Friday, December 31, 2010

Surprise! Another Indulgent Year End Recap

It's that time of year where everyone recaps all the good and bad things that happened in the past year. Lots of over analyzing occurs and people set goals and resolutions. I'd like to say I'm immune to such frivolity but, alas, I am not. I will try to make this quick and painless for all, hitting on the things I am most proud of and excited about. So here goes!

In 2010 I...
  • ran my first half marathon.
  • was 4th overall female in a 5k trail race.
  • ran my first marathon.
  • ran 1,061.2 miles
  • started working towards living a minimalist lifestyle by clearing out my home and wardrobe.
  • started crocheting again with a passion.
  • made lots of new running friends that I adore!

For 2011 I want to...

  • concentrate on the half marathon distance for the spring.
  • run Medoc Trail Marathon again.
  • run 1,300-1,500 miles.
  • continue on my minimalist lifestyle journey.
  • learn to crochet good enough that I can set up an Etsy shop.
  • make even more great running friends and keep the existing ones close to my heart.

My biggest wish for the new year is that my good friend finally gets the family she wants. If only one thing could go my way in 2011 that would be the one thing I would ask for!

Happy New Year to you and yours! May you all be graced with love, good health, and happiness in 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Running Wrap Up

I am happy to report that my running has been good this past week. I managed to run 5 days! I rarely ever do that. Most of the time I feel my body just can't do it. That must be a sign that physical therapy is working. I'm not 100% yet but I'm feeling stronger than I have in a long time.

Christmas Eve the hubby and I got to trail run together. We went for a run with the Carolina Trail Runners Meet Up group at Crowders Mountain. My friends Kay and Laura came along. Laura dragged her hubby along as well. Kay put everyone up to the challenge of wearing festive attire. Apparently only us ladies were in the festive spirit. We have no qualms about looking goofy out in public.

We ran to the top of Kings Pinnacle where we all took photos and enjoyed the beautiful clear view of the surrounding land. This is the first time that the air was clear enough for me to see the city of Charlotte's skyline. I got my hair bows caught on some branches while up there and couldn't seem to free myself. Luckily Kay managed to save me from hanging myself by bow. Thank goodness for friends! After our rest and photo ops we ran back down as fast as possible. I admit running up that pinnacle is painful but it's so worth it to run back down like a streak of lightning. After 5 miles of running we enjoyed some well earned snacks and good conversation. I'm looking forward to more group runs with them. It was a great way to start off the days festivities!

Christmas night it started to snow here. I was hoping the roads in the morning would be nice enough to hit the trails. When I first got up they looked good but by 8am there was a covering of slush so I decided to brave the roads for my long run. It's been a long time since I've done any long mileage on roads so I was worried more about that than the conditions.

I bundled up and I strapped on a pair of trail shoes so I'd have good traction on the snow and slush. I also filled up my new Nathan 22oz handheld water bottle that Santa brought me so I could test it out even though I was pretty sure my 10 oz would have sufficed. It was snowing when I left and it snowed the whole run. It was absolutely gorgeous! The snow made running on the road so much more tolerable and entertaining. My body held out nicely. I first committed myself to at least three miles. Then a six mile commitment. Then nine and finally to ten miles! I was thrilled with my run and pace considering the conditions and that I'm not used to running long on roads! As much as I hate to admit it, I really need to do more long runs on asphalt, maybe once a month. I think it would be good for leg endurance since there are no walk breaks built in like on trails with the super steep long hills that demand walk breaks.

All in all it was an awesome week. I hope I can start the new year of running off as strong as last week's running. I hope everyone else had a great holiday week of running!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow Day!

This morning I went out for what I hoped to be a 12 mile run on one of my favorite trails. I got there by 9am with the intent on getting my run in before the rain/snow started in the afternoon. Even though it was a cold overcast day I saw several trail runners and lots of hikers out on the trail.

About 5 miles into my out and back adventure, as I was making my way up the final ascent to the top of the mountain before the pinnacle, I heard precipitation. What? It's not supposed to rain until later. Wait, that's too loud for rain! That's sleet! Time to put my windbreaker/rain jacket back on. When I got to my usual turn around I considered going down the other side of the mountain for an even 6 before turning around but decided with the sleet it was best to turn around at 5.5 miles. By 5.75 miles it was snowing!

It was so beautiful and unexpected. Big fluffy flakes mixed with sleet. I was really wishing for a visor at that point since I kept getting sleet in my eyes. I enjoyed my run back. Around 7 or 8 miles I was grinning from ear to ear. What fun! Most everyone I passed was loving the conditions. Well, except one hiker, but she seemed a naturally grumpy sort anyway. I'll admit by mile 10 I was over the slush because it made for terrible traction on top of the leaves going up hill, like spinning wheels. Had I known there would be slush I would have worn my La Sportiva Crosslites with the big lugs. I made it 11 miles and decided it was time to call it a day.

Thank goodness I brought my camera. What a great day for photos on the trail!

After the run, deflated pigtails and raw nose from wiping it constantly for 11 miles.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blog Slacking

Seems I've been a bit of a slacker here lately. Every day I've been telling myself I'd sit down and make a quick blog post. Yet, each day passes and my blog sits unkempt and lonely. I've also slacked on reading other people's blogs. I've been so wrapped up in other things that for the first time in a long time the computer is being ignored unless it is required for whatever project I'm wrapped up in.

Just a quick summary of what I've been doing during my blogging vacation:

  • PT- my right knee decided to join in the IT band fun so I finally broke down and sought some help. My PT is doing an awesome job tortur... uh, I mean fixing me. I've been spending two hours twice a week there. I'm happy to report that I am up to just over 10 miles with almost no issues. I still get achy in my left leg after a long run but it usually clears up after a day. Hopefully we'll get this fixed for long term!

  • I've been working running in where I can around all the PT. Which means I've been running some at night, a rare thing for me. It's not as bad as I thought.

  • I've been crocheting a lot. I've jumped in full force with learning to crochet better. I've made lots of presents this year. I'd love to be able to post pictures of all my cool projects but I don't want to spoil any body's presents. I can post a few since they aren't presents. I'm really loving the crocheting. It's so soothing to do. In true to me form, when discovering something I really enjoy, I have become obsessed with crochet!

  • I'm still in on the Project 333 fashion minimalist project.

I'll have to make a separate post on all that I have learned during Project 333 when I have more time. Now I need to go get bundled up for a running date in the freezing cold. I finally got my cooler weather, a bit too cool, but it beats slogging around in 90+ with high humidity.

A few of my craft projects.