chill out, Run!, Slacker

Embracing the Excuse

December has shaped up to be Slacker month.  I have decided to stop stressing about it and just enjoy it.  I hit my weight loss goal in January of 2013 and have stayed there for almost a year.   If the scale goes up a couple pounds in December, so be it.     I would rather spend the holidays enjoying time with family and friends than being the weird one who isn’t eating.  Besides I am having a hard enough time with the new stupid diet restrictions my doctor gave me, I am not going to stress about counting calories and pounds.  I am having troubles with my newest restrictions, some days I notice I eat hardly anything and other days way too much.  I am still tracking my food everyday (Lose It) but now it’s mostly so I can try to level it out and watch my nutrient intake.

That Slacker-ness has extended to running as well.  😦  My standard 3 days a week has become 2 days a week.  Ouch.  On the upside, my class finally finished and all final assignments have been turned in so I am hoping that will clear up some time for running.  I am aiming to finish 95% of my wrapping tonight as well.   I am going to attempt some last minute shopping tomorrow so I may have a few last minute items.   Fingers crossed, it is not totally insane tomorrow.

I did make it to the gym on Tuesday evening.    I was cranky and tired but my goal was to do 3 miles (very Slacker).  I went with the same cuckoo pattern that I had done last week.  For every mile, I walked 1:30, ran the middle at a steadier pace and then ran at 7 for the last .25 mile.   I also had the incline set at 2, yeah that probably should have been higher too.  L   Luckily, none of the TV’s had Monsters Inside Me on, and yes I checked before choosing a treadmill.   I chose one near the door so I could take advantage of the occasional cold air coming in.     I must have been good because I ran 10 minute miles for 3.5 miles.  Usually the treadmill feels like I am slogging and my pace reflects that.   I noticed that I had upped my middle steady pace, so I will aim for more of that in the future.

Today I worked, so it was up cold and early to head that way.   Of course I was stuck behind a car driving below the speed limit  but even with that delay I was still 25 minutes early.  I should have slept longer 😦   On Saturdays I work at a different location so sometimes I end feeling as useful as a bump on a log.  Other than that it was a good morning,   I drove home for some lunch and braving the Target crowds to get some essentials.  I also picked up some ingredients for a Crock Pot French toast recipe that I found on Pinterest.  Work is having a breakfast potluck on Christmas Eve.  This is amusing because I can barely boil water. 🙂

After all that the plan was to get in 5 miles.  However, my stomach was not keen on that plan, stupid diet.    I thought about waiting and going to the gym when I felt better but I knew I would not follow through.  I was also running out of daylight, so I sucked it up and went.  I was torn between going really, really slow or just hauling to get it over with quicker.  I also knew 5 miles was probably not going to happen.   My first mile came in at 10:23.   With that hill? When I run from my house, my first mile is always SLOW as I usually walk half of it.  So hearing 10:23, hot damn!

My future running partner!!
My future running partner!!

Maybe the incentive was that I knew my mom was out somewhere walking the puppy for her first long walk.  Success at 1.5 miles!!!  I pause Nike for some puppy time and then ran on.  I threw in some loops so I could meet up with them every mile.  It was great incentive to keep moving quickly 🙂  I finished at my driveway for 4.27 miles in 42 minutes, sweet!   But I was also glad I was done.

Now, I’ve spent too much time in the Comfy Chair, so it’s off to wrap presents.    I even have a little helper-

If she stops eating the paper that is...
If she stops eating the paper that is…

Anyone brave the chaos today?

Any races this weekend?

Race Day, Run!, Slacker

Running Ahead

When 2013 started I had a few running goals that I mostly kept to myself.   I knew I had at least 2 half marathons in the year to come and by City to Sea in October I was hoping to break 2:15:00.  That would be 11 minutes off City to Sea of 2012, so I was a little nervous.  I also wanted to break 30:00 for a 5K again, just to make sure that the first time wasn’t a fluke just because it was the HOB fun run.   I figured it may have just been the adrenaline stemming from the literally almost 100 people I knew there, it’s a very popular local event.  Most races, I only know 1 or 2 other people, less stress. 🙂  In 2013, I wanted to get over the horrible mental block I had with 10K’s, I had only run 1 but I hated it so much, it was 2 years before I ran another.  Give me half marathon any day.   I was also aiming for 12 races through out the year.

2013 also began with a promotion and job location change.  I now commuted every day.  On top of that, work was insanely busy.  We were going through a merger, so most days including the commute were over 12 hour days.  I wasn’t getting home until after 7, and then I was so tired I usually just crashed.   This went on for a few months.  Running took a backseat and I became a weekend runner.   😦   My first 2 races of the year were in that time period as well.  A 5K in February and the Wine Country 1/2 in March.

Also the last time I had my natural hair color, ha!!
Also the last time I had my natural hair color, ha!!

I went into Wine Country feeling seriously under trained.  I had run this half twice before so I knew the course well.  I was hoping to finish near 2:25:00, so only a minute faster than 2012’s City to Sea.  Then 3 minutes to the starting gun they announced a last minute course change.   The out and back portion would be shorter to accommodate adding a crazy hill at the end, at mile 12.4.  Seriously?!   I figured I would run as much as I could and walk when I needed to.  I won’t lie, I walked that entire damn hill and some after that, cursing in my head the whole way up.  The shocker was that I crossed the finish line at 2:14:04.  Ummm, how now?   I still have no idea where that came from.   I had to double check Nike, the official time and the starting clock, I was in disbelief.  But then I was like, what now?  I wasn’t sure I could get faster.  So in June, I started Slacker Runner (thanks for joining me!), partially to hold myself accountable and to find motivation in all your stories as well (which are amazing, by the way).  And to stop driving my coworkers crazy with running talk.

In June, I also ran my first 10K in 2 years and it didn’t suck!!!  In fact, I ran another in July and loved it.   As for 12 races, I ran in 11 events but 12 races.  I am not sure how to count that.  🙂   And I finished City to Sea Half in 2:05:56.  I had discovered this great path at a park in the town halfway between home and work.   It helped with sticking to my training plan and I think that helped with my overall pace. I can’t wait to get back to it in the spring!

So now we are heading into 2014 and where do I go from here?  I am putting my goals in writing this year, so let’s do this!

5K- Finish under 27:00

10K- Finish under 54:00

Half marathon- Break under 2:00:00 in the first half of the year. If I do– see how close I can get to 1:50:00 by City to the Sea 2014. (yikes!)

money

So, in order to do that I need races!!!!  I am debating joining the 14 in 2014 (but more on that later). I generally plan my races only a quarter ahead and most of the time it also comes down to finances 😦   So for the beginning of the year, I am thinking-

Feb 1- Super Fun Run 5K
Feb 15- Buzz 1/2 Marathon
March 23- Wine Country 1/2 marathon ( dang hill!!!)
April 27- SLO 1/2 Marathon

So now I need to get moving, get running!!!  That first 1/2 marathon is less than 2 months away.  Which is making me regret finishing my Christmas shopping tonight instead of running, oops.

To everyone who has their race year mapped out, you seriously impress me.

Anyone have a goal race in the first half of the year?

Everyone ready for Christmas?

Eat!, Run!, Slacker

~Christmas Parties and Randomness~

Happy Monday!!!!

Yesterday was our office Christmas party.   So we all put on our party duds and met at a local steakhouse.  For once I had the shorter drive, woo hoo!!  After some reservation confusion (if you have 3 locations but all phone lines ring the same place, you think they would ask where you wanted to eat!), we were finally seated.

I live less than 10 minutes from this particular restaurant but I don’t think I have been there in almost 20 years.  I was super excited when we chose to eat there because I have been craving a good Filet.  Even better when I don’t have to pay 🙂  There were 11 to our party and I was rockin’ the single life at the head of the table, ha!  Or was that the bottom? Hmmmmm.  Either way it was still a blast.  We started out by exchanging our secret Santa gifts.  Mine knew me pretty well, a Barnes & Noble gift card, sweet!

This restaurant is big on the real steakhouse, cowboy theme.   And the food was amazing.  There is no such thing as diet, when you eat here.  Every meal comes with beans, soups and salsa.  Then salad, garlic bread, rice pilaf and potato spuds.  Then you chose your entree.  It was then followed by desert of a root beer float or after dinner licqour.   Like I said, all included, so yummy.  I chose the Filet Mignon, with Shrimp Scampi on the side.  Up until that night I had never tried seafood.  And yes, I know exactly what facial expression you are making right now.   The Filet was amazing and the shrimp was, ehhh.  I ate one and passed the rest around the table.     Still not my thing but at least I tried it. 🙂   I topped everything off with a Root Beer float.  I can’t remember the last time I had one, and they are just as good as I remember.

After all that calorie loaded goodness, I really should have gone for a run tonight, but nah.  After a good day at work, I finished up the last bit of my final while watching a cheesy  Christmas movie.  It was filmed in my town, I had to watch!  Tomorrow, I have a date with the bore-mill, oops, sorry- the treadmill.

So I leave you with a little random-ness inspired by my morning commute and Christmas music.    Apologies in advance for the cheesiness.  Oh, and please no on sue me, I have no money, but you are more than welcome to all my bills!

Santa Sweetie

And some more festive pictures from Saturday-

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Anyone else Secret Santa’ing this year?

Any good Christmas parties?

Eat!, Run!, Slacker

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Normally I like Friday the 13th, and I can still say that even after my first car accident years ago that was on Friday the 13th.  But yesterday was rough.   It started out good, but then a very important piece of equipment broke.  Customers were stressed, I was stressed.  We called in a tech, then the back office, then the network provider and all 4 of us had a lovely little conference call trying to figure out what the heck went wrong and how to fix it.   This felt like it took forever but I think it was about an hour and a half.  We finally got it running but still have no idea why it went cuckoo.   😦  I’m saying trickster elves.

We’ve been running a toy and food drive since thanksgiving and look how amazing our customers are-

Look at all the toys!!!!
Look at all the toys!!!!

And this is the third time it has been emptied.   It’s been this awesome at all of our locations too. 🙂

Last week, my doctor suggested (ha!) a new diet to see if it helped.   I waited to start until this last Monday because I had good food in my fridge and cabinet that I refused to let go bad.  Like apples!  I will so miss those honeycrisp. 😦    I have been so hungry all week, and after the stress of yesterday, I just wanted pizza, so I picked one up on the way home.  🙂  Yummy.  And the ingredients are not on my bad list so I can lie to myself that way right?

Today was spent errand running with a little bit of Christmas shopping.  Prior to the shopping lunch was pizza again, but this time it was Red Brick, so totally acceptable. 🙂   After a little procrastinating of the presentation that I need to work on, it was over 60° so I went for a run.   I was slow (oops pizza) but it felt good.    I even threw in a couple of hills.   When I hit the bottom of my driveway, I was close to 5 miles so I did what us crazy runners do and ran another block and back.  Finished at 5.26.    While I was adding in that little bit extra, i ran passed a house that had an inflatable Santa in the yard.  There was also a girl with a bow and arrow.  No, Katniss, no!!!  Hehe, luckily the Santa was still standing on the return trip.

Tonight was a local holiday tradition, the Vine St Victorian Showcase.  It’s also always been a family tradition to go, but tonight it was just me and my mother.  We were able to walk there also, so yeah for extra miles.  Granted, these ones were a lot colder.  The street is blocked off, the houses are decorated, there are carolers and dancers and cotton candy, hot chocolate vendor’s, lots of fun.   So to finish out this post, here is what I saw tonight. Hope you enjoy them!

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This house is my favorite! I love how the ornaments float between the trees 🙂

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Any local or family traditions of your own?

Anyone else get a warmer day?

oops!, Run!, Slacker

Monsters and Miles

Tuesday’s gym plan did not happen.  😦  Turns out my group wanted a few corrections on the advertising plan, so I spent the evening reformatting again. And fighting the urge to chuck my computer across the room as it froze every 20 minutes.  But it was finally done.  I was able to walk it down to print shop today to get it bound.    My coworker, who is also in my class went to pick it up after work and they had done it wrong.  She was able to get it corrected fairly quickly, but still.  It was good thing she was one the picking it up because I may have lost it on the print guy.  Not sure if I would have started crying or yelling, though.

Yep! The lovely folks @ I Love to Run
Yep!
The lovely folks @ I Love to Run

Adding to yesterday’s chaos, I finally paid attention to my tire pressure warning light.   It has been coming on and off for the last few weeks and I had a done a pretty good job of ignoring it.  I did get air put in the left front one three times, but I finally had to admit that I probably had a nail.  As I was driving to work yesterday, the tire light was on and so was the frost warning.  It was 24° and part of my commute is down a narrow, windy, 2 lane road with a wall of hill on one side and a ravine on the other.  My overactive imagination struck yesterday and I was suddenly trying to figure out what I would do if my tire blew out.  Ok, stay calm, slow down and find the soonest place to pull off to the side.  But what if I jerked the wheel?  Right would send me into the hill that already had landslides on a daily basis, what would a car hitting it do?  Left would be like pulling a Thelma & Louise.  See?  Crazy imagination.  So after all that paranoid thought, I got to work and asked what a good repair shop would be.  One was super close, so I took my car over and walked back to work.   There was a nail, they took it out and fixed the hole and my car was good to go.  I walked back over to pick up my car, so some exercise!!  As I picked up my car, I looked at my passenger seat and laughed.  The day I take my car in and it looks like this- oops!!!  It looks like I live in it.

See gym bag? I really had planned on running.
See gym bag? I really had planned on running.

Other than the binding fiasco, today was a pretty good day.  I was dismissed from jury duty without having to appear and I remembered to get a picture of our work tree.   Plus plugging and unplugging all our lights is a pretty good little workout.  We have 13 strands of hung around the building and all the outlets are in the ceiling, so twice a day up and down, up and down.   Once I saw the completed project I was just done.  All energy left me and all I wanted to do was sit and maybe read.    But I had felt like a busted can of biscuits all day so I changed and drove home by way of the gym.

Only a little crooked :)
Only a little crooked 🙂

I hate the treadmill.  Those felt like the hardest 4 miles of my life.   I was tired and sluggish and to top it off, someone had that show “Monster Inside Me” on one of the tv’s.  Yuck!!!!  I kept trying not to look but it was like a magnet drawing me back.  I am probably going to have nightmares about the creepy larvae things.  Why would someone do that?   NikeC was busting out her own miles a few treadmills away and she couldn’t help being distracted by it as well.

Back to the miles, I walked 1:30 at the beginning of every mile, I was tired.   Then maintained average pace until the .8 mark and cranked it up to 7 for the last .2.  It was kind of funky but I felt like I was doing something.   Could only get my pace to 10:30 overall, though.   I swear I am slower on treadmills than outside.   😦  And I apparently started my Nike+ in the parking lot getting out of my car, so oops 🙂

Tomorrow I have to turn in the dang advertising plan and prepare for final presentations next week.  I am so ready for this class to be over.  I probably won’t get in any running until the weekend but its also supposed to 70° again, so woo hoo!!!

So tell me, am I the only one whose imagination goes into overdrive at times?

Does anyone like the treadmill? And if so, help!!!

Hope everyone is having a good week!