Friday, December 30, 2011

Dream big

^Juno quote. Obvi.

So... another goal I've seen floating around the interwebs is a mileage based one, i.e. run XXXX miles this year. I thought about what that would mean for me and how having a mileage based goal would affect my mental health and physical health versus the more touchy feeling goals I set up yesterday. I'm thinking a reasonable goal would be 1000 miles in 2012, which is less than 20 miles/week.

Pros:
-I'll have something quantifiable, and with an average per week that I need to maintain, I'll easily know whether I'm on my way to achieving my goal (p.s. I write "foal" everytime I attempt to type foal goal. I like to imagine myself "achieving" a baby horse... I could totally care for a pony)

He's so widdle. Wuv.

-This will fit in nicely with my training for many events schedule that I have going on.
-Will encourage me to track my running and maybe see patterns in training frequency/race performance
-Probably not a bad idea to keep me in my happy weight range

Cons:
-Stressssss of having a concrete goal. I got all grumpy and tended to rebel against the Marathon Training Schedule Gods, insisting I knew better than they did when training for Marine Corps, e.g. "20 miles doesn't feel right today. I'll stop at 16 and listen to my body." I fear the same would happen if I had "run 20 miles this week" as a goal.
-Potential for injuries may increase. I am, at most, a 4x/week runner. Requiring that each of those runs is at least 5 miles seems....a little much?
-Not a lot of flexibility with vacations, weird work schedules, etc.
-Not a lot of flexibility with cross training, especially considering I'll be doing tri training in 2012 (maybe I could make a stipulation, just asterisk my mileage by having swimming miles count double, 1 swim ~= 2 run, and biking miles reverse of that, 4 biked = 1 run?). Gah, complicated.
-I hate tracking things, and since I don't use my garmin for every run, I'll need to have a spreadsheet or something to track this... ick.
-Other weird quantification problems- if I walk 5 miles with my mom, do I count it? How about an intense hike with Nick? CONFUSION!

!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah. i don't want to formally commit to 1000 miles in 2012, although I think it is definitely doable, so... let's just do it. Suck it up. It's on. I'll come up with some parameters for myself regarding swimming/biking mileage as well so I know how flexible I can be with my running miles.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012

Everyone else in the blog world is doing it, so I thought I would as well. Here's some 2012 plans/goals.

1. Another marathon? Why the hell not. I don't have a race picked out yet, but I would really like to do the MCM (October 28) again. Loved it.

2. Keep racking up 5K PR's (currently 27:44, which is 8:55/mile, would like that to be 8:50/mile? or less!)

3. Triathlon(s). I did a sprint tri in 2010 and it was great. I know cross training is good for me and makes me happy, so I think at least another sprint tri to work out triathlon kinks would be good, followed by an Olympic triathlon late in the summer. Again, I don't have races picked out yet, but I am looking at the Nation's Tri in September for the Olympic distance and maybe the Rock Hall Sprint in June? Why are triathlons so expensive :(

4. One or more half marathons. Nick has said he'd like to do one with me, so it would be nice to find one, maybe early summer, that works for both of us. Maybe the Frederick half on May 6? Or Marine Corps historic Half in late May. There are lots of races that time of year.

If I do all of these, my race schedule would be:
May: Half
June: Sprint tri
July/August: 5K's?
September: Olympic Tri
October: Marathon

Umm... we'll see?

5. Eat "better," consistently. I know I feel better when I eat whole foods, and my pants definitely like me more when I do. I don't want to miss out on fun stuff or good food, so I'm not going to drastically change anything, but I would like to use better control over the random crap I put in my body, like diet soda (which lately I have only had mixed with booze... better or worse for me? ) and the steady flow of candy. Just because it's in my boss's office doesn't mean it needs to be eaten by me. That is what this Christmas taught me.

6. Have weekly or monthly fitness/eating goals. Just to keep consistency in working out, especially since I'll be in totally crazy work schedule mode starting on February 5 and continuing until at least April 5. Yuck.

And here's some week old pics of my Christmas present wrapping, and bows I was particularly proud of. First is an ingenious re-use of some hair ribbon that I bought a couple years ago to go to a Virginia tech football game. The wrapping paper I used was antique-y gold, green and burgundy, so I combined the maroon with a gold bow and it was pretty.


Second is what I call the sea anemone. I had bits of leftover green curling ribbon that, when cut into short pieces, turned into a neat swirl without needing any curl. Slap a couple pre-made bows on that and you're done!
Maybe I should turn off my flash in the future? Or maybe just keep blinding people with poor picture quality. I'll go with that.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Weird Wednesday

Today feels so weird, although since this is my sixth week in a row not working a full week, I suppose I should be used to it? Waking up at 5:30 just never really gets easy...

Christmas recap: After some last minute present wrapping, on Christmas Eve, Nick, my parents and I went to see lights at Watkins Regional Park in Prince George's County. It is a nice, chill light festival that you drive through. There's a ton of lights, and it is entertaining even though we're all adults. Then my family went to a rather disappointing IHOP dinner. Long story short, they screwed up the hash browns so many times, I ate three servings. I don't know how that's IHOP's fault, but it is!

Christmas day was wonderful. I spent the morning being lazy with Nick and opening our presents. I got the Brooks jacket I mentioned a while back on my blog, as well as a North Face jacket, some scented lotions, a gift card, and EGGIES. I am a hard boiled egg fiend, and I currently use something like this:


It is very easy and mindless (just stick them in, and it'll shut off on its own when the eggs are cooked), but ask my parents and they will tell you, I am not a happy camper peeling an egg in the morning and tearing the thing to pieces because the shell sticks. Enter: Eggies. I'll let you know if they are in fact as life changing as the commercials claim. I'm optimistic!

We then headed to my parents house where I got so so many gifts, including the Mia by Clarisonic. Yet another product that gets rave reviews that I had dreamed of getting, and now I have it! I have not used it but I am very excited for the potential after reading the reviews. I also got a super gorgeous bracelet that I wore all weekend. Love it.

After presents, we lazed about (notice a theme?), played with toys, and had dinner. My dad made awesome roasted brussel sprouts that even Nick admitted he didn't hate. Yum. We then went and saw Mission Impossible 3, which was alright even though spy/international intrigue/arms dealer movies tend to get me all turned around. Lame.

My final Christmas was yesterday, in New Jersey with Nick's family. I got to play with his nieces (there are 3 who are blood relatives and one who sister's boyfriend's child... 4 little girls under the age of 5) and got a food processor that I'm pretty excited about.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend with Nick, my family, and his family... now to make it through 3 workdays and have another 3 day weekend. Life is hard :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Anemiupdate

I got to see Kim last night!! Yay! She asked me about how the anemia thing is going, and that reminded me that I haven't talked about it in a while.

Since November 11, I have been taking iron supplements.

yum... iron-y goodness. 6 times a day.

That's almost 6 weeks! Chatter on the internet says that you should feel "better"ish after a pretty short period of time taking them. After Kim asked me about how I was feeling, I started to really think about whether anything changed. Let's look at some iron deficiency anemia symptoms from Mayo Clinic:
Iron deficiency anemia symptoms may include:
  • Extreme fatigue (had this... still sort of have it)
  • Pale skin (ummm... some iron supplements will not make my heritage less Western European, but it's worth a shot)
  • Weakness (don't really think I ever had this)
  • Shortness of breath (maybe a little better? running feels about the same)
  • Headache (still headache-y, but not more than usual)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness (still get lightheaded when I stand, but that might be lessening? I don't feel nearly as bothered by it as I was before!!)
  • Cold hands and feet (again, this is a lifelong thing that cannot be changed by 6 wee pills a day)
  • Irritability (haha... ask my family and Nick ;) )
  • Inflammation or soreness of your tongue (never had this)
  • Brittle nails (always had these. assume i always will)
  • Fast heartbeat (I had only noticed this a few times, and I, luckily, have not experienced it lately)
  • Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch (never really been a dirt eater, and my normal ice fondness remains)
  • Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia (yeah right. poor appetite has never been a problem :) )
  • An uncomfortable tingling or crawling feeling in your legs (restless legs syndrome) (YESSS. I was thinking about this while trying to sleep last night and I feel WAY better)

Ok.. let's talk about the restless legs. I've had it in varying degrees of awfulness off and on for years (does that mean I've been anemic off and on for years? Maybe?). It was pretty horrible at times, especially considering I'm pretty bad at falling asleep regardless of whether I have the RLS going on or not. On the nights that it was really bad, I would lay in bed for upwards of 90 minutes, just being grumpy and twitchy. It seemed to be the worst in recent memory this summer, when I was running more, and I got upset that running seemed to make my legs so miserable. Last night, I pondered this and realized I haven't been kept awake by my legs lately, at least not noticeably. There are lots of changes in my life that might affect this, like the cruise and being more active so just being more tired all around, thus maybe falling asleep more easily. I don't want to get all excited and say I'm over the RLS, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

As part of operation: look less like I ate cruise food and drank wine for 10 days straight, yesterday's treadmill run was: 0.5 miles increasing every 0.1 from 5.0, then 0.5 increasing from 5.1, then 1.5 increasing from 5.2, then 0.5 increasing from 5.3, 0.5 increasing from 5.4, and 1.0 increasing from 5.5, plus a big jump to about 7.0 at the end. Money. Then I did some lifting and ab/back work that I am already feeling (side lift things, 2 x 20 both sides w 10 lb weight, back raise things, 2 x 20 with weight, 2 x 20 bicycles and leg lifts, lat pull down things, 2 x 8 with 80 lbs, chest presses, 2 x 7 with 70 lbs). My core is sore, as is my chest. basically sore from hips to shoulders... and the delayed onset soreness isn't ever here yet. Yikes!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You want randomness?

You got it!

-I had a work lunch today at about 11am and had potato salad, some baked beans (meatless, I hope), and a roll. And 3 half cookies, none of which were very good. Boo wasted calories. Now it's coming up on 2:30 and I'm starving, but want my tummy to be settled to run at 3. I know, first world problems.

-I was going to run yesterday with Nick (for the first time really since the last week of November, yikes) but we both had late lunches/were feeling tired so we lazed on the couch and went out for Mexican instead. Basically the same thing, right?

-I talk of wasted calories because although the scale says I haven't gained any weight, I feel and look like I have.. at least in my head. I feel all poofy and bloaty all the time.

-I made these delicious cream cheese cookies and allspice cream cheese frosting on Sunday night, and then at 4 that night and 4 the next day... plus snacks galore from my parents house (my mom has the best candy and puts it in this adorable Christmas tree dish thing that I can't seem to find online). Umm no wonder I'm feeling puffy.

-I went on a 10 day cruise since I last wrote... that's kind of a big deal! here's the rundown:
    Drive down: great!
    Cruise: meh!
    Islands (Antigua, St. Kitts, Tortola (that name sounds so made up to me...), Barbados, St. Maarten and  Dominican Republic. 6 islands total.): great!
    Drive back: major meh!

-I get seasick. Shouldn't be surprised by this, but I am.

-Here's some pics, including ones from a ridiculous hike that Nick and I did with another couple:


Beginning of drive down.

Marigot, the French capital of St. Maarten. Delicious Nutella crepe, amazing fries, and nice French people.

During the "Pub Hop," aka I drank more fruity drinks in 10 days than I have in my whole life

Me mimicking a rock in Tortoal. I was inverted, thus why I look so uncomfortable. And white.

The top of the dormant volcano we hiked in St. Kitts. Super amazing!!!!!
During hike on St. Kitts... This is a ficus tree. Little bit different than our dinky office ficus trees.

Being accosted by monkeys in St. Kitts


Another shot from the top of the volcano.

$5 pizza delivered wherever you are on the ship, any time of day! yes please!

Our ship!

Nick and me getting toasty in Tortola



Virgin Gorda baths in Tortola

-Some other highlights: trivia, karaoke, comedians, Dancing With the Stars, White Hot Party, boxed wine, 6!, Atlas Shrugged via headphones, and so much more... so thankful I got to go on the cruise, even if my tummy was upset.