Friday, December 30, 2011

Races 2011: A look back

Today is the last Friday of 2011, and what a year it's been!  I can't believe how many miles I logged this year.  According to DailyMile, I'm at 922 total miles - I have a 4 mile race, plus another 4 to do on Saturday to hit a nice, even 930 for the year!  I thought it would be fun today to take a look back at the races I ran this year.  Warning: it's gonna be a long post :)

January - miles ran: 47 (54 total)
I started off 2011 running a virtual race with the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans on Jan 8.  This was the same weekend a bunch of my girlfriends were running the Disney Marathon and Half-Marathon.  I ran "virtually" with Beki and Thea at 11 am that morning, clocking 6.3 miles (yep, went a bit long) in 1:14.

February & March - miles ran: 49 & 74 (52 & 77 total)
No races, but check out how many miles I logged just running :)

April - miles ran: 62 (63 total)
I ran my first official race of 2011 on April 23rd, The Striders Saturday Classic.  For some bizarre reason, I didn't do a race report and I don't have any pictures on my phone or laptop.  (Bad blogger!).  I remember being very sick for a couple weeks before the race and not running at all.  According to Athlinks.com (you DO use this site to keep track of your races, right?) I finished in 1:50:33.  Not a horrible pace (11:03) considering I'd been sick.

May - miles ran: 50 (62 total)
This was the month that I deemed "Marathon May".  I ran 3 races in May 2011!  The first race was my longest race to date, the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25k.  I remember finishing this race in 2:52:55 and being so proud of myself for blowing my 3 hour goal out of the water.  I maintained an 11:07 average pace and ran the entire race with a girl I'd never met before, talking and laughing the whole time.  
The next race of May was the Fitbloggin' 5k.  I traveled out to Baltimore for this amazing conference and to finally meet so many of my "sisters" in real life.  I had the time of my life and ran my first race in a tutu :)
My final May race was the Soldier Field 10 Mile in Chicago.  This race rocked for so many reasons: a personalized race bib, running along the beautiful lakeshore, finishing on the 50 yard line at Soldier Field, and finally beating my husband in a race :)  Also, I finished in 1:47:00 with a 10:42 pace, beating my last 10 mile race by 3 1/2 minutes!  WOOT!

June, July and August - miles ran: 41, 89, 109 (63, 118, 154 total)
No races, but it was this summer that I decided to tackle my first full marathon and logged my first ever 100+ mile month!  It was also in June and July that I got to spend time with one of my favorite people on the planet, Kirsten!  Of course we did some running while we were together :)
First in Michigan at my place
Then in Nevada at her place - my first run at altitude!

September - miles ran: 97 (105 total)
In September, I found out what it was like to run a race while training for a marathon.  I ran the 10 mile Bridge Run in my fastest race pace EVER!  I finished the 10 mile course in 1:40:56, at a 10:05 pace!  This was a whopping 9 minutes faster than my first 10 mile race and 6 minutes faster than the race I ran in May.  Who was this person????

October - miles ran: 60 (64 total)
On October 16, 2011, I did something I said I would never do.  I ran a marathon. 5:27:15 (12:29 pace).

November - miles ran: 35 (51 total)
I spent most of November recovering from the marathon and trying to decide what I do next.  I was restless and a little down, and my miles reflected that.  

December - miles ran: 58 and counting (all running)
This month I've gotten back into running.  I managed to convince my daughter to run her first 5k (or there abouts-it was a tiny bit short).  You can read her Whoville 5k race report and get a chuckle.  We finished the 3-ish miles in about 34 minutes and I was so proud to have run with her.
I still have one more race to complete in 2011.  Tomorrow afternoon is the "Resolution Run".  It's only 4 miles and will be my first race at that distance.  A guaranteed PR :)  I need to actually run 8 miles tomorrow, so I'm still trying to figure out how to work that out.  Needless to say, I'm very proud of what I accomplished in 2011.  For 2012?  Who knows where the pavement will take me.....

My goal for 2012?  Run 12 official (ie, timed) races and log at least 1000 miles total (1200 would be VERY cool, but I'd need to get on the bike a lot more!).  What are your fitness goals for 2012?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Beauty

I'm thankful to live near beauty such as this:



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Workout Wednesday: travel

I've been hanging in my hometown with my dad since this past Saturday while he recovers from knee surgery. My half marathon training has taken a bit of a hit, but I've still managed to get some running in. Monday I ran along the beach and had one of the best 3 mile runs I've ever had.



Today I took advantage of the reciprocal benefits the YMCA offers. I managed to clock one of my fastest treadmill workouts ever. I think the treadmill was wrong, but I'm gonna be happy with my 9:30ish ave pace. :-)



I need to do better with strength training while I'm here though. Maybe I'll do some planks tonight. Wanna join me?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 26, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 Week 51

Here we are, into the home stretch!  I can't believe there is only another week left in 2011. Holy Wow.

Monday
12-19-11
K got to make a gingerbread house as a reward for finishing her first 5k.  (Yes, that's a shot glass holding the roof up - klassy)

Tuesday
12-20-11
Oh my word, what have I done?
Wednesday
12-21-11
Awesome Christmas gifts from some of my students. Love.
Thursday
12-22-11
My gift wrap helper.

Friday
12-23-11
Winter finally decided to show up.

Saturday
12-24-11
Scene from my gorgeous, snowy, cold 10 mile Christmas Eve run.

Sunday
12-25-11
Merry Christmas!  I started the day with a walk to the bluff...
... and ended the day with a wrapping paper war :)


I hope you all had a blessed holiday week with your loved ones!

(PS - I'm working on another 20 Questions page like the one up there ^.  Leave me a comment - what is something you'd like to know about me?)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from my crazy family to yours. My the holiday season fill your heart with joy and your head with beautiful memories.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Random Musings

Just a quick little post because it IS Thursday :)  Here are just a few things I'm thankful for this week:

  1. My Dad had knee replacement surgery on Tuesday and, despite the surgery taking quite a bit longer than expected, he's doing quite well.  Still in a lot of pain, but he's been up and walking and doing his exercises.  Pray that he meets all the discharge requirements and that he can be d/c'd tomorrow afternoon.
  2. I'm thankful for all of my friends who prayed for Dad while he was in surgery and prayed for me because I couldn't be there.  Continued prayer for patience and strength for me as well, since I'll be spending all next week taking care of Dad as he recovers.  
  3. I'm thankful for my job - Today was the beginning of Christmas break and I'm off all next week, which is allowing me to be there for Dad as he recovers.
  4. I'm thankful for having the amazing outlet (the blog and twitter) in which I have made some amazing and life-long friends over the past two years.  You all are my rocks.  MWAH!
About a year ago, I decided to write a "20 questions" page and post it here so you all could get to know me a little better.  It's time to do another.  Leave a question in the comments (now's your chance to not just read-but TALK to me!) and when I get enough questions, I'll post the answers here.  You can also tweet questions to me if you follow me on twitter (and I follow you).  Ready...Set...Fire away!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winner Winner!

Tuesday was quite a long day for me.  Here it is 10:00 and I'm finally getting around to picking the winner for my gift card giveaway.  So, without further ado....

Congratulations to Nancy! @bacrdimama
Her running tip was great: "Always take your cell phone with you. You never know when it could come in handy, especially on long runs."  
So Nancy, let me know if you'd like the RoadID or iTunes gift card and I'll get it out to you!!!!

For those of you who didn't win, I would still STRONGLY encourage you to get yourself a RoadID.  You never know when something bad could happen and it could be the difference between your family being notified or not.  For realz.  PLEASE consider getting one (they are as little as $15).

Monday, December 19, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 Week 49/50

I'm calling this week 49/50 because somewhere I got off on the weeks.  Who the heck knows.  In any case, a look back at the past week:
Monday
12-12-11
This is what happens when the cable goes out.  There wasn't even much fighting.  I don't know who these kids are, but I might keep them.
Tuesday
12-13-11
I'd hoped my lucky green running top would make for a kick-ass run, but the gloomy trail and a sore ankle from last weekend made for the worst run in months. I spent the rest of the night curled up on the couch.
Wednesday
12-14-11
Hit the mall for some Christmas shopping - and left with practically nothing.
Thursday
12-15-11
Had to be down in St. Joseph, MI for an appointment, so I made a stop by the beach before coming home.
Friday
12-16-11
My first student gift of the year - he even came with cookies :)
Saturday
12-17-11
Scenes from our couple's night out with Mel and her hubby.
Sunday
12-18-11
My girl ran her first 5k this morning! You can read her race report here

I hope where ever you happen to be, you are keeping warm and healthy!

Have you entered my giveaway yet?  It ends tomorrow!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kay's Whoville 5k Race Report

Today's race report is being brought to you by my 14 year-old girl, Kay.  Today she ran her first 5k (or there abouts - the course was .1 short).  I asked her to write up a race report (actually several people asked) and this is what she gave me:

"I ran.  It hurt and it was cold.  Thing 1 stole my hat.  I beat my mom.  I got chocolate. :)"

Nice, huh?  So, I decided to interview her instead.  As you can see, she isn't much for words.


How did you prepare for today's race? I didn't. (Truth - she ran twice, 2 miles on the treadmill and 2 miles outside.  But, before you get all upset that she can just go out and run a 5k, she's young and an athlete [diver, sprinter, long-jumper], so don't compare.)


What did you wear? Antler ears and cool socks.
Dan, Melissa, Kay and Bari waiting to start.
What were you thinking while we were waiting to start? I want to go home.

What else? It's cold and there were a lot of people.  And, I got incensed by Buddy the Elf. (Dude in yellow tights dressed up like Buddy.  He was creepier than the Grinch and the tights were NOT flattering. I wish I'd gotten a picture of him.  Well, actually it's best I didn't.)

How did you feel while you were running? I don't know.  I don't think and run.

OK, let me rephrase that.  What were you complaining about? I couldn't breathe and my shoulder hurt. (I give her a lot of credit.  She didn't start complaining until after she ran the entire first mile without stopping.)

How did you feel about the trail and bridges? It was icy. (The icy trail actually freaked me out quite a bit.  It was very slippery and in many places, it was hard to pass slower people ahead of us.)

What did you do when you saw the finish line? I sprinted and beat Mommy. (brat)

What was your favorite part of running the Whoville 5k? The chocolate at the end. 

I'm very proud of Kay for deciding to run this race.  Whether she ever attempts another 5k is the question, but at least she had fun running this one - and she got to beat the Grinch in the process.
3 miles in 33:32

While you're here, you should make a stop on my Giveaway post - open until Tuesday night at 8pm EST.  Win your choice: a $25 RoadID or iTunes gift card!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fitness Friday: 12 in 2012?

As I prepare to run my last race of 2011 tomorrow, I'm looking ahead to my goals for 2012.  My original plan was to run 1 race a month for a total of 12 races in 2012. However, I now have a couple months where I know I'm going to run more than one race, so my goal will still be 12 in 2012, but I might not run a race every month.  Living in Michigan, it's hard to find good races in the winter and I'm reluctant to pay money to run a race (especially if it's only a 5k) just because I need a race for a specific month.

Here's what I'm thinking:

  • January: Tinker Bell Half Marathon, Disneyland, CA 1/29/12
  • February: (undecided)
  • March: Irish Jig 5k, East Grand Rapids, MI 3/17/12
  • April: Knoxville Half Marathon, Knoxville, TN 4/1/12 and Striders 10 mile 4/22/12
  • May: 5/3 Riverbank Run 25k, Grand Rapids, MI 5/12/12 and Down & Dirty Mud Run, Chicago, IL 10k 5/20/12
  • June: undecided
  • July: Tri Del Sol, Middleville, MI 7/12/12 
  • August: undecided
  • September: Fitbloggin 5k, Baltimore, MD or Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon (if I can find the $$$ to go)
  • October: Grand Rapids Marathon 10/21/12
  • November: Hot Chocolate 15k, Chicago, IL
  • December: undecided

So that's 10 races.  I need to find a couple more - definitely something in June and August.  If anyone in the midwest has suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

While you're here, make sure you go enter my giveaway for either an iTunes or RoadID gift card!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Favorite Things: #Giveaway 3

This year has been quite an epic running year for me - thanks in large part to all of you who read and comment here and/or follow and encourage me on twitter.  Your love and support have meant the world to me this year.  

I accomplished some pretty huge goals: 
(By the end of the year) I will have run about 750 miles (plus another 150 biking or walking).
I will have run 6 races (5 of which were 10 miles or greater)
I became a marathoner!

I couldn't have done these things without all of you.  Seriously.  

For this I say "Thank you".  

Now, for my final giveaway, I'd like to offer one of you another of my favorite things - but you get to choose.
If you've been around me for awhile, you know I LURVE my RoadID.  I never run without it (I even wear it on the treadmill cuz you NEVER KNOW).  You also probably know that I rarely run "nekkid" - I almost always have my trusty iPhone or iPod plugged into my ears.

For this week's giveaway, one winner will be chosen via my awesome random name picker & the winner may choose either a $25 RoadID or $25 iTunes giftcard. 

How do you enter?
1. (Mandatory) Leave me a comment telling me your best running safety tip OR your go-to workout song.
2. Tweet about this giveaway and leave me another comment.
3.  Follow my blog through email or RSS and leave a comment.
4. Like my page on Facebook

There you have it folks!  A chance to either be safer while you run or rock it out (just make sure to only wear 1 ear bud so you can hear the sounds around you!)  This contest will run until 8 pm EST on Tues, Dec 20 and the winner will be chosen by my random name generator thingy and announced on Dec 21st!

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered part 2 of the My Favorite Things giveaway!  The magic Fruit Picker spun round and round and declared a winner:

Congratulations, Brooke!  Hopefully the Gu, Sport Beans and Nuun will give you something extra to kick the Knoxville Marathon's butt in April!

I love you, girl!  
Thank you so much for all the love and support you've given me.  Hopefully, I'll get to run again with you in April in Knoxville!

Stay tuned tomorrow for the final installment of the My Favorite Things giveaway - I think you'll like it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 Week 48

Clearly, somewhere my weeks got off because I'm gonna end the year with 51 weeks, but oh well.
Monday
12-5-11
Treated myself to an Egg Nog Latte
Tuesday
12-6-11
Settled in to check out 2012 marathons by the light of the tree.
Wednesday
12-7-11
Squirt helped make the tutu for my niece's birthday.
Thursday
12-8-11
My girl ran her first 2 miles today!
Friday
12-9-11
What a difference a day makes (check out the ground in Friday's picture compared to this one)!
Saturday
12-10-11
M and I ran a snowy and icy 6 miles this morning. Those are frozen footprints in the bottom right picture.
Sunday
12-11-11
The kids had their first HS band concert today.  They are THRILLED about their concert attire.

There's my week...what exciting events happened this past week for you?

Also - have you entered my awesome running fuel giveaway yet? You have until tomorrow!








Friday, December 9, 2011

A "Fueling" Giveway!

(This is a re-post of Thursday's giveaway since the comments aren't working on that one.  If you already commented on Thursday's post, you don't need to comment again, but if you couldn't - please do so here.  Sorry for the technical glitch.)

Welcome to Part 2 of the My Favorite Things Giveaway!  (Congrats to Lani for winning the DrinkClick prize pack yesterday!) This week, as a way of saying "Thank You" to all of you for your support as I trained to run my first marathon this year, I'm giving you a chance to win some of my favorite race-day & training fuel!
Here's what you will win if your name is chosen by my awesome random name picker:

  • A tube of Fruit Punch Nuun electrolyte drink tabs.  One tab will fill 2 - 8 oz bottles and tastes so much better than plain water. Each tube makes 12 - 16 oz drinks!
  • 2 packets of Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans - Watermelon and Cherry flavors (with caffeine cuz that extra kick ROCKS) I eat a couple of these every 2 miles or so.  Like a yummy treat.
  • 2 packets of Gu (Tri-Berry and Espresso Love) My fueling strategy is a Gu every 5 miles, taken over the course of 1/2-3/4 of a mile, also while sipping fluids.  These two flavors are my absolute favorites.  
All 3 of these products helped get me to the Grand Rapids Marathon finish line on October 16th and I hope you love them as much as I do.

Here's how you enter:
  1. Mandatory Entry: leave me a comment telling me how you fuel for exercise.
  2. Follow my blog (either through RSS or email) and leave me a comment letting me know.
  3. Follow me on twitter and leave a comment.
  4. Tweet about this giveaway and (you guessed it) leave a comment.
  5. "like" Live Laugh Run Breathe on Facebook and leave a comment.
This contest will run until 8pm on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 when I'll pick a winner using ClassTools Fruit Machine (if you are a teacher, this is an AWESOME tool for random name generation in the classroom). I'll announce the winner on Wed, Dec. 14th.

Good luck!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A "Fueling" Giveaway!

The comments are not working on this post for some reason - I re-posted on Friday, Dec 9. Please go to that post to enter.  So sorry for the tech glitch.

Welcome to Part 2 of the My Favorite Things Giveaway!  (Congrats to Lani for winning the DrinkClick prize pack yesterday!) This week, as a way of saying "Thank You" to all of you for your support as I trained to run my first marathon this year, I'm giving you a chance to win some of my favorite race-day & training fuel!
Here's what you will win if your name is chosen by my awesome random name picker:

  • A tube of Fruit Punch Nuun electrolyte drink tabs.  One tab will fill 2 - 8 oz bottles and tastes so much better than plain water. Each tube makes 12 - 16 oz drinks!
  • 2 packets of Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans - Watermelon and Cherry flavors (with caffeine cuz that extra kick ROCKS) I eat a couple of these every 2 miles or so.  Like a yummy treat.
  • 2 packets of Gu (Tri-Berry and Espresso Love) My fueling strategy is a Gu every 5 miles, taken over the course of 1/2-3/4 of a mile, also while sipping fluids.  These two flavors are my absolute favorites.  
All 3 of these products helped get me to the Grand Rapids Marathon finish line on October 16th and I hope you love them as much as I do.

Here's how you enter:
  1. Mandatory Entry: leave me a comment telling me how you fuel for exercise.
  2. Follow my blog (either through RSS or email) and leave me a comment letting me know.
  3. Follow me on twitter and leave a comment.
  4. Tweet about this giveaway and (you guessed it) leave a comment.
  5. "like" Live Laugh Run Breathe on Facebook and leave a comment.
This contest will run until 8pm on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 when I'll pick a winner using ClassTools Fruit Machine (if you are a teacher, this is an AWESOME tool for random name generation in the classroom). I'll announce the winner on Wed, Dec. 14th.

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Click-Tastic Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my contest this past week for an amazing prize-pack provided by CLICK Espresso Protein Drink!  Last night I spun the spinner and a winner was revealed!


Congratulations to Lani - AKA @armytbonegirl on Twitter for winning this great gift from CLICK! 

If you "liked" DrinkClick on Facebook, I'll be shooting you an email to get your mailing address. 

Thanks again everyone for playing along!  Stay tuned tomorrow for another giveaway of "My Favorite Things"!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

True Confessions: Have I Blown It?

This is a hard confession for me to write.  I feel like all my hard work getting to a healthy weight has gone completely out the window.  I haven't posted a weight here in many many months (the last I could see was mid-July and I was well within my weight range of 135-138).  Not anymore.  Today I weighed in and saw 145 on the scale.  That's the heaviest I've been in 2011, a good 10 pounds above my lowest weight, and probably the heaviest since Aug 2010 when I finally got below 140 (a number I said I'd never see again and here I am 5 pounds above that).

I did a great job maintaining my weight loss for the better part of a year.  WTF happened?  I'll tell you what happened.  I trained for and ran a marathon.  Then...I've continued eating for the past 6 weeks like I was STILL training for a marathon.  I've eaten crap (hello - yesterday alone I had 2 donuts, went to McD's for lunch, and had an uber-high-calorie Starbucks - my guess? over 4000 calories yesterday).  I've been boozing with my friends a lot lately (dude - beer has a ton of calories, just so you know).  But you know what?  Unless you're running 25-30 miles a week, that really isn't a good idea.  Hell, it isn't a good idea PERIOD to eat and drink like that.

This shit has to stop.  NOW.  I am so pissed and disgusted with myself.  I not only feel fat, I look fat.  I can see the 10 pounds I've gained.  I changed shirts today so I am now wearing one that covers my stomach more.  (The weird thing? I went out dancing with a girlfriend 2 weekends ago in a short skirt and boots and the shirt I changed out of this morning.  I felt great about how I looked, even though I probably didn't look any smaller than I do today- this I cannot explain.)  In any case, overall, my clothes are tight (guess I shouldn't have gotten rid of all those fat pants, huh?).  10 pounds on a sub 5'3" body is A LOT of weight.

This morning, I started tracking again.  I re-downloaded the Livestrong Daily Plate app that I used before.  I measured the creamer in my Drink Click this morning (speaking of - today is the last day to enter my giveaway - I'm picking a winner at 8:00 tonight).

My plan:

  • continue to track calories in/calories out at least through the end of the year
  • no more eating after 8:00 pm
  • at least one strength training session a week, preferably I should be getting in 2-3 sessions, but I'm trying to be realistic
  • at least 64 oz of water every day
  • Cut out the booze
Back to basics I go.  I just know how hard it was for me to lose these 10 pounds before, so I'm angry at myself to have to do it all over again.  All I know is this trend cannot continue.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Menu Monday: Dad's Goulash

This here is going to be an interesting recipe post.  There will be very few actual measurements.  This recipe is a throw-it-together and taste-along-the-way sorta recipe.  Every time I make it, it turns out slightly different, but is always good.  It makes a ton, so invite friends over or plan on eating leftovers (they heat up very well).  So, without further ado, I give you:

Dad's Goulash

Ingredients:
1 pound ground chuck
one onion, cut in large chunks
one green pepper, cut in large chunks
2 large cans stewed tomatoes
8 oz sliced mushrooms
brown sugar
ketchup
Worcestershire sauce
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups dried macaroni noodles

Step 1: assemble your ingredients
Step 2: saute hamburger, onions and green peppers until onion is translucent.  You probably won't need to drain the meat, but if you used higher fat beef and there is fat in the pan, drain it.
Step 3:  Add the rest of the ingredients except the noodles.  Squirt in enough ketchup (1/2 cup or so) and Worcestershire sauce (1/4 cup?) to add some more liquid.  Add brown sugar to taste (a TBSP to start?), depending on how sweet you want it.  Stir and then add the noodles.  Add more ketchup and sauce if it needs it.
Step 4: reduce heat a little and simmer until the noodles are cooked and the liquid is absorbed.  While it's cooking, taste it.  Add more Worcestershire or brown sugar if it needs it. 
Serve with some crusty bread and a salad, or just by itself. 

This is definitely one of our favorite skillet meals.  Do you have a favorite one-dish meal?  

PS: Tomorrow is the last day to enter my Clicktastic giveaway!





Sunday, December 4, 2011

LLRB 365: 2011 week 47

Heading into the home stretch - week 47 brought us to December! 

Monday
11-28-11
A gift from one of my students.




Tuesday
11-29-11
Bundled up for a run. Winter is officially here in West Michigan.



Wednesday
11-30-11
Picked up my new shoes!



Thursday
12-1-11
Yeah for earning free Starbucks!



Friday
12-2-11
Went out with friends to see Mega 80s. So fun - we even danced on stage.



Saturday
12-3-11
Started decorating for Christmas.



Sunday
12-4-11
The tree is up!


I hope you are staying sane as we head into the holiday season.

Have you entered my Click Espresso Protein giveaway yet? Only a couple more days to enter! Click here To Enter!