Sunday, December 31, 2017

Monday Musings 1/1

Holy cow!  It's 2018!  How has everyone's holiday been?  I did have to work this past Thursday and Friday, but I went right into a 3-day weekend.  I like this pattern of having breaks in December.  I had scheduled the Friday before Christmas off, and then the Wednesday after, but I had some extra time due to being sick!

Here are the highlights, otherwise the post will be way too long:

* I started my time off sick.  I was physically sick at work Wednesday, and went home to finish the work day from my couch.  Allie didn't understand why I couldn't snuggle.  She loves to sprawl on my stomach, which was a no-no that day.

* I worked from home Thursday morning during a snowstorm.  My boss said to make sure to take time to rest that day so I would have a good holiday.  I headed up to my parents house a little early, with Dad driving.  He was in town to get the Christmas roast and desserts.  Since we headed up early, we missed the accident on I-70 that happened during rush hour.  Small blessings for being sick.  Allie had had enough of the drive when we hit Winter Park, and started letting us know exactly how she felt.  Loudly.

* I felt better Friday, and my mom and I watched While You Were Sleeping.  I also huffed and puffed my way through a stationary bike workout.  The altitude is real up there!

* It snowed all. day. long. Saturday.  I did my one and only strength workout with Pure Barre at home.  I did see the fox though.  She was hunting for food in the "back yard".

* My parents and I went to see Star Wars Christmas Eve day.  After the big storm Saturday, we needed to do something away from the house.  While I enjoyed the movie, I thought 2.5 hours was too long.  I kept expecting it to go to credits, but it kept going.

* We played Rudolph Monopoly Christmas Eve after dinner.  I ended up with 2 monopolies, and I put stables on a pack of 3.  Then my dad landed on one of those spaces and I wiped him out.  I don't know if I won, but we ended the game after that.

* Christmas day was just a veg type day.  Santa did good work, and I got both running and non-running gifts. 

* Tuesday was the last day I was at my parents' house.  My mom and I got out for errands, but I still had plenty of time to veg.  I veg a lot at their place.  It's nice to get away from everything and shut my brain off.

* Wednesday they drove Allie and me back home, and then us humans met my grandfather for lunch.  We found a good place in Golden, and I got leftovers so I could have lunch at work Thursday.

Thursday and Friday were back to reality.  It's always hard to get back into the groove after vacation.  The longer the vacation, the more cranky I am.

She approves of my new fleece throw
The last few days have been really cold, so I've stayed inside and enjoyed kitty snuggles.  She's a pretty good thermometer when it comes to cold.  The colder it is, the more snuggles she wants.  In between I've been on the treadmill, or doing Pure Barre.  Now that I have a 2018 planner, I can sit down and plan out my training from Bay to Breakers.  Let's hope 2018 is a good year :)

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

My Year 2017

I can't believe this is the last Tuesday in 2017.  Wait, what?

This has been a crazy year for sure, with ups and downs.  Unfortunately, it started with a down when my grandmother passed away New Year's Day.  Apparently it's common after the holidays, and my grandmother held on as long as her health could.  She got to see me move up here, and my cousin proposed to his long-time girlfriend.  She must have known it was time.

I adjusted to a new state, new job, new everything really.  My mom and I did a girls' weekend in February, which consisted of dinner and a movie (Hidden Figures), and then a cooking class at Sur la Table, for French cooking.  Then we went home to watch Moana and drink some sparkling wine.  That's my kind of weekend :)

I realized too there was so much more to do here, for my runner's heart.  I got to meet Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn.

I also got to meet Cary Elwes in April.  OMG, the Man in Black!

I got to experience how crazy Colorado springs are.  I lost some running days to the snow, but I still had a blast running the Bolder Boulder.

The summer was downtime, working on what my chiropractor wanted me to get better at.  For the first time in 8 years, I didn't want to melt every time I walked outside.  The summer weather wasn't bad at all!  I even ran outside a couple times during lunch to take advantage of some good weather.

The one down from the summer is I had my first panic attack.  I was under a lot of stress at work, and it just exploded one morning.  That wasn't fun.

At the end of August, I had a color run 5k, which I did with my mom, and then the next week I kicked off training for the RnR Las Vegas 10k.

The fall has been crazy busy.  I got promoted at work, which has lead to some *lovely* stress symptoms as I put pressure on myself to succeed.  My cousin got married at Folsom, I had a great round of training for Vegas, and I set a PR in that race.

After I got back from Vegas it was Thanksgiving, and now Christmas is over.  Whew!  I do hope 2018 is a little slower.  I already have my next race planned, but I haven't figured out when training kicks off.  I'm using the same plan I used for RnR Las Vegas, and I'm adding a couple more weeks so I can hit 7 miles in training.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

That One Song

After having an interesting commute trying to get home yesterday, I was beyond frustrated.  I'm stressed out at work, and having my main road at a stand-still yesterday meant I had to turn around and go a couple miles out of my way to get to the back door into my neighborhood, meant I was fed up.

I already knew I wanted to run, and I needed to run.  Not far, but I needed that one song I use when I'm PO'd.

The guitars, drums, lyrics, etc make this the perfect song to work out my stress.  I even blast this in the car after one of those days at work.  Thankfully, I haven't done that since Texas.

Anybody else have a song like this?  When it's the only song that will start unwinding you after a completely, beyond frustrating day?

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Monday Musings 12/18

Happy Monday, and I only work 4 days this week!  I'm taking Friday off, and I have extra days off after Christmas too.

The big news from the weekend is I finally committed to a race.  If y'all follow me on IG, I posted the registration confirmation.  I've chosen the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco.  I'm going to have to do some serious hill work since we go up the Hayes Street Hill.  5 blocks of hill, with the steepest grade at 11%.  The treadmill will definitely come in handy since I don't live by any hills like that.

I think it has to be said, since it's San Francisco: I will be running fully clothed.  SF may have banned nudity in public places, but time-honored events like the Bay to Breakers has an exception.  I think the rule is as long as you're wearing an official bib,you can run.  And the police say you can run nude, just not drunk.  This should be the most interesting race I've done.  You don't get this at Disney.

I even booked my hotel.  Yes, I was busy this weekend.  After seeing all the big names price gouging, I went to Priceline and found a nice, smaller hotel in the vicinity of the start line.  The reviews showed it was clean, and the staff was friendly.  Good enough for me.  I booked it now because the price gouging is ridiculous, and this is a very reasonable rate.

I also finally got the itch to run again.  Funny how registering for a race will do that.  I did 15 minutes, and everything hurt.  My lungs hurt and my sides hurt, but it's a start.  I even put the incline at 12% (quick button setting) to see a sense of Hayes.  Yeah, I may be walking at the top.  No sense in trashing my legs at mile 2.

The rest of the weekend was low-key.  After two busy weekends in a row, I needed time to unwind.  I'm having stress symptoms from everything at work, and I know I'm tired too.  I even slept until 8 Sunday!  I can't remember the last time I slept that late.  I'm happy if I make it to 7 since I'm up before 6 during the week.  I made progress on Christmas watching though.  I watched Rudolph Friday evening, and then Love Actually and the Northern Exposure Christmas episode this weekend.  I have Muppet Christmas Carol left, but I'm saving that for when I'm at my parents.  I'm bringing it with me, with all my stuff.

I even bought Allie a Christmas stocking.  She has more than enough toys, but it's Christmas for her too.  Petsmart is selling a good selection, and there are definitely cat nip toys in this one.  When I got home, she immediately started sniffing the stocking, and once I got a couple toys out, she went crazy. Yup, cat nip.  She was running around, high as a kite.  It's fun to watch because she gets dopey.

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Holiday Traditions

We are well and truly into December.  I started to feel like the month was getting away from me, even though this is only the second week of the month.  I know I'm going to be useless next week, and I'm not sure I'll get anything done at work.  Start the countdown!  One week from today, I'll be waking up at my parents' house, which is why I'm jumping ahead to next week's topic: holiday traditions.

1) I mentioned this in my recap from Thanksgiving, but we're getting out the Rudolph Monopoly since trying to do a 1500 piece puzzle didn't work the past 2 years.  The puzzle was of Disneyland Main Street, and was extremely complicated.

2) Watching A Muppet Christmas Carol.  I love watching this one on Christmas Eve.  I still have other Christmas movies to get through, but since we're supposed to get snow Saturday afternoon and evening, a movie will be perfect that day.

3) Seeing Star Wars.  Since Disney is releasing the new Star Wars movies mid-December, my parents and I have been seeing them around Christmas.  Let the big crowds see it first, we can wait.

4) Christmas dinner.  When my mom was down last weekend, we ordered the standing rib roast for our traditional dinner: roast, dried corn, oven browned potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding.

5) Holiday treats.  Along with Christmas dinner, we normally make fun desserts for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  This year we're buying them from a great local bakery in Arvada.  It's heaven in that bakery!  My dad is picking all of this up, and driving Allie and me up for our Christmas break.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Into the New Year 2018

As I mentioned yesterday, 2018 is almost here, and it's hard to comprehend how fast it'll be here.  Didn't we just start 2017?  It's been quite a year for me, moving to a new state and starting my new job.  Except it's not new anymore since I packed up everything in Dallas on 12/17 last year.  My Facebook memories are keeping me updated with what I was doing this week last year.  Crazy.

A new location meant new resources, and I think I did a pretty good job at taking advantage of those.  I followed everything my new chiropractor told me to do, since she's battled ITBS too.  And I had two successful 10k races this year.  My goal for 2018 is to keep up everything I've done this year.  Strength training almost every day, Pure Barre at home, and working on a faster cadence.  I shortened my intervals and picked up speed, and PR'd at Las Vegas.

Hopefully I'll be able to chose a race for spring 2018.  I'm still very undecided, and unmotivated to run at the moment.  I'm hoping a new goal race will help snap my not running streak and get me going in the new year.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Monday Musings 12/11

Another Monday, and I think I need another day off since my weekend was so busy.  This weekend was my girls' weekend with my mom, and we were quite busy.  It started Friday when we watched Hallmark's a Princess for Christmas to start going through all the Christmas movies I have.  It's my favorite of the Hallmark movies.  After that we watched Mickey's Christmas Carol.

Saturday started at Snooze, which is a great breakfast place.  I haven't had anything there yet that I haven't liked.  This time I got their OMG French Toast, and my mom got one of their eggs Benedict dishes.  We also went down into Denver to one of the big craft fairs, and the beneficiary was the Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies.  I didn't buy anything, but I took cards because I have ideas for future gifts.  Mostly we went because we wanted to spoil the goldens that were going to be there, with begging vests.  I did buy one of GRRR's 2018 calendars since I need one for work.  I can't believe 2017 is almost done!

Saturday afternoon was spent at PF Chang's for lunch, doing a little shopping at the mall (good god!  I don't normally go shopping at the mall in December!), and then more Christmas movies and baking gingerbread cookies.  We watched Hallmark's a Nutcrakcer Christmas, and then the Holiday.

Sunday morning was spent in Boulder, at the chocolate class we signed up for at Sur la Table.  This was the decadent chocolate class, and we made chocolate park with peppermint and pistachios, biscotti with chocolate chunks and dried cranberries, chocolate truffles, and chocolate salted caramels.  It was great!  They made us all a box each with the treats we made, and I'll enjoy eating them.

The afternoon was more low key, though I did get the new inserts I needed.  The ones I was using got me through both my races, so I definitely needed new ones.  I don't know if this will help me get motivated, since I'm still on my cardio break, but I know my feet with appreciate them.  We watched the last of the Hallmark movies I recorded, Once Upon a Holiday, and then the Santa Clause.

Linking up with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for Weekend Wrap-up.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas With a Cat

Y'all know I have a cat.  Allie is 5.5 years old, and still as energetic as ever.  This is the 4th Christmas season I've had her, and each one has been an adventure.

1) The first year, my tree wasn't too sturdy (it was my first Christmas tree = cheap), and she brought it down at 5am, a week after I put it up.  I'm not sure how she did it either, since I had been sleeping before hearing that big crash in the living.  Did she try to climb it?  Jump from the dining room table?  Either way, my first thought wasn't "someone's broken in", it was "it lasted a week."  My suspicions were verified when I stumbled into the living area and Allie made a beeline to the bedroom.

2) The second Christmas I had my tree up at work, with all my ornaments.  Not fun for Allie, but we still had Christmas decorations up in the apartment.

3) Last year was the 3rd Christmas, and while my ornaments were all packed for my move up to Boulder, I still put my tree up.  This time she climbed it, multiple times.

4) This year, not only do I have a tree, I have a Christmas llama.  This guy is in the corner to protect his cord since Allie is a chewer.  Have I mentioned that before?  She's chewed through two phone chargers, and one pair of headphones.  She showed an interest in the llama right away, and I knew I had to protect his cord for future Christmases.

5) And the tree?  She hasn't climbed it yet, but there are no ornaments on the bottom branches.  I did have a couple, and she took a flying leap at one and tackled it off the branch.  So those ornaments are now on the mantle.  I've also had to rearrange other ornaments as I find them on the floor when I get home from work.  Did you know Target has shatterproof ornaments?  I have some, but Allie hasn't gone after those.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2017 Wrap Up

2018 is almost here (crazy!!), and today's topic is best races of 2017.  I did two bucket list races, and both were great in their own ways.  I also ticked off two more states, so now I've done races in Florida, Texas, Oregon, California, Colorado, and Nevada.  I'm not really aiming for all 50 states, but it's fun to use these to travel to new places.

Bolder Boulder was incredibly fun, and the entire city comes out to cheer on the runners.  While I did not partake in any of the bacon, beer, slip n slides, and whatever else, it was quite an atmosphere, capped off with being on the lead truck for the women's race.

RnR Las Vegas was great all around, with a great training run, and the fact that no knees, muscles, feet, etc bothered me during the 6.29 miles I ran. 

These races wouldn't have been successful though, without my hard work.  I've been focusing on strength training for a couple years, and it's constant work.  Between strength training, working on form, and working on cadence, there was a lot that went into each of these races.  Which is why I brought chocolate back from Las Vegas for my chiropractor.  My history of injuries goes back to high school, so it can be challenging.

Tuesdays on the Run with PattyErika, and Marcia.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Monday Musings 12/4

I'll start the countdown.  3 weeks until Christmas.  I had a low key weekend after last weekend, after getting back and scrambling to get errands done before heading back to work.  How was everyone's week after Thanksgiving?  I found Monday wasn't too tough... it was Tuesday.  Tuesday was really tough, and the week was a little long.  I did get some decorations in my office, and I got more this weekend.  I took Friday afternoon off to spend time with my mom, and she and I got decorations for my front porch.  Since I got back last Sunday, I felt behind in the neighborhood decorating.

I've got my tree up, the Christmas llama, the lights are up, and we put bows on the back lamps.  I even got more decorations for my office.  I got a strand of lights, and Christmas window clings, with penguins.

My mom was here because another GRRR Turkey dog batch, and she sponsored another dog.  I wish I had pictures, but now that it's approaching winter, it's dark at night.  But the dogs were so excited to get to the shelter house.  They have a huge lawn in the back, and the dogs REALLY enjoy running around and rolling in the grass.  I got tackled a couple times, but that's OK.  These dogs have been on the streets in Istanbul, and they're here for their forever homes.

We started going through the Christmas Hallmark movies I've recorded.  We watched The Christmas List, which we liked, and the Christmas Train, which we didn't.  The channel really played up the Christmas Train, and we felt it was a bust.  After we went to GRRR to play with the dogs, we watched Little Women, which is kind of a Christmas movie.

Saturday I started back up with strength training.  My glutes have knots in them, but it's a good kind of feeling.  I don't know when I'll get going with cardio, but I did glutes and abs Saturday, then upper body/abs on Sunday.  I also made a big batch of spaghetti sauce Sunday, and when it simmers for 3 hours, my house smells fantastic!

I watched Miracle on 34th Street, then wrapped up Friends season 1 from Netflix.  I wasn't a Friends fan during its initial run, but then again, I was 9 when it started, and didn't have anything in common with the characters.  Now I do, and it's hysterical.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Holiday Gifts for Runners

It's that time of year.  Even though today is December 1st, I've already bought a couple gifts to ship out.  My high school best friend also celebrates Hanukkah, so I needed to make sure her gift was on its way to get there in time.

The difficult thing about shopping after Thanksgiving is it's before pay day, and since I had my trip to Vegas on my finances, I've needed to wait to really dive into holiday shopping.

Today's topic is gift giving, so what do you get for the runner in your life?  Or, as a runner, what ends up on your list each year?  I have some new items, and then some staple items.

1) If there's a piece of running gear I've been eying, it's on the list.  Complete with the title, direct link to the website, color, and size.  No deviation.  I'm picky, and I know what I wear.  I also figure that amount of detail will help the shopper.  Don't know my size?  I include it.

2) A new medal hanger.  I love my medal hanger, but it's full.  I definitely need another one.  I had to take some of my 5k medals off so I could hang up my Vegas medal

3) I've saved all of the bibs from my big races, and I have no way to display them.  Medals are fun, but I carried the bib from start to finish.  Many of the bibs have fun designs too, and are another way to remember a race.

4) Trusty gift cards.  I love spending gift cards!  My parents gave me all gift cards for my birthday one year, and I had a lot of fun spending them.  Anything from favorite brands, to Amazon since they have everything, to favorite stores, and even iTunes.  I gotta keep my music fresh with new songs.

5) While I like the concept of subscription boxes for runners, I like more control over what's inside.  I just recently put one together for my cousin, who'll be running her first marathon in April.  I got some fun magnets, two brands of energy chews, Honey Stinger waffles, salt caps, and a bath bomb for sore muscles.  Anything I could think of that a new marathoner would need for training.

Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.