Friday, December 30, 2011

Running: A Year in Review

2011 was far from where I hoped it would be, but leaps and bounds better than 2010. I'm am going to choose to celebrate all 179miles (and change) that I ran in 2011 rather than worry about the miles I didn't run.

This little screenshot from Dailymile pretty well sums up the year.

Late February I was finally given the green light to start running again, nearly a year and a half after the whole foot debacle began. So 1/2 mile at a time I labored back into a sport I use to love.

March was still full of PT and pain and babysteps. Against my PT's better advisement, I snuck in the Shamrock Shuffle 5k. No records were set but I had a great time running one of my favorite races.

April I upped the mileage as I wanted to run the Crazylegs 8k faster than a coworker of mine (petty motivation, I know). I did not accomplish that goal, but came close. It was also sometime in April, I think, that I committed to running #RagnarChi with a group of total strangers. I was so desperately afraid of being the weak link on the team that I tried to kick it into high gear and cover some miles.

The Ragnar motivation carried me through May, as did the Lake Monona 5k. In past years we've run the Lake Monona 20k...but had to scale back this year. May also took me to TX, with my boss, to work IM Texas...where I was shamed into running extra miles. Its hard to be the chubby out of shape girl at an IM event.

June was my highest mileage month in 2011, in large part due to #RagnarChi, both the training for and running of. Did I mention that I had an amazing time at Ragnar and am so very excited to be running it again this year?!?

The summer heat started to get to me in July and the mileage dwindled. At that point I had no future races on the calendar and felt ok about running if, and only if, I felt like it.

The busy season really started to set in at work in August, which gave me 101 excuses not to run. I'm fairly certain it was the incredibly last minute decision to join a #RagnarGR team that motivated any miles at all in August. I have to admit that over 1/2 of August's miles were Ragnar itself, which explains why it was such a sufferfest...

September. Yep. GOOSE-EGG. Between work and getting hitched I just didn't make time to run. I'm more or less ok with this.

October was only slightly more active than October. Another busy work month, half of which was spent in Hawaii and we all know that running in Hawaii would be just dreadful...

I'm not sure what my excuse is for the secondhalf of October/first half of November, but I certainly couldn't not be motivated to run. Uh, oh well.

The end of November took us to Thailand for nearly 3wks of honeymooning. While I'm sure we walked dozens of miles, there was no running on the schedule. I think our trek through the Chiang Mai zoo and 1/2 way down Sutthep should count for something, but neither of those feats were done at anything faster than a brisk walk.

Which brings us to the tail end of December. Thus far I have 11m for the month. If I can eek out 20 3/4m by the 31st I can finish 2011 with 200m in the books. I am incredibly tempted to attempt this. Probably not my brightest decision as that would be doubling my mileage from last week, which is so much more than the 10% that is traditionally prescribed, and probably a sure-fire recipe for injury, but since when do I make good decisions?


Since the Dailymile screenshot was taken I I have made it closer to my 200m goal. I am now ~9.75m from breaking the 200m wall. I did in fact take a rest day today, so with only one day left in the month, and only 6.5m planned for tomorrow it's not looking like I'm going to ake it. Unless I do a two-fer tomorrow. But perhaps it's time to stop stressing over what I have, and have not, accomplished in 2011 and focus on what's in store for 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not Bondi Bands

That's right, what you are about to see are NOT my any stretch of the imagination Bondi Bands. The craftsmanship is quick and dirty, and the final outcome is eh, ok.

But I'm stoked with what I've made.

It all started with a haircut and some new pretty cute bangs. Cute, yes. Functional for a runner, not at all.

By day I was sporting a sassy new do, but by run I was at a loss for comfortable and effective hair containment system. I looked online at Bondi Bands, I checked out the overpriced, but cute, options Lulu had to offer...but then I found a headband that had been given to me at the Ragnar Great River Relay.

It was little more than a strip of stretchy synthetic fabric turned into a stylish headband. LIGHTBULB! I can make that. So I headed over to the fabric store on the way home from find a completely atrocious assortment of usable fabrics. I guess it's just not that season.

What to do...what to do.

On my drive home I realized I was sitting on a jackpot of headband appropriate material at home. You know those oddball race shirts we all have floating around? The ones you receive that are too ugly to wear, or run way to small to actually be worn? Well I decided it was time to up-cycle some of those unworn shirts AND solve my bang dilemma at the same time. Win, win!

First I dug out a few sacrifice-able shirts...

...and I started cutting.
I cut strips approximately 18" x 5".

You could sew them just like this, but I opted to taper them at the back to help them stay in place.

I'm lucky enough to have a sewing mating, but with as little sewing as this project entails you could definitely do it by hand

Voila! My quick and dirty, bang containing, sweat catching, headbands.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself. :)

Now to get out there and log those miles.

- Typos courtesy of my iPad

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. I've been a little MIA since getting home from Thailand. In case you were worried, we made it home safe and sound, just as planned. Truth be told, I didn't want to come back. Ever. And just as soon as I devise a plan to live and work in Thailand I'll be on the next boat. With the dogs. Obviously.

2. So yeah, Christmas. It's this weekend or something. I've never been a big holiday person. I think it goes back to one too many mediocre (at best) holidays as a child. The holidays always seem to bring little more than drama, which is in fact the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they should do. We were given 2 little fake trees by my MIL the week we got home from Thailand, because it wouldn't be the holidays if our house went undecorated. Her heart was in the right place, so I promptly tricked them out with all things miniature pink things I could find at Target.

I even wrapped some presents for under the little trees, because I LOVE wrapping presents. For real.

3. The real inspiration for today's post is this little gem of a video I just came across today. I realize that it's been circultaing the interwebs since the end of Novemeber, so posting it here today is my admission of being late to the party. Whatever. It made me laugh. And it's awesome. And pretty much embodies everything I despise about the trends and fads.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Smarter Than Your Average Bear

We've been in Phuket for a few days now, and will in fact be attempting to head from Phuket to Krabi tomorrow via ferry... But itinerary aside, I had a very interesting conversation with a local today, one worth sharing.

We took a speedboat tour of the Phi Phi islands today (very stereotypical tourist, but still really friggin' cool.). Our tour guide was a young Thai man not much older than I am, I'd say mid-30's at most. While many of the tourists on the trip kept t themselves, I took the opportunity to talk with him.

Turns out, he's been working boat tours for almost 20yrs. He likely left school prematurely when he left his family to move to Phuket and support himself. While not traditionally educated he spoke Thai (obviously), Japanese, Korean and English fluently and is currently working on his Russian. How many of us can say that?

He also, if given the opportunity to talk, had much to say. Most of the people on the oat, either from lack of english or lack of interest, or both, paid no attention to what he had to say. From stories about his past, to how he lives now, to where he was with the tsunami it in 2004, he was a wealth of knowledge. He also wasn't shy about telling you what cultures were the worst to work with. Interesting, very interesting.

Point being, it's easy to become frustrated with cultural differences and language barriers. But it's no easier for those on the other side. And just because you cannot you don't speak the same native language does jot make either superior.

Oh, and you never know when someone is judging your culture, so tread

PS. Wear your sunscreen when near the equator...

- Typos courtesy of my iPad

Monday, December 5, 2011


I am finally here.

I have been dreaming about the Andaman Sea and beaches of Thailand since middle school...when Leo romped on the white sands and splashed in the turquoise waters of The Beach.

Not because it was a particularly, or even remotely, good movie mind you, but because it was this amazingly lush and beautiful place. Something that seemed to only exist on a sound stage.

But it was more than Hollywood. It was a real. I put it on my list of places I dreamed to go, but would likely never see.

I cried in 2004 when Phuket was devastated by unprecedented tsunami. And felt my breath Catch earlier this week as a Thai recalled that day almost 7 years ago.

We arrived in Phuket in the middle of the night. I have yet to even see the sandy beaches, but I know they are there.

Chiang Mai was amazing but being a dream come true.

- Typos courtesy of my iPad