Monday, December 30, 2013

2013: The Year of Baby J

2010 was the year of running and PR's (yes, that's how old my PR's are - sad), 2011 was the year of Singapore, 2012 was the year of the dissertation, and 2013 was the year of Baby J.  And that about sums it up.

But let's recap, shall we?  So many great things happened in 2013 - from holidays with family to out-of-state visitors to ginormous smores to the Puyallup Fair to volunteering at races to beach trips to roommate reunions.  It was impossible to narrow it down to just 10 events - but here they are - the top 10 events of 2013?

10) I was pregnant.  I started out the year about 10 weeks pregnant and stayed pregnant for the full first half of the year.  I'm sure you recall, since 95% of my posts talked about it.  I was sick, I got fat, running hurt.  But I did grow a human inside of me, so that was pretty cool.

Whoa.  January to June.

I did not end the year weighing the same as I started the year, which was my goal.  Oh well - what are you gonna do? 

9) I went running!  This is a running blog after all.  I ran until about 33 weeks pregnant, though there were weeks when "running" meant 2 miles... for the WEEK.  I ran 482 miles total (unless I go run 18 miles on New Years Eve so I can hit 500), which pales in comparison to previous years when I've hit the 1,000 mark.  Oh well.

May, June, and July don't look so hot.  Especially considering I ran a 10k in May - making up HALF of the mileage for the whole MONTH.

8) I celebrated the big 3-1 in - where else?  LEAVENWORTH!  While wine walks may not be as much fun without the wine, I still had a BLAST celebrating with some of my bestest friends - eating up the town's brats and pretzels and getting kicked out of pools.  It was the perfect last hurrah before Baby J arrived.

7)  I ran some races while pregnant.  First, I ran the Seahawks 12k.  Real Seahawks gave me water!  I was 27 weeks pregnant and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be.

Then I ran the Keizer Iris 10k.  I was 31 weeks pregnant and again, it wasn't bad at all, proving that all running should be done during races, since I felt terrible for all other pregnant runs.  Which, I guess, is why this race was HALF of my May mileage.

6) I made my triumphant return to running!  I ran the Leavenworth Half Marathon 3 months post-partum and it-was-AWESOME.  Seriously.  I felt amazing and blew my time goals out of the water.  Plus Leavenworth is, as always, a BLAST.  I think I already mentioned that.

 I can't believe how little Baby J used to be.  And that was after he got big.

I also ran the Salty Half Marathon and the Seattle Half Marathon, but neither were anywhere near as triumphant running-wise.

Recognize some of your favorite bloggers?

5) RAGNAR VEGAS!  While it was so hard to leave Baby J, and pumping in the van wasn't the most fun thing ever, my vanmates were AMAZING and I had a BLAST.  I'm so lucky Nuun and Pro Compression gave me that opportunity!  I've already got two relays lined up for next summer and I can't WAIT.  Plus, I'll be done breastfeeding by then.  Yippee!

4) My baby shower.  While I admit I totally dreaded this (I hate being the center of attention) - and during the present opening part it WAS pretty bad and I got pretty anxious and sweaty, but having everyone come together to celebrate Baby J's arrival was pretty freaking awesome.  I was just plain blown away by everyone's generosity.  Plus my years of experience of eating candy makes me dominate at smelling candy bars melted into diapers. 

All pregnant women should always touch each other's bellies.  But NO ONE ELSE SHOULD.

3) We went to Europe!  London and Paris were a blast, even though a freak cold front made walking around pretty unbearable and obviously, it'd be a lot more fun to enjoy Paris if you could eat wine and soft cheeses.  Boo.  Just an excuse to go back for Wimbledon someday!

I want to go back.

2) I graduated!  After 4 years of undergrad, 2 years of Master's, and 5+ of PhD work, I FINALLY graduated and vowed to never-ever-ever-ever go back to school again.  Probably.  

That outfit sure wasn't slimming!

1) Duh - I had Baby J!  He finally arrived, and although the actual labor is an experience I will never (but would love to!) forget, his arrival has changed our lives forever (for the better, obviously!).

It's so hard to believe that this scrawny little nugget who never smiled despite my begging:

Is now this huge laughing 6 month old:

He's changed so much in the past 6 months - it's hard to imagine what he'll be like a year from now!

And that's a wrap!  I have so much to be thankful for.  But another year is gone just like that.  Time really does make fools of us all.

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Slowest Half Yet

The Seattle Half Marathon was Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.  Sorry I'm so behind folks.  Baby J is going to be a year old before I get his 5 month update up too.

If you've been following along, you might know that I have completely fallen off the running bandwagon since Ragnar.  It's sad because I was truckin' along quite nicely with my eyes set on a sub 2 half marathon at this race and then somehow all of the motivation was gone.  The dark, cold, and fatigue have gotten to me.

So needless to say, I was actually kind of dreading Sunday.  The forecast was for 100% chance of rain, 20-25 mph winds, I had to set my alarm at 4:50 freaking a.m., and I knew it was going to HURT.  It just did not sound like a fun time, and I honestly thought about bailing and staying cozy and warm at home instead.

If these peeps weren't going to be there I DEFINITELY would have stayed home!
Go Seahawks!

But then the alarm went off (actually, I was already up at 4:00am feeding Baby J) and I really wasn't that tired, and it wasn't raining at that moment (and it never did rain!) and I actually felt pretty good during the race, considering!  It's funny how I felt so incredibly terrible-death-marchy at the Salty Half even though I was trained yet I felt waaaayy better today even though I hadn't run in 3 weeks and hadn't run more than 7 miles in 6 whopping weeks.  You really never know who is going to show up on race day. 

Anyway, there's not a lot to say about the race.  It was great to catch up with Lindsay and Jordanne - we ran together the entire way (well, until the last mile when Lindsay wanted to show off her downhill running skills), it never rained once despite the forecast, the wind wasn't even too terrible except for during the first 2-3 miles, it's much more fun to do races with friends than to run alone, and that's about it?

We were definitely treating this race in a LEISURELY fashion - oh you want to walk to test your blood sugar?  We'd LOVE to do that!  Oh you want to walk this hill?  YEP.  Oh should we stop and go to the bathroom?  DEFINITELY!  But when we hit the 13 mile marker my watch showed we had exactly 1 minute to get in under 2:20.  While I knew already this was going to be my slowest half yet I thought maybe we could try to keep it under 2:20?   So I convinced Jordanne to run as fast as we could to the finish, but when I stopped my Garmin I saw 2:20:01!  WHAT?!  It must have been longer than .1.   Jordanne had 2:19:59 so I'm going with her time...

Jordanne, Lindsay, Lauren, Becky, Meghan

Total time: 2:20:01    Average Pace: 10:41
Total elevation gain: 807 feet

Splits: 10:13, 9:52, 10:02, 14:31 (this is when we were in the tunnel and when the distance got behind), 9:26, 11:04, 9:49, 12:40 (this was not in a tunnel and is accurate!), 10:40, 11:28, 9:48, 10:06, 11:39

And just because I might want to remember what the elevation map looked like for next time:

And that's it!  Sorry folks, there's not much to say this time.  Half marathon #16 (? I think) is in the books. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I'm Going Streaking!

Ever since Ragnar my motivation to run has failed me.  It's just plain non-existent.  I don't know why.  Usually races like that fire me up to train even harder, but maybe since it's essentially the end of the season, there's no more races in sight (well, there WAS - the Seattle Half - but I guess I stopped caring about that), and the weather is just so dark and cold and rainy, plus have I mentioned I haven't been getting much sleep?  Oh, I haven't?

Anyway, on Thanksgiving the whole family was out for our own little turkey trot and I had an idea to keep myself motivated.  A timed mile.  I would run a timed mile on Thanksgiving, then again on New Years, and try to improve my time.  This seemed like a perfect goal since it doesn't require much actual running, so maybe I would actually do it.

Then I had another idea.  Runner's World has their "run streak" every year from Thanksgiving to New Year's, which involves just committing to running 1 mile every single day.  Why not commit to do this as well?  Lots of days I'm just so tired after work and playing with baby that I'm just exhausted and the couch calls to me.  But all I have to do is run for 10 minutes!  That seems doable.

So, here goes nothing.  My timed mile was 7:34.  JMan decided to do it too and his mile was 6:54.  I would LOVE for that to be my mile time someday.  One of my life goals is to someday run a mile that starts with 6.  I've never done it when I wasn't running down a mountain.

So who wants to streak with me?  I'm at 11 days and running right now.

How do you keep yourself motivated in the winter???