Thursday, September 30, 2010

There goes September

Is it just me, or did this month fly by even faster than normal? I could swear September 1 was just yesterday! I guess this is what happens when you have a busy month. It was a great month, and I guess all I can do now is enjoy every minute of October starting tomorrow!

*There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.*  
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet 50!

My amazing mom turned 50 today. We actually had the big celebration on Saturday when my famliy + my mom's parents + my dad's mom all went to lunch at Rick's Cafe Boatyard on the riverfront in Omaha.  We finished our meal with carrot-zucchini cake and ice cream.

Birthday Bunch.
Me, my mom, and her mom (25, 50, and soon-to-be 75 years old)
My dad's mom and me. It was a good day for purple!
And just because my dad mocked me for taking these pictures...
...I'm posting the dessert photos!
Then we walked across the new pedestrian bridge (aka "the bridge to nowhere" between Nebraska and Iowa). It was actually opened on my mom's birthday 2 years ago and we just now got around to checking it out. It's a nice walk. The sun even came out for us at the end!

This morning my parents humored me with a green smoothie for breakfast. Mmmmm! Surely spinach in your smoothies keeps you young?!

Glamour shot with the sweet card my youngest brother made for Mom.
Then my mom, aunt, and I went to PiYo (hello, quads and hip flexors!) and out to lunch with my grandma. Sadly, I had to leave town after lunch, but I knew my mom was in good hands for the rest of her birthday. Happy 50th Mom! My friends still tell me you're beautiful when they meet you for the first time, and I agree wholeheartedly. Age doesn't matter when true beauty shines from within!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Perfect Day for a 10k

Note to self: Remember this feeling. This is what it feels like to set a goal, train appropriately, and exceed your own expectations! It helps that this morning presented us with perfect running weather (50 degrees and mostly cloudy) and a great course (gently rolling hills, but more or less downhill for the second half).

My dad decided to run the Omaha Marathon 10k today, too, and my mom offered to be a spectator extraordinaire and wake up at 5am with us.

I couldn't stop smiling for the last 0.2 miles of the race this morning! I hit mile six, saw that I had a gradual downhill to the finish line, and I started accelerating. I passed the one girl in front of me at the time and strode through the finish line grinning from ear to ear!

My unofficial finish was 6.25 miles in 1 hour 4 minutes and 37 seconds. We'll see what my chip actually says. This race was perfectly distanced- every mile marker was spot on with what my Garmin said (I just stopped the distance and timer a bit after crossing the finish line).

I don't think it's facetious to say that this was the best race of my life! I'm only competing with myself, so to finish below my goal time and feeling great is all I could ask for.

10k: September 26, 2010 done!
1/2 Marathon: November 21, 2010
Marathon: February 27, 2011

Edited to add:

The official results are up and we did great!

My dad wanted to finish in less than an hour and he was SO close... 1 hour and 8 seconds! He came in 6th out of 13 men in his age group. I'm so proud of him!

I was hoping for sub-70-minutes (with a pipe dream of sub-65) and I officially finished in 1 hour 4 minutes and 29 seconds. 40th out of 89 women in my division. Placing in the top half?! Not too shabby for me!

P.S. The first place half-marathoner finished shortly after us in 1 hour 9 minutes. I can't imagine running that fast.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What I Love About Fall

Decorations. Hello, dreamhouse!
Purple basil

Enjoying the blues skies while they last

Can you see the happy squirrel?

Winter squash


Happy first day of F A L L !

Monday, September 20, 2010

Not all Runs are Good

Today's run managed to NOT be an epic fail for one reason and one reason only: I finished the 6.2 miles I set out to do.  I did not finish fast, even though there were fewer hills than I'm used to.  My legs did not feel good afterward, even though I hadn't run since last Wednesday. My water break was more helpful than hurtful, since it gave me a sidestitch for the last 2 miles.

I could attribute it to the fact that I haven't been eating well lately. Lots of unhealthy treats (are they still treats when you eat multiple ones in place of healthier food at meal times?) and not enough vegetables.

I could blame the fact that Ross and I are housesitting/babysitting so I'm not sleeping in my own bed, eating my own food, or living in my relatively allergen-free apartment. When I wake up with sore knees, hips, back, and shoulders, I know the mattress I've been sleeping on is too hard. Starting a run with aching joints is not encouraging.

I forgot to get my allergy shot last week (September is flying by!) and I need to refill my Sudafed. The 80+ degree sunshine and what felt like 80% humidity was a killer icing on top of this allergen-crazy-house + absence-of-allergy-shot-and-asthma-medicine cake. (I also forgot my Xopenex inhaler, which could have helped pre-run).

I felt GREAT the first two miles, pushed through to three, and then basically fell apart. My pace went from 10-minute miles to 12-minute miles. My hips and knees were complaining. I would've carried a scythe if it would have cut through the humidity and allowed me to breathe easier.

But I came home and took an ice bath.


And then a long, hot shower.

I was tempted to call it a bad run and make 1,000 excuses, but:

a) not all runs are amazing. That's the nature of the beast.

b) A year ago, I could barely run 2 miles in run-2-minute, walk-2-minute intervals, so this run is still a success. It's the longest I've run since senior year of high school and I'm proud of that fact! I always considered myself a runner, even during my years-long lapse in running, but now I'm proving it to myself again. (What does that say about me? Hopelessly optimistic or naively ignorant?)

c) Running is a surprisingly equal-opportunity sport. The only person you can fairly compete with is yourself. And despite my whining and grumbling, this run was actually (shockingly) only a minute slower than my goal of 70 minutes. I just need to even out my pace a bit for next week's run.

I'm running my first official 10k next Sunday and I'm so excited! Each long run makes my marathon dream more real. I've started and stopped marathon training twice. Once was in college when I was going to run the Dallas White Rock Marathon with Team in Training. (Hence the shirt I'm wearing in today's picture). I feel really bad about this one because I raised all the money I needed to (thanks to generous friends and family) but about a month into it, I got shingles and a month after that, I got viral pharyngitis. My doctor said no marathon. Something (nursing school, no doubt) was messing with my immune system and stressing my body more would make it worse.

The second attempt was last summer. Ross and I were really getting into it and suffering through long, hot runs after work (it helped that I got out of work earlier in Texas. It also helped that we had a trail system in our backyard). But then we found out we were moving the same weekend as the marathon I'd signed up for and I quit. I could've kept running, but I didn't. This year, I did. I ran through night shift, I ran through terrible heat waves, I'm running through hills since I don't have a gym membership, and I'm oddly looking forward to running through cold and snow (please feel free to remind me of this when I complain later).

And this year, one bad run isn't going to get the best of me!

Something to think about: Need motivation? Check out this video that's gone viral lately: All you have to do, is do it.