Monday, November 14, 2011
I just registered for the annual Turkey Trot in Detroit, on Thanksgiving Day. Apparently this is a huge deal, they cut off registrations at 20,000 participants.
There are 3 races, the Mashed Potato Mile, The Stuffing Strut 5k and the Turkey Trot 10k. Costumes are encouraged. I registered for the Turkey Trot.
Because there are so many people they are having starting corrals this year. This is they first large race I've been in so I've never used a corral. The corrals, apparently, have names:
Comet (5-8 minute/mile pace); Blitzen (8-9:30); Dasher (9:30-11); Prancer (11+); Rudolph (walkers)
The website doesn't really explain exactly how to choose a corral. I expect to run an average pace of 9:45 over the total distance based on previous runs, which makes me Dasher. But I start out at a Blitzen pace for the first few miles.
So am I supposed to choose the reindeer based on how I will start so I am not trampling others who start slower and risk getting trampled myself (Comet & Blitzen start together & I will be at the slower end of the range)? Or choose the reindeer based on my total overall average pace and go for the trampling others option? With that many runners will it be really crowded for most of the distance or will we just sort of space ourselves out after the first bit of distance? If my costume includes a faux weapon can I use that to clear my path?
OK, I was just kidding about that last question.
I had to choose in order to register so I signed up as Blitzen. I figure I can unofficially attach myself to someone to pace off of when we start as I will run faster if I'm running "with" someone. And by the time I start to slow down into the Dasher pace the crowded will have eased somewhat. I'm hoping my assumptions are correct, but if needed I can probably just re-assign myself and go to the Dasher corral.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Today was the Big Bird Run in Roseville, MI. They do a 1 mile, a 4k and a 10k race every year. I was tempted by the 10k, I have not yet run one of those races, but decided to run the 4k instead. I wanted to see if, after 2 months of not training very hard, I could still do my 2 miles in under 18 minutes (a 4k is about 2.5 miles).
This was my first race since the half marathon in September. I've run every week, done a few 9 mile runs outside, but mostly either 3 or 6 miles on the treadmill once or twice a week. Plus temps have dropped to the 40s F and the weather forecast was calling for wind & rain today. So I was pretty nervous this morning. I got a new inhaler when I had my physical a few weeks ago but the possibility of an asthma attack had me concerned.
I loaded up my fanny pack with my inhaler and a mask, donned my leopard print skort, gloves & headband (I like to coordinate) and 3 layers of tops and headed to the race. I had 3 levels of goals for today: finish in 25 minutes (a 10 minute mile pace to allow for the weather and possible breathing issues); finish in 22:30 (a 9 minute mile pace); or finish in 20 minutes (way faster than I've ever gone for that distance).
Despite a near collision in the very beginning with a short person (kid) I was off to good start near the front. I remembered to start my watch this time since we did not have individual start times for this race. Somehow I missed the 1 mile mark though so I had no idea how far I'd run or how fast I was going until the 2 mile marker. I was at 17:32 at the 2 mile point, woohoo! That's a 10 second improvement from 2 months ago and well below what I need to do for black belt testing. AND I only had half a mile to go by then!
I crossed the finish at 22:02 so I beat my first 2 goals. I didn't quite come close to the third one but that was a stretch goal and gives me something to work towards for next year. And no breathing issues today. I used the inhaler before leaving home and again right before we started running so I don't know if that is the reason or if the exercise induced asthma is just not as bad as in prior years when I was overweight & out of shape. I feel confident enough right now though to register for the Turkey Trot in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day and for the local Jingle Bell Run in mid-December.
This race doesn't score by age groups but I was 28th out of 141 women. I don't know where I am in terms of total runners, the results aren't posted yet. But I do know if I had run the 1 mile race I would have been in 2nd or 3rd place.
The race has a big raffle every year for turkeys and gifts from the sponsors. I didn't win a turkey but I did get a $25 gift card to the running shop. Combined with the frequent buyer discount that will get my next pair of shoes at half the price. WooHoo!
Now I have to plan my costume for the Turkey Trot!
Friday, November 11, 2011
I've been logging in every day but have not spent a lot of time on SP beyond that. I've been hit or miss with nutrition tracking, and with fitness. I am constantly surprised by how easy it is to slip backwards into old habits (and I shouldn't be surprised). The good news is I'm definately maintaining within the +/- 5 lbs I have set for myself, and mostly on the minus side. I'm just not in weight loss mode anymore and I'm OK with that. It would be great to lose another 10 lbs but it's also great if I don't.
The last few weeks have been incredibably busy. Because I just turned 40 I had some new things to add to my annual physical this year. I got my referral for a mammogram, which is scheduled for early December. I requested a bone density, which I should have had done a few years ago but I did not feel like fighting with the insurance company over since I don't fit the typical age profile. All the traditional physical stuff is good - BP, thyroid, cholesterol, BMI, etc. My doc (who is soooo very cute!) even said he's very impressed by my BMI and that he doesn't see too many people with a healthy one anymore.
On the 2nd we had (optional) biometric testing at work, which is just a quick & dirty check of the same vitals - BP, weight, waist circumference, cholesterol & body fat. Again everything was good. I want to work on the body fat %; I measured at 24.5% which is on the lower side of normal but I want to get it down to the "Athlete" range of 14-20%.
My bone density scan was yesterday and again everything looks good according to the tech. I still want a copy of the report so I can see the #s for myself. Requesting the reports drives the doctor's office insane. Every time I do so they want to argue "Doctor said everything was normal (so you don't need the report)". It's great that doctor said but I still want the report so I can see the results and know exactly what's what for myself.
My son is now back home, he spent a week in an in-patient facility for evaluation. He will again be seeing a therapist and resuming medication, partly because I think he needs that help to manage and partly because we hope that by showing he is getting help they are less likely to press charges. Although I have no idea what they can do since he did not commit a crime or actually DO anything beyond writing in his notebooks. Regardless the school still feels he is a threat and has recommended expulsion for the rest of the year so we have to apply to the on-line school so he can keep up and finish this year. I don't feel it is worth the mental / emotional / social cost to appeal the recommendation at the formal school board hearing next week. Unfortunately, since he is expelled, he will not be going to London with the marching band. Our tickets (mine, my daughter's and his father's who is traveling separately) are already purchased and the trips paid for. We had just been about to make the final deposit for his ticket when all this happened; depending on the cost to add him to my trip (if it is within the amount of the final deposit) he may or may not get to go with us.
My garden is now pretty much done. I brought in the last 4 pumpkins over the weekend and cooked most of them up for baking / freezing. My son asked if he could give the last one to his girlfriend, she wants to try homemade pumkin baked goods. I had 12 pumpkins total this year - I had hoped for 3! I still have to pull up the peanuts and cut back & dry all of the mint and then I'll be done for the year and can start planning next year's garden.
I am now down to 5 cats. Originally I had 2, the original Fangface and Tyler. Fangface died in 2009 and after a few months I got Turtle, who was a tiny little furball. Tyler is anti-scoial and she needed to be around another cat (she was only 5 weeks, way too little to be away from her cat mom) so I found Rocky to be her little sister. Then in 2010 my sister had to move to NC for her husband's job and their new home does not allow cats...so I took her 2 cats, Rosie & Church. Then came Gandalf, a.k.a. Garage Kitty. So then I had 6. I was officially the Crazy Cat Lady at that point.
Rosie & Church have never realy liked living with me or my cats (and Munchie the Stupid Dog). They are very passive aggressive about it, which to a cat means they pee on everything. Rosie even peed in my camelback a few months ago; fortunately I realized what she had done before filling it with water & heading out on my run that day. I have been very unhappy with the situation for awhile now, especially with new furniture for the 1st time in a very long while. I finally told my sister that I just couldn't keep them anymore if they were going to continue. Last week someone answered the ad for Church and took him home for his daughter. That just leaves Rosie and we are still looking for a home for her.
I feel bad for them but they are just not happy living with me. And I am not happy finding cat pee everywhere. I have to replace the living room carpet because of them (and the Stupid Dog who doesn't like peeing in the snow in winter) and I really don't want my new furniture ruined and smelly either. The carpet is removed and I just have the bare plywood right now while I save next year for the new flooring.
I had wanted to run a race last weekend but the time conflicted with my son's fife & drum practice. I am registered to run the Big Bird Run 4k this Sunday. I have a new inhaler and a mask in case I need it for the cold. The swag bag is supposed to include gloves which is good, I have been looking for some. I'm also probably going to register for a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day and I'm thinking that will be the last race for this year. I am a fair weather runner, I much prefer the heat to the cold.
What I really want to do is run a race while we are in Europe. We will be there 10 full days, mostly in London and the last 2 days in Paris. But our schedule is open so we don't have to remain in London for those 8 days. I've not yet found one to do but now that my son won't be marching in the New Year's Day parade I have a few more options.
Lots of work stress right now. It is a transition time as our "new" owner moves closer to the consolidation I believe will happen. And my department has a new VP who is now making changes to how we work. My job got changed this week, I have the same title & official responsibilities but different commodities now and more "other" assignments. I've been talking with the Director about getting rid of my commodities entirely and moving into business processes and this is a step towards that goal so this is not really a bad thing for me...but the change could have been handled in a much better way. He basically just called each one of us in Tuesay morning & told us what our new jobs were going to be, no discussion or input. Not a good way to handle it, even if it had previously been a theoreical discussion as in my case. At least one of my coworkers was unofiicially demoted - same job title but the responsibilities are a step down. And my current soon to be old boss had his job taken away but he "has a good opportunity to move into", which is not yet publicized. So it could be good for him, or it could be a demotion. And more changes are going to be announced over the next few weeks / months.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a CAVE dweller ("Citizens Against Virtually Everything"). I understand change happens, change can be good and progress requires it. I just like having some input into the change that affects me directly - like if I am now responsible for making system improvements in my dept. has anyone bothered to get the Information Systems manager to agree to provide the necessary resources? I have the verbal support of the people I will be working with but they have to get their manager's approval first...and she has not included my projects in her already submitted budget because - of course - no one talked to her before reassigning me. And now, with the "new" owner, we are so much more budget conscious that if it is not in the budget it will not happen. Ooops, someone didn't think that one through.
And so it is now hurry up & wait. I can't start my new responsibilities until I can hand over my current ones, which can't happen until that person hands off his, which can't happen until the other person hands off his...
Patience is not one of my virtues.
And this is probably enough of an update for now. Hope everyone is having a good start tho their weekend!
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
We tried but it was difficult to get pictures, this is the best one. Note that my board holder was not the ex-h so he remained unscathed.
My coworkers decorated my desk for my birthday:
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