Sunday, December 30, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 12/30

I can't believe vacation is almost over.  It's always nice to get away and unplug and relax, but I'm headed back to Dallas tomorrow, and work on Wednesday.  I'm hoping nothing big will happen on Wednesday if the Monday after Thanksgiving is any indication of my state of mind.  That day I sent a couple personal emails and then all my energy was zapped.  It was a really good thing nothing big happened at work because my brain needed much more than a simple jump-start.

Does anyone have plans for New Year's Eve?  I've never really been one to celebrate NYE itself.  I figure I have 365 days, sometimes 366 days, to celebrate the new year.  Even if I wanted to celebrate NYE this year, I'm not sure I could.  I got hit with a bad head cold on Thursday and I've been battling it ever since.  I've felt better after getting some cold medicine, but it's obvious this thing's got me in its clutches and won't let go.  New Year's morning will be spent watching the Rose Parade, and HGTV shows is commercial free.  Yay!  I won't miss anything.  I'm not sure about the Rose Bowl itself, but it's an option.  Today is the last regular season day for the NFL, and the Patriots are hosting Miami in weather that is marked as cold, with the wind chills in the teens to 20s.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post-Christmas

Did y'all have a good Christmas?  I can't believe it's here and gone already, and we're only 5 days away from 2013.  I did get a White Christmas in Colorado, and from I've heard, so did Dallas.  I certainly hope that means we won't have to deal with the snakes and bugs as early as we did this year.  I didn't deal with any snakes, but I did deal with bugs.




Yesterday was Boxing Day, and I made sure to watch the EPL game that I could, ManU vs. Newcastle.  It was quite the game, but if any of y'all recorded it and haven't watched it yet, I won't give anything away.  Just that it was a very entertaining game.

I've also gotten back into the swing of things, cardio wise.  I've done 15 minutes on the bike twice now and today I will do another 15-20 minutes.  I'm still trying to rest as I might be coming down with a cold, but I think an active rest will suffice.  Working out during vacation isn't easy, but if I can do something I'll feel better about it all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas y'all!  We have a white Christmas this morning in the Rockies.  It was snowing yesterday afternoon and continued into this morning.  It looks like a snow globe out there with all the trees lined with snow and more snow coming down.  I hope everyone has a great Christmas.



Last night we did the family tradition and watched the Muppet Christmas Carol.  I guess I made it a tradition years ago, and am still adamant we watch it every Christmas Eve.  I love Kermit's song "One More Sleep Till Christmas" and feel I need to watch that scene when there really is only one more sleep till Christmas.  I know some people have their absolute favorite Christmas movie and can quote it from beginning to end, like Elf.  That's me with MCC.


I know all of the side comments Gonzo and Rizzo make and all the words to the songs.  I have all the songs in my Christmas list.  It was also the very first movie I saw Michael Cain in, and love him for it.  Anyone who works with the Muppets is awesome!  I'd also say this is my favorite version of a Christmas Carol.


Was Santa good to y'all?  My parents almost made me cry with one gift, I had a pretty good moment.  I did get two Sweaty Bands I wanted.  I will be able to break these in once my training for Eugene starts.  The patterns are their Peppermint Swirl and Santa Fe.



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 12/23

Greetings from the Arctic Tundra.  OK, maybe not the tundra, it's actually the Rocky Mountains, but to this Texan, there's no difference.  I have finally admitted after almost 4 years in Texas, my blood has thinned out.  When I have to put up with temperatures in the 90s and 100s for half the year, I adjust and this cold weather isn't what I'm used to.


No, definitely not what I'm used to.  If there's a dusting of snow or ice, DFW shuts down and I get a free day off from work.

Incidentally, congratulations on making it through the Mayan apocalypse.  We all made it, yes?  I count that as five times in my life the world was suppose to end, and yet here we are.  My cousin is in France for this semester, so her post at 1am France time definitely gave me the thumbs up the world was still in existence.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

That Antsy Feeling

They say for every mile you run in a race, you should take that many days off after the race.  Easy advice, but I'm smack in the middle of holiday parties at work.  Tuesday was snack day, and yesterday was the holiday potluck, though I skipped the potluck and had lunch with a friend.  At Arby's.  So I could get my curly fries fix.  Not sure which would be better, but I hadn't had curly fries in quite some time.  This was my plate Tuesday, complete with a Tiramisu parfait.  Yes, I was bad.



I did try to be good with the fruit, but there was also bacon wrapped sausage that was baked in brown sugar.  Those are still in the fridge at work, and I'm just trying to get through to tomorrow when I can get away from all this food.  I don't like having to use self control this much in one week.

All this combines into a very antsy feeling that I need to get back to the gym, but that conflicts with the knowledge that I still need to let my body recover.  I'm almost there, but I still need a couple more days.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

If the Shoe Fits

Let's talk about shoes.  Every year in the late fall, the next in line shoes come out and I start to worry.  This Asics line has worked quite well for me, but new styles mean changes to what works for my feet.  Anyone else worry about this?  My feet demand Asics (no joke, they hurt if I use a different brand) but my worry is having to switch styles.  The next in line has two color schemes that aren't basic black, but one is flashy purple and I don't run fast enough to pull those off.

Now that my last half is behind me, I will be retiring my Asics 2170s before starting up my training for Eugene.



I've also written down my new training plan to my 2013 planner, and training begins February 4th.  I'm using the Marathoning for Mortals run/walk plan, and it is significantly shorter than my last two training runs.  I can't wait to start and see how this one works.  I'd use the Galloway method, but that plan has training beyond half-marathon mileage.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 12/16/12

I am now a week removed from my second half marathon.  This week was all about recovery and processing that race.  Monday I couldn't even stand up straight because the muscles around my hips were quite tight, and I was shuffling around work the best I could.  Thursday was the day all soreness was gone.  This weekend continued the recovery with some pampering thrown in.  My parents visited, and my mom and I got pedicures!  I wanted to pamper my feet since they have been through another round of training, and I got a great holiday red color, plus some nail art.  I have snowflakes on both big toes.


I've also found even though I haven't done anything this week, there are moments in which I feel kind of ravenous.  I had a big lunch Tuesday since my work group went to a steakhouse, yesterday I had chicken fried chicken at Black-Eyed Pea, and this morning I had the scrambled eggs plate at La Madeleine.  I guess I'm still craving calories, and I will continue eating like this if my body demands it.  The trick is to keep healthy, but it is the holidays, so no guarantee.


Anyone else find they're this hungry the week after a race?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lessons Learned and What's Up Next

To start off with, I'm glad I did Dallas, but most likely won't do it again.  There were too many logistical issues I'm still not able to overlook.  I learned a lot training for this half, and most importantly I don't have to plow through any mental hurdles since I've already done that.

This training was rough.  I started too soon and felt burned out by late October.  I just wanted to finish the cycle with that medal around my neck, and luckily I achieved that.  I don't know whether I've conquered my troubled hip-spot, but it did not cramp up on me this time around.  Maybe those pilate moves really do work.  There's also something to be said about how stubborn I am.  I was hurting, really hurting, by mile 10, but I don't listen to reason most of the time, and since I was that close, I was going to finish.  Only 5K left.  It wasn't pride talking, it was just sheer stubbornness.  My hips were so tight and my knee was flaring up, all I could do was just plod along.  But no pain, no gain, right?


So what's next?  I intend to enjoy the rest of this month doing nothing.  I may do some core work just to keep that strong, but I'm going to rest for the next 3 weeks and let my muscles recover.  I registered for my next half a few days before this past one, and I'll be doing the Eugene half marathon at the end of April.  And this time I will use a training plan.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Day Before

Yes, I'm sore today.  I'm not as sore as I was after the Princess, but nonetheless, it is taking me a while to walk around work.

I started Saturday off by watching Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer.  I haven't gotten to watch a whole lot of Christmas movies yet, so I thought I'd start that morning with something festive.  The rest of the morning was spent doing some errands, but generally trying to take it easy.  Around noon, I headed downtown.  I felt like a tourist once I checked in since I'm very rarely down in that part of town.  I don't work there, but I've only had a couple reasons to go down there.  Most fun stuff is Uptown.


I could see the Fair Grounds from my hotel room, indicated by the Ferris Wheel.  Sadly, Big Tex is no more.  After dumping my stuff in the room, I headed towards the Dallas Convention Center by way of Main Street and turning onto Griffin.  I past the flagship Neiman Marcus store, where I discovered my feet many years ago.


I also took the picture for my mom since I was with her that day.  Once I got to Griffin Street, I turned south and started walking towards the convention center.  There are statues of steers outside the building (very Texas) and it seems like they are a favorite climbing spot for children.


At the convention center, I picked up my bib, D-tag and participant's shirt before heading back.  I did not linger around the Expo since I would not have bought anything.  The one vendor I wanted to see was not there, and it's almost Christmas.  I can't buy anything for myself until after my birthday.  I made it back to my hotel, where I proceeded to relax and watch the Army/Navy game, and a Cosby Show marathon on TV Land.

I wish I could say I fell asleep easily, but I tossed and turned for a bit.  I did end up getting more sleep than I did before the Princess, but that alarm came early.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dallas MetroPCS Thoughts

Well, I finished.  It was 63 degrees when I woke up this morning, and the humidity percentage was quite high.  The hotel I was staying at had shuttles running from the hotel to about halfway to the starting line.  After walking to the convention center and back yesterday, I figured the shuttle was the best way to go.


Even though it was humid, there was a pretty good breeze, hence the need for a throw away long-sleeve shirt.  I walked from the shuttle to the convention center to check my bag, hit the restroom, and made my way to my corral.

My time was 2:52:29, and given the not so great training and the weather conditions, I'll take it.  The course wasn't that great either, and the infrastructure support left a lot to be desired.  I know all the people who man the water stations are volunteers, but there weren't that many water stops that were fully stocked.  Many of them were frantically pouring water or Gatorade into the cups as we runners had to wait.



The course went through a number of boring parts of the city, and I never realized how the city of Dallas itself doesn't have a whole lot of landmarks.  The best entertainment was from Luke's Locker who had set up their inflatable logos and haystacks as a kind of country theme stop.  They had live music to go with the decoration theme.  There were two switchbacks on the course, one between mile 7 and 8 in which the half marathoners doubled back while the full marathoners continued on their course, and then between mile 12 and 13.  The last one I thought was unnecessary as it took us by the street we turn on to head towards the finish line, but we had to run by it and double back.

The finish line was also disorganized.  We had to go through the finish line photos to the medical "tent" which I felt was understaffed, inside the convention center to get our bags, finishers shirts and food.  I needed ice for me knee as it felt like my IT Band was about to seize up, but decided to skip the ice until I got home.  I did not like the constant movement and felt like I really needed to sit down, yet there was no place to do that until after I got my food.

The bling is pretty sweet, but unless some major changes occur, I will not be doing this one again.  With the boring course, it was mostly my playlist and my determination to get the medal that kept me moving.


Anybody else run the Dallas half?  What were your initial thoughts?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Carbo Load or Not

I'm not one to advocate carbo loading the night before a race.  There's not enough time for the carbs to take affect and benefit the muscles on race morning.  If anything, I believe carbs should be consumed over the course of the week leading up to the race.  Between the rest, and storing up the glycogen, I hoping my muscles will be good and ready Sunday morning.  Tuesday I was out with friends for pub quiz at the Allen Wickers, and I ordered their fettuccine with grilled chicken.  I didn't realize exactly how hungry I was and almost ate the entire plate, including all of the garlic bread.


I keep getting emails about Saturday and Sunday, and the most important one came yesterday from Anthony Travel.  The hotel I booked for Saturday won't be open in time, and they've moved my reservation to another hotel still in the area, just a little further away.  There will be a shuttle to and from the Expo, and then to the race Sunday morning.  Depending how I feel after the race, I'll probably walk back to keep my legs moving.

Also, I didn't know this, but each bib has a tear-away for one free Miller64 when we get to the runner's village after the race.  I'm not much a beer drinker, but it's a way to start replenishing those carbs, right ;-)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Back-Up Plans

Anybody encounter a situation in which a back-up plan needs to be put together?  The hotel I'm staying at Saturday is closed until Friday because of a fire that broke out in one of the stairwells this past weekend (yikes!).  Mostly it knocked out power and there was very little damage, but I put together plan B in case the hotel is not ready for the weekend.  My back-up plan will be to use DART, which is exactly why I booked a hotel in the first place.  I don't want to deal with race-morning anxiety in having commute into town.  I'll be watching the news on Friday to make sure everything is A-OK before heading down late morning.

With all that being said, the race posted a picture of their marathon medal, but no half medal.  They claim the half's is 9/10ths as cool as the marathon medal, and I hope they're right.  I like the marathon bling:


The half bling and the finisher's shirt will be at the finish line.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Random Sunday Musings 12/2

I'm starting to fall off the wagon.  I bought Blue Bell ice cream today and a premature celebration and now I have a packet of 3-oz servings of vanilla and Dutch chocolate.  I want to hold on and be good.  I only have 7 more days!  But, but it's the holidays and I've worked so hard and...


Now that I'm 7 days out, I need to start thinking about what I'm going to wear.  It's not as simple as that.  Texas weather is infamous for the temperature swings, and right now it does not feel like December.  I least I can decide on what shirt to wear, and if I need to wear my winter gear under it, so be it.  I'm thinking of going with my yellow top and if it's nice running weather, I'll break out my hot pink calf sleeves.  If not, more winter gear :-/  Yesterday it was 80 in Dallas, and I'm watching the forecast like a hawk.  Today is currently 71 with 79% humidity.  This weekend was traditionally race weekend, but they pushed it back a week with all the changes they wanted to make.


The emails are continuing to come in, and I have to admit I'm excited every time I see a MetroPCS email.  It's almost here!  Today I used the elliptical for 15 minutes and did arm weights.  Tomorrow I will run easy for 15-20 minutes, then rest until race day.