Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Recap

January itself was not an exciting month, really - it's when my training kicked into high gear, I took my longest runs in stride (and achieved more than I thought I would!), and got back in the groove of work after a great week at home for the holidays. So, without much else to say about a fairly lackluster month.... the recap!

  • Total run mileage: 78.16 miles (highest ever!)
  • Highest weekly run mileage: 24.51 miles
  •  # runs: 14
  •  # rest days: 14
  • Favorite run: I feel like I'm cheating because my favorite run and hardest run are the same - the half marathon this past weekend! Favorite run because it will totally stick out in my mind as the moment that I said, "Ok, I can do this!" And that's probably one of the greatest feelings ever; I'd like to live that forever. Yes please. Race report is linked below. :)
  • Hardest run: See above! It definitely tested my mental abilities - I didn't ever really think "I can't do this," but it definitely pushed me and made me work for it. 
  •  Current reads: Born to Run – started this a few weeks ago, and jumped right in. Have slacked lately, but what a read! I recommend checking it out!
  • Current obsession: Essie Shine of the Times polish! I bought this at home after Christmas, and somehow in my venture back to Georgia, it disappeared and I was rather devastated. I wanted to replace it all last month, but I just got it again (thank you pay day!). It’s beautiful – I’m currently wearing it over a dark, chocolate brown as the base and used the glitter as a purposefully-messy French mani. LOVE.
  • Current drink: Water. Always water – I’ve slacked this week with my water consumption, but trying to get back in the strong habit of my 3+ liters a day! Workin’ on it!
  • Current song: Still my inspiration song, "My Body" by Young the Giant. Beat and music is perfect, but the words are even perfect. Check out the song and lyrics if you haven't already.
  • Current need: A little extra sleep here and there would always be nice!
  • Current triumph: Finishing my first half marathon this past Sunday! A great way to start the year and a great way to end January, just enough to encourage me for the rest of the year! Check out my race report if you haven't already.
  • Current goal: I get to register for my next half, and will probably do that tomorrow – I’m looking at the Zooma Women’s Half Marathon on April 22. It’s only about an hour from me (aka. perfect) and I’m excited about the opportunity to do an all-women’s race.
  • Current indulgence: I had ice cream for the first time in what felt like forever tonight - actually, it was ice cream for dinner. Moose Tracks. A fabulous choice and I'm super duper happy with it!
  • Current excitement: Signing up for half #2, February's excitement (conference my students are hosting, a 10K here in Athens, bestie's bachelorette party in Phoenix!).
  • Upcoming races: the Taste of Athens 10K on February 18, and kicking off aforementioned bachelorette weekend with a 5K in Arizona (new run state #1 for the year!). Stoked for both! And looking forward to registering for more! Yep, I'm hooked.
February is bound to be busy, but great. In just a week and a half, the conference that my students put on will be here - I can hardly believe it. I feel like we were just starting the planning for it last week. I'm excited to see their work come to life, and to welcome 200+ students and advisors from all around Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina to UGA for the day. Yay! The weekend after is the Taste 10K, and I'm considering checking out the actual Taste of Athens event that Sunday. And the weekend after, the last weekend, is the Phoenix bachelorette party! Happy times ahead!

Happy February - can you believe it's here?!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Race Report: Callaway Gardens Half Marathon

I signed up for the Callaway Gardens Half Marathon way back in like, early November. I had a few weeks of semi-seriousness under my belt and knew once I put the money into the race, I'd kick it up a notch. I remember signing up and just thinking, "Okay! This is it! Here goes... well, nothing." And all of a sudden... it was here!

Thursday I headed out for one last run, a quick 5K. Afterward, I headed to DePalma's, a Italian place down the road. I had a gift card from Christmas to use and figured that was the perfect opportunity to pig out! Mmmm... a little awkward, being the only one in the whole restaurant that was there by yourself. Normally I don't mind, but I was a little self-conscious that day!

Tri-color penne & garlic bread. Deeeelish.
The weekend started amazingly productive - Friday night, I finished the bench, did my taxes, packed for the weekend, cleaned the whole house, and put away all my laundry. Surely a sign of good things to come? I also made one of those litte chip holders so I could use my Nike+ chip with my new shoes (I figured for less than $3 I could make my own and ran out of time anyway for ordering it off Amazon).

Saturday morning, however, was rough - all I wanted to do was sleep past 8 am! I was up at 8:30, finished packing and getting ready. I went out to drop off Molly at the boarding place where she prompted to pull me away just as I was putting my phone on the counter - yep, picture it. Needless to say, my phone screen was then beyond shattered and virtually unusable, as it wouldn't even register a finger swipe to unlock it. So off I went to the phone repair store, replaced the screen, prayed this was not a sign of things to come, and headed down to Atlanta.
I went down with Heather (who was running her first 5K ever!) and Katherine (a very, very experienced runner who was running the 5K with HP) on Saturday early afternoon. Callaway Gardens is in Pine Mountain, which is about an hour and a half southwest of Atlanta, almost near the Alabama border. It's an absolutely gorgeous area, full of pine trees and greenery, even in the dead of winter. I was excited, knowing that surely a race through a south Georgia botanical garden was going to be stunning.

We went straight to Callaway Gardens before the hotel so we could get checked into our races - there was just a giant circus tent set up. Having no idea what to expect, I thought  "Sweet! Semi-real expo!"... wrong. There were two or three vendors, in addition to the race check-in tables and chip distribution.
I did like, however, that the circus tent was decked out in twinkling lights!
Robin Lake at Callaway Gardens. Beautiful.
Get it? ;)
 After checking in to our races, we made way to LaGrange, where we were staying. Rooms on property were like $100, but we had ourselves a good deal at the Hampton Inn out in LaGrange. It was 16  miles or so from Callaway, but well worth our time, and really hardly a twenty-minute drive. After checking in around 5, we went to downtown LaGrange to find something for dinner. We found the adorable downtown area, typical small-town main street with some cute stores and restaurants. We at the Brickhouse Grille, super cute Applebees-esque restaurant with some delicious grub! Afterwards, we walked around downtown a little bit, found the main square and this gorgeous fountain.                                              
 And then... it was back to the hotel and nearly bed time! We settled in, got our race day outfits ready to go (you know you're girls when you bring 3 or 4 options!), and settled in for some reading (kind of) and got hooked on a Locked Up: Raw marathon (fascinating stuff!). We settled for bed around 10, with a bright 'n early alarm set for 5:45 am (and 6, for the real okay-it's-time-to-get-up call).

Race day! I guess I have a recent affinity for lime green - shoes, headphones, tshirt, back up socks...
As if I could forget!
Once we were up and going in the morning, I was a bundle of nerves. Got dressed silently, paced a little, sat some more... ate my breakfast peanut butter half-sandwich and banana and half a bag of my Jelly Belly sport beans. Around 6:30, we headed out to Callaway. It was bitterly cold this morning - somewhere around 37 degrees when we got out to the car! Brrr. The high was mid-60s that day, but we definintely weren't getting it that morning! We sat in the car in the heat for awhile and realized at 7:30 that we needed to let our bodies adapt to the cool weather before we all took off. Heather and Katherine's 5K began at 7:50 and my race kicked off at 8.
Heather and Katherine before heading out into the bitter cold.
Sorority sister and virtual running buddy. :)

All three of us!
 After warming up in the circus tent for a little, we headed out - I went out to see Heather and Katherine off for their race, and then headed back inside for a last few minutes of warmth and a few announcements from the race director. Fun fact #1: Callaway Gardens doesn't allow portapotties on property, so if you had to pee mid-race, you could either find a few bushes or wait until you found a building and hoped it was a restroom (they weren't marked).
Heather's ready to go! Go HP!
Getting started with the actual race so there's a point to this entry!:
- Mile 1: was definitely finding my groove and letting it sink it that I was actually on my way to doing what I set out to do in November. Holy crap, I'm here! I just let myself take it all in for awhile, looked around as I was runnning, couldn't decided if I was already warm or cold and if my feet were about to fall off yet (they were partially frozen).
- Mile 2: I finally got into what I felt like was a good pace and letting myself settle in. My feet were thawing out and I was getting into the mindset of getting ready for another good, long run.
Golf courses in the heart of Callaway Gardens. So pretty. This is around Mile 2... I didn't take any other pictures just so I could focus! Isn't it pretty?
- Mile 3-5: are really kind of blurry. They weren't anything special, but not terrible, and started going through some of the forests and real gardens in the whole park. The funny part was that Callaway does a Festival in Lights, so some of the wire angels and doves were still hanging in trees and we got to run through the huge drive-through wreath - maybe they keep this stuff up all year round! But it was strange running through a wreath at the end of January. Anyhow, these miles were pretty lackluster otherwise and nothing too special - aside from around mile 3 where we near the border of the park and people were parked on the side of the road cheering! It was around mile 5 (maybe 6), that a marathoner started chasing with me - he'd catch up and pass, then I'd catch up and pass, and back and forth. I learned that his pattern was running a mile, walking 30 seconds, running a mile and so on - so I played tag on and off with him through most of the 5-9 ranges. I later learned he had a name (Daniel) and was running his first full marathon ever.
- Mile 6: As forewarned by the RD, Mile 6 brought about a few hills ("it'll test ya, but it won't kill ya"). Sure enough, right around the beginning of mile 6, those rolling hills came in. I took it upon myself to take my first walk brake (proud I made it to 6!) and take in some Jelly Bellys and water at the aid station, and slowly made the trek up and down the hills. Whew! RD wasn't kidding.
- Mile 7-8: I had just hit the Mile 7 marker when the leading marathoner double-backed (holy cow!). I was smack in the middle of these rolling hills, just direly waiting for the turnaround - this is definitely where the run was hitting me. Marathoner after marathoner passed, and somewhere in the 7.75 range the first halfers were coming back, I knew I was almost there! The double-back was just about mile 8 and I beamed, knowing I was more than halfway there! Excitement!
- Mile 9-10: Again, nothing super special about these. Daniel and I started playing tag again - I had passed him for a bit just after mile 10 and he had finally caught up. We talked about running goals (mine? 2:20. His? Just to finish; "if you run so quick you can't enjoy it, what's the point?" Brilliant! Haha), running documentaries he watches before every race for inspiration, and how brutal those 6-9 mile hills were. And lo and behold, before I knew it, we were near the 11-mile marker.
- Miles 11-12:  It was around the 11 marker than my left hip actually started hurting - a new sensation, given that I was only used to my knees hurting before. Just after Mile 10, we turned off the roadway of the park to the walking/biking trails where it was a little more meant for 2 people running side-by-side instead of 4 or 5 across; I liked the thinner trails better, it allowed for a little more me time as I began to process the fact that I was almost done. Almost done, oh my god! Daniel and I met up again about Mile 12; I was just about at 2:08 and realized I was more than likely bound to making my 2:20 goal! We took off on a good pace, after I stopped for a few seconds to stretch and make sure my hips wouldn't kill me toward the end.
- Mile 13: I was there! About 12.8 or so, Katherine had run the back end of the trail to see where I was and meet up with me for my last stretch - her and Heather had been watching their watches, knowing what my goal was, and keeping a close eye out. Loved Katherine for coming back for me! We talked about her and Heather's 5K, did Heather make her goal (37:30 -- they did! 36:19), how was I feeling, and how freaking much farther did I have to go? ("Up the slight incline, down the hill, around the turn, you're there!" Coming down the incline, I told Katherine that once I was down the hill, I'd sprint to the finish (a solid 70 yards), in true soccer player fashion. And boy did I take off!

I'm in the lime - sprint to the finish.
Sprint to the finish, realized I did it - commence half-wheezing, half-crying! Heather came and found me, screamed that she was proud of me, where I continued to half-cry, half-wheeze in her arms. What a feeling! I DID IT! I walked maybe .7 miles of the whole thing, maybe, and I just finished my half marathon. Hells yes. Grabbed my medal, stopped crying, and headed to the circus tent for cookies and a banana. Times had started being printed, but it was such a cluster of chaos that I didn't really have the patience to wait - as I said, I'd wait in suspense until they posted times. My phone read 2:20:14 - I knew I was close by chip time, if I had made my 2:20 goal, I knew it'd be cutting it close.

I did it! Happy half-marathoner!
I stretched for a little bit (hips were still sore), and got excited when I remembered our IHOP plan - oh yes! Straight to the pancake house for a feast, yes please.                                      
Breakfast of champi -- wait, half-marathoners! Yum.
And then we drove back to Atlanta and called it a weekend (only after cheering on Heather at kickball). I made my way back to Athens, picked up the puppy dog from the boarder's, and hit the couch for the evening - perfect.

Race results posted today and I am excited to say I MADE MY GOAL! 
Read that, oh yes! 2:19:52 - told you I'd cut it close! 8 seconds to spare, but I made that goal! So excited! I finished 278th overall of 423, which I would consider not too shabby! Holy moly - I did it. I'm a half-marathoner, I did my race, I ran 95% of it, I finished strong, I made my goal, I did it. I did it. Those words are so great to see in print and to be able to say aloud: "I did it."

On to the next one. Yep, I'm hooked.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Imagine the Impossibilities Challenge: It's Done!

The final post is here - yay! Almost a month ago, I joined the Imagine the Impossibilities challenge. It was a push, and encouragement, to take on a project that challenged you, that either you've always wanted to do, put off for awhile, or that you were ready to jump into. This baby definitely took me a few weeks - a lot longer than expected - and certainly challenged my patience, motivation, and apparent upholstery skills. Check out the progress here: the beginning & the update. Below you'll find a fun photo trail of all the craziness that this bench became - fun times! I learned a lot (I should own a staple gun, I should take an upholstery class maybe, staple gunning is quite an arm workout, and piping is not easy without a sewing machine).

Heeeere we go!
In the beginning...

As far as I got on Day 1. I mean, she took FOUR hours to strip!

But oh! Those legs! Aren't they gorgeous?

Anotheer lesson learned: I probably shouldn't have done the seat first. True story. But it was easiest, in mny defense, and I wanted to be sure I could actually do the whole thing!
I'm thankful that as I've taken on these random upholstery projects that I learned to take apart pieces and use the old fabric as your pattern - genius.
I learned why white sewing pencils came in handy...
And am not ashamed that I started all the piping processes with a glue gun. It IS still my best friend, after all.
If you look at the update entry (see above), I hand-sewed the pieces that drape the arm (three separate pieces, including the piping) and the panels that cover the long length underneath the seats. That part definitely took me the longest, because I was so overwhelmed and intimidated by this project, that I worked on them for almost two weeks! Whew.

So as I came to the end of this baby, I decided I was over the piping - the black was just boring to look at, I kind of messed up the seams at the corners, otherwise I wouldn't have done the corner piping at all. But then I found scraps of the headboard I had made and decided that would be a little fun flair to add, and to boot, I could use that to wrap the corners without doing piping also! Win! What do you think?
I'm pretty happy with how these corners turned out. What do you think?
And so you don't have to scroll back up to the top... here you have the before and after of this very, very tedious but oh so lovely project!

Black, faded, boring, and torn... to white, glossy, black and floral patterned!

PS. Once I finish re-arranging my bedroom, and therefore have room for this beauty at the foot of my bed,
I'll post another photo! Excited!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Imagine the Impossibilities Challenge: Update!

A few weeks ago I joined the ultimate push-me challenge, hosted by a few lovely ladies. My entry was this; the bench I picked up before heading back to California for Christmas. I knew I would get to it in the new year, but also knew that I had a lot of work coming at me.

While I did that footstool a few months ago (not challenging), I knew this baby would be a little on the complicated side for two reasons: one, look at all that piping! And two, just look at the arms - this wasn't gonna be a fold-the-fabric-under-and-staple-it-there kinda piece. I learned that mostly as I was stripping the dang thing!

So here I am, a few weeks (two weeks, to be precise) after stripping it and am finally near the end - I know, I missed the middle update but that's too bad. A few photos to show where I'm at!

Many thanks to the person that last covered this piece, who used some cord pieces to actually create the piping. Made my handiwork so much easier!
I hot glued the ends of each cord to hold in place before I sewed the tube closed for each piece.
The bulk of this weekend's work - the arms! Three pieces each, hand sewn. Yep, I was hating myself right about now.
But LOOK! This isn't even on the bench, this is just sitting on my couch.
The last photo, of course, is after I covered the one arm. The corners that currently have the staples showing will be done over with piping. So there you have it - one arm done, one to go, and the two last flat panels that are under each arm. If I stick to it, she'll be done sometime this week! I've got my race this weekend, so I want her done before I leave!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Training: ONE WEEK!

This week was a little off - I hate this pattern that I've developed, one really great week and then an off week and then another great week... what a vicious cycle! After last Saturday's 12-miler (and despite not being able to walk comfortably the rest of the day), I was on a total high from being able to actually accomplish that long of a run!

Sunday: 5 miles
Yep, I was still hobbling a little bit on Sunday so I allowed myself a rest day, even though in comparison the 5 was "short." The day itself, however, was anything but restful. The student organiation I advise, the Leadership Resource Team, held their retreat all day long! It was awesome - got to do a few team builders with them, a few ice breakers, and had some good conversations with a lot of them. It definitely started to fill the void that I thought I had with these students - missed having close connections and though it took unfortunately til January to get there, I think it's on the way. Happy start to the semester! After the retreat, we took a break for a bit and then went bowling as a close to the day. Crappiest bowling games ever, but I learned that I can apparently bowl pretty decently left-handed (who knew?!). I'm also playing host to Flat Stanley for a little bit, so he hung out with us at the retreat and went bowling too! Fun times.
Playing Minefield... always one of my favorites!

Monday: Rest
Sadly... I took another day. We had Monday off from work, being the MLK holiday and all, and again I slept in, putzed around, and worked on a friend's bachelorette invitations (I am SO excited about them! But I can't show them off yet... she has to wait until they show up in the mail) nearly all day. Late in the day, I ran with a friend to a few places around town - Sears, to use the last of a gift card where I got a new tank top (debating on making it my race-day outfit) and fleece pull-over, perfect for running (especially with all this dang rain!).

We ended the day with a trip to Silver Lining, a local cupcake bakery around here - always a win!

Cupcakes! Orange Creme and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Mmm...
Tuesday: 4 miles
4.02 miles = 33:28 minutes = 8:20" pace
I managed to roll out of bed in the morning and get up before work to squeeze this run in - it was cold and on-and-off storming pretty much all week. This was a really nice morning, though, cool but not freezing, and I happliy breezed through this run! Check out that pace! I was pretty thrilled.

Tuesday I came home from work to two awesome pieces of mail! I just love mail - especially in the form of packages sitting on my front porch. First piece, my passport! I seriously have been working on getting this sucker done for a year (my photos were from January 2011) and finally got my act together and got the application process done - and my passport showed up in only 12 days! The family and I are headed on a cruise in June as a belated graduation present for my little sister (we did Hawaii when I graduated and we've talked about a cruise forever), I was just the slacker in getting my passport done. Mission accomplished.

The second piece of exciting mail was these:

Aren't they pretty? :)
Yay, new running shoes! I tried these on two weeks ago when I went to our local running store and gave 'em a spin. They're so light (only 6.7 ounces) - they're minimalists, which are designed to help me land more centered on my foot (I learned a lot about my steps, pronation or lack there of on my right side, and my gait) and will hopefully also ease the pressure on my right side because I over-compensate for the strain my left knee has endured the last few years with the surgeries. So, I'm pretty excited to check these out!

Wednesday: 4 miles
3.23 miles = 32:25 minutes = 10:01" pace
I rolled out of bed again early to take the new shoes for a ride - they're definitely going to be interesting to get used to, especially given that my Nikes are a tad heavier and have a lot less of an arch than these new Sauconys. The challenge also is that I need to order a new Nike+ chip, for one, and two, I need to order one of those chip holders than can go into my laces on the new ones - so, for this morning, I used the Nike+ GPS app instead of the regular Nike+ app like I usually do. Either the GPS is slower and doesn't follow my stride as well, or Nike+ lies to me - I prefer thinking the GPS is slower. This was my normal quick 5K route down the main road by my house, and I feel that I was definitely pushing at more than a 10-minute pace! Oh well... we'll see how we adjusted to each other. :)

Thursday: Cross-train
You know... why start cross-training now? I need to add to my Imagine the Impossibilities challenge and go get my butt to the campus rec center and get signed up for my membership already. Fail.

My next half marathon is planned for April 22, so after a few days of recuperating from next week's race (ONE WEEK! EEEEK!), I'm going to go. I mean it. I'm curious to see how not cross-training differs from actually incorporating cross-training into a training cycle, so I know I need to make this happen for real, and soon.

Friday: Rest
Yep, done. Nothing exciting else happened this week - although, I did get started on Read #1 of the goal to read 30 this year. Thanks to Jeff and Amma, I picked up two running-related books off Amazon for super cheap (only $3 for the hard-cover!); I took the bus twice this week and had my nose in Born to Run for both whole rides to campus and back, so I'm almost done.

It's a really interesting read and if you have the chance to grab it, I would. I can't wait to crack open the other book - it's currently just looking pretty on my nightstand. The other read recommendations on my list aren't running theme, but I thought these two would be an appropriate start, given that my race is coming up soon. It's good extra motivation! :)

Saturday: 6-7 miles
Rained Out!
Saturday, nearly all day, the skies opened and all hell broke loose. If it wasn't raining, it was pouring, and if it wasn't pouring, it looked like it would start again any second. So... I called it a day. The last thing I need to do is go run in the rain, and end up getting sick the week before the race. That would be my luck, right?

Instead, Molly and I went and met our new vet, since I hadn't actually established one here yet, and she needed her yearly check up and a few shots since I'm boarding her next weekend while I'm down at the race. Molly hates the vet, and this turned out to be no different, but she did quite well considered she had to be pricked like four times to get blood drawn, poor girl! What a trooper. We came home after that and lounged around most of the day.

I did get a lot done, however, with my January challenge - check out the photos below. This bench has been a real piece of work!

Before sewing.. yes, I did these suckers by hand...

One arm done!
There's a whole post to come soon, as I'm hoping I can get this baby done today! Wish me luck! Hopefully you'll see a whole post tomorrow about the final product because I'm finally getting excited about it again and hope she turns out as well as I think she will in my head!

Weekly mileage was terrible this week, but I need to really use this week to maintain my progress (hoping for at least three 4- or 5-milers) and then... RACE DAY!

Hope y'all have a great week! I know I will - I'm getting excited (and nervous!). Have a great week y'all!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Training: TWO Weeks to Go!

Sunday: 4 miles
4.97 miles = 49:49 minutes = 10:01"
It was supposed to rain all last weekend and while it drizzled on and off, no real rain came. So I figured before the sun set on Sunday (I hate winter for the sole fact that it's dark at 5:30!), Molly and I would go run the 2 miles to the dog park, let her play for a little while, and run the rest of the 2 miles home. So we set out, at a decent pace, and made on our way. And then it started to sprinkle - and, right about the time we reached the dog park, all hell broke loose and the skies just exploded on the two of us. I will note, that as much as Molly likes water, she hates rain. HATES rain, always has! So I felt particularly bad for her when I forced her to keep going and the rain just kept coming. We were at about mile 4 (almost home!), when the rain slowed up and so did we... thankfully, it only drizzled until we reached our front door. We were utterly soaked - Molly drenched, my shoes were walking mops. Fun times, and an interesting way to start the week!

Monday: Rest
After Sunday evening's adventure, I did happily! Monday was the start of classes for our students, so that also brought some life back into our office finally. Happy day! Now, part of my financial wellness plan for 2012 is to be smart and conscious about my gas usage, so like I did when I first moved here, I'm making more of an effort to take the bus to campus a few times a week (goal is 3); the only downside is that the ride home takes nearly 45 minutes, so by the time I'm home, I'm just utterly exhausted. Oh well, sacrifices!

Tuesday: 5 miles
5.05 miles = 46.25 minutes = 9:11" pace
I'm still struggling with getting back up in the mornings to get these runs in and it's getting a little frustrating, especially with the great progress I was on! Oh well, I figure that as long as I'm still making my runs, that counts for something, right? Right. So this run was after work, on an actually beautiful evening (it's been on-and-off storming all week, so it was a pleasant change). Nothing special about this run, happy with my pace even though I felt like I was dragging along.

Wednesday: 5 miles
2.41 miles = 19:32 minutes = 8:06" pace
I finally got my butt up this morning to run - it was in the forecast to be storming all day (from the middle of the night and forward) and it wasn't raining when I woke up, but darker than dark! I figured I'd try and take advantage of an apparent lack of weather (it was cloudy) and try and get my miles in. I hit 2 miles, almost to my turnaround point, and it started to rain. Not heavy, but thruthfully enough to scare me off, once I looked up and saw dark clouds rolling in. So I high-tailed it home and truly, not more than a minute after I closed the front door behind me, it just started pouring. So... happy day, I was home. And dry, unlike Sunday. Sad day that I didn't get the miles in, but such is life.

Wednesday was exciting because I got to order new shoes, many thanks to the boyfriend, who decided to offer them as an anniversary present of sorts. I'm so excited! I tried these on last week when I did my shoe fitting, and I loved them - they're crazy light and I'm really excited to get them this week and take them for a spin. Aren't they pretty?

Can't wait to get them in this week!

Thursday: Cross-train
Haha! Still not on the cross-training train. Working on it, and hoping to get my campus rec membership this week so I can start getting back into some weight training and maybe some group exercises classes. At this point in this training cycle though, cross-training is pretty much already non-existent, so why start now? In my grandiose plans of running the Publix Half on March 18 (and now I'd really like to run the Zooma Women's Half on April 22), so maybe at that point I'll be incorporating cross-training finally into my plans!

Friday: Rest
No problem - I'll take a rest any day! After a busy and productive week at work with the students back, I was very happy to take an evening to myself. I very happily carbed up for my Saturday morning run (lasagna, garlic bread and my weakness lately, Little Debbies... aaaaagh!) and laid on the couch for a night of TV with the pupster. Glorious! I fell asleep on the couch somewhere around 10 and woke up and got to bed around 11. I planned to get up around 9 and get out the door before 10 (it was so freaking cold!), with the hopes that it would be at least 32 degrees when I left. So anyway, got to bed a little late but gave myself a little permnission to sleep in before my run.

Happy Friday!
Saturday: 12 miles
12.08 miles = 1:48:37 minutes = 8:59" pace
I must admit that when I first got up this morning - mind you, my alarm was set for 9 am, and I was wide awake at 7:30 but laid there for another 90 minutes - the last thing I felt like going to do was running 12 miles. The LAST thing. Molly was trying to get me up to go outside, so at 9 I finally hauled myself up, tossed an English muffin into the toaster, and took the pup outside. Got dressed and psyched up for a 12-mile run in 30 degree weather - running tights, shorts, tshirt, jacket, gloves and ear muffs. Brrr!

Like last week, I took along that damned water bottle and another baggie of Jelly Belly sport beans. I jumped off to my start, and started jogging - here's my problem. I always think I'm jogging along so slowly and then do an 8:37 for my first mile. Go figure! This run wasn't as tough mentally as the ten miles were last week; this run only ended up being physically challenging around mile 10 when my knee started throbbing pretty good. But I powered on.

I was really proud that I actually ran striaght through to mile 6 - I haven't done that in a good long while so was excited when I made it that far... and realized I still had energy to keep running along. I had planned to use my Jelly Bellys at miles 4 and 8, to hopefully be able to get me through each third of the run. Seemed to work, as I felt thoroughly energized through Mile 8. Success! My splits, up until mile 4, were all under 9, and then averaged a 9:15"ish pace through mile 12. Pacing, I tell ya, it's over-rated! :)

I mean, really, all I can say about this run is that I DID IT. I really didn't have doubt, I just woke up not wanting to run, but oh my god! I did it! And actually ran 98% of the entire thing - in total, I'd say (truthfully) that I walked 0.6 miles of the entire damn thing. Amazing. I did it! My knees are a little sore, but a good stretch session after a long hot shower, and some ice treatments later today are in my future!

Eggs, bacon, English muffin, pears, orange juice! Amazing.
Came home, showered, made myself an amazingly delicious breakfast, and am still settled on the couch. So much for a productive Saturday. Oops.

Total week miles: 24.51
Best yet!