Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Garmin Forerunner 305

A few of you asked about the iphone app that creates the overexposed artsy photos. It's called Hipstamatic. I used it for the above photo. I like the overexposed look. It hides those pesky skin imperfections, but I digress.

The real reason for the picture is to show off my new toy, the forerunner 305! I'm so excited to use it that I thought I'd wear it to work! No, not really, I just put it on for the picture. I am excited to run with it though. I had it on my Christmas wish list. It's funny a co-worker asked me what I thought I was getting for Christmas, and I told him about the Garmin. He's not a runner, so he looked a little puzzled. And then he asked, "What if you don't get it?" (He seemed to think it was unlikely that any husband would buy his wife a gps running watch.) To which I replied, "Oh, I'll just order one after Christmas." Nick did in fact get me the 305 for Christmas though. He's good like that.

I know the 305 is a bit bigger than the sleeker 405, but I've read a number of complaints that the 405 doesn't work well if it gets wet. And the 305, although older, seems to be the favorite (according to Amazon reviewers anyway). So that's what I wanted. I'm really excited about the heart rate monitor. I've always wondered what my true training heart rate is, you know, without having to stop and take it manually. (And now I'll have an accurate method of measuring it!) I'm hoping that maybe I can start training using heart rate zones. Maybe then I can make sure my easy days are actually easy days. We'll see.

Christmas was good. Well, the whole family was sick, but we had a really low key day so it wasn't too bad. I'm still sick actually. Last week I didn't run much (less than 20 miles), but that's how it goes sometimes. I did manage a 12 mile run at 8:15 pace, so that was reasonable. And I've already run a 12 miler this week too. So I'm sick, but now I seem to be able to run as long as I take it easy.

I hope you all had a great holiday! Oh and what type of GPS watch do you use (if any), and what's your favorite feature?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Asthma & Christmas Decor

On the training front, I did manage another 43 mile week. I also managed to slow the average pace to 8:06. But,(yes there is a but), now I'm sick. And the kids are sick. Sigh. That's the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose (whatever that means).

I haven't mentioned my asthma in quite some time. I haven't needed to mention it. I haven't needed an inhaler in over 6 months! Now I'm back on the highest dosage of Advair. I'm also taking my albertol inhaler every 4-6 hours and a steroid nasal spray. Yikes! I forgot what it was like to have a deficient immune system. Stupid immune system!

I've been feeling a little cocky about my whole asthma situation. I may have prematurely added a little swagger to my step. I didn't even need an inhaler for my 5K turkey trot, which was running hard in the cold (two of my biggest triggers). So this week I've been knocked down a peg or two by old friend, asthma. I imagine it will take a couple weeks to recover back to a steady state. I'll let you know how it goes.

On a more fun note, I was reading this post on Chasing the Kenyans and thought I'd add share some of my favorite Christmas decor. The first picture below is a picture of our tree taken with a new iphone app that Nick found for me. Basically is processes the photos you take with your phone in real time and makes them artsy or old and decrepit, depending on your point of view. As a result, you can't really see many of our ornaments. We have lots of typical ornaments in the way of Santas, bulbs, and candy canes. But we have a bunch of Katie geek ornaments as well. I'm a big Star Wars fan and for the first Christmas in our house I wanted to find some of those Hallmark collectible Star Wars ornaments, but with Hallmark you can only get them the year that they came out. So Nick found someone on Ebay who was selling their entire Stars Wars collection for a very reasonable price! It. Was. Awesome! Here's what some of the ornaments look like. We don't have all the ornaments shown in the link (maybe half) and the pictures really don't do them justice but you get the idea...Yeah, I know, I'm a geek of mammoth proportions. (And now you know too.)

The second picture is of Kaylee and I decorating the tree this year. I am serious, when it comes to the tree decorating. So serious (not really I just look really serious for some reason).

Our Tree

Kaylee and I decorating

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Training, Ballerinas, Goucher

Please forgive my complete lack of focus today. My mind in spinning...

First, I ran 43 miles last week! Woo hoo! Yeah, I know, not a crazy accomplishment, but I was pleased. Overall, it was a good week of training. 5 days of running, one long run (12 miles), 4 good maintenance runs, and an average pace of 7:53. I do need to be careful though. Some days I'm still only getting 4 hours of sleep and 6 hours of sleep is a good day. Translation: I'm tired. And realistically, an average pace of 7:53 is probably too fast. I like to run fast. It's not always the smartest way to train, but I'm a sucker for a fast clip. I can easily be persuaded to run slower, however, if I have other people to run with. When I'm at work I've been trying to run with other people for two reasons really. The first being, I love social running. The second being, it helps me slow down. When I run with other people, I don't think about pace at all. So, I had a great week, but I'd like to see my average weekly pace decrease to about 8:15ish to help prevent long term burn out.

Totally off the beaten path, but burning on my mind, is this whole fat ballerina controversy. In case you haven't heard a New York Times critic singled out ballerina, Jenifer Ringer, as having "looked like she'd eaten one sugar plum too many." The picture on the left was taken during the performance he was critiquing. I don't know about you, but it doesn't look to me like she has a sugar plum problem. For whatever reason, this whole controversy is bugging me, which is interesting because I don't usually think much about weight or ballet. Seriously though, look at that picture. That looks hard to do. Some are arguing that because ballet is an art, it therefore means ballerinas should expect that type of criticism. And, I don't know, maybe that's true to a certain point, but look at her...she's not fat. Also, I can't imagine a ballet dancer being able to do what she's doing in that picture and be fat. Maybe I'm just being overly sensitive because I'm pretty sure I'm not as thin as her, and I don't want think that I have a sugar plum problem. (Note to self, no more sugar plums.) What do you think? Does the critique bother you or should it be expected in her line of work?

On another completely random note, do any of you read Kara Goucher's blog? Holy cannoli, is she fast. I mean, I knew she was fast, but reading how she's running 2.5 months after the birth of her son is just nuts! The lady is speed demon! I can't wait to read how she does in her January half marathon.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My first long run post baby!

I managed a 12 miler today at 7:34 pace! Being a bit time limited and sleep deprived, I get way more excited than I should anytime I run. Maybe I'm getting extra happy endorphins, beats me, but running makes it all good. I really don't understand. I can't figure out how running doesn't feel like a chore. The setup and cleanup surrounding my runs take almost as long as the run itself. I setup lots of toys and books for the Kaylee meister and I have to drag the swing downstairs to where the treadmill is. Then I have to hope that Emily feels like taking a nap in the swing (it's actually the only time I use the swing, now that I think about it.) Then my run consists of me watching Emily and wondering if she's going to get irritated as well as participating in Kaylee's pretend play as much as possible. You know, pretending to eat snacks that she's prepared for me. Yet, I'm still loving the running whenever I get to go.

I will say my absolute favorite time to run is at lunch time the couple days I'm in the office. I get to go outside and sometimes I even get to run with other people! Cool beans!

Technically I'm in training for a half marathon in February, but I have absolutely no training plan. Well, I have my long runs planned, but other than that I'm flying by the seat of my pants. And you know what, I'm loving it. I'm enjoying running for the pure love of it. We'll see how that works out for me in February. Right now, I'm thinking it will work out just fine, but that could be the endorphins talking. ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Mom breaks 25:00 in the 5K

I haven't been blogging much. It may have something to do with the crazy baby and toddler I have. Nah, that couldn't be it...

Seriously though, things are going well for me, blogging just hasn't been one of my priorities. My running is so-so. The last three weeks I managed to run an average of 30 miles a week. I'd rather be around 45 miles a week, but it's just not in the cards at this point. I'll get there soon enough I'm sure.

I have most of my speed back, but I need to get some of that endurance back too. The long run is where I'm lacking. My longest run since the birth has been 9 miles (at 7:35 pace). My longer runs tend to be faster because I'm trying to get in as much mileage as possible before the baby objects.

The turkey trot was my first running test. My goal was technically to run around 21:45. Secretly though, I wanted to run 19:58. I wound up with an official time of 20:25. Last year, less than a month before I was pregnant, I ran the same race in 20:19. And this year the course was slightly longer! So I didn't achieve my secret goal, but I'm still pleased with where I'm running. The race didn't kill me. I ran hard without feeling completely wiped later, which is sort of important when there's a newborn around. I feel faster than I did last year, and I don't yet have a good mileage base (for me). My next test drive will be a half marathon in February, where my published goal is 1:40. I haven't decided what the stretch goal should be yet. I will say that I'm playing it relaxed this year. I just had a baby and I'm not really looking to set any PR's. Mostly I just want to run. I know that after the first year (or two) finding time to run and sleep and eat well will be easier, so for now I'm playing the patience game.

Here are my race stats:
Thanks4giving 5K 2010
Age Group: 1st
Female: 4th
Overall: 26/827 (top 3%)

Now on to the important mom did, in fact, break 25:00 at the turkey trot! According to the official results she ran 24:59! She is simply amazing! She's only been running for three years now and she's doing incredible. She'll be running the half marathon in February, but just as a training run because she's running the Hyannis Marathon the next week.

Oh, and I realize some of you might be wondering about post pregnancy stuff. No, I haven't lost all the weight yet. I'm still lugging around 5-6 extra pounds, but last time I was 5-6 pounds heavy until Kaylee was a year old, when breastfeeding was greatly reduced. I'm expecting the same will be true with Emily. Even with the extra weight, I do fit into all my clothes. And obviously it doesn't seem to be slowing my running down. To be completely honest, I'm not trying to lose weight. I eat when I'm hungry and try not to when I'm not. I don't plan to worry about it until I stop breastfeeding. My total weight gain for the pregnancy was 23 pounds. Pretty typical.

There's one last tidbit I'd like to share with all the mamas out there. For some reason, people keep telling me I should have a whole bunch of kids because clearly I was meant to have babies given how smoothly the pregnancy and post pregnancy have gone. People seem amazed that I already look just like I did before I was pregnant and that I'm already running. At first, I was a bit taken aback. All I could think was "I didn't think it was all that easy and I certainly don't look like I did before I was pregnant." Now I've started telling people, "maybe I make it look easy, but it's not."

I know that I don't write about how easy or hard all the pregnancy and post pregnancy stuff might be. I'd like to write more, but I just haven't had the time. I just wanted you to know if you might be pregnant or have a new baby at home and find things challenging, that I do too.

I swear my face isn't as fat as it looks in this pic...

Aren't my mom and dad cute?