Okay, not really. But you know I work out at Orangetheory and I usually go three times a week or so, four if I can swing it. And in April they had a marathon challenge where you added up your mileage from the treadmill from all of your workouts and tried to hit 26.2 miles.
Now, the sensible thing to do would have been to sign up for the half-marathon, especially considering I knew I’d be traveling for a week of the month. And with the garage sale weekend right before my trip and jetlag and having to attend a funeral right after I got home, it meant I was really out for 13 days! Almost half of the month. But by golly, I was going to do the marathon and get the dang t-shirt!
This may seem not too hard, but consider an OTF workout is about 55 minutes, and at most half of that is on the treadmill. So I have about 25-27 minutes to get in my miles. Oh, and I’m not exactly a speed demon. On average, I can do between 1.75 – 2.25 miles in a workout. So you can see how it can be problematic to get 26.2 miles in 17 days without killing myself. By the time I got back from Singapore, I had 10 days to get about 16 miles. So that means I basically had to go every day. Yikes!
For years I’ve wanted to do a Thanksgiving Day race, but we’re usually traveling or having company or something, (or I was extremely pregnant with triplets) so I’ve never been able to. But this year, I had no excuses, so I signed up.
The race here is five miles around City Park, which was not a point in its favor. A 5k is more what I had in mind, but you take what you can get. I figured I’d just run/walk it. Whatever it takes to burn off the calories I’d be eating later that day.
The weather was ideal for a race – in the high 40s/low 50s and sunny. (Okay, I mean, for a run, I could have done without the sun, but it was a gorgeous day, so I won’t complain.) I didn’t know anyone else doing it, so I just kind of stretched and hung out while waiting for the race to start.
Finally, it was time to line up. I took a single picture here.
And…we were off! I figured I’d just start out running and would see how I felt and run/walk when I got too tired. Whatever.
The last time I did a five mile race was in March 2015, when I ran the entire Shamrockin’ Run, which is technically 8K, or 4.97 miles. I developed Achilles tendinitis after that and never ran long distances again. And then in April 2016 I joined Orangetheory and have been focusing more on strength training than running any distances. Orangetheory is a high-intensity interval workout that lasts an hour, and it’s not like I’ve run more than 12 minutes straight since joining OTF.
But I guess there’s something to this interval training malarkey, because I RAN THE WHOLE THING WITHOUT STOPPING.
It wasn’t a goal of mine because I never thought I’d be able to do it. I just started running at my usual 12 minute/mile pace (YES THAT IS RUNNING DON’T CALL IT JOGGING) and after the first mile, felt fine. After the second mile, still good. As I approached the halfway point, it started to get a little more difficult, but nothing major. I knew I had to get over the mental hurdle of halfway, and then I’d be okay.
It didn’t get easier, not by any means, but once I’d gone that far, I wasn’t going to stop now! Geez. So I just kept going. Oh, did I mention there were hills? I mean, okay, only someone in New Orleans would call them hills, but there were a few slight inclines here and there and I didn’t even walk through those.
I set my Runkeeper app to announce the time every minute, which helped me keep pace. And the GPS seemed fine most of the way through the race. I’d cross the mile marker just as the app would announce that I’d crossed it, but somehow it got a bit wonky around mile 4. So I wasn’t really sure if I’d make my secondary goal of under an hour. The app announced I’d run 5 miles just as I rounded the corner into the stadium where the finish line was, but I stopped the timer just after I crossed, and saw this:
An hour an one second? You have got to be kidding me.
Fortunately, the chip time was more in my favor:
Woo hoo! 12 seconds under an hour! Not only did I break an hour, I beat the Shamrockin Run time and it was three-hundredths of a mile longer! Woo!
So yeah, I spent yesterday bragging to everyone that I ran the whole five miles without stopping and even wore my race t-shirt to Thanksgiving dinner at our friend’s house. I’m shameless.
On the 14th, my friend Chris and I ran the London Marathon. It was my first marathon (of two, I did the Marine Corps Marathon in 2003) and wow, it was a long way. I’m really slow, so also it took forever (just a few minutes shy of 6 hours.) I mean, when you think about it, it’s basically way more impressive than someone completing a marathon in 3 hours. OH SURE FAST PERSON I’D LIKE TO SEE YOU RUN NONSTOP FOR 6 HOURS.
My second marathon was a huge improvement. I think I shaved a whopping six minutes off. You can see why I stopped running marathons. I just didn’t have time for it.
Anyway, it was pretty cool. It’s why I started blogging, after all. I wrote about training and so you probably don’t want to go back to my earliest entries, they’re pretty darn dull. Gems like this:
Anyway, we decided that we’d go twice around the park (a total of 3.54 miles) to try to figure out how long it’d take us to do the 5K (which is in 3.5 weeks now). So I started my watch after we had walked a bit, so I figure I timed about 3.25 miles. Which took us 45 minutes. So I guess it’ll take us around, oh, 43 minutes to do the actual 5K.
Zzzz. Somehow I made some friends online via my blog, which seems unbelievable since blogs weren’t really a thing yet. But Chris and I had dinner in London with a bunch of British people who were also running the marathon.
(Well, if you take my word for it that the guy on the left is someone I met online while training for the marathon.)
Anyway, I won’t go into great detail about the race itself (I did that here already) but just a few pics because I’m nostalgic like that?
And YES that is a bright orange fanny pack, thankyouverymuch.
Later that month, when Kristina and I went to a British pub in New Orleans to celebrate my finish, I met a guy, so yeah, that ended up being kind of a big month.
The boys had their first race yesterday, and I’m so proud of them! Naturally, I took a ton of pictures.
Before we left the house:
When we got to the race:
Lined up, ready to start:
They’re off! Miles takes an early lead.
The race was half a mile, two laps around the track. I told them it was okay if they walked some of it, since they hadn’t run a half mile straight before. But they were having none of that.
Here comes Miles, first lap almost down! Linus is still right behind him.
Here’s Ollie! (Love that he’s airborne here.)
And at the finish! Miles first!
Followed closely by Linus!
And Ollie, bringing up the rear! His brothers were there waiting to high five him. Aw!
Just the order they should have been born in, actually. Random.
I was so proud of them for giving it their all. They didn’t stop, and they finished a heck of a lot faster than I expected them to. Miles is all ready to do another race, at least. I might sign the two of us up for a two mile race coming up next month. Hope I can keep up with him!
Next year, when the boys are in fourth grade (!!!) they’ll be able to join the cross country team. They’re pretty pumped about it, and wanted to start practicing now. They also want to do some races, but at $30/entry for a one mile race, well, that’s going to have to wait. (I have my eye on a half mile race that’s only $10/kid, but I wish it was longer. And I wish more races had multiple-kid-friendly pricing.)
Anyway, since they don’t have school today, and it’s cooled off slightly, I told them I’d take them for a run this morning on the levee.
Once we got up on the levee, we experimented with running two or three light poles and walking for one, and for our first run, stuck with a 2:1 light pole ratio of run:walk.
At the turnaround (sun in eyes!)
On the way back, the sun was behind us, which made it a bit more pleasant. And also made for cool shadow pics. Ziggy came too, as you can see.
When we made it back to the starting point, we’d gone 1.17 miles in 18:29. I was so proud of the boys, and they’re excited to go further and faster as time goes on.
The boys and Zigster after the run. You can see the endorphins really kicked in for the human boys!
I wasn’t going to do this race. I had some good friends from work coming in town to do the half marathon and I told them, I’m not doing more half marathons. So I was going to make signs and support them.
But then last week, I was offered a free entry (via the mom’s blog) and I was like, FINE. But I only agreed to do the 10k. And then my work friends were like “yeah, 10k sounds better.”
I woke up bright and early (actually at 4:45 so it wasn’t bright at all) Sunday morning to get dressed and head over to the airbnb they were staying at. Since it was close to the finish line, I left the van there and we ubered to the start line.
It wasn’t too crowded when we got to the start, since the 10k started half an hour before the marathon.
We decided about a minute before the race started to try 2 minute run, 1 minute walk intervals. (I wanted 1:1, Deborah wanted 3:1, so it was our compromise.)
And then we went. I mean, it was fine.
I kept having to remind myself it was only 6 miles, not 13 like the races I usually do. It was a beautiful day, but I would have liked a bit more shade on the route. But I’m just being picky. It was lovely.
We finished in just under 1:20 (I had no time goal.) Got nice medals. (Deborah was mistakenly given a half marathon medal, ha ha.)
We met up with Zandy and Denise and then got food. And then laid around drinking mimosas and playing Two Dots. Kind of a perfect day.
I honestly am not all that bothered by new year’s resolutions. I pretty much make them and then forget them. And it’s not like I ever make really original resolutions anyway. It’s always, “focus on health” or some other such nonsense.
But it’s not like that’s going to stop me from making them.
So some things I want to focus on in 2016:
Getting back into running. Now this is really all dependent on taking care of my ankle (Achilles tendonitis.) And because that is exacerbated by a lack of flexibility, this year I want to start yoga. So my fitness resolution is to start yoga so I can run without pain again.
Get to a good place, food-wise. I’m not going to say I want to do Weight Watchers or any other kind of diet, but really just take control. Figure out what that means for me. I think that means talking to a nutritionist and working on something that fits my life and my personality.
But let’s face it, I do want to lose weight, and money does motivate me, so I set up a DietBet. Join me! It starts on my birthday, January 9. Maybe it will stop me from overdoing it. Unlikely.
Get our house in order. I mean that literally. I spent too much time in 2015 fantasizing about moving – I do mean fantasizing. We did the research and now we know for sure – we won’t be able to move into a bigger house and stay in our neighborhood unless we win the lottery. And we don’t buy lottery tickets. So this means just doing the projects we’d have to do to sell our house, but not to sell our house. Instead, to make it the home I will want to spend the next 20 years in. That means fixing the floors once and for all. Painting. That kind of thing.
Get rid of stuff. I’ve gotten better about this, and it’s obviously related to the point above this, but I’m ready to purge like crazy.
Cook more. The boys are getting less picky, I got my awesome Instant Pot, and I want to be better about feeding everyone (including myself) more real foods.
There. No numbers. No “I’m going to run X miles, I’m going to lose X pounds.” Just general improvements.
Well, except for my 366 project. That’s a number. A photo a day, every day. Just like I did in 2010, 2011, 2012, and part of 2014. I’m not going to force myself to post all of them in separate posts like I have in the past. I’ll probably post a few at a time every few days. We’ll see.
Remember the last time I did one of these? I said it was the last time ever? Well, I mean, somehow I signed up for this one and it was all my fault (I can’t even say anyone else twisted my arm into signing up) but for real this time. This was my twelfth half marathon and I think that’s a nice roundish number. (Except I can totally see myself saying one day, “but 13 is even more perfect since that’s how many miles are in a half.”) Fortunately, my brain won’t be able to let go of the .1 so I’m hopeful I’ll be able to ignore that argument. From myself.
Anyway, this one was kinda spooky. And I don’t mean because it was on Halloween.
It all started when I went to put on my number. Heather had grabbed my number and t-shirt for me from the expo, and I hadn’t even looked at them before this morning. As I went to put them on, the thought, “it would be cool if the race number had ’42’ in it.”
I picked up the shirt and saw the number.
As it turns out, they were giving out the numbers in order of picking up race packets, so Heather got number 42! I mean, it’s still kinda weird, you have to admit.
Anyway. Drove over to the race, and spent a lot of time trying to find the parking space I’d reserved. Finally found the lot, and pulled into a spot on the third level. Went to the race and ran into some of my NOMB friends.
The weather was a lot warmer than I was hoping – in the low 70s, but at least it was cloudy, unlike in 2013.
Anyway, off we went. I kept to a 1 minute run, 1 minute walk. It’s amazing how later in the race that first minute lasted an eternity, and the second minute went by in a flash.
Some pics along the way:
Uh, just running.
There’s the winner!
Really glad to get ahead of the 3 hour pace group.
Running into Audubon Park at about mile 7
Ran by a spooky house!
I honestly had no expectations for my time, which in the past have ranged between 2:33 and over 3 hours. Even though I’d done some decent training, I am still dealing with Achilles tendinitis. So I just wanted to finish.
First, I just wanted to finish in under 3 hours. And then I thought, maybe I can finish under 2:50 with a stretch goal of 2:45. If I kept to a 13 minute/mile pace, that would put me in right around 2:50ish.
And I did it! Finished in 2:48:39. Woot!
And, I mean, you know, not last. (Though now I’m in the “Masters” division. That means old.)
Got a decent medal:
then found some of the NOMB ladies again.
So, remember my scintillating story about parking from earlier? Well, I got in my car and was sitting there for a few minutes when Ashley (the one on the left there) knocked on my window. Randomly, she was parked in the space next to mine! Okay, maybe you had to be there. It’s a big parking garage, okay?!?
I went to get something yummy for lunch, but Taco Bell wasn’t serving Cantina Bowls yet (I’m fancy) so I decided to try to catch the end of the boys’ soccer game, which I did. They were pretty excited to see me. I was wishing I’d brought a jacket. I felt faintly ridiculous in my green sparkly skirt. Oh well.
We all hit Waffle House for brunch and I basically used up all the calories I burned during the race. Worth it!
Now. If someone sees me mention signing up for another half marathon, please just stop me.
I always said you shouldn’t wait for something big to happen to write a blog post, so here I am, writing a blog post about nothing much at all.
Last night, Miles and I went for our dinner. He got a haircut. He looks cute.
And then at 5am, presumably unrelated to the haircut, he got a nosebleed. Poor bunny was hysterical. I had no idea what to do, since we’ve never dealt with a nosebleed before. But I think we’re more prepared if it happens again.
Here’s a cute picture of one of my teams at work. Well, most of the team. The ladiezzzz.
I didn’t realize at the time just how short they all are. Hee!
This weekend is a half marathon. Why did I sign up for this? Peer pressure! Ah well. I did a ten mile training run last weekend (it was ugly and on the treadmill) so I suppose I’ll be able to do this. Meh. It’s not at all cool here so that really sucks.
What would suck more is if it rains that night like it’s supposed to and we can’t trick or treat. I need my Smarties fix, man! I mean, the boys would be so disappointed!
We at least got to go to Ghost in the Oaks at City Park last weekend. I took selfies on a ride because it’s funny.
The weekend after this one is my friend Kristie’s wedding. We’ve been friends 4eva. Since 7th grade. So that’s…a really long time. Don’t make me say the number here. Anyway, I ordered a sparkly dress from Rent the Runway. I am excited about that.
This morning, I “ran” a 5K with a few of my coworkers. I say “ran” because altitude, man. And hills. Mountains, even. So while my time wasn’t great, I had a great time chatting with my coworker Carolyn, which is exactly what we did for the 5K last year. Tradition!
Got these chickpea snacks from Costco. They’re tasty, for sure. But the main thing is, the boys tried them, claimed they liked them, and Oliver (Oliver!) even asked to bring them to camp as his afternoon snack.
We got the sea salt ones, but I’m intrigued by the Thai coconut ones. May have to look for those…
Back in May, I went to the orthopedist and he prescribed physical therapy. I spent a lot of money on half a dozen sessions, and then we went on our trip to England. My ankle wasn’t really improving. To be honest, the only thing that helps are prescription anti-inflammatories, that my primary care doctor gave me for my back. I’ve also been icing and doing the stretches and exercises I learned in PT, but let’s face it. I’m not great about doing them all twice a day like I’m supposed to.
For now, I’m going to keep icing and stretching and taking anti-inflammatories. I’m also going to start doing yoga with the girls in the neighborhood soon. I am so inflexible, it’s insane. (Only physically, of course.) So hopefully that will help.
I am signed up for the Rocketchix triathlon later this month. I’ll just walk the run bit. Meh.
Last weekend, Teresa and I went to a play. That was pretty fun. I haven’t been to many plays, but this was one thoroughly engrossing. It starred Wendell Pierce, which was pretty cool. We got to go to the afterparty with the actors and crew, but we didn’t stick around too long. I kind of wanted to tell him hi since he did a voiceover for a movie my brother made, but it was getting late.
Saturday is the 4th of July and the boys are excited to see fireworks. I am excited to make watermelon Jello shots.
However, I may not be feeling up to eating said Jello shots since Friday night is a birthday party for some friends. I got a fancy beaded gown at the thrift store for $13. Only problem is, it’s about 13 sizes too big.
Teresa helped me pin it and I’m going to take it in so it fits a bit better. It doesn’t really matter if I do a terrible sewing job. It was $13.
The boys had a friend over yesterday after camp. They made mini-pizzas and all pretended to looove pizza sauce since Silas does. Peer pressure is great. Of course, once it came down to eating the pizza, Oliver was not thrilled with his choice to slather it with sauce. Oh well, kid.
I suppose I could come up with better post titles, but I really don’t want to name them all “DIY Bootcamp Day 2.” What if I manage to keep up with this for an extended period of time? I don’t want to have DIY Bootcamp Day 273.” Well, I mean, I do, but I don’t, if you know what I mean.
Anyway. Got to bed earlier last night, so was definitely a bit more well-rested (though was in the middle of a weird dream about miniscule bunnies in a balloon and my friend Lindsay and the zoo when the alarm went off) and this time managed a bit over 3 miles in 35 minutes.
My friend Heather is trying to convince me to do the Shamrock Run on Sunday (I’ve done it for the past twoyears, ever since it started, and part of me does like the idea of doing a race every year from the beginning) but I don’t know if I can run the whole thing (it’s 8K which is very nearly 5 miles, and maybe I can if I run slow enough, but it’s also mid-March and it could be warm and humid) but I have to decide today because the price goes up $15 tomorrow.
Also, you may have noticed I left out any mention of strength training. Well, I did a set of tricep somethings, but then I decided maybe I could do my arm stuff at home. So if anyone has a source of an arm routine that I can do at home that doesn’t involve the floor, I’m all ears.
In other, non-fitness news, Oliver and I had some one-on-one time at IHOP last night (every time I want to write iHop, good lord) which was super sweet and fun. We rode the bus (I mean, we sat on the same side of the booth, which in my opinion is only acceptable for parents and children) and ate pancakes. Well, Oliver ate the shit out of some chicken and waffles AND a short stack. So now I know how to fatten that kid up. I very virtuously only ate 2/3 of my Harvest Nut ‘n’ Grain waffles.