As the title says, a quick update. My family from Texas is visiting, and I am taking them out on the town in a few minutes, so while this is fresh in my head…
I ran a race today, and it did not go great. I felt awful. I went out too fast. I was 1 and a half minutes off from my goal time, which I have been working hard for. I puked half way through, which is a first for me in a race. I am embarassed. My mom thinks I am pregnant now (I’m not).
Anyway, I was upset earlier. But I am getting over it. How could I not? My family is here, and I am so happy to be with them. Sometimes, we have bad races. Bad days, fail a test, lose money, lose a job, make someone mad at us, get bad news. But you know what? There is still good in this life. I know there is so much worse that can happen than a bad race, which is why I am thinking now how silly I was to be upset at all. Life is too short to gt upset over something so trivial, especially if you are someone surrounded by so much love, like I am feeling today.
So don’t sweat the small stuff…and like the book says, “it’s all small stuff.” Well, most of it anyway.
The Annual Winter Wimp 4.4 miler in Hagaman, NY.
4th place female
In addition to running, I like to lift weights. Nothing crazy…about 3 times a week. I also love doing core workouts. And sometimes I need to run on the treadmill, due to weather, time restrictions, etc. So, I go to the gym.
This time of year, as you can imagine, the gym gets little bit crazy with resolution driven folks looking to get into shape for reasons ranging from long-term weight loss, to getting in shape for their first half marathon, to fitting into that bikini for spring break. I hear MANY of the “regulars” grumbling over the presence of the newbies; how they hate that they need to wait to use machines and that their coveted space in front of the mirrors is crowded. They also say things like “ugh…I can’t wait until things die down and all these people give up on their resolutions.” WHAT!!!?? Okay, I can’t say that I LOVE waiting to use a treadmill, but c’mon! I am so proud of these people, especially for the ones who are BRAVE enough to even come to the gym full of “regulars” scrutinizing them. Brave enough to show up, especially when they have a significant amount of weight to lose. Brave enough to take the first step. Brave enough to admit they need to do it for themselves.
I don’t want them to give up. I hope the gym stays this busy year round.
The days following Christmas always feel strange. The month of December is filled with so much excitement and cheer that when it’s all over, and then we reach that lull when it’s time to go back to work and time to just face the rest of winter…the only word I can describe it with is “blah.” The post-Christmas blahs. I did have a wonderful holiday filled with lots of love, giving and holiness, but now that it’s over I don’t know what to do with myself. However, this time of blahs just before the new year is a great time to reflect. Some people make resolutions, some don’t; but I think everyone hopes for the best in the year to come and thinks of things they would like to do differently for themselves. Like the Counting Crows said…”maybe this year will be better than the last.” I think we all sing that in our heads this time of year.
So I went for a run. It snowed like crazy the other night, so I am keeping to the road since the sidewalks are pretty haphazard. Many people seem to have had enough Christmas already; their trees rest like holiday corpses on top of the new snowbanks. It is one of those days where the snow seems to eat up all the sound. It makes me feel like I’m the only person left. The sound of my feet and breath are all I can hear, and then there are my thoughts..
Just before I left the house, I calculated my mileage for the year. With this run, the year 2012 - 1,755 miles. That is from my house in NY to Denver, CO. I know there are so many people who have gone much further in a year, but I’m pretty happy with that, especially since I managed them around a hernia surgery, wisdom tooth extraction, and a couple of vacations. In any event, while trotting through the salty streets, I got thinking that maybe I am silly for measuring my year in miles….but then again, maybe I’m not. Many people worry about how old they are or how much time they have left, but I think the best life lived is to count life in other ways. I have a sign in my house that has a quote that I love. It reads: “Count your blessings by smiles not tears, count your age by friends not years.” I’d like to add to that. My year in numbers.
This year I ran 1,755 miles. I ran in 8 races. I saw 7 friends that live too far away, but they are some of my very best friends. I celebrated 1 year of marriage to the love of my life. I had 2 wisdom teeth out. I spent 9 days in Maine. I finished my 3rd year of teaching and started my 4th. I also started my 2nd year of teaching physics. I was given my first niece. I could not run for 14 days recovering from hernia repair surgery. My mom has been 3 years cancer free. I took her to Cape Cod for 3 days. I put ~18,000 miles on my car, mostly commuting to a job I love. I took 3 classes. I could go on and on.
Now, I normally don’t make resolutions. But I am going to make this year better than the last, in numbers. Here goes.
I am going to make at least 1 phonecall, once a month, to a few of those friends that live far away. To a couple of them, I am going to try for once a week. I am going to celebrate a 2nd full year of happy marriage to my awesome husband, and begin a 3rd wonderful year. We are going to attempt to have our 1st child together, which may affect this next number…I am going to attempt to run 2,000 miles, unless a little bundle of joy comes along..then this number I will happily adjust. I going to try to be more kind and patient for 365 days…unless it’s a leap year…is it? I don’t know. I am going to try spinning twice a month. I am going to spend as many hours as possible with my adorable grandfather and my Saint of a mother. I am going to put good in every day, but do something extra charitable at least 2 times a month.
I am going to realize that every day may not be 100% good, but I can put good into every day.
Here’s to 2013! Make it COUNT :)
It’s a good thing I don’t do any Internet shopping for the holidays…my computer has been dysfunctional for about a month, and I wasn’t in much of a hurry to fix it; I’ll be honest. I do love certain things about the computer…the Internet for research, blogging as an outlet for ideas and feelings (I always tried keeping a diary, but my handwriting leaves something to be desired [I couldn’t read my own past writing..]), social networking for keeping in touch and sharing pictures of cute animals..But I can live without it! Thank God. Being a teacher I see how addicted so many kids are to the internet and social networks and their smart phones. It makes me a little sad. I feel lucky to have been a kid before all of this..to have played outside, rode my bike, built forts, played hide-and-seek, etc. When I talk about these things, my 11th graders look at me like I have 2 heads. They say they are “too old.” I specifically remember playing outside at 16! For goodness sake I still play outside! I love it! Sometimes I think I love running so much because it gives me a reason to do so. I feel like a little kid when I run in the rain, seeking out puddles, and returning home with mud splashed up my calves. But like I was saying, I did finally get it fixed obviously, and so here I am…back to contributing my little ramblings into the interwebs.
This time of year is just so busy, isn’t it?
Thanksgiving and Christmas make me a crazy woman. But in a good way. I go crazy putting together ways to make those I love happy during this wonderful season. On top of the holidays, November becomes particularly nutty for me because I swear, 80% of the people I love were born in this month. LOTS of birthdays….cakes, parties, gifts..I love celebrating these people, but before I know it, December is knocking saying..”only 25 days left to prepare, Jen! Get busy!”
I really enjoy Thanksgiving, yes for the food, but more for the way it makes people take a step back, and really think of what it is they are truly thankful for. I try to be this way all year, but there is something about the holiday that makes you want to share how grateful you are for whatever it is you are grateful for. I am so insanely thankful for the fact that my mom is still here with me, after having survived and beaten cancer, and after her major surgery this past September. I am also just as grateful that my father is here after surviving a heart attack in that very same month. And probably just as grateful still, that my grandfather is still here to celebrate another holiday with our family. I am grateful for my amazing husband, and for the strong bond we share and the memories we are making. I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends, and thankful to have a job that I love, and a set of legs and lungs that allow me to follow one of my greatest passions, running.
Speaking of running, since the marathon I have run 2 races. They went pretty well, but I have been working so hard, that I was hoping to be just a little bit faster. Here are the results.
The Great Sacandaga 10k road race: October 27th 2012. This race was COLD and windy. My first half of the race went very well, but the second half my splits were not great. I was well hydrated, so I did not take water. I was hoping to get sub-43 minutes, so I guess I can not complain. Also, my time wasn’t terrible considering I ran a marathon the week before. I think I was expecting more from myself than I could give here. The food after was so good! Kudos to Sport Island Pub on that. It was also great to see so many running friends at this race.
Time: 43:32, 7:00 pace
3rd place female of 42
1st place in females 20-29
The Cardiac Classic Thanksgiving 5k: Thanksgiving 2012. I have been training S hard for this race because I really wanted a sub-30 minute race. I was so close. I just didn’t have it left at the end for the decent kick that I needed. That is something I need to work on. I am going to try doing more 800 tempo runs.
Time 20:29, 6:37 pace.
11th place female of 867
5th place female 20 to 29 out of 229
I think my speed work is making a difference, but I’d like to see how much more I can push myself. I think I will be doing a lot of fast workouts this month around the shopping, baking, cooking, wrapping, decorating, attending church and visiting. Which is fine by me. I think I need a little break from the really long runs anyway. I am also okay with this, because as I am getting older, I am getting better at not overdoing it with holiday foods, and saying no to huge portions and seconds, and trying every kind of dessert.
I don’t have any road races planned, but hopefully I can manage the “race” of getting everything done in time for the holiday! :)
Here is a photo from the Empire State Marathon.
Yesterday I ran the Empire State Marathon in Syracuse, NY…and just like most races I run, at the end I was just wishing I had trusted myself to push harder. I really wanted to BQ, and at the end I had so much left..I wish I had jut distributed that energy during the race. Oh well; live and learn.
Race morning was chilly, but nothing unbearable. It was supposed to be a lot colder and rainy, but it warmed up and the sun was out the whole race! The weather men couldn’t have been any further off, unless they had predicted a major storm.
I actually hit my goal time of 3 hours and 40 minutes (3:40:39), and was either at pace or faster for every mile marker. I actually write my goal time for every 3 mile mark on my arm, and like I said I was at or below the goal time almost every time. At one point, I was about 8 minutes ahead of pace- and this is where I could kick myself- I SLOWED DOWN because I was afraid that if I kept that pace I would get worn down. I guess this is something you can’t predict until you’ve run lots of marathons. I wish I had kept that pace though, because like I mentioned, I felt I had quite a bit left at the end.
I took water and electrolyte every 3 miles, even after the first 3. I took gel at miles 9, 14, and 22 (CHOCOLATE…YUM). I actually felt great the whole race, when normally my stomach acts a little funny here and there. After the race, I still felt pretty good, my stomach just finally started to feel a little bit unhappy and so I wasn’t really in the mood to eat. So before leaving, I check out my results, which weren’t too shabby! And gave me somthing to shoot for, for next time.
17th female (of 228)
6th in my age group (of 27)
and 83rd overall (of 542…a lot of fast men ran, I guess!)
When all is said and done, I still can’t believe I can run a marathon, and still want to run another one in the future, and another after that. I feel so blessed for my lungs, heart and legs, and will to do it.
There’s the compression socks! And the pink bandana. Post race. Wiped.
Yesterday I ran in the Octoberfest half marathon in Peru, NY, and ran one of the best races of my life. It’s also nice to see some hard work pay off. In an earlier post, I mentioned how, for the sake of time, I tried running a little faster while on vacation, to get my miles in…well, I kept that up and..hello! It is paying off. I have been keeping speed in my weekly workouts and this race proves it!
My time was 1:41:10, on a pretty hilly course on an unusually cold day for October. Well, we were almost to Canada, but still; at 12 degree start time seems a bit unreasonable to me. Anyway, the first thing I was stoked about was the fact that I took quite a bit of time off of my time from the same race, last year. Last year, I ran a 1:47:45. The second thing I was excited about at the finish was my place! I was the second place female overall. Last year, I was the 13th place female overall. Finally, I won a Kindle Fire HD! How cool! I never win anything and I not great with technology, BUT I am excited to use it. I love to read so I am excited to try books on there. I am definitely more excited about my finish, though. Like I said, I love seeing my hard work pay off. I hope I can take even more time off next year.
The first couple of miles were, like I said, cold. I couldn’t feel my feet until maybe mile 3, but the adrenaline pushed me through that pretty easily. I kept a great pace most of the race, but slowed down a little bit at around mile 11 with a little crampy stomach, but managed to pushed through it. I did not take gel at all during the race, but took electrolyte drink at water stations 6, 8 and 10, and water at mile 9. I am happy with my hydration throughout the race. The hills actually were not that bad; that happens to be one of my strengths, since everywhere I have ever lived has been very hilly.
I tried something new this race; compression socks. I have to say, I love them. A friend of mine laughed at me for getting them (I splurged because after buying my new running shoes, I had a 30 dollar coupon at fleet feet, plus a 10 dollar coupon from a race I ran last year, so they were actually pretty cheap after that), but I think they really do work! My legs are not nearly as sore after racing when I wear them. The idea is that they help with circulation during and after running. I also feel less tired during long runs. I think the socks help, but maybe the speed is paying off even more than I thought?
Finally, when I run long distances, I run with a hanky. It’s pink, and I tuck it under the strap of my sports bra and it hangs out over my shoulder. It’s for wiping my nose/sweat, etc. During the race, a little girl in the crowd said “look daddy! Supergirl!” It was so cute, and then the other people near her, as well as the little girl, kept cheering for me as “super girl” whenever they saw me for the rest of the race. It made it even more of a wonderful experience for me.
All in all, a great race and a great day. My sister also came along to watch, and it was great spending some time with her.
Now, let’s just hope I can run just as well next week for the Empire State Marathon!
OMGoodness, I can’t stop eating cider doughnuts. I have been dreaming about them, on runs, at work, probably in my sleep. I am salivating as we speak, like one of Pavlov’s pups.
A friend came over to the house the other day, and during our visit, after first offering her some doughnuts of course (she declined), I proceeded to house maybe 3 of them. She said “pfftt. Must be nice to eat whatever you want, running all the time,” and as usual when I get comments like these, I just kind of said..”yeah I dunno; maybe,” and went on with the previous conversation. *I should note I probably would have eaten another doughnut, had she withheld her comment.* I wasn’t mad or anything, but I think people sometimes really believe that runners can just eat TONS of whatever kind of food they want, and that’s ok. I think this is also a big misconception for people beginning a running, or any time of fitness, regimen. Do I eat a lot? Kind of. But I almost never eat doughnuts. They are a fall treat. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies, mostly. Even people who log a lot of miles have to watch what they eat. It is okay to treat yourself once in a while. (My friend happened to catch me at a ‘treating myself’ moment. I hope she doesn’t think I eat like that all the time! Maybe I should have made that clear.) If you don’t treat yourself sometimes, I think all that denial makes you crazy and you end up thinking about food all of the time. And that will make you not happy. Treats also make it easier to be good most of the time! I will share with you my food philosophy. (I should also note, I am SO proud of my food philosophy; as someone who has had some food issues in the past. A talk for another day).
1. EAT BREAKFAST! I swear, some days B-fast is what gets me out of bed. My fave things to eat for breakfast are: cinnamon raisin toast, with peanut butter and a banana (by the way, I consider myself a cin/raisin bread connoisseur; more on this another day), omelets, or oatmeal with some kind of fruit ad nuts in it. If I am *treating myself* I LOVE French toast or a Belgian waffle with real maple syrup. And of course, coffee, with all of the above.
2. Snack #1: I usually have a snack mid-morning (this works for me, because I have breakfast usually between 4 and 5 am, and this snack gets me to lunch), and it usually consists of some plain yogurt, with some raw almonds and some thawed frozen or fresh berries.
3. Lunch: Lunch depends on how much I am running, and the time of year. In the spring, fall and summer, when I am running a lot, I usually have a turkey or tuna sandwich with a small salad, a few pieces of fruit, and/or veggies with hummus. Sometimes I will just have a magnificent salad with all kinds of things in it…beans, meat, cheese, etc. But over the winter, I will usually do a half sandwich and a cup of soup. I love to make a big pot of soup and use it for lunches during the week.
4. Snack #2: I usually have a piece of fruit before I leave work, a banana or a couple of clementines or an apple. This gets me through my commute and keeps me energized for a work out right after work.
5. Snack #3: This isn’t something I always do. It is usually after a workout. But sometimes I will have maybe an apple with some almond butter, or some apple sauce or some grapes or something once I get home, before cooking dinner. This helps me not to pick at what I am making for dinner!
6. Dinner: This varies. But I do try to have a dinner that consists mostly of lean meat and veggies. If we do have pasta or something starchy, I just make sure to have a pretty small portion. This isn’t because I am watching carbs or anything. I jus don’t feel great by bed time if I eat a ton of starch. Could I eat my body weight in macaroni? Yes. But I know I will regret it later. However, if you are striving for weight loss, then watching your carbs might be something worth looking into.
…..7. Snack #4????: Sometimes, yes. I will do another small snack after dinner, usually in the summer when I am running a lot. I like Popsicles, a handful of caramel rice cakes, more fruit, a handful of cheerios, etc.
I feel good when I eat like this, and as I said, I do eat more during the months when I am running more. For the most part, it’s healthy stuff. I do treat myself sometimes, like I mentioned with my cider doughnuts. I also like a piece of cake now and then, or a warm chocolate chip cookie with milk. I also love dark chocolate in any form, and ice cream! BUT, here is my absolute rule for treats: I never eat packaged crap. The truth is, I don’t even like it that much! Chips, packaged cookies, crackers, fruit snacks, etc. are all things I avoid. My thinking is “what if I eat these 10 oreos, and then someone invites me over for fresh baked cookies?” I would feel wayyyyyy too guilty afterward if I did oreos and fresh baked cookies. So, in my mind, I am always in a state of saving myself for something homemade or from someplace I really like to eat (mmmmm Panera bread.) Once you do this for a while, those foods aren’t even appetizing anymore. I used to love Chips Ahoy! soft choc. chip cookies…the ones in the red package, but now when I see them I’m like “meh.” They are full of yucky preservatives anyway. But hey, if oreos are your version of the cider doughnut, then by all means, save yourself for those! Like I said, treats make being good easier.
I’m hungry now. I am thinking it’s time for a snack. :)
Auntie Jen and Maddie