Monday, January 28, 2013

Mother Nature on Crack

I failed to watch the weather report last night.  I slipped on one of my favorite sweaters this morning with a pair of jeans to head into the office and knock out some work.  As I walked out to get the paper before loading the kids in the car, I realized I may regret that choice. It was time to go so I let it be.  Oh yeah, at 7:25 AM, it was already 56° and forecast high in mid-70's.  What the hell is up with Mother Nature?!!  Get that crack pipe out of your mouth and remember that this is winter in mid-MO.  I'm happy it isn't freeze your tits off cold with snow/ice, but 76-freaking-degrees!?!  I even saw a guy on his bike on my way home in shorts and a s/s jersey.  I have to admit, I almost got mine off the trainer, but running seemed simpler.

At 7 PM, when Stacy called to confirm she was ready to run, it was still 68°.  I went out in capris and a short sleeve tech tee.  Insane!  Not to mention humid from a light rain we got this morning.  But, given it is winter still, it was pitch black out.  There are a fair number of street lights along the route from our house to Caseys gas station/C-store, but there are a couple of dark spots (one across from Stacy's house - must send note to City Engineer).  I thought it was a 4 mile loop, but turns out only 3.76.  Darn it - must start saving harder for that GPS watch.  Had I known, I'd have tackled the stupid rock cut hill to get in a little more distance and what Walter (bike friend) would call "character". 

But no worries - for this abbreviated version of Mid-MO Mondays (Vol 2.5?), I bring you our crazy weather.  Recall that last Thursday I went for a run at noon and it was 20°.  Tomorrow the forecast is for more crazy warmth (68° high), but the highs for the rest of the week are only going to be in the 30's (pretty normal).  While I love the fact we usually get four distinct seasons here, I hate when the weather bounces around like this because it tends to lead to sickness.  One day your nose is running from the cold and the next you are suffering from seasonal allergies that are coming on because things are starting to bud!  It also can wreak havoc on our plants.  My husband pointed to the flower bed yesterday and, sure enough, the tips of our daffodil leaves are peaking through the mulch.  Way to go, Mother Nature!  Just in time for you to take another drag on that crack pipe and freeze them one night this week. 

On a completely separate issue:  MMNW = 160.2.  A slight downward trend, but not where I want it to be.  When I work longer hours, I tend to reach for soda for a pick me up or run out for fast food at lunch.  Really need to stop that! 

In other random stupid moves, I left my engineer's seal at home today.  I had a whole set of plans with calculations I was ready to turn in on a site development project only to realize I couldn't seal them.  Worse, I have to drive to Columbia tomorrow morning so I can seal them, turn them over to the architect, maybe work for a couple of hours and then shake a tail feather to get back to Jeff City in time for "parent lunch" (Happy Catholic Schools Week everyone!).  Doh!  And Wed morning, I get to hang out with the 3rd graders for a little over an hour while their teacher goes to an appreciation breakfast.  I'm going to have them make thank you pictures to hang up in her room.  They are at the age where they express their love with coloring.  Good times.  Hope I can finish up my street project's specifications somewhere in there. 

Swimming = 0 yds
Biking = 48.0 miles
Running = 41.3 miles

Sunday, January 27, 2013

50° January Run - WTF

I didn't look at the thermometer and put on tights and pants.  Right before I left, I checked it and it was 50°!  WTF!??  January temperatures are not usually this warm and it has been cold (like teens/20's) this week.  So I peeled off my tights and put my pour torn yoga pants on (still needed to be sewn up from SHITR tear - did that this afternoon before tossing them in laundry).  I put on a short sleeve shirt and my jacket.  I wasn't a mile in when I realized the jacket was a mistake.  Took it off and fought it slipping down  for another half mile before a double knot fixed that.  If it wasn't so new, I'd have probably stashed it on the side of the road and come back for it.

Just did the neighborhood and down past the Moreau River since none of my running friends were available.  The Wavco hill was kicking my butt as usual.  But some music made the time pass ok.  Averaged about 12 min/mile which is about normal for me.  Sucks being slow, but I'm not ready to dedicate the time to the training it would take to get a lot faster. 

Facing another busy week of work with some of the usual kid stuff.  And who knows what the weather will do.  Better get off here and enjoy what is left of my weekend.

Swimming = 0 yds
Biking = 48.0 miles
Running = 37.5 miles

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rocking the Trainer

Finally getting healed up and was ready to give the trainer a try again.  I wanted to get a longer workout so I waited until I was mostly done with the laundry (last load in the dryer) and headed down to the basement garage.  Then I popped in my Netflix DVD that came the other day and watched "Rock of Ages" while I cranked away for 1 hr 45 min (probably about 23 miles equivalent).  The movie was kind of campy and it is weird to see some of these stars singing, but the fun 80's music was a decent soundtrack to my workout.  Lots of fun memories from jr high and high school with the "hair bands".

Oddly, my arms were hurting almost from the beginning.  I really need to spend some time on upper body and core strengthening.  My hips and knees were starting to hurt a little also so I decided not to watch the last part of the movie on the bike, but drank some water and sat at the kitchen table.

I've been really enjoying the Facebook updates from Team Virtus as they have a great road trip/bachelor party for Bob.  Kate even drew blood at an indoor mountain bike park.  How cool is that!  Best bachelor party ever!

Swimming = 0 yds
Biking = 48.0 miles
Running = 34.0 miles

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold wind therapy + soup

It is Thursday.  Susan's day off and our "usual" running day.  I really hoped she wouldn't bail so I called her a little after kid dropoff this morning and we discussed the fact that we were slowly creeping out of the morning low single digit temps up to about 20° and we could probably suck it up for a run today closer to noon when we might get a little sun.  She was game so we decided to meet at the greenway. 

While it was cold on the way out as we talked through an old festering (work-related) problem of mine, the cold wind in our face on the way back made me pick up the pace to get back to the car.  It is amazing how someone else's perspective on a problem can help you work through it.  I love that she is so smart and challenges me in such a loving and supportive way.  And all while we knock out 4.8 miles.

We stretched for a few minutes when we got back - hiding behind her van from the wind, but then dashed off to Panera for some soup.  Oh how I love their soups.  I got broccoli cheddar, but could have been easily happy with the chicken and wild rice.  I even asked if you were allowed to get two soups on the You Pick 2 menu (apparently "no"). 

Then my car wouldn't start, but after a little fiddling it finally did.  So annoying.  It does this from time to time.  No idea what the deal is.  Usually, if I am patient, it won't leave me stranded (though I was glad I'm not in charge of pickup today so if I was stranded it wasn't a major deal).  It's been a busy week with a ton of kid stuff (Brownies and archery last night, piano on Tue, working concessions at a basketball game tonight, etc).  I'm buried with work stuff and shouldn't have blown off the day, but so be it.  I'll hit it again tomorrow and hopefully be up for some trainer time this weekend.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mid-MO Monday - Vol. 2

Because the temps are in the single digits tonight (below my temperature threshold for outdoor running) and my incision from last week's minor procedure is precluding bike trainer time and because I feel like it again - you get another volume of Mid-Missouri Monday.  Tonight, I will focus on the awesomeness that is having many waterways/impoundments within a short distance to be enjoyed when temps are not quite so cold.
  • Binder Lake - operated by our City parks dept.  It is a pretty big lake (155 acres) in our largest City park (644 acres).  While few outside of the Jeff City area really know this lake, I feel like I grew up on it.  My dad kept meticulous maps and notes of about 30 years that he fished there.  He named each little cove.  He (and I for that matter) could tell you all sorts of stories/memories of the waters there.  We fished from his boat, from the bank and wading in the water.  I had never been on the trails until last summer, but look forward to doing some more trail running out there this year (when we get back out of the single digits).
  • McKay Lake - another local park lake - much smaller (20 acres) with a 0.6 mile trail around it.  My father-in-law lives about a block away so sometimes we walk there.  When I was a kid, my school bus route went over the dam.  That road is no longer there (just a grassed dam now).  Back then it was called "Sunset Lake". 
  • Osage River - It stretches from Bagnall Dam (Lake of the Ozarks) to the Missouri River (just downstream of Jefferson City), but the portion we usually go to is about 11 miles from our house.  We'd love to find a small lot there, but so far haven't gotten lucky enough.  We have friends that built a place there and our neighbors have a place a few lots over.  Not wanting to feel like a mooch, we don't go there too often.  Water levels vary a lot based on what they are letting out at the dam and the rainfall.  Some years it is really flooded.  Last year, docks had to be extended and even then, you couldn't run a boat in some sections it was so shallow.  We have skied and gone tubing with friends.  My favorite times are when we go out on our neighbor's pontoon and hook up with another couple of pontoons and float around (cue "Red Neck Yacht Club" song) or go up to the gravel bar and splash around.  But the boys also go out frog gigging, set out trot lines to catch big channel catfish, cast a line for other fish species, etc.  And, of course, we fry all that up and everyone shares side dishes, salads and desserts to make it a real meal.  Everyone has a cooler full of beverages - adult and otherwise - and it is a great time. 
  • Gasconade River - For us, it is all about the float trips on the Gasconade.  We have floated from Paydown (conservation dept boat ramp) to Hilkemeyer's (private boat ramp/camp ground about 30 min from our house and with a service that will allow you to leave your car at the takeout and drop you and your canoes off at the upstream end) several times - sometimes with a ton of friends, sometimes with a smaller family group and last year just the four of us.  Depending on how often and for how long you stop, it is a pretty easy day float.  The day always involves another cooler full of beverages and snacks.  On a good year, there is less paddling and more floating (and no dragging).  On a crazy year, you might have to hide out on the bank to let a storm pass.  On a crazier year (or three), you might sneak off on a gravel bar with your husband and do naughty things.  On a drought year, you might pray you don't have to get out and carry the damn canoe with your 11 year old son.  Wear lots of sunscreen and a floppy hat though - float trip sun is dangerous stuff.
  • Missouri River - I don't recall ever having actually gotten in/on the Missouri River, but it is a part of my daily life.  As the crow flies, it is just a couple miles from my back door (though down a big bluff and across railroad tracks so no worries of my house ever being flooded).  I also drive across it each time I go to the office or to go anywhere really (except south).  There are many locations around the area where you can see really pretty views of the river - from the Capitol grounds, the pedestrain bridge (attached to the hwy bridge), from the Katy Trail, etc.  It is why our town is here.  To me, it is part of a definition of "home".  It was really scary when it flooded in 1993, but mostly it is just something that you see everyday.
  • Wears Creek - This isn't much of a creek anymore.  The base flow is very low due to development, but I do like running along it on the City's greenway trail for a couple of miles.  I also know this watershed like the back of my hand having been the City's stormwater engineer for 4.5 years.  I've helped with cleanups on this creek and I do think it is a valuable asset that should be protected. 
  • Unnamed pond across the street - If my kids and husband want to sneak off on a spring, summer or fall evening after work to catch a few fish, this is where they go.  It is across the street, through a cattle gate and down the hill.  They walk or ride the ATV over there and have a great time.  It is just a hair too small for my open water swim practice though. :)
There are tons of other small creeks, lakes, etc. in the area.  We have a lot of federal, state and local park land within a short drive and most have some amount of water resources.  Of course there are larger lakes and rivers within just a couple of hours - Lake of the Ozarks being the most well known of them.  We are so fortunate to live in an area so close to all this beauty and opportunity for outdoor recreation.  Now if only it was hot and I could go swimming.  Oh to dream.

When I visited Green Bay in 1996 was the first time I'd been to a body of water I couldn't see the other side of.  When I went to Jamaica in 2000 was the first time I'd seen/swam in the ocean.  I've still never been to any American beach - though a beach trip was discussed with my family and they voted to save the airfare and go do more stuff in Branson. We're a hard drive from the closest oceanfront property, but I don't feel we miss out too much with all we have close to us. 

Where is your favorite "water" and how is it a part of your life?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thought it was longer...

Don't you just hate that?  You think you knocked out more distance than you did.  So annoying.  I still don't own a GPS watch (though with one of my new year's goals/resolutions/wishes - I've set a plan in place to save up for one).  I didn't map out where I was going because I just barely talked myself into getting it done tonight.  So I just headed out and ran until I thought I'd gone somewhere in the vicinity of 4 miles.  I didn't need anything too hard, but wanted to take advantage of the fact it was still in the 50's and tomorrow's high wasn't going to be anywhere near that.  Wouldn't you know it, after doing the neighborhood cul-de-sacs multiple times, I still only got in 3.3 miles.  Oh well - better than nothing.

Day was super nice - sunny and warm.  I got out and walked a couple miles helping my daughter hit a few more homes selling Girl Scout cookies.  She's set to surpass last year, but is about 27 boxes short of a "prize".  Oh well, she did it all on her own so I'm still very proud.  Later, I shot some hoops with my son.  So a nice, active day. 

Swimming = 0 yds
Biking = 24.85 miles
Running = 29.2 miles

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cool, Sunny Run

After bailing on me yesterday, Susan committed to meeting at 8:30 for a long-ish slow run with me in the morning sunshine on the Katy Trail.  It was still pretty cool - probably in the upper 20's/low 30's - with a breeze, but once we got moving, I barely noticed.  We walked and talked, jogging here and there.  I'm never fast with her, but tend to go longer.  I really wish at some point I'd find this thing called "endurance".  So far, for me, it only means "not giving up".  But I get tired and out of breath so fast and that isn't fun.  I know if I would be more consistent with my training it would help.  But still so frustrating.

I had a minor medical procedure on Wed morning so I am healing up from that and didn't want to push too hard.  Thankfully, I barely noticed it.  Susan has a niggle in her foot that she is waffling on having checked out though she said it never hurt badly maybe thanks to her new pink shoes.  But neither of us wanted to do the full 8.4 miles we "usually" do on the trail so we turned around at the mile marker just past Hwy 63 for a round trip total of 5.6 miles.  Should leave me in plenty good shape for a "bank run" tomorrow in what is supposed to be awesome weather in the 50's.  So jealous not to be going to MLK2 with Team Virtus.  I must learn to mountain bike in the next 12 months - just so many other goals.

We had an early lunch and I came home and procrastinated away my day.  I'm going to have to learn to suck it up on the work front as well as the running front or I'll never get anywhere with either.

Swimming = 0 yds
Biking = 24.85 miles
Running = 25.9 miles

P.S.  Anyone else having trouble with Blogger not giving a "Browse to file" option when you click on the add picture icon?  I haven't been able to add a pic for over a week.  I even made a point to take one today.  Grr...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trainer Time

I gimped from the SHITR soreness a lot less today.  And since I said last night I was going to get on the trainer tonight, I had to sort through my desired TV shows for the evening and pick one to skip so I could get it done.  The cool garage is nice, but there is no TV.  I should have hooked up the laptop, but didn't want to mess with it for a fairly short (45 min) workout.  About 5 min in - I wished I had bothered.  Oh well, I borrowed my son's confiscated MP3 player (lost due to grade card) and listened to some tunes while cranking out some trainer time. 

Swimming = 0 yds
Biking = 24.85 miles
Running = 20.3 miles

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mid-Missouri Monday Vol. 1

Recently, Patrick over at "Stuff About Me" posted about how he was contemplating his readership numbers since relaunching after an extended hiatus.  I mentioned in a comment that I mostly write my blog for me and if others enjoy it, that is great.  He responded with a comment about the fact he finds my blog interesting because I'm "... just a person doing their thing, living in a place that [he] has zero experience with, so [he] likes the education".  He went on to mention that he grew up in Cambridge, MA then lived in NYC and now is in SoCal - all essentially fantasy lands and missing a fair bit of "real" (his words). 

In a follow up message, he apologized in the event he had offended me (he hadn't).  But it occurred to me that living in a relatively small town in mid-Missouri definitely provides a different perspective on life than maybe some of my readers are privy to.  And because this is my blog and I can write about whatever makes me happy, I bring you Mid-MO Monday.  I reserve the right to have future volumes or never speak of it again.  If I feel like it, I'll take some pics or post reviews of local joints.

Possibly interesting bullet point info about my life here in mid-MO:
  • I would consider Jefferson City "big" compared to many small towns around.  It has a population of 43,332 (though the metropolitan statistical area includes another 10k or so) - we are the 9th smallest capital city.  But lots of small towns around have less than 1000 people.  Though we aren't far from Columbia - home of the University of Missouri with a student population of about 35,000 - plus about 65,000 "regular" residents.  We lived in Columbia for 11 years (including our four at MU).  My friends tease me that my husband's umbilical cord snapped us back home.  He was born in the hospital about 8 min from our house.  However, both our kids were born in Columbia (one while we lived there and one while we lived here).
  • I live on the "edge" of town - in an area that was annexed in 2003 (I think). The annexation was necessary to keep from showing a loss of population when the Missouri State Penitentiary moved to its new location (from the historic location where my Prison Break event started). The new JC Correctional Center is about 3 miles east of my house and apparently the prison population (up to almost 2000 prisoners) is included in the 43,332 by the U.S. Census.
  • While I live in a small subdivision, the land across the street is cow pasture with a great pond that our neighbors let us fish in.  It has a fair number of catfish including some albino ones.  We feed them floating fish food for fun and they churn up the water eating it.  We also have a fire pit down by the pond that is great on spring/fall nights with our friends.  We own two ATVs (four-wheelers) that we ride there as well on my husband's uncle's farm (575 acres about 30 minutes south of us).
  • I like being in the center of the state - about 2 hours from St. Louis, Kansas City and 2.5 from Springfield, MO and 3.5 from Branson (depending on potty stops).  I check airfares out of both STL and KC whenever I fly though I've flown from Columbia Regional (which is about 25 min away) when they had decent air service (which they swear they are working on again).  I'm also an hour away from Lake of the Ozarks which is a bit of a tourist attraction.
  • There was a fair bit of German settlement in this area - with many German last names still common here.  I think it is cool that the small town of Westphalia (about 10 min down the road) still has the street signs in both English and German.  There are several small Octoberfest celebrations you can attend in the fall - with the biggest and best one in Hermann, MO (about an hour away).  Great wine, beer, brats, etc.  They also have a great Grape Stomp at Stone Hill Winery in August around my birthday!
  • We don't really have "rush hour".  Traffic rarely is at a standstill - save an accident blocking a lane.  At most there is some congestion for 10-15 minutes around 5 PM.  Because of this, I really HATE driving in St. Louis or Kansas City during any of their rush times.  How people who have 2 hour commutes going like 15 miles do it is beyond me.
  • I grew up with a father that liked to hunt and fish.  He once told me when I was dating my husband that you should always stick with a guy who likes to hunt and fish.  There a certain parts of growing up in a gun-accepting culture that changes your views on things.  My son got his first youth-model rifle at age 7, shotgun at 10 and a hunting bow that next Christmas (also age 10).  He killed his first big buck (deer) at age 8.  My kids consider it a "treat" to go with dad to the gun range to plink cans and shoot targets with shotguns, handguns and rifles.  Sometimes for fun and sometimes for practice to prepare for the next hunting season.  Just like my dad always took me for ice cream if I was quiet while he fished, they know that they will get McDonalds if they listen and behave at the range.  My son has killed rabbits, squirrels, coyotes, deer, doves and a variety of fish - most of which he cleaned with his dad and were eaten by our family (all but coyotes - we kill those to keep them from taking calves).  He hopes to get a turkey this spring.   My daughter (age 8) hasn't successfully taken game yet, but has gone along for hunts.  I consider us very responsible gun owners - the guns are locked in a safe, the ammunition is locked separately in another part of the house (in a military ammo box), and the kids don't have access to any of it. 
  • I both hate and love that we have four distinct seasons (most years).  The heat and humidity can be pretty oppressive in the summer and the cold, gray days of winter can make you dream of balmy beaches.  But you really can't go wrong with most spring and fall days (with the occassional rainstorm to break it up).  We have nice fall color (reds, oranges, yellows) and many nice spring flowers.  It is hard for me to imagine warm weather at Christmas or cool summer days.  And, as the saying goes, if you don't like the weather here - wait a few minutes and it will change.
That's it for this volume.  How would you describe the place where you live?  The things you do there?  The culture of the area that might be different from the way my life is?

MMNW = 161.0 (bummer - I had seen 159's most of the week so I was annoyed with this but I sat around all Sunday and had a hot dog and fritos for dinner - oops)

Still pretty sore from the SHITR.  Had planned on getting on the trainer tonight, but just couldn't get out of the recliner to get it done.  Read a few other reports from the SHITR and it is possible I didn't have the worst night of the 40-some-odd folks that tackled this "race".  Tomorrow night I am definitely doing trainer time because I'm going to have to take a minor break from riding after a minor medical procedure on Wed.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

SHITR 13.1 (-1.2) Race Report

The one thing that can be said for the inaugeral running of Rock Racing's SHivering Icy Trail Run (SHITR) in Weldon Spring, Missouri is that mother nature made sure to laugh in our faces.  Icy would have been too easy.  Slippery mud was much more the theme of the night.  Oh yeah - cold rain turning to sleet at the end made for a lot of "fun" in the dark. 

The day started out nice enough - cloudy, but warmish - low 40's (though not as nice as the previous day's 60°+ temps).  All of the "racers" were anxiously watching the forecast in the day or two leading up to the race.  Comments on Facebook abounded with discussions of this being the "Sort of Hot Incredible Trail Run" and people running in only shorts.  But not to be outdone, the forecast west of the the race was for ice and sleet.  My husband wasn't too keen on me going so far with possibly driving back in bad weather, but was assured (at least a little) that Lukas from Team Virtus would be driving the "Virtus Van".  Oh, and I didn't tell him what I was really going to attempt.  I didn't want him to worry or try to talk me out of it.

I met the van at the commuter lot across the river and then headed out to pick up Bob and make our way to the "race" site.  I rode with Robby, Lukas and Bob from Team Virtus.  They were a lot of fun to listen to - though they assured me that this was the "tamed down" version of their jocularity.  They talked about fun they are planning for the coming year (Dirty Kanza, etc), the crazy adventures of years past (about a decade of adventure racing) and Bob went on about how awesome the groomsmen gifts he picked out for the guys were.  We made pretty good time down I-70 and were soon at the race site (though we passed it briefly to take a side road and watch Luke and Bob take a whiz by the side of the road).  Best quote of the night (from Lukas): "I'm going to be fighting a turtle head the whole race."

We pulled into the parking lot near "the Mound" where the other racers were gathering.  We signed in, I made my donation to Patrick's 100+ Project, ate a Kind bar (donated to the race - yummy), and waited for the guys to get changed into their gear (laughing a little when Luke realized he was missing his watch, trail shoes, etc).  We chatted with Kate and a few of the other folks and took a couple of pictures, I pee'd behind a transformer in the field (bigger than a bush) and listened to the pre-race information.  In all, it looked like about 43 people were going out there to suffer together (need to insert the group pic, but Blogger is misbehaving again).

Before we knew it, it was time to start.  I got dropped almost before we hit the steps to the mound.  Sad!  And those steps in the wind were no fun.  We ran around the benches at the top (highest/windiest point in St. Charles County) and headed back down. 
Parking lot pre-race; Mound w/ steps on the left in background
(old haz waste site capped with stone)
By the time we were on the flat, wide gravel trail heading to the Conservation Area, there was no one behind me and one lady close to me (Karrie from Edwardsville, IL).  We ran together for a couple of miles making decent time as it started to sprinkle.  First two miles (according to her GPS) were 12 min/mi.  I was happy with that, but knew that the single track would slow us down further.  Just as Karrie mentioned that "at least it wasn't raining too hard" - the rain picked up.  Soon, I had to remove my glasses and tuck them in my fanny pack because I couldn't see through them.  And as we entered the single track, the trails became the most hideous, slippery, sloppy, SHITTY mess with many areas that you could barely walk on, much less run.  Karrie dropped me as I tentatively made my way along (now completely in the dark except my new headlamp) hoping not to reinjure my left ankle or injure anything else.  This was the first point at which I was really not having fun and the tears were welling up in my eyes.

I put on some music, clumsily opened/ate some Gu Chomps (Watermelon) around mile 4, drank a little water (which was kind of scary because when I would look up tipping the bottle up to drink, I could no longer see where I was going) and just tried to maintain forward motion.  But then we got to a section of the trail where it was cambered so badly towards the downhill side and was so slippery, I was really on the verge of crawling to get past.  A few times I caught up or at least was within sight of Karrie and we'd chat for a minute or decide which way to go, but I was alone a lot.  I got passed by a threesome that had gone the wrong way too. But being alone really sucked.  The cold and wet didn't help either.

I'd hit some sections where there was a bit more gravel and more stable footing and try to pick up the pace, but then usually within a few seconds, there was a big root, rock or muddy section that I had to tiptoe through again.  And I looked at my watch and was two hours in and not happy that I was probably only about half way done.  Somewhere in here, I caught my pants on a stick and tore a hole.  Thankfully, my UA tights were still keeping my legs relatively warm.

When I FINALLY got out of the single track (never having seen the mystery event cemetery), I was nearly 3 hours in and my light was getting dim.  Oh crap!  I hadn't bought/brought the extra batteries.  I'm not sure I could have changed them with my wet and cold fingers anyway, but I was annoyed that my BRAND new batteries didn't last longer.  Apparently I ran the light on "bright" the whole time and that was likely my own demise.  I looked up the way and Karrie was nowhere to be seen.  I started to get pretty down at this point.  Three and a quarter hours in, I was running in the dark with no music (it had also died) in slightly more open conditions (read: more wind) in the pouring rain and cold.  I was officially NOT having fun.  I got to the highline and wasn't immediately sure which way to go, but I could make out a hill ahead and I remembered someone mentioning a big hill near the end.  I figured if nothing else, I could get to the top of the hill and try to see how far I was from help (and more likely to get reception for a phone call).  Somewhere in here, I ate a granola bar too - as I was sick of the chomps taste I kept burping.

The hill was eating what was left of my battered and broken spirit and I knew that I was probably going to call for a pussy pickup at the top of it.  I got to the top and the bitter wind came roaring down the trail pelting me with sleet.  My knees and hips had been hurting for a little while too.  I recognized where I was - not all that far from the end - but I knew I was done.  I remembered a parking lot (trail access) just down the way and kept putting one foot in front of the other as I fumbled to get my phone out of my pocket. 

Just as I was turning it on to make the call, I fell hard into the road ditch.  Apparently I can't focus on walking in the dark and turning on the phone.  Thankfully, phone was ok, but I think this is where I lost my MP3 player.  Not a huge loss - it was on its last legs held together with tape and a rubber band, but still a bit of a bummer.  I was now more muddy and covered in leaf debris and I called Luke who didn't answer (no service at the parking lot apparently).  I called SuperKate (read her account of the night at that link) and my hero came to my rescue.  It was all I could do not to break into sobs, but I told her I was next to the parking lot.  She told me to stay there and they'd come get me.

The race director, Chuck, pulled up a few minutes (that seemed to take forever) later and they welcomed me into their warm Jeep and put a blanket around me.  I felt like such a failure, but they assured me I was making a smart decision even if only about a mile from the finish.  Got back to the Virtus Van about 8:45 ("race" started at 5:00) and they asked if I needed to change, but since we were going to the Mexican joint a few miles away I suggested we just head out.  I got a handwarmer and tried to stop shivering.

I pulled off my muddy and wet clothes - everything sopping wet - dried off with the towel Luke had suggested bringing (great call) and happily slid into warm, dry clothes/shoes.  I ate all of my dinner, a bunch of chips and drank a margarita before I finally wasn't shivering.  I felt like I could have eaten another whole dinner.  The conversation went between the epic-ness of the evening to football to cold "junk" to Bob's ability to say words backwards.  Crazy skill! 

About 10:30, we headed out and thankfully didn't hit too much ice on the roads until Kingdom City.  There were a few slippery spots, but Lukas guided the Virtus Van back to Bob's creating a veritable sauna in the van for us to keep the chills at bay.  There was more race talk ("Remember that one crazy night where we ran in the freezing cold and rain?" LOL) and farting and goofing on each other that I enjoyed listening in on as I tried to keep from stiffening up too much as my sore hips and knees were screaming at me.  It got so warm that it actually felt good when Bob opened the van door to gather his things (including the trophy for shitting his pants - his story, not mine).

We got back to the commuter parking lot about midnight and my car was frozen shut with probably 1/2" of ice coating the entire thing.  I managed to break into the passenger side and turn on the car/defrosters while Lukas and Robby chipped away at the ice on my windshield.  It was insane! But chivalry is not dead - the boys got me on my way pretty quickly and I carefully drove home.  The main roads were mostly wet with just having to watch for patches of ice. 

Got home, climbed out the passenger door, went to my room, jumped in a hot shower, and got in bed shortly before one.  I expected to "sleep like a drug addict" (Bob quote), but the soreness would wake me from time to time.  Finally, I got up to pee about 7:30 and ask my husband if we were going to mass (no, they went at 7 PM on Saturday so it was a sleep in day), and then I took more ibuprofen and settled in to read the paper and more FB comments on the crazy night. 

I mapped the distance from the parking lot to the end of the race and I came within 1.2 miles of completing my first ever half marathon in the most wretched of conditions.  I will try to consider my DNF a "win".  They did give me the cool SHITR decal for my car window, but I don't think I'll put it on since I did 11.9 instead of 13.1.  I'll keep it in my hope chest to remind me that I can do ALMOST everything I put my mind to.  Without much more training, I could easily do a sissy daytime road half with no rain and good temps.

Overall, I wore pretty much the right clothes (big win as I'm never quite sure).  I had a veritable smorgasboard of food to eat (could have left half or more of it at home, but I wasn't sure what I would want).  I didn't drink even an entire handheld of water, but was pretty thirsty at the end and had the lighting issue not been a problem, I'd have probably drank more.  Waterproof gloves would have been nicer, but even cheap gloves were better than nothing.  I wish I was fast and confident enough to keep up with at least the last person if not my friends because being alone sucks.  Will have to work on that.  Oh, and next time I will order the BIG margarita!

Took my camera, but decided it was too heavy to drag along. My phone doesn't have a flash and everything was so wet that I didn't bother. I'll hijack some pics from others as they are available. There wasn't much to see other than the raindrops and the puffs of my breath in the cold air in front of my headlamp.

The adventure is in the books.  It made for a pretty good story.  I really can't imagine that I'll have any desire to go back and try again, but I said that during my first triathlon too.  I know better than to say "never".  As miserable as this was, Rock Racing still deserves all sorts of kudos for putting together a "race" for a bunch of crazy M-F's to tackle on a cold, wet night.  Thanks!  Unlikely that it could have been much more awful or awesome.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Headlamp Tryout Run

After a few days of laziness and procrastination, I got inspired to go for a short run (2.1 miles) tonight to try out my son's headlamp that I had hoped to use for the SHITR this weekend.  It came up in a FB discussion about what I would need to get through my 3+ hours.  I was told to make sure it didn't give me a headache, wouldn't slip around too much and was bright enough for my needs. 

It was a bit of a fail.  While I am probably more visible with it, it did a pretty half ass job of lighting the way - and that is between streetlights.  I can't imagine using it for the trails.  It didn't really bother my head and would be better than nothing, but I'll go out to a couple of stores tomorrow and see if I can come up with something better.  Definitely the sort of time I wish I lived in a place where there were more shopping options than Dicks (which just opened), Walmart and MCSports.  No REI within 2 hours of me.  Of course, if I had been thinking ahead at all, I could have ordered one.  But such is life.

I took 2 funny post run pics of me with the headlamp on in the dark - one with and one without flash, but Blogger is being a butthead and not letting me load them into the post.  Grr...figures when I try to improve my visual content - good old Murphy and his laws creep in.  Will try to add it later.

Swimming = 0 yds
Biking = 15.1 miles
Running = 8.4 miles

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 Race Schedule

Though this is somewhat tentative, I'd better just put it out there and try to adjust on the fly as I have to:

January 12, 2013 - SHITR (Shivering Icy Trail Run) at Lost Valley Conservation Area - starting with climbing "the mound" and then running (hiking, jogging, crawling) the trail for a total of 13.07 miles.  As close to my first half marathon as I've ever been at one time.  And it will be DARK.  And COLD.  And with a bunch of totally fun people who will come find my broken body on the trail if needed.  Must pack camera!  You should totally come join us!

March 16, 2013 - Luck of the Irish 5K - downtown Jefferson City - may do this with my daughter like last year if she is up for it.

April 6, 2013 - MaxTrax Duathlon (long course - 1.5 mi run/15 mi bike/3 mi run) - I like repeating races and seeing if I can do better.  Last year was more of a slogfest than I had envisioned.  I like to have a strong showing.

April 6, 2013 - CAC (Carnage at the Creek) - greater Callaway County adventure non-race put on by Team Virtus - I'm nowhere near ready to take on a race like this, but I would like to volunteer in some capacity after the duathlon earlier in the day. 

April 13, 2013 - Ava Brown Memorial 5K - a charity race for the late daughter of one of the Team Virtus guys.  Did it last year on a total last minute whim and it was a good time with really good people even with questionable weather.

May 5, 2013 - TriZou Sprint Triathlon - I'm a little ambivalent about this one as it is a pool swim with self-seeding and a bike/run in the crap shoot of Missouri spring weather (hot, cold or perfect?).  But I'm afraid if I don't have something pushing me to keep up the tri training, I'll only bike all spring.

June 1, 2013 - Tour De Cure St. Louis (Century) - Definitely my BHAG for the year.  Want to raise at least $500 between now and then.  Want to get in enough mileage on the bike this spring that I don't suffer too much on the day of.  Obviously this is a "ride" and not a "race", but truthfully I don't "race" even when it is a "race".

June 29, 2013 - Octomax or Quartermax Triathlon (sprint or Oly) - This is another "maybe".  Is it too much to ask to put this at the end of my family vacation?  Will it be too soon after the TDC?  Is it worth driving to Innsbrook for a sprint?  Will I be trained enough to tackle my first Oly?  How does it fit with the other training, racing, etc.?

Early July 2013 - Tour de Jefferson City - Parks and Rec middle of the night moonlit ride around town for fun (15 miles).  Didn't do it last year because it was only a few days before Pewaukee.  Year before it was pretty fun.  We'll see.  They should publish the date soon.

July 14, 2013 - Pewaukee (WI) Sprint Triathlon - This would be the 3rd time I tackled this race in as many years with it having been the event that popped my tri cherry and started all of this craziness.  But I'm still working out if I will go to this one or another two weeks later (different course so harder to compare and I like being able to compare).  Also, my husband will be in the thick of teaching an intensive summer course and won't be able to travel with me which may also preclude my kids from going which would be a bummer.  So not 100% sure.  It is also a week closer to Show Me Games which fouls the calendar some.

July 21, 2013 - Show Me State Games Sprint Triathlon - Again, 3rd time in 3 years though I suffered in insane heat both times before.  But this race is like 30 min from my house and costs like $25 to do it.  Hard to say "no" to that!

August 10, 2013 - The date is a total guess based on last year, but if the Jeff City Rotaract repeats the Kicks in the Sticks trail race (7.5 mi) the day before my 40th birthday, I think this may just have to be my birthday present to myself again. 

August 24, 2013 - Lake St. Louis Triathlon (Oly) - I've eyed this race for the last two years (though the first year only looked at the sprint distance.  It has a pretty long history and is well supported by the community.  I could stay with my friend Betsy in St. Charles to nix the wee hour commute and probably get her and her sweet daughter to come cheer me on.  I think the course would make for a solid first Oly attempt (if I don't man up for the Quartermax in June).

September 1, 2013 - Epic Mud Run with husband and friends - I hope to do some serious recruiting for this "race".  I may let my kids do the Jr race too.  It was a total blast last year and I can't wait to do it again - and more friends would make it even more fun. 

September 21, 2013 - Roots 'n Blues Half Marathon - Susan did this race last year without me and struggled with a bit of a bonk towards the end, but finished.  I know we could totally do it together though I haven't really determined if she wants to or not.  I'd say this is a definite maybe.

October 2013 - There are always a smattering of 5K's to choose from (like nearly every weekend).  I might do the Helias Homecoming one again.  I might do one of the dozens that seem to go to various cancer charities.  Or I might see if friends are doing a long stretch of Katy Trail riding under the gorgeous fall color again (ideal if I can have my husband pick me up in Hermann).  I'm leaving this month open, but sure that I'll do something fun.

November 28, 2013 - Pie Run 5K - Wonder if my man will whoop up on me again?

December 2013 - Jingle Bell Run - Hopefully not missed due to flu like the 2012 race.

2013 Goals/Resolutions/Wishes

There has been some discussion on the interwebs lately about the difference between "goals" and "resolutions" (and I'm going to throw in "wishes").  I think each of the bullets below are a mixture of each.  I guess I see "goals" as something to shoot for, but not beat myself up if I fall short - that the victory is in the journey and the "try".  The "resolution" part of this list are things that I just need to commit to doing because they are the right thing to do and I need to have the "resolve" to do them.  And the "wish" is that my life would be made a little better if I stuck to these things.  Pay no mind to my "Type A" personality -here goes (and broken down into categories though in no particular priority otherwise):

  • Complete first Olympic distance triathlon (Lake St. Louis, probably)
  • Improve time at Sprint triathlon (Pewaukee or Show Me State Games) by 7-10 minutes
  • Finish iron distance in 2 week time period before April 1 (last year was 4)
  • Go to the pool 3x/month minimum
  • Swim 50,000 yards total
  • Complete first century (while raising money for ADA)
  • Try using my mountain bike for mountain biking at least twice
  • Ride ±25% of the Katy Trail (or more? 237.7 miles in Missouri; preferably with friends)
  • Bike 1200 miles total
  • Complete half-marathon (Trail? Road? Both?)
  • Set new 5K PR
  • Run 400 miles total
Adventure Racing
  • Volunteer or support crew at least one race (or non-race like CAC)
  • Went back and forth on adding something else here, but I'm not 100% committed to anything in particular and maybe the mountain biking goal should be written here instead of under "Biking"
  • Eat at least 10 servings of vegetables per week (yes, in theory this would read “3 or 4 per day", but there are so many days I don’t eat any that I think this is a realistic goal)
  • Eat lunch out no more than once/week and dinner out no more than twice (and make healthier choices most of the time)
  • Drink at least 48 oz of water/day (and during exercise doesn’t count)
  • Be solidly in the low 150’s by June 1 and maintain under 154 for remainder of year
  • Complete a record of my billable time each week
  • Invoice at the end of each month
  • Spend at least one hour each week marketing my business
  • Work at least 20 billable hours each week
  • Follow up on accounts receivable every 30 days
  • Do expense log at the end of each month
  • Generally, procrastinate less
  • Walk with my husband at least once/week (preferably alone so we can talk which is why this isn't really a "fitness" goal)
  • Spend at least two hours each week doing something one-on-one with each of my children
  • Go on a “date” with my husband at least once/quarter
  • Have “game night” at least once/month
  • Plan and execute a family vacation we will all enjoy the last week of June (family already voted Branson with ziplining, waterpark, Titanic exhibit and afternoon pontoon rental on lake as part of the wish list – is it too much to ask that I end the week with a triathlon?)
  • Plan at least two other family getaways (24 hours minimum) – one Jan to June and one July to December (and trip to see sister doesn’t count)
  • Save 5% of any check from a client to save for a gear purchase or trip from my bucket list – select item/trip and purchase without remorse or guilt
  • Read one book per month
  • Review this list at least once/quarter to reassess and reaffirm
I'm sure this list will be amended and tweaked as life happens, but I'm looking forward to what my life can become this next 12 months when I try to incorporate this list in each week.  Still working on putting together a race calendar.  Struggling as some race dates haven't been announced and others were just recently announced.  Also having some issues trying to decide how to integrate training for different events though there is plenty of overlap.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pizza Gut/Trainer Time

I don't know what I was thinking when I loaded my gut up with pizza only an hour or so before jumping on the trainer for 70 minutes.  That's not true.  I was thinking "Damn, this spicy chicken pizza tastes good with this full octane Coke!"  And then I was thinking "I really had intended to get a workout in tonight and I shouldn't be such a wuss." 

So I ate a gluttonous dinner and slogged through trainer time while watching more Gossip Girl on Netflix.  I played with the resistance and cadence as I have before.  I find that I can't achieve the lung-crushing feeling of hill climbing that I get from riding outdoors.  Not sure if I'm worried about that yet.  I know I can do some hill training when weather is more conducive.

In other news, I went on a relatively nice walk with my husband this afternoon (who ragged on me about my Netflix addiction).  We probably went around 2 miles (pretty standard walk for him at a nice brisk pace in 35° weather dodging patches of ice on the sidewalk).  The sun was out and I actually got a little hot so we sat on the porch and talked some more when we got back until I got chilled and went inside. 

He goes back to work next week and I will need to dig in more then too.  I ended up not going to the office today though I worked at my home office on the drainage nightmare plus handled some issues for another client via phone/text/email.  (Side note: Patrick commented about my office situation - I work from home some of the time, but I also cop a squat at the office of some surveyor friends in Columbia whenever I need to get away from the home distractions - it is mutually beneficial as I do work for them and they do work for me.  I also chip in for stuff like paper and toner and whatever else I can to not feel like a mooch.)

I have been working on my tentative race schedule and a pretty exhaustive list of personal goals for 2013.  Hope to get it relatively figured out this weekend and post something very soon.  I let myself off the hook on a lot of goals last year and I want to set some high bars that are achievable if I put my mind to them.  I think it will make me happier in the long run.

Swimming = 0 yds
Biking = 15.1 miles (using 13 mph conversion on trainer time)
Running = 6.3 miles

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Patches of Ice 5K

I had a hair appt at 8:30, but texted Susan because we had tentatively planned a run today.  She said she needed to drive up to Columbia and hit Sams and then would meet up closer to lunch time.  I told her I'd check the greenway and report back.  It looked clear in all except one spot under the overpass so I thought we were good to go.

We met at 12:30 and I suggested we run as far as we could in about 45 min and then turn around and come back.  Susan looked like that might be asking too much since she'd gotten up in the 3 o'clock(AM) hour to take care of the six babies born last night before running off to take her son to school, back to the hospital for notes and then to Columbia and back, etc.  But the real problem ended up being that the running was about 20-30 paces of "running" and then 10 paces tip toed over ice/snow patches - then repeat.  After stepping in some cold puddles near the ball fields, we turned around and went back to do a loop around the "state" streets.  Tons of hills on that loop - ugh - but the streets were pretty clear. 

We walked when we needed to and ran when the street/trail conditions allowed.  We did our usual "therapy" chatting and headed back to the car much sooner than I had planned.  I thought we were cutting it pretty short, but her phone running app said it was 3.1 miles so I guess it is ok. 

Susan gave me some Powerbar Gel Blasts, Sportbeans and a Saucony ear band for a belated Christmas gift.  I had wanted to pick up something for her and just couldn't decide what and then flaked when we didn't get a chance to run that week.  She is so sweet to me!  I'm sure her gifts will be very useful!

I used the extra time before school got out to head over to buy a new pair of running shoes.  I lucked out that they had my size in a pair that was discontinued.  I really hate how they do that - get rid of a model as soon as I find that I like it.

I roasted a turkey breast for dinner (first time I've done that).  Had a nice meal with my sis and her family who leave to head back to WI tomorrow.  We talked tonight about what race we'd like to do together in the summer, but I'm not sure I've figured it out.  My husband's work schedule will likely preclude him going with me and he isn't crazy about me traveling with the kids alone.  So I'm not sure what I'll do.  She is voting to repeat Pewaukee, but it is the week before Show Me Games this year instead of 2 weeks.

Darn it - I had all kinds of good intentions of taking a pic while Susan and I were out running today to work on my NY resolution of having more visual appeal to my posts.  I remembered as I was pulling out of the trailhead parking lot.  Doh!  Well - imagine patches of ice starting to melt, but messing up a perfectly good concrete trail.

Another day gone and I still haven't gotten enough work done.  Tomorrow I will go to the office and bury myself in stormwater pipe design until I get it figured out.  Then I can blow off the stress with a trainer ride over the weekend. 

Swimming = 0 yds
Biking = 0 miles
Running = 6.3 miles

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Recap and MMNW


**Sorry - I started this Monday and didn't finish it.  Forgive a "Monday" post on Wed.**  This year had a lot of highlights even though when I was going through most of it, I had some low times too.  I think it helps to look back at all that was accomplished and all of my blessings and realize that those low times just make the highlights more special. 

CTER 140.6 - I didn't think I could do it, but I managed to complete the iron distance (plus a little) over the course of four weeks.  It helped that I bought my road bike in that time and that we had the warmest winter you could hope for.  I even managed to do some of the running while at a conference in Vegas.  Won my favorite water bottle (Hydrapak Wooly Mammoth) that I've used tons. 

MaxTrax Duathlon - First du. Tough mentally, but finished (in the rain no less).  Not dead last (though last long course athlete was just under twice my age).  Enjoyed having my husband there to cheer for me and take care of me afterwards. 
Feeling strong before the Duathlon
First/Longest Gravel Ride - Joining up with some of the Team Virtus folks made this an adventure to remember.  I got dropped a lot on hills, but they always waited for me at the top even when I had to walk parts of them.  I misjudged the fluids/nutrition that I would need, but was bailed out by folks that had just met me.  And I proved to myself that I have more than I thought inside when it comes to just "sticking it out".  Family obligations made me miss the opportunity to do a longer (though flatter) gravel ride in October with these great folks, but I will find a way to do it again sometime.
Gravel = Bad, Friends = Good
Longest Road Ride(s) - I met Walter (aka "bike dad") on a CMC group ride around the Holts Summit area and we traded digits.  He's been great to text me when the weather is at all conducive to long weekend (and summer night) rides.  He gathers the group together and we head out for loops around Jeff City/St. Martins/Lohman (20-30 miles) or Holts Summit/Fulton (39 miles) or (to take away any excuses I have) from my house to Wardsville and back (27 miles - making sure to loop a little at the end and pick up a painful hill or two for "character building").  Nearly all of my long road rides have been with him and some assortment of other bike friends I've made through him.  I'm sure they will all be a part of preparing me for my first century in 2013.  Considering my "long" rides in 2011 were 10-15 miles, I am extremely pleased with how far my biking came in 2012.
Great group rides!
Pewaukee Triathlon (aka "Beating Sis by 5 Min") - OK, I'll admit it.  My big sis has been better than me at nearly everything my whole life.  She did everything first and she did it so great that I often felt "in her shadow" as we grew up.  But truthfully, I'd have never gotten to where I am now had she not talked about doing a tri (there is still some debate as to whether this was her idea or I just jumped on it as a goal when she told me she was doing it).  Pewaukee was my first tri in 2011 and it may always be my "benchmark".  And this year I blew it away - by 40 min.  Better equipment (road bike over mountain bike) probably helped some, but a lot was my better cycling training and some running.  I beat sis out of T1, built a small lead while on the bike and held her off on the run.  I know I can improve more.  Not sure if Pewaukee will be on my race calendar for 2013 or not, but I hope I can race with sis sometime/somewhere.

Show Me State Games - I felt a lot better on the swim and bike this year than last.  The run (without water on a scorching day) was a bit of a death march, but I finished and was not dead freakin' last this time.  Took a ton of time off from my 2011 attempt (similar to Pewaukee).  Loved having my family there to take pics and record splits for me and cheer me on. 
Coming into T2 at Show Me State Games!
Non-Traditional Races - The Epic Mud Run was a blast with my husband and our friends.  The Prison Break was definitely more "party than race" with Superkate and her friends/teammates (though the race itself could use some improvements).  The Kicks in the Sticks was a great way to celebrate my 39th birthday with Susan, Kate, Bob, etc (until the last mismarked mile).  I definitely think we need to find some more of these adventures for next year and include even more friends.  Maybe Luke is right - there might be an adventure racer waiting to break out of me yet.

5K's - I did several of these throughout the year including some virtual and some "regular" - with friends, family and solo.  I didn't always track my time for the virtual races, but I brought my PR down from 41:49.2 in 2011 to 34:24.6 in 2012.  Progress is progress.  Probably focusing more on cycling this winter/spring, but will do some running too.

Friends - One thing I noted in a FB status recently was how blessed I have been to train with friends a lot this year.  In 2011, nearly all my miles were done solo.  I was so slow that I didn't really want to train with others much, but I also didn't have the base of friends to train with.  And it is hard to say how many of my miles I would have accomplished in 2012 without friends nudging me along.  And better yet, I've become better friends with these people by sharing our lives as we sweat.  It is the best "therapy" you can ask for.  I hope to continue this trend in 2013, but also suck it up sometimes when no one is available and do some solo training.  I can't let it be an excuse.
Sweating with Susan on a fall run.
Family - My kids have grown and changed so much this year.  I was flipping through some pictures and I just can't get over it.  They bring constant challenges as we navigate through their growing up, but they bring me so much joy too.   My daughter had her first communion, my son crossed over into Boy Scouts, they both did the Pewaukee Kids Triathlon (daughter bringing home hardware), and we've made it half way through another school year (3rd and 6th grades).  We were blessed to have my husband's family together over Christmas - including my husband's brother and wife home on leave from the Navy after a long deployment. 
Christmas Eve - Son in middle with long sleeves, daughter/me/husband in red at right

Work - Being self-employed is definitely not for the faint of heart.  I've had my ups and downs this year.  I brought in a big street contract that I am struggling with finishing the design for.  I did a lot of smaller site development projects this year that ate up my fall.  I presented at three conferences (including an international one) last winter/spring.  I made a little money along the way, but probably not as much as if I'd just go back to being "employed". But I've had so much flexibility that has given me precious time with my kids that I don't regret continuing down this path for now.

Weight - I went back and looked:  I weighed 175.6 last NYE.  This year my MMNW = 158.8!  I'm pretty happy with that in general.  The only sticking point is that I hung out in the same five pound range (160-165) for about 75% of the year when I could have been losing more if I'd put my head in the right place.  I really need to find a way to (get in and) stay in the 150's (or lower?) this year.  I know the increased training volume as I prep for the Tour De Cure may help, but I really do need to get more focused on quality nutrition with more fruits, vegetables and lean meats and less "treats" (eating out, coke, ice cream, cookies, candy). 

Final 2012 Totals:
Swimming = 15,700 yds (just not my year for the pool)
Biking = 848.2 miles (fell in love with my bike, but next year I'm blowing this one out of the water!)
Running = 339.0 miles (still don't "love" running, but like it a lot more with friends)

What will next year bring?  Still trying to figure it out.  Goals, races, etc.  For sure is the June 1st Tour De Cure St. Louis (donate here).  For sure will be another go at the Epic Mud Run on September 1st with my husband and as many friends as we can convince to join us.  I'd like to tackle an Oly (which I wimped out on this year) - leaning towards Lake St. Louis in late August if I can get a spot.  And I'm sure there will be a smattering of 5K's in there too.  The other adventures are TBD, but it wouldn't take a lot of arm twisting to get me to step out of my comfort zone.  Seems like those are the ones that make for the best stories!  And I think one of my resolutions needs to be to take more pictures!  They make the stories even better!

Good bye 2012!  Welcome 2013!  Happy New Years!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Virtual 5K

Yesterday it snowed like crazy - big fat flakes with some minor accumulation.  I didn't go into the office as I had planned and ended up kind of blowing the day off.  The good news is that I got a nice check from a client in the mail that ended my year a little better financially.  I also got started on my 2012 "year in review" post (nearly done, but looking for some pics). 

After a night of revelry with friends (a family friendly party we've gone to for years which gets easier each year the kids get older to the point I barely see mine), we packed up nearly all of the indoor Christmas decorations (since the outdoor ones are covered in snow).  I did a load of laundry and told myself I'd get out for Kiley's (at Daily Vitamin F) New Year's Virtual 5K as soon as the dryer buzzer sounded.  I finished dressing in my layers to deal with the 25° temps right as it buzzed and headed out the door.

I jogged out into the street with a bright orange sweatshirt to be as visible as possible since the sidewalks are covered in snow/ice.   Thankfully, there wasn't much traffic and the streets were plenty clear.  I tried to run more than walk and made it down to Modern Litho (1.6 miles away) in 17:something.  Headed back, but walked more than I had intended and fought my way up the hill.  My legs were tired (and somewhat sore) from my weekend workouts, but it took 38:11 for the 3.2 miles total.  Still not an awful pace (for me).
Self-portrait just after getting home - 3.2 miles done. 
I had on my Pie Run shirt, UA tights, non-wind resistant running pants, and a Carhartt sweatshirt with my IECA beanie/gloves (best conference attendance gift ever).  I was cold the first mile, perfect the middle mile and kind of hot/sweaty the last mile.  I took the gloves off about midway and stuffed them in the pocket of the sweatshirt.  Just kind of tracking what I wear to have a better idea what to pick on other runs.

Time to start anew:

Swimming = 0 yds
Biking = 0 miles
Running = 3.2 miles

Still thinking about my goals, race calendar, etc for 2013.  Post to come after I finish my 2012 wrapup.