Monday, December 31, 2012

What I learned in 2012

It was quite a year, wasn't it?
I have a post New Years recap of 2012 planned, but for now... A few important things I learned.
This is what happens when you over train.
That was the most important thing I learned in 2012.

But despite the over training I discovered that I am, shockingly, capable of running 26.2..

We discovered that Jazz Hands are my go-to-pose...
We also discovered that I will say "yes" to almost all bad ideas. 25K trail run anyone?

This is true.
One does not simply marathon into anywhere, duh...

Running is always better with friends.
After being the #1 loner for years I now have a posse.

It was discovered that races without chip timing, I always line up in front.

I can run a sub 20 5K. UGH!
Don't need to do THAT again...
Clearly, it was the year about running with friends.
Running is always better with your best friend!!

And it's always good to have your other best friend there for moral support!

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Portland Brewer’s Holiday Dash 5K, Last race of 2012!

It's hard to believe that the end of the 2012 running season is here.
The whole Herd (more or less) braved the COLD (19 degree) weather and impending snowstorm on Sunday to sneak in one last race, plus a few pints of beer before the Holiday's are officially here!
Yes, we froze. It was straight up stupid.

The shorts are simply inexplicable...
See how I'm dressed?
Hat/Scarf/Coat?? That was the way to go. Silly boys...

I had been sternly warned by several important people to run smart and not be a damn idiot. This is a very challenging concept for me to wrap my head around so I concocted an excellent plan. And by excellent I actually mean terrible.
I told Brian (who has no patience for shenanigans) that I was going to run with him and talk his ear off about annoying things (like how amazing I am) the WHOLE TIME!!! (hehheh) I knew that he would absolutely love this because pesky chit chat is right up his alley...Needless to say when I told him my plan he gave me a look of darkness and threatened to throw me into the bay. Since he is 6'11" and kinda scary at times I aborted my faux mission immediately in favor of running with my matching socked exclusive dating partner.
Thanks a lot Brian. Thanks a lot... :-)
Just kidding Eric, don't get all grumpy!
We ran. It was cold. I was not an idiot although I wished to be. Finished in 24:14 or some such nonsense. Drank all the beers. Listened to the Ironmen/woman try to simultaneously talk themselves into and/or out of doing more Ironmanning. I think they should perhaps stick with Marathons as they do not take up your whole day and rarely do you spend 7 plus hours a day training. I can't wrap my head around that insanity AT ALL!
It was a good time. Can't wait to do more running with all these fun people in the 2013!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My favorite favorites of 2012...

I had a blog all ready to drop on Friday around Noon. One of my merry, silly ramblings about a variety of asinine things.
While I sat in the chair at the dentist waiting to have a renegade wisdom tooth yanked, the nurse came in looking horrified. "There was just a massive school shooting" he said "of kindergartners..." I was aghast and had no words.... He mentioned that his daughters were in school at that moment, in kindergarten and 2nd grade. I could see that he wanted nothing more than to run out the door straight to them, and it was heartbreaking.
Needless to say, I decided to put the emergency brake on my lighthearted post...

Now that a couple days have gone by I've decided to jump ahead a little in my best of/worst of series. (I was saving this post for last...)  No, I don't have kids but I have a wonderful family and the very best of friends. I'm thankful for them every day and huge horrible tragedies make me shut up and reflect on how very, very lucky I am.

My favorite moment/s from 2012 ALL have to do with my truly wonderful acquaintances.
Some of you I've known forever, and some only for a short time.
And you all are the absolute freaking best...
Clearly, THE BEST of 2012 was spending time with my family and friends. (running. and eating. hah)
Here are a few good moments...

Angie has been my best friend for 20 years (scary!)
A year ago, if you had told me we'd be running a 10K together I'd have laughed!
She got out there this year and kicked some serious ass.
I'm so excited to become an Auntie to her first baby, due to arrive in March!
(he's bound to be an amazing runner too, since he tagged along for several races last summer!)
I named her Baby "Baby Blue Sara Bradley Is Awesome Craib" Yeah, I did.

Everyone needs a friend to make terrible choices with.
Thanks Danielle! We LOVE RUNNING! At 4 AM... Around lakes. Especially on trails...
 Sad to have temporarily lost my partner in crime.... Excited to meet Christian Gray Sterling in May.
I have named Danielle's Baby too, lucky her.

Apparently I talked the WHOLE TOWN into running this year...
I ran by myself for SO LONG and NEVER want to again!
Our crazy group of super fast people was the best!

My Sister and my DAD!!!
I love that they both dusted off their shoes and ran a bunch of races this year.
It's clearly a genetic problem. As is looking fabulous, duh...

It was not a solitary running season by any means.
My favorite thing is saying "so, there's a little race this weekend.." And having ALL the people show up!

Yes, running is important.
But so is eating EVERYTHING and taking pics for daily mile and facebook
If pics don't show up on the interwebs then it didn't happen.

And yes, more friends and more eating.
Pasta, cookies, bread, more bread, more cookies, I like these people

My favorite boys!!!
At the end of a great race, at the end of what was quite a year...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... 2012 edition, the SWAG episode!!

YAY! PRIZES! (no, I'm not hosting a giveaway. calm down.)
I LOVE a good race medal! Truth is, I even like a terrible race medal. One would think that after years of equestrian life I might not be so excited over paltry prizes and merch but come on.... it never gets old to me!
I won a few things this year that made me shriek in joy. After murdering myself and running to 4th place in the 4 on the 4th I scored some sweet gift cards to Maine Running and New Balance, enough cash money to actually buy myself some fun shiny new things *dies in happiness* If I had been smart enough to check at the following races I would have won awesome age group prizes: Great Bay Half, Tri For a Cure 5K and (as we all know) MDI- where I won my AG and due to the low IQ after 26.2 didn't even think to check. And there for missed out on the chance to win the prettiest award ever. I'm still legit sad about this and might be until my dying day *insert too much drama HERE*
The award for the best Swag Bag by FAR goes to the Maine Half Marathon. SO MUCH STUFF. Sweet shirt, samples, coupons, odds and ends and (randomly) a can of baked beans which I certainly could do without. Aside from that I'm always excited to collect my sack of happiness from them and am sad that we are parting ways next year.

OK. Chit Chat over. Time to move on to my favorite (and least fav) prizes!
PS: It was tricky. I actually like ALL my merch from this year. for the most part anyways...

My Absolute favorite! The MDI Medal.
So gorgeous. So Big.
That's what she said.

The hard to photograph All Women's Half Medal.
So pretty! So heartshaped! LOVELOVE!

Quincy Half Medal.
Looks ok from here. But kinda cheezy in real life.
Take my word for it.
(Quincy also had HORRIBLE race shirts which would have been in the running for Worst Shirt had I not dropped it at Goodwill...)

Around the Lake Medal.
Well, it was my first marathon so it has meaning...?
I totally puked on it. (for real.)
But it's really really small. Itty Bitty. I wish for my prizes to be large, damnit.

Pineland 25K Cowbell.
COME ON! IT WAS 25K! Give me a freaking real bell...
It horrifies me whenever I lay my eyes on it. As you can see...


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.. 2012 edition, episode TWO!

Today's edition of Best of/Worst of 2012 has to do with fashion.
I seriously got 3,256 shirts this year. 3,252 have already gone to Goodwill. World, you are welcome. 
Honestly, I don't expect decent shirts at races. And at 5K's I'd kinda rather that they gave all the money to the charity and spared me the trip to the thrift shop (just sayin'...) I have come to expect the hideous, the heinous and the poorly fitting. I have made my pics, it is official!

As usual Beach To Beacon gave a solid shirt. I wear it all the time as I did with last years shirt and it is possibly my favorite part of that race (I'm a Debbie Downer about Beach To Beacon. I'm the only person in the world who doesn't love it and think it's the best thing ever, Oh well.)

Anyway. Onto my Best and Worst Race shirt fashion moments from 2012.
Photographed by my excellent exclusive dating partner, who is lucky enough to get to help with my blog. Every man's dream right there...

Would you look at THIS!
Gave a damn good shirt. Figures...
I never wear this shirt running but put it on pretty much every day when I get home from work.
Actually. This outfit is almost exactly what I put on at the end of every day.
Lucky my boyfriend. 

And the oddities continue!
BEST RACE EVER (MDI) Gave out this TENT that sleeps 8.
Wow, this is a ladies XS. It goes down to my knees, no lie. IT IS THE WORST.

Seriously. WTF?
A study in why 5K races should just cease and desist with the ghastly shirts.
Furry Friends 5k, humanity wants you to never give shirts again.

My Dog is ready to climb up in this enormous shirt, from the looks of things.
But he's too scared of the fire hazard material and blinding hue.
I love it, as you can see.

I kinda love this shirt!
Thank you All Women (and one lucky guy) Half!!!
It fits! It's cute! I have actually worn it in another race!!!!
On a side note. After being a champ and taking pictures for me and kindly loading them into the computer Eric settled down to do random Man Stuff (or so I thought.) I was over here at my computer, typing away when suddenly my computer went freaking nuts. Up on the screen popped: lerhekthve vkwehrv krvh!!! I was like "UH OH, WHAT IS THIS??" I tried to figure out if I had hit some catastrophic button to cause mass mayhem when the following words appeared "Eric is so sexy.. And he likes your boobs." Looking around I discovered that sneaky Eric had powered up a random wireless keyboard and was having a grand time effing with my head and my blog. HMMMPH! I laughed hysterically for about 10 minutes. Ahhhhhh, I'm so lucky!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... 2012 edition!!

2012 was quite the year.
I ran about 47 races (or so it felt. I actually have no idea, perhaps I should count...?)
Some were awesome, some were horrid and a LOT were just little blips on my radar that I no longer even remember. (because clearly I'm too cool to be bothered with OMG so many boring races, haha..)
Since we are quickly getting into the Holiday season, and thus the year's end I have a few blogs planned to chat about the highs and lows.
Today's Episode!
ALL THE RACES. Well, a couple of them anyway.. What did I love? What did I HATE??
Read on to find out...
Around The Lake Marathon

Actually, that is a lie. If you want to pay my entry, buy me a sweet new outfit (plus shoes!) and pay for me to get down there then I'll do it. If you require that I run fast I require quite a bit of extra moolah though. Something about running a marathon in the middle of the night in the MIDDLE of the summer promotes death like agony, so I'll pass. Thanks. This was no fault of the race organizers, clearly. They ran the whole silly shebang just fine. However, this race is not for me...

MDI: The clear winner of BEST RACE!!!!

MDI is THE BEST FUNNEST MOST AMAZING. Do it. Take my word for it.
I expect that there will be a lot more people in the "start" picture next year and I CAN NOT WAIT!

Best Lesson Learned at: Tri for a cure 5K

And what lesson is THAT? I suck at fundraising. I absolutely CAN NOT run anymore races that require me to raise a certain amount of cash- I just can't do it then I pay the whole amount. And go broke. SUCKSUCKSUCK.
Color Me Rad

Call me Buzz Killington but I thought Color Me Rad was a silly, messy, VERY EXPENSIVE waste of time. At the time, I claimed that I would never do one again and this is a FACT. Spend that money on something, anything else!!!  And it was only 2.8 miles AND was untimed to add insult to injury. It was also horribly organized and total chaos and bedlam. And it was a disgusting mess. *grouchygrouchygrouchy*

Pineland. The race I swore to never do again.
But clearly will.

Pineland was a hilly, hilly nightmare. This is also where the shin shit of 2012 started. However.... They throw a damn good party, there is beer, food, cookies, friends and it is kinda fun to run thru the woods (for 5 minutes.) This one is already on my to-do list for 2013 because I'm straight up stupid.

Great Bay Half. My least favorite race, that became my most favorite race.

I am a fickle woman. That is all.
Sadly, GBH and I will not be reunited in 20136 because of this little race I have going on called the Boston Marathon. GBH actually kinda kicks ass if you can handle the hills. And there are good medals, beer and food. Notice a trend? Beer and Food are VERY VERY important to me!!
A runner up for me on the "best" list is the Maine Marathon- I ran the Half per the norm. Great race, very organized, so much fun (terrible weather) Sadly, not on the list for 2013 because of other TBA plans!

So there you have it, my expert and very legit list of my favorite (and least fav) races from 2012. Stay tuned for the next episode of my end-of-the-year recap!

Monday, December 10, 2012

A study in my coordination.....

On December 1st I started working with my excellent kick ass coach.
On December 1st I also managed to take one stupid lousy step and pretty much turn my ankle over in the worst possible way. Yeah, I totally did. My coordination is the subject of much talk...
It took me a couple of days to realize that I needed to be more attentive to the little Achilles problem and up to that time (Friday) I continued to work out. Friday was a moderate shit show. I was legit gimpy and pretty damn unhappy....
FREEZING COLD LONG RUN. Go away winter, go away.

Thinking back, I know I had a recovery run last Saturday (the 1st) a run with fast intervals on Sunday, an 8 miler (I think?) on Monday that included a 1 mile speed trial.
Sad to say that I couldn't do better than a 6:44. Oh well..
Tuesday was a rest day and Wednesday I went to (WAIT for it) SPIN CLASS.
And the world tips on its axis.
If there is one thing I dislike and try to avoid it is group exercise classes.  90% of the time they seem to consist of "whoo girls." You know: "ARE WE HAVING FUN??" to which the response is "WHOOO!!!" This makes me vomitous as I wish to have fun after working out, after getting my ass royally kicked. If I have fun while working out I'm often dissatisfied. Bottom line, I am a righteous asshole. Who also wants to have sweaty, stinky, miserable, tormential workouts- NOT fun dancing silly get-ya-club-music-on kinda crapola.
The moral of the story is that this was NO Whoo Girl class and I got my hat handed to me. I was the worst in the class by a very considerable margin and since this is unacceptable to me I plan to work hard (in order to be THE BEST. DUH.) The good news is that I did not fall off my bike, which seemed like a very real possibility.....
My legs felt strange for the rest of the week. Not sore. But very, very strange like they belonged to someone else. I was bewildered.
I had a 6 miler the following day which was when I realized that I was more wounded than I had originally thought. Coach Kelsey wisely forbade my long run. And she is secretly glad that I'm having a wisdom tooth out this week which will prevent me from running ALL the miles. (and this is no secret, she kinda came out and said it.) Poor Coach Kelsey. I'm a pain in the ass...
Oh, and somewhere in there was a very difficult strength/core day in which I managed to find out that ALL my muscles are weak. VERY WEAK!!!!

Sexy date night! YAY!!!

You all know that my exclusive dating partner and I know how to have fun. We run miles and/or get hurt and rock out in the most impressive socks ever. With my dog Lester who is the MOST adorable!

ERMAHGRD! We CAN be normal!!! With 5 inch heels on I am still that short. WTF??
We spent the weekend celebrating my Aunt's birthday down in Mass. We got dressed in non running attire (but let it be known that Eric DOES have compression socks on in that picture...) We drank wine, danced VERYVERY well and sang Bon Jovi. We are the coolest.

With our buddy Evan.
Yes, we all went on a run the following day.
Yes, we DID make his Dad pick us up so we could run point to point.
YES, that is ALL his poos Dad seems to do when we visit!!

What was it I said about being normal?
This happened.
This ALWAYS happens.
We are dead sexy. Eric needs to work on his creepy face a lot to be as awesome as us...

Anyway, we did indeed have a very decent 1 hour run on Sunday. My ankle felt a lot better and we kept up a totally decent pace. I'm really hoping to keep my idiot clumsiness to a minimum. I would love to be able to get all my workouts in with zero drama... We shall see what this week brings.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Big Exciting News!

For a change my blog absence has little to do with "nothing" going on. The opposite is actually the case, I have SO much to report on that I've had a hard time putting it into coherent posts.
Luckily, coherency has rarely been important to me so why start now? (did I just make up the word coherency? awesome...)
Here is a quick update of my goings on, starting at the beginning. Expect some juicy details (or sweaty details, whatevs...) coming in the next days and weeks.
We all know Boston is looming on the relative horizon. My original goal was to stay fit and healthy and bang out a BQ there for next year, effectively making me a one hit wonder (or one marathon per year wonder but again- WHATEVS!) I changed my goal about a month ago because I have an intense desire to run Boston with "no pressure." However, my desire to BQ for 2014 nice and early is still there. How to do this logically (what?) reasonable (WHAT?) and injury free (WHAT WHAT?!?!?) presented a big problem for me.
 So I called in the the coolest experts around...
I really like doing everything that Eric and Andy do, so jumping on the TSA bandwagon seemed wise. And wise it is proving to be.

If nothing else I chose my own, seriously badass, zero percent body fat coach. (She is so ripped it puts me to SHAME. which is good, shame is the best motivator for me!) I really liked the coaches that the boys used but sometimes a girl needs to step out of the formidable shadows of the Ironmen and do her own thing, even if she is a copier! Coach Kelsey will be kicking my ass into the best shape ever this winter/spring/possibly the rest of my running life, UGH! (but UGH in a good way, for real.)  I'll talk a little more about my recent workouts soon but suffice it to say- there is cross training involved. OH NO!!!

And what's next on the agenda?

Full Marathon, Hopefully a solid BQ. February, 2013.

I'm feeling good about things. SO glad to have someone creating an amazing training plan for me so that I don't have to strugglebus thru it myself. Always nice to have an expert voice of reason to intercept my desire to over train like a complete idiot (who, me?!! yeah, me...)

I feel like this is a potential big step for me. I'm really excited to see what a little help will do for me in the fitness and injury department. (I take that back- I might need a LOT of help come to think of it.) Either way, I'm realy to work hard and see where the road takes me this time...