to up my game here. Any good stories about going to a “first” Thanksgiving/holiday?

Hope you are having a wonderful (maybe less random?) day!

(Half) Marathon Reflection Monday

I have definitely had to change my way of thinking now that I’m back in half marathon land.

While training for a full, I was able to “take it easy” for the first few repetitions of intervals to save energy and take miles slower because there were so many more to go. But in half training, every rep has to be maxed out and warm-up miles become warm up mile.

Our Friday speed workout was hill repeats on the treadmill.   We put the incline on “10” (I’m not sure if this means 10% or 10 feet or just level 10 or what).  When Aaron said that we only had to run 20 seconds on the incline at a time, I had feelings of happiness.  Considering we were running up quarter-mile hills just a few months ago, this seemed rather lenient.

But I have only two months to reach my lofty goals, and I’m not even close to being ready. So, each 20 second hill must be pushed to the max. With each rep I increased speed to the point that I had to put every ounce of effort I had toward not get launched backward, and the exact moment the 20 seconds were up, I HAD to grab onto the nice little handle thingies or risk falling down.

It sucked obviously.  I felt sick afterwards.  But I know that I pushed it as hard as I could.  I was able to hold 10.3 mph for 20 seconds (I tried 10.4 but couldn’t keep up), and there was no way I could go faster.  It felt great to know that I put that level of effort into a workout.  I celebrated with some Costco pizza for dinner.  I feel only a bit awkward admitting that we go to Costco for dinner sometimes.

We did our 7 mile long run #2 on Saturday.  In order for me to confidentially go into this half, I will want my last long run to be at an 8:15 average at an easy pace (in other words, I shouldn’t be “racing” my long run).  Saturday’s pace was an 8:40 average and I definitely pushed it on a few of those miles. It is nice to obsess over those long run paces slightly more guilt free now that endurance isn’t as much of a factor.

I still have a lot of speed to program into these little legs, but I did do yoga (check!), strength training (check!), and cross training (check!).  I need to work on my core, but for the most part sticking to my goals.

In other related news, Aaron and I had a discussion this weekend about what our “events” are, or rather, which race distance is our strongest. I knew the moment I crossed the finish line for my first half marathon that I enjoyed 13.1 far more than 3.1.  Even though I’m more open to running marathons now that I’m not training for one (and I can walk again), the half marathon distance is my favorite.  I have no interest in running really strong 5-K’s, and for some reason I can’t ever get my act together for 10-K’s.  But I feel like I’m in my element in halves.

It was also at this point in our conversation that we decided to look up the weights of Olympic runners.  Aaron, who is a pretty trim dude, is not really thin enough to be a strong distance runner.  Ryan Hall is about the same height as Aaron, but  is about 30 pounds lighter. Let me just say I’m really ok with Aaron not weighing 30 pounds less.

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I’m particurly excited this Monday morning because of this gloriously short week, even though it will be a test of our ambitions. With so much Thanksgiving Cheer (and, you know BLACK FRIDAY), will we keep to a consistent workout schedule, or lay in a happy food coma?  Will I remember to eat veggies, or will pumpkin pie be my best effort?  At least, thanks to our green shake breakfast, I’m finally back down to my pre-marathon weight.  I can see that all going out the window this weekend!

Apparently this says that I have to run a marathon to burn off  Thanksgiving. 

 

What’s your favorite distance race?

Have a wonderful Monday!

Very Inspiring Blog Award

Thanks to Jac from Challenged and Running in the Bike Lane (one of my favorite blog names) for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

To celebrate, I have to tell you all 7 things about myself.

1. I hate onions unless they are deep fried.

2. I have been listening to Christmas music for about a month now.

3. I severely dislike Twilight.  I read the first book (I kind of became obsessed with it), and when I finished I was so appalled at the characterization of Bella, that I refused to read another.

4. I really don’t like country music, but for some reason I have a dream of being a country singer (I also can’t sing).

5. My name was supposed to be Aimee (the French version of Amy), but my dad filled out the birth certificate and apparently didn’t get the memo.  I was bitter for many years.

6. I’d much rather speak in front of a large crowd than have a one-on-one conversation with someone.  In a speech, you can deliver a memorized spiel.  In a conversation, you actually have to come up with things to say on the fly.  I’m not good at coming up with stuff on the fly.

7. I’m obsessed with Black Friday.  We already have a game plan for next week.  However, rarely do we ever buy Christmas presents on this occasion.

Well, there you have it! Thanks again, Jac for thinking that I’m inspiring!

I hope you have a lovely weekend! I’m jealous of everyone that is already on Thanksgiving vacation.  And I’m sorry if I offended any Twilight fans.  Kind of.

 

Winter is Different Than Summer

First, check out Hyedi’s blog for a running headband giveaway and Sarah’s blog for a basket full of Hawaiian goodness giveaway.  Although, if you don’t, then my odds of winning go up….

Obviously I have been through winters before.  And obviously I have seen a time change or 60 in my lifetime.  Yet I am sitting here shocked at how much different this time of year is than summer.

I even trained for this same half at this same time last year, but here I am like, “Oh! It’s Dark!” and “Oh! It’s Cold!”

So we’ve had to get creative with our workouts.

The track that we use isn’t lit.  It also is not made of that fancy newfangled track spongy stuff…it’s dirt.  And the last turn is washed out because it is in the middle of a gulch.  It doesn’t rain here just about ever, but erosion has occurred   So running on this track in the dark or without complete sunlight makes the sprinting aspect of the sprinting workout pretty impossible.

So, aside from dragging ourselves out of a warm bed (is this even a realistic option?) before work, we are doomed to the treadmill.

Fact: one of the busiest weekends at the gym is the week before Thanksgiving.

For some reason, I always feel really self conscious when sprinting on the gym treadmill.  It makes this really obnoxiously loud BOOM BOOM BOOM noise, generating annoyed stares from the people there to walk in peace.

On Tuesday we braved the BUSY gym and did a 5 minute warm-up, then sprinted for 1 minute/walked for 1 minute for a total of 20 minutes before our cool down.  I was hitting between 6/6:10 minute mile pace during the sprints.  I would like to be at about a 5:30 sprint pace by the end of this training cycle.

I do think that sprinting on the treadmill is easier than being in the real world, BUT the treadmill doesn’t let you slow down, and keeping up with the pace is essential if you don’t want to be launched back into the wall/the nice walker behind you.

We followed the sprint workout with plyometrics.  This isn’t something I’ve done too much of in the past, but according to coach Aaron, plyometrics increase your eccentric load (I THINK) giving you more of that explosive energy needed for speed.  Wikipedia says, “plyometric exercises use explosive, fast-acting movements to develop muscular power and to improve overall speed.”  Meanwhile, all the cross fit people are sitting there saying DUH.

We looked kinda like these people.

Basically, we ventured deep into the weight lifting area, and jumped onto a box and jumped off it.  All the meatheaded weight lifters were giving us weird looks (Why these people jump?  Jumping no give big muscle….I always give meatheaded weight lifters cave men accents).

In addition to more gym speed training, we’re having to cram in 3 weeks of “Amy doesn’t want to DNF in the indoor tri” training.

For the next few weeks, Wednesdays will be our Spin It To Win It day which is a fancy way of saying that I’m trying to  master the art of spin biking.  Yesterday was spin class #2 for the year and today I’m feeling the saddle soreness.  At least I think that’s what it’s called.  I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Spinning really works out muscles that I must not use very often because I was having a hard time sprinting up the imaginary muddy hills that the instructor kept leading us through.

There is work to be done here.

There is also work to be done on indoor tri logistics.  Aaron doesn’t seem to think that the transition area will include locker room access meaning no changing that requires privacy.  As a girl of ….um…a certain size I can’t really run without a sports bra.  An option I suppose is to wear a sports bra over a swim suit and remove as necessary (and deal with the fact that this will look completely ridiculous).  I’ve been trying to research swimsuits, but I haven’t found any yet with the support I need.  I haven’t looked into full tri suits (I kind of don’t want to buy something that I may only use once), but apparently they take the whole issue into consideration.

So, that’s where we’re at.  Today is more speed work, tomorrow is yoga, and this weekend is our long run and intense swimming crash course.

THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT on my indoor tri.  I feel silly for being so nervous about it especially since it really isn’t half as scary as an outdoor sprint.  We’ll see how it goes.

Happy Thursday! (Also, I wrote this REALLY fast today, so I didn’t edit.  I don’t even want to know how many mistakes you can find).

 

So…I’m Doing a Triathlon…

One of my bucket list items for this year was to race a triathlon.

I’m not quite sure why I put this on there.  Maybe to challenge myself? Maybe because I was high off my first two half marathons and decided I could do ANYTHING? I don’t really know.  But I don’t have a bike.  I was probably 12 the last time I rode my bike.  And I can’t swim.

A few weeks ago I decided to start learning how to swim since that was another bucket list item. But I haven’t really kept it up.

Aaron spends all day in a gym.  I think it takes extra encouragement to get him to go to his “workplace” after hours.  And I like to make a splashing idiot of myself in front of as few people as possible. I suppose on the upside, our wet area is co-ed, so I don’t have to deal with situations like Jen does in the jacuzzi.

Well, I have found a triathlon in December!

This is an indoor tri that utilizes gym equipment.  No bike? No problem.   I’m glad I wasn’t more specific in my bucket list requirements!

Basically, you run for 20 minutes on a treadmill as fast as you can, hang out on the spin bike for 30 minutes, and swim in the pool for 10 minutes. Your score is based on distance covered rather than time.

So, I am now forced to learn how to swim (or at least establish a good doggy paddle) for 10 full minutes. That isn’t so bad, right?

I’m nervous.

I mean, the marathon was scary because I did’t know what would happen at mile 20.  But, at least I knew it involved running.

Well, how nice for you, tri person!

This is such a new world for me.

I’ve definitely been inspired by all of you who jumped into tri land and had to do things like swim in open water!!! (OMGSOSCARY).

And indoor tris seem to be a whole different game than like, real ones. I don’t know anything about transitions, especially because I don’t think there is a “transition area.” AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WEAR!

My swimsuits aren’t necessarily designed for competitive swimming.

Are you kidding me…

Meanwhile, Aaron has done countless tris including 3 Ironmans.  These are really where he excels, even more so than running.  I think I killed it because he hasn’t done any triathlons since I met him.

I don’t think I’ll be keeping up with him anytime soon, but I have decided that I need to let myself out of my comfort zone every once in awhile.  I am truly having to chip away at this triathlon thing from the bottom.  If anything, this will ensure that I get some quality cross training in. And maybe next year I’ll be crazy enough to sign up for one outside!

Small steps.

(Half) Marathon Reflection Monday

Well, we are officially back in training!

As of right now, we aren’t really following any sort of training plan. Aside from knowing that we’re adding a mile to our long runs every weekend and doing 2 speed workouts per week, we’re kind of winging it.

Besides, with Thanksgiving, an out of town wedding, Christmas, the billion things that go along with Christmas, an inevitable sneezey cold (it always happens in December), New Year’s, freezing temperatures, and a wedding anniversary, we probably wouldn’t do a good job of sticking to a plan anyway, so why set ourselves up for failure.

BUT I also want to accomplish some big things over the next 10 weeks. The problem with creating a ridiculous goal and actually accomplishing it (as was the case for the marathon) is you pretty much think you can do it every time.

So, my goal going in is a 1:35 half, or 7:15 per mile average (I’m not really sure why but it seems like a good number to reach for).

I am not anywhere near this.

My last real (non-puppy) 5-K in July was a 7:20 average.  On ONE occasion have I been able run a race faster than a 7:15 pace.   And according to McMillian, my half time is about 1:41 half based on my marathon time. So, I’ve got some speed to work on.

Aside from hitting a 1:35, my other goals for this training session are:

1) Yoga once a week to keep limber

2) Strength training: I’m never very consistent with this, and I need to get better.

3) Staying injury free by being proactive (with stretching and identifying nagging annoyances before they become issues)

4) developing a solid base for an easy transition into marathon training the week after the race.

We did our first long run this weekend.  I was planning on getting in 5 miles, but we went for a trail run next to the river and we ended up at about 5.8 instead, so we’re already ahead of schedule!

Overall, I felt ok.  My calves were tight yesterday, but considering we took a 5 week break with nothing more than a few 3 mile runs, it didn’t feel labored.

It was a slow run because it was on a trail (lots of really loose sand, lots of horse poo, and lots of change in direction).  And of course, lots of picture stops/tree climbing/general shenanigans   We had some COLD weather this weekend, so Saturday morning was our last chance to get in a good run with fall leaves because I’m guessing a lot of them have just met their ultimate death thanks to the sub-freezing temps and wind.

Our mighty Rio Grande River

I am excited to get back into the swing of things and to have a routine to keep myself on track.  I’m not looking forward to running in the early morning, especially because we’re having an unusually cold week (I know I complained a lot about the heat this summer, but I may hate running in the freezing cold even more).

I hope everyone had a good training weekend!