Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday was made for GREAT things.

So, yeah. I ran last night. It was nothing to write home about, except for the fact that I’m NOT in pain now. Take THAT, jerk shin.

.25mi warm up walk, then started jogging, and at first, there was kind of a pokey pain on my shin. It felt like it was getting progressively worse, and after a whole, whopping one minute, I melted down on the treadmill, turned it off, and started to walk away. Luckily, there was no one else in the gym, because I decided I was going to try at LEAST a little bit more. So I did. And no pain, none at all. 3 miles and another .25 mi cool down later, some ice, foam rolling, and Tommie Copper’s, and I’m feeling good.

Which leaves me with a dilemma. What to do this weekend? I skipped my 12 miler last weekend, in favor of a billion hours on the elliptical and cycling (boooooring). I’ve done 2 ten milers and 1 eleven in this training cycle, but it’s been a few weeks. I’m sure I could cover the distance, but I’m feeling definitely under trained. It’s a strange feeling…

So, what’s your vote? Long, slow run? Short, slow run? What to do, what to do….

Sadly of note in last nights run, was how friendly my thighs have suddenly gotten with each other. WTF, thighs? It’s only been, like, 10 days. You can’t expand that quickly. Shut up.

Yesterday, we (as in, I) had a little bit of a scare with Gabby. It’s been 2 glorious weeks since maintenance started, and all is going well. She’s been feeling well; her attitude (as always) is unfailingly great; we’ve gotten a routine down to give her chemo every day… easy peasy.

Except yesterday, the day of her first trip back to clinic for blood work, for the first time since we left the hospital, she woke up and started puking.

And man, I panicked. It’s like I’ve never seen a kid vomit before. And I assure you, I have.

I’ll spare you the rest of my day (which consisted of freaking out in my head, texting the poor H incessantly asking how she was, and waiting, just waiting, for the clinic to call with something terrible), and skip right to how at the end of the day she was feeling fine, jumping on the furniture, and playing with legos. The end.

I found this picture saved in my phone twice. Fitting, eh?

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Oh. And this one, but only once.
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Obviously I’m telling myself something. Like, I can't brain, apparently almost any days.

A couple people emailed and asked me where eating out fits in that budget I posted yesterday.

We don’t eat out frequently. The H works from home in the evenings, so dinners out are a no go. I won’t go without him, it seems rude. Well, unless I’m going out with other people, sans kids. Then it just makes sense.

Anyway. I do my long runs Saturday mornings, so breakfast is out. I hate the idea of spending a fortune for 5 people to eat out at lunch, so I just don’t. Saturday dinner is a possibility, I guess.

And then the H works Sunday’s, all day. So no go no Sunday as well, which SUPER bums me out, because I love nothing more in this world than a delicious breakfast out on Sunday mornings. But, oh well. I also like paying for electricity and food, so I guess I’ll have to let him work.

But I like to cook, and I’m pretty good at it, so luckily, it’s not a huge deal. If I feasibly COULD, I’d eat out every meal, every day, and cook only for fun, but that’s not a good plan if you don’t want to be an elephant, and have cash to buy baking supplies, so…

So, no, the $75 does not include food outside of the house, because we don’t really plan on eating outside of the house. If we do, we budget for that separately.

The Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon benefitting Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation opens registration today, and yes… that means fundraising is back! I have some fun ideas floating around, so… be prepared. I’ll ask you to open your wallets, but I promise, you’ll get something in return (I mean, beyond the normal warm feeling you get from helping to fund research for a cure better than THIRTEEN PILLS TO A FOUR YEAR OLD).

Tomorrow, we are hitting up Knott’s Berry Farm’s Snoopy’s Camp Spooky with the kidlets. We’ve never been to Knott’s so I’m pretty excited to see how other theme parks stack up to Disneyland.

Camp Spooky is taking place every weekend in October, and geared towards kids 3-11 (poor, over-aged #1). And, costumes, so that’s fun. And then we’re bailing early so I can go meet up my Ragnar teammates!

That’s a wrap, folks. Was that super random, or what? Holy crow.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My $75/week grocery budget

A couple people asked how we keep our grocery budget around $75 a week for our family of 5.

It's a combination of things - smart shopping, cooking from scratch, and the good fortune of living in Southern California.

But, in an attempt to clarify how our $75 are spent, this is kind of what I do....

  • Peruse the weekly sales ads. This is what is on sale here this week... You can click any of these for a larger picture.
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Did you catch this gem??
  • Buy what's on sale. Seems obvious. A lot of people do meal planning, and shop around that. I do the opposite - I buy what's on sale, and build my meal plan from there. One of my favorite markets, Sprouts, has "Double Ad Wednesday's", where you can shop the previous week's sale in addition to the new sale.
  • Shop on the outside of the store - dairy, meats, produce, the end. I rarely venture into the aisles.
  • Cook from scratch. The only thing I can think of, off hand, that we buy pre-made is some breakfast stuff - cereal (if it's on sale, duh), waffles, and sometimes pancake mix. A lot of times we make pancakes from scratch, but if the mix that The H likes is on sale, we buy it. It's delicious, so I don't care. But we don't make dinners out of a box, ever. I make bread pretty often, but haven't yet mastered sandwich bread, so we still buy that. Oh, and Kraft Shells and Cheese. Gabby loves that stuff.
  • If there's an AMAZING sale, particularly on meat, stock the hell up. Whole roasting chickens, for example, regularly go on sale for something dumb like $0.49/lb. I buy a few.
  • Don't be scared of things - tough, inexpensive cuts of meat are great for the crock pot.
  • Don't waste stuff - roast chicken one night; pull the remaining meat off, and use for pasta, enchiladas, chicken tacos, etc. another night; use the carcass to make stock, and use the stock to make soup.
  • Shop what's in season. I've said it before, but we are exceptionally lucky to live here, and have access to fresh, local produce all year long. When produce here is in season, it's a STEAL. Apples will go down to $0.49/lb, broccoli and cauliflower are regularly $0.99/head, bell peppers 3-4/$1, onions, radishes, green onions, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro are often 3/$1. We buy only what's on sale, and what's in season.
  • The best part about buying seasonal produce? Man, the taste. It TASTES so much better than an apple that was picked forever ago.Buying seasonally was a shock to me, at first. It never occurred to me, being in Florida, the land of perpetual sun and hot, shopping in grocery stores exclusively, that fruits and vegetables have growing seasons. Turns out? When you buy stuff in season, it fits.... the season. Berries, tomatoes in the summer. Stone fruits in the fall. Squash and root vegetables in the winter. Cherries, asparagus in the spring. It's magic. And these things lend themselves to cooking the way you WANT to in those seasons - summer produce almost always taste best with minimal preparation. Winter veggies? Roast those goodies. It all seems.. purposeful. It makes sense.
And, it's cheaper. Classic supply and demand - when there's a bounty, prices drop.
  • I have access to a TON of shopping - small markets, regular grocery chains, Target 4 of them!!), Costco (3 of them!), a local farmer's market. Some within walking distance, all within a 5 minute drive. So it's no big deal for me to stop at a couple places on my way around town to get what is on sale at each place. That obviously isn't the case for everyone, and not everyone wants to do that - it doesn't bug me, so I do it and save a few bucks.
  • I bake a lot. I keep baking supplies on hand, and try to make desserts that can last for days without people getting annoyed or tired of them. We do a LOT of chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and sometimes cakes. We buy ice cream pretty frequently, too, because it's freaking delicious.
  • SHOP THE BULK BINS, but only when it makes sense. I buy rice, beans, quinoa, oats, nuts, and some candies (gummy worms, I'm a little addicted). For me, flour and sugar are NOT cheaper in the bulk bins, but I buy the biggest bag of each that I can reasonably store.
  • We buy the staples - milk, eggs, sandwich bread, etc - at Target. It's almost always cheaper there. Unless there's a rad sale somewhere. I try to keep my pantry well stocked, and tend to shop from there, and improvise rather than running out to the market if I'm missing an ingredient...

(Obviously, that only works if it's a non-essential ingredient ;). )

With two kids on two different school schedules, one kid with special dietary needs (temporarily - Gab can't have dairy in the afternoons/night with her evening chemo), and a picky H, putting meals together is sometimes a challenge, and sometimes, disjointed. This is what a typical day looks like:

#1 - fruit, or dry cereal, or peanut butter toast
#2 - dry cereal, or fruit
#3 & The H - pancakes
Me - yogurt, or overnight oats, or PB&J, usually at the office during the week

#1 & #2 - neither like to take lunch, or buy lunch, so they bring snacks, and eat when they get home. Either leftovers from the night before, a sandwich, salad, etc.
#3 & The H - sandwiches, wraps, mac and cheese, hot dogs, etc.
Me - Usually sandwich, and/or salad, sometimes leftovers (they kind of creep me out, though)

This is the meal we all eat together, usually. I normally cook, because I like to, and The H works from home in the evenings, so he may or may not be available. We do a wide range of things, and a LOT of it is casual stuff, particularly during the week. Sloppy joes (homemade, not the can!), grilled chicken and rice, pasta, stir fry, etc.

PopChips (Costco has these SUPER cheap, and we all love them)
Whatever junk food we happen to have hanging out

So, yeah. That's about it. Nothing ground breaking or revolutionary. We eat really well, we eat mostly healthily, and we don't really get bored - which is pretty much the key to success.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

“We're so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take time to enjoy where we are.”

Have you voted yet for our Ragnar name(s)? Not to put ANY pressure on you, but “Hello, Haters/Goodbye, Haters” was submitted by #1. I’m just saying. You can vote multiple times. Link HERE. If you vote, let me know and I’ll enter you in a giveaway for some random mystery goodies. You don’t even HAVE to vote for #1’s entry. Fair play and all that.

  • Fall TV things I love: Amazing Race (so far…), Up All Night, New Girl, James Spader on The Office

  • What I don’t: Two Broke Girls, Revenge

  • Welcome back, I’ve missed you: Castle, Bones, Community, Chuck, Raising Hope

  • Undecided: Free Agents

  • Still to check out: Terra Nova, I Hate my Teenage Daughter

  • You’re welcome for the break down.

  • I ate this cake yesterday, because it was the monthly office birthday celebration. I have NO IDEA what flavor it was supposed to be. It was odd. I ate it anyway.

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  • I spent 35 minutes on the elliptical last night, and was planning on another 25 on the bike, but… some weirdo brought a billion kids into our teeny complex gym, and put them ALL on machines (there are 6, total), with instructions to stay on them for 25 minutes, then proceeded to walk, very slowly, on the treadmill, with headphones in to watch TV. I can’t stand that. The gym is not your daycare facility! Argh.

  • I guess I *could* have done an extra 25 minutes on the elliptical, but (1) I hate the elliptical and was seconds away from punching myself in the face out of boredom, and (2) her kids smell like dirty laundry. I couldn’t take it. A teeny room full of sweaty, dirty clothes. Sigh.

  • I dislike the pressure schools put on children to fundraise and sell crap.

  • I apologize to and THANK HEARTILY my friends who provided addresses to be sent solicitation post cards from my child. I promise I’ll buy things from your kid when they bring home catalogs of stuff I don’t need.

  • Someone I hired 3 weeks ago is still having trouble logging into her computer. She has IT over at her desk now. She says, “I’m trying it all these different ways…” Maybe, that’s your problem. MAYBE, you need to write some isht down and remember your log in, and try it just the right way.

  • I have over-booked my October.

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  • All of the things are all things I’m excited about. There are just SO MANY of them.

  • I’ve seen a few articles lately positing that it’s hard and expensive to eat healthy. Really? You can’t feed yourself – a grown adult – on $30 a week, but I can manage a party of 5 for $75 a week? Lies, and laziness. Sit down, article-writer.

  • There was another comment on Sprouts Facebook page asking for gluten-free snack options for their kid. The thread was full of processed, boxed, canned, wrapped stuff. Um. Fruits? Veggies? Would a celery stick or an apple kill somebody? What happened to that stuff? Sigh. I will never understand the propensity to fall into the boxed food trap. I mean, in moderation, whatever, but it’s so commonly the first choice.

  • Or maybe I take for granted that I live in an area with an abundance of fresh, affordable produce year round. Also a possibility.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Name Our Ragnar Team - Top 10!

The suggestions are in - almost 200 of them, in fact - to name the best collection of SoCal (and CO) runners Twitter could find...

Meet the "Regular" Team....

and the "Not Regular" Team...

Click HERE to choose the name that will be emblazoned on our chests for 24 sweaty, dirty hours. Without your votes, we'll be something dumb and uninspiring, like... Regular, and Not-Regular.

The reader(s) who submitted the winning name will win some fun stuff, including but not limited to a SR shirt, Mission Skincare product, an iTunes gift card, and whatever other goodies we can rustle up.

AND, to even the ante a bit, for those whose names did not make the top 10, if you vote, and pop back in here in the comments to let me know, I'll select one voter at random to receive a mystery prize-pack of fun and exciting things.

Help us, reader land. You're our only hope.

Plan for the week

What happened last week...

Monday: Dinner with the cousin
Tuesday: Goal was 10 min warm up, 1600 @ 9:23 (!!!), 2x800 @ 4:34, 4x400 @ 2:15, 400RI
Actual: 10 min warm up jalk (half walk/half run), 1600 @ 9:18, 800 @ 4:28, 4:31, 400 @ 2:11, 2:13, 2:07, 2:02; 7:30 cool down. Felt GOOD.
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Intended to do a tempo run. However, my shin was being a PITA, so I tried warming up on the elliptical for 1.5 miles, and hopped onto the treadmill to finish. That treadmill run lasted .25mi, during which I realized that my achy shin HURT like a mofo.
Friday: Pouting, icing, compressing, general crankiness, and waffling about how wise it may or may not be to do my last long run on Saturday.
Saturday: Sigh. 30 minutes cycling, 1 hr elliptical, 15 minutes cycling. Obviously, the long run was skipped. This was perhaps the longest hour and forty-five minutes of my life.
Sunday: Continued waffling, debating, and icing.

The good news is, I *think* my shin feels okay now. There's definitely no pain when I walk, and only minimal pain when I press on my shin....

I have the option of deferring my Long Beach registration to another half that I was considering in December; I can wait until Oct. 5th to decide. Part of my hesitation is that I am notoriously crazy and paranoid about made-up injuries prior to a race... am I being crazy again? Or legit hurt? Tough saying. The easy answer is to go get the maybe-injury checked out. Apparently I'd rather wear KT Tape, Tommie Copper, and ice for 2 weeks.


This week:
Monday: Pouting, waffling, and eyeballin' the possible December race.
Tuesday: Hour cardio - cycling, elliptical, and some mixture thereof. Maybe some intervals on each to mimic the sad, sad intervals I'm missing out on.
Wednesday: Poking at the Shin, icing, obsessing, waffling.
Thursday: Reassess the Shin, try an easy run. Otherwise, one hour cardio.
Friday: Obsess. Whine. Ice. Waffle.
Saturday: IF the Shin has decided to be a contributing player to this game, easy 8-10 miles. Otherwise, 2 hours cardio or something equally awful (puke).


Anyway. Moments that make me smile.


Me: How did she hang those on the door?
The H: She must have used tape?
Me: Oh. I didn't know we even had tape.
Gabby: It was GLUE!

Yeah... that'd be the back of my Poang chair.

DIY Manicure



Friday, September 23, 2011

As if the folks in SoCal weren't lucky enough.....

Local upcoming events that you should all do, because I will be:

Team Sparkle is putting together a team to run the Chapman University 5K on 10/16 (link HERE). If they get a team of 30+ together, they've arranged a special discounted registration of only $25! You can let Team Sparkle know you're interested HERE, on their Facebook page! I will be running with #1 AND #2!!

2. Iron Girl Del Mar 5K with #1 on November 6!


This race is only $25 for the 5K, PLUS I've got a special discount code for an additional 15% off - for a SoCal race, that is SUPER reasonable! Use discount code CCIGDMJH for 15% off. Click HERE to register!

This is the part of the post where I normally tell you all about how I killed my pace goals from the night before. So, last night I went to the gym to do my 5 mile tempo. I wanted to do my mile warm up on the elliptical, because my shin has been bugging me - I've always had issues with shin splints, but usually it's just annoying, not really painful to the point where I don't run. But yesterday, my shin had been HURTING. And in one, very localized spot. So much so, that even the elliptical hurt. After 15 minutes on the elliptical, I thought it felt better, so I started to run. .25 mi at 10:11 pace, and I quit. It HURT. So, I'm icing, and stretching, and taping, just in case it IS still just jerk shin splints, and will re-assess tomorrow before I attempt my last long run before Long Beach.


But this is a good look, right?
Yeah. You're jealous.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


1. Thanks to TMB and Lesley for dropping by yesterday with their coachy opinions! You both had excellent points. I obviously understand that marathon training is a new ball game compared to half training; I know my mileage will have to be kicked up a notch (or 5...). I just need to find the balance that's going to work for my circumstances.

2. My calves are tight, and my legs feel.... Tired? What the heck, legs? You've done better in the past, stop whining!

3. XLMIC, who is coming down for Long Beach, offered to let me bunk in her hotel, walking distance to the finish line. The timliness of the offer was astounding - I had JUST decided I wanted to see what hotels are available!

and that, folks, is why I'm in love with the Internet. How else would I meet strangers who are instant friends?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My brain, in bullet points.....

  • #2 was being Extra Special this morning. She wanted pizza for breakfast. Except she didn’t want the pizza SHE requested, she wanted her sister’s pizza. Which she took one bite of, and threw away, because it “tasted weird” TO HER.

  • TO HER is a new, recurring theme – she seems to think it absolves her from any responsibility. This tastes weird, TO ME. This shirt that you just bought isn’t comfortable, TO ME. The waffle I just made and has turned the teeniest, lightest shade of tan is burnt…. TO ME.

  • It’s exhausting TO ME.

  • I picked up this enormous green heirloom tomato at the farmers market last weekend. It’s amazing. You should be jealous.

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  • I hear there’s a GIANT blogger meetup happening at RNR Seattle next June.
    I’m a sucker for peer pressure, and shared the pressure-love with Becka. I suppose we’ll be making an appearance :D.

  • That means that I’ve got TWO FULL MARATHONS on the calendar for 2012. Within 5 weeks.

  • Crazy is the only word that comes to mind.

  • I’m toying with the idea of making Seattle a family trip. #1 has been wanting to go… Hm. BUT, she also wants to do San Fran, so… we’ll see.

  • I’m also toying with the idea of hiring a coach, but am having a conflict in my mind about this… I’m not prepared, nor do I have enough running smarts, IMO, to create a FULL marathon training plan. But, nor am I super interested in running 5 or 6 times a week. I am just not willing to sacrifice that kind of time. I work FT, 3 kids, I’m just not doing it. A lot of coaches really push racking up the miles, and if that works for you, great. I just don’t want to. Will a coach work around that? Hm. Things to ponder.

  • Last night after my run, I threw my hair up in a creepy, sweaty bun. Then I left it that way overnight. This morning? I have creepy, sweaty hair. Sexy.

  • I only have one long run before Long Beach. YIKES.

  • I found chocolate raspberry GU, and it is DELICIOUS. I took a GU on my 10K. Don’t judge. It was worth it.

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  • Gabby and I went to the local Light the Night walk this weekend… we ended up taking off before the walk, because she was tired, I wasn’t super comfortable with all the people, and… it was just tough, for me, to be there. I don’t know why. Some pictures…

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    The white balloon indicates that she’s in treatment…

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Speed work last night was some craziness I made up… 10 min warm up, followed by 1600 @ 9:23, 2x800 @ 4:34, 4x400 @ 2:15, with 400 RI’s.
Actual: 10 min warm up jalk, 1600 @ 9:18 (!!!!!!), 800 @ 4:29, 4:31, 400 @ 2:11, 2:13, 2:07, 2:02, 7:30 cool down jog. FUN!

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Guest Post: The H recaps the OC 10K

    My notes in purple :)

    Hi, I'm the H. Giraffy asked me to do a recap of the random 10k we "ran" over the weekend. I apologize now for not being nearly as brilliant of a writer as my wife. (He’s a liar, he’s funny.)

    We signed up for this race a long time ago because it was super cheap and worked well with Giraffy's run schedule. I've never run a 10k, but I was coming along well in the little running that I had been doing. That is until I hurt both of my lower extremities (feet/ankle/tendons/whatever) running one day in June. Which stopped ALL of my running until this race.

    My plan was to hang out at the beach while Giraffy ran and maybe take a picture or two of her finishing the race. Unfortunately for me, my legs weren't bugging me when we got there and it was pretty chilly so I decided to run along with her. Giraffy was a little worried that I would just hurt myself more. (it's true; I even tried to give away his chip. No one wanted it. Should have been clue #1....) I was worried that I would be frozen when she returned. (Note: it was 65* and overcast. We are wusses in SoCal)

    So she is gracious enough to run with me and the only thing I didn't want to do was slow her down. She may not be faster than me in short bursts, but I have always been the hare to her tortoise when it comes to distance.

    7am comes around and the race begins...

    And I am kicking butt! My own for starting this race. What was I thinking?! I hadn't run in forever. I had just started to feel better. I'm going to ruin any type of healing I've done because it's cold out! Thankfully Giraffy has her race plan (she always has a plan), and I stick next to her to make sure I'm not dying after three minutes of running.

    And just FYI, I felt no real lasting pain.

    Mile 1 comes and goes and we're doing pretty well. Mile two is coming up and Giraffy is just starting to get warmed up. But then something else starts to look good too... The sidelines! It's not cold anymore. I've gotten some running in… Already two miles more than I planned on going. I could just sit down at the comfy looking benches until Giraffy comes back around. Perfect! That's what I'll do.

    Until I realize we just passed them while I was daydreaming of daydreaming.

    Meanwhile, while I'm still heartbroken about missed race skipping opportunities, Giraffy says she's just not feeling it this race. I think the lack of Disney characters and cool blogger buddies has affected her motivation for this race. She's stuck with the H who (she thinks), at any moment, is going to get bored of running at her pace and sprint off ahead of her.

    Back to the actual racing. For all our issues with running the race, we actually realize we are going at a nice pace. And now we're halfway done! Woo Hoo! I'm reenergized by this and tell Giraffy that I want to do a faster second half of the race. She laughs at me, but agrees to try anyway. We're doing great till mile four. It quickly became Giraffy is doing great. I'm running on empty. The walk breaks for me are getting longer while Giraffy's appear to be getting astronomically shorter. By mile five she's like "see you later slow poke, I can't be seen with you anymore; you're embarrassing me." (lies, I tried to see if he wanted my handheld, but he turned it down, because, I quote, "I don't think I can lift my arms to hold it". Heh. But I would have stuck around...) I do my best to play catch up, but it's a losing battle. She is now destroying the course, and me in the process! I was so happy just to see the finish line.

    Giraffy looks like she's ready to run another 10k, just not here because all we got were a silly little hey you ran today ribbon and a tree in a box. I took one for each of us because it may be fun to watch a tree grow from a box.

    But even with all my sucking and the losing to Giraffy it was still a lot of fun to run with her. For the five miles she slowed down for me ;)

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Plan for the Week, and Last Call (not for alcohol)

    First, I apologize for being a bad, bad blogger. I have sucked fantastically lately at responding to comments and commenting on other blogs. I am reading them via Google Reader, and star them, to go back to comment, and I always seem to run out of time :(.

    Second.... Last call to enter the Name Our Ragnar team contest! I hear there's a
    Skinny Runner prize up for grabs..... Link HERE!

    Weekly Recap…
    : Stretching, yoga
    Tuesday: Happy Hour
    Wednesday: I intended to do a 5 mile tempo. It seemed like a nice evening, so I started to head out, but.. hello, it was almost dark, and I don’t run fast enough to beat the fading sun. Instead, did a loop around my neighborhood. Half mile-ish warm up walk, followed by 3.41 mi tempo run – 34:21. That’s a 10:04 pace. That’s CRAZY fast for me. CRAZY. And, I did it totally by feel. Goal pace was 10:11.
    Thursday: Nada
    Friday: Again
    Saturday: Weirdest 10K ever (recap HERE), in which I DESTROYED my previous PR. 1:07 on a 6.61 mile course. Previous 10K PR was 1:06:04 on a 6.2 mi course. BOOM. In RLRF terms, I did 12x400, with 400RI. Worked… okay as a race strategy; the course was a little narrow and crowded to really run a steady pace for 400’s.
    Sunday: Nothing.

    Pretty lazy week, eh?

    For this week….
    : Dinner with the cousin!
    Tuesday: speedwork of some type. I’ll make up something fun, I guess. We’ll see. 5 miles scheduled.
    Wednesday: yoga
    Thursday: 6 miles, 4@ tempo (goal pace 10-10:11)
    Friday: rest
    Saturday: 12 miles, easy (goal pace 11:23, with last 3 @ HM pace 10:19)

    Long Beach is coming up F A S T. I am already slightly nervous. I was discussing potential with The H yesterday, and… I really don’t feel like I push myself in races. I always run to the point of being slightly uncomfortable, but chicken out of pushing myself any harder. I have no hesitation to TRAIN until I feel like I will puke or die, but put a timing chip on me, and it’s like I’m out for an afternoon stroll.

    Like Sweaty Emily, I play around with pace calculators like I’m OCD… and based on my new fastest mile yesterday, the calculator app I have on my phone (what? Don’t judge me) says I have a 2:09 half in me. I’m pretty sure I’m closer to 2:15-ish shape.

    I mean, if I’m not going to bring it on race day, why be bothered with speed work and tempo’s?

    I’m not sure what’s wrong with my brain. But, I’m pretty sure this is why I’m nervous three weeks out from LB.

    Because, in Long Beach, I plan to bring it. And run like I mean it.

    And hopefully I don’t chicken out.

    And, because everyone likes a post with a picture, this is a text I just got from The H - he's been doing some "homeschooling" with Gabby every day. He's pretty much the best thing ever.

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    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Orange County 10K - Recap... what $15 buys you in a race

    I signed up for this race through Active Schwaggle - $15 10K? Yes, please. But I was pretty unimpressed with the lack of information and organization - the website was weird, I couldn't see a course map, whine whine. But for $15, chip timed, meh.

    Conveniently.... this also coincided with Racing with Babe's 2nd Annual Rock Your Socks Off 5K/10K!

    We got an email from the race director about a week prior, with directions to where the start line would be, the time, packet pick up etc. There was mandatory packet pick up at a local Road Runner Sports, which I found bizarre - there were no bibs, only chips, so I'm not sure why there wasn't day of pick up, but whatever.


    For the first time, ever, The H was planning on running with me. He's been out for awhile with some achilles thing, but it was finally feeling better, so he decided to try to run. I assumed that he'd kill it, and be waiting at the finish line for me forEVER.

    Saturday morning, 6:30, we show up in Huntington Beach at the location in the race director's email, and.... there are some people there, but certainly nothing that looks like a race. We eventually decide to walk down the boardwalk, about .25 mile, and.... oh, look. The race director gave out the wrong location. Oops, he says.

    Right. $15.

    Pretty small crowd, a lot of local runner clubs out...

    ...which was good, because the race was on a pretty narrow bike path, and the course was not closed. It was also a straight out and back, so.... there was some congestion once the leaders started reaching the turn around, since we were now sharing the path with all of the runners, plus bikes.

    I posted last week that I was going to be trying out intervals while racing, just because... I planned for my speedwork to be during the race, and it worked okay. It was pretty tough to do 400's steady between people, but it wasn't that bad. It was kind of fun, and I suppose at the very least, I did get my intervals in.

    There was one water station, at mile 2 (or 4 after the turn around), but they ran out of water early on. Thankfully, the weather was perfect - 65 and cloudy.

    I had some GPS troubles right at the start, so it took about .25 for my location to be picked up, before I started my GPS at all..... But we hit the turn around point exactly at 3.13 on my GPS. I should have realized then that something was amiss in the measuring of the course, but at the time, I was super impressed with how accurate it was. Ha.


    The course ran straight down the Huntington Beach boardwalk, turned up the Santa Ana River trail....


    Then back down to the boardwalk...

    Photobucket tangents, straight path aside from the one turn.So by the time I hit mile 5, I started to realize how far off the course measurement REALLY was.The course was marked with mile markers in chalk, and when I saw mile 5, my GPS was reading that we were at mile 5.25... and remember, I started my GPS late....Clock time when I finished was 1:07:xx. I don't even remember what it was, exactly, because I was pretty pissed about how LONG the course was. When I crossed the finish line, my GPS read 6.3.They were also out of water for the finishers. Pet peeve. HOW?Whatever, at least we got....


    a ribbon?Oh, and a tree...


    Right. I wonder how my apartment complex would feel about the addition of a Red Maple to their landscaping.

    This is, apparently, what $15 buys you.

    Anyway, according to my GPS, I finished the 10K in 1:03:xx. I'm pretty annoyed I don't have an official time, and results haven't been posted (shocking). When I got home, I mapped out the course, from where I know we started, to where my GPS shows we turned around, and the resulting mileage?6.61 miles. Longest 10K I've ever seen..... How you manage to mis-measure a straight out and back 10K with no tangents, I'm not really sure.

    On the bright side, I did find that I really enjoyed the smaller race - if the organization had been better. I know I'm complaining a lot, particularly for a $15 race, but... IMO, when you put on a race, you have a responsibility to provide what you advertise. Namely, a legit course.

    My pace, according to Daily Mile, was also significantly better than my previous 10K, so I'm really pleased with that... in 2 months, I went from a 10K pace of 10:30, to 10:12 yesterday.

    I felt really good the last half, and tried to pace with the H, but.... in some strange turn of events, he was holding me back. I ended up around mile 5 taking off without him. That has never, ever, ever happened before (and in fairness to him, probably never will again :D).

    I also ran my FASTEST mile ever... 8:38. In mile one. Because I don't know how to keep myself from going out too fast the first mile. Someday, I will learn. My last mile was my second fastest of the day, too, which felt pretty good.

    So, final verdict: Despite the complaining, I might do this race again if it's offered next year. $15 for chip timing, I dig. And I know to just not count on it as a real 10K, but if it fits in my schedule, it might be fun as a training run. I live so close to the beach, but would never go and run the path, and this was a good kick in the pants to do it.

    As an FYI, I believe the folks who put on this race, are also putting on the inaugural Hollywood Half next spring. I'd be wary of that race, after seeing how this one was managed.

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Photo Friday pt 2, and Race Goals

    Gabby started off maintenance with a BANG. like, as in, slap you upside the head with a brick BANG.

    She had a lumbar puncture with chemo, plus some iv chemo, Thursday morning.

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    Then, last night, we started the pills (including The Steroid).

    Good LORD the pills.

    13 total. Can you imagine taking 13 pills?! She's usually pretty good about taking one or two. But 13 required some creativity.

    Mix them in pudding? Can't, no dairy. Give them with her fave, orange soda? Nope, can't have citrus either. That's cute.


    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    Whatever. It worked.


    So, this 10k this weekend. I've been pretty unexcited about it. I was going to run "with" the H (and by with, I mean, we would both be there, and he'd have to hang out forever waiting for me to drag my ass across the finish), but he's been battling some Achilles funk. Then Rose said she was running, but now she's not. And I am just... Meh about it. I dunno.

    But the weather is supposed to be perfect - low 60's, overcast. It's on the FLAT beach path. Packet pick up is at the running store (and I ALWAYS need and excuse to go there). So... I mean. I guess I will. I have to get my speed work in sometime anyway, right?

    Goal A: 1:02. I think I can do this....
    Goal B: Beat my Cypress time of 1:06:05. I've TOTALLY got that.
    Goal C: Don't die. Pretty sure I can manage it.

    Photo Friday

    So, I was digging up an old picture of myself... and, first, of note is how freaking tough it was to find a picture of me. I think that might be true of a lot of moms, in general, because we tend to be the ones TAKING a billion pictures. But for me, particularly, I wasn't interested in being in front of the camera. It was not fun for me.

    I've mentioned a few times how tough it has been to lose weight while running - you all know what I'm talking about. I don't really focus a ton of effort towards it... more, I'm just mindful of what I'm eating, and how it will fuel my body. I weigh myself, maybe once a week or so... sometimes more, sometimes less, but not really on any specific pattern, and more out of curiosity. For me, being healthy is so much more important than what I weigh. I know that number on the scale doesn't take into account the calves or quads I've gained over the last year.

    But this.... this REALLY hit me.

    These two pictures were taken exactly one year apart...


    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    I am a racing fool....

    So, I've updated my Come Run With Me tab once again....

    In addition to Ragnar next April (did you see my contest?! Help name our teams! Link HERE), I will also be running the Iron Girl Del Mar 5K with #1 on November 6!


    I've been on the hunt for a new 5K to test out the results of my RLRF speedwork, and this one falls at just the right time for me. (Sorry, men, vagina-havers only).

    Jess at Blonde Ponytail just ran the Seattle event, and had a fantastic time - click HERE for her recap!

    Seriously, check out her cute medal!

    The 10K is $50, but the 5K is only $25! That is UBER reasonable for a 5K in SoCal.

    Plus! Use discount code CCIGDMJH for 15% off. Click HERE to register!

    Hope to see you there!

    Three Thing Thursday

    This is, probably, the BEST TTT to date, ever posted by anyone, ever.

    1. In case you missed my social media barrage immediately following our cancer clinic visit, Gabby is OFFICIALLY IN MAINTENANCE. We are participating in a clinical trial, and the arm that she was randomized into is... pretty mellow. Standard treatment is lumbar punctures and The Steroid every 4 weeks, plus a pill at home daily, and another 11 pills on one night a week. Her maintenance will be lumbar and Steroid every TWELVE WEEKS, plus the pill at home, plus the 11. Awesome.

    2. I decided to run outside tonight, because it was FINALLY cooling off enough to do so. I was going to do 5 miles, tempo, but... decided it was getting too dark. Because I'm a dark chicken. Instead, I did a 5 minute warm up walk, followed by 3.4 miles in 34:15. That's a 10:04 pace. That is UNHEARD of for me, outside. UNHEARD OF. And it was magical. It was probably at 75% effort. And the weather was SO great. Until I got inside, and I turned into a sweaty beast.

    3. My new job is fantastic, and finally, finaaaalllllly, after three years of being bored and having not much to do, I'm back to doing real work. Phew.

    Did you catch my contest yesterday? Name our Ragnar Team, win free stuff! Link HERE.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Wordless Wednesday....

    Did you catch my contest yesterday? Name our Ragnar Team, win free stuff! Link HERE.




    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Blogger... Boobs? Name our Ragnar Team!

    So, if you've not checked out my "Come Run With Me!" tab up there ^^^, you probably haven't noticed that I added a little somthin' to my race schedule for 2012.....

    In a fit of jealousy while reading Nuun Hood to Coast tweets, I suggested to Sarah OUaL that we should do Ragnar.

    Man, that chick works FAST. By the end of the day, we had an ultra team (6 people) and one NORMAL 12 (wo)man team.

    And we're letting YOU, our readers, choose our team name.

    Which we'll all wear printed across our collective boobs for the duration of the 200 mile relay.

    Pretty sweet of us, huh?

    We'll also give the winners some free stuff. Even sweeter, right?!

    Here's how to play...

    Just leave a comment (or two, or three... as many as you got, we need help, obviously) with the funniest, grossest, creepiest, weirdest, randomest team names you can come up with.

    We've got a few weeks. Eventually, we'll (the Ragnar teams you should be extremely jealous of right now) join forces and have some winners.

    It'll be awesome.

    12 (wo)man Team (aka, The Smart Ones)

    Kate & Ang
    Broke Runner

    The Ultra Team (aka, The Crazies)
    Sarah OUaL
    And commenter extraordinaire, Pam

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    And now, what you've all been waiting for......


    Looking for just the facts? I liked the corral systems. It made a HUGE difference for me to be in Corral C instead of Corral Z like in Princess. Race started on time. Course support was fantastic. Tons of water stations. REAL bathrooms if you know where to look. Course entertainment was great - IMO, not quite as good as at Princess, but ONLY because I would have preferred characters to cheerleaders and bands, but had it been a non-Disney race, I would have considered the entertainment great. The course? Meh. I was not a huge fan, but again, because I would have preferred a more Disney-centric course... and that's a tough thing to pull off in Anaheim. Flat, fast course - I think the last 3 miles or so are a slight downhill even, so even though I would advise NOT to go out with a PR on your mind, it's totally a PR friendly course.

    I've been putting this recap off, because I don't even know where to begin.

    I was also kind of waiting to have the "official" finishers pictures with Team Jam and our medals, but apparently.... Brightroom has lost them.

    Cute. But not really.

    So, I guess the best place to start is where I left off on the 5K/Bloggy Breakfast/Bloggy Dinner post (did you miss it? Link HERE).

    After the Bloggy Dinner at Cheesecake Factory (Freaking YUM), The H took allllll of the kids for a slumber party.

    If you're keeping track, that's our three (12, 10, and 4 yrs old), A (5) and H (4). That is 5 against 1. He's a brave, brave soul.

    Becka was awesome enough to let me crash in her room, so we were super duper close to the start.

    And man. She was not joking when she said the fireworks were, like, 2 inches from their room. Holy smokes.

    Got our stuff together, and was in bed shortly after 10. And I was utterly calm - not nervous at all, and as a result, slept like a baby, until that damn alarm at 4:03am.

    While I was getting dressed and ready to head out, I realized that I sucked at packing stuff - I forgot my handheld, my inhaler, my arm strappy thing for my phone, my camera (hence the "borrowing" of some of Rose's pictures)... All of which made me really commit to running for fun with Fruit Fly and Rose.

    Anyway, we headed over across the street to Disneyland. Obviously some of these folks that were speedwalking past us had never raced with RunDisney before, because... if you have, you know it's a whole lot of hurry up to wait.

    Becka and L were hoping to hit the Half Fanatics group picture, but we didn't quite make it in time... but we did immediately run into Fruit Fly and Biker Boy! Considering how many people were at Disneyland this weekend, it's SHOCKING how easy it was to find each other all weekend. Crazy!

    Then, we literally ran into Rose heading towards the starting corrals. B and L were in corral A, but FF and I were in corral C... and somehow, speedy Rose was in D!

    She totally crashed our corral, though, and took advantage of someone sneaking in a bunch of TNT runners.

    Team Jam!
    Please don't ask me where that name came from. It's not appropriate for sensitive eyes.

    Fierce, right?

    Unlike Princess Half, there were no fireworks for the Disneyland half start! Booo!


    But we were off, and busy dodging folks throughout the first mile.

    I wasn't a huge fan of the course, but I seem to be in the minority. I just thought it was kind of weird, and in general I dig Disney and would have loved a more Disney-ish race. But, I knew the course going in, so not a complaint, just an observation.

    The first mile was outside of the parks, then headed back in around mile 2. There were not a ton of characters out, compared to Princess, but we sure took advantage of every photo op we could imagine....

    And, really, we all know this is what you've been waiting for. The Funnest Half Marathon EVER, in pictures...

    9-04-11 Disney Half Marathon 047

    9-04-11 Disney Half Marathon 051

    9-04-11 Disney Half Marathon 052
    Don't hump the dog......

    9-04-11 Disney Half Marathon 059
    Also, of note, this is where the cast member got snotty and asked why we needed three pictures. "Don't you guys have Facebook? Can't you just.... tag?" Shut Up, Sucky Castmember.

    Darth Vader bailed. Jerk. According to the Castmember, we could wait... if we wanted to. He'd "be back". I'm also pretty sure this is where the Castmember rolled her eyes at being asked to take three pictures with three cameras. Lame.


    9-04-11 Disney Half Marathon 099
    REAL bathrooms!

    9-04-11 Disney Half Marathon 105
    Evil genius = Rose

    Zebra skins? That's not creepy. Not at all.

    Somewhere around mile 5-6... man down!



    9-04-11 Disney Half Marathon 174

    So close!!!

    Rose also = Sun Shade

    9-04-11 Disney Half Marathon 216
    Done. And, for some reason, eating our medals?

    And, finally, my favorite picture, possibly in the history of always...

    Followed immediately by us laughing like we're the most hysterical chicks ever.

    Why? Because, we missed the photographer the first time, stopped everything, went back, and re-did the picture.

    Funnest Half Marathon EVER.

    Rose's recap is HERE, and FruitFly's recap is HERE.


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