Thursday, December 30, 2010

730.1 AND DONE

Guess what? I DID IT! Today's 6-miler put me one little tiny tenth of a mile over my yearly goal. After all the confusion and re-planning, I can officially say that this year is in the books. DONE. And as proof of this (and proof that I don't post only the nice pictures), here I am the minute that treadmill stopped. And btw, and you can quote me on this, you know you're a runner mom when you wipe sweat off your brow at 4.3 miles and realize that your hands smell like Play-Doh. 

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all of your support and encouragement, not just here at the end, but throughout the year. It's been a totally crazy year. I liked the list approach RunningFirst took, so I'll do the same. Here's a good/bad recap of the year in roughly chronological order.
  1. I got to run a half-marathon with my much-missed Meg
  2. I PhinisheD my PhD! And had a great big party. My West Virginians came and everything. 
  3. With the Team, I ran my first trail race the morning of my son's second birthday....and had an emergency appendectomy that night. And an open house the next day. 
  4. We sold said house. (well, sort of. It's complicated, but is occupied by people other than us)
  5. My parents came to help finish packing, moving, and painting the new place. I drove over our mailbox with a 24' Uhaul truck. We had movers pack the truck, but still needed help at the end. Some of our good friends came to our rescue and helped us get the job done. Then I drove all our worldly belongings to our new house in a new city and state. 
  6. The Beastie and her husband came to visit. Saying goodbye was really hard, knowing that they were moving many states away. We'd lived nine of the last eleven years within a few miles of each other. Thank goodness for Skype.  
  7. Mr. Joanna and I started new jobs, the kiddo started a new daycare.
  8. I endured the hottest long run in history (let's assume no one's ever actually run Badwater). 
  9. I tripped and ate massive quantities of asphalt while running...twice. Consequently gave up wearing statement tees, such as one that might have said "Kick Asphalt" that I might have been wearing the second time I fell. 
  10. RunningFirst came down to run L&C with me, my second marathon. I set a new PR by 27 minutes, which I'm still pretty proud of. 
  11. I got to see some of my college girls, meet some of their other friends, tour San Francisco and run a half-marathon there, including going over the Golden Gate bridge! Not my fastest race, but fun. And I got to run it with Frank (and her "passenger"!).
  12. Two trips to Detroit, one for the baptism of my newborn niece and the other for Christmas. 
  13. After months of repairs and breakdowns, Mr. Joanna finally got a new car that includes such luxuries as a radio and working windows. Then wrecked mine. (I got glared at for that last part, but it's true. Although it was a minor fender bender and it's been fixed). 
  14. I met my running goals for the year and did it injury free!!
I hope I'm not forgetting anything. I probably am. There were so many big moments, not just in our lives but in the lives of our friends.  

In conclusion for 2010, here is the monthly mileage report from runningahead. I'm really grateful that RunningFirst introduced me to this site this year. It's been great for helping me track everything. It's no surprise that June was my lowest mileage month, given the appy and the move. What this graph also tells me is that I clearly need to be doing more tempo and interval work. I also know from my incredible (and historically unprecedented) inflexibility that I have to do more cross-training (read: I need to do some, any cross training).  I'm on it. In the next few days I'm going to start putting together, with help from RunningFirst (aka, Coach Mike) my training plan for spring. Here's to high hopes for my spring races!!

A bloggy meet-up and joint race announcement

The time has come for race announcements! And not just any race announcement, but a joint announcement with my bloggy friend Jess over at Run Jess Run.

A while back I put out a call for suggestions for spring races in the Midwest. Meanwhile, Jess was looking for a half-marathon (her first!) to register for. She lives in Michigan and I have family there, and the stars aligned and calendars worked so that we both decided to run....


which you can check out here. I am so excited to get to meet her! Also, I'm really looking forward to racing again in Michigan. Although it was painful (due to an injury), I really enjoyed running there a year ago (race recap here). AND I get to see family. Awesome piled on top of awesome.

And, although I'm nervous about the timing, I've also picked a spring full marathon. It shall be:

The Cleveland Marathon

I'm nervous because it's only 6 weeks after the Martian Half. I'm also nervous because I've never done a spring full. But, as Mamarunsbarefoot (a fabulous blog I just found) says:

"Everyone who steps out of their comfort zone, works, sweats, and yes even cries comes across that finish line changed forever, and yes they all win!!"

Time to put together my spring training plan and get excited about Half #6 and Marathon #3!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

724.1 down...

**In all the craziness of the holidays, I didn't thank Stephanie at It's all happening for nominating me for a Stylish Blogger Award. THANK YOU!!**

On to today--thank you all for your support over this mad dash to the finish line for 2010 goals. Kel is absolutely right that if I don't follow through on this, I'll forever have an asterisk next to 2010 when I think about it. So, how much of a compulsive over-achiever am I? Let's start with this week. I have this week off from work, a few days with the kiddo and a few days without, which is an unbelievable luxury for me. So what did I do? I not only made a to-do list for my time off, but I prioritized the items on it. Sadly, I didn't even think to feel nerdy about this until I realized my husband had probably seen it. Busted.

So compulsive me over here went to the gym at 5:30 last night and laid down 4.5 miles. Then went back today and did 6 more. That brings me to 724.1. Only 5.9 to go. I can do this. That's just one more 6 mile run. Bring it. Day after tomorrow. Gym is closed tomorrow (insert name-calling here) and my street is still a solid sheet of ice.

And while I'm at it, today was freaking awesome. I slept in. I scrapbooked (see other blog). I finally bought blinds for my scraproom--the last room in the house with nothing on the windows. I ran. It was fantastic. And tomorrow is going to rock my face off.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rule 104.3B

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. Personally, I ate my way through the entire Detroit region and had a great time doing it. I even ran one day on the hotel treadmill--oh yeah! My family did a vaguely-white elephantish-stocking stuffer exchange, where we all bought three random items less than $5/each and traded them amongst ourselves (kids' stocking stuffers were chosen much more intentionally). Among my items, I took a pair of red and white women's knee-high socks with white faux fur around the top. I was really hoping my Dad would get them, but no such luck. But that was actually my third gift exchange of the season. One was with my boys (and MJ & family by phone) before we left, and one was before that, with The Beastie.

I love her to pieces. I really do. We were young enough when we met that we exchanged Christmas and birthday gifts. We have continued this tradition and we always have fun with it. Our birthdays are only 4 days apart, so it's sort of a semi-annual party tradition. Anyway, this year, since we live far apart, we mailed the gifts then had a Skype gift exchange. Complete with this photo of us in front of her Christmas tree. Silly? Maybe. Fabulous? Absolutely.

What do you do to keep in touch with far-away friends?

So, Blogger Rule 104.3B, as invoked by TnT Coach Ken: if you blog it, you must follow through. Yeah, yeah, guys, I know. I'm ridiculous for obsessing over the difference between 720 and 730 miles. I get it. But do you know how much it would bother me to run 727 miles and know I was *this close* to what I said I was going to do? Have you ever read my self-description on this blog? Compulsive over-achiever. Stick with me until the end of the week--let's see how close I can come. Right now I'm at 713.6. Hellooooooo treadmill!

And....race announcement coming later this week! Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Uh, oops. I'm supposed to be good with numbers.

A Beautiful Bah-Humbug
Don't get me wrong--I love Christmas. Really, I do. I have great memories of sitting around the dining room table as a child, eating dinner on Christmas Eve, looking into the living room at the softly glowing tree, with all its ornaments and the gifts beneath it. All the childish anticipation of Christmas morning. Then the late night Christmas Eve service, which was always beautiful. We lit candles in church and turned off the lights, some years we processed outside onto the sidewalk, singing Silent Night with our candles, sometimes in the snow. It was all lovely.

And then yesterday on the phone with my brother I heard myself saying, "We're all excited, but I don't have time for this *%!$!"

And sadly, it's all beautiful and true. Beautiful--the stocking I finally finished knitting for my niece. My son who keeps talking about Jesus's birthday. The wrapping of gifts so lovingly picked out. True--that I don't have time to do things like clean my house and buy groceries while knitting said stocking, working, running, and continuing to settle into our house. The buying holiday cards, sending them out, buying gifts, shipping gifts, decorating, all of it. It's not that it's no longer fun--it's still beautiful--but for the first time in my life I'm finding all of this stressful.

The Dreadmill
After last Sunday's failed attempt to run, it got icy out. That's where I draw the line. Ice. So after a few busy days at work, I made it over to the rec center and signed up for a month's membership. I got two runs in, a 4-miler yesterday and 7 miles this morning. I'm really thankful for a safe place to run, but why does it have to be SO boring?!? I know we're all suffering the dreadmill right now. It gives me solace to know you're all doing the same thing with me. Time to recharge the mp3 player.

First, the good news--I hit 700 miles today! I know a lot of you passed that milestone back in August (or earlier), but this is a big hairy deal for me! It's a first!!

The bad news--I went back to my January blog post this morning just to double check my 720 goals and discovered, much to my dismay, that I actually said 730. Crap!! I sort of feel attached to the 720 goal. I can reach it at this point, and it's what I've been planning for. But it's not what I said a year ago! I feel conflicted. Time to write down a new plan for the next 13 days and see what is realistic.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Running in a Winter Wonderland

This morning I awoke to our first snow. I remembered a run last winter in the snow, where it was just the sound of our feet crunching softly on the snow, and the beautiful trees around us. That is not what happened this morning. But before I tell you about that, an update of the issues I've been having with The Vengeance.

Thank you all so much for your genuine concern after my last post! I feel I should clarify:
1. Although I almost always run with my Garmin, on most runs I don't check it at all or only check it when it gives me the mile interval beep.
2. I can still run without it!
3. I'm still hoping it can be fixed.

Hopefully I somehow screwed up a setting, or its still under warranty, or something. After my last post, I tried running with it a few more times. It hasn't blacked out on me again, but it doesn't seem to be recording pace, location, elevation, any of that. When I hook it up to my computer, it shows my mile times, overall time and pace, but that's it. No map. So there is definitely something screwy with it. If anyone has any clues, PLEASE let me know. It was a fabulous, expensive gift and I've loved it.

back to my wintery wonderland

It seemed like a good idea to run. Yesterday it rained all day, so no run there. Snow? I can handle snow. I love running in snow! A little wind? No problem. It was windy 98.9% of all hours of all days in the town we used to live in (and worse in the winter. Seriously, by the time of the spring thaw our first year there, I thought I was going to lose my mind from the constant sound of wind. Mercifully, it lightened up in warmer weather, and eventually I got used to it). So around 10am I bundled up and headed out.

I almost bit it twice about a block from our house, at an intersection where the snow was particularly compacted/icy from traffic. "It will be better in the park," I told myself. After all, the park has rangers (seriously. Just like in Elf, but not on horses). They must have plowed/shoveled by now. Right?

I got to the entrance of the park.

As usual, I veered to the left to begin the lap around the park. I start on the road for a bit, then merge onto a walking/running path. The road wasn't too bad. It was when I got to the path that trouble really arose. Because, well, I may have been the only person to have set foot there all day.

At first I thought it wouldn't be too bad. It was only 3-4 inches of snow, and pretty powdery. But then it was windy, and in places I couldn't see where the path was at all. Halfway down this side of the park, the path crosses a street. At that point I decided to turn back and run along the road instead of the path. I think that's when I took this picture.

There were still some icy spots, but I think if I'd stuck to the roads from the beginning I could have finished a longer run. I do love running in the snow. Like almost all runs, I'm really glad I went. Even if it was just 2.7 miles. As the city remembers how to handle snow, I'm sure it will get easier to run in it.

Mileage update: 10.6 this week and 689.6 for the year. I WILL reach 720!! So close!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I went for a run today. I walked outside. Tapped the bezel on my Garmin. Got a satellite signal. Locked the bezel. Hit the Start button. Started running.

A while later I thought I should have heard the one mile beep. Maybe I didn't hear it, I thought to myself. I checked my Garmin.

It was off. OFF.

And I can't get it to turn back on. It's charged. Fully charged. I just charged it earlier today.

What the heck is wrong?!? I've only had it for 7.5 months. It can't be broken. HELP!!