Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas Time Is Here! And a 2015 Retrospective

Ah the holidays are upon us and I am love, love, loving it!  Even better because its been warm except for a few days at a time here or there.  I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE El Nino!
I know its not popular, but here's what I have to say about that:  Its Texas and you choose to live here.  If it bothers you that much, move. 
OK, what else?  Well obviously I am not busy at work or I wouldn't be typing right now.  People are either taking this week off or next week.  Me?  I am off as of Thursday and will be out until Jan 4th.  So with so many out this week, its almost like having time off now as well.
I actually left at 3:30 yesterday to hit up the gym early.  Got in an AWESOME workout, and still get home right as its not yet quite dark, but close.  Thankful solstice has happened and now the days will be getting a bit longer even if its just a minute or two as the next few months fly by.
I am SO excited to spend extra time with T over the holidays.  He is almost 2 now so he is much more aware of the difference between normal days and holi(days).  At least I think so anyway.  We had a photographer on Sunday at a park for family pictures and he is a hot mess!  Oh how he makes my heart swell to like 10 million times bigger than it is.
Lets see what else?  Running.  Yep been back running with Kenyan Way for about 2 months now.  I only go in on Saturdays for the long run support but its been great.  It makes me run faster than I might otherwise and walk less too :O)  When you have so many people, you just naturally want to at least keep up with SOME of them when you can you know?  Totally worth getting up at 4:30am on a Saturday to make the drive in for a 6am start.  It generally takes me about 35 min I guess, give or take.  Again, totally worth it.
Once Houston is over, I will take my break from KW and just run in Cinco.  I signed up for a 10 miler (Texas 10 Series) late April so I am going to just chill with running anything over 5-6 miles for a month.
Before Houston, I have a 10K and a quarter marathon (women's only race), so I am enjoying the shorter distance kind of races.
This year I'll be taking an extended time off just like I did last year from running (after the 10 miler in April) ANY long distances, focusing on speed, endurance, and strength.  I'd like to go in to the late Summer, early Fall running a bit faster than I am today. 
With our new building at work we now have a top-notch gym available to us which I recently joined.  I am still going to keep my membership at the 'other place' as its close to home for weekends and when I am off.  Right now at least, the extra $43 a month isn't a hassle....which by the way guess what???????
I am debt freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!  I paid off my consolidation loan a year early!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Free and clear baby, free and clear.  I know I wrote recently about financial well being and my goodness how freeing is this?!  That's an extra $822 dollars A MONTH in my accounts.  Y'all that's a lot of damn money and for 4 years I was paying that out, desperately waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel.  Bye bye student loans and mistakes of years of charging CRAP.    
Of course I have upped my savings and hopefully a raise in February, and another 1% added to my 401k deduction...well I feel very, very, financially stable right now for sure.  Both my checking and savings are nicely padded to say the least.
The decision in 2016 will be to either buy a townhome/condo, or to continue to rent.  February my niece and I will be conversing about me possibly taking on her house and she is ready to be out of it.  Its WAY too big for me, but I love it so much...We shall see what she decides to do as its really up to her at this point.  When we talked about it a couple of months ago, she liked the idea.
Man its been a great year.  First full year home again.  New car.  Paid off debt.  Happy.  Healthy.  Family.  Love.  No loss.
I can only wish that in 2016, I have half of that kind of personal success.  I sometimes worry about the shoe yet to drop, but that's not often.  I am a pretty positive, grateful person the last couple of years for sure...so that outweighs the sometimes doubt of troubles that might come along. 
Remember:  The places where you have the biggest challenges, are the places where you have the most to give ----Tracy McMillian

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Katy YMCA 2015 Turkey Dash (10K)

Definitely NOT the race I had hoped for that's for sure.  With it being 73 and 100% humidity (feels like of 81) and a strong wind to boot for about 1/2 the race I was just DONE. 
Once I knew what the weather was going to be like, I more or less loosened up my goal a bit, which was a 1:06 (10:39 pace).  I did do it faster than last year, in better weather, but in much less running shape than I am now.

I majorly struggled with even this result, but I didn't leave anything out there.  It was just excruciatingly miserable, miserable weather. 
I could feel how red my face was basically once I hit mile 3.  My first mile was OK, at 10:30 but looking back I should have done an 11, but I still had high hopes and figured I see what happened after the first mile.

Not the brightest idea considering I knew I was going to be overheating sooner rather than later.

Had I taken a more cautious approach in the first couple of miles, I might have been able to shave off some time.
I do like this race for many reasons: Its local, its easy in and easy out, great booths of vendors, great medals, and its one big loop.  The biggest bonus is that its roughly less than HALF of the nightmare of the Uptown Turkey Trot which is about 15,000 people.  I think Katy says about 7,000, but I would say more like 5 based on the results the past 2 years.
They also have corrals (new this year) which I royally screwed up on when I signed up because I didn't notice it and just it Submit.  This mistake put me in Corral A.  Oops.  Well I figured out afterwards what I had done once I picked up my bib etc., so I lined up at the front of the C corral like a good girl. 

My next race if New Years Day and is another 10K.  If the weather if optimal, I will be shooting for either that 1:06 or possibly even a 1:05:30. 
December is a high(er) mileage month for me going in to the taper early January for Houston, so we'll see how my legs feel that last week of the month.  I have a long run the very next day so I will have to either sacrifice the race time or the ease of a long run on somewhat tired but not in pain legs.
We shall see.
I've been ramping my monthly mileage up the past few months and December will be the highest.  75 in October, 80 in November and it will be 100 for this month.  BTW I am using not only GarminConnect (since I got my new watch) but also Training Peaks.  They have a great interface and I am able to disable the data.  This alone makes me a bit more competitive (with myself) and its paying off.  Plus I love that my new watch is Bluetooth and auto downloads the data into my phone and even the website with no effort. 
OK that's it for now...Not sure anyone is even reading but again keeping track of information again is mainly for me these days.