Merry Happy

Merry Christmas! I hope you had a nice holiday!

My Christmas was nice, if very low-key. I didn’t travel back to Michigan to be with my family, which is hard for me, but I still had a nice time (and texted them a lot).

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The tree on Christmas Eve – my parents sent me a ton of very nice gifts!

I had the day off on Christmas Eve, so I went for a run in a new pair of shoes and made some sugar cookies.

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Yep, it is warm enough to run outside in shorts in Seattle. No white Christmas here. A green and grey Christmas.

And as you can see I’m a professional cookie decorator. Considering the last time I made sugar cookies (4-5 years ago?) they were basically inedible and hard as rocks, these turned out to be quite a victory as they were not only soft enough to chew, but actually tasted pretty good. Of course all recipes are too huge, so I froze the rest of the dough. I hope I remember it’s in the freezer.

Christmas morning was fun as always, had cinnamon rolls (Pillsbury – I can only do so much baking and of course I love opening those canisters) and opened gifts. I’m a really lucky duck and got some great presents.

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That wrapping paper is my favorite. Mossy oak in pink. I told you I’m lucky.

I got some running clothes, a nice vest, candy, soap, and some other fun stuff. Then I went for a 5 mile run to test everything out (it all worked fine).

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My cat wanted to go running too.

Then I talked to my parents and drank some champagne and made dinner (chicken, brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, just like Thanksgiving).

Merry Christmas!

Weekend Before Christmas

Happy Monday! Did you have a nice weekend? Are you working today?

I’m working, in a very quiet office. The only noise is the thrum of heating (or cooling? since it’s in the mid 50s today?) and the click of a keyboard several cubes away. Click click, put that metadata in its place.

The weekend was nice, and very low-key, as all my weekends are. Solstice!

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Thank goodness!

Oh, we had a eensy amount of snow on Friday morning, but that was still exciting. It of course turned to rain and was gone before noon. It’s hard living in a rain cloud.

photo3Speaking of living in a rain cloud, I went running yesterday in the rain. I usually wear a ball cap to keep the rain mostly off my glasses, but this was of absolutely no help yesterday as I was completely surrounded by mist. It was a very drippy 11 miles. The good news is that the rain washed a blood spot out of my shoe, left there from a blister last week. Nice! Disgusting!

After my run I drank a beer and immediately felt awful until I ate a bunch of pretzels.

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Are all your presents wrapped? Mine are not.

Run Streak

Don’t worry, no streaking here. It’s too cold.

A few days before Thanksgiving, I saw folks on Instagram posting about the Runner’s World Run Streak, where you challenge yourself to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. I figured I might as well see if I could do it – and while we’re not there yet, so far I’ve run every day.

CaptureIt’s been pretty fun! Even on days I reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaallllllly don’t want to run, I think “Well, it’s just a mile. That takes under 10 minutes and isn’t enough to make me sweaty so I don’t have to take a shower.” And then I go run!

Most of the time, once I get started I’m happy to do more than just one mile, and wind up doing 3-4. I still might not take a shower though.

And it really keeps me accountable on days I want to work out, but by the time the work day ends and it has been dark for an hour and a half already and all I want to do is open a bottle of wine – nope! Can’t do that yet! Have to get to the gym or brave the “cold”. Though I’ve definitely been heading to the treadmill a lot more than running outside. It’s not so much the cold that puts me off, but the dark. Especially since, in the dark, I don’t really want to try out new routes and wind up running the same boring path again and again. I figure if that’s all I’m going to do, I might as well just do it on a boring treadmill where it’s warm and I can try to run “fast”. Excuses, excuses.

Anyway, we’ll see if I make it to New Year’s. I’m not traveling at all this holiday season (super sad face), and while that’s a bummer, it’ll make it easier for me to keep running.

In other news, Christmas tree!!!

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Seattle Half Marathon

Happy December! Have you done all your holiday shopping yet? I’ve done a little bit of mine but I haven’t started writing Christmas cards yet.

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving last week! Did you eat a bird?

The long weekend was nice, I ate some pie and mashed potatoes on Thursday, went shopping (I know, what is wrong with me?) on Friday and tried to watch the worst Christmas tree lighting ever on Friday night. I don’t remember what I did on Saturday. Read, I think. And cleaned the tub.

Can’t beat that for excitement!

Sunday I ran the Seattle half marathon again. This is the third time I’ve run the race. I was totally nervous leading up to it, because even though I’ve been very diligent in my running, this stupid back/hip injury has been problematic for months. Sometimes I’m able to run with no problems, and other times it is so painful I can barely hobble home. I was really nervous it would flare up on Sunday’s run and I’d be 7 miles into the course and barely able to walk.

Anyway, Sunday I woke up early, ate some toast and drank some coffee and put on my rattiest of sweat clothing over my race outfit for the bus ride downtown to the race start. I think I really looked scary, as I had on an XL hooded sweatshirt and enormous grey sweatpants and was carrying my stuff in a plastic garbage bag. Too bad I didn’t take a picture.

I checked my bag and sweat clothing, hopped around at the start a little, and got a BEAUTIFUL pre-race photo:

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Lovely. My eyes are always closed.

Anyway, my hip felt kind of tight so I was nervous about the run, but whatever, I was there to give it my best.

The first mile was cold, and crowded as first miles always are so I ran it pretty slow. And though I could feel a little bit of pain in my hip and back, it was nothing terrible. And it eventually subsided (or my brain kicked out enough endorphins to numb it!)

The race went really well. I felt in quite good shape, lung- and leg-wise, though I held back a little because I was still worrying I’d start feeling bad later into the race. This was probably a little dumb, but I still gave it a pretty good effort and got a pretty good time of 1:52:02 (a personal best, I think!)

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Overall very encouraging, and now I want to run under 1:50 and of course also start training for a marathon, assuming my body cooperates.

More glamorous photos:

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And these are the “good” shots. I think I need less baggy shorts. Though I do love my compression socks and wear them as a fashion statement even when I’m not exercising.

After the race I put my hideous grey sweat outfit back on, packed my medal in my garbage bag, and bussed it home.

Treadmill Time

I finally joined a gym! It’s very conveniently located near my apartment and work. And while I don’t love running on the treadmill, it is nice to have the option sometimes. Particularly in the early morning, or when it is really rainy. In general, I don’t mind running in a light rain, which is usually all Seattle has to offer, but when it’s really raining cats and dogs it is nice to hit the treadmill. This time of year, I usually run in the dark (since it gets dark at about 5 pm), and running in the dark in the evening isn’t scary, but running in the dark at 5 am certainly is – not quite sure why, maybe because there are so few other people out? And those that are out seem a little nutty?

I’ve been too sleepy this week to get up and go to the gym before work, but I’ve taken advantage of the treadmill a few times in the evening. The whole thing is like a game to hurry up from work to make sure I get a GOOD treadmill – one with a TV. Then I can watch the Pioneer Woman butter her family.

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Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Anyway, I’ve run 19.5 miles this week, 86 this month. Likely not going to hit my goal of 130 for the month of November, due to vacation at the beginning of the month and this stupid injury (and due to some laziness too, let’s be serious). But my goal will be to do better than October, when I ran 116 miles. If I can get to 120 I will be pleased as punch.

And I’m going to start December out right with a half marathon on the 1st!

Firecracker 5000 5K

I did this midnight 5k last year, and had a great time, so decided to do it again!

Last year I ran with Chanell and her Mom, who unfortunately couldn’t join us this year. This year, I ran the race with Alex, and we had a nice group of cheerers.

Cheerers who made sure we had a few good drinks before the run.

I think I look appropriately concerned.

Pinky swear. We’re in it for the whole 3 miles.

So exciting!

Some people like to show off a little.

Or a lot.

I guess I like to show off too.

The run was super fun, nice and speedy. I always forget how fast 5Ks are. Time was 24:25.

Athletes always fuel up with a beer or two, right?

Totally ridiculous.

But very fun!

And then it was past my bedtime.

And past Alex’s too.

Happy Fourth of July!

Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon

Time to run another half marathon!

I did this race last year, and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to run it again this year. Once again, I registered for the full marathon and realized I just don’t have it in me to commit to training for a full, so dropped down to the half. I would really like to run a full marathon again, but need to be realistic about the amount of time I’m willing to train for racing. I enjoy running, a lot, but enjoy the level of intensity I need when training for half marathons (so, all the time). The thought of training for a full just kind of stresses me out, and that is really not the point of running, at least not for me. At the same time, I do want to take on new challenges when running, so another full marathon will probably be in the cards at some point.

Anyway, I was a little jittery about the logistics for this race. I had to get downtown early in order to run, and that always stresses me out a little. Probably a good thing – gets the adrenaline up.

I made it to the race start at the Seattle Center with plenty of time, but only had time to wait in line to use the Porta-Potty (so gross) once! This meant I had to stop for a quick pee on the race course, something I’ve never done before. Aren’t you glad you know this about me now? Runners seem to feel ok telling everyone about their bodily functions, but I usually consider that a bit too crass for me.

The race was well organized, the bands were fun, the new course was nice. It was really similar to the Amica Seattle Half, which is fine, since I like that race. Last year I think I was excited by the sheer number of people participating in this race, but this year the crowds drove me a little crazy.

See? Crazy.

It was just kind of an ok race – my time was fine, especially considering I stopped and taking the crowds into account. I had fun, and as usual felt a little “mystical” at the end of the race, but I really just wanted to get out of all the people once I finished.

Time was 1:58:49, a 9:04 pace, with negative splits.

Maybe next year I’ll buckle down for the full race. I guess we will see!