Friday, December 28, 2012

Multiple Personality Playlist

I've been whining about my playlists this entire training season.  As in I basically listen to the same playlist each week because I don't have much new music and it seems like the thousands of songs I already own aren't suitable for running or race walking.  Here is a random sample of what I've been listening during my long workouts (whenever I'm not with someone):

U2 - Where the Streets Have No Name (This was a new addition last weekend after I heard it during a movie and remembered I love the song and it has a steady rhythm which is great for running (once you get past the first few seconds.)
Pearl Jam - Given to Fly (While this isn't my favorite PJ song, this is in my top 10 for sure)
Calvin Harris - Let's Go (Thank you Fitnessista for this suggestion!)
David Guetta & Usher - Without You (I've had a soft spot for Usher ever since I was 16)
Nero - Promises (Thank you random fitness web site for the suggestion)
Ellie Goulding - Lights (Catchy)
30 Seconds to Mars-The Kill (Somewhere inside is still an angst-y teenage girl with a crush on Jordan Catalano.  Who's with me?!)
Matt & Kim- Don't Slow Down (Even if I'm scheduled for a walk break, I must.keep.running. Plus, these two are AMAZING!)
Usher - OMG (Oh that Usher....)
Lady Antebellum - I Run to You (I'm RUNNING!!)
Ray LaMontagne - You Are the Best Thing (This seems to always come on smack in the middle of my mileage-no matter the distance.  And I smile like a fool because it reminds me of me and The Pilot's wedding day.  He really is the best thing.)
Mumford & Sons - Babel  (Love them!)
Guster - Fall In Two  (I went to a liberal arts college. I have some hippie tendencies.)
Alicia Keys - Doesn't Mean Anything (You go girl!)
Muse - Starlight (Reminds me of when The Pilot and I were dating.  That is all.)

So if you can't tell, I am a white girl with a slight ghetto streak, with a bit of folk hippie thrown in the mix.  But sometimes a girl's gotta rock out.  And ultimately it comes down to the fact that Pearl Jam is the greatest band on earth and whatever keeps me moving forward has a pretty good chance of ending up on my eclectic playlist.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12 wheels fell off....or did they?

Last weekend was my longest long run for the Disney 1/2 marathon.  Mary and Lisa had a zillion miles again so I tagged along so I could get my 12 miles in.  We did 2 miles before circling back by the cars to shed clothes.  We were melting.  It had been unseasonably warm (until yesterday when it snowed all day) around here and last Sunday was steamy.  I probably could have shed another layer but luckily I kept it as I was running into the wind on my way back.

I stayed with them for another mile and then dropped off to do my thing.  We met up again further down the trail when we made a pit stop.  We ran a little further together when I dropped off again.  I cruised along pretty well until the last couple of miles and it really started to feel like my wheels were falling off.  I was surprised to see that my pace didn't suffer because I was feeling pretty miserable and just wanted to be done. 

Again, I was pretty shocked at my average pace.  I was back in the 13:00 pace despite my walk breaks.  For me to never drop below 14:39 even when walking is a pretty big accomplishment for me.
Part of me wonders if I simply put too much pressure on myself last year when I was trying to PR.  Maybe I could have gone faster.  Or maybe I was training too much and zapped my energy.  I'm really not cut out to run more than 2 days in a row.  I can walk more days in a row but that much running leaves me with achey knees and it's just not worth it.

I went into this training season with no goals.  I knew I wanted to just go to Disney to have fun and support my friends during their Goofy Challenge.  I was also knew that realistically, I wasn't ready to devote the time to serious training.  I had planned to do the bare minimum to get me through the race.  That's just where I was in terms of my time commitment and my emotional commitment.  So I've been working out only about 2 days a week.  I'm not exactly proud of that but that's the truth.  As a coach, I certainly wouldn't recommend only training 2 days a week for a 1/2 marathon but right now, it seems to be working for me. 

I am officially tapering now with 10 miles scheduled for this weekend and I think 9 next weekend.  After that, I'll have to come up with another game plan.  :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Pilot Family Christmas

I came across this article the other day and it struck a cord with me.  It's a total crap shoot if The Pilot will be home on holidays.  I almost just assume he WON'T be around on holidays and then if he is going to be around, its a bonus.  Somehow we hit the jackpot this year and he was home on Thanksgiving AND will be here for Christmas. 

But for those times when he isn't home, we just celebrate a little early or a little late.  I would say that of all the holidays, Christmas is the only one that I have a hard time with if he's not home.  Especially since I'm off work and being home alone on Christmas stinks.  I think the last time that happened though I hung out with my parents.  And that's probably what I will do in the future when The Pilot is off flying other families to and from their holiday gatherings.  While I'm sure The Pilot would rather be home on holidays, the extra money is kind of nice.  It's also nice to see that The Pilot does still have a passion for flying, despite the cons of the job like working on the holidays.

I'm curious though, how do other pilot families or families who have a member who works on the holiday handle the absence?  Do you celebrate early or late?  What did you do when little ones came into the picture?  Does your pilot mid working holidays?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Over a year ago I wrote a post about successes and failures.  Back then I was celebrating the fact that I paid off my credit card debt.  I've been credit card debt free since then also.  My new goal was to pay off my car at least 18 months before the end of the loan. 

Well every last extra cent (after retirement and the emergency fund savings) went towards that car.  And yesterday, I made the final payment on my little blue roller skate!  I was also able to pay it off 2.5 years early!   It is such a relief to have that off my shoulders.  It was very tempting, especially in the last 6 months to not make the extra payments.  It would have been easy to take that money to finish up the remaining projects around the new house but I kept plugging away at that loan instead and I'm so glad I did. 

Like I mentioned in the past last year, I contemplated not sharing this "publicly" especially since I was ashamed at the time that I had gotten myself into some debt.  It's not really anyone's business but at the same time, it happens to even those who try to plan well.  I knew I wasn't the only one in a similar situation.  I also am aware that it could have been a lot worse.  I've been lucky enough to be employed through this whole economic crapper.    I also didn't want this post to come across as "look how great I'm doing, I paid off my car and I had all this extra money to do so!"  I wanted to share because it was hard.  It's not like we have buckets of extra money.  I thought through every single purchase I made over the last year.  I asked myself, do I NEED this?  While I still made some questionable purchases from time to time (yes, Pilot, I NEED to put Christmas lights around our  light post out front) but for the most part, I stuck to my plan.

You know, my master plan to "live the dream".  My dream to retire by the time I'm 32.  Oh wait....that's only 3 weeks away.  Crap.  Oh well. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

10 .36 because I suck at math

I'm only running about a week behind on my blog posts....sigh.

On December 9 I tackled my 10 miler.  During the workout I realized that I wasn't sure if I ever even said what I'm training for here on the blog.  Oops.  I'll be heading back to Disney World in a couple weeks for my 9th year involved with Disney's Marathon weekend.  I'll be doing the 1/2 marathon this time around.  It's pretty amazing to me that this Gym Class Dropout has been involved with racing that long already.  How did that happen??

Anyways.  I met up with my fellow Disney fans, Lisa and Mary.  Those crazy girls are doing the Goofy Challenge, despite my warnings.  :)  While they are faster than me and typically going longer distances, we meet up together and I run a couple miles with them and then drop off.  When they circle back by me, I'll run a little more and then drop off again.  Rinse and repeat.  It's nice to have something to look forward to.  And an added bonus of running with people who are faster than me....I'm running faster.  I've been doing a run/walk combo and my run "breaks" are at a faster pace than I was a year ago at this time.  Unexpected but awesome!

It's doing wonders for my average pace.  My 1/2 marathon PR pace (running, not race walking) is about 12:45.  My average for this workout was 13:07.  Considering I was doing walking in there too, I'm pretty pleased.

I felt really great through the entire workout.  I never really hit a wall and could have easily kept going.  That's always reassuring to know that, especially with a 13.1 mile race fast approaching.

I ended up with that little extra .36 onto my 10 miler mostly because I cannot do math mid-run.    Hell, I can't do math when sitting with a pen and paper.  That's another story though.   I considered going onto 11 miles just to make it even but decided against it. Besides, The Pilot was home work the weekend and was waiting on me.

Last year I was on Mission: Epic PR Attempt at the Disney 1/2 marathon.  This year, I'm going into it without a real plan other than to just enjoy myself and have a fun, safe race.  No real time goals or anything.  Of course the faster I go, the quicker I can get onto having a magical visit at Disney World but also, the faster I race, the more likely I am to be waddling around later.  So maybe my goal is more along the lines of, go just fast enough to maximize the weekend getaway but not so fast that I'm sore and miserable.  I'll let you know how that works out.  Ah the life of a slow moving endurance athlete.  I know my priorities.  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jingle Bell Run +5

On December 1, I participated in the Jingle Bell Run 5k benefiting the Arthritis Foundation.  Never underestimate the power of e-mail and social media.  A former TNT teammate put together a team for the Jingle Bell run as her husband has a form of arthritis.  I saw it on Facebook and got an email about it and before I knew it, I was one of 111 people on the team, "Jon's Jinglers."  This is the only time it is even remotely appropriate to have anything to do with a friend's husband's jinglers.  Anyways, we ended up being the largest and top fundraising non-corporate team.  Pretty awesome!

I talked my co-worker into doing it with me.  You remember her, the co-star of the Best Race Photo EVER.
I'm amused that it looks like she's wearing a Santa hat when in reality it was the person standing behind her.

The race was a blast!  We were both doing it for fun and didn't really have any plans other than to finish.  So we ran some and we walked some and laughed a lot.  We entered the non-timed division so we weren't wearing timing chips.  I did wear my Garmin though because the 5k was part of my warm up for my ultimate 8-mile workout.

When a former TNT teammate asks us to help her out, we show up in full force....
in Santa hats and crazy socks.  LOVE these people!

After the race, I quickly headed home, shed a few layers (I was way'd think I had never raced in the winter before!) and grabbed The Pilot.  I drug him around our neighborhood for about 3.5 miles.  His knees don't take kindly to much running so I ditched him at the house (love you, Pilot) and headed back out on my own in order to finish up my 8 miles for the day.

It was such a fun morning and a great way to break up what could have been a pretty boring 8 miles.  No land speed records but that certainly wasn't the goal.  My ultimate goal for the day was to support a friend while not bailing on my intended 8 miles.  Success!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tale of the Traveling Treadmill

Once upon a time I decided my parents needed a treadmill.  I was in college at the time and suggested they buy one so they could use it to get healthier and I could also use it when I came home on the weekends (keep in mind this was before my marathon days).  My sales tactic must have worked because they bought one!  I think I used it a handful of times, as did my parents before it was doomed for a life of solitude in their basement.

I'm not exactly sure of the details but I'm sure it had something to do with my parents' getting sick of looking at it, gathering dust.  They were about to get rid of it when my brother offered to take it.  It relocated to his basement where I know both he and his wife used it occasionally.  Heck, I even used it once at their house when I was training for some race and was babysitting my niece.  I think I knocked out a few miles after I put her to bed for the night.

When The Pilot and I bought the new house and had a basement large enough to accommodate some workout equipment, I started thinking about where we could find a treadmill on the cheap so I could avoid paying for a gym membership for the winter months (when it's too dark for me to workout outside before or after work).  I remembered the last time I was in my brother's basement, the treadmill had some kids' toys sitting on it.  Ah....  Hey big brother?!  How about you let me take that off your hands.  Think about how much extra space you would have in your man cave toy room basement.

And so the treadmill, all million pounds of it, made the trek back to this side of town.  I think at this point it has more miles on it from riding around in the car than it does from actual use.  Hopefully I can change that.  Despite its age, it still seems to work.  It's pretty noisy and I think the backlight on the display is burnt out because it's really hard to see the pace/distance, etc. but that's ok.  I usually cover up the display with a towel anyways.  If I don't, I stare at it and it's like watching paint dry.  Sloooooow.

So it's been in the basement for several weeks now but up until recently, I was still getting most of my workouts in outside.  But now its dark by the time I get home from work so it's time to get into a routine of hitting the dreadmill.  I don't typically mind cold weather but I have a strong dislike of rain so the treadmill will also come in handy when it's just too darn wet to be outside.

That is what I realized that running/walking on a treadmill in a basement is a lot like being locked in a cell.  Not that I've ever been in a cell but check out my view from the treadmill:
Remind you of a jail cell?  

Wow.  This is 100 times more boring than the treadmills at the gym.  At least at the gym you can eavesdrop on your neighbors.  To make it worse, we don't have a TV hooked up in the basement yet.  There was ONE outlet in the basement (other than for the washer and dryer) and it was being used for the treadmill.  And it is on the opposite wall from where we have a TV and DVD player set up.  Hopefully in the next couple of weeks my dad will be able to come over and run more outlets throughout the basement to solve this problem.  At least then I could watch some TV instead of staring at the sky out that tiny window or at the concrete wall.

In the meantime I'm stuck with listening to my iPod and being constantly reminded that my playlists suck in terms of motivating me to move more.  I'm now soliciting song suggestions!  Anything to keep me on that treadmill for 30+ minutes at a time and moving faster than a 16 minute mile.  And go.....

And in unrelated but crazy cat lady news, I have started an all out war of keeping one of the cats from removing the Christmas tree skirt to build forts with.  She's the devil in a furry package.  And if you happen to be at my house, please don't judge us by the amount of cat fur on the tree skirt (or any surface really).  I am losing this war.