Archive | December, 2011

Five Randos

21 Dec

1. We went to Zoolights last night.

It was way cooler than these pictures show – it’s just that our camera doesn’t take pictures of lights very well. We didn’t see very many animals – a snake, a hippo and a rhino was pretty much all but it was still fun!

2. I’ve felt on the verge of getting sick since Sunday but have so far successfully staved it off with eating more veggies and getting more sleep.

3. For the past month, I’ve been buying spinach with good intentions of eating salads every day at work. But every day I looked in the fridge and spinach didn’t sound even remotely appealing. This happens to me a lot – I go through phases of what I like to eat. For a while, I was eating spinach with everything – seriously. I served leftovers on spinach. I put spinach in sandwiches, pizza, smoothies. Now? Eck.

Luckily, I bought some romaine lettuce last week and am back to enjoying salads! Today’s has sliced deli ham, grape tomatoes, sliced carrots, cottage cheese, a tiny bit of feta and sautéed zucchini and yellow squash. I’m sad that I forgot croutons. But I did bring a hunk of French bread filled with refined white flour – redeemed!

4. This week has been the week of the slide. I’m not even trying to pretend to be motivated. I did get laundry done between Monday night and last night. And I made or helped make dinner (as easy as possible). But other than that, I’ve laid on the couch watching TV each night, slept in each morning (and sometimes gotten up to just take a nap on the couch), and eaten my weight in chocolate and cookies, in addition to not working out. And it’s been glorious.

5. We’re supposed to get more snow tonight – 4 to 8 inches.

While I love the snow, I wish I didn’t have to drive in it. It snowed Monday night and I seriously was so scared driving home in my little Ford Focus that I about cried, pulled over and asked Travis to come get me. Instead, I muscled through and once home, drowned my fears in Godiva chocolates. I swear, it seems like every year I get more and more paranoid about driving. If it gets to the point where I can’t handle driving anywhere in snow or rain, I’m seeking professional help.

Christmas Festivities, in Pics

20 Dec

I finally remembered my camera! So here are the pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Christmas Tea

I found these picture holders at Kohl’s for less than $4 each. These were the guest gifts.

Christmas Decorations

Same as last year

Our mini tree

Christmas Carol 5k

Sweet shorts, huh? (Thanks for the pics D!)

About the race…

It was being held in City Park and didn’t start until 9 so we met D and Doug at our house around 7:45. We got down to the race site a little after 8, parked, got our bib and stood around drinking coffee. The temperature was in the high 20s but besides my feet, I wasn’t really cold at all. Ten minutes to 9:00, we did a quick 1/4 mile warm up and stretched – but we didn’t start running until 9:13. Since I went out too fast last year and ended up walking in the middle to catch my breath, my goal for the race was to do negative splits and beat my time from last year (33:40).

Finally, we were off. For the first mile, I focused on maintaining even breathing and even though we had to weave around people, I tried to not be too ambitious. We reached the first mile marker at 11:03. I was a little bummed because it felt like we were running faster than that, but I was happy that if I maintained that pace (which felt doable), I would definitely beat my time.

The second mile started off with a nice little downhill stretch and a run by the Denver Zoo. It ended with a brutal uphill stretch. But because I was running with Travis and D and didn’t want to fall behind, I kept pushing, telling myself that it would be downhill in a bit. We reached mile 2 at 21:15 – a 10:18 pace. So that’s why I feel ready to collapse. Seeing that motivated me to keep pushing, even though I felt completely out of breath.

The third mile was a mental battle. Just like during the Rock n Roll Relay, I keep telling myself that the pride and accomplishment of setting a new PR will be worth the next 10 minutes of agony. Finally, I could see the finish line. We passed the third mile marker around 31:45. As we got within 100 feet of the finish, I actually felt a little dizzy/nauseous. We crossed the finish at 32:52 – a 10:36 pace. Even though my time is still pretty slow, I feel good that I really pushed myself. The only bad part about this PR is that now I have to run even faster to beat it!

We were funneled into a chute, where the race timers were collecting the tags off our bibs. We were a little confused at how they determined the times that way, since there were 2 chutes, but oh well. We grabbed some water and bagels, our goodie bags, stretched a bit and headed over to Denny’s, where I had their new Bread Pudding French Toast. It was pretty good – not as good as real bread pudding, but close.

As for the race itself…

I thought that A Christmas Carol Classic (5k/10k) was a fairly well-organized race for its first year. There were 425 runners in the 5k and 264 in the 10k – impressive for an inaugural event. They had a lot of volunteers telling people where to park, registration/check-in was organized and quick, and they had coffee and pastries for runners before the start. The goodie bags were pretty decent (they included chocolate milk), they had bagels at the finish, and the course was well-marked (though the markings were sometimes hard to see because of the crowd). The race also sponsored the Denver Children’s Home, which I liked.

But I think it would be better if they used chip timing. My official time was 33:43 (40/82 AG, 193/425 overall) but I don’t feel like it took me almost a minute to cross the start line. And because D ducked under the rope into the other finish chute because the line was shorter, her time was recorded as 34:09 even though she crossed at the exact same time as we did (granted it was her fault, but that’s the downfall of bib tag timing!).

Also, even though the website said something about having carolers out on the course, they didn’t. (They did have them at the finish, which was nice.) I wish that we would’ve gotten more race swag for our $30 (like a shirt, towel, medal or something) – you could buy a shirt for $15 but they weren’t that cute. I just hope that most of our race fee went to the charity.

Finally, if I had been doing the 10k, I would have been a little annoyed. They started at the same time as the 5k and just did 2 laps of the same course. So the 5kers were finished and leaving while the 10kers were still running and we were actually walking on the course to get back to our cars.

But overall, I enjoyed the race and would do it again. I like that the course is all in City Park, so you don’t have to worry about traffic or sidewalks.


We’re heading back down to City Park tonight for Zoolights at the Denver Zoo – we’ve never been and apparently, it’s pretty cool!

Have you gone or are going to any holiday lights shows?

Training Recap: 12/12 – 12/18

19 Dec

Aside from several hours on Saturday spent freaking out and raging on my poor husband, I actually had a very wonderful, relaxing weekend.

Friday, after shopping and partying with my co-workers, I went home at 3 – which was very helpful to my Christmas shopping! I stopped at Massage Envy on my way home to buy a Christmas present and then at Walmart to see if they had tulle that I could use to make a tutu for the race. Instead, I found some sweet-o boxers for both me and Trav – elf for me, Santa for him. (I’m lucky to have a husband willing to dress up with me.) Travis got home from work early too so we got to work wrapping presents and preparing gifts for mailing. We also finally baked our sugar cookies and figured out our race outfits.

Saturday, the race was a lot of fun. I’ll tell more details later… but I will say that I finished in 32:52, which is 48 seconds faster than last year! I will also say that 5K is my least favorite racing distance ever.

The rest of Saturday was spent by me freaking out about all the stuff I had to do: make an elk roast for dinner, go grocery shopping, buy one last present, mail/ship all Christmas presents, clean the house, and take a nap (ha!), all in 5.5 hours. And you know what? I did it. But not in style. Or niceness. Better luck next time.

After a short 30 minute “nap,” we had friends over for dinner, which was very fun and worth cleaning for. Shortly after they left at 8:45, I read for a while and went to bed.

Sunday morning, I read before church – I started Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. I cried reading the first chapter AND have already called back to mind several things I read. I fully expect this to become one of my favorite books.

After church, we came home, ate lunch and napped/watched both the Packers and Broncos lose! Boo! (I am not a Packers fan BUT I will cheer for any team with a perfect record. I am now done cheering for them.) During the Broncos game, we took the dogs to the dog park for a bit and then drove up to Evergreen to get our skate on. I wish we would’ve remembered to bring Trav’s hockey sticks and a puck, but we didn’t. It was still fun skating around – Evergreen is a great place for skating. There’s a ton of ice space so you never feel crowded. But the ice was a little sketchy/ungroomed this time – maybe it’s not thick enough for the zamboni yet?

We ate dinner at The Woodcellar, a local bar/grill. Our food was absolutely delicious – I had the Hot Avocado Melt on Ciabatta bread with sweet potato fries. The fries were amazing. They had a seasoning similar to Arby’s curly fries. Mmmm… (And because Travis would give me crap about taking a picture of my food, you’ll have to use your imagination.)

Then we drove around our neighborhood looking at Christmas lights and what these houses lack in class, they make up for in quantity. The best most decorated house we saw:

It was seriously impressive how much they managed to fit in their yard. When I see houses decorated like this, I have 2 thoughts: Where do they store all that stuff? and How much money did they spend buying all that? 

When we got home, we attempted to watch Elf but weirdly, Travis was falling asleep after 20 minutes (that happens maybe 2 times a year)! So he went to bed and I stayed up for another 45 minutes before I figured I should probably go to bed – as today is Monday and all. Looking forward to two 4-day weeks coming up!

Now, on to the training recap:

Monday: Half mile repeats on track at Rec (4:14, 4:24, 4:30, 4:30) – 2.7 miles total

Lately, I’ve often been noticing that the thing holding me back from running faster is my lungs. That was definitely the case during this workout, as well as the 5k I did. Oh, silly little lungs.

Tuesday: P90X Yoga (1:20:00)

I almost made it all the way through the workout (it’s an hour and a half long), which is very exciting for me. The first time I ever did YogaX, I did the first 30 minutes and turned it off because I was so sore. This time, my shoulders were still a little sore the next day, but not bad at all. This is what I love about all exercise – seeing your body adapt and being able to do things you weren’t able to do before. The next thing I want to master in this workout are the balance poses after Warrior 3 (Standing Splits to Half Moon to Revolved Half Moon) – holy crap they’re hard!

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3.66 mile sleeprun (43:31, 11:53/mile)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 5k race (32:52, 10:36/mile)

Sunday: 45 min ice skating

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have canceled any formal workouts this week in honor of my mental sanity and a week of relaxation before marathon training starts in a week! I pretty much went straight from my triathlon schedule to my base-building schedule so I just want one week off from having to fit workouts in and then it’s go-time. It also works out that it’s Christmas this week. 😉 Although maybe it’s not so good, since I need exercise more than ever to cancel out all the extra treats I’m eating!

Back with pics tomorrow, I promise hope!

Let the fun begin!

16 Dec

Today at work, I only have to work sit at my desk until 11 and then I get to go shopping and partying! During work hours! Our department is sponsoring 2 families through Safehouse and we roll the shopping and gift-wrapping into our holiday party. I think it’s a pretty good idea, except Travis is bummed that he’s not invited (but I wasn’t invited to their potluck either this year).

Tomorrow, we’re running The Christmas Carol 5k – I’ll be wearing a hat similar to this one.

I would also like to find or make a tutu but it might be too late for that…

I’m hoping to get a nap in tomorrow after the race and then we’re having dinner with friends. Sunday, we’re still planning on going up to Evergreen for ice skating and dinner.

Have a good weekend! I might get ambitious tomorrow and post pictures of my tea table and our Christmas decorations. And hopefully my new 5k PR! 😉 Maybe.

Sleeprunning and Knowing When to Cut Your Losses

15 Dec

I just read this in an article about elite runner Tera Moody’s insomnia:

Sleep experts say adults should snooze about one hour for every two hours awake. Conventional training wisdom says to add one extra minute in bed per night for every mile run during the week. Not getting enough sleep builds up a so-called “sleep debt,” a term that also has its own rule: Every hour of sleep you lose is like a brick added to a backpack you must carry on the next workout.

I must have been carrying a 10 lb backpack during my sleeprun this morning. My legs felt like they would barely move, my eyes were watering, my feet were shuffling, and I zoned out several times, bumbling along in a daze. When I had a rare thought, it was, “Yeah, it might have been more productive to take today off.”

But my anal-retentive self won’t let me take a day off. In fact, I’ve been more dedicated to this training plan than any of my triathlon plans. I have fit in 95% of my workouts and even kept up with strength/weight training and stretching.

There’s a point in your training (and in your life), though, when you’re simply just trying to do too much. And by blazing ahead without heeding the warning signs, whether of being burnt out or on the verge of injury, you’re really just setting yourself up for a fall.

The hard part is that cutting back feels like weakness. It’s tempting to look at how many miles other runners run each week and think “I should be able to do my measly 15.” Or to look at all the activities and plans other women juggle and suddenly feel pathetic for struggling to hold my little life together.

But this is the trap I fall in to, time and time again: What I think I “should” do. This is what prevents me from being realistic about what I can handle. Some people thrive on busyness; others do not. I fall more into the latter. Whenever I am busy, I fight against the feeling with all of my being. I don’t like being busy. I’d rather be bored (and actually, I’m one of those people so good at entertaining themselves and finding things to do that I never am bored – well, unless I’m at work).

I find it somewhat amusing that so many people (myself included) complain about being so busy and stressed out, yet we’re the ones choosing to be busy and stressed out. After I said how exhausted excited I was about our holiday plans, and proceeded to schedule another dinner and New Year’s Eve plans, I took a step back and thought, What the heck am I doing here? I keep whining in self-pity about being “so tired” and “just exhausted” and wanting to do “nothing but lie on the couch all day” and then I go and MAKE MORE PLANS!

WHY? Why do I do this to myself?

It goes back to thinking that I “should.” I should be busy. I should have something to show for myself at the end of the day (no thanks to you, job). How often do you ask someone (who was not just on vacation!) what they’ve been up to and they say, “Oh you know, just a lot of reading and relaxing with my kids. A lot of sleeping in and going to bed early. Not much of anything productive.”

This is something that I’ve had to learn many times over the past couple of years (and am obviously still learning) – I don’t have to be productive to be a worthwhile person. Just like a person’s life doesn’t consist in the abundance of their possessions, it also doesn’t consist in the abundance of things they do. Busyness =/= worth.

So what am I going to do about this in my own life?

I am cutting off 4 miles from my long run on Saturday, taking Sunday as a rest day, and canceling my entire week of training next week too. If I feel like working out, great. I’m not making a rule that I can’t work out. But if I’m busy with other stuff, perhaps watching cheesy Christmas movies and eating sugar cookies, I’m off the hook. After Christmas, my real marathon training starts so if I want a break in the name of mental health, I should take it now.

The other thing I’m going to do is Stop Saying Yes. Yes, I’ve read this in a zillion self-help articles and magazines. But I never identified myself with “those people-pleasers who can never say no” because the things I was saying yes to were 1) good things 2) things I wanted to do and 3) things I was good at doing. Why would I say no to something that seemed so perfect for me?

Because I go insane with a busy schedule, that’s why.

Joanna Weaver wrote something profound in Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, something I am just beginning to truly understand:

…While there are many things that need to be done, things I’m capable of doing and want to do, I am not always the one to do them.

Ability and Desire do not mean Do It. I have to accept that right now, I am running on empty (unless you count all those bricks in my backpack). In my heart, I do desire to serve others, spend time in fellowship and volunteering, in addition to maintaining my household, working, and training. But right now, God is calling me to an empty schedule. To turn things down in the name of rest and relaxation. I feel like I am on the verge of self-destructing and that does not benefit anyone.

So after Christmas is over (and I guess now New Year’s too), I am going to guard my evenings and weekends. I am going to feel complete freedom to turn down requests and invitations in the name of my sanity – especially since I’ll be spending more and more time training for the marathon. I will end the Madness by telling productivity to take a hike and all other obligations to leave me the h-e-doublehockeysticks alone.

But until then, I am praying for grace and trusting that God will provide the energy and joy I need to enjoy the full schedule I have planned. 😉

Do you ever bite off more than you can chew? How do you fit in time for rest?

Willpower – what’s that?

14 Dec

This holiday season, I’m struggling with what a lot of Americans struggle with: eating copious amounts of not-good-for-you-but-tastes-so-good food. As in, every kind of cookie imaginable, caramel popcorn, hostess cakes and delicious pies, in addition to my usual dose of chocolate and ice cream. Lucky for me, I don’t like eggnog or I’d be in serious trouble.

Typically, I don’t eat sweets everyday. I might have a single Dove chocolate after dinner, and then a bowl of ice cream once a week. But lately, the sweets intake has been at least an everyday thing – if not, a multiple times a day thing.

So I decided to do an experiment today: make it one day without eating any sweets. 

One day? That’s not so hard.


Well, I made it to 3:30. When I was told there were treats in the break room. I would have remained strong if it weren’t for my bright idea to venture into the kitchen to get my healthy snack of yogurt. The minute I stepped foot in that room, the chocolate cake pulled me in like a magnet. All my resolve, out the window.

I grabbed the last piece of cake, as well as my yogurt, and made my way back to my desk.

I took a bite of the cake – moist and chocolate-y, but honestly, not that good.

I took another bite. Still not that good. And it is my rule of thumb, if I’m eating something decadent and it doesn’t blow me away with deliciousness, I don’t eat it. If you don’t love it, don’t eat it.

So I ate my yogurt first. Then in a rare moment of willpower, I threw the chocolate cake away! Take that, devil’s food!

But then I ventured back into the kitchen to refill my water bottle. A box filled with weird-looking pastries beckoned me to try them. So I cut off a piece of some coconut covered poof ball. It was pretty good – similar to a cheese danish. Then I tried another pastry that looked like a roll covered in asiago cheese. Not good. Took one bite and threw it away (a co-worker had already tried it so it wasn’t as big of a waste as it sounds). To end on a good note, I had another little piece of the coconut danish.

One Day Without Sweets – FAIL.

I am addicted to sweets. I read in The End of Overeating that when we eat things laden with salt, fat and/or sugar, our brains form connections and program our desires to actually want more of those things. The more you eat them, the more you want them. I’m not surprised, then, that my sweets habit is hard to kick.

After the holidays, I’ll try a little harder to tone my sweet tooth down. Until then, I will enjoy worthy sweets in daily moderation and continue busting my butt in training.

Life Is a Glorious Mess

13 Dec

For two or three weeks before my parents came out for Thanksgiving, I had gotten into a routine. Life was good. Predictable. Tidy. Organized.

But having out of town guests was just the thing that upset my routine and now 3 weeks later, I’m still not back on track. Too many nights of staying up late trying to get things done. Too many mornings of caring more about sleep than getting back on track. Too many days of trying to catch up on things that I bailed on in the name of relaxation (hello, house cleaning!).


I woke up yesterday morning wanting at least 4 more hours in bed. Instead, I got up to make coffee – an hour after my alarm went off the first time. The kitchen counters overflowed with dirty dishes; the table drowned in Christmas presents, mail, and other things used over the weekend but not put away. The cupboards were conspicuously bare from my lack of grocery shopping. The fridge held potatoes from our garden and spinach from the store, wilting and rotting before I could use them. The dogs wagged their tails in hope of a walk. A temperature of 63 degrees revealed that the furnace wasn’t working again.

I was frustrated. Mad. Why is life so hard?

I do better when life is organized. When things are in their place. When I’m on top of what I need to be on top of.

I could have been there this morning – except I chose to relax and watch Christmas movies last night instead of doing chores.

And I’ve realized that my affinity for order and perfection has a price tag – it costs me Life. Joy. Peace. Patience.

When I admire people in movies (like J. Lo in The Wedding Planner) who have every piece of their life in place with predictable schedules and unvaried routines, I fail to realize that they’re paying for that perfection – with human relationships. I mean, how often do those same perfect people have an intimate marriage, loving kids, and open their homes to others?

To truly embrace the presence of others in my life, I have to let go of perfection. Because a life filled with relationships is messy. As Emily Walker wrote in her post The Messy Table:

My table is not perfect, but it has done the job it was meant to do very well. Life has been lived at it. Lessons have been learned at it. Memories have been made for decades, right there at that table. It tells the story of lives being lived, not life missed out on in the name of perfection.

That. Exactly.

When I think about what kind of mother I want to be someday, do I want my kids to remember how well-kept our house was, elaborate our dinners were, and how we were always running around doing stuff?  Or do I want them to remember how I played with them in our backyard, dropped whatever I was doing to listen or laugh, and didn’t get mad when they trampled little dirty footprints all over the carpet? Obviously, I want to be the latter.

And here’s what I’m learning: I don’t become the peaceful, patient, loving woman I want to be by being perfect and on top of things. Rather, I grow to be that woman as I learn to let things go. If I expect the house to always be orderly, I get frustrated when something is out of place. If I map out my schedule for the day and a wrench gets thrown in, I’m mad.

People who exhibit the fruit of the Spirit aren’t isolated from problems and frustrations. They have just learned to embrace the messiness of life. Be content in chaos. See each moment for what it’s really worth – not a time for getting things done, but a time to connect with and serve others, and to be filled with the joy of knowing Christ. Instead of running around checking off my own to-do list, I need to walk through each day with God, trusting that His grace is sufficient – He will provide the energy and wisdom to work when I need to, and to rest when I need to.

A comforting idea I’ve had in my head for several weeks now is that God is more realistic about my abilities than I am. Like QuatroMama writes in this post, I tend to set up my own (perfectionist) standards and then beat myself up when I fall short.

But God is realistic. “For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” He doesn’t ask me to be Mega Woman. He understands that I only have so many minutes in a day and if I spend time doing this thing, I don’t have time for that thing. If I’m exhausted and want to veg instead of clean, He doesn’t accuse me of laziness and not being productive, like I do to myself. Unlike me, He is full of grace, understanding, and patience.

This is where the Gospel makes all the difference. The Gospel allows us to admit that we fall short of what we wish we were, but reassures us that we’re loved anyway. And God’s love for us isn’t despite how we’ve disappointed Him, or failed to live up to His standard. Because when He sees us in Christ, He sees perfect beings. We are completely and utterly righteous in His eyes. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgression from us.”

He doesn’t mutter “I love you” through gritted teeth while trying to not be mad over all the things we’ve done wrong. God’s love abounds for us. He lavishly pours out grace upon grace into our lives with delight.

In the words of John Piper, remind yourself, “I am holy and I am loved.” Even when life is messy.

Do you struggle with perfectionism? How do you remind yourself of God’s unfailing love?

Training Recap: 12/05 – 12/11

12 Dec

It was a good weekend, but as always, way too short!

I got to watch several cheesy Christmas movies on Lifetime and Hallmark – one of my favorite parts about Christmas! I don’t know which is more pathetic – the movies’ story lines or me laughing at their jokes.

I tricked my dogs into letting me sleep in until 8:00 Saturday morning (and by tricked, I mean fed).

The Christmas tea went well – I forgot my camera so I’ll post pics tomorrow but here is a pic of my inspiration for the table I decorated:

I got a lot of compliments (but I think that’s mostly because of my grandma’s gorgeous china!) and the best part was, all of the decorations together were only $17! (The mason jars were $10 of that.) More details tomorrow!

We had a lot of fun at a Christmas party yesterday afternoon.

And I still got in all of my workouts!

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 25 min elliptical intervals, 20 min stationary bike, 20 min weights, 10 min stretching

For the weights, I did the following:

3 sets @ 15 reps of Bench Press with 10, 15, 17.5 lb dumbbells
12, 8, 6 Single Arm Row with 17.5 lb dumbbells
3 @ 12 of Bicep Curls with 10, 15, 15 lb dumbbells
3 @ 12 of Overhead Press with 10 lb dumbbells
2 @ 15 of Squats with 20 lb Kettleball
1 @ 15 of Alternating Lunges with 20 lb Kettleball
1 @ 15 of Static Lunges with 20 lb Kettleball, both legs
1 @ 15 of Glute Machine with 40 lbs, both legs
2 @ 10 Pushups on toes
1 @ 15 crunches
1 @ 15 bicycle crunches
1 @ 15 hip lift / toes to ground
1 @ 30 sec Plank
1 @ 30 sec Side Plank, both sides

I was so excited to be able to do bicep curls with 15 lb dumbbells! Little by little, I’m getting stronger (which still isn’t that strong but progress is progress).

Wednesday: 3.04 mile fartlek run (32:17, 10:37/mile), 10 min stretching

It was cold during this run – I had frost on my eyelashes and Katy had a white beard!

Thursday: 3.04 mile tempo run (33:12, 10:55/mile), 10 min stretching

For the last mile of this run, I felt like I was running so slow – like I was running through sand. But I pushed through and was pleased to see that I ran a sub-11 pace. And the sunset was beautiful:

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 6 mile long run (1:09:25, 11:11/mile), 10 min stretching

This is what amazes me – I can go out and run 6 miles at an 11:11 pace very easily and comfortably, but just a few days before, 3 miles at a 10:55 pace seemed ridiculously hard. Running is such a crapshoot sometimes!

Sunday: 5 rounds of this workout (37:29) from Happily Ever After + 10 min stretching:

30 Jumping Jacks
5 Pushups
25 High Knees
7 Burpees
10 Crunches
7 Squats
5 Pushups
10 Crunches
5 Pushups
7 Squats
30 Jumping Jacks
45 Second Wall Sit
5 Pushups
25 High Knees
My thighs were screaming by the time I got done. Holy wall sits!
Only two weeks left before I start my marathon training plan!


As for all of the things I needed to get done last week, I got all of them done except for cleaning the house (I opted for aforementioned cheesy Christmas movies instead). I consider that a success!

Things I need to get done this week:

  • Address and mail Christmas cards
  • Finish buying Christmas presents and mail them
  • Clean the house 😉
  • Grocery shop

That should keep me plenty busy.

Do you like watching cheesy Christmas movies?

What is your favorite thing to do during the holiday season?

Christmas Festivities!

10 Dec

I tell ya, even when you try to not get too busy during the holiday season, it happens anyway.

Here’s our December lineup:

Nov 30: Operation Christmas Child (Ok, not December, but it’s related to Christmas!)

Dec 4-5: Minnesota trip

Dec 10: Christmas tea at church (set up in morning, tea in afternoon); baking sugar cookies, putting up Christmas decorations, and watching A Christmas Story (I’ve never seen it!) with Travis

Dec 11: Christmas party after church

Dec 17: Christmas Carol 5K in the AM; Dinner with friends in the PM

Dec 18: Going up to Evergreen as a birthday/Christmas/done-with-grad-classes celebration to go ice skating and have a nice dinner; hoping to watch another Christmas movie I’ve never seen like It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street (I know, it really is tragic that I haven’t seen these classics.)

Dec 20: Zoolights at the Denver Zoo after work with friends

And then it’s Christmas! Since we’re not going to be with family, I’m voting for just staying home to do a whole lot of cookie eating, movie watching, and game playing on Christmas instead of going to any big gathering. Relaxing sounds absolutely wonderful right now!

Even though we have lots of fun stuff planned, for some reason, it’s been harder for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year than others. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas and I don’t know why. It’s probably something to do with feeling exhausted from being on the go and also the fact that we still don’t have our Christmas decorations up! I’m really hoping to get that done tomorrow. In the midst of the frenzy, though, I am striving to keep my focus on experiencing and savoring this season, not just viewing it as one giant to-do list.

What fun things are you doing this holiday season? 

Upcoming Races

9 Dec

I went on a run last night after work and the sunset was absolutely amazing. Luckily, I was running with my phone and was able to get a few good shots around the lake.

Doesn’t it look like Someone painted the sky with watercolors? Wow.


Speaking of running, in preparation for the Eugene Marathon, I have penciled in 3 races on my calendar:

A Christmas Carol 5K on December 17

Hoping to break my one-race PR of 33:40. I bought a Santa hat for Travis and an elf hat for me to wear during the race – it’s a great time to be festive!

Ralston Creek Half Marathon on February 12

This is a new race and super close to my house, so score! I will be shooting to beat my PR of 2:30:46 (11:30/mile pace). If I can run the race at my recent easy long run paces of 11:00-11:15, I will beat my PR by 5 minutes!

I had originally planned on just running the 10 mile race below but I really like the half marathon distance and as much as I would like to think I’ll be motivated to run a half after the marathon is over, I know myself. I might not even do a triathlon next year. This girl will most likely want a break from having a training schedule and striving to fit 5 workouts in a week.

Snowman Stampede 10 mile on February 18

At first, I thought doing races on back to back weekends was not smart, but then I looked at my training plan and realized that I would be scheduled for running 10 miles anyway. Why not run with other people and get a t-shirt?

The last 10 mile race I ran was back in 2006 – the first road race I ever did! I was speedy back then – my time was 1:38:41, a 9:52/mile pace. I would love to run that fast now! (I still think the altitude has a lot to do with my slower paces, but it could just be that I’m getting old! ::single tear::) Anyway, I don’t think I’ll have any time goal for this race. I just want to get out there and enjoy myself.

After the 10 mile race, it’ll be on to the marathon!

Eugene Marathon on April 29

You can read why I chose that race here.


You know what I love the most about local running races? How cheap they are. After paying $100-120 for triathlons and big races like the Denver RnR, I am more than delighted to pay $40 for a race.

Are you doing any holiday or winter races?