Happy Friday! I feel like the best way to end this crazy week is with this month’s Currently post!
I just finished a wonderful book by an author who I have had the pleasure to meet, Trish Doller. If you are a fan of YA Lit and are looking for a good book, this is it. And if you are local here to Tampa Bay, you’ll enjoy it even more because it is set in Tarpon Springs!
It’s December, so that means Christmas music. And while I love a wide variety of Christmas music – new, old, and in between, I am very sentimental about the Christmas music I grew up on. My dad loved Big Band music, so it was always Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and more…. Now more than ever, it just makes me smile to hear it. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I would have to say this one….
Current guilty pleasure:
Christmas movies. I can’t get enough of them. If the TV is on (and when is it not?!?!), there is a Christmas movie one. I love all the cheesy ones on the Hallmark channel, as well as the fun ones on ABC Family like Christmas Vacation or How The Grinch Stole Christmas. I will be sad when they go away in a couple weeks.
Water. I cut WAY back on coffee the last few weeks and I’m drinking enough water for two people. Plain, ice cold water is my favorite. I don’t like it warm, although I will drink it that way if I have to. I also like it with lemon, but other than that, I never add anything to it.
The last couple of week’s I have enjoyed lunch with my mom at Jason’s Deli with my mom. They have the best tomato basil soup. I always get a cup of it with half a sandwich, roast beef on whole wheat with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and sliced avocado. It is so good and not too awful on points. It’s very filling too!
Did you watch The Sound of Music, Live! last week? I DVR’d it and finally watched it. I loved watching the original movie growing up and I am not ashamed to admit that I love “My Favorite Things”. I also love Carrie Underwood, and I loved her version of the song on the live show. Did you watch it?
Current wish list:
I have my eye on this adorable Christmas ornament for our tree. I don’t have any running-related ornaments and I think it’s time I have one.
(Source: Milestones Sports Jewelry & Apparel)
Three weeks later, I am still riding high from my awesome PR at the Women’s Running Series Half Marathon. It will be awhile before I forget this one…
DailyMile – I love this site to track the miles I log running or walking. It gives you a weekly total and at the end of the year, I get a total for the year. It’s always fun to look back at progress. If you are on DailyMile, add me as a friend!
The Daily Mel – Melissa is a fellow blogger and WW friend. She loves all things WW like I do and her blog is full of great information about the program and more. If you visit her blog, let her know I sent you!
Katy Widrick – Katy is a fellow blogger, runner, and all around cool girl. She has some pretty great content on her blog and her baby girl is too cute.
I always have a hard time answering this. I don’t’ really *need* anything. I would like to 2013 to end on a positive note, so I guess who could say I need that.
Four words…. Cake in a cup. Have you tried this yet? Holy yum, is it good. It feels like an indulgence because it’s so sweet and warm and delicious, but it’s only 4 Weight Watchers points plus value. And it takes 70 seconds to heat it up in the microwave. Hard to beat that!
Absolutely, positively, without a doubt, the answer to this one is my little black dress I wore to the Christmas party this past Tuesday. I haven’t even put it in the closet yet – it’s hanging on the door where I can see it. I felt amazing in that dress, especially after realizing it was a size 6. I just love it….
Today we are dropping off bikes for Toys For Tots as part of our Jingle Bikes With Kids program my husband and I started last year. I believe we have 12 bikes this year. It makes me so happy to know that 12 little kiddos will get a brand new bike. I remember how much I loved my bike when I was little.
December is a hard month, no way around it. This year, I am having a little harder time getting into the holiday spirit. I just miss my dad. But we enjoyed a gorgeous sunset on the 4th in honor of him. I know he’s with me always, but I feel it most when I’m standing by the water and looking at a sunset like this….
What are you currently enjoying? Share!
I wanted to badly to write this Sunday to post yesterday, but I am serious when I say I slept most of the day after I got home from the race and lunch. I. Was. Exhausted.
Sunday morning, I was up very early, 4am to be exact, to get ready for half marathon #6. I had a hard time falling asleep Saturday night, so I’m not sure I got more than 5 hours of sleep. I was tired, but excited and ready to go. After training for 14 weeks and realizing the last few weeks if training that a new PR was possible, I just wanted to get out there and run!
I ran this same race in 2012, it was my second half marathon and just weeks after sciatica and physical therapy, I walked / ran my worst race to date. I was just happy to up and moving and even completing it was a huge accomplishment. I was very close to my highest weight and felt every one of those extra pounds. My average pace last year was 16:34 with a finish time of 03:37:11. (Looking at these pictures, I wonder who this person even was!!)
Back in March, I PR’d at the Sarasota Half with a time of 02:48:12, my first time finishing under 3 hours. Once I had that new PR, I started to dream of finishing in 02:30, but it really was just a dream. But running consistently this year, and following a 14-week training plan seemed like the best shot I had at getting there.
At 7:00am the race started, and I was in Corral 5. It was 7:08 when I crossed over the start line and started my Garmin (a miracle I remembered but thankful I did!). I started running right from the start and did my best to hold back. Something about running a race with so many other people, even when you aren’t competing, that makes you run a little faster. It must be the adrenaline!
I was excited to get to Mile 1 because I knew that the Best Damn Race Cheer Squad would be there. They were awesome. I passed them and kept on running. This is a beautiful course that goes along the water and through Coffee Pot Bayou and a beautiful neighborhood, brick roads and all. Just after Mile 3, I heard someone yell my name and it was my friend Val, and she even made me a sign. It was so nice and it really pushed me. I had been behind the 02:30 pace group for about a mile and decided I needed to be ahead of them. I felt that if I was going to reach that goal of 02:30, I needed to be ahead of the game while I felt good because I was sure that by Mile 9 or 10, I would slow down. I needed that buffer. I kept an eye over my shoulder to see if they were catching up to me and they did not. I didn’t see them again!
Mille 7 took me back past the Best Damn Race Cheer Squad. They were still screaming and cheering and being super awesome. Green guys, a wiener, great signs, and the UT guy’s swim team. Too much fun!
(Photo credit: Best Damn Race)
When I passed by them at Mile 7, my friend Caroline who was part of the cheer squad, captured this photo of me. I’m glad to see I was so happy to be running still. I actually felt very good. And once again, having people scream your name and cheer you on really pushes you to keep going. Thanks guys!
(photo credit: Caroline)
From this point, the course took us through down town, around Mirror Lake, and then a long stretch west. I was trying my hardest to hit Mile 10 well before the 2 hour mark – and I did – because I knew even at my slowest, I could do the last 3 miles and still finish in 02:30. It seemed like we ran forever before before the turn around just before mile 11. From here, it was almost all down hill. This was a great way to finish because it was 26 blocks of running towards the second to last turn before the finish line.
Once I hit Mile 12 and saw my time was 02:12ish, I knew I had it, and then some. And that’s when the tears started flowing. I was so excited and once again the adrenaline kicked in. This is obvious in my split times for the last mile which I picked up the pace on.
When I turned the last corner and headed the last little bit to the finish line, I was so happy. I knew I had it. I was still crying and I was trying to watch for my mom, who I knew was at the finish line. I screamed when I crossed the finish line. I did it. I met my goal!
My watch time was 02:23:43, but I was curious to know what my chip time was. Thanks to live runner tracking, I found out that it was 02:31:28. I was disappointed when I saw this, because I thought for sure I beat my goal and I thought my watch was wrong. After looking over the split times, I realized they had my start time wrong, showing at 7:00 right when it started, but I crossed the start line at 7:08. So, I have requested a correction. This time was too important to me to let is slide… I calculate that my finish time should be 02:23:38.
My split times were AMAZING. Better than I really ever could have imagined. I knew during the whole race that I had to stay below an 11:27 / mile pace to finish in 02:30. I kept it under that the entire time and my average pace was an incredible 10:49.
Such a great race and an awesome day. I had so much fun, ran with all my heart, and enjoyed every minute of it. Reaching a goal after 14 weeks of training is a huge accomplishment. Once again, I am reminded how strong running has made me and how much I want to continue to do it.
And here is it… the corrected times. I am so thankful that Women’s Running Series corrected these!
Remember that time I ran this race last year? 03:37:11? It’s crazy to think I did the same race 01:14 minutes faster. Crazy! And still 25 minutes faster than my previous PR.
After the race, hubby and my mom and I headed to Hooters for my favorite post-race meal – wings and beer! Boy, did I earn that! It was delicious and amazing. Our waitress was super impressed by the fact that I finished my 6th half marathon and made sure to let me know….
What a day! It’s definitely one I won’t soon forget. So what’s next? I have 4 half marathons planned for the spring to get me up to #10. I will keep running regularly between now and the next one, which is the Best Damn Race Safety Harbor on Feb. 1, 2014…. Is a new PR possible? We’ll have to wait and see!
I have really come to love these Currently posts… It’s fun to see where I’m at each month. I hope you’ll join in the fun and do one too!
This is actually a comical question at the moment. I am still reading The Shining, which was last month’s answer. And by still reading, I mean I haven’t had time to pick it up and read much of it. That being said, I am just dying to get the sequel to it, Doctor Sleep. So much so, that I even read the first 25 pages of it while standing in Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago. I just can’t bring myself to spend money on a hardcover book right now.
I really really want to answer this with Christmas music, which I am already listening to, but I’ll spare you that this month. So, my answer is the new Daughtry song, Waiting for Superman. The new CD comes out tomorrow and you can bet I’ll be buying it right away. I am a huge Daughtry fan – we’ve been to 5 concerts over the last several years. Always a great show and great music. I am excited about the new CD.
Current guilty pleasure:
Two words… See’s Candy. It’s a holiday thing, thank goodness. They have a kiosk at the mall and it’s there now. Hubby and I went yesterday and I am not ashamed to admit that we bought a few of our favorites. I am not afraid to splurge on little guilty pleasure’s that are only available to me a couple months out of the year. My favorites are the Bordeaux Bar (OMG!!!), the toffee, and the lollipops. So good!
I expect my answer will always be a variation of water, coffee, and beer. This month it’s coffee, specifically made in my handy dandy Keurig most weekday mornings. I am really enjoying Macadamia Nut Cookie flavor coffee with CoffeeMate Pumpkin Spice creamer. It’s perfect. Yum.
This month I’ve been eating a lot of fruits and veggies. Avocado is always a favorite of mine and this month I’ve had quite a few. So so good!
Christmas movies. All of them! I am currently hooked on the cheesy Hallmark channel ones. Soon I will have to start our yearly ritual of watching Elf over and over again.
Current wish list:
I am sure no one is surprised when I say race entries. This answer has been the same since I started doing my Currently posts. I want to run races. All of them.
I am in the midst of the last week of half marathon training for the Women’s Half in St Pete THIS Sunday!!! I have done amazing with my training, only missing one run over the entire 14 weeks. When I started the training, I was nervous about the long runs. The 12-miler was the hardest (also the longest) but it’s all preparation for the real deal. Yesterday I did my last long run of 8 miles and it was great, with a fantastic time. I am anxious to see how my training does for me when it comes to the actual race.
Discom-bob-ulated Running – my friend Beth writes this blog about her marathon and triathlon training. She’s funny and super awesome, and answers my running questions when I have them. She recently made my day by confirming that I am a real runner when we were discussing being stubborn and running when maybe I should have stopped.
Pinterest – I love pinning motivational, funny, cute, and totally useless stuff that I may never need. But it is just another form of social media that I love.
Runners World - specifically, their motivational quotes. Nothing makes me want to run out the door quicker than reading a great motivational quote, like this one….
Free time. I am hopeful that the last weeks of 2013 will allow me to take some much needed free time. Hubby always takes time off during the holiday and I am going to do my darndest to do the same.
We tried a new flavor of Publix ice cream recently and oh my goodness, is it yummy. It’s Lemon Sugar Cookie, with pieces of lemon sugar cookies and vanilla icing. Mmmmm……
I still want to live in running clothes or yoga pants. They’re just so comfortable. This month, though, I am on the lookout for a new dress to wear to the Christmas party on Dec. 10 for hubby’s work. I missed last year’s because I had the stupid flu, so I am excited to go this year. And with all my hard work this year, it’s time to splurge on a new dress. I know hubby will be happy about that. Here are a couple I had my eye on and tried on over the weekend.
The one on the left I did not like on me at all. Not flattering. The one on the right was very nice and I love the neck line on it, but it was very heavy. I did end up buying one and I cannot wait to try it. It’s a little black dress and when I put in on – in a size 10!! – it felt perfect. now I just need shoes to go with it. Here’s a picture of it….
I was recently chosen as an ambassador for the Best Damn Race. So excited about that! After I complete the Women’s Half this weekend, I’ll keep training for the Best Damn Race which is Feb. 1st in Safety Harbor and March 1st in Orlando. I’m going to run the half marathon in BOTH cities because I’m crazy like that AND I’ll get 3 medals for those 2 races. I love half marathons, I love medals, and I love the Best Damn Race! Everyone should come out and run it with me! Save $5 on registration for any race in Safety Harbor or on the half marathon in Orlando. Use discount code NANCIC.
Trying not to be stressed out all the time… I am in the process of making some changes that I trust will help with that, although the process of change also stresses me out. But, I have to believe it will all work out in the end!
So tell me…. What is something you are currently loving!