2014 Running Resolutions – Round UP

A few hours ago, I ran my last mile of 2014! Then I ate my last burrito of the year, and now the final blog post. We’re having a pretty low key new year’s over here: just some relaxing on the couch, catching up on the walking dead, and plowing through episodes of buffy the vampire slayer. Can you think of a better way to ring in the new year? I really can’t. Although, one of these days I would like to find a race that starts at 11:45pm, so I can run right into the next year. Anyone else interested in this, or is it just me?

2014-12-31 17.44.00These feet have run their last 2014 mile.

Now, time for some administrative detail, aka: the last time you have to hear me yapping about 2014 resolutions! One thing I think I learned this year is that keeping monthly tabs on my resolutions is a bit excessive. For 2015, I’ll give less frequent check-ins, but more on that later…like, when I get around to a resolution post. All in good time, folks.

Let’s hop back to my list of resolutions, taken directly from my original post about it way back in january.

Amy’s 2014 Running Goals and Resolutions

 1.) Complete a 1/2 Marathon in Under 2 Hours – DONE! This is the first one I knocked off the list back in April. I put in a LOT of work for this one, and it was awesome, and hard, and so worth it!

IMG_20140427_110829_531

2.) Keep up with my Running Blog – DONE! I’d say I get a big fat A on this one! Specifically, I wanted to post regularly, and also follow and comment on other blogs. I totally did both.

 3.) Run a Marathon – I spent more than half a year deciding whether or not I wanted to do it, and then DONE! Training was good, but man was the race a rough one. I didn’t hit any of the time goals I set (even the “easy” ones), but hey done is done, right?

IMG_20141026_140418799

 4.) Keep a Running Journal – I tried. I hated it. DONE!

5.) Join a Running Club – NOPE. I made an effort at this one, but then I backed out. How antisocial is it to not join a running club because I think I’ll probably move away in the next year, so I don’t want to bother meeting new people? That sounds bad, doesn’t it? It’s totally on the list though, for when I do move, and want to meet new people in my new place.

6.) VolunteerDONE! And it was kind of fun. If another opportunity presents itself; I’d do it again. I’ll need to find some more free time first, though.

 7.) Run 2014! (kilometers, that is) – NOPE…not even close really. Even when I lowered my goal from 1250 miles to 1000, I still couldn’t quite muster it. But, I knew this one was a bit of a stretch to begin with, so I’ll take my 950+ miles with a smile. 🙂

 8.) Beat Jeff’s 5k PR NOPE. I didn’t do any 5k specific training, but last year, I got faster anyways. I guess now that I’m 30, that doesn’t happen anymore. haha! Next year though…5k, I’m coming for you!

All in all, not too bad!

How’d you do on your 2014 list? Chances are, I already know…I swear, I’ve read a million 2014 resolution wrap-up posts! For those of you haven’t written one, but plan to, I look forward to reading it!

Cheers! 

 

Its the MOST wonderful time of the year: Scavenger Hunt Recap

This past week has gone so fast! Jeff and I spent Christmas in Buffalo with my family, and although there was no snow (in Buffalo! for Christmas! Can you imagine?) it was still pretty easy to get in the Christmas spirit. I’d been ramping up all week with the Christmas Scavenger Hunt, and spending several days with family brought it all together. I didn’t get a ton of miles in (one per day to be exact, just to keep the holiday streak alive), but I did get some “cross training” at our annual family bowling competition. Unfortunately, I was unable to defend my title, and the Rudolph Cup has a new home for 2015.

2014-12-26 16.58.10Handing the trophy off to the new champ!

Now, speaking of the scavenger hunt, I said I was giving myself through the New Year to find everything on the list, but I feel like I’ve had enough time, so I’m calling it. Feel free to keep searching, if you’ve decided to play along!

I was looking for 8 items (some holiday in nature, and some tricky ones to keep me on my toes.) And here’s how I did:

SNOW

2014-12-24 16.38.20So lame. But, it’s still snow.

A CHRISTMAS TREE

2014-12-22 18.57.53

A HOLIDAY CHARACTER

2014-12-24 16.41.12Santa in his RV. Yeah, I don’t know either.

 A SNOWMAN

2014-12-24 16.35.10

A DECORATED HOUSE

2014-12-22 18.51.53So Awesome.

 AN OUT OF SEASON DECORATION

2014-12-24 16.33.46Someone forgot to peel the witch off their tree!

 SOMEONE WEARING SHORTS OR SANDALS

2014-12-24 16.44.40Yeah, that’s me, big ol’ cheater.

I did not find a runner wearing red or green. I didn’t actually see another runner at all. I’m sure they were there, but I mostly only ran a single mile at a time, so that didn’t give me much time to see anyone else. I could have worn red or green myself, but I thought I should probably only count myself for one item. 🙂

All in all, not too bad. Getting back to scavenger hunting was pretty fun, too.

Did you have a good holiday? Find any items on the Scavenger Hunt List? 

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

If you’ve been running outside lately, I’m sure you’ve noticed that “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!” But just in case you haven’t noticed, it’s time to get your eyes off your running watch, and start looking around! Because Kristen from Run Away With Me and I are sponsoring (aka: we made up) a Holiday Running Scavenger Hunt!!!  (Try to contain your excitement.)

Since we both had a blast creating and participating in Running Scavenger Hunts this summer/fall, and are huge fans of the Christmas Season we joined up to bring you the VERY MERRIEST RUNNING SCAVENGER HUNT LIST!

ChristmasHuntList

 

Kristen and I will both be searching for these 8 items on our runs this week, and we’d love for you all to join us. So, bundle yourself up in multiple layers, hats, and mittens, and strap on your studded running shoes, and head out the door! (Unless you live in a warm climate…in which case, you can spend much less time gearing up.)

Feel free to let us know what you’ve found in the comments section of this post (or her corresponding post), OR create your very own post to show off pictures of what you’ve found.  I’m giving myself through New Year’s day to find these items, and then I’ll post my results.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hunting!

 

Race Recap: Solstice Sprint 5k Virtual Race

I’m a little behind on the race recaps. I want to get one up for the Turkey Trot I ran on Thanksgiving and also the Reindeer Run I did the week after that, but I ran a Virtual 5k TODAY, so I’m more inclined to write about that one right now. Chronological order isn’t really that important, is it? 

My plan for today was to run a hanukkah race that I ran last year called the Run-a-Latke 5k. The race was fun and had the best post race food I had ever eaten, and I was looking forward to running it again this year. But, at the last minute I decided not to sign up. I had hoped to run the race with Jeff and his sisters, but he’s been sitting out due to a knee problem, and with all the craziness of this time of year his sisters were both busy. While I originally planned to just run it alone, I opted not to because it’s a very family oriented race and I thought I’d feel weird being a loner. Plus after several busy weeks, not having any plans was sounding real nice. Luckily, as I was reading through my favorite running blogs last night, I was reminded that Kristen over at Run Away With Me was hosting a Virtual 5k the very next day! (today!) It couldn’t have been more perfect timing. 🙂

I got up this morning around 7 to celebrate Amy Christmas with Jeff. We always celebrate early because we travel for the holiday. I get to open presents early, I love it! (note: I give Jeff hanukkah gifts and one christmas gift, he gives me christmas gifts and one hanukkah gifts). He really outdid himself this year…I got a selk’bag! So, after opening gifts I sat around on the couch in my bag, reading blogs.

2014-12-21 07.48.53

Its a miracle I ever got up!

 

 

After printing my race bib and having a nutritious breakfast of a banana and some cherry coke zero, I was eventually able to get out of my bag and into some running clothes. I dug out the hole punch and some safety pins and attached my bib before heading out the door. I felt a little silly wearing a bib out on a solo run around the neighborhood, but in all honesty, I’m sure it’s not the strangest thing I’ve worn running.

2014-12-21 09.36.29

Race ready!

 

 

On my way out the door, Jeff asked if I was going to try and PR and I immediately said no. I was expecting a virtual race to be fun, but not really “race-y”, so I had no real intentions to treat it like a real race. But by the time I was standing outside waiting for a GPS signal, I had completely changed my mind. Even though I wasn’t going for a PR (I’m not really in shape for that), I decided to push just as hard as I would in a normal race.

When I had a signal on my watch, I quickly crossed the street, pressed the button and was off!  In typical racing fashion, I took off like a bat outta hell, and was struggling before I even hit the quarter mile mark…right on! The slight climb at the beginning of the run ended up being a blessing because it forced me to slow down and not be a crazy person before I’d done any damage.

The first mile flew by pretty quickly, with only a short stop at one intersection to wait for a light. Unfortunately, my watch lost it’s signal at some point and I hit the one mile mark (on my watch) before the actual one mile mark (that I know from landmarks). I took note of my actual one mile time: 8:34/mile, so I could add on a little extra for my official time.

Mile two was quite a bit more difficult than mile 1 as it included several hills. The first hill ends at a stoplight and I was really looking forward to taking a quick breather while waiting to cross. Unfortunately Lucky for me there were no cars around to force me to stop.

2014-08-30 09.47.52

Summer photo…same hills.

Why on earth I’d chosen a hilly route when I get to pick the course is beyond me, but that’s what I did, at least for mile 2. At least I got to enjoy some downhills along with all the up, and my mile time, while slower than the first mile, was still under 9 min/mile (8:59/mile to be exact!)

Going into mile 3, I was really feeling it. My “winter running streak” legs were probably wondering what I’d gotten them into. They haven’t felt fresh and bouncy in at least a week, and now I was asking them to sprint it out to the finish! In a a race with no one else around, no less.

I slowed a bit early in the mile due to some walkers taking up the entire sidewalk, and then had a short downhill. Although, I was initially annoyed that these people were taking up the whole sidewalk as I thundered toward them gasping for breath, it was probably a good little break before starting the final climb – a gentle incline about half a mile long. If I had been doing a regular run, I would have absolutely, no question about it, stopped on that last hill. But, by golly, this was the Solstice Sprint 5k, and even though I couldn’t see them I knew there were other people racing. So I thought about that to distract myself, and kept running until I hit 3.1 miles!

2014-12-21 10.12.37

The pole on the left there ended up being my finish line. Where’s the party?

My 3rd mile rang in under 9 min/mile, too although I don’t remember exactly what it was, I’d have to check my watch. And my finishing time clocked in at 26:29. Because my first mile was off, I’m recalculating that to add in the extra time it took to hit the one mile marker, leaving me with a finishing time of 27:07! 

2014-12-21 10.13.07

The best picture I’ve taken of my watch, ever.

 

Not bad! I was very pleased with my time, and really enjoyed my first experience at a virtual race. It was cool watching twitter all day and seeing some other people finishing the race as well, and I was pleasently surprised how race-like the run felt even though it was just a solo jaunt through the neighborhood. Thanks Kristen for putting it on!

2014-12-21 10.13.30

Happy Racer!

Have you ever done a virtual race – what did you think? Are you going to run out and buy a person shaped bag to lounge around in? I highly recommend it. 

 

 

 

Remember me?

Oh hello, there! It’s been a busy couple of weeks over here in Amy land. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and December is getting off to a good start (err…first half?).  Things are going pretty good here, both in terms of running and life in general. I’d love to get you all caught up, and I promise I will eventually, but right now…I was tapped for a Liebster award!

liebster

 

It’s been making the rounds, so I’m sure you know what it’s all about. If not here’s the gist: an awesome blogger nominates you (in my case it was the fantastic Sweaty Mess), you answer the questions they ask, then you nominate some other awesome bloggers, and give them questions to answer. Easy peesy!

Now, I should probably answer all 15 questions I was asked, but I’m short on time (theme of my life lately), so I’ll just answer whatever I can before it’s time to go to bed.

1) What is my current health related goal?

The Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak!

2) What is my biggest irrational fear?

Vomit. I know that no one likes vomit/vomiting, but I’m afraid of it the way other people are afraid of spiders, heights, the dark. And, I don’t mean germaphobia here (that’s another fear I have, but I don’t think that one’s irrational).

3) Do I enjoy wrapping presents?

For about 5 minutes. It gets tedious, real fast.

4) What’s my favorite cross training activity?

None. I only like running. I would say snow shoeing, except I probably have to do an activity more than twice a year for it to count.

IMG_20140208_101946_978

Look I’m cross training!

5) I have 2 weeks off work and 2 round trip plane tickets to ANYWHERE. Where would you go and who would you take?

I’d go to New Zealand/Australia w/ Jeff for 10 of those days, and hang around the house doing nothing for the remaining 4.

6) Okay so I HAVE to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant would I choose and what do I order?

Ha….you make it sound like I don’t eat fast food burritos at least once a week and LOVE IT! Anyways, I’d pick Chipotle – burrito bowl w/ white rice, black beans, and sofritas, topped w/ corn salsa and cheese (no guac. it costs an outrageous $2.00!)

7) Share a pic of myself in non-workout clothes.

IMG_20140118_144609_596

You were looking for something nicer, weren’t you?

8) If I could choose to have a ‘do over’and switch careers, what would I choose and why?

I just did a do over…I’m a former engineer, one month into my career as an actuary. And why? Well, we don’t have time to get into all that.

9) What do I want for Christmas?

A relaxing day with my family.


Now, time to nominate some other bloggers! I’m sure some (if not all) of you have been nominated before, but well…not by me! And, if you’re not on the list but want to answer some questions, please join in!

And, here are the questions I want you to answer. Only 5, because it’s bed time. 🙂

  1. Do you speak a foreign language? If so, how do you say “I love to run!”? If not, which language would you like to learn?
  2. What’s your least favorite household chore?
  3. Do you enjoy running when you can do whatever you like, or do you prefer to have a training plan?
  4. Share a favorite holiday tradition you have.
  5. What was the first job you ever had?

Have fun!