Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

WOW! My winter hibernation vacation is flying by.  I am still keeping up my holiday run streak.  So far in 24 days I have run roughly 150 miles.  There's still 10 days left in the year.  I hope I can hit 200.  I'm going to fall short of my original goal to hit 1500 for the year because of a stupid snow storm last weekend preventing me from doing my 20 miler.  I still got out and ran, but only did 3 miles.  Getting hit by a plow is just not worth trying to get in extra miles.  I might be able to make up for it by adding on a few miles to my shorter runs this week but it is still unlikely that I will get enough miles to hit 1500.  Yeah, just double checked my training log and I'd need 102 miles in the next 10 days to hit 1500.  It's possible, but not likely to happen.

I started off my vacation with a half marathon. The Jingle Bell Half in Atkinson, NH last Saturday.  It was 8 degrees at the start.  The course was pretty challenging and by challenging I mean hilly.  Add in the below freezing temps and it was rough.  I made the most of it though and just had fun.  I wasn't really racing it and my plan was to use it as a training run so I just went out really easy.  I did the first 5 miles at about a 10:30 pace, the next 5 miles at a 10:00 pace, and the last 5K at a 9:40 pace so, despite the weather and the hills I still negative split it and had a really great time.  I hung out for a little while after the race with some friends and other runners enjoying a post race beer and some soup.
Sunday we got about a foot of snow and I spent half the day shoveling so I didn't get to do the 20 miler I had planned but the 4 hours of shoveling was enough of a workout.  I did manage to squeeze in 3 miles before the sun went down just to keep my run streak going even though I really really didn't feel like running.  Stupid winter. 

Monday I was supposed to go to Pole fitness class but my back hurt so much that I canceled.  I went out and did a few more hours of shoveling trying to clear some of the parking spaces in the street instead followed by a 5 mile run with my friend Kim in Salem, NH at lunch time.  When I got home, I got the most amazing letter in the mail along with a generous donation to my Dana Farber Fundraising from the Tewksbury Police Department.  I had sent them a letter thanking them for keeping the roads safe for me as I train for the marathon.  Mile 23 will be dedicated to the mother of one of their officers.  Mile 23 is just after Coolidge Corner and I will need the motivation to push through the pain and finish strong.  Running that mile for Ruth Perry and Tewksbury PD I know I will do my best.

Tuesday, we were supposed to get another snow storm, so I got up and baked some cookies to bring to TPD to thank them and then went out for a short 3 mile run.  I delivered the cookies just as the snow started coming down.  Spent the rest of the day chillin on my couch watching a Law and Order marathon on A&E or TNT.

Wednesday I finally made it to pole class, after 2 hours of shoveling out my car and all my neighbor's cars.  Holy cow, it was really hard, I don't know if it was just because I was still sore and exhausted from shoveling or if it was because we did a bunch of advanced stuff that I wasn't ready for.  Either way it kicked my butt, but in a good way.  I went home, shoveled for another 2 hours and then went for a 2 mile run to keep the streak alive.  After all that I rewarded myself with a nice glass of wine.

Thursday, I checked off another item on my "to-do" list.  I went to see the Nutcracker in Boston.  I've never been and I thought I probably should it's like a world famous production and was completely redesigned this year.  So, me and my mom went into Boston to see it. (First I ran 4 miles, still streaking).  It didn't take long to get into the city, but because of all the snow parking was an issue.  I had to go by 4 garages before we finally found one with open spots then we were late for the show.  We had to wait to be seated and we missed part of the first act, but it was showing on a monitor in the lobby so we could still watch.  It was magical! The costumes and the sets were so beautiful.  I had a great time and my mom did too.

Yesterday was pretty boring, just did 7 miles and went grocery shopping.  Today I got up to do 10 miles before venturing to the mall (I still haven't done any shopping).  We are experiencing a bit of a heat wave in the northeast at the moment.  It was 45 degrees and partly sunny out this morning.  I almost wore a tank top but was afraid I wouldn't be warm enough.  I started out nice and easy.  Warming up over the first few miles.  Going up the big hill on 133 I saw a TPD car and waved, it gave me a little boost of energy and I actually made it up the hill in under 11 minutes for the first time in a LONG time, that hill is tough and wears me out, but today I conquered it with a little extra motivation from TPD - Thanks!

The rest of the run was great, nice back roads in Andover and mostly flat.  I felt really good.  I took a gel at mile 5 and picked up my pace a little bit.  On the way back to my house I really felt great so I pushed the pace a little more and ran the last 3 miles in under 10 minutes per mile.  I ended up negative splitting the run!  And finished feeling like I could have kept going and going like the energizer bunny, but I do need to get to the mall at some point, plus I have a party to go to tonight and I baked a spiked eggnog cheesecake that smells amazing to bring with me.
Still time for anyone reading this to get me a Christmas gift ......just saying...... all I want is donations to Dana Farber.  It IS after all the season of giving.  Please consider making a donation today, together we can make a difference and Dana Farber is finding cures for cancer, help them with a gift today!

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