Sunday, January 31, 2010

I couldn't rest with that number within my reach

And on the rest day? There was no resting.

Let me back up a bit.

I had plans to join up with a local running group Saturday morning to get my long run in. The running group is doing training runs for the Oshkosh Half Marathon that's coming up in April. And even though I'm doing the Green Bay Half Marathon a month later, I figured it might be a nice change of pace to run with other people for a change. And since they get together at 7:30 in the morning, I'd get the run out of the way super early.

So I had plans. Knew what I was going to wear and everything. The alarm went off and it was 1 degree outside. With a wind chill below zero. Um, as much as a running with others sounded like a tempting idea, there was no way I was going to do it when it was that cold out. Remember, I'm a wuss when it comes to running outside in the cold.

So I skipped the group run. Which meant I headed over to the YMCA later in the day to pound out my 5-mile run on the treadmill. There wasn't anything too exciting to report about the run. Kept it nice and steady (and slow) during the first two miles and putzed around a little bit with the speed during the next three. Never anything faster than a 10 minute mile though. Once the 5 miles were up, I walked for a few minutes and then threw in an extra half mile.

Run done. Time for a girls night with some old friends (who I hadn't seen in over a year). That was fun.

But today I was entering the run in my running log and noticed I was 1.7 miles short of hitting 50 miles for the month. And even though it was supposed to be a rest day, I could resist the temptation to head over to the YMCA and log a couple of miles to break that 50 mile mark.

So I did. Snuck in a 2.5 mile run at a nice easy pace and hit the milestone. Followed it up with a quick 4 mile spin on the bike. Then the rest day began.

That's one month down for 2010 (seriously, where'd January go?). Eleven more months to tackle the Tall Mom 1,000+++ Mile Club Challenge. Let's take a look at the numbers for the month:

Run: 50.8 miles
Bike: 67 miles
Swim: 338 yards (yes, I've been slacking on the swimming)

And by the way, the 50.8 miles I ran this month? That's the highest monthly mileage total since July 2007 when I logged 62 miles during training for my first half marathon. I think me and running and starting to get along again. I like it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Race Report: YMCA Indoor Triathlon - January 2010

Sorry this is a few days late. I wanted to check on something before I posted this. The checking is done though, so here's the report.

My YMCA puts on two indoor triathlons a year. They started doing it last year and I participated in both of them, taking home a third and second place in my age groups. So when they came around with the registration info this year, I knew I'd be signing up, in an attempt to see how much I've improved during the last year.

This indoor tri also happened to be on the day before my 30th birthday. So it really would be the last race of my 20s. Kind of scary. But maybe a good thing. Because while parts of my 20s were fun, parts of them literally stunk. I guess maybe this race could be a bit symbolic.

Anyway. The tri had the same format as last year: An 8-minute swim followed by a 10-minute transition time. Then a 22-minute bike, a 5-minute transition and a 15-minute run.

Given the kind of week I had at work last week, I didn't get a whole lot of workouts in. But in my mind I considered it my "taper." Because you totally need a week long taper before a low-key community YMCA indoor triathlon. Just nod your heads in agreement.

I get to the YMCA Saturday, pick up my T-shirt and get myself ready. While walking to the pool I was kind of zoning out. Not really thinking about the race ahead of me, but not really thinking about anything in particular. All of a sudden I hear my name, I snap out of the zone and realize I'm standing there, in a swimsuit, talking to one of the guys I work with on a regular basis from the fire department.

We chatted for a bit. He was volunteering by counting laps. Given the fact that I'm pretty sure he can count, I decided to choose the lane he was working with. Got in the pool - which was way too warm. Almost uncomfortable - and got ready to swim. The whistle blew and I started to swim.

Now, I haven't been in the pool since before Christmas. And for some reason I think I forgot about that, because I totally went out too fast. I finished the fist lap and felt like I was spent. I adjusted my pace, slowed it down and just settled into a rhythm. The 8 minutes seemed to take forever though. When the whistle finally blew, I finished 13.5 laps - about 338 yards. Eh. I'll take it.

The transition was uneventful. Went into the locker room, changed and actually made it to the spin studio early.

The bike was on spin bikes and we had 22 minutes to go as far as we could. I settled into a good pace very quickly. I think I kept my cadence between 120 and 130 rpms the entire 22-minutes and actually logged more distance during the second half of the bike. I was comfortable, in a zone. Just listening to my iPod, not really caring what was going on around me. Every 5 1/2 minutes I had to unplug myself just to let the race people know my distance, but other than that it was just me, my music and my thoughts. I finished 10.5 miles on the bike during the 22-minutes.

Our 5-minute bike to run transition was more like 2 minutes. But oh well. Just needed to get up the stairs.

The run started and surprisingly, the legs didn't feel like lead. I settled into a decent pace and just ran. Of the eight people in my wave I was one of the slowest. But I'm happy to report that only six people lapped me. And the one who didn't? I lapped her. I did a little happy dance in my head when I passed her twice. The run went well. When the man in charge of keeping time told me I had two minutes left, I picked the pace up. And it wasn't that hard. Made me wonder if maybe I was running too conservatively. Because even when the 15 minutes were up, I still felt like I could have kept running or gone faster. Maybe that's something I'm going to have to work on: Running at a pace that's actually a bit uncomfortable. Those are the things that I thought about while running around in circles for 15 minutes. Anyway, I finished 27.25 laps in the 15 minutes. It was essentially running circles around an elementary school-sized gym. Who knows what that means in terms of mileage.

And just like that, my last race of my 20s and my first triathlon of my 30s (and 2010) was done. I wasn't able to make it to the awards ceremony, so I wasn't sure how I finished until I got a phone call early Monday morning from the race organizer. Apparently I won my age group (23-29).


I've collected a few medals over the years, but the last time I actually took first place? I'd have to go back to my senior year in high school when my doubles partner and I won the No. 3 doubles flight at a four-team tennis invitational. It's been that long.

But Saturday I did it again. The results say I finished 12.705 miles during the indoor triathlon which was good for first place in my age division. And I checked, there were other competitors in my division. In fact there were five of us and I barely beat out the second place finisher who had 12.673 miles. I don't have the medal in my hands yet, still have to pick up from the organizer, but once I do, I'll be sure to share it with you guys.

So I guess that wasn't a bad way to end my 20s. Hopefully that means things will be looking up for me in 2010 (and my 30s) in terms of performance.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three Things Thursday

How is it Thursday of furlough week already? I'm kind of enjoying the time off and don't really want it to end.

1. Furlough. I haven't been doing anything super fun during my time off of work. Honestly? Most days have consisted of lounging around in my pajamas until I change into gym clothes and head over to the YMCA in the early afternoon. So far I've made four days in a row and have really enjoyed my time as a Y-rat. There's been four runs (15.05 miles) followed by four short cool downs on the bike (18 miles). What has been lacking has been the strength training and stretching. I'll get to that in February.

2. Yesterday my YMCA trip was late in the day because I spent most of the day waiting for my brother to come down and deliver me a new (to me) TV. I still had my 24-inch TV from college. About a week ago, his wife told me they were replacing their 32-inch TV in the basement and they asked me if I wanted it. Ummm, an upgrade? Yes please. Free TV? Not going to argue with that. My cousin even gave me a TV stand, but I ended up going over to Wal-Mart and getting a cheap stand because the one from my cousin was a bit too wobbly for my liking. Trust me. The last thing I wanted to do was get woken up in the middle of the night because of a loud crash that killed not only the TV stand, but also my (new) TV and DVD player.

3. It's almost been a week and I still haven't gotten you guys my race report from the indoor triathlon last weekend (I know, I have no excuse since I haven't been working). I wasn't able to make it to the awards ceremony and I have to check on something. Hopefully I'll have a report up for you guys by the end of the weekend or Monday at the very latest!

Hope you all are having a good week!


An added bonus on Three Things Thursday, head over to Endurance Isn't Only Physical for a great Nathan Hydration Belt giveaway.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What's your motivation?

I've been hanging out with a whole different crowd of people at the YMCA this week. And I guess I have furlough to thank for it.

Normally I head over to the YMCA after work - we're talking about 5:30 p.m. - and get there with all of the other folks who have just escaped the daily grind at their respective work places. There are some casual folks and some intense folks. A nice mix of people.

But this week, since I'm on furlough (For those of you who aren't blessed to get this experience I think of it as a forced, unpaid vacation. In reality, it's my company's solution to try to keep costs down and not have to lay off anymore employees) I've been showing up a bit earlier in the day. I'm not talking about early mornings. No. No. No. I'm taking advantage of this week to get reacquainted with my snooze button and lounge around in my pjs for a bit. Once the clock hits 1 p.m., I figure the lunch crowd will be gone, so I head on over for the workout.

And the crowd that remains? It's a bit, um, geriatric. Not so old they can barely walk, but probably about the age my grandparents would be if they were still alive. Upper 60s, lower 70s. But dang, they're moving good for that age. They spend their time on the treadmills and elliptical machines. Some head over to the weights. Very cool.

But there's this one guy who's a bit interesting. A bigger guy. Younger. But obviously there with the goal to shed some weight. And kudos to him for trying to make the healthy change. Normally I wouldn't take a second look. But I had to.

See I was running yesterday and he got on the treadmill next to me, carrying this large-ish binder. A multi-tasker, I thought, probably going to do some work-related reading while getting in some walking. So I kept running. He started up the treadmill, tuned the attached TV to a random channel, flipped open the binder and started walking.

I didn't think much of it. But I happened to glance over. And that binder? It wasn't full of pages containing words. No. It was pages of pictures. As in, Christopher Reeve clad in his Superman outfit was staring at me from the treadmill. Along with some beauty pageant contestant wearing swimwear.


And every so often he'd flip to another set of pictures. I'm not kidding, this binder probably had 80 t0 100 pages of these pictures. And it wasn't a fluke. Same thing happened today. More beauty pageant contestants. More Superman.

But it got me to thinking, everyone has different things that motivate them. Me? I tend to go with song lyrics or quotes. Or set goals that I want to work towards accomplishing. And maybe that's what this guy was doing, using the pictures as motivation for sticking to these lifestyle changes he was making in an effort to get healthy. Or maybe he wants to look like Superman.

So that's the question, what motivates you guys?


Head over to Marlene's blog, Mission to a(nother) Marathon. She's got a sweet Lift Your Sole giveaway going!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Brithday recap and the return of the furlough

Why hello furlough. It's been a while since I saw you. And honestly? Although I love having an entire week off of work to do whatever I please, my checking account kind of likes my regular paycheck, not the smaller ones you bring me.

So yes, today is Day 1 of Furlough No. 3. I purposely planned it this week, figured it was kind of like my company's birthday present to me. But then I realized they were getting away really cheap, since THEY DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR IT!

Oh well.

And thanks to everyone in blog land for all of the birthday wishes! I'd say the birthday weekend was a success. There was the indoor tri (which a race report will be coming in the next day or two), I caught a D-III college basketball game (free tickets for court side seats, free food, who can pass it up?) and dinner with friends and then some celebrating at a local watering hole. The only downside? The extremely drunk group of guys at the bar (who were in town for the state bowling tournament) who got offended when I turned down their attempt to buy me a fourth shot (in a very short time frame). What can I say, I'm a bit of a lightweight when it comes to alcohol and I prefer beer over hard liquor? And the dude who tried to shove money down my shirt? Not cool.

The actual birthday was spent at Mom and Dad's house, where I watched the Badgers pull it out in overtime, went out for dinner, visited with some family and then watched the Vikings and Brett Favre lose in overtime. I'd say it was a good day.

Furlough started off pretty well too. Slept in, stayed in the pajamas until early afternoon when I finally headed over to the YMCA. Logged 4.3 miles (followed Tall Mom's advice...never finish with a round number!) on the treadmill, some cool down miles on the bike and a bit of stretching.

Tonight calls for some tasty fettuccine Alfredo, some trashy TV - what, I can't help it if I like watching The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love. Besides, 24 is so much easier to catch on since the commercial breaks are a lot shorter! Should be a good night.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I've been tagged for randomness

We're playing a game of tag here in the blog-o-sphere. And not one, but TWO people tagged me. MCM Mama and Libby both tagged me and gave me the Beautiful Blogger award. Instead of some long-winded acceptance speech, I get to tell you guys 7 random things about myself. I'll try to come up with some random stuff I haven't mentioned before.

Here we go...

1. I've only broken one bone in my entire life. I broke my right wrist in kindergarten. I wish I could say I was doing something super dangerous - but really, how dangerous and dare devil-like can a 5 year old get? - but I just fell off a piece of playground equipment. The boys were jumping off these concrete barrel things we had at my school, I was standing up there, peered over the edge and lost my balance. Fell down and broke the wrist.

2. I once managed to break down smack dab in the middle of an 80-mile stretch of road between exits on an Interstate. My friends and I were on our way back from Los Angeles after seeing the Badgers in the Rose Bowl. The tow truck driver asked which way we wanted to go. I told him, "Take us east."

3. My favorite color is blue. But there's an awful lot of red in my closet. Does it have anything to do with the fact that I'm a Badger? Hmmm.

4. I went out for cross country in middle school. I was in eighth grade so we had to run 1.5 miles. I quit after one season. I hated running long distances. But I was a hurdler through my freshman year. But I stopped because I used to get freaked out I'd hit my knee on the hurdle.

5. My brother is 4 1/2 years older than me. Who cares, right? Well, it means I have issues dating anyone older than my brother. Not sure what that means.

6. I tried living out of state away from my family. Graduated from college and got that whole, "I'm a big, independent adult" mentality. I moved to Indiana. Hated it. Moved back to Wisconsin after exactly 365 days. Not kidding.

7. I love flip flops. I wear them all summer long and only switch them out for my running/biking shoes. I wish shoemakers would come up with some kind of running flip flop. I'd be in heaven.

There we go. Seven, hopefully, random things that I haven't mentioned before. I hope you enjoyed. Now I'm supposed to tag 7 bloggy folks.

Mel at Tall Mom on the Run
Kristie at Vegan in Dairyland
Sarah at Chasing Iron
Lacey at Common Objects and Everyday Events
Runner Leana at Runner Leana
J at Morning Runner
Jess at Run Girl Run


And what do you think of tutus? Do you like 'em? If so, head on over to Tall Mom on the Run's blog. She's got a super cool tutu giveaway going on.

And if tutus are you're style, what about Road IDs? They're a good tool to have if you're heading out on the bike or for a run or any other activity where it's good to have identification on you. Head over to Tricia's blog where she's got a giveaway going.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Three Things Thursday

So many other bloggers do this, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon.

1. It's been a hellacious week at work. I'm working a second shift, but it always happens that I end up having to go in early a few of those days, so I end up working a split shift. And my days get broken up. And there isn't time to fit in a run or workout. And I get crabby. Add to it trying to fit two weeks of work into one week and I've been a slightly frazzled Badgergirl this week. And no runs? Kind of crabby. But I had a bit of time this afternoon, so I laced up the sneakers, threw on my new running duds and headed out the door. Three miles never felt so good.

2. I have an indoor triathlon coming up on Saturday. And I haven't stuck a toe in the pool since before Christmas. Oops. My Monday morning swim class is still meeting, but two weeks I was dealing with The Cold That Would Never End and this Monday I woke up with a nasty headache. Guess I'll just wing the 8 minute swim portion on Saturday.

3. That indoor triathlon is also my last race in my 20s. Sunday? I turn the big 3-0. Not sure how I feel about that yet. I'll let you know on Sunday.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm putting it out there: Half Marathon No. 2 is in my sights

So I spent some time this weekend bringing the ol' blog into the year 2010.

Added the Tall Mom 1,000+++ Mile Club logo. So it can act as a daily reminder of what I got myself into. And I'm a bit behind already, but I'm hoping the miles will start to add up as 2010 gets a bit older.

And I finally got rid of the 2009 race calendar. Figured those race days have come and gone and it's time to look forward to what's in store for me in 2010.

So what exactly is looming on the calendar for Badgergirl this year? Some local 5Ks and more triathlons. I'll be revisiting the scenes of the crime at High Cliff, Trek Women's and possibly push myself for the Olympic distance Oshkosh tri in August.

And that could be a good year. But I also uttered the words "half marathon" a few days ago. And a bunch of you took notice. So I guess it's time to fess up. Come clean.

I'm 99.9 percent sure I'm running the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon on May 16. The only thing that's holding me back? I haven't registered yet. But I intend to do it within the next few weeks.

I've done one half marathon in the past. Back in September 2007 just over a month before The Monster decided to invade my head. I wanted to tackle the half marathon distance again in 2008 but physically? I just wasn't up to it. I was weak. And stamina? Couldn't find that if my life depended on it. So I put my dreams of a second half marathon on hold. I hoped to do one in 2009, but while The Monster had been kicked out of my head, it was really a rebuilding year. Getting back into a groove with running. Trying to reclaim my love of running long distances. Heck, trying to run longer distances again - it took me until last summer to log my first 4-miler since The Monster. And anything resembling speed? It wasn't there. And I was OK with the idea that there would be no 13.1 mile distance for me in 2009. I focused on triathlons. And had a good summer.

As the year started to wind down, I started thinking about what I wanted to tackle in 2010. I knew I wanted to tackle the triathlons again. And make my half marathon return in September at the site of my first, and only, half marathon - Fox Cities.

But September is a long time away. And even the triathlons were a ways out - the first big one taking place in mid-June. And I started thinking. Well, the Oshkosh 5K? It's held at the same time as the Oshkosh half marathon. I could potentially skip the 5K and tack on an extra 10 miles. But it's in mid-April. Kind of early. And Oshkosh? Yes, I live here. But do I really want to make my half marathon return in a city where I run these streets daily? So I kept thinking. And my mind kept wandering to a city about 45 minutes north of here.

Green Bay.

And I liked the idea. It's a half marathon. It's in mid-May. That means most likely better weather, plus an extra month to train! It's a bigger race, so even if I'm super slow, I probably won't be the last runner to cross the finish line. And did I mention part of the last mile is run through Lambeau Field? Um, where do I sign up?

So I've made my decision. Green Bay it is. Now it's just time to start pounding the pavement and logging the miles. Wish me luck.


Looking for some kind of headband? Head over to Happy Runner Giveaways & Reviews for a great Bondi Band giveaway!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The weatherman lied. But I still ran.

It's not surprising, but weathermen are liars.

They've been telling me all week about this January thaw we're supposed to be having and how it was going to be in the upper 30s today. And sunny.

I wake up this morning. Cloudy. Hazy and 21 degrees.

So not going to do the run outdoors right away. So I packed a gym bag (with indoor and outdoor clothing) and headed out to get an oil change. Which turned into lunch and shopping with my Mom while the Quick lube people took their sweet time changing my car's oil.

But the shopping was productive. I had some Scheel's gift cards and Christmas cash burning a hole in my pocket and I found an illumiNITE jacket on sale that I really liked. I admit, up until I bought this jacket, I didn't really have a suitable jacket for running. Granted I don't run outside when it's below 30 degrees, but every so often it'd be nice to have a jacket. So I splurged. Spent my gift cards and money and bought myself a jacket. And it's even reflective, so maybe now I can try that whole running at night thing without having to worry about being run down by a passing vehicle in my sidewalk-less neighborhood.

Once the Quick lube people finished my oil change, I headed over to my parents' house. And since the sun had come out and the temperature had finally broken 30 degrees (we're talking maybe 31), I decided it was time to try out the new jacket and head out for a run.

In addition to the new jacket, I was also trying out my new North Face Impulse tee for the first time. A long-sleeve shirt (with thumb holes!) that I layered on top of another long-sleeved technical shirt.

My Mom - who has only seen me run in shorts and a T-shirt or tank top - said I looked like I was quite the runner decked out in the new outfit. So I grabbed my gloves and headed out.

And after making it to the end of the block and making the first turn I almost turned around and went back. Yes it was chilly, but I could handle that. The gusty wind (OK, OK, maybe more like a 10 mph wind)? That was kind of brutal. Felt like I was running in place. And it was cold.

Knowing I'd have to run straight into that wind on the last stretch back to my parents' house, I thought about cutting the run short, maybe 2 miles. But once I stopped running into the wind, it wasn't too bad. So I kept running. Took a wrong turn at one point and got a little lost in their subdivision (which features a lot of dead end type streets).

The run felt good. It was just shy of 4 miles and my legs felt a little frozen at the end. But it was nice to be able to get outside and log some miles rather than just running on a treadmill to nowhere. And the new jacket and shirt? Fabulous!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I just want to run outside!

Is it the weekend yet?

Not only because that means I get a few days off from work. But also because that means I just might be able to sneak in a run outdoors.

I admit, I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to outdoor winter running. The temperatures fall below 40 and I'm frightened to head outdoors. And it gets dark so early and with no sidewalks near my apartment? That means I'll run the risk of getting plowed down by a speeding driver if I run outside after work.

Not really my idea of a relaxing evening. So I stick to the treadmill.

It's not because I like the treadmill. I tolerate it. I'd rather be running outside, where my body chooses the pace rather than a motor and where the scenery changes and the time goes faster. But I'm a wuss when it comes to winter. It's cold. And snowy. And icy. And dark. So I stay indoors and log those miles on the treadmill. Miles to nowhere.

My last run outside was Dec. 22, when I did a short 2-mile run in the neighborhood by my office for the Winter Misery One Miler virtual race. Before that? It was the beginning of December, and that's only because the month started out unusually warm - seriously mid-40s on Dec. 1? Almost unheard of in Wisconsin.

But tonight, as I was hanging on the treadmill tonight for my 4-mile run, I kept thinking to myself. My next run will be outside. So excited.

We're in the middle of what weathermen are calling the January thaw. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 30s with sun. And since I won't be working on Saturday afternoon, I can head out in the sunshine an not have to worry as much about being hit by a car. And since it'll be warm, the ice and snow should have disappeared from the sidewalks.

One more day of work. And it's going to be a well-deserved rest day. And then it's Saturday and my first "long" run of the half marathon training schedule. Well, technically the second, but I missed last weekend's due to The Cold: Version 2.0.

And I promise, the half marathon post is coming soon!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I avoided the urge to slack

I see I've sparked a bit of interest in uttering the words half marathon. Don't worry, the promised half marathon post will be coming by the end of the weekend.

As for today? It was a long day at work. And when I finally got done, I was this close to skipping out on my plan to hit the YMCA.

The training calendar said today was just a cross training day. I can skip those. Right?

But I really didn't have an excuse. I wasn't tired. I wasn't hungry. The Badger game didn't tip off for another hour and a half. What was I going to do if I went home? Probably not much.

So I went to the YMCA. And since it was a cross training day, I was only planning on logging some miles on the bike. Even got dressed my capris that were shoved in my gym bag.

But I got upstairs. And even though it was 6 p.m. and the parking lot was full, there were all of these empty treadmills just staring at me. Calling my name.

I couldn't resist.

I snagged a TV-less treadmill and started to run. Since it was technically a non-running day, I wasn't going to run far but I kept it at a decent pace. I ended up finishing my 2 miles in 20 minutes - about a 10 minute per mile pace. Not bad for a spur of the moment run.

After I was done, I headed over to the bike and pedaled. Finished 8.5 miles in 30 minutes.

I was sweaty. And probably stinky. But I was happy. I didn't give in to the temptation to blow off the gym today. And I feel good about it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The cold: Version 2.0

Apparently the cold I had a week ago - the one that I thought was gone - was the variety that decides after leaving my body that it was pretty cozy and comes back for a return visit.

Yup. It was back.

It started with a small, nagging tickle in my throat on Saturday. And when I woke up on Sunday.


It felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck (again). Achy body. Stuffy nose. But the nose was still runny. Headache. Exactly like I felt before. But this time? There was more. This time it felt like there was a brick sitting And the cough which featured some great mucusy stuff that I coughed up.

Great times.

After waking up feeling like that, I threw plans to hit the gym out the window. I barely had enough energy to take down my Christmas tree. Mostly I stayed sacked out in my recliner, covered up in a blanket watching TV (that was a painful Packer game to watch for so many different reasons). And of course I kept myself drugged up on cold medicine.

I tried to make it swim class Monday morning, even set my alarm for 4:45. But when it started buzzing? I still felt awful. So I went back to sleep. Went to work. Came right home.

Today I felt better. Had some more energy. Didn't feel so bad. The cough (along with the phlegm I'm coughing up) is still there, but it's not as bad.

So I hit the gym after work. Snuck in a quick 3-mile run on the treadmill (included some intervals and felt really good) and followed that up with a 5-mile cool down on the stationary bike. It's good to know I haven't completely blown off the first two weeks of half marathon training.

Did I just say half marathon training? Yes I did. That's a whole different post to come in the next few days.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thinking happy thoughts

Coming over to post on my blog reminds me I should really do some updating over on that right sidebar. It's no longer 2009 and I've got some tentative plans for a 2010 schedule. Maybe later this weekend.

I was right, my legs were screaming at me on Thursday after the crazy run/bike workout I did on Wednesday night. So I took the day off. And it's Friday today, I had intentions of heading over to the YMCA after work, but I got caught up in a project at work and was there later than I was hoping. And I was hungry. So I went home.

Tomorrow morning. Badgergirl and the treadmill? We've got a date. And this time our meeting will be done before the Badgers try to hand Purdue its first loss of the season.

So with no running or biking news to report, I give you a list. Lacey tagged me and asked me to list 10 things that make me happy. Weekends make me happy (and I'll try not to include that on the list, or else I'll make it No. 11), so the timing is appropriate.

Ten things that make me happy....

1. Curling up in my recliner with my blanket and a good book.
2. Warm, hot showers
3. Crawling into bed with freshly washed sheets
4. Macaroni and cheese
5. Hugs from The Rugrats
6. The lake
7. Badger victories
8. Family get togethers
9. A good run
10. The outdoors after a fresh snowfall
11. Weekends (I couldn't help it)

I'm supposed to tag some folks. I'm not sure who's already done it so if you're up for the challenge and want to let us know what makes you happy, tag, you're it!


And for those of you looking to score some sweet schwag without having to enter a race, head on over to Running Circles Around Turtles for a spiffy giveaway!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Badger loss leaves me with screaming legs

I think my legs are going to hate me in the morning.

And I blame it on a college basketball game.

The Badgers were playing Michigan State tonight. And the game was on TV, but since I don't have cable, I can't watch the Big Ten Network at my house. Tip-off was at 5:30, right as I was finishing up at work, so my plan was to head over to the YMCA and park myself on a treadmill or bike, get my workout in and watch the game.

Sounded like a great plan.

I got to the gym and by the time I got upstairs and snagged a treadmill, there was about 5 minutes gone in the first half. I started running. I kept it at an easy pace. But then an idea hit me. Commercial breaks. Why don't I bump the speed up during the commercial break? Call it intervals?

So I did. I was taking it easy during most of the run, setting the treadmill speed at 5.6 or 5.7mph, but during the commercial breaks I jacked the speed up to 6.5mph (hey, it's fast for me). At just over 2 minutes, I pounded out a quarter-mile during those commercial breaks. I did this every three-quarters of a mile during the first three miles of my run.

Then I had to switch treadmills.

I kept running though. Another 2.5 miles and kept throwing in those intervals, but this time I kept the speed at 6.5 mph for a half-mile. And by that last interval, when I was nearing the 5.5 mile mark? Torture. But I finished. and then walked a bit.

So my hour on the treadmill was done, but there was still 15 minutes of basketball left to be played. And since the game was still close, I headed over to a stationary bike and pedaled for 20 minutes. My legs were kind of starting to grumble, but I wasn't going to miss the end of the game.

Finished up the bike with about 5 minutes left in the game and headed down to the locker room to grab my stuff. Listened to the last minutes of the game on the radio in the car on the way home.

The Badgers lost. Sight. Although it was close to the last seconds. And the legs? They're starting to grumble a bit louder. By tomorrow morning I have a feeling they'll be screaming.

It was worth it though.

Monday, January 4, 2010

First run of the new year, complete with a cold

I started the New Year off on a fantastic note.


Looking back, I've probably been getting sick for about the last week. I've been super tired. Kind of achy. But I didn't think anything of it. I attributed it all to working a funky schedule last week. On New Year's Eve? The nasty cold that's been going around started to hit me. But it was New Year's Eve. I couldn't just stay home.

So I went to work. And then I went out with friends that night. Had my fair share of wine and champagne.

And woke up New Year's Day feeling like I had just been run over by a dump truck. And it wasn't because of a hangover.

Stuffy head. Runny nose. Tired.

And I still had family things to do that day. It was rough. And kind of miserable. But I was a trooper. Showed up at the family function. Pretended that I didn't feel like just crawling into bed.

So I spent the first few days of 2010 trying to feel better. Drugging myself with cold medicine and drinking orange juice. I think I've probably gone through a box of Kleenex, so the nose is a bit tender (amazing how you're nose can be super stuffy yet continuously run).

I skipped the first swim class of 2010 this morning. Decided it might be better to sleep in rather than get up at 4:45 a.m. I went to work though, drugged myself up with cold medicine and was actually feeling a little bit better when it was time to go home tonight. And since I had a few things on my mind, I thought a run would be good. Help me clear my head.

I wasn't planning on go far, or fast. But I snagged a treadmill at the YMCA and started to run. Actually felt pretty decent. Ended up with a 4.4 mile run and kept notching up the speed every half mile.

Considering how I've been feeling the past few days, it was a pretty decent first run of the new decade.

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's time to make resolutions. Or plans. Or something.

With the beginning of the new year, it's time to set some resolutions. Or set goals. Or make plans.

How about, decide what I want to do in 2010?

I've given it a bit of thought. 365 days is a long time. I could do a lot of stuff. It could potentially be a good year. And it all depends on what I decide right now. No pressure or anything. So here they are, my 2010 resolutions/goals/plans/decisions:

  • Travel. I thought about it and I never left the state of Wisconsin in 2009. I was close - I could see the state of Minnesota from Granddad's Bluff when I was in La Crosse and got as close an Interstate exit away from Illinois in July. But I never left Wisconsin. Kind of sad. This year I will leave the Badger State, even if it's just briefly.
  • I need to find a niche. A group where I fit in. Might be the bike club in town. Or the triathlon club. Or even the running club. But I need to find some of those other people in this area that want to tackle the things I do and don't look at me like I'm crazy.
  • Read 40 books. This has become pretty standard for me. I've surpassed it in the past, but just missed it in 2009.
  • Get rid of those last pesky 10 pounds left over from The Monster medication.
  • Push myself to produce a piece of work that I'm incredibly proud of. I've got the chance, the multi-month project is already in the works and I'm ready to begin it.
  • Still working on shaving some more minutes off that 5K time. Aiming for a 30 minute 5K by the end of 2010.
  • Tackle the half marathon distance again.
  • Push myself and aim for a season-ending Olympic triathlon.
  • Run 750 miles in 2010.
  • Bike 1,000 miles in 2010.
  • Become consistent with the weight training.
  • Keep on swimming.
I haven't completely finalized a 2010 race schedule, but here's what I'm toying with:

Indoor triathlons at the YMCA (Jan. 23 and March 6)
Oshkosh 5K (April 18)
Green Bay Half Marathon (May 16)
High Cliff Sprint Triathlon (June 19)
Firecracker 5K (July 4)
Trek Women's Triathlon (July 11)
Scheel's Sunset Run (July)
Oshkosh Olympic Triathlon (Aug. 8)
Fox Cities Half Marathon (Sept. 19)
Freaky 5K (October)
Santa Scamper (November)
Turkey Trot (November)

Most of those are repeat events, although the Green Bay Half Marathon is new. It would be half marathon No. 2, and I couldn't pass up the chance to run through Lambeau Field. No registration fees have been paid yet, but I'm 90 percent sure I'll be doing it. I'll let you all know when I make the final decision!

So there you have it. My resolutions. Or goals. Or plans. Whatever you want to call them. I'll let you know how they turn out in a year.