Monday, December 31, 2012

It's A Wrap 2012

I need to preface my 2012 wrap-up with how I got to this point in my running journey.  
2011 was sort of an experimental year with running for me.  
I started this running journey at the very end of 2010 as a challenge from my daughter to run a half marathon with her in 2011. 
So I started running.  
I learned a lot throughout 2011 and wasn't sure exactly what this old body of mine could do. 
I ran my first half marathon that Summer of 2011 and decided to try a second one.  
I thought 2 half marathons in one Summer was just pure insanity.  
I thought I would hurt something in the process and was scared to sign up for a second race. 
I decided to go for it though.  I ran it and survived and from then on became instantly "hooked".  
I read everything I could get my hands on about running and soon discovered a whole new world. 
I subscribed to Runner's World.  
I checked out every thing that looked interesting to read about running from the library.  
I started signing up for more races.  
I started making new friends in the running world and knew there was no going back.  
This was just way too fun and I knew I wanted to continue to be a part of this. 
At the end of 2011 I was ready for some new goals and challenges.  
I wanted them to be lofty yet not unreachable.  And so now on to how my year of 2012 went down:
Looking back at 2012

*Goal #1 was to run at least one race a month for the whole year resulting in 12 races for 2012.
This goal seemed a little scary after only running 2 half marathons in 2011 but I was up for the challenge.
I gave myself a little bit of a leeway by not attaching a distance to those races.
Well.....the result?  31 Races with the breakdown of those distances as follows from
shortest to longest:
     *1-2.9 Virtual Race for Leap Year
     *19-Half Marathons
     *1-15 Mile Trail Run
     *2 Marathons-1 road and 1 trail
     *1-46 Mile Birthday run/walk

*Goal #2 was to run at least 60 miles a month for a distance total of the year being 720 miles.
     January 76 miles
     February 88.5 miles
     March 86.5 miles
     April 60.5 miles
     May 77 miles
     June 100.75 miles
     July 117 miles
     August  175.75 miles
     September 123 miles
     October 73 miles
     November 69.5 miles
     December 99 miles
For a grand total of mileage in 2012 of 1146.5 Miles

*Goal #3 happened later in the year and that was a holiday challenge that Runner's World put out to run at least 1 mile everyday from Thanksgiving to the end of the year. (Except Sundays for me) The idea of this goal was to keep the holiday pounds from creeping in.  It was a great idea and I jumped on it.  I think it worked.  I'm just a big chicken though to step on a scale.  I did do the running faithfully every day though.
I love goals and I love challenges.  If I decide to do something and I have accountability to someone or something (this blog) then by darn it's going to happen.  I have a very driven personality and I like to push myself to see what I can accomplish.

Now with 2013 here I have lofty dreams and goals still but I'm a bit nervous to share them.  Not because I don't think I can attain them, I'm just not quite sure how yet, and I'm not certain that 2013 is the year to set such high goals.  I'm still learning about this running adventure and feel like I have much to learn.

For now I'd like to just set the goal of at least matching what I did in 2012 and trying to surpass it a little bit in the coming year.  I'd like to try a few new races along with running a lot of the same ones I did in 2012. I also want to run a few more trail marathons and half marathons and possibly a couple of 50K's again.  I'd also like to get in better shape in 2013 and attempt beating my half marathon times by a few minutes.  I know that doesn't seem that challenging but when you're out there putting your whole heart and soul into a run a few minutes will be tough.

The goal of getting into better shape means lifting weights and cross training more.  I plan to do a lot of racquetball playing with my good friend Annaleesa and I plan to get to the gym for weight lifting.  I also plan to implement a better eating regiment and will be making my blog my go to spot for ACCOUNTABILITY.  I'm still working on the logistics of exactly how I will be doing that.  Possibly a completely different blog so as not to interfere with this one.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Remembering and Reflecting on Christmas 2012

This Christmas season is fading. 
The family has been together and truly enjoyed our time remembering our Savior's birth. 
We have played together, laughed together, and cried together.
The meals together have been more than delicious, they have fed our bellies and warmed our hearts. 
Relationships have been bonded and healed, truly what the Savior would desire. 
My sweet Porter is never that far away as long as I reflect and remember and pray for his closeness. 
I know he is happy.
A new grand daughter brings more joy in my life than I could have ever imagined.  
She warms my heart to the very brim.
Lasting friendships with special people I will always treasure are brought to the forefront of my mind.
I love them and appreciate their sweetness to me.
Running has kept me grounded and helped me form new friendships, ones that I hope continue.
It has been a beautiful Christmas and I have a thankful heart for many blessings in my life.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Runner's Anonymous Christmas Run

The idea for this Christmas run starting formulating in my brain shortly after a fun Thanksgiving run that I participated in with some of these friends. I belong to a Facebook group called Runner's Anonymous and I started advertising to them to come join in at the local Jr. high track for as little or as long as you wanted to run. You could walk, run, stroll, or just whatever your heart desired.
Cindy Hills in the yellow/green jacket was so helpful in keeping people informed and reminding them of this planned get-together. We set up at 7:00 am just slightly before it started getting light.  Me and Cindy arrived first and put up card tables with a cute Christmas table cloth.  I loved how we were both thinking alike.  Shortly after we got set up, Shannon from Hurricane arrived and her friend Melanie, all the way from Layton came down.  I love how running just brings people out from both far and near. 

Us four ladies started our run in the dark and got a couple laps in and then pretty soon others started showing up.  Mike Talbot and his dog Rocky were next.  Then Monnica Skinner and Gay Tregaskis.  As each new person would drive up and park we would stop and visit and then continue running.  I just absolutely loved that it didn't matter how fast or slow each person was, we could run and visit regardless.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time.
We continued running round and round that track and then along came Kevin and Elise Kunz, our trusty founders of the RA Group.  We all wanted pictures with them because they are just so fun to hang out with.

I put a challenge out there to the group that whomever runs the furthest would get a prize.  My goal for the day was a half marathon and I was sure wishing others would be hanging with me that long.  I wasn't sure though what everyone else had planned, but in the end it was me all by myself to complete my goal of 13.1 miles.
We had one determined girl decide she was going to get this gift and so she kept track of laps on her arm with a pen.  I think she needs to ask Santa for a Garmin.  Soooo much easier.  She was so dedicated in marking those dots and continuing to run, run, run.  Plus, she made all the muffins and the awesome paper/medals for everyone.  She definitely deserved the prize.
She also had encouraged everyone to wear their ugliest sweater and she was the only one to show up in something semi-ugly.  It was an ornament vest that she seemed to run in with no problem. That alone deserved the prize.
Shannon was just proving that we were sweating and working hard out there in the frigid cold.  Look at the cute icicles that formed on her hair.
Gay was so kind to bring her stove and set it up to make hot chocolate.  She also brought those cute little goodie bags with 2 power bars and an orange inside for each one of us.  Whenever we stopped to chat we would get cold, so it was either drink hot chocolate or run.
We would run awhile and then stop and visit and take pictures, then run some more, then drink hot chocolate, then run some more and stop and visit.  I'm not sure if we were running more or playing more.  As each new set of people would come we just had to stop and make introductions and chit chat some more.  Then as people would go home we needed to stop and give hugs and visit some more and say good-bye.  We probably chatted more than we ran.
These friends of mine right here are so awesome.  Annaleesa hangs out with me, travels with me, plays racquetball with me and would run with me if her knees would behave better. She makes me laugh anytime I'm with her.  Kirsten is the daughter of Laurie and is one of my cute piano students, Erica is also the daughter of Laurie and is heading off to South America to go on a mission in a little over two months.  Laurie on the right is my good friend who I have talked about many times on the blog.  She is my stalwart walking buddy and is there through so much with me.  She is not a runner but she came today to hang out and visit and do a few laps because she is just so supportive in all I do.  I was so happy to see these 4 cute faces this morning and hang out with them for a few laps.
 Cindy made these paper awards for us that everyone proudly wore!
This was by far my slowest half marathon of the year (about 3 1/2 hours) but I was having too much fun to care about that.  Having the opportunity to interact with other runners and meet new friends and visit and eat snacks just felt more like a big party.  In the end I accomplished my goal. It just took longer than usual to do it today.  But I definitely had a good time doing it and hope to have more opportunities to do this again. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert

My cute friend Annaleesa had an extra ticket and I got to tag along.  I love to see this Christmas concert put on each year at the conference center by the tabernacle choir and the special guests accompanying them and I feel very lucky to go when she gets tickets.
This is Annaleesa's Aunt Caroline and she is a fun gal that makes me laugh whenever I get to visit with her.  She was here all the way from California so it was fun to see and visit with her again.
The tab choir and orchestra getting set up before the Music and the Spoken Word was to start.  We got to see that live taping and was given brief instructions to be very quiet and to absolutely hold our applause, even if tempted to do so.  That's a pretty big undertaking for a crowd this large.  Surely somewhere, somebody is going to want to applaud.  After one of the tender stories that was told by Tom Brokaw about the Candy Bomber-Gail Halvorsen and how he sent candy down to the little kids in German territory in little parachutes out came the Candy Bomber and that was hard not to stand and give him a big applause for his goodness.

Gail Halvorsen-from Wikipedia
Shortly before landing at the Tempelhof airport in the American sector of Berlin, Halvorsen would drop candy attached to parachutes to children below. This action, which was dubbed Operation Little Vittles and sparked similar efforts by other crews, was the source of the popular name for the pilots: the candy bombers. Halvorsen had wanted to help raise the morale of the children during the time of uncertainty and privation.
Halvorsen started by giving a few treats to children watching the planes from outside the Tempelhof base. Wanting to give more, he promised to drop more candy from his plane the next day. Because the planes would arrive nearly every three minutes, the children naturally couldn't distinguish his aircraft from the others. However, Halvorsen promised to wiggle the wings to identify himself, which led to his nickname "Onkel Wackelfl├╝gel" ("Uncle Wiggly Wings"). The other American candy bombers became known as the Rosinenbombers (Raisin Bombers). Halvorsen's initiative drew the attention of the operation's commanding officer, Lieutenant General William H. Tunner, who approved of it and ordered it expanded into Operation Little Vittles.
The operation was soon noticed by the press and gained widespread attention. A wave of public support led to donations which enabled Halvorsen and his crew to drop 850 pounds of candy. By the end of the airlift, around 25 plane crews had dropped 23 tons of chocolate, chewing gum, and other candies over various places in Berlin. The Confectioners Association of America donated large amounts to the effort, and American school children cooperated in attaching the candies to parachutes.