Running Year in Review

This has been a weird year. Aren’t they all, though? Let’s look at some of the big and awesome things that have happened this year…

It’s my first full year blogging and running. We bought a house. We lost Gary’s dad. Gary got a new job. We got a new furry family member. Lots of major life events. Lots of stuff to think about.

I have been rereading some of my blog posts from this past year. I’ve been keeping this blog for a year, and I don’t even hate any of my blog posts. I actually like them – I’m totally chuckling at some of these blog posts.  I’m not clever or witty and I don’t have great running tips or wisdom… or really, knowledge of any kind, but I think I’ve made a couple of friends whose blogs I look forward to reading so I can see what’s going on in their lives, and I hope maybe they like reading this blog to see what’s new with me.  So, thanks for reading!

When it comes to fitness progress, I’m not sure exactly what’s going on this year. Life went a little hay-wire halfway through the year and we’ve been rolling with the punches ever since.

Diet? Still a mess. I’ve made very few changes, but I do try out a super healthy meal like once a month.

Strength training/lifting? I’m starting to get more serious now that we have more space and a new work bench.

I haven’t lost any weight, although running has changed my muscles and trimmed off some fat. (This fact is distinctly noticeable when I take a few weeks off.)

I’ve gotten vaguely faster and have pushed the distances in my workouts a little bit.

I stopped worrying so much about pace and speed and instead pictured running workouts as time or distance spent running, which has put a major dent in my annual worrying quota.

RACES & EVENTS THIS YEAR!
Dash for Duchenne: new race for me, which means new course and new people to run with. My first mile was 14:42, but miles 2 and 3 hovered around 17 minutes with mile 3 being slightly faster.  What did I take away from this run? When I go out fast, I run out of steam real fast. Also, I had a great time running a sub 15 min mile and having random strangers cheer for me. See? All smiles!

Mudderella: Boy, this was the year for new experiences. I can’t believe I’ve done a mud run. It was physically and emotionally trying… my friend quit the day before the race and I couldn’t find the rest of the team (because I didn’t know anyone else) so I ran alone, and it’s super tough to do any of the obstacles alone. Lessons Learned? Lots.  Mostly about pushing my own limits and not relying on other people, you know, that kind of heartwarming stuff.

I made it halfway through Juneathon. The takeaway? June is hot. Do Juneathon in a different month. why, hello, Janathon…

The Color Run! I had lots of fun doing this race with my friend Kim – it was nice to run without really caring what my time was, especially when we were having a blast. It’s fun getting messy- not so fun trying to get clean. Not sure that I would ever do another color run, but definitely interested in more fun runs.

Seaside 5K: I ran with friends and family and finished with a PR! Definitely a race I will do again next year. They even have a half marathon for when I’m ready.

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Merry Christmas, internet!

Hello again and Merry Christmas to everyone! Christmas really snuck up on me this year (but doesn’t it always?). I was all prepared with Christmas cards and presents, we got a real tree and decorated the house- and then all of a sudden, it was here and gone. We always try to make time for all our family and friends, which is tough when you have a lot of family and friends who live all over NJ, so you’re really trying to jam a lot of activities into a few days. Gary and I are planning our annual holiday get-together and now housewarming party for January! Can’t wait to have people over to see the place! We should probably finish our bathroom reno before they come though….

Gary and I went for a run on Christmas Eve before going to our first stop, my parents. It was cold and rainy. Much rainier than I expected. We went to a new park and ran one of the sidewalk loops and then decided to give it a rest because it was really rainy and my windbreaker wasn’t doing much to keep me dry.

24 running in the rain

Went out for a run this morning and then came back and lifted weights. Getting some use out of the weight bench! I pulled out the running plan I was using before we bought the house and went back to the beginning to start with some easier runs. The first one in the plan is a 1 min run/4 min walk X 5. I pushed a little harder during the 1 minute because a 4 min walk seems like a long time between intervals so I’d have more time to recover. Not a bad run, I figure it was between 1.5 – 2 miles. Cold and dreary out on the canal today, but at least I had some solitude! During the summer this park is hopping – hard to even find a parking spot.

28 running on the canal

Then back to lift some weights. I did bench presses, bicep curls, dumbbell rows, tricep dips and shoulder presses, 3 sets of 10 reps each. I still need cinder blocks or something because my feet aren’t even close to touching the ground when I lay on the bench! Today I just brought my feet up onto the bench. Today, I am relaxing and enjoying some of my Christmas presents before we have to go back to work tomorrow!

Hello from the void!

Things have been quite busy lately – houses are really very demanding, aren’t they? and it’s cold out so I take a lot of naps. Last night I squirmed inside the couch cushions, covered myself with pillows and claimed that I had become part of the couch. I woke up this morning in the exact same position and wondered in the dark where the hell I was.

We’ve been doing lots of minor work on the house.  With the help of my dad, Gary and I have taken apart the bathroom and are slowly putting it back together. We bought a new medicine cabinet, vanity & lights, and they are currently installed and look AWESOME. It gives us so much more space in the bathroom. I spent a lot of time reorganizing the closets – finding just the right spot for things makes me giddy. It also makes me wonder HOW THE HELL we fit all this stuff in an apartment.

What else… we finished painting a desk and put it in the Lost Room, which still needs a lot of work. It’s going to be sort of like an office, music room, craft room, etc, but we are calling it the Lost Room because I hate calling it the craft room, or music room, or office. So cliche. Wait, is saying that something is cliche cliche? Oh, well. We bounced around a lot of good ideas for room names – it came down to the Lost Room or the missile silo. Now we need to come up with a good name for the house… something whimsical and haunting. I’ve got my best people working on it (Gary and my sister.)

For our first Christmas in the house, we bought a real Christmas tree! It really looks wonderful. I also made the Christmas tree skirt. Yes, I made that over the course of a year. I cut the pieces a year ago and then spent two nights THIS year stitching it all together. It’s also AWESOME.

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I recentlly found out that Benjamin Moore has a series of historical paint colors, so I’ll be repainting EVERYTHING in colonial colors.

Gary got us a weight bench for Christmas! I need to get some kind of plates or boxes or something so my feet touch the ground but I can stop laying on the coffee table and actually do some proper lifting.

Still working out the kinks with my new running plan. I love running on the canal – It’s close, it’s flat, it’s local to a town so people are friendly, and it goes on for miles and miles. I had a fantastic run the other day- still using the 1 min run/walk intervals, and it’s working out really well. I’m enjoying the new sights as well. Much more interesting than circling the apartment complex over and over and over. Cons: It’s right next to the Delaware River, so it’s distinctly colder than more inland areas. Also not ideal for night running, and in the winter, all I’ve got is weekend running or night running. I am still thinking about looking for a lighted path, high school track, or even going back to the apartment complex to run on their sidewalks at night, but I haven’t quite gotten that far yet. So far, this new running plan of “thinking about doing stuff and running on the weekends” has resulted in a decline in running workouts and an increase in belly jiggle and discomfort in jeans. Like everyone else, Gary and I are pretty busy during the holidays, BUT I don’t have to work for a few days, so I can squeeze in morning runs, lifting and maybe a hike or two this week. My cousins and I talked about doing a 5K together sometime next year, so that’s cool!