Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best of 2012

Sunday's workout: 5 mile run with a friend

Wow, What a year!

This time last year, I never would have thought I would be where I am today but I couldn't be happier! Heres a quick look at 2012 as we prepare for 2013!

1. There is a plan
God has a plan. I truly believe this and saw it the most clearly I have ever seen it this year. Learning to have faith in this is the hard part, but I believe I came a long way in my faith this year. 
This cutie pie is a fabulous distraction!
2. Friends
Because of what I went through early on in 2012, I forged even deeper friendships with some amazing people. I honestly do not know what I would have done without them during this time. They kept me going. They fed me, they housed me, they distracted me, they taught me to have faith. Some were very close by and others very far away, but they all mean the world to me. I am very blessed.

3. Love
I never thought I would fall in love so quickly, but see #1 above. I knew our relationship was unique from the first time I met him - maybe even from the first time we talked on the phone. There is an ease about our relationship that I had never experienced. It is truly amazing.
The grandkids with Grandpa at my cousin's wedding in Chicago

4. Weddings
Love must have been in the air this year!
We went to several weddings together this year and sadly missed a few as well. We had a great time celebrating our friends and family and the occassions were great for us to get to know each other's friends and family as well.

5. Travel
We only had one big vacation together this year, but we had a few smaller road trips as well. We enjoyed both big cities and being nestled away in a cabin in the woods. We were lucky enough to see his favorite soccer team (Liverpool) in the US in both Boston and Baltimore. This helped me become quite the fan as well! We also planned some trips for 2013!

6. Bengals games
My first time with season tickets. Wow, what a season! The tailgating was always a blast and I enjoyed getting to know The Boyfriends friends a little better. I also got to relive with my college days with plenty of games of flip cup. Who thought we would make it to the playoffs this year?!

7. Marshall Marathon
I was so happy to be able to squeeze in a marathon in 2012. After taking 4 or so months off running, I wasn't sure if it would happen. I was even more excited that The Boyfriend wanted to run his first half marathon. I could not have been prouder of him. The best part was seeing him turn in to the stadium as I was heading off on my second loop. I was relieved and excited to know he had completed his first 13.1!

8. Other fun races with the Boyfriend
We participated in several fun races together this year. Fourth of July, Mudathlon, 10K on Turkey Day, and of course the Santa Suit fun run! I am looking forward to continuing the tradition of some of theses races each year together.
Running Advent Day 1
9. Running Advent
Although I was unable to complete Running Advent this year, I am proud of The Boyfriend for completing it and I am proud for completing 15.5 days of it. It was very difficult for me to admit I was too sick to complete the runs, but I do believe it was the smart decision. 

10. Getting Engaged
You can read the story here if you missed it. Such an amazing day. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I can't wait to marry my best friend in 2013.

11. Spending the holidays with family and friends
Yes, we had 6 family Christmases and two friend parties to attend, but the important thing is that we were able to spend so much time with our loved ones. 

12. Adventure
2012 held quite a bit of adventure. I can only imagine what 2013 has in store for us! 

I wish you all a happy, safe and healthy new year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Proposal!

****Sunday December 16th****
I woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible headache, body aches and chills. I knew this was not a good sign.  
And what horrible timing, I had a Santa Suit Fun Run to do with some friends and The Boyfriend! Thankfully the race wasn't until 11:00 a.m., so I took some medicine and attempted to sleep.

The Boyfriend was very sweet and rubbed my back trying to help me feel better. He asked me a few times if I was still going to run the race. Honestly, it never occurred to me not to go to the race, but I did know it would definitely just be a "fun run" and not a race for me.

We arrived and met up with my mom, Jack, my sister and my friend (both Jens) right away. We also found The Boyfriend's dad and step mom very quickly. I tried to forget about not feeling well and enjoy the sight of 600 people dressed in Santa Suits getting ready for a run!

I ran the first mile then had to walk. I'm pretty sure I had a fever and it was about 60 degrees out, much warmer than normal for December 16th in Ohio! The Santa suits were light, but they were still pretty warm.

We were with the Jens for a while then they took off running. The  Boyfriend and I just stayed together enjoying the dogs dressed up and all the sights. Buddy the Elf was even at one of the turns cheering everyone on.

Little did I know, quite a few more family members had been hiding out close to the finish line.
As we were headed down the final stretch to the finish (we had started running again, you can't cross the finish walking!) I started seeing more and more family. I remember looking at The Boyfriend and saying "my dad is here too?!"

Unfortunately I missed a lot of the signs. I think I saw "Congrats Bethany and Kevin" and I know I saw "Welcome to the Family".

After we crossed the finish line we moved off to the side a bit. The nieces and nephews delivered a Santa bag to The Boyfriend and he tells me he has something for me. Inside the bag was a another poster that said "Will you marry me" and the most beautiful ring I have ever seen.

After saying a few very sweet words...
He got down on one knee.

Of course I said yes!

And then I realized how many friends and family really were there! It was so nice to start the celebration with family and friends right away! I felt like every direction I looked I saw more friends and family (and a lot of strangers had gathered around too!).

I love that this picture makes it look like we got engaged at Bravo
This isn't everyone that was there, but close!

What an amazing day! 

I am so glad we were able to have our families there to share in the joy with us!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Running Advent: Epic Fail

Running Advent Miles: 111 miles, 16 days (or 15.5 really)

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! We enjoyed lots of time with our families. I feel extra blessed this holiday season, it has been quite a year!

Running Advent Update:
I made it until December 16th.

I am really bummed that I came so far yet fell short. I was SO sick though, I could barely even get out of bed to go to the restroom. So, it is what it is.
My view from bed, all the things a sick person needs.
I still ran for more consecutive days than I ever have before.
And 111 miles over 16 days isn't too shabby either.

I was still allowed to participate in the reindeer games celebrating the end of Running Advent. Good thing, because it was an absolute BLAST!

We played turkey bowling, complete with a vegetarian division using a Tofurkey; Family Feud; and American Gladiators. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt! Some of the games were a little scary intense.

We even had a special champagne toast for our engagement!

Coming up soon: our engagement story, I promise!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Please Excuse My Absence

I am SICK.

Like, I really haven't felt this awful in ages sick. 

But besides being sick, something else has been going on!

That's right, we're engaged!

I'll tell the story once I'm feeling better, but yes, there is a reason we are in Santa suits!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Coming Down The Hill

Wednesday p.m. workout: 7 mile run 0% incline
Thursday a.m. workout: 5 mile run 0% incline

I'm not going to lie. 


I am also proud of myself for sticking to it and making it over the halfway mark!

Last night's 7 miles may be the farthest I have EVER run on a treadmill. Man, it was boring! I do feel extremely well informed from all of the news watching I have been doing on the treadmill lately.

The Boyfriend and I decided to reward ourselves with ice cream last night. He is still rocking Running Advent as well (half mile added each day version). I am super impressed with him! 
And so happy that he likes to use ice cream as a reward too!

And yes, that is an ice cream koozie on my pint. Awesome birthday gift from my sister!

People always think that running down hill is so much easier than up hill. I find the opposite to be true. Running down hill my quads get really tired and the pounding really takes a toll.

I kept thinking once I got past Wednesday Running Advent would become so much easier, but that has not come true yet. Today was the hardest day to run so far. My legs felt like lead. They are tired and a bit sore.

So, instead of focusing on that, I am focusing on why I cannot wait for this weekend!
1. Runs in the single digits! Woohoo!!!!
2. Sleeping in! Even if I go to running club I don't have to get up at 4:45. 6:30 a.m sounds amazing to me right now.
3. A super fun "race" on Sunday!
4. Holiday parties!
5. Hanging out with some friends!

6 more miles to go today. Tomorrow is my last double digit run!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 on 12/12/12

Tuesday p.m. workout: 6 mile run 0% incline 
Wednesday a.m. workout: 5 mile run 0% incline

Today marks that halfway point of Running Advent!

Work decided for me that I would not make it to my running club last night, which was very sad. Work always gets in the way of the fun stuff! 

So I had a lovely little snack, then hit the treadmill.

I've decided that I have run on the treadmill at the gym too much lately, it is very hard to find new magazines I want to read look at while on the dreadmill.

So last night I had to go with this:

When your boss gets lost on the way to work and you give her directions, you are greatly rewarded:

That is my bit of randomness on 12/12/12.
Off to finish my 12 miles!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Short and Sweet

Monday p.m. workout: 6 mile run
Tuesday a.m. workout: 5 mile run 1% incline treadmill

The calves felt a little better this morning. I did jump off the treadmill once to stretch though.

And I may be wearing compression sleeves over my tights and under my boots at work today.
Don't judge.

The big debate is whether to run with my running group tonight or hit the treadmill. 
I think my day at work might decide that for me though.

If only my runs this week were this short and sweet!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Streak Continues!

Friday p.m. workout: 3.5 miles 1% incline on treadmill
Saturday's workout: 8 mile run outside
Sunday's workout: 9 mile run outside
Monday a.m. workout: 4 miles 1% incline on treadmill

Wow, 10 days and still going!
I really think this is my longest running streak. Ever.
I found my body tends to do best running 4ish days a week, so this is quite the accomplishment.

Friday I got to hit the treadmill earlier than normal since we go to leave work early. 
I didn't bedazzle a hat, but I did make a wreath! 

Here are the supplies we received. I have to put some finishing touches on mine, but hopefully I'll be able to post a pic this week of the finished product!

My calves started feeling extremely tight on Friday. My calves are always rather tight, but with all the miles recently, they started getting worse than normal.
So, it was time for some extra stretching and calf sleeves!

This seemed to help and my calves felt pretty good Saturday and Sunday. I wore compression on them all day both days (minus running, which I realize doesn't make any sense).

On the treadmill this morning they were burning for a while. I actually had to hop off and stretch them once. I think I might have to run in compression to get through this week of high mileage.

We also decorated The Boyfriend's house and possibly the dogs too this weekend!

As you can see, the mongrels do not like to sit still, especially at the same time.
We were laughing and getting frustrated at the same time, so we called it a day.

Running Advent: 9.5 days and 49 miles complete

Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Party

Thursday's workout: 6 mile run outside
Friday's a.m. workout: 3.5 mile run treadmill at 1% incline

Thurday night I ran with a friend from work. We haven't run together in a while, so it was nice to catch up. 

I had a stellar pre run snack.

I love me some Jimmy Johns!

 The miles really flew by and I was very thankful I did not have any stomach pains like I did Wednesday night. Double win!

I decided to break my run into two for today, so I did 3.5 miles on the treadmill this morning and will either run 3.5 outside after work, or hit the tread again. I'm hoping to get outside, but if it's raining I don't know if I will be able to. I want to make sure my shoes are dry for tomorrow's run.

Today we have our holiday party at work.
We get to eat, bedazzle hats and be merry!

And most importantly, go home early! Woohoo!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 5: Stomach Pains and A Book Review

Wednesday's workout: 5 mile Run outside

Yesterday was one of those days.  It was a good thing I "slept in" which means I got up at 5:50 not 4:45, because I needed every ounce of energy and every second of sleep.

Work has been quite crazy busy lately. 

Some of it is fun. I mean, who doesn't like to Google athletes?
Some of it is not so fun. Too busy googling to run the reports that your boss really wants.

 Getting stuck at work late when all you want to do is get your run in before it's super dark and cold is not fun.

Then when you finally do get your run in, it's not fun to be doubled over in pain for 5 miles. 
I have no idea what was/is wrong with me. And let me tell you, webmd, is not so much help.

Some of the possibilities (according to webmd): PMS, physical abuse, panic attack, ten different types of cancer, gas pains, and drug overdose.
Why thank you, that is so helpful.

**I didn't really expect to find anything on webmd, it was done more for the entertainment factor**

Enough complaining!
Day 5 of Running Advent went well (minus the stomach pains). I ran the first 2.5 miles alone in The Boyfriend's neighborhood. This slightly freaked me out because it was dark, the neighborhood is not very well lit, and I just finished a book about a girl that was abducted.

The second half of the run was more painful, but at least I had The Boyfriend with  me to distract me. He was even sweet enough to tease me about slowing him down.

Sill Missing was quite a good book. Parts of it were hard to read, but I felt it was well written. There is quite a twist at the end too!

Running Advent so far: 5 days down, 18 to go.
15 miles run, 129 to go

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sleeping In

Tuesday p.m. workout: Ran 4 miles on the treadmill 1% incline
Wednesday a.m workout: Hitting the snooze button

Is it sad that setting my alarm for 5:50 a.m. is sleeping in? And it makes me happy?
It felt really strange not working out this morning, but I think my body enjoyed and possibly  needed the extra rest.

Day 4 Running Advent: first run on the treadmill, so I needed some entertainment.

I save my US Weekly and People reading for for the gym. It's my little way of bribing myself. Plus, it's easy to look at the pictures and read little snippets while running. I definitely can't read a book on the treadmill!

After the first mile the time went relatively quickly. Why is the first mile always the worst?

Running Advent Day 4: Complete!

So far I have run 10 miles for running advent. Which leaves 134 to go. 
It will be fun to see the miles start dropping off quicker in the next week!

4 Days down, 19 to go!

What time do you get up in the morning? Do you prefer to workout in the morning or evening?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pug Invasion

Monday p.m. workout: Run 3 miles
Tuesday a.m. workout: Insanity Plyometrics Cardio Circuit

I am very happy this is my last week of morning Insanity workouts for a while!
Yesterday I just wasn't feeling it and felt like I was just going through the motions.
Thankfully, today I felt much more with it and ready!

Running Advent - 6 miles down, 138 to go! Day 4 will be run tonight!

And because there isn't much else to say today, how about a picture of Pugalicious (not his real name, but it's what I prefer to call him!

His one eye looks totally creepy, please ignore!
Hope you have a great day!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy December & Running Advent!

Saturday's workout: 1 mile run
Sunday's workout: 2 mile run
Monday's a.m. workout: Insanity Pure Cardio

Hello, December! 
It's so nice of you to make such a mild return. I've enjoyed running in shorts this weekend. And when I left for the gym at 5:10 this morning without a coat, because I always forget a coat that early I knew it wouldn't matter this evening when I leave work and head home.
I hope you stay so nice and welcoming, December. Maybe just some flurries for Christmas?

Running Advent Day 1 - 1 mile for B, 1/2 mile for The Boyfriend
I had thought about running my usual non-training weekend run of 10 miles on Saturday, but decided that with the mileage that is coming, I should take it easy. So, 1 mile it was!

Saturday night we were invited to a sushi making class with a group of friends.
We got to bring out own wine, beer, etc. and were given step by step instructions. It was my friend's birthday present from her husband and we had a BLAST!

Sunday was a rather lazy but slightly productive day! We had brunch with some friends, I took a nap and of course we got our miles in for Running Advent - in shorts again!

Rain, rain go away! At least it didn't rain while we were running!
 It was a fun weekend! 
I am excited and nervous for the first week of Running Advent while working and working out in the morning as well, but here goes nothing!

Friday, November 30, 2012

A BIG Announcement!

Friday's workout: Nada. I wanted to run this morning, but decided to rest since this is Running Advent Eve and therefore the last day of complete rest before running 23 days in a row.

I still don't have much to say...

But it's just my luck that a dear friend of mine has something HUGE to say today!  Jen and I have been friends since high school and even though many miles (and a really big pond) now separate us, we have remained close and become even closer in the last few years thanks to blogging and running.

Take it away Jen!  

Hi everyone. 
I’m Jen. I blog over at Two Itchy Feet. You may remember me from way back when I did a wee guest post for B about a measly 5k I’d just run. 

Well, things have moved on quite a bit since then. I’ve completed not one, not two, but three whopping half marathons, shaving more and more time off my PBs (2:19; 2:08, 2:02) but not quite managing that ever elusive sub-2-hour time that I’m after. I’ve run a bunch of 10k’s and even managed a 26:12 5k PB (quite the achievement for slow-plodding me). I’ve also participated in my first relay race through the streets of Cambridge in a nod to the movie Chariots of Fire and have completed my first ever duathlon (10k run, 22k bike, 5k run), although it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped (must. respect. the distance.)

The husband and I after nearly dying during finishing the London duathlon

So, you see, I’ve been keeping busy. But it seems that there’s still one distance that’s been missing from my list of running achievements. Ya know, that big ole’ elephant in the running-room. The thing that most of my running buddies have faced, conquered and, as in the case of B, thrashed: the 26.2. 

Now, I’ve always, always, always said that I’ll never ever run a marathon. It’s just too long and hard. Having three halves under my belt, and clearly remembering how I felt after each one of them (and the consequent DOMs), I swore to myself (and made my husband swear to remind me of this!) never ever to run a full marathon.
Then I went for a short run with my younger sister Becci.

Editor's note: I remember when Becci was in elementary school...and dancing like a crazy person at what I believe was her 13th birthday. Now I feel super old!

Becci had just run her first 5k (strangely in the exact same time in which I’d run my very first 5k). Becci was telling me that she’d love to run a 10k, even a half marathon with me one day but that she just didn’t think that she could. It was too far.

Becci and I after our first run together

So I told her that she couldn’t think that way. After all, having just completed her first 5k, no one would expect her to show up and just run a 10k, or even an HM. No, she’d build on the base she’d just established, she’d build up her mileage slowly and intelligently, and the day she’d rock up to her first 10k or 13.1 miles, she’d be ready to kill it. 

The minute I finished my little speech, realization dawned upon me. I’d just argued myself out of every reason why not to sign up for my first marathon. Just like Becci, I wasn’t expected to just rock up and run it. Nay. I, too, would have to build upon my already established base of 13.1 miles, I’d be given sufficient time to increase my mileage, my stamina, my ability. I, too, could run a full marathon.
And so I signed up for my first full marathon, the Greater Manchester Marathon on the 28th of April 2013. It boasts to be the flattest marathon in the UK (thank goodness) and I’ll have a great group of gals around me (well, probably running way ahead of me…) to support me. 

Yup, that's the kind of support I get from my gals!

So there you have it. I’ve just made my first marathon announcement on RunnerB – never more fitting as she’s the one who’s so very much inspired my running and blogging alike. I’ll let you go back to what you were doing now while I get back to my panic attack.

Way to go, Jen! I am so excited for you and can't wait to follow your training and race. I know you can do it! If I win the lottery I promise to get my booty over to England and at least cheer you on!

Anyone else out there planning to run their first race of any distance?