Friday, December 30, 2011

Getting it done for Christmas!

Just a quick update here.  Between the laptop mishap and the fact that I typically unplug when on "vacation", my updates pretty much everywhere have been sparce.  I pretty much did my dailymile updates, but even those were a bit late.

YES, we fixed the laptop, and not through Dell directly as we initially thought.  I spent several hours working on the ordeal, including being on the phone with Costco, Dell, and driving around locating a local and WAY cheaper place that did it while I waited.  Our laptop is very new, so fixing it was the best option.  We took it to a local place called Computer Bytes, and they did it while I waited!  No shipping it off!  It was so much cheaper than sending it to Dell, who wanted $150 alone for shipping!  I got it fixed for $175. I don't know if I could have gotten it cheaper or not, I was just so elated when I got this price that I said sure, and didn't even try to negotiate.  Dell did try to negotiate with me when I cancelled my repair order, but they couldn't knock $200 off or fix it today.

Here is what we cooked for Christmas Eve dinner, and I did get in an awesome 11 miler before eating this.  We busted out the china and everything!  We also had chocolate mousse for dessert:

Also, I kept to my workout goals so far this week.  My stomach has paid severly, and I have felt ill quite a bit as a result of my poor eating combined with crazy/nutty workout schedule.  We ended up driving 3 different days this week, and moved our long drive day from Sunday, a rest day, to Monday, so that got things off to a strange workout start.  We got in to MI on Monday mid afternoon.  I ended up on the treadmill Monday night at 9:30pm to knock out a 3 miler.  Tuesday night, at 8:30pm, I was starting a 6 miler.  My legs felt fine, but boy did my stomach feel like crud after eat sizable dinners late on both of those evenings.  Wed ended up being a rest day, because my only option for working out was in the morning, and I really wanted more than 12 hours rest between workouts.  We saw Mission Impossible that evening after our big dinner with Ryan's family, so there was no night treadmill run.  On Thursday, I got up at 5am (after getting home from the movie at midnight) to meet up with Cristina.  SWEET! She had to work, which meant she was teaching right by the old condo, just 20 minutes from Ryan's parents, and she was able to get me into her facility.  I haven't done spin class in a long time, but boy, it felt great to workout on a mostly empty stomach.  We chatted for a bit about races before I had to head out so that we could drive to OH.  We had our big dinner with my family Thursday night, and this morning, I got up and knocked off my final 3 miles of my midweek mileage outside in the rain.  My parents do not have a working treadmill.  I could have gone to Urban Active, but it was nice to be outside and bang it out in under 26 minutes.  I got to try out my new running tights I got from Ryan.  They are awesome, and from REI.  I am washing them right now so that I can wear them for tomorrow's 8 miler. 

The good news is that my running is on track.  My eating has been out of control.  At least all my new clothes still fit!  I will need to be revamping my eating in another couple days.  Tomorrow night will include chocolate fondue, so I can't start a diet before that!  I also got to try some Vosges dark chocolate and bacon, which was surprisingly tasty! 

Our Christmas went really well.  We didn't take back anything as a result of the laptop mess, but we did push out getting new phones (which we planned to do, and then opened the laptop to send off a quick email first, noticed it was broken, and then everything went awry).  Maybe in another month or two.  My big surprise gift was a sewing machine, which means I can't wait to make all sorts of crafty decorations from pinterest.  I got my hoodie, and a new Arc'teryx shell, as well as some True Religion jeans.  I knew about those, as I picked them out months ago when at the outlet mall buying towels for the house.  We also got some fun family photos taken with my side of the family.
We used a self timer with our Canon Rebel on a tripod with a hood.  I was supposed to be reading about how to do it on the drive, but passed out the whole way since I went to spin class.  As a result, this is one from the first bunch.  Our self timer takes 10 shots at a time, in series.  We didn't realize we had it set up to go, so only some of us where there.  My sister and I got the timing down, and started posing for the shots.  This was the funniest.  Ryan did not love how my underwear are pulled up higher than my pants, but I think that adds to the humor in it.
I wish everyone a safe and happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All I Want for Christmas is......

A new laptop screen. Soren broke ours today while playing with his toy tools. I want to puke. I was just sitting down to do a photo project for my BIL, and BAM, open it up to a busted screen.

So, I hope you have a much merrier Christmas than us. The Christmas spirit had temporarily left the building. Posting on the iPod sucks. Buying a new laptop days before Christmas sucks. However, the ban on running on Christmas Eve has been lifted, so I am at least ahead on my training for the week.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Too Nice for Working Out?

I really didn't think I would get a chance to post again this week.  Pretty much the only reason I am able is because Keira work Soren up this morning at the crack of dawn because she is excited about her Christmas party at school today.  I put Soren back to bed in my room, thus I can't go back to sleep or really get myself ready yet for another few minutes.  I am seriously bummed that of all days I need to run outside to make things a lot easier, it is pouring.  Not just raining, but sideways wind howling pouring.  It is not that cold, which is nice, but I am just not sure if I want to bundle Soren up to take him out and deal with pushing a huge sail through it.  It has 3 hours to stop, so that is good.  The bad thing is that I have Keira's party, so I need to go to that instead of the gym.  I have a sitter lined up, and she needs to be somewhere by 11, which means that techically, I should be able to make it to the gym by 11, thus leaving me with 1 hour left to work out.  However, I won't have time to get cleaned up, and I will already be all cleaned up when I get there.  Grr. 

This leads nicely to a post I remembered reading a while back about having workout clothes that are too nice to wear to work out.  When I first read it, I was like, whatever, they are workout clothes.  They are supposed to get gross and stinky, not be super cute.   I just grab whatever is most comfortable for the conditions out of my workout drawer and try to match colors and go with it.  I do have some fleeces that I try to wear once as a shirt and then next to workout so I can maximize use and minimize washings, but otherwise, I didn't think much of it until yesterday.  Yesterday was unusually warm, and I went to my closet and selected a Mountain Hardwear running shirt as my shirt to wear.  Hmm, it was HANGING IN MY CLOSET.  Not in my workout drawer.  I have never worked out in it ever.  It is just to wear as a shirt.  Then I looked around a bit more.  I have another mountain hardwear "butter hoodie" that is also JUST FOR WEARING.  In fact, I have this one on my Christmas list, and I know I am getting it because I tried it on in my house after Ryan bought it to make sure it fit.

I am getting it from REI,  (where the picture is from) and it has actually gone on sale.  It might be cheaper than what we paid, I need to check to see if we need to reorder it actually for a savings.  However, the shipping and returning part might get tricky since it is so close to Christmas.  We can do returns in person at the store, but I don't want to have to return the old one before the new one comes. 

I actually have no intention of working out in this hoodie at all.  It is way too cute, and expensive!  I think this is why I should not get into wearing Lucy or Lullemon stuff.  I bet I would buy it to just look cute and not even work out in it.  I have an awesome smartwool ski sweater, and I hardly ever ski in it because it is dry clean only, and who wants to sweat in something you have to dry clean!  I did try hand washing it in our machine, which is allowable on the directions, and it fell apart, so I am on my second one and don't want to risk it, as dry cleaning was also an option on the care label.  It is actually awesome for skiing, but I use it more for light ski days where I will spend a lot of time in the lodge with the kids.  I am sure it helps that I have more than enough technical running clothing that I have gotten for free over the years from races and sponsors, and that the stuff doesn't really wear out.  I also have a race uniform, which means I don't need to have cute racing outfits.  I have raced in my current butter hoodie, which is dark green, in a St Patty's day race before.  I needed something green, and it was a great shirt to run in, just way too cute.

So, do you have any running/workout clothes that is NEVER for running or working out?  I totally thought I didn't, until I stepped out of my running drawer, and looked through my casual clothes.  It is full of them.  It sort of doesn't count that my climbing clothes is dual purpose.  I DO use it for climbing, I just haven't in a really REALLY long time, but I do have a ton of Prana climbing clothing too, as well as stuff that was bought to be wicking for backpacking, but that I now just wear since I don't have the opportunity to backpack anymore.  I may wear some of that for running now and then, but I don't really need to either, which all my race shirt freebies.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Boston Marathon Training HAS BEGUN!

I have been a slacker a bit these past couple weeks on blogging and reading blogs.  I am sorry about that.  Part of it has been that I have been Ryan's assistant scrapbooker, as we crammed to get our entire year boiled down to 10 scrapbook pages.  If it wasn't for the fact that we had 2 computers with pictures randomly on each other, as well as 2 cameras, then I am sure Ryan would not have even bothered to have me help, because I am horrible at canning pictures.  I want to include everything (hence my personal blog entries being out of control).  Ryan is great at being concise, but he just had no clue where any of the pictures were, so I had to make attempts at getting them grouped for him by page.  I seriously spent one night searching through the Muncie lost and found photos (all 5500 of them), trying to find a picture of me finishing with the IM banner over my head.  Sadly, I did not find one.  I did, however, find two really awesome ones of me running into the finish line where you can read IRONMAN in the background, and several others.  I ended up ordering two so that I can use them for the scrapbook.  I have the proofs in there now, but will replace them once they finally arrive.

I also spent nights working on compiling our Christmas card list and getting those in order.  I will not be posting a picture of our card.  Ryan feels that it makes it less special for those who recieve it if it is out there on the internet for everyone.  However, I think this might be the last year we mail them and will just do a f/b card or e-card, since it looks like the post office as we know it may go under soon.  We still have about 10 more cards to do.  I participated in the (Just) Trying is for Little Girls Card exchange, and would like to give a shout out to my group, Team Dasher!  Check out these ladies.  I look forward to learning more about them.

Kim @ (Just) Trying is for Little Girls

Darlene @lMy First 5K and More

Jen @ Running With The Girls
Fav race distance so far has been the 1/2 marathon.   

Jolene @ Journey of a Canuck Mom on the Run, 

Thanks Kim for putting this together!

Also, one of the real reasons I have been slacking on the blog front is that I have NOT been slacking on the training front.  With the holidays fast approaching, I have been a lot busier during the week, doing shopping, food prep, ect, and I am using Hal Higdon's intermediate/advanced marathon training plan, which meant I needed to have a decent base built up before starting it.  We also went out of town over the weekend, which meant that I had to fit in all my training M-F, with nothing on Saturday.  It meant 9 miles on the treadmill, but I had to get it done to be ready to do my first official long run of my training plan this Saturday.  10 miles.  This was in Chicago at the Christkindlmarket.  I ate so much food!  Yum.  Now I need to get back on track.

Yesterday was the official start, and it was cross training.  I did meet with Mr New Trainer, and I think he had been briefed.  I say this mostly because he did not do any sort of fitness evaluation or sales pitch.  He also didn't really ask my background, probably because he was standing there on Friday when the head of personal training introduced me to a client as "the only person crazy enough to ask for more" after one of his sessions.  The workout was challenging.  I am sore today for sure.  He focused more on areas of my strengths, so I am not terribly sore, and only at a couple points during the workout did I really struggle, but I did feel it.  Wall sits while doing punches with weights kicked the trash out of me.  Also, doing ab exercises for 1min solid, each exercise rather than 30 secs (which I normally do) was an adjustment, but I am not nearly as sore as I was after Deluca's workout.  I did wear my Muncie shirt and a skirt, per everyone's suggestions.

Today, I did a hill workout indoors.  It was a dumb idea, and I didn't realize how dumb it was until I finished my first 400m hill, and the treadmill only went down to flat, not downhill.  RIP OFF!  I totally forgot about that aspect of hills until I was mid workout.  Blech.  I think for hills from now on, I will run the road to our sub, which is about perfectly lengthed, with 400 steep uphill, and then a downhill.  I was supposed to do 3 sets, and I did them, but I hated it.  I was proud of myself because I did not touch the speed at all.  I was able to maintain the same speed going uphill as I did on the recovery pace, and that was super hard.  Maybe too hard?   I have never done an indoor hill workout before, so I guess I wasn't sure what to do.  Any thoughs?  I think I will save the tempos and speed sessions for the treadmill, but do hills on real hills, even if it means I have to take Soren. It was actually pretty warm this morning too, which made it seem extra stupid.  I will probably have to take him for my Thursday run, since Keira has a school party during gym playroom hours.  I am going to have to get creative to get everything done until Jan 2.  At least the distances are pretty short for now, so they won't be as time consuming to do or dangerous to the grand scheme of things if I have to skip one or two.  My swims will be the first to go, and I need to get back into biking come Jan.

Also, my race schedule is all jacked up for 2012.  I know I want to do at least 1 70.3 and 2 half marathons, one in the spring and one in the fall.  I can't seem to figure out what to do.  I was thinking of Rev3 Knoxville, until I realized it was the day after the Kentucky Derby.  This poses 2 problems.  1, we wanted to go to the Derby this year.  2, it is pretty darn close to Boston, and I doubt I will have my biking ready since I will be easing up on the biking (provided I actually get it under control during Boston training) pretty much the whole first half of April, and then need to recover from the race too.  I do want to do a fast half shortly after Boston, and had considered the Capital City half, which is also that same weekend.  The Derby Mini Marathon is the week prior, and just too close to Boston to do what I want to do.  I can't do Racing for Recovery Half this year either.  Keira has her ballet recital the day before, so that doesn't work either.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I want to race the weekend of Muncie for sure.  It is Saturday, July 7th. I just need to decide if I want to do Muncie, or stay here and do this local half.  Doing the local half is about the cheapest half I have ever seen, and Cristina may come down to do it as practice for IMLOU, since the course is similar.  I am not looking forward to swimming in the Ohio River, but with all the expense of Boston, doing a cheap race locally sounds like it might be a good idea.  I have already done the M-dot brand.  I had sort of wanted to try out the Rev 3, though.  I must say I was bummed to learn that the prices were the same as an M-dot.  Heather just got sponsored by Rev 3, so I am hoping she can tell me why to pick one over the other, when cost is the same.  Cedar Point would be the only other option, and the bad thing about that is that there is a race in MI that is very popular with my friends the day before.  Cristina has never lost it, and has free entry for life, so I know she won't do Cedar Point with me.  It is also a Sunday race, and I would really prefer a Saturday race.  Does anyone have some options?  I am not terribly worried about my plan for next year, though.  I need Ryan to hash out his, and then I will squeeze stuff in.  After such a huge year I had this year, I feel like I don't want to spend so much money on entry fees and travel.  I want to pick out a few nice races and really work on them.  I thought I did that this past year, but the move really threw a wrench into a lot of the plans, as well as being sick.

Sorry for the huge post, but I worried if I broke it into a couple over a few days, that it just wouldn't get done.  Keira is off school next week, and I will be entertaining my parents, so it will be crazy before Christmas.  There will also be an 11 miler in the gym on the treadmill on Dec 23, so I don't have to do it on the 24th.   And we haven't even started wrapping presents yet.  That will make for some more late nights!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Am I some sort of Idiot? .....or Something?

Well, you don't need to answer that.  I have done some things this year that are probably more than a little crazy.  Let's just say that this move has made me notice a few differences between Novi ("the land of malls and mansions" to quote Randy Step of Running Fit), and Louisville.  Louisville is a lot more laid back.   Hence, I am now thinking that I am weird for for wearing jeans to and from the gym.  Yes, there was an incident.  I don't think I would have figured this out myself because I have written on many times about how I love me a good expensive pair of premium denim!  It is my biggest vice, if you don't count Diet Dr. Pepper (which I am planning on giving up, except for on fountain, as a new years resolution). 

Anyway, I have been doing a lot of my workouts at the gym lately because the weather has been cold and damp, and Ryan has been working sick hours.  I can't get in a run after he gets home from work because it is just really dark and late, and there is very poor visability around here.  I don't like taking the kids out when it is cold AND raining, unless it is a race.  I will do one or the other, not both.  Needless to say, I have been doing almost all my weekday runs at the gym.  It also means I am quickly running out of all my favorite running shorts, tops, ect.  I also have to run and then swim on the same trip, so I have worn some tri stuff to save time on transitions, although I hate wearing my favorite tri shorts in the pool because I know it will shorten their life.  So, with all this gym attendence (and Soren is dealing a little better with it, but we still have bribes in place with movies, juice boxes, and Chick Fil A to get him there happy), I have noticed a lot of new promotions and new trainers.  They were running 2 promotions in November for free personal training sessions, and I took advantage of one of them.  I felt guilty about doing both last month, since it is not in my budget, either money or time right now since I only get so many hours of childcare and I need to do all my swimming and running there in the week right now.  They started another one in December, which I took advantage of by bringing in a donation for Toys for Tots.  I asked if I could still have a free session since I got one last month, or did I have to pick something else (like a free protein shake or friend 2 week guest pass), and they said I could still have another training session.  I was in a hurry, so I took the voucher home with me, and yesterday I finally decided that I wanted to try a new trainer to get some new ideas instead of one I already tried.  Hopefully the trainers are not offended by this.  I just want new ideas I can do at home, since that is where I will have to do them, most likely, due to time constraints.

So, I do my workout yesterday (in a bathing suit and tri shorts for the run, bathing suit for the swim, yeah, I probably looked like a dork, but a FAST dork on the treadmill, and if you are fast, you can be a dork on the treadmill).  I actually had plenty of time to get cleaned up, thanks to my super fast run to swim transition since all I had to do was remove my shorts, shoes, and put on my crocs before my swim.  I got a good shower, got dressed, did my makeup, and still had a few minutes on my pool key to stop by personal training.  There was a new trainer there, so that was perfect.  I told him I wanted to redeem my coupon, and set up a session.  He made an appointment for me, but then told me that I would want to "wear something lightweight" and "make sure I eat something an hour before".  I was like, "OK? Sure".  I seriously hope he knew I didn't just workout in my jeans with pink stitching that matched my pink hoodie.  My head was sopping wet, so it should have been obvious that I took a shower and that was not what I had worked out in. 

It made me wonder.  I know he is a new trainer, so he doesn't know me at all.  I can give him the benefit of the doubt. 
- he saw that I had a pool key and knew I swam, there are lots of people that just swim (like me in the summer)?
-he didn't want to work me out in my bathing suit/tri shorts?
-he thought I was new to the gym based on the coupon I had?  They didn't give me one last time, and put me on the list right away instead.

At any rate, I started wondering if it was strange that I wear my jeans to the gym.  I pretty much wear them everyday after my workout.  Sometimes I will wear yoga pants over my running shorts or skirt if they don't fit well underneat on the way there, but for the most part, I wear my bathing suits and compression shorts under my jeans.  It is too much clothes to pack if I have to have a pre workout outfit, workout clothes, and post workout clothes if they are all different outfits.  The gym is a bit of a drive for me, so if I don't shower there, I have to come straight home, and that is it for errands for the day for me.  I am pretty casual, but I don't like going to places all sweaty, especially in cooler temps where I can get chilled easily.  I have noticed, though, that a lot of people don't shower at the gym.  I used to think that it was gross, but maybe they don't have to go anywhere, and would rather the privacy of their home.  I don't like changing in front of people, but I also don't like having my house destroyed by a toddler while I am in the shower at home.  That is me, though.  Everyone has a different situation.

I guess I went to a rather swanky gym in Novi before.  Most of the people who came in and out were professionals, and were coming in on a break from work.  Lost of ladies wore high heels and business clothing when coming and going, men wore suits.  There were also lots of fancy jeans.  We had two completely private "family" locker rooms where you could go if you did want want to have to get ready in front of people, and I did use them from time to time.  Yes, there were plenty of people in sweatsuits going in and out, but there were just as many people who would work out and then go somewhere else.  I don't know.  What do you wear to the gym?  I will still be wearing my jeans today.  I am swimming today, and to be honest, my jeans fit awesome under some of my compression shorts! They slide right on!

This leaves me with a few thoughts on Monday's session.  It is obvious that the trainer knows nothing about my background.  He will ask me goals, I am sure, when we sit down, and how often I work out, so that will give him some insight on what I do.  I am going to tell him about my April Marathon, and that I want to do an Ironman in 2015, probably a half IM or two nex year, and run a fast spring half marathon.  I am trying to figure out what to wear (and I am finally doing laundry so I can pick whatever):

A.  Something very non-descript and unassuming, like a solid black tank and black shorts
B.  Go full on sponsored out in either all Team Aquaphor gear or the more obnoxious "hunter" orange Team Stayput get up, or my Ironman 70.3 Muncie shirt
C.  Go the yuppie fitness route with a trendy patagonia tank layered over a black sports bra and workout skort, with my new free reeboks that have not been worn in bad weather yet, so they look brand new still.  I would need to throw on a bit of makeup BEFORE working out with this one.

I actually need to swim on Monday, so wearing a bathing suit and shorts would be most convenient, but also rather dorky.  I am not ready to go that route again.  Thoughts?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Stuff! LG Tone review and other random things I have tried out recently

Here is the real product review that I promised.  I was give an LG Tone (HBS-700) Wireless Stereo Headset from the folks at LG and to review.  The product was free of charge, in exchange for two reviews on retailer websites as well as any additional social media/networking, so here it goes.  The views expressed are my own.

The LG Tone uses bluetooth to connect with your bluetooth enabled cell phone/mp3 player.  We have bluetooth in our truck with Microsoft Sync to connect my phone, so that is pretty much what I wanted to use this for, but around the house while working in the kitchen or elsewhere in the house doing mommy type duties so that I can be hands free and still chat with my friends.  The calls are very clear and I have had very little problems with hearing my caller, and vice versa.  I am really bad at charging my phone on a regular basis, so a lot of the time I would get "stuck" to the wall with my phone plugged in.  Not any more! I can plug my phone into our center island and have free range of the kitchen!  The brochure says I get 33 feet, but I haven't tested that.  I love it for calls.  The earbuds fit pretty well.  I did get them tangled in my hair once, but I usually have my hair pulled back so it isn't a big deal.  Check me out wearing it!  (Don't mind my lax makeup today!)  You can just see the wires going from the headset to my ears.  I probably should have picked a solid backdrop.

However, it has so many more features!  I felt like I didn't take full advantage of it yet.  I didn't even know until my month trial period was almost up that my iTouch has bluetooth!  Cristina told me because she also received the LG Tone, and uses it when vacuuming her house.  Gosh!  I wish I had realized that sooner.  My iTouch doesn't have any music on it right now, so it didn't do me much good.  Like many people, my iTunes account is sort of messed up, so I set up my iTouch as its own account, and haven't put any music on it yet, and I am guessing it is going to take more than a few minutes to get it figure out.  Thankfully, I am allowed to keep the headset, although my reviews needed to be done by today, so I will be able to use it with my iPod eventually.  Once I do, I will be able to listen to my music through bluetooth in STEREO!  I can put my iPod on the shelf on the treadmill and not have to worry about the wires connecting me to it.  The wires on the headset are short, just going from it to my ears.  They also store in the ends by a magnet when they aren't in your ears. (oh, and I also learned from Cristina that there is some sort of Nano recall for the batteries, so I might be getting a new one of those bad boys, but will need to reload ALL of my music again onto it, so I am not sure if it will be worth the trouble). 

Now, onto the other random new things. 

I LOVE LED CANDLES!  They are the bomb!  I wasn't given any to test, but purchased a bunch from Costco.  They are so much safer around the kiddos, and the candlesticks and large pillars have timers so I don't need to touch them!  Yeah!  The pillars are also great on our mantel.  We have tons of real candles up there, but we have everything packed so dense that I was afraid to light any of them.  We will probably do it on Christmas Eve for a short time.  I am concerned with the heat from one flame melting the sides of another candle, and also that they are so close to the wall. I sort of wished we had them spaced more evenly, but we placed the German decorations first, and then fit the candles around them.  They don't stand out so much in the daytime because the blend into the wall and the decorations pop instead.  I was going to use small votives, closer to the front, and still might switch it. 

The first pack of candlesticks had a bad one, that just stayed on.  I bought a second pack, and still need to return the bad one to Costco.  I am not worried with their excellent return policy.  I just took one out of the new pack so we didn't have to take the batteries out of the first pack, as well as get out the extension ladder to get the one in our entryway window down.  They are a little "yellower" than we would like, compared with the really bright corded non leds on the sides of the house, but all I have seen around with timers are LEDs, and I don't know that another brand would be more white.  You can't really tell in this picture, but you can when you are in the house (btw, we were the weird neighbors hanging our garland from the porch at 10pm on Saturday, in the dark, because the weather was warm and it hadn't started pouring yet- we had several days of rain that followed this, and it was misting on us as it was).

We also got our  new tree from Costco.  It looks more real that our previous tree.  It is not as "shiny" looking as our other tree that Ryan described as a pipe cleaner, and it is a positive..  It has plastic wired branches that look really real.  They were a bit more challenging to get ornaments with small string loops onto, but anything with a big loop or hook was no problem.  It isn't LED, which we sort of wanted from an energy standpoint, but we liked the color of the regular bulbs better.
Soren thought it looked just like the picture on the box:

Here are a couple really mundane new things we tried this week too.  I got some Jif Natural Peanut Butter, and it was AWESOME!  I had tried Smuckers a while back and hated it.  The Jif does have sugar and molasses in it, so it isn't just peanuts.  It has the same calories as the reduced fat creamy and the regular crunchy.  It is a total winner!  I also bought some Meijer apple cider, and it was amazingly good too!  Perhaps it is because we have been out of cider for a while and just any cider was good, but it hit the spot!  It comes from MI, so it has likely made out of tasty MI apples.  Soren thought it tasted like Three Cedars (which is still closed, btw), but not as good as Parmenters.  I mainly wanted it to make pumpkin bread.  It doesn't taste nearly as good when made with water instead of replacing it with cider.  I don't think it is worth the calories when made without cider!  I also got egg nog, which is always fun this time of year.  I think I might need to try Bolthouse Farms nog.  It is a low calorie version, but I expect it to taste richer than the low fat kind I bought.  Has anyone tried it?  I love their juices, so I would expect it to be good.

We also got Elf on a Shelf.  It has been very fun, and practically all of Keira's classmates have one too, so I am glad she isn't left out.  It hasn't been quite as effective as we had hoped with Soren, but he is coming around. He took one look at the elf and scoffed, "that's not real, it's just a toy" on the first day, but he is now talking about how it moves magically from room to room.

On the converse, I got a few things that I didn't love so much.  I got the Honey Maid Gingerbread graham crackers and didn't love them.  There were very crumbly, and I am not sure what I think of them.  They have a nice gingerbread taste, but since they are a cracker, are super dry.  I guess that is what they are, though.  Maybe I should just make some gingerbread cookies and save these for house building.  They look like they are designed for that.  We also got a bunch of costco flushable wipes, and within a few days of using them with Soren, I had already clogged the toilet after he had a particularly bad accident.  I am sure it is just because I used too many, and it probably would have happened with any brand, but at any rate, I think we will be going back to Huggies wipes put in the trash or give the kid a shower if this happens again.  The garbage truck had just come, though, and the thought of poopy wipes sitting in the  garbage for a full week just grossed me out.  Not nearly as gross as the MASSIVE mess the toilet made that almost caused me to add my own puke to it, but now I know :)  I love having a sanitized bathroom, but just wish it didn't come as the result of an emergency, and just because I had some free time on my hands.

Finally, my training is getting back into the routine.  My mileage is pretty low, still, getting ready for the official plan to start in 11 days!  Yeah!  It do have to make some modifications due to Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday, and I have been forbidden to run on it.  I also may have some more glitches because my gym's childcare is closed on snow days here.  It wasn't in MI.  We always worked out on snow days in the past, and I was never afraid to venture out into the snow.  I do need new tires still, so that may limit me, but I guess if I don't take care of it soon enough, that is where I will be on our first snow day, since apparently no one goes anywhere with the slightest bit of snow on the ground.  I AM NOT AFRAID!  Bring it!  It was weird to decorate the tree in a running skirt, and I got hot once I changed into my normal clothes.  How on earth am I going to train for a spring marathon if I am not going to train in a blizzard?  Well, maybe that will be OK and I can deal with having some milder weather for training reasons.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turkey Trot Race Recap

I am sorry this is late.  Whenever I go out of town for the weekend, I tend to take a break from technology, especially at my parents' house where there is no wifi or networked internet connection, just the one desktop.  With this past weekend being the official start of Christmas shopping, most of my time spent online was shopping.  In fact, my mom and I had our Gymboree/Janie and Jack orders placed by 11:30pm Wednesday night, since the Black Friday specials had already gone live.  This was great, becauase I was able to get to bed a little earlier than I thought I would for the Thanksgiving day race.  The kids got to bed a bit later than they should since they were racing too.  There race was before mine, so we got there about an hour before my race started, and a half hour before theirs.  This meant we got awesome parking.  It was pretty cold, so we hung tight in the car for a bit, and then dropped off a bunch of old shoes and a toy to donate. 

Then, we met up with my friend Amanda, who was in town for Thanksgiving too.  Her daughter was running in the children's race as well.  They tried to get the kids organized into age groups and passed out felt turkeys to designate their wave, but it was pretty disorganized because kids just started getting lined up early (including us).  They finally got us broken up into waves, and then the kids were off!  I was trying to run and take pictures, and accidently stepped on a boy and my mom had to help him put his shoe back on so I could keep going with Keira and Soren.  They crossed the finish line and received medals and cookies.

Then it was time for my race.  It was pretty cold, and I felt like I was rushed getting over to the starting line.  It was a hurry up and wait, though, because they didn't stop registration on time and as a result, weren't ready to start on time.  It didn't start too late, but since it was freezing, everyone was anxious to get going.  There were over 4000 people signed up for the 5 mile race!  We were finally off and running, and I realized that I started too far back.  It was super crowded for about the first quarter mile, and I was able to run on the sidewalk to make up a little bit of ground.  We also started running downhill, which meant I knew we would be running uphill to finish.  The  entire first mile ended up being downhill.  We ran through Ohio State's campus, including the stadium.  It was a nice course.  I was really shocked at how many fast people there were, and how big some of the fast runners were.  I know that I could have been quite a bit faster if I had not completed so many half marathons last month and been better rested/recovered, but I was able to squeak out a PR (if you don't include the first 5 miles of my better half marathons) of 38:10.  It was good enough for a pie, which went to the top 1000 female (and male) finishers for a total of 2000 pies in the 5 mile event.  I was actually in the top 100 females.  They had 10 year age groups (and no age group awards anyway), but I was 21st out of 506.  If I counted those in my 5 year age group, I was 10th.  I didn't count to see how the total would have changed, though.  Not too bad for a tired run!  I still feel like I am in recovery mode from last month, and while I didn't run on Wednesday to prepare, I did swim just because this race was for fun.  The kids were also really excited about it. 

We had a great Thanksgiving, where I just felt like I ate and ate and ATE! 
Here are the pies that Ryan's mom and I made (I made the apple and pumpkin, she made the German chocolate in the middle):

I am now on full on diet recovery mode, and starting to feel a bit better.  It was such a busy weekend, though, that I am still pretty tired.  We did not go to Best Buy on Thursday evening, because Ryan was able to find just about everything we wanted online.  We did go out Friday evening for a date, and popped in there.  It was still pretty crazy, and we managed to get the final video game on sale, but could not get our $40 blu ray player.  We ended up with a $67 one instead, and it looks to be a nicer player than the less expensive one.  We saw Twilight Breaking Dawn.

That is pretty much all for now!  I should have a product review this week, once I can get things back under control after being out of town.  I didn't put any of my workouts into daily mile last week, and have been enjoying doing flip turns in the pool. Although, it seems to make my sinuses worse with all the extra water I get in my face.  I had a neti pot like draining happen a few times when I bent over to put on my shoes after getting out of the pool  Gross!  I also can't keep track of my laps as well.  Any tips on this?

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Whole Lot of Randomness

It looks like BDD's Weekly Ramblings that Leah did, and Colleen's lasted post is catching on for this time of year.  I guess I have a lot of random things that don't neccesistate full posts, but are on my mind.

First, Three Cedars Farm has made it all over the Detroit news, and reached Chicago.  Please check out "Save Three Cedars Farm!" on f/b for more updates.  Per Gary and Sherry, there is not enough time to redecorate for Christmas and reopen for this season if they are allowed to continue.  This is a major bummer.  I really wish I could drive up there and try to orchestrate some sort of huge community activity to do it for them.  I have volunteered at the Festival of Trees before, where an army of people decorated a huge building in a couple of days.  However, the major difference was that there were about 3-4 volunteers per exhibitors, and each exhibitor had a very small area that they were in charge of, so they could still over a LOT of direction to their volunteers, but get a lot done since it was just a small area.  I did things such as wash french doors so that they could be flocked, checked strings of lights for bad ones, and unpacked boxes and spread out their contents.  The building was also empty when we got there, except for the boxes that were delivered full of decor items.  The problem with doing something like this for Three Cedars is that I am guessing there are not enough folks over at Three Cedars that know what everything us supposed to look like to be able to direct the volunteers it would take.  Also, all of the fall items would need to be repacked, and I bet it would be a nightmare in the making come next year if volunteers did it.  It would be like me sorting out all of our decorating after the move, from our many boxes just labeled "Holiday", but on a much larger scale.

I learned how to do flip turns last week!  I am still not so good at them, and spent some time working on the in the pool today.  I had a free personal training session which left me very tired, and without a lot of time to get in any serious distance before the daycare closed. 

We took our family Christmas pictures.  Here are my two favorites:

We owe a big Thank You to the JCPenney portrait studio in St Matthews, KY for doing such a great job and to the kids for being very good through the whole thing. 

I am working on my Christmas list.  The top two items are:
- New Brakes

Very exciting, right?  Actually, they aren't really Christmas presents, just things I need to buy right now, but have been procrastinating because I haven't wanted to spend most of a day with Soren getting them done.  The car still stops and goes OK, and it isn't making the horrible noise, so I am OK for a little bit more.  Hey, I used to be a brake design engineer, so I know what I am doing here, right?  ha ha.  Don't be me, please!

Actually, here are the real things.  I want the Kinect for our Xbox, and some dancing games.  I am torn between the Dance Central 2 and the Just Dance 3.  The graphics on DC are better, but the songs are a bit more grown up.  JD has LMFAO.  Ryan hates bad graphics, so he bought the Kinect and Dance Central 2 (as well as Batman) from Best Buy.  So today, as Silver Premier Members with Best Buy, we were able to shop the online Black Friday sales today, from noon until midnight.  Everything we bought all together was now over $100 cheaper.  Ryan spent an hour trying to get through the system.  I came home, and spent about an hour and a half on hold with customer service, ONCE I FINALLY GOT THROUGH, as well as a couple hours online. It was like trying to enter a radio station contest to win a million dollars or something!  Maybe this is what IM entry is like too, I don't know and won't know for a long time.  All I got was the navi for our car that Ryan wanted.  Everything else was all sold out by the time I could navigate the site properly.  It looks like we may be hitting the stores Thursday at midnight to try to get the deals.  The good news, is that we have our stuff, so we will still get it for Christmas, but it is just at a cost premium.  I don't supposed they do price adjustments for black friday, do they?  Or allow you to return and rebuy?  I would be scared something would go bad if we tried to do that, like we get it snatched from us or it gets returned and someone else buys it before we can. 

Finally, I did sign up for the Turkey Trot in Columbus.  I think it will be fun, and the kids' entries were free with mine, which mentally makes the race seem cheaper.  We all get shirts and medals, and hopefully I will get a pie. 

That's all for now.  Good luck on those Thanksgiving Day races and enjoy your holiday!  Also, good luck with BF shopping.  I'll be starting Wed night at midnight online (hello gymbo addict!), so I am not expecting to PR on Thursday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Save Three Cedars Farm!

I wish I didn't have this reason to post today.  While checking my facebook, I noticed that my favorite farm in MI, Three Cedars, was asked to close by the Salem Township.  I started crying.  Maybe because I am not running right now and I don't have my proper stress relief, or maybe because I kept telling myself that we will only be gone for a few years and that when we go back to MI, things will still be there.  I should try to enjoy new fall traditions here in KY.  Well, as of right now, Three Cedars will NOT be there.  I am so upset!  I just want to drive back there and do something about it, but all I can do right now is email and facebook.  I remember the first time we went out to Three Cedars as a family.  We went because we had heard about their Country Christmas, the very event that is being cancelled.  They have this fabulous big red barn that they set up and decorate for Christmas.  You can have your picture taken with Santa and Mrs Claus, and the money is donated to charity.  They celebrate CHRISTMAS, not winter holidays.  They were one of the few places open after Thanksgiving for cider and donuts.  The first time we were out there, I remember sitting in the donut hut, drinking hot apple cider, with my donuts, listening to Christmas music and thinking, this is absolutely the most perfect evening!  This is perfection.

With the economy being so bad, it just does not make sense why anyone would want to close a thriving business.  They say the issue is zoning, but why wait until mid season, during one of the 4 months the farm is actually open, to bring this up?  It is zoned as agriculture, not commericial.  I don't know all the details of zoning, but aren't farms allowed to sell what they produce?  However, this has been the case for the entire operation.  Why now?  

Before I get to all the links below, please go  to contact Salem Township officials and let them know this is unacceptable.  I have also signed a petition here:

Here is my family post about our trip last year.  It has lots of pictures, and includes the whole week.  Three Cedars is at the bottom.

I have posted pictures here from when I took Keira and Soren all by myself when I came back for a short weekend.  I made a point to go there, and had a very busy weekend lined up.  Erika has been there too.
This post is fall break, when I ran Detroit, (the top photo is Parmenters, but they are not open past Thanksgiving, nor do they offer the farm atmosphere)

Here is our first Christmas there:

We also celebrated Soren's birthday there:

Sorry to just post so many links and so few actual pictures.  It would take me forever to upload every picture.  Hopefully these links will give  you the idea of how much we love it.  I hope you can help!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon Race Recap

Stick a fork in me, I am DONE!  I finished up the Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon yesterday.  It was the first year for this race.    They did a pretty decent job putting it together.  There were some definite high points, but also some things they could have done better.  I had low expectations from the start for this race since it was pretty hilly.  Those expectations dropped even lower when I had the knee jerk reaction to sign up for the Monumental Half Marathon last weekend.  I figured I could finish between 1:40 and 1:45, and really wanted to be in the top 10 of my age group, but really wasn't sure since that was not entirely in my control.

As the race drew nearer, I learned of more people doing the race, so that made me more excited about doing it.  I also convinced my neighbor that she should do it.  We weren't able to meet up at all at the race, but we chatted a bit on the phone that morning, and then later on that afternoon.  We drove in past the cyclocross race that was going on all weekend, and saw some pretty sweet bikes, as well as a car labeled the SRAM neutral support car.  I already wished I had one of my bikes instead of doing a half marathon. 

I met up with Rhonda, my ride leader for the summer.  Shortly after, we met up with the rest of the Louisville Landsharks. 

The bathroom situation didn't seem very good at all.  I had gone at the coffee shop by the car when we first got there, but only saw ONE porto potty at the intersection that was listed as the start on the website.  I am not sure it if was moved (they had some last minute changes to the course for some reason, I think construction related).  At any rate, we walked a bit down from the intersection, and found the start, as well as a lot more porto potties.  Still not a lot, and I found a line for a flush toilet that looked more promising.  Thankfully, I had time to go with about 5 minutes to spare.  I found a guy holding up a 1:45 sign, who turned out to be a total bandit runner who decided to be the unofficial pacer for a group of his friends from a local running store.  I chatted with him at the beginning, saying that I hoped I would finish a bit ahead. 

One of the coolest things for this race was the start.  They had a guy play a horn like they do at the start of the Derby!  I didn't realize it was a real guy and not a recording until later on, so that made it even cooler. 

I started off and I just felt slow!  It felt nice, actually.  I hit my first mile around 7:45, and my second in about the same, maybe a tad faster.   I am not looking at my garmin, but I think at around mile 3 was where it started to get a bit hilly.  The water stops were not very long, and that was sort of a problem.  I felt lucky to get water at the first couple of stops.  The crowd was pretty thick, and it seemed like the volunteers were too close making it too narrow.  I hit the hills and slowed down quite a bit.  There were 2 pretty large ones in Cherokee Park.  We actually ran the opposite direction that traffic normally flows, so while I knew the park, I had never run up these hills, I had run down them.  It didn't seem like that big of a deal, though, because at least I knew how long they were in my mind.  Those lastest until about halfway in before it flattened out a bit.  I got nervous for a bit when the 1:45 guys were right on my tail.  I felt like my gu kicked in, and I was able to put a bit of space ahead of them.  Sadly, we had a headwind on the flats, and I started to get tired.  With about 4 miles to go, the pace group caught me.  They were a bit ahead on their pace, so I tried to stay with them as much as I could.  I hung on for a while, but with 2 miles to go, I fell back a bit.  I did try to pick up the pace towards the end, and I caught up with my former Team Marathon teammate, Jessica.  She was having a rough time.  She did really well at a half marathon just 2 weeks ago, and was feeling the burn out that I felt.  I cheered her on a bit and got a little ahead.  I just kept watching the time to try to make it under 1:45.  I picked up the pace during my last .1, and got in just a few seconds under according to the finish clock.  My actual finish time was 1:44:50!  I got a picture with Jessica before continuing through the finish chute.  

Makers Mark was a sponsor, and one drink was included at the party tent.  They let me get a shot for my dad (since he was just on the other side of the fence).  We went back to the finish, but I wasn't really sure when anyone was going to come in.  We watched the finish line for a bit, but with my mom waiting at home for us to return, we didn't stick around too much longer.  We had a long walk back to the car.  The start and finish were not  very close to each other.

I got home and checked the results, and as it turns out, I was 10th in my age group!  Awesome!  My goals were met for this race.  AND, I did have fun.  I also used our master bathtub for the first time too, as a cold bath.  I don't do a complete ice bath due to my arthritis, but filled it up with cold water, threw on some sweatshirts, and plunked in.  Don't worry about my total lack of hygiene, we have a stall shower, but about half my showers are actually taken at the gym. 

Check out my last month's bling!  I can't believe I did all three of these races in less than one month!  The cool thing about this medal is that it was dipped in the wax that they use to seal the bottles of Maker's Mark.  You only got a dipped medal if you were 21 or older, though.  It was a great medal, large, and I LOVE the fleur de lis on it.  They are on the ribbon and around the border of the medal itself.  It is a symbol of Louisville, and I can't get enough of it while we are here. 
I am not sure if I will do this race again.  I did enjoy it, but the course was difficult, and it is late in the season.  I just don't know that I NEED to do it again, like doing it the first year was very novel.  I don't know if it will be that novel next year.  I enjoyed Indy better, and could do even better at it if I planned properly.  I don't know.  I might have a total different opinion next year, though.  It is nice that it is local and on a Saturday, though. 

Today, I am super sore and tired.  I did get a whopping ELEVEN hours of sleep last night.  I pretty much went to bed a bit after the kids went to bed, and slept until a little before 8am.  The kids were worn out too yesterday.  Ryan enjoyed his camping and climbing trip, and was tired too.  We are both sore today.  I have been hitting the ice and the advil hard.  I hope after a few days of rest, I will have no lingering aches and pains.  Boston training starts on Dec 12th, so I have some time to recover.  I will be hitting the pool tomorrow, I hope!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getting Excited

I think my last post made it look like I was not thrilled about running this weekend.   I am feeling better about it, and Ryan isn't upset about it, and in fact, is going to be going on a camping/climbing with the youth from our church in the Red River Gorge, so he is pretty excited about that.  It was totally last minute, but it is helping Ryan enjoy the weekend and do something he hasn't done in a while.  We haven't climbed outdoors in what feels like forever; since Soren was born.  Ryan has climbed indoor since, but I have not climbed at all since Soren was born.  I enjoy it, but I would rather bike if I have the free time to workout.  Hopefully now that the kids are getting older, I can get back to it.  But I digress.  The point of this is that the weekend should be pretty awesome for both of us.  My parents are coming into town to watch the kids while I run.  I am glad I am racing, otherwise I would just be hanging out with the kids all day.  I don't think it would have been as easy to convince my parents to come down unless I had this race.  Also, it is a fun way to get in a decent long run.  Will I be fast?  I have no idea.  I plan to start out very conservative, make it through the hilly section that starts at mile 3ish, and then see what I have left.  I am not going to shoot for anything.  It is a smaller race, with about 2800 people.  I am hoping I can be in the top 10 in my AG, if not place.  Although, since it is hilly, perhaps only fast people will show up.  I don't know.  It is hard to set goals like this because it isn't up to me. I am just saying top 10 because at Detroit I was 12 out of 800 people in my age group.  I am not sure how many people were in my age group in Indy, the results didn't display the same, but I was 15th there, and the field was just a tad smaller.  I am not sure the AG size.  Anyway, I am thinking I will try to settle into a pace, and then just try to hold my standing and not get passed.  I want to go out and enjoy the priveledge of being able to run 13.1 on a fall Saturday morning.  The course goes through the parks where I rode over the summer.  I did run here a couple times, with the stroller, and I got my rear handed to me.  Hopefully it won't be as bad without the stroller.  Hopefully all this racing I did will just help me. 

I went to the expo (or non expo, I should say), and got my packet.  It was one of those virtual packets, which I love because it is just less junk to sort through.  The chip is in a big foam rectangle stuck on the back of the bib.  It wasn't really an expo, just a room not even the size of our living room, where you could pick up your bib, shirt, and a clif shot.  They didn't have any cool signs or anything to stand by for a picture.  They did have a medal and a small sign.  Soren stood by it for the picture since he was the perfect size.

I was really happy with the shirt.  Here are a couple pictures:

It is pretty much the long sleeve version of the shirt from Indy, with less stuff printed on it.  Major plus.  My shirt from Indy stuck up a bit on my shoulders (hopefully it will lay down better once it is washed), so that bummed me out since it is Adidas. The Boston gear is Adidas, and I was worried that I wouldn't fit well into it.  That would make me super sad.  However, the long sleeve version of the shirt fit perfectly!  Maybe it was just the weight of the sleeves that pulled it down, or I have a funny one from Indy.  Either way, my doubts have been put aside that my Boston gear will look bad on me, once I get it. 

Anyway, I am still working on my neighbor to run.  She is entered, and I got her stuff for her today.  She would be a good running partner for a couple of the ladies from my rides, so hopefully I can hook them up with each other before the race.  I hope she does it.  She was part of the reason I signed up.  It is opening day for hunting season, so her husband is going to be out of town.  She has sitter options, but that is weighing on her decision.  It would not be super fun to watch the kids all weekend after killing yourself on a half marathon.  I am excited to race with Rhonda, who was my fearless leader of the VO2's chick rides on Monday.  She did IM LOU, and was the one who dragged me down to the Underpants Run.  It will be fun to race with these ladies!  Just about everyone in this pic shouold be down there!
Not to leave out Keira, here is a picture of her from yesterday.

We turned the house into a dance party, and just one tutu was not enough for her!  (and yes, she is using the foam roller as a stool).  My hip was actually sore from all the dancing!  I pulled it last year slightly while trying to zip up a knee high boot while wearing a super snug old bridesmaid dress for my Halloween costume, a queen since Keira was a princess.  I could not breath in it, or bend over to zip my boot, either, apparently.  I am sure I will be fine for race day, it hasn't bothered me in a long time.  I always feel so achey on my taper.  I am looking forward to just working out again, though, and be done with this taper/recovery cycle that I have been in for about the last month or so. I'll need a few days for recovery next week, but then I can add back those swims I have been skipping and get some time in on the trainer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Race Recap

I am not going to hold anyone in suspense.  I did not qualify to NYC.  I did have a good time, a good day, did my best, but it was just not good enough for NYC.  I have no regrets.  I may have gone out a tad fast, but I don't think that made the overall difference, since I was only a matter of seconds off my plan in the beginning, nothing major.  I tried to run it like I ran the derby, but I just ran out of steam.

I ended up leaving on Friday afternoon, just me.  We went back and forth debating on if we should all go or not, and when I told Ryan when I needed to leave on Friday, that was the deciding factor, it would be too tight to make it to the expo.  If I couldn't make it to the expo, there was no point in going down the night before if I was going to still have to track down my bib.  I did learn that there was race day pick up available if you asked, but I like to have my stuff in advance.  Also, I learned that the exit I planned to use for the race would be closed, due to the race, and was able to get somewhat better directions. 

After leaving the expo, I went to Noodles and Co where I got my favorite meal.  Pasta Fresca on whole grain linguine.  Yum.  There were a lot of restaurants in this area, and I saw a LaBamba!  This is not a good pre-race meal at all.  More of an end of the night kind of meal when you are already going to be sick anyway, if you know what I mean.  They had one of these at OSU. 

There was also a 5 Guys (which happened to be where Ryan took the kids back in KY while I was gone), and a City BBQ.  It was a nice area, and my hotel was just a couple minutes away.  I had a little bit of trouble finding the hotel because Google directions were very different from the directions on my confirmation letter, and it was really difficult to see the hotel from the road (although I am guessing you could see it better from the highway, but since I went out to eat first, I came in another way).   It was a really good hotel for the money.  I picked the cheapest place, and to be honest, was a bit worried about it.  I had planned to switch my reservation if the kids did come along, so that it would be easier to watch them without a car while I raced.  This would not have been a problem.  They had a decent breakfast (which I skipped in favor of a Marathon Protein bar), indoor pool, and wi-fi.  Ryan and the kids would have been fine, because my room had a huge king bed, plus pull out sofa (with a half wall separating them), a microwave, and fridge, all for $53 (before tax).  I am not sure if this was an upgraded room or not, just because it was not very busy.  I think I only saw a few cars in the lot, and it was very quiet.  It was not new, but that wasn't a big deal because it was clean.  It was a Quality Inn at Southport.  When we come back to Indy to just check it out, I think this might be where we will stay, because it was only about 10 minutes from downtown.  I went to bed fairly early, and woke up at night once, due to coughing.  I wished I had brought the humidifier, because the air was dry.  I put a wet washcloth on the heater, drank a bottle of water, and then slept until 5:27, and I wanted to get up at 5:30, so I felt alright when I woke.

I got ready to go and headed downtown.  I had one issue getting there, because the way the lady told me at the expo to work around the road closures had me going the wrong way on a one way street.  I wonder how many other people she told to do this!  I tried taking the next street to circle the block, but that wasn't a square street, and it curved around.  I took one more turn, and was ready to turn around completely when I encounted Washington Street, which was the street where the race started, so I took that and got into the parking garage I wanted very easily.  It wasn't very full.  I am wondering if they estimated incorrectly about the number of people they were expecting.  It did not seem nearly as crowded at Detroit or even Derby, but it was supposed to be the same size as Derby.  They didn't have the start line set up when I got there, which was strange to me.   See, no timing mats yet!

I met up with Jen, from Team Aquaphhor, between the start and finish areas, and she thought she was initially in the wrong spot!  She had friends with  a tent in front of the statehouse, and we hung out there to keep warm before the race.  It was cold, 35 degrees when I got there.  We met up with Mike, also from the team,  and took a few pictures.

We hit the port o potties one time, and there was no line, however, when we opted to go again, it was a mess.  They had them too close to the street, along the street, so there was no place to form good lines.  It was a mess, and I feared people were just cutting in front because it seemed like it never moved, but we did hear a bunch of people yell at a guy who did just try to jump in one, and so I guess it wasn't happening, but just really slow.  As a result, I bailed on the port o potty, and was just going to deal with it.  I ran into Jen and her friends again, and we opted to use some bushes in front of the statehouse!  They weren't super tall, but tall enough that people could just see the tops of our heads.  It got the job done.  They didn't have corrals, but three small sections at the front, elite, seeded 2, and seeded 3.  I was in seeded 3, and lined up with the 3:10 and 3:15 pacers.  I wanted to stay in between them, but they we were only with the marathoners until mile 7, so I knew I would have to rely on myself.  I didn't have the same problem with my Garmin in Detroit, with the buildings interfering, but I did remember to take off the autopause.  I went out bit quick to get free, but I crossed the mile 1 marker at 7:15 (although my Garmin said I hit mile 1 at 6:53, and I was pretty close to the start line, so I don't think it took me 25 seconds to cross the start.  Something was up with the mile markers.  I was right with the 3:10 group, though, so I felt OK.  I got a little ahead of them because I kept checking my Garmin and it had me going slower, but never too far ahead.  They had a clock at mile 2, and I was OK according to the clock, but a little ahead according to my Garmin.  It was as if each mile seemed to be a bit longer than the next, because my miles on the Garmin were not lining up, and each one got more and more off.  I did OK until about mile 7, staying on track, only having used up a little of my "extra time".  I did get passed by the 3:15 group, but then they peeled off, and I knew I wouldn't get passed by the 3:20 since they went the other way.  By mile 8, I had used up all of my extra time (a 7:20 pace left me with about 55 seconds to spare), if I could just speed up to 7:20 again.  I kept trying.  the whole rest of the race I would run at 7:20 and even got sub 7 for a little bit, but I couldn't keep it up.  I was doing crazy math, like, if I can hold onto a 7 flat pace, I can do it for 4 more miles, right?  Wrong.  Each mile got progressivly slower, with my slowest being an 8:02, and I also was more and more concerned because each mile marker seemed further and further away from what I had on my Garmin.  My finish time was 1:41:33, for what my Garmin had listed as 13.32 miles.  What a bust!  I barely improved over Detroit!  What the heck?  I got my finishers medal, blanket, and hat.  I filled the hat with portable food (skipping the bowls of soup), had my picture taken, and then left, feeling dejected and stupid for coming out here. It sucks when your best is just not good enough! 

I was afraid to call Ryan.  I wasn’t sure if he would be angry we had spent the money to come out here or relieved that we didn’t need to spend more money on a trip to NYC.  I tried so hard!  It wasn’t good enough.  Even when I did hit 13.1 on my Garmin, I was still over 1:39.  I asked a couple people what their Garmins said, and they were all a bit long.  Jen wasn’t at the tent, so I just headed out.  I got on the road, had a good cry, and then called Valerie.  She helped me put it into perspective that I didn’t train specifically for this race, and that I had been sick, which caused me to recover more slowly from Detroit and miss some valuable training time.  Also, when I ran super fast in the spring, I had just come off a full marathon training plan, and was doing so much more mileage.  Perhaps that is what I need to be able to run a really fast half.  I am happy that I tried, though, because now I know.  I don’t have any “what ifs?”  Ryan was not upset, at least I don't think he was.  He was glad I held up my end of the bargin and was already on the freeway when I called him, and got home in time to take the kids to their birthday party.  Jen called while I was at the party, and she said that everyone said that the course was long.  The full was OK, but the half was long.  Mike had it at 13.4!  I did go back and calculate what my finish time would have been had it been 13.1 based on my Garmin pace, and I would have had a 1:39:47or so.  I feel like I am able to compare this time to my Detroit time more accurately, and better represent the improvement I made.  That time is almost 3 minutes better, instead of just 1.  Still not a PR or NYC qualifier, but it is not meant to be.  I was 15th in my age group (a drop of a few places from Detroit, surprisingly).

Up next is the Louisville Sports Commission Half on Saturday.  I do know that I am going to start a lot slower.  This course is very hilly, and I don't want to walk up any hills!  I know these hills, and they blow.  Why did I sign for this again?  To be social with a bunch of people who aren't running anymore?  Right.  Thankfully, Rhonda and several of the other ladies from the Monday Night ride that I used to do will be running it.  That really cheered me up.  One of my neighbors is injured, and signed up but can't run (she had her dog stop right in front of her while running, tripped, and messed up her back and hips), and has a bib to give away.  I was hoping my other neighbor would take it, but she turned it down. 

Does anyone have any tips for me for this week?  I think I am going to go for a swim shortly, once this is done, and then maybe run 3 tomorrow, and 2 on Wed?  Or maybe just nothing.  I don't know.  The dry air and temperature changes have been doing a number on my throat and sinuses.  I broke down and took Sudaphed today, which is banned by USAT during racing, because it has performance enhancing properties.  I am fine to take it during the week, and avoided last week in favor of homeopoathic remedies such as Zicam and Emergen C, and felt decent, but I am out of those and they are rather pricey.  Since I don't care so much about this race, I am more interested in being comfortable NOW, and if I have to switch to something less effective come race day, whatever.  I just don't want to get injured.  Maybe I will have a shockingly great day on Saturday.  Who knows.  Maybe I will do OK awards wise since it is a smaller race.  I hope I don't get lost like poor Anita.  She didn't make it either, but that was because she got lost on her course!  I also didn't get to see Shelby.  She had a plush hotel near the start and didn't need to hang out in a cold tent.  Her race report is here.

I need to start training for Boston seriously in a few weeks.  I am now looking for a spring half that is about 3-4 weeks out from Boston to see if I can't get that 1:37 I am so wanting, but it won't get me to NYC anymore.  I think there is one in Dayton that might be OK.  I did enter a drawing for a guaranteed entry to NYC, and should find out on Wed about that.  Wish me luck!  Maybe I will win the grand prize and get the trip covered too!  If you want to enter that drawing, check out my f/b page for the link.  I can't get the form to reopen since I already filled it out.