Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sunlight is highly underrated

I just got back from my first warm, sunny run in what feels like a very long time. I'm at my in-laws in TN, and, I can say that run was worth the 14.5 hour drive down here yesterday. I was only planning to do 5mi and ended up doing 7. Since I'm restricted to a loop that's slightly less than a half mile, that's saying something.

Otherwise we're just relaxing here. We'll do church at 5pm, dinner, and then gifts!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

1-1-1-1-1-1-1!

Last day of work. Woot!

It's snowing pretty good outside right now, but "snow showers" today should turn into "scattered snow showers" tomorrow, and we should be in TN before the "wintry mix" hits on Thursday. Hopefully we won't have much trouble with the weather on our drive.

I'm hopping on the treadmill this morning for 5mi??? Something like that. Running and all other exercise will be on a somewhat irregular basis for the next week and a half. I definitely will run and continue with some yoga and push-ups, but I'm looking forward to taking a little break from working out first thing in the morning, every morning.

That's my thing... I'm just so ready to chill out for awhile. I have a couple odds and ends to do at work today. We got page proofs for a paper yesterday, so I spend the entire afternoon checking numbers in tables, one by one. Glad that didn't come today! Then it's packing and sushi to celebrate the end of a very tough semester for D.

Posting will be sporadic over the next week and a half, but hopefully I'll get some year-in-review, new year's resolution, running entries up.

Safe travels to all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2-2-2-2-2!

Two more days of work before Christmas vacation!!!!! For better or worse, I have a ton of stuff to do so the time should pass quickly. Aside from a little bit of wrapping and some last-minute ornament assembly, I'm done with all our Christmas gifts. The apartment is (reasonably) clean. All that's left is for D to finish his exam Tuesday afternoon, pack, and leave. Can you tell I'm getting excited?

Yesterday was a nice mix of productive and relaxing. On the productive side, I got the apartment cleaned up, did a bunch of laundry, and put away a few things we still had outside. On the relaxing side, I worked on some ornaments, cleaned out my in-basket, and updated my address book while watching some of Season 1 of 30 Rock that I checked out from Blockbuster. I love that show- especially the doctor. So funny.

Saturday I went to my first hot yoga class in a long time. A yoga studio near us offers community classes on Saturday afternoons, and I've been meaning to check one out. I took Inner Fire Flow, and it was great! I was a little worried about it being too hard, but it wasn't. I mean, there were a lot of things I couldn't do... or couldn't do well... but it was "I could work toward this" hard rather than "I hate this, I want to go home" hard. I definitely want to try to go regularly after the break.

I'm gearing up to do some elliptical and treadmill running at the gym. Next Monday I will not be awake and blogging at 5:51AM. Woohoo!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fun, fun, fun

First I want to say I'm sorry about my bad attitude about Christmas cookies yesterday. That was a pretty dumb thing to go on and on about. Life's too short, right?

In fact, Thursday's ugly sweater party was fun. This was the Christmas party for youth group leaders. We didn't wear ugly sweaters, but some people did. Mostly it was guys who borrowed something from their mother's closet. So they weren't necessarily ugly... just sequins are out of place on a man in his late 20's. It was catered by Qdoba (mmmmm) and held in the house of the Badger's Women's hockey coach (who was also on the Miracle on Ice team in 1980). It was pretty cool to see all their sports memorabilia up on the walls. Both he and his wife are hard-core triathletes now.

The funny thing I found out at the party was that my sophomore group actually won the gingerbread house decorating contest. This makes us undefeated (as far as I can tell) in youth group competitions this fall. We won the song lyric contest with "Going to Aunt Claire's" (to the tune of Livin on a Prayer), the Amazing Race competition (with some generous help from me at the event I was running), and now the gingerbread competition. We tried to make a real house, but the roof collapsed, and the kids decided to make it a gingerbread mobile home. They used icing lids for wheels, and I think one got a satellite dish on the top. Pretty funny. I guess it was creative enough to win the contest. There were a lot of other teams that had much nicer looking products.

Last night we went over to a friend's house to play games and drink Christmas-themed adult drinks. I had a candy cane martini that immediately had to be diluted with an equal part of water so I didn't spend the evening asleep in front of the Christmas tree! In any case there was good conversation and it was a lot of fun. The couple who hosted the party are also into singing/playing bluegrass music and want to play with D sometime, which would be nice for him because it's not often he gets that opportunity.

We didn't leave until 11:30 and I didn't get to sleep until 12:30 (had to finish Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, haha) and wake up until 7:30 this morning. Unheard of for me. I feel like I'm in high school again. I feel a little guilty for sleeping so late, but really, I don't have that much to do today. Just run, finish wrapping presents, and clean up the apartment.

The last point of business for today is that I finished reading the New Testament this morning. One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to read the Bible (+notes). Now that I've finished the NT, I'm what?, a third of the way done? I'm not sure if I can get through the entire OT next year, but we'll see.

I'm going out for 6mi in a few minutes. It's much warmer and less crazy out there than last week. Hope everyone has an awesome Saturday!

Friday, December 18, 2009

No... more... cookies... please

There are a lot of deserts out there, but the two that really tempt me are ice cream and cookies. Fortunately ice cream has largely been out of the picture lately, but it seems like I can't go anywhere without delicious cookies in front of me. I can turn down a Chips Ahoy any day, but homemade cookies... oh man. And the problem isn't having a cookie. The problem is that once I start, I can never eat just one. Which was definitely the case at our HS ministry leader party last night.

Tonight we're going to a game night (love games + socializing) with drinks and treats (kind of scary after yesterday's eating), and I hope I can stay away from the sweets. Drinking too much alcohol isn't a temptation because in my hands it might as well be called Ambien, but one drink can soften my resolve to steer clear of the chocolate chip cookies.

I'm sure I'm making too big of a deal about this, but I'm so afraid of gaining back the weight I lost over the summer and fall because I have zero self control in some situations. Okay... deep breaths... I didn't know I was going to go on that long about this topic.

Now for something completely different...

I think the treadmill run on a different treadmill was successful. I put the speed where it was supposed to go, and it was hard but not really fast (which I guess is what a tempo run should feel like). We've really come to the point where (at least for me) doing speedwork of any kind outside is not going to work. Although the sidewalks and roads are much better, there are a lot of places where you have to be careful about footing, and it's hard to do that when you're trying to haul it. I do plan to do my 6 mile loop outside tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a happy Friday. Only 3 more days of work for me before Christmas vacation. Woohoo!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Treadmill Experiment

My plan this morning is to try an experiment in treadmill tempo running. I have found that running on the treadmill (definitely my home treadmill and the treadmills at the gym I went to in NM) was way harder than it would be outside. HOWEVER, I think the treadmills at the UW gym seem a bit easier. This could be because it's cooler at the gym than at home or I'm more awake when I use them or any number of things.

Last week I was supposed to do 4x12 minute tempo intervals at a set pace that would have been a little difficult to do outside but definitely achievable. On my treadmill, not so much. So I'm going to see if I have a different experience on the gym treadmill. It's not that I want to make it way easier on myself and delude myself that I can run faster than I can, but I want to give myself a fighting chance on workouts where I'm trying to hit certain paces.

So anyway, we'll see how it goes.

Tonight we are going to my youth group leader Christmas party. It will be catered by Qdoba or Famous Dave's (BBQ) so it should be pretty good. It's an ugly sweater party (is anyone NOT having an ugly sweater party this year?), but we don't have ugly sweaters and are not going to buy something dumb like that. We entertained the idea of D wearing one of mine and me wearing one of his, but he will definitely not fit into one of my sweaters without ruining it so that won't be happening tonight.

Whew... wish me luck... 2 more busy days at work this week and 2 more next week. The end is in sight but I have SO MUCH to do before then (although, woot, we got almost all our Christmas cards finished last night).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You know it's cold when the digital thermometer stops working

Our digital thermometer stops working when it's somewhere less than 10 degrees. I would have thought 0 degrees, but I just checked the Weather Channel and it's 5 (feels like 5) so we know that thing likes being outside in cold weather as much as I do. I'm pretty sure I spent less than 2 minutes total outside yesterday. I should probably start taking vitamin D.

I did a treadmill run yesterday with 10 x 30 sec fast, 30 sec easy. Today will be some elliptical.

Actually this winter has been much easier on me so far, even though we've had monster snow and really cold temps. I think I've made peace with being inside in the dark all the time. I think my inner lazy child is enjoying all the sitting around.

One of the things that's seemed to help this year is doing yoga DVDs at home after work. It allows me to de-stress and move around after sitting all day, and it seems to work better than walking on the treadmill. The ones I've found that I like are Power Yoga for Flexibility (Rodney Yee) and Yoga Shakti (Shiva Rae). Some of the poses on Yoga Shakti are totally impossible but she's got some good beginner stuff on there too, and I'm moving into being able to do some of the "regular" series. My mom also sent me a Denise Austin (the one selling potatoes on TV) video called Mind, Body, and Soul. I tried it out last night (not the "soul" part because D got home and I didn't want to dance around in front of him, although I totally would have if I had been alone) and it was pretty good. There's a bunch of good balancing stuff like dancer pose and warrior 3, and a bunch of stuff where you lift your leg forward or backward. I swear I do not possess the muscle that allows you to do that.

I've asked for a couple other yoga DVDs for Christmas this year to round out my collection, and I'm also thinking about getting 30-day Shred. Anyone have opinions about Shred? It seems to be pretty popular on the internets. Or suggestions for other good DVDs?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quick one

Morning!

I have exactly 9 minutes to get this post done so I can hop on the treadmill for my run. I really don't have time to sneak in a post at work this week, and with all the holiday preparations/events in the evening I don't have time for one then either! This is why procrastination = bad.

Anyway, I did get a run in outside on Saturday. I was considering staying in on the treadmill, but then I looked at the weather forecast and remembered, "Oh yeah, this is the first day of the next three months of my life." So I bundled up big time- really too much- and set out to do my 6mi loop. I hesitate to call what I did a run. It was more like an all-terrain winter adventure. The conditions on the roads and sidewalks were mixed. I had everything from fallen tree limbs to packed snow to dry sidewalk (why UW are the sidewalks nicer than the roads after a snow?) to sidewalk glaciers. It probably took me an hour and a half to get all the way around, but I did it and was happy for that.

Yesterday I did 45 min on the elliptical and then hopped on the treadmill to do 20 minutes fast. When I set the pace, I thought, "There's no way...", but actually I hung on and made it the whole 20 minutes. I had a minor crisis of faith at 6 minutes to go, but by the last minute I was able to bump the speed up. Yeah, the calibration was probably wrong because this treadmill was way faster than our treadmill at home (although I'd had 45 minutes to warm up so that couldn't have hurt), but I felt pretty awesome after I was done. I've felt a little bit down about all things healthy eating and fitness wise lately and this run really gave me a boost.

Also on the bizarrely good at a sport front, I bowled 124 in a game last night. We had our church small group end of the year outing last night, and I gave away our gifts and ornaments (still not being disclosed because there are a few people who read this who will be getting them) and people seemed to like that.

Anyway, I'm now one minute over my time limit! I must fly! 10 days to Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brrrrrrr

Wowee it's cold out today. We're up to a balmy 5 degrees (feels like -10), which is a real improvement compared to -2 (feels like -28) this morning. Today I was very thankful for the treadmill, the bus, and lots of warm clothes. I came into work wearing socks and sheepskin boots, jeans with heavy running pants over them, a tank top, a long sleeved shirt, a heavy sweater, a hooded sweatshirt, my heavy jacket, heavy mittens, the hood of the sweatshirt pulled over my head, and a hat on top of that. And I wish I'd had my scarf!

Tomorrow should be slightly better and then we're back up to the 30s over the weekend. Whew. I've only done 3 treadmill runs this week, and I'm already ready to get back on the roads. I'll do an easy elliptical tomorrow since I missed spinning yesterday (gym was closed) and *hopefully* a run outside on Saturday.

Not much else to say except that I thoroughly enjoyed my snow day yesterday and wished that I'd woken up to another blizzard (if I could guarantee it would be a wussy one like yesterday's).

I'm planning to do some laundry and some yoga when I get home. I think I'm ready to move up to doing one of the more advanced sequences on my yoga DVD. We'll see how that goes. Have a good afternoon, all!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day

I've definitely been neglecting the blog lately. Sometimes I feel really motivated to the post and sometimes not so much. Anyway, I'm feeling nice and relaxed after a surprise day off.

When I say the university never closes, it's pretty much true. The last time non-essential employees were told to stay home was 1978. So we were expected to get really terrible weather today.

We did get a lot of snow (15 or so inches)





But the weather was actually quite mild. While D was busy doing this



I was working on this





Otherwise I didn't do much of anything today, and it was awesome. I worked on my ornaments a little bit, I read some Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I did a bit of yoga, and I took a nap. I also got in a 6mi run on the treadmill. Very grateful for the treadmill. I'll be back on there tomorrow as it is going to be COLD. Like high of 7, -20 windchill cold. I kind of wish we could have had tomorrow off instead! It's miserable to be outside in that kind of weather... even for a few minutes.

Oh! The other highlight is our latest Trader Joe's find. Gigantic pears that taste like grape Flav-o-ice pops!



If you have someone to share it with, I would highly recommend these because they are HUGE.



Anyway, it's back to real life tomorrow. Hope everyone stayed safe and warm today. Even though we got off easy, I know some places really got hammered by the wind.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oops

Well, so much for posting about Minneapolis yesterday. I was 1/2 way through it when I had someone come in to my office and I had to do actual work. It was very sad. But I have good intentions about finishing it. Thanks, auto save.

I got in a pretty good run this morning. 6mi in around a 9:35 min/mile pace. I'm feeling less bad about my paces because I checked out the McMillan running site, and I'm actually right where I should be based on my last 5k PR when I'm doing my long and steady state runs. Tempo and some of the fast stuff is another story, but it's COLD out there, and sometimes it's hard to get moving when you feel like a popsicle.

Today is errand day and the SEC Championship, plus we have some more Christmas gift making to do.

Hope you all have a great Saturday. Now let's see if I can finish that Minneapolis post.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Minneapolis

... was a very cool place. I hope we get back sometime soon.

We arrived in town on Friday afternoon and visited The Art Institute. It was a huge museum and they had a ton of paintings. Not as cool as the Art Institute in Chicago (my favorite art museum to date) but pretty cool nonetheless. The best part about our visit is that we found out about tours of a cool prairie-style house owned by the museum that gives holiday tours on weekends during the season.

So Saturday morning we got up early and toured the Purcell Cutts House. This was one of the only historic homes (maybe the only) I've ever wanted to live in (they had a modern bathroom). It was beautiful and open and sunny and they had a window by the front door that had Peek A Boo set in the glass.



When I get rich and famous I totally want one of those.

Here's a view from inside:


The outside:


And one of the art glass windows:


After touring the house, we had lunch at a Malaysian restaurant down the street from the art museum. They had a durian smoothie on the menu. Fortunately for all the smoothie machine was broken. Our waiter said it smells like a combination of baby diaper and gasoline. Ew.

Afterward we drove/walked around the UM campus and got milkshakes at Annie's Parlour- a local burger and milkshake place that was recommended to me by a friend from youth group who went there for undergrad.

After UM we went down to the riverfront to the Mill City Museum where we learned about the history of Minneapolis and the milling industry that was thriving there around the turn of the 20th century. Here's a view of the Mississippi River from the museum observation deck.



That evening we saw A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater. You wouldn't think it, but Minneapolis is actually a big theater city.

Sunday morning is always hard to plan because few things are open. We went to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and walked around until I froze and it was time to go home. A couple cool pictures from there (Click to see the whole thing. I don't know why Blogger is chopping the side off):





And there were so many things we didn't get to see! If you're in the Midwest and want a good long weekend trip, I'd definitely recommend Minneapolis. This also helps me to check off one of my 101 in 1001 items.

Woohoo!

It's Friday and the BIG PROJECT I've been working on is done, so it's time for a little blog updatification.

As I said yesterday, we had our first snow of the season. It was going pretty good yesterday and has stuck around in the cold weather today. Here's a picture from this morning:



It was time to bust out these babies:



I wore these boots pretty much every day for 6 months last year, and I was a little sad to have to get them back out. Say goodbye to normal shoes until May!

I decided to take today off running as an experiment in making my Saturday am runs feel a little more peppy. (SpecialK- You are so right that I shouldn't make judgments about my running pace like that. The most important thing is that I got out and enjoyed a beautiful cool morning, and I shouldn't forget that). At first I felt a little bad about making this a 2 rest day week, but I've been snooping around and have found at least a few zippy people out there who do more XT-ing and resting. I KNOW I shouldn't compare myself to others, but... what can I say?... It's human nature.

One thing I'm super excited about is my increased levels of flexibility. I've been doing about 20 minutes of yoga a day for the last week or so, and I've noticed so much difference in my hips and hamstrings. I've done yoga before, but not as an every day thing, so I'd never seen it work for me. I only have two yoga DVDs right now, but I've got some on reserve at the library and have asked for a few for Christmas. I think I've finally found my cure for the winter antsy stay inside blues.

Stay tuned for a separate post about our trip I'm planning to write after I grab some lunch!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

SNOW!!!!

It's here!

Another busy day

I don't have much time to post, but I hate to let multiple days go by without any updates. I had a good run Tuesday and an okay run today that should have been faster but wasn't. Trying not to get too bent out of shape about that.

Just lots of stuff going on at work, which makes me not want to get on the computer when I get home. I have time to take mini breaks and read/comment on blogs, but I haven't had time to create an actual post before now (I'm waiting on some data). Hopefully I'll have a chance to share some details and pictures of our trip to Minneapolis soon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm back

But I don't have much time to post right now. I have a project at work that needs to be done ASAP. Minneapolis was fun, and I will post about it soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Berbee Derby/ Thanksgiving recap

I had a really nice Thanksgiving yesterday. Of course I missed seeing my family, but it was nice to have a peaceful day with D by myself. It was just the right balance of relaxing and productive that I enjoy when I have time off.

The morning started with a COLD 5k race. Not too much to report. My finish time was 24:51, which put me in the "happy" outcome for my race goals. I think that's a pretty good description of how I felt about the race. I pushed myself hard the whole way and was able to give a kick and pass people at the end (which has been a problem in the past). I totally smoked two 10-year-olds right before the finish line, haha. But it just wasn't a PR day or a PR course, and I'm fine with that. The more I race and push myself the faster I'll get. Overall I think I'm ending the year on a positive note.

Then we went out to lunch and had a delicious meal. We came back, chilled out for awhile, and then canned marinara sauce. I can't believe how many tomatoes it takes to make just a few jars of sauce (also, freezing tomatoes is not a good idea). I am thankful for mass production and grocery stores. After canning, we watched Up and I ate my leftovers from lunch.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and will continue to have a good long weekend. We are off today (unpaid for me- Thanks state of WI :( ). We are avoiding all retail establishments and will hopefully enjoy a relaxing day exploring the Twin Cities.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good news right before the weekend

First I'll start with the running stuff. Thanks to all of you for your input/kind words. I did an easy run yesterday and an easy run today with some strides, so I'm feeling pumped up and ready for the race tomorrow. I left my watch at home so I wouldn't be temped to freak out about the pace. What I'm nominally freaking out over is the fact that it's supposed to snow tomorrow morning, but snow's better than rain. I seriously doubt it will be heavy, and it's way too warm to stick. So here are my race goals: sub-25: Happy, sub-24:30, Very Happy, sub-24:11 (making it a PR) Extremely Happy, sub-24: Ecstatic. I'm not sure how realistic it is to think I'll take those 11 seconds off tomorrow, but I've had some good runs in there. A 23:59 5k is a 7:43 min/mile pace and my current PR is a 7:47 min/mile pace. I do remember the "out" part of the course being really fast last year, but I ran the 10k rather than the 5k so I'm not sure how the "back" part will be. Wish me luck!!

Warning: Weight loss navel gazing ahead!!

Second, I had my final body comp testing done today for the online-weight loss program I've been doing. It's had it's ups and downs, but it was pretty cool to get a sense of the overall change between the beginning of June and now: down 8lbs (from 130lbs to 122 lbs at about 64 in) and 4% body fat (from 25%-21%). It's not a huge amount of weight or fat, but I definitely feel like I went from "too heavy" back in the summer to "normal me" now. Part of me wants to try to lose a bit more weight so I can feel like "lean me" again (which is in the 115-118lbs range) but most of me is happy where I am. Now I just need to keep it off as I move into winter hibernation mode.


End weight loss navel gazing.


I hope you all have an awesome Thanksgiving. I'll be back on tomorrow sometime for a race update.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, Monday

Thanksgiving countdown: 2 days

Tonight we're having a Thanksgiving potluck with our church group, which should be a good time. We are bringing salad, drinks, and pumpkin bread, and there will be ham and all kinds of other goodness.

I was afraid this week was going to drag by, but it looks like I have quite a bit of work to do at work, so it makes the time go by quickly even though there aren't many people in the office. Still, I'm super excited about the holiday and our trip to Minneapolis.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback on my slow long run post from Saturday. I feel like I need to clarify a few things, though.

1. I didn't feel fatigued on my run. I just ran really slow. If I had felt bad and ran slow I wouldn't have been too concerned, but because I felt good and ran really slow, I was wondering what was going on.

2. I think I overstated how difficult my workouts were. I do a FIRST-type workout schedule where I do 3 days of "hard" running, plus one easy run, plus two days of cross training. It's just that my cross training is spinning, which is a code word for intervals, but it's not really the same as running intervals, ya know? Also, I don't do as many intervals as most of you do. I might only do 2x 1mi or 4x800, so my workouts aren't really though from that standpoint, and my daily runs are usually around 5 or 6 miles with a long run of less than 10 miles- so again, not that tough. I want to work on building up endurance again, but I want to focus on speed first because I'm SO SLOW it takes me FOREVER to do a long run.

And maybe it was just a flukey thing. Again, thanks for the input. This is actually an easy week until my last race of the season on Thursday. I did spinning today, but it was with the easy instructor :).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday in the park

I think it was the 21st of November??? Just doesn't quite have that ring to it. Anyway, no parks for me. I did drag myself out of bed at 5am (normal weekday time) to run so I could get to our high school service event at 9am.

The run was not so great. Actually my pacing was great. It was a progressive run where I did 4x15 minutes, each set progressively faster. And I did that part right. The only problem was that my pacing was an entire minute/mile slower than I would have liked it to be. When I reviewed my run at the end I was totally shocked how... well... bad it was. I didn't feel bad, but I'm afraid these cruddy Saturday runs are becoming a regular thing.

I'm not sure what the best thing to do is. Maybe I need to take Fridays completely off. My Monday-Thursday workouts are all interval-type workouts (MW on the spin bike) so maybe my body just has too much built up fatigue at that point. I do a super easy short run on Friday, but maybe even that is too much. I guess it couldn't hurt to try it for awhile. But you guys know how it is... it feels so good to get up and run in the morning. I'm open to other suggestions if anyone has any.

My other workout for today was coring apples for 3 straight hours. Well, not a complete 3 straight hours. I took a 20 minute break in there to chop apples before I went back to coring. This was for our service project today. A local neighborhood center has a huge pie sale every year at Thanksgiving to raise money for their programming, and the need slave labor to assemble and bake 1000 pies. Well, that was us today. Also, somehow coring apples seems to have aggravated my IT band. Explain that one to me...

Anyway, hope all of you are having a restful and/or productive Saturday. I admit to having done very little useful since I got home from apple time, but we are due for grocery shopping tonight. Tomorrow will be chore and errand time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun Friday

Sorry I was lame about posting the last two days. It wasn't that I was even super busy or had absolutely nothing to say... I just didn't get my act together to post.

I did spinning Wednesday, 4mi easy today, and 5.5 mi with 2x1 mile hard yesterday. I don't know what the deal is with my pacing/where I'm running. I really felt like I was giving even effort- maybe even a harder effort on the first mile- but I finished the first on in 7:59 min and the second in 7:41 min. Don't get me wrong, I was super happy with the second mile, but what's up with the first one??? I warmed up, did drills, focused, and pushed myself hard all the way through to the end. I just don't know. I usually run pretty even splits when I race. Meh. Someday I need to suck it up and do an interval workout on the indoor track to see if the problem is with a) me or b) the ground. I'd like it if it were the ground, but if it's me, I need to figure something out so I don't "waste" my first interval running slow. A longer warm-up? Hmmmmm.....

Otherwise my only excitement was lucking into what I hope is a really cool Christmas gift for my parents. I actually put it in the mail yesterday because I was too excited to wait, and I wanted them to have it before the holidays. Can't say what it is because I know they occasionally read this.

This will be another somewhat busy weekend. We're having dinner with some friends this evening, and I have to go help bake pies at a neighborhood center with some of our church high school kids tomorrow morning. I doubt the FIU game will be televised out here so I don't have to worry about missing football.

I'm getting excited about Thanksgiving weekend. Hope you all have a great Friday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

They're baaaaaaack

The lady bug invasion has begun again. Actually it's been going on for the last few weeks, but fortunately it's not as bad as it was last year (so far). Last year they completely covered our windows and door, and you couldn't get inside without carrying 10 or so with you. This year they've mainly been sneaking in, and last night one decided to join us for dinner.



We tried to feed it some meatloaf, which it seemed interested in for a few minutes. I don't know if it was actually trying to eat it, or trying to lick the katsup off, or trying to live in it, or it has a 3 second memory and kept thinking it was discovering it for the first time.

Special note to say that yes, we do clean our apartment. It is not filthy and infested with insects. However, we live in a fairly old building, and we know that trying to prevent every insect from coming in is a losing battle. Plus, we wanted to see if it would eat meatloaf.

Running-wise, I did 5mi with 4 x 1/2 mile. My paces were all over the place- ranging from 8:30 min/mile to 7:23 min/mile. It's a little annoying because I can't really tell if the problem is uneven terrain or uneven effort or wind coming off the lake. I mean, during my fastest interval I had to make a u-turn and I almost got hit by a guy riding his bike on the pedestrian path. Makes no sense. I wish I had access to a track, but alas, the only one near me is inside, and I'm reserving that particular boredom for when it's below 0.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Surviving Spinning

Whew. We had another tough spinning workout this morning. Actually it was a repeat of the killer workout we had a few weeks ago. We got to pick if we wanted to do something new from the regular Monday instructor or an old workout from the regular Wednesday instructor who was covering today. We chose old. Big mistake. I recognized the first song and knew we were in for a world of tough. At least there was no race pace, but I think 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off is my new least favorite phrase to hear.

Yesterday wasn't super exciting. I feel like I spent the whole day at church between the actual service, a training I had to attend in the afternoon, and high school youth. At least I had a chance to start playing around with my Christmas ornaments this year. It's not my favorite ever, but I think they will be pretty easy to knock out. I can't tell you what they are because some people who read this are getting one (whether they like it or not), and I want it to be a surprise.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mmmmmm, brownies

Quick post from my while brownies bake in the oven (mmmmmm). We're going to have pizza and play games at some friends' house this evening, and I felt like baking so we could bring something along. The Gator game is on in the background, but I don't get the impression it's going so well.

I did have a good run this morning. I did 9mi with 4x15 min at tempo pace. The tempo parts weren't as fast as I'd have liked them to be, but I felt strong the whole time, and the 9 miles went by really fast. I guess I'd rather have a strong but slow run than a fast but cruddy run (although strong and fast would be the best, obviously).

Good luck to Jess, who is running the San Antonio Rock N Roll Marathon tomorrow!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fun Friday

I don't know about fun so far, but it is Friday. I did an easy 4mi + a mad dash for the bus this morning. It's starting to get chilly out there- I broke out my tights and heavier gloves for the first time today- but the weather is kind of freakishly mild. We're lows in the 30s, highs in the 40s and 50s through the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I'm not complaining, but my understanding is that is HIGHLY unusual. We definitely had some serious snow before last Thanksgiving.

Dinner last night was my fourth dish for my "Cook 4 things from each Cooking Light before I get the next issue" goal.

We made stewed pork and squash:



The only difference is that we cooked it in the crock pot rather than on the stove. It turned out pretty good and we have enough left over for another meal. Plus, I didn't use the entire squash for this dish so I'm going to try roasting the rest for dinner on Saturday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

TIART

It's another Take it and Run Thursday.

This week's question is from Yummy Running:

What is your favorite race? Do you live for the marathons or crave a 5k? Would you rather race in the morning, afternoon, or at night? Do you like big races with tons of people and encouraging crowds or do you prefer the smaller hometown races?

This has actually changed for me over the past year. Before I probably would have said the 1/2 marathon, but now I'm really enjoying doing 5ks. I like to feel fast (even though I'm not), and I like the fact that, because the distance is short, there's a lot less pressure on any individual race. Have a cruddy race? Do another one next month. The only distance I'm really not that fond of is the marathon. I like the idea of running a marathon, but I don't really like the training, and I don't like the fact that you spend weeks and weeks building up to ONE RACE on ONE DAY when so many things that are completely out of your control can go wrong.

As far as big vs small and local vs destination, I'd probably say small (but not so small it's poorly organized) and local. I love the ability to get up one Saturday or Sunday morning and decide I want to race that day. Or decide I don't want to race. As far as time goes, I think you can't get much better 10am on a Saturday.

Speaking of running, I did 5.5 miles this morning with 2 miles with the goal of running a little slower than 5k goal pace. Unfortunately I ran MUCH slower than goal pace (ave pace 8:13 min/mile vs the 7:55-8min/mile I was going for). The good news is that I felt much more peppy than I did yesterday (thanks, homemade pizza for dinner last night), but the bad news is that it didn't translate into speedy legs. Oh well. I guess these things happen.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quickie Post

Hi all,

Thanks for the moral support about the frustrating day at work yesterday. Today has definitely been better. I've been able to buckle down and get some stuff done/figured out that will hopefully allow me to go forward with my project more quickly.

I had kind of a cruddy spinning workout this morning. The workout itself was good, but my body just wasn't into it. My legs did not want to go fast on the sprints, and I felt kind of blah. My average watts at the end of the workout was about normal, but that's more a testament to the fact that our Wednesday leader puts together some great workouts than anything I did. Doing a half-way job on one of her workouts will still kick your butt.

Part of the reason for the cruddy workout was probably just that it was a random cruddy workout (we all have 'em) and part is probably because I'm back on the weight loss bandwagon. I kind of backslid this last month. I thought I was happy with my weight and ready to move into maintenance land, but at the end of the month I decided that no, I wanted to keep working on it. When I decided to lose weight I made an A, B, and C goal (A is the lightest) and I'm 2 lbs over my C goal. Even though being in weight loss mode kind of stinks, it seems silly to stop now- especially because losing weight so far has helped me look/run/feel so so so so so much better.

Enough of that, but I know some of the other ladies who read this are trying to lose some weight, and I want you to know I feel your pain.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Argh

I'll start by saying that I did run 6mi this morning, and I did have Chinese food for lunch with coworkers, so my day has a had some pretty good parts but dang... the project I'm working on has just been one frustration after another.

I'm caught in this place where I want to procrastinate on doing it because I know it's going to annoy the heck out of me, but on the other hand, it's taking forever, and I just want to be DONE for a little while. Yeesh.

Part of my problem is that I don't really know how to use Access, and I don't want to start messing with people's queries, although that might be the easiest way to fix some of the issues I've been having.

Anyway... enough negativeness. I'm going to try to push though here and get a little bit more done before it's time to go. I just keep telling myself that I'll feel so much better if I have everything resolved and ready to go when I get here tomorrow morning.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Squidtacular Sunday

So we did it. Yesterday we broke open the squid. And it was kind of a let down. I was expecting to be grossed out beyond belief, but really it was just salty, kind of fishy jerky. I think D even kind of liked it. Anyway, D is going to take it to school and leave it in the break room because there are almost certainly people in his department who will want it.

I ran 7 easy miles yesterday morning and have done no other exercise since unless you count wandering through Walmart. Today is my rest day, and I'll probably do some more errands and house cleaning stuff. I guess I'm still a little tired from the trip because I went to sleep at 8:30 last night and woke up at 6:30 this morning. What can I say? The combination of the sun setting at 4pm and the Gator game being insanely boring (sorry, Gators) knocked me out.

Also, we got hotel reservations (thanks, Dad M) and tickets to see A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater for our Thanksgiving Weekend trip to Minneapolis. I also made reservations for us to have Thanksgiving dinner at Quivey's Grove, my favorite fancy place in Madison. Yes, yes, we could make our own Thanksgiving dinner, but we're doing a Thanksgiving pot luck with our Bible study group the Monday before, and thats enough holiday cooking for me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

YAY Friday

I had a warmer but windier easy 4mi run this morning. My legs are a little dead from intervals + strength training yesterday so this short, easy workout "hit the spot".

In other news, I've been doing some cooking this week. In keeping with my goal to make 4 recipes from each of my Cooking Light issues, I made orange-soy glazed salmon and roasted Brussels sprouts with apples on Tuesday evening.



The fish was good, but I'm not sure I'll ever like Brussels sprouts. Nearly everything tastes good roasted with oil and honey, but not those guys. Palatable, but not good.

I also made spaghetti squash for the first time last night. No pictures, but it was so easy (20 min in the microwave- don't forget to poke holes), and we both liked it. Spaghetti squash FTW.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

TIART

It's Take it and Run Thursday, and guess what?!? It's my week. Here's my question:

You’re on the selection Committee for the Nobel Prize for Running. Who would you nominate for the winner and why?

It could be an elite or a beginning runner....a courageous ordinary runner in your community who inspires you.... or the local running club leader, race director, or running store owner who gives tirelessly back to running. It could be the senior runner in your community who knows no age limitations.

You decide. Who do you think deserves to be recognized for enriching and advancing the experience of running for others?


Without a doubt, I'd nominate Usain Bolt. I watched him run the 200m world record race in Berlin (on TV of course- I missed the 100m but saw it on YouTube). So. incredibly. amazing. I don't have much more to say that that; although I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else writes.

As for running, I did 5.5 miles with 3x1 mile at 5k pace. The first mile was slow: 8:13, but the second two were dead on at 7:50. I'd love to run a sub-24 5k at the Berbee Derby this year. If I'm running that fast at 6am, maybe it's a possibility... I have to run 7:43 min/mile to run a 23:58. It would be tough, but it's a maybe.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Terrors from the deep

After going to bed around 7:30pm last night, I'm feeling much more awake and alert today. I know I'm not completely caught up on sleep, but it definitely helped. I was only my normal 5am groggy when I got up to go to spinning. The class was tough as always, and I'm planning to do some kind of weight training this evening. I don't have conversation partner tonight so I have more time on my hands. I actually may stop doing conversation partner- at least for the foreseeable future- because two out of the three in my group are taking the TOEFL in the next few weeks. If they pass I doubt they'll want to continue, and to be honest, I'm kind of ready for a break from it.

That may have been the most poorly written paragraph ever. Topic sentence with supporting sentences following it? Not on this blog, haha. At least I don't have too many commas (you know who you are ;) ).

On to the title of the post. Our next door neighbors are a pair of Taiwanese brothers and the older brother has always been very friendly toward us. Their mother is visiting from Taiwan and brought some food over for them and as a gift for us.

Part of it was these pineapple cookie/candy things that I liked but D didn't.



It was basically a cookie on the outside with pineapple jelly in the middle.



Like I said, I really enjoyed them so they are all gone now. What is still sitting on our counter, daring us to try it is



Squid jerky.

We are going to try it, but we haven't been brave enough yet. Maybe tonight right before dinner so we can use the pizza as a chaser if we have to. Our neighbor says it's one of his favorite things so maybe it's not too bad, but it's still kind of scary. None of my favorite things have tentacles.

I will definitely let you know how that one goes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New York, New York

I'm back, my e-mail's been cleared out, stuff is mostly put away, my pictures have been loaded, and I'm ready to give a New York re-cap.

We left Madison on Wednesday evening at about 6pm, drove through the night, and arrived in the city in the early afternoon. After unpacking, we were let loose on the city. My group consisted of me, another leader, and about 10 kids (this fluctuated a little bit day to day). The first evening we went down to Times Square and Rockefeller Center and then took a ride on the Staten Island Ferry.

Unfortunately none of my Statue of Liberty pictures turned out, so you'll have to settle for this one from above the ice skating rink in Rockefeller Plaza.



The next day we hit China Town for knock-off purses and had lunch in Little Italy. Then we went back uptown to Central Park and walked down 5th Ave to see FAO Schwartz and the Apple Store.

Here's a picture of our group in Central Park



And me with some toys.




That night most of the kiddos went to Phantom of the Opera. I hung out with another group that wasn't going, and we went back to Times Square.

Our last day we went to The Natural History Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and finally to Waverly Place (from a Disney Channel show?) which was right off the NYU campus. We spent the remainder of the time before we had to catch the bus watching NYU students parade by in their Halloween costumes. My favorite was Tinkerbell riding a mountain bike.

We got back on the bus at 9pm and drove through the night, arriving in Madison at 12:30pm. I was gross and exhausted, but had a great time. Will I do it again next year? Not sure. But I definitely want to go back with D. Very fun trip.

Oh yeah... and that running thing... I did 6 chilly miles this morning. The Weather Channel said it was 29. Brrrr.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm baaaack

Hi all,

I'm back from NYC, but I have so so so much to catch up on that I'm going to have to save my recap for another day (perhaps tomorrow?). Suffice it to say that I had wonderful time, survived the bus ride, came back with all the kids, and can't wait to go again with D.

No workouts over the trip, but I did plenty of walking around. This morning was a 60 min spinning class, and I'm planning to do some weights after work. It was hard to get up this morning, but I'm actually feeling pretty good right now. We'll see how far that lasts into the week.

Sorry for the wimpy post, but hopefully I'll make it up to you with a great one full of NYC pictures.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane

Actually not a jet plane, but a bus, and SOON. I wanted so much to tell you more about my NYC trip, but I'm just going to have to tell you when I get back. I appreciate all thoughts/prayers/good vibes for a safe and fun trip! See you all on Monday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

YAY for a beautiful day





I took these picture Saturday, but it gives a good impression of what the weather and scenery are like today. It's sunny, and all the leaves have changed or have fallen off the trees. There's one tree in particular near our apartment that is bright yellow, and none of the leaves have fallen yet. It's really beautiful.

I ran an easy 5mi this morning. It was a bit chilly, but not too bad. My major complaint is that it's soooo dark right now. Oh well- only one more run until daylight savings time is over. Then I'll get two more weeks of light in the morning before the sun starts rising at 9am. Which it will do until next May.

Otherwise I need to pack for NYC tonight and we are (hopefully) going to carve our pumpkin. I have NO idea what to do so any ideas you can send my way would be much appreciated.

I also wanted to give an update on how I'm doing with my 101 in 1001 so far.

Last weekend I tackled one of my "around the house" tasks and made a big donation of winter clothes that were either really old or didn't fit to our church's clothing bin. No pictures or anything. It wasn't super exciting. I plan to do the same with summer clothes, but they only accept donations that are in season.

I also made one recipe from this month's Cooking Light (I'm trying to make 4 recipes from each issue before the next issue comes). It was pork loin with cherry pomegranate sauce. It was very tasty and made lots of leftovers. Here was my plate pre-salad.



Not much else going on otherwise. I hope to have a good pumpkin picture for you tomorrow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rain again on Monday

Will it ever stop raining? I guess I shouldn't complain because Saturday and Sunday were beautiful, and I'd rather be stuck inside at work on a rainy day than a nice day. Hopefully it will have chilled out by the time I will want to ride my bike home this afternoon.

I got in a good spinning workout this morning and will do some kind of weight training at home. I'm probably not going to be able to do weights Wednesday or Friday so I'm going to try to cram everything into one upper body day and one lower body day today and tomorrow.

Work is actually kind of chilled out right now. I'm trying to do some set up stuff to get ahead of the game- especially since I'm going to be gone for two days (and maybe Monday if I have to call in "so tired I can't function").

I might also try to take some time to do more research on things to do in NYC. Any suggestions for good places to take high school kids on Manhattan where they can have fun without doing too much damage? Suggestions for cool restaurants/stores/museums/basically anything except art galleries and jewelry stores would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Still Dark Sunday

It's 7am and still dark. Part of it is because it's supposed to rain... again... and part is because we neeeeeeed to end daylight savings time. Not that it will make any difference in December, but at least we get to stretch a little more light out of the day before we hit WINTER.

Today is a rest day. I even got the laundry done yesterday evening so I don't have to drag that up and down stairs. Yesterday was an easy 7.5mi.

Not too much going on around here. We tried to go to the speed skating trials yesterday, but a combination of making a wrong turn on the interstate and the races being finished an hour early made us arrive right after the last heat. So now we are 3/5 for good trips to Milwaukee. In a way it was okay because I was super tired and just wanted to sit, which is pretty much what I did. It was the first sunny day we'd had in almost a week, and it was nice to drive around and see the pretty fall colors.

I would have gone to sleep early last night, except the Gators.... AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Today we have two church meetings plus church plus errands. I also need to spend some quality time getting ready for the New York trip on Wednesday. I can't remember if I mentioned it on here, but I'm helping chaperone our church's high school youth group bus trip to New York City from Wednesday evening to Sunday afternoon. I want to make sure I set aside all the clothing I want to take with me so I don't have to do any emergency laundry on Tuesday evening.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Window washers

First and foremost: This is hilarious.

It is raining and windy- and it has been for the last 40 hours or so- and someone is currently washing my window on the 4th story of a 14-story building. I would definitely not enjoy that job. I want to wave and say hi, but I can't see their faces because of my blinds.

I actually did get out for a short run this morning. There was a little break in the rain, and although it was cold and windy and sprinkling, it was not pouring so I thought I'd better take advantage of it. It's supposed to rain/snow tomorrow morning (although the low is 37 so I'm not sure how the snow part works into that).

Otherwise today is a pretty normal day. I'm going to meet D for lunch because we have some insurance paperwork we need to turn in at his building. Isn't being an adult fun? Tomorrow we are going to see the Olympic Speed Skating Trials in Milwaukee and watching the FL/Mississippi State game in the evening.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

TIART

Woohoo, it's Thursday again and time for TIART.

This week's question is:

We've all discussed why we run, but why do you RACE and how do you choose which races to run?

Do you look for certain distances, swag, location, start time, or something else? Tell me how you decide where and when to race. Also, I'm currently on a quest to run a race in every state. Please tell me--and others about a particular race you've run that is not to be missed.


My favorite races are ones that are close and short. I like being able to get up in the morning and race if I feel like it and have no guilt if I don't. I'm not super into expos or freebies (probably because I've never been to a huge race like Chicago or MCM), but I do like it when the free shirt is a technical one (preferably long-sleeved because I don't have many of those) and the small is small enough for me to actually wear (other than as a dress). Food is a complete non issue for me because I NEVER want to put anything in my stomach for like an hour after a race (drinking water is bad enough).

I think I have a tie for favorite Madison Race. I really liked doing The Literacy Network 5k this year and The Berbee Derby 10k last year. Both races are very well organized, and the atmosphere is great.


This morning I did my first speed workout on the treadmill since last winter. 3 x 1 mile with 3 min recovery between them. I don't run as fast on the treadmill as I do outside, but since I hated my life and wanted to stop for all but the first .1 mile of each interval, I figured I was doing it right.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Early post

I normally don't post waaayyy before I start my day, but I'm chilling out until it's time to catch the bus to the gym, and all my normal web sites are closed for maintenance so I thought I'd drop by here for a few minutes.

It's Wednesday, which means spinning. Right now the plan is to duck out about 10 or 15 minutes early to do upper body weights. My weight training plan has changed for the next 4 weeks, and I really can't do the upper body session at home, and I just haven't been in the mood to go back to the gym at the end of the day. Plus I have some errands I need to take care of this afternoon so it helps to be done a little early.

We're having our work chili potluck today, which should be fun. I have to catch the bus because I'm bringing in our crockpot + 4 cans of white beans and 2 cans of green chili, which will not fit in my backpack. Riding my bike is right out. I always feel lazy when I take the bus, but it's supposed to rain all day, too, so I guess if I have to ride the bus this is as good a day as any.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cloudy Tuesday

Hi all,

Edited to say: I'm in a much better mood now. I chatted with some co-workers for a little while this morning, and it snapped me out of the funk I was in this morning.

I got in a good if slow run this morning. 6mi in slower than I care to admit on here, but I actually felt pretty good and it was warm (48) and not raining, so I have no complaints. I attempted to do my weight circuit when I got home from work yesterday, but my legs were so so so sore from spinning in the morning, it was pretty half-hearted.

I don't know if it's the weather or the moon or what, but I'm having a "my life is a series of tragedies" day today. The hallmark of a "my life is a series of tragedies" day is that there are no actual tragedies. Other highlights are resenting my responsibilities, crying jags before 9am, and otherwise acting like a spoiled teenager.

BUT, I'm acknowledging that even though I feel this way I am not going to allow myself to dwell on it and act on it. I already rode my bike despite being tired and the fact that it's going to rain, and I took the stairs to my office even though my backpack was heavy. So as of 8:50am Central Time I am going to be joyful and industrious. I am going to put energy and effort into everything I need to get done, and above all, I AM NOT going to sit on the couch and read the Alton Brown baking book this evening (too interesting- I need to get D to hide that thing from me). I'm going to cook, clean, and organize, which badly needs to be done.

Okay, enough free therapy for me. I hope you all have a great day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ouside looks so pretty

It's sunny and 60, and all I can do is look at it out my window from my desk. Oh well, in just a few hours I'll be riding my bike home, and I can enjoy it then. This is what fall should be like... not that rainy, high of 44 business we've been having.

I went to spinning this morning, and it was tough. Good tough, though. Lots and lots of intervals with little rest.

Not much else going on here except that I want to give a major shout out/congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend. So many awesome accomplishments. Way to go!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's a beautiful morning

It's sunny and cool- a perfect fall day. I wish I could put it in a bottle and save it for January.

No run for me today. I got in 6mi yesterday plus some hardcore kitchen cleaning so I'm ready for a break.

We went to the corn maze/ hayride/ pumpkin patch yesterday with some friends and had a cold but fun time. I think the highlights were definitely the piglet race, the kitten petting zoo, and the pumpkin cannon. We also got a pumpkin to carve but we aren't sure what we are going to do with it yet.

On the way home we stopped for a light dinner at Culvers (if such a thing exists) and watched the score change (the TV was set to a different game) when the Gators won their game with a last-minute field goal. I checked Facebook when I got home and almost everyone's status was something like, "Well... at least we won."

I was totally exhausted for some reason when we got home and went to sleep at 8pm so I was up and ready to go this morning at 6am. Four loads of laundry are almost done!

Also, I'm working on updating my blog list and following blogs through blogger. I'll definitely be adding more once I get to work and can access my Sage feed there, but if you want to be on my list, definitely say so in the comments, and I'll make sure you're added.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

101 in 1001

After reading about this idea at The Simple Dollar and on Special K, I decided to make a 101 in 1001 list myself.

I used SAS to do something useful for the first time ever and figured out what 1001 days from now comes out to be:

data time;
set data;
later=today()+1001;
format later weekdate29.;
run;

proc print data=time;
var later;
run;

Obs later
1 Friday, July 13, 2012

(little glimpse into my daily life there)

To which I said, "Eeeek- I can't be done on Friday the 13th!" Because I only finished the last this afternoon, I'm giving myself one extra day, and my real due date will be Saturday, July 14, 2012.

Also, if you count the items, there's only 97. I decided to give myself some leeway to add on additional items as I think of them. I'm also allowing myself to change an item if I'm really not into it or it really doesn't apply and there's something else that's a much better fit down the road. But I can't replace something like "host a large dinner" with "tie shoelaces". It has to be an "in-kind" swap.

The last thing to note is that some of these things may seem a little scary to some people who may or may not read this blog anymore. The important thing to keep in mind is that on July 14, 2012 I will be ALMOST 30.

Without further ado, my 101 in 1001.

Pampered Friday

Woohoo, it's Friday!!!

I had a nice easy 4 mi run and got my weight circuit out of the way this morning. This was important because I have a hair appointment late this afternoon. This might seem strange (or maybe not) but I absolutely love getting my hair washed. OMG. When we get rich and famous and are on Cribs (does that show still exist?) I will make sure to feature my personal hair washer. Definitely the highlight of my afternoon.

Yesterday was a pretty full day, too. I had an eye appointment to get some new lenses in my glasses. I had new lenses put in awhile ago, but I HATED them because I always felt like my depth perception was way off. I guess the lenses had been set to two different prescriptions and were pretty different from my contacts, so I'm getting them replaced with lenses with the same prescription as my contacts. I don't wear glasses that much, but I feel like I need to have a working pair in case I can't wear them for some reason. Oh yeah, and my prescription changed- again. Aren't I getting a little old for this?

What else??? We went to listen to Judy Faulkner, the CEO of a humongous medical software company outside of Madison give a talk yesterday. However, we were told that it was a private talk and we'd get in big trouble if the contents of the talk ended up on the internet. So I guess I can't say much except that it was interesting and we enjoyed it.

Also... last thing and then I need to make myself useful. On Wednesday, the thing that I'd feared but managed to avoid for the last year and two months happened. I ended up in the shower room at the same time as my boss. It wasn't my fault because I was already in there when she came in. There was no eye contact, though, so it wasn't too weird. I hightailed it out of there (which I do normally) and it wasn't as horrible as it could have been.

Okay, enough blathering. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

TIART

It's Take it and Run Thursday over at Runner's Lounge.

This week's question is:

Scarecrow asked for a Brain, Tin Man for a Heart, and Lion for Courage. If you could meet the Wizard of Running and ask for anything, what would it be?

When your wish was granted, how would your travels down the Yellow Brick Road of running be different?


Well, if I could ask for anything, I'd ask to be able to enjoy all my runs for the rest of my life. No frustration about crappy paces, no nagging aches and pains, no downpours. It would be all smooth strides, speedy intervals, and beautiful sunrises.

How would my running be different? The obvious answer is that it would be 100 times more awesome. I man, who doesn't love a great run? Of course we don't appreciate the good without the bad and all that, and I'd probably stop appreciating it pretty quickly.

On that note, I actually had a good run this morning. I left my GPS at home, but I can tell you that on my 4 x 5 min intervals I hit my target pace or under on all but the first one (and the first always counts as practice, right?). It was only sprinkling a tiny bit, and it wasn't too cold. Can't argue with that!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Give away

This has been a busy day so no regular post from me.

There is a cool give away on Jess's blog, though.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pretty normal Tuesday

Don't have too much to say today. I did an easy 5mi this morning. It was cool but not super cold. Plus I think I'm just getting used to it. I've figured out what I need to wear to not freeze to death riding my bike to work but not overheat once I get to work now that they've turned the heating system on.

The only kind of bizarre thing that happened yesterday is that I think I might be allergic to something in the TJ's canned tomato soup (or possibly more than just the tomato soup) that I've been eating for lunch recently. I have really sensitive skin and my face flushes very easily, so I thought that having something hot for lunch was just making my face get hot, but yesterday I definitely had hives. I know it hasn't happened every day, and I'm almost positive it started when I switched from salads for lunch to soup, but I'm not sure if it's limited to just the tomato soup or other varieties might cause it, too. Anyway, I'm going to try eating the black bean soup today and see how that goes. If it's fine, I'll proceed with my other packaged foods with caution. If not, I dunno...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Zen Spin

I went to spinning this morning, and for whatever reason the music system wasn't working and we had to do without. We did a lot of intervals so it was actually less boring that you might expect. The funny thing (to me) is that spin bikes are set up in a raquetball court room and without music to muffle the sound, every noise makes a giant echo. It made me think of doing spin in a cave in a Buddhist monastery. That would be incongruous.

Otherwise not much else is going on. I pulled out my heavy jacket for the first time last night and I'm looking out the window trying to decide if it's going to rain/snow this morning or not (50% chance- thanks Weather Channel for clearing that up for me).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chilly Sunday

It's only 26 degrees out right now according to the Weather Channel website, but it actually felt pretty nice walking to and from the laundry room this morning. I'm not sure why, but I'm way more tolerant to cold in the morning than later in the day. Anyone else like this?

No run today, although I'll probably do my weight circuit and do some house cleaning. I laid on the couch, watching football and reading from about 4pm to 10:30pm last night so I feel very well rested and ready get a lot accomplished today. I always feel guilty for being lazy like that, but sometimes I think it actually makes me more productive because I'm excited (well, excited may be a strong word for going through the medicine box and throwing out anything expired) to get going rather than resenting the work I have to do because I'm tired.

Speaking of which, the Gator game was quite a nail biter last night. It was exciting, but not really in a good way. Both teams had a lot of mistakes, but we won so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

Well, it's time to wake D up, fold some laundry, and get ready for church. Have a lovely Sunday everyone.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Brrrrrrrr

Happy Snow-mas. I know some of you are still frying, but we had our first frost last night and first flurry of the season this morning.

We just got in from cleaning out the garden, which was less of a pain that we'd feared. We pulled up most of the big plants, untangled the tomato plants from the cages (leaving a frog homeless- sorry frog), and pulled up a big piece of black weed-control plastic that has been nothing but trouble since the beginning.

Earlier this morning I ran 6 chilly miles. I'm planning to spend the rest of the day chilling out, watching football (and maybe doing some house work and cross stitch).

Hope everyone has a nice, relaxing Saturday.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Friday

I fiiiiinnnnaallly got around to writing an about me page for the blog. Check it out here if you're interested. You can also get to it from the About Me section of the sidebar.

No run today. I did some time on the elliptical and then my weights workout. Tomorrow will be a chilly run (getting down to 28 overnight- yikes) and a send off to the garden. It may rain in the afternoon, but my schedule is full of college football: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State at 2:30pm (Central time) and UF vs. LSU at 7pm. Even though I get twinges of guilt when I spend a large chunk of a weekend day chilling out, I've been so busy lately that I think I'm really going to enjoy it.

Oooohhh... pretty

Sarah over at Ghost World is giving away a really cool Rhodia calendar/planner. Love it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

TIART

Woohoo! It's Take it and Run Thursday. Today's topic comes from Lacy of Common Objects and Everyday Events, a blog I enjoy reading regularly.

This week her question is:

Imagine you are attending a week-long running camp. Where would it be? What would you do? Would there be classes? Bootcamps? Socials?

I want to know all about the kinds of things that make up your ideal running-related week. No work, no obligations outside of camp,... for one week you can have it exactly your way! Tell me all about it!


I'll be honest. My ideal running camp would pretty much be like Sandals with the option of running in the morning... or afternoon... or whenever. It would take place annually during that reaaaaalllly cold week at the end of January, and would feature massages, fruity drinks with little umbrellas, and XT options like snorkeling and tubing behind a boat.

Yeah... I'm thinking that sounds pretty good right now.

I got in 5mi this morning with 5x3min fast. I pushed much harder than last week and was rewarded by getting all my min/mile below 8, with a 7:22 for my last interval.

Yesterday Lacey (of above) asked what makes spin harder sometimes. Which is a good question because it's one of those "go at your own pace" activities. What I think makes a hard workout is doing a bunch of intervals over and over with little rest. The gym classes push you hard for about the 1st half of the class but have lots of rest during the second half. Here are two workouts we did last fall that mark the only two times I've ever thought I might puke on the bike.

The first one was actually my first day of doing spin with the tri team. The workout was very simple :5x50 sec sprint, 10 sec recovery; 1 min rest; 5x50 sec hill sprint, 10 sec recovery; 1 min rest; repeat for 1 HOUR. GAH!

The second one was just part of the last workout of the fall, but it was almost as bad. We started at a really easy perceived rate of exertion (PRE)- a 3/10 or something- and did 45 sec on 15 sec off. Each repeat we increased our resistance until we got to a PRE of 7 and then WE KEPT DOING INTERVALS. Seriously. We did like 10 intervals at 7. It was really tough.

Hope you all have an awesome Thursday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

First spin of fall 2009

I went to my first spin class with the UW tri team this morning. I have never nor do I have any interest in doing a triathlon, but I like spinning, and the club class is waaaaayyyy harder than the classes offered by the gym.

The only negative to the gym is that it's been sooooo cold in the locker room in the morning. I'm sure I've described the fun that is bathing at the gym before, but it involves treaking into a huge shower room (no curtains, leave your modesty at the door), washing as fast as possible before your the water starts getting cold, and then going out to claim what is hopefully "your" towel from the railing. And the towels... seriously... the school must have gotten them at a discount from Guantanamo because they violated the Geneva Convention. (Full disclosure: I've been working on that one for awhile). They are tiny and thin (but always clean- I'll give them that).

The other exciting thing today is my coworkers and I are planning to go to the Original Pancake House for lunch. I don't know if it's the moon or the tides or some other monthly phenomenon, but I'm beyond excited about this. I did, however, make one concession to my health and ate my lunch for breakfast. I did fine with my Trader Joe's Indian Fare paneer and vegetables, but salad at 8:30am is honestly pretty gross. Oh well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rainy Run

It was really only raining a tiny bit when I went out this morning. I am about the least hard core runner out there, so I was proud of myself for going anyway and proving that I would not, in fact, melt. I did 5mi in who knows how long because it was an easy run and I decided not to take the GPS. It can take soooo long before I get connected to the satellites on cloudy days, and it just wasn't worth it this morning.

Last night we watched half of the Vikings/GB game with our church small group. It was a fun time, and had my first piece of macaroni and cheese pizza (only in WI), so I consider the night a success even though the Packers lost.

Not a lot going on otherwise. Let's see if I get a dry walk home this afternoon or I have to take the icky bus.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Boring Monday

I've been dragging my heels on posting today because I don't have anything super exciting to report. I didn't run today, although I did do my weight workout at 6:15am because for some reason I was awake and restless.

The progressive dinner last night was pretty fun. I enjoyed making brownies (another King Arthur recipe but I can't find the exact one online), and the kiddos seemed to have a good time.

Well, that's pretty much the news. Here's hoping I can figure out what's wrong with my program and why it won't run...

Edited to say: It did run with no problems. Weird.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Literacy Run 5k

I had a great 5k race this morning! I finished in 24:11, which is almost a minute faster than two weeks ago. Granted it was because this course was much flatter, but it was still exciting. I placed third in my age group, too! Not much to report other than

1. I biked to and from the race start, and I think that worked well as a pre-warm up and cool down. Plus I didn't have to deal with parking/leaving.

2. I didn't puke!!! I felt like I wanted to after I stopped, but I didn't throw up. I think the trick for me is that there is this line when I'm racing, and If I push past that line, it's all over for my stomach. So every time I felt like I was crossing the line, I backed off just a tiny bit.

3. My splits were quite even: 7:48, 7:51, 7:52 and who knows for the .1 because I never remember to hit "stop".

4. I think I really like the 5k distance. I like the speed training, and I like running hard but not that long. I'm actually considering adding in another 5k at the beginning of Nov and changing to doing the Berbee Derby 5k (rather than the 10k on Thanksgiving). It would be totally sweet to break 24 min by the end of the year. Also, I loooovvvee the totally, completely exhausted feeling I have after a good, hard run. I seriously want to crash right now.

But- I'm not crashing because I have a pan of brownies to make for our youth group progressive dinner tonight, and I have about 6 loads of laundry crammed into two running downstairs.

In other news, I had a great time at Jessica's baby shower yesterday. Her family is very nice, and her sister and sister-in-law really know how to throw a party (ie make great food and cake).

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Happiest Day of My LIfe

I'm marking Oct. 1, 2009 in my calendar as the current happiest day of my life. It has surpassed my wedding (sorry, D.) but may be re-evaluated at the birth of my children (I doubt it). What made Oct. 1, 2009 such a momentous day?

They fixed our heat.

Evidently the valve that sends hot water into our radiator was stuck open so it was putting out full heat regardless of where the thermostat was set. The maintenance guy replaced the valve, and when I got home yesterday the thermostat was set at 60, and it was in fact 60 in the apartment. I was thrilled. I turned it up to 68. The radiator came on. And it shut off when it was 68. This may seem like a silly thing to get so excited about, but it means that we will not have to live (and more importantly, sleep) in a rotisserie oven for the next 8 months. There are no words (other than the 80 or so in the preceding paragraph) to express my joy.

This morning, after a comfortable, restful night of sleep, I got up in a pleasantly warm, 68-degree apartment (heat is included in our rent so we can keep it nice and warm [but not too hot] yay!) I got ready and walked to the gym to do 45 min of elliptical and weights.

We had a fun night last night playing mini golf with some friends at Vitense, which, in its wisdom has both an indoor and outdoor course. Then we had sundaes at Michael's Frozen Custard. A second reason yesterday was the happiest day of my life was learning that the different Michael's have different sundaes. This one had a Hot Lava Sundae with hot fudge and cherries (great with pumpkin custard, we learned) and the Death By Chocolate Sundae, which I had (and obviously did not die). Tomorrow I'm going to Jessica's baby shower. I guess I better wrap her gift!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

TIART

Here's today's Take It And Run Thursday topic:

If you had the knowledge, time and/or means by which to Organize a race - what would your "Race Info" include?

Would you choose an organization to donate to? What distance would you choose? Other questions to ponder - Location? Time? Race Expo attendees (guest speakers?)? Shirt design? Get as creative as you want....!


So I'm going to be honest. I thought about it all morning, and I don't have a dream race. However, I did think of a race that's so crazy someone should do it sometime. And if you see this on Food Network, remember, you heard it here first.

Right now I'm calling it the Bake 'N Run. That's lame, and it will need another title eventually, but at least it's descriptive. BUT, the beauty of the Bake 'N Run is that it combines three things that many runners love: cooking, running(duh), and eating.

So here's what would happen in the Bake 'N Run:

(Edited to say I'm going to call the runner "he" because I got annoyed at typing s/he over and over again, but this obviously applies to the ladies in the race, too).

Each runner would have to prepare some kind of baked good using his own recipe. The runner would put the baked good in the oven and then start running. Now this is the tricky running part: The runner would have to pick a distance to run based on how far he thinks he can go in the time it takes to bake whatever is in the oven. Pick too far, and the runner ends up with a burned baked good. Not far enough and it's still raw. So this race wouldn't test a runner's speed but rather his ability to pace himself and determine what an appropriate pace per mile is. As soon as the runner has completed the course he must take his baked good out of the oven, plate it, and serve it to judges as well as eat a piece himself.

Whoever has the tastiest baked good wins.

If you have a good idea for the name, leave it in the comments. I should make that into a contest. Maybe if someone comes up with an awesome name I will mail him/her some squash.

This morning I ran 5mi with some pick-ups. It was chiiiiilllly. My first mitten and ear warmer run of the fall. I'm thinking I might look for some running capris this weekend. They seem like they'd be nice in this weird in between "not cold enough for pants, not reeeealllly warm enough for shorts" weather.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

From Chilly to Hot

So I froze to death all day waiting for my air conditioner to get fixed (and it did, thanks, maintenance guy and thanks co-worker for the loan of the probably prohibited space heater), and when I got home the.heat.was.on. Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! If anyone has been following my blog since the winter, you know that our apartment gets super hot and there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about it. This time, I think we are going to try to put in a maintenance request, though, because it took at least until January before it got this hot last year. I kind of doubt anything will happen, and I hate to make stupid requests, but it gets so hot it's hard to sleep, even with the fan on and the windows open.

Okay, whining over. I did 45 min on the elliptical this morning and that should be it for the day, exercise-wise. I have conversation partner tonight, and D's picnic got moved (again) to tonight so I won't really be able to go because I have a meeting at 4:30pm.

Thanks to everyone who has sent phone numbers. I really appreciate it.

Hope you all have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gah! I'm not ready for fall

It decided to get cold last night. Our apartment is cold, my office is cold (the air conditioner is stuck on, but at least I have a space heater in here today), outside is cold. Seriously. The weather channel says it "feels like" 44 and we have a frost advisory for tonight. And it was 70 last weekend! Can't we ease into this???

I did get out and run this morning. 5mi with 4x800. I did the first and third 800s at 8 min/mile pace and the second and fourth at 7:50 min/mile pace. Not great because I was aiming for 7:30 min/mile. Problem is that I had no idea what that was supposed to feel like. I ran fast but not hard so I guess next time I have to go harder so I'm actually struggling at the end, not just wishing I could stop. I will also put the blame on the wind because it was really going.

So how did I give my phone a bath in my purse? I was carrying two plates of cookies into our leader meeting at youth group, and I put my water bottle in my purse so I'd have my hands free. What I didn't think about was that there's a tiny hole in the top of the bottle so air can come in. Well, that means water can also go out, which it did. I didn't figure that out until water was running down my leg. At that point I dumped the contents of my purse all over the floor. So wet + smacking into the floor = demise of the phone.

We did get new phones yesterday, and I have the same number so anyone who reads this who knew I had their number before... I don't any more so if you could e-mail me with it I'd be super appreciative. (Thanks to Jessica who already did). We had our phones for 2.5 years so we were due for an upgrade and got a pretty good rebate offer. Since we don't internet or text with our phones we were able to get a pretty cheap model. The guy was kind of pushy on the extra features but not too bad. The only thing that was a little over the top was trying to persuade us to get a second car charger when we only have one car. Oh well. My ring tone is called Whistling Wizard. That makes it all worthwhile.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cell phone catastrophe

So I gave my cell phone a bath last night. And dropped it. So it is nonfunctional at the moment. I'm planning to leave in about 15 minutes to go to the store and see if they can fix it/give me a new cheap one. I've had this one for a little more than 2.5 years so I guess I did pretty well taking this long to destroy it. *Sigh* Here's hoping I can get some kind of cheapo upgrade or whatever. And here's double hoping they'll even deal with me because I think the plan is in D's name.

Otherwise I managed a dry 5mi this morning. It's rainy and chilly here, but for some reason it's usually okay for a run at 6am.

That's about it, folks.