Sunday, January 1, 2012

Training: 4 Weeks to Go!

Despite the holidays, this week wasn't challenging, really, which makes me happy. I'm proud of myself with sticking with my schedule - on most trips, I bring my shoes and such, but leave them in the bottom of my suitcase and happily ignore them. I'm pretty proud that even the first morning I was here (and Christmas Eve no less!) I got up at 7 am to get out the door. My mom even commented on my dedication.
Sunday (Christmas Day): 4 miles
4.04  miles = 35:37 minutes = 8:48" pace
My 6-miler on Saturday was pretty easy and a good run, so I was hoping Sunday was just the same. It was a beautiful Christmas morning and I had enough time to get in my 4 miles before mass with the family. There was absolutely nothing special about this run, but managed to make it a quick one with some pretty decent timing!
Church with the family (which we always do Christmas Eve, so it was kind of strange being there Christmas morning), and then my dad's family always comes over for Christmas fun. It was in the mid-70s all afternoon, so we had a glorious Christmas dinner on the back patio! Only in Southern California, right? It always makes for some fun times! After Christmas at my house, Doug and I headed to his for a second round of dinner (man, good thing I kept up with my running!), presents, and games with some friends. It was a good Christmas.
A sunny, Southern California Christmas.
Merry Christmas!

Doug's first Christmas cracker crown -- our family dinner tradition!
Monday: Rest
Happily. Slept in, hit a few random stores with the entire family - I was surprised to see that, for the most part, the stores were quiet and not much was going on around town. It also helped we didn't head out until nearly 10 am, but it was so nice! After our few random errands, came home and chilled. We had family portraits (the whole mom's side of the family) because my grandmother is in from Hungary for the first time in a while - and we haven't had portraits done of this side since 1990! Can you believe it?
After portraits, we headed over to my aunt's house. This is only the second year we've done Christmas this way; Christmas Eve is at her house, and with the additional folks we've had over the last few years, we've made Christmas Eve a white elephant gift exchange, complete with theme and other silliness. So on the 26th, we all reconvene and share our gifts with each other over pizza and beer. Yum. Another busy, but fun day on this vacation!
Merry Christmas ... again!
Tuesday: 5 miles
5.12 miles = 45:35 minutes = 8:52" pace
I convinced my uncle to come out on this run with me; he's more the biker and gym type, but said he'd come along. It was colder than my other two morning runs so far, but was a lot like Athens so maybe it wasn't as terrible as I thought! We made a nice, large loop through the city and caught up on things, since I haven't seen him since last Christmas (he's been in China working). It was strange having a running partner; I'm so used to running by myself now that I got a little winded faster than I normally do just because we were talking so much. It's quite a change! I discovered I think I'm best when it's just me and my headphones, zoning out and focusing on where I'm going (no offense Lou!).
Wednesday: 3 miles
3.2 miles= 24:31 minutes = 7:53" pace
I agreed to meet Lou (again!) but at the gym this morning; it's a few miles down there, and since I only had to get in an easy three, I figured I'd just run down there. I was actually feeling not so great about this run, but kept chugging ahead - if only I had known I was only 5 seconds off of PRing! I felt sluggish, but apparently was charging ahead without even thinking about it! Good to know I can still do that every now and again!
Wednsday night Doug and I went to the pirate show! It's a lot like Medival Times, only well... pirates! His mom got it for us for Christmas just so we could get out and do something just the two of us. Super fun! Fabulous evening.

Thursday: Cross-train
I apparently hurt my back doing something at the gym on Wednesday; after running around with my mom, cousin, aunt, and grandma all morning, all I wanted was to lay down and lie still. I got home, laid down at 3 with a muscle relaxer, read until 4 or so. I eventually ate dinner, watched a little TV, and passed out around 6  pm... and woke up the next morning at 8. Yup, apparently I needed that. I actually sat up, wide awake, at 3:45 am, really confused as to what was going on beacuse it was dark all around me! Talk about confusion. Then happily passed back out until 8 the next morning - I think it was more than just the muscle relaxer talking.
Friday: Rest
Cross-train; 11-mile bicycle ride
My mom decided she wanted to go bike riding at the beach (a favorite of hers lately; I went once this summer). Since my dad and I couldn't find a place to go snowshoeing, as we wanted, we went along. My back was overall feeling a lot better this morning. It was supposed to be in the low 70s (perfect!), but of course was still foggy when we got down to Santa Monica in the morning. It turned out to be nice though, but a little on the chilly side with the fog still lingering. We rode all the way down from Santa Monica to Marina del Rey and back up, about 11 miles round trip. Nice day!
After the long, painful, traffic-ridden drive home and a nap, Doug and I went out to a local dueling piano bar up the street in Claremont, called Piano Piano. Some of my family has been before, but we never had so we figured we'd check it out! What a great time - I love dueling pianos! I only had two drinks, but was afraid I'd regret them with my run the next morning, but was quite okay. Anyway, Piano Piano is awesome and I am excited to go back sometime!
Saturday: 7 miles
7.08 miles = 1:05:55 minutes = 9:18" pace
The last thing I wanted to do this morning was get up and run. While it's not quite the last day of my vacation, it's sure starting to feel like it! All I wanted to do was stay under my pile of blankets and sleep. Well, I allowed myself to until 8:15 anyway. After a quick piece of toast and starting some laundry (it's free! Need to take advantage while I'm at the parents' house!), I headed out. The sun was already shining and it's set to be almost 80 degrees here today, so I'm actually glad I waited a little later this morning. My legs were a little heavy, but after getting in the groove around 3.5, I felt like I was finally moving at a good pace. I extended my long loop from Tuesday, but added in an extra two blocks, down near the other high school and back up near my alma mater towards the end. I appreciate this city for being flat. :) Unlike Athens! It was a good (not great) last run for 2011.
I officially broke 200 miles for 2011 (202.59 ran!); while this never was a goal, and considering I didn't get my butt really moving until October, I'm pretty excited about this! I will set a goal for 2012, just not totally sure what that'll be (guess I should figure that out).
Total miles for the week = 19.44. Longest to date!
Happy New Year!

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