(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…)

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What I’m Loving Wednesday, November 30

Linking up for What I’m Loving Wednesday at This Kind of Love.

With Christmas in the air and the amazing 60 degree weather we’ve been having (until tomorrow and Friday when the high drops down to an almost unbearable 38), there is so much to love! (and some stuff not to love too).

Black Friday: Yes, we drove to Santa Fe at midnight, got back into town by 2:30, went to Target then the mall, got home and in bed by 5, after a 5 hour nights sleep, got up and back out to ABQ Uptown by 11.  We caused some SERIOUS damage, but got some RIDICULOUS deals! My favorite purchase was the aerater/decanter from William Sonoma that was 50% off! I’m not really crazy.

Thanksgiving Dinner: We had dinner with my family and then dessert/wine/games with Aaron’s family.  Easily gained 5-10 pounds. But it was so tasty! (and my mom manages to make Thanksgiving dinner look like art!)

Minted Christmas Cards:  Friend (and graphic designer) Katie referred me to Minted for my Christmas cards, and WOW, what a great experience.  I submitted my order, got an electronic proof designed by a real person, enjoyed Thanksgiving (a day when no one works or gets mail), and got my beautiful cards, all within 6 days.  Aside from my wedding invitations, this is the most excited I’ve been to send something out.

The Nutcracker: We went with my family to see The Nutcracker at Popejoy Hall on Saturday.  I  hadn’t seen it since I was 6.  The show, the costumes, the music, everything, was perfect! They even had explosives to keep Aaron interested!

Seeing my house transform into a Winter Wonderland: We won’t buy our live tree until this weekend to make sure it is still fresh for Christmas, but Aaron spent Sunday putting lights on the house, and my Department 56 Dickens Village is out, so it is beginning to look like Christmas around here!

My soon to be gingerbread house: I used to make a gingerbread house every year.  The last 3 years I’ve started and haven’t finished.  In 2008 I was proposed to right in the middle of my baking. in 2009 we were coming down off our wedding/honeymoon and I was just TIRED. Last year…I don’t really have an excuse. But this year I am determined! Baking will start this weekend! (this is my last complete one from 2007).

MEANWHILE….Stuff I don’t Love today: (I tried to stay positive, but…you know).

Comcast.  If they weren’t almost the only option available, we’d switch. They wanted to charge us for something we don’t have access to, and then charge us to fix the problem.

ABC for cancelling Pan Am! That was the only new show I’ve continued to watch this season.  Filled with some of the more independent, intelligent, compassionate, stylish female characters on T.V., I’m sad that I won’t see the flight crew navigate through the social and political turmoil of the 60’s.  Yet Jersey Shore lives on?

Winter Weather: Seriously? 60 mile an hour winds tomorrow? 38 degree highs on Friday and Saturday? Massive amounts of snow? Did I move to Chicago and not realize it? YUCK.

My Training: My next half marathon is in 7.5 weeks…and I haven’t done a long run (or anything except a few 3-4 mile runs) since San Francisco.  Am I trying to sabotage myself? I can’t imagine I’ll be particularly inspired by the Antarctic weather conditions coming up either.

HAPPY DECEMBER!

What I’m Loving Wednesday: Black Friday Edition

Linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I’m Loving Wednesday.  Obviously this Wednesday I’m LOVING the 4 day weekend which has started for me, the amazing meal I will have tomorrow, all of the wonderful things in my life that make me eternally grateful, and…BLACK FRIDAY!

I remember watching the news as a 7 year old (yes, I was that kid…one of my first childhood crushes was on Peter Jennings), and a report came on about Black Friday shopping.  It looked marvelous! I wondered why we weren’t taking part in this amazing tradition.  Ever since, I have dragged family, high school boyfriends, and now Aaron with me to participate in this beloved part of the holiday season!

My Black Friday shopping rule is, if it isn’t on sale, I can’t buy it (I usually won’t even go below a 15% discount).  There is a whole month to buy stuff that isn’t on sale.  Black Friday is for good deals and good deals only. I’ve been making my game plan, and trying to figure out which places have good sales.  I haven’t been able to track down everything but here is a list of what I’ve found in my research (I’ll update as I find out new info!).

Santa Fe Fashion Outlets (open at midnight)

Coach Outlet: Not positive, but they will usually hand out 30% off coupons at the door.

Nike Factory: According the Fashion Outlets website, they will have 40% off all clearance and 20% of “back wall” shoes.

Under Armour Factory: $10 off ColdGear, extra discounts on clearance.

Tommy Hilfiger Outlet: 15% off entire purchase, or 20% off purchase of $150 or more.

Aeropostale Outlet: 50% off everything.

Levis: 30% off all tops and outerwear.

Coronado Mall (opens at 5 am, but many stores opening at midnight): If you spend $100 at the mall on Friday, you get a $10 Shop Etc. Gift Card

Sephora: Specials on select products from Tarte, Korres, Josie Moran, Buxom, Bare Minerals, The Art of Shaving, Sephora Collection, and Tokidoki.  (By select I mean 1 product each).  “Like” them on facebook for complete listing.

Forever 21: Don’t know yet, but they will have Black Friday deals according to their website.

Victoria Secret: Bras buy 1, get 1 50% off, $10 off pajamas, $20 off robes, save on crewnecks and yoga pants from the Pink collection (opens at midnight).

Bath and Body Works: $20 VIP bag stuffed with 11 different products ($100 value) with any $40 purchase.

Banana Republic: Don’t know yet, but they usually run 40% off everything sales.

Gap: UP TO 60% everything until Saturday.

Express: Don’t know yet, but they will have deals.

Sunglasses Hut: Don’t know yet, but they have a great sale that ends tomorrow for 30% off all sale items.

Macy’s: Perhaps the inventor of Black Friday, they have too many to list (see complete list here), brands on sale include Betsey Johnson, Perry Ellis, Calvin Klein, Levis, and Michael Kors among MANY others.

WINROCK MALL

UPDATED: Dillards: 50% off all clearance.  They open at 8 am

ABQ UPTOWN:

Anthropologie: 50% off all sale items, 25% off all sale items until Sunday.

BCBG: 50% off all sweaters, outerwear, leather, and boots.

Pottery Barn: Select items with free shipping and/or free monogramming, 50% off throws.  You can see the complete list of applicable free shipping/monogramming items HERE.

Williams Sonoma: 40% off very limited merchandise.  You can see what it is HERE.

AROUND TOWN:

Target: Too many to list, but you can see their ad HERE.  Deals include TVs under $200 and Kitchen Aide mixers for $199.  They open at midnight.

Best Buy: If you aren’t camping out right now, you may not get one of the limited stock TVs, but they have other TVs, SmartPhones, and BlueRay disks on sale.  Their list is HERE.  They open at midnight.

PetsMart: 50% off select merchandise including crates, treats and holiday toys.  You can see their ad HERE.  They open at 7 a.m.

UPDATED: Urban Outfitters: 50% off all sale items until 10:00 am

BlackFriday.com is a also wonderful resource for the actual print ads of some of the bigger chains like Kohls, Wal-Mart, and JCPenney.  Let me know if you have a specific store to look for, and HAPPY SHOPPING!