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!


Seaside 5K Shenanigans

Gary, his mom & I drove down to Maryland on Friday night for our 5K. My sister offered to come pick up our kitten and take her home for the weekend because I was worried about leaving her for the weekend. Our other cat, Zooey, is a pro at being left alone. A big bowl of crunchies and she’s good to go. However… she’s getting a little hefty and I think she’s overeating or stress eating – we came home to find she’d thrown up a little pile of undigested crunchies. I’m going to increase our playtimes a bit so we’ll get some exercise and bonding time.

Wendi came to pick up Gus and sent us tons of cute pictures all weekend. It was probably after the tenth picture of Gus sleeping on Wendi’s shoulder that we began to face the fact that we might not actually get the cat back.


We got a good night’s sleep and headed to Ocean City for the 5K. Aunt Kara and I planned to alternate running and walking for 1 minute for the entire time. Gary said he was going to stick with us, but I knew he wanted to zoom ahead. I do believe his only goal for the race was to beat me. He claims that he just wanted to run a good race, but if you think about it, he thinks I always run a great race, so if he beats me, therefore he also runs a great race. See, it’s a compliment!

The weather was a bit chilly at 7:30 AM when we left for Ocean City. There was some kerfuffle about the race start time, as one website said 8:45 AM and another said 9:15 AM. There was also shenanigans about the food at the end of the race – the website clearly said candy, but all they had were strawberry Gushers. Race organizers, that is not candy. Some of the goodies they had last year were not available this year, like bagels and soda, and that was kind of a bummer since I talked it up so much to the new racers. We did get beer though (last year it was two tickets and this year we only got one, not that it matters to me but I’m just saying.) Maybe this year the photographer will actually post race photos – the photo website has nothing from last year’s race and they haven’t answered my emails. These are my gripes. and now on to sunnier shores.

We got to OC, caught up with my running buddy Lauren, and tried to work out the jitters before starting. Gary stuck with us for about two seconds before he pulled ahead. He got a good lead on us and kept it the whole time. This year the race seemed to go much faster than any 5K I’ve ever run before! I think the pacing of the Run 1/ Walk 1 system worked really well for me. Mile 1 went by pretty quickly, Mile 2 I could feel myself start dragging a little. Kara and I tried to chat with each other about running but I was finding myself very out of breath during the walk portions. She was kicking butt though! Totally didn’t seem tired at all. We kept up with each other pretty well, she definitely pushed me to run faster. We took an extra walk break at the halfway point, waved to our friends as they passed us on the way back to the finish line, grabbed some water. I think I wanted to take an extra minute during one walk break but we didn’t. Mile 3: my legs were getting sore. Not training started to take its toll! It was challenging, but I kept thinking that I was there to push myself. We found Lauren and our moms about 1/4 mile from the Finish waiting to watch us cross. At that point I kept running through the walk breaks – we saw Gary finish ahead of us, then Kara & I crossed the finish line at the same time. She didn’t even seem tired, but I was like, “Ok, let’s find somewhere to sit down.”

We had our beer, water, bananas, etc. Took some smiling “I Did It!” pictures and hung out in the tent. Eventually they announced that all the 5K runners had finished and they were posting the times. Gary finished in 48:56. Their printer was running out of ink and some of the lines didn’t print too clearly so it was tough to read my name, but I found Kara’s name and I knew I was next to her- we finished at 49:42, tied for last! (We actually weren’t last, the printer ran out of ink and didn’t print anything else after my name!) HEY, THAT’S A PR! Last year I ran 52:15 at this race, and my previous best was 50:10. Yeah, someone runs a sub-50 5K! High fives were had all around. We took off our shoes and ran into the ocean.

Seaside 10 miler/ 5K Goals Have Changed Drastically

The Seaside 10 miler/5K is this Saturday in Ocean City! I’m doing the 5K (obvs) with Gary and my Aunt Kara. I am so excited they signed up for this with me! Kara has been training like crazy, but Gary and my training got knocked off track a few weeks ago when we started buying our house. I haven’t actually run in a few weeks, although last week I mowed the grass for the first time with our self-propelled lawn mower, and chased it up a few hills in the back yard for some short hill sprints.

I’ve been dreading this 5K for a while because I wanted to run it faster than I did last year. It was my first 5K, and I’d hoped that the year of training since then had made me slightly more athletic. Honestly, I’ve gained muscle and weight. Haven’t lost a pound, haven’t really gotten any faster. I am able to run for much longer, though. I remember my first few times out running at the apartments when I would say, Ok, run to that tree. Now I can run circles around that tree! I’ll be running to a tree so far away I can’t even see it when I start running. It might take me half an hour though.

I have been talking to my Aunt Kara about the 5K. She found a great training plan that works for her (1 minute run, 1 minute walk) and she was wondering what my plan is, if she’s going to be able to keep up with me. It got me actually thinking about my plan, because I totally don’t have one anymore. I have been obsessed with getting a PR… but then I came to a realization. My husband and aunt signed up for this race with me. I will probably have more fun if I just hang out with them and stop worrying about my time. My parents & Gary’s mom are also coming down to watch us run!

OK, now I need your help with something: there is no safe option for running in the dark at the new house – it’s a very woodsy road and there are no sidewalks or shoulder. I would rather not run on a treadmill because it just flat out bores me. Any ideas about places I might go to run after work now that winter is setting in and it’s getting darker? I’m going to try to incorporate more strength training but I just really want to run. There are some schools around so I will try to inquire about running on their tracks. Otherwise I’ll be going back to the apartments to run on their sidewalks!